Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

SEPP_NECoast
The Week That Was: 2013-02-09 (February 9, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil. Former Saudi oil minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani (NYT “The Breaking Point, Aug 21, 2005)

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Number of the Week: 2%

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THIS WEEK:

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

Fred Singer: Chairman of SEPP, was interviewed by Anthony Wile of the Daily Bell, a publication of the non-profit Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT). The topic was popular myths in politically correct science. For the transcript, please see Article # 1.

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Secretary Chu: Last Friday, when he announced that was leaving office, Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu sent a letter to the employees highlighting the accomplishments of his administration. In it, probably unintentionally, he highlights issues regarding Washington setting industrial policy, especially energy policy. It should be remembered that many of the problems faced by the Nobel Laureate in physics predate his appointment to office. These problems include ethanol from cellulose, which was embraced by former President Bush who left office in 2009.

Also, many problems arose when Congress, in 2009, suddenly allocated the Department of Energy $36 Billion in the so-called “Stimulus Bill.” One can empathize with bright young employees, with little practical experience, being tasked with allocating huge sums of money. No doubt they were besieged by hoards of slick promoters, equivalent to the Wall Street groups that promoted securities backed by sub-prime mortgages. But what was inexcusable was the failure to recognize and articulate the causes of technological change, and subsequent prosperity, or even articulate basic facts about nature. Based on his letter, it appears that this brilliant man still fails to recognize these important concepts.

Secretary Chu refers to the above quote, which may or may not apply to oil. What Mr. Chu fails to recognize is that the Stone Age ended when new technologies were used to produce vastly superior tools at low cost, namely developments in metallurgy that created the Bronze Age and then the Iron Age. In fact, some cultures that did not understand metallurgy, or lacked the resources, remained in the Stone Age as late as the 19th or 20th centuries. The new Washington group-think, reflected in Mr. Chu’s letter, is that technological advancement can be achieved by using subsidies, mandates, or regulations to force inferior products, or excessively expensive products, onto the public.

For example, Mr. Chu states that the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity from wind generators is falling, and approaching the cost from traditional sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc. He ignores the critical issue – that wind power is unreliable. For over a century (the first fully automatic wind generator was built in 1887) wind power has failed to compete with traditional power sources because it is unreliable. Until an affordable, commercial storage capability for electricity is developed, wind power will remain unreliable and sub-standard, except when isolated from other sources. The same applies for solar power, though someday industrial solar power may be affordable and reliable. The frequently cited claim that wind power needs subsidies because fossil fuels received subsidies in the past is disingenuous. The tax “subsidies” to fossil fuels did not occur until the huge income tax hikes to pay for World War I, long after coal-fired power plants proved superior to wind power.

Mr. Chu goes on to cite the great increase in installed capacity of wind. However, the bottom line is not total capacity, but the installed capacity that is reliable. He also invokes the now common Washington mantra about the need to protect future generations from dangerous and unprecedented global warming / climate change arising from human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a concept that fails to withstand rigorous empirical examination.

As common in Washington group-think, he does not ask about the damages done to future generations by Washington squandering huge sums of money on technologies that have failed for decades or for over a century. Robert Bradley, on Master Resource, and Lubos Molt, on Reference Frame, include some of the above remarks and make further comments on Mr. Chu’s letter. For the letter and comments please see links under Energy Issues – US.

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The Australian Experiment: When challenged about the failure of a wind farm to produce electricity when the winds fail, a favorite response of the wind promoters is that if sufficient farms are built over a broad area then the entire system will produce even if the winds fail on a few farms. The amount of excess capacity needed never seems to enter the discussion. It is important to remember that the electrical grid operator (distributor) must balance electricity output with consumption within fairly tight tolerances, or the entire system fails.

Australian Tom Quirk provided TWTW a reference to a paper in the peer-reviewed British journal, Energy and Environment, that describes a study of the production from 21 farms spread out over the grid for eastern Australia which is described as, geographically, the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world. Unlike many studies, such as the ones by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) which relied on computer models, this study relies on hard data. The results are grim, but not unexpected.

The study focuses on the year 2010, which was, apparently, not significantly different from other years. The study uses an unusually low standard of 2% of installed capacity for the Minimum Acceptable Level (MAL). It relies on data provided by the grid operator that covers average power output over five minutes. Shorter time periods are preferable and instantaneous output is ideal.

For 2010, the entire fleet (the combined output of all wind farms) failed to produce 2% of installed capacity 109 times. The longest period was for 70 minutes. One wind farm, described as typical, failed 559 times in the six months. The longest period was for 2.8 days. Not only does the entire fleet fail frequently, but also it fails throughout the year. Clearly, such performance would be unacceptable for any traditional method of generating electrical power.

After analyzing the data, the authors state that wind cannot be used for base load, the daily minimum requirement, and that the installed capacity of required back-up must be at least 80% of installed wind farm capacity. In eastern Australia the required back up is open cycle gas turbines (basically jet engines) which far less efficient than closed cycle gas turbines. But the closed cycle systems cannot react sufficiently quickly to variation of wind power output. Further, the open cycle turbines must be operating constantly on stand-by mode, wasting energy when the electricity is not needed.

Wind power promoters, and their supporting politicians, are leading the public into an expensive wind trap. Please see link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.

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U.S. Energy Innovation: On February 5, Mary Hutzler, a long time analyst with the US Energy Information Agency and now a senior fellow with the Institute for Energy Research, testified on energy innovation in the US and almost two generations of Federal government efforts to limit the safe, practical development of public energy resources on public lands, for the benefit of the public. The testimony appears in three parts on Master Resource with a link to the testimony.

One many not agree with every point she makes, but the testimony gives an excellent foundation of the enormous fossil fuel resources in the US. Please see links under Washington’s Control of Energy.

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Climate Sensitivity: Over the past few weeks, TWTW has linked to studies questioning the sensitivity of the planet to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 or equivalence in other greenhouse gases (GHG). To go out on a limb, the consensus view of the orthodoxy, which is not a consensus of scientists, appears to be that a doubling of CO2 will increase temperatures by about 1.5°C to 4.5°C, with a likelihood of 3°C (about 3 to 8°F, likelihood of 5.5°F). On her blog, Climate Etc, Judith Curry posts numerous comments on Climate Sensitivity. Her concluding comment merits repeating.

“Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing. The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain, and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less. Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic have acted to the detriment of climate science. As scientists, we need to embrace the uncertainty, the complexity and the messy wickedness of the problem. We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.”

Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground

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Snow Anyone? Moscow has had an unusually hard winter with extreme cold and heavy snows. Last week, TWTW linked to a piece in the New York Times lamenting the lack snow in the Northeast US. On Friday night – Saturday Nature obliged. The snows are significant – over 2 to near 3 feet in certain parts of New England. Based on reports, it appears that amounts from the current storm are somewhat less than the storm of 1888 for locations that have records dating that far back. Places such as New York City received far less snow in the current storm. 1888 was also the year of the Schoolhouse Blizzard, which was one of three blizzards in the 1880s to hit the Great Plains of the US with such fury it that prompted people such as Theodore Roosevelt to wonder if the Great Plains can be permanently inhabited by humans.

Of course, the Global Warming Chorus is croaking that this is all due to global warming / climate change. Please see links under Changing Weather and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blizzard_of_1888 [H/t Lars Hagen]

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Number of the week: 2%. The study cited above under “The Australian Experiment” used 2% of installed capacity as the Minimum Acceptable Level (MAL) to calculate the frequency in which a fleet of wind farms failed during 2010. It is useful to keep in mind to this low estimate of reliable power when wind promoters brag about installed capacity, though zero percent may be more accurate.

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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. Fred Singer on the Myths of Politically Correct Science

Interview With Anthony Wile, Daily Bell, Feb 3, 2013

http://www.thedailybell.com/28619/Anthony-Wile-Frederick-Singer-on-the-Myths-of-Politically-Correct-Science

2. The Fish and Wildlife Service Is Not for the Birds

The federal government plans to allow wind turbines to kill bald eagles for 30 years.

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Feb 1, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324039504578259824223563736.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

3. Planes, Trains and Bike Paths

Ray LaHood’s transportation legacy

Editorial, WSJ, Feb 2, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324156204578274043919406354.html?mod=ITP_opinion_2

4. An Alaskan Challenge for ‘All of the Above’ Energy

An accident with no environmental impact is being exploited for political purposes in an effort to halt offshore exploration in Alaska.

By Sean Parnell, WSJ, Feb 2, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324039504578262303073398808.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Monsoons In China Fluctuate In Sync With Solar Activity…No Correlation With CO2

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 7, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/07/monsoons-in-china-fluctuate-in-sync-with-solar-activity-no-correlation-with-co2/

Translated from: China’s Summer Rains Fluctuated During The 20th Century In Sync With The Solar 11-Year Cycles

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Their Blog, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.kaltesonne.de/?p=7822

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Decreased Surface Wind as a Contributor to Warming

February 5th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/02/decreased-surface-wind-as-a-contributor-to-warming/

In Their Own Words: Climate Alarmists Debunk Their “Science”

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/05/in-their-own-words-climate-alarmists-debunk-their-science/#comment-3324

Global warming overestimated by factor of two

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 9, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/9/global-warming-overestimated-by-factor-of-two.html

Link to paper: Using data to attribute episodes of warming and cooling in instrumental records

Ka-Kit Tung and Jiansong Zhou, PNAS, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/6/2058

Yet another paper shows the hot spot is missing

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 2, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/yet-another-paper-shows-the-hot-spot-is-missing/#more-25053

Occam’s Razor, the Null Hypothesis, and Anthropogenic Global Warming

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/occams-razor-the-null-hypothesis-and-anthropogenic-global-warming.php

[SEPP Comment: Another review of Professor Carter’s excellent essay discussed in last week’s TWTW.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

Scientists to Obama: Convene climate change ‘summit’ to map out federal action

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Feb 8, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/281909-scientists-to-obama-convene-climate-change-summit-to-map-out-federal-action

[SEPP Comment: As nature refuses to obey these scientist, they call upon the President to defend them against nature?]

Looking to the Future at Energy Innovation 2013

By Matthew Stepp, Consumer Energy Report, Feb 4, 2013 [H/t Joseph D’Aleo]

http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2013/02/04/looking-to-the-future-at-energy-innovation-2013/#more-13184

Environment Canada quick off the mark with global warming propaganda

U.S. Inaugural Address spurs Canadian Government climate statements

By Tim Ball and Tom Harris, Frontier, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.fcpp.org/blog/environment-canada-quick-off-the-mark-with-global-warming-propaganda/

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Climate seers as blind guides

Forecasters often use unscientific computer models

By J. Scott Armstrong, Washington Times, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/4/climate-seers-as-blind-guides/

10 Killer Questions for Climate Extremists

By Christopher Monckton, SPPI, Feb 6, 2013, [H/.t Tomas Sheahen]

http://sppiblog.org/news/10-killer-questions-for-climate-extremists

Environment Canada’s Ignorance Guarantees Political Climate Science And Wrong Policy.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Feb 3, 2013

http://drtimball.com/2013/environment-canadas-ignorance-guarantees-political-climate-science-and-wrong-policy/

Tyndall Centre gives up on science

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 6, 2013

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/2/6/tyndall-centre-gives-up-on-science.html

Report shows UN admitting solar activity may play significant role in global warming

By Maxim Lott, Fox News, Feb 1, 2013 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/02/01/report-show-un-admitting-solar-activity-may-play-significant-role-in-global/

Met Office Decadal Forecast–2007 Version

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That [H/t GWPF]

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/met-office-decadal-forecast2007-version/

[SEPP Comment: Comparing Met forecasts with actual data.]

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Amazon forest more resilient to climate change than feared – study

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/06/us-climate-amazon-idUSBRE91510O20130206

Unable to find link to the actual article

[SEPP Comment: According to his web site Cox is a lead author of Chapter 7 of the IPCC report.]

Four Top Swedish Climate Scientists Publish Critical Letter Slamming Potsdam Institute Climate Alarmism

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 5, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/05/four-top-swedish-climate-scientists-publish-critical-letter-slamming-potsdam-institute-climate-alarmism/

[SEPP Comment: Further commentary questioning the organization the World Bank used to produce a highly alarmist study.]

Do forests drive wind and bring rain? Is there a major man-made climate driver the models miss?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 2, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/do-forests-drive-wind-and-bring-rain-is-there-a-major-man-made-climate-driver-the-models-miss/#more-26699

Link to paper: Where do winds come from? A new theory on how water vapor condensation influences atmospheric pressure and dynamics,

By Makarieva, A. M., Gorshkov, V. G., Sheil, D., Nobre, A. D., and Li, B.-L., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Jan 25, 2013

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/1039/2013/acp-13-1039-2013.pdf

A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity

By Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, Feb 4, 2013 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/a-closer-look-at-moderating-views-of-climate-sensitivity/?smid=tw-share

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Climate Gets 20 Percent of Seven-Year European Budget

By Staff Writers, Environmental News, Feb 8, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://ens-newswire.com/2013/02/08/climate-gets-20-percent-of-seven-year-european-budget/

“Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create more and greener jobs,” the final agreement states.

Teaching climatism in schools: Next generation science standards

By Steve Goreham, Washington Times, Feb 6, 2013

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/climatism-watching-climate-science/2013/feb/6/teaching-climatism-schools-next-generation-science/

Energy leaders say climate crisis more urgent

By Staff Writers, New Delhi (AFP), Feb 6, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Energy_leaders_say_climate_crisis_more_urgent_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Now the increase in temperatures is 6 deg C by 2100. The World Energy Council is hardly a group of energy leaders.]

Climate Science Turns Comic – John Schellnhuber Now Depicted As Planet-Saving Comic Hero In Germany

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 6, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/06/climate-science-turns-comic-john-schellnhuber-now-depicted-as-planet-saving-comic-hero-in-germany/

Funding Fights

Fixing the National Weather Service’s Computer Gap

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jan 28, 2013 [H/t Climate, Etc.]

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/01/fixing-national-weather-services.html

When U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell learned about the lack of computer power for U.S. numerical weather prediction at a luncheon I attended, she asked an important question of the head of the NWS: how can this be when Congress has appropriated large amounts of funds for weather and climate computers? He did not answer, but the answer is clear: nearly all of these resources have been unavailable for weather prediction–most are used for climate studies.

Seeking a Common Ground

Sensitivity about sensitivity

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Feb 4, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/04/sensitivity-about-sensitivity/#more-11057

How Not to Argue for Increased R&D Funding,

By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, Feb 6, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-not-to-argue-for-increased-r-funding.html

The obtuse part is Geim’s equating of advances in basic research as both necessary and sufficient for economic growth, when neither may be the case.

[SEPP Comment: After decades of exaggeration about global warming, extreme exaggeration for other causes may not be sufficient.]

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

Temperature Stagnation Suddenly Being Discovered In Climate Models…Erred Scientists Desperately Clinging!

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 4, 2013 [H/t Anne Debeil]

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/04/temperature-stagnation-suddenly-being-discovered-in-climate-models-erred-scientists-desperately-clinging/

NOAA Corrects Their 2012 State of the Climate Report – 2012 Was NOT the Warmest La Niña Year on Record

By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Feb 6, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/06/noaa-corrects-state-of-the-climate-offers-no-credit/

[SEPP Comment: Slight error, too bad it was repeated with great fanfare all over the world and the correction is being ignored. But, the state of the climate is what we state when we state it.]

Increases in extreme rainfall linked to global warming

By Staff Writers, Adelaide, Australia (SPX) Feb 08, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Increases_in_extreme_rainfall_linked_to_global_warming_999.html

Link to paper: Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation.

By Westra, Alexander, and Zwiers, Journal of Climate, [2012]

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00502.1

“Assuming an increase in global average temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, this could mean very substantial increases in rainfall intensity as a result of climate change.”

[SEPP Comment: The good lecturer reduces the meaningfulness of his findings by his intensity of his assumptions as to the future.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

‘Roasted, toasted, fried and grilled’: climate-change talk from an unlikely source

By David Runnalls, Globe and Mail, Can, Feb 1, 2012 [H/t Climate Depot]

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/roasted-toasted-fried-and-grilled-climate-change-talk-from-an-unlikely-source/article8077946/

[SEPP Comment: Hyperbole knows no bounds. This from the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. No wonder, except for a few countries such as China, the international financial situation is bleak.]

Global Warming To Bring Colder/Warmer Winters

By Paul Homewood, WUWT, Feb 8, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/08/global-warming-to-bring-colderwarmer-winters/

Chris Mooney’s Chartsmanship in the Service of Alarmism

By Willis Eschenbach,WUWT, Feb 7, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/chris-mooneys-chartsmanship-in-the-service-of-alarmism/

[SEPP Comment: A great example of chartsmanship – drawing the graph to mislead rather than to illuminate. See Number Watch: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/chartmanship.htm.]

Polar bear researchers urge governments to act now and save the species
By Staff Writers. Edmonton, Canada (SPX) Feb 08, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Polar_bear_researchers_urge_governments_to_act_now_and_save_the_species_999.html

Link to paper: Rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation

By Derocher, et al, Conservation Letters, Jan 25, 2013

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12009/abstract

Andrew Derocher refuses to accept that polar bears have been saved

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 5, 2013 [H/t WUWT]

http://polarbearscience.com/2013/02/05/andrew-derocher-refuses-to-accept-that-polar-bears-have-been-saved/

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above. Perhaps the term “polar bear advocate” should be changed to “polar bear profiteer.”]

Changing Weather

Here comes the snow

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Feb 7, 2013

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/here_comes_the_snow1/

Heaviest Snowfall in a Century Hits Moscow – WWF has logic fail

Compiled by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 5, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/05/heaviest-snowfall-in-a-century-hits-moscow-wwf-has-logic-fail/

[SEPP Comment: When nature disagrees with your forecasts, make things up.]

NOAA Slays the Billion-Dollar Disaster Meme

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 3, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/noaa-slays-billion-dollar-disaster-meme.html

Superstorm Sandy (Part III: Political Actions)

By Paul Driessen and Patrick Moffitt, Master Resource, Feb 2, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/superstorm-sandy-part-iii/

[SEPP Comment: It is not sufficient to blame others, what will political leaders do to protect against future storms?]

Changing Earth

Volcano Location: Greenhouse-Icehouse Key? Episodic Purging of ‘Carbonate Capacitor’ Drives Long-Term Climate Cycle

By Jade Boyd, Science Daily, Feb 6, 2013 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207115014.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

Link to Article: Continental arc-island arc fluctuations, growth of crustal carbonates, and long-term climate change.

By Lee, Shen, et al, Geosphere, Dec 13, 2013

http://geosphere.gsapubs.org/content/early/2012/12/13/GES00822.1.abstract

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Understanding the historical probability of drought

By Staff Writers, (SPX), Feb 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Understanding_the_historical_probability_of_drought_999.html

Link to Article: Comparison of Drought Probability Assessments Based on Atmospheric Water Deficit and Soil Water Deficit

By Torres, Lallato and Ochsner, ASA, Jan 29, 2013

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj/abstracts/0/0/agronj2012.0295

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

A History of Drought in the Southern United States Since 1895

Reference: Chen, G., Tian, H., Zhang, C., Liu, M., Ren, W., Zhu, W., Chappelka, A.H., Prior, S.A. and Lockaby, G.B. 2012. Drought in the Southern United States over the 20th century: variability and its impacts on terrestrial ecosystem productivity and carbon storage. Climatic Change 114: 379-397.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/5feb2013a1.html

Coral Resilience to Ocean Acidification and Global Warming

Reference: McCulloch, M., Falter, J., Trotter, J. and Montagna, P. 2012. Coral resilience to ocean acidification and global warming through pH up-regulation. Nature Climate Change 2: 623-627.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/5feb2013a2.html

[SEPP Comment: Corals adapt to changing alkalinity.]

 

Cloud Ice Water Content & Cloud Ice Water Path in CMIP5 GCMs

Reference: Li, J.-L.F., Waliser, D.E., Chen, W.-T., Guan, B., Kubar, T., Stephens, G., Ma, H.-Y., Deng, M., Donner, L., Seman, C. and Horowitz, L. 2012. An observationally based evaluation of cloud ice water in CMIP3 and CMIP5 GCMs and contemporary reanalyses using contemporary satellite data. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: 10.1029/2012JD017640.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/5feb2013a3.html

Canadian and U.S. Droughts of the Medieval Warm Period

Reference: Laird, K.R., Haig, H.A., Ma, S., Kingsbury, M.V., Brown, T.A., Lewis, C.F.M., Oglesby, R.J. and Cumming, B.F. 2012. Expanded spatial extent of the Medieval Climate Anomaly revealed in lake-sediment records across the boreal region in northwest Ontario. Global Change Biology 18: 2869-2881.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/6feb2013a2.html

Litigation Issues

Treasury fights to keep carbon emails secret

By CJ Ciaramella, Free beacon, Feb 5, 2013

http://freebeacon.com/carbon-copies/

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Another Made Up Mandate on Energy that Doesn’t Exist

By Marita Noon, Townhall, Feb 3, 2013

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2013/02/03/another-made-up-mandate-on-energy-that-doesnt-exist-n1504035?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Is it time to get rid of the EPA?

By Henry Miller Daily Caller, Feb 4, 2013

http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/04/is-it-time-to-get-rid-of-the-epa/

The EPA’s Lisa Jackson: The Worst Head of the Worst Regulatory Agency, Ever

Bu Henry Miller, Forbes, Jan 30, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2013/01/30/the-epas-lisa-jackson-the-worst-head-of-the-worst-regulatory-agency-ever/

 

EPA moves forward with climate change protection plan, asks for comments

By Ben Goad, The Hill, Feb 8, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energyenvironment/281915-epa-puts-forward-climate-change-adaptation-plan

Link to the draft plan: http://epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/EPA-climate-change-adaptation-plan-final-for-public-comment-2-7-13.pdf

 

EPA: Power plants accounted for two-thirds of industrial emissions in 2011

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Feb 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/281247-epa-power-plants-accounted-for-two-thirds-of-emissions-in-2011

Line to the EPA Report: GHGRP 2011: Reported Data, Feb, 5, 2013

http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/ghgdata/reported/index.html

Energy Issues – Non-US

Why the World May Never Experience a Shale Boom

By Energy Burrito, Oil Price.com, Jan 31, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Why-the-World-May-Never-Experience-a-Shale-Boom.html

[SEPP Comment: Excellent caution: the experience does not exist to be confidently able to extrapolate from the US to the rest of the world.]

Each stalled pipeline project costing Canada $30M-$70M a day, new report suggests

By Lauren Krugel, Canadian Press, Feb 7, 2013

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/07/each-stalled-pipeline-project-costing-canada-30m-70m-a-day/?__lsa=fac1-efca

[SEPP Comment: In the US and Canada, environmentalists and bureaucrats do not care about costs.]

Energy Issues — US

DOE’s Chu’s Resignation Letter: Ten Questions

By Robert Bradley, Jr, Master Resource, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/chu-resignation-letter-10-questions/

[SEPP Comment: The link contains the letter.]

Steven Chu quits, misunderstands the end of Stone Age

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Feb 2, 2013

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/02/steven-chu-quits-misunderstands-end-of.html

Study: CBO underestimates revenues from expanded oil-and-gas drilling

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Feb 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/281185-study-federal-oil-and-gas-revenues-from-expanded-drilling-understated-

Link to summary and study: Beyond the Congressional Budget Office

By Joseph Mason, IER, Feb, 2013

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/beyond-the-congressional-budget-office/

[SEPP Comment: All that is needed is a change in energy policy, not special subsidies.]

Pandering on Price

By Marita Noon, Townhall, Feb 7, 2013

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2013/02/07/pandering-on-price-n1507046?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Let’s Inaugurate a Term of Energy Realism

By Michael Economides, Energy Tribune, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/72711/lets-inaugurate-a-term-of-energy-realism

U.S. Beating China in Race for Clean Skies

By Rudy Takala and David Kreutzeer, The Foundry, Feb 8, 2013

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/08/u-s-beating-china-in-race-for-clean-skies/

Washington’s Control of Energy

U.S. Energy Innovation (Part I: Expanding “Depletable” Resources)

By Mary Hutzler, Master Resource, Feb 6, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/us-energy-i-expanding-resources/

Part II: Coal Issues: http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/u-s-energy-ii-coal/

Part III: Federal Land Potential: http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/u-s-energy-iii-federal-lands/

Growing Canadian oil exports to U.S. bittersweet for producers as price discount bites

By Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, Feb 7, 2013

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/07/growing-canadian-oil-exports-to-u-s-bittersweet-for-producers-as-price-discount-bites/?__lsa=fac1-efca

Interest Group Wants to End Natural Gas Exports

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=22821&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

Link to full report New Special Interest Group Pushes to Stop Natural Gas Exports

By Daniel Simmons, IER, Jan 29, 2013

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2013/01/29/other-aea-pushes-to-limit-natgas-exports/

[SEPP Comment: Energy isolationism. How would the members respond if regulations were passed to ban exports of their products?]

Domestic Energy: Triumph in the Face of Adversity

By Gary Jason, American Thinker, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/domestic_energy_triumph_in_the_face_of_adversity.html

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Full Throttle Ahead: US Tips Global Power Scales with Fracking

The United States is sitting on massive natural gas and oil reserves that have the potential to shift the geopolitical balance in its favor. Worries are increasing in Russia and the Arab states of waning influence and falling market prices.

By Spiegel Staff, Spiegel Online, Feb 1, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/new-gas-extraction-methods-alter-global-balance-of-power-a-880546.html

Spreading an Energy Revolution

By Christof Ruhl, BP, NYT, Feb 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/global/spreading-an-energy-revolution.html?_r=0

North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Finally Hits the East Coast

By Matthew Philips, Bloomberg, Feb 6, 2013

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-06/north-dakotas-bakken-oil-finally-hits-the-east-coast

America’s Oil Revival

By William Tucker, Spectator, Feb 8, 2013

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/02/08/americas-oil-revival

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

U.S. Halts Drilling on Gulf Wells with Flawed Bolts

By Carroll, Catts & Wethe, The Hill, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/u-s-halts-drilling-on-gulf-wells-with-flawed-ge-bolts.html

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Forked Tongue

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Feb 6, 2013

https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/forked-tongue/

[SEPP Comment: We are for nuclear energy but we will oppose any means of disposing of the waste.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind Farms in Eastern Australia-Recent Lessons

By Paul Miskelly, Energy & Environment, Dec 2012 [H/t Tom Quirk]

http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/f1734hj8j458n4j7/

VantagePoint curbs cleantech fund raising due to lack of interest

By Katie Fehrenbacher, Gigaopm, Feb 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://gigaom.com/2013/02/05/vantagepoint-curbs-cleantech-fund-raising-due-to-lack-of-interest/

[SEPP Comment: Even Al Gore’s investment firm is pulling back from “clean-tech.” Could it be that it is over-sold, under-delivers, and sub-prime? Some of the stated “successes” were backed by government loan guarantees, that may go into default.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Pricing Electric Cars

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=22806&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

Link to full Article, The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car,

By Carroll Lachnit, Edmonds, Dec 21, 2012

http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/the-true-cost-of-powering-an-electric-car.html?mktcat=advice-fuel-economy-article&kw=the+true+cost+of+powering+an+electric+car&mktid=ob61762686&msite=w

Insight: Electric cars head toward another dead end

By Norihiko Shirouzu and Yoko Kubota and Paul Lienert, Reuters, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-autos-electric-hydrogen-idUSBRE91304Z20130204

[SEPP Comment: Largely for the same reasons they failed 100 years ago.]

Carbon Schemes

Requiring Deeper Cuts in CO2 Emissions

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Feb 9, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/requiring-deeper-cuts-in-co2-emissions/

California Dreaming

Could Monterey Shale Save California?

Editorial, IBD, Feb 5, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/020513-643335-california-monterey-shale-could-exceed-bakken-boom.htm

Brown vs. Green: Clash of the Titans in California

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Feb 4, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/02/04/brown-vs-green-clash-of-the-titans-in-california/

Solar development absorbing Calif. farmland

By Staff Writers, AP, Feb 4, 2013

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/02/04/solar-development-absorbing-calif-farmland/

Health, Energy, and Climate

South Africa using its smarts — and DDT — to prevent malaria

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.acsh.org/south-africa-using-its-smarts-and-ddt-to-prevent-malaria/

New study finds a link between smog and birth weight — maybe

By Staff Writer, ACSH, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.acsh.org/new-study-finds-a-link-between-smog-and-birth-weight-maybe/

[SEPP Comment: Describes no measurements of exposure, and shows no causal link.]

Other Scientific News

Study Shows that Gases Work with Particles to Promote Cloud Formation

By Holly Evarts, Press Release, Columbia University, Feb 4, 2013

http://engineering.columbia.edu/study-shows-gases-work-particles-promote-cloud-formation

Link to paper: Surfactants from the gas phase may promote cloud droplet formation

By Sareen, et al, PNAS, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/29/1204838110.abstract?sid=29e2f7ea-50f2-456e-b541-3d510ed9f097

Spring may come earlier to North American forests

By Catherine Zandonella, for Princeton Research, Princeton NJ (SPX), Feb 01, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Spring_may_come_earlier_to_North_American_forests_999.html

Link to Article: Predicting changes in temperate forest budburst using continental-scale observations and models.

By Jeong, Su-Jong, David Medvigy, Elena Shevliakova, and Sergey Malyshev. 2013. Geophysical Research Letters. Jan 25, 2013

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL054431/abstract

[SEPP Comment: Once an early spring was welcome, not to be feared.]

Other News that May Be of Interest

Shale Gas Boom Now Visible From Space

By Staff Writers, CNBC, Jan 28, 2013

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100412356/Shale_Gas_Boom_Now_Visible_From_Space

[SEPP Comment: Further evidence of the need for pipelines.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Could Climate Change Be Al-Qaida’s Best Friend in Africa?

By Abraham Riesman, Slate, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/07/mali_islamist_insurgents_could_climate_change_be_al_qaida_s_best_friend.html

Study: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less

A new analysis suggests that a more ‘European’ schedule would reduce the effects of climate change

By Jason Koebler, US News, Feb 4, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/04/-study-global-warming-can-be-slowed-by-working-less

Birds may need a hand to weather climate change

By Staff Writers, Durham, UK (SPX), Feb 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Birds_may_need_a_hand_to_weather_climate_change_999.html

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12 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. The quote by the Saudi Oil Minister is correct. In a free market no commodity will run out because the price becomes so exorbitant that alternatives will already be in the market place.

  2. ferdinand says:
    February 11, 2013 at 1:31 am
    The quote by the Saudi Oil Minister is correct. In a free market no commodity will run out because the price becomes so exorbitant that alternatives will already be in the market place.

    This is the exact argument that Richard Courtney has made repeatedly on threads here dicsussion “peak oil” (I liked his amusing analogy of “peak hay” in the 19th century which also failed to materialise).

  3. Yes, please at least annotate link URLs to paywalls.

    Tangentially, I’ve had to abandon, for now, my attempt to blog for hosts/software prerequisite of ineffective security for functionality. For instance, Ghostery has blocked seven requests to store data on my PC. NoScript has had to allow four of seven scripts. AdblockPlus has blocked 8 of 151 calls.

    Commercial interests will be the end of the generative internet as illustrated in Jonathan Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf 3 MB 354 pages

  4. Here’s a tip that I often use to get around paywalls: search for the title of the article on Google News, then click on the link to the article provided by Google. I’ve found that the WSJ and some other publications make their articles freely available to Google users.

  5. Especially since he is a physicist, it is fairly obvious that Dr. Chu has been putting politics ahead of sound science. He should know perfectly well that the sun and wind are poor, inferior sources of energy compared with the likes of nuclear if the end goal is cleaner energy. Understanding that, squandering billions of tax dollars on wind and solar makes no sense. I have long been an advocate of replacing our fossil fuel power plants with nuclear and thus freeing up our coal and our NG resources for coal to liquids and gas to liquids plants for our transportation needs. Thus we would be on our way to reducing (and hopefully someday eliminating) our oil imports, saving ourselves hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

    We have long had the resources to be an energy independent nation. It is sad and tragic that politics and stupidity keep getting in the way of a smart energy policy in this country. Dr Chu’s time in office didn’t help matters any, and it is an open question as to whether is successor will be any diffierent.

  6. Excellent post. Lots of good information. For example, people can learn that the New England blizzard was not the worst ever. Thanks.

  7. eyesonu says:
    February 11, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Found this in the Forbes article:

    ‘In 1988, former Canadian Minister of the Environment, told editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald: “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”’

    Who would have thought that “justice and equality in the world” required creation of a million little ENRONs?

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