Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cold Wave death toll cross 200. Why this "Kolaveri Di"? Where's my global warming dude?

[Why this Kolaveri Di (Why this murderous rage), a Tamil song, released on 16 November 2011, instantly became viral on social networking sites. Within a few weeks, YouTube honoured the video with a Recently Most Popular Gold Medal Award for receiving the largest number of hits in a short time]

“When political correctness substitutes for science, the results are sure to be illogical.  Global warming is an outcome in search of a cause — a solution in search of a problem.  The pre-ordained outcome is government control and taxation of all industrial activity. 

So now, the search is on for any evidence, real or imaginary, that industrial activity is harmful to the environment.  So far, the only "proof" of future warming has come from computer generated forecasts, which can be easily manipulated to show just about anything.” (Tony Akdart)  
Global warming is real, happening right now and accelerating. Besides, the warmist brigade of the likes of the Centre and Science & Environment (CSE), Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, Action Aid, ChristianAid etc never let us forget that the debate is “over” and the science is “settled”.  These warmists demonstrate a reflexive tendency to assume the worst-case scenarios generated by climate models are true. So in order to “peg global temperature rise to 2 degree”, they want to reorder public policies and priorities by all kinds of taxation and regulating our energy technological options. They even unleashed their plans to make our agriculture "climate smart' by adapting to rising temperatures". 

In a nutshell, according to climate alarmists, without fossil fuels the world will be transformed into the Gaian's ecotopian vision of small sustainable human settlements, surrounded by protected wild-lands, and governed by some sort of one world government. The late Dr. Steven Schneider, Stanford Professor of Biology and Global Change was among the earliest and most vocal proponents of man-made global warming. He is most famous for stating that climatologists should only present the most dramatic and frightening scenarios and find their own balance between truth and lies. He has been a lead author of many IPCC reports, and was the editor of “Scientists on Gaia" in which he states "the Gaia Hypothesis has now become established in mainstream science." In 1988 he also organised the first international conference to discuss "Gaia and Science".

So far so good they may have thought. Except that the Greek mythological goddess, Gaia apparently had no part in this conspiracy taking place in her name. But Gaia it seems is not without a sense of humour and always gets her way with lunatics taking her name in vain. For several years now, we climate sceptics have amusedly eyed a phenomenon known as “The Gore Effect” to give our arguments against global warming a tinge of humour. “The Gore Effect” is a concept suggesting a causal relationship between unseasonable cold weather phenomena and meetings associated with global warming, with particular emphasis on events attended by ex US Vice-President, Al Gore. For instance as Gore landed in Copenhagen to attend the UN Climate Summit two years, over four inches of snow fell in Copenhagen as temperatures dipped below freezing. Denmark, the hosts of the summit had consequently a White Christmas, which occurred only seven times in the last 100 years.

This year winter had a mild start within the Northern Hemisphere. This warmed many warmist hearts, tempting many to go back to their old and evil habit of linking each and every event to global warming. And sure enough, Gaia’s sense of humour expressed itself by bringing a sudden pattern change in global winter, the harshness of which, catching climate alarmists off guard. Temperatures in most parts of India are now running 5-15 degrees C below normal.  Such was “Kolavehe ri Di" (killer rage), winter has taken over 200 lives within the country as of now. But India is not alone in the world in facing a harsh winter. Just short list how naughty winter has been so far in various parts of the world:

- A record 18 feet snow storm dump, buried an Alsakan town who needed the US National Guards to be called out for their rescue!

- Record snow forced snow resorts in Austrian Alps to close down! (Yes, you heard right)

- Dal Lake in Jammu & Kashmir froze, enabling children and adults use it as a cricket pitch!

- In Western Europe, warmist media till a few days was mockingly asking where winter was and speculating whether spring had already arrived months early.  They will have their answers by this Thursday when an arctic blast will plunge UK and large swathes of Western Europe below minus 10 deg C and mercilessly crush all the unseasonal flower blooms seen this month!

-  Himachal Pradesh, a state that is going to polls later in the year and whose government faces huge anti-incumbency, suddenly found a reason to smile. Almost their entire state lay covered by snow, even the plains, not normally conducive environment for snow. Sensing an opportunity to boost their flagging economy, the government hard sold snow tourism during prime time national TV. A day later they took off these advertisements as the purpose was served. All flights to and hotel capacity in the state were booked for a full two months!

But that's all the good news. Now for the bad news. Winter might be late but it is here now and should be staying around at least till early March, if not longer.  The La Nina appears to have peaked but its cooling effect on global temperatures should be felt right through to September and perhaps beyond that too. The strongly positive phase of two climate phenomena - the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and its cousin North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) were responsible for much of the earlier mild winter in the Northern Hemisphere. A pattern change has now come about as both are now alternating between their respective weakly positive and negative indices which should explain why much of Northern Hemisphere are now experiencing largely unsettled weather conditions. As and when the AO and/or NAO turns strongly negative, this is when we could see winter's real "Kolaveri Di". However, the behaviour of the AO or NAO is extremely unpredictable, which is why they are often termed as "wild cards" to the winter. But as of now, the odds greatly favour them going strongly negative very shortly.

Cold Wave's "Kolaveri Di"

The cold wave, from being confined to the North and North West as traditionally, has now enveloped almost the entire length and breadth of the Indian sub-continent. This week it reached as far down as the southern state of Karnataka. Temperature records tumbled in many places to 100 year lows; with Madikeri (Coorg) registering it’s lowest in 132 years at 4.8 degrees C.  Mysore had its coldest day in 120 years at 7.7 degrees C while Bangalore recorded its coldest day of January in the past 19 years with minimum temperature touching 12 degrees C. The outskirts of Bangalore like Bengaluru International Airport area touched below 10 degrees C and GKVK (Agriculture University) was freezing at 8.4 degrees C.
The temperature in the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad dipped suddenly to 9.3 against 11 degrees Celsius in the last three days. Bijapur recorded the lowest ever minimum temperature at 8.4 degrees Celsius. Even Gadag was chilly at 12 degrees Celsius against 14, which was recorded in the last two days. Haveri recorded 9 degrees Celsius on Monday. The Sun cities of North-Karnataka region -Koppal, Gulbarga and Raichur were greeted by biting cold with Raichur recording 9 degrees Celsius and Gulbarga 12 degrees Celsius. In the plains, Belgaum was the coldest at 7.2 degrees Celsius.

B Puttanna, director, in-charge, Bangalore MET department told the Times of India:
“The severe cold wave from the North and North-East, combined with clear skies, has appreciably brought down the minimum temperatures across the state. Also the shorter day time and longer nights have reduced the radiation on Earth's surface...Last week, the temperatures in Karnataka were above normal. But this week after the severe cold wave affected North India, the temperatures in various parts of the state have gone down by 7-9 degrees Celsius.''
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the temperature in most of the 23 districts is three to nine degrees below normal. At least 13 districts are reeling under severe cold as the mercury fell to below 10 degrees Celsius. The intensity of the cold has surprised all. The southern state, known for its tropical weather, never heard of deaths due to cold wave. And still 15 cold wave deaths have so far been reported. The night temperature at Lambasinghi, a tribal hamlet in Visakhapatnam district, fell below zero degrees Celsius with further reports suggesting that some forest habitations in the district have virtually turned into a Kashmir. The mercury in Chintapalli tribal belt of Visakhapatnam is hovering between one and 1.5 degree Celsius for the last four days. People in Adilabad district of Telangana shivered as the night temperature fell to below five degrees. The district bordering Maharashtra recorded a temperature of 4.2 degrees, the lowest in over 100 years. The coastal district of Srikakulam recorded nine degrees, the lowest in decades. The coastal city of Visakhapatnam also registered 11.2 degrees, the lowest in 50 years.

Cold wave conditions have spread to Eastern India too with dense fog conditions blocking incoming solar radiation and bringing down day temperatures. Cold wave conditions continued to hold over many parts of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh for a couple of days.

Kolkata on Saturday shivered under intense cold with the mercury dipping further to 10.2 degrees Celsius (four degrees below normal), as almost all West Bengal districts were reeling under cold wave sweeping the state. Darjeeling was coldest in the state with the mercury sliding two degrees below freezing point. Mercury further dips in Kolkata, cold wave in WBNorthern districts of Jalpaiguri recorded minimum temperature at 10.1 degrees Celsius, Coochbehar at 9.1 degrees, while Dum Dum in south Bengal was cold at 9.4 degrees and Krishnagar at 7.1 degrees Celsius.

In Orrisa, a cold wave continued to sweep with the morning and night temperatures slipping to below normal for this time of the season. Phulbani town in Kandhamal district recorded a minimum temperature of 5.4 degrees Celsius. Similar low temperatures were recorded in Titilagarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Bolangir, Sundergarh and Baripada districts. At least 20 cold wave deaths were reported from the state.

Where's my global warming dude?

Where's my global warming dude? I ask all around but get no answer.

The warmist brigade - Centre and Science & Environment (CSE), Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, Action Aid, ChristianAid etc all seem to have all gone underground! Try as you want but you will find none brave enough to comment on the plunging temperatures in the country (running 5-10 deg C below normal). Their websites are running while you can't find the word climate change anywhere in their contents! The truth is that climate alarmists get extremely embarrassed by weather like this. They go a little quiet, and hibernate until the next heat wave.

They’ll probably retort now that it is about climate not weather. Indeed it is. Yet they tend to go on an overdrive when the weather suits their narrative and silent when the records don’t suit. The other argument you could probably hear from them is that global warming creates cooling. Assuming so, then all their worries - Arctic sea ice; Himalayan glaciers melting away; sea level rises - disappears and so does the very cause they espouse. This is why we climate sceptics have just having a ball by simply watching the alarmist discomfiture. 

And yet, warmists often like to project an image of themselves as some sort of a modern (the Greek mythical) Cassandra. But they always fall flat as their dire prophecies were usually believed but were always wrong whereas Cassandra was never believed but were always right. A decade ago for example, warmists warned that snow will be thing of the past viz be extinct. This prophecy was falsified as this season will be the fourth consecutive winter for the northern hemisphere, third in a row for India. Worse still, instead of global warming accelerating, it is the cold that is accelerating!

Not one prediction of the UN-IPCC climate models has materialized but this dubious track record does not apparently deter warmists to make even more predictions about the climate. Just a few months ago, NGOs like Oxfam and ActionAid launched reports with big fanfare advocating "Climate Smart Agriculture". They claimed that global hunger is on the increase because agricultural productivity is declining due to rapidly rising temperatures. The poor they claimed just can't afford food due to food inflation arising of a demand-supply gap. Barbara Stoking, CEO of UK charity, Oxfam shocked the world by even claiming that "farms have gone bust".

These claims are now exposed as a bunch of untruths and outcomes of shoddy research or just plain ignorance. Global food commodity prices are on the retreat as also reflected in the softening of food prices in India. This fiscal, not only would India be registering an all time bumper food production, but global food production too is poised to turn in a similar performance, with gross hectarage under cultivation in the mid latitudes at record highs. Here goes another warmist prophesy biting the dust.

The impact of any advocacy hinges on credibility of its provider which someone defined as “the quality of being believable or trustworthy." It is very difficult to build credibility, and, needless to say, it is very easy to damage. Miller (1997). It is rather unfortunate to find NGOs like Oxfam who built up a huge amount of public credibility over decades, throwing it all away by practicing a type of advocacy that only succeeds in painting them as buffoons.

Rather than demonstrate that the science is unbiased and credible by acknowledging the uncertainty, NGOs like Oxfam have resorted to outrageous scare tactics and apocalyptic projections. Climate is a complex science and to pretend NGOs have this expertise as their core competence is an exercise in delusion. But perhaps more tragic is that they threw away their legitimacy to speak for developing countries and the poor by peddling "climate" solutions that have accentuated poverty and hunger in the world. Saving the ‘environment’ has become more important policy imperative than human life itself. Climate Smart Agriculture is one such solution, the other being renewable energy.

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