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2011 Thailand floods not caused by climate change say NOAA and UK Met Office; US cutting back on climate data collection, scientists protest; countless security breaches at NASA in recent yrs., unencrypted laptops stolen, computers with top secret info hacked, Obama appointee still in charge because no one cares

November 27, 2012

7/10/12, “Back-to-back La Niñas cooled globe and influenced extreme weather in 2011, NOAA

“New NOAA-led report examines climate conditions experienced around the world”

Two back-to-back La Niñas, each characterized by cooler-than-average water temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, affected regional climates and influenced many of the world’s significant weather events throughout the year. These included historic droughts in East Africa, the southern United States and northern Mexico. La Niña conditions contributed to an above-average tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic hurricane basin and a below-average season in the Eastern North Pacific. It was also associated with the wettest two-year period (2010–2011) on record in Australia, which was particularly remarkable as the wet conditions followed a decade-long dry spell….

Climate change cannot be shown to have played any role in the 2011 floods on the Chao Phraya River that flooded Bangkok, Thailand. Although the flooding was unprecedented, the amount of rain that fell in the river “catchment” area was not very unusual.

Other factors, such as changes in reservoir policies and increased construction on the flood plain,

were found most relevant in setting the scale of the disaster.

The paper, Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective, was produced by NOAA and UK Met Offices scientists as well as numerous colleagues around the world. It was edited by Thomas Peterson, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center; Peter Stott, UK Met Office-Hadley Center; and Stephanie Herring, NOAA’sOffice of Program Planning and Integration. The study can be viewed online.”

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NASA says summer 2012 Arctic Ice melt was largely due to a big storm:

9/21/12, “NASA says Arctic cyclone played “key role” in record ice melt (0:47),” Reuters

Weather data collected by NASA suggests that this summer’s record Arctic ice melt may have been partially due to a powerful cyclone that scientists say ”wreaked havoc” on ice cover during the month of August. Rob Muir reports.”

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More on the science of the 2012 Arctic storm:

9/24/12, “NASA finally admits it Arctic cyclone in August ‘broke up’ and ‘wreaked havoc’ on sea ice — Reuters reports Arctic storm played ‘key role’ in ice reduction,” Climate Depot, Marc Morano

NASA: ‘The cyclone remained stalled over the arctic for several dayspushing [sea ice] south to warmer waters where it melted'”

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How the 2012 Arctic summer storm effected the ice:

8/9/12, “A Closer Look at Ice Impacts of a Rare Arctic Summer Storm,” Dot Earth, Andrew Revkin

I got in touch with William Chapman, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, researcher who maintains the Cryosphere Today Web site, which was a source for some of the content on the Arctic Sea Ice blog. Below you can read his “Your Dot” description of the storm and analysis of its possible repercussions.”…

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AMA paper finds Antarctic Sea Ice models have underestimated recent observations:

2012, “An Initial Assessment of Antarctic Sea Ice Extent in the CMIP5 Models,” Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Assn. John Turner, Tom Bracegirdle, Tony Phillips, Gareth J. Marshall, and J. Scott Hosking,  British Antarctic Survey, National Environment Research Council, Cambridge, UK.

The paper is summarized below including a relevant graph…
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A recent paper in the Journal of Climate finds that most climate models erroneously predict that Antarctic sea ice extent decreased over the past 30 years, which “differs markedly from that observed.”  As noted in the abstract, Antarctic sea ice has confounded the models by instead increasing over the satellite era. In fact, it is currently at a record extent that is more than 2 standard deviations above the 1979-2000 average. The authors lament, “The negative [Antarctic sea ice] trends in most of the model runs over 1979 – 2005 are a continuation of an earlier decline, suggesting that the processes responsible for the observed increase over the last 30 years are not being simulated correctly.”…
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9/21/12, “Polar sea ice could set ANOTHER record this year,” UK Register, Lewis Page

The world’s media is extremely excited at the thirty-year record low extent of sea ice at the North Pole which occurred just days ago: but almost nobody is reporting on the fact that something almost equally unusual is going on down around the coasts of Antarctica.

Even as the Arctic sea ice starts to grow again from its summery shrunken condition, the austral ice at the planet’s other pole may have yet to reach its wintery peak extent. As the graph [below] shows, at the moment it is much larger than normal for the time of year, and depending on what happens in the next week or so it might hit a record high. There has already been a point at which a record for that date occurred, and only a handful of higher daily satellite readings have ever been taken.”….

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Scientists protest NOAA cut backs on climate measurement capabilities:

NOAA has stopped measuring greenhouse gas levels at a dozen ground stations, eliminated some aircraft monitoring and cut the frequency of remaining measurements in half.”... Researchers’ protest published in Science Mag.

9/4/12, “NOAA: Budget woes force a halt to climate monitoring at 12 ground stations,” eenews.net, Lauren Morello

The federal government is cutting back its ability to monitor greenhouse gas emissions, and scientists are crying foul.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spends roughly $6 million per year to sample carbon dioxide, methane and nearly 20 other gases using a global network of ground stations, tall towers and aircraft….

The cuts come at a time when governments are pushing for more detailed information about sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. Scientists say the decision to shrink NOAA’s monitoring network — the world’s largest — threatens their ability to provide those answers.

“The reality is that countries are making commitments that will cost millions, if not billions, of investment in climate-related work, and governments want more certainty about what’s happening, what other countries are doing,” said Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project. “We barely have enough to provide what a lot of agencies are asking for. The prospect of having fewer sampling stations around the world is a frightening one.”

Canadell is one of more than 50 researchers who signed a letter, published last week in the journal Science, warning that additional cuts to NOAA’s monitoring program could harm U.S. national security and render useless the hundreds of millions of dollars that several nations, including the United States, have spent developing new CO2-monitoring satellites.

Cuts could reverberate internationally

Continuous measurements of atmospheric CO2, carbon monoxide and methane form the backbone of NOAA’s monitoring network. They are collected at the agency’s six observatories — in Hawaii, Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, American Samoa and California — and seven tall towers scattered across the United States.

NOAA supplements those measurements with air samples collected regularly in flasks on the ground and in the air, which provide information about a broader range of gases and help expand geographic coverage that helps scientists understand local variations in greenhouse gas output.

The majority of the monitoring sites are run by “volunteers” who submit samples and data to NOAA at no cost. At other sites, the agency must pay for measurements — like air samples collected in flasks during regular flights of small, private planes

at 15 U.S. sites.

Those pay-to-play sites were first on the chopping block when the recent budget cuts began. Now, with NOAA managers anticipating a 5 percent budget reduction in fiscal 2013, scientists in and out of the agency say they’re worried that the greenhouse gas monitoring program will be forced to cut personnel.

Many say they’re concerned that if NOAA’s program continues to shrink, monitoring efforts in other countries could suffer. In addition to operating the largest global network measuring greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances, NOAA maintains standards that ensure other countries doing similar work are of high quality and in compatible formats.

The U.S. effort has served as a model — and a continuing reference — for programs in Europe, China, India and Brazil. …

Satellite data ‘wasted’ without ground monitoring

Japan’s GOSAT, now in orbit, and NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, still in development, are designed to provide regular measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide in places ground measurements have not reached.

According to recent reports by the National Academy of Sciences and JASON, an independent group of scientists that advises the government, that kind of satellite coverage will be crucial to determine whether individual nations comply with emissions cuts outlined in future climate pacts.

But satellites cannot supplant ground-based monitoring networks, said Sander Houweling, an atmospheric scientist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who helped organize the Science letter.

“In the foreseeable future, it is not going to be like that,” Houweling said. “With measurements from satellites, we have to learn how to make sure they are on the same scale as ground-based measurements. In the current phase, we are exploring how to make use of measurements taken from space.”

Canadell of the Global Carbon Project agreed. “This is not threatening the need for these atmospheric, high-precision measurements,” he said. “To the contrary, it makes them even more critical. Otherwise, these hundreds of millions of dollars we spend on every single satellite get wasted.“”

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11/29/2009, “Shocker – CRU’s Jones: GISS is inferior,” WUWT, A. Watts

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NOAA admits it “corrects” data

6/13/12, “Doctored Data, Not U.S. Temperatures, Set a Record This Year,” Forbes, James Taylor

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Constant security breaches at NASA in recent years:

11/14/12, “NASA Suffers “Large” Data Breach Affecting Employees, Contractors, and Others, spectrum.ieee.org, R. Charette

Yesterday, NASA sent a message to all NASA employees informing them of a data breach involving an agency stolen laptop.

According to the NASA message posted at SpaceRef.com, “On October 31, 2012, a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to a Headquarters employee were stolen from the employee’s locked vehicle. The laptop contained records of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) for a large number of NASA employees, contractors, and others. Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals. We are thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident, and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees.”

The message goes on to state that NASA will be sending letters to affected individuals, once the agency figures out who they are, which may take up to 60 days. Those individuals receiving letters will be offered a free credit and ID monitoring service….NASA plans to have all of its laptops running whole disk encryption software by 21 December 2012….

Why it has taken so long for NASA to finally decide to fully encrypt its laptops remains a mystery, given its long-time poor record on IT security. As noted at NASA Watch, NASA has a 

history of laptops with personally identifiable information being stolen, one as recently as March.

Maybe NASA decided to act this time because it involved a NASA Headquarters’ person who in all likelihood is very senior and should have known better than to possess a laptop with no data encryption.”

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To protect Obama, BBC headline won’t even say laptop was stolen, just lost. The headline should be that Americans are in grave danger from within and without and no one cares. 48 devices lost or stolen between 4/2009 and 4/2011. Obama appointee promised in March 2012 to have laptops encrypted but failed to do so.

11/15/12, “NASA to encrypt data after its latest laptop loss,” BBC

“US space agency Nasa has ordered that the data on all its laptops must be encrypted, after losing another one of its portable computers. Until the process is complete, it has forbidden staff from removing Nasa-issued laptops containing sensitive information from its facilities.

The order follows the loss of a device containing “sensitive personally identifiable information”.  
There have been several similar incidents over recent years.

Nasa said the latest incident had occurred on 31 October, when a laptop and documents were stolen from a locked vehicle of one of its employees at Nasa headquarters in Washington DC. The machine was password protected, but the agency acknowledged that the information might still be accessible to hackers since it was not encrypted.

Encryption would have scrambled the data, requiring a complicated code to make it understandable again. As a result, Nasa has warned its workers to watch out for bogus messages.
“All employees should be aware of any phone calls, emails, and other communications from individuals claiming to be from Nasa or other official sources that ask for personal information or verification of it,” an agency-wide email published by news site Spaceref stated.

“Because of the amount of information that must be reviewed and validated electronically and manually, it may take up to 60 days for all individuals impacted by this breach to be identified and contacted.”…

The Nasa Watch blog, which comments on affairs at the agency, had previously criticised it for a series of other data losses.

It noted that the organisation had been warned in 2009 that it was not taking enough steps to sufficiently protect information and had reported the loss or theft of 48 of its mobile computing devices between April 2009 and April 2011.

his is not the first time Nasa has promised action to address the problem.

In March, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden told the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce that he was going to sign a directive ordering all portable devices to use encryption, after acknowledging the agency was “woefully deficient” when compared to other government departments.”

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3/2/12, NASA says it was hacked 13 times last year,” Reuters

NASA said hackers broke into its computer systems 13 times last year, stealing employee credentials and gaining access to mission-critical projects in breaches that could compromise U.S. national security.”…

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2/16/10, “NASA plans more outreach to Muslim countries,” Orlando Sentinel, M. Matthews

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Goldman Sachs made a big gamble on CO2 terror:

CO2 endangerment has been the justification for diverting hundreds of billions of hard-earned tax dollars for over 2 decades at the expense of human beings.

The entire theory of catastrophic human-caused climate change/global warming rests on the notion that humans are creating too much CO2 and that it’s killing people. A commodity trading market was even created just to trade carbon dioxide “offsets” for the alleged purpose of lowering CO2 in the atmosphere. This hasn’t happened but CO2 traders still have billions at stake in it. Without the US as a practical and philosophical partner in “CO2 terror,” world carbon markets would likely go bankrupt. This would be bad news for Goldman Sachs and many others.

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7/24/11, “Media Myth Debunked: Almost No Temperature Records Broken in Last Week’s ‘Record-Breaking Heat’,” Newsbusters.org, Noel Sheppard

All last week, global warming-obsessed media were rife with reports about record-breaking heat.

Problem is, according to the National Climatic Data Center and marvelously reported by the Hockey Schtick Sunday,

  • almost no temperature records were actually broken.”…

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11/22/12, “NCDC Inflating US Temperatures,” Paul Homewood, Not a lot of people know that

On a more local level, I have shown NOAA’s claim, that Virginia broke the state record temperature for July this year, simply was not borne out by the actual temperature records.

One of the problems many of us encounter is that NOAA seem very reluctant to divulge how they actually arrive at their results. When I challenged NOAA’s Deke Arndt about this, he admitted he did not know himself and could not replicate the calculation for Virginia in 1934, as I had asked.

But we don’t have to take their word for it. Satellite measurements by both UAH and RSS provide atmospheric temperature data for the USA 48. According to them, the temperature increase from last year to this year is not as great as NOAA have made out.”… via  “NCDC Inflating US Temperatures,” Real Science, 11/23/12

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