Friday, February 17, 2012

How Climate Modellers Create A Little Ice Age
Here we go again. Regular readers will remember that a couple of weeks ago Christopher Columbus was being blamed for the Little Ice Age (AD 1300 to 1850). Now, a new computer “study” announced that volcanoes caused the Little Ice Age. A research team led by Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado says eruptions of four volcanoes just before AD 1300 spewed huge amounts of sulphates into the air, which cooled the Arctic and “grew” the Arctic ice sheets and glaciers.
I find a few problems with this “news,” starting with the reality that the Little Ice Age lasted about 550 years! How do volcanic eruptions—even from four very big volcanoes—throw up enough space dust to cool the planet for five centuries!? Two years, certainly, perhaps even ten years for an awesome eruption such as Krakatoa in 1883—but not 500. Climate historian Hubert Lamb notes that “in 1783, when there were two very great eruptions—in Iceland and in Japan—in the same year, the combined effect may have been a cooling of the northern hemisphere by 1.3 degrees C, gradually tailing away to zero over the following four or five years.”
My second problem is that Dr Miller doesn’t know which volcanoes erupted!
Svensmark Hits Back At Scienceblog’s Florian Freistetter Over Vahrenholt Book
The hypothesis that cosmic rays strongly affect the climate offers a serious challenge to the more fashionable hypothesis that man-made greenhouse gases have been the main cause of climate changes. So it does not surprise me that many people try to falsify it. In fact it’s quite flattering that they go to so much trouble, when one good outcome (for them) should be enough, and in my opinion no such paper has been produced so far.
How AAAS Scientists View the Public, the Media, and the Political Process | Age of Engagement | Big Think
ideology also likely influences how scientists selectively attend to, interpret and frame science-related political trends and controversies. 
ABC News Watch: Missing News: Memory Hole and Climategate two
ABC entirely missed one of the major stories of 2011.

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