Kilimanjaro snow not about to go

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT ABOUT ACCURACY

[sent to the Herald online today]

Dear Sir,

Yesterday the Herald’s Jason Patinkin or an editor said: “The mountains of East Africa that inspired Hemingway are being dissolved by climate change.” There are two things wrong with that statement.

First, climate change cannot destroy rock; the mountains are safe.

Second, the spectacular icecap on Kilimanjaro is “nowhere near melting,” according to a local ecologist only two years ago. This is widely understood—even Skeptical Science (confirmed believers in global warming) admit that Al Gore got it wrong when he claimed in his film An Inconvenient Truth that it was being melted by global warming.

The idea that global warming was eroding the ice was described in 2000 in a paper by Professor Lonnie G. Thompson. Nobody agreed, though, and a long-term study published in American Scientist in 2007 by glaciologists Phillip W. Mote and Georg Kaser rebutted Thompson’s argument once and for all, showing that rising air temperatures were not shrinking the ice.

They found that from 1958 to 2007 temperatures fluctuated between -4 and -7 °C. There was no warming.

Mote and Kaser studied it and other equatorial mountains over many years and not only dismissed climate warming as a cause of the Kilimanjaro shrinkage, they excoriated it, saying: “Indeed, warming fails spectacularly to explain the behaviour of the glaciers and plateau ice on Africa’s Kilimanjaro massif” [emphasis added].

It cannot be stated any plainer than that.

So what IS causing the ice loss? Mote and Kaser observe that glaciers are complex environments. For example, snowfall varies, which affects the amount of solar radiation reaching the glacier. There are other factors, too, which all need careful study to understand what’s happening, but the major factor appears to be deforestation around Kilimanjaro, reducing the water vapour that causes rain and snow on the mountain.

They ask: “Is Kilimanjaro’s ice cap doomed? It may be.” But then, incredibly, they describe how atmospheric warming could help snowfall remain on the icecap and actually increase its size, adding: “Ironically, substantial global warming accompanied by an increase in precipitation might be one way to save Kilimanjaro’s ice.”

The Kilimanjaro summit environment is not as one-dimensional as climate change activists would have us believe, and it is not difficult to discover this. Mr Patinkin was not nearly so diligent as he is meant to be.

Kindly require him to issue corrections to his story or I shall be obliged to complain to the NZ Press Council. This is official notice of a complaint about inaccuracy.

Thank you.

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group
https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/

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Pete RidleyAlexander KMaggy WassilieffAndySimon Recent comment authors
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LukesAreWrongToo
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LukesAreWrongToo

DR HANS JELBRING CRITICIZES PSI SLAYERS and RESIGNS, RECOMMENDING that DOUG COTTON BE HEEDED. In an email Hans wrote … “The essence of science is to be able to have a discourse and discuss pro and cons about hypotheses and theories especially if you claim that the organization you represent has the intention to reach a standard that is at a scientific level. I have found that leading members of PSI show little will to discuss scientific matters and to leave out personal emotions making it close to impossible to have a meaningful dialog. “Doug Cotton might behave in a miserable way showing his anger towards certain scientists and PSI. Still, the book he has published contains many arguments which deserve a serious and thorough investigation. This is why I have recommended a number of Australian politicians to read what he writes. Much of it is essential in the debate of the IPCC false claims and even the future economies of western countries and even more. ” THE SUN’S DIRECT RADIATION CANNOT EXPLAIN SURFACE TEMPERATURES. You can’t assume (like Postma and Bright-Paul) that the mean of 168W/m^2 could produce a mean temperature above… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Doug, >”It is NOT radiation that supplies all the necessary thermal energy to maintain a planet’s surface temperature” No, but solar energy is an input to the equation, not just for the surface but for any altitude in the entire troposphere: The Greenhouse Equation We show that the entire 33°C greenhouse effect that raises Earth’s equilibrium temperature with the Sun of -18C or 255K up to +15C or 288K at the surface, and the temperature at any height in the atmosphere from the surface to top of the troposphere (above which the atmosphere is too thin to sustain convection), can be fully explained by the following equation, which I’m calling “the greenhouse equation”: Equation http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xXJOurldG_E/VHjjbD6XinI/AAAAAAAAGx8/8yXlYh8Lcr4/s1600/The%2BGreenhouse%2BEquation%2B-%2BSymbolic%2Bsolution%2BP.png which solves T as a function of mass/pressure/gravity for which none of the variables are dependent upon radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, and for which the only radiative forcing we require to reproduce the entire tropospheric temperature profile is that from the Sun. Note none of the constants and variables on the right side of the greenhouse equation are related to GHG radiative forcing, and temperature does not appear on the right side of the equation and thus… Read more »

Mike Jowsey
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Mike Jowsey

Aside from the off-topic hijacking above, well done RT on an excellent debunking. We await a response with interest.

Simon
Guest
Simon

You are criticising the phrasing of a sub-heading inserted by a copy editor. Jason Patinkin’s article is factually correct. All the way through the article Jason attributes the receding glaciers with climate change which you misleadingly interpret as warming.
Good luck with your complaint to the Press Council. Maybe you could set up a charitable trust and sue the NZ Herald as well. Get one of your learned friends to be legal counsel and you won’t have any legal costs. Just don’t be too prolix.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Jason Patinkin is a journalist based in East Africa. This is a syndicated piece via AP

Andy
Guest
Andy

I note that the piece that is lifted from AP is completed with a note from the sponsor – Emirates – on how to fly there.

The Emirates ad would probably be the only input from The Herald, apart from writing the cheque to AP

It still amazes me that people buy newspapers here.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I mean, do you speak between your lines, so to speak?

I agree that the Herald still has a responsibility for accuracy, even for syndicated pieces

I am as confused as you about Simon’t claim that the glacial recession is due to “climate change”.
What is it?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Simon is channelling Humpty Dumpty RT – seems to be warmy trait. >”All the way through the article Jason attributes the receding glaciers with climate change which you misleadingly interpret as warming.” This places you as Alice RT (no offence): ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ Apparently Warmer World isn’t, it’s Wonder Land. Not surprizing given the UN FCCC and IPCC disagree on their climate change definition. The IPCC’s primary climate change criteris might be helpful to resolve the issue: FAQ 2.1, Box 1: What is Radiative Forcing? [A] – “The word radiative arises because these factors change the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation within the Earth’s atmosphere. This radiative balance [‘measured at the top of the atmosphere’] controls the Earth’s surface temperature” And, [B] – “When radiative forcing [‘measured at the top of the atmosphere’] from a factor… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”Not surprizing given the UN FCCC and IPCC disagree on their climate change definition” UNFCCC: Definitions of climate change Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. https://unfccc.int/files/press/backgrounders/application/pdf/press_factsh_science.pdf # # # Note the violation of the Clausius statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see upthead) in the very first paragraph of the “fact” sheet: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) describes the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the 20th century as resulting ‘from the growing use of… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

I’m confused too as to where RT’s deforestation theory came from. It’s not in any of his links or the scientific literature that I have seen. There could be an effect there, but I am sceptical that would be the sole cause. Most papers blame ‘climate change’. Of course, large scale deforestation can cause climate change too.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Found it. Yet another myth propagated by the Heartland Institute.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=157
When will you guys ever learn?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Also in the 2011 UN FCCC “fact” sheet:

“The warming for the next 20 years is projected to be about 0.2°C per decade.”

This was where they threw the IPCC CO2-forced climate models under a bus when they discovered the 21st Century trend (their acknowledged ‘Hiatus’) was nowhere near their CO2-forced model’s trajectory. The model mean is just over 0.3°C per decade.

Meanwhile, the 2015/16 El Nino “warming”, claimed for AGW/MMCC by Schmidt, Rahmstorf and Co, is dissipating to space in accordance with the Kelvin-Planck statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see upthread) i.e. even their “0.2°C per decade” is in jeopardy, as is their entire conjecture.

And Gaia forbid, cooling kicking in within the next 20 years (2011 – 2031) as per the solar conjecture (start looking mid-2020s).

Me, I’m going with the laws of thermodynamics – not UN WMO, FCCC, IPCC violations of such.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Simon >”Found it. Yet another myth propagated by the Heartland Institute. [linl] When will you guys ever learn” When will YOU ever learn Simon? What you have “found” (Pierrehumbert’s essay) is out of date: Throughout the Tropics, glaciers are in retreat. Well-documented examples include Quelccaya [Thompson, et al. 1993], Huascaran [Byers, 2000; Kaser and Osmaston,2002], Zongo and Chacaltaya [Francou,et al 2003; Wagnon et al. 1999] in S. America; and the Lewis, Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro (more properly, Kibo) glaciers in East Africa [Hastenrath, 1984; Kaser and Osmaston, 2002]” Read RT’s post for subsequent events (his emphasis in particular): “The idea that global warming was eroding the ice was described in 2000 in a paper by Professor Lonnie G. Thompson. Nobody agreed, though, and a long-term study published in American Scientist in 2007 by glaciologists Phillip W. Mote and Georg Kaser rebutted Thompson’s argument once and for all, showing that rising air temperatures were not shrinking the ice. They found that from 1958 to 2007 temperatures fluctuated between -4 and -7 °C. There was no warming. Mote and Kaser studied it and other equatorial mountains over many years and not only dismissed climate warming as… Read more »

Maggy Wassilieff
Guest
Maggy Wassilieff

Here’s a link to a recent paper on the loss of ice on Kilimanjaro… lead by an Otago geographer.

“A century of ice retreat on Kilimanjaro: the mapping reloaded
Cullen et al. 2013: The Cryosphere 7: 419-431

http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/419/2013/tc-7-419-2013.pdf

Maggy Wassilieff
Guest
Maggy Wassilieff

Here’s a more popular account of Cullen’s work on Kilimanjaro.
Doesn’t look like settled science to me.
http://www.otago.ac.nz/profiles/otago015748.html

Mike Jowsey
Guest
Mike Jowsey

Thanks Maggie – a good article indeed.

If you look at the physical processes responsible for glacial retreat on Kilimanjaro it becomes evident that moisture variability controls the observed retreat as much, or more, than any change in air temperature.

Alexander K
Guest
Alexander K

Andy,
re your surprise ‘that anyone buys newspapers these days’, looking at the increasingly parlous sate of MSM dead tree incomes tells it all.

Pete Ridley
Guest
Pete Ridley

Ref. the comment by Doug Cotton (under the guise of lukesarewrongtoo) – you may find of interest the review and comments relating to Dougy’s booklet “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” and the blog articles on which it is based ( see https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3L4RWMLCPUD1O/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1478729228

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