Friday, November 27, 2009

Climategate: The Skeptical Scientist’s View

As readers are now aware, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, the main climate research center in Britain, has had 128 megabytes of secret emails and other data placed online by someone calling himself “FOIA.” A number of scientists have been trying for years to get the raw data possessed by CRU placed online, filing requests under the British Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Although required by law to release this information, CRU has not done so, or has claimed that the data were accidentally erased. We now have proof in the emails that the illegal withholding of information was intentional, and that the erasure of data was also intentional. Read more.

1 comment:

  1. Paul of Alexandria

    I might add that the “ozone-hole panic” coincided with a period of high sunspot activity that came before the “Maunder Minimum” of a few years later. The result of this mechanism in the Sun was;

    1. An increase in particle emission from the Sun (the “solar wind”) that reached not only Earth, but the rest of the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars), and could be measured by planetary astronomers (in fact, it was picked up by our Mars landers);

    2. Due to the fact that the Earth’s magnetic field, which protects us from solar particle emission to a certain extent, is not a “true” sphere, but rather a torus (i.e., is shaped rather like a doughnut), and is weakest over the Poles, the polar regions got a serious dose of ionized particles;

    3. Ozone, being a highly-reactive molecule itself, when hit by those particles, jumped about two quantum energy levels per molecule, and each molecule was thereby accelerated in its velocity at an altitude where the Mean Free Path of any gas molecule is measured, not in nanometers but in centimeters or even full meters (i.e., low ambient pressure/ near-vacuum/ “the edge of space”).

    As a result, at least part of the “ozone loss” that caused the “ozone hole” was apparently caused by ionized particles from the solar wind “bumping” ozone molecules velocity-wise to the point where they actually escaped Earth’s gravity, or possibly destroyed them completely by ionization. (So far, the debate over which one was the main result, or both were equally, continues amongst upper-atmosphere specialists.)

    Once the Sun quieted down (i.e., went to the Maunder Minimum state) and the solar wind emissions dropped back to a lower intensity, the “ozone hole” began to “close”, as once more the atmosphere’s ozone-production rate was not being exceeded by the loss rate due to solar wind ionization.

    The punch line is that this is apparently a regular and repeating feature of solar wind activity; when the Sun is in a “high” sunspot cycle, and the solar wind emission level goes up, Bang!- down goes the ozone level in the polar upper atmosphere, and the result is a “hole”. Which closes back up again when the Sun calms down. (Take a Miltown, Sol.) This has been happening for, literally, millions of years on a regular basis.

    The fact that it only got attention during the “Ozone Hole/CFC Panic” can be explained simply; up to then, our technology hadn’t been up to detecting such fluctuations in the ozone levels of the upper atmosphere. And the ability to do so arrived just as a political pressure group (the environmentalists) with an ax to grind (their hatred of CFCs and/or technology in general)were in a position to use the new data for propaganda purposes.

    By the way, two years ago the same systems that detected the “ozone hole” of the early Eighties showed that the “hole” over the Arctic was getting larger again. The difference is, this time they didn’t have CFCs to blame it on… so they just put it down it to “sunspot activity”.

    Surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle would say.

    clear ether