See note from SEPP asking for assistance at the end of this article- Anthony
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
The 16th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change started in Cancun with few of the grandiose announcements that occurred at last year’s COP in Copenhagen. The somber mood is reflected by decidedly more modest goals. The failure of cap and trade in the US and Canada, and the results of the US elections are no doubt influencing the festivities. Four Republican Senators sent the State Department a letter stating they oppose the transfer of US funds to other nations in accordance to the agreement reached in Copenhagen, but which is not a formal treaty. The impact of this letter may be significant.
In January, Republicans take control of the US House of Representatives and it is in the House where all revenue bills must originate. Many Republicans are skeptics of human caused global warming. Other related events include the announcement by Japan that it will not agree to an extension to the Kyoto Protocol that is set to expire in 2012. At this time it is difficult to predict what will occur at the COP, but it may be of little significance. Please see Article # 1 and articles under On to Cancun.
Roy Spencer reports that, as measured by satellites, in November, the lower troposphere temperature anomaly showed slow cooling, but temperatures for 2010 remain in a dead heat with 1998 for the warmest year since satellite measurements began in 1979. These data contradict claims, such as by NASA-GISS, that 2010 is the hottest year ever. Please see Roy’s web site www.drroyspencer.com.
The US Department of Interior announced a new moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard for up to seven years, as reported in the article under BP Gulf Oil Spill. Last March, the administration announced it would permit such drilling at the same time as it announced it would ban drilling on the West Coast. Now, the administration insists that it needs up to seven years to study the situation as a result of the BP Gulf oil spill.
Major drilling for oil and gas in the turbulent North Sea began in the 1960s. There were mistakes and accidents including one that took over 160 lives. Companies have been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the 1940s. Accidents occurred in both the North Sea and the Gulf and lessons were learned, but drilling proceeded. Until the BP spill, there have been no major failures in the Gulf, even in 2005 when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Now, after the BP misadventure, the administration claims it needs seven years of study?
In defending his actions, Interior Secretary Salazar declared oil companies have other areas where they can drill. He committed the logical fallacy of composition whereby something which is true for a part of the whole is assumed to be true for the whole. Apparently, Mr. Salazar would have us believe oil and gas are uniformly distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and not concentrated in certain areas. (Also, Mr. Salazar did not state when he will start issuing the necessary permits to drill.)
Please see Article #4 and #5 on offshore oil drilling and the article under BP Oil Spill. Article #5 was published before the new moratorium on drilling, and highlights the differences in the attitude of the US administration and that of Australia.
NUMBERS OF THE WEEK: 2 deg C and 4 times. The environmental ministers of a number of Western nations have announced that they are committed to keep global temperature rise below 2 deg C and stated this as a goal of the Cancun conference. Assuming CO2 is responsible for the recent temperature rise, which SEPP thinks it is not, what does this mean?
As MIT Professor Richard Lindzen tried to patiently explain to the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment two weeks ago, assuming there are no feedbacks, the generally accepted calculation is that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce a warming of about 1 deg C. Since the relationship between temperature and CO2 is logarithmic, each subsequent molecule has less an influence than the preceding one, a second doubling of CO2 will produce a warming of an additional 1 deg C.
Thus, to limit warming to no more than 2 deg C requires limiting the increase in CO2 to less than 4 times the preindustrial level.. Assuming the preindustrial level was about 270 parts per million ( ppm), then to hold the temperature rise below 2 deg C requires limiting CO2 to below 1080 ppm. It is now about 390 ppm, so we have a long way to go.
Applying the calculations further, to reach an increase of 3 deg C, which many IPCC models project, requires an additional doubling of CO2 to about 2160 ppm, which is probably impossible by humans. Thus, many of the models used by the IPCC are inconsistent with the classic theory which assumes no feedbacks.
Of course, the assumption of no feedbacks is the major point of contention, which is glossed over by the IPCC. Generally, the modelers assume that increases in water vapor will amplify the warming from CO2 – a positive feedback. This critical assumption has never been empirically verified. The empirical research by Lindzen, Spencer, and others indicates that natural mechanisms will reduce the warming from CO2 – a negative feedback. There will be some warming from increasing CO2, but tiny – perhaps one-half the calculated amount.
For the numbered articles below please see:
1. The Cancun Climate Capers
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Nov 29, 2010
2. Call for Climate Royal Commission
By Dennis Jensen, Quadrant Online, AU, Nov 16, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
3. Germany’s Offshore Wind: Wasted Resources, Environmental Blight
By Edgar Gaertner, Master Resource, Dec 1, 2010
4. Offshore Drilling Curbed Again
By Siobhan Hughes and Stephen Power, WSJ, Dec 2, 2010
5. Gulf Oil Spill Response in Perspective
By Bruce Thompson, American Thinker, Nov 27, 2010
[SEPP Comment: This article was published before the new moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic seaboard.]
6. On Energy, U.S. Lags Behind China
Letters, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov 29, 2010
[SEPP Comment: The editors of the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch apparently have a sense of humor. They ran these two letters, one after the other.]
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
WikiLeaks, The New York Times, and Double Standards
By Rich Trzupek, Front Page Mag, Dec 1, 2010
>Challenging the Orthodoxy
False prophecies beget faulty policies
By Willie Soon, Townhall, Dec 2, 2010
Time For Economic Restoration Now Climate Change Deception Exposed
By Tim Ball, Canada Free Press, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t A.J. Meyer]
Warming Underestimated – Does It Matter?
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Nov 30, 2010
[SEPP Comment: The correction is smaller than the noise level.]
Researchers admit inconvenient finding: CO2 is helping giant redwoods grow
By Anthony Watts, Daily Caller, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Tom Burch]
>Defending the Orthodoxy
Chu’s Guessing Game
Editorial, IBD, Dec 1, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Apparently, to Department of Energy Secretary Chu, the science is not settled – good enough is enough – who determines enough?]
There are black days ahead for the carbon industry
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Nov 27, 2010
[SEPP Comment: According to this article, organizations with collective assets of over $15 Trillion are calling for governments to implement global warming policies so they can profit from fear of climate change.]
Satellites reveal differences in sea level rises
By Phillip Schewe, Physorg.com, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t Bob Bromley]
Oxfam’s fantasy ‘climate court’ is both prescient and practical
Over a thousand legal experts, politicians and economists gathered in Dhaka this week to explore routes to justice for the victims of climate criminals – and found that precedents exist
By John Vidal, Poverty Matters, Guardian UK, Nov 30, 2010 [H/t Leon Ashby]
To Fight Climate Change, Clear the Air
Veerabhadran Ramanathan and David Victor, NYT, Nov 27, 2010
>Seeking a Common Ground
Can environmentalism be saved from itself?
By Margaret Wente, Saturday’s Globe and Mail, AU, Nov 27, 2010
>On to Cancun
Another Carbon Dioxide Summit Failure, This Time At Cancun, Not Copenhagen
By Robert Bryce, IBD, Nov 30, 2010
Senators petition SecState to freeze climate bailout money
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 2, 2010
Cancun climate change summit: Japan refuses to extend Kyoto protocol
By John Vidal, Guardian, UK, Dec 1, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in the developed world
Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.
By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]
What Cancun climate talks could achieve
Editorial, Washington Post, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t David Manuta]
Turn out the lights, the party’s over
By Wesley Pruden, Washington Times, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t Thomas Burch]
The Last Fling of the Thermophobics
Carbon Sense Coalition, Dec 1, 2010
The Met Office: lousier than a dead octopus
By James Delingpole, Telegraph, UK, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
Cold comfort for a Britain stuck in the deep freeze
Temperatures plunge as low as -18C in Wales
By Lewis Smith, Independent, UK, Nov 29, 2010
The 2010 Global and Northern Hemisphere Hurricane Season: A wrap up
By Anthony Lupo, ICECAP, Nov 30, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Another dull year for alarmists.]
>BP Oil Spill and Aftermath
Editorial, IBD, Dec 2, 2010
Solar Panel subsidies: A billion dollars to provide cheap electricity to wealthy households
By Joanne Nova, AU, Dec 1, 2010
With Money Tight, White House Panel Offers New Path to Energy Research
By Eli Kintisch, Science, Dec 3, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: There is a big difference between spending more money and spending money wisely.]
US: China rise a ‘Sputnik moment’ for clean energy
By Shaun Tandon, AFP, Dec 1, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: In 2008, China increased its net coal fired electricity production by 94 TIMES the net increase in the US and 14 TIMES the nominal capacity of wind generated electricity. Increasing capability to manufacture wind turbines is not the same as installing them. The studies cited in the article are looking at the wrong data.]
Ethanol’s Policy Privileges: Heading for History’s Dustbin?
By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, Dec 3, 2010
Unleashing U.S. energy resources could spark economic recovery
By Ben Lieberman, Washington Examiner, Dec 1, 2010
Ontario Releases C$87 Billion Long-Term Energy plan
Power News, Dec 1, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Abandoning coal fired power plants does not come cheap.]
Glow From Solar Factories Fails to Match Town’s Hopes
By Timothy Aeppel, WSJ, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Charles Battig]
[This article may be behind a paywall.]
>Whistling in the Wind
Wind power’s staggering price
Editorial, Republican American, Nov 28, 2010
[SEPP Comment: The Nantucket Sound Cape Wind project appears to be less than financially sound for consumers.]
The Great Wind Rush
By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Nov 27, 2010 [H/t Leon Ashby]
>EPA and other Regulators On the March
The EPA’s And Enron’s End-Runs Of Congress
By Leary Bell, Forbes.com, Dec 1, 2010
Note to EPA: “Don’t Touch My Junk’
By Maureen Martin, Environment & Climate News, Nov 29, 2010
EPA GHG Guidance is a Deceptive Ruse
By Donn, Power America, Dec 2, 2010
>Subsidies and Mandates Forever
States Diverting Money From Climate Initiative
By Mireya Navarro, NYT, Nov 28, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Surprise! Surprise!]
>Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
>For a full list of articles see
Sea Level Response to Global Warming
Reference: von Storch, H., Zorita, E. and Gonzalez-Rouco, J.F. 2008. Relationship between global mean sea-level and global mean temperature in a climate simulation of the past millennium. Ocean Dynamics 58: 227-236.
“There is currently no known way to predict — with any reasonable and demonstrable degree of confidence — what mean global sea level will do over the 21st century, even if mean global air temperature begins to rise once again (after having remained rather stable for the past decade).”
Responses of Scleractinian Corals to Ocean Acidification
Reference: Krief, S., Hendy, E.J., Fine, M., Yam, R., Meibom, A., Foster, G.L. and Shemesh, A. 2010. Physiological and isotopic responses of scleractinian corals to ocean acidification. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 4988-5001.
Increasing Climatic Variability
Reference: D’Odorico, P., Laio, F., Ridolfi, L. and Lerdau, M.T. 2008. Biodiversity enhancement induced by environmental noise. Journal of Theoretical Biology 255: 332-337.
A Brief History of Climate Change in the Arctic
Reference: White, J.W.C., Alley,R.B., Brigham-Grette, J., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Jennings, A.E., Johnsen, S.J., Miller, G.H., Nerem, R.S. and Polyak, L. 2010. Past rates of climate change in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1716-1727.
>Other Scientific Issues
Studying Sun’s Effects on Earth’s Climate
By Staff Writers, Space Daily, Dec 1, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Don’t tell the IPCC. Their models already know.]
Bacteria stir debate about ‘shadow biosphere’
By Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]
How Many Stars? Three Times as Many as We Thought, Report Says
By Kenneth Change, NYT, Dec 1, 2010
>Other Issues that May Be Of Interest
Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions
By Ed Barnes, Fox News, Nov 26, 2010 [H/t Francois Guillaumat]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Swim in the Arctic? I’m hitching a lift: Polar bears develop new tactics to protect their cubs from the chill … and it’s all down to global warming
By Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, UK, Nov 30, 2010 [H/t Malcolm Ross]
[SEPP Comment: We have not seen this before, therefore it did not exist before. What did polar bears do during the Medieval Warm Period and other periods warmer than today?]
One scientist’s hobby: recreating the ice age
By Arthur Max, Associated Press, Nov 27, 2010 [H/t Best on the Web]
[SEPP Comment: An interesting hobby – but hardly recreating the Ice Age.]
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