February 16, 2011

Anatomy of the Gravy Train -Update

It is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that climate science  is now not much more than a gravy train for researchers and institutions of all types to milk tax payers money world wide. There are of course other agendas at play but the job security and monetary benefits lubricate the consciences of the riders of the  gravy train.

Here is a brief example of the gravy train in action. The university of Arizona put out a press release titled Rising Seas Will Affect Major U.S. Coastal Cities by 2100. The press release is about a soon to be released paper by some riders employed by the University of Arizona, hence public employees along with some fellow travelers from other institutions.

As you can tell from the title of the Press Release these fine public servants have gone to the trouble of warning us of the dangers of sea level rise in the next century. A portion to illustrate (all emphasis are mine):
The research is the first analysis of vulnerability to sea-level rise that includes every U.S. coastal city in the lower 48 with a population of 50,000 or more.

The latest scientific projections indicate that by 2100, the sea level will rise about 1 meter – or even more. One meter is about 3 feet.

At the current rate of global warming, sea level is projected to continue rising after 2100 by as much as 1 meter per century.

"According to the most recent sea-level-rise science, that's where we're heading," said lead researcher Jeremy L. Weiss, a senior research specialist in the UA's department of geosciences. "Impacts from sea-level rise could be erosion, temporary flooding and permanent inundation."

The coastal municipalities the team identified had 40.5 million people living in them, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Twenty of those cities have more than 300,000 inhabitants.

Weiss and his colleagues examined how much land area from the 180 municipalities could be affected by 1 to 6 meters of sea-level rise.

"With the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the projections are that the global average temperature will be 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than present by 2100," said Weiss, who is also a UA doctoral candidate in geosciences.
Wow, scary stuff, 40.5 million people to be affected, well at least the communities they live in. That is a pretty big deal, that could cause some serious disruption. But what is this "The latest scientific projections indicate that by 2100, the sea level will rise about 1 meter – or even more. One meter is about 3 feet. Thanks for the math lesson by the way I was never much good at that metric conversion stuff, that is why had to go to a conversion table when I read all those IPCC reports. You know those reports that are supposed to be the gold standard on all things climate. The main terminal of the gravy train if you will. One of those conversion I had to make was when I read this information on their chart 3.2.1 of the AR 4 Synthesis Report
Sea Level Rise

B1 scenario 0.18 – 0.38
A1T scenario 0.20 – 0.45
B2 scenario 0.20 – 0.43
A1B scenario 0.21 – 0.48
A2 scenario 0.23 – 0.51
A1FI scenario 0.26 – 0.59

Those figures represent centimeters and as you more educated people know there are 100 centimeters in a meter (I thought that but I had to look it up to be sure) Now putting aside the scenario mumbo jumbo, excuse me model output, nowhere do they predict 100 centimeters. In fact the absolute worse case of the worse mumbo jumbo output is .59 centimeters.

So I went back and read the press release from the University of Arizona to find out where they got this figure  to run their mumbo jumbo to get their output so that they could print up all those scary maps to release to the press, on the taxpayers dime I might add. Well  it doesn't tell us where they came up with that 100 centimeters (one meter, which is about three feet). I guess we'll just have to wait for the actual study to come out. But who actually reads those studies anyway? Why do you need to do that when you can get all the relevant scary details from your local newspaper:

Miami Could Lose 10 Percent of its Land by 2100 Due to Rising Sea Levels

Heck you don't even have to read the press release you can get the super condensed version in the paper, or just read the headline and pass the good news on to your neighbors, how convenient. But back to the case of the missing 82 to 41 missing centimeters depending on your favorite scenario.

Not given any specifics as to the source for the reason for my soon to be beach front property either in my local paper or the UA Press Release I just Googled One meter Sea Level rise and  the very first thing that popped up was this article from Science Daily

Sea Level Rise Of One Meter Within 100 Years

Which in part says:
According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the global climate in the coming century will be 2-4 degrees warmer than today, but the ocean is much slower to warm up than the air and the large ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are also slower to melt. The great uncertainty in the calculation of the future rise in the sea level lies in the uncertainty over how quickly the ice sheets on land will melt and flow out to sea. The model predictions of the melting of the ice sheets are the basis for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's predictions for the rise in sea level are not capable of showing the rapid changes observed in recent years. The new research has therefore taken a different approach.
Yeah man! A new approach that is what we need. the heck with those model driven scenarios we want cataclysmatic results! So what did they do? Follow closely:
With the help of annual growth rings of trees and analysis from ice core borings researchers have been able to calculate the temperature for the global climate 2000 years back in time. For around 300 years the sea level has been closely observed in several places around the world and in addition to that there is historical knowledge of the sea level of the past in different places in the world.

By linking the two sets of information together Aslak Grinsted could see the relationship between temperature and sea level. For example, in the Middle Ages around 12th century there was a warm period where the sea level was approximately 20 cm higher than today and in the 18th century there was the 'little ice age', where the sea level was approximately 25 cm lower than it is today
Let's stop right there, please feel free to read the entire article or go to the abstract here but let me first ask a very simple oh, let's just call it a naive question. From the article and report : the Middle Ages around 12th century there was a warm period where the sea level was approximately 20 cm higher than today

Now the whole purpose of this little exercise is to connect global warming to sea level rise...correct? And one of the foundations of the whole global warming argument is that we are experiencing unprecedented warming....correct? As a matter of fact a great deal of verbiage and scientific literature has been expended to try to show that what we are experiencing now and will in the future is unprecedented and that the Medieval Warm Period was not as warm as todays climate...correct? Remember the Hockey Stick ?

The reason for this debate about the MWP is that if it were warmer in the 12 century without man made influence then what we are experiencing now is not unprecedented in modern geological history then the whole theory of Man Made global warming is moot for many reasons. Not the least of which is that a higher temperature in the past did not lead to the dreaded tipping point which the global warming theory hinges upon. As I have previously pointed out:
The importance of whether or not the MWP was warmer than today really has little to do with precedented or unprecedented as if it was some sort of sports record, the real importance has to do with the "enhanced" greenhouse theory itself. If a period of time measured in centuries not decades were more than 1.2 degrees warmer on average than is projected to occur due to increased CO2, what happened to the famous tipping point? Yet we are to believe in a few short decades we will reach a tipping point that centuries of warmer temperatures of the past did not tip? This is the true importance of the Hockey Stick. Remember too we have not, to my knowledge, ever been told where the starting point is. What is the pre-industrial temperature which was the starting point on our road to the fabled cataclysmic tipping point?

Yet in the very article and report which is trying to convince us of catastrophic sea level rise. we are told that in a period prior to man made global warming sea levels were higher than today due to warmer temperatures. Got it?  In a nutshell the given purpose of the study, to prove that warmer temperatures drive sea level rise, shows that in the 12th century sea levels were higher than present, then the temperatures in the that time must have been warmer than present. End of Hockey Stick, End of tipping points, end of alarm.

Despite the obvious flaw in the reasoning of this report not to mention the finagled science that went into putting it together, this one meter study is important fuel to the gravy train, as shown by the recent AU study. After all if you can say "According to the most recent sea-level-rise science, that's where we're heading," and have some peer reviewed scientific published study to back you up, well then you can justify further studies based upon that study and the train just keeps  moving down the track.

Even better still, whenever the public says "hey wait you guys are really hyping the threat here." Scientist throughout the community with all humility reply, "it is not us, the media takes our scientific research and sensationalizes it," This despite the fact that they put out the press releases, knowing that the media will do nothing more than keep the hype going, generating more fuel (funds) for their gravy train. The climate science gravy train has a self perpetuating never ending source of fuel.

Back to metrics for a second. Why was it important that a study be done to show these higher Sea Level rise numbers?  If the IPCC projections are correct, then even the most dramatic rise of  59 centimeters is not all that catastrophic, after all it rose almost half that amount back in the 12th century, right? In fact it could be argued and was and is that based upon current science it would make more sense to adapt to the rising seas than shut down our carbon based economic growth. So when science does not fit your agenda and threatens to derail the gravy train, you need new science and so they produced it.

The problem in all of this is that policies are being determined and laws and regulations written based upon speculation not actual science. Communities are changing their zoning laws, developments are being stopped, the insurance industry is getting in on the act and a host of other consequences are taking place based upon agenda driven gravy train fueled science.

So in reality as the AU press release says, in a perfect example of self fulfilling prophecy, countless communities and millions of coastal citizens are being affected by sea level rise-science. 

Oh and where do they get  "8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than present"

Choo, Choo....Choo Choo....Choo, Choo


The current rate of sea level increase is 3.1 mm per year which means that by the end of the century sea levels will increase 28 (27.9) cm. This is 72 cm shy of a meter.

If you start the calculation at the start of the 21st century you can ad another 3 cm to this or 31 cm which is 69 cm shy of a meter rise in this century.

In order to reach a meter increase in Sea Level rise in this century (since 2000) you would have to increase the rate by 7.6 mm per year for the next 90 years. Which means the annual increase would have to be approx. 10.7 mm per year every year from now until the end of the century. As I said it currently is at 3.1.

So every year that goes by from here forward without reaching that 10.7 mm threshold only increases the rate at which the increase must accelerate in order to reach one meter.

If you take the high end of the IPCC scenario of .59 meters and the current rate of sea level rise you are still left 18 cm shy of reaching that projection beginning 2000 and ending at the end of the century.

In order to reach the IPCC's most dire projection, the rate of increase must accelerate by 2mm per year for the next 90 years, or approx. 5.1 mm per year and again every year it does not reach that threshold it will have to accelerate even faster in the years to come.

The AU study and press release is based upon the full one meter increase by the end of the century. Those oceans best start  rising really fast really soon for those maps not to be just very expensive toilet paper.

I am only semi confident in my math so please check if you wish


Knowing the math involved; here is what these studies are counting on. From another paragraph from the Science Daily article
When the ice age ended 11.700 years ago, the ice sheets melted so quickly that sea level rose 11 millimeters per year – equivalent to a meter in 100 years. In the current situation with global warming, Aslak Grinsted believes, that the sea level will rise with the same speed – that is to say a meter in the span of the next 100 years
I would suggest to the authors that they may want to check out the location and amount of the available ice to be melted relative to today. I suspect that increase was based on ice melting from far larger glaciers and far south of where today's ice fields are located. Seriously, do these scientist believe that the land based ice in the world, aworld  where ice covered Boston hundreds of meter thick is comparable to our modern world?  Do they not even realize that the ice that was available to be melted 11,700 years ago has already pretty much been melted and is in our oceans already. How alarmingly naive and simplistic are today's scientist.

Frightening actually

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