Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

DON’T FORGET: Heartland Institute is sponsoring the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6) to take place in Washington, DC from breakfast Thursday, June 30, to noon Friday, July 1, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This event will be more modest than in the past, yet as informative and, perhaps, even more challenging to the orthodoxy. The principal speakers include S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Bob Carter – all major contributors to the NIPCC reports. Of course, SEPP is a co-sponsor.

http://www.heartland.org/events/iccc2011…

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Quote of the Week:

“People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful,” adding, “Our approach is not entirely empirical.” John Mitchell, principal research scientist at the UK Met Office

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Number of the Week: 10 Times Sharper

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THIS WEEK:

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

As stated in earlier TWTWs, SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Freedom Works Foundation in petitioning the US Federal Court for the District of Columbia to set aside EPA’s Endangerment Rule – that greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) endanger human health and welfare. The Court grouped our petition with many others and required a filing of a joint petition, which was submitted this Friday. SEPP reviewed the scientific basis, or lack thereof, supporting EPA’s ruling, which EPA claimed to be based on science.

The process gave an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which many Western organizations, termed scientific, have drifted from the standards of Western science – modern empirical science.

The quote of the week came from an article referenced in last week’s TWTW reporting a debate at Cambridge. The senior scientist of the UK Met Office implies that numerical models can add to scientific knowledge above empirical observations. The argument dates back to Greek and medieval science, that embraced concepts such as the earth centered solar system of Aristotle, the Ptolemy scientists, and their models.

Contrary to popular belief, initially, the intense criticism of Galileo came from his colleagues, Aristotelian scientists at the University Padua, and elsewhere. The criticism by the leadership of the Catholic Church came later. Galileo advocated that scientific knowledge comes through observation, not authority or convenient models. He outraged his colleagues by empirically testing the assumptions of Aristotelian science and found them wanting. He advocated that mathematics, because it is precise, is the proper language of science, not Latin, and he wrote in the vulgar script of Italian.

Newton synthesized the findings of Galileo, Kepler, and others into his theories of planetary motion, which required significant mathematical calculations. The precision of the mathematics in describing the movements of the planets was daunting. Incorrectly interpreting this mathematical precision as imparting scientific knowledge, many subsequent scientists claimed that scientific knowledge could be acquired by mathematics alone, such as geometry. Of course, subsequent observations, variations in observed planetary motions (leading to relativity theory) and erratic behavior of particles (leading to quantum mechanics), demonstrated that mathematics and numerical models are tools for understanding, and not sources of knowledge. Results must be confirmed by observations.

Unfortunately, many 21st century scientists, such as John Mitchell, appear to embrace beliefs held in the late 19th century that mathematical procedures can create knowledge. Such scientists appear ready to accept the results of their models over empirical observations, a concept rejected in the 20th century.

This recent, numerical-model based science contradicts the principles of modern empirical science – that empirical observations are the final determinants of validity of scientific theory and models. For example, the strength of the standard model in physics comes not from its mathematical complexity, but from repeated and exhaustive testing of its assumptions and high precision between the results of the model and observations (experiments).

On preparing its final comments for the current round of litigation against EPA, SEPP concluded the supporting science for the EPA Endangerment Rule, including the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, US Climate Change Science Project, and the National Research Council, are based on complex numerical models that have never been validated and fail to meet the standards recognized by modern empirical science. Critical assumptions fail empirical testing. There is little consistency between model results and observations. In short, EPA relies on 19th century science, or worse, on medieval science.

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A new report by the US National Research Council, “America’s Climate Choices,” reaffirms the above observation. The report calls for urgent action to stop carbon dioxide emissions and states that uncertainty about climate science and the sensitivity of the planet to increasing greenhouse gases is not a reason for inaction, but “a compelling reason for action.”

The scientific section “Advances the Science of Climate Change” was published in 2010. It repeats the, now, usual litany of disasters that will result if carbon dioxide emissions are not controlled. The report is based on the findings of the IPCC and its models. The following quote from the “Report in Brief” is illustrative:

“While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanation.”

Much of the above quote can be contested, most importantly, the report ignores that the most critical assumption fails hypothesis testing. Based on the generally accepted greenhouse theory, a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will result in a warming of about 1.2 deg C. The critical assumption in the models used is that this warming will be greatly amplified by an increase in atmospheric water vapor. The models, accepted by the report, project a strong secondary warming centered over the tropics at an altitude about 10 km. This assumption (hypothesis) was empirically tested [Douglass et al. 2007] and failed. Some defenders of the IPCC have tried to cover up this failure with highly dubious statistics. [See NIPCC, 2008].

The above quoted statement in the report is wrong. Further, the disasters claimed in the report are based on projections from these unverified computer models that contain assumptions that fail empirical testing. Thus, the report itself is not based on modern empirical science. Please see Article # 3 and referenced articles under: “Defenders of the Orthodoxy.”

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Solar – Cosmic Ray Interplay and the Earth’s Climate: A number of readers have been waiting for the results of the CLOUD experiment underway at CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The CLOUD experiment is to test the Svensmark, et al. hypothesis that cosmic rays, modulated by solar activity, influence cloud formation, therefore temperature. The more high energy cosmic rays hitting the upper atmosphere, the more low level clouds, which reflect sunlight, the cooler the planet. The greater the solar activity, solar wind and solar magnetism, the fewer the cosmic rays hitting the upper atmosphere, the less the cloud formation, the warmer the planet.

The Danish Space Research Institute conducted an experiment, SKY, to test this hypothesis. The results were encouraging for the new hypothesis. However, there remained several criticisms, including the use of gamma radiation which is different than cosmic radiation.

A new experiment, conducted by Aarhus University and the Danish Space Institute, used a particle accelerator to re-test the hypothesis. The particle accelerator produces high energy electronic particles more similar to cosmic rays than gamma rays. The hypothesis was not rejected – there appears to be a relationship between cosmic rays, solar activity, and cloud formation. Since cloud formation cannot influence solar activity and cosmic rays, the relationship can go only one way.

Roy Spencer, who has advocated that clouds influence climate, but the changes in cloud cover come from different sources such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, has been skeptical of the idea of cosmic rays influencing terrestrial clouds. However, he was impressed by the second experiment and made very preliminary calculations, based on cosmic rays reports from Moscow and the CERES earth radiative budget data. These calculations indicate that the total solar influence on temperatures may be several times stronger than solar irradiance, the only natural influence recognized in the IPCC reports.

If these experiments are supported by the CLOUD experiment, it does not mean that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide do not increase temperatures. But it does mean that the IPCC, and others, underestimated natural influences temperatures. Given the methodology used, the IPCC, and others, mistakenly overestimated human influences on 20th century warming, as highlighted in the 20008 NIPCC report, “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”

According to the IPCC, the methodology used first estimates natural influences on temperatures and then calculates human influences on temperatures. A change in the natural influences requires a recalculation of human influences, the models, and a re-examination of the projections from these models. Such an effort is not a pleasant consideration given the tens of billions of US dollars politicians and governments have spent in advocating the human influence based upon the projections from models that have never been validated. The entrenched interests will bitterly fight scientific research contradicting their assumptions. Please see articles referenced under “Is the Sun Rising?”

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As expressed by Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, (referenced in March 5 TWTW), this spring looked foreboding for Southeast US and the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. Unlike the Great Flood of 1927, the beginning of which was concentrated in mid-Mississippi Valley, the massive waters of the current flood began in the Ohio River Valley, further upstream. Flood records were broken along the Ohio River and after the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers. As these flood waters move down the Mississippi River, they are challenging the river levees (dikes, embankments) built to constrain floods, but cannot stop the largest ones.

After the great flood of 1927, which caused severe hardship for much of the South, the US Corps of Engineers built a levee system to control frequent flooding, recognizing that spillways were needed during massive floods. The system has great advantages and several disadvantages. Among the advantages are: one, it prevents the frequent flooding of the Mississippi River valley that was a great hardship for those who lived in the flood plains; two, it enhances commerce of the river by alleviating (but not totally preventing) build up of silt; three, it protects the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and, four, it prevents the Mississippi from jumping its banks and finding a new route to the Gulf of Mexico, leaving New Orleans and Baton Rouge as cities on what would become backwater bayous.

The major disadvantages of the plan are: one, sometimes spillways must be opened flooding some to prevent the possible flooding of the cities; and, two, the Mississippi delta is sinking and needs frequent replenishment of silt from flood waters. As a result much of the lower delta is experiencing salt water intrusion, which is often blamed on oil company activities.

There is no clear solution. However, the solution being glibly proposed by some, let nature take its course, is antithetical to civilization. Please see articles referenced under “Extreme Weather.”

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A Note of Irony: Wind power, and other interment sources of electricity, requires reliable power that will deliver when wind power fails. All too frequently, regulatory systems are politically designed so that efficient electricity producers must subsidize the inefficiencies of interment producers.

In the Northwest US, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) handles the distribution of power from the nation’s largest hydroelectric system (the Columbia River Basin), a number of coal and natural gas plants, and a nuclear plant. It also handles distribution from wind farms with a nameplate capacity of 3500 MW. The variation of the electricity output of the wind farms has been largely adjusted by varying the electricity output from natural gas and hydroelectric. The latter procedure may require diverting waters that could be used for to produce hydroelectric power to spillways.

This spring, BPA faced a dilemma. The heavy snow pack resulted in water flows so extensive that the water going over the spillways failed to meet environmental standards for dissolved gases needed for salmon and steelhead trout, favorite game fish and an environmental cause. Thus, BPA had to reduce the diversion of water to the spillways and run more water through its electricity generating turbines.

To protect the integrity of the electricity grid, and to ensure reasonably priced electricity to its consumers, BPA announced cut backs on accepting all other forms of electricity generation Ð thermal first, and wind last. Of course, the politically privileged wind power companies screamed – what will happen to their tax credits and other subsidies.

The irony is that an industry favored by the environmental industry is complaining of actions to protect a fish favored by the environmental industry. Please see article referenced under “Alternative, Green, (“Clean”) Energy.”

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Number of the Week: 10 times sharper. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is being designed to produce images 10 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope, which it is intended to replace in 2018. Unlike the Hubble, the GMT is earth bound. It will be built in Las Campanas, Chile, a high elevation portion of the intensely dry Atacama Desert, in northern Chile. A major benefactor is George Mitchell, who developed the technique of successfully extracting natural gas from dense shale by the use of sand, principally, to keep the pores in the rock open after hydraulic fracturing. Please see referenced article under “Other Science News,” and

http://www.gmto.org/…

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see: www.sepp.org

1. Regulation Cannot Control Malignant Melanoma

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, May 14, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/regulation_ca…

2. The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

The dubious science of the climate crusaders.

By William Happer, First Things, June/July 2011 [H/t Roger Cohen]

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/the-truth…

3. Sound, Fury and the Policy Of Climate Change

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, May 19, 2011

http://blogs.forbes.com/patrickmichaels/2011/05/19/s…

4. Drill, Maybe, Drill

Editorial, IBD, May 16, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.asp…

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Scientists at Aarhus University (AU) and the National Space Institute (DTU Space) Show that particles from Space Create Cloud Cover

Press Release, Aarhus University, May 16, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://science.au.dk/en/news-and-events/news-article…

Time to question the received wisdom on climate change?

Newsletter, The Scientific Alliance, May 19, 2011

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-allian…

[SEPP Comment: Excellent overview.]

Indirect Solar Forcing of Climate by Galactic Cosmic Rays: An Observational Estimate

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 19, 2011

http://www.drroyspencer.com/…

Climategate Continued

Swedish Show Trial

By Donna Laframboise, No Consensus, May 19, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/05/19/swedish-sh…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

US: Carbon and carbon dioxide: Clearing up the confusion

By Paul Driessen, Hacer, May 20, 2011

http://www.hacer.org/usa/?p=851…

IPCC Wrong Again: Species Loss Far Less Severe Than Feared

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, May 18, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3035-ipcc-deb…

Defenders of the Orthodoxy

America’s Climate Choices

National Research Council, 2011

http://dels.nas.edu/Report/Americas-Climate-Choices/…

Advancing the Science of Climate Change

National Research Council, 2010

http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/material…

Action Needed to manage Climate Change Risks; U.S. Response Should be Durable, but Flexible

Press Release, National Academies, May 12, 2011

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem….

Climate change denial becomes harder to justify

Editorial, Washington Post, May 15, 2011

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-chang…

Warming Arctic opens way to competition for resources

By Joby Warrick and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, May 15, 2011 [H/t Conrad Potemra]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/environment/w…

Seaports need a plan for weathering climate change

By Donna Hesterman, SPX, May 18, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Seaports_need_a_pl…

Climate study gets pulled after charges of plagiarism

By Dan Vergano, USA Today, May 15, 2011

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarmin…

[SEPP Comment: Defenders of the Orthodoxy will demand ever greater standards of performance from their critics as their position erodes.]

Major reform for climate body

Intergovernmental panel aims to become more responsive

By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature, May 16, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110516/full/473261a….

[SEPP Comment: Will its science remain settled?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Species loss far less severe than feared: study

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 18, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Species_loss_far_l…

A Changing World

As Clinton works against global warming in Greenland, some there don’t mind it

By Joby Warrick, Washington Post, May 12, 2011

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/as-clinton-works…

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?

Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for the future

By Staff Writers, SPX, May 20, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Greenhouse_ocean_s…

[SEPP Comment: “If you consider that the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has doubled over the past 50 years,… From about 315 ppm in 1960 to 390 ppm in 2010 is a doubling? (Mauna Loa record – NOAA)

Extreme Weather

How Mississippi River floods could save Louisiana’s sinking coasts

Before the current levee system was built, Mississippi River floods helped replenish Louisiana coastal wetlands with silt. Now that silt goes into the gulf and the coastline is disappearing. But scientists have a plan, and the great flood of 2011 could help them bring it about.

By Bill Sasser, Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2011 [H/t Weather Bell]

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0518/How-Missi…

The Political Games Continue

In the 2012 campaign, environmentalists donÕt matter

Editorial, LA Times, May 20, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-e…

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Conservatives kill carbon tax

By Jessica Murphy, QMI, May 19, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives…

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Energy Subsidies: Our Gifts Than Keep On Taking

By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 17, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]

http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/05/17/energy-…

Berlin doubles subsidies for electric cars

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 16, 2011

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Berlin_doubles_subs…

[SEPP Comment: If it doesn’t work the first time, just double down. After all, government is “the house.”]

Britain eyes 50-percent carbon emissions cut target

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 17, 2011

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Britain_eyes_50-…

T. Boone Pickens: “I’m Sure Not Doing This For The Money”

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, May 18, 2011

http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/05/18/t-boone-pick…

The Dangers of CFLs Even Greater Than Previously Known

By Edmund Contoski, American Thinker, May 19, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/the_dangers_o…

Europe may ban plastic bags

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 18, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Europe_may_ban_pla…

Government delays pulling plug on old-fashioned light bulbs

Tories propose pushing deadline to 2014 over lack of alternatives to incandescent

By Elizabeth Thompson, Ottawa Citizen, May 19, 2011

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/decision-canada/Go…

[SEPP Comment: Apparently sufficient quantities of new bulbs and disposal are now major issues.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Democrats face an Environmental Protection Agency dilemma

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, May 19, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/201…

[SEPP Comment: Another EPA assumed extension of authority Ð it has the authority to regulate haze.]

EPA Postpones Effective Date for Boiler Standards, Releases Coal Ash Action

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 18, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3726.html?hq_e=el&…

Energy Issues

Energy and Country Instability Project Report

By Energy and Security Group and Advanced Engineering Associates International, for USAID, No date given

http://www.aeaiinc.com/reports/Energy_and_Country_In…

[SEPP Comment: The direct effects of energy consumption per capita for nations receiving assistance from the US Agency for International Development include 1) higher energy consumptions leads to more stability, 2) higher energy consumption leads to increased life expectancy, and economic growth. No surprise here.]

U.S. energy policy should be “all of the above.”

By A. Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 13, 2011

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/oped/2011/may/13/…

Nuclear Fears & Responses

Japan disaster not similar to Chernobyl: officials

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 17, 2011

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Japan_disaster_not…

Utility: Fukushima Cores More Damaged Than Thought

By Dennis Normile, Science Insider, May 17, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/05/ut…

NRC Finds All [US] Reactors Safe, Scales Back Monitoring at Fukushima

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 18, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/NRC-Finds-All-Reac…

U.S. Panel Suggests Moving Used Nuclear Fuel to Interim Sites

By Eli Kintisch, Science Insider, May 15, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/05/us…

[SEPP Comment: Why not re-cycle?]

BRC Subcommittee Draft Recommendations Call for Permanent Nuclear Waste Disposal Facility

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 18, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3727.html?hq_e=el&…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Newly Installed Alaska North Slope Well Will Test Hydrate Production Tech

By Staff Writers, SPX, May 19, 2011

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Newly_Installed_…

[SEPP Comment: Hydrates contain enormous quantities of natural gas.]

Phony fears on fracking

By Michael Benjamin, NY Post, May 19, 2011

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/…

A Better Way to Frack?

A new technique for natural gas extraction eliminates fears about contaminated water and stops opponents in their tracks,

By Ronald bailey, Reason, May 17, 2011

http://reason.com/archives/2011/05/17/a-better-way-t…

BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling

Don’t Let Alaska Oil Pipeline Shut Down

Editorial, IBD, May 17, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.asp…

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

BPA Limits Power Output from Non-Hydro Sources Amid Surging Runoff Volume

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 18, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/BPA-Limits-Power-O…

Green energy failure

By Ross McKitrick, Financial Post, May 17, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.financialpost.com/news/Green+energy+failu…

The Myth of Green Energy Security

By Bjorn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, May 17, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/lomborg7…

Wind Power Promises and Predictions Gone Awry

By Jack Sullivan, Empire, Apr 26, 2011

http://www.empirepage.com/2011/4/26/promises-and-pre…

The wrong sites for solar

In the name of solar energy, the Obama administration is about to open up millions of acres of desert to development. Such a move is unnecessary

By Erica Rosenberg and Janine Blaeloch, LA Times, May 18, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe…

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Two Millennia of Temperature and Precipitation Changes in Arid Central Asia

Reference: Yang, B., Wang, J., Brauning, A., Dong, Z. and Esper, J. 2009. Late Holocene climatic and environmental changes in arid central Asia. Quaternary International 194: 68-78.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/17may20…

Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclones

Reference: Lu, Q-z., Hu, B-h., Wang, J. and Zhang, Y. 2008. Impact of large-scale circulation on the interdecadal variations of the western North Pacific tropical cyclone.Journal of Tropical Meteorology, 14: 1006-8775(2008) 01-0081-04.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/17may20…

Modeling the Pattern of Tropical Ocean Warming

Reference: Shin, S.-I. and Sardeshmukh, P.D. 2011. Critical influence of the pattern of Tropical Ocean warming on remote climate trends. Climate Dynamics 36: 1577-1591.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/18may20…

Earth’s Temperature: Deconstructing the Past to Predict the Future

Reference: Qian, W.-H. and Lu, B. 2010. Periodic oscillations in millennial global-mean temperature and their causes.Chinese Science Bulletin 55: 4052-4057

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/may/18may20…

Health and Warming

The health impacts of cold homes and fuel poverty

By Keith Dear and Anthony McMichael, BMJ, May 11, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2807.full…

Evidence suggests global warming is good for our health

By Jo Nova, joannenova.com, May 21, 2011

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/evidence-suggests-g…

Other Scientific News

Free-Floating Planets May be More Common Than Stars

By Staff Writers, JPL, May 19, 2011

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Free_Floating_Plan…

Mitchell Foundation Commits $25 Million to Giant Magellan Telescope

By Staff Writers, SPX, May 19, 2011

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Mitchell_Foundatio…

[SEPP Comment: The heir apparent to Hubble. A gift from the man who developed the method to successfully extract natural gas from dense shale.]

Melting icebergs fertilize ocean

Release of extra iron boosts carbon dioxide uptake by plankton

By Janet Raloff, Science News, May 16, 2011, [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/74307/tit…

Other News

Ban mobile phones and wireless networks in schools say European leaders

By Richard Gray, Telegraph, UK, May 14, 2011 [H/t Malcolm Ross]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8514…

[SEPP Comment: Probably another effort to control human behavior by declaring a health risk. Why not ban all electrometric radiation, including light. After all, we are no longer in the Age of Enlightenment.]

No Decline in Polar Bear Population

By Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, May 18, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/international-co…

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Floods, Droughts Are “New Normal” Of Extreme U.S. Weather Fueled by Climate Change, Scientists Say

By Deborah Zabarenk, Reuters, May 19, 2011

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/19/floods-drou…

[SEPP Comment: The great Mississippi flood of 1927 and the great mid-west dust bowl of the 1930s were normal?]

Noted climatologist Bill Maher on Alabama tornadoes: “This is global warming.”

By Jeff Poor, Daily Caller, May 16, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/14/noted-climatologis…

Climate change and the flood this time

Midwest flooding is a taste of climate change in its early stages. We’ve got to fight back, and fast

By Bill McKibben, LA Times, May 10, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe…

PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the articles, can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…

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18 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Relativity theory emerged, not because of “variations in observed planetary motions,” but because Einstein wanted to make Maxwell’s Equations invariant to a Lorentz transform.
    Likewise, Quantum Mechanics did not emerge because of “the erratic behavior of particles,” but because of the failure of electromagnetic theory and wave mechanics to explain black body radiation. Einstein used QM to explain the photoelectric effect, which was the first (of many since then) big triumph of the theory and earned Einstein his Nobel Prize.

  2. The speed of light was constant it was just an empirical fact which needed to be explained,in Galilean relativity the speed of light would not be independent of its source.Lorenz and Einstein created the mathematics to explain this observation .I agree with the empirical view of science given here.

  3. I’m still waiting for Terra Incompetento to get his first fact right.
    Second-hand smoke was shown to be the trumped-up scare.

  4. It is also worth noting that the “climate models” consist of tens of thousands of lines (or more) of inscrutable computer code, often bolted together from different units implemented by different groups who do not really understand each other. Furthermore the models are discrete and very course (the smallest unit of distance is several kilometers) attempting to emulate a continuous and poorly understood complex system. The results of the models may not be totally without interest, but for predicting temperature variations over many years they are totally useless.

  5. There is obviously nothing serious happening now and the only reason anyone could believe they ever will happen is models which are woefully incorrect. I collect the output of climate models to asses their ability to predict the future. So far the results are disappointing.
    The clumsy attempt to cast weather events as climate change when there has been negligible warming since 1998 is just funny not serious.
    I believe the only way to judge a model is to compare it’s output with reality over time. No “I could have or I should have allowed” . The next 20 years will be different from the last one so any fixes won’t apply. Something clearly changed in 1998.
    Dr Hansen’s 1988 model has totally jumped the shark as of 2011 and probably will never get back on track.
    Here is Hansen’s defense.
    http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/hansenscenarios.png
    If the date were 2007 he would look pretty good but the calendar says 2011 and as of now it looks terrible. The 2010 value of temperature anomaly is .65 which is way below the scenario “C” value which is with punishing CO2 taxes which never happened thank God.
    According to scenario “B” which is his most favored one the anomaly should be + 1.0 by now. It isn’t even close is it ?
    Here is a compendium of 12 studies averaged together which seems to me to predict .2 ° C warming between 2005 and today. Didn’t happen did it ?
    http://imageshack.us/m/831/1395/ipccar4a1bmonthlypredic.png
    Here is the IPCC AR4 model output.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/strandwg/CCSM3_AR4_Experiments.html
    It seems to predict .4 ° C between 2000 and today. It didn’t happen did it?
    You can quibble about 1/10 of a degree but the warming since 1998 has been essentially zero.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.gif
    These people expect society to gamble tens of trillions of dollars on the output of models which don’t work ??????????????

  6. I read Pat Michaels article.
    Went down to the comments section.
    Damn! He’s getting hammered.
    I’m not a member so I couldn’t get involved in the discussion.

  7. “He [Galileo] advocated that mathematics, because it is precise, is the proper language of science.
    Newton synthesized the findings of Galileo, Kepler, and others into his theories of planetary motion, which required significant [precise] mathematical calculations.
    Many subsequent scientists claimed [incorrectly] that scientific knowledge could be acquired by mathematics alone.
    Roy Spencer, who has advocated that clouds influence climate [snip] has been skeptical of the idea of cosmic rays influencing terrestrial clouds. However, he [snip] made very preliminary calculations, based on cosmic rays reports from Moscow and the CERES earth radiative budget data. These calculations indicate that the total solar influence on temperatures may be several times stronger than solar irradiance…”
    I respect Roy Spencer but I sometimes wonder where calculations are supposed to end and where models are supposed to begin.

  8. “…mathematics and numerical models are tools for understanding, and not sources of knowledge. Results must be confirmed by observations.”
    THAT is MY quote of the week. Well said. Thank you.

  9. “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful,” adding, “Our approach is not entirely empirical.”
    In other words: “Who you gonna believe…us, or your lying eyes?”

  10. “Interment” means burial. I think you meant to write “intermittent,” meaning periodic.

  11. Whatever drove new theories to emerge it was careful observation that caused questions of past theory to be questioned.
    Long Live Careful Observation. (And correct interpretation).

  12. Models can look good, some models are very good looking. But can they withstand the tests of time?

  13. Quote of the Week:
    “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful,” adding, “Our approach is not entirely empirical.” John Mitchell, principal research scientist at the UK Met Office”
    I can just visualize dozens of folks shaking their heads in utter astonishment, without once thinking about the fact that there is no empirical support whatever for a radiative greenhouse effect!

  14. So, Met scientist John Mitchell says “Observational evidence is not very useful”. If this is the case, then what Initial Conditions do you suppose they using for their models?
    Let me guess: they are using outputs from one set of models as inputs to other models; a blind leading the blind approach. /sarc

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