I have family duties today. In my last open thread I noted that “WUWT story submissions have been a dry hole lately”. I’m happy to report that I found out why and that wasn’t the case at all. Continue reading
The Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Guest post by Bjørn Lomborg
I’ve said electric cars get subsidized too much. Turns out I was wrong.
In California, they are subsidized ridiculously too much.
Tesla gets $45,000 for each car it sells in state and federal subsidies. The Tesla S starts at $69,000, so about 40% of its total cost is subsidies (Tesla isn’t making any big profits).
This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 — up from less than 1% now. This forces other car companies that can’t comply to pay for credits from Tesla.
While ice fishing is still going on in some parts of Minnesota, other parts are having what looks like glacier advance in the back yards that is damaging some homes.
As for climate change worries, you can always figure out ways to keep cool, but getting out of the way of an advancing glacier is no easy task as this video shows. Watch this video of what happens in an “ice out” from the nearby lake Mille Lacs, you can actually watch the ice advance. In a matter of minutes the wind pushes the ice about 15 feet from the shore to the doors and windows of lakeside homes.
While this isn’t the same mechanism as ice-age type glaciation, it is fascinating to watch.
Guest post by A. Scott
Even though we all know “weather is not “climate,” that rarely stops CAGW’s fiercest proponents, so we might as well have a little fun with it as well. This weekend is the 2013 Minnesota State Fishing Opener. And the joke around these parts is the most important equipment a fisherman needs this year is …. an ice auger.
Minnesota, like much of the country (as reported at WUWT here) is currently undergoing its own ‘little ice age’ with record late season snows (18″ in southeastern MN a week ago) and cold, and near record ice out dates on the State’s lakes. Lakes in the southern third of the State saw ice outs approaching new records and many lakes in the northern half of the state are still ice covered today.
Steve Milloy at JunkScience points out what is above the fold in the NYT today – FUD
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
Here’s his scan of the front page at right:
Readers may recall my post What 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere looks like where I presented a meme to help people understand that 400 PPM is just a number. A lot of interest was expressed on this thread about t-shirts.
You ask, I provide, in a choice of sizes, styles, and colors:
Steve McIntyre has a hilarious post on the desperate measures needed to get some non peer reviewed papers into the IPCC’s AR5. I am not sure where the phrase ‘Frankenscience’ comes from but it seems appropriate for AR5 which already looks DOA.
Story submitted by D.McNeil
I’d like to bring some points to the attention of your readers that were raised in an article in the Independent published on 11th May 2013 It would appear to indicate a major shift in the UK’s government attitude to climate change.
“The Government is facing an exodus of senior energy and climate change advisers amid growing concerns that decisive action to tackle global warming is falling victim to Treasury intransigence.”
Dr. Roy Spencer has made a challenge to the Slayers/Principia folks who keep insisting the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist at all. For example, see the front page claim at right from the Principia web page where they claim the greenhouse effect is “bogus”.
My view has always been that it exists. and has been effectively modeled as well as observed/measured (up to a point, so far I don’t know of a full scale measurement being done for the entire vertical column of the atmosphere), but likely isn’t the catastrophic issue portrayed by alarmists due to climate sensitivity likely being low.
Dr. Spencer’s challenge is quite simple and rooted in science; to prove their case, he simply wants them to make a simple model like this one below to demonstrate the absence of a greenhouse effect, while at the same time handling the measured energy budget of the Earth.
So far, he’s attracted lots of blowback rhetoric, but no serious takers. I doubt there will be.
Dr. Spencer sums it up pretty well as to why a cogent rebuttal is not likely:
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
I was reading through the recent Trenberth paper on ocean heat content that’s been discussed at various locations around the web. It’s called “Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content”, paywalled, of course. [UPDATE: my thanks to Nick Stokes for locating the paper here.] Among the “distinctive climate signals” that they claim to find are signals from the massive eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo in mid-1991 and El Chichon in mid-1982. They show these claimed signals in my Figure 1 below, which is also Figure 1 in their paper.
ORIGINAL CAPTION: Figure 1. OHC integrated from 0 to 300 m (grey), 700 m (blue), and total depth (violet) from ORAS4, as represented by its 5 ensemble members. The time series show monthly anomalies smoothed with a 12 month running mean, with respect to the 1958–1965 base period. Hatching extends over the range of the ensemble members and hence the spread gives a measure of the uncertainty as represented by ORAS4 (which does not cover all sources of uncertainty). The vertical colored bars indicate a two year interval following the volcanic eruptions with a 6 month lead (owing to the 12 month running mean), and the 1997–98 El Niño event again with 6 months on either side. On lower right, the linear slope for a set of global heating rates (W m-2) is given.
I looked at that and I said “Whaaa???”. I’d never seen any volcanic signals like that in the ocean heat content data. What was I missing?
Well, what I was missing is that Trenberth et al. are using what is laughably called “reanalysis data”. But as the title says, reanalysis “data” isn’t data in any sense of the word. It is the output of a computer climate model masquerading as data.
Mean and reported “Mean” temperatures and the consequences of the difference
Guest essay by Tom Quirk
The convention in meteorology is to report mean temperatures as the average of minimum and maximum temperatures. This assumption has been tested using temperatures recorded every 30 minutes through the 24 hour day at various locations in Australia by the Bureau of Meteorology and made available on their website. The period examined is from the middle of March 2013 to the end of April 2013. Analysis shows that distortions are introduced by the use of thermometers that measure minimum and maximum temperatures and more importantly that the averaging of minimum and maximum temperatures does not represent the mean for the period examined. Whether this is also true for the entire year should be tested.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on its website (http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/index.shtml) provides temperatures recorded every 30 minutes through the 24 hour day at various locations in Australia, an example, Canberra is at http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60903/IDN60903.94926.shtml.
The convention in meteorology is to report daily, monthly or yearly mean temperatures as the average of minimum and maximum temperatures. This assumption can be tested using the BOM data.
13 locations around Australia have been selected for analysis. Figure 1 shows the average of the 30 minute intervals for 43 days in March and April for Cairns and Alice Springs. The figures show errors on the mean, not standard deviations. The data for the 13 sites divided into continental and coastal locations are shown in the Appendix.
Al Gore calls for a day of prayer and reflection, and bothering your neighbor:
So please, take this day and the milestone it represents to reflect on the fragility of our civilization and and the planetary ecosystem on which it depends. Rededicate yourself to the task of saving our future. Talk to your neighbors, call your legislator, let your voice be heard. We must take immediate action to solve this crisis. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now.
Scientific American laments the plants
This measurement is just the hourly average of CO2 levels high in the Hawaiian sky, but this family’s figures carry more weight than those made at other stations in the world as they have faithfully kept the longest record of atmospheric CO2. Arctic weather stations also hit the hourly 400 ppm mark last spring and this one. Regardless, the hourly levels at Mauna Loa will soon drop as spring kicks in across the northern hemisphere, trees budding forth an army of leaves hungrily sucking CO2 out of the sky.
In the coming year, Scientific American will run an occasional series, “400 ppm,” to examine what this invisible line in the sky means for the global climate, the planet and all the living things on it, including human civilization.
Sorry, we already beat you to it when it comes to summing up what it means:
Guest essay by Dr. Vincent Gray, Wellington, NZ
For over 30 years the world has been saturated with the environmental fallacy.
It has taken over the media; newspapers, radio, TV; the education system;, the schools, the universities.
It has led to a retreat from experimental and theoretical science.
My professional career began during the war when science made a substantial contribution to its outcome. We had vigorous scientific discussions both in public and in the media. We published them in the journals. We enjoyed prestige, attractive salaries and public confidence.
It declined immediately the war ended. R V Jones, in his “Most Secret War” recounts that as soon as the war ended the military were no longer interested in measures to improve conditions of survival of pilots.
I endured a steady decline of science. In industrial research the role of the scientist was to justify the decisions of the sales department, and now it is increasingly to justify the policies of the Government even in the universities. Continue reading
Apparently, Prince Charles recent pronouncement has created a riff in space-time, and an irony meteorite was ejected, striking the prince in the head. A photo follows.
From Raw Story: Prince Charles criticizes ‘corporate lobbyists’ and climate change skeptics for turning Earth into a ‘dying patient’
“If you think about the impact of climate change, [it should be how] a doctor would deal with the problem,” he told an audience of government ministers, from the UK and abroad, as well as businesspeople and scientists. “A scientific hypothesis is tested to absolute destruction, but medicine can’t wait. If a doctor sees a child with a fever, he can’t wait for [endless] tests. He has to act on what is there.”
He added: “The risk of delay is so enormous that we can’t wait until we are absolutely sure the patient is dying.”
Apparently, second opinions aren’t allowed by Royal medicine. The Daily Mash has the story of the irony meteorite. Continue reading
UPDATE: I’ve added an animation to the end of the post. It illustrates the changes in specific humidity anomalies in response to the 1997/98 El Niño and the 1998-01 La Niña.
The UKMO Hadley Centre created a global surface (ocean and land) humidity dataset that runs from 1973 to 2003. It’s known as HadCRUH. This humidity dataset was introduced in Katharine Willett’s PhD thesis, Creation and Analysis of HadCRUH: a New Global Surface Humidity Dataset, and further documented in the 2008 Willett et al paper Recent Changes in Surface Humidity: Development of the HadCRUH Dataset. It was also the observations-based dataset used in Willett et al (2007) Attribution of Observed Surface Humidity Changes to Human Influence. We’ll call the last paper the “Willett et al attribution paper” to differentiate it from the others.
The HadCRUH data are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer in specific humidity (g/kg), Figure 1, and relative humidity (%) forms. I have not presented the relative humidity data in this post.
The abstract for the Willett et al attribution paper reads:
Water vapour is the most important contributor to the natural greenhouse effect, and the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is expected to increase under conditions of greenhouse-gas induced warming, leading to a significant feedback on anthropogenic climate change. Continue reading
These wispy cirrus clouds formed over the Utah desert. (photo by Peter DeCarlo)
From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , a fairly important discovery, one that will help us understand the role clouds play in the Earth’s energy balance. The fact that mineral dust and metallic aerosols are identified would suggest that as mining, smelting, and industrialization have increased, so would cirrus cloud formation, though it may be more complex than that. Even so, I suspect somebody will use this new finding to suggest yet another geoengineering scheme to cool the planet by creating more cirrus clouds. – Anthony
Dust in the clouds
Cirrus clouds form around mineral dust and metallic particles, study finds
CAMBRIDGE, MA — At any given time, cirrus clouds — the thin wisps of vapor that trail across the sky — cover nearly one-third of the globe. These clouds coalesce in the upper layers of the troposphere, often more than 10 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Cirrus clouds influence global climate, cooling the planet by reflecting incoming solar radiation and warming it by trapping outgoing heat. Understanding the mechanisms by which these clouds form may help scientists better predict future climate patterns.
Now an interdisciplinary team from MIT, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and elsewhere has identified the major seeds on which cirrus clouds form. The team sampled cirrus clouds using instruments aboard high-altitude research aircraft, analyzing particles collected during multiple flights over a nine-year period. They found that the majority of cloud particles freeze, or nucleate, around two types of seeds: mineral dust and metallic aerosols.
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
There have been a lot of electrons sacrificed on the altar of the discussion of the Levitus ocean heat content data. The oddity seems to be that the deep ocean is gaining heat faster than the upper ocean. Here’s a typical graphic showing the issue:
Figure 1. Changes in the ocean heat content for two layers, 0-700 metres and 0-2000 metres. Values are pentadal (5-year) centered averages. SOURCE: NOAA/NODC
This week I got to ruminating about this graphic, and a number of similar graphics I’d seen. And yesterday I realized that it wasn’t showing what I thought it was showing. Let me illustrate what I mean. Continue reading
English: Some of the over 4000 wind turbines at Altamont Pass, in California. Developed during a period of tax incentives in the 1980s, this wind farm has more turbines than any other in the United States. These units are likely Enertech E44-40kWs. Photo taken by Xah lee in 2003-07. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Guest essay by Viv Forbes
Wind power is not free. All natural energy resources such as coal, wind and sun appear “free” – no one has to incur costs to create them. But turning a “free” resource into usable electricity costs money for collecting, generating and distributing that energy. To consumers and tax payers, the real cost of wind power is very high, no matter how well it is hidden by politicians.
Wind power is not reliable. No one can make the wind blow when the energy is needed – in fact, wind farms produce, on average, less than 30% of their nameplate capacity, often at times of lower demand. Continue reading
By Steve Goreham
Originally published in The Washington Times.
O’Hare airport will finally get its goats. The Department of Aviation of the City of Chicago has awarded a contract to a private firm to provide 25 goats to munch vegetation at the city’s airport. These “green lawn mowers” will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions to sustain the planet.
Last fall, when the project was bid, Amy Malick, head of sustainability at the Department of Aviation, commented on the planned use of goats in hard-to-mow areas, “They may have steep slopes, very hard to get to with heavy machinery, and those machines also emit pollution. They’re burning fossil fuel. So as a sustainability initiative we’re looking to bring in animals that do not have emissions associated with them, at least to the same extent that heavy machinery would.”
I covered this story earlier today, and it was presented much differently in that press release. This press release takes a different tack. IMHO, it looks like a big “ooops” from the National Science Foundation. See what I found after the jump on why I think they didn’t perform due diligence on this research – Anthony
Climate Record From Bottom of Russian Lake Shows Arctic Was Warmer Millions of Years Ago
Unparalleled sediment record is “most continuous archive” of ancient Arctic climate
The Lake El’gygytgyn drilling rig is shown at night. Credit: The Lake El’gygytgyn Drilling Project
The Arctic was very warm during a period roughly 3.5 to 2 million years ago–a time when research suggests that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was roughly comparable to today’s–leading to the conclusion that relatively small fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels can have a major influence on Arctic climate, according to a new analysis of the longest terrestrial sediment core ever collected in the Arctic. Continue reading