Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week:

“[n]ot everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Einstein [H/t Michael Widlanski]


Number of the Week: 2



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

The BEST Affair: The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) team began its announcement of new findings on Sunday with a media blitz featuring an opinion piece by team leader Richard Muller in the New York Times. The findings were posted on its web site later in the afternoon. To its great credit, BEST has posted its data set and its analysis (computer) code on its web site. This should be standard practice for organizations producing significant findings. It announced that it has submitted its studies to the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres.

In his op-ed, “Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic”, Muller stated that humans are almost entirely the cause of the warming for the past 250 years by the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), primarily atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). He states his conclusion is stronger than the conclusion of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which attributes the warming only since 1956 to human emissions of GHG. Muller states that he came to this bold conclusion by fitting curves of atmospheric CO2 to the temperature record from 1753 to 2011, after allowing for variation from volcanic activity where cooling follows volcanic eruptions.

He states that the team tested for solar activity, “based on the historical record of sunspots” and states “our data argues strongly that the temperature rise of the past 250 years cannot be attributed to solar changes. This conclusion is, in retrospect, not too surprising; we’ve learned from satellite measurements that solar activity changes the brightness of the sun very little.”

Here he becomes disingenuous. Those who argue that the variation of the sun is an important factor in causing global warming / climate change do so from the standpoint that it is not visible light alone but total solar energy, especially solar wind. Sunspots are an indicator, a proxy, for solar energy other than visible light. It is solar wind that forms the heliosphere, which partially protects the earth from high energy cosmic rays.

According to the hypothesis advanced by Svensmark, Friss-Christensen, et al, it is the variation in the heliosphere that causes variations in high energy cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere, which, in turn, causes variations in low level cloud cover – the more clouds, the cooler the earth. The mechanism for this hypothesis has been physically tested several times, the latest by CERN. Muller avoids solar-cosmic ray hypothesis. Measurement of solar wind, etc. is a late 20th century development, and a curve fitting exercise with a 250 year temperature record is an unreasonable test.

Muller states it may have been warmer in the Medieval Warm Period, but offers no explanation why it cooled from then to the Little Ice Age, the period in which Muller’s temperature record begins. Certainly, the cause was not a decline in CO2, which, according to the IPCC, has been increasing for thousands of years. Since the temperature record began at the beginning of the industrial age, and during the Little Ice Age, the curve fit may be a coincidence, not causation as Muller states.

The use of 1753 as a starting point is interesting, but not impressive. Only a few points on the planet have records dating that far back. As discussed in last week’s TWTW only about 4% of the grid boxes for climate models were covered as late as 1900, and about 10% as late as 1950. Perhaps the choice of a 250 year record is best explained in an interview response by Muller to a question about the decade long pause in temperature rise. He stated the pause is statistically insignificant. This decade of no warming trend may be statistically insignificant over a 250 year record, but it would likely be statistically significant over a 50 year record.

Ross McKitrick was a referee on the BEST team’s earlier submission to the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) and outlined serious shortcomings. When the BEST team started a media blitz on its earlier findings, McKitrick sought permission to release his findings that the analysis does not establish valid grounds for the conclusions. Muller gave him permission but insisted that he does not identify himself as a JGR reviewer. McKitrick stood silent. The latest media blitz was too much and McKitrick posted comments of the affair on his web site.

Christopher Monckton posted his comments on the BEST affair, and suggests the team take a course on Aristotelian logic. (Note: Monckton refers to the current period of no warming as 10 years and also as 15 years. The length is a matter of how one looks at the data. The sharp warming spike in the 1998 El Niño year causes differences in interpretation.)

Anthony Watts comments on what appears to be a major failing in the BEST methodology if the abstract of an earlier paper correctly describes the methodology. NOAA classifies the weather stations into 5 categories. Categories 1 & 2 are ranked OK and Categories 3, 4, & 5 are ranked as poor. According to its abstract in a May 20 paper, the BEST team puts the Category 3 stations into the OK rank, which would bias tests between OK and poor categories.

Willis Eschenbach on WUWT raises another possible serious methodological question. According to his analysis, when the detail of the graph of the BEST temperature record is intensified and dates of volcanic eruptions are inserted, in many cases cooling occurs before erupting. Thus, volcanoes cannot be the cause of the initial cooling. [Al Gore where are you?] It will be interesting to see if this work can be replicated.

For these and other issues about the new release, please see the links under Defending the Orthodoxy, and The BEST Affair.


The Watts Team: Last Sunday, Anthony Watts announced the work of his team in analyzing US surface temperature records from 1979 to 2008 under a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) new classification methodology. The new classification adds the need to evaluate each reporting station according to the extent of the heat sink(s) (asphalt, buildings, etc.) to distance from the heat sink. The data used by the Watts team is from United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) which is used by NOAA, NASA-GISS, Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, and BEST.

All these show warming trends significantly greater than the warming trends shown in satellite measurements of the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect takes place. If late 20th century warming is caused by human CO2 emissions, as the IPCC contends, then the atmosphere should be warming more than the surface.

As stated in last week’s TWTW, reanalysis by the Watts team is “using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. … The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward.”

Using aerial photos, personal inspections, interviews, etc. the Watts team grouped the five classes of stations into two categories: compliant and non-compliant. Well-sited stations (compliant) show less of a warming trend than poorly-sited stations in all nine geographical areas covered. It appears that NOAA’s USCHN over adjusts the data, removing important information that is statistically significant. The USCHN statistical homogenization procedure does not adjust the trends from poorly-sited stations downward, but adjusts the trends from poorly-sited stations upward and raises the trends from the well-sited station as well.

The statistical results are striking. Before adjustments by the statistical homogenization procedure, compliant stations show a warming of 0.155 deg C per decade (0.279 deg F); non-compliant stations show a warming of 0.248 deg C per decade (0.456 deg F). Yet, after the adjustments procedures are applied, NOAA shows that all stations combined have a warming trend of 0.309 deg C per decade (0.556). Clearly, there appears to be something wrong. The statistical procedure should lower the trends in the poorly sited stations, not raise the trends for all stations.

NOAA has been challenged about its adjustment procedures in the past. The usual answer is that the time of day in which the measurements were made has shifted. For example, rather than taking a day time temperature reading at 2 pm, it is taken 10 am, which would introduce a Time of Observation Bias (TOB) of a cooling and NOAA has adjusted for this bias.

Anthony states his team is undertaking the task of investigating the TOB issue. This may prove to be arduous, but necessary. If the investigation of the Watts holds up, then it will go a long way in explaining the divergence between surface measurements and atmospheric measurements. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy,


Summer Hearings: It’s been a hot, dry summer for much of the US. That is the time for US Senate hearings on global warming! Realizing this, Senator Barbara Boxer, the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee announced a hearing “Update on the Latest Climate Change Science and Local Adaptation Measures” for August 1. Three IPCC authors testified. In the majority, the Democrats invited two, Christopher Field, the Director of the Department of Global Ecology of Carnegie Institution and James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University. The Republicans invited John Christy, Director of Earth Systems for the University of Alabama, Huntsville. The entire event can be viewed at web site. Thus, only a few comments will be made here. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=c0293eca-802a-23ad-4706-02abdbf7f7c3

Each Senator was given time to read prepared statements on their views. The Democrats emphasized the IPCC reports and subsequent reports backing them; the BEST report and Muller’s self-proclaimed conversion, the current hot summer and drought as proof of global warming / climate change causing extreme weather events, dangerous sea level rise and similar issues. They also brought up the poll that claims 98% of climate scientists agree that humans are the cause of climate change. The Republicans brought up Climategate and emphasized that the atmospheric data greatly diverges from the surface data and what the climate models project.

Each scientist had 5 minutes for prepared statement. Christopher Field strongly supported the statements of the Democrats and claimed that the link between extreme weather events and climate change is clear. [Roger Pielke Jr. has strongly challenged points in the testimony of Field as misrepresenting the IPCC reports. According to Pielke this completes the politicization of climate science since Field is a lead author of the IPCC’s section on climate change impact.] Field also brought up a highly questionable study that last year’s Texas drought was 20 times more likely to occur due to global warming.

James McCarthy focused on the oceans and that the Argos buoys show the heat content of the oceans is increasing which will have dire long term consequences in sea level rise etc. He did not mention that the deployment of these 3000 buoys began in 2000 and was completed in 2007. Thus, the record is too short to make any long term projections. http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

As readers of TWTW would expect, we thought the testimony of John Christy to be the most interesting. In both written and oral testimony he focused on five points.

  1. Extreme weather events are not evidence of human caused climate change. He showed historical evidence that Mother Nature causes extreme weather events.
  2. The average warming rate of the IPCC models is greater than observations, suggesting they are too sensitive to CO2. Policy must be based on observations, not speculative models.
  3. New discoveries explain part of the warming found in surface datasets. Part of the warming is unrelated to GHG, but to human development around the thermometers.
  4. The “consensus” misrepresents climate science by overstating confidence in high climate sensitivity to CO2. Government funding is needed for a team studying the possibility of low climate sensitivity and the role of natural variability.
  5. CO2 is food for plants, and more CO2 generally means more food. Further, developing nations need affordable carbon-based energy until other affordable, non-carbon sources are developed.

In the written comments under point three, Christy discussed at some length the studies by McNider, et al. (2012), and Watts, et al. The McNider study found that slight alterations in the surface near thermometers can disturb evening air flow as to raise measured nighttime temperatures, increasing the reported daily average temperatures. The study by the Watts team is discussed above. In the written comments under point four, Christy specifically mentioned the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and new report by Patrick Michaels questioning the prior reports of impacts of climate change on the US.

Christy also used the term Climate Establishment to describe the ongoing activities of the orthodoxy that receives about $20 Billion per year from the US government.

It was the exchange between Senator Boxer and Christy that made the day; but more on that next week.


Corrections and Amplifications: Several readers pointed out funny spelling errors in last week’s TWTW: draught (of beer) instead of drought and carbonator instead of carburetor.


Number of the Week: 2. The web site Number Watch used 2 as the number of the month. Number Watch is run by John Brignell who is a pioneer in certain types of instrumentation and sensors. He is statistician who fiercely defends the proper use of statistics and as fiercely criticizes the inappropriate use of statistics.

“According to new calculations 2 is almost exactly the factor by which the claimed rate of warming in the USA has been erroneously magnified. This error comprises two components – the use of data from sensor installations that do not conform to agreed specifications and a scientific process known as ‘fiddling the books’”. Please link under Questioning the Orthodoxy.



For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. Who Really Gets Rich Off High Gas Prices?

Exxon made seven cents per gallon in 2011. Federal, state and local governments siphoned off 50 cents in taxes.

By Drew Johnson, WSJ, Aug 2, 2012


2. U.S. Oil Reserves Jumped in 2010

By Tennille Tracy, WSJ, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: By Energy Information Administration accounting, US oil reserves went up 13% and natural gas reserves up by 12%.]

3. ‘Smart growth’ not so smart after all

By: Charles Battig, VA-SEEE, Jul 31, 2012




Climategate Continued

IPCC’s Secret Letter

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Aug 3, 2012


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Summary Of Two Game-Changing Papers – Watts Et al 2012 and McNider Et Al 2012

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Jul 31, 2012


Watts et al paper 2nd discussion thread

By Anthony Watts, WUST, Jul 31, 2012


More On The BEST, NCDC, CRU and GISS Analyses Of Multi-Decadal Land Surface Temperature Trends

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 2, 2012


Defending the Orthodoxy

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

By Richard Muller, NYT, Jul 28, 2012


A new release from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature

By Steven Mosher and Zeke Hausfather, Climate Etc, Jul 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Judith Curry’s comments at the end.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Number of the month – 2

By John Brignell, Number Watch, Jul 31, 2010


Soil Moisture Illustrates Why IPCC Computer Models Fail

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Jul 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The statement of temperature decline may be better put as no trend in increasing temperatures for over a decade, contrary to the models. The post suggest one other natural variable the models used by the IPCC fail to take into account. The disparity between model predictions / projections and temperature measurements continue to increase.]

Earth’s Carbon Sink Still Strong and Growing

By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Aug 2, 2012


Earth Keeps Sucking Up Greenhouse Gases

By Richard A. Kerr, Science Now, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: So much for the claim that the CO2 emissions will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.]

Reaction From Germany On Watts’s Press Release: “Shocking Development, Could Have Global Relevance”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 30, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


The BEST Affair

Berkeley Earth Study Referee Reports

By Ross McKitrick, His Web Site, Jul 30, 2012 [H/t WUWT]


Müller lite: Why Every Scientist Needs a Classical Training

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI, Jul 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Drawing conclusions from a weak correlation is argumentum ad ignorantiam.]

An uncorrected assumption in BEST’s station quality paper

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 3, 2012


New Data, Old Claims About Volcanoes

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Jul 30, 2012


Observation-based (?) attribution

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Jul 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Curry, a former member of the BEST team, expresses her views on their latest.]

Muller in the Carbon Brief

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 3, 2012


Not the BEST

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 30, 2012


Richard Muller’s Political Move—BEST is Best? Sophisticated Statistics!

By William Briggs, His Blog, Jul 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature: Good Data, Poor Conclusions

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Jul 30, 2012


Ex climate sceptic’ Muller’s latest BEST stuff is the worst so far

‘Non-partisan’ group abandons pretence of neutrality

By Andrew Orlowski, A Register, Jul 31, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Koch-funded climate change skeptic reverses course

By Neela Banerjee, LA Times, Jul 29, 2012 [H/t Bud Bromley]


A Closer Look at Climate Studies Promoted Before Publication

By Andrew Revikin, NYT, Jul 30, 2012


My advice? Ignore these publicity stunts and pay no attention to these studies until they have passed peer review. And even studies that have been peer reviewed should be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism until they have been confirmed in multiple subsequent studies and stood the test of time. By Jason Samenow, a former Environmental Protection Agency meteorologist who blogs at Capital Weather Gang,

[SEPP Comment: Why was the advice not applied to the hockey-stick?]

Summertime Hearings

Video: John Christy’s stellar testimony today – ‘The recent anomalous weather can’t be blamed on carbon dioxide.’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 1, 2012


John Christy’s EPW testimony

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Aug 1, 2012


John Christy: Climate Data Maven

Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Aug 3, 2012


IPCC Lead Author Misleads US Congress

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Aug 1, 2012 [H/t Randy Randol]


Dems blame weather on climate change

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 1, 2012


Hide the Megadroughts

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No reason to bring up inconvenient facts.]

Déjà Vu at Senate Climate Hearing

By David Malakoff, Science Insider, Aug 1, 20123


Questioning European Green

Brown coal makes a comeback amid protests

By Frederike Schulz, Der Welt, Aug 1, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The German Environment Minister will permit new construction of coal-fired power plants – something the EPA desires to prohibit. Contrary to the statements by Greenpeace, the figures show the demand for electricity in Germany is highest on cold winter evenings, after the sun has long set.]

German National Academy of Sciences issues a critical statement on the use of bioenergy

By Staff Writers, Berlin, Germany (SPX), Jul 31, 2012


Questioning Green Elsewhere

The Problem With a “Green Domestic Product”

Environmentalists want a better standard to measure a nation’s wealth, but their propoal falls short.

By Bjørn Lomborg, Slate, Jul 15, 2012


Expanding the Orthodoxy

Queen, politicians, Nobel winner named to UN social panel

By Staff Writers, United Nations (AFP), July 31, 2012


Seeking a Common Ground

The Climate Debate” by Donald Rapp 2012 – An Excellent Addition To The Literature On The Climate Issue

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 1, 2012


An Analysis By Donald Rapp Of The Levitus Et Al 2012 Analysis

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Since the 1990 the estimated heat content is increasing, but there is no trend of acceleration.]

Evidence-Based Policy: Which Side are You On?

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Jul 30, 2012


Gergis and Watts Delayed

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Aug, 2, 2012


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

Scientists Tell Senate Panel: Climate Change Is Here and Disaster Costs Will Be Huge

By Staff Writers, Common Dreams, Aug 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: John Christy was the only atmospheric physicist there. Apparently the reporter was dreaming about lunch when Christy spoke.]

Canada’s Oil, the World’s Carbon

Editorial, NYT, Jul 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: What is the pipeline’s effect on the climate? Reminds one of the books in the 1970s such as The Ugly American.

The case against global warming – Heated response

By Charles Battig, VA-SEEE, on ICECAP, Aug 2, 2012


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Climate Concerns and Public Health Issues

By Staff Writers, Boston MA (SPX), Aug 01, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Start off with unsupported claims and go from there.]

Changing Climate

Drilling discovers ancient Antarctic rainforest

By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), Aug 2, 2012


When the world burned less

By Staff Writers, Salt Lake City UT (SPX), Aug 03, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Global cooling caused fewer fires.]

North America may face ‘megadrought’

By Staff Writers, Corvallis, Ore. (UPI), Jul 30, 2012


Tree-ring data showed the multiyear drought was unlike anything seen since the Middle Ages, from 977-981 and from 1146-1151, the researchers said.

Chronic 2000-04 drought, worst in 800 years, may be the ‘new normal’

By Staff Writers, Corvallis OR (SPX), Aug 01, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Same report as immediately above. How can something that ended be unceasing and the new normal?]

Climate change could open trade opportunities for some vulnerable nations

By Staff Writers, Stanford CA (SPX), Aug 01, 2012


Changing Seas

Coral reef thriving in sediment-laden waters

By Staff Writers, Exeter UK (SPX), Aug 01, 2012


Changing Sea Ice

Arctic Sea Ice Declines

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Aug 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: As in parts of the US east, it has been a hot summer in parts of the Arctic. Watch out for the headlines – and predictions from computer models.]

Greenland ice said more robust to climate change than feared

* Study shows ice loss stopped after surge

* But ice sheet has not grown during pause

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Aug 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: It has been a hot summer in Greenland; one would not expect the ice sheet to grow. It is indicative of the climate establishment that some scientists extrapolate 90 years out from one event that compassed 0.007% of the Greenland ice sheet.]

Little Ice Age climate and oceanic conditions of the Ross Sea, Antarctica from a coastal ice core record

By R.H. Rhodes, et al. Climate of the Past, July 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The paper suggests the Little Ice Age (LIA) was a global event with the Ross Ice Shelf colder than it is today. The IPCC reports claimed that the LIA was a regional event in the Northern Hemisphere.]

Changing Earth

Are large earthquakes linked across the globe?

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 03, 2012


Increase in observed net carbon dioxide uptake by land and oceans during the past 50 years

A. P. Ballantyne, C. B. Alden, J. B. Miller, P. P. Tans & J. W. C. White, Nature, Letters, Aug 2, 2012


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Corn for Food, Not Fuel

By Colin Carter and Henry Miller, NYT, Jul 30, 2012


Forest Fire Issues

U.S. Is Urged to Change Its Firefighting Air Fleet

By Matthew Wald, NYT, Jul 30 2012


The Political Games Continue

Inhofe asks EPA to Withdraw Greenhouse Gas Regulations

By Staff Writers, Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, Aug 3, 2012 [H/t Marc Morano]


Senators promise to file energy measure as amendment to every Senate bill

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jul 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Net zero-energy use for homes and commercial buildings by 2030! No lighting, heating, or cooling needed. It would be great to see the feasibility paper on this one. The Federal government has had home insulation programs since the 1970s]

A Beverly Hills Bailout?

Federal earthquake insurance is an awful idea.

By Eli Lehrer, Weekly Standard, Jul 25, 2012


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Carbon tax gets unusual support

By Steve Hargreaves, CNN, Jul 30, 2012 [H/t Bud Bromley]


Congressman Introduces Carbon Tax Bill

By Marlow Lewis, Global Warming, Aug 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: May not be rosy for carbon taxes.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind PTC Already Phasing Out—for Certain

By David Kreutzer, The Foundry, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The wind industry lamenting the uncertainty of the tax credit does not impress this commentator.]

Obama official: Ending wind credit could have ‘devastating effect’

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jul 31, 2012


Calling For Government Mandates

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: According to its 2010 IRS form 990, ACEEE, received $600,548 in government grants, not quite 10% total revenues of $6,481,900. It lists $1,633,968 in program services, undefined and $4,147,211 in contributions.]

Sierra Club targets GOP lawmakers for opposing wind energy tax credit

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jul 30, 2012


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Walks Back Its War Against Fracking

By Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: EPA scientific method revealed. Make splashy press releases on hazards first; then quietly pull away when scientific challenges arise. This gives the environmental supporters the ability to label the issue as “controversial.”]

Energy Issues – Non-US

UK’s Energy Policy ‘Schizophrenia’ Spreads to Europe

By Peter C Glover, Energy Tribune, Jul 31, 2012


The U.S. economy is in severe danger of being revived by what is happening in its shale gas and oil sectors.

Unprecedented Grid Failures Underscore India’s Infrastructure Woes

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 2, 2012


The Property Rights Myth of European Shale Gas

By Nick Grealy, No Hot Air, Aug 3, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Just because the oil and gas hydraulic revolution began on private property with private mineral rights in the US, it does not mean that such activities would not work in countries where mineral rights are government owned. That is a decision of the government. For years the state capitol grounds of Oklahoma has had working oil rigs – no doubt something that would horrify many political leaders elsewhere.]

Energy Issues — US

Mine Succumbs To Obama’s War On Coal, Ohio

Editorial, IBD, Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Staggering increases in the price of futures for electricity capacity.]

It Worked! US Energy Emissions Back At 1992 Levels

By Hank Campbell, Science 2.0, Aug 1, 2012


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Europe’s Quiet Shale Revolution

By Guy Chazan, Financial Times, via GWPF, Aug 2, 2012


Washington’s Control of Oil and Gas

Chicago-area gas-price spike caused by ‘cluster of bad luck’

Pipeline shutdown in Wisconsin, unrelated refinery problems contribute to short-term increase

By Gregory Karp and Cheryl V. Jackson, Chicago Tribune, Aug 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Transportation Ray LaHood may find the pipeline spill unacceptable, but so is his ham handed dictate that punished the public for it. Spike in gas price – in many other parts of the country as well – demonstrates the fragility of the system in which the EPA demands many boutique summertime blends. The price increase really occurred late this week.]

Return of King Coal?

Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Jul 28, 2012 [H/t SPPI]


27 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity to retire over next five years

By Staff Writers, EIA, Jul 27, 2012


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Fukushima’s doses tallied

Studies indicate minimal health risks from radiation in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster.

By Geoff Brumfiel, Nature, May 23, 2012


Global Uranium Supply Ensured for Long Term, New Report Shows

Press Release, IAEA, July 26, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Based on current use, over a 100 year supply is identified.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Spanish Renewable Lessons for Obama

By Andrés Cala, Energy Tribune, Aug 2, 2012


President Obama’s Energy Outlook Is Far Too Sunny

Editorial, IBD, Aug 1, 2012


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Peak Oil: Meet $2 A Gallon Algal Biodiesel

By Al Fin, GWPF, Aug 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Sensational headline, the question is when? However, an interesting projection of possible future costs of oil from various production methods.]

The Ethanol Mandate: Drought Only Compounds Inherent Catastrophic Consequences

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Jul 31, 2012


U.S, Australian navies focus on new fuels

By Staff Writers, Canberra, Australia (UPI), Jul 26, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Research is fine, implementation of expensive fuels is not.]

Tidal Turbine to Take the Plunge in the Bay of Fundy

Ocean Renewable Power says it will have its first grid-connected tidal generator online this fall.

By Martin Lamonica, Technology Review, Jul 25, 2012 [H/t Tom Sheahen]


[SEPP Comment: What will the salt water and salt spray do to the turbine and the infrastructure?]

Commercial project dedicated

By Erin Ailworth, Boston Globe, Jul 25, 2012


[SEPP Comment: High electricity costs bring hope?]

Study: Ocean waves could power Australia

By Staff Writers, Canberra, Australia (UPI), Jul 26, 2012


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Even With Subsidies

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Jul 31, 2012


Carbon Schemes

Eight Oxy-Combustion Projects Get DOE Awards to Advance CCUS

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Jul 31, 2012


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Probing Ecosystem Resilience to Climate Change in Arctic-Alpine Plants

Reference: de Witte, L.C., Armbruster, G.F.J., Gielly, L., Taberlet, P. and Stocklin, J. 2012. AFLP markers reveal high clonal diversity and extreme longevity in four key arctic-alpine species. Molecular Ecology 21: 1081-1097.


CO2 Effects on Plant Nutrient Concentration

Reference: Duval, B.D., Blankinship, J.C., Dijkstra, P. and Hungate, B.A. 2012. CO2 effects on plant nutrient concentration depend on plant functional group and available nitrogen: a meta-analysis. Plant Ecology 213: 505-521.


Northern Scandinavian Temperatures of the Past 2000 Years

Reference: Esper, J., Frank, D.C., Timonen, M., Zorita, E., Wilson, R.J.S., Luterbacher, J., Holzkamper S., Fischer, N., Wagner, S., Nievergelt, D., Verstege, A. and Buntgen, U. 2012. Orbital forcing of tree-ring data. Nature Climate Change: DOI 10.1038/NCLIMATE1589.


A New Record of Late Holocene Climate at the Antarctic Peninsula

Reference: Lu, Z., Rickaby, R.E.M., Kennedy, H., Kennedy, P., Pancost, R.D., Shaw, S., Lennie, A., Wellner, J. and Anderson, J.B. 2012. An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 325-326: 108-115.


[SEPP Comment: Study suggests the Antarctic Peninsula was not as warm in the late 20th century as it was during the Medieval Warm Period.]

Health, Energy, and Climate

Hong Kong chokes under ‘worst’ air pollution

By Staff Writers, Hong Kong (AFP), Aug 2, 2012


Tiny airborne pollutants lead double life

By Staff Writers, Vancouver, Canada (SPX), Aug 02, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Better understanding of the chemistry of polluting particles may lead to more cost effective removal.]

Other Scientific News

Scientists probe link between magnetic polarity reversal and mantle processes

By Staff Writers, Liverpool UK (SPX), Aug 03, 2012


A Fish Friendly Facility for the ISS

By Jessica Nimon for ISS Science News, Houston TX (SPX), Jul 31, 2012


Cloud seeds and ozone holes

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 03, 2012


Other News that May Be of Interest

Who owns the North Pole?

By Staff Writers, Copenhagen, Denmark (UPI), Aug 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Will we see the coming of a new type of cold war?]


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August 5, 2012 6:00 pm

Woah, the whole article was on the front page… But it was interesting reading!

August 5, 2012 6:19 pm

I believe it should be magnetosphere not heliosphere that protects earth from cosmic rays..

Bruce of Newcastle
August 5, 2012 6:44 pm

“a curve fitting exercise with a 250 year temperature record is an unreasonable test”
This is not so. If you use previous solar cycle length as a proxy you can fit this to long term records such as the CET. Indeed in contrast to Dr Muller’s statement it works rather well.
Of course if you do this you also have to acknowledge the work of Dr Svensmark’s colleagues Dr Friis-Christensen and Dr Lassen (amongst many others), whose names are anathema to warmist bloggers the world over.

August 5, 2012 8:08 pm

If you take a look at the readme file associated with BEST code, it says the code does not work. The file is dated 10/20/11. So unless there is code somewhere other than the BEST web site, the supplied code isn’t necessarily working.
### Analysis Code README ###
The files included in this code collection provide a MATLAB implementation
of the Berkeley Earth averaging process.
Core code is included as BerkeleyAverage.m under the Code/Analysis directory
and files called from there. In order to run this, the package will
need to be placed in a Matlab directory and temperatureStartup.m will
need to be edited to specify the target directory structure. In addition,
one will also need to download a Matlab format dataset such as provided by:
It is also possible to use the included files to explore this dataset.
Many functions presented here are functionsal. However, not all of the code
included here will necessarily work. In some parts there may be work product
that reflects development paths that were subsequently abandoned. In other
cases there may be routines that depend on other code / data not included in
this release. The current code is intended mostly to allow people to review
the core underlying algorithms used by Berkeley Earth and is not necessarily
ready to facillitate independent research programs. This code is simply
provided as is.
During the next couple of months the Berkeley Earth group intends to move to a
more user friendly distribution platform with online SVN, dedicated installer,
and better examples and documentation.
The hope is that this future version will be more directly useful for other
research programs.

August 6, 2012 3:51 am

Excuse my lack of knowledte and specifics as I look for feedback on how to counter the unchallenged 98% of beleivers using information from this site. Since I will be in a debate that will most likely challnege my position on warming, I would like your comments on the following statement and how I defend challenges to this postion. My general position statement is:
In a worse case scenario, Global warming is happening but at the same rate as since the end of the Ice Age with the adder from man increasing CO2 concentration from the burning of fossil fuels. Doubling the CO2 concentration by the end of the century will ad another .5 degrees C to the to the base line .5 C. There is no immediate crisis.
When I post on yahoo or other sites blogs challenging the 98% after articles showing Dr. Manns the sharp upward trend in temperature from CO2, I comment on the lack of reproducibility of his data by his own grad student and the use of other tree bark data bases that do not show this trend. I often get the denier word and this comment “There are nearly a dozen psuedo-thermetric studies in addition to Dr. Mann’s tree bark data that show the same upward trend (speieo-thermetreic, blow hole…ect.).
The homogenization and correction factors applied by NOAA to the data from 1979 to 2008 have biased the temperatures in the upward direction and thus any psuedo-thermetric method will show this. (Bothersome to me is that we deny based on reproducibility and yet if other psuedo-thermetrics show increase, why do other tree bark data bases not show an upward trend with gerrymandered NOAA temperature data.) I am aware of studies posted here that comment on conclusions draw by some of the researchers are done so even though what they conclude is withing the discrimination error for their psuedo-thermetric measurement.
Natural cooling processes occur as well as man generated cooling. We will have more record temperatures in part because we have had no natural disaster to reset the temperature.
These are short term events and have no long term relationship.
The erruption of Krakatou in 1885 was said to cool the earth the equivialent of 100 years of warming when I studied this in college (How long did this effect last?). The period after this cooling effect should then start to show more record temperatures. We also know that the lack of sunspot activiites give rise to higher temperatures as ionization to form clouds to refect visible and infared light from the sun does not occur. The lack of vapor trails from the grounding of all commercial flights with the 9-11 event showed a temperature increase with out vapor trails in the stratsophere.
Your feedback and comments are needed. There is a need to get a larger number of bloggers attacking the 98% in the blogs after a biased study is posted. Their is not enough visible challenge to the propaganda the youngsters have received in the public education system in the last 10 years. Unforturnately they have been taught to be conformists and not think critically.

August 6, 2012 9:40 am

I think you’re fighting a losing war. What usually transpsires when you “debate” on the web is a cut and paste war. You match your links with your opponents’ links, and then spend countless hours debating the veracity of the links. You can spend hours putting together links from dendro studies, peer reviewed critiques of Mann’s PCAs, Hansen’s GCMs, or NOAA’s problems with station locations. But, in the end, the Alarmists’ will always have counter-point links. I think it is a waste of time.
On those occaisons when I do decide to enter into the “discussion”, I usuallypoint out the lack of predictability of the various Alarmist’s climate theories. Since the Alarmists now interject Climate into weather events, they’ve set themselves up for failure. If the “science” is in fact settled the Alarmists should be able to predict future weather events with a high degree of accuracy (by weather I mean significant changes in ENSO, the AO, NAO, as well as seasonal variations in temps/precip). If the GCMs (which are based on CO2 cocentrations and various positive feedbacks) cannot predict the next change in ENSO, what good are they?

August 6, 2012 11:41 am

Note the mention of spelling errors in last weeks edition. I am considering dumping Microsoft Word for its instability in keeping auto-correct turned off – it is dangerous.

Harold Pierce Jr
August 6, 2012 11:50 am

The concentration of CO2 in the air as determined by analyses at ML Observatory is reported for highly-purified, bone-dry air which contains nitrogen, oxygen, the inert gases and carbon dioxide and which does not occur in the earth’s atmosphere. In real air, a engineering term for local air at intake ports of air separation plants, there is always water vapor, somtimes fog and particulate matter.
The mass of air in any unit volume of the atmosphere depends on temperature, pressure, and absolute humidity. Daily weather maps of the earth show no uniform distribution of temperature, pressure, and rel humidity which can related to absolute humidity. Hence there is no unfirom distribution of the GHG’s in the atmosphere.
If GCM’s model use the concentration data for CO2 from MLO, then these are absolutely and fatally flawed. The absolute amount of mass of CO2 per unit volume (e.g. a cubic meter) at most all locations on the earth is never known.

D. J. Hawkins
August 6, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: Tidal Turbines
Salt spray and sea water corrosion will likely have relatively small impact. As I understand it, the entire structure is submerged. Sea water corrosion is most active at the air-water interface and is much less a factor for completely submerged items.

August 9, 2012 6:59 am

Time to End the Fuel Ethanol Mandate
Re: the Forbes article above:
With corn prices increasing to over $8 per bushel, it is surely time to end the ridiculous fuel ethanol mandate in the USA (and Canada). Almost 40% of the huge US corn crop is used for corn ethanol.
This food-to-fuel folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, causing great suffering to the world’s poor – now poor AND HUNGRY.
This ethanol policy was energy-nonsense from the beginning – but now it is causing increased world hunger.
Oh, sorry, my bad – I forgot that these hungry people are all poor, so they don’t matter, apparently.
Apologies, Allan
In North America, our greatest folly has been corn ethanol. Now, almost 40% of the huge US crop is used for corn ethanol – about 130 million tonnes per year of corn goes into our gas tanks, forced into gasoline by government mandates. This folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, at great cost to the world’s poor.
Grid-connected wind power, solar power and corn ethanol all require huge life-of-project subsidies to survive, and would go bankrupt the minute these subsidies cease. Many of the subsidies are in the form of mandates – forcing power companies and gasoline suppliers to include these costly and counterproductive enviro-schemes in their products, at great expense to consumers.
The radical environmentalists have been remarkably effective at forcing really foolish, costly and counterproductive schemes upon Western society. The backlash, when it comes, won’t be pretty.
When you hear the term “green energy”, it’s not about greening the environment – it’s all about the money.

August 9, 2012 10:11 am

Green Energy Policies are a Primary Cause of Increasing Poverty in Europe
The following CNBC article states that “austerity” is causing an increase in the number of abandoned children in Europe.
It is not just the cost of austerity that is leading to an increase in abandoned children.
It is the cost of implementing foolish “green energy’ policies that drive nations into energy poverty.
Incidentally, these same “green energy” technologies are so inefficient and ineffective that they are actually harmful to the environment.
Allan MacRae, P.Eng.
Austerity’s Cost: Abandoned Children in Europe
By Holly Ellyatt | CNBC – 51 minutes ago
As the euro zone debt crisis deepens and austerity measures take their toll across Europe, the number of young children and babies abandoned across the region has increased, according to local charities.
The rise in the abandonment of infants across Europe is most visible in the spread of “baby hatches” or “boxes” across Europe, where unwanted infants are left anonymously.
The phenomenon was previously more prevalent among immigrants, but it is becoming more widespread among financially desperate members of the local population….

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