White lies in winter?

From Ken Ring’s latest newsletter:

Climatism or global warming alarmism is the most prominent recent example of science being co-opted to serve a political agenda, writes Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Lindzen claims that ambiguous statements by scientists are translated into alarmist statements by media and advocacy groups, influencing politicians to feed more money to the acquiescent scientists.

In normal science, models are judged by how well they agree with nature, Lindzen explains. In the climate “debate,” however, the models are given a claim to validity independent of agreement with real observations. In other words, the models have nothing to do with reality, and cause alarmism which becomes a religion damaging to science and costly to society.

As if to perfectly exemplify Lindzen's claim, in NZ media there has been an excited claim by ex-NIWA boss Dr Jim Salinger that we have had a warmest-ever winter. But what farmers call winter is quite different to the call from Metservice and NIWA. In continuing desperation to find even the smallest global warming evidence, their outlooks focus on mild spells and downplay icy events. Farmers tend to bask in but distrust occasional mild spells in winter and instead keep a lookout for deep polar blasts from the south and southwest because that threatens financial ruin.

What months constitute winter has always been provincial. “Winter months” will never be universal in NZ due to our deep variation in latitudes and terrains. Farmers work to operational timetables and not months. No region in NZ speaks for all, and with no standardisation climatologists can and do say as they please.

In the upper North Island winter typically begins when pasture growth slows enough to dry off your cows, and ends when milking again resumes. “Winter” can then be anytime between April and September. In the Hokianga there is a saying that the year has only two seasons, wet and wetter. It reflects the warmth of the Northland climate, which anywhere away from the Hokianga River is fondly called the sunny north.

This is with good reason because Northland shares the same latitude as Victoria. But it is not nearly the same for South Island farmers at the same latitude as southern Tasmania, and whose winter typically begins with the first polar blasts bringing snowfalls. Winter finishes with the thaws that come with rising temperatures. This can be anytime between April and October and need not, for practical purposes, have any resemblance to what is happening in the North Island.

Although August has now ended there is a lot more winter to come, and danger to lambing. That trend is clear given the past couple of years of lamb fatalities in September and/or October.

Causally, warmer winters in NZ occur up to a year either side of when during midwinter the full moon may coincide with moon-earth distances closest for the year. This happened in 1977-8, 1987, 1995, 1996, and 2005. These were all warm winters, with the next such set of circumstances due in 2014 and 2022

To give legitimacy to the media report about the so-called warmth of the winter, Dr Salinger claims “there has been an absence of cold snaps in recent months”. What a strange thing to say for a once-respected meteorologist. He cannot have been more wrong.  The following are quotes mentioning cold snaps taken from media reports between June and present:

20 to 22 June "Heavy snow inland to low levels along with bitterly cold wind chills produced by severe gales..polar blast storm, lashed the country causing $33 million of damage.
28 June: "Surge of southerly air brings widespread heavy frosts"
10 July: "White-out conditions with snow to 700m have closed the Desert Rd in the central North Island and eastern regions are experiencing some of the coldest weather of the year.
14 July "A cold snap is racing up the country today and will bring wintry conditions to both islands."
18 July in Australia, strong cold front brings snow"
19 July in NZ "Winter is in full swing with another cold snap on the way, following flooding and wintry conditions which caused problems for drivers".
24 July, "Antactic snap - cold SW change, shot of cold air from Antarctica moves towards New Zealand
13 August: An active and fast moving cold front is today flying across the Tasman Sea and will hit the western coastline of New Zealand early this evening bringing the potential for severe weather.
29 Aug, "southerly change across NZ...snow to inland areas of South Island..change to a cooler air flow.

It is an example of what Lindzen claims, that instead of nature itself, science regards computer models as the reality, which is more politically and financially rewarding. The reading public do not know anything is amiss. If a scientist has qualifications he/she is assumed to be an expert. When even the Chief Science Advisor also goes public with falsehoods about climate, a person the public trusts as much as the Ombudsman, this generates serious distrust in science.

We have all felt the winter cold; now we have a cool September and a cold October to get through before a shift to warmer December weather. Yes there are some flowers and blossoms visible right now, but the species photographed every September for newspapers’ front pages actually respond every year to strength of light which is fixed by month not temperature.

This winter has been fantastic for ski operators because all skifields are lush with snow. That alone should demonstrate that the season has not been too over-warm. One does not have to be a meteorologist to know that snow comes in colder weather and thaws when temperatures rise. Winters can have both warm and cold spells but a good snow-base would not form in the “warmest season ever”.

Doubters can drive along the Desert Rd and look at the white lying on Ruapehu. It didn’t come from warmth.



Earth is blue, not green

The recent claim by NZ's Chief Science Adviser that "more extreme rainfall, more hot weather, stronger winds and longer droughts over coming decades will have potentially massive effects on oceans and marine life" shows a basic misunderstanding of marine life on the planet.

The facts are that about 99.7% of the earth’s biomass, all but 0.3% of what we call ‘life’, is under the sea. That tiny fraction which includes us is above sea level. All life under the sea survives without breathing air. Marine life still relies on oceanic oxygen. Aquatic respiration is the process whereby any aquatic animal obtains oxygen from water, not from the air above the water. It means that nothing that is in the air, like CO2, can ever affect most life on Earth which still resides under the sea.
It is easy to forget the size of the ocean, and that every cubic litre of seawater teems with life. There is plankton, krill, and micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye. A cupful of seawater left to stand starts to stink within 2 days because all that invisible life dies, something that won't happen with a cup of fresh water with added salt. Compare that with a lidded cup of air left to stand.

In just a litre of seawater are millions per ml of bacteria, and tens of thousands per ml of phytoplankton. If you fish anywhere beside the sea you may catch something because of this abundance of marine food; a food chain whereby small things are eaten by bigger things and even bigger things eat them.
Earth is 75% covered by water. From space you just see ocean, which is why Earth is blue………


“……..The sea controls weather, not vice versa. Currents in the sea drive surface winds which become above-surface air pressures that manifest as winds that blow from ocean to ocean crossing land, and before that the Sun and Moon initially produced ocean currents. Recent weaker currents have led to less mixing in the ocean, bringing higher sea surface temperatures and higher air pressures, resulting in warmth and less rainfall this year.

The planet's surface weather generates in the ocean and not on the land, which means not in rainforests, not by people driving around in SUVs and not by paying eco taxes. It matters not a jot how many trees there are anywhere. There was weather before trees evolved. Nothing that is on land can affect, monitor or control the immense weather-generating forces that exist in the ocean. Weather is huge in energy – a cyclone releases as much energy in one second as a dozen Hiroshima bombs. It is why claiming there are organisations controlling weather is to claim there must be groups controlling the ocean and therefore also the Sun and Moon, which is plain nonsense.
Scientists love to talk about climate change and the dangers of CO2. But the species putting most CO2 into the atmosphere is termites. Most people wouldn't even know what a termite looks like. Termites produce more carbon dioxide each year than all living things combined. Planting endless trees is nice to create shade but also tends to create more habitats for more termites enabling even more CO2 to enter the atmosphere.

Political alarmists imagine whatever affects humans affects the planet. Uninformed scaremongering plunges our economy into wasted spending on ridiculous fantasies of avoidance. I want my children to know the truth and I want them to love real science. I don't want them to be stuck with misery all the time and thoughts that it is up to them to look after the planet……”