Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #163

The Week That Was: 2015-01-10 (January 10, 2015) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Fooling Nature? Before the UN Climate Conference in Peru in December, several US government agencies, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA-GISS), guessed at the average global temperatures for 2014, stating 2014 will be the hottest year on record. They guessed wrong.

As discussed in last week’s TWTW, atmospheric temperature measurements by satellites, confirmed by weather balloons, are the only comprehensive global temperature measurements existing. One of the two atmospheric temperature reporting entities, Remote Sensing Systems, reported that 2014 was not the hottest year ever (since 1978, when satellite measurements began), only the sixth warmest. This week, the other reporting entity, the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, reported that 2014 was the third warmest since 1979, barely edging out several other years such as 2002, 2005, and 2013.

Contrary to forecasts by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), particularly the highly influential Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4) in 2007, it has been over a decade since there has been any statistically significant increase in global temperatures (some assert over 18 years for surface temperatures), even though according to NOAA, carbon dioxide CO2 concentrations have increased 8.4% since 1999, from 368.04 parts per million (ppm) to 398.78 ppm (December numbers). Very simply, adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not causing temperature change as previously claimed. Further, the plateau in temperatures shows that global climate models cannot be used for reliable prediction.

Yet, it is predictions from global climate models that has created the fear of global warming and prompted energy policies in various countries that can only be called unnecessary, ill-conceived, and economically destructive. These policies include Germany’s Energiewende, policies under the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008, and the US Administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Some of those defending the IPCC and its models, blame the failure of pronounced warming on the failure of an El Niño to materialize. However, there was/is an El Niño but it was not as intense as some thought it would be. If temperatures, as projected by the models, depend on El Niños, which are natural events that apparently cannot be predicted by the models, then there is something further wrong with the models.

The next big UN climate conference is scheduled in December of 2015. This will probably be the last opportunity for the Administration to make a big international impact on the global warming/climate change issue. It will be interesting to see how far certain government agencies will go in guessing future temperatures and other climate variables. A Congress controlled by Republicans who are generally hostile climate control schemes, may cause some agencies to re-think their approach. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, Measurement Issues, and http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html


Quote of the Week: You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool Nature! all the people all the time. Apologies to Abraham Lincoln


Number of the Week: 79,066


Intense Storms: In the US, one of the major publically discussed components of global warming/climate change is the intensification of storms – hurricanes (in the Atlantic region), cyclones (in the Pacific region) tornadoes, etc. A warming caused by increased CO2 should impact most on Polar Regions, thus decreasing the temperature gradient between the cold Polar Regions and the hot Tropics. The net effect should be a reduction in mid-latitude storm intensity, not an increase. Yet, the general press and global warming promoters continue to stress storm events as examples of global warming/climate change.

WeatherBell Analytics LLC has produced a graph of 4 decades of accumulated tropical cyclone energy (ACE) (24 month running sums) ending in December 31, 2014, both for the Northern Hemisphere and for the globe. Since 2008, storm energy for the Northern Hemisphere and globally has been low, far below peak periods such as 1993-95 and 1997-98. The fear that increased CO2 will cause more intense storms appears misplaced.

According to reports, in an interview with Die Zeit German climate modeler Hans von Storch stresses there has been no intensification in storm activity. All activity is within the range of natural variability. Von Storch is a Professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg and Director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany. He states it is implausible that future storms will increase in intensity “Our climate models do not lead us to expect it.”

According to the translator: “In summary, von Storch sees 1) no data supporting a trend of stronger, more frequent North Sea storms, 2) models do not show an increasing trend, 3) recent storms have been within the range of natural variability, and 4) the [Global Warming] pause has been substantial enough that it has shifted more focus onto natural factors.” See links under Problems in the Orthodoxy and second figure: http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php#!prettyPhoto


Clean Power Plan Is Unconstitutional? As reported in TWTW last week, a liberal, legal icon, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, stated his view that the Administration’s clean power plan was unconstitutional. Already, there were rumors that some career bureaucrats in the EPA were concerned that the EPA was going too far in the Administration’s war on coal. Now, the EPA has delayed the application of the plan to consolidate regulations on all categories of coal-fired power plants. See Articles # 1 and # 2, and links under EPA and other Regulators on the March.


John Brignell: The author of the web site “Number Watch” requested TWTW inform his readers that he is still alive. Due to software issues, his web site has been down. Further, his wife needed medical attention. We hope his wife is better, and John continues with his web site and its piercing wit.

Brignell interrupted his career in measurement in science and engineering to write two books addressing the abuse of measurement in research and in establishing government policies: Sorry, wrong number! (2000) and The epidemiologists: Have they got scares for you! (2004). Of particular concern is the confusion in believing that weak statistical relationships establish causation. Establishing causation is very difficult. The health breakthrough of establishing that inhaling hot tobacco smoke from cigarettes caused lung cancer, with no known causal mechanism, depended on statistics. However, the work was rigorous, as Brignell details. Many opposed the idea, including Wilhelm Hueper, the director of the US National Cancer Institute, who thought the primary cause was pesticides. Brignell’s books are a refreshing alternative to muddled statistical thinking. See link under Health, Energy, and Climate.


Confusion in Causation: As if to confirm the need for Brignell’s books, statistician Matt Briggs brings our attention to a New York Times op-ed by Naomi Oreskes, the newly minted Harvard professor of the history of science. The op-ed can be charitably called as confused or lacking rigor. Oreskes confuses a weak statistical relationship with causation and proposes weakening the statistical relationship even further. Of the comments reviewed, those by attorney Nathan Schachtman were most direct:

Oreskes wants her readers to believe that those who are resisting her conclusions about climate change are hiding behind an unreasonably high burden of proof, which follows from the conventional standard of significance in significance probability. In presenting her argument, Oreskes consistently misrepresents the meaning of statistical significance and confidence intervals to be about the overall burden of proof for a scientific claim:

Oreskes offers no proof for the unsubstantiated accusations in her book Merchants of Doubt (with Erik Conway), thus any normal standards of proof may be too onerous for her.

Schachtman concludes: I will leave substance of the climate change issue to others, but Oreskes’ methodological misidentification of the 95% coefficient of confidence with burden of proof is wrong. Regardless of motive, the error obscures the real debate, which is about data quality. More disturbing is that Oreskes’ error confuses significance and posterior probabilities, and distorts the meaning of burden of proof. To be sure, the article by Oreskes is labeled opinion, and Oreskes is entitled to her opinions about climate change and whatever. To the extent that her opinions, however, are based upon obvious factual errors about statistical methodology, they are entitled to no weight at all.

See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Lowering Standards.


Return of Medieval Scholasticism: German physicist Horst-Joachim Lüdecke offers penetrating analysis of current climate science, as exemplified by the IPCC and its adherents, with its dependence on global climate models. He equates the IPCC science with medieval Western European Scholasticism, which was dominant before Galileo, and Galileo’s emphasis on measurement and testing hypotheses with experiments and observations. If the hypotheses fail, they are to be modified or discarded. Richard Feynman clearly explained this approach in lectures, available on the internet. All too often those engaged in hypothesis testing are accused of “cherry-picking”, indicating the accuser confuses hypothesis testing with hypothesis advocacy. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Windfall Benefits Tax? In the 1970s the price of oil increased dramatically, resulting in high profits for oil producing firms, as US price controls were relaxed. Many politicians and government promoters insisted on taxing these increased profits, calling them windfalls. A new tax called the Windfall Profits Tax was implemented.

In recent months there has been a dramatic drop in the price of oil, resulting in benefits to consumers in the form of lower costs. Now, some politicians and government promoters are claiming this is a perfect time for a new tax on oil, calling it a carbon tax. Due to the timing, it also could be called a Windfall Benefits Tax. See links under Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes.


War on Affordable Fossil Fuels: Many commentators have called the Administration’s regulations of coal-fired power plants and the coal industry as a war on coal. Now, the Administration is proposing to expand regulations on methane and the transportation of crude oil, which would increase costs to the consumer. Could the Administration’s actions be called a war on affordable fossil fuels? See Article # 4.


Climategate: Steve McIntyre has doggedly pursued the issues surrounding Mr. Mann and his hockey-stick, featured in the IPCC Third Assessment Reports (2001). McIntyre has also followed the litigation that Mr. Mann initiated. On his web site, McIntyre brings up the important issue of what constitutes data falsification.

That the last 50 years or so of the Briffa reconstruction in the IPCC 2001 diagram under Mann’s lead authorship were deleted is a matter of fact: Gavin Schmidt and Richard Muller would agree on that. To date, no investigation (to my knowledge and I’ve examined all their reports closely) has considered whether this omission of data was falsification under academic codes of conduct. Deciding whether this truncation was data manipulation, data torture, falsification or academic misconduct seems to me a matter of judgement, rather than an objectively verifiable fact (as [attorney] Williams argued.)

In presenting his investigation of another paper, McIntyre observes that when dealing with high latitude proxy data (usually from the Northern Hemisphere) to estimate temperatures, one should consider the data to be summer data rather than annual data, at least on a millennial scale. Nearly all biological processes that create the proxy data are responsive to summer heat, rather than annual temperatures. In dealing with data from a lake in Iceland, McIntyre observes that the Little Ice Age is more pronounced than the Medieval Warm Period and may be part of a general cooling trend for the last 8000 years. See links under Climategate Continued and Oh’ Mann.


Number of the Week: 79,066. The number of pages of US regulations and legal notices, proposed or implemented, issued by Federal agencies in 2014 as recorded in the Federal Register. “These include Presidential proclamations and Executive Orders, Federal agency documents having general applicability and legal effect, documents required to be published by act of Congress, and other Federal agency documents of public interest.” From the Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-31/pdf/FR-2014-12-31.pdf



1. EPA to Issue Power-Plant Emissions Rules This Summer

Final Regulations on Carbon Emissions to Make Up Cornerstone of Obama Climate-Change Agenda

By Amy Harder, WSJ, Jan 7, 2015


SUMMARY: The EPA will delay its proposed power plant regulations on CO2 emissions until it composes new sets of rules targeting all coal-fired power plants. These will be issued simultaneously and cover new, modified, and existing power plants. Model regulations will be adopted for states that do not impose their own regulations. Of course, no new power plants will be built until the rules are adopted.

2. EPA Has Followed the Law on the Clean Power Plan

Our proposal sets up a national framework that gives states the power to chart their own customized path to meet the carbon-dioxide-emissions targets proposed for each state.

By Avi Garbow, Letters, WSJ, Jan. 4, 2015


SUMMARY: The General Counsel for the EPA objected to Laurence Tribe stating the EPA power plant regulations are unconstitutional. The EPA lawyer claimed the EPA has carefully followed the laws and the dictates of sound science.

SEPP submitted the following comment: RE: “dictates of sound science” If an empirical science cannot be used to formulate reliable predictions, it is not a sound science. The climate models the EPA used to project future harm from global warming, supposedly caused by increasing CO2, failed to predict the current plateau in temperatures, which has being continuing for over ten years.

3. Deep Debt Keeps Oil Firms Pumping

Producers Have Increased Their Borrowings by 55% Since 2010

By Irin Ailworth, Russell Gold and Timothy Puko, WSJ, Jan 6, 2015


SUMMARY: A small Texas drilling company filed for bankruptcy protection for a debt less than $50 million. The article discusses publicly traded corporations in oil and gas production with at least $100 million in revenues and a high Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ratio. None of the companies are well known and those with a ratio above 5 are Quicksilver Resources, Antero Resources, and Warren Resources.

4/ Meth Heads in the White House

Obama plans to regulate methane even as emissions plummet.

Editorial, WSJ, Jan 4, 2015


SUMMARY: The editorial discusses a proposed new set of regulations on the oil and natural gas industries being developed by the administration. These regulations will target methane. According to the article: “Overall emissions fell 4.7% between 1990 and 2008 and 6.3% between 2008 and 2012, the most recent year an estimate is available in the EPA’s greenhouse gas inventory. Natural gas is the source of less than a third of the total, the next largest being “enteric fermentation,” or livestock flatulence. Those, er, emissions rose 2.3% over 1990-2012.”

From 2008-2012 the “U.S. became the world’s natural-gas leader, with production increasing by nearly fourfold since 2008. The U.S. added 600,000 miles of gas pipeline, a 30% increase, utilities substituted gas for coal on a massive scale and the economy grew. Methane emissions nonetheless fell.”

The article states: “The real reason methane has become an obsession of the green lobby is that it sometimes leaks when extracting or transporting oil and especially natural gas. Thus methane can be a pretext for interfering with and raising the costs of drilling.”

5. ‘Scoring’ Legislation for Growth

New laws have economic consequences. Ignoring them doesn’t make a bill ‘neutral.’

By Edward Lazear, WSJ, Jan 6, 2015


SUMMARY: The former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers explains that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the fiscal consequences of proposed legislation and in most instances it assumes no effect on economic growth, positive or negative. A new rule adopted by the House of Representatives requires the CBO consider the impact of proposed legislation on growth. The Administration opposes this.

The article states principles that should be stipulated

1) Consistency in model use, not case-to-case

2) Models and approaches made public

3) Best available science [to which SEPP would add the word empirical. Though it may appear redundant, the term science is used so vaguely that empirical seems to be necessary.]



Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Two new papers suggest solar activity is a ‘climate pacemaker’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 9, 2015


Climategate Continued

Mann and the Legacy of “Bogus”

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 5, 2015


Ground-truthing Marcott

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 8, 2015


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Blocking the door to the marketplace of ideas

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 8, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy

UAH Global Temperature Update for December, 2014: +0.32 deg. C

2014 was Third Warmest Year Since 1979, but Just Barely

By Roy Spencer with John Christy, and Phil Gentry, Spencer’s Blog, Jan 6, 2015


UAH Ranks 2014 Third Warmest Year – Just

By Staff Writers, Reporting Climate Science, Jan 6, 2015


German Physicist Sees Dangerous Return To “Medieval Scholasticism” – Climate Models Have Failed Conclusively

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 6, 2015


‘Fears of man-made global warming exaggerated’

By Anahita Mukherji, The Economic Times, India, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Gruber Thinking in Climate Science: Disconnect Between Academia And The Real World.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Jan 8, 2015


The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (book review)

By Jay Lehr and Sterling Burnett, Master Resource, January 8, 2015


Climate Duckspeakers And Relearning The Lessons Of Orwell’s 1984

By Tom Harris, Daily Caller, Jan 8, 2015


Defending the Orthodoxy

Playing Dumb on Climate Change,

By Naomi Oreskes, NYT, Jan 3, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: The Harvard professor of the history of science mentions high intellectual hurdles. The IPCC has failed to achieve them, so has her simplistic analysis.]

Climate Mission Impossible: Scientists Say Fossil Fuels Must Go Untapped

New study says vast amounts of coal, oil, and gas must be left untouched to limit global warming.

By Christina Nunez, National Geographic, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]


Link to Study: Study identifies which fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change

By Staff Writers, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, Jan 7, 2015


“The study funded by the UK Energy Research Centre and published in Nature today, also identifies the geographic location of existing reserves that should remain unused and so sets out the regions that stand to lose most from achieving the 2°C goal.”

2014 may set a new temperature record. So can we please stop claiming global warming has “stopped”?

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, Jan 6, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Does one year a trend make?]]

‘The evidence is overwhelming’ David Attenborough hits out at climate change deniers

Editorial, Express, UK, Jan 1, 2015


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Climate Alarmists Warm It Up

They overcook the evidence of 2014 to support their shaky predictions of global warming.

By Rupert Darwall, National Review Online, Jan 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


‘97% Of Climate Scientists Agree’ Is 100% Wrong

By Alex Epstein, Forbes, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]


[SEPP Comment: Three papers proclaimed 97%, the last was by Cook et al. Each paper is poor.]

Climate change’s instructive past

By George Will, Washington Post, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Warming Alarmists Could Use Lesson On History Of Climate

By George Will, IBD, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Global Warming: False Alarm Over Polar Bears Exposed — Again

By William Jasper, New American, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


If the BOM was incompetent, the ABC would be the last to find out

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 10, 2015


Is Global Warming a Hoax?

By Ed Hiserodt and Rebecca Terrell, New American, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t DeWitt Edwards]


[SEPP Comment: Mentions SEPP.]

Pessimistic projections of the world’s climate Alarmists will likely never come to pass.

By Goeff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Jan 7, 2015


Social Benefits of Carbon

Guess What, Mom? Trees Like CO2

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Jan 7, 2015


Link to paper: Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle

By Schimel, Stephens, and Fisher, PNAS, Dec 29, 2014


“Feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric CO2 concentrations contribute the second-largest uncertainty to projections of future climate.”

[SEPP Comment: Is the largest uncertainty to projections of future climate the lack of knowledge of natural causes of change?]

Record CO2 Coincides With Record-Breaking Crop Yields, ‘Greening of Globe’

By Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t Reed Gibby]


The Influence of C02 on Plant Antioxidants

By Craig Idso, CO2 Science & SPPI, Jan 8, 2015


Link to full report: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/plant_antioxidants.pdf

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Die Zeit Interview With Hans von Storch: “No Intensification In Storm Activity”…All “Within Range Of Natural Variability”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 10, 2015


Climatologists Balk as Brazil Picks Skeptic for Key Post

By Simon Romero, NYT, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Oil Plunge Seen Eroding Emissions Ambition: Carbon & Climate

By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, Jan 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Seeking a Common Ground

Open advocacy

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 8, 2015


On Appeals to Authority, “Climategate” and the Wizard of Oz: a Personal Journey from “Trust Me” to “Show Me”

By A Chemist in Langley, Jan 9, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Sceptics are from Mars and warmists are from Venus

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A false dichotomy, ignores the assertions by some skeptics that the warming effect of additional atmospheric CO2 is not significant.]

What should climate scientists advocate for?

By Gavin Schmidt, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Jan/Feb 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


‘Perhaps the clearest question that climate scientists can ask themselves comes from the Nobel Prize–winning chemist F. Sherwood Rowland (quoted in Brodeur, 1986: 83) talking about the discovery of the chemistry that causes ozone depletion: “After all, what’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions, if in the end all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”’

[SEPP Comment: What does one do when predictions are wrong? Publically withdraw the predictions and propose modifications to the hypothesis?]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Sixty-two Years of Shrub Expansion onto Colorado Alpine Tundra

Formica, A., Farrer, E.C., Ashton, I.W. and Suding, K.N. 2014. Shrub expansion over the past 62 years in Rocky Mountain alpine tundra: possible causes and consequences. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 46: 616-631. Jan 7, 2015


“The four researchers determined that shrub cover consisting predominantly of two species of willow (Salix planifolia and Salix glauca) increased by an amazing 441% over the 62-year time-span of their database…”

Modelling Sea Surface Temperatures at the Sub-Regional Scale

Kwiatkowski, L., Halloran, P.R., Mumby, P.J. and Stephenson, D.B. 2014. What spatial scales are believable for climate model projections of sea surface temperature? Climate Dynamics 43: 1483-1496. Jan 7, 2015


“…the four researchers found that “CMIP5 models have typically very poor skill and often perform worse than chance at capturing spatial patterns of SST warming anomalies between 1960-1980 and 1985-2005 in the coral regions analyzed [italics added for emphasis].”

Reef Calcifiers Resisting Ocean Acidification

Comeau, S., Carpenter, R.C., Njiri, Y., Putnam, H.M., Sakai, K. and Edmunds, P.J. 2014a. Pacific-wide contrast highlights resistance of reef calcifiers to ocean acidification. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1339. Jan 5, 2015


“And, therefore, evidence continues to accumulate in support of the view that the vast bulk of the pessimistic projections of the world’s climate alarmists relative to future ocean acidification effects on calcifying organisms will likely never come to pass.”

Symbiodinium Diversity: A Godsend for Earth’s Corals

Sweet, M.J. 2014. Symbiodinium diversity within Acropora muricata and the surrounding environment. Marine Ecology35: 343-353. Jan 5, 2015


…Michael Sweet writes that “reef corals can adapt or acclimatize to changing environmental conditions in three principal ways: (i) with direct changes in gene expression and the physiological traits of the coral and/or its symbiotic algae (Brown et al., 2000, 2002), (ii) adaptation by replacement of susceptible symbiotic algae with genetically distinct, more resistant symbionts acquired from the environment (Baker et al., 2004; Rowan, 2004; LaJeunesse et al., 2010), or (iii) ‘symbiont shuffling’ whereby shifts in the existing populations occur such that the dominant, more susceptible symbionts are replaced by rarer, more resistant types (Baker et al., 2004; Berkelmans and van Oppen, 2006).”

Models v. Observations

Polar bear gene flow blamed on melting ice is another model result that doesn’t make sense

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jan 9, 2015


Model Issues

On the futility of climate models: ‘simplistic nonsense’

By Leo Smith, WUWT, Jan 6, 2015


Measurement Issues

Why Do Different Satellite Datasets Produce Different Global Temperature Trends?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 6, 2015


2014 was the hottest year on record

Global temperatures hit new high with no boost from El Niño.

By Boer Deng, Nature, Jan 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: There is an El Niño, but not the strong one global warming promoters predicted.]

Anthropogenic Warming in the CET Record?

By Neil Catto, WUWT, Jan 8, 2015


Analysis Shows Claim That “CO2 Concentration Is Highest In 600,000 Years” Is Highly Dubious At Best

By P Gosselin, Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Jan 3, 2015


Changing Weather

A Major Advance for Numerical Weather Prediction in the U.S.

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jan 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Much needed, but can the National Weather Service keep climate modelers at bay?]

Applications of subseasonal weather forecasts

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 5, 2015


Canada, United States in deep Arctic freeze

By Michel COMTE, Ottawa (AFP), Jan 8, 2015


Cold Wave to Fuel N. Europe Storms, Faster-than-Sound Jet Travel

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 5, 2015


Reality check on extreme storms and flooding in the Midwest

By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Jan 3, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


What is Truss being told?

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 9, 2015


[SEPP Comment: To the UK Environmental Secretary the ordinary is extreme?]

Changing Climate

The Medieval Warm Period Lives!

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Jan 7, 2015


Link to paper: A composite sea surface temperature record of the northern South China Sea for the past 2500 years: A unique look into seasonality and seasonal climate changes during warm and cold periods

By Yan, Soon, and Wang, Earth-Science Reviews, Jan-Feb 2015


Changing Seas

Cool deep-water protects coral reefs against heat stress

By Staff Writers, Kiel, Germany (SPX), Jan 08, 2015


Hidden Battles on the Reefs

How will corals fare in a changing ocean?

By Tom DeCarlo, Oceanus, Jan 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Why assume that in the history of coral reefs, seas have not changed before?]

Oceans not acidifying – “scientists” hid 80 years of pH data

By James Doogue and Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 5, 2015


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Bad news on sea levels calls for forward-thinking solutions

Editorial, Washington Post, Jan 3, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Link to papers: West Antarctic Melt Rate Has Tripled: NASA-UC Irvine

Press release by Carol Rasmussen, NASA, Dec 1, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Re-cycling old news.]

Epic survey finds regional patterns of soot and dirt on North American snow

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 8, 2015


EXCLUSIVE: Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic is ‘not melting’, says global warming expert

By Levi Winchester, UK Express, Dec 25, 2014


Changing Earth

Why is Greenland covered in ice?

By Staff Writers, Potsdam, Germany (SPX), Jan 06, 2015


Delta farce

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 5, 2015


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

A Drought of Common Sense

By Ron Pike, Quadrant, Jan 5, 2015


Happy New Year for GM crops?

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Jan 9, 2015


Lowering Standards

Naomi Oreskes Plays Dumb On Statistics And Climate Change

By William Briggs, His blog, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]


Significance Levels are Made a Whipping Boy on Climate Change Evidence: Is .05 Too Strict? (Schachtman on Oreskes)

By D.G. Mayo, Error Statistics, Jan 4, 2015


Playing Dumb on Statistical Significance

By Nathan Schachtman, His Blog, Jan 4, 2015


Closed minds at the British Library

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 9, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The illustrious panel made false claims regarding political opposition and asserted extreme weather records are being broken every year.]

In Our Time last time

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Some change over 15 years.]

More Nonsense From The BBC’s Harrabin

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 10, 2015


[SEPP Comment: More flowers are found in bloom in December, not because temperatures are higher, as BBC implies, but because more people are looking for them.]

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

German Analysis: Spreading Alarmism Over Mere Hundredths Of A Degree Is “Complete Hyperbolism”

Global Temperature Record 2014?

By Michael Krueger, Translated, edited by P Gosselin, Jan 5, 2015


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Lewandowsky and the paleoparticipant

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Another phony survey supposedly exposing global warming skeptics, this one with a 32,757 year-old human?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Peter Miesler Helps Expose USHCN Homogenization Insanity and Antarctic Illusions.

By Jim Steele, WUWT, Jan 7, 2015


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Baked Alaska? Propaganda film suggests children in Alaska have no snow

By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Jan 4, 2015


Questioning European Green

Coal Still Dominates The Energiewende

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Comparing the high amount of installed solar and wind with actual production as compared with other forms of electricity generation should be obvious except for those wearing blinders.]

German Citizens Have Had Enough…”Conflict Over Wind Turbines Escalating” …Against “Horror Landscapes”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 9, 2015


The UK Offshore Wind Industry

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 5, 2015


“Ed Davey [Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change] likes to talk about how much ‘investment’ his policies have attracted. The reality is that we will be paying for this investment many times over. To make matters worse, this ‘investment’ only serves to replace perfectly good generating capacity.

“This is economics of the madhouse for which the country will be paying dearly for many years to come.”

The Political Games Continue

The Seven Unexpected Republicans to Watch If You Care About Climate ChangeThese GOP lawmakers and candidates could shape their party’s future on global warming.

By Ben Geman, National Journal, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t Tom Sheahen]


[SEPP Comment: Appropriate propaganda photo of a smoke stack belching steam that appears dark.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

You Ought to Have A Look: Carbon Tax, Carbon Tax, Carbon Tax

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Jan 9, 2015


Oil’s swoon creates the opening for a carbon tax

By Lawrence Summers, Washington Post, Jan 4, 2015


The Case For A Carbon Tax Is Overwhelming

By Lawrence Summers, IBD, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


It’s Never a Good Time for a Carbon Tax

By Nicolas Loris, Daily Signal, Jan 6, 2015


Oil’s ‘Swoon’ Is Not an Argument for Carbon Taxes

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Jan 6, 2015


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Delays Final Carbon Rules for New Power Plants

By Gail Reitenbach, Power Mag, Jan 7, 2015


EPA wants cleaner wood-burning fires, new rules expected by February

By Brooks Hays, Washington (UPI), Jan 2, 2015


States to challenge Obama’s climate rules

By Zack Coleman, Washington Examiner, Jan 5, 2015


Energy Issues – Non-US

Climate change scaremongering won’t trouble oil junkies

Big oil is becoming a dirty word but the world still depends on fossil fuels to power growth and provide economic prosperity

By Andrew Critchlow,, Telegraph, UK, Jan 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Energy Crisis As Early As 2016

By Dan Steffens for Oilprice.com, Washington DC (SPX), Jan 07, 2015


How Many Of World’s Poor Will Climate Alarmists Let Die?

By H. Sterling Burnett, IBD, Jan 5, 2015


Energy Issues — US

NERC Report: Wind and Solar Hurt Grid Reliability

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 9, 2015


North American rig activity slowing

By Daniel J. Graeber, Houston (UPI), Jan 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: By 3% from previous week.]

Only LEDs Can Significantly Cut Electricity Usage

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Government mandates adding to inefficiencies in lighting?]

Washington’s Control of Energy

GOP pressures Obama on Keystone

By Elise Viebeck, The Hill, Jan 10, 2015


Obama kicks oil and gas industry while it is down

By Marita Noon, Net Right Daily, Jan 7, 2015


Keystone foes bet on congressional firewall

By Elana Schor, Politico, Jan 8, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Obama’s Keystone veto threat is proof that climate activism works, no matter what the ‘insiders’ say

By Bill McKibben, Guardian, UK, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


We Sent Men to the Moon In Less Time Than Obama’s Dithered Over Keystone

By John Merline, IBD, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Breaking even despite the lower oil prices

By Staff Writers, Rystad Energy, Jan 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Chevron finds oil in Gulf of Mexico

By Daniel J. Graeber, San Ramon, Calif. (UPI), Jan 6, 2015


Interior Secretary Jewell calls out fracking bans as antithetical to U.S. interests

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Jan 5, 2015


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Canada Safe Despite Fukushima Radiation in British Columbia Waters

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (Sputnik), Jan 06, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Surely the radiation will not reach Toronto! (over 2,000 miles).]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

India’s Modi raises solar investment target to $100 bln by 2022

By Krishna N. Das and Swetha Gopinath, Reuters, Jan 2, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


California Dreaming

California Governor Wants to Raise State’s 2030 RPS Target to 50%

By Thomas Overton, Power, Jan 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: RPS is the renewable portfolio standard. Just add more of what is failing.]

Ground broken for state’s high-speed rail project

By Michael Cabanatuan, SF Gate, Jan 7, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


California Just Started Another Insane Government Project [Hi-speed rail]

By Katrina Trinko, Daily Signal, Jan 6, 2015


Health, Energy, and Climate

Rise in autism diagnoses may be largely due to changes in diagnostic criteria

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Jan 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: So much for claims vaccination causes autism.]

The inevitability of cancer

Tumours are the wages of age, not the wages of sin

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Jan 7, 2015


“In the 1950s Wilhelm Hueper — a director of the US National Cancer Institute and mentor to Rachel Carson, the environmentalist author of Silent Spring — was so concerned that pesticides were causing cancer that he thought the theory that lung cancer was caused by smoking was a plot by the chemical industry to divert attention from its own culpability: ‘Cigarette smoking is not a major factor in the causation of lung cancer,’ he insisted.”


Oh Mann!

More Mann Grafting

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Mr. Mann and his attorneys dragging the National Science Foundation into the mire.]

Environmental Industry

WWF – Masters of Spin

By Euan Mearns, His Blog, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


[SEPP Comment: Damn the public, full WWF speed ahead!]

Other Scientific News

Curious: Electromagnetic waves linked to particle fallout in Earth’s atmosphere, new study finds

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 5, 2015


Other News that May Be of Interest

2014: Year of Action, Year of Regulation

By Sam Batkins, American Action Forum, Jan 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Estimating the costs of 79,066 pages of regulations in 2014]

Storms are Normal: The Nuclear Weapons Equivalency

By Roy Spencer, Global Warming, Dec 31, 2014


[SEPP Comment: According to total energy absorbed by the earth every 20 seconds is about the energy released by all nuclear testing over 50 years – so much for comparisons of CO2 emissions with so many bombs.]

US goes for ‘wheels on steel’ as high-speed rail option

By David Milward and Tom Shiel, Telegraph, UK, Jan 5, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]




U.K. Power Grid is Under Attack From Hackers Every Minute, Says Parliament

By Jillian Ward, Bloomberg, Jan 9, 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


[SEPP Comment: Does the Pentagon realize this? Does its program for solar and wind threaten national security?]

Penguins Marching An Extra 1000 km

By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Jan 10, 2015



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 11, 2015 8:56 pm

“Clean Power Plan Is Unconstitutional? As reported in TWTW last week, a liberal, legal icon, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, stated his view that the Administration’s clean power plan was unconstitutional. Already, there were rumors that some career bureaucrats in the EPA were concerned that the EPA was going too far in the Administration’s war on coal. Now, the EPA has delayed the application of the plan to consolidate regulations on all categories of coal-fired power plants.”
So he can lose.

Reply to  Zeke
January 11, 2015 9:04 pm

So he can give EPA a delay during this coming cold winter.
So he can try to pull the rug out from Sen Inhofe’s bill to allow voters in states to control the amount of coal electricity they will use.

January 11, 2015 9:09 pm

11 Jan: WSJ: Nancy Meyer/Lysle Brinker: The Myth of the Carbon Investment ‘Bubble’
Bad news for alarmists: Global integrated oil and gas companies since 2008 have traded at a 30% discount.
(Ms. Meyer is associate director of the energy climate strategy dialogue, and Mr. Brinker is director of oil company equity research at IHS, a research and consulting firm.)
The argument, advanced by such groups as 350.org, Carbon Tracker Initiative and Go Fossil Free, assumes that more-stringent climate policies will render many fossil-fuel reserves “unburnable.” In coming decades these reserves are at risk of being “stranded,” leaving shareholders empty-handed…
Our recent report “Deflating the ‘Carbon Bubble’ ” finds that these proven reserves on average account for only 24% of the resource base by volume, but account for 81% of the resource base value that drives a company’s total valuation. Investors pay attention to and put their money on those proven reserves…
Demand is expected to rise, driven by the growing energy needs of emerging-market countries. Even under the International Energy Agency’s scenario aimed at reducing carbon emissions, energy demand is expected to grow by 12% over the next 15 years, with fossil fuels meeting more than two thirds of demand in 2030…
Shaping future energy and environmental policies and the energy system for decades ahead requires informed, fact-based discussion. That is also a requirement for responsible investing by endowments, pension funds and other long-term investors. Anticipating bubbles has become an important concern, but it is just as important not to base decisions on bubbles that don’t exist.

Aynsley Kellow
January 12, 2015 12:11 am

The environment reporter in the Australian (Graeme Lloyd) covered the pause plus 2014 is the warmest year issue on Saturday, with a couple of climate scientists claiming the latter as ‘consistent with’ warming, and Judith Curry also getting some space. But he also did something that is usually lacking in public discussion of such matters: he mentioned the error terms in the measurements ( ± 0.1°C) and pointed out that the variations were within the error.
This struck me as welcome. When I did my my pracs in university physics, we were taught that if your results did not exceed the error term, you had no result. This never seems to prevent climate scientists from making both public pronouncements and offering policy prescriptions without specifying what the error term is.
The whole debate would probably be improved if the following became a standard question asked of all making public statements on the matter: ‘What is the error term in your research? And do your results exceed the error term?’

Reply to  Aynsley Kellow
January 12, 2015 12:59 am

You can not transfer the error range of a single thermometer reading to the calculated temperature of the whole globe.

Aynsley Kellow
Reply to  garymount
January 12, 2015 2:33 am

Sorry if I did not make it clear, garymount, but as I understood it he was citing the error term for the calculated temperature for the globe, rather than any single observation. I am uncertain if he was correct. My poit was really about the fact that error terms never seem to be provided.

Reply to  Aynsley Kellow
January 12, 2015 3:30 am

The Met.Office Climatic Research Unit produce two data sets of mean global surface temperatures, Hadcrut3 and Hadcrut4, although they seem to have stopped updating Hadcrut3 (maybe because it shows 1998 as the warmest year).
If you compare the two data sets, for example for January 2007, Hadcrut3 shows an anomaly of 0.610 but Hadcrut4 shows an anomaly of 0.829.
Now, both datasets purport to measure the same thing – global mean surface temperature, both use the same baseline 1961-1990, and both claim to be accurate to within 0.1 degree C. Yet they produce values which differ by 0.219 degrees. So, they cannot both be accurate to 0.1 degree. Either one of them is wrong or both of them are wrong.
So let’s take the claim of 0.1 degree accuracy with a pinch of salt.

Reply to  MikeB
January 12, 2015 6:18 am

one method for calculating a confidence interval depends on variability within the data set. so, the confidence interval done this way is accurate, with respect to that one data set, and depends on a set of assumptions.
assumptions include: your sample of temps genuinely represents the universe of possible samples (an assumption which is almost never met in science anywhere, and may only be met when working with manufactured/fake data sets for the purpose of exploring and demonstrating differences between statistical approaches), and that the measurements are reliable and valid.
Here, i think the use of ‘confidence intervals’ does not fit the role it is being asked to play: the role of sensitivity analyses.

Reply to  Aynsley Kellow
January 12, 2015 3:50 am

I can’t seem to locate it at the moment but I am fairly sure that the global estimated temperature from the UAH satellite dataset has a ± 0.5 K error range.

Reply to  garymount
January 12, 2015 6:04 am

Could you tell me how they come up with the error range? Is there some scientific way that is done, or do they just put a plus/minus something out there for kicks?
How do we know that the error range is as small as they say?

Reply to  garymount
January 12, 2015 4:36 pm

I’d like to know how the error margins are derived myself. The article from where I got the graphic below came from here, there might be some info about the errors, I have only skimmed the article :

Reply to  Aynsley Kellow
January 12, 2015 4:19 am

Example :comment image

January 12, 2015 12:34 am

Off Topic. but NOAA has a new page showing updated sunspot data,

Reply to  stuartlarge
January 12, 2015 6:13 am

Old page, but they update it every month.

M Courtney
January 12, 2015 1:49 am

Analysis Shows Claim That “CO2 Concentration Is Highest In 600,000 Years” Is Highly Dubious At Best
By P Gosselin, Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Jan 3, 2015
Interesting comparison of Ice-cores and stomata data for CO2.
The ice cores just seem to be too smooth as time goes back.
But I’m interested to hear Ferdinand’s counter arguments.
This isn’t settled yet, in my mind. But I’m still leaning towards doubting the ice cores.

Reply to  M Courtney
January 12, 2015 5:35 am

IMHO, none of them should be taken as holy writ. In the end, we just don’t know. The instrumental data since 1958 is the only record we can be sure of, and it is enough to tell us what is happening right now.

Reply to  M Courtney
January 12, 2015 6:32 am

Ice is not inert, nor is it gas impermeable. Chemical reactions still take place in ice, but at a slower rate.

Joe Born
January 12, 2015 6:00 am

George Will’s piece put me in mind of this disappointing piece by his colleague Charles Krauthammer: http://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/2015/01/11/time-increase-gas-tax/21601263/, which suggests that he has uncritically accepted the proposition that fossil-fuel use’s externalities are negative.

Reply to  Joe Born
January 12, 2015 4:39 pm

I read that article Saturday (a couple of days ago) in the National Post. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be aware that CO2 is plant food.

January 12, 2015 6:12 am

[SEPP Comment: There is an El Niño, but not the strong one global warming promoters predicted.]
There were certainly “El Niño conditions” temperature-wise, but I don’t think for long enough to meet the definition of an El Niño event.

January 12, 2015 6:17 am

Interesting article cited:
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (book review)
By Jay Lehr and Sterling Burnett, Master Resource, January 8, 2015

Fossil Fuels Power Progress and Well-being
Fossil fuel use has dramatically increased human life expectancy and reduced infant mortality in the developed world. Thanks to fossil fuels, “millions of individuals in industrializing countries have gotten their first light bulb, their first refrigerator, their first decent paying job, their first year with clean drinking water or a full stomach,” Epstein writes. Ultimately, the moral case for fossil fuels is not about fossil fuels; it is the moral case for using cheap, plentiful, reliable energy to amplify our abilities to make the world a better place for human beings.
The development and use of fossil fuels has benefitted the poor far more than the rich, making available to the person of average means, food, goods, and services that even the rulers of old could hardly dream of. Fossil fuels grant freedom and free up time.
Epstein builds on Milton Friedman’s explanations in his Free to Choose TV series where he explains that the rich do not benefit so much as others do from advances in energy, as they have always had servants to fetch, entertain, make clothes and the like. The achievement of inexpensive energy, Friedman remarks, “has made available to the masses conveniences and amenities that were previously the exclusive prerogative of the rich and powerful.”
Second, Epstein writes:
Climate is no longer a major cause of deaths, thanks in large part to fossil fuels.… Not only are we ignoring the big picture by making the fight against climate danger the fixation of our culture, we are ‘fighting’ climate change by opposing the weapon that has made it dozens of times less dangerous. The popular climate discussion has the issue backward. It looks at man as a destructive force for climate livability, one who makes the climate dangerous because we use fossil fuels. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite; we don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous; we take a dangerous climate and make it safe. High-energy civilization, not climate, is the driver of climate livability.

January 12, 2015 7:16 pm

The ultimate post winter storm joy-kill.
Saudi cleric issues fatwa on snowmen
“A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious edict forbidding the building of snowmen, describing them as anti-Islamic. …”
Yeah, I can see his point.

January 12, 2015 10:13 pm

House approves Keystone for the tenth time. Senate Keystone XL bill moves forward but without a veto proof majority.
It now appears that President Obama was deliberately stalling the Keystone Pipeline with the ultimate goal of killing it. With the falling price of oil it looks like that will happen, as it’s simply no longer feasible to make a profit from the convoluted process of obtaining oil from tar sands.
Crude oil futures for February delivery is sub $46… Tar sands crude requires an assortment of energy-intensive processes that make it among the most expensive of the world’s crudes to produce. Operations were already slowing when oil still cost more than $90 a barrel, but now it is far below the tar sands projects’ break-even point. If oil prices stay low with this six month collapse, the economic rationale is lost for Keystone XL.
Between 2010 and 2013, tar sands developers lost $30.9 billion because of the loss of markets for their oil and competition from lower-priced light crude, according to Oil Change International. Of that figure, Oil Change International claims that more than half can be directly attributed to the success of anti-pipeline campaigns. This price collapse is an even bigger blow to tar sands developers.
Saudi prince and billionaire businessman PrinceAlwaleedbinTalal: $100-a-barrel oil ‘never’ again
Q: Will prices continue to fall?
A: If supply stays where it is, and demand remains weak, you better believe it is gonna go down more. But if some supply is taken off the market, and there’s some growth in demand, prices may go up. But I’m sure we’re never going to see $100 anymore. I said a year ago, the price of oil above $100 is artificial. It’s not correct.

Verified by MonsterInsights