Coolwire                              Issue 2   September 2002
  Greenhouse,  global warming,  climate change,  IPCC  events,  news, articles, mostly from the Internet & email groups, much of which will never find its way to mainstream media.        The idea is to post new material as soon as it comes to hand and maybe close off  issues each month.     Feedback and articles to please.
I trust all the original authors are acknowledged, I have tried to include url's to their sites where available.
Contents in order:
Jo-burg urban heat island;
"Good news for Nobel Laureates", latest from Bob Foster;
Capetown Penguins;
Coral Sea not warming;
French floods predicted.
US cities hotter.
Cool souther summer

Johannesburg urban heat island
At a time when our media has been breathless about the world environment summit in Johannesburg it is an opportune time to have a chuckle about the sure fact that the five star talk fest will ADD to global warming.
The extra traffic through the airport should insert some small quantum of extra warming into the daily temperature records.  This will find its way eventually through Dr  Jones dataset to material published by the IPCC.

The graphic below dug out of my files from the early 1990's suggests the  Jo-burg UHI has a growth of  ~1 degree  Celsius per century.

For an analysis of  UHI bias in the IPCC - Jones et al South African temperature data see;
Hughes WS, Balling RC (1996) Urban influences on South African temperature trends. Int J Climatology 16:935-940   (also available at )


Good news for Nobel Laureates

by Bob Foster       30 August 2002

Remember the statement released on 7 December last in Oslo, at the centenary celebrations for the Nobel Peace Prize?  It was edited by John C. Polyani of Canada (1986 Chemistry Prize), although it sounds rather like what the Swedish Academy of Science has been saying recently.  The 108 signatory Laureates (30 didn’t sign) tell us that:
“The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world’s dispossessed.  Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates.  Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecologies most.  …..  If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor.  …..  (W)e must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world.”

Never mind that over the last 20 years and more, almost all the warming has been north of 30 degrees N, with little or none in “equatorial climates” and the Southern Hemisphere.  Never mind that Osama was not “poor”; as the 17th of 52 siblings, he might well have suffered a lack of paternal quality time in his youth.  However, you can see why the Laureates are worried.  When the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Third Assessment Report in 2000, the most publicized conclusions were: an average global surface temperature increase of up to 5.8 degrees Celsius between 1990 and 2100, and (because warm water expands) resultant sea level rise up to 88 centimeters.  Frightening!

Greenhouse warming is a phenomenon of the atmosphere.  Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions (for example, carbon dioxide from coal-fired power stations) supplement the dominant greenhouse gas, naturally-occurring water vapour, in the atmosphere - and thus intercept a little more of the heat leaving Earth.  The lower atmosphere is supposed to warm as a result; and some of this extra warmth should then be redistributed back to the surface, rather than onward to Space.  We call this consequent surface warming the ‘greenhouse effect’.

But from 1979 we have satellite records; and the lower atmosphere has warmed only a third as fast as the surface.  The simplest explanation is that for this 23 years, at least, most surface warming is not ‘greenhouse effect’ warming!  Human-caused greenhouse warming appears confined to places like Alaska/Yukon, and particularly Siberia, under the very cold (and bone dry) high-pressure cells of winter.  The result is a slightly longer growing season, and stronger growth too – because of a CO2 enriched atmosphere (think of commercial greenhouses).

In Europe (where records are best) the latest manifestations of a long-running warm/cold cycle are the Roman Empire Warm Period, Dark Ages, Mediaeval Warm Period, and Little Ice Age.  The last cold snap of the Little Ice Age was 1800-20, with a warming trend since.  A frozen Thames may be fun, but warmth is better.

1.  Bob Foster is a founding director of the Lavoisier Group, which is putting to Australians a view on climate change contrary to that of IPCC.  His email address is
Overprinted on the trend, is marked warming from the 1920s, slight cooling from the 1940s, and renewed warming from the 1970s.  In fact, the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976/77, with its sharp reduction in upwelling of cold water in the NE Pacific, was the climatic event of the 20th Century.  This remarkable warming step was followed by physical and biological changes far beyond the Pacific.  The modest 0.6 degrees C warming since measurements began in 1860 looks like rebound from the Little Ice Age, mostly, overlain by shorter-term cyclicity.  What drives these natural cycles?  We don’t really know; but I’ll bet it’s the Sun.

The UN’s World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg provides for discussion of measures to stabilize global climate.  But inevitably, all such efforts must fail - because climate will continue to fluctuate on many time-scales.  Let me repeat: we can’t stabilize climate.  The same applies to extreme weather events: of course they will keep coming.  Mitigation, not prevention, is the only answer.

Vain attempts to control climate by restricting emission of greenhouse gases will hurt us all economically; and, as usual, the poor will suffer the most.  Instead of tilting at the greenhouse windmill, the Summit might better follow the ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ Bjorn Lomborg (New York Times, August 26).  He wants it to concentrate on ways to “provide every person in the world with access to basic health, education, family planning, and water and sanitation services”.

But, 0.6 degrees C in the past is not the problem – it is 5.8 degrees C in the future!  I have good news.  Ian Castles, Australian National University Research Fellow and former Australian Statistician, has teased-out the economic assumptions underpinning that menacing projection, and finds them extremely implausible.  (see Coolwire  #1)

IPCC invokes a worst-case “storyline” incorporating a whole-world per-capita growth in goods and services of an unimaginable 35 times between 1990 and 2100 - goodbye poverty!  It then builds a scenario in which that growth is largely powered by coal; and, after calculating how much carbon dioxide might end up in the atmosphere as a consequence, applies the most sensitive of 7 numerical climate models to achieve its 5.8 degrees C.  This is just quantified arm-waving.  For instance, the high-end scenario grows world coal consumption 31% in 1990-2000.  Actually, it fell slightly.

But IPPC gives a range for 2100, with a low-end rise of 1.4 degrees C.  The ‘right’ answer still could be bad, couldn’t it?  I have more good news.  Castles finds that the low-end projection is also extremely implausible.  Here, although growth in the OECD is assumed to be modest, per-capita real-terms GDP grows 70 times in Asia (excluding Japan) in 1990-2100.  Even for the rest of the developing world (Latin America, Africa and Middle East) it is nearly 30 times – and yet in 2002, this train is still at the station.  The mother of all economic miracles gives context: Japan’s 20th Century growth was below 20 times.

Come clean, IPCC!  Tell people in Oslo and Johannesburg that neither end of the range you give for 100 years hence has any plausible basis.  Instead, concentrate on the here-and-now.  For instance, 100 million people already live within 1 meter of mean sea level.  Also, the UN’s Arab Human Development Report 2002 tells us that in the 22 countries studied, half the women still can’t read and write; and population is expected to increase from 280 to over 410 million by 2020.  Finally, destruction of natural habitat continues apace, including in our own Queensland.  With problems like these for Nobel Laureates to address, greenhouse will never be missed.


Penguins invade Capetown beaches

The prestigious journal Sunday Times TV Extra, reports in Perth September 8 that Penguins have invaded Capetown beaches
over the last 18 years.

Could this phenomena be related to the cooling trend seen in the Capetown temperature record, 1857-2001 (data from NASA, GISS).

Perth sees the ocassional lost seal in the suburbs, maybe a harbinger of a trend to come.
NASA has reported increased areas of Antarctic sea ice since 1979 and recently cooling trends have been reported over the
mainland of Antarctica.
Australia is having the second best ski season on record and today (10 September) Hobart has had snow in the suburbs.

What does it all mean ?


Great Barrier Reef

In Australia we are not surprised at media stories about threats to the Great Barrier Reef, usually the spin is that high sea temperatures due to Australia not signing the Kyoto protocol are causing the coral to bleach or die.  Of course we are never told that bleaching events have been going on ever since there has been coral and that the reef recovers from the bleach episodes in time.
When the coral bleaching /  Kyoto stories run again remember this graph of the temperature record from Willis Island in the Coral Sea.


The current French floods make for an interesting press release from Weather Action Ltd, they predicted more European flooding last month.  They use solar parameters. Heavens above, could the sun be affecting climate !!!

Weather Action Ltd • South Bank Technopark • London Rd • London SE1 6LN •
  Tel: 020 7922 8844 • Fax: 020 7701 7401 •

                      NEWS RELEASE 10th Sept 2002

                   Long Range Flood warnings confirmed.
                 "Torrential rain and flood risk will continue"

The torrential rain which has hit parts of Britain and Europe this month and led to massive floods in
Southern France yesterday were predicted by Weather Action long range forecasters in mid-August
and spelt out in a Press Release to Press Association on 24th August.

The Press Release warned: "Torrential rain and consequential Floods are expected to return in
September to parts of Britain and West-Central Europe" revealed leading long range forecaster
Piers Corbyn of Weather Action today at South Bank University."

Weather Action's forecast for September issued in mid August explicitly stated that "more torrential
rain and flooding is expected in Europe".

"There is more to come this month for parts of Europe and Britain" warned Mr Corbyn. "Weather
Action forecasts are produced using a new approach which uses the predictable effect of particles
from the Sun to make forecasts. More use should be made of our forecasts", he added.

The Press Release of 24th August is below and copies of Weather Action's September forecast are

            INFORMATION: Piers Corbyn Tel: 020 7922 8844 / 07944390460m

Weather Action’s Solar Weather Technique makes forecasts many months ahead down to detail of
a few days using predictable particle and magnetic effects from the Sun. Its success has been
independently verified*. Other methods cannot do this with any reliable independent verification.
[*Recently published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Vol 63 (2001)
p29-34 by Dennis Wheeler, University of Sunderland.]. Mr Corbyn has appeared on TV, various
conferences – eg at The Royal Society++ - and media in the last year, eg Observer Sunday 17 Feb
2002. {++For graphs about Global Warming, e-mail }

     For Reference:  NEWS RELEASE 24th August 2002 EXCLUSIVE TO PRESS

More Thunder and floods to Return early September

"Torrential rain and consequential Floods are expected to return in September to parts of Britain and
West-Central Europe" revealed leading long range forecaster Piers Corbyn of Weather Action today
at South Bank University."The first five days of September is the next serious flood danger period",
warned Mr Corbyn who forecasts the weather by predicting particle effects from the Sun. He
emphasised: "Traditional Meteorology forecasts can't yet tell us about that period but when they do
they will underestimate what is going to happen then and later in September just as they couldn’t
see the ferocity of the August thunderfloods in Britain and Europe until they were upon us".

Mr Corbyn said: "The torrential rain and thunderfloods which hit many parts of Britain and Central
Europe in August were accurately predicted in Weather Action's long range forecast using the
effects of particles and magnetic connections with the Sun. These solar effects are worldwide.
Claims that the exceptional rainfall in Britain and Europe (and China & USA) were caused by
man-made CO2 are pseudo-scientific nonsense". Specifically:

l 'Major thunderstorms and local flooding in Britain (especially NE, E, SE, Midlands and South) were
predicted for the period 3rd-9th August and Weather Action also correctly warned that traditional
meteorology short range forecasts would underestimate the rain and thunder in that period (especially 3-6
and 8-9).

l Weather Action long range forecast maps for Europe also explicitly stated that there would be a tendency
through most of August for 'big thunderstorms' in Germany/Holland/N Italy/Yugoslavia in periods of solar
influenced 'Speed Up' of frontal development and in detail 'torrential downpours' were forecast for Germany
and other parts of Central Europe / Russia in periods August 3-6, and 7-9.

Mr Corbyn an astrophysicist uses his 'Solar Weather Technique' of long range weather forecasting
to make these predictions and repeated his challenge made on August 14th: "We challenge the
Global Warmers to make any forecast of anything. All they do is look at the weather and claim
every extreme proves their point. They told us hot sunny Augusts proved their point now they say
thunderfloods in August proves their case. Is this Science that taxpayers are funding?"

The problem with the Global Warming lobby is they put spin for political and research funding
purposes before fact. There is nothing new happening in the weather compared with recent
centuries - the only difference is news reporting - and the cycle of a 100 years or so in major central
European floods is a fact which we may soon be able to explain" said Piers, astrophysicist and
founder of Weather Action.

"Anyone who wants to receive our forecasts - for as little as £4 per month - or graphs showing the
decisive role of Solar particles on World Temperatures is welcome to, please, e mail us:"


WOW !!! Cornell University scientists discover urban heat island is pushing up temperatures in US cities.
Their funding should be OK as long as they keep away from any issue near global temperature trends.

Sweating it out: U.S. cities have 10 more hot nights a year than 40 years ago, Cornell climate researchers discover

FOR RELEASE: Sept. 25, 2002
Contact: Blaine P. Friedlander, Jr.
Office: 607-255-3290

ITHACA, N.Y. -- If you think that summers are getting hotter, you could be right -- depending on where you live. Summers are heating up if you live in or near any major U.S. city. But in rural areas, temperatures have remained relatively constant.

"What surprised me was the difference in the extreme temperature trends between rural and urban areas," says Arthur T. DeGaetano, Cornell associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, who reviewed temperature trends from climate-reporting stations across the United States over the past century and examined data from the last 40 years in greater detail. "I expected maybe a 25 percent increase for the urban areas compared to the rural ones. I didn't expect a 300 percent increase across the U.S."

Because of population growth in urban and suburban areas over the past four decades, particularly in major East Coast cities, there are more hot summer nights than ever, says DeGaetano. "This means that cities and the suburbs may be contributing greatly to their own heat problems," he says. "Greenhouse gases could be a factor, but not the one and only cause. There is natural climate variability, and you tend to see higher temperatures during periods of drought."
Working with Robert J. Allen, a researcher in earth and atmospheric sciences, he found that urban areas across the United States now have an average of 10 more very warm nights a year than they did 40 years ago. In rural areas there was an average increase of only three warm nights a year in the same period.

The growth was the lowest in the central United States, with only two more very warm nights. West of the Rocky Mountains the increase has been about five nights. DeGaetano explains this disparity by the fact that there are simply fewer urban areas in these regions.

DeGaetano classifies a warm night as 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the Eastern, Southern and Midwestern United States. In the Southwest, he says, 80 degrees would be considered a warm night and 70 degrees would be considered cool.

The research article, "Trends in Twentieth-Century Temperature Extremes in the United States," describes average temperature increases for all cities and rural areas across the United States. It will be published in a forthcoming Journal of Climate . It was supported by grants from NASA and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Since the beginning of the 20th century almost three-fourths of the climate-reporting stations examined in the study have shown an increase in the number of very warm nights. DeGaetano says that the decade of the 1960s stands out as a transition between a period that was relatively stable and cool, and the sharp increase in warm nights that has occurred in recent decades. "You would not expect such a change in the number of very warm nights to occur by chance. We saw a statistically significant shift," he explains.

Climate-reporting stations located in urban areas often are indicators of the huge growth around them. In Manhattan, for example, the station is located in Central Park, which was surrounded by a highly developed urban area even a century ago. Thus that station did not show the wild fluctuations recorded in cities such as Miami and Los Angeles, which have grown exponentially over the past 100 years.

In very warm periods throughout the past century, drought has been a factor. "Warm temperature trends in the past century across the United States are strongly influenced by the peaks in warm maximum and warm minimum temperature extremes during the 1930s and to some extent the 1950s. And these peaks tend to coincide with widespread drought," says DeGaetano.


Bob Foster reports on our cool southern summer.
Dear All,
Weightlifting buffs might remember the serendipitous gold medal of Dean Lukin in the heavywieght class in the Olympics a few decades ago.  He was from a tuna-fishing family at Port Lincloln in South Australia, and he just did at the games what he always did - lift heavy weights.  Now the family name is associated with another record - the coldest summer (conventionally December-February here).
Our summer in Melbourne ( 38S, 145E ) was unusually cold, but I don't think it was a record.  However, the piece below from the Adelaide press says it was a record at Port Lincoln (35S, 136E).  (The WA border is at 129E, and hits the coast at 32S; One Australian dollar = 54/55 US cents.)

SUNDAY MAIL,  September 22, 2002 page 28.

TUNA BONANZA by Anna Merola
A big haul of more than 240,000 farmed southern blue fin tuna has made this season's harvest the most successful since the aquaculture industry's birth 10 years ago.
Based in the waters off the coast of Port Lincoln, the 15 tuna farmers also earned the state more than $320 million in export revenue - up $56 million from the $264 million netted last year.
Michael van Doorn, who works for industry stalwart Dinko Lukin at Dinko Tuna Farmers, said individual fish could fetch up to 3200 yen, or $50 a kilo, on the Japanese auction floor.
"We've established a niche in the market and it is a very sought-after product there", he said.
Indusry spokesman Brian Jeffriess, who heads the Tuna Boat Owners Association, said farmers were improving fish husbandry techniques every year.
He also said "the coldest summer on record" helped keep fish mortality down to just over 2 per cent, compared with an average five per cent.
"It's by far the best year we've had," he said.
Fish quality and flesh colour, which was important to Japan's sashimi consumers, was also significantly improved this year, Mr Jeffriess said.
Japan remains the biggest importer of southern bluefin tuna but Mr Jeffriess said the US had now joined the ranks.
The 15 tuna farmers, all who operate from Port Lincoln, catch their quota of wild fish in remote waters, including near the Western Australian border.
The fish are then towed back to Port Lincoln in purpose-built tuna pens and are fattened on imported sardines and herrings throughout the year.

Regards, Bob Foster


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