Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A New Focus at 50,000 Hits

Today SLB reached another milestone, 50,000 pageviews (hits) from just over 25,000 unique visitors from 132 countries.  In the world of the Internet, that's not much.  In my little corner of the world, it is amazing to me.

Much has changed in the world since I first began SLB on March 16, 2008.   Most recently, of significance to me, was my speech / presentation to chemical engineers in April 2012 in Long Beach, California.  In that speech, I showed why the climate scientists who conclude that man's production of CO2 is causing catastrophic warming are wrong.  I also showed why it is much more likely that catastrophic global cooling is headed our way, and very soon.  I placed a transcript and slides from that speech here on SLB, and it has quickly rocketed to near the top in most-viewed postings.

I also had a rare opportunity recently to ask a question in public, of the famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University, and hear his answer.  That question and answer are now on the Internet as part of a much longer presentation that was made at the Orange County Water Summit of 2012.  It has also been made a post on Anthony Watts' blog WattsUpWithThat.com.   There is actually a series of postings on WUWT on this episode of Dr. Mann at Disneyland, speaking at the OC Water Summit.  The comments on those postings are very interesting.   It is not often that a skeptic has the opportunity to ask pro-warming climate scientists a question in public, have it video-recorded, and placed on the Internet.  Note, Orange County is just to the south of Los Angeles County in Southern California.

I want to take this opportunity to announce a shift in my law practice focus.  I will continue advocating for abolishing climate change regulations, such as California's AB 32.  I will continue my efforts against nuclear power generation, against public subsidy of uneconomic renewable energy, advising and assisting clients with legal matters involving operating process plants and safety in those facilities, and my other efforts in advising and representing engineers, architects, and scientists.   That is all fascinating, rewarding work.

I recently joined the Science and Technology division of the American Bar Association, and that leads to the next area of focus, Best Available Science.  I will place more effort into the scientific basis for public policy and the laws and regulations based on that science.  In my opinion, bad science is being used as the basis for public policy in far too many instances.   It is apparent to me, with my background in science and engineering, that our legal system needs substantial review and revision in this area.  I hope to bring about, or at least help to bring about, much-needed changes.    I will have more to write on this subject, very likely much more in the coming months.

Thank you to all who visit here, and post a comment.  Comments are moderated by me.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Top Ten Posts

As of May, 2012, the top ten most-visited posts on SowellsLawBlog are as follows, from most visited to least:

1.   NPRA Sues Air Resources Board Over Biofuels (Feb 9, 2010)

2.  Chemical Engineer Takes on Global Warming (Feb 9, 2009)

3.  From Man-Made Global Warmist to Skeptic, My Journey (Sept 11, 2011)

4.  Warmists Are Wrong, Cooling Is Coming (May 6, 2012)

5.  Speech On Peak Oil and US Energy Policy (April 17, 2011)

6.  Global Warming Laws at AIChE Meeting in Nashville (Nov 12, 2009)

7.  Tire Inflation Rule Causes Liability (April 2, 2009)

8.  USA Cities HadCRUT3 Temperatures (Feb 1, 2010)

9.  Lawsuit Says CO2 Is A Pollutant In Texas (Oct 10, 2009)

10. Cost Increases From AB32 (April 4, 2010)

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

Saturday, May 19, 2012

NEWTAP - Revisiting Water for the West

The just-completed Orange County Water Summit, held in Anaheim, California, was quite interesting for a number of reasons.   As background, fresh water in California, and other dry Western states, is a critical issue due to scarcity.  Water in California is from several sources: Colorado River brought in by an aqueduct system, snowmelt from the Sierra Mountains, some groundwater via wells, and a tiny amount from sea water desalination plants.

Within California, excess water from the northern part of the state is pumped to the southern part.  A famous (or infamous) aqueduct also diverts river water from high in the southern Sierras into Los Angeles.

What intrigued me was the areas of focus by the conference organizers, and in particular, what they left out.  The focus areas included waste water recycling, reductions in water use, and desalination.   What was omitted is the large transfer of fresh water from the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers, via a new canal and pumping system.

I asked two or three people I met if they had heard of such a proposal, and none had.  I directed them to this blog and my article on NEWTAP, my proposal for a National Excess Water Transfer Aqueduct Project.  

Briefly, NEWTAP would transfer river water from the Missouri River at Kansas City to the continental divide in New Mexico, just south of Interstate Highway 40.  A new canal and pumps would transfer as much water as needed for the West.  From the continental divide, the water would gravity-flow into the Colorado River, and be stored in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  When needed, the water would be released and generate power in the existing hydroelectric power plants.

Power for the canal's pumps could be provided by wind-turbines, since the canal would cross an area with excellent wind.

An improvement on NEWTAP would be branch canals, such as a canal to bring fresh water to West Texas.

California is contemplating a state water bond of approximately $10 to $15 billion dollars.  This is a stopgap measure at best, and will not solve the long-term problem of water.

It is time, I believe, for NEWTAP to be considered as a national construction project.   The Erie Canal was built in only 8 years, and was completed almost 200 years ago in 1825.   NEWTAP would be about twice the distance.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

Time To Act on Global Cooling

A commenter on WattsUpWithThat.com, Pamela Gray, stated that:

I wish some skeptics would not refer to the “most likely cause” being solar. There is as yet no mechanism. The solar influence is a wild-arse guess as much as CO2 is and does not improve the debate in the least.”  [this refers to global warming and cooling]

My response is below:

Do we actually need a proven, causal mechanism before it is prudent to act? We can look to the ancient past, when humans had no clue why the sun rose in the East and set in the West. They had no clue why it became cold each winter, but was warm enough to grow crops each summer. They (we believe, at least I believe) figured out the correlation, though. Warm summer equals “plant the crops, and food will grow.” Would it sound silly, to be in a village council meeting thousands of years ago, and argue that we should not plant crops in the Spring because there was no causal mechanism to guarantee the warm summer would follow?

In my recent (see here) speech to the chemical engineers in Southern California, I made the point that we have excellent correlations over hundreds of years that show weak sunspot cycles produce global cooling. In fact (I did not emphasize this, though), we have evidence that very weak or non-existent sunspot cycles produce extreme cold. The opposite is also true: strong sunspot cycles produce warming, while modest sunspot cycles produce an intermediate temperature.. It is apparent, at least to me, that the late 20th century warming could be attributed to the combined warm ocean cycles with strong sunspot cycles – with no need for CO2 to be considered. The engineers in my audience, a very skeptical bunch, tried to refute the line of evidence before them. This is what engineers do (not limited to engineers, however, as many others also do this.) I also have tried my best to refute this. I stated in my speech that I could be wrong, and indeed, I hope I am wrong. Catastrophic global cooling is not something to take lightly.

But, the fact remains that, once again, we have a cold Pacific Ocean, and a weak sunspot cycle at this time. Experts are saying that this sunspot cycle will be the weakest in many decades. That is an appeal to authority, I realize. However, as a good skeptic, I checked their claim and found it to be true. If, as predicted, the current sunspot cycle peaks at approximately 60, that will indeed make it the weakest since approximately 1800. (see figures 20 and 21 here.)

Therefore, we have (as I presently see it), a cooling globe, a cold Pacific Ocean, a weaker than normal sunspot cycle, yet CO2 continues to increase by approximately 2 or 3 percent each year. Something, clearly, has stopped the warming, and started the cooling. Very few things can account for this: perhaps the CO2 has disappeared? No. Perhaps large volcanoes have erupted, placing reflecting aerosols in the atmosphere? No, we would have noticed this. Perhaps the sun’s total irradiance has decreased dramatically? No, we have ways to measure this and that did not happen. Perhaps all or most of the polar ice melted, which cooled the oceans, and that cooled the land? No, we certainly would have noticed this also. Have the polar ice, or land-based glaciers, grown dramatically so that more of the sun’s energy is reflected away? No, although that would cause a cooling. Is there too much soot from coal-burning, or other industrial air pollutants that also increase albedo? Possibly, although that seems remote. Then, what is left?

What can explain the inflection point in the global temperature curve from approximately 2000 until now?

I maintain that now is an excellent time to re-frame the debate, and focus our considerable abilities and energies (as a whole, a society) to answering that question. If it indeed turns out that a weak sunspot cycle and simultaneous cold ocean cycle produce catastrophic cold, we are going to look rather silly in about 10 or 20 years time. Our children, when grown, will figure this out and ask, Why didn’t the scientists make the connection between sunspot cycles and cold? They had ample evidence from the past. Why didn’t someone sound the alarm, and take prudent steps to try to prepare for the bitter and prolonged cold?

No, I believe ancient man went about their agricultural activities right on schedule, each Spring. When the ground was warm enough, they plowed or stuck seeds in the earth. We even have the Stonehenge as a (possible) example, with the stones aligned so the Spring Equinox could be known to the exact day. They didn’t need a proven causal mechanism to act.

Neither do we.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Warmists are Wrong; Cooling is Coming

The following is the presentation I made on April 17, 2012, to the Southern California Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), at their monthly dinner meeting held at Long Beach, California.  The title for the presentation is "What if the Warmists are Wrong? Is Catastrophic Cooling Coming?  Implications."   My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Alan Benson, chair of the Southern California Section, for the invitation to speak.   I also appreciate those who attended, and especially for their questions.  As always, it is an honor to address AIChE members.  

The presentation was approximately one hour, followed by another hour of questions and answers.  The presentation is in three parts, as suggested by the title: 1) Are the Warmists Wrong? 2) Is Catastrophic Cooling Coming? and 3) Implications.   

Background: this topic could easily require a week to present the many aspects and interesting details.  With a mere hour at my disposal, this presentation necessarily hits only the major points.  My purpose here, firstly, was to inform the audience of what has transpired in the climate science arena in part 1, primarily as to the quality of the data and the climate models.  It is important to note the scarcity of agreement between the model projections and actual data.  Secondly, my purpose was to present the case for imminent global cooling in part 2.  Thirdly, my purpose was to describe a few of the many and serious implications for imminent global cooling in part 3, tying this in to what engineers can expect.  Engineers are problem-solvers, and this presents a great many problems to solve.  I also described a few of the legal ramifications of imminent global cooling. 

[Speech text, as transcribed from the audio/video recording.  Minor additions are included to increase read-ability. -- RES]

Thank you, Alan.  I want to talk a little bit about this whole topic of global warming, or climate science and give you a little bit of background about me and why this is important to me.  It's important for a number of reasons. I've been involved in this arena for about the last five years at various levels, all the way from the local level up to the federal level.  I am not a climate scientist, I'm not a PhD.  As Alan told you, I have a bachelors [degree] in chemical engineering, I have a law degree, and I'm an attorney.  My practice does involve laws pertaining to climate change and the science that underlies those laws.

But, as a chemical engineer, as most of you are, I have the tools to assess much of what was done; not only to get some understanding for myself, but to determine what they did, and did they do it right, if there is a right and a wrong.  I think that coming from my background in oil refineries, there is definitely a right and there is definitely a wrong. If we do it wrong, things blow up and people die.  
That's one big difference between chemical engineers and climate scientists.  They have the luxury of sitting in their offices and conferences and they can be as wrong as they want.  It doesn't really make that much difference. 

What I want to talk about is experimental design, also data validation and what has been going on the last few years. Where we are at the moment in the saga, if you want to call it that, of global warming, climate change, climate disruption, or whatever the word is these days.

I have three main points tonight, hopefully 20 minutes apiece. 
The first thing I want to talk about is, are the warmists wrong?   By warmists I mean those who have published papers, or have voiced the opinion that global warming is not only real, it is happening, it is unprecedented and the results will be catastrophic.  Therefore, we must do very drastic things today in order to prevent these catastrophic events from occurring.

The second point will be, is catastrophic cooling coming, which will be exactly 180°. These guys are over here, and the coolists are over here.  [motioning one direction, then the opposite direction]

And finally, implications. Those being, we hear a lot about implications from the warming side; what are the implications of the cooling if it is indeed on the way? Then I want to tie that in to what chemical engineers and other engineers can expect.  It may be something for you to consider as you look into the future of what you want to be doing.

I.  Are the Warmists Wrong?

There are two or three topics here. First, were there any defects in their data? Next, does the model that they use have any defects?  Then, how do the data and the models correspond, are there any mis-matches? And finally, what are the costs and benefit of the mitigation steps that are recommended?

Data defects.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the data. They have an enormous body of data;  terabytes, from temperature locations from around the world, on the order of 10,000 maybe 12,000 sites on land.  Each of those [sites] has data going back some period of years, some as far as 100 years, some a little bit further. The aggregate amount of data they're dealing with is on the order of 150 million data points. This system passed the first hurdle of valid data, scientific data. You want to have a database that is large enough to give good statistics. I think in this case they do. But, they had so much data, it actually didn't work the way they wanted it to. So, they made adjustments to it. This should raise a red flag in everyone's mind, whenever you must adjust your experimental data.  They claim they have some fairly good reasons for doing this, because they were not allowed by the very nature of this problem to construct an experiment to collect data.  They came on the scene rather late and said well, what's the world been doing for the last hundred years?  We cannot go back in time and measure again, let's just take the data we have and see what it looks like.

There are about three or four different types of adjustments they make and I'll talk about those. Then we have this whole topic of improper data inclusion. You may have seen this graph [Figure 1 below]; it's on my blog.  This is actually taken from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency. It shows what purports to be the rise in temperature [for] the last 130 years. [This is} averaged over the entire world. I want to point to a couple things, if my pointer works.  There's a couple of things of note here, first, the temperature slightly declined until about 1910, then we had a rise until about 1940. We had a leveling off for about 30 years.  Then, starting in about 1975, we have a steadily ascending portion.  Then, the most important, and I want to talk a little bit about this later on, this leveling off [for the past ten years]. That is crucial to the argument of what is happening today.  This is a worldwide mean over the land and the ocean. it was constructed, like I said, using thousands and thousands of points of data to come up with what they say is the average.


Figure 1

This slide [Figure 2] is from NOAA, and by the way, if you're making a slide for presentations, please don't do what these guys did. I don't know if you can see this, but there is a yellow line right here. Try to use bright contrasting colors. They did okay with the red and they did okay with the black, but when you have a yellow line here, it is not good. These are the types of adjustments they made and it gives you an idea of the magnitude. These are in degrees F; there is about 0.3 here [black] another 0.3 for the yellow line. A negligible amount here for the red.  This is a slightly declining line here.  We'll talk more about that in a minute to see urban heat island effect.  

Figure 2

So, altogether this is the aggregate [Figure 3]. If we add up all the ones from the previous slide, we have almost one half a degree Fahrenheit of total adjustments. What that means is, from the previous chart, that shows about 0.6° C.  That's approximately 1°F, so basically half of this is due to adjustments. Half of the warming we have seen in the last 100 years is entirely due to adjustments.

Figure 3
(Note total adjustments of approximately 0.5 degrees F)

Next, is a very famous chart [Figure 4] done by a Californian named Jim Goodridge. Mr. Goodridge is a  former state climatologist here in California. He's retired now. He did his research and published his data in about 1996.  He shows the warming trend in California by County. The curve at the top is for counties with a population of 1 million or more as of the 1990 census.  We see a distinct rising trend from about 1910 to 1994.  The line at the bottom shows the same thing, the average for temperatures in California, but this is for Counties with a very small population, 100,000 or less as of the 1990 census.

Figure 4  (source: J. Goodridge)
Goodridge, J.D. (1996) Comments on “Regional Simulations of Greenhouse Warming including Natural Variability” . Bull, Amer. Meteorological Society 77:1588-1599.

[There was ] virtually no warning whatsoever over that 85 years. The line in the middle is for all the other counties between 100,000 and 1 million population.  They have an average rise somewhere between the other two.  The significance of this is that, if CO2 is indeed the cause of the warming, because the counties at the top did warm, why did it ignore the small counties?  How can you do that? That was one of the first things that intrigued me about the entire issue, as an engineer.  And, as Alan said, I have traveled many places around the world - as some of you have, too – and physics works anywhere you go.  It does not pick and choose.  It is not capricious.  I think all of us would agree with that. Yet, CO2 appears to play favorites.  I will show more of that here in a few minutes.

This to me raised a very serious alarm.  How can this be going on, and is it a true physical effect, or is there something else causing the warming?  Or, are we measuring something else and attributing it to CO2?

Next, here's a graph [Figure 5], and I have about three or four of these to show you of individual cities. This is from Abilene, Texas which is right out in the middle of the state, a little bit west of Dallas.  It shows absolutely no warming whatsoever for the past 110 years or so. The slope here, and you probably cannot read that, is actually negative. It is -0.19° per century, round it off -0.2. From an earlier slide [Figure 1], remember we were looking at a warming trend  of about 0.6° per century, which is what the warmists are saying. I want to know why it ignored Abilene?  [note, the following Figures 5 through 11 are from the same source -- RES]

Figure 5

Abilene is not alone, it has a lot of company here. Shreveport [Louisiana] [Figure 6] is not too far away and roughly the same latitude. This trend also happens to be as close to zero as I could find.  That's 0.0001 with a negative sign in front of it.  Again, over 100 years with no warning whatsoever. 

Figure 6

But, here's one [Figure 7] that is an adjacent city. This is St. Louis, Missouri.  It's only about 300 miles away a little bit north and a little bit west of Shreveport, which means the CO2 was roughly the same.  There are no latitudinal adjustments to make here.  This shows a warming and has a positive trend of  almost 1.1°C per century.  Again, we see a disparity.  How can CO2 know to shine its warning rays down on St. Louis but ignore Shreveport?

Figure 7

I don't have time to do all the pairs of cities but if you look on my blog, one can see them. Next, let's have a look here in California. Between the two cities Sacramento and San Francisco, one is warming and one is not. How many of you would believe that San Francisco is the one that is warming?  We have a couple of hands there, so the rest of you think then that Sacramento was the one that is warming?  That's right in the desert, right?  Well, you would be wrong. [Laughter.] Sacramento shows almost no warning whatsoever. And yet, San Francisco shows a very steady warming.  [Figure 8 (San Francisco) and Figure 9 (Sacramento) ]

Figure 8

Figure 9 

Let me show you this, then.  Here's Boston [Figure 10]. San Francisco has a similar curve as Boston and a very steady, very gradual rise.  And yet, back in these early days the scientists tell us there was no CO2 to speak of and it really wasn't increasing. And yet the same slope of the curve exists back here as compared to the latter day. Well, how can that be? What we should see is a flat line, and then a big rise up over here if CO2 was the culprit. Yet, it didn't happen. This is showing a warming of about 1.99, call it 2°C per century.

Figure 10

Now, I have to show you this [Figure 11]; this is the one they got me started on making the speech tonight. This is Eureka, California, a little coastal town north of San Francisco. It was warming pretty good for a while, until, look at this downtrend right in here [from 1990 to 2010].  This is almost 20 years worth of declining temperatures.  I thought to myself, that has got to be wrong.  The more I looked at it, and we will see more of this in a minute, that is actually a valid trend. And I must ask you this, if CO2 is causing the earth to warm, what is wrong with Eureka, where did the CO2 go over Eureka?

Figure 11

Alright, so we saw the problem of having the urban heat island. Big cities have a lot of buildings, a lot of concrete, a lot of asphalt and air conditioning.  All these things produce heat in the urban area. It creates an island effect of heat. We know this is true, if you've ever listened to the weather. They will typically tell you it's going to be whatever temperature it is tonight in the city, and about 5° colder in the outlying areas. And sure enough, that's true.  It is almost always cooler at night in the countryside compared to being in a big city. That is the urban heat island effect.

The question becomes, are there any ideal sites? That is, they have long-term temperature records, with no urban influences? The answer of course is yes, we have hundreds here in the states, almost 400 national parks. We have hundreds more State parks. The national parks are mandated by law to maintain their lands in a pristine condition as much as is possible. Somehow, they missed out on getting those temperatures measured and getting them into the database.  But, to give the scientists a little bit of credit, they have recognized this, primarily due to the work of Anthony Watts of Chico, California. Anthony is famous in this arena.  He owns a blog called Watt's Up With That dot com.  He did some groundbreaking work that showed that the measuring sites are woefully inaccurate around the United States. Roughly 80% of them failed the government's criteria for proper siting. That is, where these things are located. They put them on top of buildings next to air conditioning vents.  They put them next to asphalt parking lots.  They put them at airports where the jet exhaust can get to them. I am not kidding. This is the type of data we are dealing with.

So, in order to correct this, we now have the beginning of what is called the climate reference network. These are supposed to be in the pristine areas. These are supposed to have none of the problems identified earlier. They have redundant temperature sensors, they have automatic data logging, and they have automatic upload to a satellite. Presumably we will have only good data coming out of them. Unfortunately, they started in about 2008. So, we don't have 100 years or more of good data to look at. It will take them a while to obtain that. But at least they recognized the problem and responded to it. So much for the data. The data I think is very shaky. Unfortunately, they have this curve [Figure 1] on which we are basing not only national policy, but international policy.

Model Errors

Now, let's see if we have any fundamental errors in the model. And, we'll look at what's going on there. Again, a little bit of background on myself. I worked for a number of years for a company that produced kinetic models for oil refinery processes. So, I have a little bit of familiarity here. In the early climate models, we're talking in the late 1980s, when the first alarm was raised, and Congress was told that the earth was warming, the model says it's going to warm even more in the coming century so we must do something now. They had three variables and only three variables in the model.

Now, I have to give them some credit. They figured out that the first law of thermodynamics holds. Energy in is equal to energy out. In this case, the energy in to the earth is from the sun. Well, there's a little more from the core cooling, a little bit. But, they figured that that is negligible and I guess that's okay. But, for energy out, the only way energy can escape the earth is through radiation into space. That makes sense because there's nothing touching this so there is no conduction.  There's nothing going past us because we are surrounded by the vacuum of space, therefore there's no convection. All that heat must leave, and I keep waiting for the hand to go up and say,  "but but but but but."

All that heat must leave as radiation; is that true? Well, the answer is No. Because, as engineers you know about this, the energy balance states "In equals Out plus Accumulation."

Where can we accumulate energy here on the earth? Well, primarily we have accumulated heat in the oceans. Because, the land doesn't warm that much. But, the oceans are a pretty good reservoir. So that's part of the problem, we must try to calculate how much the oceans are warming or cooling. But, that's what this first variable is: TSI.  This is for total solar irradiance, the amount of heat and light coming off the sun. They looked at that and said, well it doesn't change very much especially over the period in question. 
It varies at the most by 0.1%. So, we don't think that's the cause of the warming. What they basically said was if you build a model with just that variable it does not match the curve I showed earlier [Figure 1]. So, let's add another variable, and they put in aerosols. These are volcanic aerosols, mostly sulfur compounds that are placed high in the atmosphere primarily due to very large volcanoes. These act to increase the Earth's albedo.  The albedo is reflectivity so that not all of the sun's energy actually makes it down to the surface of the earth. Roughly the earth has an albedo of about 0.3, which is a wild guess as nobody has measured it. Albedo changes from time to time. This is one of the things they do to adjust the model to call cool things off. Well, this did not help with the warming side but it did help a little with the cooling in the middle [Figure 1]. 

So, they said we need something else to cause warming to make our model match our data. Does that sound backwards to anyone? They said, the only thing that we can think of is CO2. We know it is a greenhouse gas that causes the atmosphere to warm. When they put in CO2 with appropriate parameters to produce the warming necessary, they had a three variable model that matched pretty well. We will see in a minute how its predictability works. This is actually a modeling error, because there are other relevant things.  They admit this, at least some of them do. This last one here is sunspot cycles, but they do not want to talk about that. Clouds are just as much an effect on the albedo as aerosols. They serve as a reflector. Anyone who's been outside when a cloud comes by if it's daytime, we all know, even little children know that it gets cooler. When the sun goes behind the clouds. But that is not in the models. Why is it not in the models? They do not know how to model that. That is one of the problems they have. A problem is that it is such a small phenomenon. Over the whole space of the earth, they cannot model that little bit with the cloud. They are modeling great big chunks of the atmosphere. What about ocean temperature oscillations? This is incredibly important and will become more so when we get to the next section.

It turns out that temperatures on the land are influenced heavily by temperatures in the ocean. I think we know that. If you go to the seacoast the temperature is typically a lot cooler than if you go in the desert. Well why is that? Well because you're close to the water. But, they do not include this either. In fact it is well-known that ocean temperatures oscillate from time to time. They go through periods of warm then they switch over to cold. Nobody knows why and nobody knows when it's going to happen either. We will see more of that in a minute. But that's not in the models. 

Finally, sunspot cycles. This is incredibly controversial. It was considered voodoo science for many years. There is a Danish scientist named Henrik Svensmark who came up with this idea. He said look, we have correlations going back hundreds of years such that every time the sunspots get very weak or disappear the earth gets cold, sometimes brutally cold. And every time the sunspots are strong, the opposite occurs and we have a warming. But there was no causal mechanism and no one could figure it out. It's a long way to the sun, 93,000,000 miles. What is a sunspot going to do from such a distance away? Well, he had a theory and that theory had to do with the magnetic field of the sun. Now we have the proper instruments in space and we can measure the sun's magnetic field. And it does in fact vary substantially, depending on the strength of the sunspot cycle. We will get more to that in a minute. But that's not in the models either. In fact that is heresy to even suggest that those should be in the model. When we have included only a few variables but we know there are others, this is what we know as omitted variable bias. Because, the error term we have in the model must be included in one of the variables and in the case of the climate models, it's in the CO2. Now, I have the word fraud here with a question mark. I'm not accusing anyone of fraud, but if you were to be developing a model and you deliberately with knowledge, did this,  left the variable out, and by doing so you cause harm to somebody, that could be fraud. We are not to that stage yet and we probably never will be. That would imply a willful omission on the part of the climate modelers.

Another fundamental error. You may have heard the term the science is settled. I can tell you some science that is settled. There's a science called gravity. It is fairly well-established. You all know this as the acceleration is 32.2, unless using SI units and I don't know what it is. It's around 10 I think, nine point something.   How many different equations for gravity do we have? Can I get an answer of “one?” I see a few heads nodding yes, there is one. These guys have 20 more or less.  20, 21, 22 depending on what day you asked them.  If the science is settled, why do we need 20 different models? What they do is average them.  They create an ensemble mean of the models. Apparently this is something which is done in the financial world and in the stock market.  If nobody really knows, if you average enough models you can get a trend which is actually useful. So, that is what they are doing here. The science cannot be settled if you have 20 different models required.

Data / Model Mismatch

So let's talk about the mismatch between the models and the data.  The models predict the warming actually they project for the next century about 3.3°C.  Yet the whole warming during the 20th century was only 0.7°C, more or less. We're talking about a factor of four between this century and the next century.  So, how's it going to happen? Well, they say there are accelerating affects.  We’ll be using more energy, the population grows, and there'll be feedback mechanisms kicking in. All of it is conjecture. The match, remember that the warming and almost all this warming, at least half, was due to data adjustments and we think a lot of it was due to the urban heat island influence.  They are measuring the heat coming off of the buildings. Here's a chart [Figure 12] that I took from British Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, from a presentation he made a couple of weeks ago here in California.  The point of this is, again he using yellow here I hope you can see that, the black is the measured temperature trend of the last 20 years from 1990 and this is from University of Alabama at Huntsville I believe. The projected warming rates are here, the one in the middle is the medium scenario, here below is a low scenario, and the upper one is the high scenario. This [middle] is the one that gives you the 3.3° per century if you go out all the way 100 years or so. There is already a widening disparity, if we go back to the first graph I showed [Figure 1] of the temperature with the leveling off spot at the end. There's no leveling off on any of these they all just keep rising. Again the mismatch. 

Figure 12

So what does this mean in terms of mismatch and other things they project will happen? 
 First we see there is zero warming in the past decade which is about since 1999, really, and we can think about that for a minute.  If we have a graph and I'm just going draw across here with a level line with a zero or no rising trend, but you know some of the sites have a urban heat island so they're actually rising too.  The population increasing, we are using more fuel, China certainly is, India certainly is. They impact what's happening to the earth. How do you get the overall trend that is level? Surely some of the sites must have a decreasing trend to counter those that are warming.  There must be a cooling going on somewhere, it is hidden. They don't want to talk about that but I'm going to talk about it tonight.

Another thing the models have failed on.  They projected there'll be many more hurricanes, massive hurricanes, but it's not happening. We have about the same number of hurricanes and severity as we had back in the 1970s.

There is supposed to be a hot spot in the atmosphere that is directly related to the increase in CO2. They diligently look for this every which way they can. With weather balloons and with atmospheric satellites. There's no hotspot, they can't find it. 

The polar ice is supposed to be melting. Well we have two poles. The Antarctic actually has ice growing.  The temperature there is dropping and has been for the past 50 years. They blew it big on this one. The Arctic? They have a little bit more of a case there we'll see in a minute. I have a chart to show in a minute that the Arctic ice is declining a little bit but there's something very interesting going on the Arctic that they don't want to talk about. 

We are supposed to be having sea level rise.  Not only that, it's supposed to be accelerating. We're supposed be having something like 3 feet of increasing level over the next century. The problem is, and I don't have enough time to put all these graphs up here, sea level has been increasing but the rate has been decreasing. So instead of having a curve that goes up and up and up and up and up. what we have is one that is coming down and leveling off. This cannot be explained in their models, a total mismatch.

Finally, snow. There was actually a scientist that came out and said snow will be a thing of the past. Schoolchildren will only know about it from movies or pictures in textbooks. Well, does anybody remember the snow last year? It was pretty thick around here. And actually this winter not so much here in the United States, but much of the rest of the northern hemisphere it was bitterly cold with much snow. In fact Alaska set a new record for snow and all-time record for snow last winter.  Again the total mismatch.
To wrap up the data model, I want to quote from Richard Dr. Richard Feynman, who was one of my favorite scientists.  He is deceased now, unfortunately. What he said was, “when the data does not match the model, you must get a new model.” He was, if you don't know, a PhD in physics, he was a professor at CalTech.  He won the Nobel prize for something called QED, which is quantum electro dynamics; pretty esoteric stuff.  He was a key member of the Manhattan project. He knew his stuff. What happens with our scientists when their model doesn't match the data?  What do they do, they adjust the data. Completely backwards.

Cost / Benefit 

Now, just a little bit on the cost/benefit. What are we talking about here? What is it going to cost to try to reduce CO2 so we don't have the warming which they say is going to happen. Trillions, but how many trillions? So many that it will be a significant fraction of the world GDP.  Or gross domestic product. Standards of living will necessarily decrease. What will we get for our trillions of dollars? Primarily, it's going to be CO2 capture and sequestration which will involve chemical engineers. They also want to replace coal power because it produces quite a bit of CO2 per unit of energy.  They want to replace it with wind, solar, and nuclear and finally, they want to get rid of petroleum by using electric cars.  What will be the benefit of doing this?  Well, that is the big controversy.  Nobody knows, but there are wild estimates.  I have shown here maybe 0.2 to 0.4°C per century and yet we just saw a warning of 0.7 that was actually beneficial. It was very cold back around 1900.  It is a lot better now than it was then, so the question is, are there any benefits at all?  Especially knowing that the models have blown it on basically everything they have ever predicted to happen.  

II.  Is Catastrophic Cooling Coming?

Now, I want to move over to the catastrophic cooling.  This is a part that, as I mentioned earlier with Eureka having a temperature decline, got me started on this.  I have a series of three slides here to show you.  These are from the National Climatic Data Center, another US government agency.  All of this is online, so you can pull it up and look.  This [Figure 13] shows the average temperature over about the last 100 years, actually from just before 1900. I want to point out something right here in the most recent period.  We have a substantial decline in the temperature. Where is this? This is what they call California Climate Division One.  This is the Eureka area, the Northern California coast.  I want you to have a look right in here, this is 1940 decreasing down to 1950.  The rest is either average or slightly increasing.  This turnaround point is 1950. Remember that date because we're going to see it a few more times.

Figure 13

What else is going on, on the west coast of North America? Here [Figure 14] is the section of California just to the south of Climate Division one.  This shows from Monterey Bay down to just north of Santa Barbara. We have the same thing going on; we have a decline to 1950. This is the only place where we have a similar decline of equal slope and equal number of years compared to the most recent decade.

Figure 14

One more [Figure 15]; this the coast of Oregon. The same thing happened: a massive drop recently, and the same thing back in the 40s stopping in 1950. I got to thinking to myself what in the world could have stopped this downward trend?  It was turned around when it was dropping like a rock. How much was this decrease? This is about 20° F per century which is about 11.1°C per century cooling.  This is a massive amount of cooling.  There is more I can show you but there's not sufficient time tonight. 

Figure 15

What is going on here, this [Figure 16] is a chart of ocean temperature changes or oscillations.  This is one for the Pacific Ocean.  The red is warm periods, and the blue is cold. Starting in 1950, we had a roughly 30 year period of cold, but in 1975 it went into the warm regime.  Then, recently a switch back over to the cold.  This occurs roughly every 30 years going cold to warm.   It is now in a cold phase again. 

Figure 16

This [Figure 17] is a chart which is also available on the web from Unisys, look at the cold blue in the Pacific.  This is actually from a couple of days ago [April 15, 2012]. This is what we are talking about, the cold, cold water in the Pacific compared to long-term average.  In this graph, the yellow and orange are warm, and the blues are cold.  The deeper the blue, the colder the water. This has been going on for a while, for at least the last 15 years.  We never read about that in the newspapers, though. 

Figure 17

Here's one for the Atlantic side [Figures 18 and 19], with the blue showing it's getting cooler.  This is known as the NAO Index; it is similar to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that we just saw.  Here we have the blue indicating cold and red for the warm.  Then, right here in 1950 we went cold as the blue appeared for quite some time.  Yet, something was able to turn those temperatures around and bring them back up.  This one has not yet quite switched back to the cold phase, but we believe it's fairly imminent.  Perhaps sometime in the next few years.  Nobody knows why because this is not well understood.

Figure 18

Figure 19

Now we come to the main point of this speech.  Let's talk about sunspots cycles [Figure 20].   I mentioned earlier that we know from correlations, when sunspots are almost gone or nonexistent, that the earth is far colder than it is today. There were no sunspots at all from about 1645 to 1760, about 100 years.  Around the world, scientists at the time were observing, but could see no sunspots.  This corresponds to what we call the Little Ice Age, also known as the Maunder minimum. Then it warmed up and we can see the sunspots increased.  It got a little colder around 1800 and sure enough the sunspots decreased with that.  It got a little cooler around 1900.  Then look at this: here is 1950.  Here's a very big sunspot cycle, and the next cycle in 1960 was the biggest one yet. In the next graph [Figure 21] we can see also back to 1700.  Here's the 1950 cycle, and the 1960 cycle is the biggest one of all. 

Figure 20

Figure 21

My hypothesis is, that large sunspot cycles overcame the cooling trend of the two oceans cooling.  For the rest of the century, the cycles were fairly big and we had some warming going on.  Also, the oceans were in the red phase.  They also were warming.  Now we have a problem, if you haven't been keeping up. First, let me show you these all lined up. Here's a graph [Figure 22] with the red line down the middle in 1950.  Here is the Pacific Ocean with the blue.  Here's the temperatures on the coast dropping down and then turned around in 1950, and here are the sunspot cycles for that. In 1950 and 1960, the sunspot cycles may have in fact turned the climate around and let it warm up.

Figure 22

Now, what is going on today, and why is this important? The sun surprised the scientists about four years ago.  Ordinarily, sunspot cycles endure for about 11 years, but this one took a bit longer.   It lasted about 12 years which is somewhat longer than normal.  Now we have a projection of the new cycle which is number 24 [Figure 23].  Instead of being big as we normally would see it, it is weak. They are expecting it to peak in the mid 70s although the Figure shows mid-90s, dated January 2012.  [update:  now reduced to 60 in the May, 2012 prediction.]  You can follow this online at spaceweather dot com.   This shows what the sunspots are doing every day.  This is grim.  We now have a prediction that the next cycle, number 25, will be much weaker.  It may be in the level of 20s perhaps even the teens and it may last much much longer and the world will be much colder.

Figure 23

So, is there anything else going on today which would indicate colder, besides the weak sunspot cycle?  Perhaps the world is cooling?  We are seeing the Pacific Ocean is colder; we are seeing the sunspot cycle is weak, now let's look at the Arctic ice.

This graph [Figure 24] is from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC.  Ordinarily the cycle of ice will peak right around the end of February. This is the average from about the past 30 years. The blue line shows the ice extent today, and it actually peaked about two weeks later than average.  Notice that it did not started declining for about three weeks.  Then it finally begins to decline when it was very close to the average.  This is completely unexpected and also not predicted by the models.  The dotted line which is shown is the worst of all time; this is from 2007, when you may remember the Arctic ice was said to be disappearing.  It was an all-time low. So yes, it was at least for the 30 years that we have been looking at this with satellites. This is trying to show you how we are doing today.  They were quick to blow the trumpet when we're down here below the average, but they don't want to talk about it when it gets up here near the average.  This is crucial, something is preventing the ice from melting. Yet we know CO2 is rising. Why isn’t CO2 causing the Arctic to warm up like it's supposed to?  Again, another model bust.

Figure 24

This next chart [Figure 25] is one I would love to see someone do a research paper on. This again shows the northern hemisphere ice anomaly from normal, in millions of square kilometers.  I want to point out three very interesting things on this chart.  

Figure 25

First, we have a fairly homogenous area here [1979-1996] with amplitude almost the same, the beta for those of you who follow stocks.  It is about the same in here and it has a very slight decline but not much. 

Second, here it is completely different [1996 - 2006]. Notice the amplitude is much less compared to the earlier period. It is about half.  The average slope downward in this area is much greater.  

Third, then look at the most recent zone for about the last five years or so, roughly 2007 up to now.  We have now gone back to the larger amplitude and we have almost no trend whatsoever. Why would that be? If the Arctic is warming like they are telling us, and CO2 is doing its job, it is supposed to be more effective in the Arctic that it is anywhere else.  How did this happen? How to we get no change in the trend for the past five years?  They don't have an answer for that, but it would be consistent with the world turning to a cooler phase.

Is there anybody else besides me with this hypothesis? I'm not a scientist, I don't publish scientific papers. I have no reputation at all.  But, there are a few who say this is absolutely true.  There are not many, so they have a minority view.  Here is one, this is Dr. H. Abdussamatov, and please pardon my Texan mangling of a Russian name. He's a PhD from Russia in the solar science field. He stated in print also in conferences where he says forget warming, we have very drastic cooling on the way.  Deep cold is coming.  He also gives us a date: he says by 2014 we will know. What we are talking about is the sunspot cycle 24 that will be well past the peak at that point.  We will be able to predict with more confidence exactly how weak the cycle is and what the next cycle is going to do.  He predicts catastrophic cooling, and when Russians predict catastrophic cooling, I think we need to pay attention.  [audience laughter] Those guys know cold.  There are some others; he is not the only one. He's predicting sunspot cycle 24 which ordinarily has a length of 11 years, will have anything anywhere from 14 to 20 years.  This means much colder.  Cycle 25, which is the next one coming up, will be very weak perhaps 10 to 20 at the peak and who knows how long it will endure.  Again, it's not very well-known and we cannot predict the length very well. 

The fact that cycle number 24 is surprisingly weak gives one some doubt about the entire credibility of sunspot cycle projections.  This was a surprise and the sun may surprise us after all and come back strong again. However, it looks like it's not.  If the oceans remain cold, and sunspot cycles are weak, the catastrophic cooling is coming. 

III. Implications

Now, what are the implications? Well, we all know that unless you're a snowboarder or a skier, cold is bad.  The experiences we had as a society back in the Little Ice Age were very brutal and grim.   People died.  Animals died.  Crops failed.  The bright spot is the winter resorts are going to love it. I don't believe everyone will be as happy as this man [Figure 26] who is shoveling snow.  If you can imagine this level of snow or worse for many months for the entire United States anywhere north of Nebraska.  The Rocky Mountains will likely be impassable due to snow and ice and avalanches.   Chicago will probably become a ghost town. 

Figure 26

So, for what are engineers needed to help in all this?  Everything.   Let me ask a question of the audience:  how many years of stored up food does Earth have? [answer:] One year? [another answer] A little less than one? Anybody else?  Is it two or three, or seven years like in the Bible? Well, I was astonished when I went to look this up.  It is less than three months, depending on which grain you look at.  You can go to the USDA website, where there is a world analysis.  They keep track of how much food is out there.  This make sense in a way, because we are a modern society and we know how to grow things and we know how to store things.   We have not stored too much; maybe the food doesn't taste as good or some of it spoils.  We have become a just-in-time society, but that may be a bad plan right about now.  Depending on which grain, we have anywhere from one month to three months.  That is a serious point.   Can engineers help on the food side? I don't know.

Are there better fertilizers? Are there ways to grow crops that can use your talents? Possibly. Somebody asked me once, and she was not an engineer, and she asked can’t we just grow them all under greenhouses?  I thought well, that will take a lot of material to make the greenhouses. So, maybe.  Perhaps there is some polymer science needed.   What are we to do about hail storms?  Again, maybe there's some polymer science application.  Can we design a polymer so that the hail bounces instead of  breaking through? 

Clothing:  we will need a lot more warm clothing.  This means synthetic fibers. 

Shelter:  almost all of what has been built in the last 70 years or so was during the warm climate. Much of it is not insulated to handle the type of cold that is coming.  I foresee a booming insulation business.  The flat roofs on buildings, not necessarily in California but in the rest of the world and in the northern part of the United States, may not be adequate.  We may need to have some different type of roofs installed.  The roofs must shed snow.

Medical supplies and health services: I believe we will be overwhelmed. Look at the relative death rates from hunger and cold, comparing heat to cold periods.  More people get sick and more people die in the cold winters.

Transportation and industrial output:  this will be huge.  We do not move barges over frozen rivers.  We know this.  When a river is frozen for many months out of the year, how can you get your materials moved?  What about trains or heavy ground transportation; will they work? Probably not. The train is going to cross the Rockies’ grades in the snow and ice?   Likely not.

Industrial output: how does one move materials around?  How do we get raw materials into the factories and the products out?  If we have seen big trucks trying to go up even a small incline during an ice storm, well, they don't.  We can not get trucks to go up or down the Grapevine incline here just north of Los Angeles when snow falls.  Multiply this 1000 times across the northern tier of the United States.

Communications and infrastructure: we know what happens when ice storms or big snowstorms occur.   The system fails.  Why does it fail?  It is due to ice on the lines or tree limbs falling on the lines.  Can you imagine this on the scale something like the Little Ice Age?  We’re going to need serious reconsideration of infrastructure.

Water supply: what does one do for water when everything around you is frozen? Well, you melt the ice.  But, what do you do for heat?  What if you need that heat just to keep the house warm?

Here's another one, population migration: it is entirely possible that some of the northern cities, talking about New York, Chicago, those type of places, where people give up and become what we call permanent snowbirds. They are moving south.  The implications there are huge. It is okay if one hundred thousand people migrate every winter, but what if we have multiple millions on a permanent basis?  We are not equipped to handle this.

Waste disposal: what will we be doing in the wintertime month after month after month when trucks cannot collect the garbage?  Where do we take it?   I don't really know. As engineers, I hope we can help solve these problems.  It probably will require many disciplines and cooperation between disciplines.

Legal Issues

Finally, the legal issues, which are fascinating to me but maybe not so interesting to you so I will go quickly through these.  There are many legal ramifications, and this is only a partial list.

First off, will the cap and trade laws finally become useless, especially AB32 in California?  Will the government, when it gets cold enough will they finally admit they made a mistake?  Being California, I seriously doubt it. [laughter]

Will the coal industry come to the rescue? Right now it is not the darling at the ball; it is a bit out of favor.  Will nuclear power plants come to the rescue? I personally hope not, for what I believe are good reasons, but there may be some who say that nuclear plants are a good thing.

Will shortages of goods lead to rationing?  That is very possible.  What sort of basis will we use for rationing?  That was very controversial during World War II, and it will be even more controversial now. Will there be a perpetual state of emergency? That's a bit of an oxymoron.  Emergency is an abnormal state, but if it is cold for year after year what will we do?  Will the emergency be only in the cold northern states?  What about the warmer states for all the people who migrate?  There're no houses for them, no food for them, and there's no water for them. 

Finally, other human rights for displaced persons: this is a new thing which we've developed over the last 20 or 30 years.  Everybody has a fundamental right to… and then there's a long list. To air, to water, to food, to healthcare, and shelter.  We will see some of that, and it may become immensely important.

Next, in the contracts world, the concept of force majeure: this protects one against things beyond your control such as acts of God.  Things such as hurricanes, ice storms, war, acts of government, major labor strikes, these kind of things. The force majeure clauses will be invoked and this will complicate many contracts for a very long time.

Finally, can a society that is fighting for its very existence afford environmental laws?  I don't have an answer for that. I think we need some environmental laws.  In my travels around the world, I have seen what happens when we have very weak or nonexistent environmental laws. It is not pretty; it is ugly.  I’ve been choking and coughing often in the bad air. I'm glad we have environmental laws, but I think there's a limit.  There is a point at which we are doing more harm than good.  Again, if we are fighting for our existence, maybe those environmental laws can be suspended for a while.


Now, wrapping it up.  In conclusion, we can see climate scientist used a huge database of existing data,  sets that have very poor data.  They adjusted the data, which is something you should not be doing, to produce a warming trend.  And yet, statistics teaches us that an accurate result can be attained with only approximately 2% of the population sampled, if we randomly sample.  Most of us learned that in the statistics class.  So, why was there a rush then to use all the data and adjust it?  It turns out there are some reasons and I'll talk about that later.  I'm running out of time here.   Why not just use good unadjusted data? They did not do that.  To me, and this is my opinion here, climate science alarmism over impending global warming is completely unfounded.   I believe there is no warming problem.  CO2 induced warming, if it exists at all, must be consistent and cannot play favorites. Yet, we saw earlier that it does play favorites.   Some counties are warming in California and some are not, but this is not a California problem.  It happens all around.  It is clear that the data has been manipulated to show a warming trend.  Manipulated is a bit of a strong word there; they would prefer to say appropriately adjusted.  Well, you can take your pick of the words.  It is also clear the CO2 has not warmed adjacent cities or locations, which is physically impossible. It is also clear that the models, in my opinion, are hopelessly simplistic and flat wrong.

Instead of warming, global cooling is a threat with far more grave consequences. The evidence shows we are in a repeat of the decade-long cooling cycle of the mid-20th century.  The important difference this time is we are now in a very weak solar cycle, compared to back-to-back strong cycles in 1950 and 1960.  We know the weak solar cycles always produce cooling, sometimes catastrophic cooling such as the Little Ice Age.  Yet, within a very few years, perhaps two or three if the Russian scientist is right, by 2014 to 2015 we should have sufficient data on which to act.

The implications of a prolonged cold period are absolutely grim. Engineers, I believe, should consider ways that you can use your talents to meet these challenges posed by a colder climate.

Let me say in closing that I have a lot of faith in chemical engineers. I know what we can do. I have seen what we can do, and the world is a better place because of it. However, I hope that you would get involved in this.  It is a major issue, perhaps the issue of our time. I believe chemical engineers have a unique perspective.   I ask that you would consider getting involved in this area. 

Thank you very much, and I'll be happy to take any questions you may have.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 
Marina del Rey, California USA

Note: the question and answer period extended for almost an hour.  I will attempt to place the questions and my answers here as an addedum.  - - Roger

Update: March 27, 2014, I updated the link to the NCDC data in part II.  This pertains to Figures 13, 14, and 15.  -- Roger