PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet CLIMATE SCARES & CLIMATE CHANGE, 29 March 2001
----------------------------------------------------

 
"Spend a little time in Europe, and you start to feel nothing is
safe. Over here, cellphones cause brain damage and T-bone steaks are
lethal. Flying economy class gives you blood clots. Even that plastic toy
bobbing in the bathtub is toxic. At least that is what Europeans are told.
These days, hardly a week goes by without another health scare sweeping
the continent. Never mind that many of the warnings are absurd, or based on
flimsy science. Europeans are now so jittery, so convinced that
modern life is a minefield, that the merest whiff of risk sends them
scurrying for cover. Even as incomes rise and lifespans lengthen, the
continent is gripped by a wave of Euro-fear, a shared continental cringe.
"Europe has lost its nerve," says Frank Furedi, a sociologist at
Britain's University of Kent and an expert on the new malaise. "Every
problem today, however small, is represented as a major disaster."
--Carl Honor, National Post, 22 March 2001


"Professor Martin Parry, a leading climatologist and lecturer at the
University of East Anglia, said: "We are entering what we expect to be
a phase of increased global warming where the likelihood of warmer
summers increases." The Met Office said that predictions could be
made only up to five days in advance with any accuracy. A spokesman said:
"We would love to be able to forecast far ahead, but you cannot. The
weather is based on chaos theory and it does not know what it is going
to do in three or six months."
--The Daily Telegraph, 27 March 2001


"Rebounding from the weight of ice sheets that depressed the land
during the ice age, Scandinavia has risen more than a half-mile in the
past 20,000 years, according to new satellite measurements. In a study
appearing Friday in the journal Science, researchers report that Sweden,
Norway, Finland and Denmark are moving upward at almost a half an inch year
as a rebound from the melting of two-mile-thick ice mountains."
--Paul Recer, AP, 23 March 2001
 

"Despite claims from environmentalists committed to global warming
catastrophe scenarios and the politicized scientists who run the IPCC, it
is clear that the science of global warming is far from settled. As Carl
Sagan once said (but didn't practice), "Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence."
--Ronald Bailey, science editor, Reason Magazine, 21 March
2001


(1) ANCIENT TREE RINGS GIVE CLIMATE CLUES
    BBC News Online, 28 March 2001

(2) ARCTIC SUBMARINE UNCOVERS EVIDENCE OF GIANT, ANCIENT ICE SHEETS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(3) NEW POLAR TEMPERATURE DATA
    Greening Earth Society, 14 March 2001

(4) COOLING EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN TEMPERATURES
    Greening Earth Society, 26 March 2001

(5) RADARSAT-1 HELPING SCIENTISTS MEASURE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN
ANTARCTICA
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(6) GLOBAL WARMING LEADS TO RECOVERY FROM ICE AGE
    Excite News, 23 March 2001

(7) CLIMATE MODEL INADEQUACIES: THE INFLUENCE OF CLOUDS
    CO2 Science Magazine, 28 March 2001

(8) EVIDENCE FOR LITTLE ICE AGE DOWN UNDER
    CO2 Science Magazine, 28 March 2001

(9) "LITTLE ICE AGE" RESEARCH: A PERSPECTIVE FROM ICELAND
    Ogilvie AEJ, Jonsson T

(10) COMMENT ON THE "CCNet SPECIAL: COMETARY IMPACTS AND ICE-AGES"
     Dewey McLean <dmclean@vt.edu>

(11) AND FINALLY: EUROPE IS FREAKING OUT
     National Post, 22 March 2001

===========
(1) ANCIENT TREE RINGS GIVE CLIMATE CLUES

From BBC News Online, 28 March 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1247000/1247636.stm

By BBC News Online's Ivan Noble

Ancient tree stumps uncovered in a South American earthquake have provided
the most detailed picture yet of the world's climate before the last ice
age.

An international team looked at the seasonal growth rings in 28 examples of
Fitzroya cupressoides, a conifer from the region.

They found what seems to be early evidence of El Nio, the largest single
source of modern weather variation, which is caused by a cyclical movement
of warm waters in the Pacific.

The researchers say the trees, from Pelluco in southern Chile, provide an
unprecedented weather record from 50,000 years ago.

"What it has done is give us a first glimpse of year-by-year records,"
explained Dr Keith Briffa of the University of East Anglia, UK.

'Lottery win'

The scientists were able to study the trees as a result of two natural
disasters.

The first covered up and preserved the trees around 500 centuries ago. The
second, in 1960, began to bring the trees back to the surface.

"It is a bit like a lottery win," Dr Briffa told BBC News Online. "There was
a bit of tectonic movement in 1960 which allowed erosion to expose the
remains."

Dr Briffa is co-author of a study of the trees, which is published in the
journal Nature.

He helped analyse the data collected from the ancient specimens, and put
together information from separate trees to make one single 1,229-year
climate record.

Bigger picture

"It is probably the oldest ever, continuous, annually resolved chronology,"
he said.

By studying the annual growth spurts, dendrochronologists can get an idea of
the seasonal conditions that existed year on year through a tree's life -
how warm it might have been, the amount of moisture that might have been in
the soil, etc.

Well-preserved or subfossil trees have been found before in Tasmania and
Siberia, but they were around 10,000 years old - much younger than the
Chilean samples.

The data will be more significant once they can be linked to other evidence
of ancient climate variation - what scientists refer to as proxy data.

"At present, most of our information is from oxygen isotopes in ice cores in
Greenland and studies have been done tying this in with ocean sediments," Dr
Briffa added.

These data allow researchers to build a picture of what the Earth's climate
was like before humans were around to make written records.

Copyright 2001, BBC

==========
(2) ARCTIC SUBMARINE UNCOVERS EVIDENCE OF GIANT, ANCIENT ICE SHEETS

From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

Ohio State University

Contact:
Leonid Polyak, (614) 292-2602; Polyak.1@osu.edu

Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu

Editor's note: This release is embargoed until 2:00 p.m. EST on March 21,
2001, to coincide with publication in the March 22 issue of the journal
Nature.

ARCTIC SUBMARINE UNCOVERS EVIDENCE OF GIANT, ANCIENT ICE SHEETS

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A scientific expedition on a submarine in the Arctic has
found the footprints of ancient floating ice sheets -- possibly the largest
masses of ice ever to cover the earth's oceans.

Studying the formation and demise of these ancient ice sheets may help
scientists better understand Earth's climate changes and, in particular,
predict whether the melting of today's polar ice could lead to catastrophic
floods in the future.

Leonid Polyak, research scientist at Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio
State, and his colleagues obtained sonar images of the Arctic Ocean floor
through a unique collaboration between the U.S. Navy and civilian scientists
-- the Science Ice Exercises (SCICEX) program.

The results appear in the March 22 issue of the journal Nature. Polyak's
collaborators, Margo Edwards of the University of Hawaii and Bernard Coakley
of Tulane University, were chief scientists on the 1999 SCICEX mission,
which took place aboard the nuclear submarine USS Hawkbill.

Within two separate, somewhat elevated regions of the Arctic Ocean floor --
the Lomonosov Ridge near the North Pole and the Chukchi Borderland near
Alaska -- SCICEX images showed numerous features carved into the seafloor,
including matching sets of parallel grooves and ridges. Sometime in the
past, Polyak said, the bottom of a very massive floating ice sheet scraped
across the seafloor in both areas -- almost 1 km below the water surface at
the Lomonosov Ridge and more than 700 meters below the water surface at the
Chukchi Borderland.

The sonar images clearly showed objects resembling rocks and other debris
that may have once been dragged along the seafloor beneath the grounded ice.

"The results were just fantastic. We had hoped to find these seafloor
features, but we hadn't expected to get such beautiful images," Polyak said.

"Such amazingly coherent sets of streamlined grooves and ridges could only
be made by one thing -- sliding ice," Polyak continued. And only a large ice
sheet could carve such a broad sets of parallel features. Free-floating
icebergs, he explained, carve random patterns into the seafloor.

The finding may bolster a theory held by some scientists: that one giant ice
sheet covered the entire Arctic periodically during the ice ages that
occurred between 10,000 and 1.5 million years ago.

But Polyak thinks that the same features might have been carved by several
large ice sheets instead of one. To find out for sure, he and his colleagues
must determine whether the features formed at the same time in different
regions of the Arctic Ocean. That's why the researchers have applied for
funding to return to the Arctic on an icebreaker to take core samples from
the seafloor.

"Even if there were two or more ice sheets instead of one, they were still
giant structures of several hundred kilometers in length -- comparable to
vast floating ice sheets observed today around Antarctica," said Polyak.

The researchers sought evidence of the ancient floating ice sheets in part
to gather clues about the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Unlike the ice in East Antarctica, the ice in West Antarctica is considered
unstable because a large portion of it is floating. For years, scientists
have debated whether a warming of earth's climate would cause the ice sheet
in West Antarctica to collapse, which would cause sea levels to rise fast,
possibly as high as 20 feet all over the world.

Polyak, a former biologist, says these findings also hold implications for
other areas of science. For instance, he wonders how prehistoric life in the
Arctic Ocean could have survived if the entire area was covered with an ice
cap of several hundred meters in thickness.

This question is related to a recently proposed theory called "snowball
Earth," Polyak said. The theory holds that ice completely covered the
Earth's oceans at some time between 550 and 750 million years ago,
drastically affecting the evolution of primitive life.

"Who knows -- maybe clarifying the history of floating ice sheets in the
Arctic Ocean will even help us understand the evolution of ice-bound
planets, such as Jupiter's moon Europa," he said.

[Editor's note: Polyak will be out of the office March 20-22, but will be
reachable by telephone and e-mail during that time. To reach him by
telephone on those days, please contact Pam Frost Gorder at (614) 292-9475.]

========
(3) NEW POLAR TEMPERATURE DATA

From the Greening Earth Society, 14 March 2001
http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2001/vca9.htm

Updated surface and weather-balloon measured temperature histories from
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Jim Angell
thumped into our Inbox, this week. Angell's surface and above-surface
temperatures are well regarded by climatologists. Each weather balloon
ascent begins at ground level, where temperature is measured by the
highly-calibrated onboard instruments and first logged.

Much has been made of polar temperatures recently. Recall the noisy
headliner in last summer's New York Times about the disappearance of the ice
cap at the North Pole, and how it was quietly retracted three weeks later?
You'll also recall hearing about Delaware-sized chunks of Antarctica
breaking off. The "larger question" about melting polar ice is this: Is it
caused by human-induced climate change?

Unnecessary as it may seem, let's first stipulate that polar ice does not
melt in the winter. This is important. Winter is the time of the year that
would or should show the largest warming if the climate models are right.
Polar ice does not melt in winter/polar night because it's just too darned
cold at somewhere between -25 and -40C on an average winter day in the
Arctic and Antarctic, respectively.

Good fishermen know you're more likely to succeed if you fish where the fish
are. So it is with polar climatology; ice fish where the ice fish are. If
you're looking for melting of polar ice, the summer should prove more
fruitful than winter. To that end, our figures below show winter (DJF in the
North, JJA in the South) juxtaposed with summer temperatures for each polar
region. Angell defines these as poleward of 60 latitude for each
hemisphere.

It may come as a surprise how much data has been amassed from these remote
wildernesses. That's because of two things: The Cold War (source of info on
the north polar region) and the International Geophysical Year (1957) when
international scientific cooperation resulted in much of the Antarctic
perimeter becoming peppered with permanent weather stations.

Figure 1 (http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2001/vca9.htm) shows
winter and summer temperature trends in the Arctic beginning in 1958. There
is no trend line in the summer data because, in fact, there's no significant
trend in warming over the 43-year record. On the other hand, winters are
warming significantly, at the rate of 2.6C/100 years.

North of 60N is what climatologists call a "source region" for the frigid,
deadly airmasses that impolitely and routinely barrel equator-ward and are
given names like "The Siberian Express." This zone is warming up, in winter.
But Arctic summer shows no significant change. That means Arctic climate is
not changing in a fashion that is likely to melt things very much. This is
not to say there will be no trend forever. At the current rate of change, a
statistically significant warming should emerge in the summer Arctic
somewhere around the year 2020.

Things are quite similar in the South Polar regions (Figure 2), in which
there also is a statistically significant warming of the winter (3.7C/100
years) and where there is no trend yet evident in Antarctic summer. How then
to explain those Delaware-sized icebergs? Stay tune.

=========
(4) COOLING EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN TEMPERATURES

From Greening Earth Society, 26 March 2001
http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2001/cool.htm

By Robert C. Balling, Jr., Ph.D.
Greening Earth Society Science Advisor

Cairo University's Dr. H.M. Hasanean summarizes his analysis of eastern
Mediterranean temperature trends in a recent edition of Theoretical and
Applied Climatology writing, "During the period under study, a temperature
decrease is observed."

Hasanean's article, "Fluctuations of Surface Air Temperature in the Eastern
Mediterranean" concerns temperature records collected from eight major
cities in the eastern Mediterranean. The sites include Malta, Athens,
Tripoli, Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem, and Lattakia. The records'
time spans begin anywhere between 1853 and 1952, depending upon the site,
and extend through 1991.

Four of the stations had positive trends that indicate warming. The other
four had negative trends, indicating cooling. These are some of the largest
cities in that region and, surely, their temperature records that suffer a
bias imposed by urban heat island effects. Nonetheless, Dr. Hasanean failed
to find any warming during the recent decades - the period of time when
greenhouse gas concentrations have most dramatically increased due to human
industrial activity.

If one downloads temperature data available from the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for this same region - data
that includes rural areas as well as sea-surface temperatures in the eastern
Mediterranean - the data are presented as monthly temperature anomalies
(departures from normal) for the twelve 5 latitude by 5 longitude grid
boxes that encompass the eastern Mediterranean region. The IPCC data spans
1920 to 1991 and therefore overlaps most of the data Hasanean used. Figure 1
presents that eastern Mediterranean near-surface air temperature record and
shows a cooling of 0.18C (0.32F).

Here we have it, once again. Important research work fully in agreement with
available IPCC data receives zero publicity from a worldwide and European
press inflamed by the potential for catastrophic global warming. If
Hasanean's work stoked that engine, the situation no doubt would be
different.

Reference:

Hasanean, H.M., 2001: Fluctuations of surface air temperature in the Eastern
Mediterranean. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 68:75-87.

==========
(5) RADARSAT-1 HELPING SCIENTISTS MEASURE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN
ANTARCTICA

From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

Canadian Space Agency

Canada's RADARSAT-1 Helping Scientists Measure Global Climate Change in
Antarctica

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, March 21, 2001 -- Images produced by RADARSAT-1,
Canada's renowned Earth Observation satellite is helping a team of
scientists answer crucial questions about the rate and extent of global
climate change in Antarctica. This initiative, the second since 1997, was a
joint project of the Canadian Space Agency and NASA.

Early analyses show that in just three years the Amery Ice Shelf has
advanced five kilometres, while the Shirase Glacier, located in the Indian
Ocean sector of the continent, has retreated twelve kilometres. Scientists
are seeking to understand whether this variability is due to the forces of
external climate on the great ice sheet or due to natural and episodic
instabilities that arise from the forces that control complex glacier flow.
The new velocity measurements from this second completed mission will help
answer these questions.

"The Antarctic Ice Sheet moves slowly and surely under the force of its own
enormous weight," says Principal Scientist Dr. Kenneth C. Jezek of The Ohio
State University's Byrd Polar Research Center. "This mission gives us the
first, overall snapshot of how the ice moves and important new insight into
how and why the ice sheet is changing. Moreover, by measuring the extent and
velocity of the moving ice and estimating its thickness, we can estimate how
much ice may be lost into the ocean from Earth's largest storehouse of
freshwater. These calculations are important for understanding Antarctica's
contribution to the present rate of sea level rise of about two millimeters
a year."

For this mission, the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT-1 satellite trained
its imaging radar on the outer half of the continent twice during each of
three consecutive 24-day periods, ending last Nov. 14. "This was a
challenging mission for our professionals who had to accurately navigate the
satellite, controlling the 800 kilometre orbit, while periodically firing
the spacecraft's onboard thrusters so as to position the satellite within a
few hundred meters of its
nominal track on each orbit," said Rolf Mamen, Director General of Space
Operations at the Canadian Space Agency. Precise navigation and data from
the six passes make it possible to create detailed topographic maps and to
measure the speed of the moving glaciers.

The two scientific missions supported by RADARSAT-1 have produced a new
baseline dataset for the scientific community -- one that will prove
invaluable in monitoring the state of the Antarctic ice cap. And although
RADARSAT-1 is being exploited by the Canadian Space Agency beyond its
nominal lifetime, this same leading-edge technology continues to produce
outstanding imagery is also being brought to bear on studies of polar ice in
Canada's Arctic region.

RADARSAT-2, currently under construction for the Canadian Space Agency by
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates of British Columbia and scheduled for
launch in 2003, will contribute to expanding the vast data archive already
captured by RADARSAT-1. These unique Earth Observation spacecraft, and the
team of highly skilled Canadian Space Agency professionals operating them,
are performing an important service, providing key data for clients in the
fields of mapping, geology, oceanography, ice surveillance, agriculture,
natural resources exploration, supporting disaster and relief efforts
worldwide and helping scientists improve their understanding and measure the
effects of global warming on our planet Earth.

About the Antarctic Mapping Missions

Building on the success of the first complete mapping of the continent in
1997, RADARSAT-1 was again deployed in November, 2000 to support a second
Antarctic Mapping Mission. This follow-on initiative was a joint project of
the Canadian Space Agency and NASA. The science team includes members from
the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, the Alaska SAR Facility at the University of Alaska,
Fairbanks, and the Vexcel Corporation. The mission is part of NASA's Earth
Science Enterprise, a long-term research program dedicated to studying how
human-induced and natural changes affect our global environment.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space
Agency (CSA) coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through
its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line,
the CSA delivers services involving: Earth
and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite
Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and
Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development
and application of space knowledge for the benefit
of Canadians and humanity.

For more information:

B-Roll will be broadcast on NASA TV, March 22 between 16:30-21:00 (GE-2.,
transponder 9C, C-Band, 85 degrees West longitude; frequency 3888.0 MHz,
polarization vertical, audio monaural at 6.8 MHz)

The mission: http://www-bprc.mps.ohio-state.edu/radarsat

The images: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/antarctica/

The Canadian Space Agency and RADARSAT-1: http://www.space.gc.ca

Andr Leclair
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Space Agency
(450) 926-4370
andre.leclair@space.gc.ca

=======
(6) GLOBAL WARMING LEADS TO RECOVERY FROM ICE AGE
 
From Excite News, 23 March 2001
http://news.excite.com/news/ap/010323/02/ice-recovery

By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rebounding from the weight of ice sheets that depressed
the land during the ice age, Scandinavia has risen more than a half-mile in
the past 20,000 years, according to new satellite measurements.

In a study appearing Friday in the journal Science, researchers report that
Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark are moving upward at almost a half an
inch year as a rebound from the melting of two-mile-thick ice mountains.

"There is not one place in Scandinavia that was not covered with ice," said
Jerry X. Mitrovica of the University of Toronto. "The land was pressed down
about a kilometer (five-eighths of a mile), and when the ice melted, the
land started going up in a process that continues even today."

Mitrovica, co-author of the study, said the weight of the ice was equal to
about 6.6 million pounds per square yard of land surface in Scandinavia.

Scientists have long known that Scandinavia, Canada and other places buried
under frozen mountains during the last ice age have been rebounding. Until
now, however, researchers were not sure how fast the land was rising.

Mitrovica and his co-authors used data from 33 sensors placed strategically
around Scandinavia to pick up signals from the Global Positioning Satellite
system. Combining this data and correcting it for atmospheric distortion
enabled them to measure the land movement to a scale of about 1 millimeter,
a fraction of an inch, per year.

They found that, on average, the land under the ancient ice burden is rising
annually by about 9 millimeters. An inch is about 25 millimeters.

Knowing this amount of rise, Mitrovica said, makes it possible for the first
time to use two centuries of sea level measurements from Scandinavia.

"The best-kept records for sea level change in the world is in the
Scandinavian region," said Mitrovica. But scientists have not been able to
trust the records, because they knew the land rebounding from the ice age
was affecting sea levels in the area.

For instance, Mitrovica said, the ocean could be rising at 7 millimeters a
year in Scandinavia, but because the land was rising at 9 millimeters a
year, it would appear that sea level was dropping.

"Our study confirms that the sea level in Scandinavia is doing what others
have seen in other parts of the globe," said Mitrovica. "This is one of the
important confirmations of sea level rising. Sea level is going up worldwide
about 2 millimeters a year."

Besides rising, Scandinavia's rebound is also moving horizontally, he said.

Mitrovica compares this type of expansion to what would happen if someone
turned over a bowl and stepped on it. While the bowl center is flattened,
the edges of the bowl move outward. The same thing is happening in
Scandinavia, he said.

"We measure a horizontal change in the land of 2 to 3 millimeters a year,"
said Mitrovica.

This means that Scandinavia, in its 20,000-year recovery from the last ice
age, is growing both upward and outward, he said.

Mitrovica said that all the ice from the last ice age is gone from
Scandinavia, but traces still exist of ancient ice in Canada. The North
American ice sheet once extended from the Canadian Arctic deep into the
northern United States.

Copyright 2001, AP

=======
(7) CLIMATE MODEL INADEQUACIES: THE INFLUENCE OF CLOUDS

From CO2 Science Magazine, 28 March 2001
http://www.co2science.org/subject/m/summaries/inadeqclouds.htm

Correctly incorporating the influence of clouds on climate is an elusive
goal the creators of atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) have yet
to achieve. One reason for their lack of success in this endeavor has to do
with model resolution on both the horizontal and vertical space scales. Lack
of adequate resolution forces modelers to parameterize the ensemble
large-scale effects of processes that occur on smaller scales than those
their models' are capable of handling. Such is the case when it comes to
representing physical processes such as cloud formation and cloud-radiation
interactions. The question naturally arises, therefore, as to whether the
parameterizations used in today's models are adequate for the treatment of
such processes and their interactions. The results of several recent studies
seem to suggest they are not (Groisman et al., 2000).

Lane et al. (2000), for example, evaluated the sensitivity of a suite of
cloud-radiation parameterizations typically found in contemporary GCMs to
determine the sensitivity of those parameterizations as a function of
vertical model resolution, varying the resolution from 16 to 60 layers in
increments of four and comparing them to observed values.  The results of
their study showed that simulated values of cloud-radiation variables were
highly sensitive to changes in vertical resolution.  Cloud fraction varied
by about 10% over the range of resolutions tested, which corresponded to
about 20% of the observed fraction of cloud cover.  Similarly, outgoing
longwave radiation varied by 10 to 20 Wm-2 as the resolution was varied,
amounting to around 5 to 10% of the observed value; and incoming solar
radiation also experienced significant variations across the range of
resolutions tested.  Furthermore, the model results did not converge, even
at a resolution of 60 layers, and there were significant systematic
differences between model results and observations.

Grabowski (2000) has also noted some serious problems related to the extent
to which computer models correctly incorporate cloud microphysical processes
that influence climate, stating that "it is unlikely that traditional
convection parameterizations can be used to address this fundamental
question in an effective way."  Indeed, he notes that "classical convection
parameterizations do not include realistic elements of cloud physics and
they represent interactions among cloud physics, radiative processes, and
surface processes within a very limited scope."  Consequently, he states the
obvious when he says that "model results must be treated as qualitative
rather than quantitative."

In another paper, Gordon et al. (2000) report that many GCMs tend to
under-predict the presence of subtropical marine stratocumulus clouds, and
that they fail to predict the seasonal cycle of such clouds.  These
deficiencies are especially important, because marine stratocumulus clouds
have a major cooling impact on sea surface temperatures below them.

Further condemnation of state-of-the-art model treatments of clouds comes
from Harries (2000), who states that our knowledge of high cirrus clouds is
very poor and that "we could easily have uncertainties of many tens [our
italics] of Wm-2 in our description of the radiative effect of such clouds,
and how these properties may change under climate forcing."  Such a view is
particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that the radiative effect of a
doubling of the air's CO2 content is only on the order of 4 Wm-2.  It is,
therefore, truly an understatement to say, as he does, that "uncertainties
as large as, or larger than, the doubled CO2 forcing could easily exist in
our modeling of future climate trends, due to uncertainties in the feedback
processes."

With the appearance of the recent report of Lindzen et al. (2001), this
assessment appears to have been prophetic.  For example, Lindzen et al.
analyzed cloud cover and sea surface temperature (SST) data over a large
portion of the Pacific Ocean, finding a strong inverse relationship between
upper-level cloud area and mean SST, such that the area of cirrus cloud
coverage normalized by a measure of the area of cumulus coverage decreases
about 22% per degree Celsius increase in the SST of the cloudy region.
"Essentially," the authors state, "the cloudy-moist region appears to act as
an infrared adaptive iris that opens up and closes down the regions free of
upper-level clouds, which more effectively permit infrared cooling, in such
a manner as to resist changes in tropical surface temperature."  The
sensitivity of this negative iris feedback was calculated by the authors to
be substantial.  In fact, they say it would "more than cancel all the
positive feedbacks in the more sensitive current climate models" that are
used to predict the consequences of projected increases in atmospheric CO2
concentration.  And as one might suppose, this potential real-world
impediment to global warming is not anywhere manifest in state-of-the-art
GCMs.

References
Gordon, C.T., Rosati, A. and Gudgel, R.  2000.  Tropical sensitivity of a
coupled model to specified ISCCP low clouds.  Journal of Climate 13:
2239-2260.

Grabowski, W.W.  2000.  Cloud microphysics and the tropical climate:
Cloud-resolving model perspective.  Journal of Climate 13: 2306-2322.

Groisman, P.Ya., Bradley, R.S. and Sun, B.  2000.  The relationship of cloud
cover to near-surface temperature and humidity: Comparison of GCM
simulations with empirical data.  Journal of Climate 13: 1858-1878.

Harries, J.E.  2000.  Physics of the earth's radiative energy balance.
Contemporary Physics 41: 309-322.

Lane, D.E., Somerville, R.C.J. and Iacobellis, S.F.  2000.  Sensitivity of
cloud and radiation parameterizations to changes in vertical resolution.
Journal of Climate 13: 915-922.

Lindzen, R.S., Chou, M.-D. and Hou, A.Y.  2001.  Does the earth have an
adaptive infrared iris?  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 82:
417-432.
 
Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


===========
(8) EVIDENCE FOR LITTLE ICE AGE DOWN UNDER

From CO2 Science Magazine, 28 March 2001
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2001/v4n13c1.htm

Reference
Domack, E., Leventer, A., Dunbar, R., Taylor, F., Brachfeld, S., Sjunneskog,
C. and ODP Leg 178 Scientific Party.  2001.  Chronology of the Palmer Deep
site, Antarctic Peninsula: A Holocene palaeoenvironmental reference for the
circum-Antarctic.  The Holocene 11: 1-9.

What was done
Ocean sediment cores were obtained from a prominent depression - the Palmer
Deep - located on the inner continental shelf of the western Antarctic
Peninsula (64 51.71' S, 64 12.47' W) and subjected to radiocarbon and
spectral analyses to provide a high resolution proxy temperature history
spanning the past 13,000 years.

What was learned
According to the authors, the proxy records displayed five prominent
palaeoenvironmental intervals over the past 14,000 years: (1) a "Neoglacial"
cool period beginning 3360 years ago and continuing to the present, (2) a
mid-Holocene climatic optimum from 9070 to 3360 years ago, (3) a cool period
beginning 11,460 years ago and ending at 9070 years ago, (4) a warm period
from 13,180 to 11,460 years ago, and (5) cold glacial conditions prior to
13,180 years ago.  Spectral analyses of the data revealed that, superimposed
upon these broad climatic intervals, were decadal and centennial-scale
temperature cycles.  Throughout the current Neoglacial period, the authors
report finding "very significant" (above the 99% confidence level) peaks, or
oscillations, that occurred at intervals of 400, 190, 122, 85 and 70 years,
which they suggest are perhaps driven by solar variability. Additionally,
the authors note the presence of a "Little Ice Age" that started about 700
years before present and ended approximately 100 years ago.

What it means
The results of this study add to the mounting body of evidence that supports
a global Little Ice Age event. It also highlights the inherent natural
variability of climate, and suggests to us the high probability that recent
20th century warming is not of anthropogenic origin, but the result of
natural variability, as the earth has recovered from the now-demonstrated
global chill of the Little Ice Age.

Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


=========
(9) "LITTLE ICE AGE" RESEARCH: A PERSPECTIVE FROM ICELAND

Ogilvie AEJ, Jonsson T: "Little Ice Age" research: A perspective from Iceland
CLIMATIC CHANGE 48: (1) 9-52 JAN 2001

The development during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of the
sciences of meteorology and climatology and their subdisciplines has made
possible an ever-increasing understanding of the climate of the past. In
particular, the refinement of palaeoclimatic proxy data has meant that the
climate of the past thousand years has begun to be extensively studied. In
the context of this research, it has often been suggested that a warm epoch
occurred in much of northern Europe, the north Atlantic, and other parts of
the world, from around the ninth through the fourteenth centuries, and that
this was followed by a decline in temperatures culminating in a "Little Ice
Age" from about 1550 to 1850 (see e.g. Lamb, 1965, 1977; Flohn, 1978). The
appelations "Medieval Warm Period" and "Little Ice Age" have entered the
literature and are frequently used without clear definition. More recently,
however, these terms have come under closer scrutiny (see, e.g. Ogilvie,
1991, 1992; Bradley and Jones, 1992; Mikami, 1992; Briffa and Jones, 1993;
Bradley and Jones, 1993; Hughes and Diaz, 1994; Jones et al., 1998; Mann et
al., 1999; Crowley and Lowery, 2000). As research continues into climatic
fluctuations over the last 1000 to 2000 years, a pattern is emerging which
suggests a far more complex picture than early research into the history of
climate suggested. In this paper, the origins of the term "Little Ice Age"
are considered. Because of the emphasis on the North Atlantic in this
volume, the prime focus is on research that has been undertaken in this
region, with a perspective on the historiography of historical climatology
in Iceland as well as on the twentieth-century climate of Iceland. The
phrase "Little Ice Age" has become part of the scientific and popular
thinking on the climate of the past thousand years. However, as knowledge of
the climate of the Holocene continues to grow, the term now seems to cloud
rather than clarify thinking on the climate of the past thousand years. It
is hoped that the discussion here will encourage future researchers to focus
their thinking on exactly and precisely what is meant when the term "Little
Ice Age" is used.

Addresses:
Ogilvie AEJ, Univ Colorado, INSTAAR, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.
Univ Colorado, INSTAAR, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.
Iceland Meteorol Off, IS-150 Reykjavik, Iceland.

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

============
(10) COMMENT ON THE "CCNet SPECIAL: COMETARY IMPACTS AND ICE-AGES"

From Dewey McLean <dmclean@vt.edu>

Dear Benny,

I enjoyed reading the "COMETARY IMPACTS AND ICE-AGES" special by Fred Hoyle
and Chandra Wickramasinghe and agree that for life on earth, a greenhouse is
a good thing. But, can too much of a good thing become a bad thing? I pose
this question based on work I have done since the
late 1970s in trying to assess how we mammals fit via reproductive
physiology into the climatology of the hot interglacial greenhouse world
that we currently exist in, and how any additional heat load imposed by
intensification of the greenhouse might affect us. Based
on my reading of the record (climate-physiology interactions are complex,
and I do not claim infallibility), I must disagree with the Hoyle and
Wickramasinghe statement that "we need all the greenhouse we can get." So
that I will not be seen as taking those authors out of context, I quote
their passage that most caught my attention.

"This is why the past million years has been essentially a
continuing ice-age, broken occasionally by short-lived interglacials.
It is also why those who have engaged in uncritical scaremongering
over an enhanced greenhouse effect raising the Earth's temperature by a
degree or two should be seen as both misguided and dangerous. The problem
for the present swollen human species is of a drift back into an ice-age,
not away from an ice-age. Manifestly, we need all the greenhouse we
can get, even to the extent of the British Isles becoming good for the
growing of vines."

Mammals are commonly thought to be homeotherms, that is, capable of finely
adjusting their internal core temperatures in response to environmental
temperature changes. In fact, they are heterotherms whose core temperatures
vary diurnally, and seasonally. And therein lies a potential major
physiological obstacle to mammals responding, without problems, to an
enhancement of the already high temperatures of this modern interglacial. It
is well documented that modern mammals, in attempting to thermoregulate in
response to high summer temperatures, shunt portions of their blood supply
to their skin in order to reduce the core temperature. This automatic
response reduces the flow of blood to the uterine tract where embryos
develop. Uterine blood flow is an embryo's source of nutrients, water,
oxygen, and hormones, and serves to transport damaging heat away from the
uterine tract. A rise of uterine temperature of only 1.5C, which is
commonly achieved, can kill most embryos. Large animals, with their small
S/V rations have a more difficult time getting rid of excessive core heat
than do small ones. It is known that high environmental temperatures also
cause dwarfing, and skeletal abnormalities. (Cold can also affect
reproduction, but in this discussion, warming is the issue.)

Modern high summer temperatures are already killing vast numbers of
mammalian embryos, prior to any significant intensification of the current
interglacial greenhouse. My best understanding, based on discussions with
dairy science reproductive physiologists who have pioneered research on
uterine blood flow, and from the extensive dairy science literature, is that
about 50 percent of embryos are lost, primarily due to environmental heat.
During the hottest summer months, the loss is higher. How high is high?

Based on breeding records for over 12,000 Florida cattle (Badinga et al.
1985), shows that conception rates of lactating cows decrease sharply when
the maximum air temperature on the day after insemination exceeds 86F
(30C). With temperatures increasing from 75F (23.9C) to 90F (32.2C),
conceptions dropped from 52 to 32% and stayed low during the summer months.
For Virginia cattle, optimum conception temperatures are from 50F (10) to
73F (23C) (Gwazdauskas et al. 1981). Arizona and Missouri cattle
conceptions range from 50% in the cool months to about 20-0% in the hot
months (Johnson 1985). High humidity, reduces the animal's ability to lose
heat, lowering the air temperature at which core temperatures begin to rise.

As ice age animals, we mammals have had far more experience coping with the
cold of long, 100,000 year, glacial intervals than with the heat of short,
10,000 year, interglacials. Intensification of the modern interglacial
greenhouse could, potentially--if such were to occur--impose upon us a heat
load that we have never before experienced in an evolutionary sense.
Noteworthy is the case that mammals made it through the coldest stages of
the last glacial, and then--during climatic instabilities, and rapid warming
that ended the ice age, during a time of expanding living space as ice
sheets melted, and of expanding grassland food sources--suffered major
collapse during the Pleistocene-Holocene mammalian extinctions. Modern
mammals are but the survivors of that extinction, and many may already exist
near to their upper thermal limits. Incidentally, superimposed upon the
Pleistocene-Holocene mammalian extinctions is a heat-damage signature
composed of elimination of large body size, size reduction as a prelude to
extinction, general dwarfing, and skeletal abnormalities.

In 1987, I was invited to present this work at NASA Langley, as part of the
_Colloquium Lectures_, in a talk titled "Global Climate Change and
Biological Extinction." My talk was filmed, and wound up in the U.S. Senate,
which invited me to present it at a Senate Hearing in Washington DC. My
testimony, titled "Climate warming and mammalian evolution/extinctions," was
published in _The Global Environmental Protection Act of 1988_: Pub.
100-843, U. S. Senate, Washington, DC, p. 102-113.

I have also presented it at numerous scientific meetings, and at climate
change conferences in Egypt and Finland, etc. For an expanded version of the
above discussions, please see my manuscript, "A climate change mammalian
population collapse mechanism" that was published in the proceedings volume
of the Finland conference (in Kainlauri, E., Johansson, A., Kurki-Suonio,
I., and Geshwiler, M., eds., _Energy and Environment_: Atlanta, Georgia,
ASHRAE, 1991, p. 93-100). It can be accessed at:

http://filebox.vt.edu/artsci/geology/mclean/Dinosaur_Volcano_Extinction/page
s/grhskill.html

At the 1994 Houston _New Developments Regarding the KT Event and Other
Catastrophes in Earth History_ conference, I proposed the
greenhouse-reproductive physiological coupling as a law of nature in a talk
titled, "Proposed law of nature linking impacts, plume volcanism, and
Milankovitch cycles to terrestrial vertebrate mass extinctions via
greenhouse-embryo death coupling." It is in _Papers Presented to New
Developments Regarding the KT Event and Other Catastrophes in Earth
History_, LPI Contribution No. 825, abstract, p. 82-83, and can be accessed
at:

http://filebox.vt.edu/artsci/geology/mclean/Dinosaur_Volcano_Extinction/pages/ghreplon.html

Cordially,
Dewey McLean

===========
(11) AND FINALLY: EUROPE IS FREAKING OUT

From National Post, 22 March 2001
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?f=/stories/20010321/507922.html

Mad cow disease is a real threat and has helped stoke the fear gripping the
continent. But Europeans are now so timorous, they cannot contemplate any
risk without panicking.

Carl Honor
National Post
 
LONDON - Spend a little time in Europe, and you start to feel nothing is
safe. Over here, cellphones cause brain damage and T-bone steaks are lethal.
Flying economy class gives you blood clots. Even that plastic toy bobbing in
the bathtub is toxic.

At least that is what Europeans are told. These days, hardly a week goes by
without another health scare sweeping the continent. Never mind that many of
the warnings are absurd, or based on flimsy science. Europeans are now so
jittery, so convinced that modern life is a minefield, that the merest whiff
of risk sends them scurrying for cover.

Even as incomes rise and lifespans lengthen, the continent is gripped by a
wave of Euro-fear, a shared continental cringe.

"Europe has lost its nerve," says Frank Furedi, a sociologist at Britain's
University of Kent and an expert on the new malaise. "Every problem today,
however small, is represented as a major disaster."

FULL ARTICLE at
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?f=/stories/20010321/507922.html

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