Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “…[EPA concluded] that most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in human generated greenhouse gas emissions, and very likely is a defined term, which means 90 to 99 percent certain…” Angeline Purdy, Department of Justice, discussing “the scientific and technical basis for the endangerment finding” of the EPA
Number of the Week: Year 1926
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Storming Sandy: For the US, the biggest news of the week was not the election but the combination of tropical Atlantic cyclone Sandy coming up the east coast from the south and an outside the tropic winter storm coming from . Canada. The tropical storm Sandy was large in diameter, with significant rain and a low barometric pressure, but not significant wind speed. The combining of these storms intensified the wind energy and produced unusual, but not unprecedented, results. For example, Hazel in 1954 was a combination of two storms and was far stronger, but went ashore in North Carolina, not New Jersey. Among the novelties was up to several feet of snowfall in the central mountain regions in states such as West Virginia.
The storm went ashore in mid New Jersey, approximately at high tide that was amplified by a full moon, creating a large storm surge in a natural funnel called the New York Bight. This caused significant flooding of coastal northern New Jersey and the Hudson River estuary including southern Manhattan, Brooklyn, and eastern parts of Long Island, which has one of the greatest concentrations of population and property wealth in the US. The storm surge on the southern tip of Manhattan was over 13 feet (about 4 meters). Of course, the storm attracted great media attention, whereas a similar storm in other parts of the world would attract far less attention. As of this writing less than 100 were killed, but property damage was extensive. The relatively low number of deaths can be attributed to the actions officials in alerting and forcing people to evacuate the area, something that the officials in New Orleans failed to properly do prior to Katarina.
Fortunately, most scientists did not use the occasion to blame global warming / climate change for the natural disaster. Unfortunately, a number of politicians and alarmists did blame global warming – as if stopping carbon dioxide emissions would stop extreme storms.
According to the meteorologists at WeatherBell Analytics, the storm surge was the worst to hit Manhattan since 1821. The 1821 hurricane hit at low tide, the population of New York was far less, and the sea levels have risen since.
A lesson frequently forgotten is if one builds on barrier islands, such as along the New Jersey coast, one must be prepared to lose the structure or heavily barricade it. The same is for underground structures such as the subway in New York. Please see Articles # 1 & # 2 and links under Storming Sandy, Changing Weather, Defending the Orthodoxy, Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?, and Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
No Consensus: Judith Curry gives a digest of her paper written with P.J. Webster on the claimed consensus of scientists. Of course, the consensus claimed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and by other reports dutifully following it, is manufactured and false. Further, consensus is not physical evidence of an assertion being accurate or correct. The false consensus introduces a bias into climate science that is difficult to address and remove. The false consensus is the result of various methods to suppress dissidents as well as assert “expert judgment” and certainty levels in areas in which there are no ability to quantitatively assess certainty.
Curry states: “Greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations.” Given the history of the IPCC, and its dutiful followers, it is doubtful that these required improvements will be achieved within the climate establishment. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Regulatory Science: Roger Pielke Sr, comments on a new book, Institutions And Incentives In Regulatory Science which covers a broad range of issues on how governmental agencies justify regulatory expansion using science as a justification – a science that is unjustified in any rigorous sense. Such agencies include the IPCC, EPA, US Fish and Wildlife, and others.
Pielke states: “As the contributions to this volume show conclusively and in great detail, such agencies (and other assessment organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC) are far from unbiased in how they assess regulatory science.” “…[the authors] paint a picture of a serious crisis in the scientific foundations of the modern regulatory state. But the authors go beyond this, by providing suggestions for reform. These proposals span a wide range.” Please see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
More Variables in the Models: According to John Timmer, the new climate models being used to prepare the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) have more factors (variables) than the models used in AR4. If the values of these factors are not empirically determined, they will increase the degrees of freedom in the models and may serve to increase, rather than reduce, the uncertainty inherent the models. The models may initially give better appearing results, regionally, but the results may be temporary. The Wall Street Journal has labeled these factors as “fudge factors.” These efforts do not go to addressing the central issue of empirically determining the temperature sensitivity of the planet to increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Please see link under Models v. Observations
On-shore Wind: John Hayes, Britain’s Energy minister has announced a plan to put a firm limit on the building of new onshore wind farms. This will certainly to cause a great controversy. Many citizens abhor the sight of the wind farms on the countryside, while landed interests greatly benefit from the income received. Please see links under Questioning European Green.
Electricity Dumping: Several Central and Eastern European countries, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, are moving to disconnect or regulate electricity generated by wind farms in Germany on windy winter days. The excess electricity threatens to overload the girds and cause blackouts. The issue illustrates a major problem with wind power which its political promoters fail to address. Please see link under Energy Issues – Non US.
Quote of the Week: From the transcript of the oral arguments in litigation against the EPA’s endangerment finding, page 70. Consolidated case number is 09-1322 and the dates of the oral arguments were February 28 and 29, 2012. The transcripts are not available on the web.
The calculations are based on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4). The statement somewhat contradicts the statement by PBS journalist John Hockenberry on Frontline Live Chat who wrote: “The saddest thing about this story is that we heard mostly absolute certainty and dismissive confidence among our skeptic friends…”
The court issues were previously discussed in TWTW March 3, 2012, October 13, 20 & 27, 2012
Number of the Week: Year 1926. In 1926 the Great Miami Hurricane hit Florida. As reported by Roger Pielke Jr, according to estimates by the catastrophe insurance provider ICAT, if a similar were to strike today it would cause $180 Billion dollars in damage. Please see Article # 2.
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. Bloomberg’s November Surprise
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Nov 3, 2012
2. Hurricanes and Human Choice
Sandy was terrible, but we’re currently in a relative hurricane ‘drought.’
Connecting energy policy and disasters makes little scientific sense.
By Roger Pielke Jr, WSJ, Nov 1, 2012
3. Save the Whales, Forget the Children
Greenpeace’s war on Golden Rice ignores science in the name of misguided activism.
By Henry Miller, WSJ, Oct 20, 2012
4. Why America Has Fallen Behind the World in Storm Forecasting
By Kerry Emanuel, WSJ, Oct 28, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Critics of the British MET would differ with the author as to the effectiveness of its computer modeling.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
New Paper: Large Increase in Northern Hemisphere Sunshine Duration since 1982
From The Hockey Stick, GWPF, Oct 28, 2012
Karoly and Gergis vs Journal of Climate
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Oct 30, 2012
[SEPP Comment: The old tricks did not work this time, thankfully.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Proposed alternative to APS Statement
By Wallace Manheimer, Letter, Jul 2009
[SEPP Comment: A continuation of the controversy regarding the American Physical Society’s authoritarian statement on global warming.]
Climate change: no consensus on consensus
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Oct 28, 2012
New Book “Institutions And Incentives In Regulatory Science” (Edited by Jason Scott Johnston, 2012).
By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Oct 29, 2012
Mann’s hockey stick disappears – and CRU’s Briffa helps make the MWP live again by pointing out bias in the data
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 28, 2012
Defending the Orthodoxy
Al Gore calls Sandy a ‘disturbing sign of things to come,’ urges climate action
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Oct 30, 2012
Bill Clinton, citing Sandy, hits Romney on climate change
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Oct 30, 2012
‘Frankenstorm’: Why climate change will not be denied in this election
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Washington Post, Oct 29, 2012
[SEPP Comment: The Professor of Theology offers no more evidence than those who blame the storm on non-traditional sexual behavior.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Announcement: WUWT-TV to counter Al Gore’s ’24 Hours of Climate Reality’ with live webcast
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 29, 2012
David Suzuki and Scientific and Social Responsibility.
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Oct 30, 2012
Election Campaigns Prove Global Warming Crisis Skeptics Won The Climate Debate
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Oct 28, 2012
Who were the SECRET 28 who ended all climate debate at the BBC?
‘Campaigners, NGOs, communications types – and scientists’
By Andrew Orlowski, The Register, Oct 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
U.S. Main stream media duped on global warming polls
By Tom Harris, Canada Free Press, Oct 28, 2012
Questioning European Green
Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age
By Christopher Booker, Mail UK, Oct 30, 2012
Death knell for wind farms: ‘Enough is Enough’ says minister
Wind farms have been “peppered” across Britain without enough consideration for the countryside and people’s homes, a senior Conservative energy minister admitted last night as he warned “enough is enough”.
By Robert Winnett, Telegraph, UK, Oct 30, 2012 [H/t John Droz Jr.]
Street lights turned off in their thousands to meet carbon emission targets
Huge swathes of Britain are being plunged into darkness as more and more streetlights are switched off by councils and roads authorities.
By Clair Duffin, Telegraph, UK, Oct 27, 2012 [H/t Malcolm G. Ross]
Questioning Green Elsewhere
Green Jobs Go 0-for-4
By David Kreutzer, The Foundry, Nov 1, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Because the methodologies differ, the numbers differ for the vaunted Brookings study, but the substance is the same – green jobs have been greatly oversold.]
More Green Energy Follies
By Michael Iachetta, American Thinker, Oct 27, 2012
Report: Green-jobs program struggling to place workers
By Zack Colman, The Hill, Oct 26, 20122
RET “success” means $18 billion dollars wasted
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 28, 2012
Failed Renewable Technologies Are An Expensive Teaching Moment
By Paul Chessser, NL&PC, Oct 30, 2012
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Doha, Qatar will host a climate conference
What a paradox!
By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Oct 28, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Holding a conference to limit the use of fossil fuels in one the world’s most opulent examples of wealth derived from the use of fossil fuels. The photos appropriately illustrate the hypocrisy of the UN potentates.]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
EU environment ministers in disarray over “hot air”
By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, Oct 25 2012 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Oh No, Don’t cancel my excess hot air! Is a nation’s hot air a nation’s property right?]
Seeking a Common Ground
The unbalance sheet
By John Brignell, Number Watch, Oct, 2012
The concept of the balance sheet is important to the provision of information over a wide range of human activities, particularly in science and finance.
[SEPP Comment: Differentiating between seeking to gain advantage by misstatement, and seeking to gain advantage by concealing part of the truth. A series of essays giving examples follows.]
A disaster that science brought upon itself
The jailing of scientists for failing to predict an earthquake is the sad conclusion to the scientific community’s depiction of itself as soothsayer.
By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, Oct 25, 2012 [H/t Tom Sheahen]
What Role Do Emissions Reductions Have in Reducing Future Hurricane Losses?
By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Nov 2, 2012
A warm welcome back to the MWP
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 27, 2012
[SEPP Comment: The medieval warm period (MWP) returns to a tree ring record in Sweden. A list of studies that included the prior report without the MWP follows the announcement.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
‘It’s Global Warming, Stupid’
By Joe Romm, Bloomberg, Nov 1, 2012 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy?
By Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, Oct 30, 2012
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy
By George Lakoff, Huffington Post, Oct 30, 2012 [H/t Joe Bast]
Was Sandy systemically caused by CO2?
By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Oct 31, 2012
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above. A long, but devastating essay on why we must preserve rational and quantitative reasoning and not return to Medieval science.]
Government funds anti-science name-calling crowd: “deniers”, skeptics are old “will be gone soon”
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 30, 2012
Models v. Observations
Climate models get smarter, but uncertainty just won’t go away
The projections in the new IPCC report won’t be much more precise than the last.
By John Timmer, ARS Technica, Oct 29, 2012 [H/t Joe Bast]
Dust’s Warming Counters Half of its Cooling Effect
By Staff Writer, Science Daily, Oct 31, 2012
Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 30, 2012
New Paper “Indian Ocean Warming Modulates Pacific Climate Change” By Luo Et Al 2012
By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Nov 2, 2012
This is yet another paper that highlights the complexity of the climate system and the difficulty skillful multi-decadal climate predictions and in seeking to attribute regional climate to particular climate forcings.
Climate Data Records: Maturity Matrix
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Oct 31, 2012
[SEPP Comment: More rigorous, sustained procedures for establishing data bases are needed. However, as seen in the disappearance of the historic cooling from about 1940 to the mid-1970s in the NASA-GISS data base, homogenization is not necessarily the answer.]
Blockbuster: Earth’s Energy Balance measured – models are wrong
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 31, 2012
New York’s worst storm surge since 1821’s Great Hurricane; Northeast’s Damage larger than Irene
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Oct 30, 2012 [H/t Paul Refern]
What Is Making Frankenstorm Sandy Exceptional?
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 29, 2012
The Big Apple survives Sandy and shows how to live with climate change
Technology and human ingenuity can defuse natural disasters that once killed thousands
By Fraser Nelson, Telegraph, UK, Nov 1, 2012
Blaming Hurricane Sandy on the greedy and industrious is just as mad as blaming it on gays
By Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph, UK, Oct 30, 2012
Top 10 Damaging Hurricanes Within 50 Miles of Sandy’s Landfall
By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Oct 29, 2012
The worst hurricanes? It depends
Terence Corcoran, The Financial Post, Oct 30, 2012
If the 1926 Great Miami hurricane struck today, the damage would put Sandy in the dust
Sandy doesn’t tell us anything about climate change
By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Oct 29, 2012
The ‘Screw Science’ Media and Super Storm Sandy
When science departs from the scary-story script, journalists are the first to dismiss its importance.
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Oct 30, 2012
Vast Hurricane Sandy packs a wallop for millions along East Coast and beyond
By Joel Achenbach and Colum Lynch, Washington Post, Oct 29, 2012 [H/t Malcolm Ross]
The tropical cyclone formed south of Jamaica a week and a half ago and began to cruise north, paralleling the U.S. East Coast, dutifully following the track laid out by computer models.
[SEPP Comment: Which of the many computer model tracks? If a storm dutifully follows such a track, would it not be responsible for the modelers to track it off-shore?]]
Was Hurricane Sandy Caused by Global Warming?
As widespread power outages and flooding affect millions on the East Coast, speculation continues as to whether or not climate change caused the storm
By Teresa Welsh, US News, Oct 30, 2012
It’s the AMO stupid
By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics, Oct 31, 2012
“Hurricanes: Their Nature And Impacts On Society” Published In 1997 By Pielke Jr. and Pielke Sr. Available As A PDF
By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Oct 31, 2012
Learning (?) lessons from Sandy
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Nov 1, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Hurricanes have been a part of the world long before man created an industrial economy.]
We must prepare for extreme weather events, not vainly try to stop them
By Tom Harris, New Ideas, Oct 31, 2012
U.S. faces gap in weather satellite data
By Staff Writers, Washington (UPI), Oct 26, 2012
Wind Turbines and Clouds – Another Human Climate Forcing
By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Oct 30, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Wind turbines may have a significant impact on regional weather, not just local weather.]
Finally: JPL intends to get a GRASP on accurate sea level and ice measurements
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 30, 2012
La Nina Caused Global Sea Level Drop
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 30, 2012
Century-long trend of global ocean warming identified
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 30, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Nothing particularly new here.]
Tsunami hit Geneva in AD 563: scientists
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Oct 28, 2012
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org
Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Events in the Mediterranean French Alps
Reference: Wilhelm, B., Arnaud, F., Sabatier, P., Crouzet, C., Brisset, E., Chaumillon, E., Disnar, J.-R., Guiter, F., Malet, E., Reyss, J.-L., Tachikawa, K., Bard, E. and Delannoy, J.-J. 2012. 1400 years of extreme precipitation patterns over the Mediterranean French Alps and possible forcing mechanisms. Quaternary Research 78: 1-12.
Ocean Acidification, Marine Food Production, and Calcification
Reference: McCarthy, A., Rogers, S.P., Duffy, S.J. and Campbell, D.A. 2012. Elevated carbon dioxide differentially alters the photophysiology of Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyceae) and Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta). Journal of Phycology 48: 635-646.
[SEPP Comment: Does not mention pH, but increasing CO2 in the water increases primary marine food production.]
The Medieval Warm Period in Northeast China
Reference: Wang, L., Rioual, P., Panizzo, V.N., Lu, H., Gu, Z., Chu, G., Yang, D., Han, J., Liu, J. and Mackay, A.W. 2012. A 1000-yr record of environmental change in NE China indicated by diatom assemblages from maar lake Erlongwan. Quaternary Research 78: 24-34.
How Best to “Weatherproof” Earth’s Corals Against Warming-Induced Bleaching
Reference: Wooldridge, S.A. and Done, T.J. 2009. Improved water quality can ameliorate effects of climate change on corals. Ecological Applications 19: 1492-1499.
The Political Games Continue
Romney Seen Scuttling EPA Proposals, Letting Rules Stand
By Mark Drajem, The Hill, Oct 31, 2012
Obama shows support for natural gas
By Jacob Fischler, Medill News Service
Washington (UPI) Oct 26, 2012
Mayor Bloomberg’s Deft Climate Politics
By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Nov 2, 2012
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Conservative think tank AEI brings carbon tax debate out in the open
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Nov 26, 2012
Eco-Taxes? Study Financed by U.S. Treasury Will Link Tax Code to Carbon Emissions
By Geoege Russell, Fox, Nov 1, 2012 [H/t SPPI]
[SEPP Comment: The president of the National Academy of Sciences is a global warming alarmist.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Obama EPA set to derail fracking, kill 1.7 million jobs
Administration’s energy regulations stifling the economy
By Thomas Mullikin, Washington Times, Nov 2, 2012
Energy Issues – Non-US
Windmills Overload East Europe’s Grid Risking Blackout: Energy
By Ladka Bauerova and Tino Andresen, Bloomberg, Oct 25, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
Germany is dumping electricity on its unwilling neighbors and by wintertime the feud should come to a head.
Oil majors back Kurdistan
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Oct 26, 2012
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Utah oil sands projects gets green light
By Staff Writers, Salt Lake City (UPI), Oct 26, 2012
[SEPP Comment: No word on EPA approval, which is not necessary now but may be required in the future.]
Return of King Coal?
US shale gas drives up coal exports
By Staff Writers, Manchester UK (SPX), Oct 30, 2012
Breaking News – The Internet and The Cloud Are (Still) Growing… Fast
By Mark Mills, Energy Facts Weekly, Oct 31, 2012
Nuclear Energy and Fears
China’s emerging nuclear power policy
By Staff Writers, WNN, Oct 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Only Generation III reactors will be approved. Among other improvements, these rectors feature standardized design and passive safety features, not needing external power or human controls.]
Hitachi Buys U.K. Nuclear Power Venture for $1.1 Billion
By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada, Bloomberg, Oct 30, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Installing Windmills Doesn’t Make the Wind Blow
By David Kreutzer, The Foundry, Oct 30, 2012
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil
By Staff Writers, Ann Arbor MI (SPX), Nov 01, 2012
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
CBO Finds Electric Cars Not Smart: Toyota Pulls Plug On Its iQ
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Oct 30, 2012
Ethanol suit hints at climate split between states
Editorial, Washington Post, Oct 29, 2012 [H/t Conrad Potemra]
[SEPP Comment: Not all identical Biofuels are created equally. More Balkanization of California.]
Other Scientific News
Voyager observes magnetic field fluctuations in heliosheath
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 31, 2012
Oak Ridge and NVIDIA unveil Titan supercomputer
By Emi Kolawole, Washington Post, Oct 29, 2012
Other News that May Be of Interest
Polar bears seen taking refuge on icebergs
By Staff Writers, Iqaluit, Nunavut (UPI), Oct 30, 2012
[SEPP Comment: From hunters? Perhaps this is why polar bear populations are, in general, expanding?]