Robert W. Endlich
… a patchwork of stories where propaganda and misinformation are presented as fact.
IS EMOTION THE BASIS OF EDUCATION?
For the lead presentation of a series which was purported to bring “Climate Education” to interested members of the Las Cruces, NM and New Mexico State University communities, Dave DuBois starts off with an emotional appeal to the audience, not a fact-based introduction. The link to his presentation is at https://sustainability.nmsu.edu/nmsuccess/ scroll to the bottom.
His subsequent sequence is filled with a patchwork of stories where propaganda and misinformation are presented as fact. Sometimes Dr. DuBois mentions tools of the trade in understanding climate history, including ice core proxies, sedimentation records, and natural climate cycles, including El Nino-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, but then he studiously ignores the stories told by intelligent use of those tools.
The first four minutes DuBois gets into two elements:
First, “white guilt,” our having access to electricity, heat, cooling, transportation, and
Second, a warming climate presented in the sense it is somehow a new, unheard-of phenomenon, and any change from the past climate of his lifetime is reason for gloom and worry. The entire hour is devoted to the notion that harm and catastrophe are imminent.
Dubois studiously ignores many positive elements of the present climate’s circumstances: fewer strong to severe tornadoes, fewer deaths from hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and severe weather, which are down dramatically, and crop yields, which are increasing, significantly so, in part, from more atmospheric CO2. Instead of mentioning vastly increasing crop yields, DuBois dwells on a longer allergy season.
A FAILED JOURNEY INTO SCIENCE.
When DuBois ends his emotional introduction and gets to “the science,” he asks the question, “Has the climate ever changed before?”
He shows a graphic from Marcott, in the lower left of Figure 1 below, a low-resolution proxy data plot purporting to show a dramatic spike in temperatures over the last century. Dubois presents this as though it is the final word, and the present temperature is warmer than any time in the past 11,000 years.
DuBois omits this damning fact from his presentation completely. Does Dubois not know that the principal feature of the Marcott graphic, 20TH century warming temperatures, “is not statistically robust?”
Is he ignorant of this confession by Marcott? If he is so ignorant, this, by itself, is reason to question his ability to present on climate and climate change.
If he is not ignorant of Marcott’s confession, then this is evidence of Dubois’ covering-up the truth, present temperatures have decreased significantly from the Holocene’s climate optimum, some 5000 years ago.
In either event, the first “science” slide used by DuBois is bogus.
And DuBois’ second “science” slide? It is featured on the right of figure 2 below and shows Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick, showing strongly increasing temperatures in the 20th Century.
I show Dubois’ presentation of this time series, and a sidebar in pink, Figure 2 above. DuBois’ narration shows not the slightest indication that the Mann Hockey Stick caused great controversy at the time, and, in fact, there were Congressional hearings on this in 2005 and 2006, when college-age students attending his lecture were in first and second grade.
Nor does DuBois mention that the basis for the blade of the hockey stick was (and is) twelve anomalous and controversial tree rings from the Yamal Peninsula of Russia, published by Keith Briffa.
Nor does DuBois mention that in 2009 Steve McIntyre published a revised time series. McIntyre used 34 trees from nearby Khadyta River, which had been published by Schweingruber, and the blade of the hockey stick vanished completely.
In short, DuBois continues the charade of Michael Mann and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pretending that the hockey stick is genuine, rather than it being an artifact of cherry-picked (by Michael Mann) anomalous tree rings from Russia’s Yamal Peninsula.
OCEANIC CYCLES. BUT FIRST, LET’S UNDERSTAND EL NINO.
About the 13:40 mark, while the slide, ‘what about oceanic cycles?’ is on the screen, DuBois speaks to the slide, but his words and thoughts are all chopped up. If you, like me, try to get the gist of what he is saying from the video, it is difficult. Trying to paraphrase, his words are, roughly, “What about the AMO, ENSO, the PDO …those are all… energy is cycled from oceans to the air and back over time…they do not create or store heat.”
It may be that DuBois’ words are chopped up because he does not know what he is talking about. On the video, he is full of hand-waving.
Or it could be that he loses his train of thought trying to speak without blurting out the truth: Yes, El Nino is a weather phenomenon which stores heat and subsequently releases it.
So, what is a more truthful, more understandable explanation?
In the case of ENSO, El Nino Southern Oscillation, frequently ‘El Nino’ for short, the trade winds’ surface friction, blowing from the northeast over North America, and from the southeast over South America, move surface water off the west coast shores of these continents to the west, which results in upwelling of cold water from the depths below.
This originally cold water is transported across the entire girth of the Pacific Basin where the strong equatorial sun heats it on its long journey, across some 160 degrees of longitude, until it reaches the far Western Pacific near Indonesia, where the now considerably warmed water stacks up as it impinges on the Indonesian archipelago.
This warmed water is half a meter higher than when it started its journey just offshore of the Americas, and the damming at Indonesia results in considerable amounts of warm water being stored both at and below the surface.
The trade winds remain steady, but inconsistently so, for three, four, sometimes seven years until an interruption in the trade winds releases this dammed up warm water, and it spills back to the east, across the Pacific Ocean, and splashes against the Americas, which spreads this sun-warmed water over what normally is cold water at the surface.
This phenomenon reaches its peak at the northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice; the warmed water brings cloudiness and sometimes rain to some of the driest deserts of the world, the Atacama Desert of Chile, and the coastal desert of Peru, at Christmas, the time of the Christ Child, ‘El Nino’ in Spanish.
So, of course the heat from the sun’s rays warms the water, which is stored in the warm water stacked up in the Western Pacific and, when the trade winds are interrupted, that heat spreads back across the Pacific.
Because of the vast size of the Pacific and the area over which that warmed water spreads, El Nino years are years when there is a spike in global temperatures. Satellites monitor those ocean temperatures over time.
We have a video of the development of the 1997-98 El Nino on the web site at https://casf.me/casf-monthly-meeting-presentations/, where you can see the development of El Nino.
A second video shows the development of the subsequent La Nina, showing strengthened trade winds transporting cool waters offshore the Americas to the Western Pacific.
That DuBois says outright that ENSO and Pacific Decadal Oscillation oceanic cycles do not store heat is a tribute to his lack of understanding. That such an individual is presenting ostensibly “Climate Education” in a University setting is an exemplar of how far education has fallen into the abyss of propaganda.
WARMING IS NOT NEW NEWS — IF YOU UNDERSTAND CLIMATE HISTORY
DuBois’ notion of warming being a new, or relatively new phenomenon is brought home in the wording of his slide at the 16-minute mark, “Changes Already Happening,” written in the sense of a news flash, “Already Happening,” with implication that climate had rarely changed before.
A look at Figure 3 below, will show the temporal extent of the present warming started back in the depths of the Little Ice Age, ~1690, and that a great deal of the present warming started with a significant jump in temperatures from 1690 to ~1720, well before the Industrial Revolution might have started in about 1760, and certainly well before Robert Fulton’s steamboat made it’s way up the Hudson River in 1807.
Figure 3, displays a higher resolution (than Marcott’s or Mann’s) multi-proxy reconstruction of temperatures for the Northern Hemisphere of the last 2000 years.
Ljungqvist shows the prominent 1,000 or so year cycles which have dominated the Northern Hemisphere for many thousands of years, according to Greenland ice core proxy records first published by Richard Alley of Penn State, further analyzed by Easterbrook, and Alpine tree ring records published by Patzelt.
These “thousand year” cycles have also been found in sedimentary records in the north Atlantic analyzed by Gerard Bond of Columbia University and published in SCIENCE in 1997. We call these “Bond Cycles,” but, strangely, Dubois and his mentor Dr Katharine Hayhoe cannot and do not find them.
Cherry Picking seems to be a favorite technique of DuBois, and his use of 1970 as the starting point of a human-caused, CO2-fueled, dangerous warming trend is obvious in his, “There’s no doubt we’re warming” chart at 17:19. And, at this point, he brings his “since 1970,” theme showing a 0.7F increase in temperatures since that date.
In my Figure 4, below, I show DuBois’ chart in the upper right, ‘there’s no doubt we’re warming,’ along with two other charts. Taken together, these show DuBois is cherry-picking 1970’s minimum temperature as a starting point.
This deliberate action on DuBois’ part, is specifically chosen to show nothing but warming, rather than a minimum in a regular cycle, the ‘oscillation’ part of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
Speaking of propaganda, at the 30:10 mark, DuBois presents a graphic borrowed from Katharine Hayhoe which he says shows that temperatures from 4000 BC until the 1800s were decreasing steadily until concentrations of CO2 started increasing during the Industrial Revolution. According to DuBois and Hayhoe, there were “no major natural cycles” during this time.
This completely misses the notable Bond Cycles which show temperature maxima displayed throughout history through our knowledge of the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval warm periods in addition to the Modern Warm Period.
I mentioned at the top of this post that DuBois studiously ignores the stories told by the very paleoclimate tools he mentions in his presentation. Figure 5 shows a side-by-side comparison of the Hayhoe-DuBois fable, with “no major natural cycles,” alongside the Greenland Ice Cores, proxy data which show prominently the quasi-thousand-year Bond Cycles and the warm and cold periods which helped define the History of Western Civilizations we study or should study.
THE SUN DOES DRIVE CLIMATE CHANGE
During the time from about 21:50 to about 26:00 DuBois spends time examining whether solar output affects Earth’s temperature, emphasizing the time since satellites have been on orbit measuring solar output, the late 1970s until the present, when solar output was little changed, and concludes that total solar irradiance has almost no effect on earth’s temperature or climate.
However, we have direct observations of sunspot numbers since invention of the telescope in 1609, before the depths of the Little Ice Age occurred about 1690. In addition, Norwegian researchers Yndestad and Solheim have produced a study involving reconstruction of Total Solar Irradiance, or TSI. Quoting from the abstract of Yndestad and Solheim: “TSI and sunspot data series…periodic cycles that are correlated with the oscillations of the solar position relative to the barycenter of the solar system, which is controlled by gravity force variations from the large planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.”
Yndestad and Solheim’s work shows total solar irradiance received at Earth since 1700, on the left of Figure 6 below. Note well the purple highlight of TSI since 1900 in that graphic.
On the right side of Figure 6 there is a repeat of that purple section from Yndestad and Solheim’s work and a time series from Hansen, in 1981, Climate Impact of Increasing Carbon Dioxide, where he shows northern Hemisphere temperatures from 1880 to 1980, before these data were “adjusted” by NASA and NOAA. So, it seems as if DuBois’ emphasis on recent satellite measurements and lack of curiosity of reconstructions of total solar irradiance over the time from the end of the Little Ice Age into the Modern Warm Period has prevented him from finding what appears to me to be a clear solar influence on climate, a finding also published by Bond et al from 2001, in SCIENCE, “Persistent Solar Influence on North American Climate during the Holocene.”
LESSONS WILL TEACH THE GOOD STUDENTS WHO PAY ATTENTION
We have another instance where DuBois has mentioned some of the tools of the trade, but then ignores them as he presents his lesson. DuBois’ concluding slide shows an image of a recent low water level at New Mexico’s largest lake, Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is on the left side of Figure 7, below.
This is another theme DuBois pitches, fear of running out of water from human-caused CO2-fueled drought. The Water Data for Texas Elephant Butte web location shows the water level for each day since records began to be collected at that location, on 21 March 1915.
What DuBois does not show, but I do show, on the right of Figure 7 below, is a plot of the entire historical record of water levels at Elephant Butte Reservoir. Looking carefully at those data, you can observe that the lowest water level was recorded during the summer of 1954, specifically, 6 August 1954.
The 2013 low water level shown by DuBois is the result of the return of the dry period of the ~60-year long weather pattern we call the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, not human-caused CO2-fueled drought.
If DuBois had actually looked at the historic water levels and applied knowledge of the PDO, he might have seen that the 2013 drought and subsequent low water level at Elephant Butte Reservoir was a return to the previous PDO-cold period drought which last occurred in New Mexico in the 1950s.
In summary, a critical examination of this first “Climate Education” presentation by New Mexico’s State Climatologist, Dr. David Dubois, shows an individual fixated by the polemic of human-caused, CO2-fueled global warming.
We have seen that Dubois is stunningly ignorant of published data which shows that the purported spike in 20th century temperatures to the highest in the past 11,000 years is “not robust,” and that the blade of Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick rests upon twelve tree rings from the Yamal Peninsula of Russia; nearby, 34 tree rings from the Khadyta River, show no such jump in temperatures.
While modern Western history was shaped by a beneficial Roman Warm Period; during the subsequent cold Dark Ages, the Roman Empire collapsed.
Warmth of the Middle Ages brought riches and the era of Great Cathedral construction in Europe, but when the Little Ice Age appeared in the 1400s, the Viking settlements of Greenland were lost to cold and starvation.
By many measures, the Modern Warm Period has yet to return to the warmth of the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.
Total Solar Insolation curves for Earth seem to be convincing evidence that the sun controls variations in Earth’s climate, a finding also made by Gerard Bond in his seminal publications in SCIENCE where he proposed a solar origin for the quasi-thousand-year cycles found in multi-proxy temperature reconstructions, Greenland Ice Cores, and Alpine Tree Rings.
The sixty-year-long weather event, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, discovered in 1997, matches almost exactly the fluctuations in the water levels of the Elephant Butte Reservoir which have been recorded daily since 21 March 2015, while carbon dioxide levels show no such predictive skill.