Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: The epitaph that I would write for history would say: I conceal nothing. It is not enough not to lie. One should strive not to lie in a negative sense by remaining silent. -Leo Tolstoy, novelist and philosopher (1828-1910)

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Numbers of the Week: $321,277; $38,400; $205,236 per job

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THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Changing Sun: A study published in the journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) shows an association between the freezing of the Rhine River in Central Europe and variation in sunspots. The study examined records of the Rhine going back to 1780 and noted that it froze in places 14 times from that period to 1963. It has not frozen since. Ten of the 14 times it froze were periods of a quiet sun (few sunspots). The suggested link is that a dormant sun emits less ultraviolet energy, which heats the upper atmosphere, thus changing the atmospheric circulation patterns and weather patterns for various regions of Europe. The study suggests that the unusually cold winters in Central Europe in 2010 and 2011 were the result of low solar activity, contradicting those who are claiming these are the result of declining Arctic sea ice. Of course, the study is not definitive, but suggests further investigation is needed.

Quite separately, in a post on his web site, Tim Ball speculates on the possible causes of changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). He suggests that ENSO changes may be related to variation in the energy emitted by the sun, in this instance the solar wind. The mechanism is similar to the Rhine study. The varying energy changes pressures on the upper levels of the atmosphere which are reflected in the lower layers. These, in turn, cause variations in atmospheric circulation patterns and wind patterns. As Ball points out, these links were discussed before and ignored by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Other than sunlight, which changes little, the IPCC does not wish to depart from its theme that humans are responsible for 20th century climate change. Please see links under Science: Is the Sun Rising?

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Changing Climate: The British Antarctic Survey announced the publication of a study of an ice core from James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. Subject to ocean currents, the instruments on the Peninsula have shown recent warming, while instruments on the main Antarctic continent have shown cooling. Among the striking findings are that the Peninsula warmed by 6°C as it emerged from the last ice age, and that about 11,000 years ago it was about 1.3°C warmer than today’s average temperatures. After that the climate cooled, reaching the lowest point about 600 years ago (during the Little Ice Age). “Approximately 600 years ago, the local temperature started to warm again, followed by a more rapid warming in the last 50–100 years that coincides with present-day disintegration of ice shelves and glacier retreat.”

These findings are further evidence that the Little Ice Age was global, not regional as the IPCC claims. Also, the variation in temperatures, especially the warming 11,000 years ago, is not explained by changing concentrations in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Alarmist journalists immediately blamed human influence on the present-day disintegration of the ice shelves, totally ignoring the finding that it was significant warmer 11,000 years ago.

In its magazine, Oceanus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) published a more detailed report on its remarkable study of the decline of the poorly known Harappan civilization in the Indus basin (TWTW June 2, 2012). Starting about 5,000 years ago, the civilization flourished until about 3,800 years ago, and it disappeared by 3,000 years ago. Although it built no great monuments such as pyramids of Egypt, it may have been the largest and most advanced civilization of the ancient world. Its cities were laid out on a grid pattern and featured fine architecture, sophisticated sewer systems, and massive water storage tanks.

The new report gives greater detail of the investigation into the weakening of the wet monsoons that led to the destruction of the Harappan civilization and to the growth of farming in the Godavari basin of Southeast India. As suggested by HH Lamb for the desertification of the Sahara, these events coincided with global cooling, not warming. Divorced from subsistence agriculture and with far greater trading ability, modern civilizations need not suffer the same fate as the Harappan civilization. Please see the links under Changing Climate.

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Climategate Anew: Two years after they were requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and after a number several efforts of subterfuge, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released emails requested by Christopher Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). One of the more interesting subterfuges was the claim that the emails of NOAA employees working on IPCC issues are IPCC records, not NOAA records. According to this argument, these employees are actually not employees of the US government, even though the salaries and benefits are paid by the US government.

Thus far, little of great new significance has been revealed. However, they go further to the extent to which the Climate Establishment has manipulated climate science, including the reports of US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) which has been re-named the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). On reviewing the emails, Roger Pielke Sr, relates how the CCSP resorted to the tricks of the IPCC, such as revising the agreed upon language by the scientists on the scientific findings. The editors inserted their political views that humans are responsible for recent global warming, making the findings less consistent with the actual scientific literature.

According to an April 26, 2012, estimate by the Congressional Research Service, in Fiscal Year 2012 the USGCRP is receiving $2.427 Billion and in FY 2012 all the Climate Change Programs are receiving $8.330 Billion. Changing scientific findings has its rewards. Please see links under Climategate Continued.

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Oh’ Mann: The July 15, 2012, edition of The National Review contained some less than flattering remarks on Michael Mann. These prompted a letter from Mann’s attorney threatening to sue. In his editorial, the editor of The National Review was very clear of what he thought of the threat – “Get Lost.” Now it appears Mr. Mann may sue and sue others such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) as well.

The “Tree-Ring Circus” is becoming interesting. As explained above, Christopher Horner is with CEI, but he is also with The American Tradition Institute. As such, he is chipping away the stonewall erected by the University of Virginia to hide Mr. Mann’s emails, while he was at the University. This litigation is proceeding, with the latest defense of Mr. Mann claiming he was exonerated by the investigations taken by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and by Penn State. As pointed out in detail by Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford, et al, these affairs were more a whitewash undertaken for the benefit of these universities. Please see links under Oh’ Mann.

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California Dreaming: During the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing held August 1st on “Update on the Latest Climate Change Science …”, Senator Barbara Boxer made much of a report on California entitled “Our Changing Climate 2012.” She demanded if John Christy had seen the report and he admitted he had not, but may have seen prior drafts. Then Senator Boxer said the report was released the day before and stressed that it is based on more than 30 peer reviewed studies. Later, Christy asserted that he doubted that the studies included his peer reviewed studies such as that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is not declining, and that there have been no long-term temperature trends in the mountains. A quick review of the sources for the report failed to find any of the Christy studies.

The report represents a significant effort. It contains 38 chapters, some over 200 pages, separated into 9 sections: Executive Summary; Agriculture, 3 chapters; California’s Changing Climate, 3 chapters; Coastal: Faster Rising Seas, 4 chapters; Ecosystems: Changing Landscapes, Vulnerable Species, More Fire, 9 chapters; Energy: Meeting Growing Demand in a Warming World, 3 chapters; Health: Many Opportunities to Reduce Social Vulnerability, 2 chapters; San Francisco Bay: A Regional Focus, 9 chapters; and Water: Every Drop Counts, 4 chapters.

The report is based on projections from six global climate models and two different methods were used to scale down the global results to obtain regional and local information.

A quick review of some of the more interesting chapters produced a few tidbits.

· By 2050 temperatures will be up by 2.7 deg above 2000 averages, and there will be a threefold increase in the rate of warming.

· Sea level rise (from models) will be between 110 cm to 160 cm from 2000 to 2100.

· Warming has been greatest in the Sierra Nevada, a large portion of total precipitation is falling as rain instead of snow, and the last 35 years both wettest and driest.

· The warming of the Sierra Nevada mountains will be up to 6 deg C (10.8 deg F)

· For Fresno County and Bay Area an Environmental Justice screening tool was applied. The two major inequalities were: #1 tree canopy shading, # 2 Social and health vulnerability – largely caused by lack of car ownership. [Emphasis added]

Needless to say, this is a continuation of the IPCC Climate Science claiming that everything bad about the weather will be worse – except for snowfall. It would be perversely amusing if homeowner insurance companies justified increasing rates by using these reports. One can speculate how long the reports would last.

No disclaimer appeared in the Executive Summary. A needed disclaimer would be that the global models have not been validated; thus, the results of the models are not scientific predictions, but speculative projections and the global climate models have no demonstrated skill in making local and regional predictions.

Without such strong disclaimers the report does not meet the minimum requirements of a Wall Street investment solicitation, yet the politicians expect the citizens to buy its claims? Please see link under California Dreaming.

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Emerging Islands: The Maldives are islands southwest of India and are considered the lowest lying country in the world. They have been an IPCC poster child for rising sea levels. The government held a cabinet meeting underwater, with scuba gear, to publicize their fate. Now, the new president is soliciting investors for new resort complexes on the islands including an extremely expensive golf course encompassing several man-made islands. They may use the same disclaimer advisors that California does. See link under Below the Bottom Line.

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Numbers of the Week: $321,277; $38,400; $205,236 per job. As mentioned in last week’s TWTW, at the above mentioned hearing, Senator Boxer was quite taken by the Brookings Institution 2011 report on green jobs. It claimed there are 2.7 million jobs in the clean economy and only 2.4 million in the fossil fuel industry. Yet less than 1 percent of the jobs are found in Biofuels, 20,680; about 1.1% in PV and thermal solar combined, 29,531; and less than 1% in wind power, 24,294. [The numbers are taken as given by Brookings.]

A July 2011 report by the Energy Information Administration gave estimates of Federal government “energy-specific subsidies and support by type for FY 2010” (ending September 2010). These totaled $6,644,000,000 for Biofuels, 1,134,000,000 for solar, and $4,986,000,000 for wind.

Using simple arithmetic, in Fiscal Year 2010 the subsidies per job calculates out to be $321,277 for Biofuels, $38,400 for solar, and $205,236 for wind that year. No wonder some people are asking that after spending so much money on these renewable, where are the jobs?

The above calculations only give approximations, they are not precise. One should note that the subsidies for Biofuels ended in 2011, the production tax credits for solar are scheduled to end in 2013 and production tax credits for wind are scheduled to end in 2012. Other support and subsidy programs may remain. Ethanol Biofuels are still mandated by the EPA. Further, the amount for wind in 2010 was unusually high because that was the last year the developers of wind farms could take an up-front cash payment in lieu of a ten year production tax credit.

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: http://www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. Paul Ryan, the Perfect Anti-Gore

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Aug 20, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/paul_ryan_the_perfect_anti-gore.html

2. A Coca-Cola Solution to High Gas Prices

Regulations interfere with competitive markets and render all of us more vulnerable to supply disruptions.

By Andrew Morriss and Donald Boudreaux, WSJ, Aug 21, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443989204577603153204915834.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

[SEPP Comment: A brief history on market fragmentation of what should be a commodity.]

3. EPA Smack-Down Number Six

A federal court cashiers another illegal Obama regulation.

Editorial, WSJ, Aug 21, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443989204577603462733432478.html?mod=ITP_opinion_2

4. Layoffs Latest Hit for Nuclear Plant

By Rebecca Smith and Tamara Audi, WSJ, Aug 22, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444082904577605703883229714.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

AGU: Link found between cold European winters and solar activity

From AGU, ICECAP, Aug 24, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/agu_link_found_between_cold_european_winters_and_solar_activity/

[SEPP Comment: The graph of Central Europe temperature anomaly at the bottom of the article is very interesting.]

What Causes El Niño / La Niña? IPCC Doesn’t Know, But Builds Models and Makes Projections Anyway

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Aug 16, 2012

http://drtimball.com/2012/what-causes-el-nino-la-nina-ipcc-doesnt-know-but-builds-models-and-makes-projections-anyway/

Climategate Continued

NOAA releases tranche of FOIA documents – 2 years later

By Christopher Horner, CEI, Aug 21, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/noaa-releases-tranche-of-foia-documents-2-years-later/

First look: ‘Hit on the head with a hockey stick’ – some selected emails from the recent NOAA FOIA release 2 years later

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/22/first-look-hit-on-the-head-with-a-hockey-stick-some-selected-emails-from-the-recent-noaa-foia-release-2-years-later/

Yet Another Example Of IPCC Advocacy

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 24, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/yet-another-example-of-ipcc-advocacy/

US reaction to Climategate

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 22, 2012

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/22/us-reaction-to-climategate.html

All communications on this issue are being coordinated with the White House.

More NOAA FOI emails – A question for Bill Lambrecht of the Post Dispatch

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 23, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/23/more-noaa-foi-emails-a-question-for-bill-lambrecth-of-the-post-dispatch/

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The Manmade Contribution to Global Warming Is Not a Planetary Emergency

By Václav Klaus, President, Czech Republic, World Federation of Scientists, August 2012 [H/t Christopher Monckton]

http://www.wnd.com/files/2012/08/monckton_klaus.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Summarizing the Climate Establishment and its Global Warming Doctrine.]

John McLean – ENSO drives sea surface temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 24, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/john-mclean-enso-drives-sea-surface-temperatures-on-the-great-barrier-reef/#more-23496

 

Models, Not Climate, Are Hypersensitive to Carbon Dioxide

By Steve Milloy, American Thinker, Aug 24, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/models_not_climate_are_hypersensitive_to_carbon_dioxide.html

How Bad Data Contribute to Global Warming Hysteria

By John Hinderaker, Powerline, Aug 16, 2012

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/08/how-bad-data-contribute-to-global-warming-hysteria.php

Defending the Orthodoxy

Nobel prize-winning scientist cites evidence of link between extreme weather, global warming

By Staff Writers, Philadelphia PA (SPX), Aug 22, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Nobel_prize_winning_scientist_cites_evidence_of_link_between_extreme_weather_global_warming_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Molina is an atmospheric chemist, not a meteorologist.]

The Cost of Cool

By Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYT, Aug 18, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/sunday-review/air-conditioning-is-an-environmental-quandary.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

[SEPP Comment: How will the environmental zealots keep them down?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Madrid ’95: What went wrong?

Bu Bernie Lewin, Bishop Hill, Aug 20, 2012

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/20/madrid-95-what-went-wrong.html

Some confirmation of Spencer’s cloud hypothesis – it is getting less cloudy and warmer at the same time

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 20, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/20/spencers-cloud-hypothesis-confirmed/

Why doom has not materialized

By George Will, Washington Post, Aug 17, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-why-doom-has-not-materialized/2012/08/17/fcf89ed6-e7fb-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_story.html

Has Trenberth’s missing heat been found? Southern Oceans are losing heat

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 21, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/has-trenberths-missing-heat-been-found-southern-oceans-are-losing-heat/

Gullible Warming: A Contrived Crisis That Is Too Good To Waste

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 21, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/08/21/gullible-warming-a-contrived-crisis-that-is-too-good-to-waste/

The $6 Quadrillion Cost of the Climate Scam

Exclusive: Christopher Monckton of Brenchley on economics of fighting ‘global warming’

By Christopher Monckton, WND, Aug 21, 2012

http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/the-6-quadrillion-cost-of-the-climate-scam/

Global Warming: a Marxist perspective

By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, Aug 20, 2012

http://sppiblog.org/news/global-warming-a-marxist-perspective#more-8307

[SEPP Comment: Environmental justice, not science, drives the EPA.]

Questioning European Green

Doubts mount over UK’s nuclear energy future

Britain is supposed to be on the cusp of a nuclear renaissance. A country whose last new nuclear plant was hooked up to the grid in 1995 now aims to have five new stations operating by 2025.

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Aug 21, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9488677/Doubts-mount-over-UKs-nuclear-energy-future.html

Financial Times Deutschland Talks Openly About “Germany’s Dirty Wind Energy Secret”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 18, 2012 [H/t Tomaz Orgin]

http://notrickszone.com/2012/08/18/financial-times-deutschalnd-talks-openly-about-germanys-dirty-wind-energy-secret/

Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions

By Catalina Schröder, Spiegel, Aug 16, 2012 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/instability-in-power-grid-comes-at-high-cost-for-german-industry-a-850419.html

Don’t mention renewable

By Peter Foster, Financial Times, Aug 17, 2012

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/08/17/peter-foster-dont-mention-renewables/

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Climate Change and Developing Countries

By Robert Rapier, Energy Tribune, Aug 20, 2012

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/11464/Climate-Change-and-Developing-Countries

Seeking a Common Ground

“Changing The Climate Change Debate” – A Message From A News Article From 2001 That Is Just As Needed in 2012

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 23, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/changing-the-climate-change-debate-a-message-from-a-news-article-from-2001-that-is-just-as-needed-in-2012/

[SEPP Comment: In spite of the US expenditure of tens of billions on climate science, the climate establishment has done little to promote the understanding the complex system called climate.]

Comments On “The Shifting Probability Distribution Of Global Daytime And Night-Time Temperatures” By Donat and Alexander 2012 – A Not Ready For Prime Time Study

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 21, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/comments-on-the-shifting-probability-distribution-of-global-daytime-and-night-time-temperatures-by-donat-and-alexander-2012-a-not-ready-for-prime-time-study/

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Sea life ‘facing major shock’

By Staff Writers, Brisbane, Australia (SPX), Aug 24, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Sea_life_facing_major_shock_999.html

Climate change puts Atlantic coastline in cross hairs

By Jeff Montgomery and Molly Murray, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal,

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/story/2012-08-19/climate-change-atlantic-coast-sea-level/57134636/1?csp=34news

[SEPP Comment: Other than in areas of land subsidence, the hyped sea level rise is far above observations.]

Models v. Observations

AR5 Climate Forecasts: What to Believe

By Pat Frank, WUWT, Aug 23, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/23/ar5-climate-forecasts-what-to-believe/

[SEPP Comment: A somewhat technical discussion of the potential error range in the IPCC model projections.]

Measurement Issues

Spurious Warmth in NOAA’s USHCN from Comparison to USCRN

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 22, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/spurious-warmth-in-noaas-ushcn-from-comparison-to-uscrn/

Hourly Temperature Change

By Vincent Gray, NCTCS, Aub 23, 2012

http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/hourly-temperature-change.html

[SEPP Comment: Using a small set of stations the author shows large discrepancies between an average of a maximum and minimum and an hourly average.]

Changing Weather

German National Weather Service: “No Significant Trend To More Drought In Europe…Dryness La Niña -Related”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 17, 2012 [H/t Climate Change Weekly]

http://notrickszone.com/2012/08/17/german-national-weather-service-analysis-no-significant-trend-to-more-drought-in-europe-dryness-la-nina-related/

Changing Climate

Press Release – New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming

By Staff Writers, British Antarctic Survey, Aug 22, 2012 [H/t WUWT] http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1892

Man partly to blame for Antarctic ice shelf collapse: study

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Aug 22, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Man_partly_to_blame_for_Antarctic_ice_shelf_collapse_study_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Headline writing to promote global warming fears.]

Climate Change Spurred Fall of Ancient Culture

Weakening monsoons in India affected plants and people

By Cherie Winner, Oceanus, Aug 24, 2012

http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/LiviuIndia

Mayans made drought worse with crops

By Staff Writers, New York (UPI), Aug 21, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Mayans_made_drought_worse_with_crops_999.html

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Study: U.S. could put a big dent in food prices by relaxing ethanol rules

By Brad Plumer, Washington Post, Aug 21, 2012

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/21/study-u-s-could-put-a-big-dent-in-food-prices-by-relaxing-ethanol-rules/

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org

Plant Diversities on Sixty-Six Warming European Mountaintops

Reference: Pauli, H., Gottfried, M., Dullinger, S., Abdaladze, O., Akhalkatsi, M., Alonso, J.L.B., Coldea, G., Dick, J., Erschbamer, B., Calzado, R.F., Ghosn, D., Holten, J.I., Kanka, R. Kazakis, G., Kollar, J., Larsson, P., Moiseev, P., Moiseev, D., Molau, U., Mesa, J.M., Nagy, L., Pelino, G., Pusca, M., Rssi, G., Stanisci, A., Syverhuset, A.O., Theurillat, J.-P., Tomaselli, M., Unterluggauer, P., Villar, L., Vittoz, P. and Grabherr, G. 2010. Recent plant diversity changes on Europe’s mountain summits. Science 336: 353-355.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/21aug2012a1.html

Acidification Effects on Deep-Sea Corals and Other Megabenthos

Reference: Thresher, R.E., Tilbrook, B., Fallon, S., Wilson, N.C. and Adkins, J. 2011. Effects of chronic low carbonate saturation levels on the distribution, growth and skeletal chemistry of deep-sea corals and other seamount megabenthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series 442: 87-99.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/21aug2012a2.html

Winter Snow Accumulation in the Andes of Chile and Argentina

Reference: Masiokas, M.H., Villalba, R., Christie, D.A., Betman, E., Luckman, B.H., Le Quesne, C., Prieto, M.R. and Mauget, S. 2012. Snowpack variations since AD 1150 in the Andes of Chile and Argentina (30°-37°S) inferred from rainfall, tree-ring and documentary records. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: 10.1029/2011JD016748.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/21aug2012a3.html

The Roman Warm Period in Southwest Scotland

Reference: Wang, T., Surge, D. and Mithen, S. 2012. Seasonal temperature variability of the Neoglacial (3300-2500 BP) and Roman Warm Period (2500-1600 BP) reconstructed from oxygen isotope ratios of limpet shells (Patella vulgata), Northwest Scotland. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 317-318: 104-113.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/21aug2012a4.html

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Warming on Photosynthesis in a Major Desert Biocrust Moss

Reference: Coe, K.K., Belnap, J., Grote, E.E. and Sparks, J.P. 2012. Physiological ecology of desert biocrust moss following 10 years exposure to elevated CO2: evidence for enhanced photosynthetic thermotolerance. Physiologia Plantarum 144: 346-356.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/22aug2012a2.html

Litigation Issues

U.S. Court of Appeals: Food, Fuel Groups not Injured by EPA’s Approval of E15, Hence Lack Standing to Sue — Huh?

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Aug 17, 2012

http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/08/17/u-s-court-of-appeals-food-fuel-groups-lack-standing-to-challenge-epa-approval-of-e15-huh/

Bird Conservancy Sues Feds for Wind Turbine Information

By Brian Fojtik, Heartlander, Aug 9, 2012

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/08/09/bird-conservancy-sues-feds-wind-turbine-information

Federal Court Strikes CSAPR, Reactions Swift

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 23, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4926.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2508673&hq_l=4&hq_v=5e660500d0

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

California Suspends Cap-and-Trade Provision for Electricity Imports

By Sonal Patel, POWERnews, Aug 21, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4916.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2508673&hq_l=8&hq_v=5e660500d0

Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI, Aug 24, 2012

http://sppiblog.org/news/is-co2-mitigation-cost-effective#more-8433

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Direct Federal Financial, Interventions and Subsidies, in Energy in Fiscal Year 2010

By Staff Writers, EIA, Jul 2011

http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

 

EPA and other Regulators on the March

GAO: EPA Rules Could Spur Retirements, Increased Power Prices

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 23, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4930.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2508673&hq_l=9&hq_v=5e660500d0

 

Court sides with Texas, overturns EPA rule

By Staff Writers, KETK News, Aug 21, 2012 [H/t Jeff Braswell]

http://www.ketknbc.com/news/court-sides-with-texas-overturns-epa-rule

Energy Issues – Non-US

Crude on the rails: in for the long haul

By Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, Aug 24, 2012

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/24/crude-on-the-rails-in-for-the-long-haul/

[SEPP Comment: Washington’s energy policy. Pipelines are the safest, most cost effective method of transporting crude. According to the article the rail scheme will cost $31 per barrel while pipeline costs run about $8 per barrel.]

Harper’s ­Northern Vision

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Aug 21, 2012

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/08/21/peter-foster-harpers-%C2%ADnorthern-vision/

Energy Issues — US

Romney energy plan would hand drilling powers to states

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 23, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/244873-not-for-posting-until-midnight-romney-plan-hands-drilling-powers-to-states

[SEPP Comment: The assertion in the article that there will be no major revenue increase in the next decade has been used to justify decades of freezing developable assets.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Fracking is too important to foul up

By Michael Bloomberg and George Mitchell, Washington Post, Aug 23, 2012

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fracking-is-too-important-to-foul-up/2012/08/23/d320e6ee-ea0e-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html

[SEPP Comment: Although the assertion on carbon pollution is a bit much, the thrust of the article is to keep Washington out and have the states develop the necessary regulations. Most states with significant hydraulic fracturing appear to have already done so.]

IEA Chief: Policy Uncertainties Could Halt Natural Gas Revolution

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 21, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4918.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2508673&hq_l=7&hq_v=5e660500d0

Return of King Coal?

Gas prices will spike: It’s only a matter of time

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Aug 20, 2012

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=29bc7d5d85828d574f86c157a&id=016e97f9fb&e=

[SEPP Comment: Since the spot prices are below production costs for dry gas wells, as opposed to natural gas liquids, this is a safe claim. But the question is at what price will it stabilize?]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear’s Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy

By William Tucker, American Spectator, Aug 24, 2012

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/08/24/nuclears-dilemma-few-jobs-just

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Renewable energy is a $250 billion dollar industry that makes about 3% of our electricity

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 20, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/renewable-energy-is-a-257-billion-dollar-industry-that-makes-only-3-of-our-electricity/#more-23360

Wind Energy Blown Away by Natural Gas

By Kimball Rasmussen, Power News, Aug 1, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/issues/departments/commentary/Wind-Energy-Blown-Away-by-Natural-Gas_4831.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2508673&hq_l=18&hq_v=5e660500d0

Does the Wind Production Tax Credit Matter?

The fledgling U.S. wind industry would be significantly set back if the credit isn’t renewed.

By Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, Aug 17, 2012

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428927/does-the-wind-production-tax-credit-matter/?nlid=nlenrg&nld=2012-08-20

[SEPP Comment: The MIT publication swallows tricky statistics. Capacity installed has little to do with actual productive capacity.]

Texas wind energy boom may go bust if tax subsidies disappear

By Bill Hanna, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Aug 24, 2012

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/08/24/163392/texas-wind-energy-boom-may-go.html

[SEPP Comment: No discussion on consumer price increases.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

The Building as an Energy Storage Device

By Allan Chen for Berkeley News, Berkeley CA (SPX), Aug 23, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/The_Building_as_an_Energy_Storage_Device_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps all afternoon siestas are the solution.]

Biofuels group: Big Oil also behind ethanol waiver requests

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 23, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/244943-biofuels-group-calls-ethanol-attacks-last-ditch-effort-by-oil-interests

California Dreaming

California Climate Change Assessment

Our Changing Climate 2012,

By California Climate Change Center, Jul 31, 2012

http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/adaptation/third_assessment/

http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012publications/CEC-500-2012-007/CEC-500-2012-007.pdf Summary

With ‘Facts’ Website, California Looks to Thwart Opposition to Climate Change

By Jim Malewitz, Pew Stateline, Aug 15, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/with-facts-website-california-looks-to-thwart-opposition-to-climate-change-85899411350

[SEPP Comment: As the first sentence of the article reveals, Pew is part of the Climate Establishment.]

Oh Mann!

Climate-Gate Zealot Continues Three-Ring Circus

Editorial, IBD, Aug 23, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/623331/201208231845/climate-gate-zealot-michael-mann-threatens-lawsuit.htm?p=full

Get Lost

My response to Michael Mann.

By Rich Lowry, National Review, Aug 22, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314680/get-lost-rich-lowry

Penn State Climate Scientist Michael Mann Demands Apology From CEI

CEI Refuses to Retract Commentary

By Christine Hall, CEI Org, Aug 24, 2012 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

http://cei.org/news-releases/penn-state-climate-scientist-michael-mann-demands-apology-cei

Michael Mann says lawsuit against National Review is on! Climate Depot responds to Mann and his lawyer’s claims about the Hockey Stick & Climategate

By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, Aug 24, 2012

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/17202/Michael-Mann-says-lawsuit-against-National-Review-is-on-Climate-Depot-responds-to-Mann-and-his-lawyers-claims-about-the-Hockey-Stick–Climategate

[SEPP Comment: An in-depth look at some of the key points of Mr. Mann’s latest.]

Michael Mann — the ghost of climate past

Following is a series of articles updating the Mann Hockey Stick fiasco, with sources provided per each post.

By Staff Writers, SPPI, Aug 23, 2012

http://sppiblog.org/news/michael-mann-the-ghost-of-climate-past

Court-bound

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 23, 2012

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/23/court-bound.html

Environmental Industry

Good News For Polar Bears Is Bad News for Global Warming Alarmists

By James Taylor, Forbes, Aug 15, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/08/15/good-news-for-polar-bears-is-bad-news-for-global-warming-alarmists/

Environmental group: Auto industry ‘owes’ emission standards after bailouts

By Keith Laing, The Hill, Aug 20, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/automobiles/244367-environmental-group-auto-industry-owes-emission-standards-after-bailouts

[SEPP Comment: By this reasoning the companies that did not get bailouts should not be subject to the rules.]

Other Scientific News

A reality check for scientific studies?

By ACSH, Aug 20, 2012

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.3875/news_detail.asp

[SEPP Comment: Medical science is experiencing difficulties similar to climate science – irreproducible results.]

 

NASA Picks Revolutionary Space Tech Proposals For Development

By Staff Writers, Hampton VA (SPX), Aug 22, 2012

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/NASA_Picks_Revolutionary_Space_Tech_Proposals_For_Development_999.html

Magnetic Turbulence Trumps Collisions to Heat Solar Wind

By Staff Writers, Warwick UK (SPX), Aug 22, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Magnetic_Turbulence_Trumps_Collisions_to_Heat_Solar_Wind_999.html

Voyager at 35: Break on Through to the Other Side

By Staff Writers, Pasadena CA (JPL), Aug 21, 2012

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Voyager_at_35_Break_on_Through_to_the_Other_Side_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Far away and almost forgotten, but still working.]

China unveils ambitious space projects

By Xinhua writers Quan Xiaoshu, Yu Fei, Li Huizi and Ji Shaoting, Beijing (XNA), Aug 23, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_unveils_ambitious_space_projects_999.html

Uranium from seawater said attainable goal

By Staff Writers, Philadelphia (UPI), Aug 21, 2012

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Uranium_from_seawater_said_attainable_goal_999.html

Earthworms soak up heavy metal

By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Aug 21, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Earthworms_soak_up_heavy_metal_999.html

Other News that May Be of Interest

Julia Child vs. Meryl Streep

By Elizabeth M. Whelan, ASCH, Aug 29, 2009

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.1231/news_detail.asp

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Are they serious? Shade Cloth over the Great Barrier Reef to save it from climate change?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 22, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/are-they-serious-shade-cloth-over-the-great-barrier-reef-to-save-it-from-climate-change/#more-23453

A urine based ‘potion’ can act as a CO2 absorbent

By Staff Writers, Madrid, Spain (SPX), Aug 22, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_urine_based_potion_can_act_as_a_CO2_absorbent_999.html

The Maldives Emily Littella sea level moment – never mind…

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 24, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/24/the-maldives-emily-littella-moment-never-mind/

[SEPP Comment: With plans to build an extremely expensive golf complex, the islands will emerge from the seas.]

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12 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. cubby quotes will steffen:

    27 Aug: Brisbane Times Australia: Ben Cubby: Arctic ice cap shrinks to lowest level yet recorded
    The ice cap had contracted to just over 4 million square kilometres, about 77,000 square kilometres smaller than the previous record low in 2007, data from the International Arctic Research Centre and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency indicates. With two to three weeks of warm temperatures to come, the area covered by ice may fall further, to below 4 million sq km.
    It means that, unless the Pole grows dramatically cooler, the Arctic ice cap is very likely to vanish entirely during summer by the middle of this century…
    The US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which keeps separate satellite records of the extent of sea ice, is expected to publish further results next week…

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/conservation/arctic-ice-cap-shrinks-to-lowest-level-yet-recorded-20120826-24ukq.html

  2. In a week when so much climate history, the bad kind, has been made in the Arctic, the silence at WUWT has been deafening. Look! Over there! It’s Michael Mann!

    REPLY: Gosh, yes it’s just terrible isn’t it? Sorta like Mike Mann’s diss of NSIDC for having a 5 day average to make him wait. Oh the humanity! NSIDC made Mikey wait! The silence Oh the silence!

    NSIDC’s last update was August 14th, I don’t see you complaining about them.

    We report on the Arctic every day chump, though the WUWT sea Ice page, our most visited page this week. Just because we aren’t wailing like you think we should be isn’t of any concern to me. When the minimum occurs, we’ll report it. Here’s a challenge though: how many of your favorite wailers will report that the major Arctic storm had anything to do with sea ice? Or, will they go straight for the non-existent CO2 correlation? – Anthony

  3. Timescales of events described as ‘abrupt’ may vary dramatically. Changes recorded in the climate of Greenland at the end of the Younger Dryas, as measured by ice-cores, imply a sudden warming of 10°C within a timescale of a few years.

  4. Anthony writes:
    “Gosh, yes it’s just terrible isn’t it? Sorta like Mike Mann’s diss of NSIDC for having a 5 day average to make him wait. Oh the humanity! NSIDC made Mikey wait! The silence Oh the silence!”

    No, it’s nothing like that, although you’re illustrating my point. And Mann did not diss NSIDC and they did not make him wait. He just pointed out a well-known consequence of their 5-day trailing average: it’s conservative in times of rapid change (like the past week). For that arithmetic reason NSIDC has been the last “record” to fall, but not by much.

    “Here’s a challenge though: how many of your favorite wailers will report that the major Arctic storm had anything to do with sea ice? Or, will they go straight for the non-existent CO2 correlation? – Anthony”

    That would be an easy challenge to win. Other blogs highlighted the storm as it was happening, and of course anyone watching weather or the arctic saw it too. It has been discussed widely then and since, and picked up even by mainstream media. WUWT initially did not notice, and readers were comically suggesting conspiracy theories when the ice started to drop faster. The storm occurred while discussion was underway on the Aug 4 Sea Ice thread here,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/04/sea-ice-news-volume-3-number-9/

    I hinted about the storm in my response to a conspiracy post by Bill Illis, but Steve Mosher was the first to mention the big event outright. I wrote then,

    Gneiss says
    August 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Yes, Mosher let the storm-cat out of the bag, folks elsewhere have been wondering how long it would take the WUWT “Sea Ice News” crowd to catch on. Two days, it turns out.

    REPLY: You lose: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/science/earth/sea-ice-in-arctic-measured-at-record-low.html no mention, can’t even bring himself to say 30 year satellite record.

    You seem to think that just because I don’t publish on something right away that I have to “catch on” or that somehow I’m slow. You seem to forget that people send me tips constantly, through the Tips and Notes page and via direct email. I was fully aware of it. I choose when to publish, not when anonymous whiners like yourself think I should. I have dozens of stories to choose from every day, the format doesn’t allow me to cover them all. Run them too fast and I get complaints later that “you never mentioned this” – catch22, but don’t let that stop you and the rest of the anonymous denigration crowd from coming up with your own reasons – Anthony

  5. “When the minimum occurs, we’ll report it”.

    I guess that gives us a couple more weeks eagerly waiting for your enlightened explanations of this year’s unusual melt.

  6. Everyone knows the MWP was limited to just Europe and the North Atlantic. The trick is fitting the Antarctic Peninsula into this geographic area (along with the Canadian Arctic Archipelagio, South Africa, western South America, South Africa, New Zealand, etc.)

  7. Look! Over there! It’s Michael Mann!

    That was unfair. Watts is following the Arctic sea ice record low closely. It’s just that Michael Mann steps and Susan Solomon’s gift were truely overwhelming news this week.

  8. ****
    Gneiss says:
    August 26, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    In a week when so much climate history, the bad kind, has been made in the Arctic
    ****

    Why exactly is it “bad”? Is the annual, brief thawing out of arctic Canada and Siberia bad? Was the massive continental glacial melt at the start of the interglacial bad?

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