The Week That Was: 2015-10-17 (October 17, 2015) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Benefits of Carbon Dioxide: Indur Goklany has produced a brief report on the tremendous benefits of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, largely attributable to the human use of fossil fuels. The report was published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation with a foreword by Freeman Dyson, the noted theoretical physicist from Princeton. In a recent interview Mr. Dyson said that he was a supporter of President Obama, but Mr. Obama has come out on the wrong side of the global warming/climate change issue and the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In a recent interview Dyson expressed concern over the recent scientific concentration on global warming/climate change and said it is “not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to the obvious facts [?]”
Goklany is a former US representative to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and author of the well-researched book The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet (2007). Goklany’s new report provides independent confirmation of the findings by the Non-government International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), namely in the more comprehensive Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts .
Among his main conclusions Goklany finds:
· “Empirical data confirms that the biosphere’s productivity has increased by about 14% since 1982, in large part as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels.
· Thousands of scientific experiments indicate that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have contributed to increases in crop yields.
· Satellite evidence confirms that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also resulted in greater productivity of wild terrestrial ecosystems in all vegetation types.
· Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also increased the productivity of many marine ecosystems.
· In recent decades, trends in climate-sensitive indicators of human and environmental wellbeing have improved and continue to do so despite claims that they would deteriorate because of global warming.
· Compared with the benefits from carbon dioxide on crop and biosphere productivity, the adverse impacts of carbon dioxide – on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, on sea level, vector-borne disease prevalence and human health have been too small to measure or have been swamped by other factors.
· Models used to influence policy on climate change have overestimated the rate of warming, underestimated direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change and underestimated human capacity to adapt so as to capture the benefits while reducing the harms.
· It is very likely that the impact of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally. These benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain. Halting the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations abruptly would deprive people and the planet of the benefits of carbon dioxide much sooner than they would reduce any costs of warming”
As these and other reports show the benefits of carbon dioxide, scientists and economists in government entities, such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and other government-funded groups continue to labor over what they call the “Social Cost of Carbon.” It appears they have their marching orders: exaggerate costs; ignore benefits.
It is as if the US government entities are operating under a modified single-entry accounting system – only the costs, but not benefits. If any private organization reported only their expenses but not their revenues in tax filings, the organization would quickly be under government investigation, deservedly so. But apparently now, some government entities now think they are free to report only the costs of carbon dioxide without the benefits to the public.
See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC; Challenging the Orthodoxy; and Social Benefits of Carbon.
Quote of the Week: “The idea that “Climate science is settled” runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.” Steven Koonin, former Professor. Theoretical Physics, and Provost, California Institute of Technology, and Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy.
Number of the Week: 60%?
Neutrinos: Physicist Thomas Sheahen has a clear essay published in American Thinker, explaining the difficulty involved in uncovering the secrets of neutrinos. The leaders of two research groups were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics, even though the key papers appeared in 1998, 2001, and 2002 – it takes a long time to work out the details! The work contradicted the long held belief, since the 1930s, that neutrinos had no mass. The 80-year effort to work out the details illustrates why the claims that global warming/climate change is human caused are premature, at best, and possibly wrong. These claims, and those that the science is settled, should be considered political slogans, not scientifically based.
See links under Other Scientific News. [Note that Mr. Sheahen is a director of SEPP.]
On to Paris: It is becoming evident that the push by some government entities to reach a binding agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled between November 30 and December 11 in Paris is having a few difficulties, in spite of slick promotion and fancy footwork. Among other issues, China is circumspect and India is demanding “climate justice” – payments from the west for supposed damage to the climate caused by past emissions of carbon dioxide. No doubt, Indian economists can develop the imaginative “social costs of carbon” as well as the western economists and track them to industrial civilization in the west.
To make issues more uncertain, President Obama may try to claim that a binding agreement will not require the consent of the Senate, which is not impressed by his efforts. Many of Mr. Obama’s former claims are being rejected by the federal courts, and it is doubtful if he can evade the clear Constitutional language that Senate consent is required for an international agreement to be binding on the United States.
Add to this, the new head of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee, is a South Korean economist who said: “If you ask me to choose the most important work in climate change issues, then I’ll choose carbon price. That’s because it is the driver to put us into the right track.” Having governments determine a tax on carbon dioxide emissions creates a market distortion favored by economists, who falsely it called a “market-based solution.” No doubt, some may consider night-time satellite photographs of the Korean Peninsula, with South Korea and parts of China lighted and North Korea dark, an example of the social cost of carbon. Others may consider North Korea energy-bankrupt. See links under On To Paris, Problems in the Orthodoxy, and http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140226-north-korea-satellite-photos-darkness-energy/
Shifting Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)? One of the fascinating topics brought up by climate change pioneer H.H. Lamb is the effects of climate change on past civilizations and cultures. For example, in Climate, History and the Modern World (1982 & 1997) Lamb brought up the drying of the Sahara and the Indus valley area during the cooling period from the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 8000 years ago, to about 4000 years ago. It was during this time that civilizations developed. Lamb’s research showed this period was followed by episodes of warming and cooling. Subsequent research supports Lamb’s views that the Sahara had cultures that were water dependent, and raised cattle, and that the Harappa civilization flourished, based on agriculture, in now arid regions of the Indus valley. [Note: Contrary to some claims, Lamb did not advocate atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) was a major cause of climate change.]
Lamb’s explanation of the drying of the Sahara and the Indus valley region, was that during the cooling period the annual rains did not come as far north. This change could be described as a shift in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, which roughly follows the zenith of the sun in moving back and forth across the equator. The information Lamb had on Asia, particularly China, was very limited.
A paper from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), adds to understanding historic climate change in China. Using changes in vegetation, namely the ratio of C3/C4 plants, the research tracks the movement of the East Asian monsoon rain belt across the Chinese Loess Plateau, a large area of highly erodible soils in the middle and upper part of the Yellow River. According to the paper’s abstract:
“We find that the spatial distribution of C4 plant biomass is a robust analog for the monsoon rain belt, which migrated at least 300 km to the northwest from the cold Last Glacial Maximum (∼19 ka) to the warm Holocene (∼4 ka). These results strongly support the idea that the Earth’s thermal equator will move northward in a warmer world, and that the observed southward migration of the monsoon rain belt over the last few decades is transient and northern China will eventually become wet as global warming advances.”
These findings are consistent with what Lamb observed with his limited data. Assuming the pattern holds, if the world warms, for whatever reason, the summer monsoon belt (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) will move north. It is refreshing to see such research being done to understand the effects of climate change. See links under Changing Climate
Lowering Standards: One example of poorly conducted survey research is becoming a political slogan – 97% of scientists … The first paper proclaiming this result appeared in EOS, and was based on a survey of over 10,300 geo-scientists of whom over 3,000 responded. The 97% came from the researchers weeding through the responses and using 79, of which 77, according to the researchers, believe that global warming/climate change is human cause. It is more than a stretch to assert that less than 1% of those surveyed constitute 97% of scientists.
The latest such survey was conducted by psychologist Stefan Lewandowsky. According to Andrew Montford, Mr. Lewandowsky is the editor of an entire issue of Philosophical Transactions A, published by the Royal Society. See links under Lowering Standards.
Courts: Writing in Climate Etc., climate scientist Judith Curry expresses her views that the attempts by global warming promoters to use courts to silence skeptics is wrongheaded. She writes: “This whole notion of a climate ‘consensus’, 97% and all that, has been very cleverly, and arguably dishonestly, marketed. These people are still thinking that ‘speaking scientific consensus to power’ is actually going to work in terms of radically reducing global carbon emissions. At this point the science is almost irrelevant; the big issues in play are that India, Africa, etc. want electricity for its population and for economic development, and coal is the most economical way to accomplish that.
“Trying to destroy science in the process of denying that radical near term emissions reductions aren’t going to work is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous and a few other adjectives that one can think of.”
See links under Seeking a Common Ground.
RICO: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island brought up the idea of investigating climate skeptics under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), designed to fight organized crime. The Senator now clams to been misunderstood. He did not call for criminal sentences to jail those skeptical of the claims humans are causing global warming. Instead, Mr. Whitehouse now claims is merely calling for civil charges under RICO. Whatever civil charges may be. Of course, RICO entails possible jail time.
Scientific evidence is the issue. Skeptical scientists are demanding evidence, which Mr. Whitehead fails to provide. What tobacco company executives did is not evidence against global warming skeptics. Will it be jail first, evidence later? See link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt.
Number of the Week: 60%. In a June 2010 report, analysts of the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa.
Although many of the articles on the web site of Project Syndicate have a strong ideological slant of government centralized control of economic activity, usually the articles are factually correct. For that reason an error in an article on potential growth in Africa stood out. The article left out the critical modifier of “uncultivated” and said 60% of the arable land is in Africa.
However, significant natural resources exist in Africa to feed its population. What is needed is Western technology – a need that many western governments ignore. See links under Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine and http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/africa/lions_on_the_move
Please note that articles not linked easily or summarized here are reproduced in the Articles Section of the full TWTW that can be found on the web site under the date of the TWTW.
1. Shut Up—Or We’ll Shut You Down
Elizabeth Warren isn’t the only one trying to silence her opponents.
Editorial, WSJ, Oct 9, 2015
SUMMARY: A discussion of the efforts by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and 20 others who called for the use of the RICO act to suppress the views of “climate dissenters.” “’The demand by Senator Whitehouse and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science,’ says Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry on the Fox News website. She should know, as one of seven academics investigated last winter by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D., Ariz.) for their climate research.
By the way, Mr. Shukla [leader of the RICO 20 discussed in last week’s TWTW] appears to have no problem taking money from the government to support his climate theories. Though it has since been taken down, the letter from the Shukla gang demanding a RICO assault was published on the website of the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), a tax-exempt entity run by Mr. Shukla that the website says has also employed his wife and daughter. The House Science Committee says the outfit has received more than $25 million in federal grants since 2008. House Science Chairman Lamar Smith says the family’s earnings from IGES are “in addition to an annual salary of approximately $314,000 paid to Dr. Shukla by George Mason University.”
When we contacted George Mason to sort out these financial arrangements, the school suggested we contact Mr. Shukla directly. He hasn’t responded to our inquiries.
As expressed in the This Week Section (above) Senator Whitehouse is not delighted with this press coverage.
2. The Father of Millions
The Unicef breakthrough on vaccinations and oral rehydration salts is still cited today as one of the few successes in foreign aid.
By William Easterly, WSJ, Oct 15, 2015
SUMMARY: The review of the book A Mighty Purpose by Adam Fifield highlights the work of James Grant, the director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) from 1980 to his death in 1995. Grant may have been a bit grandiose and paternalistic, but he was successful. “The Unicef breakthrough on vaccinations and oral rehydration salts is still cited today as one of the rather few successes in foreign aid.”
“While top-down planning is usually misguided in aid (and most everywhere else), it turned out to be suitable for the particular challenge of vaccinations. Unfortunately, the aid establishment learned the wrong lessons from Grant’s career. Instead of seeing him as an entrepreneur who saw a very specific unrealized opportunity to spread vaccination and oral rehydration salts, they viewed his success as vindicating top-down planning in general.”
3. Notable & Quotable: Energy and the Catastrophists
‘Alleged problems always trump real benefits.’
By Pierre Desrochers, WSJ, Oct 11, 2015
“University of Toronto associate professor of geography Pierre Desrochers writing about modern-day Malthusians at spiked-online.com, Sept. 29:
“Population catastrophists, however, constantly remind us of Hegel’s alleged observation that “If theory and facts disagree, so much the worse for the facts.” This is especially true in current discussions of humanity’s increased consumption of coal, petroleum and natural gas over the past two centuries, where alleged problems always trump real benefits. After all, nobody would argue that this consumption made possible the development of large-scale, reliable and affordable long-distance transportation, which in turn paved the way to better and more affordable nutrition by concentrating food production in the most suitable locations. Or that kerosene, heavy oil and natural gas displaced poor quality biomass fuels such as firewood and dung, which filled houses with soot, particles, carbon monoxide and toxic chemicals. Or that cars, trucks and tractors removed the need for work animals (and their attending food consumption), while helping address the diseases associated with their excrement and carcasses. Or that refined petroleum products further reduced harvesting pressures on wild resources such as whales (whale oil, perfume base), trees (lumber and firewood), birds (feathers) and other wildlife (ivory, furs, skin), thus helping preserve biodiversity.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
France’s top weatherman sparks storm over book questioning climate change
Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country’s state broadcaster, reportedly sent on “forced holiday” for releasing book accusing top climatologists of “taking the world hostage”
By Henry Samuel, Telegraph, UK, Oct 14, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Must clean house before COP-21]
Meterologist Verdier Fights Back: Petition Against Laurent Fabius’s Orwellian-Style Tactics And Fear Of “Climate Chaos”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 16, 2015
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt
WSJ Catering to Fossil-Fuel Interests… Again!
By Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Huff Post, Oct 11, 2015
“A private company and/or its industry allies should not knowingly lie to the American people about the harms that are caused by its product.”
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back
Quotes of the week: hate as a weapon in the climate wars, RICO madness, losers, and all that
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 13, 2015
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Gimme Three Steps Toward the Renewable Energy Door
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 13, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Reasonable questions.]
Top Physicist Freeman Dyson: Obama Has Picked The ‘Wrong Side’ On Climate Change
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Oct 13, 2015 [H/t William Readdy]
Scientists: No Need For “Economic Kamikaze Program In Paris” …2°C Warming Won’t Be Reached Even With IPCC Numbers!
Solar activity in September 2015 / The latest science before the Paris Climate Conference
Guest post by Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Frank Bosse. [Translated/edited by P Gosselin], No Tricks Zone, Oct 13, 2015
New Science 11: An Alternative Modeling Strategy
By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 14, 2015
New Science 12: How do we model the thermal inertia of the Earth?
By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 16, 2015
Lucia has a bad day with partial derivatives
By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 12, 2015
[SEPP Comment: See original post below]
New Science 4: Error 1: Partial Derivatives
By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Sep 26, 2015
Defending the Orthodoxy
IPCC Selects New Leader
By Myron Ebell, CEI, Oct 9, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Government determining the price of carbon dioxide is the type of market distortion that central planning economists embrace.]
New IPCC chief calls for fresh focus on climate solutions, not problems
Hoesung Lee says change of tack for UN climate science body is needed to galvanise global action on emissions reductions
By Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, UK, Oct 12, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
You Ought to Have a Look: Publication Bias
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Oct 13, 2015
Pseudo-Historians Erase Scientists’ Early Caution on Global Warming
By Rupert Darwall, National Review, Oct 12, 2015
It’s the End of the World . . . Sort Of
Climate-change alarmists warn of the apocalypse but push for meaningless international agreements.
By Oren Cass, City Journal, Manhattan Institute, Oct 15, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Clouding the debate over climate change
The new U.N. chairman knows economics, not science
By Tom Harris, Washington Times, Oct 13, 2015
Global climate agreements could be counterproductive
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 6, 2015
Hoesung Lee: New IPCC Leader
The new IPCC chairman is an economist who, ironically, began his career with oil giant Exxon.
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Oct 14, 2015
Is good news actually news at all?
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 12, 2015
Why Statistics Can’t Discover Cause, And Bad Priors
By William Briggs, His Blog, Oct 14, 2015
On to Paris!
Energy security will trump emissions reduction
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Oct 15, 2015
What is important to everyone, though, is a secure and affordable energy supply.
It is inconceivable that the electorate would vote for a governing party which places energy security second [to emissions reductions.].
Draft climate agreement presented to governments
By Staff Writers, WNN, Oct 6, 2015
Enforcing a global climate deal: speak loudly, carry no stick
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Oct 11, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: The “progressives” of today are not Teddy Roosevelts!]
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Cleaning Up the Clean Power Plan
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 11, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Video interview with David Schnare of E&E Legal Institute.]
Obama’s Disastrous Clean Power Plan
By Deroy Murdock, National Review, Oct 8, 2015
Obama Seeks Job-Killing Cap-And-Trade Through The Back Door
By Tim Phillips, IBD, Oct 13, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Three Cheers for Carbon Dioxide
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Oct 12, 2015
Link to report: Carbon Dioxide: The good news
By Indur Goklany, forward by Freeman Dyson, GWPF, 2015
Patrick Moore: Should We Celebrate CO2?
Speech By Patrick Moore, GEPF Lecture, Oct 14, 2015
Social Benefit Of Carbon Is Ten To A Hundred Times The Estimated Social Cost
By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Oct 15, 2015
Problems in the Orthodoxy
As UN climate deal looms, pressure on nations to ditch demands
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Oct 16, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
“But that does not mean nations agree. The plan by Bolivia’s left-wing government, for example, says that ‘for a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.’”
[SEPP Comment: And replace it with subsistence living?]
Paris Climate Change Agreement: First draft ignores India’s demands
Elements to operationalise Prime Minister Modi’s call for climate justice missing
By Nitin Sethi, Business Standard [India], Oct 14, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Linguistic analysis of IPCC summaries for policymakers and associated coverage
By Barkemeyer et al. Nature Climate Change, Oct 12, 2015
Seeking a Common Ground
Adjudicating the future: silencing climate dissent via the courts
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Oct 11, 2015
How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 14, 2015
Associated Press dumps “denier” and “skeptic”. (The name calling made them look stupid). We’re keeping “skeptic”!
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 12, 2015
Conflicts of interest in climate science. Part II
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 12, 2015
Curry; “I don’t think the main problem is with the individual scientists (for the most part anyways); rather it is the institutions themselves (e.g. the administrators) that are a major part of the problem.”
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Ocean Acidification and Warming (Effects on Corals: Field Studies) – Summary
By Staff Writers, CO2 Science, Oct 14, 2015
“Most of the ocean acidification research conducted to date has focused solely on the biological impacts of declining seawater pH. Fewer studies have investigated the interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature. This summary examines what has been learned in several of such studies for coral reefs, as reported in various field-based studies on the topic. Contrary to what is widely assumed and reported, the studies reviewed here collectively reveal that many corals will remain unaffected by rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, in contrast to projections, some will likely experience growth and performance benefits.”
Interactive Effects of CO2, N, Water Regime and Sowing Date on Wheat
O’Leary, G.J., Christy, B., Nuttall, J., Huth, N., Cammarano, D., Stõckle, C., Basso, B., Shcherbak, I., Fitzgerald, G., Luo, Q., Farre-Codina, I., Palta, J. and Asseng, S. 2015. Response of wheat growth, grain yield and water use to elevated CO2 under a Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment and modelling in a semi-arid environment. Global Change Biology 21: 2670-2686. Oct 14, 2015
“A 135 ppm enrichment of atmospheric CO2 portends great benefits for the future production of wheat.”
Recent Carbon Dynamics in a Canadian Boreal Forest
Froelich, N., Croft, H., Chen, J.M., Gonsamo, A. and Staebler, R.M. 2015. Trends of carbon fluxes and climate over a mixed temperate-boreal transition forest in southern Ontario, Canada. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 211-212: 72-84. Oct 13, 2015
“Whatever the case may be, one thing is clear, the 1.5°C warming experienced in this boreal forest region did not produce the positive temperature feedback envisioned by the models. Instead of becoming a carbon source to the atmosphere, the Borden Forest became an increasingly great sink.”
The Rapid Evolution of Thermal Tolerance in a Warming World
Geerts, A.N., Vanoverbeke, J., Vanschoenwinkel, B., Van Doorslaer, W., Feuchtmayr, H., Atkinson, D., Moss, B., Davidson, T.A., Sayer, C.D. and De Meester, L. 2015. Rapid evolution of thermal tolerance in the water flea Daphnia. Nature Climate Change 5: 665-668. Oct 13, 2015
Models v. Observations
Don’t blame the sulphates
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 15, 2015
Link to paper: Impact of aerosol radiative effects on 2000–2010 surface temperatures.
By Gettelman, Shidell, and Lamarque, Climate Dynamics, Jan 6, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Another “missing heat” suspect cleared?]
Are We Chasing Imaginary Numbers?
Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Oct 9, 2015
September 2015 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly & Model-Data Difference Update
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Oct 14, 2015
El Nino 2015 Already 3rd Biggest Since 1950
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 11, 2015
Global warming may help alleviate China’s drought and flooding problems as monsoons move north, scientists say
Water-starved northern China could benefit as the thermal equator moves northward, bringing seasonal Asian rains upcountry, team finds
By Stephen Chen, South China Morning Post, Oct 16, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Link to paper: Warming-induced northwestward migration of the East Asian monsoon rain belt from the Last Glacial Maximum to the mid-Holocene
By Yang Shiling, et al, PNAS, Oct 12, 2015
Yellow River sediment offers insight into climate history
By Staff Writers, Uppsala, Sweden (SPX), Oct 13, 2015
Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms
By Staff Writers, Tucson AZ (SPX), Oct 13, 2015
“What we see in the paleoclimate record from the last 2,000 years is evidence that the Horn of Africa is drier when there are warm conditions on Earth, and wetter when it is colder,” said lead author Jessica Tierney, a UA associate professor of geosciences.
Scientists predict drier Horn of Africa as climate warms
By Megan Rowling, Reuters, Oct 9, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
The Horn of Africa is becoming drier in step with global warming, researchers said on Friday, contradicting some climate models predicting rainier weather patterns in a region that has suffered frequent food crises linked to drought.
[SEPP Comment: You choose your climate?]
Food chain collapse predicted in world’s oceans
By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 12, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“There will be a species collapse from the top of the food chain down.” ????
Claim: Global Warming will cause ocean food chains to collapse
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 14, 2015
Diary dates, megadeath edition
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 12, 2015
[SEPP Comment: How does one separate effects on the oceans from sulfuric acid and from CO2?]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
The ‘Arctic 21’ to call for renewed permafrost alarm ahead of Paris COP21, says ‘The Arctic is unraveling’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 13, 2015
Self-regulating corals protect their skeletons against ocean acidification
By Staff Writers, Perth, Australia (SPX) Oct 09, 2015
Link to paper: pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef
By Georgiou, et al, PNAS, Oct 1, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Not surprising for those who read NIPCC II – Biological Impacts.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
The African Breadbasket
By Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and KY Amoako, founder of the African Center for Economic Transformation, a Ghana-based think tank, Project Syndicate, Oct 16, 2015
“But for Africa, which boasts 60% of the world’s [uncultivated] arable land and climates conducive to a tremendous diversity of crops, striving to do so [providing for increased world population] represents a remarkable opportunity to ensure food security for Africans (one in four is undernourished) and boost its economy by becoming a major food exporter.”
“Africa remains a major food importer – low agricultural productivity contributes to the persistence of rural poverty, even as a middle class emerges in many of Africa’s cities.”
Bumper harvests release land for nature
Wheat yields hit new records thanks to precision farming
By Matt Ridley, His Blog, Oct 12, 2015
[SEPP Comment: The high yields are in a region with major capital investment for productivity.]
Golden Rice Moves Closer to Reality in Asia
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Oct 9, 2015
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Good news! Global temperature modeling says U.S. winter will be over sooner in the future
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 14, 2015
New study questions long-held theories of climate variability in the North Atlantic
Atmosphere appears to drive decades-long climate variations
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Oct 15, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Link to paper: The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation
By Clement, et al, Science, Oct 16, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Authors produced models showing AMO variability without ocean circulation changes.]
Potsdam Institute Director Schellnhuber Presents 60,000 Year Predictions! …A Prophet, Or Just Stark Raving Mad?
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 15, 2015
Scientists identify climate ‘tipping points’
By Staff Writers, Science Daily,, Oct 15, 2015
Link to paper: Catalogue of abrupt shifts in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate models.
By Drijfhout, PNAS, Oct 12, 2015
A screening of global climate models: “reveal evidence of 37 forced regional abrupt changes in the ocean, sea ice, snow cover, permafrost, and terrestrial biosphere that arise after a certain global temperature increase. Eighteen out of 37 events occur for global warming levels of less than 2°, a threshold sometimes presented as a safe limit. Although most models predict one or more such events, any specific occurrence typically appears in only a few models. We find no compelling evidence for a general relation between the overall number of abrupt shifts and the level of global warming.”
[SEPP Comment: If something appears in a model, is it real?]
Remember when Nature was a science journal?
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 15, 2015
Link to paper: Climate change: Climate justice more vital than democracy
By Ren, Goodsite, and Sovacool, Nature, Oct 14, 2015
The man the Royal Society honoured not once but twice
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 16, 2015
Royal Society: “Please give it up for the rogues”
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 14, 2015
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Glacial Erosion – the new climate scare?
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 10, 2015
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Could ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ happen?
Press Release by Staff Writers, Univ of Southampton, Oct 9, 2015
Professor Sybren said: “It can be excluded, however, that this hiatus period was solely caused by changes in atmospheric forcing, either due to volcanic eruptions, more aerosols emissions in Asia, or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in ocean circulation must have played an important role. Natural variations have counteracted the greenhouse effect for a decade or so, but I expect this period is over now.”
[SEPP Comment: Cutting-edge speculation?]
Manufactured PANIC: projected Antarctic ice shelf melting “may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 13, 2015
Link to paper: Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios
By Trusel, et al, Nature Geoscience, Oct 12, 2015
From the abstract: “Following rapid atmospheric warming over the past decades, Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have progressively retreated, at times catastrophically.”
[SEPP Comment: What rapid atmospheric warming??? Confuses the peninsula with the entire continent.]
Scientific Urban Legends
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Oct 11, 2015
Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope – Loyal Opposition
Pell vs Pope
By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, Oct 14, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Questioning European Green
Factories face switch-off to keep household lights on, National Grid warns
Rising risk of blackouts means factories may need to be paid to switch off on weekday evenings to keep household lights on
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Oct 15, 2015
[SEPP Comment: The energy margin has fallen from a peak of almost 17% in 2011/12 to 4% today.]
Gas Fired Power Stations In Crisis
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That
[SEPP Comment: Good graphics, power from erratic wind is over-valued, under-priced.]
Some policies to fight climate change have done more harm than good
The diesel scandal is the latest own goal for dirigisme
By Matt Ridley, His Blog, Oct 15, 2015
Escape from the World Bank
By Devesh Kapur, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Project Syndicate, Oct 16, 2015
“The World Bank will not disappear: there are too many vested interests (including academics and NGOs) eager for a share of other people’s money. But the Bank’s performance epitomizes how even well designed and well-built ships slow down as the barnacles build up, until they must cede the way to newer vessels.”
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Now ‘right moment’ for carbon tax: IMF chief
By Staff Writers, Lima (AFP), Oct 7, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Have the IMF and World Bank outlived their usefulness?]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA cracking down on emissions from air conditioners, refrigerators
By Tim Devaney, The Hill, Oct 15, 2015
Energy Issues – Non-US
Bill Gates calls fossil fuel divestment a ‘false solution’
Founder of Microsoft and the Gates foundation also accuses environmentalists of making misleading claims about the comparative price of solar
By Emma Howard, Guardian, UK, Oct 14, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Primary Energy Consumption: Fossil Fuels in the Driver’s Seat (Part I – Growth by Fuel)
By Kent Hawkins, Master Resource, Oct 12, 2015
Primary Energy Consumption (Part II—Electricity Sector)
By Kent Hawkins, Master Resource, Oct 13, 2015
The German Coal Conundrum:
The status of coal power in Germany’s energy transition
By Arne Jungjohann and Craig Morris, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Foundation, North America, No Date
Chart states Germany is 7th largest coal producing country.
Shift from fossil fuels risks popping ‘carbon bubble’: World Bank
By Staff Writers, Lima (AFP), Oct 10, 2015
Energy Issues — US
New England’s Power Shortage Gets Worse
By William Tucker, Real Clear Energy, Oct 16, 2015
Can ‘waterless fracking’ in New York sidestep Cuomo’s ban?
By Rob Nikolewski, Watchdog, Oct 12, 2015
By doing so, the group says it avoids the Cuomo administration’s ban on “high-volume hydraulic fracturing,” which means using 300,000 gallons or more of water.
[SEPP Comment: Water use for hydraulic fracturing may be one time, or a few times.]
Importance of Lighting Revolution & Energy Efficiency
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 16, 2015
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
The Copernican Shale Revolution
By Martin Sanbu, Financial Times, UK, Oct 16, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Link to speech: New Economics of Oil
By Spencer Dale, Group chief economist, BP, Society of Business Economists Annual Conference, Oct 13, 2015
The End of the Oil Major?
By James Stafford, Real Clear Energy, Oct 14, 2015
Oil Bust? Bah — North Dakota Is Still Poised To Thrive
By Joel Kotkin, Forbes, Oct 13, 2015
Return of King Coal?
Australia’s coal exports set to rise as south-east Asia demand surges
By Ben Potter, Financial Times, [AU] Oct 13, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
Governments Won’t Pursue More Money From Exxon Over Valdez Spill
Alaskan, U.S. authorities won’t seek $92 million from company because ducks, sea otters have recovered
By Staff Writers, AP, Oct 14, 2015
[SEPP Comment: After 26 years.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
China eyes 110 nuke plants by 2030
By Kou Jie (Global Times) People’s Daily, Oct 16, 2015
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Costs and Dangers of Wind Turbine Failures
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 13, 2015
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Ethanol: A Danger To The Environment And Our Economy
By Mark Perry, IBD, Oct 13, 2015
Tidal Lagoon Desperately Needs “Mouth Watering Subsidy”!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 15, 2015
Canadian firm opens facility to pull carbon from air
By Deborah Jones, (AFP) Oct 10, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Pre-tax, pre-subsidy, costs should be interesting.]
CARB’s New Power (Reagan’s creation still haunts us)
By Robert Michaels, Master Resource, Oct 17, 2015
Anti-frackers reported to watchdog over shale gas revolution cancer claims
The Energy Minister says eco campaigners are living in a fantasy world
By Steve Hawkes, Sun (UK), Oct 13, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Cruz Chills Clueless Sierra Club Wth Climate Facts
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 12, 2015
Counter-Point: Activists Operate By Outrage, Not Fear
By Andras Baneth, ACSH, Oct 9, 2015
Four Fallacies That Fracktivists Use To Scare You
By Alex Epstein, Forbes, Oct 15, 2015
Standing up for science [GMO Crops]
Editorial, Nature Biotechnology, Oct 8, 2015
Other Scientific News
Explaining the Latest Nobel Prize in Physics
By Thomas P. Sheahen, American Thinker, Oct 14, 2015
Why Is Physics Beautiful?
By Frank Wilczek, Professor of Physics at MIT, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, Project Syndicate, Oct 14, 2015
Other News that May Be of Interest
Weak States, Poor Countries
By Angus Deaton, Nobel laurate, economics, 2015, Project Syndicate, Oct 12, 2015
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Could candle soot power electric vehicles
By Staff Writers, Amsterdam, Netherlands (SPX), Oct 08, 2015
Hopeful news at last – the U.N. is becoming irrelevant!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 16, 2015
Stream: Scientists Claim Zapping Brains With Magnets Can Treat Belief In God
By William Briggs, His Blog, Oct 16, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Right there with treating diseases with magnets so weak that their effects can be barely measured.]