Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #225

The Week That Was: 2016-05-07 (May 7, 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)

Tropical Atmosphere: Temperature trends in the tropical atmosphere are particularly important because, according to the theory advanced by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this is where any warming from carbon dioxide (CO2) should be amplified by an increase in warming from other factors, namely water vapor – the most abundant greenhouse gas. Indeed, amplified warming has been a major feature in recent IPCC reports, beginning in the Second Assessment Report (AR-2, 1996), which claimed a pronounced warming trend over the tropics centered about 10 km (33,000 feet) of about twice the warming trend of the surface. A paper published by Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer in 2007 pointed out that the hot spot cannot be found in the atmospheric temperature trends measured by balloons and by satellites. This has been a major source of contention between scientists supporting the IPCC and by those challenging it. [As Richard Lindzen stated in his video reviewed in the last two TWTWs, Group 1 and Group 2 scientists.]

In his written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on February 2, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville submitted the results of 102 IPCC CIMP-5 Climate Model runs for the Global Bulk Atmospheric Temperature. (Surface to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). (CIMP-5 is the latest version global climate models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC))

Christy tested the results of these model runs against temperature observations by four different datasets of weather balloon measurements with one type of instruments and by satellites with another type of instruments as calculated by 3 different entities. Christy shows a 0.98 correlation between the types of observational datasets, which is very high for such types of measurements. Not only is there significant disparity between the average of model runs and observations; but also, since 1995 the disparity is increasing significantly. The models greatly overestimate the warming of the bulk atmosphere, and that over the tropics by approximately three times the observed. (TWTW, Feb 6, 2016)

On her web site, Climate Etc., Judith Curry wrote that she planned to use Christy’s work in her presentation to the National Associated Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA-GISS) took exception, claiming Christy’s work was defective. In two separate posts (including statistical analysis), Steve McIntyre examined Schmidt’s claims and found them defective. Nothing Schmidt presented (mostly statistical) contradicts the empirical work presented by Christy.

In brief, Schmidt’s criticism of Christy claims that Christy did not appropriately recognize the uncertainty in the models. This is similar to Santer’s defense of the hot spot. Simply that it cannot be observed does not mean that it does not exist, because the uncertainty in the models is so large!

It is strange that the IPCC expresses great certainty in its work in its Summary for Policymakers (AR-5, 2013) and in its models. Yet when critical characteristics of the work and the models are not observed, defenders of the IPCC evoke great uncertainty in the work and the models.

For background on how the hot spot came about see Bernie Lewin’s piece: “Remembering Madrid ’95: A Meeting that Changed the World.” https://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/

For a description Santer’s work and the rebuttal see pages 5 to 8 of the report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change: Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. http://www.sepp.org/science_papers/NIPCC_final.pdf

And for the current dispute see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Models v. Observations


Quote of the Week: “Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the spot of every wind. With such persons, gullability, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.” —Thomas Jefferson (1822)


Number of the Week: 67%, up 14 times, down 50%


Assembly of Models: Modern weather forecasting often includes an assembly of multiple models. This works fine as long as those making the forecasts recognize the limitations. [One fleet meteorologist commented that the furthest out they can forecast weather is 11 to 14 days, provided all the models converge.] Long-range weather forecasters, such as those with WeatherBell Analytics, look at many models and attempt to determine which have patterns seen in the past, and base their long-range forecasts on these patterns.

The IPCC and its followers use multiple models to make long-range predictions/projections. As shown by Christy, in general, the models greatly overestimate the warming in general, and over the tropics, in particular. Also there is a logical problem with relying on the average of models – there is no logical reason to assume the average will capture what is occurring or what will occur. In part of his criticism of a lecture by Tim Palmer at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, string theorist Luboš Motl recognizes the logical problem. Motl writes:

“Palmer made a short introduction to chaos theory you can get even in the most superficial pop-science publications, mentioned some hurricane in 1987 or whatever, and said that the future may be predicted despite the chaos. He was promoting the usual misconception that the probability of the meteorological phenomenon X may be calculated as the percentage of models or model runs that produce a future that obeys the conditions of X.


“Needless to say, this is extremely far from the truth in the real world. The problem is that the models share some (very many) systematic errors and a big fraction of these systematic errors are more or less completely shared by the different models (and they’re certainly shared by different runs of the same model). (In some cases, the term “systematic error” is a euphemism because the errors are as big as the effects they are trying to predict – so the models are literally worthless for many purposes.)


“So by running a model many times and averaging the results (and the calculation of the fraction to calculate the probability is an example of averaging, one averages the numbers 0 or 1 from different models/runs), you just don’t improve your accuracy too much and maybe you don’t improve it at all.


“Richard Feynman made the same point that “the averaging many opinions doesn’t help” when he talked about the “judging of the books by their covers”. He was a committee member along with many other people who weren’t doing their work properly and he was annoyed by the herd instincts that were implicitly claimed to be more important than careful work:


“’This question of trying to figure out whether a book is good or bad by looking at it carefully or by taking the reports of a lot of people who looked at it carelessly is like this famous old problem: Nobody was permitted to see the Emperor of China, and the question was, What is the length of the Emperor of China’s nose? To find out, you go all over the country asking people what they think the length of the Emperor of China’s nose is, and you average it. And that would be very “accurate” because you averaged so many people. But it’s no way to find anything out; when you have a very wide range of people who contribute without looking carefully at it, you don’t improve your knowledge of the situation by averaging.’


“Palmer and similar people obviously don’t understand these things – or they do understand and pretend not to understand. So the main message of Palmer’s talk was completely wrong. Too bad that he claims to be a leader of an Oxford climate predictability group.”

Would Feynman, who was not shy, say that by relying on experts and their models, and not atmospheric observations, the IPCC is attempting to determine the length of the Emperor’s nose without observation – even though observations are publically available? See links under Models v. Observations and “What Richard Feynman Can Teach Development Practitioners” http://aidsource.ning.com/profiles/blogs/what-richard-feynman-can-teach-development-practitioners


The Witch-Hunt Unfolds: The full subpoena by the Attorney General for the Virgin Islands delivered to Exxon Mobil has been revealed. About 100 organizations are mentioned. Many can be considered conservative or libertarian – opposed to unwarranted expansion of government power. In the subpoena the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is listed, though SEPP has not received a subpoena. The late Fredrick Seitz, former chairman of SEPP, and S. Fred Singer, current chairman, are identified as persons of interest.

SEPP is a non-profit, scientific organization dedicated to evaluating public policies using one criterion – empirical science. Public policy positions must be based on solid, comprehensive data. Politics, ideology, religion, and similar considerations are immaterial.

Among the many scientists identified in the subpoena are Richard Lindzen, who provided an excellent description of difference in thinking between scientists agreeing with the IPCC and those scientists disagreeing; and John Christy, co-discoverer of measuring temperatures via satellites, and who has published the finest datasets of global temperatures ever compiled.

There are a number of excellent comments found in the links below. An article in the Washington Times states that sixty-nine of the organizations named in the subpoena are listed on Greenpeace’s #ExxonSecrets website — and in virtually the same order. If so, then Attorney General Walker of the Virgin Islands may be conspiring with Greenpeace and with other state attorneys general to suppress the rights of those who insist on empirical science over model speculation.

This apparent violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1985 can be easily stopped by a US Attorney invoking that act. If it is not, then we will be witnessing the extension of authoritarian power by government officials who call themselves liberal-progressives. See Articles 1 & 2, and links under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt and Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back


Solid Science: Writing in Commentary magazine, John Steele Gordon has a straight-forward description of a method of separating solid science from the fluff – or what Lindzen may call the differences between Group 1 and Group 2 scientists and the commentators making up Group 3.

Steele’s five criteria are:

1) Sound science produces predictions that come true.

2) Science is always skeptical.

3) Sound science needs sound data.

4) Who benefits?

5) Chicken Little doesn’t act like he believes the sky is falling.

Under point 3, sound data, in climate we have seen a profound growth of solid data – from satellites. When the Charney report estimating a sensitivity of the earth’s temperatures from a doubling of CO2 between to 1.5 to 4.5ºC came out in 1979, there was no comprehensive global data. So his approach of asking the experts, who were modeling the climate, made some sense. We now have over 35 years of solid data from satellites and the approach no longer makes sense. Yet, that inferior approach is what the IPCC and others who ignore the solid data expects us to accept. For further descriptions, see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Greenland Myths: TWTW reader Clyde Spencer sent us yet another article claiming the great melting of the Greenland ice. As with most such articles, it contained logical fallacies of over generalization. What applies to a narrow valley with glacial ice touching the sea, does not necessarily apply to the entire plateau of ice thousands of feet above sea level. In 1888 a party led by Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen dispelled many myths about Greenland having a lush green valley behind the rim of high mountains by climbing the high mountains, crossing southern Greenland on skis, and finding nothing but a broad barren plateau of ice. Spencer writes about his experience:

“Incidentally, when I was in the Army, I was stationed at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover (NH). I also spent a month in Greenland supervising a crew doing a closure survey on a tunnel near Camp Tuto in the snout of one of these valley glaciers near Camp Tuto. There is an interesting related story: when the tunnel originally was being constructed, the Army decided to drive an air shaft to the surface about 1500’ in from the entrance. However, when they got close enough to the top of the glacier that they could see the blue glow of sunlight, they could also hear a meltwater stream. They prudently decided to abandon work on the shaft so as not to get flushed out. However, the point of this little story is that obviously not all the meltwater flows at the base of the glacier and the researchers may not be warranted in assuming that the meltwater pools-up at the base. My personal guess is that the terminus may be more subject to cracking than farther inland, allowing meltwater streams at intermediate levels to reach ground level. It takes about 200 feet of ice overburden to develop sufficient pressure for ice to deform plastically. That is, below 200’ from the surface, the ice will tend to close any channels. Therefore, one might expect most of the meltwater to be flowing within 200’ of the surface at some distance from the terminus.”


For the article see link under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.


Changing Climate: An article in Scientific American describes a river that existed in the Sahara between 11,700 and 5,000 years ago and states it would be the 11th longest river in the world. This is old news, but the key question remains unanswered: what caused the climate change. According to the IPCC, the level of CO2 was quite stable between 11,700 years ago and the 19th century. In Climate, History, and the Modern World, HH Lamb suggested a cooling of the Northern Hemisphere which caused a drying of the Sahara – the tropical rains no longer came that far north. Cannot find that in the IPCC reports. See links under Changing Climate.


Additions and Corrections: Reader Paul Kenyon corrects a source of a quote from the IPCC used in TWTW. He states: “I have a more extensive quote which includes that exact quote, which reads as: “In climate research and modelling we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled-nonlinear chaotic system and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” IPCC 3rd Assessment Report (2001) Section page 774. Note the different (earlier) reference location, AR3 rather than AR4.”

As ever, we appreciate those who correct our errors.




SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

· The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.

· The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.

· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.

· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The four past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, and Ernest Moniz are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on June 1. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness on July 9 in Omaha.


Number of the Week: 67%, up 14 times, down 50%. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) released several reports which show the importance of hydraulic fracturing in the production of natural gas and for the US economy. In 2015, hydraulically fractured wells provided about 67% of the total natural gas output in the US, from 2000 to 2015 production went up about 14 times, from 3.6 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d) of marketed gas in the United States, to more than 53 Bcf/d, and during the same period, adjusted for inflation, the spot price at the Henry Hub in Louisiana (an important trading index), went down by approximately 50%.

Using a different time frame, the second report estimated: “In constant 2015 dollars, average annual household energy expenditures peaked at about $5,300 in 2008. Between 2008 and 2014, average annual household energy expenditures declined by 14.1%. During this period, household expenditures decreased by 17.7% for gasoline, 25.1% for natural gas, and 28.3% for fuel oil. Electricity expenditures declined by a more modest 0.7%. EIA uses these average household energy expenditures to inform its outlooks for summer transportation expenditures and winter heating fuels expenditures.”

Yet many politicians, who consider themselves to be liberal-progressives, such as Governor Cuomo of New York, wish to stop hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, using false or exaggerated claims of drinking water contamination.


ARTICLES: The Articles section is now at the bottom of TWTW.




Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

Office of the Attorney General

Department of Justice

United States Virgin Islands

Subpoena to Exxon Mobil Corporation, March 15, 2016

5959 Las Colinas Boulevard

Irving, Texas 75039-2298


CEI Responds to Release of Exxon Mobil Subpoena

By Staff Writers, CEI, May 3, 2016


Exxon climate change dissent subpoena sweeps up more than 100 U.S. institutions

By Valerie Richardson; The Washington Times, May 3, 2016


Dem AG Targets 90 Conservative Groups in Climate Change Racketeering Suit

Subpoena demands Exxon correspondence with Heritage, Cato, Mercatus, Hoover, and Reason, among others

By Lachian Markay, Washington Free Beacon, May 3, 2016


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

The Environmental Campaign that Punishes Free Speech

By Sam Kazman and Kent Lassman, Washington Post, Apr 23, 2016


A conspiracy so intense, cont’d

By Scott Johnson, Power Line, May 3, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Climate Alarm Skeptics Defend Constitutional Liberties

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, May 2, 2016


“So far, ExxonMobil hasn’t challenged the Schneiderman subpoena. This is believed largely because a New York law called the Martin Act gives the attorney general wide latitude to investigate businesses for possible fraud or misrepresentation.

“They can learn more about it by reviewing Federal Statute Section 241 of U.S. Title 18 which makes it a felony ‘for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten or intimidate’ another person in exercising their constitutional rights.”

The many attempts to stifle free speech on climate change

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, May 2, 2016


An Inconvenient Truth: Liberal Climate Inquisition Can’t Explain Past Temperature Changes

By David Kreutzer, CNS News, May 2, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Opinion/letter: Climate change and legal action

Letter by Charles Battig, Charlottesville, VA, Daily Progress, Apr 29, 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


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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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


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

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology

By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016


Climate Crisis and Political Power

By John Steele Gordon, Commentary, Apr 25, 2016


‘Global warming’s evil twin’: ‘Ocean acidification’ being exposed as another phony crisis

By Thomas Lefson, American Thinker, Apr 30, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Scientific Regress

By William Wilson, First Thangs, May 2016


Energy and the Theory of Growth

By Staff Writers, GWPF, May 1, 2016


Dutch Geologist Calls Climate Science A “Mass Hysteria” …”Historians Will Shake Their Heads In Disbelief”

Book review: “The Fable of a Stable Climate”

By Dr. Hans Labohm, Edited/condensed by P. Gosselin, May 4, 2016


Michael Brune/Sierra Club’s Non Sequitur (Letter to Koch assumes a market problem, a government solution)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, May 5, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The 20-year old conditions before international action stated by William Niskanen ring true today. The lack of clear warming of the lower atmosphere (lower 50,000 feet, 15 km) indicates the earth’s climate is not as sensitive to CO2 as claimed when the statements were articulated.]

Retired German Climate Scientist: “No Man-Made Signal Found” …”Climate Protection A Dangerous Ideology”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 6, 2016


Defending the Orthodoxy

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming

By Irma Allen, The Ecologist, Apr 27, 2016


Live from Omaha, it’s James Hansen

By Scott Johnson, Power Line, Apr 30, 2016


The environmental toll of storing fossil fuels

By Daniel Cohan, The Hill, May 3, 2016


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Omelets & Eggs Climate Theory Debunked (A brief review of Marc Morano’s “Climate Hustle”)

By Sherri Lang, Master Resource, May 3, 2016


An Inconvenient Review: After 10 Years Al Gore’s Film Is Still Alarmingly Inaccurate

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 3, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Funds Ignoring Climate Risks Rose Last Year Despite BOE Warning

By Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg, May 1, 2016


“Almost half of the world’s top 500 investors are failing to act on climate change — an increase of 6 percent from 236 in 2014, according to a report Monday by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, which surveys global companies on their climate change risk and management.”

[SEPP Comment: Climate fears claimed by Bank of England Governor Carney did not have much impact in the Mid-East or Asia.]

Most leading investors act like they are skeptics

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 3, 2016


Pascal’s Wager For The Global Warming Religion

Apologists for the global warming religion borrow from the lamest argument for the existence of God.

By Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, May 3, 2016


Study shows bad economic times means there are more climate skeptics

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 6, 2016


The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis

How Obama’s Taxpayer-Funded ‘Clean Coal’ Project Could Kill EPA Regulations

Taxpayer-funded project’s financial woes could boost legal case against power plant emissions rules

By Lachian Markay, Washington Free Beacon, May 3, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


A “clean coal” project with behind-the-scenes backing from top administration officials and nearly half a billion dollars in federal subsidies intended to support the case for stringent environmental regulation may instead show why those regulations are illegal.

[SEPP Comment: Despite DOE promising $450 million in subsidies, the Texas Clean Energy Project may not be built, demonstrating that the Administration’s claims of commercially available CCS are false. Thus, EPA regulations become indefensible according to the laws.]

The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

Navajo Nation In Crisis As EPA Tries To Shutter The West’s Largest Coal Plant

By Joseph Hammond, Daily Caller, May 3, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: Claiming it is needed to protect the Grand Canyon from haze, the EPA is trying to close down the power plant that is to the north-west of the canyon. The prevailing winds are from the Grand Canyon to the power plant! Part of the haze comes from extensive forests on the north rim of the canyon.]

Obama Targets Electric Grid for Power Grab

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Apr 25, 2016


Social Benefits of Carbon

Surprise: Hurricanes create carbon sequestration – exceed carbon emissions by American vehicles each year

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 2, 2016


Link to paper: Interplay of Drought and Tropical Cyclone Activity in SE US Gross Primary Productivity

By Lowman and Barros, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, Accepted, Apr 19, 2016


Seeking a Common Ground

Expert judgement and uncertainty quantification for climate change

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Apr 28, 2016


“My concerns about the consensus seeking process used by the IPCC have been articulated in many previous posts. I have argued that the biases introduced into the science and policy process by the politicized UNFCCC and IPCC consensus seeking approach are promoting mutually assured delusion.”

No one ever says it, but in many ways global warming will be a good thing

By Bjørn Lomborg, Telegraph, UK, May 5, 2016


“When we shift the climate conversation to describe positives along with negatives, and focus on costs and benefits of policies – essentially treating this challenge like any other policy agenda – it becomes obvious how many of today’s accepted climate policies are poor. Little wonder climate campaigners do not want this sort of conversation.”

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

How Predators May Modify Evolution of Their Prey to Warming

Tseng, M. and O’Connor, M.I. 2016. Predators modify the evolutionary response of prey to temperature change. Biology Letters 11: 20150798. May 6, 2016


“these results demonstrate that evolutionary change can occur in ecological time scales and thus strengthen the argument for incorporating evolutionary processes into explanations of short-term ecological patterns,”

Has Human-Induced Climate Change Caused California Drought?

Cheng, L., Hoerling, M., AghaKouchak, A., Livneh, B., Quan, X.-W. and Eischeid, J. 2016. How has human-induced climate change affected California drought risk? May 5, 2016


“The six scientists report that ‘the net effect of climate change has likely made severe to extreme agricultural drought less [our emphasis] likely,’ indicating that ‘the current severe impacts of drought on California’s agricultural sector, its forests and other plant ecosystems have not been substantially caused by long-term climate change.’ In other words, as they continue, ‘droughts are not a more frequent condition in the current climate as a result of long-term change,’ likely because of the fact that ‘the deep root zone soil moisture is shown herein to be more sensitive to the increase in precipitation than to the increase in surface temperature, resulting in less severe droughts.’”

Negative Shortwave Cloud Feedback in Middle to High Latitudes

Ceppi, P., Hartmann, D.L. and Webb, M.J. 2016. Mechanisms of the Negative Shortwave Cloud Feedback in Middle to High Latitudes. Journal of Climate 29: 139-157. May 4, 2016


…”although models and observations all agree on LWP [Liquid Water Path] increasing with warming in mixed-phase cloud regions, that (1) ‘most models appear to overestimate the LWP sensitivity to temperature compared with satellite observations,’ that (2) the ‘models overestimate the efficiency of ice-phase microphysical processes” and that they (3) ‘do not maintain enough super-cooled liquid in the historical climate.’”

“Last of all, Ceppi et al. write that (7,8) ‘an improved representation of ice-phase microphysical processes appears to be crucial to reduce the large model errors in both the present-day climatology and future response of condensed cloud water,” citing Choi et al. (2014) and Komurcu et al. (2014).’”

Warm and Wet vs Cold and Dry South African Historic Responses

Brook, G.A., Railsback, L.B., Scott, L., Voarintsoa, N.Y.G. and Liang, F. 2015. Late Holocene Stalagmite and Tufa Climate Records for Wonderwerk Cave: Relationships between Archaeology and Climate in Southern Africa. African Archaeological Review 32: 669-700. May 2, 2016


“Introducing their study, Brook et al. (2015) write that ‘horizontal cores from a large stalagmite and two tufa deposits in the entrance to Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa, dated by radiocarbon methods, have provided climate proxy data on late Holocene environments near the cave,’ further noting that the δ18O and δ13C time series from the stalagmite and tufa cores ‘correlate well with isotope records for other sites in the summer rainfall zone of southern Africa and suggest that late Holocene warm periods in the Northern Hemisphere, including the Medieval Warm Period, Roman Warm Period and Minoan Warm Period, were times of increased moisture in this rainfall zone,’ while intervening cold periods were times of reduced rainfall.”

Models v. Observations

Schmidt’s Histogram Diagram Doesn’t Refute Christy

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, May 5, 2016


Controversy over comparing models with observations

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Apr 5, 2016


[SEPP Comment: See above.]

Recent 45 or 30 years: linear warming a better fit than the CO2-related warming

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, May 5, 2016


Measurement Issues — Surface

The 85-Year “Pause”

By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, May 5, 2016


Massive NOAA Data Tampering In Texas

By Tony Heller, Real Science, May 6, 2016


Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH V6 Global Temperature Update for April, 2016: +0.71 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 2, 2016


Changing Weather

Atlantic Ocean Showing Signs Of A Significant Shift To Cold Phase

By Paul Vorian, Vencore, Via GWPF, Apr 29, 2016


Full post: http://www.vencoreweather.com/blog/2016/4/28/215-pm-atlantic-ocean-showing-signs-of-a-significant-long-term-shift-in-temperatures-from-warm-to-cold

Forecast: La Niña to replace El Niño conditions in the fall of 2016 – dry winter for California expected

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 1, 2016


Changing Climate

A River Once Ran through the Sahara [Graphic]

In full flow it would rank 11th among the largest rivers today

By Shannnon Hall, Scientific American, May 1, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Changing Seas

Study: Turns Out Global Warming Won’t Devastate The Ocean

By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, May 4, 2016


Link to paper: Drift in ocean currents impacts intergenerational microbial exposure to temperature

By David Karl, PNAS, May 2, 2016


Acidic Seawater From Climate Change Hurting Keys

Scientists are now seeing the first bits of a Florida Keys reef starting to dissolve from seawater.

By Seth Borenstein, AP, US News, May 3, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


“The northern part of the Florida Keys reef has lost about 14 pounds (6.5 kilograms) of limestone over the past six years, according to the study published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.”

[SEPP Comment: Very skeptical. How would you even measure a loss of 14 pounds of reef? Unable to find the paper in the index of recent papers of the above-mentioned journal. Does the “science writer” know that alkalinity and acidity are measured by pH, and an acid has a pH below 7?]

Thriving reef system discovered in the most unlikely of places: the dirty mouth of the Amazon river

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2016


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Study finds ice isn’t being lost from Greenland’s interior due to unique process

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 4, 0216


“This is small potatoes compared to the calving that’s going on along the coasts,” he said. “Every time we go back to Greenland, the edge of the ice is farther away from the coast.”

[SEPP Comment: Doubtful if the comment applies to the entire coastline.]

Uncertain Future For Arctic Ice

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, May 5, 2016


Link to paper: Contribution of sea-ice loss to Arctic amplification is regulated by Pacific Ocean decadal variability

By Screen and Francis, Nature Climate Change, May 2, 2016


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Stifling innovation

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, May 6, 2016


“At heart, this is a philosophical argument [to new plant breeding techniques]. On one hand, we have companies eager to realise the potential of powerful new and evolving technologies, and a farming community largely keen to see what it can deliver for them. On the other, there are a number of vocal lobby groups concerned ostensibly about the science, but in reality also not fans of the multinational agricultural supply companies or modern intensive farming.”

Un-Science or Non-Science?

Widespread loss of ocean oxygen to become noticeable in 2030s

By Staff Writers, Boulder CO (SPX), Apr 29, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Unable to locate paper in a search of the latest issue of Global Biogeochemical Cycles or recent NCAR publications. Possibly the author has never experienced thermoclines in the ocean]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Large parts of Barrier Reef dead in 20 years: scientists

By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), April 29, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Report in time for the Australian elections.]

Claim: climate change to make Middle East ‘uninhabitable’, spur mass exodus

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 4, 2016


Byway robbery – Josh 374

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 6, 2016


Scientists find more reasons that Greenland will melt faster

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, Apr 30, 2016


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

Climate and Environmental Propaganda

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Apr 30, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Science into agitprop: “Climate Change is Strangling Our Oceans”

By Larry Kummer, from the Fabius Maximus website, Climate Etc. May 2, 2016


Questioning European Green

Devastating Finding: New Study Deems Solar PV Systems In Europe “A Non-Sustainable Energy Sink”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 30, 2016


Link to paper: Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation

By Ferroni and Hobkirk, Energy Policy, July 2016


[SEPP Comment: Amusing propaganda photo of weeds growing through solar panels.]

Wind and solar a waste of money for UK, Prof Sir David MacKay said in final interview

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, May 3, 2016


“In an interview with the science writer Mark Lynas, filmed 11 days before his death and released posthumously, Prof Mackay said the “sensible thing” for the UK to do was to focus on nuclear and on carbon capture and storage technology, which traps the emissions from power stations.

“He criticised the ‘appalling delusion’ that renewable sources of power could simply be scaled up and paired with battery storage to provide all the UK’s energy needs, citing the high costs and large areas of land that would be required.

“He alleged that solar panels had been subsidised in the UK against the advice of civil servants, due to their popularity with MPs and the work of solar lobbyists.”

Sainsbury’s builds its own power plants amid energy shortage fears

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Mat 5, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: A supermarket chain’s answer to possible unreliable electricity from the UK grid.]

Unsustainable Folly: Cost Of Germany’s “Energiewende” To Soar To €31 Billion In 2016 Alone!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 3, 2016


Green transport target will be scrapped post-2020, EU confirms

By Frédéric Simon, EurActiv.com, May 3, 2016


Funding Issues

New study outlines how to talk about climate change to increase donations

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 5, 2016


“Looked at individually, the magnitude of the effects is small,” Obradovich said. “But in the aggregate, in the context of all donations to climate advocacy, it becomes large. A 7 to 50 percent increase in donations to climate change action would translate into millions of additional dollars each year.”

The Political Games Continue

Clinton’s “Misstatement” on Coal

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, May 6, 2016


[SEPP Comment: In general, TWTW avoids political primary stances by the various candidates. However, due to his long service with the EPA, Carlin’s comments are an exception.]

Litigation Issues

Greens sue EPA over fracking waste

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 4, 2016


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Europols Want to Dilute an Already Worthless Carbon Market

By Staff Writers, The American Interest, May 4, 2016


EU lawmakers want to increase free carbon allowance share

By Alissa de Carbonnel, Reuters, May 4, 2016


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

In 2015, CO2 emissions in the EU estimated to have slightly increased compared with 2014

Press Release, Eurostat, May 3, 2016 [H/t GWPF]




EPA and other Regulators on the March

The EPA Stashes BILLIONS In Slush Fund-Like Accounts

By Ethan Barton, Daily Caller, Apr 29, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


“But less than one-quarter of all superfund sites have been completely cleaned over the program’s 35-year history, and dangerous substances that endanger humans could remain at as many as 319 sites,”

Fish and Wildlife to allow more wind-related eagle deaths

By Tim Devaney, The Hill, May 5, 2016


“The FWS is proposing to increase the bald eagle take limit to 4,200 birds, up from the current limit of 1,103 that was established in 2009.”

Energy Issues – Non-US

Why Europe’s energy policy has been a strategic success story

By Tim Boersma and Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings, May 2, 2016


[SEPP Comment: It depends on the definition of success. Consumers faced with ever increasing energy costs don’t think so.]

First fracked gas could hit UK market in 2017 – Cuadrilla

By Susanna Twidale and Karolin Schaps, Reuters, May 6, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


The Tasmanian “energy crisis”

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, May 4, 2016


Why non-renewables are still in abundance while renewables are not

By Philip Lloyd, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Huffington Post, May 5, 2016


Energy Issues — US

Why Dominion Is Cautious about Solar

By James Bacon, Bacon’s Rebellion, May 3, 3016


Link to Dominion’s 2016 Integrated Resource Planning (IRP)


“…the IRP raises concerns about the difficulty of integrating large amounts of solar, an inherently intermittent source of electric power, into a system that requires stability and predictability.”

Washington’s Control of Energy

On the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (1991 thoughts for today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, May 2, 2016


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Declining energy prices lower the cost of living

By Janice Lent, EIA, May 3, 2016


Hydraulically fractured wells provide two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production

By Staff Writers, EIA, May 5, 2016


The Age of Cheap Oil and Natural Gas Is Just Beginning

Fracking and horizontal drilling have sent supplies through the roof and prices through the floor, and things are likely to stay that way

By Marian Radetzki, Scientific American, May 3, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Not mentioned is a major physical property issue: the consistency of the shale formations other parts of the world. Have they been geologically disrupted by plate tectonics, etc.?]

The Oil Crises Of The 1970s

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 2, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Daring to question the head of the Bank of England? Revealing graphic on “Who Owns Big Oil.”

Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills

Press Release by Vengosh, Lauer and Harkness, Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment, Apr 27, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Link to paper: Brine Spills Associated with Unconventional Oil Development in North Dakota –

By Lauer, Harkness, and Vengosh, Environmental Science and Technology, (ACS), Apr 27, 2016


“Funding came from the National Science Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Colorado court overturns fracking bans

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 2, 2016


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear Fallout

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 3, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Some years ago, after watching the movie “The China Syndrome,” some people feared that the nuclear plant core would melt all the way to China. Apparently they did not realize there is a bit of heat between the US and China – the molten core of the earth.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

El Hierro, March/April 2016 update:

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, May 2, 2016


A U.S. State Has Key to $10 Billion Offshore Wind Boom

By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg, May 2, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The author does not discuss why Google pulled out of its plan to build a major off-shore transmission line or why Denmark is cutting back on offshore wind power – expensive and unreliable.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Flying Guinea Pigs

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 6, 2016


Environmental Industry

The slow death of environmentalism

Where 25 years ago the environment was considered everyone’s domain, it has since been hijacked by the left

By James Delingpole, Spectator, UK, May 7, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


Other Scientific News

A Madman Dreams of Tuning Machines: The Story of Joseph Weber, the Tragic Hero of Science Who Followed Einstein’s Vision and Pioneered the Sound of Space-Time

…and a remarkable letter from Freeman Dyson on the difficult, necessary art of changing one’s mind.

By Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, Apr 25, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Huge subglacial lake discovered underneath Antarctica’s ice

Hidden lake could contain species isolated for millions of years.

By Bryan Nelson, Mother Nature, Apr 26, 2016 [H/t Bill Balgord]


Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species

Largest analysis of microbial data reveals that 99.999 percent of all species remain undiscovered

By Cheryl Dybas, NSF, May 2, 2016


Other News that May Be of Interest

This stunning cloud atlas can tell us a lot about life on Earth

By Brad Plumer, Vox, May 3, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]




Climate change is making us mean, ugly and racist

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 6, 2016


Mimicking the ingenuity of nature with artificial photosynthesis to create fuels

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Why?]

Fire & brimstone to those who doubt climate change!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Jan 20, 2015


“We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay.

“Let’s let their houses burn until the innocent are rescued. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices. They broke the climate. Why should the rest of us have to pay for it?”

Steve Zwick, Forbes.com, 19 Apr 2012



Please note that articles not linked easily or summarized here are reproduced in the Articles Section of the full TWTW that can be found on the web site under the date of the TWTW.

1. The Climate Police Escalate

A subpoena hits a think tank that resists progressive orthodoxy.

Editorial, WSJ, Apr 29, 2016


“Sometimes we wonder if we’re still living in the land of the free. Witness the subpoena from Claude Walker, attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, demanding that the Competitive Enterprise Institute cough up a decade of emails and policy work, as well as a list of private donors.


“Mr. Walker is frustrated that the free-market think tank won’t join the modern church of climatology, so he has joined the rapidly expanding club of Democratic politicians and prosecutors harassing dissenters.


“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started the assault last autumn with a subpoena barrage on Exxon Mobil. His demand for documents followed reports by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times that claimed Exxon scientists had known for years that greenhouse gases cause global warming but hid the truth from the public and shareholders.


“Those reports selectively quoted from Exxon documents, which in any case were publicly available and often peer-reviewed in academic journals. Some Exxon scientists changed their views over the years, and several years ago the company even endorsed a carbon tax.


“Mr. Schneiderman nonetheless says he is investigating Exxon for “defrauding the public, defrauding consumers, defrauding shareholders.” He also tipped a broader assault by claiming that the oil and gas company was funneling climate misinformation through “organizations they fund, like the American Enterprise Institute,” the “American Legislative Exchange Council” and the “American Petroleum Institute.” He wants to use the Exxon case to shut down all “climate change deniers.”


“Mr. Schneiderman didn’t single out CEI, and CEI doesn’t disclose its donors. But in January CEI senior attorney Hans Bader blasted Mr. Schneiderman for violating Exxon’s First Amendment rights. “Government officials cannot pressure a private party to take adverse action against a speaker,” he wrote. Mr. Schneiderman responded by inviting more than a dozen state AGs to join him in “collectively, collaboratively and aggressively” investigating fossil-fuel companies and their donations. He rolled out Al Gore for the press conference.


“Mr. Walker belongs to this climate prosecution club and so he unleashed his subpoena attack on CEI, as well as on DCI Group, a Washington-based PR firm that represents free-market and fossil fuel groups. His demand for a decade’s worth of papers on climate research is a form of harassment. The process is itself punishment, intended to raise the cost of speaking freely on climate policy lest it invite legal bills and other political headaches.


“Mr. Walker is also over the line in demanding the names of nonprofit CEI’s donors, who can remain secret under federal law. Anyone on the list will become a new target for the Schneiderman climate posse.


“CEI has filed to quash the subpoena, and the nonprofit has hired attorneys Andrew Grossman and David Rivkin, who recently founded the Free Speech in Science Project to defend First Amendment rights against government abuses. The project is much needed.


“Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has asked the Justice Department to use the RICO statutes to bring civil cases against climate dissenters. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently referred to the FBI a request from two Democrat Congressmen seeking a criminal probe of Exxon. Democrats on Capitol Hill have sent letters pressuring companies to disavow the Chamber of Commerce for its climate heresy.


“This is a dangerous turn for free speech, and progressives ought to be the first to say so lest they become targets for their own political heresies. Rather than play defense, the targets of the climate police need to fight back with lawsuits of their own.”


2. Some Thoughts on the Politics, Profits, and Prophecies of Climate Change

By Anthony J. Sadar, American Thinker, May 8, 2016


“Dire climate change, predicted by atmospheric models but not substantiated by reality, has become the coinage of statists. Wealth transfer executors never had it so good. No wonder free-market thinkers and scientists whose currency is reality are targeted by the climate police.


“But what if climate model output is not good enough to justify the transfer of trillions of middle-class tax dollars to politically-favorable machinates, let alone send someone to jail under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act? What if promoters of doom are somewhat biased in their thinking and even have some incentive for hoping for the worst where the atmosphere is concerned?


“As hard as this may be to accept, it is possible that climate model results may be in serious error and doomsayers may be biased and incentivized somehow. After all, some of the most vociferous champions of climate chaos are not scientists but political types–Democratic presidential candidates, Democratic attorneys general, Democratic president, vice president, cabinet members, and former Democratic vice president. And, among those most likely to gain in power and profit are political types–Democratic presidential candidates, Democratic attorneys general, Democratic president, vice president, cabinet members, and former Democratic vice president.


“Endorsement by politicians, along with the establishment of ‘settled science,’ doesn’t particularly help science, rather it’s more likely to harm it. Examples of negative impact of politics and magisteriums on science abound–from Aristotle’s geocentrism to eugenics and Lysenko’s practice of science in the service of the Soviet state.


“Science thrives on open-mindedness, independent thinking, and perspective. Yet, the current world of climate science is limited by influence from federal government largesse and academic groupthink.


“Overall direction for politically-correct climate conclusions come via the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which role, since its establishment in the late 1980s, has been to assess ‘the scientific basis of the risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation.’


“Informed challengers to the IPCC include the recently established Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a group of ‘nongovernmental scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change.’ Conclusions from their independent investigation of the climate issue, explained in Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Scientific Consensus (Heartland Institute, 2015), include:


‘Climate is an interdisciplinary subject requiring insights from many fields.’


‘Fundamental uncertainties arise from insufficient observational evidence, disagreements over how to interpret data, and how to set the parameters of models.’


‘Climate scientists, like all humans, can be biased. Origins of bias include careerism, grant-seeking, political views, and confirmation bias.’


“ The IPCC, ‘created to find and disseminate research finding a human impact on global climate, is not a credible source.’ For instance, ‘[i]n contradiction of the scientific method, IPCC assumes its implicit hypothesis – that dangerous global warming is resulting, or will result, from human-related greenhouse gas emissions – is correct and that its only duty is to collect evidence and make plausible arguments in the hypothesis’s favor. It simply ignores the alternative and null hypothesis, amply supported by empirical research, that currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment are the result of natural variability.’


“From ample references to peer-reviewed works and based on NIPCC reports ‘drawn from its extensive review of the scientific evidence,’ Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming argues that ‘any human global climate impact is within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous.’


“Scientists have a long way to go to sufficiently understand the workings of the atmospheric environment. So, a terrific disservice is done to the discipline of science, when power-seeking “politicians and narrow-minded individuals of all stripes seek to foreclose reasonable investigation with their claims of settled science and demands for immediate action that will likely produce just another redistribution of wealth fiasco.”

Anthony J. Sadar is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail http://globalwarmingtrust.com/ (Stairway Press, 2016)


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May 9, 2016 7:06 am

“‘Ocean acidification’ being exposed as another phony crisis”
But don’t worry. Ocean deoxygenation is taking its place as The Next Big Thang.

May 9, 2016 9:10 am

Typo: “spot” should be “sport” in the Jefferson quote:
“like a ship without rudder, is the spot of every wind.”

May 9, 2016 11:05 am

This has quite large implications for sea level rise
and this one quite large implications for atmosphere

Science or Fiction
May 9, 2016 1:38 pm

Thank you for a great and well written collection of noteworthy stuff. I liked “Assembly of Models” a lot. Here is one (laughable) example of how IPCC regards uncertainties in models:
«Box 12.1 | Methods to Quantify Model Agreement in Maps
The climate change projections in this report are based on ensembles of climate models. The ensemble mean is a useful quantity to characterize the average response to external forcings, but does not convey any information on the robustness of this response across models, its uncertainty and/or likelihood or its magnitude relative to unforced climate variability.
..There is some debate in the literature on how the multi-model ensembles should be interpreted statistically. This and past IPCC reports treat the model spread as some measure of uncertainty, irrespective of the number of models, which implies an ‘indistinguishable’ interpretation.»
My interpretation is that IPCC has resorted to inductivism. This is indistinguishable from crap.

Reply to  Science or Fiction
May 10, 2016 12:21 am

Well it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck but it’s actually a 747 jumbo jet ! Trust me I’m a scientist .

Kalifornia Kook
May 19, 2016 12:59 pm

Enjoyed the Greenland Myths, but it left out when this activity was observed. I assume it wasn’t this year, but otherwise his anecdote has no temporal anchor. Can someone help?

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