Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

SEPP_header5
The Week That Was: 2013-06-08 (June 8, 2013)  Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made. Richard Feynman

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Number of the Week: 73

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THIS WEEK:

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

Sea Levels: As nature continues to ignore the temperature projections by human climate models, some in the Climate Establishment are responding by making ever more alarming projections of sea level rise. Fred Singer discusses sea level rise and what can be expected in the 21st century. In short, not much different than what was experienced in the 20th century. Singer brings out the different projections produced by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the past and the greater, new estimate, appearing in the draft of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) as well as estimates by James Hansen, and Singer.

A new point Singer discusses is the possibility of two different mechanisms influencing Antarctica with opposite effects on sea levels. He suggests that the warming over the past century may increase the ice mass on the continent by promoting increases in snowfall on the continent. This mechanism may dominate the ice mass over decades or centuries and reduce projected sea level rise.

The second mechanism involves the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Unlike the Arctic ice sheets which are free floating, therefore, melting do not increase sea levels; much of the WAIS is anchored to bedrock that is below sea level, thus melting can increase sea levels. However, the melting, if it is occurring, is very slow and the time frame is in centuries or in millennia, and the extent and time frame of sea level rise have not been determined, should the globe continue to warm.

The melting of the WAIS, regardless of the cause, should be monitored; but, it does not pose a clear danger at this time. Humanity has decades, if not centuries, to determine the possible danger and how to address it.

Singer’s analysis brings up an interesting test. In the draft of AR5, the IPCC predicts the sea levels will rise 45 to 110 cm by the end of the century – about 1 to 2 inches every five years. James Hansen predicts the sea levels will rise 20 feet, or about 30cm, 12 inches, every five years. But Fred Singer predicts a sea level rise of only less than 1cm, 0.4 inches, in five years. Who is right? We will know in five years. [Hansen plots the sea level rise as highly exponential, with an increase in the last decade of the century in excess of what occurred during the melting of the great ice sheets covering much of North American and Eurasia.]

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the most recent paper in Nature Geoscience states that the rise from 2005 to 2011 was about 1.68 cm. This would work out to be about 1.4 cm per 5 years or 0.55 inches per 5 years – based on only six years of data. At this point, it appears that the IPCC and Hansen, not Singer, are the climate contrarians. Of course, the headlines claimed accelerating ice melt, for which they seem to have little basis. Please see Articles #1 and #2.

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Models v. Observations: Many people who have little experience in reading charts and graphs are confused by the graphs that show the temperature projections from the numerous climate models. When presented on one graph, the projections appear to be a mass of spaghetti. In an effort to clearly illustrate the differences between model projections and observations, Roy Spencer and John Christy simplified the model projections temperature into a linear from, covering the period from 1979 (when satellite measurements started) to 2012 and roughly covering the mid-troposphere over the tropics (20deg N to 20deg S). On the same graph, using 1979 as the base point, they compared these projections to the observations for that period over the same area from two satellite datasets (UAH and RSS) and four radiosonde datasets (from balloons), also in a linear form. The visual results are striking. The mean temperature increase of the projections from the models are about three times the temperature increase shown by observations.

One must be cautious in not inferring too much from such linear graphs. The richness of the data is lost by making it linear. For example, the jump in temperatures around the big El Nino year of 1998 is gone. The actual data indicates a climate shift around 2001-2002 which needs careful examination. A similar climate shift occurred in the mid to late 1970s.

In responding to critics, Spencer produced a similar graph, but without the linearization. The results are similar but for those not experienced in reading graphs the visual impact is not as striking. Spencer suggests that the reason for the disparity is that the models have too strong of a positive water vapor feedback to warming. But, there are also other possible explanations. Please see links under Models v. Observations.

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Blinded: The governments of the UK and the US appear to be blinded by ideology and/or myths and are unaware that of the dire consequences their policies may have on the general public. For example, when considering an energy bill this week, the UK parliament narrowly defeated an amendment (290 to 267) to “decarbonize” electricity generation by 2030 – essentially abandon fossil fuels for the generation of electricity, with legally binding limits. Prior legislation had targets, without enforceable limits. Those who voted for the amendment appear to be unaware that industrial and household electricity costs are increasing and that shutting off fossil fuel generation will put a great burden on the entire generation and distribution system.

Similarly, the US administration appears to be blind to reality. As reported in last week’s TWTW, President Obama falsely declared that over the past 5 to 10 years the globe has been warming faster than anyone projected. The new Secretary of Energy claimed the cause of warming is not a subject for debate. This week, the Secretary of Agriculture made similar declarations, stating that climate change is new and different than anything the agriculture industry has faced. Apparently, he is unaware of the great “dust bowl” of the 1930s and the enormous benefits enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) provides to virtually all green plants, making them grow more robustly and more resistant to stresses such as drought.

Perhaps the strangest statement, backed-up by the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture, is that western wildfires will increase significantly. For many decades, the policy of the Forest Service was to fight fires as they were seen to be wasteful and destructive. This policy resulted in a large build-up of flammable vegetation in forests. In recent decades, the policy shifted to only fight selected fires. If more wildfires occur in the future, it will be a result of changing government policy rather than increasing CO2, which makes the forests more resistant to drought and insects. Please see Article #3 and links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Problems in the Orthodoxy.

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Ray of Hope? As the UK and US governments seem to be oblivious to the failure of global warming/climate change claims, there may be a shift occurring in Australia. Prime Minister Julia Gillard is facing an election on September 14, and indications are that Ms. Gillard, who implemented an unpopular carbon tax in spite of promises not to do so, may be in significant difficulty. One indicator of the extent of this difficulty is that The Climate Group, one of largest international pressure groups advocating the replacement of fossil fuels, is closing its offices in Australia, claiming an unfavorable political climate. Please see link under “Problems in the Orthodoxy.”

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Whom to Blame? Recently, there have been a number of essays exploring why the Climate Establishment, which seemed so powerful a few years ago and had enormous government support, was unable to get the public to support international agreements, and the US to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. Among the more interesting ideas is that the establishment was too focused on the small number of skeptics and attacked them for non-science reasons, thus giving the skeptics greater credibility with the public than their numbers would suggest. The establishment railing against the skeptics rather than debating them, no doubt, played a role.

However, one can also argue that it was the willingness of a few skeptics to publically state, in spite of personal abuse, that the science is shoddy, ignores climate history and contradicting data, and is largely based on models that have not been validated and are failing. When the internet became popular, the skeptical blogs furthered skepticism of the establishment science. The issue will not be settled for years to come and many different opinions will appear. Please see links under Seeking a Common Ground.

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Bureaucratic Games: Three years ago, the current US administration introduced the concept of Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) as part of its decision-making. Such concepts give bureaucrats and politicians great opportunity to play numbers games with the public under the guise of making important, necessary decisions. The Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, made up of 11 Federal agencies, raised a new SCC of $35 per metric ton, from $21 per ton, which is an increase of 67% in three years, ostensibly due to the increased risks from sea level rise. (See discussion in the first section.)

The SCC number may be adjusted to $52 per ton simply by applying a different discount rate, and it is the discount rate that is the source of great game playing, the lower the discount rate, the higher the SCC. The $35 per ton is derived from a 5% discount rate (the current value of money or property in the future) and the $52 per ton is derived from a 2.5% discount rate. The extent of the game playing is highlighted by the fact that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has established that the base discount rate should be 7%. By rule of thumb, the SCC from the Interagency Working Group, which includes OMB, is 40% above what would be calculated using OMB’s accounting procedures.

No doubt, the EPA, and other agencies, will apply the new SCC in demanding changes to many products, such as appliances, to make them more energy efficient. Overall, such demands have resulted in higher prices and in many instances requiring far more time to operate to accomplish a specific task. The net effect is that energy efficiency in labor saving appliances results in human inefficiency. Please see links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up and http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a094

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US Production of Oil: The US Energy Information Agency forecasts that, in September, US production of oil will exceed imports for the first time in two decades. The Mid-East is becoming less important for US energy security, which is really based on assuring safe lines of transport in case of war or other drastic emergency, rather than the production source. Foreign policy implications are beyond the scope of TWTW, but this simple fact further illustrates the misguided thinking of the US Navy in developing biofuel alternatives at a cost of over $27 per gallon to replace petroleum fuels at a cost of less than $4 per gallon (about 7 times) – all in the name of national security. Please see Article #4

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Air Pollution and Rainfall: A press release by the Georgia State University claims that a study confirms that the passage of the Clean Air Act is linked to increased rainfall in Atlanta. With no geographic constraints, such as ocean, major rivers, or mountains, Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the US in both area and population. According to the Bureau of the Census, in 1990 the MSA had a population of 3,069,000, in 2000 4,248,000, a growth of 38%, and in 2010 5,269,000, a growth of 24%. Could it be that population growth is linked to precipitation? Please see link under Below the Bottom Line.

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Number of the Week: 73. This is the number of climate models that Spencer and Christy have analyzed in comparing the results of the models with observations (see above). All 73 climate models fail a simple test. One climate model would be sufficient, if it could be validated. The duplication of expensive climate models is but one example on how the Climate Establishment is squandering resources. Spencer and Christy analyzed the projections of 19 US models.

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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. Could Global Warming Slow Sea Level Rise?

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Jun 6, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/could_global_warming_slow_sea_level_rise.html

2. Rising Sea Level Tied to Faster Melt

By Gautam Naik, WSJ, June 2, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578517312171788462.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

Unable to locate link to paper.

3. Britain’s No-Energy Bill

The Cameron government puts ‘decarbonization’ above growth.

Editorial, WSJ, June 3, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324063304578523304247959058.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopBucket

4. U.S. Oil Boom Scrambles Mideast Calculus

By Gerald Seib, WSJ, June 3, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324423904578523092713574764.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_news

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Climategate Continued

Revisiting Climategate as Climatism Falters

By Steve Gorham, Master Resource, Jun 6, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/06/revisting-climategate-climatism-falters/#more-25983

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Climatologists raise the shutters again

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jun 4, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/6/4/climatologists-raise-the-shutters-again.html

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Multiple, Intense, Abrupt Late Pleistocene Warming And Cooling: Implications For Understanding The Cause Of Global Climate Change

By Don Easterbrook, WUWT, June 2, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/02/multiple-intense-abrupt-late-pleisitocene-warming-and-cooling-implications-for-understanding-the-cause-of-global-climate-change/

[SEPP Comment: Demolishing the argument that the rate of warming of the late 20th century was unusual.]

Can the Moon change our climate? Can tides in the atmosphere solve the mystery of ENSO?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jun 6, 2013 [H/t James Rust]

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/can-the-moon-change-our-climate-can-tides-in-the-atmosphere-solve-the-mystery-of-enso/

Carbon Dioxide

NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No 312

By Vincent Gray, NCTCS, Jun 4, 2013

http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/carbon-dioxide.html

Global Warming theory has failed all tests, so alarmists return to the ‘97% consensus’ hoax

By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics, Jun 5, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/05/global-warming-theory-has-failed-all-tests-so-alarmists-return-to-the-97-consensus-hoax/

Defending the Orthodoxy

Ag Dept. chief: ‘America must take steps now’ on climate change

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jun 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/303661-ag-dept-chief-america-must-take-steps-now-on-climate-change

Climate change causing US wildfire season to last longer, Congress told

US forest service chief says hotter, drier conditions mean wildfire season lasts two months longer than it did 40 years ago

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, UK, Jun 4, 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/04/climate-change-america-wildfire-season

Edward Davey speech: Climate Change, Acting on the Science

Speech by Edward Davey at the Met Office Climate Services event Originally given at Institute of Physics, London. This is the text of the speech as drafted, which may differ slightly from the delivered version. [H/t GWPF]

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/edward-davey-speech-climate-change-acting-on-the-science

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Canada Leads the World in Climate Deception

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Jun 1, 2013

http://drtimball.com/2013/canada-leads-the-world-in-climate-deception/

European Institute For Climate And Energy Calls Claims Of Climate Consensus “Absurd, Baseless And False”

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

http://notrickszone.com/2013/06/05/european-institute-for-climate-and-energy-calls-claims-of-climate-consensus-absurd-baseless-and-false/

Problems in the Orthodoxy

British Newspaper Editors Oppose Attempts to Stifle Climate Debate

Some of Britain’s top newspaper editors hit back at minister who thinks he has the right to tell the Press what it can and cannot print.

By Staff Writer, GWPF, June 4, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/british-editors-oppose-attempts-stifle-climate-debate/

Blame News for Public’s Ignorance About Climate

By Eric Alterman, Real Clear Politics, May 31, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/31/blame_the_news_for_the_publics_ignorance_about_climate_118638.html

Climate NGO quits Australia as clean energy politics turn sour

By Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy, Jun 6, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/climate-ngo-quits-australia-as-clean-energy-politics-turn-sour-28643

Energy policy: Government sees off rebellion over 2030 carbon target

The government has seen off a rebellion by Lib Dem and Conservative MPs over calls for a carbon emissions target for the energy industry.

By Staff Writers, BBC, Jun 4, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22764955

Reactions to the Energy Bill debate

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jun 5, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/6/5/reactions-to-the-energy-bill-debate.html

Energy Bill Decarbonization Vote: The Reaction

By Staff Writer, Blue & Green tomorrow, Jun 4, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/energy-bill-decarbonisation-vote-reaction/

Seeking a Common Ground

A common understanding of climate change?

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Jun 7, 2013

http://scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/common-understanding-climate-change

How to Run a Really Bad Infowar Campaign

By Pointman, His Blog, Jun 7, 2013 [H/t Tom Sheahen]

http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/

Have the climate sceptics really won?

Despite recent fears of sceptics winning public debates, they are not all powerful, but have cast a spell upon their opponents

By Roger Pielke, Jr, Guardian, UK, May 24, 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/political-science/2013/may/24/climate-sceptics-winning-science-policy

The inevitable climate catastrophe

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Jun 3, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/03/the-inevitable-climate-catastrophe/#more-11802

What exactly are we debating?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Jun 1, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/01/what-exactly-are-we-debating/#more-11806

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Global Warming Charlatans are Meeting in Bonn

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Jun 4, 2013

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2013/06/global-warming-charlatans-are-meeting.html

Questioning European Green

A dangerously deluded energy policy and why the greens want to hide the truth about your soaring bills

By Christopher Booker, Mail, UK, Jun 4, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2335982/CHRISTOPHER-BOOKER-A-dangerously-deluded-energy-policy-greens-want-hide-truth-soaring-bills.html

Will Britain Have the World’s Costliest Energy?

By Danny Fortson, Sunday Times, via GWPF, June 2, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/britain-worlds-costliest-energy/

[SEPP Comment: According to the chart, the cost of building a 1.2GW offshore wind farm is £3.2bn and the cost of a 1.2GW nuclear plant is £3.6bn. This ignores the major issue of often will the wind farms fail and standby generation required.]

GWPF comments on yesterday’s vote

By Robyn Wilson, Her Blog, Jun 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.robynwilson.co.uk/1/post/2013/06/gwpf-comments-on-yesterdays-vote.html

No one wants to pay for energy we need

By Anthony Hilton, London Evening Standard, Jun 6, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.standard.co.uk/business/markets/anthony-hilton-no-one-wants-to-pay-for-energy-we-need-8647071.html

Questioning Green Elsewhere

The Green Jobs Chimera

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, June 3, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/06/03/the-green-jobs-chimera/

It’s time we learn what green energy costs states and cities

By Merrill Matthews, Dallas Morning News, May 27, 2013 [H/t NCPA]

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20130527-merrill-matthews-its-time-we-learn-what-green-energy-costs-states-and-cities.ece

Funding Issues

Climate Aid: The $39 bn industry, mostly used to slow developing countries

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jun 8, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/climate-aid-the-39-bn-industry-mostly-used-to-slow-developing-countries/#more-28820

[SEPP Comment: 71% to emission reduction ventures!]

Lowering the Standards

Self admitted cyber thief Peter Gleick is still on the IOP board that approved the Cook 97% consensus paper

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 4, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/self-admitted-cyber-thief-peter-gleick-is-still-on-the-iop-board-that-approved-the-cook-97-consensus-paper/

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

Pollution in Northern Hemisphere helped cause 1980s African drought

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 7, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/07/pollution-in-northern-hemisphere-helped-cause-1980s-african-drought/

The Impending Deluge

By Brian Fagan, OP-ED, NYT, May 31, 2013 [H/t Cork Hayden]

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/opinion/global/brian-fagan-the-impending-deluge.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

[SEPP Comment: The author roughly doubled the sea level rise since the maximum extent of the last Ice Age. The great killing storm came during the Little Ice Age. ]

How Climate Change And Budget Cuts Could Make This The Most Dangerous Hurricane Season Ever

By Kiley Kroh, Climate Progress, Man 31, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/31/2082911/climate-change-and-budget-cuts-dangerous-hurricane-season/?mobile=nc

Hidden effects of climate change may threaten eelgrass meadows

By Staff Writers, Gothenburg, Sweden (SPX) Jun 05, 2013

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Hidden_effects_of_climate_change_may_threaten_eelgrass_meadows_999.html

Link to paper: Consumers mediate the effects of experimental ocean acidification and warming on primary producers

By Alsterberg, et al., PNAS, May 21, 2013

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/21/8603.full.pdf+html

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Damian and the two-degree target

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jun 4, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/6/4/damian-and-the-two-degree-target.html

The ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’ Is Almost Double What The Government Previously Thought

By Ryan Koronowski, Climate Progress, Jun 5, 2013

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/05/2103261/the-social-cost-of-carbon-is-almost-double-what-the-government-previously-thought/

White House Revises Dubious ‘Social Cost of Carbon’

By Robert Murphy, IER, Jun 6, 2013

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2013/06/06/white-house-revises-dubious-social-cost-of-carbon/

Obama officials raise ‘social cost’ of carbon in federal regulations

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jun 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/303645-obama-officials-raise-social-cost-of-carbon-in-federal-regulations

[SEPP Comment: Now $35 per metric ton, up from $21.]

Social Cost of Carbon: Interagency Group Predictably Predicts Climate Change Worse Than Predicted

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Jun 5, 2013

http://www.globalwarming.org/2013/06/05/social-cost-of-carbon-interagency-group-predictably-predicts-climate-change-worse-than-predicted/#more-16983

Climate change threatens extinction for 82 percent of California native fish

By Staff Writers, Davis CA (SPX) Jun 04, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_change_threatens_extinction_for_82_percent_of_California_native_fish_999.html

Link to study: Climate Change Vulnerability of Native and Alien Freshwater Fishes of California: A Systematic Assessment Approach

By Moyle, et al., Plosone, May 22, 2013

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0063883

Models v. Observations

EPIC FAIL: 73 Climate Models vs. Observations for Tropical Tropospheric Temperature

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jun 4, 2013 [H/t Roger Cohen]

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-observations-for-tropical-tropospheric-temperature/

STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jun 6, 2013

http://www.drroyspencer.com/

Puzzled Schellnhuber: “Not At All Surprised” Short Term Models Are Wrong…But Insists Long-Term Models Are Correct!

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jun 2, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/06/02/puzzled-schellnhuber-not-at-all-surprised-short-term-models-are-wrong-but-insists-long-term-models-are-correct/

Changing Weather

Coldest Spring In England Since 1891

By Paul Homewood, WUWT, June 2, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/02/coldest-spring-in-england-since-1891/

Changing Climate

Arctic current flowed under deep freeze of last ice age

By Staff Writers, New York NY (SPX), Jun 02, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Arctic_current_flowed_under_deep_freeze_of_last_ice_age_999.html

Unable to locate link to any paper.

 

Changing Seas

Catastrophic climatic events leave corals facing a decade-long fight for recovery

By Staff Writers, Plymouth, UK (SPX), Jun 04, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Catastrophic_climatic_events_leave_corals_facing_a_decade_long_fight_for_recovery_999.html

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

New map reveals secrets of Antarctica below the ice

By Staff Writers, Greenbelt, Md. (UPI), Jun 5, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_map_reveals_secrets_of_Antarctica_below_the_ice_999.html

Changing Earth

New Explanation for Slow Earthquakes on San Andreas

By Staff Writers, Cape Cod MA (SPX) Jun 05, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_Explanation_for_Slow_Earthquakes_on_San_Andreas_999.html

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Smithsonian scientists discover that rainforests take the heat

By Staff Writers, Panama City, Panama (SPX), Jun 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Smithsonian_scientists_discover_that_rainforests_take_the_heat_999.html

Is Fighting Global Warming the Solution to Water Shortages in Malawi (or Elsewhere)?

By E. Calvin Beisner, WUWT, Jun 7, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/07/is-fighting-global-warming-the-solution-to-water-shortages-in-malawi-or-elsewhere/#more-87789

Rising CO2 Levels May Not Make Earth Warmer, But Is Making It Greener

Editorial, IBD, Jun 4, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/060413-658776-study-shows-co2-rise-is-causing-deserts-to-get-greener.htm

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Corn Production in the USA Is Already Adapting to Warming

Reference: Butler, E.E. and Huybers, P. 2013. Adaptation of US maize to temperature variations. Nature Climate Change 3: 68-72.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jun/4jun2013a1.html

Three Hundred Years of Western Mediterranean Precipitation

Reference: Camuffo, D., Bertolin, C., Diodato, N., Cocheo, C., Barriendos, M., Dominguez-Castro, F., Garnier, E., Alcoforado, M.J. and Nunes, M.F. 2013. Western Mediterranean precipitation over the last 300 years from instrumental observations. Climatic Change 117: 85-101.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jun/4jun2013a3.html

Cold-Climate Crises

Reference: Lee, H.F. and Zhang, D.D. 2013. A tale of two population crises in recent Chinese history. Climatic Change 116: 285-308.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jun/5jun2013a1.html

Lee and Zhang conclude that “both natural calamities and human catastrophes are clustered in periods of cold climate,” primarily because cooling “generates a devastating impact on agricultural production everywhere,” citing the work of Atwell (2001, 2002), while noting that “declines in temperatures often have had catastrophic consequences for the world’s food supply.”

The Drought Tolerance of Grasslands

Reference: Craine, J.M., Ocheltree, T.W., Nippert, J.B., Towne, E.G., Skibbe, A.M., Kembel, S.W. and Fargione, J.E. 2013. Global diversity of drought tolerance and grassland climate-change resilience. Nature Climate Change 3: 63-67.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jun/5jun2013a3.html

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Low-Cost Carbon Credits Driving Europe to Import Coal, Wood and Biomass

By Staff Writers, Sustainable Plant, Jun 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.sustainableplant.com/2013/06/low-cost-carbon-credits-driving-europe-to-import-coal-wood-and-biomass/

Myles, CCS and the T3 tax

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jun 6, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/6/6/myles-ccs-and-the-t3-tax.html

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

National Grid’s King says U.S. can double energy productivity by 2030

By Staff Writer, EE News, Jun 6, 2013

http://www.eenews.net/tv/videos/1695/transcript

[SEPP Comment: Another bureaucrat, of questionable competence, discussing spending large amounts of money for a purpose that is not clearly articulated.)

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Climatism: Dictating Our Lives, Living Standards and Life Spans

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, June 1, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2013/06/01/epa-climatism-dictating-our-lives-living-standards-and-life-spans-n1610471

EPA Honors Fake Employee

Just when you thought the federal government couldn’t get more ridiculous

By Eliana Johnson, National Review, Jun 3, 2013

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/349934/epa-honors-fake-employee-eliana-johnson

Newly released emails show EPA director’s extensive use of fictional alter ego

Former chief’s alias lauded for good job

By Stephen Dian, Washington Times, June 2, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/2/newly-released-emails-show-epa-directors-extensive/

Energy Issues – Non-US

Fracking: The Death Knell Of OPEC

Editorial, IBD, Jun 5, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/060513-658979-fracking-is-the-death-knell-for-opec.htm?p=full

OPEC Sweats: How Low Can Oil Prices Go?

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Jun 4, 2013

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/06/04/opec-sweats-how-low-can-oil-prices-go/

[SEPP Comment: Reminder that some OPEC nations cannot afford significantly lower oil prices.]

Canada’s westernmost province rejects pipeline to Pacific

By Staff Writers, Ottawa (AFP) May 31, 2013

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Canadas_westernmost_province_rejects_pipeline_to_Pacific_999.html

Energy Issues — US

We Need a 21st Century Energy Policy

By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, May 24, 2013

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2013/05/24/we_need_a_21st_century_energy_policy.html

The Case for Exports: America’s Hydrocarbon Industry Can Revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit

By Mark Mills, Manhattan Institute, May 2013 [H/t NCPA]

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/pgi_03.htm#.UayazUC1HWv

 

The U.S. should allow natural gas exports

Editorial, Washington Post, May 29, 2013

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2013/05/29/a6e94d94-c421-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html

Climate change raises stakes on US ethanol policy

By Staff Writers, Houston TX (SPX), Jun 05, 2013

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Climate_change_raises_stakes_on_US_ethanol_policy_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Climate models have not been validated.]

Washington’s Control of Energy

Interior pumps brakes on fracking regs

By Ben Goad, The Hill, Jun 6, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/303853-administration-again-pumping-brakes-on-fracking-regulations

Interior chief says no new drilling in Atlantic as GOP forges ahead

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jun 6, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/303963-interior-chief-says-no-new-drilling-in-atlantic-as-gop-forges-ahead

Obama’s brown agenda

Don’t expect the President to implement sweeping plans to decarbonise the US economy

By Steven F. Hayward, American Review, No Date

http://americanreviewmag.com/stories/Obamas-brown-agenda

[SEPP Comment: A continuation of the policies of the Bush Administration?]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Eagle Ford oil output rises 77% to more than 500,000 barrels per day

By Staff Writers, Fuel Fix, May 29, 2013

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/05/29/eagle-ford-oil-output-rises-77-to-more-than-500000-barrels-per-day/?cmpid=eefl

Gas to Liquids in US

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Jun 4, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/gas-to-liquids-in-us/

IGas: UK Shale Gas Resources Could Be Huge

As Britain aims to reverse its dependency on foreign gas, one energy firm says the UK’s shale gas deposits show big potential

By Staff Writers, Sky News, Jun 3, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://news.sky.com/story/1098699/igas-uk-shale-gas-resources-could-be-huge

Large oil firms hit record U.S. spending in 2012, as profits drop

By Staff Writers, Fuel Fix, Jun 4, 2013

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/06/04/oil-and-gas-capital-investments-reached-186-billion-in-2012/

[SEPP Comment: A major drop in natural gas prices, due to high production, was a major cause of the drop in profits.]

Return of King Coal?

Coal is India’s Path Out of Poverty

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Jun 3, 2013

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=29bc7d5d85828d574f86c157a&id=3dfad70285&e=

FERC Staff: Coal Generation Could See Comeback on Pricier Natural Gas This Summer

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Jun 4, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/FERC-Staff-Coal-Generation-Could-See-Comeback-on-Pricier-Natural-Gas-This-Summer_5680_p3.html

The Rise of India: Coal, Cities and Steel

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Jun 6, 2013

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=29bc7d5d85828d574f86c157a&id=1423b14730&e=

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Climate benefits from natural gas seen hinging on plugging leaks

By Staff Writers, Bloomberg, June 4, 2013

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/06/04/climate-benefits-from-natural-gas-seen-hinging-on-plugging-leaks/

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Japan’s radiation disaster toll: none dead, none sick

By John Watson, The Age, Jun 4, 2013 [H/t ACSH]

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/japans-radiation-disaster-toll-none-dead-none-sick-20130604-2nomz.html

Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster ‘unlikely’ to have future health affects, says draft UN report

By Staff Writers, UN News Centre, May 31, 2013 [H/t ACSH]

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45058&Cr=nuclear&Cr1=#.UbIN4_m1Fc5

Fear and stress outweigh Fukushima radiation risk

By Staff Writers, WNN, May 31, 2013

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Fear_and_stress_outweigh_Fukushima_radiation_risk_3105131.html

NRC issues post-Fukushima safety rule

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Jun 6, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energyenvironment/304021-nrc-issues-post-fukushima-safety-rule

Fracked off

Thanks to cheap natural gas, America’s nuclear renaissance is on hold

By Staff Writers, The Economist,

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21578690-thanks-cheap-natural-gas-americas-nuclear-renaissance-hold-fracked

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Offshore Wind: The New Math

By David Kreutzer, The Foundry, Jun 6, 2013

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/06/offshore-wind-the-new-math/

Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Prototype Deployed Off Maine’s Coast

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Jun 4, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/5681.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2687282&hq_l=8&hq_v=5e660500d0

Solar gains in Spain may cause warmists pain

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 6, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/06/solar-gains-in-spain-may-cause-warmists-pain/

Few Wyoming wind projects making progress

By Adam Voge, Casper Star-Tribune, May 28, 2013 [H/t IWAG]

http://trib.com/business/energy/f9e1b79c-ed1b-58ae-b732-0661e32439c7.html

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

DOE Launches Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap For Project Developers

By Silvio Marcacci, Clean Technica, Jun 6, 2013

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/06/doe-launches-geothermal-regulatory-roadmap-for-project-developers/

Other Scientific News

For the very first time, two spacecraft will fly in formation with millimeter precision

By Staff Writers, Madrid, Spain (SPX) Jun 03, 2013

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/For_the_very_first_time_two_spacecraft_will_fly_in_formation_with_millimeter_precision_999.html

Other News that May Be of Interest

Extinct frog hasn’t croaked — it’s a ‘living fossil’

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) June 04, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Extinct_frog_hasnt_croaked_its_a_living_fossil_999.html

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Study links increase in rainfall in Atlanta to Clean Air Act passage

By Staff Writers, Atlanta (UPI), Jun 5, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_links_increase_in_rainfall_in_Atlanta_to_Clean_Air_Act_passage_999.html

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12 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. izen says:

    Re:- UK energy bills and legislation.
    @- “Those who voted for the amendment appear to be unaware that industrial and household electricity costs are increasing and that shutting off fossil fuel generation will put a great burden on the entire generation and distribution system.”

    Alternatively those that voted for the decarbonization of the generating industry might be aware that most of the recent rises in energy bills has been due to the rising price of fossil fuels on the open market. Diversifying into renewables is likely to SAVE consumers around £600 as it avoids the inevitable rising price of a finite and dwindling resource with increasing world demand competing for that shrinking resource.

  2. Stephen Skinner says:

    Regarding sea level rise I emailed a local ferry company (foot passengers) to ask if they had noticed any rise in sea level over the last 50/60 years. The response was:
    “Its a bit hard to tell. However I feel its about the same as 50 years ago.”

  3. fadingfool says:

    Wow izen can you explain how this magic money will appear? Green energy is not cheap and is the most expensive and least reliable energy. How can shifting to an unreliable expensive energy source “save £600″? Wind and solar require fossil fuel back up generation at unpredicatble times meaning fossil fuel purchases will need to be made on the fly. This will drive up fossil fuel prices as there will be no amount of smoothing by purchasing known quantities in advance (gas and oil storage is quite limited in the UK). It is not “Diversifying” it is burning money. But that’s ok if you can afford it but what about the 30,000 people who died in fuel poverty in the UK last winter alone? The £600 figure is added to fuel bills (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325840/Green-energy-folly-600-bills-Annual-charges-hit-living-standards-says-report.html) so again like “green jobs” and “cheap renewable energy” we can file all this with the perpetual motion machines patents….

  4. 4 eyes says:

    Izen, then just let the free market sort it out. Legislation is not required. The engineer in me tells me not to invest in renewables – it’s not viable. There are enough smart entrepreneurs out there to work out when to start investing in alternatives to fossil fuels so long as the playing field is level. When they are truly viable I’ll be one of the first ones in.

  5. Gary Pearse says:

    “Climate NGO quits Australia as clean energy politics turn sour”

    IMO, they quit because they aren’t raising the cash they need. Anyone notice the stepped up blitz of the public by Greenpeace and other groups depending on public support. Killing economies ain’t such a good idea after all. Also, they can see the writing on the wall for Gillard so they are conserving cash. Ironically, Australia may be their best chance at survival anyway.

  6. izen says:

    @- 4 eyes
    “The engineer in me tells me not to invest in renewables – it’s not viable. There are enough smart entrepreneurs out there to work out when to start investing in alternatives to fossil fuels so long as the playing field is level.”

    An engineer should also be doubtful of an energy source which is finite and becoming increasingly expensive to extract. Fracking is clever, but a very expensive way of extracting natural gas which is why so many fracking wells have been closed as the gas price falls below the viability point, and many more are producing much less than estimated, because full production would be a net cost.

    I know of no evidence or argument that solar voltaics and wind energy systems are going to become MORE expensive as further development and mass production impact that sector. The playing field would be a little more level if tax subsidies to the fossil fuel extraction industry were cut.

    @- fading fool
    “Green energy is not cheap and is the most expensive and least reliable energy. How can shifting to an unreliable expensive energy source “save £600″? ”

    The time of cheap energy is past. Fossil fuels are a finite resource which exhibits all the characteristics of a dwindling and increasingly expensive material. The rise in ocean floor drilling and fracking, both very expensive ways of obtaining oil and gas indicate the shrinking options.
    ‘Green’ energy may not be cheap, but I don’t think there is anybody who would claim that solar cells or wind generation are going to get increasing expensive in the future. All the projections are that technological development and mass production will lower the price of energy from these sources.
    Fossil fuels are yesterdays technology.

    Here is an example of renewables being chosen as the cheaper, better option on merit because they have become cheaper than the fossil fuel alternative. Admittedly still in a limited context, but it shows the way the wind is blowing…. Or the sun shining!

    http://www.dnaindia.com/money/1839903/report-coal-india-gets-into-solar-power

  7. RACookPE1978 says:

    Izen:

    Coal India officials will do something unprecedented today – they will brainstorm with a select group of prospective bidders to decide on the technology to be used for setting up solar power plants. For once, mines won’t be on the agenda.

    In a surprising diversification move, Coal India has decided to set up solar power projects across the country, the first of which would come up at Sambalpur in Odisha.

    The purported reason for the world’s largest miner of non-renewable energy venturing into renewable energy, Coal India had told prospective bidders, is a growing realisation that the country’s coal reserve is not going to last for long.

    “India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on,” Coal India’s bid document said.

    The new tariff-based incentives for solar photovoltaic-based power generation, announced recently by the new and renewable energy ministry, is another reason Coal India is now looking at this option.

    The power plant to be set up would be of 2 mw capacity initially, using crystalline solar photovoltaic panels in a modular form, which can be scaled up to have the requisite system to generate and export power to the main grid.

    The solar farm would be spread over 9 acres in possession of Coal India.

    The brainstorm session has been called to elicit suggestions and observations from prospective bidders on the scope of work and technical specifications.

    Odd, since that article you just cited says openly that “solar project” you are boasting about would generate just 2 Megawatts (I’ve needed to build pumps larger than that in real power plants!) … And even that little of energy it could generate for a few hours each daywon’t even go to the main grid right away. More delays = more interest and no return for the company’s investment you are so proud of. It’s political.

    And a 2 Meg “solar project” can generate those 2 Meg’s of energy only 2 hours a day, on a perfectly clear sky, on the longest day of the year, if if there are no clouds or dust or haze, with artificially cooled solar panels right out of the box. Every other minute of every day of the year, you get less power …. Heat the panels up, you get less power. Get dust? Less power. Get dirt or mud or contaminates on the glass? Less power. Run a few years? Get less power. Operate away from 11:00 to 13:00 local solar time? Get less power.

    Oh. By the way, there ARE political incentives involved. And subsidies. And it was a calculated political decision (NOT economic nor engineering!) that “the “agenda” was set to eliminate even the discussion of conventional power.

    Can you not even lie about your own propaganda more convincingly ?

  8. Leonard Weinstein says:

    izen,
    Natural gas has become so cheap that some production activities were slowed to prevent oversupply. Natural gas heating in the US is about 1/4th the cost of oil or heat pump electric and is the lowest cost heating (even less than wood). The world reserves of easily obtained natural gas is now between 100 and 250 years, and increases more each year. Fracking and eventually use of methane hydrate will extend this much longer. Oil reserves in the US and rest of North America also are increasing. Where do you get the crazy claim of short term limits and increasing cost? It is true inexpensive carbon based fuels will eventually run out (especially oil), but the best alternative and later source is nuclear, not “green” energy. Solar power makes sense for special uses, and in very low energy societies, but is not a general solution. Wind is a bad joke for many reasons.

  9. Go Home says:

    What ever happened to climate gate 3 emails, the final batch and all? Anyone have a clue?

  10. Hal Javert says:

    izen:

    I assume you live in Great Britain (your original post quoted savings in pounds); what do you currently use to power your home?

  11. beng says:

    ***
    izen says:
    June 11, 2013 at 5:49 am

    An engineer should also be doubtful of an energy source which is finite and becoming increasingly expensive to extract.
    ***

    You’re apparently not an engineer.

    An engineer knows that unsubsidized competitive pricing naturally takes care of those issues. When the price of “finite” fossil fuels exceeds “renewables”, then renewables will become the choice — if they’re reliable enough. Engineering Economics 101.

  12. Chris says:

    Izen,

    The oil and gas industry has no special tax subsidy. Yes, they do have some tax subsidies, but they are available to other industries as well (thus they are not special or specific to the oil and gas industry). So, to remove these subsidies would be in essence a targeting of the oil and gas industry. In contrast, green industries not only receive general tax subsidies that other industries enjoy, they also receive special tax subsidies as well. You apparently haven’t researched this tax issue very well.

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