Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Several readers of last week’s TWTW commented that TWTW may be giving too much credit to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and others, by stating standard greenhouse theory projects that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) may cause an increase in temperatures of about 1.2 deg C. The comments centered on the omission of a discussion of negative feedbacks. The comments were well taken. The calculated effect is derived from experiments under very simplified conditions. How the earth responds to an increase in temperatures from an increase in CO2 is another matter entirely.

The IPCC orthodoxy assumes that the earth will amplify the slight warming from an increase in CO2, a net positive feedback. To the orthodoxy, the climate system is unstable. The models used by the IPCC project the amplified warming will occur from an increase in water vapor over the tropics, water vapor having a strong greenhouse effect. These projections are not supported by empirical investigation and remain nothing more than speculative assumptions.

Other researchers suggest that the net feedback response will be negative, resulting in a warming less than the theoretically calculated warming. They consider that the climate system is inherently stable, and tends to dampen changes in temperatures rather than amplify them. Researchers continue to face a vexing problem. Clouds can vary as a feedback to temperature and for reasons other than temperature. When they vary for reasons other than temperature they cause temperature changes. Disentangling the difference from the data is a real problem. Thus far, the net negative feedback hypothesis also needs empirical verification.

Several other natural influences add to the problem of understanding climate change. One is natural oscillations in the earth’s climate system, such as, the oscillations of the oceans, which may lead researchers to falsely project that a short term trend is indicative of a long term trend. The 50 year time period covered by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) is considered by many researchers as being too short. It covers a period of net warming and ignores periods of cooling. In AR4, the IPCC essentially ignored the Medieval Warm Period, now increasingly empirically demonstrated, and its findings cannot explain the cooling of the Little Ice Age.

Another possible natural influence is external to the earth – the solar-cosmic ray hypothesis whereby cosmic rays, modulated by solar wind and solar magnetism, influence the low lying cloud cover over the earth, more low level clouds cause a cooling. This influence was discussed in last week’s TWTW as well.

There is much to be learned, and contrary to the IPCC, and others, the science is not settled. Unfortunately, scientific funding by governments appears to be focused on model simulation supporting preconceived views rather than the development of scientific theory by hypothesis testing.
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Quote of the Week:

“[T]he sign [positive or negative] of the climate change radiative feedback associated with the combined effects of dynamical and temperature changes on extratropical clouds is still unknown.” [Emphasis added.] IPCC AR4, WG1, p 637

Number of the Week: 90 to 99 percent certain. The percentage of certainty stated by the EPA that human emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are the primary cause of recent warming and are harmful to human health and welfare.
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EPA: Several readers have suggested that TWTW is unduly harsh on the US EPA. Now that litigation filings have been submitted to the court, it is opportune to discuss some of EPA justifications for its finding that GHG emissions, namely CO2, endanger human health and welfare (Endangerment Rule, ER).

EPA claims a 90 to 99% confidence in its ER that is based on three lines of evidence: 1) its “basic physical understanding” of the climate system, 2) output from computer models, and 3) recent temperatures are unusual in climate history. As discussed above and in the last TWTW, the second justification is absurd. The models have never been validated. Anyone familiar with climate history will know the third claimed line of evidence is simply false.

EPA’s claim of basic physical understanding of the climate system is unfounded, as the quote of the week illustrates. Moreover, Table 2.11 in Appendix C, of Working Group 1, in the AR4 gives levels of understanding of various possible “forcings” (influences) on climate (temperatures). The influence of natural (ocean) oscillations and solar wind and magnetism are not considered. Of the 16 influences considered, the table states the level of understanding for each influence: for 5 influences the Level of Understanding (LOU) is very low, for 6 influences the LOU is low, for 2 the LOU is medium to low, for 2 the LOU is medium, and for one, GHG, it is high.

Given the methodology used by the IPCC, first to calculate natural influences and then, using these, to calculate human influences, including GHGs, it is scientifically impossible to derive a high level of understanding for the influence of GHGs. Using data with very low certainty, one cannot calculate a result and claim it has high certainty.

Another great inconsistency in the EPA-ER is use of different time periods to calculate a trend. EPA states that the failure of temperatures to rise since 1998 is too short and any trends may be misleading. Yet, elsewhere, EPA claims climate change is happening faster than previously estimated, global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher, Arctic sea ice melting faster, sea level rise more rapid, etc.

If anything, the lack of temperature change for over ten years would invalidate the models depended upon by the EPA, but these models have never been validated. The other issues may be responses to the current plateau. The alarmist view of the EPA ER is also repeated in the recent report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) that was discussed in the May 14, 2011, TWTW. The AMAP used six years of data (ignoring contradictory data) to project Arctic conditions ninety years hence. Among the alarmists, there is no scientific consensus of what constitutes a scientific trend.

The above are but a few of the scientific issues that demonstrate how far EPA has departed from modern empirical science in its ER and its justifications for it. Please see referenced articles under “Litigation Issues.”
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Extreme Weather: As suggested by Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP and Weather Bell, in an article referenced in the March 5, 2011, TWTW, this spring continues to be a harsh one for the southeastern and middle section of the United States. The indicators were not “global warming” but two cooling conditions. Cold conditions in the upper Mid-west, Canada, and the Ohio Valley caused major temperature differentials between those areas and the Gulf of Mexico. Temperature differences drive intense storms. The second condition was the cooling of the mid-Pacific due to a La Niña. Such conditions change the jet stream pattern, and tend to shift thunderstorms and tornadoes further to the southeast US than usual. Fortunately, for the southeast, but not for the Great Plains, the La Niña appears to be abating.

The flooding of the lower Mississippi continues to a large part from heavy flows from the Ohio River and now increased by storms in the Midwest. The Mississippi delta is flat, broad flood plain with extensive layers of sediments. What is not commonly understood is that the Mississippi delta does not start at or below New Orleans, but starts over 600 miles up-stream, roughly at the convergence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at Cairo, Illinois. Unlike the fan-like Nile alluvial delta, the Mississippi alluvial delta is very long and relatively narrow. Over its course the delta has a very gradual change in elevation, an average of less than 0.01 percent, resulting in a slow current during ordinary water levels. In the 1800s, large paddle-wheeled boats which had low power were able to navigate up the river.

When the levees are breached, whether they are natural or man-made, it takes a long time, often several months, before the flood waters fully recede from the flooded areas. Such is the plight of those whose homes and farms have been flooded by actions to protect cities and sacrifice rural areas.

Of course, the continuing extreme weather has brought out the usual chorus singing the dangers of global warming, failing to explain how carbon dioxide emissions caused the cold in the upper Midwest and Canada, and how it causes La Niñas. The chorus has been amplified by the usual main stream media alarmists. Fortunately, many meteorologists are standing up to the chorus. Please see articles referenced under “Extreme Weather.”
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Hurricanes: The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), among others, have forecast an above normal Atlantic hurricane season for the US. A politically conservative group challenged NOAA’s forecast with a group of 5th grade students. Tropical storm expert Ryan Maue chastised the conservative group for ridiculing the dedicated scientists and the scientific expertise needed to make hurricane forecasts.

Ryan Maue is correct. Dedicated scientists should not be so satirized. However, the leadership of NOAA invites ridicule. It classifies the hurricane forecasting group under the Climate Prediction Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA / National Weather Service. Weather forecasting (with rigorous empirical testing) and Climate / Environmental Prediction (without rigorous empirical testing) are not complementary disciplines.

At least, NOAA has replaced its recent, absurd slogan: “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. “

Now NOAA’s slogan is a bit more restrained, though still megalomaniac: “NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”

Please see articles referenced under “Extreme Weather.”

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ARTICLES:
For the numbered articles below please see:
http://www.sepp.org…

1. A religion without a God
By Derk Jan Eppink, Speech, Vaclav Klaus web site, May 26, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/2839…

2. Inconvenient Truths About ‘Renewable’ Energy
By Matt Ridley, WSJ, May 21, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703421…

3. The running out of resources myth
By Brian Lee Crowley, Financial Post, May 26, 2011
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/05/26/the-runn…

4. Value Adding in Australia – the Beginning of the End?
By Viv Forbes, WUWT, May 23, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/value-adding-i…

5. The Myth of Killer Mercury
Panicking people about fish is no way to protect public health.
By Willie Soon and Paul Driessen, WSJ, May 25, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703421…

6. Oil “subsidy” and “tax breaks” nonsense
By Paul Driessen, Canada Free Press, May 21, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/367…

7. My Experience With A Lack of Proper Diligence and Bias In the NSF Review Process for Climate Proposals
By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, May 26, 2011
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/…
[SEPP Comment: As summarized: Please see the complete post.]

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Did Quiet Sun Cause Little Ice Age After All?
By Govert Schilling, Science Now, May 26, 2011
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/05/did-qu…
[SEPP Comment by Fred Singer: Both Schrijver and Foukal are missing the main point. It is solar wind and magnetic activity that's important -- not sun spots or faculae. Increased cosmic ray incidence produced more cloudiness -- hence cooling.

Climategate Continued
Climategate Documents Confirm Wegman's hypothesis
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, May 23, 2011
http://climateaudit.org/2011/05/23/climategate-docum...

Challenging the Orthodoxy
Lord Turnbull Trashes the IPCC
By Donna Laframboise, No Consensus, May 26, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/05/26/lord-turnb…

The Personal Costs of Spurning Green Misanthropy
Book Review: By Daryl McCann, Quadrant, May 2011
http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/5/the…

Atlantic ‘conveyor belt’ current – still going strong
Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 22, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/22/atlantic-conve…

Polar Ice Rapture Misses Its Deadline
By James Taylor, Forbes, May 25, 2011
http://blogs.forbes.com/jamestaylor/2011/05/25/polar…

Defenders of the Orthodoxy
Freedom of information laws are used to harass scientists, says Nobel laureate
Sir Paul Nurse says climate scientists are being targeted by campaigns of requests designed to slow down their research
By Alok Jha, Guardian, UK, May 25, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/25/freed…
[SEPP Comment: Those making false, unsubstantiated claims should never be challenged? When have Freedom of Information laws been asserted prior to publication of results?]

A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never
By Bill McKibben, Washington Post, May 23, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-link-betwee…

Military advisors say climate change must factor into foreign policy
By Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle, May 24, 2011 [H/t Joe Bast]
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2011/05/military-adviso…
[SEPP Comment: Military advisors took the warming activist PEW climate change bait hook, line, and sinker, now cannot admit their gullibility.]

US promotes climate aid to skeptical Congress
By Staff Writers, AFP, May 25, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/US_promotes_climat…
[SEPP Comment: Federal agencies promoting a failed concept.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy
On The Road To Rio+20
OECD’s anti-Marshall Plan backs UN’s follow-up to Rio
By Peter Foster, Financial Post, May 26, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/05/26/peter-fo…

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?
Report a push for Australia carbon tax?
By Staff Writers, UPI, May 24, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Report_a_push_for_…
[SEPP Comment: Panic the public to achieve political control!]

Measurement Controversy
I Stick to the Science
By Michael Lemonick, Interview with Richard Muller, Scientific American, June 2011
http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/0…

Comments by Anthony Watts:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/scientific-ame…

Extreme Weather
The Tornado – Pacific Decadal Oscillation Connection
By Roy Spencer, his blog, May 25, 2011
http://www.drroyspencer.com/…

How to Make American Tornadoes
By John Steele Gordon, Commentary Magazine, May 24, 2011 [H/t Best of the Web]
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/05/24/how-to-…

No link between tornadoes and climate change: US
By Staff Writers, AFP, May 23, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/No_link_between_to…

Tornadoes and global warming – still no linkage
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 27, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/27/tornadoes-and-…

Mississippi’s floodbeaters
Editorial, IBD, May 23, 2011
http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/573…
[SEPP Comment: Why wait for the government to rescue you?]

NOAA 2011 Atlantic Season Outlook
Press Release, NOAA, May 19, 2011
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurri…

No Long-term Trend in Atlantic Hurricane Numbers
By Patrick Michaels, et al, World Climate Report, May 26, 2011
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/05/…

Litigation Issues
Joint Opening Brief of Non-State Petitioners and Supporting Intevenors v. EPA
Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al. May 20, 2011
http://www.nam.org/~/media/EB928803C0584BDA87D616CC7…

Brief of Texas for State Petitioners and Supporting Intervenors v. EPA
Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al. May 20, 2011
https://www.oag.state..tx.us/newspubs/releases/2011/0…

15 States Claim EPA Violated Clean Air Act with Endangerment Finding
By Staff Writers, Power News, May 25, 2011
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3747.html?hq_e=el&…
[SEPP Comment: So did many private organizations.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Chris Christie Strikes a Major Blow Against Cap-and-Trade
By Phil Kerpen, Fox News, May 26 2011
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/05/26/chris-chri…
[SEPP Comment: A small, first blow would better describe it.]

EPA asks NJ governor to reconsider decision to leave regional greenhouse gas initiative
By Angela Delli Santi, AP, May 26, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/ed66bd8a72904…
[SEPP Comment: EPA Administrator defending her pet project.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever
FERC grants transmission rate incentives
By Staff Writers, Wind Energy Update, May 16-23, 2011
http://social.windenergyupdate.com/weekly-brief/week…
[SEPP Comment: Additional ratepayer subsidies to offshore wind.]

EU hails UK decision to cut emissions by 50 percent
By Andrew Willis, EUobserver, May 18, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
http://euobserver.com/885/32350…
[SEPP Comment: Of course, but who pays the cost?]

EU steps up pressure for maritime emissions deal
By Andrew Willis, EUobserver, May 17, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
http://euobserver.com/885/32346…
[SEPP Comment: The emissions are minuscule compared with the emissions of China.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA’s green tyranny stifles America
By Rich Trzupek, Washington Examiner, May 25, 2011
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/05…

Mercury
By Donn Dears, Power America, May 24, 2011 [H/t Joe Bast]
http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/…
[SEPP Comment: The scientific concept of toxicity is totally lost on regulators such as the EPA.]

The United Nations-States Environmental Protection Agency
By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, May 27, 2011
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/the_un_s…
“In view of the rejection by the EPA of challenges to their endangerment finding, why would we be surprised to find that they have a long-term stake in the IPCC’s climate models and in the continuance of the IPCC itself.”

Environmental report raises public health, pollution concerns about Virginia coal-fired plant
By Staff Writers, AP, May 23, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/environmental…
[SEPP Comment: A report using EPA models devoid of scientific rigor is used to challenge affordable, needed electricity.]

EPA Admits Error in Proposed Mercury MACT Rule
By Staff Writers, Power News, May 25, 2011
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3746.html?hq_e=el&…
[SEPP Comment: Perhaps court challenges are affecting EPA's arrogance of invincibility.]

Next Generation Fuel Economy Sticker – To Boldly Label What No Agency Has Labeled Before
By Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads Digest, May 25, 2011
http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/05/25/next-generat…

Regulators on the March Around the World
Water isn’t the problem
Water reform does not have to be water torture
By Ron Pike, Quadrant, AU, May 27, 2011
http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/…

Energy Issues
Energy Myths of the Left
By Ross Kaminsky, American Spectator, May 27, 2011
http://spectator.org/archives/2011/05/27/energy-myth…
[SEPP Comment: And on the political Right]

Natural Gas a Natural Winner? Let the (Transportation) Market Decide!
By E. Calvin Beisner, Master Resource, May 24, 2011
http://www.masterresource.org/2011/05/natural-gas-na…

Nuclear Fears & Responses
Unusual earthquake gave Japan tsunami extra punch
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 27, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Unusual_earthquake…
[SEPP Comment: No one knows how to plan for the unknown, unknown.]

U.N. opens probe into crippled nuke plant
Cores likely melted at all three reactors
By Malcolm Foster & Mari Yamaguchi, AP, May 25, 2011
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/25/un-o…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Shale motherloade brings world of change
By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, May 22, 2011
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/22/marc…
[SEPP Comment: First of two parts - no subsidies needed, or requested.]

Locals cash in on natural gas boom in Pa.
By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, May 23, 2011
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/23/loca…
[SEPP Comment: See above.]

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 27, 2011
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Using_the_energy…
[SEPP Comment: How to limit the production from one of the most extensive oil deposits in the world.]

BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling
“The Worst Environmental Disaster in U.S. History!” (One Year Later)
By Humberto Fontova, Townhall, May 26, 2011
http://townhall.com/columnists/humbertofontova/2011/…
[SEPP Comment: Little remains except the excessive fears and the regulations destructive to the American oil industry.]

BP oil spill partly blamed for Gulf dolphin deaths
By Staff Writers, AFP, May 27, 2011
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i…
[SEPP Comment: This is scientific reporting?: ...so the deaths "may also be seeing an indirect effect stemming from the BP oil spill," he said.]

The Administration’s No New Energy Policy
By Elizabeth Ames Jones, American Thinker, May 27, 2011
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/the_administr…

China gets massive deep-water rig
By Staff Writers, UPI, May 25, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/China_gets_massi…
[SEPP Comment: Is the US losing the race for deep-water drilling to China? Given US government policies, this may be more plausible than the US is losing the alternative energy race to China.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy
Non-fossil fuels to take up 11.4% of China’s energy use
By Staff Writers, China Daily, Mar 4, 2011
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2011-03/04/con…
[SEPP Comment: Contrary to what Western alternative-energy politicians claim, in China, hydro and nuclear will constitute most of alternative energy. Coal will remain the king.]

Performance of an arch dam affected by the relaxation of its foundation following excavation
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 24, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Performance_of_an_…
[SEPP Comment: Possibly the greatest non-natural human and environmental disasters have come from dam failures.]

New York wind: Much ado for so little
By Staff Writers, Wind Action, May 9, 2011 [H/t Randy Randol]
http://www.windaction.org/faqs/31912…

FERC grants transmission rate incentives
By Staff Writers, Wind Energy Update, May 16-23, 2011
http://social.windenergyupdate.com/weekly-brief/week…

Charging Ahead
To speed along the success of the electric car, improvements in battery chemistry will matter as much as the price of oil
By Ronald Bailey, Reason, May 23, 2011
http://reason.com/archives/2011/05/23/charging-ahead…

Master Short Seller Jim Chanos Targets First Solar and Renewables
By Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, May 26, 2011 [H/t Conrad Potemra]
http://blogs.forbes.com/afontevecchia/2011/05/26/mas…

California Dreaming
Aggressive Efficiency and Electrification Needed to Cut California Emissions
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 27, 2011
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Aggressive_Effic…

Interesting News from California
By Donn Dears, Power America, May 27, 2011
http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/interesting…

Oh Mann!
Court Orders University of Virginia to Produce Documents of Dr. Michael Mann
Press Release, American Tradition Institute, May 25, 2011
http://www.atinstitute.org/court-orders-university-o…

Still Hiding The Decline?
Editorial, IBD, May 26, 2011
http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/573…

Audit ‘Big U’
By Max Borders, Washington Examiner, May 27, 2011
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opinion-zone/201…
[SEPP Comment: University "stonewalling" prompts a response]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

Active Tornado Seasons, Big Outbreaks and Stronger tornadoes Have been Shown to Be Associated With La Ninas and Natural Variability in the Pacific
Reference: Knowles, J.B. and Pielke Sr., R.A. 2005. The Southern Oscillation and its effect on tornadic activity in the United States. Atmospheric Science Paper No. 755, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, 15 pp. (Originally prepared in 1993, published as a Atmospheric Science Paper in March 2005).
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/24may20…

Ocean pH Tolerance in Two Important Antarctic Invertebrates
Reference: Ericson, J.A., Lamare, M.D., Morley, S.A. and Barker, M.F. 2010. The response of two ecologically important Antarctic invertebrates (Sterechinus neumayeri and Parborlasia corrugatus) to reduced seawater pH: effects on fertilization and embryonic development. Marine Biology 157: 2689-2702.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/24may20…

What Does the World Health Organization Study of global Health Risks Imply about Global Warming’s Health Risks?
Reference: de Jager, C. and Duhau, S. 2009. Episodes of relative global warming. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71: 194-198.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/24may20…

Climate Models Need to Render the Past Before Projecting the Future
Reference: King, M.P., Kucharski, F. and Molteni, F. 2010. The roles of external forcings and internal variabilities in the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation change from the 1960′s to the 1990s. Journal of Climate 23: 6200-6220.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/25may20…

Food for Fuel
Food Security and Climate Change
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, May 26, 2011
http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-allian…

Other Scientific News
For Aquarius, Sampling Seas No ‘Grain of Salt’ Task
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 27, 2011
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/For_Aquarius_Sampl…

Monash student finds Universe’s missing mass
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 25, 2011
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Monash_student_fin…
[SEPP Comment: If replicated, an advance for understanding the universe.]

Other News
Space Policy and the Constitution #4
By Harrison Schmitt, American Uncommon Sense, May 25, 2011
http://americasuncommonsense.com/…
Former Senator and Moon Astronaut Schmitt Proposes Dismantling of NASA and Creation of a New, National Space Exploration Administration (NSEA)

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
A City Prepares for a Warm Long-Term Forecast
By Leslie Kaufman, NYT, May 22, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/science/earth/23ad…
[SEPP Comment: Southern Cypress Swamps in the Windy City]

Flying bacteria to blame for bad weather, scientists claim after finding microbes in hailstones
By Daily Mail Reporter Mail Online, May 24, 2011
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13904…

Study details path to sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Northwest
By Staff Writers, SPX, May 27, 2011
http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Study_details_pa…
[SEPP Comment: The Clinton Administration banned cutting of Western "old growth forests." Now we can cut them? Biofuels were the major non-muscle power (human and animal) of the US until wood was supplanted by coal in the 1880s. By then, most of the forests in the east had been cut down.]

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PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the numbered articles, can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…

Quote of the Week:
“[T]he sign [positive or negative] of the climate change radiative feedback associated with the combined effects of dynamical and temperature changes on extratropical clouds is still unknown.” [Emphasis added.] IPCC AR4, WG1, p 637

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12 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. SSam says:

    “Ryan Maue is correct. Dedicated scientists should not be so satirized.”

    Flat out wrong. If you place yourself on a pedestal, expect someone to knock you off of it.

    “However, the leadership of NOAA invites ridicule.”

    Dead on accurate.

  2. Louis Hissink says:

    Rember the Golden Rule – he who has the gold, makes the rules. We expect government science to be different?

  3. Galane says:

    Now the warmers are predicting the demise of ice roads in Alaska. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110529/ts_nm/us_arctic_warming_roads

  4. Jimbo says:

    BREAKING NEWS:

    BBC – 30 May, 2011
    Germany pledges to end all nuclear power by 2022

    Germany’s ruling coalition says it has agreed a date of 2022 for the shutdown of all of its nuclear power plants.

    Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen made the announcement after a meeting of the ruling coalition that lasted into the early hours of Monday.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13592208

  5. cal says:

    Jane Lubchenco (head of NOAA) was interviewed by Charlie Rose last week. I was astonished to hear her trot out the same old unsupported propaganda stories, like warming is causing more hurricanes, despite evidence to the contrary. But the statement that really made me gasp was that “the acidity of the oceans has increased by 30% over the last 150 years”. Apart from the fact that the claim should not be described this way (it may have become less alkaline) and that I doubt that we have good enough proxies to make such an assertion with any confidence, my main concern was the fact that she had used a possible technical truth to perpetuate a popular lie. The ph scale goes from 0 (acid i.e. high concentration of hydrogen ions) to 14 (alkaline i.e. low hydrogen ion concentration). The scale is logarithmic, which means that if one goes from 8 to 7 for example, the ion concentration changes by a factor of 10 (0.1 to 1) Since the sea has a ph between 7.5 and 8.4 she could argue that the “100%” she is referencing the 30% to is the average of this and equates to an hydrogen ion concentration of 0.1. So a 30% change in hydrogen ions is only 0.03. This is roughly equivalent to a ph change from 8 to 7.9. So she could be technically correct but she is clearly using a highly esoteric technical statistic to mislead the general public. The public will hear the figure 30% and assume this is very large and therefore the change must be large, serious and beyond doubt. The fact is that we cannot measure the average to this accuracy and we have no proxies to support her claim with total certainty. This sort of change is tiny. On this type of reasoning pure water is 1000% more acid! Frightening isn’t it? The EPA has to ban it!

    Lubchenko’s statement that “the sea is 30% more acid” is a marketing ploy. It makes you wonder what her business really is. If she is promoting panic in an attempt to influence public opinion, should NOAA not be classified as a terrorist organisation!

  6. Roger Carr says:

    cal says: (May 30, 2011 at 3:22 am)
    Lubchenko’s statement that “the sea is 30% more acid” is a marketing ploy. It makes you wonder what her business really is. If she is promoting panic in an attempt to influence public opinion, should NOAA not be classified as a terrorist organisation!

    Probably… and many thanks for the reality check, cal. My level of science is such that 30% had me quivering.

  7. Roger Carr says:

    And for yet another week: many thanks for this roundup of stories.

  8. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Rainwater has a pH of about 4-5. The horror……

  9. R. Shearer says:

    If you want to see Lubchenko at her worst watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuttOKcTPQs

  10. Amy Ridenour says:

    A profession that believes itself to be above satire will soon be corrupt, if it isn’t already.

  11. Brian H says:

    Lebchenko is trying to attain a place in history, right over there next to Lysenko.

  12. BravoZulu says:

    “R. Shearer says:
    May 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

    If you want to see Lubchenko at her worst watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuttOKcTPQs

    That was painful to watch. She says that lobster shells are made of calcium carbonate. They are made of chitin which is calcified. They are also shown to grow much better in high CO2 more acid environments as are at least some species of coccolithophores which make up the white cliffs of Dover chalk she mentioned. She speaks of the demise of terapods as if it is a certainty and how it will apparently ruin salmon and other fisheries. She is typical of alarmists that think they see the future. Someone really needs to point out to her how stupid her science experiment was. She said that neutral water doesn’t dissolve chalk. The ocean is far more alkaline than neutral and would be even with their ridiculous notion that the ocean is going to acidify.
    http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=52990

    According to her the oceans have supposedly absorbed 1/3 of the heat trapping pollutant CO2 as she describes the gas vital to all life. There is about 50 times as much carbon dissolved in the ocean as there is in the atmosphere. We have increased it by roughly a third in the atmosphere so a quick rough calculation says that we increased the amount in the ocean by 1/3 divided by 50 or about 0.7 percent. That is supposed to be destroying the ocean according to their logic. That is the knife edge that we live on according to alarmists be it the death spiral warming from increased CO2 forcing by less than a degree or increasing carbon in the ocean by less than a percent. It really makes me wonder how life has survived on the planet for billions of years if it were all so precariously balanced.

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