Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2014-03-15 (March 15, 2014) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “…simulation methods suffer from a fundamental weakness. They tend to focus attention on optimizing something within the initial assumptions rather than examining the latter; … In practice, however, simulation models outside relatively simple mechanical situations, like problems of traffic, easily become gimmicks divorced from reality and used for the sole purpose of blinding the public with science.” Stanislav Andreski, Social Science as Sorcery [H/t Paul Dellevigne]

Number of the Week: $7,140,000 per hour


Challenging the Orthodoxy: Last week, TWTW linked to two new papers that challenge the climate science as represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2013 Assessment Report (AR5), particularly the Summary for Policymakers. TWTW discussed “Bounding GHG Climate Sensitivity for Use in Regulatory Decisions” by The Right Climate Stuff team (TRCS), which found that if governments did nothing to restrict carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the upper bound of temperature increase by 2100 is 1°C above today’s temperatures, and may be significantly less.

This calculates to a warming of about 1.8°C since 1850, well below the contrived 2°C that IPCC supporters and some politicians claim must be prevented. In short, drastic, economically destructive emissions controls are not justified. Also, the TRCS team states that the correct metric is the transient climate sensitivity (the effect of current atmospheric CO2) and not the equilibrium climate sensitivity used by the IPCC and its followers. The latter fails to account for the ongoing absorption of CO2 by the biosphere. In effect, the process used by the IPCC calculates what will happen if a doubling of CO2 happened overnight.

This week, TWTW hits some of the main points of the second paper written by Nicholas Lewis and Marcel Crok, “A Sensitive Matter: How The IPCC Hid The Good News On Global Warming”, and some of the criticisms of this paper by the climate establishment. Similar to the TRCS team report, Lewis and Crok rely on surface data, not the more comprehensive and rigorous satellite data, which covers more than 30 years. IPCC uses surface data to reach its conclusions.

Lewis and Crok emphasize that the full report of Working Group I, the scientific section, mentions the possibility that the earth’s climate is not is as sensitive to CO2 as stated in the Summary, but it does not adequately discuss the sensitivity. Lewis and Crok assert the recent studies show a far lower sensitivity to CO2 and to the cooling effect of aerosols (droplets and fine particles in the atmosphere). These findings contradict the climate models. The models have a high cooling effect for aerosols offsetting a high warming effect for CO2 and enhanced atmospheric water vapor. If Lewis and Crok are correct, then the low end of the IPCC range of warming of 1.5 to 4.5°C from a doubling of CO2 would be appropriate, or, perhaps, even too high. Further, the IPCC report failed to give a best estimate for climate sensitivity. It may be that a best estimate based on empirical data would be 2°C, or less, while most models show about 3°C or more. If a doubling of CO2 produces a warming of 2°C or less, then all the effort to calculate dire consequences for warming becomes largely meaningless. With this report, the TRCS team report, and the NIPCC report, the public has strong reasons to question the rigor of the IPCC reports and its followers. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/ , and http://nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/ccr2physicalscience.html.


Push Back: As expected, the climate establishment is reacting harshly to the Lewis and Crok report. Among the strange assertions from the climate establishment was that Lewis and Crok place more weight on studies using observational data rather than on model analysis. As long as climate science is a physical science, the focus of effort should be on the data from observations, and not analysis of climate models.

Also, Lewis and Crok were accused of “cherry picking”, an all-too-familiar accusation against those who engage in hypothesis testing using data. For 35 years, the climate establishment has failed to narrow the range of its values of climate sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5°C and it will continue to fail to narrow this range until the climate establishment adopts procedures of weeding out climate models that fail to successfully forecast, or predict, the future. Lewis and Crok provided something that the climate establishment has failed to provide. Another objection was that the reported sensitivity was still within range the IPCC reports, thus the paper is consistent with the IPCC and means little. This criticism ignores that fact that the low-end estimate of 1.5°C does not indicate any danger to humanity from warming. But, the high end estimate of three times that warming, 4.5°C, should be a matter of significant concern.

A paper by Drew Shindell of NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) states that: “Here I analyse results from recent climate modelling intercomparison projects to demonstrate that transient climate sensitivity to historical aerosols and ozone is substantially greater than the transient climate sensitivity to CO2.” Shindell uses models to support models, rather than use observations to support models, which is a major issue if climate science is an empirical science. Further, as Anthony Watts points out, Shindell is a public employee, yet his study is pay-walled, hidden from the public. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Questioning the Orthodoxy.


Solar Irradiance: The only natural cause for climate change discussed by the IPCC in its Summary for Policymakers is change in Solar Irradiance, chiefly ultraviolet and visible light. The IPCC dismisses solar irradiation as a major cause of 20th century warming and considers its effect as very small. A new paper based research from Cardiff University is titled: “Sun’s energy influences 1,000 years of natural climate variability in North Atlantic.” The paper suggests that low solar irradiance promotes frequent and persistent blocking of the westerly winds that may have contributed to the cold European winters of the Little Ice Age. In Climate History and the Modern World, HH Lamb discussed the possibility of wind pattern variation as a possible cause of the severe cold periods in the Little Ice Age. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising?


Tipping Point? Europe may be at a tipping point, not the type discussed in climate science, which seems to be unrelated to physical science. Europe’s tipping point, or points, relate to the questioning of “green energy” policies and the opposition to hydraulic fracturing of dense shale to extract natural gas. P. Gosselin reports that Sigmar Gabriel, Chairman of the socialist SPD Party and Vice Chancellor of Angela Merkel’s coalition government wrote on his Facebook that Germany and all of Europe is facing a huge challenge from the high price of electricity as compared to the USA. Germany and Europe face deindustrialization. The governments must think about how to reduce state-induced burdens on industry.

The second tipping point is gas from shale. The EU Parliament voted to impose more stringent rules of extraction of oil and conventional natural gas, but specifically excluded gas from shale from these rules. Russia’s take-over of Crimea seems to have energized some politicians into thinking that natural gas production is not the most undesirable of activities. Of course, “The Greens believe there is already sufficient evidence to ban fracking, but ensuring informed permit decisions through the environmental impact assessment procedure must be the absolute minimum,” Sandrine Belier, environment spokeswoman for the European Greens, said. The Greens have yet to back up their words with action. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US


Hydrocarbon Revolution: Much has been written about the revolutionary developments in extraction of oil and gas from shale, and from other formations. But techniques such as fracturing, hydraulic fracturing, directional drilling, have been used for decades. What is really new is the high technology of supercomputers and other technology including precise sensors. See link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Additions and Corrections: Last week, TWTW presented an analysis of wind power in Germany that showed the 2012 production to be 17% of installed capacity. TWTW suggested EIA may wish to re-analyze its estimate of productive capacity of 34% (now 33%). Reader George Taylor, Director of Palmetto Energy Research, pointed out the 2013 USA annual average capacity factor was about 32% and that the USA has some of the world’s best resources for wind, after South Australia. However, the capacity factor varies by season and region. Also, capacity factor is meaningless by itself and becomes meaningful with a given costs. Taylor emphasized that unreliable (non-dispatchable) wind is a poor competitor with reliable sources of electrical generation, such as gas, coal, and nuclear. In the absence of hydro generation, wind fails to move developed countries beyond fossil fuels. Taylor drew attention to a study he co-wrote on the hidden costs of wind power. As always, TWTW appreciates readers who make additions and corrections. See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind


Number of the Week: $7,140,000 per hour. Tom Steyer, a wealthy contributor to the Democratic Party promised party leaders $100 Million in campaign contributions for the 2014 election if he could see action in fighting climate change. Twenty-eight Senators gave him 14 hours of speeches from the Senate floor on the imagined horrors of global warming/climate change. This works out to be about $7,140,000 per hour. Now we have the going rate for renting the Senate floor, including 28 Senators. See links under The Political Games Continue.



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. ‘One of the Largest Federal Land Grabs’

New critters headed for the endangered list could limit U.S. energy production.

By James Freeman, WSJ, Mar 11, 2014


2. 5 Reasons U.S. Gas is No Quick Fix For the Ukraine Crisis

By Lynn Cook and Alison Sider, WSJ, Mar 11, 2014


3. How the Other California Lives

Some of the most productive farm land in the world is going fallow thanks to a man-made water shortage. A long-time grower explains.

By Allysia Finley, WSJ, Mar 7, 2014


4. Clouds Shroud China’s Bloated Solar Sector

By Abheek Bhattacharya, WSJ, Mar 12, 2014




Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Sun’s energy influences 1,000 years of natural climate variability in North Atlantic

Press Release, Cardiff Univ., Mar 9, 2014


Link to paper: Solar forcing of North Atlantic surface temperature and salinity over the past millennium

By Paola Moffa-Sánchez, Andreas Born, Ian R. Hall, David J. R. Thornalley & Stephen Barker, Nature Geoscience, Mar 9, 2014


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Professor Bob Carter on the latest NIPCC report

Audio, One hour Interview by Hereward Fenton, Part 2 of 2, Truth News Australia, March 1, 2014 [H/t NCTCS]


A Sensitive Matter: How The IPCC Hid The Good News On Global Warming

By Nicholas Lewis and Marcel Crok, Foreward by Judith Curry, GWPF, No Date


Myles out of line

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 12, 2014


Does “Inhomogeneous forcing and transient climate sensitivity” by Drew Shindell make sense?

By Nic Lewis, Climate Audit, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Somewhat technical.]

Geologist Sebastian Lüning: Scientific Evidence Showing Sun/Oceans As Primary Climate Drivers Is ‘Massive, Overwhelming’!

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 14, 2014


The Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy EIKE announces that the 7th International Climate and Energy Conference is taking place at the Steigenberger Hotel in Mannheim, April, 10 2014.

Defending the Orthodoxy

Inhomogeneous forcing and transient climate sensitivity

By Drew T. Shindell, Nature Climate Change, Mar 9, 2014


Touchy subjects

By J.L.P. The Economist, Mar 13, 2014


Second, the difference between Dr Shindell’s estimate for the TCR (1.7°C) and that by Messrs Lewis and Crok (1.3-1.4°C) is not great if you think of the transient response as a guide to how much warming the Earth is likely to suffer.

[SEPP Comment: Back to the Little Ice Age, anyone?]

Agreeing to disagree on climate policy

By Geoffrey M. Heal and Antony Millner, PNS, Approved Jan 23, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Arguing the trivial, while ignoring the significant – enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide is a major benefit to humanity and the environment.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

The Shindell climate sensitivity paper: another ‘GISS miss’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 11, 2014


Democrats, NASA Scientists And Global Warming

Editorial, IBD, Mar 11, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Report: UN officials hid overblown global warming estimates

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Mar 7, 2014


HARRIS: Senate Democrats’ anti-scientific hot-air marathon

Climate science is no more ‘settled’ than the ever-changing climate itself

By Tom Harris, Washington Times, Mar 11, 2014


When You Can’t Think, You Need to Think

By Anthony J. Sadar, American Thinker, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Amusing global warming slant on a popular TV advertisement.]

Public apathy on climate change is a cause for celebration, not concern

By Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph, UK, Mar 11, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Far from being irrational, the mass public apathy towards climate change that so freaks out eco-experts is entirely sensible and logical; in fact, it renews my faith in humankind.

Uppity Deniers, Unite!

By Leann Horrocks, American Thinker, Mar 14, 2014


Guessing Games And Climate ‘Science’

By Michael Kile, Quadrant, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: In the horse race of climate prediction, don’t be fooled by false precision.]

Social Benefits of Carbon

Effects of Elevated C02 on Soil Carbon Sequestration

By Staff Writers, SPPI, Mar 12, 2014


Full report:

Effects of Elevated C02 on Soil Carbon Sequestration

By Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, March 12, 2014


Going Green With Rising CO2

By Doug Hoffman, Resilient Earth, Mar 12, 2014


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Game, Set, Match Fossil Fuels? James Hansen Sleepless in Ningbo

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Interesting quotations from Hansen.]

It’s Game Over for Keystone XL opponents ‘Game Over’ Claims

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Senate testimony by Hansen.]

Seeking a Common Ground

Why Cost/Benefit Study Needed on Climate Change Policies

Statement by the Galileo Movement & Institute for Private Enterprise, 6 March 2014 [AU]


[SEPP Comment: An objective study done by an entity that does not benefit from increased regulation.]

Your Environment – the complete record of air and water pollution levels in Canada

By Ross McKitrick, His Blog, (Under Construction)


Wherever you live in Canada, there is a good chance that air and water pollution in your community has been monitored in the past, and may be monitored today. There are also likely to be climate records going back many decades. This website is designed to give you fast and easy access to official records of environmental quality wherever you live, or wherever you want to look.

[SEPP Comment: A useful service.]

Barycentric climatology was never a good science

By Luboš Motl, Reference Frame, Mar 12, 2014


Positioning skeptics

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Mar 9, 2014


The Art of Science Advice to Government

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Mar 12, 2014


Barents Sea polar bear condition varies with AMO and spring sea ice conditions

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 10, 2014


Davis Strait polar bear habitat higher now than in 1979 and early 1980s

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 13, 2014


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Three Decades of Global Greening of Earth’s Terrestrial Surfaces

Reference: Eastman, J.R., Sangermano, F., Machado, E.A., Rogan, J. and Anyamba, A. 2013. Global trends in seasonality of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), 1982-2011. Remote Sensing 5: 4799-4818.


Modelling Aerosol-Cloud Interactions … Correctly

Reference: Rosenfeld, D., Sherwood, S., Wood, R. and Donner, L. 2014. Climate effects of aerosol-cloud interactions. Science 343: 379-380.


And so it is no surprise that Rosenfeld et al. conclude “fully resolved, global, multiyear simulations are not likely to become feasible for many decades.” Yes, that’s right – many decades. And this analysis of the situation makes one wonder if the policy cart is being pushed way before the horse, when it comes to pushing for such drastic CO2 emission reductions that are continually promoted in order to prevent what may eventually be found to actually be no problem at all.

Floods of the European Alps

Reference: Glur, L., Wirth, S.B., Buntgen, U., Gilli, A., Haug, G.H., Schar, C., Beer, J. and Anselmetti, F.S. 2013. Frequent floods in the European Alps coincide with cooler periods of the past 2500 years. Scientific Reports 3: 10.1038,srep02770.


North Atlantic Copepods Exposed to Very Acidified Seawater

Reference: Pedersen, S.A., Hansen, B.H., Altin, D. and Olsen, A.J. 2013. Medium-term exposure of the North Atlantic copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus, 1770) to CO2-acidified seawater: effects on survival and development. Biogeosciences 10: 7481-7491.


[SEPP Comment: Testing survival, growth and development at CO2 levels of 3300, 7300, and 9700 ppm. Current level is approximately 380 ppm.]

Models v. Observations

Observing water vapor feedback during ‘the pause’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 11, 2014


[SEPP Comment: How can one certainty in the modeled long term feedback of water vapor when the entire period of observed feedback is during the current trend of no warming?]

Measurement Issues

‘Record temperatures’ placed in context with station history

DayRec: An Interface for Exploring United States Record-Maximum/Minimum Daily Temperatures

By Greg Kent, WUWT, Mar 10, 2014


Changing Weather

California drought in context

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Mar 10, 2014


Link to article: Scientists: Past California droughts have lasted 200 years

By Paul Rogers of San Jose Mercury News, Jan 31, 2014


Global Warming? Not Always

By Martin Hoerling, New York Times – March 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Hoerling demonstrates courage by writing articles contrary to the Administration’s politic position.]

NCDC Winter data – CONUS and all 9 climate regions down the last 20 years

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Mar 14, 2014


Huge tract of Australia in ‘biggest ever drought’

By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), March 07, 2014


Changing Climate

Claim: UCLA study yields more accurate data on thousands of years of climate change

By Anthony Watts, Press Release, WUWT, Mar 14, 2014


Climate of Genghis Khan’s ancient time extends long shadow over Asia of today

Press Release, National Science Foundation, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: An exception to the general concept that a warmer world is beneficial to humanity because it promotes abundant food.]


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

NASA Data Sheds New Light on Changing Greenland Ice

By George Hale for Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Mar 13, 2014


Changing Earth

Volcanoes saw species survive ice ages: study

By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), March 11, 2014


Un-Science or Non-Science?

Observing water vapor feedback during ‘the pause’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 11, 2014


[SEPP Comment: How can one express confidence that the models correctly assess long-term feedback of water-vapor when the entire period of observed feedback is 2002 to 2009, during the current trend of no warming?]

Computer model predicts vastly different ecosystem in Antarctica’s Ross Sea in the coming century

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 12, 2014


Lowering Standards

What the CSIRO State of the Climate report forgot to tell you

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 11, 2014


[SEPP Comment: A government agency would leave critical information when presenting the facts of global warming/climate change?]

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

Recent estimates of low climate sensitivity were flawed

Better accounting for aerosols shows CO2 just as potent as we thought.

By Scott Johnson, ars technica, Mar 12, 2014


Scientists challenge climate skeptic claims that UN panel overestimates warming

By Roz Pidcock, Carbon Brief, Mar 6, 2014


Diary date: correct messages edition

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 14, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Do not comment on the failure of the climate models.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Experts quiet climate-change skeptics: Warming leads to longer cold snaps

By Ana Sayfa, Periscope Post, Mar 13, 2014 [H/t Climate Depot]


Omitted Damages: What’s Missing From the Social Cost of Carbon

By Peter Howard, The Cost of Carbon Project, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: A joint project of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity, and the Natural Resource Defense Council.]

Told you so

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 13, 2014


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

The works of Lord Deben

By Matt Ridley, Bishop Hill, Mar 12, 2014


Walport and his evidence

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 11, 2014


Expanding the Orthodoxy

John Kerry Addresses Climate Change in First Policy Guidance as Secretary of State

‘We Need To Elevate the Environment in Everything We Do.’

By Jeryl Bier, Weekly Standard, Mar 12, 2014


Questioning European Green

Christopher Booker: Owen Paterson Plans ‘Dry Homes’ Instead Of ‘Wet Lands’

By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph, Via GWPF, Mar 8, 2014


Jan Fleischhauer: Germany, Russia & Energy Security

The Crimean crisis is forcing Germany to reconsider its green energy transition

By Jan Fleischauer, Spiegel online, Via GWPF, Mar 14, 2014


Lomborg Congratulates German Climate Effort: “For €100 Billion…Climate Change Delayed 37 Hours”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 8, 2014


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Clean Coal and Gassy Money and Wasted Energy

By Anthony Cox, CSP, Mar 15, 2014


Non-Green Jobs

Jim Ratcliffe: Open Letter To Mr José Manuel Barroso

By Jim Ratcliff, Chairman INEOS, GWPF, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Letter from the chairman of one of the world’s largest chemical companies to the president of the European Commission.]

Michael Fallon to pledge help for industry as high energy costs put jobs ‘at risk’

Energy minister admits not enough has been done to protect industry from rising prices that are making the UK uncompetitive

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Mar 10, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Funding Issues

Inhofe: Obama Wasted $120 Billion on Global Warming Which Could Buy 1400 F-35s

By Melanie Hunter, CNS News, Mar 10, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


White House Wastes Billions On Corrupt Green Dream

Editorial, IBD, Mar 14, 2014


Obama’s 2015 Budget: Wish List Climate Spending ($10.8 billion for what?)

By Megan Toombs, Master Resource, Mar 12, 2014


The Political Games Continue

Democrats talk about climate, rake in billionaire bucks

By Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner, Mar 11, 2014


Democrats hold all-night ‘talkathon’ on climate change on Senate floor

By Staff Writer, AP, Mar 11, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Democrat Climate Caucus Reveals Its Stupidity

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Mar 9, 2014


Stop Talking About Climate Change And Pass A Bill

By Dana Milbank, IBD, Mar 11, 2014


The Insiders: The Democrats’ disconnect on global warming

By Ed Rogers, Washington Post, Mar 11, 2014


The 6 Most Brain-Freezing Quotes From the Global Warming Talkathon

Monday night, Senate Dems cited the settled science of The Lorax, the NHL, and the Koch Brothers.

By Andrew Johnson, NRO, Mar 11, 2014


“Right after I turned 17 and got my New Jersey driver’s license, one of the earliest places I drove was a trip — the only trip I’ve ever taken — was to Hawaii,” the Garden State senator Cory Booker said.

[SEPP Comment: California and Hawaii are separated by about 2500 miles (4000km) of Pacific Ocean.]

Global Warming and The Children of Tama

By Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, Mar 13, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: A rather long article reviewing the ritual.]

Committee to examine Obama Administration’s approach for enforcing wildlife laws and impacts on U.S. Energy; Subpoena issued for long-sought documents

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Mar 11, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Exploring the favoritism wind power receives in lack of enforcement of certain laws.]

Litigation Issues

Appeals court backs EPA steam-plant emissions rule

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Mar 12, 2014


Do green claims hold up in court?

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 14, 2014


Stunning Supreme Court victory vindicates property owners beset by Big Green’s ‘rails-to-trails’ movement

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Mar 11, 2014


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Climate Scientist: Liberals Will Use Carbon Tax to Make Government Bigger

By Melanie Hunter, CNS News, Mar 13, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind power tax credit ‘dead’ in Congress this year

By Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg, Mar 11, 2014


EPA and other Regulators on the March

House GOP launches probe into EPA rule

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Mar 12, 2014


Obama designates Calif. coastline as national monument

By Justin Sink, The Hill, Mar 11, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Clinton used the act to put millions of acres off-limits to any beneficial development. Will this administration do the same?]

Obama administration pollutes guidelines for healthy eating with unhealthy ideologies

By Jeff Steir, Washington Examiner, Mar 9, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Will they promote carbon-free food?]

Will the Supreme Court permit EPA climate decisions to stand?

By Paul Driessen, ICECAP, Mar 11, 2014


Energy Issues – Non-US

EU parliament excludes shale gas from tougher environmental code

By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, Mar 12, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Putin’s Army Drives Europe Towards Shale Revolution

As Putin’s army masses in the East, Europe starts to rethink its opposition to fracking.

By Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy, Via GWPF, Mar 14, 2014


Putin Mocks The West And Threatens To Turn Off Gas Supplies

By Damien McElroy, Telegraph, UK, Via GWPF, Mar 8, 2014


Use Fracking to Subdue Russia

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Mar 10, 2014


Germany’s Vice Chancellor Starts To Get It…Gravely Warns Germany, Europe “Threatened By High Energy Costs”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 13, 2014


E.ON to Close 13 GW in Europe

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Regulations and subsidies forcing closing of conventional power plants.]

COLUMN-Britain must not strangle shale gas with bureaucracy: Kemp

By John Kemp, Reuters, Mar 13, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Environmental organizations continue to cite risks that have not been demonstrated.]

Tensions between British government parties over energy policy blamed for wind deal collapse

Wind energy export deal worth €7bn will not meet deadline

By Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, Mar 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


West cannot ask India to stop using coal: Sunita Narain

By Sunita Narain, Free Press Journal, Mar 13, 2014


Energy Issues — US

End of Civilization as We Know It Part 2

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 14, 2014


American Gas Won’t Deliver Europe From Putin

By Walter Russell Mead & Staff, American Interest, Mar 10, 2014


Crude oil shipments up 83 percent on US railroads

By Staff Writers, AP, Mar 13, 2014


Washington’s Control of Energy

Examiner Editorial: Faster federal energy permits would boost jobs, revenues

Editorial, Washington Examiner, Mar 12, 2014


Link to IER letter to Rep. Ryan

By Thomas Pyle, IER, Mar 12 2014


Heed Europe’s Plea For U.S. Natural Gas Exports

Editorial, IBD, Mar 10, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Ukraine crisis brings urgency to Senate Democrats’ push on natural gas exports

By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Mar 12, 2014



Rail carries Canadian crude while Keystone pipeline decision simmers

By Curtis Tate, McClatchy DC, Mar 6, 2014


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

New Spy Technology to Spawn Oil Revolution

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com, Washington DC (SPX), Mar 06, 2014


China on Course to Exceed 2015 Shale Target With Fuling Find

By Aibing Guo, Bloomberg, Mar 12, 2014


Return of King Coal?

Economy First: Bangladesh To Increase Coal Power Generation From 2% To 50%

By Joseph Allchin, NYT, Via GWPF, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Time to send in weapons-of-mass-destruction Kerry?]

Polar Vortex Emboldens Industry to Push Old Coal Plants: Energy

By Mark Chediak and Harry R. Weber, Bloomberg, Mar 10, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

BP reaches deal with EPA to end federal suspension

By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Mar 13, 2014


Nuclear Energy and Fears

US MOX plant left cold by budget

By Staff Writers, WNN, Mar 5, 2014


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Perverted Logic

By Donn Dears, Power For USA


The Hidden Cost of Wind Electricity

Why the full cost of wind generation is unlikely to match the cost of natural gas, coal or nuclear generation

By George Taylor and Thomas Tanton, American Tradition Institute, Dec 2012


The problem with wind farms: All those dead birds

By Rob Nikolewski, New Mexico Watchdog, Mar 13, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Activated Carbon Processing Facility and Biomass Plant Hit The Auction Block

By Staff Writers, Kawaihae HI (SPX), Mar 13, 2014


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Analysis: Tesla may have made over $100 million off the CARB enabled battery swap ZEV credit scheme

By Alberto Zaragoza Comendador, WUWT, Mar 12, 2014


California Dreaming

California Solar Output Sets New Record

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Mar 12, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Solar peaked on March 8, provided 18% of the state’s electricity consumption. What did it provide six hours later?]

Drought Stokes California’s Class War

By Joel Kotkin, His Blog, No Date [H/t GWPF]


Health, Energy, and Climate

The good news you don’t hear about diseases

Malaria, TB and Aids are in steady retreat

My Times column is on malaria, TB and Aids — all in steady decline, a fact that officials and journalists seem reluctant to report:

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Mar 14, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Addressing the claim that global warming may expand the range of malaria bearing mosquitoes.]

The Food Babe Hath Spoken, And Subway Bread Will Still Suck

By Josh Bloom, Science 2.0, Mar 13, 2014


[SEPP Comment: The nonsense of the saying if you can’t spell it or pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.]

Oh Mann!

Quote of the week: Steyn ups the ante on the Mann lawsuit

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 10, 2014


Environmental Industry

TRIPLETT: Rich ‘greens’ spend liberally to kill hated fossil fuels

By William Triplett, Washington Times, Mar 7, 2014


Peter Foster: Vladimir Putin’s green allies

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Mar 7, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Clean Air Task Force’s Schneider proposes trading plan for existing source rule

Transcript by Staff Writers, EETV, Mar 10, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Not mentioned in the interview is that the Clean Air Task Force demands severe regulation of natural gas and gas-fired power plants. http://www.catf.us/blogs/ahead/tag/natural-gas,carbon-capture-and-storage,methane/. ]

Environmental Groups are Flirting with Extinction

By Keith Kloor, Discover, Mar 7, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Four Reasons Why The Environmental Movement Belongs on ‘The Biggest Loser’

By Steven Hayward, Forbes, Mar 13, 2014


Never trust a green

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 13, 2014


Sierra Club to #Up4Climate Senators: Don’t Forget About Population Control

By Staff Writers, Washington Free Beacon, Mar 10, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


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March 17, 2014 8:53 am

There were some recent discussions of effective emission height at Tallbloke’s site in which I finally collected my thoughts as to why I think there is no apparent sensitivity of surface temperatures to CO2. Since at least 1880, the surface temperature can be considered largely to be a steady trend with an ~60 year cycle. As these patterns were in evidence long before CO2 is believed to have changed appreciably, once you remove them from the series, there is scant evidence of any significant sensitivity of surface temperatures to CO2 at all.
I believe this discrepancy is because the models either treat convection as a static quantity, or model it with parameters chosen to confirm their designers’ biases. The following is my reasoning from the thread.
The usual elementary explanation of the GHE involving back-radiation is a vast oversimplification. In this explanation, sunlight is said to go effectively unimpeded through the atmosphere to the ground, heating it, and causing it in turn to emit radiation which peaks in the infrared. Water vapor and CO2 in the atmosphere intercept radiation near that peak, and reflect roughly half of it back down again, which serves to heat the surface still further. In the steady state, TOA radiation balances incoming solar radiation, but surface radiation balances both incoming solar and back-radiated IR, and so the surface heats beyond what it otherwise would be.
The flaw in this argument is that not all heat transfer is through radiation. In fact, a lot of heat reaches the troposphere via convection. So, balance at the surface is not achieved merely by balancing outgoing heat from radiation and incoming heat from back-radiation. You must also include outgoing heat from convection in that equation.
The situation is similar to having a heat source encased within a metal enclosure. If the enclosure is elevated above the heat source by non-conducting struts, then it will act as an insulator, impeding the outward flow of heat, and causing the heat source to run hotter. But, if we now connect the heat source to the enclosure through heat pipes, the heat pipes will conduct the heat to the enclosure, and the enclosure will function as a radiator, lowering the temperature of the heat source due to the greater outward facing surface area.
Or, for a more mundane example, it is like having a motorcar with a radiator. If you ignored the fluid flow through the engine which brings heated coolant to the radiator for heat dissipation, you would conclude that the radiator would actually heat the engine, by impeding heat dissipation from the engine directly. That, obviously, ignores a crucial part of the system.
The atmospheric circulation is like a network of heat pipes, bringing the surface heat up to the troposphere for dissipation to space. So, there are two ways in which a so-called GHG can influence the surface temperature: From radiation alone, it acts to impede outward flow, resulting in a heating of the atmosphere. From convection, it acts as a radiator, cooling the surface. Which effect dominates depends on the state of the system.
If the two effects are balanced, increasing the quantity of a GHG will have very little effect on surface temperatures. If convection dominates, increasing the GHG will actually cool the surface. Based on the fact that there is no evidence of increasing CO2 in this past century having any influence on surface temperature, I suspect that we are near the point where the two effects balance. Indeed, the dynamics are such that the system should tend to balance the two opposing feedbacks.
How so? The temperature at the surface should obey something like
dT/dt = -e*T^4 + S + g(T) – c(T)
T = temperature of the surface
e = emissivity times SB divided by heat capacity
S = normalized solar input flux
g(T) = effect of back-radiation from GHGs (a positive function of T)
c(T) = convective transfer (a positive function of T)
The effect of g(T) is immediate. c(T), however, takes time to build. We can capture this sort of dynamic in the form of a 1st order differential equation
dc/dt = -c/tau + k*T
tau = time constant
k = coupling constant
Define the equilibrium temperature as Teq, such that
-e*Teq^4 + S + g(Teq) – c(Teq) = 0
Then, the perturbation equations for deltaT = T – Teq, delta_c = c(T) – c(Teq) become
d(deltaT)/dt = -(4*e*Teq^3)*deltaT + gp*deltaT – delta_c + deltag
d(delta_c)/dt = -delta_c/tau + k*deltaT
where gp is the partial derivative of g(T) with respect to T evaluated at Teq, and deltag is the change in g(T) with respect to an increase or decrease of GHG.
Solving for the steady state by setting the two time derivatives to zero, we get
deltaT = deltag/(k*tau + 4*e*Teq^3 – gp)
delta_c = deltag*k*tau/(k*tau + 4*e*Teq^3 – gp)
It is readily seen that as k*tau approaches infinity (high sensitivity and/or very long response time), in steady state
deltaT approaches zero
delta_c approaches deltag
Hence, delta_c (increased convection) entirely cancels out the change due to deltag (increased backradiation) as k*tau (the sensitivity of convection to temperature) becomes large. Since convection, generally, is a more efficient heat dissipation mechanism than radiation, this condition should be readily attained.
This is actually just a longwinded example of lag compensation in a control loop. Nothing particularly exotic. Basically, the instantaneous response to a sudden pulse of injected GHG should be warming, followed by a steady retreat to the original equilibrium. For steadily increasing GHG, there is only a small steady state tracking offset, which would revert to near zero once the increase stopped.

Richard Howes
March 17, 2014 9:18 am

4.7 earthquake in LA this morning. I’m 97% sure it is climate caused as it is unprecedented in the last 20 years.

March 17, 2014 10:18 am

Thanks Bart for your comment and agree the atmosphere is in radiative/convective equilibrium and that convection can easily overcome any increase in surface T resulting from solar or IR back-radiation. This provides the self-regulating homeostasis of planetary atmospheres.
An electrical circuit analogy of a planetary atmosphere in radiative/convective equilibrium is shown in this post under note #4:
“Illustration of an electrical circuit analogy to radiative-convective equilibrium in a planetary atmosphere. Pressure and heat capacity set the resistance [opacity] to infrared transmission illustrated as the resistor Rc above. GHGs set the resistance [opacity] to infrared transmission illustrated as the resistor Rt above. As noted, “Resistance Rc corresponds to convection “shorting out” the radiative resistance Rt, allowing more current [analogous to heat in the atmosphere] to escape. If the resistance [IR opacity] of Rt increases due to adding more greenhouse gases, the resistance [IR opacity] of Rc will automatically drop to re-establish balance and thus the current through the circuit remains the same, and analogously, the temperature of the surface of the planet remains the same and self-regulates.”
17 links on why the barometric formulas, atmospheric mass, gravity explain the entire 33K greenhouse effect independent of “radiative forcing” from greenhouse gases:
The conventional explanation for why the stratosphere has cooled slightly over the satellite era is due to increased CO2 increasing radiative surface area and IR emissivity to space. Why should increased CO2 have opposite radiative effects in the stratosphere and troposphere?

March 17, 2014 2:18 pm

… the wonders of a Baccalaureus …

The firestorm began when [EPA administrator Gina] McCarthy’s comments were reported by The Wall Street Journal last week while the agency head discussed federal gift guidelines. McCarthy said that federal officials chased her down for a “dinky” North Pole pin someone gave her at an event to which she said, “I threw the f–ing thing away.” She also said that a jar of moose meat she got from a little girl at a hearing in Alaska “could gag a maggot.”

… and a tin ear

Brian H
March 19, 2014 1:08 am

Lessee: if sensitivity to negative feedback-type forcings is far greater than to CO2, then … CO2 CAN NEVER HAVE ANY WARMING (or lukewarming) EFFECT!

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