CCNet TERRA 11/2003 -  5 March 2003

    Kjeld Engvild <>

    The Globe and Mail, 26 February 2003

(3) RECORD COLD - RECORD WARM, 1 March 203

    CO2 Science Magazine, 5March 2003

    CO2 Science Magazine, 5 March 2003

    Tech Central Station, 4 March 2003

    Andrew Yee <>

    COMMENTS (CCNet 12.2.03 and 27.2.03)
    Andrew Glikson <>

    Steve Drury <>

     John Michael Williams <>

     Leroy Ellenberger <>

     National Policy Centre, February 1999

     The Guardian, 1 March 2003


>From Kjeld Engvild <>

Dear Dr. Peiser,

I have written a review on the risks of sudden global cooling in the
agricultural and forestry meteorology; would that be of interest in
Cambridge Conference Network?

Sincerely yours

Kjeld Engvild


Engvild, K.C. (


Global warming has received much attention, but evidence from the past shows
that sudden global cooling has occurred with severe failures of agriculture.
Extrapolating from dendrochronological evidence, one can predict the
following: Approximately once per century there will be a drop of about
0.5-1 degree centigrade in mean temperature worldwide. In some of these
cases, perhaps once every two or three hundred years this might endanger
agricultural production globally. About once per millenium there will be
periods of 5-20 years where the temperature is seriously below normal. The
last major one year temperature drop was 1816, the year without a summer,
probably caused by the cooling effect of the eruption of the volcano
Tambora, Indonesia. The last decade-long cooling event was AD 536-545 where
dust veil, cold, famine, and plague was recorded in Byzantium and China.
Very large volcanic eruptions or a comet/asteroid impact have been suggested
as cause. Nuclear winter after large scale nuclear war is a well-known
scenario, but climate instabilities may also be caused by changes in the
sun, Milankovitch cycles, changes in ocean currents, volcanoes, asteroid
impacts, dusting from comets passing close, methane released from its
hydrate, and pollution. The risks associated with sudden global cooling are
rather smaller than the risks of global warming, but they are real. A
dangerous sudden cooling event will happen sooner or later. Ability to
change to cold-resistant crops rapidly in large parts of the world may be
necessary to avoid major famines. With some important exceptions,
fundamental research in abrupt climate change is in place, but agricultural
or economic research on volcanic/comet-dusting/nuclear winters and their
mitigation is lacking.

Keywords: Dust veil; Dry fog; Haze; Global change; Nuclear winter; Volcanic

Plant Research Department
Risoe National Laboratory
DK-4000, Roskilde
Phone + 45 4677 4144
Fax   + 45 4677 4102


>From The Globe and Mail, 26 February 2003

Canadian Press

Ottawa - Data compiled from the journals of early Arctic explorers casts
doubt on the assumption that recent thinning of Arctic ice is the result of
human-induced climate change.

A Norwegian study using the explorers' ancient log books suggests that
dramatic shrinkage of sea ice, widely cited as evidence for global warming
in recent years, has occurred before.

That doesn't necessarily prove that recent disappearance of sea ice is
natural, but raises the possibility that it could be, researchers say.

Adventurers of the 1700s, who took meticulous notes on their voyages,
encountered ice conditions similar to those seen today, researcher Chad Dick
said in an interview from Norway.

"If you go back to the early 1700s you find that sea ice extent was about
the same then as it is now," said Mr. Dick of the Arctic Climate Systems
Study, an international research program.

In Canada there has been alarm at reduced ice cover in Hudson Bay which is
causing problems for polar bears.

There's also been debate about disappearing ice in the Northwest Passage,
which could result in challenges to Canadian sovereignty over the passage.

Those phenomena have been cited as evidence that humans are causing the
global climate to warm.

But similar shrinkage has occurred before, according to the Norwegian
researchers who have drawn up Arctic ice charts covering 500 years.

The charts show sea ice has declined by about 33 per cent over the past 135
years, but much of that thinning occurred in the early part of that period,
before the industrial revolution unleashed greenhouse pollution on a large

In the more distant past, ice conditions were similar to those seen today.

That raises the possibility - but does not prove - that recent ice shrinkage
could be part of a natural cycle, rather than the result of human-caused
greenhouse emissions, Mr. Dick said.

"The evidence at the moment is fairly inconclusive."

"The fact is there are natural cycles in sea ice extent and we're not
outside the range of those natural cycles at the moment."

He said natural climate cycles like ice ages are driven by the way the earth
orbits and wobbles in its orbit and resulting changes in the amount of solar
radiation reaching Earth.

If the current reduction in ice cover is part of a natural cycle, ice cover
should soon start to grow again, said Mr. Dick.

"We've definitely lost a lot of sea ice over the past 20 years or so.

"If this is a natural cycle, then things should start returning to a more
average condition, so we should see sea ice thickening up and extending
further south.

"If we don't see that, if we see it continuing to thin and disappear, then
in 10 years time we're pretty well going to be beyond the range of natural
cycles we've seen up to now."

He emphasized that the study doesn't refute the theory of global warming,
but points to the inadequacy of current climate models.

"Just to say, it was the same in the 1700s and therefore it's natural,
doesn't follow. It's not necessarily wrong but it doesn't follow.

"What we need to understand is what these natural cycles are about and why
they occur and if we could do that we could tell where in the natural cycle
we were meant to be."

The World Wildlife Fund is publishing the sea-ice charts on CD-ROM for
researchers around the world to use.

"I would say that in about 10 years time we'll know whether this is a human
effect or not," said Mr. Dick.
Copyright 2003, The Globe and Mail


>From, 1 March 203

This winter has broken all-time cold records all across North America,
Europe and Asia. Sporting events were cancelled, Winnipeg in Canada recorded
a temperature of -35.9C on 24th February, the coldest since 1959.

It was brutally cold in Western Canada. On 23rd Feb, 18 new cold records
were set. Drumheller, Alberta fell to a bone-numbing -38, which was 7.5
colder than its previous record low. Edmonton dropped to -36.9, which was
6.5 degrees colder than its previous record low.  Banff and Jasper set new
record lows at -35 and -33.7.

In Saskatchewan, Regina's -37.6 broke its previous record from 1887, But
-38.4, La Ronge was even colder at -38.4.

In Manitoba , Thompson dropped to -40.1. Other record lows in the province
included Swan River -35.9, Fisher Branch -33.3, Pilot Mound -32.7 and
Gretna -30.

British Columbia also recorded several record lows including Chetwynd -31,
Mackenzie -30.2, Sparwood -26.7, and Cranbrook -19. Dawson Creek tied its
existing record low for 23rd Feb, dropping to -39.

South of the border, Wyoming was not spared. Casper set a record low of
-30, the coldest it has ever been in February in Casper. Jackson and
Worland scored -27, Laramie -21.

The Southern Plains were walloped by ice and snow, and record snowfalls were
recorded all across the northeast of the USA, including Washington DC, and
in Asia including the holy city of Jerusalem.

Caribou, Maine had a record low of -22, breaking the old record of 1940 by

Binghamton NY has recorded the 3rd coldest winter (Dec-Feb) since records
began there in 1951.

Many places in the mid-Atlantic of the US also had record snowfalls for

Amid all this freezing cold across the northern hemisphere over the whole
northern winter, the greenhouse industry were forever hopeful. According to
NOAA, globally speaking, January temperatures were the 3rd warmest on


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 5March 2003

Polyakov, I.V., Alekseev, G.V., Bekryaev, R.V., Bhatt, U., Colony, R.L.,
Johnson, M.A., Karklin, V.P., Makshtas, A.P., Walsh, D. and Yulin A.V.
2002.  Observationally based assessment of polar amplification of global
warming.  Geophysical Research Letters 29: 10.1029/2001GL011111.

A long succession of climate models has consistently predicted that
CO2-induced global warming should be significantly amplified in earth's
polar regions and that the first signs of man's expected impact on the
world's weather should thus be manifest there.  Long-term temperature
records, however, tell a vastly different story.

What was done
The authors used "newly available long-term Russian observations of SAT
[surface air temperature] from coastal stations, and sea-ice extent and
fast-ice thickness from the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chuckchi seas"
to gain new insights into trends and variability in the Arctic environment
poleward of 62N.

What was learned
Throughout the 125-year Arctic air temperature history they developed, the
authors identified "strong intrinsic variability, dominated by multi-decadal
fluctuations with a timescale of 60-80 years;" and because of this fact,
they found temperature trends in the Arctic to be highly dependent on the
particular time period selected for analysis.  In fact, they found they
could "identify periods when [A]rctic trends were actually smaller or of
different sign [our italics] than Northern Hemisphere trends."  Over the
bulk of the 20th century, however, when they say "multi-decadal variability
had little net effect on computed trends," the temperature histories of the
two regions were "similar" and did "not support amplified warming in polar
regions predicted by GCMs."  Also like the temperature trend, the ice cover
trend was "smaller than expected," with fast-ice thickness trends
"relatively small, positive or negative in sign at different locations, and
not statistically significant at the 95% level."

What it means
In the words of the authors, real-world data -- which are the final arbiters
of all debates and in the case of the current study come from the Arctic --
"do not support the [IPCC] hypothesized polar amplification of global
warming."  We also note, in this regard, that the same would appear to be
true of data from the planet's south polar region, where the Antarctic
continent has actually been cooling for at least the last three and a half
decades (see our Journal Reviews Thirty-Five Years of Climate Change in
Antarctica and Recent Trends in Antarctic Surface Temperatures).  Hence, it
is abundantly clear that one of the most highly-believed predictions of
essentially all climate models employed by the IPCC is just plain wrong.
Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 5 March 2003

Soon, W. and Baliunas, S.  2003.  Proxy climatic and environmental changes
of the past 1000 years.  Climate Research 23: 89-110.

What was done
The authors review an immense wealth of evidence pertaining to the climatic
and environmental history of the earth over the last millennium, although
stating that "the adopted period of 1000 years is strictly a convenience
that merits little scientific weight."  Indeed, the important study of Esper
et al. (2002) suggests that the peak warmth of the Medieval Warm Period
actually occurred just prior to the past millennium at approximately the
year 990.

What was learned
In the words of the authors, "the assemblage of local representations of
climate establishes both the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period as
climatic anomalies with worldwide imprints, extending earlier results by
Bryson et al. (1963), Lamb (1965), and numerous intervening research
efforts."  In addition, they find that "across the world, many records
reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely
extreme climatic period of the last millennium."

What it means
Contrary to the data-poor claims of climate alarmists, the 20th century
temperature rise that ushered in the Modern Warm Period did not produce a
climate that is warmer than that of the Medieval Warm Period.  Also, since
the atmospheric CO2 concentration of that earlier warm period was much lower
than that of the present warm period, there is no reason why the warmth of
the present should be attributed to the CO2 increase that has occurred in
the interim.

Bryson, R.A., Arakawa, H., Aschmann, H.H. and Baerris, D.A. plus 36 others.
1963.  NCAR Technical Note. In: Bryson R.A., and Julian P.R. (Eds.)
Proceedings of the Conference on Climate of the 11th and 16th Centuries,
Aspen CO, June 16-24 1962, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Technical Notes 63-1, Boulder, CO.

Esper, J., Cook, E.R. and Schweingruber, F.H.  2002.  Low-frequency signals
in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature
variability.  Science 295: 2250-2253.

Lamb, H.H.  1965.  The early medieval warm epoch and its sequel.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 1: 13-37.

Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From Tech Central Station, 4 March 2003

By Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon
The Bush administration has proposed a common-sense review of the nation's
climate research, one that could lead to a course correction for directing
an area of scientific inquiry that has benefited from an infusion of over
$20 billion in funding in the last ten years. Considerable progress has
already been made toward understanding the complex system of climate change,
but more remains to be done to eliminate critical gaps in our knowledge.

The administration issued a draft outline analyzing and proposing changes to
the Climate Change Science Program and welcomed all stakeholders - from
scientists to the public - to discuss the future of climate research. The
process is intended to determine what areas of climate research are in need
of greater funding and support.

The National Research Council organized a panel to review the draft. The
panel was critical of the draft, but rather than clarify the existing state
of climate science and research, the panel's members muddied the waters.

On the One Hand, On the Other

On the one hand, the panel members claimed that a human-made component of
global warming has been firmly established by the scientific community, thus
obviating the administration's call for research to reduce uncertainties
over anthropogenic warming and bolstering claims that a significant
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is necessary. But they also said,
paradoxically, that significantly more research funding would be necessary
to reduce the scientific uncertainties related to human-made global warming.

One of the panelists criticized the administration's research priorities,
telling the New York Times that research "that would have been cutting edge
in 1980 is listed as a priority for the future."

Despite this panelist's assertion, there are longstanding improvements
needed in basic climate science. For instance, a deteriorating and
insufficient network for ascertaining surface temperature measurements must
be strengthened; and understanding of the basic physics of convection that
governs the transfer of large amounts of energy must be improved. Even after
two decades of research in these areas, they remain at the leading edge of
problems to be solved to reduce uncertainty in forecasts of the human-made
climate impact.

Moreover, the panel asserted that more is known about a human-made warming
trend than the Bush administration will admit. For example, one panel
member, Michael Prather, announced that about half of observed warming trend
of the last few decades is anthropogenic while the remainder is natural.

This assertion leaves the impression that a human-caused global warming
effect is understood thoroughly enough to differentiate the human warming
trend from natural causes, and that research on the matter could be
concluded and funding reduced.

Scientific claims about anthropogenic warming can be traced to the
conclusions listed in the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Impacts
of Climate Variability and Change and the United Nations' Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change 2001's Third Assessment Report. But these
conclusions are uncertain because the main tools on which they are based are
computer simulations that have not reliably reproduced either past or
current attributes of the climate system. However, that is not surprising,
since the natural influences of climate are still difficult to model.
Reducing uncertainty about natural variability remains a critical concern in
distinguishing human and natural warming trends.

The panel's claims are thus confusing: While claiming we know enough to act
on global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the panel also
criticized the lack of a commitment to substantial new funding for improving
climate research.

We Know What We Don't Know

The panel's complaints try to have things both ways: Either the science is
complete (or complete enough) to move ahead with substantial cuts in carbon
dioxide emissions, or the climate forecasts are uncertain and require
substantial advances in order to give reliable forecasts one or two
centuries into the future. In the first case, the committee is calling for
reductions in fundamental research in climate change, and a restructuring of
energy policy in the U.S., with costs that will be difficult to bear in the
next decade. In the second case, the argument for much more funding
undercuts the previous assertion that the science is settled.

Implementing large and immediate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions will be
costly to human health, welfare and the environment. Waiting for two or
three decades while the technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
improves and becomes more affordable does not, according to computer
simulations shown in the UN assessment, add significant warming at the end
of 100 years. It would make greenhouse gas cuts easier and more affordable.
Most important, prioritized research in that interval may allow scientific
progress in understanding climate physics and defining the extent of
human-made climate change - which was the original point of the draft

Copyright 2003, Tech Central Station


>From Andrew Yee <>

ESA News

4 March 2003
ERS-2 data used in El Nino animation

A vivid animation based on data from ESA's ERS-2 satellite
shows the onset of the recent El Nino phenomena from July
to December of last year.
Covering a large area of the Pacific Ocean from South
America to Australia and southeast Asia, the animation
demonstrates the three most important factors that mark
a phenomenon that can shape weather patterns from South
America to Australia, and from India to southeast Asia:

* sea surface temperature
* sea surface levels
* winds

Surface water temperature is represented as deviations
from average temperature values by the colour of the water
surface. The greenish-blue colour represents the average
temperature of the water. The purple colour represents a
temperature 8 deg. Celsius above average, while the blue
represents the other extreme of the scale, 8 deg. Celsius
below average.

The height of the ocean water, as a deviation from average
levels, is seen by the shape of the sea surface, an effect
that is difficult to see because of the compression of the
video. The 'wave' effect of the surface represents the
amplified deviation of the water's surface from its
average height; the highest 'waves' display deviations
from the average of about 1.8 metres.

The wind is shown as blue arrows. Trade winds in the area,
blowing constantly from east to west, are clearly visible,
particularly in the final months of 2002. Winds blowing
in this direction, pushing warm surface water to the
west, is consistent with a weak, or weakening, El Nino.

El Nino expected to weaken
According to the US National Weather Service's Climate
Prediction Center (CPC), El Nino conditions continued
during January 2003, but there were indications that the
warm episode is beginning to weaken.

"Consistent with current conditions and recent observed
trends, most coupled model and statistical model forecasts
indicate that El Nino conditions will continue to weaken
through April 2003," the CPC forecast states. "Thereafter,
the consensus forecast is for near-normal conditions
during May-October 2003."

The animation incorporated data from several ERS-2
instruments. Sea level measurements were obtained by the
radar altimeter, an active microwave sensor designed to
measure return echoes from ocean and ice surfaces.
ERS-2's Along Track Scanning Radar (ATSR) acquired the
data on temperatures of the sea surface temperatures.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts,
an international organisation for weather data, provided
the wind data used in the animation.

What causes El Nino?
In Spanish El Nino means 'the Christ Child' -- a name
given to it by the Peruvian fishermen who hundreds of
years ago noticed how sometimes their coastal waters
grew unusually warm and fish grew scarce around
Christmas time. They had no way of knowing they were
naming a vast weather pattern whose effects strike much
of the globe.

El Nino is an irregular oscillation in tropical Pacific
currents, around the Equator. Usually, the wind blows
in a westerly direction in this region. This pushes the
warmer surface water into the western Pacific (which
can be as much as a half-meter higher than surface
levels in the east). In the eastern Pacific, colder
water from below the ocean's surface is pulled up from
below to replace the water pushed west. So, the normal
situation is warm water (about 30 C) in the west, cold
(about 22 C) in the east.

In an El Nino, the winds pushing that water to the west
get weaker. With thermal circulation some of the warm
water piled up in the west is released and moves back
east, and not as much cold water gets pulled up from
below. This makes the water in the eastern Pacific
warmer, an El Nino trademark.

El Nino doesn't stop there. Warmer ocean waters weaken
the winds, which in turn further warms the water, a
cycle that makes El Nino even stronger. This can have
wide-ranging consequences on climate patterns around
the world. These can include vastly increased rainfall
in South America, drought in Australia and fires across
southeast Asia, dying coral reefs in India, severe
winter storms in California, a heat wave in Canada and
intense hurricanes raging along the Pacific Ocean.

This phenomenon seems to occur every three to seven years.
The El Nino of 1997-98 is estimated to have caused more
than Euro 30,000 million of global property damage and
an unknown toll in human lives.

Several versions available

Several high-resolution versions of the animation are
available in Windows (.avi) and Quicktime (.mov) formats
(please be patient while they load). To view the animation,
click on the preferred version.

* 160x120 resolution:

  Windows (2.8MB)

  QuickTime (3.6MB)

* 320x240 resolution:

  Windows (9.6MB)

  QuickTime (9.5MB)

Related articles

* Satellite eyes focus on El Nino
* El Nino is yawning

Related links

* Protecting the environment
* El Nino


REFERENCE TO JMW'S COMMENTS (CCNet 12.2.03 and 27.2.03)

>From Andrew Glikson <>

Dear Benny,

The purely scientific view of nature has always been at odds with human
aspirations and ideals. That Homo Sapiens, which shares 98.5 percent the
primate genes, is subject to natural selection constitutes Darwinian
determinism difficult or impossible to reconcile with the concept of "free
will" and humanist ethics. While such ideals repeatedly led to
disappointments, the road from Nitzche's 'survival of the fittest' paradigm
has self-fulfillingly led to Aushwitz. However, more recently the roots of
intelligent consciousness became a subject of exploration through quantum
information theory, as expressed by Paul Davies "We were meant to be here"
(The Fifth Miracle) and by Carl Sagan: "For we are the local embodiment of a
Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins -
starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion
billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms" (Cosmos). The fundamental
scientific and philosophical schism between biological realism/reductionism
and the search for a deeper meaning remains unresolved, along with questions
such as "where did the natural laws come from" or the origin of the DNA/RNA
life phenomenon.

Comments made by JMW (12.2.03, 27.2.03) refer to the reverence/admiration
which many natural scientists feel toward the intelligence inherent in
nature as if it is some kind of "religion" - which it is not. Albert
Einstein's is not a religious philosophy, but one which perceives a universe
governed by the laws of physics ("God does not play dice with the
Universe"). Whether Einstein's reservations from quantum theory arose from
this philosophy or/and from apparent difficulties which then existed in
reconciling quantum physics with the general theory of relativity remains a
mute point, but hardly justifies such remarks by GMW as "Einstein's own
confusion" or "showed Einstein to have substituted silliness for
understanding in a small fraction of his work" (CCNet 27.2.03).

Referring to my comment ("Many natural scientists, including myself, develop
a sense of reverence toward 4 billion years of terrestrial evolution and are
concerned with the destructive effects of Homo Sapiens acting as if it is
God.", CCNet 21.1.03)", JMW writes "Which is "acting as God"? The proud
antelope standing ready to be fed? Or the lion making a meal of it? Are
woods or streams more "natural" than houses? NO, from this silly point of

My comments refer to human aspiration to become "god-like", exemplified by
the projection of human life patterns on imaginary gods (for example the
Greek Olympians), the self-bestowed divinity of Kings and Emperors, or more
recent a "god-like" role of Homo Sapiens in the context of space
colonization, cf. Mautner: "As the most evolved and capable of life forms,
our main responsibility is to promote this inherent drive of life for
propagation and expansion. These are the principles of a pan-biotic (or
bio-cosmic) ethics that may propel us to seed the galaxy" (Meteorite, 8 (1),

There is even a view that, just as God created Earth in seven days, no
matter how far the biosphere deteriorates Homo Sapiens can reinvent it in
the laboratory through genetic engineering of new species. Other planets can
be likewise populated. This view is not shared by most natural scientists -
there is no way of going around 4 billion years of natural selection.

JMW writes: "Presumably, a temperature worshipper (there may be an
unregistered cult of them in Denmark) would be justified in condemning a
book (Lomborg's) because of sacreligious statements, statements contrary to
the augeries of the priesthood. I thought, when I first read Glikson's
remarks, that he was trying to justify such a point of view." (CCNet

If JMW re-reads what I wrote he will find no criticism of Lomborg's book,
but rather support for the right of the scientific panels to express their
views re-scientific ethics: "Where serious controversies arise, scientific
panels consisting of such experts are formed to ensure scientific ethics are
adhered to" and "Either Lomborg's observations are essentially correct, or
the observations by the Washington-based World Watch Institute (CCNet
10.1.02) are essentially correct - the two are mutually exclusive. Either
the terrestrial soils, forests, hydrosphere and atmosphere are being
severely degraded, or they are not, both can not be true" (CCNet 14.1.03).

JMW's comment: "Glikson has corrupted his science with religious ideas,
apparently, and his religion with scientific method" misrepresents my
original discussion (CCNet, 14.1.03, 21.1.03) since:

1. Nowhere in my discussion do I mention the term "religion" - admiration of
nature is not tantamount to religion.
2. Nowhere in my discussion do I mention my own scientific field - which
hinges on the role of asteroid/comet impacts on early evolution of the
3. It therefore remains a mystery as to how my science is corrupted by
religion (or the other way around) when neither of these issues is
considered in my discussion of 14.1.03 and 21.1.03.

Ironically, JMW concludes his comment with a quotation "Judge not, lest ye
be judged."

CCNet must not allow offensive comments to creep into its pages.

Andrew Glikson


>From Steve Drury <>

Dear Benny,

The ad hominem comments of John Michael Williams (CCNet, 12.2.03) that were
directed at Andrew Glikson do little service to the debate over Lomborg, or
your list. It has always struck me that, "that which surpasseth all
understanding", including perhaps Williams' own, is something to be revered;
at least for a little while. While Williams' remarks are not yet the stuff
of newsgroup flame-fests, they drag things downward towards that level. His
starting point in developing some kind of debating skills might be to read
what he he objects to, rather than letting what he thinks he has read
dominate what he writes.

As regards Williams' comment "natural scientists tend to get confused and
think they are part of their own subject matter", this made me laugh. Since
when have scientists ceased to be humans?  Also, for what or whom do
scientists study nature? Does he attribute superhuman or supernatural powers
to himself?

Steve Drury

John Michael Williams <>

In my opinion, Glikson is not understanding what I am saying, as apparently
he did not understand what was reported of the Lomberg fiasco. Let me try to
explain further:

Persons expressing opinions in print have to be willing to be shown wrong.
If they insist on expressing their views as attached to themselves, then
they will be shown wrong in ways which easily are taken personally. This is
not my fault. There was nothing ad hominem in what
I wrote previously, granting that the silly STATEMENTS had been stated the
way they were. Attributing silly STATEMENTS to their author is NOT
argumentum ad hominem, and it was not intended to be so.

Claiming ones views are supported by ones "reverence", and then going on
about God, risks very seriously a loss of objectivity and a confusion of
ones self with ones subject matter (say, nature). I pointed this out. 

The words may indeed have been chosen poorly by Glikson; as they were
written, they were religious in tone. In retreating from this
interpretation, Glikson raises other issues of the fallibility of all
writers, even Einstein. I don't mind discussing this, but I'd prefer it be
raised in a context other than that of the antiLomberg committee.

I also would be willing to discuss the question of whether 4 billion years
of the status quo really weighs in as heavier than a decade of recent
advance in biology; but, again, this is way off the current topic.

The committee assembled to judge and condemn Lomberg cloaked their edict in
authority much as an assembly of religious leaders would. They ruled on what
offended them, not on any fact or evidence of fact. They arbitrarily
determined that the citations in the Lomberg book did not include the ones
they favored, so Lomberg was guilty of omission of the proper chants and
readings, and of drawing false conclusions.

Lomberg apparently had the audacity to draw a conclusion in contradiction to
those of the Danish condemnators, and he furthermore omitted the committee's
favored works because they did not support his conclusion. 

In my opinion, there was no obligation for Lomberg to have recited a litany,
enumerating hundreds of these favored works, refuting each one.
This is especially true if Lomberg had good reason to believe they all were
false or misleading. I have not read Lomberg's book, so I merely assume he
openly stated his theme, which would imply omission of contradictory

Let's take a clearer example: Suppose I wrote a physics text on
thermodynamics, and I asserted the three laws of thermodynamics.

Was I required to list ALL inventions over all history claiming perpetual
motion, and explain why they were unworkable? Just to state the Second Law?

Of course not: This would divert attention from the subject matter OF MY
BOOK. If it failed to list all facts for and against perpetual motion,
would this be a sin and a crime against ethics? Yet, failing to list all
contrary assertions would seriously misrepresent the thousands of
inventions, papers, and newspaper articles claiming perpetual motion. 

The antiLomberg committee in Denmark in effect was claiming that Lomberg's
book was THEIR BOOK, not his, and that they had authority over its contents.

Whether Lomberg was right or wrong in HIS opinions was not the business of
any committee. The book easily could have been reviewed unfavorably, as is
the custom in a democracy; instead, the Danish Government decided to assert

Notice that I am not arguing "ad committeeum" here: I am pointing out an
error--which should be corrected by the Danish Government, not by CCNet--and
attributing it to its cause. The committee made a stupid mistake, in my
opinion, and it should be corrected.

To return to the criticism of my previous letters, let me choose a topic
what seems amenable to a decision (rather than an argument): Glikson writes:

> If JMW re-reads what I wrote he will find no criticism of Lomborg's book,
> but rather support for the right of the scientific panels to express their
> views re-scientific ethics: "Where serious controversies arise, scientific
> panels consisting of such experts are formed to ensure scientific ethics
> adhered to" and "Either Lomborg's observations are essentially correct, or
> the observations by the Washington-based World Watch Institute (CCNet
10.1.02) are
> essentially correct - the two are mutually exclusive. Either the
terrestrial soils,
> forests, hydrosphere and atmosphere are being severely degraded, or they
are not,
> both can not be true" (CCNet 14.1.03).

Unfortunately, there was no panel's "right to express its views"; instead
there was an announcement that Lomberg had failed to include favored
publications and so was guilty of ethical violation. Furthermore, as I
recall from reading the decision, the panel did not name even one
publication omitted, or error of fact, by Loberg. Thus, the panel preserved
its own immunity from criticism by associating its decision only with its
OWN opinions. I would call this a serious lapse of ethics; but, I'm not
Danish and I don't know their laws or customs very well.

Does anyone disagree that this committee issued an OPINION unsupported in
its content by any evidence?

The either-or quote above does not inspire confidence. The statement seems
silly, because it does not specify WHICH soils, etc.; so, it can not be
measured or verified either way. Thus, the two allegedly contradictory
opinions both can be false, because large regions of the Earth can be found
at this moment in which either one is false.

In closing, I should point out that I am trying here to argue for integrity
in science. This excludes superposition of religious or moral beliefs,
because these beliefs tend to attach the scientist per hominem to the
subject matter. Morality is something to impose on science, not something to
commingle with it.
                     John Michael Williams


>From Leroy Ellenberger <>


If global warming is not really happening, as so many of the snippits from
CO2 Science Magazine reprinted on CCNet recently are indended to show, then
why is it that in the past 30 years over half the mass of the equatorial
glaciers in South America and Africa has melted with disappearance predicted
within the next 20 years, as recently disclosed in publications on the
work of the Thompsons at Ohio State University? At the least we seem to have
regional warming in southern Greenland and continental warming in Africa and
South America, which the seerers at CO2 Science Magazine seem to show no
interest in reconciling.

Leroy Ellenberger,
St. Louis, MO

MODERATOR'S NOTE: The problem of glacier mass balance is indeed more
contradictory than global warming modeling would allow. The most recent
review of mass balance measurements of the world's glaciers was published by
Braithwaite a year ago. Braithwaite (2002) analysed mass balance
measurements of 246 glaciers from around the world that were made between
1946 and 1995. He shows that, as you correctly point out, there are several
regions with highly negative mass balances - in line with warming. However,
there are also regions with positive balances. He notes that "Alpine
glaciers are generally shrinking, Scandinavian glaciers are growing, and
glaciers in the Caucasus are close to equilibrium for 1980-95." Taking into
account the evolution of all the 250 analysed glaciers (out of some
estimated 80,000) during the last 50 years, Braithwaite notes "there is no
obvious common or global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years."
(Braithwaite, R.J. 2002. Glacier mass balance: the first 50 years of
international monitoring. Progress in Physical Geography 26: 76-95). Benny


>From National Policy Centre, February 1999

by John Carlisle

Global warming theory proponents have resorted to the politics of fear to
drive their point home. They argue that man-made greenhouse gases are
already causing the world's glaciers to melt, causing sea levels to rise and
threatening humanity with a multitude of economic and environmental
calamities. A recent Smithsonian Institution exhibit on climate change, for
instance, included a depiction of the Washington Monument partially
submerged in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving visitors with the distinct
impression that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions now if we want our
descendants to be able to visit the famous monument. But such scenarios
belong in the realm of science fiction, not science fact.

Glaciers Are Inaccurate Barometers of Climate Change

Global warming theorists argue that examples of receding glaciers, primarily
those located in the mid-latitude regions of the planet, provide evidence
that climate change caused by human activities is underway. But glaciers are
poor barometers of global climate change.

Glaciers are influenced by a variety of local and regional natural phenomena
that scientists do not fully comprehend. Besides temperature changes,
glaciers also respond to changes in the amount and type of precipitation,
changes in sea level and changes in ocean circulation patterns.1 As a
result, glaciers do not necessarily advance during colder weather and
retreat during warmer weather.

A major obstacle to linking glacial behavior to global warming is that
mountain glaciers, the types of glaciers found in places like Switzerland
and the United States, are especially difficult to understand due to the
complex topography of mountain areas. Furthermore, Global Climate
Circulation Models (GCMs) used by global warming theory proponents to
forecast future climate, including the climate's effect on glaciers, have
been notoriously inaccurate. NASA scientist James Hansen, the man who helped
ignite the global warming debate in the United States in the late 1980s,
admitted last year that it was impossible to come up with reliable climate
models because there is too much about the climate that scientists don't

Those same inaccurate GCMs have been even less reliable when it comes to
assessing the impact of warming on mountain glaciers. According to Professor
Martin Beniston of the Institute of Geography at the University of Fribourg,
Switzerland, "Numerous climatological details of mountains are overlooked by
the climate models." This makes it difficult to predict the consequences of
global warming on glaciers. Beniston says it is "difficult to estimate the
exact response of glaciers to global warming, because glacier dynamics are
influenced by numerous factors other than climate, even though temperature
and cloudiness may be the dominant controlling factors. According to the
size, exposure and altitude of glaciers, different response times can be
expected for the same climatic forcing."

That may explain why there are several Swiss glaciers that are advancing
even though Switzerland has experienced a decade of mild winters, warmer
summers and less rainfall.3

Other scientists agree that it is unwise to look to glaciers for evidence of
global warming. Keith Echelmeyer, a glaciologist at the University of
Alaska's Geophysical Institute, says, "To make a case that glaciers are
retreating, and that the problem is global warming, is very hard to do...
The physics are very complex. There is much more involved than just the
climate response." Echelmeyer points out that in Alaska there are large
glaciers advancing in the very same areas where others are retreating.4

Dr. Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University agrees that the response
of glaciers to global temperatures can be difficult to predict. "Glaciers do
odd things sometimes," observes Alley. "They flow fast, then slow down...
You could anthropomorphize [apply human characteristics to] them and say
they have a mind of their own."

Vice President Al Gore would have done well to remember this point before he
held a major press conference in 1997 announcing that the century-long
retreat of the Grinnel Glacier in Montana's Glacier National Park was caused
by global warming.

Size appears to be one of the most significant determinants in the response
time of glaciers to climate change. Basically, the larger a glacier, the
longer it takes to be affected by climate change. For example, it would take
a polar ice sheet 10,000-100,000 years to respond to any global warming that
might be occurring now. A large mountain glacier would take 1,000 to 10,000
years to respond to warming today, while a small mountain glacier would take
100 to 1,000 years to respond.5 Thus, one explanation for some glaciers
retreating today is that they are responding to natural warming that
occurred either during the Medieval Warm Period in the 11th century or to an
even warmer period that occurred 6,000 years ago.

Global warming theory proponents point to the retreat of glaciers in the
mid-latitude regions of the planet - areas where the United States, Europe
and Africa are located - as evidence of human-induced global warming. As
mentioned above, these mid-latitude glaciers cannot be used as reliable
indicators of global climate change given that they are affected by a
complex mixture of local and regional phenomena. By focusing so much
attention on these glaciers, however, one gets the distinct impression that
global warming theory proponents are deliberately picking glaciers to
analyze that support their thesis that global warming is underway while
ignoring those glaciers that don't support their theory.

In May 1998, for example, scientists at the University of Colorado at
Boulder released a study purporting to show that glaciers are in headlong
retreat due to global warming. According to one of the study's authors,
Professor Mark Meier: "In the last century, there has been a significant
decrease in the area and volume of glaciers, especially at mid- and
low-latitudes... The disappearance of glacier ice is more pronounced than we
previously had thought." To support this claim, Meier noted that Africa's
Mount Kenya had lost 92% of its mass over the last 100 years while Spain's
glaciers had fallen in number from 27 in 1980 to just 13 today.6

Because glaciers respond to a variety of phenomena and glaciers in warmer
regions tend to be more susceptible to these phenomena, it is unwise to
point to a loss of ice volume in vulnerable mid-latitude glaciers to draw
ambitious conclusions about alleged warming worldwide.

More important, any melting of mid-latitude glaciers that has occurred has
had little effect on sea levels. This is because mid-latitude glaciers
represent a mere 6% of the world's total ice mass while Antarctica and
Greenland glaciers represent the other 94% of the ice mass. As even the
University of Colorado study noted, there is no evidence that the glacial
ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting. Nevertheless, the study
suggested that alleged melting of the mid-latitude ice was enough to cause a
major sea level increase because the water from mid-latitude glaciers would
be "recycled more quickly" than water from polar glaciers.7 This conclusion
is suspect, however, since some of the glaciers in the mid-latitude region
are advancing and glaciers currently in retreat could very easily start
advancing again. The fact that mid-latitude glaciers are not uniformly
retreating coupled with the fact that they represent only 6% of the world's
glacial ice strongly argues against the claim that these glaciers are
contributing to a rise in sea level. If there is going to be any major sea
level increase, it is going to have to come from the melting of the
Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets.


Although the Colorado study did not allege that the Antarctic ice sheets are
in retreat, other global warming proponents have made such claims. This is
understandable from their perspective since a theoretical meltdown of the
world's ice caps has the potential to scare the public into supporting major
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Study, a project of the National
Science Foundation, if all of the world's ice melted, the sea level would
rise by 235 feet.8 NOVA, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's science
program, estimates that the melting of the Antarctic ice sheets alone would
raise the oceans by 187 feet. One hundred seventy eet of this rise would be
caused by the melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet while just 17 feet of
this rise would be caused by melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But
the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is considered stable and not threatened by
warming because it rests on land above sea level, making any significant sea
level rise unlikely.9 The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, however, has attracted
the attention of global warming theory proponents because it rests mostly
below sea level where it is allegedly more sensitive to any global warming
that may occur.10 The balance of scientific evidence suggests that the West
Antarctic Ice Sheet isn't melting either.

To begin with, the Antarctic is extremely cold with a high average
temperature of just -56F. Even if the Antarctic temperatures did rise a few
degrees, they wouldn't be high enough to melt the glaciers as the
temperatures would still be well below - 87F below - freezing. The latest
GCMs predict warming of just 1-3F by 2100, still leaving the Antarctic
bitterly cold. Furthermore, the Antarctic ice sheet is very large, and thus
it takes a long time for the ice sheet to respond to warming. For instance,
it would take the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 50,000 years to react to any
warming that may be occurring now - so the world is not in any imminent
danger of a catastrophic flood.11

So what does the scientific evidence say about a human-induced shrinking of
the Antarctic today?

In December 1998, an international team of scientists announced that after
analyzing five years of satellite radar measurements, they concluded that
the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not melting rapidly. The scientists
determined that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has actually been stable for
the last 100 years - precisely when global warming theory proponents insist
human-induced warming should have been causing the glaciers to retreat. Dr.
C.K Shum, an Ohio State University professor who participated in the study,
said that while the team assumed that global warming was underway, they
found no evidence that this purported warming was affecting the Antarctic
ice sheet.12

In October 1998, the British Antarctic Survey also announced that it had
found no evidence of global warming on the continent. The study noted that
it did find 3-4F of warming on the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 50
years, but that there was no evidence that this localized warming was the
result of global warming. The scientists believed it more likely that the
origins of the warming "could be found in regional mechanisms."

The survey also analyzed the behavior of two major ice shelves, the Ross and
Filchner-Ronne shelves, for any retreat. Again, the study concluded that "it
is no longer clear that the small warming that is predicted to result from
anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases is likely to cause a retreat" of
those ice shelves. On the more vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet,
scientists likewise concluded that the "dramatic vision of a rapid collapse
of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet resulting from atmospheric warming is
becoming less acceptable."13

The Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, a scientific union of the
Australian Antarctic Division, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian
Geological Survey Organization, and the University of Tasmania, released a
position statement in April 1997 announcing that it is "very unlikely" that
the Antarctic ice sheet will melt enough to cause a significant rise in sea
level. Even more interesting, the report stated that over the next one to
two centuries, "it is probable that greater snowfall on Antarctica" will
outweigh any loss of ice due to warmer ocean water - thus causing the
Antarctic ice sheet to expand.14

The prospect that the Antarctic ice sheet is expanding was also noted by the
British Antarctic Survey. The British scientists concluded that it is
possible that the Antarctic expansion was actually counteracting a rise in
sea level.15 Indeed, many other scientists have concluded that even if the
world continues to get warmer, whether human-induced or naturally, the
Antarctic ice sheet would grow because warming increases the amount of
precipitation which leads to increased snowfall in the polar regions.

Indeed, it seems that historically the Antarctic glaciers have frequently
expanded during warm conditions. A study by E.W. Domack, A.J.T. Jull and S.
Nakao on the history of glacial expansions in Antarctica found that over the
past 10,000 years, several glaciers expanded during conditions that were a
lot warmer than today.

This uncomfortable fact has not escaped the attention of environmentalists,
some of whom are now arguing that glacial expansion supports the global
warming theory. Greenpeace's Climate Impacts Database now cites the Domack
study in an effort to link the expansion of the Antarctic ice cap with
man-made global warming. The summation of the study notes that "the new data
suggest strongly that Antarctica's response to future warming will be an
increase in mass balance."16 Of course, now they can't claim that the sea
level is rising since expansion lowers the level. Nevertheless,
environmental groups still make contradictory claims about apocalyptic sea
level rises in their haste to mobilize public opinion to stop greenhouse gas


Like the Antarctic, the Greenland ice sheets show no evidence of receding
due to alleged global warming. The record shows that the Arctic region where
Greenland is located is cooling despite the fact that, under global warming
models, it should be the first area of the planet to show significant
temperature increases. According to these models, the polar regions should
have warmed 2-5F since 1940. But between 1955 and 1990, the Arctic cooled
by 1F and Greenland's glaciers actually expanded. According to the
scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters, the West Greenland Ice
Sheet, the largest mass of polar ice in the Northern Hemisphere, has
thickened by up to seven feet since 1980.17

Furthermore, some scientists believe that atmospheric circulation, not
temperature, has been the greatest influence on the accumulation of snow and
ice in central Greenland for the past 18,000 years. In an article that
appeared in Nature magazine in 1995, the authors explained that changes in
the way storms move across the island play the key role in how glaciers will
thicken or recede.18


There is no indication that the world's glaciers are melting significantly
due to global warming and, thus, there is little to fear from sea level
rises in coming decades. Proponents of the global warming theory have been
irresponsible in attempting to use glaciers as barometers of global
temperatures since glaciers respond to a range of natural phenomena that
have nothing to do with global temperature changes. In addition, the advance
of the Antarctic and Greenland glaciers, which contain more than 90% of the
world's glacial ice, completely contradicts previous predictions that
warming would cause these glaciers to retreat. Far from providing scientific
proof of global warming, the behavior of glaciers represents yet another
powerful indictment of the already controversial global warming theory.


1. Dr. Martin Beniston, "Climatic Change and its Consequences for Mountain
Regions," Institute of Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 1996.

2. "NASA's Hansen Recants on Warming," Electricity Daily, November 19, 1998.

3. Beniston.

4. "Gore's Defense of Glacier Tourism Trivializes Global Warming Debate,"
press release, Science and Environmental Policy Project, September 2, 1997.

5. "How Do Glaciers Deal With Environmental Change?" article downloaded
January 21, 1999 from the GLACIER web site of the National Science
Foundation at

6. "World's Glaciers Continue to Shrink," press release, University of
Colorado at Boulder, May 26, 1998.

7. Ibid.

8. "What is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," article downloaded January 19,
1999 from the GLACIER web site of the National Science Foundation.

9.."Water World," NOVA Online, Warnings From the Ice, downloaded January 19,
1999 from

10. "What is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," article downloaded January 19,
1999 from the GLACIER website of the National Science Foundation at

11. Ibid.

12. "West Antarctic Ice Sheet Not In Jeopardy," Environmental News Network,
December 1, 1998.

13. "Antarctica: Climate Change and Sea Level," Ice and Climate Division,
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, October 1998.

14. "Global Change, Antarctica and Sea Level," Position Statement,
Antarctica Research Centre, April 1997.

15. "Antarctica: Climate Change and Sea Level," Ice and Climate Division,
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, October 1998.

16. Advance of East Antarctic Outlet Glaciers during the Hypsithermal," E.W.
Domack, A.J.T. Jull and S. Nakao, Summary downloaded January 6, 1999 from
Greenpeace Climate Impacts Database,

17. Patrick Michaels, "Post Fans Administration's Pre-Kyoto Fires," World
Climate Report, December 13, 1997.

18. "Dominant Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on Snow Accumulation in
Greenland over the Past 18,000 Years," W.R. Kapsner et. al., Summary
downloaded on January 21, 1999 from the web site of the Global Change
Research Information Office at

John K. Carlisle is director of The National Center for Public Policy
Research's Environmental Policy Task Force. Comments may be sent to


>From The Guardian, 1 March 2003,12374,905360,00.html

Gerard Seenan

In the war against global warming, bovine and ovine flatulence does not
immediately spring to mind as an obvious battlefront. But sheep and cows are
responsible for a quarter of the UK's methane emissions.
Now scientists in Aberdeen are embarking on research into how best to cut
the amount of harmful gas emitted by Britain's ruminants each year.

By cutting the amount of methane produced - a single dairy cow produces
about 400 litres of the gas each day - scientists at the Rowett Research
Institute believe they can significantly reduce Britain's contribution to
global warming.

The researchers have developed an animal feed additive which cuts gas and
have been given a grant by Scottish Enterprise to find ways of making it
commercially available.

Jamie Newbold, who is leading the research, said: "Although there are other
greenhouse gases, methane is a significant one, so whatever we can do to cut
this will help us meet requirements to reduce emissions."

The additive - a mixture of organic sugars and a special bacteria developed
at the institute - has cut methane emissions from cows by a fifth in trials.

Dr Newbold said farmers would be attracted because the additive would also
allow animals to process food more efficiently and thus use less feed.

"Cows can lose around 10% of the energy in their diet by belching out
methane. This loss is bad for the cow and bad for the environment," he said.

Sheep and cows draw nutrition from grass and hay through their first stomach
- the rumen - which contains large quantities of bacteria. The bacteria feed
off the grass and produce nutrients which the animals can digest.

But, alongside the nutrients comes the methane by-product, which is belched
out and contributes to global warming. Ruminant animals are responsible for
around 25% of the methane gas produced in the UK.

In Scotland, where there is a greater concentration of agriculture, the
animals produce 46% of all methane emissions.

Copyright 2003, The Guardian

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