Curry and Lomborg in house committee today – webcast live

UPDATE: Dr. Judith Curry’s transcript of her verbal testimaony is online here: http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/25/congressional-hearing-on-policy-relevant-climate-issues-in-context/

Skeptics outnumber alarmists at House of Representatives session today

Subcommittee on Environment Hearing – Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context

Subcommittee on Environment | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | Apr 25, 2013 10:00am

Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context

Hearing Charter (PDF)

Purpose
On Thursday, April 25, 2013, (10AM ET) the Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing entitled Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context. The purpose of the hearing is to provide Members a high level overview of the most important scientific, technical, and economic factors that should guide climate-related decision-making this Congress. Specifically, this hearing will examine the current understanding of key areas of climate science necessary to inform decision-making on potential mitigation options.

Background
Climate science—and climate-related regulatory actions informed by such science—are among the most complex and controversial issues facing policymakers. After several years of relatively quiet legislative and regulatory activity within Congress and the Executive Branch, climate policy is again receiving renewed attention.

Since winning re-election in November, 2012, President Obama has increasingly signaled his intention to propose significant, new executive actions and regulatory measures aimed at addressing climate concerns. At his inaugural address in January, the President stated:
We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.

The President elaborated on this at last month’s State of the Union address, and indicated he would direct his Cabinet to propose specific actions for his consideration. Specifically, he stated:

But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

While it is unclear what specific form the President’s proposals will take, it has been widely reported that new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations restricting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plant facilities will serve as a centerpiece of the President’s climate efforts. In March 2012, EPA proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants.1 While this rule has yet to be finalized, the Agency’s Regulatory Impact Analysis that accompanied this proposal emphasized some of the key challenges associated with incorporating uncertain scientific, technological, and economic information into such regulatory decisions:

When attempting to assess the incremental economic impacts of carbon dioxide emissions, the analyst faces a number of serious challenges. A recent report from the National Academies of Science (NRC 2009) points out that any assessment will suffer from uncertainty, speculation, and lack of information about (1) future emissions of greenhouse gases, (2) the effects of past and future emissions on the climate system, (3) the impact of changes in climate on the physical and biological environment, and (4) the translation of these environmental impacts into economic damages. As a result, any effort to quantify and monetize the harms associated with climate change will raise serious questions of science, economics, and ethics and should be viewed as provisional.2
This characterization is indicative of the likely challenges associated with future climate-driven regulatory proposals as well. Therefore, it is likely that Congressional review and response of such proposals will be heavily informed by the understanding of a combination of science, technological feasibility, and value judgments such as economic tradeoffs and opportunity costs.

1 http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/79c090e81f0578738525781f0043619b/9b4e8033d7e641d9852579ce005ae957!OpenDocument
2 http://www.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/RIAs/egughgnspsproposalria0326.pdf

The purpose of this hearing is to examine key factors that will guide these decisions, particularly as they relate to the understanding of climate change-related risks facing the country, associated probabilities and uncertainties, and the costs and benefits of various mitigation proposals.

Witnesses

Dr. Judith Curry, Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. William Chameides, Dean and Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, President, Copenhagen Consensus Center

==============================================================

LIVE WEBCAST LINK:

http://mfile.akamai.com/65778/live/reflector:39667.asx?bkup=39949&prop=n

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58 thoughts on “Curry and Lomborg in house committee today – webcast live

  1. Whenever I read the words that dimwit read, I am highly disturbed at the gullibility of some.

    “Superstorm Sandy” was just another storm. It was only “super” in the eyes of a generation that doesn’t remember the last one and failed to maintain preparedness. Same with the drought… worst in decades? Well, that means there were worse decades ago. Fires? What fires? What forests? Who has completely mismanaged forestry in the Americas, and is now seeing some of the results?

    Overwhelming judgment of science? What a joke. The OVERWHELMING majority of actual Scientists wouldn’t be caught dead making the ludicrous and faulty claims that the handful of “climate scientists” make on a regular basis, and most have taken large steps to be away from that train wreck. At least cosmologists knew their predictions would take millennia to be proven or not.

    It’s all so transparent. So ridiculous. And I’ll be there to say “I told them so but they wouldn’t listen”.

  2. Obama’s problem is that he surrounded himself with useless advisers like Holdren and Hansen. Obama’s science knowledge is minimal to non existent. The UK has the same problem with 95% of our politicians.

  3. Dr. William Chameides blogs at TheGreenGrok. His influence cab possibly be gauged by the number of comments on his posts (WUWT and Judith Curry average hundreds of comments per post):
    1 Apr 2013 – 2 comments,
    4 Apr – 1.
    5 Apr – 0.
    8 Apr – 2.
    10 Apr – 0.
    12 Apr – 0.
    15 Apr – 0.
    16 Apr – 0.
    19 Apr – 0.
    24 Apr – 0.

    Since he is a one-eyed warmist, who cites the likes of Mann and Marcott, hopefully he will have as little influence at this hearing.

    [More accurately, WUWT has received more than 18,500 comments since passing 1,000,000 replies right at the 1st of April, 2013. Mod]

  4. “Skeptics outnumber alarmists at House of Representatives session today”
    Neither Curry of Lomborg is really a skeptic. Nor are they alarmists.

    I think Curry will say that, while elevated CO2 levels cause a bit of warming, it is nothing to worry about and will almost certainly not be catastrophic. In an interview she recently repeated what she said last year: “Based upon the background knowledge that we have, the threat does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century, even in its most alarming incarnation.”
    link

    I expect that Lomborg will take a similar tack. He recently said: “Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, … The solution is not to make fossil fuels so expensive that nobody wants them because that will never work but to make green energy so cheap that eventually everybody wants it.” link

    Both Curry and Lomborg will present a nuanced message and my biggest concern is that they will confuse the committee members.

  5. I would like to see Curry and Lomborg answer the following:
    What level of warming is acceptable?
    What level of emissions(in CO2 eq) would push us beyond that level?

    The third guest would have a fairly steady answer for both.

  6. commieBob says:
    April 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

    “Both Curry and Lomborg will present a nuanced message and my biggest concern is that they will confuse the committee members.”

    Agreed – to get their message across, it will have to be a carefully crafted so that the committee can truly understand as I suspect few if any have any scientific training .

    I do hope they can convey the message about climate sensitivity well, as I think if the committee understands that in conjunction with the “stalling” in warming over the last 16 years, that they surely will conclude that no radical actions are needed. In fact, the opposite is needed.

  7. From Scientific American : http://www.scientificamerican.com/page.cfm?section=about-green-grok

    TheGreenGrok and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment

    What Is TheGreenGrok.com?
    TheGreenGrok.com is a blog about science and sustainability written by Duke University’s Dr. Bill Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment.”

    What Is Duke’s Nicholas School?
    The Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University is a world-renowned graduate and professional school for the interdisciplinary study of the environment. Its mission is to foster knowledge and train leaders of consequence for a sustainable future. Our educational paradigm aims to understand the interplay between the Earth and its environment and the human institutions that govern our lives and use that understanding to advance and spread the environmental ethic.

    With roughly 100 faculty, the Nicholas School engages with scientists, governments, industry leaders, conservation practitioners, and communities globally to address critical issues such as climate change, energy, water quality, ecosystem conservation, and human and environmental health”
    ———————————————————————-
    I wonder why he was chosen to testify?
    This could be interesting.
    Does he like the idea of more research money for climate change?
    Is he there to ask for some grant money?
    cn

  8. Politicians hear what they want to hear: Blah, blah, blah, blah, climate change, blah, blah, blah, warming, blah, blah, blah…

    If Judith says any of those words, the rest will be ignored. More to the point, questions will be asked for the sole purpose of eliciting those words from her mouth. She will be a puppet on a string and won’t even realize it.

  9. CommieBob says Lomberg said:

    “Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, … The solution is not to make fossil fuels so expensive that nobody wants them because that will never work but /Bto make green energy so cheap that eventually everybody wants it/B.”

    make green energy so cheap … ?

    And that will work?

    That’s the very policy (e.g.,PTC) we need to fight, because Government can’t mandate cheap

    JohnB

  10. To appropriate the words of a classic American Liberal, CAGW is not a theory “to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

  11. Climate Change? We cannot do anything about climate change. Do they mean man-made climate change? Then they should say it.

  12. Global warming has paused now for some 16 years and the pattern of the last 10 years has been actually one of slight cooling. The best forecasts [UK Met Office] call for the same for the next 5 years, bringing the total pause to 20 years by 2017. Some climate scientists have been predicting typical long term cooling phase which may last well into the 2030/2040 era like the pauses between 1880-1910 and 1940-1970. These pauses typically last for 30-40 years and not just 10-15 years as IPCC has been suggesting. What is behind this pause? It would appear that the current cooler cycle may be due to the following key climate factors:

    DECLINING SOLAR CYCLE
    Solar sunspot activity is at the lowest level since 1900. During the decades of 1880, 1890 and 1900 the average sunspot numbers [NSO] were 45.2, 55.1 and 42.6. During 2000 decade they were 49.6. During the last 10 years the average sunspot number was 29.3. Low solar sunspot numbers seem to correlate with low global surface temperatures especially when ocean and solar cycles are both in sync and declining. Low solar cycles typically come in threes, so it is possible that low sunspot number may exist for several decades into the future

    DECLINING SST
    Sea Surface Temperatures in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have been flat for 16 years as measured by HADSST2 and have actually been declining slightly during the last 10 year. Land temperatures typically follow ocean surface temperatures which follow solar heating cycles. The oceans release this heat to the atmosphere in lagged timing from the sun cycle.

    WINTER AO GOING MOSTLY NEGATIVE
    The JFM Seasonal standardized AO Index has been declining since 1989 and is more frequently now negative allowing more cold Arctic air to drift further south

    DECLINE IN STRONG EL NINOS
    During previous global cool cycles like1880-1910 and 1940-1980 there was typically only one climate altering El Nino per decade. During the warm phases, there were 2

    MORE FREQUENT SUDDEN STRATOAPHERIC WARMING. [SSW]
    SSW used to happen every other year, but recently these are stronger, are happening more frequently and are earlier in the winter. These events are caused by sudden warming of the stratosphere air which is compressed and sinks down causing a mound of air at higher pressure to develop around the pole which in turn forces the cold Arctic air outward from the poles. This cold air can split the polar vortex and these vortices can send cold Arctic air over Europe and North America and change the direction of winter winds to come from the north east as was the case in Europe.

    ROSSBY WAVES AND JET STREAM CHANGES
    More recently low amplitude zonal waves [jet streams] are being replaced by larger amplitude meridonal waves. These jet streams swing further south pushing more cold Arctic air toward the equator. These waves used to move from west to east in relatively short periods [6weeeks] but recently they have stayed longer and are more often blocked by adjacent Hi’s

    MORE SEVERE WEATHER
    When there is more global cooling taking place, there will be a greater incidence of warm and cold fronts clashing at the jet stream inter face regions bringing a higher probability of bigger and more frequent storms. There will be more severe and sometime extreme weather with the cooling globe. The best example of this is the increase in tornadoes during the spring and fall in United States where cold and warm fronts clash more often due to the existence of still cold fronts from the west. It has nothing to do with global warming.

    CLIMATE MODELS
    Climate models based on rising co2 levels seem to be somewhat flawed and a comparison of 44 climate model predictions and observed satellite readings of global lower troposphere temperatures illustrates the problem. Not a single model seemed to match observed global temperature trends. It would be quite wrong in my opinion to base any public energy and environmental policy on this doubtful science.

    Climate models based on CO2 levels seem to be seriously flawed and headed in the wrong direction as compared to UAH and RSS satellite observable global temperature trend. Why any government would spend tax payer’s money during these difficult financial times with serious budget deficits to fight non existing global warming which is based on this flawed science is hard to comprehend.

  13. The rep from Oregon is already repeating the “2012 is the warmest”, and is even throwing out ocean acidification for her scare tactics.

  14. Her testimony looked pretty good to me; thumbs up JC! Lots of good stuff in there although nothing earth shattering. My particular favorite from the conclusion reads:

    ‘The role of scientists should not be to develop political will to act by hiding or simplifying the uncertainties, either explicitly or implicitly, behind a negotiated consensus.’

    Take that, followers of the late Dr. Stephen Schneider!

    It must be neat to be able to stand up in a House subcommittee and talk about ‘messy wickedness’. :)

  15. If it is correct to label Curry and Lomborg as lukewarmers, then it is a good thing that they are witnesses in this hearing. In the present political climate, it is easier to redirect alarmist policy by measured statements, which do not challenge the current gospel too much. Too blunt skeptics could ruffle the feathers of moderate members of Congress by some “inconvenient truths”.

  16. For: Leif Svalgaard

    Hey, Leif, here is a good partial list of exogenous variables that can explain why EVERY low solar activity period is not neccesarily a low surface temperature period. Multicolinearity of inter-correlated variables will do that, particularly when lag times may be invovled. It does not mean that low solar activity does not generally result in lower temperatures. See: herkimer says: April 25, 2013 at 7:10 am . Many more variables can be added to this list, some inter-correlated, some not, like volcanism.

  17. I only saw the fast few minutes, but … Dr. William Chameides was often less than completely honest in his testimony. When asked about temperatures being as warm during the MWP he came back with temperatures are the hottest in a 1000 years. Well duh, that was the MWP. While not technically a lie he was clearly trying to give a false impression to the committee. He then brought up a very regional area to claim unprecedented warming (glacier in Peru) while not admitting the GISP2 (and other regional proxies) shows the MWP was warmer. Once again trying to imply a false sense of certainty in unprecedented warming.

    He should be castigated for doing that. He brings dishonor to Duke University by stooping to such a level. This is the type of one-sided propaganda we see from warmists all the time. His lack of scientific balance was so obvious and so blatant that he should be called out by real scientists.

  18. There’s no question who looked the least impressive witness of the three at that hearing. Calling ….. Wm Chameides. Not willing to answer straight question with straight answer, very evasive on some. Made me laugh when he claimed he was not familiar with the IPCC paragraph on extreme event attribution that was read to him.

  19. commieBob:

    At April 25, 2013 at 6:07 am you say

    I think Curry will say that, while elevated CO2 levels cause a bit of warming, it is nothing to worry about and will almost certainly not be catastrophic. In an interview she recently repeated what she said last year: “Based upon the background knowledge that we have, the threat does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century, even in its most alarming incarnation.”

    Subsequently, several comments have suggested that Curry is a “lukewarmer”. This surprises me because your suggestion of what she would say is exactly what I would say but in different words. So, how is she a “lukewarmer”?

    Nobody has ever called me a “lukewarmer”. I get called “den**r”, spawn of the devil, and the like.

    Richard

  20. Just finished listening to the hearing. Lomborg IMO stole the show, with excellent hard-hitting graphics. Judith was reserved and quiet and represented a fine image of careful scientific caution. Chameides went a bit off the rails in his opening statement, calling out Judith on some of her testimony, and, curiously, seemed to take credit for getting her her position at Georgia Tech! If so, he’ll be in trouble with his fellow warmers.

  21. I thought Chameides was a shifty and untrustworthy sort of cove…..he could barely conceal his conviction that the elected reps. were halfwits.

    And that will have gone down very badly with them.

  22. This is what going green without considering the law of unintended consequences can do for you:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    News on CBC this morning, April 25, 2013

    Spain’s National Statistics Institute says the country’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 27.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

    The agency said Thursday the number of people unemployed rose by 237,400 people in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, taking the total to 6.2 million.

    Spain is in recession again as it struggles to deal with the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008.

    The conservative government has launched a series of financial and labour reforms and pursued a raft of spending cuts and tax increases that have managed to reduce a swollen deficit. Even so, the country had the highest budget deficit among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro in 2012.

    © The Associated Press, 2013

  23. It seems to me that a label such as “lukewarmer” is irrelevant in the case of Dr. Curry. She is an excellent critic of IPCC attribution studies. She created the “Uncertainty Monster” and presented addresses on it at mainstream climate science venues. She sticks to the science.

    Questioners might have elicited a policy response from her this morning but she prefers to address the uncertainty in the science rather than policy options. She was at a disadvantage in this panel. She would like to discuss the science but she was the only person in the room who can discuss science at her level.

  24. JC, you just needed this on a huge sign board behind you titled: “Just where the hell do YOU think we are headed?” or as I like to call it “Marcott my ass”

  25. Bjorn Lomborg clearly exposed that current greenhouse subsidies are costing at least ten times more than any benefits of reducing greenhouse costs. Better to do nothing than Congress’ current wasteful subsidy policy.

    Gregory F. Nemet (2006) found:

    From 1988 to 2003 the U.S. energy industry invested only 0.23% of its revenues in R&D. . . . Overall R&D in the US economy was 2.6% of GDP over that time

    The $50 billion on energy R&D that Lomborg advocated would yield very high returns and is still only the average of what the energy industry should be spending on R&D. e.g. UTC’s $1 billion investment into R&D made aircraft propulsion (bypass fans) 15% more efficient and is projected to double Pratt & Whitney’s market to a commanding share.

  26. Dr. Curry just recites standard denialist talking points and pseudo science. I know, because Dr. Mann said so on twitter, and he is a Nobel laureate!
    /sarc

  27. Latimer Alder says:
    April 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I thought Chameides was a shifty and untrustworthy sort of cove…..he could barely conceal his conviction that the elected reps. were halfwits.
    =====
    I’d have a hard time with that if I were in his shoes. In general, they are halfwits. Guam might tip over, you know.

  28. @OldWeirdHarold

    You may think the reps. are be halfwits, but they’re the ones the voters elect to decide their policy and distribute their largesse. That’s how democracy works.

    The academics can feel intellectually superior to them as much as they like (and many of them take that as an article of faith), but if they make it too obvious they will likely be feeling superior in ‘an impoverished frame of mind’.

    In the end..he who pays the piper calls the tune.

  29. Dr. Chameides really showed that he’s in it to advocate for a particular policy direction when it was brought up that the estimated 1% of GDP required to fight climate change would not be insignificant saying “It’s 1%” obviously implying that it’s such small price to pay we shouldn’t even be arguing about it.

    Well, Dr. Chameides the estimated increase in down-welling IR heat flux from doubling CO2 is 3.7 W/m2 and the estimated total down-welling IR heat flux from the GHE is about 333 W/m2, so the percentage of greenhouse effect enhancement is about 1.1 %. I guess that 0.1% makes all the difference between something being insignificant or catastrophic.

  30. That last question pertaining to the uncertainty of cAGW and what plan the scientists/politicians had to back out of the economic havoc wreaked by cAGW proponents if they are wrong, resulted in the silence of crickets chirping !!!

  31. After watching Dr. Curry’s testimony, I reiterate that I am all for Doctor Curry replacing Hansen and taking over Hansen’s old helm.

    I believe it is also within the director’s purview to move the research center if they so choose; even to Georgia.

  32. You might be a lukewarmer if you believe that man is responsible for at least some measureable amount of the warming last century, without supporting evidence, but that the amount is nothing to worry about. It’s a harmless belief, like believing in ufos.

  33. atheok says:
    April 25, 2013 at 10:47 am
    “After watching Dr. Curry’s testimony, I reiterate that I am all for Doctor Curry replacing Hansen and taking over Hansen’s old helm.”

    I don’t know if I am brave enough to think that thought. My knee jerk reaction is that such a move is impossible for the Obama administration. However, Dr. Curry’s appointment to Hansen’s job would be the best thing that ever happened to climate science.

  34. “Dr. Judith Curry’s transcript of her verbal testimaony is online here:”
    Technically that is just a prepared statement not a transcript of her verbal testimony. I would consider any Q/A with the committee to be part of her verbal testimony and even just in giving the initial statement, her spoken words can deviate from the prepared statement as written in advance.

  35. “Louis Hooffstetter says: April 25, 2013 at 11:40 am…”

    I wasn’t terribly impressed with his testimony. I was far from impressed by his answers to the questions at the hearing’s end. Dr. Chameides left some whoppers in the attendee’s ears; especially the 1000’s of years of reconstructed temperatures from ‘many paleo sources’ that show that this warming is higher than it has been for thousands of years.

    I wish someone in the audience sneezed with a loud “Hockeystick!” when Chameides said that. He tried to avoid answering that question, but when cornered dropped that sound bite. He was also cornered on exactly how is it proven that we know what the residency time for Man’s CO2 to remain in the atmosphere. Chameides avoided answering but said we know by studying atmospheric CO2 isotopes for fossil fuel signatures.

    Dr. Lomberg did not say anything directly untruthful that I heard. He strongly advocated subsidizing research for CO2 remediation science before picking any technology. Dr. Lomberg used ‘fracking’ as an example describing how fracking technology took fifty years of development; but when fulfilled, how the fuel it supplies is far more efficient and cleaner. The key emphasis in that whole description was when the technology developed it was/is sought after with research and industrial development paid for by private firms. (Funny, not one word of free market or capitalism was mentioned.)

    Ms. Edwards (I believe I have her name correct, maybe), a bureaucrat was there to obtain that clear scientific conclusion that CO2 action is urgent!. Her ears were open though, and she apparently heard clearly that climate science is not settled though she didn’t like that testimony. I also didn’t get the impression that she is a devoted CAGW alarmist; I did get the sense that she has already received her marching orders and that she is a devoted dedicated employee. As I and a number of other people I’ve worked with believe in, when your boss gives a direct order to march; marching is immediate, details will get worked in over time. As one of my bosses yelled one time, “All I want to see are asses and elbows busy doing their work NOW!, or pick up your pay and pink slip”. With training like that, marching is immediate. Experienced soldiers quickly learn that the order they are following is the last order given, preceding orders are over-ridden.

    So, while I was disappointed in some of my impressions of Ms. Edwards; I did think she was a very valuable and intelligent employee. Ms. Edwards looks to have solid potential in any organization. What she needs is a boss who can be coaxed by real information.

  36. testimaony

    Don’t like to correct your text, it’s a waste of time if one can read it but testimaony made me chuckle.

    Testi (y) = angry Moany = miserable and yes I know the mistype is maony.

    Now the testimonies will have no effect at all on oblarny’s aims and objectives. He will ensure that the evidence says what he wants. He is a very ungifted liar but heck, that doesn’t matter when you are talking to idiots.

  37. This is a note to all of the posters here unfamiliar with hydraulic fracturing and the note is especially to Bjorn Lomborg. Mitchell did not invent hydraulic fracturing! His company did not even invent hydraulic fracturing in horizontal well-bores or horizontal drilling. What Mitchell did was understand the potential to hydraulically fracture an organic-rich source-rock shale to make economic natural gas production. Then he took the leasing, drilling and technology/economic risk of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Bjorn was wrong in his testimony. Hydraulic fracturing was patented by my company (Stanolind OIl, which became Standard Oil of Ohio, which became Amoco, which was bought by BP). And, hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells was being done by large oil companies on a test basis in the 70s and 80s. Mitchell only started hydraulically fracturing horizontal Barnett Shale wells in the late 90s.

    http://www.spe.org/jpt/print/archives/2010/12/10Hydraulic.pdf

    In my opinion, the service companies like BJ, Haliburton, and Schlumberger and others like them embraced and improved hydraulic fracturing over time, but it ain’t much different than the process first tried in 1949 that was used to develop one of the largest gas fields in the continental US, the Hugoton-Panoma gas field in Kansas. Unbeknownst to Bjorn, hydraulic fracturing was not first used widely starting in the 1970s. Almost every low-porosity/permeability well drilled in the US during the 50s, 60s and 70s was hydraulically fractured in an almost identical way as those wells drilled and hydraulically fractured today.

    One other point, the DOE got into researching hydraulica fracturing in a big way during the nineties and beyond. They spent a lot of money, lots of money! Having been a member of of some of the joint ventures with the DOE funded government groups and the consortia universities, I would have to say that these efforts had no impact on the industry or the economics of shale gas production. The government and universities were so far behind the service companies in R&D, that I think the money was more useful in keeping government researchers employed and collage professors in money to support student education. Not saying that this is necessarily bad, but some of the comments I am hearing today about the government having an R&D impact on the shale gas boom in any way is flat out wrong.

    What really happened to get the government involved with industry research was that the cold war ended and the government labs were trying to save themselves from extinction, thus needing to find a nice big research efforst to attach themselves to, using the DOE energy initiatives and taxes on the industry to support these fellas. We were barraged by roaming bands of government researchers, trying to “help” using government funds, our funds. Well the joint efforts bore little fruit, so we left them to write mostly anachronistic reports well after we lost interest in a given joint project. However, now that the state and federal governments have woken up politically to the public perception of hydraulic fracturing, that awakening is forcing regulatory change that affects the technology, The service companies again lead these changes in the technology, not government or university research.

  38. commieBob says: Neither Curry of Lomborg is really a skeptic. Nor are they alarmists.

    Curry and Lomborg are not skeptical of AGW alarmist claims…Really? Such comments give me the creeps. And they give skepticism a bad name. Skepticism is not a dogma but an attitude of inquiry. To call Lomborg out seems rather unfair when the earliest published skepticism of the Hockey Stick that I have come across is in the updated English translation of his Skeptical Environmentalist, published in 2001. The second wave of skepticism (which this blog rides) was founded in the critique of the Hockey Stick, and yet now you renounce one of its boldest pioneers if only because his skepticism has delivered more moderate conclusions to yours.

  39. Agree that Lomberg stole the show and made some very good cases for R&D which I concur with. Too bad LFTR’s aren’t part of the green energy R&D discussion, at least China,India and the UK are working in that vein and I’m sure it will bear fruit sooner than later ; the US and Germany can play catchup

  40. herkimer @ April 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

    “These events are caused by sudden warming of the stratosphere air which is compressed and sinks down”

    It has always been my understanding that as air warms it expands and rises. By what mechanism in this case does it compress and sink down?

  41. herkimer @ April 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

    “These events are caused by sudden warming of the stratosphere air which is compressed and sinks down”

    It has always been my understanding that as air warms it expands and rises. By what mechanism in this case does it compress and sink down?

  42. “Stephen Richards says: April 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    testimaony

    Don’t like to correct your text, it’s a waste of time if one can read it but testimaony made me chuckle.

    Testi (y) = angry Moany = miserable and yes I know the mistype is maony…”

    Stephen: you are, of course, absolutely correct in calling out my mistype (Dyslexia combined with age and clumsiness is always challenging in a literate world. Thank God I can type my mistakes rather than write them. As I’ve frequently admitted over my career, I am a computer typist, backspace is required! So is proofreading which usually fares better; c’est la vie and enough whining…

    I greatly enjoy your slightly twisted sense of word play and accept your correction and in preference, your suggested new word as it usually does apply to climatics dogma conferences.

    “clyde says: April 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm
    Agree that Lomberg stole the show and made some very good cases for R&D which I concur with…”

    Aye, I’d heartily second your statement if only for Dr. Lomberg’s charts on CO2 remedial and ‘green’ energy cost effectiveness and his firm R&D statement.

    I do feel he missed a few chances during the question phase to clarify his CAGW CO2 stance, (some undetermined non catastrophic warming IMO) and whether or not it is important that America spend $Billions$ immediately for green technology. While Dr. Lomberg’s fiscal statement’s about where $37 billion dollars could be cut from government trough’s right now is a wonderful statement, he didn’t back it up with a solid ‘no!’ about spending now for green lunacy, so that the benefits will accrue and we’ll think them worthy in future decades.

    Then again, perhaps his look when he answered that question was actually a bit dumbfounded because didn’t he clearly show how inefficient and wasteful America’s throwing money at ‘pork barrel business solutions is? (My words completely, not Dr. Lomberg’s) only to try and force)
    That particular question, by the committee’s cochair I believe, had been aimed at the scientists to try and force a ‘consensus’ that global warming was so important that immediate action was required.

  43. atheok says:
    April 25, 2013 at 10:47 am

    After watching Dr. Curry’s testimony, I reiterate that I am all for Doctor Curry replacing Hansen and taking over Hansen’s old helm.

    You are forgetting who the current occupant of the White House is.

    I think Dr. Curry’s chances of being appointed to Hansen’s post are lower than those of Michael Mann.

  44. In all honesty I will cancel my TV subscription if the USA drags Canada into a cap and trade carbon market.. I will fire the MSM and most of Hollywood out of my house.. Never to return..
    I think a little more than 1200 dollars a year will help..

    Stick it to them where it hurts.. Their bottom line..

  45. ty
    You are partly right . My understanding is that SSW start from very intense storms in the lower atmosphere. They eventually brake through to the lower stratosphere where they cause major sudden warming and pressure increase. The warm air under higher pressure now radiates heat and sinks[under pressure], resulting in a mound of relatively warm air under high pressure to develop around the pole . Existing cold Arctic air is pushed away from the poles . These can be so intensive that they litearlly can split the polar vortex in two causing cold air fronts in Europe and North America and changes in the wind direaction blowing cold air from the north east as we saw in the case of UK.

  46. The Fortune Cookie (1966)

    00:47:49 Double talk! $3700 worth of double talk!
    Time – Phrase
    00:47:42 ..that the evidence is definitely inconclusive.”
    00:47:46 “Enclosed is a bill for our services and a list of our expenses.”
    00:47:49 Double talk! $3700 worth of double talk!
    00:47:53 You know, this case has been getting a lot of publicity.
    00:47:56 We could save the insurance company money if we settle.

  47. “Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says: April 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    atheok says: April 25, 2013 at 10:47 am
    After watching Dr. Curry’s testimony, I reiterate that I am all for Doctor Curry replacing Hansen and taking over Hansen’s old helm.

    You are forgetting who the current occupant of the White House is.

    I think Dr. Curry’s chances of being appointed to Hansen’s post are lower than those of Michael Mann.

    Sadly, I haven’t forgotten that horrible advocate working on emperorship elected to the oval.
    As you and Theo Goodwin point out, and I’m sure others feel, Doctor Curry’s prospects to gain the post are unlikely.

    Still the thought of such an unlikely event still plays giddy with daydreams of infamous GISS employees and coordinating organizations when they learn who holds the NOAA/GISS leash and control over myriad troughs of climate funds.

  48. “Marty Williams says: April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    This is a note to all of the posters here unfamiliar…”

    Many thanks for the background and clarification on fracking!

  49. Watched the whole subcommittee hearing. The (Rep.) Members of the House get it. The Dem. members trot out the same old party line rhetorically. The division between parties is a yawning chasm.

    The witnesses all ‘went along’ with the premise that CO2 is bad and its all anthropogenic. Almost as is to say otherwise would result in immediate excommunication, a lightening strike or worse.

    Judith Curry’s testimony DID NOT offer any clarification on the sceptical side at all, IMO. It seems that the Climate Mafia have a much larger hold than we would care to admit. For the other side to trot out the whole bag of CAGW nonsense with impunity reinforced that.

    The format did not lend itself to examination of any details and you obviously cannot get any admission of telling pork pies (lies) in cross examination, and clearly there were a few misdirections, deflections and reinterpretations that were deliberate politicking.

    But overall the Rep. members are alive to all of it and in no mood to allow Americans to suffer from the impositions that would otherwise be piled upon them. More power to them.

  50. The witnesses all ‘went along’ with the premise that CO2 is bad and its all anthropogenic. Almost as is to say otherwise would result in immediate excommunication, a lightening strike or worse.

    Judith Curry’s “Truth in Testimony” disclosure cites the Federal grants, contracts, subgrants or subcontracts received by her or the entity she represents. They are: DOD, DOE, NASA, NSF, NOAA.

    Lomborg’s disclosure cites “0”.

    I’m a fan. He’s always articulate, energetic, and fresh, but in his effort to provide a role for big government spending (as though fearful to hurt BG’s feelings), always seems a bet wishy-washy. When he is asked, “So… do you think we should cut back on governmental subsidies to these (various energy) companies?” He answers “No. We should be smarter in how we fund them.” These are approximate quotes – from my memory.

    But who says we need to incentivize the “right” technologies, either in their production or in their research and development? My hunch (unencumbered by personal experience) is that a new technology that solves big problems cheaply (such as fracking) eventually brings sufficient financial reward to grow and spread on its own. Such, I believe, is the point that Mr. Williams makes, above.

    Marty Williams says:
    April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

  51. JC says “…as well as tactics used by both sides to try to gain political advantage in the debate”

    Could someone fill me in on the “tactics” used by the skeptics ? Tactics like trying to get a legitimate debate going ?

  52. @herkimer

    ‘ The warm air under higher pressure now radiates heat and sinks[under pressure], resulting in a mound of relatively warm air under high pressure to develop around the pole . ‘

    What causes the pressure that makes the warm air sink? Normally warm (higher pressure) air rises so that it can expand and lower its pressure. Your scenario seems to want it to do the opposite…to move from a lower pressure to a higher pressure region. Like a child’s balloon spontaneously inflating itself…..

  53. LATIMER ALDER

    Here are two sources with slightly different explanations . I think the key is that SSW events seems to cause more cold Arctic air to seep to lower latitudes , something like the effect of negative AO but through a different mechanism.

    ”Major stratospheric warming events like these have a large impact on the weather. The warm air in the stratosphere radiates heat and sinks, then warms as it sinks by compressional heating. It causes a mound of relatively warm air and high pressure to develop around the pole. ”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/16/1179397/-Sudden-Stratospheric-Warming-Split-the-Polar-Vortex-in-Two

    “Another theory is that large storms in the lower part of the atmosphere (the troposphere) cause perturbations in the stratosphere and may allow the upper atmosphere to warm suddenly. When the stratosphere suddenly warms, it forces a large area of low pressure at the surface, known as the polar vortex, to weaken. According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “With the vortex no longer strong enough to contain the frigid surface air near the pole, the dam breaks and allows the cold air to start moving southward.” This occurred during the middle of January. It allowed some cold air to seep southward over the Canada Prairies, into the western U.S. for several days and intermittently into the northern Plains and northern New England. ”

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/evolution-of-an-arctic-outbrea/4721288

  54. herkimer says: April 26, 2013 at 6:59 am

    “Another theory is that large storms in the lower part of the atmosphere (the troposphere) cause perturbations in the stratosphere and may allow the upper atmosphere to warm suddenly. When the stratosphere suddenly warms, it forces a large area of low pressure at the surface, known as the polar vortex, to weaken. According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “With the vortex no longer strong enough to contain the frigid surface air near the pole, the dam breaks and allows the cold air to start moving southward.” This occurred during the middle of January. It allowed some cold air to seep southward over the Canada Prairies, into the western U.S. for several days and intermittently into the northern Plains and northern New England. ”

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/evolution-of-an-arctic-outbrea/4721288

    Eddy Heat Flux also plays a role, i.e. 10 day Averaged Eddy Heat Flux Towards The North Pole At 100mb:

    NOAA – National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

    This time series shows the 10 day averaged eddy heat flux towards the North Pole at 100mb. Strong positive fluxes indicate poleward flux of heat via eddies. Multiple stong poleward episodes may result in a Sudden Stratospheric Warming or a smaller/warmer polar vortex. Relatively small flux amplitudes will result in a more stable/colder polar vortex and will extend the winter circulation further into the Spring. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/polar/polar.shtml

    Also,

    “Early modelling work by Rind and Balachandran (1995) and Balachandran and Rind (1995), and more recently discussed by Rind et al. (2002), was able to simulate these zonal wind anomalies. They suggested that solar variability influences the structure of the polar night jet and hence the propagation of planetary-scale waves that travel vertically from the troposphere. This then affects their ability to impact the polar vortex and to produce sudden stratospheric warmings. Specifically, Rind and co-workers noted that the 11-year SC temperature anomaly in the equatorial upper stratosphere gives rise to an anomalous horizontal temperature gradient and hence to a corresponding anomaly in the vertical wind shear in the region of the polar night jet at upper levels. As a result of the consequent anomalous planetary wave propagation, this zonal wind anomaly gradually descends with time into the lower stratosphere (see also Dunkerton 2000). In addition, they noted that the QBO influences the latitudinal wind shear in the lower stratosphere (Holton and Tan 1982). Both these factors affect the structure of the polar night jet and thus there is an interaction of the solar and QBO influences through their combined influence on wave propagation. However, the details of how the solar and QBO interaction occurred were not clear, especially the precise mechanism by which the 11-year SC influence in the upper stratosphere impacts the QBO influence in the lower stratosphere.

    http://www.space.dtu.dk/upload/institutter/space/forskning/06_projekter/isac/wp501b.pdf

    Here’s an animation of the Arctic Polar Vortex in Winter 2008 – 09, it’s break down and the resultant Sudden Stratospheric Warming :

    and there are several more on this site including one where the Polar Vortex splits:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972

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