The Week That Was: 2016-01-23 (January 23, 2016) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Robert M. Carter, RIP: A splendid fellow and a great friend of scientific integrity passed this week. He inspired and encouraged many scientists to question the unsubstantiated claims that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are the dominant cause of climate change. As a geologist he knew better. He demonstrated that the CO2 hypothesis does not stand up to rigorous testing, thus needs to be discarded or changed.
Lesser characters have labeled this testing as “cherry-picking”; confusing the use of selected data to advocate a particular hypothesis (guess) with testing a hypothesis against all relevant data. If a hypothesis fails one dataset, then it cannot be a generally acceptable scientific hypothesis.
Some of the testaments to Bob’s influence are largely unknown, such as Steven McIntyre’s acknowledgement of Bob Carter’s encouragement to continue to explore the deficiencies of Michael Mann’s 1998 interpretation of temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere for the past 1,000 years – the so-called hockey-stick. The hockey-stick was a critical part of the Third Assessment Report (AR-3) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), 2001. Although not used in subsequent reports, the hockey-stick has not been withdrawn, illustrating that the reports of the IPCC need a rigorous scientific audit.
Joining S. Fred Singer and Craig Idso, Bob became a co-editor and co-author of the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel for Climate Change (NIPCC). His significant contributions and writing skills can be seen, particularly in the last report Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.
For his politically unpopular scientific views, Bob experienced various slights and abuse by the politically motivated. But no one has been able to challenge the scientific credibility or integrity of this singular man. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – Robert M. Carter and Censorship.
Quote of the Week: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, 1933 [H/t Nothing to Fear by Donn Dears]
Number of the Week: 0.1%
Hottest Year? On Friday and Saturday, January 22 & 23, nature delivered about two to three feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) of snow to the Washington DC Area and areas in the mid-Atlantic region. In some areas, this is one of the deepest snows recorded. Initial reports put the storm surge in some areas along the eastern seaboard above that of Sandy. The storm was not a hurricane, but largely an old fashion Nor’easter. Certainly, this storm is a weather event, not a climate trend.
This event is ironic because on January 20 entities in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Washington, DC) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City) announced with great fanfare that 2015 was the hottest year in their surface temperature records. The true irony comes from trying to make high surface temperatures a climate trend, not a weather event. It is generally acknowledged that the high global temperatures were driven by a strong El Niño event in the tropical central Pacific Ocean (not by one in the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America, where the warmest waters usually occur). As such, the El Niño 2015 is a weather event, not a climate trend.
What will these government entities announce when the El Niño fades, as it appears to be fading, leading to cooler global surfaced temperatures? Or more interestingly, what will they announce if the strong El Niño is followed a by a strong La Niña, a cooling event, as is often the case. Will they claim that El Niños are climate trends but La Niñas are weather events? This issue is an example of the logical error of generalizing from the last data point.
Adding to the issues raised by the press releases, is the frequent statement “This was the highest among all years in the 1880–2015 record…” Except for Europe and the conterminous 48 states of the US, the coverage of surface-air temperature measuring stations is extremely thin prior to the 1950s and many stations dropped out in recent years. Yet both NOAA and NASA-GISS make no effort in their press releases to alert the public how incomplete their records are. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, and Measurement Issues.
NOAA v. NOAA: NASA-GISS has long ignored satellite measurements of global temperatures, though they are the most comprehensive, independently verified temperature measurements ever compiled. What is interesting is the NOAA atmospheric measurements that were ignored by the NOAA entity claiming the “hottest year.”
According to a NOAA web site on upper air, there are numerous measurements of atmospheric temperature measurements, which were ignored in the press release. There are two datasets of lower troposphere measurements by UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville) and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems). An additional NOAA web site places the lower troposphere in roughly at the lowest five miles (8km) of the atmosphere. [Since the depth of the troposphere varies with latitude and season, NOAA descriptions will be used.] The report states that for both sets 2015 was the 3rd warmest in the record (since 1979).
There are four datasets of mid-troposphere satellite measurements: UAH, RSS, UW-UAH, UW-RSS. The UW designation is for modifications of UAH and RSS data made by the University of Washington. The NOAA site states: “The mid-troposphere temperatures are centered in the atmospheric layer approximately 3–10 km [2–6 miles] above the Earth’s surface, which also includes a portion of the lower stratosphere.” The site also states there is an overlap of the mid-troposphere with the lower stratosphere measurements and that a “third analysis has been performed by Dr. Qiang Fu of the University of Washington (UW) (Fu et al. 2004) to remove the influence of the stratosphere on the mid-troposphere value.” These adjustments are the source of UW modifications. The NOAA site does not mention any adjustments for the apparent overlap with lower troposphere with mid-troposphere measurements. Except for RSS that ranks 2015 as the 4th warmest year, the three other data sets of satellite measurements of the mid-troposphere rank 2015 as the 3rd warmest year, with 1998 as the warmest year (1998 was a very strong El Niño year).
Based on satellite measurements, NOAA ranks 2015 as the third warmest year or cooler. This is very different than the press release claiming the hottest year. There is no justification for NOAA or NASA-GISS to make press releases ignoring these data.
Further, NOAA uses one set of weather balloon data dating back 58 years, RATPAC. This ranks 2015 as the warmest year. In its analysis of the performance of global climate models against observations, UAH uses four sets of balloon data, including RATPAC. The three additional datasets are: HadAT2, RICH, RAOBCOR. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Measurement Issues, and http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/201513
Homogenize or Pasteurize? [A bit of humor] In the US dairy industry, homogenization is the process of forcing natural milk through small holes under high pressure to break up relatively large fat molecules into tiny ones. This makes the liquid more uniform and prevents it from separating into milk and cream. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk, cream, or other liquids sufficiently to kill harmful organisms (such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, molds, and yeasts) but retain some of the beneficial organisms.
In treating data, homogenization is used to try to address discrepancies in the data such as interruptions, change of instruments, location, etc. In treating historic sea surface data, Tom Karl, et al. of NOAA may have thought they were homogenizing historic data, making it more uniform; but, were really pasteurizing it (heating it). See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Selective Ignorance: A perplexing attitude expressed by a number of those who consider themselves scientists, or scientifically minded, is that they ignore atmospheric satellite data and only look at surface data “because that’s where people live.” Having had two feet of snow just deposited from the sky influences how one lives. Weather is created by the interplay of the atmosphere and the surface (both land and ocean). Ignoring the influence of changing atmosphere is selective ignorance. In choosing selective ignorance, such scientists become similar to a herd of deer thrashing about in deep snow trying to understand what happened to their browsing area. See comments by Spencer under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Challenger Expedition. One of the great scientific nautical explorations of the mid-to-late-19th century was the expedition by the H.M.S. Challenger from 1872 to 1876. Equipped with many then-modern instruments, the vessel sailed about 70,000 nautical miles (about 130,000 km) recording then unknown species, depth soundings, and ocean temperature measurements. During the voyage, the middle latitudes of the Atlantic were covered most extensively along with the middle latitudes of the western Pacific (Asia). The Antarctic was touched, south of the Indian Ocean, but the Arctic was not. Other areas not covered were the eastern Pacific, north of Chile, the Indian Ocean, and the east coast of Africa.
Two types of thermometers were used, the “Miller-Caselli” and the “reversing.” The former was used extensively, the latter, which gives better readings of ocean temperatures at different depths, was more experimental and became popular later. Given the poor coverage of ocean temperature measurements during this voyage, it is surprising to see a paper using these as a baseline to establish ocean heat content for the beginning of the industrial era (1865). See links under Un-Science or Non-Science?
Peak Oil: There is a great deal of speculation as to what will happen to oil prices in the near future. But the scientific issue of peak oil – that the earth will soon run out – is not an issue for the foreseeable future. Fear of exhaustion of oil and natural gas in the near future was misplaced.
Production is driven largely by politics, price, and technology. Deep water or deep subsurface extraction, such as in the Gulf of Mexico or off South America, needs high prices to justify the costs. Technology of land-based deep underground hydraulic fracturing of dense shale can continue at moderate prices. Technology used in extracting traditional sources, such as those in the Mid-East can continue at even lower prices. In general, the prices will be bounded by lifting costs in the Mid-East, as the floor, and extraction costs of oil from shale, as the ceiling.
In the 1970s, US energy policy was based on “state of the art” energy models. The Models were not validated; were based on a short-term data that was a special case, and were unsuitable for long-range predictions.
The global climate models have similar shortcomings: They are not validated; are based on short-term data that may be a special case; and are unsuitable for long-range predictions – greatly overestimate the warming of the atmosphere as compared with data from satellites. Unfortunately, governments do not understand these problems of policies based on un-validated models. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US; Energy Issues – US, and Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Electricity for Africa: Western bureaucrats, such as those in Washington, favor “energy savings” over labor intensity. However, the affected public often prefer the labor savings given by electricity use. Writing in the Green Tech Media, Catherine Wolfram gives conclusions reached in a study she and others did on solar generated electricity in rural Kenya. Local solar generated electricity is a favorite among western bureaucrats and politicians.
“People want high-wattage appliances, such as irons. The set of appliances owned by home solar households is much more similar to un-electrified households than the households with grid connections. The Center for Global Development describes recent research that makes a similar point. The center found that nearly 90 percent of households in Tanzania that already had ‘access to electricity outside of the national grid, such as solar power’ still wanted a connection to the national grid. The researchers also link to an article that describes villagers with a solar microgrid in India who still want ‘real’ electricity, by which they mean grid-provided power.”
Very simply, most home solar systems cannot power labor saving appliances. See links under Energy Issus – Non-US.
False Fracking Claims: Big Green has repeatedly claimed that deep underground hydraulic fracturing of dense shale will contaminate well water. The governor of New York believes it and established a program to prohibit the practice in his state. One of the justifications used was an EPA claim of contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming. The EPA has quietly backed down. Now a report on the claim is finished.
Among other issues: The geology is sandstone, not shale. The water wells are shallow and the area is irrigated, which can result in some contamination of water wells. This is another fear from typical over-generalization. Of course Big Green, and the governor of New York, will ignore such studies. See links under Energy Issues – US
Additions and Corrections: Reader Charles Anderson corrects the lack of a billion: “’In August 2013, the White House reported that in FY 2013, US expenditures (including tax provisions and credits) on Clean Energy Technologies were $5.783 billion, Energy Tax Provisions That May Reduce Greenhouse Gases were $4.999 billion, and Energy Payments in Lieu of Tax Provisions were $8.080 [billion], for a total $18.862 billion. Such expenditures created a sustained green lobby for climate change.’ Anderson stated: “When discussing billions, $8.08 seems too trivial to mention! OK, so it is clear you left the billion out that follows it, but at least you now know you are being read and read carefully.”
Perhaps we have become jaded about a billion dollars when reviewing the enormous government deficits of the past few years.
Number of the Week: 0.1% Paul Homewood writes that at 5 pm on Jan 19, 2016, the output from the wind farms in the UK, reported by the government distributor, dropped to 72 MW, or 0.1% of the consumption of 52.1 GW for that period. The output for the 24-hour period ending at 10:30 pm was better, averaging just 0.3%. The peak wind capacity was not given.
On Jan 15, 2016, the power distributor for Denmark, Energinet, DK, announced “For the first time ever, power was supplied to the Danes for a whole day without any of the country’s large central power stations being in operation. This has never happened before for a whole day running.” [Boldface added] Why not just build central stations that require minimal back-up? See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.
ARTICLES: The Articles section is now at the bottom of TWTW.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Challenging the Orthodoxy – Robert M. Carter
Bob Carter — a great man, gone far too soon — tributes flow
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 16, 2016
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 19, 2016
Bob Carter, RIP
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Jan 19, 2016
Dr. Robert Carter, scientist, climate skeptic, pioneer, friend – R.I.P
By Joe Bast, WUWT, Jan 19, 2015
Ian Plimer On His Friend And Fellow Geologist Bob Carter (1941 – 2016)
By Professor Ian Plimer, GWPF, Jan 20, 2016
Lysenkoism and Climate Science
By Bob Carter, Quadrant, Jan 21, 2016 [Written in 2010]
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
Climatologist Judith Curry calls attention to a new kind of attack on climate denial
“Imposing some government restrictions on free speech does not necessarily ruin the public debate and cause citizens to be less informed,” says Trygve Lavik of Norway’s University of Bergen.
By Steven T. Corneliussen, Physics Today, Jan 8, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately, for Physics Today, skepticism of human-caused global climate change is called climate denial?]
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
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
By Roger Pielke Sr. Pielke Research Group, Nov 13, 2012
Marvel et al.: Implications of forcing efficacies for climate sensitivity estimates – update
A guest article by Nicholas Lewis, Climate Audit, Jan 21, 2016
On that 2015 Record Warmest Claim
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 22, 2016
The Oddities in NOAA’s New “Pause-Buster” Sea Surface Temperature Product – An Overview of Past Posts
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Jan 20, 2016
Climategate’s Enduring Stink
By Peter O’Brien, Quadrant, Jan 22, 2016
Defending the Orthodoxy
NOAA, NASA: 2015 was Earth’s hottest by a wide margin
By Seth Borenstein, AP, Jan 20, 2016
Link to NOAA Press Release: State of the Climate,
2015 is Earth’s warmest year by widest margin on record;
December 2015 temperature record warm
Link to NASA-GISS Report: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)
By Staff Writers, Press Released, Jan 20, 2016
Why Psychology Should Be A Part Of The Fight Against Climate Change
By understanding emotional barriers to action, we may be able to devise better guidelines for communication, advocacy and policy.
By Carolyn Gregoire, Huff Post, Jan 18, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: The first requirement should be for psychologists to correctly state the issues. Such as, global climate has been changing for hundreds of millions of years, what evidence do you have that it is now human caused?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
How accurate are findings from the frontiers of climate science? For example, about warming of the oceans.
By Larry Kummer. Fabius Maximus, Jan 15, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Issues regarding ocean heat content estimates.]
Once Again El Nino Didn’t Do What Was Forecast. Why?
Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Jan 17, 2016
On blogging and the irrelevance of academic peer review in multi-disciplinary fields
By Writer, Chemist in Langley, Jan 13, 2016
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 21, 2016
The old ‘website revision’ excuse for not updating polar bear status changes
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jan 18, 2016
The trojan horse of the Paris climate agreement
How multi-level, non-hierarchical governance poses a threat to constitutional government.
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 20, 2016
COP 21’s Shared Narrative Under Attack by Left (climate emperor has no cloths)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The agreement is far too weak for these folks.]
The Administration’s Plan
Killing Coal: The Obama Administration’s intentional assault on an industry
By Martia Noon Oil Pro, Jan 18, 2016
State of the Union: How climate and energy have featured since 1989
By Staff Writers, Carbon Brief, Jan 12, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The past 7 years have demonstrated that the US is not “running out” of oil and natural gas. Previous statements made on that erroneous assumption should not be considered as valid for energy policy today.]
The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis
Saved by the Drill
Obama wants to be remembered as a climate savior. He wasn’t.
By Will Oremus, Slate, Jan 13, 2016
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Majority of Americans Don’t Buy Climate Change Threat; State Dep Blames Polling
By Penny Starr, CNS News, Jan 18, 2016
The President’s Unfinished Promise: The Federal Government Still Lacks a Meaningful Scientific Integrity Policy
By Corey Goodman, Huff Post, Jan 20, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“What does this say about the integrity of an ideologically-driven administration? For one, it says ‘hypocrisy’ when the same people accuse those who disagree with them, of ‘denying’ science.’It demonstrates the attitude that any means is justified by the end. It reinforces the suspicion that actions like denying the permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska is part of a pattern of predictable behavior. Lastly, it raises the question if similar behavior is part of the script in the play about the role of humans in global warming.”
[SEPP Comment: Surprising to see such comments in the Huff Post.]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Jan 16, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Link to paper: Multidecadal increase in North Atlantic coccolithophores and the potential role of rising CO2
By Rivero-Calle, et al. Science, Dec 18, 2015
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Helps Plants Recover from Droughts
Chen, Y., Yu, J. and Huang, B. 2015. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on water relations and photosynthetic responses to drought stress and recovery during re-watering in tall fescue. Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 140: 19-26. Dec 30, 2015
Trees Like Carbon Dioxide! Who Knew?
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Jan 19, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to paper: Physiological and ecological factors influencing recent trends in United States forest health responses to climate change
By Craig Loehle, Craig Idso, and T. Bently Wigley, Forest Ecology and Management, March 2016
Seeking a Common Ground
History and the limits of the climate consensus
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 22, 2916
Save Us from the Tyranny of ‘Settled’ Science
By John Horvat II, American Thinker, Jan 16, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Another 100 Year CMIP5 Hindcast of Temperature and Precipitation
Zhao, L., Xu, J., Powell Jr., A.F. and Jiang, Z. 2015. Uncertainties of the global-to-regional temperature and precipitation simulations in CMIP5 models for past and future 100 years. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 122: 259-270., Jan 20, 2016
From the paper: “If the models cannot reasonably simulate the historical and present conditions, how much can we trust their future climate projections?”
How Well Equipped to Tolerate Climate Change Are Octocorals
Madeira, C., Madeira, D., Vinagre, C. and Diniz, M. 2015. Octocorals in a changing environment: Seasonal response of stress biomarkers in natural populations of Veretillum cynomorium. Journal of Sea Research 103: 120-128. Jan 18, 2016
“Consequently, they go on to predict that ‘this species is likely to be quite resilient,” or to even “thrive under future climate warming conditions.’”
The Outlook for Atlantic Cod in a CO2 Enriched and Warmer World
Kreiss, C.M., Michael, K., Lucassen, M., Jutfelt, F., Motyka, R., Dupont, S. and Portner, H.-O. 2015. Ocean warming and acidification modulate energy budget and gill ion regulatory mechanisms in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Journal of Comparative Physiology B 185: 767-781. Jan 15, 2016
“Once thought to be extremely bleak, a new study suggests that such changes in the cod’s environment will have little – if any – negative impacts on them…”
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Helps Plants Recover from Droughts
Chen, Y., Yu, J. and Huang, B. 2015. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on water relations and photosynthetic responses to drought stress and recovery during re-watering in tall fescue. Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 140: 19-26. Dec 30, 2015
Models v. Observations
German Scientists: Urgent Corrections Needed …Global Temperature Rise Far Below “Best Estimate” Model Projection!
Global Temperature Rise Far Below “Most Probable” Model Projection
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
Translated/edited by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 22, 2016
The daft and the non-daft climate model runs
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 22, 2016
2015 Global Temp, Or How Some Scientists Deliberately Mistook Weather For Climate
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, GWPF, Jan 22, 2916
“This makes suggestions that the ‘pause’ in annual average global surface temperatures has been ‘terminated’ premature. The ‘pause’ will not be ended by weather but by forced global warming. Consequently, it is unsafe to use 2015 in any trend analysis to eliminate the ‘pause.’ It is essential to view the 2015 along with subsequent years to catch the cooling La Nina effect. Only this way can the El Nino contribution be properly assessed.”
NASA, NOAA and UK Met Office Show El Nino Boosted 2015 Temp
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Jan 16, 2016
The Current Climate of Extremes
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Jan 21, 2016
“El Niño warms up surface temperatures, but the excess heat takes 3 to 6 months or so to diffuse into the middle troposphere, around 16,000 feet up. Consequently, it won’t fully appear in the satellite or weather balloon data, which record temperatures in that layer, until this year.”
“… a simple real-world test of the “weather more extreme” meme. University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke, Jr. tweeted it out on January 20 (Figure 2), with the text “Unreported. Unspeakable. Uncomfortable. Unacceptable.”
Hottest Shattering Year since the last one: Five reasons it was not hot, and not relevant
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 24, 2016
Temperature anomalies are naturally more accurate than the absolute global mean temperature
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Jan 22, 2016
Do we remember the snows of our childhood?
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Jan 21, 2016
“Because the rate at which the global mean temperature is changing doesn’t seem to substantially increase (and because the greenhouse effect is logarithmic, it is more likely to slow down), the rough feelings of the adults in 2080 – who are small kids today – will be totally analogous. They will only remember some relatively mild, non-essential cosmetic differences between the two “weathers” and most of these memories will be self-deceptions, anyway.”
Why are the number of sites used to calculate HadCRUT4 decreasing?
By Staff Writer, Xmetman, Jan 20, 2016
Xing’s bendy hockey stick
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 20, 2016
- The method is a novel one. Caveat emptor.
- They reconstruct annual temperatures from tree rings. Compare this to Wilson et al, who believe that you can only reconstruct summer temperatures from tree rings.
- The usual caveats apply to the blade of the stick – the amount of data falls away precipitously towards the end of the series.
- The overlaying of the instrumental data is mostly there for rhetorical effect. You wouldn’t get excited from the proxies alone.
- Data have been screened in a way that requires more careful study for me to grasp. Caveat emptor again.
75 Million to Get Snowblasted
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 20, 2016
Bogus Predictions of Snowless Winters Are Back …But Reality Tells Very Different Story!
Meteorologist Christian Zenkl: Winter temperatures in the Alps region have fallen about 1°C over past 30 years
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Translated/edited by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 19, 2016
First was El Nino, now brace for La Nina
By Nyshka Chandran, CNBC, Jan 14, 2016
The Scottish Sceptic: -This year global cooling
By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Jan 23, 2016
Exploding some “urban myths” about Flooding
By Staff Writers, The Flood Prevention Society, No Date, [H/t Climate Etc.]
[SEPP Comment: EA is the UK Environment Agency]
Has the PDO flipped?
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 14, 2016
Baffin Island study disappoints: The illusive ‘coup de grace’ on the Medieval Warm Period
Guest essay by Sebastian Lüning, WUWT, Jan 18, 2016
A detailed analysis of the regional literature in Arctic Northeast Canada and west coast Greenland West yields clear evidence for a warm MWP in the region. The claimed widespread cooling during the MWP by Young et al. 2015 is unsupported and unsustainable. It appears that the authors have generalized a local glacier anomaly from a restricted area on Baffin Island and erroneously interpreted it as a regional phenomenon.
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Study finds high melt rates on Antarctica’s most stable ice shelf
By Staff Writers, San Diego CA (SPX), Jan 15, 2016
Link to paper: High basal melting forming a channel at the grounding line of Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica
By Marsh, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, Jan 16, 2016
“A new Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego-led study measured a melt rate that is 25 times higher than expected on one part of the Ross Ice Shelf.” [Boldface added.]
[SEPP Comment: The Ross Ice Shelf is termed as Antarctica’s most stable?]
Explosive underwater volcanoes were a major feature of ‘Snowball Earth’
By Staff Writers, Southampton, UK (SPX), Jan 19, 2016
“This model does not, however, explain one of the most puzzling features of this rapid deglaciation; namely the global formation of hundreds of metres thick deposits known as ‘cap carbonates’, in warm waters after Snowball Earth events.”
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Fewer than 1 in 25 Seattleites can really eat locally
By Staff Writers, Seattle WA (SPX), Jan 15, 2016
Link to paper: Urban food crop production capacity and competition with the urban forest
By Richardson and Moskal, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening,
Unwanted Piles of Corn, Soy Spur Most-Bearish Crop Outlook Ever
By Megan Dursin and Jeff Wilson, Bloomberg, Jan 11, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]
[SEPP Comment: When world leaders insist global warming/climate change is causing severe shortages?]
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Temperatures rising: How humanity’s heat output affecting our oceans
Scientists have found that the amount of man-made heat absorbed by the world’s oceans has doubled over the last 18 years, causing water temperatures to rise and more heat to be trapped across Earth’s climate.
By Ben Thompson, Christian Science Monitor, Jan 19, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper: Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades
By Gleckler et al, Nature Climate Change, Jan 18, 2016
Human emissions will delay next ice age by 50,000 years, study says
By Robert McSweeney, Carbon Brief, Jan 13, 2016
Link to paper: Critical insolation–CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception
By Ganopolski, Winkelmann, and Schellhuber, Nature, Jan 13, 2016
“Running simulations with an Earth System model, the researchers find that if atmospheric CO2 were still at pre-industrial levels, our current warm “interglacial” period would tip over into a new ice age in around 50,000 years’ time.”
“But CO2 emissions from human activity in the past, and those expected in the future, mean the next ice is likely to be delayed to 100,000 years’ time, the researchers say.”
[SEPP Comment: Another tipping point study using un-validated models.]
Mounting evidence suggests early agriculture staved off global cooling
By Staff Writers, Charlottesville VA (SPX), Jan 20, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Save the planet, abandon agriculture?]
Northwest Atlantic Ocean may get warmer, sooner
Staff Writers, Woods Hole MA (SPX), Jan 15, 2016
Link to paper: Enhanced warming of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean under climate change
By Saba, et al. Journal of Geophysical Research, Jan 8, 2016
Their findings, based on output from four global climate models of varying ocean and atmospheric resolution, indicate that ocean temperature in the U.S. Northeast Shelf is projected to warm twice as fast as previously projected and almost three times faster than the global average
From the Abstract: “the ensemble of global climate models [used by the IPCC] has a warm bias in sea surface temperature due to a misrepresentation of the Gulf Stream position; thus, existing climate change projections are based on unrealistic regional ocean circulation.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Dueling Temperature Charts, But Where’s the Data?
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Jan 16, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
20 false representations in one 10-minute video
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Jan 19, 2016
Response to Benestad et al. (2015)
By Ross McKitrick, His Blog, Jan 20, 2016
Link to detailed letter requesting retraction of most obviously false statements in: “Learning from Mistakes in Climate Research.
Article By Rasmus E. Benestad , Dana Nuccitelli (Skeptical Science), Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol & University of Western Australia), Katharine Hayhoe (Texas Tech University), Hans Olav Hygen, Rob van Dorland, John Cook (University of Queensland & University of Western Australia)
Published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology
We Know Exactly Where all the Heat From the ‘Global Warming Hiatus’ Went
By Maddle Stone, Gizmodo, Jan 19, 2016
Link to paper; Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades
By Gleckler, et al, Nature Climate Change, Jan 18, 2016
Earlier paper: Pacific origin of the abrupt increase in Indian Ocean heat content during the warming hiatus
By Sang-Ki Lee, et al. May 18, 2015
[SEPP Comment: See link under Un-Science above.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
Climate change fails to top list of threats for business leaders at Davos
Geopolitical uncertainty, over-regulation and cyber attacks among biggest threats to business, survey of CEOs finds
By Tom Levitt, Guardian, UK, Jan 20, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Typical propaganda photo implying floods are the result of human caused climate change.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
An academic atmosphere of flustered faculty
By Anthony Sadar, American Thinker, Jan 16, 2016
Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope
How Greens Fuel Climate Skepticism
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Jan 19, 2016
Link to essay, Constructive engagement is the key to climate action
This year, scientists should resolve to follow the lead of Pope Francis and seek an inclusive approach to climate change, says Daniel Sarewitz.
By Daniel Sarewitz, Nature, Jan 4, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Contrary to the assertion in the essay, the Pope’s approach has alienated many practicing Catholics.]
Questioning European Green
Bankers Reaping the Rewards of German Green Energy Instability
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 19, 2016
After Nevada Pulls Its Subsides, Solar City Liquidates 550 Energy Jobs
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Jan 6, 2016
British steel industry enters ‘death spiral’ after another 1,000 jobs are axed
Tata cuts 1,000 jobs at a number of its UK plants, including Port Talbot
Industry is in crisis after losing one in six of total jobs since the summer
Government blames rising energy costs and cheap Chinese imports
But Labour and unions say ministers have ‘laissez faire attitude’ to crisis
By Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, UK, Jan 18, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
The Political Games Continue
4 things to know about the new FOIA reform bill
By Drew Doggett, Sunlight Foundation, Jan 12, 2016
“It isn’t perfect…but it improves a broken system.”
U.S. Republicans Increasingly Sceptical Of Climate Alarm
By Amy Harder and Beth Reinhard, WSJ, Via GWPF, Jan 16, 2016
[SEPP Comment: After decades of dire predictions that fail to materialize, they still are not convinced?]
U.S. Court of Appeals Rules that Clean Power Plan Will Remain in Effect
D.C. Circuit Rejects Attempts to Block Historic Measure to Reduce Climate Pollution, Protect Public Health
By Staff Writers, EDF, Environmental Defense Fund, Jan 21, 2016
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
What Happens When Government Plays Market Maker
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Jan 21, 2016
Energy Issues – Non-US
Three Reasons Why ‘Real’ Electricity Still Comes From the Grid
By Catherine Wolfram, Green Tech Media, Jan 20, 2016
Link to working paper: Appliance Ownership and Aspirations among Electric Grid and Home Solar Households in Rural Kenya
By Lee, Miguel and Wolfram, Energy Institute at Haas, Jan 2016
Why Africa Needs Fossil Fuels
By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Jan 22, 2016
“While a person in Europe or North America uses 11,000 kWh per year on average (much of it through industrial processes), a person in Sub-Sahara Africa uses only 137kWh.”
When Will Petrobras’ Fire Sale Start?
By Nick Cunningham, Oil Price.com, Jan 17, 2016
Energy Issues — US
ICYMI: Another Investigation Found That Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Drinking Water
By Matt Vespa, Townhall, Jan 16, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to study: Pavillion, Wyoming Area Domestic Water Wells Draft Final Report and Palatability Study.
By Staff Writers, Acton Mickelson Environmental & Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Dec 14, 2016
How The Shale Revolution Has Reduced Geopolitical And Price Risk
By Mark Perry, IBD, Jan 15, 2016
Rig Counts Versus Production
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Jan 20, 2016
Link to report: Shale 2.0: Technology and the Coming Big-Data Revolution in America’s Shale Oil Fields
By Mark Mills, Manhattan Institute, May 2015
Washington’s Control of Energy
Step two after lifting the oil export ban
By John Sicilano, Washington Examiner, Jan 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Remove the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act)]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone?
Dancing on the grave of “peak oil” – will it stay buried?
By Ron Bailey, Reason, Jan 21, 2016
The death knell for “peak oil”
Peak oil theorists who predicted shortages and high prices proven wrong
Editorial, Denver Post, Jan 20, 2016
Forget OPEC: Shale 2.0 Will Bounce Back & Even Stronger
By Mark Mills, WSJ, Via GWPF, Jan 19, 2016
Pre-FID oil projects: global breakeven analysis
By Staff Writers, Wood Mackenzie, Jan 21, 2016
“Half of oil production from future developments is uneconomic at US$60/bbl Brent – this is the conclusion from our comprehensive breakeven analysis of future global oil developments. These comprise of conventional projects which have yet to receive final investment decision (pre-FID) and future drilling in US onshore Lower 48 plays; which are critical for future oil supply.”
Big banks brace for oil loans to implode
By Matt Egan, CNN, Jan 18, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
California Gas Leak Exposes Growing Natural-Gas Risks
As America shifts toward natural gas for energy, decaying pipelines and storage facilities are at risk of leaks and explosions.
By Richard Martin, MIT Technology Review, Jan 19, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Question statements in the article such as natural gas is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It depends on the half-life of methane, comparative absorption bands, and saturation. Not stated in the post is that the claim comes from the Environmental Defense Fund. See link immediately below.]
Methane Gas Crisis: How California’s Porter Ranch Became a Ghost Town
By Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, Jan 7, 2016
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Extracting uranium from sea water
By Staff Writers, Argonne Today, Jan 14, 2016 [H/t Paul Redfern]
Link to paper: XAFS investigation of polyamidoxime-bound uranyl contests the paradigm from small molecule studies
By Abney, et al. Energy & Environmental Science, Nov 12, 2015
Is nuclear the cheapest way to decarbonize electricity?
By Peter Lang, Climate Etc. Jan 19, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Analysis for UK.]
US invests in advanced reactor development
By Staff Writers, WNN, Jan 18, 2016
[SEPP Comment: $80 million in pebble bed reactors and molten chloride fast reactors is miniscule compared with tax credits and other “investments” in unreliable solar and wind.]
World starts up 10, shuts down eight, nuclear reactors in 2015
By Staff Writers, WNN, Jan 4, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Wind Power Down To 0.1%
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 20, 2016
Google Confirms PV Rooftop Solar Uneconomic
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 19, 2016
“Using the data from the Project Sunroof web site, paybacks, without subsidies, are 13, 17, 12 and 27 years respectively, to recover the initial investment in Redwood CA, Somerville MA, San Jose CA, and Cary North Carolina.”
New record-breaking year for Danish wind power
Press Release, By Staff Writers, Energinet, DK, Jan 15, 2016
Surprise! Most German Wind Park Investors Losing Money …Duped By Exaggerated Wind Projections!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 20, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Green Fleet Nonsense
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The Great Green Fleet for the Navy is as needed as flintlock muskets for Marines.]
50 States: Same players dominating grid modernization efforts
By Barbara Vergetis Lundin, Smart Grid News, Jan 21, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Too often modernization means the latest wind and solar fad.]
Human sees cute – polar bear sees dinner
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jan 20, 2016
Other Scientific News
New Development Could Help Solve Fusion Reactors’ Most Mysterious Problem
By Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, Jan 21, 2016 [Includes video]
This real-life observatory under the sea is revealing a world even more incredible than Jules Verne imagined
By Tanya Lewis, Business Insider, Jan 14, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: As Ian Plimer wrote, we have little idea of the extent of undersea volcanos and their effects. They may have a greater role in lowering alkalinity (pH) of the oceans than increasing CO2 – if there is a lowering at all.]
Harmful mutations have accumulated during early human migrations out of Africa
By Staff Writers, Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX), Jan 20, 2016
Link to paper: Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes
By Henn et al, PNAS, Dec 28, 2015
The Secret Sex Lives of Crop Plants
By John Warren, Project Syndicate, Jan 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: One explanation why humans eat only about 200 plant species out of about 400,000, with about one-half edible. Three crops; maize, rice, and wheat; “account for more than half of the calories and proteins that we derive from plants.”]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Lost Civilization Under Persian Gulf
By Staff Writers, Chicago IL (SPX) Dec 10, 2010
Link to paper: New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis
By Jefffrey Rose, Current Anthropology, Dec 2010
GPS vultures swoop down on illegal dumps in Peru
By Staff Writers, Lima (AFP), Jan 11, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Neat video]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Four months to act!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Jan 22, 2016
“Climate change…is the fundamental threat to humankind…If we fail to act, climate change will intensify droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Water shortages will affect hundreds of millions of people. Malnutrition will engulf large parts of the developing world. Tensions will worsen. Social unrest—even violence—could follow. The damage to national economies will be enormous. The human suffering will be incalculable…We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.”
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, prior to the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen, UN News Centre, 11 Aug 2009
[SEPP Comment: UN Secretary General fearmongering in 2009.]
Notable & Quotable: Peak Oil
The ‘peak of world oil production is in sight’—in 1998.
From Science magazine’s “The Next Oil Crisis Looms Large—and Perhaps Close,” Aug. 21, 1998: “This spring . . . the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for the first time that the peak of world oil production is in sight. Even taking into account the best efforts of the explorationists and the discovery of new fields in frontier areas like the Caspian Sea . . . sometime between 2010 and 2020 the gush of oil from wells around the world will peak at 80 million barrels per day, then begin a steady, inevitable decline, the report says.”
Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES)
By Staff Writers, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Dep of Energy, Energy.gov. Jan 19, 2016
“I’m starting a movement to promote a constitutional amendment to ban bad acronyms. Our organization, BARF (Ban AcRonyms that Fail), seeks to increase productivity across the economy (and especially within the federal government) by pushing the DOPE (Disincentivizing Others from wasting Precious Efforts) Amendment, which specifies capital punishment for bad acronym creation and the elimination of the associated programs.
“It would go in effect retroactively, starting on the date that this DoE program was created: http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sustainable-and-holistic-integration-energy-storage-and-solar-pv-shines.”
David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Heritage Foundation
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. How Iran Could Quickly Send Oil Prices Even Lower
The impact of Iran’s return to the global oil market isn’t just about production
By Spencer Jakab, WSJ, Jan 19, 2016
SUMMARY: The author asserts that “Iran’s full-re-entry into the world energy market upon the lifting of sanctions has been expected since last summer. Furthermore, oil production can’t simply be switched on and off, particularly after years of underinvestment.
“But Iran has been champing at the bit in hopes of regaining market share lost to rivals. And that is why its return to the market might be more bearish more quickly than investors expect.
“Iran has reportedly built up the world’s largest fleet of supertankers, many of which were simply parked as floating storage tanks. This means it now has around 30 million to 50 millions barrels of oil and condensate to unleash on the world market immediately, according to analyst estimates.”
“What matters is how rapidly Iran ramps up sales, how soon massive cuts in capital expenditure by private companies affect output and the global economy’s thirst for crude—particularly in once rapidly growing markets like China.
“Granted, Iran in a sense would be cutting off its nose to spite its face if its sales drive the price of oil even lower. In the short term, though, that may not matter.
“Thirsty for cash and perhaps feeling vindictive, Iran seems willing to unleash a wave of crude at the worst possible time.”
2. The Power of Persuasion
Wilson’s wartime ‘information’ bureau was, in reality, about indoctrination. FDR spoke of closing financial institutions as ‘bank holidays.’
By David Shribman, WSJ, Jan 21, 2016
Review of: Republic of Spin, By David Greenberg
SUMMARY: What is called “spin” became an art form in the US during the 20th century. “There is plenty of spinning to be deplored in these pages, not only the bluster and bombast of Theodore Roosevelt and the wartime propaganda of Woodrow Wilson but also, in more recent days, the credibility gap of Lyndon Johnson and the Watergate mendacities of Richard Nixon. It was Nixon who in his memoirs delivered himself of one of the great truths of our politics. “In the modern presidency,” he said, “concern for image must rank with concern for substance.”
“Whether as “news management,’’ “image making’’ or “branding,’’ spin has become a distinguishing characteristic of the presidency. Richard Neustadt used to tell his Harvard government classes that the presidency consisted of little more than the power to persuade. It is in this context that, in Mr. Greenberg’s telling, TR emerged as a master persuader, using the tricks of spin with new artistry. His great gift, if it can be called that, was to transform windy 19th-century political rhetoric (recall the hours-long discourses of Daniel Webster) to the pithy sound bite, which is why the phrases “speak softly and carry a big stick” and “my hat’s in the ring” resonate with us still. It was, after all, a short leap from “Square Deal” to “New Deal” to “Fair Deal” and eventually to “New Frontier.” And TR’s decision to release bad news late on a Friday is still a formidable implement in the White House toolbox.
Woodrow Wilson created a wartime “information” bureau that was less about informing than indoctrinating. He also instituted the presidential press conference. “A friendly chat,’’ he called it, and usually it was, though Mr. Greenberg says that Wilson came across as “condescending, even imperious.” FDR spoke of the shuttering of financial institutions as “bank holidays” and chose Archibald MacLeish to run a wartime bureau with the Orwellian name of the Office of Facts and Figures, a task that the poet performed not wisely but too well, pumping out what Mr. Greenberg calls “persuasion, advocacy and even polemics.” It was Fiorello La Guardia who, as a Roosevelt adviser, said the government should deliver itself of “sugarcoated, colored ornamental matter, otherwise known as ‘bunk.’ ”
“Mr. Greenberg is dispassionate enough to describe the bunkmeisters as part of long line of governmental toadies and PR specialists who, “while putting out the government line, convinced themselves that they were merely countering the opposition’s lies with truth.’’ Once in a while they were. Most of the time they were spinning so fast that they were dizzy.
“All of this flummery accelerated with television. We forget that it was Dwight Eisenhower who fancied himself the “TV president”—the phrase came from Henry Cabot Lodge—even before the election of the real TV president, John F. Kennedy. And it was Ike who, in 1955, held the first televised press conference, a ritual that Kennedy was to master. Three years before Kennedy’s inauguration, Aldous Huxley argued in “Brave New World Revisited” that the modern methods “now being used to merchandise the political candidate as though he were a deodorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.”
“Few practitioners of such methods were more skilled than the cast of Camelot. Arthur Krock of the New York Times, himself not always immune to the Kennedy charm, complained after the Cuban Missile Crisis about “the hazards incurred by the decision of a government of this democracy to manage the news as an instrument of national security policy.’’ Half a decade later, two-thirds of Americans would tell Gallup pollsters that the government had deceived the public in Vietnam.
“It was, as Mr. Greenberg explains, a small step to Watergate, which Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman described in his diary as ‘just a public-relations problem that only needed a public-relations solution.’”