The Week That Was: 2016-01-30 (January 30, 2016) 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)
IPCC v. Nature: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the self-proclaimed body of experts on climate change. As previously stated in TWTW, the independent Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) comes to drastically different conclusions regarding future climate change. The IPCC claims that climate change since about 1950 is largely human caused, with human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) primarily responsible. Using research and data the IPCC largely ignores, the NIPCC claims that recent global climate change (as opposed to local and regional) is largely natural, and there is little or no physical evidence that climate is changing beyond natural occurrences.
One of the most dramatic statements made by the IPCC appeared in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4, 2007) which claimed the glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains will disappear by 2035, depriving hundreds of millions of people their primary source of water, the rivers the run off the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.
Alarmed, the government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests had its glacial expert, Mr. V.K. Raina, Executive Director General of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) prepare a report based on decades of on-the-ground observations. Fear of the possible melting of the glaciers has been expressed for about 100 years resulting in scientific efforts to recognize and examine the fluctuations at the front-snout of glaciers, starting in the early part of the 20th century, although some studies go back 150 years.
Overall, there is a net decrease in mass balance in the 20th century, though some glaciers are increasing in mass balance. This net decrease in mass balance is within the boundaries of prior interglacial warm periods over the last two million years, the period identified as the Pleistocene (major ice age). According to the report, some glaciologists believe that there may have been as many as 21 glacial cycles during this period.
In short, the net decrease in mass balance appears to be part of a natural cycle, not human caused global warming. Of course, the advance and retreat of Himalayan glaciers need to be monitored, but there is no indication that they will vanish by 2035.
The report was independently reviewed by glacial expert, Professor Cliff Ollier of Australia, who reviewed the research for the Indian government. The then-chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, dismissed this work, based on empirical research, as “voodoo science”. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – IPCC AR-4
Quote of the Week: “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs, is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato (429-347 BC)
Number of the Week: 17.8 inches – Maybe?
IPCC v. IPCC: Using 20 General Circulation Models used by the IPCC, researchers from China, Sweden, and South Korea evaluated the forecasts of these models for the Tibetan Plateau until 2070. The plateau lies north of the Himalayan range and south of the Takiamakan Desert. It is the headwaters for six major river basins: Yellow, Yangtze, Salween, Mekong, Indus, and Brahmaputra, which flows into the Ganges. The researchers found that the water supply is unlikely to decline until at least 2070. The abstract states:
“The impacts of future climate change on water balance for the headwater basins of six major rivers in the Tibetan Plateau are assessed using the well-established VIC-glacier land surface hydrological model driven by composite projections of 20 CMIP5 GCMs under scenarios RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5. At the plateau scale, the annual precipitation is projected to increase by 5.0–10.0% in the near term (2011–2040) and 10.0–20.0% in the long term (2041–2070) relative to the reference period 1971–2000. The annual temperature is projected to increase for all the scenarios with the greatest warming in the northwest (2.0–4.0 °C) and least in the southeast (1.2–2.8 °C). The total runoff of the study basins would either remain stable or moderately increase in the near term, and increase by 2.7–22.4% in the long term relative to the reference period, as a result of increased rainfall-induced runoff for the upstream of the Yellow, Yangtze, Salween, and Mekong and increased glacier melt for the upper Indus. In the upper Brahmaputra, more than 50.0% of the total runoff increase is attributed to the increased glacier melt in the long run. The annual hydrograph remains practically unchanged for all the monsoon-dominated basins. However, for the westerly-controlled basin (upper Indus), an apparent earlier melt and a relatively large increase in spring runoff are observed for all the scenarios, which would increase water availability in the Indus Basin irrigation scheme during the spring growing season.”
Thus, we see that the dramatic assertion in IPCC AR-4 that the glaciers of the Himalayan range will melt by 2035, causing severe hardships to those who depend on these rivers is not even supported by the IPCC’s models.
In general, TWTW discounts long-term projections/forecasts from un-validated climate models. But, this research underlines the great inconsistency between the IPCC models and its assertions. Clearly, a rigorous scientific audit of IPCC reports is needed, but unlikely to occur in the near future. As reported in the January 9 TWTW, according to the web site of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the US Department of State is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to the IPCC. This Administration has based its legacy, in part, on “fighting” climate change, based on highly questionable science from the IPCC and the USGCRP.
In addition, two of the US EPA’s pillars of evidence of its endangerment finding that human emissions of carbon dioxide endanger human health and welfare are the science (questionable) and the global climate models. These pillars conflict with themselves. Thus, the EPA’s Endangerment Finding and the Administration’s actions based on it, including its energy plan, are self-contradicting. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – IPCC AR-4 and http://www.globalchange.gov/agency/department-state
Power Trap – UK: The UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers has issued a report warning the government of a looming electricity gap in the UK between electricity generated and that required to satisfy consumption. The Institute estimates that this gap may be between 40% and 55% of electricity demanded within 10 years, 2025. There are multiple causes for this potential gap, but they can be summed as self-inflicted policy disasters. These disasters can be politely described as fads. One should note, that the report of the Institute refers to carbon dioxide as a pollutant, which has not been empirically demonstrated.
The primary issue is the phase-out of coal-fired power plants, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as required by the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008 to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, and a host of associated policy actions. The 2008 act was prompted by the 2007 IPCC report using questionable science, as discussed above. This effort has been complicated by a phasing out of nuclear power.
To its misfortune, the UK appeared to rely on wind as the substitute for coal-fired power plants, but is discovering that wind power is costly and unreliable. The government is reducing or ending subsidies and tax relief for such activities.
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers proposes that about 30 combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants are needed to fill the gap. CCGT plants are highly efficient by combining gas-fired turbines with steam turbines. However, the report suggests building 30 CCGT power plants in ten years is unrealistic due to time and skilled-manpower constraints. Among other things, the report recommends cutting consumption, including increasing efficiency, and more research on renewables, energy storage, combined heat and power and power station design. The source of the natural gas is another matter, particularly the hostility big green has demonstrated towards hydraulic fracturing of dense shale in the UK. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US
Administration’s Plan: The looming electricity crisis in the UK, coupled with the high costs of electricity in Denmark and Germany, should give pause to any endorsement of the US Administration’s power plan, which demands the phase out of coal, and largely relies on wind and solar to fill the needs of consumers. (In Germany, large subsidies are given to companies that are threatening to move to avoid the high electricity costs.). It is becoming clear that the chief executive, and his appointed executives, are unmoved by any hardships their policies cause.
In Congress, Senator Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has made it clear that he considers climate goals of the agreement reached in Paris are not legally binding and that the United States and other countries have no reason to stick to their promises. It is unlikely that the remainder of the President’s term will be graceful. See links under Criticizing Paris! The Administration’s Plan, and The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back and the January 23 TWTW Number of the Week.
A New Nature Trick? Nature magazine published Mr. Michael Mann’s famous hockey-stick. The paper contradicted a great deal of existing information, relied upon a statistical method that produced a hockey-stick shape from random noise, and required the removal the end of a time series of data that contradicted the hypothesis. The removal of the data became known as Mann’s Nature Trick from Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit, who supported it. The hockey-stick was featured in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report. Eventually, it was demolished by statistical experts, but has never been retracted.
Mr. Mann and Nature are at it again, publishing a statistical analysis on the likelihood of the recent warming. His co-authors include Stephen Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact. According to the Abstract, they attempt to calculate the probability of the recent warming without human influence by examining it with data over the past 150 years. In this they use: “a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP5) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature.” Many scientists point out that the 150 years of surface data record is far from complete and it does not address past warming and cooling periods that can be found in the geological and other historic records. As such, the calculations have little meaning.
Statistician William Briggs writes that the paper has at least four errors: 1) Measurement error, 2) probability has bearing on cause, 3) does not establish a cause of the sequence, 4) it shows a fit to past data; not prediction. This is also called “curve fitting.” The ability to predict accurately is the central issue.
Climate scientist Judith Curry has a separate analysis produced for the Examiner newspaper. Her analysis includes comments by Nicholas Lewis. She concludes that the paper is a giant exercise in circular reasoning and gives five assumptions that must be made: 1).Assume that the global surface temperature estimates are accurate; ignore the differences with the satellite atmospheric temperatures; 2) Assume that the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble can be used to accurately portray probabilities; 3) Assume that the CMIP5 models adequately simulate internal variability; 4) Assume that external forcing data are sufficiently certain; and 5) Assume that the climate models are correct in explaining essentially 100% of the recent warming from CO2. See links under Oh Mann!
Genetic Fallacy: Briggs presents a new term for a fallacy that can be considered related to argumentum ad hominem – discrediting the person rather than the argument. Briggs calls it the genetic fallacy, which is committed when a proposition is accepted or rejected because of its origin, history, who speaks it, or who paid for it to be spoken. ”This person works for the EPA, therefore, whatever he says is biased by government. (or … whatever he says is true).” See link under http://wmbriggs.com/post/7763/
Carbon Tax: Robert Murthy of the Institute for Energy Research takes the New York Times to task for its arguments supporting the proposed carbon tax, which used British Columbia as an example of a successful tax. He writes:
“In light of writings such as these, it is quite deceptive to claim that a revenue-neutral carbon tax would “work” in the United States. Just look at what happened in California to the “dedicated” uses of their cap-and-trade revenue.
“The American public is being sold a bill of goods regarding a carbon tax. On the one hand, proponents tell progressive citizens about all the “green” goodies that can be funded with the trillions in revenue that such a tax will bring in. On the other hand, supporters assure conservative citizens not to worry, that the tax will be revenue neutral and will allow for huge cuts in the corporate income tax rate.”
Another example is the temporary telephone tax. In 1898 the federal government implemented the “luxury” (excise) tax on telephones to pay for the Spanish-American War, which ended in 1898. The tax was repealed in 1902, then reenacted for World War I. It was partially repealed in 2006 but not fully repealed. See link under Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Number of the Week: 17.8 inches – Maybe! Last weekend’s snow storm produced strange results. Many measurements in the region showed about 2 feet, 24 inches. But the official Washington, DC measurement, taken at Reagan National Airport, showed 17.8 inches. Initially, one may expect a lower amount due to the proximity to the tidal Potomac River or to the Urban Heat Island Effect. According to Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger, the officials at Reagan National, who measure snow depth, lost their measuring device, called a “snow board”, during the storm. It was buried in the snow. One could say they were out of their depth. See link under Measurement Issues.
ARTICLES: The Articles section is now at the bottom of TWTW.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Cherry-Picking by D’Arrigo
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 29, 2016
“At the 2006 NAS panel workshop, Rosanne D’Arrigo famously told the surprised panelists that you had to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie. Again in 2009 (though not noticed at the time), D’Arrigo et al. 2009 stated that they could ‘partially circumvent’ the divergence problem by only using data that went up:”
Censorship Won’t Win Climate Debate
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Jan 25, 2016
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt
California Joins the Effort to Persecute, Suppress Scientific Dissent on Climate Change
By Hans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal, Jan 21, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
State Tyranny …Vermont Signals Citizens: Opposing Wind Energy Now Requires “License To Practice Law”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 23, 2016
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
The Irreplaceable Bob Carter
By Anthony Carr, Quadrant, Aug 24, 2016
300 Scientists Want NOAA To Stop Hiding Its Global Warming Data
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Jan 28, 2016
Measuring global temperatures: Satellites or thermometers?
By Roy Spencer, C Fact, Jan 26, 2016
Since 2000 humans have put out 30% of their total CO2 but there is nothing to show for it.
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 26, 2016
Study allays monsoon alarm
By G.S. Mudur, Telegraph, India, Jan 26, 2016
“India’s monsoon is in no danger of catastrophic collapse in response to global warming and air pollution, two atmospheric scientists said today, refuting earlier predictions that the monsoon could shut down within 100 years.”
“Their results contradict earlier forecasts by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany portending frequent and severe failures and even a breakdown of the monsoon, which is critical to India’s food, water resources and economy.”
The corrupt, the complacent and the complicit
By John Brignell, Number Watch, Jan 23, 2016
Challenging the Orthodoxy – IPCC AR-4
Water supplies in Tibet set to increase in the future
By Staff Writers, Gothenburg, Sweden (SPX), Jan 21, 2016
Link to paper: Hydrological response to future climate changes for the major upstream river basins in the Tibetan Plateau
By Su, Zhang, Ou, Chen, Yao, Tong, and Qi, Global and Planetary Change, January 2016
Himalayan Glaciers – A State-of-Art Review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change.
By V.K. Raina, Ex. Deputy Director General, Geological Survey of India, November 2009
SPPI Reprint Series, Nov 12, 2009
Himalayan Glaciers – Behaviour and Climate Change
Himalayan Glaciers – A State-of-Art Review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change. V.K. Raina, November 2009
Review by Cliff Ollier, University of Western Australia, November 2009
Four Centuries of Spring Temperatures in Nepal
By Craig Idso, Cato, Jan 28, 2016
Defending the Orthodoxy
The staggering economic cost of air pollution
By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post, Jan 29, 2016
Link to paper: Air pollution emissions and damages from energy production in the U.S.: 2002–2011
By Jaramillo and Muller, Energy Policy, March 2016
[SEPP Comment: From the abstract: “In 2011, damages associated with emissions from these sectors totaled 131 billion dollars (in 2000$), with SO2 emissions from power generation being the largest contributors to social damages. Further, damages have decreased significantly since 2002, even as energy production increased, suggesting that, among other factors, policies that have driven reductions in emissions have reduced damages.” The Washington Post article fails to mention this critical finding!]
Earth’s temperature depends on where you put thermometer
By Seth Borenstein, AP, Jan 20, 2016
‘”We care about what’s happening where we live. That’s why ground-based temperatures are most relevant to humans,’ said Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.”
[SEPP Comment: To predict the probability and path of possible tornadoes, would Ms. Hayhoe look at the ground?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Another impartial look at global warming…
Guest essay by M.S. Hodgart (Visiting Reader Surrey Space Centre University of Surrey), WUWT, Jan 21, 2016
“It is extraordinary that in their various releases neither the UK Met Office nor the IPCC seem to want to confront these statistical facts in their own data. It is of course unwise to make a projection into the future but if we trust neither the elaborate computer climate models favoured by the Met Office nor the projection of Mills- type all-stochastic models this is all we have got. One can only note that in the 85 years from now to 2100 the projected increase could be around 0.0087 x 85 = 0.74 degrees. Could this be realistic and if so is that a cause for alarm? I only ask.”
History and the limits of the climate consensus
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 22, 2016
Link to Essay: History and the Limits of the Climate Consensus
Acknowledging the science of global warming does not require accepting that it is immune to criticism.
By Philip Jenkins, The American Conservative, Jan 21, 2016
Jonas Raises Major Questions Concerning Climate Alarmist Narrative
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Jan 29, 2016
If the UK were to try and achieve COP21 ideas – hold on to your hats!
Guest essay by Philip Foster, WUWT, Jan 23, 2016
GOP chairman: Paris climate agreement will fail
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 26, 2016
The Administration’s Plan
DOE Releases Grid Modernization Blueprint
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Jan 15, 2016
Link to press release: DOE Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) – Awards
By Staff Writers, DOE, Jan 2016
“As part of the GMI, the Energy Department announced funding in January, 2016 of up to $220 million over three years for DOE’s National Labs and partners.”
[SEPP Comment: What is the cost of the government’s shut-down of coal?]
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
States appeal to Supreme Court in fight against Obama’s climate rule
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 26, 2016
Social Benefits of Carbon
What’s behind the Arctic’s increasing carbon dioxide fluctuations?
By Sid Perkins, Science, Jan 21, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: The Arctic is greening from CO2.]
Seeking a Common Ground
Global Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions [H/t Jo Nova]
Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2010. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2010
Insights from Karl Popper: how to open the deadlocked climate debate
By Larry Kummer, Climate Etc. Jan 28, 2016
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Precipitation and Pacific Storm Track Problems in CMIP5 Models
Langenbrunner, B., Neelin, J.D., Lintner, B.R. and Anderson, B.T. 2015. Patterns of precipitation change and climatological uncertainty among CMIP5 models, with a focus on the mid-latitude Pacific storm track. Journal of Climate 28: 7857-7872. Jan 29, 2016
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Increases Fatty Acids in Larval Fish
Diaz-Gil, C., Catalan, I.A., Palmer, M., Faulk, C.K. and Fuiman, L.A. 2015. Ocean acidification increases fatty acid levels of larval fish. Biology Letters 11: 2015.0331. Jan 26, 2016
Forty-five Years of Extremely Intense Worldwide Hurricane Data
Klotzbach, P.J. and Landsea, C.W. 2015. Extremely intense hurricanes: Revisiting Webster et al. (2005) after 10 years. Journal of Climate 28: 7621-7629. Jan 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Based on the last 25 years of data, the most complete, there are no significant trends in intense hurricanes (cyclones), except: “large, significant downward trends are present in accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere, and globally.”]
Local Biofuel Production for Rural Electrification
Hoffmann, H., Uckert, G., Reif, C., Graef, F. and Sieber, S. 2015. Local biofuel production for rural electrification potentially promotes development but threatens food security in Laela, Western Tanzania. Regional Environmental Change 15: 1181-1190. Jan 22, 2916
[SEPP Comment: Not promising for the overall health of the community.]
Huge efficacy of land use forcing in one GISS-E2-R simulation: is an ocean model error involved?
By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Jan 25, 2016
On the Monumental Differences in Warming Rates between Global Sea Surface Temperature Datasets during the NOAA-Picked Global-Warming Hiatus Period of 2000 to 2014
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Jan 27, 2016
The ‘Karlization’ of Earth’s Temperature
Guest essay by Rud Istvan, WUWT, Jan 21, 2016
“Thorough, not thoroughly fabricated: The truth about global temperature data”… Well, not *thoroughly* fabricated.
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 21, 2016
Mystery Divergence? There’s a strange gap between temperatures measured by satellites and on the surface
By Jo Nova Her Blog, Jan 27, 2016
Briffa embraces tree ring uncertainty in new study, gives ‘message to the paleoclimate community’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 27, 2016
“Current approaches to reconstructing past climate by using tree-ring data need to be improved on so that they can better take uncertainty into account, new research led out of New Zealand’s University of Otago suggests.”
Fifteen years of ocean observations with the global Argo array
By Riser, et al. Nature Climate Change, Jan 27, 2016
You Ought to Have a Look: Carbon Tax, Government Science, Laurel and Hardy Weather Observations
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Jan 26, 2016
Link to description of Snow Board: How to Accurately Measure Snowfall
By Molly Cochran, AccuWeather, Jan 30, 2013
What Does the Peer-Reviewed Literature Say About Trends in East Coast Winter Storms?
By Roger Pielke Jr. The Climate Fix, Jan 27, 2016
Blizzard of 2016 slams southern New Jersey with flooding ‘worse than Sandy’
By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather, Jan 27, 2016
Cold Shock Claims Dozens Of Lives In Tropical Asia Amid Record Lows…Taiwanese See Snow First Time In Their Lives!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 27, 2016
Flooding And Planning: We Don’t Need To Live Near Rivers Anymore
Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Jan 25, 2016
Major Atmospheric River Period for the West Coast
By Cliff Mass Weather Blog, Jan 26, 2016
Record-breaking blizzard buries mid-Atlantic with over 2 feet of snow
By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather, Jan 23, 2016
THE BLOB Seems to Be Disappearing at the Surface – But Will It Reemerge
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Jan 24, 2016
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Researchers discover surprising waves in the Antarctic atmosphere
By Katy Human, AGU, Jan 19, 2016
“The data reveal a continual rippling of temperatures in two layers of the atmosphere called the mesosphere and the lower thermosphere, from as low as -122 degrees Celsius to as high as 32 degrees Celsius ( -189 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). At 97 kilometers (60 miles) high, the temperature swings reach 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).”
Study suggests a sea level climate feedback loop in the mid-ocean ridge system regulates ice ages
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 29, 2016
Undersea volcanoes may be impacting long-term climate change
By Alan Longhurst, Climate Etc. Jan 24, 2016
Un-Science or Non-Science?
US, Mediterranean face extreme warming: study
By Marlowe Hood, Paris (AFP) Jan 20, 2016
Two German Scientists Say GISS Has “Squandered Much Credibility” …Playing A “Shady Role”
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Translated/edited by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 29, 2016
An Open Request to Resources for the Future (RFF)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 27, 2016
[SEPP Comment: According to the essay, RFF should: 1. Recognize the physical science of climate change as highly unsettled and thus open to contrary public policy positions; 2. Recognize the benefits, the positive externalities, associated with the anthropogenic influence on climate; and 3. Impute government failure in both the problem and the solution, not only alleged market failure, in cost/benefit analysis. This appears to be sound advice to all institutions attempting to give opinions on the subject.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record
By James Taylor, Forbes, Jan 14, 2016
Bolivia’s Second Largest Lake Has Dried Out. Can It Be Saved?
El Niño, climate change, and mismanagement of water are all to blame, scientists say.
By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, Jan 21, 2016
[SEPP Comment: No rainfall data presented – therefore climate change is a claim? Is it the climate change caused by human CO2 emissions?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Climate Change Is Too Strong It Killed Aliens, May Soon Kill More Humans
By Staff Writers, Health Aim, Jan 25, 2016
Link to paper: The Case for a Gaian Bottleneck: The Biology of Habitability
By Aditya Chopra and Charles H. Lineweaver, Planetary Science Institute, Research School of Earth Sciences, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, published in Astrobiology, Jan 1, 2016
A haszelnut in every bite
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 27, 2016
CO2 kills aliens — Oh No. The Gaiian bottleneck
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 25, 2015
Questioning European Green
Balancing risks and benefits
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Jan 29, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Analyzing the Precautionary Principle: 1) who decides; 2) applied only to environmental issues; 3) flawed approach to decision making – does not weigh risks and benefits.]
Britain Doomed To Have An Energy Crisis Due To Climate Change Act
By Ross Clark, The Spectator, Via GWPF, Jan 29, 2016
“Any further delay to Hinkley [nuclear plant] would be catastrophic for UK energy security. The government has already announced that all coal-fire stations – which between them currently generate 22 per cent of our electricity — must close by 2025.”
Rapidly Evolving Protest: German Wind Energy Opponents Form Political Party In Response To A Deaf System
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 25, 2016
Germany: Fight Against Blackouts As Expensive As Never Before
By Staff Writers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Via GWPF, Jan 28, 2016
Merkel Allies Call for Renewable Curbs as Wind Overwhelms Grid
By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg, Jan 22, 2016
Spain Installed No Wind Power for First Time Since 80s in 2015
By Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Jan 26, 2016
“The standstill has left Spain needing an additional 6,400 megawatts of wind energy capacity by 2020 in order to meet binding European renewables targets, according to the association.”
SSI Steel Agree To Fight Climate Change – Then Shut Down
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot People Know That, Jan 28, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Second largest blast furnace in Europe.]
Supreme Court upholds electricity demand rule
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 25, 2016
A Supreme Court Victory for Climate and Free Markets
By Editorial Board, Bloomberg View, Jan 26, 2016
“In a victory for both environmental and free-market principles, the Supreme Court has just made it easier for the U.S. to cut carbon emissions. Its decision rests on the proposition that the laws of supply and demand can be used to address climate change.
“…the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates wholesale power markets, issued a rule in 2011 saying that demand-response companies, which negotiate agreements with large electricity consumers to cut their use when necessary, should be paid the same amount of money per megawatt as traditional electricity generators. That rule is critical to enticing consumers to take part.”
[SEPP Comment: Apparently to Bloomberg, a free market is a government regulated one!]
In FERC Ruling, Supreme Court Announces Dangerous New “No Man’s Land” Principle
By William Yeatman, CEI, Jan 28, 2016
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
The NYT Gets It Wrong on Carbon Tax
By Robert Murphy, IER, Jan 22, 2016
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Windfarms paid double the market price to cut power
The grid operator is now taking action to avoid future wind power waste
By Jullian Ambrose, Telegraph UK, Jan 26, 2016
Constraint payments were also paid to coal and gas plants this week, but at significantly lower prices, below the market rate. Thermal generation needs less compensation from National Grid because the plants save money on the fuel they don’t burn.
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Actions Needed to Improve Transparency and Reporting of Correction Requests
By Staff Writers, GAO, Jan 20, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to full report:
[SEPP Comment: For FY 2010 through 2014: Department of Interior: Total requests 26; Fully Corrected 1; Partially Corrected 7; No Correction 18 – EPA: Total requests 21; Fully Corrected 1; Partially Corrected 3; No Correction 16; One Pending}
Energy Issues – Non-US
Crisis looms for UK electricity supplies, report says
By Keith Findlay, Aberdeen Journals, Jan 26, 2016 [H/t GWPF[
Link to press release: Closure of UK coal and nuclear plants to create electricity supply gap of up to 55% by 2025
By Staff Writers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Jan 26, 2016
Link to report: Engineering the UK Electricity Gap
By Staff Writers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, January 2016
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 26, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Observations on the Institute of Mechanical Engineers report.]
Britain Needs 30 Gas Plants by 2025 to Fill Power Supply Gap
By Rachel Morison, Bloomberg, Jan 26, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Nick Butler: UK Policy Implications Of Another Nuclear Delay
By Nick Butler, Financial Times, Jan 27, 2016
Energy Issues — US
Banks Rip Up Oil Forecasts
By Christian Berthelsen, Dow Jones, Jan 28, 2016
Entergy Sues New York for New Attempt to Shut Down Indian Point Nuclear
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Jan 21, 2016
[SEPP Comment: No nuclear, no fossil fuels says the state. Let the wind blow and see how well the cities run.]
Natural Gas Pipelines Explained
By Staff Writers, EIA, Accessed Jan 27, 2016
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
A Long Fossil Future
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Jan 29, 2016
Link to report: The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040
By Staff Writers, Exxon Mobil, January 2016
The Miracle Of US Shale
Editors, Real Clear Energy, Jan 26, 2016
Return of King Coal?
Let Coal Die. Save Coal Country.
By Editorial Board, Bloomberg View, Jan 26, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Bloomberg clearly states its editorial bias.]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
Actions Needed to Better Protect Against Billions of Dollars in Federal Exposure to Decommissioning Liabilities [of off-shore oil and gas infrastructure]
By Staff Writers, GAO, Jan 19, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“GAO recommends that Interior take several steps to improve its data system, complete plans to revise its financial assurance procedures, and revise its cost reporting regulations, among other things. Interior concurred with GAO’s recommendations.”
Natural oil seeps encourage microbial life in Gulf of Mexico
By Brooks Hays, New York (UPI), Jan 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment: As TWTW was stating shortly after the BP Blowout, thanks to its readers.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
French, Finnish reactor problems cast shadow over UK nuclear plan
By Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet, Reuters, Jan 28, 20 http://www.reuters.com/article/edf-britain-idUSL8N15C22S?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews&utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=9a35753e73-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-9a35753e73-303449629
New nuclear reactors are being built a lot more like cars
By Christopher Groskopf, Quartz, Jan 26, 2016
[SEPP Comment: An overview of the high tolerances required for components that go into nuclear power-plants. China leads the world. Does not discuss Small Nuclear Reactors.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: January 25, 2016
By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Jan 25, 2016
Rapidly Evolving Protest: German Wind Energy Opponents Form Political Party In Response To A Deaf System
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 25, 2016
Progressive Mother Jones Finally Realizes Why Rooftop Solar Is A Total Scam
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Jan 18, 2016
The best and worst states for solar
Nevada, Hawaii get Fs for net-metering changes
By Claudia Assis, Market Watch, Jan 27, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Another demonstration that solar depends on politics, not the sun. In this rating system it is politics (subsidies and mandates) that overshadow physical constraints. Cloudy, northern Vermont and New Hampshire get an A, sunny Nevada and Texas an F?]
Thermal Storage for Solar Thermal Plants
By Amy Gahran, Energy Biz, Winter 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
False Promise of Biofuels
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 29, 2016
The Problem with Biofuels
The U.S. Navy is touting its “Great Green Fleet,” but why haven’t biofuels made a bigger splash despite a decade of hype and investment?
By Richard Martin and Michael Reilly, MIT Technology Review, Jan 27, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Not needed for national security or defense. Why pay more?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
How a Green Cause Is Worsening China’s Smog Problem
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Jan 27, 2016
Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Jan 25, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Why not use the carbon dioxide to grow organic vegetables?]
The Four Errors in Mann et al’s “The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth”
By William Briggs, His Blog, Jan 26, 2016
Link to paper: The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth
By Mann, Rahmstorf, Steinman, Tigley and Miller, Nature, Jan 25, 2016
On the likelihood of recent record warmth
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 26, 2016
Place your bets! Another hotted-up Mann-tastic modeling claim
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 26, 2016
FoE to get its comeuppance?
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 29, 2016
“…the Charities Commissioners have taken a dim view of an FoE [Friends of the Earth] leaflet that claimed that silica – that’s sand to you or me – used in fracking fluid was a known carcinogen.
Toxic chemicals found in most outdoor gear: Greenpeace
By Staff Writers, Berlin (AFP), Jan 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Does the Secretary of Interior, the former head of REI, an expensive outdoor gear store, know what she was selling?]
Other Scientific News
3 Reasons To Be Wary Of Meta-Analyses
By Stan Young, ACSH, Jan 26, 2016
“In the September 1906 issue of the North American Review, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) popularized the phrase, ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’”
Coal formation linked to assembly of supercontinent Pangea
By Staff Writers, Stanford CA (SPX), Jan 22, 2016
Link to paper: Delayed fungal evolution did not cause the Paleozoic peak in coal production,
By Neilsen, DiMichele, Peters, and Boyce, PNAS, Jan 19, 2016
Newly discovered photosynthetic bacteria is surprisingly abundant
By Staff Writers, Odense M, Denmark (SPX), Jan 21, 2016
“A bacterium found in the remote Gobi Desert has shown talents for using the sun’s light as energy, and now researchers reveal that it can be found in surprisingly many different places, including water treatment plants.”
Other News that May Be of Interest
New study zeros in on plate tectonics’ start date
By Staff Writers, College Park MD (SPX), Jan 22, 2016
Link to paper: Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics
By Tang, Chen, and Rudnick, Science, Jan 22, 2016
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Al Gore: Earth will become a total frying pan today
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Jan 26, 2016
Gore’s Tip of Tipping Point Busted.
By Goeff Brown, Australian Climate Skeptics, Jan 27, 2016
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org Jan 29, 2016
Nick Starling, the director of general insurance for the Association of British Insurers, bleakly predicted that the worldwide cost of cleaning up major storms, triggered by global warming, could rise by two-thirds to £15 billion annually by 2080: he therefore implored governments to take stronger preventative action against climate change.
[SEPP Comment: According to Munich RE, the world’s largest re-insurance company, losses of property and lives are declining, not increasing.]
Rising CO2 emissions pose ‘intoxication’ threat to ocean fish
By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), Jan 22, 2016
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. Climate Change: The Burden of Proof
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Jan 29, 2016
SUMMARY: IPCC has yet to provide proof for significant human-caused climate change; their climate models have never been validated and are rapidly diverging from actual observations. Anyway, the real threat to humanity comes not from any (trivial} greenhouse warming but from cooling periods creating food shortages and famines.
2. The Climate Snow Job
A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.
By Patrick Michaels, WSJ, Jan 24, 2016
Link to paper: A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature
By John Kennedy, Review of Geophysics, Jan 24, 2014
SUMMARY: Michaels writes: “An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.
“Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.
“Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.”
This changed when NOAA made questionable changes to the historic record. (See above link to the Kennedy paper) coupled with a massive El Niño warming.
“There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?
“Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.
“It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.
“The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.
“Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.”
3. Obama Administration Proposes Cutting Methane Waste from Oil, Natural Gas Production
Rules are aimed at cutting the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions by as much as 45% from 2012 levels
By Amy Harder, WSJ, Jan 22, 2016
SUMMARY: “The Interior Department proposed rules Friday to cut methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations on federal lands, the latest move in President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda.
“The rules are aimed at helping meet an administration goal of cutting the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by as much as 45% from 2012 levels over the next decade.
“The regulations, set to be completed later this year after a public comment period, would include the first-ever federal limits on flaring, a process in which excess gas, whose primary component is methane, is burned off as carbon dioxide. The rules also include a requirement that companies regularly inspect for methane leaks.
“With the onset of the energy boom, some companies have taken to flaring or venting gas, emitting the methane itself straight into the atmosphere, if pipelines or other infrastructure aren’t immediately available to transport and process it. The new rules would require energy companies to capture the methane and ship it as fuel.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is working to implement final rules for cutting carbon emissions from power plants, and it is expected to issue final rules soon requiring new carbon standards for big trucks.
“The EPA is also set to issue separate completed rules requiring cuts to methane emissions from new oil and gas wells throughout the country, not just on federal lands—rules that industry executives say makes Friday’s proposal unnecessary.
“The department also says the new rule would allow the government to reap as much as $16 million in additional royalty payments from gas that companies currently flare or vent instead of selling. That amounts to 0.5% of the $3 billion in royalties the government says it collects from drilling on public lands.”
[SEPP Comment: Flaring is necessary if there are no pipelines to take the gas. The regulations are designed to increase the costs of fossil fuels to consumers without any real benefits.]