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Clouds and Climate Models

2 November 2014
Climate change

A new paper by John McLean of the James Cook University (Australia), a professor of physics, has appeared in the open access journal Atmospheric and Climate Sciences – see www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/10/30/mclean-on-clouds.html

It has already caused a fuss in some quarters as criticism of models doesn't go down very well – and this one completely bazookas them. Basically, he says the temperature pattern over roughly the last 50 years of climate science, can  be attributed to a sequence of events, a shift in ENSO conditions (ocean currents such as El Nino), and changes in total cloud cover. In particular there was a loss in cloud cover in the 1990s which can be attributed to anti-pollution measures as a result of clean air acts introduced in industrialised countries. The haitus that has now emerged can in part be attributed to pollution levels going back up again as a result of Chinese industrial expansion. In other words, he does not foresee co2 actually having much of a role even if the climate has become warmer. As a physicist he is not impressed by the Greenhouse Gas theory.

Actually, his idea that cloud cover affects temperature (cools as well as warms and depends on the kind of clouds) has been aired on a number of other occasions – but the alarmist crowd have drowned out the idea. For example, Sherwood had a paper in 2013 that noted models that took into account an increasing proportion of clouds gave a more realistic projection of actual temperatures in the real world. Obviously, climate scientists and the media prefer the temperatures produced by the models – but that is a state of mind to be analysed at some point in the future when calm has returned to science. In addition, Roy Spencer who specialises in satellite data and has his own web page has been saying something similar for a long time – knocking on the door that never opens. Apparently the warmists don't like him as he attends church on a Sunday. This is supposed to make him a terrible scientist and totally unreliable. Don't know if they protest quite so fiercely to a scientist that goes to Friday prayers.

The Chilling Stars' and this also involved clouds and their effect on climate.

This brings us to http://notrickszone.com/2014/10/30/more-glacier-studies-confirm-roman-an… … which is scepticism from a German angle and looks back to some earlier arguments and the desperation of globa warming people in the late 90s to disappear the Medieval Warm period with that hockey stick graph – the ham-fisted attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of not just Joe Public but everyone else with him. The article in question is by Sebastian Luning and Fritz Vahrenholt, co-authors of 'Die Kalte Sonne' (the Cold Sun). They found the evidence in the real world massively contradicts the alarmist case – and this is that modern warming has shrunk glaciers much more than ever before. Logic says that if man-made objects are found in a melting glacier nose that glacier could not have been there when the ice buried it a few hundred years ago – but logic is not what alarmism is about. Luning and Vahrenholt found glaciers in the Alps began to melt as long ago as 1985 – but this point is usually avoided. In 1850 co2 was not a problem – but the ice was melting. This is telling us something important. Not only that it was not particularly warm in the 1840s which makes it even more surprising for glaciers to start shrinking a couple of years later. The world had however emerged from the Little Ice Age period when average temperatures were somewhat lower than in the modern world. Note the word average as they were not universally below those of today. Geologists have known all this for ages as they study glaciers – or some of them do. When looking at the climate over a period of several thousand years glaciers can be seen to shrink and to grow. For instance, in the Roman Warm period and the Medieval Warm period. A recent study by Anaelle Simennsou of Orleans University looked at the French Alps and found glaciers shrank in the Early Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Roman period and in the medieval period. Another study by Martin Luthi of the University of Zurich in Switzerland is also mentioned by them and once again showed large scale shrinkage of glaciers in the medieval period (which is why mining activity such as tools has been uncovered by the current ice shrinkage). Greenpeace, which is basically a propaganda NGO, doesn't actually do any science – but mercilessly pummels the ear drums of Joe Public with what is hype rather than fact. If you believed what they say you would be under the impression most of the ice on the planet was about to become water. Luckily, most people have an inbuilt mechanism against propaganda, they proffer a death ear.

On top of that shrinkage between 4000 and 7000BC was even more drastic – in the so called Mid Holocene Warm period. When glaciers are melting and there is no evidence of human activity in the Alps and then we might have a cause to worry – as we would be at such a high altitude the ice would have never gone away in normal circumstances. The whole point made by Luning and Vahrenholt is that nobody in the warming camp has bothered to go back more than a 150 years. It is quite normal for glaciers to melt from a position they grew to when the average climate was much cooler than it is today.

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