The Week That Was: 2016-07-16 (July16, 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)
The Frederick Seitz Memorial Award: At the 34th Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP), SEPP Chairman Fred Singer presented the annual Frederick Seitz Memorial Award to John Christy for his outstanding contributions to empirical science. No stranger to the readers of TWTW, Dr. Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center, part of the National Space Science & Technology Center, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the State Climatologist for Alabama. The National Space Science & Technology Center is funded by both NASA and the National Weather Service (NOAA).
In 1989, Christy and Roy Spencer (then a NASA/Marshall scientist) co-developed the method of measuring global atmospheric temperatures from satellite data. The data goes back to December 1978. Their landmark paper, “Precise Monitoring of Global Temperature Trends from Satellites,” was published by Science in March 1990. The abstract read, in part:
“Passive microwave radiometry from satellites provides more precise atmospheric temperature information than that obtained from the relatively sparse distribution of thermometers over the earth’s surface. Accurate global atmospheric temperature estimates are needed for detection of possible greenhouse warming, evaluation of computer models of climate change, and for understanding important factors in the climate system.”
For their achievement, the Spencer-Christy team was awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1991 and a Special Award by the American Meteorological Society in 1996 “for developing a global, precise record of earth’s temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate.” In January 2002 Christy was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
The data is published monthly, available for all to review. The satellite measurements have been a lightning rod for those who advocate that human emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), are causing significant global warming. There have been three relatively minor errors in the calculations that, when determined, were promptly corrected. Which is how science should work. The corrections involved orbital decay, orbital drift, and the cooling of the stratosphere. The measurement of temperatures, from the surface to roughly 50,000 feet (15 km) altitude, includes the layer for the “Hot Spot” and avoids the cooling stratosphere.
Calculations are now made by three separate groups, UAH, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and a group with the University of Washington. In addition, Christy uses four separate sets of radiosonde data from weather balloons to verify his work. The correspondence among these datasets is very close.
Also, Christy served as a contributor or lead author (2001) to the first four reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
As state climatologist, Christy stated that, according to global climate models, the Paris Agreement to cut CO2 emissions will have an impact on temperatures so small that it cannot be measured. Further, he stated that based on research, if surface temperatures are used to estimate the greenhouse effect, daytime highs better serve the purpose than nighttime temperatures or averages. Daytimes highs are less influenced by changes in land use such as urbanization.
His experience as a missionary in Kenya taught Christy the importance of electricity to the poor in Africa, which is needed to prevent diseases occurring from use of traditional fuels, such as twigs, dung, and dead vegetation.
In 2014, his wife of 38 years died of cancer. Recently, he married Sherry Upshaw and will donate the prize money associated with the Award to her favorite charity.
John Christy exemplifies the perseverance, dedication to empirical science, and humanity befitting the Frederick Seitz Memorial Award.
Quote of the Week: “The future well-being of humanity will inevitably be closely linked to the advance of both science and science-based technology. We have gone too far in depending upon these twins born out of the Renaissance culture to turn back.” – Frederick Seitz, The Science Matrix, (1992)
Number of the Week: 34.6%
John Christy’s Recent Work: On February 2, 2016, Christy submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology that calls into question the educated guesses (assumptions) that form the basis of the fear of carbon dioxide caused global warming, now called climate change. We know that climate has been changing for hundreds of millions of years; the Greenhouse Effect takes place in the atmosphere; and CO2 is a greenhouse gas; but water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas.
Other things being equal, increasing CO2 will cause warming, not cooling. The question is what influence does an increase in CO2 have on the world’s temperatures? Other issues such as unusual weather, unusual sea level rise, etc. may follow from increased temperatures.
Tasked by the National Academy of Sciences in 1979, Jule Charney of MIT headed a committee to assess the impact of doubling of CO2. The committee gave an educated guess based on little global evidence. There were no realistic global temperatures. Land surface data were very sparse. Mostly, weather stations were in the economically advanced nations in the temperate regions – Europe and the US. At that time, there were, and are, few measuring stations in South America, Africa, or Asia. Except for Western Europe and Alaska, there are few measuring stations north of 40 degrees North and except for Australia, few in Southern Hemisphere.
At the time of the Charney report, global climate modelers guessed the influence of doubling CO2 would result in an increase in temperatures by about 3ºC ± 1.5 ºC. Further, the modelers assumed that any surface warming (from greenhouse gases – CO2) will be amplified in the atmosphere above the tropics centered at about 10 kilometers (33,000 feet) –the so-called hot spot.
The IPCC guessed that surface temperatures will approximate the atmospheric greenhouse effect and built its organization on that guess. Further, the IPCC and its followers guessed that global climate models will approximate future climate changes.
Thanks to work of Spencer and Christy, we now have global atmosphere temperature data to check these guesses (assumptions).
The atmosphere is not warming at a rate even near what the Charney report guessed. It is time to significantly lower the earlier guess.
The disparity between reported surface temperatures and atmospheric temperatures is growing. The surface data is unsuitable as a measure of the greenhouse effect.
The global climate models greatly overestimate actual temperatures and the disparity is growing enormously. The models cannot estimate future climate. Further, the hot spot, another guess, is missing in the atmospheric data.
In addition, the 1998 spike in temperatures and the 2015 rise, and 2016 drop in atmospheric temperatures is showing that both surface and atmospheric temperatures are affected by natural variations, such as El Niños and La Niñas. These natural phenomena contradict the IPCC’s assumption that the human influence on climate can be modeled without knowing the natural influences. As the Apollo and Space Shuttle veterans of the Right Climate Stuff Team reported, we cannot successfully model the human influences without successfully modeling the natural influences on climate. Another long recognized but largely ignored natural feature is clouds, which will become a topic under measurement issues.
It is time for the Climate Establishment to bring its assumptions in line with comprehensive atmospheric temperature data. See Challenging the Orthodoxy and http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/
DDP Climate Presentations: The meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) had presentations on medical issues such as radiation protection standards, emerging diseases, emergency medical preparedness as well as presentations on other topics such as climate.
SEPP Chairman Fred Singer presented evidence that the reported late 20th century warming may be more an artifact of surface measurement than a genuine warming. It does not show up strongly in the atmospheric data. Further, as shown in the NIPCC publication, Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate (2008), there was a remarkable drop in the number of reporting surface weather stations, coupled by a strong shift, in the US at least, in percentages of weather stations located at airports. With abundant pavement, airports are subject to the urban heat island effect that may raise both daytime and nighttime temperatures. A shift in percentage of airport stations from say, 20% to 40%, may give a significant warming in measurements, where there was actually no such warming globally. Compounding this, is that the areas surrounding many airports have undergone strong economic development, increasing an urban heat island effect.
Ken Haapala gave a brief presentation on the problems of unreliable wind and solar power replacing electricity generation from fossil fuels. He emphasized the recent report by the Congressional Research Service showing that the enormous growth in oil and natural gas production in the US is occurring on private and state-owned lands, not on federal government controlled areas.
Tony Heller (Steve Goddard of Real Science) produced graphs showing how NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA-GISS) and NOAA have used graphs with earlier temperatures lowered to give the impression of surface warming trend where there has been none.
Patrick Frank of the Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at Stanford demonstrated how the modelling techniques used in IPCC models compound measurement errors and give a false sense of accuracy.
Howard Hayden showed that past temperature changes were not correlated with CO2, giving rise to questioning many studies that focus on particular times in geological history as an example of current climate change.
Joseph Bast of The Heartland Institute gave a comprehensive review of NIPCC’s latest publication, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.
See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and the July 2 TWTW
Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico: BP announced that its 2010 Deepwater Horizon blow-out in Gulf of Mexico has cost the company almost $62 Billion. Eleven lives were lost. This staggering number reflects the incompetence of both the company and of Washington in addressing the problem. Compounding this incompetence were inflamed reports of major losses to wildlife and that the massive amount of oil will persist for years. As reported in the April 23, 2011 TWTW, over the year following the spill the US Fish and Wildlife service collected 2303 birds; 18 sea turtles, 10 mammals; and 0 other reptiles classified as dead with visible oil. This does not mean the oil killed them. Further, within about six weeks of capping the well, the oil slick disappeared. Apparently eaten by microbes common to the Gulf.
An upcoming TWTW will discuss current drilling in the Gulf. See links under Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences and the April 23, 2011 TWTW.
Senate Teach-In: On July 11, nineteen senators led by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took the Senate floor to attack fossil fuel companies and specific non-profits for their “web of denial” about climate change. Senators were assigned specific organizations to berate. Like many such “teach-ins”, this was a show of political propaganda rather than meaningful Senate business. This is another example of politicians and climate alarmists using highly exaggerated claims of the influence of greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide, on temperatures. Then, they accuse others of downplaying the exaggerated influence.
In an op-ed in the Columbia Review of Journalism, Mr Whitehouse justifies his actions and states that some academics are to examine a network of front groups propagating “climate denial.” The named academics include Naomi Oreskes and Michael Mann, giving an idea of the quality of the research. See links under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt and Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back.
Lowering Standards: In its flagship publication, Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has long censored papers that produce evidence that the influence of CO2 on the earth’s temperatures is less than assumed (guessed at) in 1979. For example, some years ago both John Christy and Roy Spencer said they no longer submit to the magazine.
Now, AAAS is leading a group of 31 science societies in writing to Congress claiming:
“There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health.”
“To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced. In addition, adaptation is necessary to address unavoidable consequences for human health and safety, food security, water availability, and national security, among others.”
It appears that the officers of the 31 science societies more desire to be fashionable than to examine physical evidence. The science society for which Ken Haapala was twice elected president is not part of this group; therefore, unfashionable. See links under Lowering Standards.
Dreaming Batteries. The magazine Scientific American reports that the utility serving west Los Angeles plans to shut down a gas-fired power plant used for “peak shaving” and replace it with a 100 MW battery consisting of more than 18,000 lithium ion battery modules. This will be a first.
The idea is that at night when wind power is high and electricity consumption is low, the battery will charge and be ready for the morning when wind and sun power is low and consumption is high. Then midday, when sun power is high and consumption low, the battery will recharge to be ready for the evening with low wind and solar power and high consumption. The article was a “puff-piece” with few details such as cost, etc.
This is the same state that is closing a fully functioning reliable, nuclear power plant in Diablo Canyon with two units of about 1100 MW each, operating at over 90% capacity. See links under California Dreaming, the June 25 TWTW, and, for a bit of humor, http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/new-mercedes/3021121
Aprils Fools Award: SEPP’s annual April Fools Award was announced on July 9 at the DDP meeting. The top vote-getting nominees were:
Bill Nye “The Non-Science Guy”
Angela “Brown-Coal” Merkel
Sheldon “RICO Them” Whitehouse
Ban “Mother Earth Day” Ki -Moon (Secretary General of the UN), and
Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann
The Winner Is — Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann who says you can watch climate change on TV and now is a go-to guy on integrity in science for Senator Whitehouse. See links under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt and Oh Mann!
Number of the Week: 34.6% The first year of the grand experiment to run El Hierro Island in the Canary Islands on 100% wind power and pumped storage is over. For the year, the total electricity produced by wind and pumped hydro was 34.6% of the electricity consumed. Diesel generators provided the remaining 65.4%. The daily, hourly, and 10-minute graphs are interesting – keep the lights flickering!
According to Roger Andrews, who made the calculations, the cost of the renewable electricity probably exceeded “€1.00/kWh and lowered the island’s CO2 emissions by approximately 12,000 tons at a cost of around €1,000/ton.” The major problem appears to be that the amount of water needed for pumped storage was greatly underestimated and the reservoirs greatly undersized. Wind fails far more frequently than planned. Something the battery planners in California should consider. See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Mini ice-age which could freeze the Tyne is on the way, says Newcastle academic
Solar expert Valentina Zharkova warns that the earth is about to be affected by a solar event that will see temperatures plunge
By Peter McCuster, Newcastle Chronicle, UK, July 15, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt
What phony op-eds about climate change have in common
By Sheldon Whitehouse, Columbia Journalism Review, July 12, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Greens fire back at House GOP over Exxon climate probe
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 13, 2016
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back
As an attorney general, I sued the tobacco companies. ExxonMobil is nothing like them.
By Dennis Vacco, Washington Post, July 14, 2016
Global Warming Skepticism Is Not Fraud
By Joseph Bast, Breitbart, July 12, 2016
Senator Whitehouse’s Dangerous Agenda
By William O’Keefe, Economics 21, July 13, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“A world government modeled on the UN or EU is a scary thought. Senator Whitehouse and his colleagues took an oath to “support and defend” the Constitution. But history has demonstrated that silencing criticism and debate are the first steps in limiting freedom and liberty.”
May free speech reign and scientific inquiry prevail
By Marita Noon, CFact, July 4, 2016
Senators botch facts on climate during free speech attack
By Craig Rucker, ICECAP, July 15, 2016
The imploding cabal to criminalize climate dissent
By Adam Brodsky, New York Post, June 30, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
How to Hoist Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Lieu on their own Petards
By Marlo Lewis, CEI, July 13, 2016
The Exxon Shakedown
By Steven Moore and Timothy Doescher, IBD, July 8, 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
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, ed., The Heartland Institute, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016
Why a Warming World May Be the Cause of Less Weather Woes
By Joe Bastardi, The Patriot Post, July 13, 2016 [H/t ICECAP]
Quiz: Which 30-Year Warming Period Is Recent?
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, July 12, 2016
CO2 Through the Ages
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, July 5, 2016
Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree?
Video, Alex Epstein, July 11, 2016 [H/t Paul Homewood]
[SEPP Comment: The readily understandable video asks what exactly did they agree on; how did they prove it?]
John L. Daly: a Giant of Early Climate Skepticism.
Guest opinion: Dr.Tim Ball, WUWT, July 3, 2016
Defending the Orthodoxy
Scientists find evidence for climate change in satellite cloud record
Press Release, DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, July 11, 2016
“What this paper brings to the table is the first credible demonstration that the cloud changes we expect from climate models and theory are currently happening,” said study lead author Joel Norris, a climate researcher at Scripps.
The unexpected: Cold snaps in the sub-tropics, drought in rainforests featured at upcoming ecology conference
National Science Foundation-funded research results presented at 2016 Ecological Society of America meeting in August
Press Release, NSF, July 12, 2016
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Alarmism: Claiming Normal as Abnormal Began on a Global Scale with Ozone
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, July 9, 2016
Already 240 Published Papers In 2016 Alone Show AGW “Consensus” Is A Fantasy!
770 papers questioning AGW “consensus” since 2014
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 3, 2016
Critical spring feeding for polar bears is over – sea ice levels are now irrelevant
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, July 5, 2016
You Ought to Have a Look: 2016’s Temperature Evolution, a Retraction of a Fracking Cancer Warning, and a Look at Antarctic Sea Ice Trends
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, July 8, 2016
Questioning the Orthodoxy — Statistics
The Great Day Is Here! Uncertainty Meets The World
By William Briggs, His Blog, July 14, 2016
False “Climate Change” Statistics
By Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter NO 327, July 3, 2016
Inconvenient Truth: Most scientists are lousy statisticians; AAAS says “‘Misunderstanding and misuse of statistical significance impedes science”
By Staff Writers, The Hockey Schtick, July 6, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The article is behind paywall. More reasons why one should not be impressed by p values – often generated using statistical packages by those who do not understand the limitations of statistics.]
Beliefs and Uncertainty: A Bayesian Primer
By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, May 22, 2016
When will Africa get healthy and prosperous?
When will its leaders focus on vital issues affecting its people, instead of lining their pockets?
By Steven Lyazi, Via ICECAP, July 14, 2016
If China Is So Committed To Renewable Energy, Why Are So Many New Coal Plants Being Built?
By Wade Shepard, Forbes, July 8, 2016
After Brexit, Europe faces uncertain climate future
Britain’s new prime minister Theresa May has scrapped the UK’s climate ministry and appointed a climate skeptic as environment minister. In a post-Brexit world, Europe’s climate protection policy could be in trouble.
By Dave Keating, Deutsche Welle, July 15, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: As if the EU or the UN could control climate!]
UK energy and climate change policy to shift?
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, July 8, 2016
The rise of the skeptics — Brexit shifts the ground: Boris promoted, DECC gone
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 15, 2016
Abolition of Decc ‘major setback for UK’s climate change efforts’
Ex-ministers and environmental groups condemn decision to axe ministry as downgrading action to tackle climate change
By Adam Vaughn, The Guardian, July 15, 2016
Climate Sceptical Boris Johnson Is Britain’s New Foreign Secretary
By Staff Writers, GWPF, July 14, 2016
Will EU toss environment to a lame-duck Brexit bureaucrat?
The UK wants its new temporary European Commissioner to be in charge of EU environment policy for the next two years. Campaigners say such an assignment would mean the EU considers environment to be unimportant.
By Dave Keating, Deutsche Welle, July 12, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis
First Do No Harm
By Doug Domenech, Real Clear Policy, July 15, 2016
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Ban AC for DC
By Glenn Reynolds, USA Today, July 11, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Climate study finds human fingerprint in Northern Hemisphere greening
By Staff Writers, Oak Ridge TN (SPX), Jul 03, 2016
Link to paper: Human-induced greening of the northern extratropical land surface
By Mao, et al. Nature Climate Change, June 27, 2016
Why We Need More CO2 Emissions, Not Less
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, July 14, 2016
Study finds that plant growth responses to high carbon dioxide depend on symbiotic fungi
By Staff Writers, Bloomington IN (SPX), Jul 03, 2016
“The study, which appears online in the journal Science, calls into question whether the ‘greening of the Earth’ that results from carbon dioxide stimulation of plant growth – often called the ‘CO2 fertilization effect’ – will persist as fossil fuel emissions continue to rise globally.”
[SEPP Comment: Apparently, little growth in nitrogen poor soils. Cannot logically conclude this study applies to all soils.]
Seeking a Common Ground
How Do We Know What Is True?
Posted by Ross Pomeroy, Real Clear Science, July 2016
“Galileo actively argued for a bold new way of knowing, openly insisting that what mattered was not what the authorities… said was true but what anyone with the right tools could show was true.” [or at least empirically substantiated.]
Is much of current climate research useless?
By Kip Hansen, Climate Etc. July 6, 2016
Nassim Nicholas Taleb looks at the risks threatening humanity
By Larry Kemmel, Fabius Maximus, July 5, 2016
Science, Policy, and Evidence
The Dangerous Rise Of Scientism
By Bruce Thornton, Hoover Institution, June 8, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
The troubled institution of science
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 15, 2016
Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns us about climate change
By Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, July 6, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Kummer criticizes Taleb’s approach. Also, if one is to use a ruin scenario, one has to empirically demonstrate the CO2 is a primary cause of global warming/climate change – which has not been done. Unsubstantiated claims ruin will happen is not sufficient.]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Validity of 3rd – 5th IPCC Climate Model Projections for China
Jiang, D., Tian, Z. and Lang, X. 2016. Reliability of climate models for China through the IPCC Third to Fifth Assessment Reports. International Journal of Climatology 36: 1114-1133. July 11, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Not only do the global climate models greatly overestimate the warming of the atmosphere, they do a poor job on surface temperatures and precipitation.]
Dying from Heat and Cold in Spain: Which is the Greater Killer?
Carmona, R., Diaz, J., Miron, I.J., Ortiz, C., Leo, I. and Linares, C. 2016. Geographical variation in relative risks associated with cold waves in Spain: The need for a cold wave prevention plan. Environment International 88: 103-111. July 8, 2016
Modeling Tropical Cyclones: The Seemingly Never Ending Effort
Camargo, S.J. and Wing, A.A. 2016. Tropical cyclones in climate models. WIREs Climate Change 7: 211-237. July 6, 2016
“In conclusion, therefore, they state that ‘despite the recent advances, there is still need for a substantial community effort to improve simulation of TCs [tropical cyclones] in climate models on all time scales.’”
Models v. Observations
In Honor of the 4th of July, A Few Model-Data Comparisons of Contiguous U.S. Surface Air Temperatures
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, July 4, 2016
[SEPP Comment: From 1861 to 2012]
Are energy budget TCR estimates biased low, as Richardson et al (2016) claim?
Guest Post by Nic Lewis, Climate Audit, July 12, 2016
“REA16’s findings are purely model based and do not reflect behaviour in the real climate system. There is little evidence for any major bias when TCR is estimated using observed changes from early in the historical period to the recent past, but limited observational coverage in the early part makes it difficult to quantify bias.”
Measurement Issues – Clouds
Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 12, 2016
Link to paper: “Evidence for Climate Change in the Satellite Cloud Record
By Norris, Allen, Evan, Zelinka, O’Dell & Klein, Nature, July 11, 2016
Measurement Issues — Surface
June Hottest Month On Record? It’s Just One More Overheated Claim
By Kerry Jackson, IBD, July 13, 2016
NASA plans GHG world tour
NASA’s Airborne Mission to Explore the Global Atmosphere
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 7, 2016
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
Santa Pause may be coming to town… The “pause” might be back by December.
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, July 12, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The RSS temperature is similar to that of UAH. Extrapolation from the February to June decline to December is chancy.]
Measurement Issues – Energy Flow
Settled Science: Clusters of small satellites could help estimate Earth’s reflected energy
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 12, 2016
Is the Blob Really Dead?
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, July 15, 2016
Study: ‘The Blob’ was a product of weather patterns and El Niño
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 13, 2016
Link to paper: Multi-year persistence of the 2014/15 North Pacific marine heatwave
By Emanuele Di Lorenzo & Nathan Mantua, Nature Climate Change, July 11, 2016
Two Places to Enjoy Fresh Summer Snow: Greenland and the Pacific Northwest
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, July 5, 2016
[SEPP Comment: See NOAA’s claim of the hottest June on record under Measurement Issues – Surface.]
Study Shows Climate Extremes In Northern Germany Nothing New … Much Worse in The Past
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 13, 2016
Crippled Atlantic currents triggered ice age climate change
By Eric Hand, Science Mag, June 30, 2016
Link to paper: North Atlantic Ocean circulation and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation
By Henry, et al, Science, June 30, 2016
[SEPP Comment: A great deal of speculation in the article, including the use of “triggered ice age climate change.” According to the abstract, the period covered is twenty-five to sixty thousand years ago – well after the ice age began.]
Tol on Gulf Stream slowdown: “Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming…”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 11, 2016
New Paper: Lower Arctic Sea Level Rise Estimated At Only 1.5 Millimeters Per Year!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 14, 2016
Link to paper: Stable reconstruction of Arctic sea level for the 1950–2010 period
By Svendsen, Andersen, and Nielsen, Journal of Geophysical Research, July 13, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Consistent with the NIPCC 2008 report.]
Singapore to build higher in climate change fight
By Staff Writers, Singapore (AFP), July 11, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The increase in sea levels of about 400 feet (120 meters) over the last 18,000 years is certainly due to climate change. But, how does building at higher elevations “fight it”?]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Expanding Antarctic sea ice linked to natural variability
Climate models that capture Pacific variability also capture recent trend
By Laura Snider, NCAR/UCAR, July 4, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Link to paper: Antarctic sea-ice expansion between 2000 and 2014 driven by tropical Pacific decadal climate variability
By Meehl, et al. Nature Geoscience, July 4, 2016
Volcanoes, asteroid impact, drove ancient climate related extinctions
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 5, 2016
Acid attack: Can mussels hang on for much longer?
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, July 5, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: How valid are the models that “predict” the ocean pH will go “from 8.0 to 7.8 by the end of the century?”]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Banning a comparatively safe pesticide would be counterproductive
By Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, July 11, 2016
Un-Science or Non-Science?
The biggest body of warm water on Earth is getting even bigger
By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, July 1, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[Comment by Clyde Spencer: It must be right. They used a model! Funny how these kinds of articles don’t say anything about the assumptions made for determining the parameters in the model.]
Climate power play by the AAAS et al.
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 4, 2016
Link to letter to Members of Congress
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Project Fear From Lord Krebs
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 13, 2016
Australian mangrove die-off blamed on climate change
By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), July 11, 2016
Great Barrier Reef Triage Panic
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 11, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
Climate tipping points: What do they mean for society?
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 11, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Whitehouse & Co. organize “play-in protest” using kids as climate pawns
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 12, 2016
Renewable Energy: High Jobs, Little Power (inefficiency personified)
By Stanislav Jakuba, Master Resource, July 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Message to Washington: Green jobs do not imply prosperity.]
Job Displacement Threat
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, July 12, 2016
GOP votes down funding for global climate fund
By Devin Henry, The Hill, July 12, 2016
The Political Games Continue
Vice President Joe Biden Threatens the Scientific Community
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, June 30, 2016
Uh, oh. Committee Ramps Up Investigation, Threatens Use of Compulsory Process Against Members of #RICO20
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 6, 2016
Links: Smith Letter to NY, MA Attorneys General Reiterating Requests, Threatening Use of Compulsory Process
Smith Letter to Environmental Groups Reiterating Requests, Threatening Use of Compulsory Process
[SEPP Comment: The committee is the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology]
Dems Assigned Conservative Groups to Attack on Senate Floor
List of ‘web of denial’ targets circulated ahead of climate resolution
By Lachian Markay, Washington Free Beacon, July 11, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Dems Double Down on Climate Lunacy
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, July 12, 2016
GOP Should Seek Fraud Charges Against Al Gore
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, July 11, 2016
Court rules against White House science office in email case
By Sam Hananel, AP, July 5, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Court rejects greens’ challenge to natural gas export facility
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 15, 2016
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Germany Votes To Abandon Most Green Energy Subsidies
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, July 10, 2016
Germany Chucks One Green Subsidy Out, Reaches for Another
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, July 12, 2016
Massachusetts Senate unanimously approve energy bill for 2 GW of offshore wind
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, July 5, 2016
Moving To Renewable Energy Is More Costly Than You Think
By Timothy Considine, IBD, July 6, 2016
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Analysis: EPA Data Shows Air In Red States Is 10% Cleaner Than In Blue States
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, July 3, 2016 [H/t Roger Carlquist]
[SEPP Comment: Red indicates states in which Republicans dominate statewide office, blue in which Democrats dominate.]
More of EPA’s Fraudulent ‘Science’
By Steve Milloy, Breitbart, July 14, 2016
EPA updates methane requirements for landfills
By Devin Henry, The Hill, July 15, 2016
“Landfill waste produces pollutants such as air toxins, carbon dioxide and methane as it decomposes. Landfills are the second-largest industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S., the EPA said, beyond oil and gas drilling sites.”
Energy Issues – Non-US
Global energy intensity continues to decline
By Ari Kahan, EIA, July 12, 2016
It’s not how much oil, but how much influence
By Andy Critchlow, Reuters, July 5, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Comparing Saudi and US reserves.]
OPEC Paid A Steep Price For 2% Market Share
By Robert Rapier, Forbes, July 10, 2016
Energy chiefs call for bill levy overhaul
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, July 5, 2016
Gambling On The Price Of Gas
By John Constable, GWPF, July 13, 2016
“The UK Government has not published a detailed assessment of the effects of its energy and climate policies on electricity prices since November 2014. New work from the National Audit Office shows that falling conventional energy price projections, which increase the relative cost of renewable and nuclear subsidies, make it critical that an update is published as soon as possible.”
It Might Seem Bad Now, But Wait Until The Lights Go Out!
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, July 2, 2016
UK relies on emergency measures to avert winter blackouts
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, July 8, 2016
German Energy Policy Sticks It to the Poor and Small Businesses
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, July 8, 2016
German Power Giant RWE Risks Becoming “Largest Bankruptcy In German Business History”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 15, 2016
“But in the end RWE is a power company that is to[o] big to fail, and so the FAZ writes that if push comes to shove, the state will have to intervene and bail out the company. Otherwise there would be ‘chaos on the power market’. Once again the lowly consumers would be asked to reach ever deeper into their pockets.”
Energy Issues — US
Alaska’s Crisis of Leadership
By Dave Harbour, Master Resource, July 13, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Alaska is experiencing many of the problems of petrostates, compounded by Washington’s control of production.]
Companies getting good at life at $50 per barrel
By Daniel Graeber, UPI, July 13, 2016
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
The Peak Oil Paradox
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, July 13, 2016
[SEPP Comment: A good analysis of peak oil from conventional sources. North America with oil from shale and tar sands are an exception. The opinion does not address the possibility of massive reserves from deep water locations such as the Gulf of Mexico.]
Natural gas-fired electricity generation expected to reach record level in 2016
By Owen Comstock, et al. EIA, July 14, 2016
Pipeline Phobia Keeps New England’s Unlikely Trade Route Open
By Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg, July 12, 2016
Way Down Yonder on the Sabine-ahoochee – A Lot About LNG Exports from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass
By: Sheetal Nasta, RBN Energy, July 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The politicians in New England and New York will not permit pipelines to carry it, so export it!]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
BP estimates $61.6B cost from 2010 spill
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 15, 2016
Two Papers Claiming High Pollution Near Fracking Sites Retracted
By Staff Writers, ACSH, July 9, 2016
Link to one retracted paper: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and Oxygenated PAH (OPAH) Air–Water Exchange during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Anti-Fracking Study Gets Retracted For Basic Math Error
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, July 7, 2016 [H/t William Readdy]
Link to one study showing no threat: Elevated levels of diesel range organic compounds in groundwater near Marcellus gas operations are derived from surface activities
By Drollette, et al. PNAS, June 11, 2015
UC Study Claiming Air Pollution from Fracking Quietly Retracted Due to Bad Data
By Seth Whitehead, Energy in Depth, Ohio, July 7, 2016
“Ohioans deserve a full explanation as to why a study that generated numerous alarmist headlines by promoting fear was retracted. It will also be interesting to see if the retraction gets as much media attention as the flawed study generated.
“But, considering Ohioans are still waiting for UC to release its groundwater study (which cost taxpayers $400,000, by the way), it might not be a good idea to hold your breath on that.”
Groundwater methane in relation to oil and gas development and shallow coal seams in the Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado
By Owen Sherwood, PNAS, Submitted [H/t William Readdy]
[After eliminating the more frequent migration from coal seams etc.,] “the results show that wellbore barrier failure, not high-volume hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells, is the main cause of thermogenic stray gas migration in this oil- and gas-producing basin.”
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Powering Up Our World
By Robert Hargraves, The Energy Collective, July 12, 2016
Link to report: Energy and Air Pollution 2016 – World Energy Outlook Special Report
By Staff Writers, IEA, June 27, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The author proposes that hybrid thorium-uranium liquid-fuel is significantly less costly than coal. Although a test reactor was built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, such plants have not been built and tested on a commercial scale.]
Are we too scared of radiation?
By Helen Briggs, BBC, July 11, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
New IAEA Handbook Helps Doctors Deal With Social Aspects of Nuclear or Radiological Accidents
By Miklos Gaspar, IAEA, June 27, 2016
Unable to link to handbook.
The Hidden Costs of US Nuclear Waste
By Stephanie Cooke, Energy Intelligence, June 2016
“Over the last half-century, the US government has failed to live up to its promise of finding a solution to the problem of managing America’s nuclear waste, a failure that is potentially colossal in its implications for future generations and growing costlier by the decade.”
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
El Hierro completes a year of full operation
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, July 11, 2016
$14,000 per MWh – the price South Australia Pays for Renewables Madness
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 14, 2016
Folly: All Of Europe’s Wind Power Capacity Only Could Steadily Provide Enough Electricity For Tiny Belgium!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 12, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Data for first 6 months of this year.]
Renewables Investment Fell 23% This Year After Record 2015
By Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg, July 14, 2016
New Concentrating Solar Tower Is Worth Its Salt with 24/7 Power
A California firm is converting sunlight to heat and storing it in molten salt so it can supply electricity when the wind is calm or the sun isn’t shining
By Knvul Sheikh, Scientific American, July 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Idealistic view of consistent power. Twice the cost of the goal set by the Department of Energy.]
The Pentagon Practices ‘Electrical Hygiene’
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, July 5, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Would it be able to fight a battle in the dark if the wind fails?]
EDP’s Puff Piece For Solar
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 7, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Cost and intermittency. As usual, the cost and the cost of back-up are ignored in those taking polls.]
Energy & Environmental Newsletter
By John Droz, Master Resource, July 11, 2016
Germany enlists machine learning to boost renewables revolution
Grids struggle to cope with erratic nature of wind and solar power.
By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature, July 13, 2016
Smart Grids: Greener & Easier to Hack
By Mark P. Mills, Real Clear Energy, July 14, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Powering our transport and heating our houses?
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, July 15,2016
Several nonpowered dams along the Ohio River to be converted to hydroelectric dams in 2016
By Alexander Mey, EIA, July 15, 2016
Kemper Project costs increase another $9.8 million
By Steve Wilson, Mississippi Watchdog.org, July 5, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
World’s Largest Storage Battery Will Power Los Angeles
More than 18,000 lithium ion battery packs would replace a gas-fired power plant used to meet peak demand
By John Fialka, Scientific American, July 7, 2016
[SEPP Comment: When solar and wind don’t provide enough. 100 MWs is less than one twentieth of the reliable power being shut down from the functioning nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon. TWTW June 25. Waiting to see the costs.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Mission: Save the Environment
By Sean Carroll, Project Syndicate, July 15, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Describing the extremely important and successful program of virtually eliminating smallpox. But it is important not to generalize. We knew the enemy and how to destroy it.]
The Deadliest Jobs: Fatal Injuries and Suicides
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, July 7, 2016
“As usual, the ‘farming, fishing, and forestry’ occupation group was by far the deadliest, with a fatal injury rate of 24.7 per 100,000 workers.”
Mickey Mann Can See Climate Change From His Window – Part II
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 8, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Too bad he cannot read the temperature records of the nearby weather station.]
The Four Errors in Mann et al’s “The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth”
By William Briggs, His Blog, Jan 26, 2016
Global Warming Alarmist Reveals The Anti-Science Con
By Kerry Jackson, IBD, July 6, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Psst…NRDC Stoners: Your Endocrines Are Disrupted
By Josh Bloom, ACSH, June 30, 2016
Other Scientific News
China finishes world’s largest radio telescope to search for alien life
By Allen Cone, Guiyang, China (UPI), July 3, 2016
Other News that May Be of Interest
How China is rewriting the book on human origins
Fossil finds in China are challenging ideas about the evolution of modern humans and our closest relatives.
By Jane Qiu, Nature, July 12, 2016
Evolution may have moved at a furious pace on a much warmer Earth
By Staff Writers, Chapel Hill NC (SPX), Jul 11, 2016
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Gergis Australian hockeystick is back: How one typo took four years to fix
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 12, 20 16
“From data that’s mangled and squeezed,
One tenth degree warming is teased,
As a trend to be claimed,
And on mankind is blamed,
To keep global warmists appeased.”
Shocking New Research: Hunger Motivates Eating
By William Briggs, His Blog, July 15, 2016
The Future of Tea Looks Bleak, Thanks to Climate Change
Warmer weather is stripping flavor from your cup
By Clarissa Wei, Eater, July 8, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, July 13, 2016
“The surprising discovery that plants may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of the world’s methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is no reason to stop planting forests, a scientist has warned.
A team led by Frank Keppler, of Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany, found that living plants emit 10 to 1000 times more of the gas than decaying matter. And plants increase their methane emissions when warmed by the sun, it was found.
Plants have long been seen as weapons against global warming because they absorb another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
It’s a surprise, said David Etheridge of the CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research division. ‘You think you know everything.’”
1. Shale Drillers Adapting to Low Oil Prices, Report Finds
Production costs fell by as much as 40% in past two years, Wood Mackenzie report says
By Selina Williams, WSJ, July 13, 2016
Unable to link to study.
SUMMARY: The author states that according to report by the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, American shale now makes up the bulk of about nine million barrels a day of new oil commercially viable at long-term Brent oil prices averaging about $60 a barrel.
“Shale drillers have cut the costs of producing new supplies of oil by as much as 40% in the past two years by pushing for lower rates from the firms that provide equipment such as rigs, pipes and other services. The companies have also improved productivity at the wells themselves by better locating drilling sites to make the most of “sweet spots” in the reservoirs and other initiatives.
“The big winners here will be incumbent operators in the key shale oil patches in the lower 48 U.S. states, such as in the midcontinent and Permian Basin, including U.S. independents such as EOG Resources Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Continental Resources Inc. and Apache Corp. as well as oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the report said.
“However, companies looking to develop big new oil projects outside of U.S. shale fields haven’t been as successful, reducing costs by only 10% to 12%. This means that about four million barrels a day of conventional oil production coming from big new projects, including some ultra-deepwater developments in Angola and Nigeria, aren’t commercially viable at $60 a barrel, the Wood Mackenzie report said.”
According to the head of energy at Wood Mackenzie, U.S. shale oil will be the bulk of what is likely to be developed in the next few years.
2. Oklahoma Quakes Decline Amid Curbs on Energy Industry’s Disposal Wells
Drop attributed to restrictions on oil and gas companies’ pumping of wastewater from underground operations
By Erin Ailworth, WSJ, June 30, 2016
SUMMARY: The reporter writes: “The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has fallen 25% in 2016 compared with a year earlier, a decline attributed in part to actions by state regulators to police the oil and gas industry’s practice of pumping wastewater from its operations deep underground.
“The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry, earlier this year stepped up efforts to get companies to reduce the amount of wastewater they inject into hundreds of disposal wells, which have been blamed for a surge in earthquake activity in the state over the past decade.”
“While the results represent only a few months of activity, Oklahoma officials and geologists say the state’s efforts appear to be working, and may be starting to reverse the earthquake trend—a development likely to be welcomed by citizens in drilling areas.”
It may take some time before the current decline in earthquakes is fully realized.
3. Mission Accomplished for Climate Activists
Climate activists long for a carbon-reduction policy with teeth, so having Exxon step in as the first major U.S. oil company to join European energy companies in embracing a carbon tax was far better than pursuing a long-shot charge of climate-research deception.
Letter by Rob Shipley, WSJ, July 12, 2016 [H/t William Readdy]
SUMMARY: Citing an article on Exxon lobbying other energy companies to support a tax on carbon emissions, the author states:
“If the true goal of the state attorneys general and climate activists who were harassing Exxon (along with other groups producing research challenging the left’s climate consensus) was to get past research and into action, mission accomplished at Exxon without risk of an embarrassing loss in court.
“Climate activists long for a carbon-reduction policy with teeth, so having Exxon step in as the first major U.S. oil company to join European energy companies in embracing a carbon tax was far better than pursuing a long-shot charge of climate-research deception.
The IRS did not have to prove tax-law abuse by conservative groups in 2012 in order to shut them up during President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election—-prolonged audits did the trick. Banks that have spent billions of dollars in order to comply with onerous Dodd-Frank regulations may now prefer to stick with the regulatory regime they know rather than speak out against it (and anger Democrats).
“Harassment of corporate executives and boycotts of their businesses can stop corporate donations to conservative political causes, if other regulatory efforts to stifle free speech come up short.
“The state attorneys general claimed that Exxon and climate researchers deliberately understated the likelihood and dire consequences of dramatic climate change. Exxon is advocating a new carbon tax to mitigate the consequences of climate change. Speaking out in favor of a carbon tax covers a multitude of climate sins. It was time to take some of the heat off of Exxon.”
4. Old MacDonald Had a . . . Climate Offender
Worried about carbon from crops, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate America’s farms
By Bruce Dale, WSJ, July 10, 2016
The author is a professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University, is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. Mr. Dale writes:
“A basic fact about agricultural products such as grains and oilseeds is that the carbon in them, called biogenic carbon, came from the atmosphere. Biogenic carbon will return to the atmosphere when these products are consumed, such as when human beings eat bread and then breathe out the carbon dioxide resulting from the breakdown of bread in the body. Biogenic carbon therefore cannot contribute to climate change.
“Why is the Environmental Protection Agency denying this basic fact of climate science? The EPA is counting biogenic-carbon emissions as if they were the same as fossil-carbon emissions. They are not the same. Carbon atoms emitted by burning fossil fuels are, in effect, on a one-way trip from the ground to the atmosphere, where they will stay for hundreds of millions of years. In contrast, carbon atoms taken from the atmosphere to make agricultural products are on a round trip from the atmosphere to farms then back to the atmosphere.
“The EPA intends to penalize American farmers and those who make modern energy and bioproducts such as plastics from agricultural feedstocks by treating biogenic carbon like fossil carbon. As part of its approach, the EPA is now attempting to regulate ‘sustainability’ in the farm field. “
According to Mr. Dale, these regulations are part of EPA’s new Clean Power Plan.
“The EPA is trying to put itself in charge of regulating farms—an outstanding example of ‘mission creep’ and bureaucratic overreach. Regulating agriculture is not the EPA’s job—we already have an Agriculture Department. The EPA’s approach would demand proof of exactly which farm produced every pound of corn, wheat, soy or cottonseed used by customers of those farms—a practical impossibility in the U.S. agricultural system.”