The Week That Was: 2014-10-11 (October 11, 2014) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Intentionally Vague? The quote below is taken from a lecture by Richard Feynman, as it was reproduced on Jo Nova’s blog, courtesy of Kevin Marshall. The quote goes to the nature of what is now climate science as practiced by the climate establishment. Global warming caused by human carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has become climate change and extreme weather events, as if they have never occurred before, Climate change has been happening for hundreds of millions of years, and humans have long termed unusual events as extreme. There is nothing happening today that cannot be found in the historic record. The climate establishment knows this, and places artificial constraints on the historic record. Such actions can be seen in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which places constraints on the historic record by statements such as since 1950 or after the industrial revolution (about 1750 leaving out the worst of the Little Ice Age and the prior warm period).
The entire effort plays to politicians who wish to appear to be great leaders in fighting something – especially if the enemy cannot be defined; therefore, success cannot be measured. On this largely imaginary battle, reputations are built and significant moneys are spend. As Richard Lindzen, MIT Professor Emeritus of Meteorology, wrote to SEPP: We should … “express thanks for the failures of Kyoto and Copenhagen. Had the proposed regulatory regimes been implemented and had CO2 emissions decreased, the ‘pause’ would certainly have been attributed to the regulations. Politicians and environmentalists would be declaring the science to be truly ‘settled.’” See link under Seeking a Common Ground.
Quote of the Week: “You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.” Richard Feynman [H/t Jo Nova]
Number of the Week: $70 per barrel?
Judith Curry: Following up on essay by Steven Koonin, “Climate Science is Not Settled,” the Wall Street Journal published an essay be Judith Curry describing her research with Nicholas Lewis challenging the IPCCD’s claimed sensitivity of the planet to a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. No doubt the climate establishment will find this essay unsettling as well.
In the essay Curry makes needed frank statements concerning the fact there has been no surface warming trend for about 18 years.
This pause in warming is at odds with the 2007 IPCC report, which expected warming to increase at a rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade in the early 21st century. The warming hiatus, combined with assessments that the climate-model sensitivities are too high, raises serious questions as to whether the climate-model projections of 21st-century temperatures are fit for making public-policy decisions.
The sensitivity of the climate to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide is a central question in the debate on the appropriate policy response to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate sensitivity and estimates of its uncertainty are key inputs into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.
It is refreshing to see the problems in the orthodox thinking about climate science and the consequences of perhaps erroneous thinking being discussed in main-stream media. Not wishing to hope too much, there are several issues regarding the limited scope of the essay, such as the central limit theorem and the use of surface data.
On his blog, The Reference Frame, Luboš Motl brings up that as empirical studies increase on the sensitivity of the earth to atmospheric CO2 increase, the central limit theorem implies that the range of error would decline, particularly in the upper-end estimates. The normal distribution would become more symmetric and include the possibility of negative values for the earth’s sensitivity to CO2. No doubt, if such a paper appeared in a scientific journal, the climate establishment would denounce the journal, which indicates a publication bias. Motl writes:
However, while I this that the paper seems to display lots of expertise and calm heads, there is one aspect of this paper – and lots of other papers – that I find totally inconceivable. It is the asymmetry of the 5%-95% ranges of the climate sensitivity. In particular, the huge values of the “still plausible” long-term climate sensitivity – the upper bound goes up to 4 °C – isn’t really possible. – Feedbacks cannot be both positive and high.
On another note: the customary use of surface data, rather than satellite data independently supported by data from weather balloons, is becoming increasingly questionable. The satellite record is over 30 years old, and questions of proper handling of the surface continue to arise. See Articles # 3 and # 4 and links under Seeking a Common Ground, and Measurement Issues.
Model Issues: Posted on Watts Up With That, Ron Brown, a lecturer at Duke University, points out that real debates in science are not rare. It is because the climate establishment long-ago announced the science is settled, that the myth of science debates being rare continues. He also continues his criticism science, particularly the questionable use of climate models by the climate establishment, which applies to the IPCC. In discussing the average of an assembly of climate models Brown states:
The average of failed models is not a successful model. The average of deterministic microtrajectories is not a deterministic microtrajectory. A microtrajectory numerically generated at a scale inadequate to solve a nonlinear chaotic problem is most unlikely to represent anything like the actual microtrajectory of the actual system. And finally, the system itself realizes at most one of the possible future trajectories available to it from initial conditions subject to the butterfly effect that we cannot even accurately measure at the granularity needed to initialize the computation at the inadequate computational scale we can afford to use.
Brown attributes much of the failings of orthodox climate science to the nature of the funding by governments. For example, major research universities take a major portion of government grants for their own use (may be 60% of the grant). Though he does not so state, there is no reason for outsiders to assume that universities will provide objective analysis of such research. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Flooding – Predicted and Observed: In a report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Andrew Montford points out that the forecasts by models of rainfall and floods do not match those actually observed. This applies both to the UK and globally. The finding is not a surprise. The models greatly overestimate observed warming, and there is no logical reason to assume they will do better at estimating other components of climate change. See links under Models v. Observations.
Out of Sync: The Arctic ice is low by late 20th century standards and the Antarctic ice is at the greatest extent ever observed since the start of satellite observations in 1978. Those who wish to be eternally vague can find these events to support their position, even if they are inconsistent. CO2 caused warming should be pronounced at both poles. Focusing on one or the other is misleading. Further, as HH Lamb wrote in the 1980s, there was a pronounced reduction of the Arctic ice in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by an expansion in the 1950s and 1960s. There are no comprehensive records for Antarctic ice prior to the satellite area, so those records do not exist.
The intriguing scientific question, why are the ice extents of the polar regions out of sync? See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Carbon Tax or Not? The press service, Bloomberg, has a several part series calling for a carbon tax. Based on skimpy evidence, the editorials state that such taxes do not kill jobs and: “The record shows that a well-designed carbon tax can cut harmful emissions in the most economically efficient way: by letting market forces coordinate the effort.” The assertion assumes that governments will leave a program generating large revenues alone, without diverting revenues from the intended purposes. Experience indicates such an assumption is a false hope. For example, about 40% of the revenues generated by the US Highway Trust Fund now goes for purposes other than building highways, bridges, etc. Fred Singer offers his own views on carbon taxes. See Article # 1 and links under Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Number of the Week: $70 per barrel? Oil prices are falling. This has led to some to speculate that the US shale-oil boom is over. An article by Donn Dears suggests that the knowledge for extracting oil from dense shale is still advancing, with more oil being extracted per well as technology improves. What is a final break-even point for extracting oil from shale? If the authors of TWTW knew, they would be speculating in oil futures, which they are not. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
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. Just Say NO to a Carbon Tax
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Oct 7, 2014
2. “Ditch the 2 °C warming goal.” A Comment on Victor-Kennel [Nature, Oct 2]
By S. Fred Singer, Submitted to Nature, Oct 6, 2014
3. Comments on the Santer-Stocker Response to Steven Koonin’s Essay “Climate Science is not Settled.”
By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, Submitted to Wall Street Journal, Oct 3, 2014
4. The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown
Mounting evidence suggests that basic assumptions about climate change are mistaken: The numbers don’t add up.
By Judith Curry, WSJ, Oct 9, 2014
5. Unrealistic Green Expectations
I’m an alternative-energy investor, but let’s not kid ourselves: Change will be gradual and needs fossil fuels.
By Jeffrey Leonard, WSJ, Oct 6, 2014
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
PAGES2K vs the Hanhijarvi Reconstruction
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Oct 7, 2014
[SEPP Comment: The Non-Mann hockey-stick has major problems as well.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Obama misleads students about climate and energy
By Bob Carter and Tom Harris, WUWT, Oct 8, 2014
NASA: The Deep Ocean Hasn’t Warmed Since 2005 (but we’re all gonna die)
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 6, 2014
Medics on the March
By John Brignell, Number Watch, Oct 4, 2014
A fable continued
By John Brignell, Number Watch, Oct 10, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Using a bit of wit to explain the failure of the earth to warm as forecasted by climate models.]
Real Science Debates Are Not Rare
By Robert Brown, WUWT, Oct 6, 2014
Declining Bird Populations; Another False Global Warming Alarmism
By Tim Ball, WUWT, Oct 6, 2014
New paper finds climate sensitivity to CO2 is only 0.43C, about 7 times less than the IPCC claims [One-seventh]
By Staff Writer, The Hockey Schtick, Oct 9, 2014
Defending the Orthodoxy
Obama announces new climate change initiative
By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Oct 9, 2014
‘Moment of Truth’ on Emissions
By Joe Niocera, NYT, Oct 6, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: Calling for Federal control of fracking by controlling methane emissions. Claims that methane is 84 to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20 year span.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Undeniable Mood Change With Regards To Quality Of Modelling Grips Climate Science…Trust Gone!
Mood change in climate modeling: Trust in the scientific community is disappearing
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Trans P Gosselin, Oct 7, 2014
Guy at Broadbent Institute is pretty sure he rebutted report he hasn’t read
Progressive think tank’s criticism of Fraser Institute study marked by incompetence and ignorance
By Ross McKitrick, Financial Post, Oct 8, 2014
[SEPP Comment: More on the global warming trend. vanishing]
Declining polar bear weights and early breakup dates in WHB, Part I: What’s a starving bear?
By Susan Corckford Polar Bear Science, Oct 10, 2014
Don’t Say “Hiatus.”
By Matt Briggs, His Blog, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: The term hiatus or pause implies that temperatures will begin to rise from CO2 concentrations. We just do not know!]
UN Climate Protocols Would Ravage Nations
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 6, 2014
Mass haulouts of female Pacific walrus as a sign of population health
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Oct 7, 2014
‘Where’s the global warming?’ Expert says public are growing sceptical of climate change
THE PUBLIC are becoming ever more sceptical of climate change as they begin to ask ‘where is the global warming we were promised?’, a leading scientist has claimed.
By Levi Winchester, Express, Oct 6, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Regulations could kill your labor-saving home appliances
By Ernest Istoook, Washington Times, Oct 8, 2014
Problems in the Orthodoxy
NASA Scientists Puzzled by Global Cooling on Land and Sea
By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 6, 2014 [H/t Thomas Burch]
Climate fight must expand beyond usual suspects
Editorial, Boston Globe, Oct 6, 2014
Experts call for widening the debate on climate change
By Staff Writers, Manchester, UK (SPX), Oct 07, 2014
Seeking a Common Ground
Paper: TCR, ECS climate sensitivity: 1.3, 1.6 °C
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame,, Oct 7, 2014
The scientific method in 61 seconds
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 9, 2014
Models v. Observations
Rainfall And Floods: Observations More Reliable Than Climate Models
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Oct 10, 2014
Link to paper: Precipitation, Deluge and Flood: Observational evidence and computer modelling
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, 2014
IPCC Models Fail Abominably In Projections of Northern And Southern Hemisphere Temperature
By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt, Trans by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 10, 2014
Ocean warming in Southern Hemisphere underestimated, scientists suggest
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Oct 6, 2014
Link to papers: Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming
By Durack, et al, Nature Climate Change, Oct 5, 2014
Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade
By Llovel, et al. Nature Climate Change, Oct 5, 2014
Missing heat not in deep oceans but “found” in missing data in upper-ocean instead
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 9, 2014
New paper shows global sea level rise has greatly decelerated since ~2002, opposite of predictions
By Staff Writer, The Hockey Schtick, Oct 7, 2014
Australia’s History of Hot Tempers
By Robert Balic, WUWT, Oct 7, 2014
Australian summer maximums “warmed” by 200%
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 6, 2014
News Flash: ‘Extreme Weather Ends’
By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker, Oct 9, 2014
Air pollution increases river-flows
By Staff Writers, Exeter, UK (SPX), Oct 07, 2014
Link to paper: Detection of solar dimming and brightening effects on Northern Hemisphere river flow
By Gednay, et al. Nature Geoscience, Oct 5, 2014
[SEPP Comment: See article on decrease in rains. Pertains to aerosols, not carbon dioxide.]
Fall in monsoon rains driven by rise in air pollution
By Staff Writers, Edinburgh, UK (SPX), Oct 07, 2014
[SEPP Comment: See article on increase in rain, river flow immediately above..]
Atlantic Hurricane Season Among Weakest in Decades
By Danica Coto, AP, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
US predicts lower heating bills this winter
By Jonathan Fahey, AP, Oc5t 7, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Evidence of deep ocean cooling?
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 5, 2014
[SEPP Comment: More on the missing heat problem, that may not be missing.]
Claim: Livermore scientists suggest ocean warming in Southern Hemisphere underestimated
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 6, 2014
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
HH Lamb & Cooling In The Arctic
By Paul Homewood, Not a lot of People Know That, Oct 8, 2014
[SEPP Comment: The recent Arctic warming trend happened before.]
Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Record Maximum
By Staff Writers, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Oct 08, 2014
Explosive Findings on Volcanoes’ Climate Influence
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger, CATO, Oct 10, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Do volcanoes influence tree ring growth by temperature changes or declines in photosynthesis?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
AGW Causes everything including a freezing Antarctic.
By Anthony Cox, Australian Climate Skeptics, Oct 9, 2014
Another Study Uses Scare Tactics To Tout Climate Risk
By Merrill Matthews, Jr. IBD, Oct 7, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
EPA chief: Climate skeptics ‘sad’
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Sep 25, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Assuming the model are correct, even though they are failing.]
Tabloid Climatology from the Max Planck Institute : “The findings show that no place is safe from climate change.”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 9, 2014
When sea levels rise, high tides will spill into communities far more often, study says
By Darryl Fears, Washington Post, Oct 8, 2014
“He had one quibble: that its findings are based on a single scenario — a sea-level rise of four feet by the end of the century.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
What States’ Attorneys General Can Do About Climate Deniers
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Senior Attorney, National Resources Defense Council, Oct 1, 2014 [H/t Paul Driessen]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
White House pushes climate protections for natural resources
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 9, 2014
Link to FACT SHEET: Building community resilience by strengthening America’s natural resources and supporting green infrastructure
By Staff Writers, Council on Environmental Quality, Oct 8, 2014
The Climate Action Plan recognizes that even as we act to curb the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, we must also improve our ability to prepare for the climate impacts we are already seeing across the country.
Alarmists Pull Out All the Stops
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 10, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Exposing another “global” commission with few members.]
World’s Largest Re-Insurer “Munich Re” $ponsors 2014 “Extreme Weather Congress” In Hamburg!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 6, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Hoping to sell more insurance policies?]
Questioning European Green
German Federal Analysis Sees “Massive Threats To Security And Reliability Of Electric Power Supply System”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 8, 2014
EU abandons ‘dirty’ label for tar sands oil
By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, Oct 7, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Navitus Bay: £100 million annual economic loss and around 2,000 jobs at risk
By Staff Writers, Bournemouth Borough Council, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Estimated loss from a new off-shore wind farm.]
African countries demand $7 billion for green fund by December
By Sophie Yeo, RTCC, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Hey UCS, Maybe It’s Time We Stopped Wasting Money Studying a Problem And Spent That Money Adapting to It
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Oct 9, 2014
The Dark Side of Green Justice
Review: ‘Law of the Jungle’ by Paul Barrett
By Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, Oct 4, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
California Moves to Revoke Carbon Credits After Inquiry
By Lynn Doan, Bloomberg, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The clause: “The companies operated projects that delivered refrigerants, proven to destroy the earth’s ozone layer,” is too strong]
Carbon Taxes Don’t Kill Jobs
Editorial, Bloomberg, Sep 30, 2014
Do Carbon Taxes Just Feed the Beast?
Editorial, Bloomberg, Oct 1, 2014
Doubt Climate Change? Then Support Carbon Taxes
Editorial, Bloomberg, Oct 2, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA Pulls An IRS And Admits To Losing Agency Text Messages
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
EPA contradicts itself with Clean Water Act rule, federal agency says
By Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, Oct 7, 2014
EPA sends smog rule to White House
By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Oct 8, 2014
Energy Issues – Non-US
Dutch grab of arctic oil angers Greenpeace
By Daniel J. Graeber, Amsterdam, Netherlands (UPI) Oct 6, 2014
Hinkley Point nuclear plant to cost £24.5bn
Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation has been granted state aid approval
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Oct 8, 2014
Scotland power shortage warning as coal plant faces closure
Households face dimmed lights and flickering TV sets if Longannet power plant is forced to close, ScottishPower claims
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Oct 3, 2014
Coal likely to remain India’s energy focus as country battles for jobs
By Manipadma Jena, Thomson Reuters, Foundation, Oct 7, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Investing in renewable energy could cost India jobs in the short run, warns a government report that could influence the direction of energy investment by India’s new jobs-focused administration.
The World’s 10 Biggest Energy Gluttons
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 07, 2014
[SEPP Comment: On per capita basis, some surprises.]
London sees few land value concerns with fracking
By Daniel J. Graeber, London (UPI), Oct 6, 2014
Energy Issues — US
Don’t expect energy boom to uproot global oil politics
By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Oct 9, 2014
Biden: ‘Energy revolution’ calls for more investment in alternatives
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 10, 2014
[SEPP Comment: The shale revolution did not require government subsidies, why should the alternative “revolution” require subsidies?’]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Fracking Gets Better
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 7, 2014
Shale Boom Tested as Sub-$90 Oil Threatens U.S. Drillers
By Isaac Amsdorf, Bloomberg, Oct 8, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Fracking Pioneer Deserves To Win Nobel Peace Prize
By Stephen Moore, IBD, Oct 7, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: George Mitchell who earlier developed the process of extracting natural gas from shale may be more appropriate. Certainly as deserving as Al Gore.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Emission-free nuclear industry blasts EPA plan
By Zak Colman, Washington Examiner, Oct 8, 2014
Cost of Summer AP1000s increases
By Staff Writers, WNN, Oct 3, 2014
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
First-ever global life cycle assessment of renewable energy future
By Staff Writers, phys.org, Oct 6, 2014
Link to paper: Integrated life-cycle assessment of electricity-supply scenarios confirms global environmental benefit of low-carbon technologies
By Hertwich, et al, PNAS, Oct 6, 2014
Corruption, calamity and silliness
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 7, 204
More detailed report: Energy: CCS – the fantasy continues
By Richord North, EUReferndum, Oct 10, 2014
[SEPP Comment: The costs of the experiment in Canada are greatly underestimated by government.]
World’s First Post-Combustion CCS Coal Unit Online in Canada
By Gail Reitenbach, Power, Oct 6, 2014
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
The inhumanity of the environmentalist, part 234
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 6, 2014
Other Scientific News
CryoSat unveils secrets of the deep
By Staff Writers, Paris (ESA), Oct 07, 2014
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Imaginary hottest “fingerprints” found in extreme weather by failed models
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 5, 2014