Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #203

The Week That Was: 2015-10-31 (October 31, 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)

Model Logic: Some readers of TWTW have commented that their colleagues dismiss the objections raised by TWTW, and others, to the global climate models, and their results. They say: “The basic physics is straight-forward and the logic in the models is solid.” As Galileo demonstrated in his famous experiment of using two balls of significantly different weight to test gravity, this is only part of the issue. The key part of the issue is what do empirically verifiable experiments demonstrate? Contrary to the prevailing logic of the time, both balls hit the ground together.

Similarly, a model may be developed with great rigor and detail, but if it cannot predict well, there is something wrong with the model. Richard Feynman summed the problem neatly: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

In general, global climate models are failing to predict short-run changes in temperatures, particularly in the atmosphere where we have the most comprehensive observations. The models predict a significantly greater warming trend than observed. If the models cannot predict short-term temperatures, there is no logical reason to assume they can predict long-term temperatures. Since the fifth assessment report (AR-5, 2013) by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have seen many explanations attempting to explain what is called the “missing heat.” The important question remains: is the “missing heat” an artifact of the models, and not missing in nature?

Members of the Apollo group had to correctly model the lunar landing, using primitive computers and similar tools. Some members of the Apollo missions have studied the global warming/climate change issue and suggested that IPCC approached the issue incorrectly.

Climate has been changing naturally for hundreds of millions of years, without human influence. The correct issue is: what is the human influence on natural climate change? The Apollo veterans on the Right Climate Stuff Team have stated that public policy should be based on validated climate model(s), and no model has been validated.

To correctly model the human influence on global warming/climate change, one must correctly model the natural causes of climate change. The IPCC has failed to do so. See links under Challenging the Orthodox and Model Issues.


Quote of the Week: “The history of science alone can keep the physicist from the mad ambitions of dogmatism as well as the despair of pyrrhonian scepticism.” [Nothing can be known for certain – one should not affirm or deny any belief] Pierre Duhem, The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory [H/t Bob Kurland, from William Briggs]


Number of the Week: 47%


Hiatus – the Pause: Writing for the Global Warming Policy Forum, David Whitehouse gives an excellent overview of the status of the warming hiatus – the pause in warming for over a decade that was not predicted in the global climate models. Depending on how one analyzes the data, the pause can extend to 18 years or more. SEPP examines atmospheric data, without any trend lines, and considers the pause to start in the early part of the 21st century. As discussed below, Tom Karl, head of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), now called the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), which remains under the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tried to adjust this pause out of existence, with limited success, except in the popular press.

In his article, Whitehead links to six recent, readable papers, of which five recognize the hiatus and seek to explain it. Of particular note is a paper by Gerald Meehl of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), who thinks that the pause may be due to the natural variability in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which was first reported as an influence on salmon populations less than 20 years ago. The PDO influences surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, north of 20 degrees N. Trends have been reconstructed to before the year 1000 and it is thought that several shifts in the 20th century resulted in significant shifts in global temperature trends.

In its Summary for Policymakers in AR-5, the IPCC did not account for shifts in the PDO, even though trends of warming than cooling last 30 years or more, a customary cut-off time for differentiating between climate changes and weather changes. There are numerous explanations for changes in the PDO that yet need to be resolved before any reliance can be placed on a particular cause.

According to Whitehouse: “The hiatus is one of the most important topics in climate science. The data shows us something very interesting is happening and many scientists, looking at many aspects of the environment, are producing amazing research in pursuit of an explanation. It will not be explained or dismissed by this or that paper, and the latest one championed in the media is unlikely to last long.

“The hiatus is not only telling us something about the importance of natural climatic variations but also about the polarisation of science exemplified by questions like whose side are you on.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Pink Flamingo: The October 24 TWTW discussed the concept of Pink Flamingos, which was brought up by Judith Curry on Climate Etc. Applied to climate science, pink flamingos can be considered as bright issues and deficiencies that Western national leaders are ignoring in their efforts to control carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Curry mentions past warm trends, such as the one early in the 20th century, which is ignored by the IPCC and the government entities which support it, including the US Global Change Research Program.

Another pink flamingo would be the misleading effort in the Third Assessment Report (AR-3, 2001) to use Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick to suppress the Medieval Warm Period:

“New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year (Figure 1b) [Mann’s hockey-stick]. Because less data are available, less is known about annual averages prior to 1,000 years before present and for conditions prevailing in most of the Southern Hemisphere prior to 1861.”

Other pink flamingos can include the government’s promotion of unreliable, untrustworthy wind and solar power for electricity over reliable fossil fuels. Some of these pink flamingos apply to the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare (Endangerment Finding). For the next several weeks, TWTW will highlight additional pink flamingos as the national delegates prepare for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled between November 30 and December 11 in Paris. See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy and http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/


Corn Harvests: At a forum given by the CATO Institute, “Preparing for Paris: What to Expect from the U.N.’s 2015 Climate Change Conference,” Roy Spencer brought up another pink flamingo that is often overlooked – the enormous increase in yields of corn in the US and globally. Spencer presents the world wheat, soybean and corn yields, with trends, from 1960 to 2011. If there is any negative trend due to climate change (doubtful) it has been overwhelmed by technology, better farming practices, and enhanced CO2.

Spencer also presents the U.S. Corn Belt Temperatures (June/July/August) from 1900 to 2013 from the USHCN (US Historical Climatology Network) data. The 1930s was by far the hottest decade. But the average from 42 CMIP5 models shows a non-existent warming trend, which by 2020 exceeds the 1930s. Do US government entities which prepare the models estimating the social cost of carbon even look at the data on US harvests?

On another note, a new study suggests that high food prices in Syria and elsewhere are more a result of diversion of food to conversion to biofuels, ethanol, and speculation than drought and poor harvests. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – Pink Flamingos, Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine, and http://www.cato.org/events/preparing-paris-what-expect-uns-2015-climate-change-conference


COP 21: It is becoming evident that the big conference in Paris, COP-21, will not be about science but about economics and money, who pays whom and how much? The Indian press has been refreshingly frank. If the West expects to suppress the economic development in India, it has to pay. Promises are not enough.

Though it is not blatant, there appears to be significant skepticism in India over IPCC science. Skepticism is understandable after Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, the then-head of the IPCC, made insulting remarks regarding a study produced by some of the most noted experts in the world on the Himalayan glaciers refuting a claim in IPCC’s AR-4 that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035.

Reuters, the news organization, carried an article stating that President Putin of Russia does not believe the IPCC’s version that global warming is caused by human emissions of CO2. The articles was picked up by the New York Times, implying that Mr. Putin is controlling the press. The article does mention that Putin’s skepticism dates back to early 2000s when a number of scientists concluded that the human role in global warming/climate change is very limited. This view seems to be re-enforced by some Russian solar scientists who have expressed the possibility of a global cooling coming from declining activity of the sun. A significant cooling could be devastating to Russia. See links under On to Paris and Problems in the Orthodoxy.


Defense of Karl: As mention above, Thomas Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) of NOAA and his team made adjustments to the historical temperature records. Representative Lamar Smith, who leads the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, asked NOAA for the data used in the study and for any internal communications related to it

Mr. Karl refused to respond to a congressional subpoena for documents relating the recent adjustments to historic temperature records. According to an article in Nature, the adjustment corrected biases in the agency’s record and the revised record showed temperatures rising consistently. Other independent analysts disagree, and point out that NOAA has a history of raising warming trends by lowering earlier temperatures in the record. There seems to be no publicly visible control over the adjustments and their frequency.

The Nature article quotes a representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a political advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who claims the investigation confounds government science with politics. This is a characteristic of the advocacy group in its opposition to fossil fuels and nuclear and its claims that solar, wind, and geothermal are substitutes. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear, which generate reliable electricity; solar and wind are very erratic and unreliable in the generation of electricity and geothermal is very limited in the US.

The article states that a NOAA spokeswoman stated that the peer review of the paper should be sufficient. This is amusing coming from Nature. Mr. Mann’s influential hockey-stick paper was peer-reviewed when published in Nature, yet it has been dropped even from IPCC reports, without a retraction.

Congress can argue that it needs to investigate under the Data Quality Act. The example of Mr. Mann illustrates that peer-review is a poor substitute. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues.


Ocean Acidification: A BBC report hit a new low: “Sir Mark Walport warns that the acidity of the oceans has increased by about 25% since the industrial revolution, mainly thanks to manmade emissions.” The oceans are alkaline, except in rare locations, and they remain alkaline (pH above 7). A pH of 7 is neutral; anything above is alkaline and anything below is acid. An alkaline solution can be considered to have a negative acidity. One increases the acidity, by reducing the alkalinity (the negative acidity). See link under Acidic Waters.


Number of the Week: 47%. Writing in Power For USA, Donn Dears links to a report by the US National Academy of Science estimating that the natural occurring seepages result in about 47% of all petroleum hydrocarbons annually entering the world’s oceans, for the period 1990 to 1999. Naturally occurring seepages are about 15 times larger than spills from oil exploration and production. Naturally occurring microbes consume these seepages.

The BP Macondo fire and spill created a significant temporary overload in the Gulf of Mexico, which experiences about 70,000 tonnes, 513,000 barrels per year. The spill resulted in an estimated 4.9 million barrels. Yet, the existing microbes quickly responded and feasted.



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. The EPA Deserves a Stay

The agency tries to run out the clock on its ‘Clean Power’ diktat.

Editorial, WSJ, Oct 29, 2015


SUMMARY: The editorial argues that the Administration deliberately delayed publishing its new rules for power plants because “states must rush to start the slow, capital-intensive and irrevocable transition away from fossil fuels over the next year or so to meet their 2020 “interim” targets. Even if the CPP is repealed by the next Administration, or junked by the courts, they’re hoping to intimidate the states and dictate the U.S. energy mix for a generation.”

The 26 states and private plaintiffs “can demonstrate immediate and permanent injury. The EPA’s own models show utilities will shed 233 coal-fired power plants in 2016 alone, or 20% of the grid’s remaining coal generation. Some marginal generators like rural electric nonprofit cooperatives may go under.

“The plaintiffs are also likely to prevail on the legal merits, both statutory and constitutional. The 2,000-page CPP is conjured from a couple hundred words in a subsection of a 38-year-old statute about “best systems of emissions reduction.” Traditionally, this has meant technology that can be installed on a given site, like scrubbers.


“Now the EPA is rewriting the definition to direct states to regulate “outside the fence line” of power plants well beyond the best tech. They must not only decommission sources of carbon energy, but they must also run the green gamut from mandating a new fleet of wind and solar, building new transmission lines, creating more efficiency subsidy programs for consumers and much else. On a rewrite so grandiose, the EPA has earned a stay and deserves no administrative deference.


“Such a claim of authority with no limiting principle will naturally expand over time. Under the pretext of regulating power plants, can the EPA instruct states to adopt green-city building codes that curtail the use of CO2-heavy cement? How about an organic fertilizer mandate for agriculture, or controls on “enteric fermentation”—er, flatulence—in cattle and other livestock? The EPA has entertained all of these possibilities in draft documents, and no sphere of public or private life will be spared.”


2. It’s Always Exxon’s Fault

Why climate warriors keep returning to the same whipping boy.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, Oct 27, 2015


SUMMARY: Jenkins goes over reports on the website InsideClimateNews.org that are repeated in the Los Angeles Times and other media organs. Some of the issues are:

“Because Exxon concerned itself with how a warming Arctic might affect the safety of its pipelines and drilling structures there, Exxon is a hypocrite on climate change.


“Because Exxon refrained from developing an Indonesian gas field that would have meant releasing or capturing a large amount of associated carbon dioxide, Exxon is a hypocrite on climate change.


“Exxon, in the early 1980s, adapted then-existing climate models to estimate that a doubling of atmospheric carbon would lead to a temperature increase of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius. Then as now the company also judged such models not reliable enough to serve as the basis for large and costly policy actions. So Exxon is a hypocrite.


“Here’s the interesting part. These studies took place 35 years ago. In completely unrelated comments, nobody’s idea of a “denier,” Harvard’s Martin Weitzman, co-author of the book “Climate Shock,” recently complained about the lack of climate modeling progress in “35 years.” He cited the U.N. climate panel’s latest temperature forecast, which is identical (i.e., unimproved in precision) to Exxon’s three decades earlier.


”The real smoking gun isn’t the Exxon revelations but the climate community’s hysterical reaction to them. Veteran campaigner Bill McKibben and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders demand the Obama administration launch a criminal investigation.”


3. Saudi Arabia Considers Cutting Energy Subsidies

The world’s top crude-oil exporter is considering raising its domestic prices

By Ahmed Al Omran and Summer Said, WSJ, Oct 27, 2015


SUMMARY: The oil minister of Saudi Arabia has openly stated that it is considering reducing the subsidies on energy in the near term.

“The country currently spends around $86 billion a year on subsidies for petroleum products like motor fuel, making a gallon of regular gasoline cost about 46 cents.”


“Saudi Arabia is grappling with oil prices that have fallen by nearly half in the past year. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the state-owned oil giant known as Saudi Aramco, has been producing record levels of crude, topping 10 million barrels a day for much of the year as the kingdom competes to maintain its share of the global market. About 25% of the kingdom’s oil is consumed domestically, for electricity, automobile fuel and other uses.


“Saudi Arabia faces a budget gap this year that its central bank chief said was expected to exceed the originally projected 145 billion riyals ($39.9 billion). The kingdom in July issued its first sovereign bonds since 2007 to cover a budget deficit caused by low oil prices.


“Other big oil-producing countries have moved to slash energy subsidies this year, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Angola, Gabon and Indonesia. In Egypt, the government action led to the price of mainstream fuel products rising by almost 80%.



Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Extreme solar storms hit Earth in 774 and 993AD — What would happen if one hit now?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 29, 2015


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

Vermont climate scientist wants RICO prosecutions of climate change opponents

By Bruce Parker, Vermont Watchdog.org, Sep 24, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]


What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 3, Exxon: The Fork Not Taken)

Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 24, 2015


“Mr. Raymond was correct. The models have been “notoriously inaccurate.” However, they have been very precise in their inaccuracies…”

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

Skeptical Climate Scientists Fire Back at RICO 20 Colleagues: Demand Investigations Against Their Warmist Accusers

By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, Oct 30, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013


Summary: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/pdf/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

NIPCC’s reply to Physics Today (that they won’t even acknowledge)

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 24, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy

David Whitehouse: The Hiatus And The Hostage

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Oct 29, 2015


Link to papers: Understanding the Earth’s Climate Warming Hiatus: Putting the pieces together

Guest Editors, Dimitris Menemenlis and Janet Sprintall, US Climate Variation and Predictability, Summer, 2015


Water Vapour: The Big Wet Elephant In The Room

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Oct 24, 2015


New Science 15: Modeling outgoing radiation (OLR)

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 25, 2015


New Science 16: Building the alternative model and why it solves so many major problems

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 29, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy – Pink Flamingos

The Next Great Famine…or Age of Abundance?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 18, 2015


Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Apr 27, 2014


Defending the Orthodoxy

US science agency refuses request for climate records

House of Representatives committee is demanding documents relating to a study that refuted a global-warming ‘hiatus’.

By Jeff Tollefson, Nature, Oct 28, 2015


Finance, compensation shaping up as endgame issues for Paris climate deal

By Lisa Friedman, E&E, Climate Wire, Oct 26, 2015


Climate pact: The rocky road to Paris… and beyond

By Mariette Le Roux, AFP, Oct 24, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


The Climate’s Point of No Return

Javier Solana was EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain, Project Syndicate, Oct 29, 2015


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Why Watchful Waiting Is the Best Response to Climate Alarmism

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 23, 2015


Pink flamingos versus black swans

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 19, 2015


“Thanks to Hubert Lamb and others, an evolving understanding of climate variability over the past millennia had evolved. Michael Mann arguably killed the climate pink flamingo with his hockey stick — arguing for trivial natural variability over the past millennia.

This understanding of natural variability was ignored, particularly in the TAR and AR4, “due to cognitive biases of a senior leader or a group of leaders trapped by powerful institutional forces.” — “known knowns,” often brightly lit, but remaining studiously ignored by policymakers.”

Climate Rationalization, Beliefs and Denialism

Guest essay by Walter Starck, WUWT, Oct 26, 2015


Did We Really Save the Ozone Layer?

Guest essay by Steve Goreham, WUWT, Oct 26, 2015


The Evolution of Everything,

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 26, 2015


“So with this book, Ridley sets the philosophical cat well and truly among the pigeons, and those who make their living in the world of top-down plans are up in arms.”

The China – US Agreement?

China’s Climate Plan

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 27, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Apparently the leaders of China do not think renewables are as cheap as Mr. Obama believes.]

On to Paris!

COP this

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 25, 2015


“But French taxpayers will be delighted to know…”

[SEPP Comment: Who pays?]

India asks rich nations to come out with a clear roadmap on climate finance

By Vishwa Mohan, The Times of India, Oct 27, 2015


UN: Climate pledges won’t meet key goal

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 30, 2015


Obama, Xi, Modi to attend Paris climate summit

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 27, 2015


The Administration’s Plan

Administration wants to hold off court’s climate ruling until after UN talks

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 28, 2015


The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis

The White House business climate

Firms that take the president’s global warming pledge stand to profit

By Anthony Sadar, Washington Times, Oct 28, 2015


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Russian President Believes Global Warming ‘Is A Fraud To Restrain Developing Nations’

By Andrey Kuzmin, NYT, Via GWPF, Oct 29, 2015


Russian Media Take Climate Cue from Skeptical Putin

By Andrey Kuzmin, Reuters, Oct 29, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Repeated in the New York Times (above).]

Climate talks fail to clear major obstacles ahead of Paris summit

Negotiators at Bonn climate talks fail to make the compromises needed for a meaningful agreement in Paris

By Joydeep Gupta, India Climate Dialogue, Oct 27, 2015


Polish president says won’t ratify Kyoto carbon-cutting pact

By Staff Writers, EurActiv, Oct 27, 2015


Restricting Energy Options in India is Wickedly Cruel

By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Oct 25, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


“Let’s be honest, rich California has spent tens of billions of dollars over the past 12 years on wind and solar, but the two still just constitute a respective 6% and 5% of total power generation, while natural gas’ share of electricity has surged from 47% to 61%. Moreover, wind and solar are strictly sources of electricity, which accounts for just 40% of India’s energy demand.

“Thus, wind and solar have nothing to do with 60% of the energy that India consumes – a reality that conveniently gets forgotten. For example, wind and solar do nothing to displace oil, the world’s most vital fuel.

“In one of the most critical articles on electricity ever written, our best experts at Carnegie Mellon’s Electricity Industry Center warned us long ago about the public backlash of forced renewables at all costs. As it turns out, poor people in particular are against higher cost, less reliable energy.”

[SEPP Comment: Good graphics describing the energy differences between India and US on a per capita basis.]

Seeking a Common Ground

Adjudicating scientific disputes in climate science

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 29, 2015


“Lucas Bergkamp is providing valuable perspectives on these cases and the broader issues. As we saw in the Minnesota case, consensus does not rule, but rather there are two sides that are given equal time. The sad thing is that the scientific community seems more focused on silencing dissent. Perhaps the courts have something to offer on the climate science debates.”

Global Warming: Why are Environmentalists Failing and What Mankind Can Do About It

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 26, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Mass is not one skeptical of the concept that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming.]

Models v. Observations

John Christy, Climate Scientist, to President’s Council on Environmental Quality (May 13, 2015, testimony)

By Staff Writers, Before Its News, Jun 1, 2015


“On average the models warm the global atmosphere at a rate three times that of the real world.”

Too hot to live in the Gulf? Don’t be so sure

By Daniel Bardsley, The National, UAE, Oct 27, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Model Issues

The Right Climate Stuff

By Members of the Team, February 2014



Climate: Throwing Uncertainty for a Loop?

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 27, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Measurement Issues

Dissent in the climate ranks over Karl’s “pause buster” temperature data tweaking

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 27, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Is it disagreement or deceit?]

Karl et al. do not know that we have two hiatuses, not one

Guest essay by Arno Arrak, WUWT, Oct 29, 2015


Did Federal Agency [NOAA] Commit Climate Fraud? Sure Looks Like It

Editorial, IBD, Oct 28, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See links immediately above.]

Why is NOAA withholding climate documents from Congress?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is refusing to answer a subpoena from a congressional committee. Some scientists say that the motive behind the subpoena is a congressman’s unhappiness with the conclusion of a study on climate change.

By Story Hinckley, Christian Science Monitor, Oct 28, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Arctic snow not darkening due to soot, dust

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Oct 30, 2015


Link to paper: Neither dust nor black carbon causing apparent albedo decline in Greenland’s dry snow zone; implications for MODIS C5 surface reflectance

By Polashenski, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, Oct 29, 2015


“A new study shows that degrading satellite sensors, not soot or dust, are responsible for the apparent decline in reflectivity of inland ice across northern Greenland.”

Changing Weather

Hurricane Patricia Aftermath

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 27, 2015


What if the ‘Godzilla’ El Niño is a dud?

By Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, Oct 26, 2015 [H/t WUWT]


Two Types of El Nino: Central-Pacific El Nino and Eastern-Pacific El Nino

By Jin-Yi Yu, Professor Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, No date [H/t No Tricks Zone]


Trends in extreme rainfall events

Guest essay by Philip Lloyd, WUWT, Oct 28, 2015


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Ice thickness in the Northwest Passage

By Hass and Howell, Geophysical Research Letters, Sep 25, 2015 [H/t Dennis Ambler]


“We present results of the first ever airborne electromagnetic ice thickness surveys over the NWP carried out in April and May 2011 and 2015 over first-year and multiyear ice. These show modal thicknesses between 1.8 and 2.0 m in all regions. Mean thicknesses over 3 m and thick…”

[SEPP Comment: Don’t book your summer cruise yet!]

Is Greenland Really Melting?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 29, 2015


“Or that, according to ice cores in Greenland, the 19th C was the coldest period since the end of the Ice Age. Why anybody should be surprised a very small amount of warming since then baffles me.”

2015 may be the earliest in many years that W. Hudson Bay polar bears head for the sea ice

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Oct 29, 2015


Elevation change of the Greenland ice sheet due to surface mass balance and firn processes, 1960–2013

By Munneke et al, The Cryosphere, Jun 30, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Not accelerated melting as the popular press claims.]

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

By Maria-José Viñas, NASA, Oct 30, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


“Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”

[SEPP Comment: No surprise here!]

Acidic Waters

Science chief warns on acid oceans

By Roger Harrabin, BBC, Oct 24, 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

The role of food prices in the Syrian crisis, and the way forward

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Oct 27, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Link to paper: Accurate market price formation model with both supply-demand and trend-following for global food prices providing policy recommendations

By Lagi, Bar-Yam, Bertrand, and Bar-Yam, PNAS, Oct 26, 2015


Full Paper: The Food Crises: A Quantitative Model of Food Prices Including Speculators and Ethanol Conversion

By Lagi, Bar-Yam, Bertrand, and Bar-Yam, New England, Complex Systems Institute, Sep 21, 2011


Who wants my corn? U.S. farmers grapple with another super crop

By Karl Plume and Tom Polansek, Reuters, Oct 27, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Lowering Standards

Hyper guilt trip time: Global warming linked to the health of children!

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 25, 2015


Link to announcement: Global warming linked to the health of children

Pediatricians play important role in discussing impacts and solutions to international crisis

By Staff Writers, American Academy of Pediatrics, Oct 26, 2015


Nonsense number of the month – 1.21

By John Brignell, Number Watch, Oct 30, 2015


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

NY Times: Greenland Is Melting!

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Oct 27, 2015


USGS ties quakes to Oklahoma oil production

By Daniel J. Graeber, Reston, Va. (UPI), Oct 21, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Poor writing or politicized writing? It is not the oil production but the injection of waste water that appears to be the problem.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Debunking The “97%” Consensus Claims – Part I

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 28, 2015


Cook’s 97% Scam Debunked

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 29, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]

Cooking stove use, housing associations, white males, and the 97%

By José L. Duarte, His Blog, Aug 28, 2014


Claim: Climate Change Responsible for Severe Flooding in the Nile Delta

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 27, 2015


[SEPP Comment: At least since the Old Kingdom, about 4700 years ago.]

Claim: 170F (76C) Heat waves will make Persian Gulf Uninhabitable by 2100

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 27, 2015


Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope – Loyal Opposition

Bishops Demand World-Wide Decarbonization. Seriously?

The bishops who call for the ‘end of the fossil fuel era’ and world-wide decarbonization do not have enough scientific knowledge to know that this could be deadly.

By William Briggs, The Stream, Oct 29, 2015


The Catholic Church: Midwife Of Science. Guest Post by Bob Kurland

By Bob Kurland, William Briggs’ Blog, Oct 30, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above for the opposition Briggs expresses towards the recent proclamations of the Pope.]

Decarbonize Humanity’s Energy Systems by 2050? Madness! Utter Madness

By Calvin Beisner, Townhall, Oct 29, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Questioning European Green

CCC Publish Power Scenarios For 2028-32

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 30, 2015


Link to report: Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget

By Staff Writers, Committee on Climate Change, Oct 22, 2015


Steel industry granted some valuable breathing space from EU

Plants in Scunthorpe and Port Talbot will now be given until the middle of 2019 to meet Industrial Emissions Directive requirements

By Michael Bow, Independent, UK, Oct 28, 2015


Funding Issues

Hypocrisy at universities over oil company funding/divestment

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 27, 2015


Just what is DFiD spending money on?

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 29, 2015


“On a whim, I downloaded the monthly expenditure details from the Department for International Development for August 2015, the most recent figures available.

“WWF seem to have been getting as much as £3-4m per year in the past. The figure above suggests that this has not changed much. Given what we know about WWF removing people from their homes to make way for wildlife (1, 2), you have to say that this is a pretty odd definition of ‘development’.”

The Political Games Continue

Agency won’t give GOP internal docs on climate research

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 28, 2015


Climate Wars: Gov’t Scientists Refuse To Hand Over Internal Records To Lawmakers

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller Oct 28, 2015


NCDC/NCEI’s Karl and Peterson refuse congressional subpoena on flawed ‘pausebuster’ paper

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 28, 2015


NOAA won’t comply with House subpoena on global warming

By Kyle Feldscher, Washington Examiner, Oct 28, 2015


Hillary joins calls for federal probe of Exxon climate change research

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 29, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Government reports place the US spending on climate science to be at least $40 Billion. Yet, the researchers have not developed a validated model. What are they trying to hide?]

No, Bernie Sanders, Exxon Did Not Lie About Global Warming

By James Taylor, Forbes, Oct 26, 2015


Litigation Issues

Five states sue over EPA’s ozone rule

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Oct 28, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Separate from the 26 states which sued over the Administration’s power plan.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Climate change deal will not include global carbon price: U.N. climate chief

By Nina Chestney, Reuters, Oct 27, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Government to cut tax relief for community green energy schemes

Treasury unexpectedly axes incentive for building new renewable energy sources, on top of previously announced subsidy cuts

By Aisha Gani, The Guardian, UK, Oct 28, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


EPA and other Regulators on the March

We Need Protection From the EPA

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 26, 2015


EPA Poised to Push Consumers Into The Blend Wall

By Mark Green, Energy Tomorrow, Oct 28, 2015


Next month EPA is scheduled to finalize 2014, 2015 and 2016 ethanol-use requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – and where EPA sets the volume standards could have big impacts on consumers and our economy

Trends in Federal Funding and Cleanup of EPA’s Nonfederal National Priorities List Sites

By Staff Writers, GAO, Oct 26, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: As appropriations decline, EPA funding of clean-up declines faster. Why?]

Energy Issues – Non-US

How Long Can OPEC Last?

By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Oct 28, 2015


[SEPP Comment: In the unlikely event things continue without governments taking action.]

Saudi Arabia to run out of cash in less than 5 years

By Matt Egan, CNN, Oct 25, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Doubtful!]

India Will Be Big Consumer of Air Conditioning

By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Oct 31, 2015


Energy Issues — US

The Grid and Sandy

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 27, 2015


Fracking More Eco-Friendly Then Originally Thought

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Oct 9, 2015


The Myth Of America’s Addiction To Oil

By Michael Lynch, Forbes, Oct 25, 2015


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Cheniere expects to ship first U.S. LNG export cargo in Jan

By Florence Tan, Reuters, Oct 26, 2015


France secures more LNG from United States

By Daniel J. Graeber, Paris (UPI), Oct 28, 2015


Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Damage from Oil Spills in Marine Waters

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 30, 2015


Natural seepages 47%

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Half of Reactors Under Construction Are in China

By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Oct 29, 2015


Momentum at last for UK nuclear industry?

By Jean Llewellyn, WNN, Oct 27, 2015


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind Power & Avoided Energy Costs

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 24, 2015


AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: October 26, 2015

By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Oct 26, 2015


An Ill-Wind Energy Blows

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Oct 6, 2015


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Food and witches to burn,

By Patrick Michaels, The Hill, Oct 29, 2015


Carbon Schemes

Kemper IGCC Celebrates Key Milestone, Suffers New Cost Increases

By Sonal Patel, Power, Oct 28, 2015


Swiss Company Aims to Build Commercial Scale Direct Air Carbon Capture Plant

By Gail Reitenbach, Power Mag, Oct 22, 2015


“Rather than using the captured greenhouse gas for injection in enhanced oil recovery operations or geologic sequestration, as is the case with the two Canadian projects mentioned, the Climeworks project plans to sell the captured CO2 to a greenhouse to enhance the growth of vegetables and lettuce by up to 20%.”

[SEPP Comment: The costs will be interesting.]

California Dreaming

California’s Hidden Coal Use

By Staff Writers, IER, Oct 22, 2015


California Copes with Solar Energy

By William Tucker, Real Clear Energy, Oct 30, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Discusses the energy density issue, or how much land is required.]

Environmental Industry

Study Impugning Pesticides Besieged With Bugs

By Gil Ross, ACSH, Oct 26, 2015


Other Scientific News or Issues

Study reveals origin of organic matter in Apollo lunar samples

By Staff Writers, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Oct 29, 2015


Big effort to better understand bats takes wing in 31 states

By Keith Ridler, AP, Oct 27, 2015


Data Do Not Have Means: Or, The Deadly Sin of Reification Strikes Again!

By William Briggs, His Blog, Oct 28, 2015


To say data has a mean or any other probabilistic characteristic is thus always a fallacy. Data always has a cause or causes, of course, and knowledge of these causes is always our real goal. Probability doesn’t get us to this goal. Knowledge of cause can.

[SEPP Comment: Technical— the calculation of a mean from a time series data set does not imply that the mean is defined by the times series data used. The mean is a human construct applied to the time series data set.]

For Discussion: Can convection neutralize the effect of greenhouse gases?

By Jo Nova and Stephen Wilde, Her Blog, Oct 24, 2015


Plague in humans ‘twice as old’ but didn’t begin as flea-borne, ancient DNA reveals

By Staff Writers, Cambridge, UK (SPX), Oct 26, 2015


Other News that May Be of Interest

Who will watch the watchmen? A reply to Lord Carnwath and Philippe Sands QC on climate change and the law

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Oct 26, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Long essay on law and justice.]

Blimp gets loose from Aberdeen Proving Ground

By Staff Writers, ABC, Oct 28, 2015


Runaway military blimp causes power outages in US

By Thomas Watkins, Washington (AFP) Oct 28, 2015


Virtuous Capitalism (versus rent-seeking)

By Ryan Young, Master Resource, Oct 29, 2015


Winemakers will survive, international body says of climate change

By Sybille de La Hamaide and Pascale Denis, Reuters, Oct 28, 2015




German Town Of Gescher Installs 5 Solar Street Lamps That Don’t Work At Night – For 28,000 Euros!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone Oct 26, 2015


DOE issues press release: The Halloween Pumpkin Climate Menace (no, really)

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 29, 2015


Last chance! – Bonn, 2001

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions, Oct 30, 2015


A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance. That teetering edifice that is the Kyoto Protocol gets some emergency repair work this week as delegates from 180 countries gather in Bonn to work out problems that threaten to scuttle the deal altogether.

Time Magazine, 16 Jul 2001

Last chance! – Montreal, 2005

With time running out for the global climate, your meeting in Montreal represents a last chance for action.”

The Independent, 28 Nov 2005

Last chance! – Bali, 2007

Bali could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming, said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth.

The New Zealand Herald, 3 Dec 2007

Last chance! – Poznan, Poland, 2008

“This round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem.”

The Age, 9 Dec 2008

Last chance! – Poznan, Poland, 2008

“Governments in Poznan must agree to peak and decline global emissions well before 2020 to give people reasonable hope that global warming can still be kept within limits that prevent the worst,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF’s global climate initiative.

WWF, “Poznan provides last chance to curb climate change” 5 Dec 2008

Last chance! – Copenhagen, 2009

It is now 12 years since Kyoto was created. This makes Copenhagen the world’s last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told a climate conference in Budapest on Friday.

Reuters, Feb 27 2009

For the collection of Last Chances see: http://climatechangepredictions.org/


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November 2, 2015 2:11 am

There are lots of excuses for the Pause

November 2, 2015 3:33 am

“there appears to be significant skepticism in India over IPCC science” I posted on a Times of India CAGW story recently, and was amazed that almost all of the many posters supported drastic action by India to reduce emissions. While those reading and posting at the Times are likely to be from the more affluent strata, the great mass of the peasantry probably give it no thought, so your assessment might not be correct. I did post some corrective comments about the reality of alleged CAGW and what India’s priorities might be. Not all (?none) were well received.

November 2, 2015 3:44 am

Ocean Acidification: A BBC report hit a new low: “Sir Mark Walport warns that the acidity of the oceans has increased by about 25% since the industrial revolution, mainly thanks to manmade emissions.” The oceans are alkaline, except in rare locations, and they remain alkaline (pH above 7).

A better riposte (because of its brevity) is to say, “25% down and 15,000% (IIRC) to go to reach neutrality.” I.e., the 25% reduction is in a count of ions, not on the logarithmic acidity scale–which it deceptively implies it is.

Reply to  rogerknights
November 2, 2015 4:04 am

I dispute that your suggestion would be “better”.
Your suggestion assumes most people
(a) would understand how anything could reduce by “15,000%”
(b) would know what is a logarithmic scale.
Neither assumption is in evidence.

Reply to  richardscourtney
November 2, 2015 4:11 am

You’re right–the sentence I proposed isn’t self-sufficient. But I think it’s a good idea to start out with a strong rebuttal, to make an impression. The follow-up explanation shouldn’t come first.

November 2, 2015 4:14 am

See links under Challenging the Orthodox and Model Issues.

If it is technically possible, it would be convenient to readers for that sentence, and similar sentences, to be a clickable internal link down to the referenced spot. There should also be a “go-back link” up to the originating point.

November 2, 2015 4:28 am

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]

“below” should read “above.” (It relates to Homewood’s criticism of Cook’s survey.)

November 2, 2015 4:47 am

“we have seen many explanations attempting to explain what is called the “missing heat.””
As long as the models (modelers) refuse to admit or recognize the water cycle and the convection of warm moist air carrying heat from the surface to altitude, they will be overlooking by a huge negative-feedback heat engine that carries as much as 85% of the energy budget away from the surface. The models rely on radiation almost exclusively. NO wonder at all that they have some missing heat—it’s gone along with Elvis—they have both left the planet.

November 2, 2015 5:04 am

Thanks, Ken Haapala.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Andres Valencia
November 2, 2015 8:44 am

Yes! Great content, as well as another excellent introduction.

November 2, 2015 7:32 am

IPCC & the GCMs are motivated by the mandated perspective of mankind’s influence alone. The GCMs are based primarily on the radiative properties of GHGs and pretty much ignore water vapor. See AR5 FAQ 8.1. GCM climate sensitivity is all about SWIR, LWIR, S-B, perpetual BR heat loops. It’s the evaporation/condensation – heat absorption/release that moderate and modulate the climate. GHGs, S-B, etc. are parlor game side shows complete w/ carneys and geeks.

November 4, 2015 6:08 pm

In stating that “global climate models are failing to predict short-run changes in temperatures” SEPP errs in a logically disastrous way. Rather than “predict” these models “project.” To maintain a proper distinction between “prediction” and “projection” is crucial to reaching a logical conclusion from a global warming argument for the former is a kind of proposition while a projection is not. That a prediction is a type of proposition ties a model that makes predictions to logic. The a projection is not a type of proposition divorces a model that makes projections from logic. Conflating “prediction” with “projection” has the effect of dressing up a pseudoscience to look like a science.

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