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)
Obsolete Science? Writing in Cosmos, Mason Inman has an article on M. King Hubbert, the eminent geologist who spent most of his career with Shell Oil. Unfortunately, Hubbert is best known for advocating his theory of peak oil, which assumed “if current trends continue.” Later advocates of the theory ignored the assumption, even when “current trends” changed, as they did with discovery of extensive oil resources in the deep ocean and the means of extracting the oil. Another remarkable development was the technology to extract oil and natural gas from shale, source rock, by hydraulic fracturing, fracking.
The article highlights the work of King Hubbard in understanding how fracking works. When Hubbert wrote, drilling was linear, and directional drilling consisted of slanting the drill string, primarily. Directional drilling with mud motors and sensors to control direction, allowing horizontal drilling, was yet to be developed.
The article discusses how Hubbert changed the thinking on how fracking works – under extreme pressure, the rock is fractured vertically to the surface, not horizontally as many geologists believed. Hubbert expresses his frustration with these geologists:
“’What I discovered was that the theoretical argument was having no effect whatever on these men’” Hubbert recalled. The engineers were absolutely sure that the fractures were horizontal. Every article, every ad on fracking showed fractures oriented that way. They had been ‘completely brainwashed’, Hubbert thought. ‘They didn’t have any real evidence, but they’d been so thoroughly indoctrinated on this thing that they knew damned well these fractures were horizontal.’ It mattered, because if they didn’t understand the forces at work, they couldn’t control it precisely. The technique would remain more art than science.”
The article does not mention the importance of proppants, such as sand, in keeping the fractures open, as discovered by George Mitchell’s company. Coupled with directional drilling, the theory of peak oil became history.
The article illustrates the importance in testing assumptions against empirical evidence, data. If the assumptions (guesses) are not supported by the data, the theory becomes dogma, obsolete. See link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Quote of the Week. “A genuine expert can always foretell a thing that is 500 years away easier than he can a thing that’s only 500 seconds off.” ——Mark Twain [H/t William Briggs]
Number of the Week: 5,544 pages
Is the Claim of CO2-Causing Dangerous Global Warming Obsolete? As discussed in prior TWTWs, (e.g. Nov 12 & 19) the highly influential 1979 Charney report contained an estimate that a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) would cause a warming of the earth’s surface of 3ºC ± 1.5 ºC (roughly 6ºF ± 3ºF). The report presented the assumption by climate modelers that the very modest warming by CO2 demonstrated by laboratory experiments will be amplified several times by a warming caused by water vapor taking place in the atmosphere over the tropics centered about 10 km, 33,000 feet – the so-called “hotspot.” Given the lack of data in 1979, there was no way to confirm or deny this important assumption and the findings.
The findings of the Charney Report of 3ºC ± 1.5 ºC have been repeated, with minor modification, in all five Assessment Reports (ARs) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with no other explanation why CO2 warming occurring in nature will greatly exceed the warming found in the laboratory. These IPCC reports date from 1990 to 2014, with a sixth report underway. In general, the global climate models have the same results, but due to their incomprehensibility, it is not clear if the models use some other mechanism to arrive at the result.
The February 2 testimony by John Christy included comprehensive satellite data of global temperatures covering 37 years (from December 1978 to the end of 2015) of the atmosphere from the surface to 50,000 feet. These data demonstrated that a speculated, pronounced warming of the atmosphere from water vapor does not exist.
After over 35 years of speculation, 25 years of IPCC reports, multiple US government reports, and US government estimates that it spent over $40 Billion on climate science since 1993, and it spent over $150 Billion on activities to “fight global warming”; it is past time to produce physical evidence that the amplified atmospheric warming from increased water vapor exists. If the evidence is not produced, the hypothesis that human emissions of CO2 will cause dangerous global warming is as obsolete as peak oil theory, or that the sun is immutable, unchanging. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy
Polar Regions – Arctic: The current warmth in the Artic provides material for alarmists to predict drastic climate change. Many of the stories fail to mention that although the mean Arctic temperatures are as much as 15ºC, about 30ºF, above normal, with some day-time exceptions, the temperatures are still well below freezing. Further, the alarmist stories fail to mention that temperatures in Asia are drastically below normal for weeks — as much as 60ºF below normal in Siberia.
Long before appropriate instrumentation, the Arctic experienced warm periods, as seen in the Greenland ice cores and in warm periods such as the 1920s. However, the alarmist reports use the faddish term “a new normal” for which the authors have little basis. Further, some commentators postulate that diminished sea ice over the past few years is altering the jet stream and will cause long-term climate change – speculation for which they have little or no empirical basis. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Polar regions – Antarctic: An analysis of the logbooks of eleven exploration missions between 1897 and 1917 showed that the condition of the Antarctic ice is comparable to what it is today. Given the alarm on melting ice in Antarctica during the 1950s, which continues today, some journalists were surprised by the study. Of course, the blame for the demise of the ice is always placed on carbon dioxide-caused global warming.
From the abstract: [From satellite monitoring,] “there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models. However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice was often recorded during early Antarctic exploration, though these sources have not previously been explored or exploited until now.”
The Ross Sea is part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which some have claimed to be near collapse – in thousands of years? See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice.
COP-23: The UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 22nd annual Conference of Parties (COP-22) ended without any significant items accomplished except an agreement to work out a rule book by December 2018 and a plea for money to support the $100 billion per year Green Climate Fund. The next meeting (COP-23) is scheduled for 6 to 17 November 2017 in Bonn at the headquarters of the UNFCCC secretariat, but organized by Fiji.
The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has stated on its web site that it is the largest funder of UNFCCC. These moneys come mostly from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of State (DOS). Its FY2014 – FY2016 budget states: “USAID and DOS funding supports USGCRP and the Climate Change International Assistance effort. In the past, some of this funding was counted under both categories. These efforts do not add to the USGCRP total.”
The budget shows that the FY 2015 Budget Enacted for DOS is $0.00, and for USAID is $0.00. How much is appropriated is not stated, or the amount of other funds that may be moved for such purposes. It will be interesting to see what impact these budgets, if maintained, will have on UNFCCC festivities. See links under After Paris! and http://www.globalchange.gov/about/budget.
US Election: There is a great deal of unsolicited advice being offered to the incoming Trump administration. In TWTW, these offers are broken into three rough groups: 1) favorable; 2) neutral, and 3) unfavorable [the groupings are not objective].
A major issue at this point is what should the Trump administration do about the UNFCCC, especially the Paris Agreement? Writing in the National Review, Joseph Eule argues that rather than ignoring it, Trump should send it to the Senate for a vote as a treaty – which requires support of two-thirds of the Senators (perhaps with a time limit). Eule points out:
“When the Senate approved the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, it did so with the proviso that any future agreement containing emissions targets and timetables pursuant to UNFCCC must be subject to Senate ratification. Secretary of State John Kerry thus connived to make the Paris Agreement “Senate proof” by making as much of it voluntary as he could. In this he didn’t completely succeed: There are still several provisions in the agreement committing the U.S. to actions that would require Senate approval. For example, the Nationally Determined Contributions in Article 3 and the mitigation commitments in Article 4 unequivocally require future U.S. administrations and Congresses to develop and put forward increasingly stringent targets and timetables, many elements of which would need to be legally binding and thus approved by the Senate.”
Approval of this treaty, expensive to the US with little or no known benefits, is unlikely now. As to the US withdrawing from the UNFCCC treaty, that may or may not be necessary, or desirable, if the Paris Agreement is not approved by the Senate as a treaty. See links: After US Election – Positive; — Neutral; and – Negative.
March 4, 1801: Starting on March 4, 1801, an episode important to the history of democracy began to unfold. After a bitter election, the losing faction (headed by John Adams) peacefully ceded the control of government to the winning faction (headed by Thomas Jefferson).
Adams returned to his private life, an attorney, without reprisal, prosecution, or banishment, which had been the custom in democratic Greece. Perhaps, this was the first time that such a peaceful transition of power took place.
The lack of communication between these former friends continued for years (together with Benjamin Franklin, they comprised the committee that initially drafted the Declaration of Independence). Then, Abigail Adams interceded and the two men learned to respect and admire each other even more.
In their behavior after the election, both demonstrated leadership skills that few can replicate.
Additions – CERN Experiment: In October, a paper was published questioning the results of the concept that cosmic rays, modulated by the sun, influence clouds and terrestrial climate. The Nov 5 TWTW linked to the rejoinder by Henrik Svensmark and included additional comments. In summary, observations and experiments go against the numerical model used by the CERN critics.
An earlier article is included in this TWTW, emphasizing the importance of the CERN Experiment and the Svensmark hypothesis. Among other things, CERN found aerosol particles form 10 to 100 times more abundantly if an ion from a cosmic ray is in the center of the cluster.
Jasper Kirkby, CERN particle physicist and originator and spokesperson of the CLOUD experiment, said: “We found that nature produces particles without pollution.”
“Since time immemorial nature has had a perfectly good way of making cloud seeds throughout atmosphere by this gas to particle conversion and that’s new.
“Previous knowledge was that you required sulphuric acid – and that sulphuric acid is dominated by human activities.”
See link under Science: Is the Sun Rising? and the November 5 TWTW.
Number of the Week: 5,554 pages. According to reports, the just released text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement contains 5,544 pages – 2,056,560 words. And this was touted as an example of an effective Executive Agreement? See links under Other News that May Be of Interest.
We ask you to make a generous, tax-deductible donation to SEPP, an IRS recognized 501(c)3 organization.
Please address your check to: (Please note the change in address)
P.O. Box 1126
Springfield, VA 22151
Alternatively, you may donate through PayPal. See Donate at www.sepp.org.
Thank you — whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or other holy days during this time, we wish you and your family happiness in this blessed season and a joyful new year.
Kenneth Haapala, President
Science and Environmental Policy Project
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Has climate change been disproved? Large Hadron boffins cast shock DOUBT on global warming
Mankind’s burning of fossil fuels may not be the primary cause of global warming, according to the shock results of a new study by scientists behind the Large Hadron Collider (LCH).
By Jon Austin, Sunday Express, May 28, 2016
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
The Sun-Climate Connection: Over 100 Scientific Papers From 2016 Link Solar Forcing To Climate Change
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 21, 2016
NASA’s tricks exposed by ClimateGate emails
By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Nov 22, 2016
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back
Right-Wing Inquisitors on Campus
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Nov 22, 2016
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016
On the Existence of a ‘Tropical Hot Spot’ and the Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
By James Wallace, John Christy, and Joseph D’Aleo Aug 2016 [Shortened version]
Houston Chronicle: Letter of Protest on Climate Issue
By Charles Battig, Master Resource, Nov 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Perhaps, the American public understands uncertainty better than those proclaiming “mainstream scientific opinion.”]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment
Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate
By Jule G. Charney, et al, Climate Research Board, July 23-27, 1979
Santa’s Sweltering: North Pole Soars 36 Degrees Above Normal
By Laura Geggel, Live Science, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Comment From Clyde Spencer: As I understand this article, it isn’t that the Arctic is becoming ‘hot,’ but rather, that the Jet Stream is displacing the cold Arctic air and moving it southward, allowing warmer air to move into the Arctic. The impact of open water on heating and evaporation, especially in the Winter, is greatly exaggerated. Currently, the days are short and the sun is low on the horizon. The specular reflection from open water can exceed that of ice when the sun is on the horizon. Her explanation also doesn’t take into account that the Arctic is notoriously cloudy, as the Vikings were well aware, and open water or no, the heating from sunlight is attenuated.
[SEPP Comment: A warm Arctic causes intense cold in Asia and Greenland?]
What You Can Do To Stop Climate Change
By David Vognar, Huffington Post, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“In his book Dangerous Years, David W. Orr investigates what has brought us to the point of ecological collapse and how, yes, we must change our economies and governments—but also nothing less than our hearts.”
“We imagine that we will be able to stop climate change before it gets too bad. Government planners and businesspeople are thinking in decades when the time scale for action has to be years, if not months.”
[SEPP Comment: We should punish ourselves without knowing why?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Climate and Popular Revolution
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Nov 22, 2016
Chapter 10 of Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics FREE for New Subscribers!
By William Briggs, His Blog, Nov 25, 2016
Good News for the Realists: Bad News for the Deluded.
By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Nov 21, 2016
Study: UHI [Urban Heat Island] in Hong Kong accounts for most ‘warming’ since 1970
Lack of pollution, decline in carbon emissions, has ‘negative implications’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 21, 2016
Link to paper: Unexpected release of phosphate and organic carbon to streams linked to declining nitrogen depositions
By Andreas Musolff, et al, Global Change Biology, Sep 31, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Reducing air pollutants increases water pollution?]
Whoops, turns out concrete is actually a carbon sink
By Anthony Wats, WUWT, Nov 21, 2016
Three (perfectly democratic) reasons Donald Trump will absolutely smother the Paris climate deal
By Benny Peiser, Financial Post, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: According to Peiser, Trump has three mandates to quash the Paris Agreement: 1) campaign promises; 2) Republican party platform; 3) Republican led Congress. Plus, there is little support among the American public for it.]
Trump’s climate plan may not be so foolish after all
By Bjorn Lomborg, Chicago Tribune, Nov 22, 2016
Climate Policy in the Age of Trump
By Jay Hakes, Real Clear Energy, Nov 21, 2016
“The basics of climate science were endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences in the late 1970s and approved by the U.S. Senate when it unanimously ratified the treaty negotiated at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.”
[SEPP Comment: The author fails to note two important issues: 1) The approval of the treaty contained caveats that have not been met. 2) More importantly, the science contained speculation that an increase in water vapor will amplify, by several times, any increase in temperatures by carbon dioxide. There is little or no evidence of this amplification.]
Donald Trump On Climategate & The Paris Agreement
Editorial, NYT, Via GWPF, Nov 23, 2016
Under Trump shadow, climate talks set 2018 deadline to agree [on] rules
By Alister Doyle and Megan Rowling, Reuters, Nov 18, 2016
Trump Is Dumping The Climate Fetish. What About Theresa May?
By Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times, Nov 20, 2016
“Actually Trump was wrong. The UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change was not a Chinese plan to boost its own exporters at the expense of the West’s industrial base; it was a plan by western governments to penalise their own industrial base, to the benefit of the economies of China and the rest of the developing world.”
After US Election — Positive
Trump Should Let the Senate Kill the Paris Climate-Change Agreement
He could simply ignore it, but the smarter option is to send it to the Senate for a vote.
By Joseph Eule, National Review, Nov 23, 2016
Action Plan for President Trump
By Staff Writers, The Heartland Institute, Nov 21, 2016
Dear America, the Developing Nations of the World Thank You
By Vijay Jayaraj, MSc, University of East Anglia, Townhall, Via ICECAP, Nov 22, 2016
“The Trump-Climate Freakout… ‘I’m going to die from climate change!’”
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Nov 22, 2016
It’s Time For The New President And Congress To Think Big When It Comes To Cutting Government Waste
By Ian Murray, Independent Journal Review, Nov 21, 2016
Trump Election Chills Kerry’s Antarctic Trip
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Nov 24, 2016
Major win: NASA [GISS] was neutered, turned into political PR machine, and Trump is going to fix that
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 24, 2016
This Is The Most Partisan Agency In The Entire Federal Government, According To FEC Records
By David Krayden, Daily Caller, Nov 25, 2016
After US Election — Neutral
You Ought to Have a Look: How to Start Afresh with Climate and Energy Policy
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Nov 21, 2016
People took Trump seriously, but not literally — the media vice-versa
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Nov 23, 2016
Donald Trump expected to slash Nasa’s climate change budget in favour of sending humans back to the moon – and beyond
By Nick Allen, Telegraph, UK, Nov 20, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Gavin Schmidt, director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and a Federal expert reviewer of the Technical Support Document for the EPA Endangerment Finding, has threatened to resign if NASA-GISS funds are cut. Their offices are at 2880 Broadway, NY, NY, and the organization specializes in using surface instrumentation to “better understand climate changes.” http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/gschmidt.html]
Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’
Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding as the president-elect seeks to shift focus away from home in favor of deep space exploration
By Oliver Milman, Guardian, UK, Nov 23, 2016
Salon: Here’s a List of Potential Climate Budget Cuts
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 23, 2016
After US Election — Negative
How Much of Obama’s Climate Agenda Can Trump Undo With the Stroke of a Pen?
President Obama relied on executive orders to issue climate rules because of an uncooperative Congress, but now those orders are vulnerable.
By Sabrina Shankman, Inside Climate News, Nov 23, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Gives a list of executive orders that may be reversed.]
Election Could Reverse Decades-Long Environmental Trend
By Bill Murray, Real Clear Politics, Nov 18, 2016
[SEPP Comment: If oil and gas were about to be depleted, and extremely costly, then giving them up is not difficult. Estimated resources of oil and gas have multiplied several-fold, and continue to increase. Giving them up becomes very difficult.]
If Trump quits [Paris Agreement], California could apply to join UN climate talks
Head of state senate says legal brains are exploring ways in which [the] golden state could be represented if Trump pulls nation from Paris Agreement
By Ed King, Climate Home, Nov 17, 2016
‘It’s a nightmare’: Green groups prepare to fight under President Trump
“We are going to have to fight for our clean energy future, and we’re going to have to fight harder.”
By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, Nov 15, 2016
Seeking a Common Ground
The Real War on Science
The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress
By John Tierney, City Journal, Autumn 2016
Excerpts: The real war on science
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 21, 2016
“To preserve their integrity, scientists should avoid politics and embrace the skeptical rigor that their profession requires.”
Trump and Science
The president-elect’s statements suggest a practical outlook, which makes a welcome contrast with Barack Obama’s crusading spirit.
By John Tierney, City Journal, Nov 14, 2016
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
An Inverse Relationship Between Cancer Death Rates and County Temperature in Florida, USA
Hart, J. 2015. Association between air temperature and cancer death rates in Florida: An ecological study. Dose-Response 13: DOI: 10.2203/dose-response.14-024.Hart. Nov 23, 2016
“In commenting on these findings, Hart says they were ‘unexpected, given the dire predictions about global warming.’ Nevertheless, he adds that ‘the finding of a benefit from warmer temperatures on the death rates is consistent with a recent report which revealed that warmer temperatures are linked to decreased mortality for cardiovascular disease, strokes, and respiratory disease (Idso et al., 2014).’” [NIPCC Biological Impacts]
Modelling 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. Nov 22, 2016
Mangrove Forests Can Reduce Acidification of Coastal Sea Water
Sippo, J.Z., Maher, D.T., Tait, D.R., Holloway, C. and Santos, I.R. 2016. Are mangroves drivers or buffers of coastal acidification? Insights from alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon export estimates across a latitudinal transect. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30: 753-766. Nov 21, 2016
“…’mangrove-derived alkalinity exports may be one of the largest sources of alkalinity to the tropical coastal ocean and provide a localized buffering effect against coastal acidification.’”
Models v. Observations
Study Finds Less Gloomy Outlook for Subtropical Rainfall
UM Rosenstiel School researchers challenge previous understanding of drying projections for the climatic region
Press Release, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: A re-examination of the projected subtropical precipitation decline
By Jie He & Brian J. Soden, Nature Climate Change, Nov 14, 2016
Global Warming To Reduce Wheat Yields (According To Models!)
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 23, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Comparing booming crop yields with predictions from models.]
Measurement Issues — Surface
Study: UHI in Hong Kong accounts for most ‘warming’ since 1970
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 18, 2016
Link to paper: Characterizing the urban temperature trend using seasonal unit root analysis: Hong Kong from 1970 to 2015
By Wai-Ming To and Tat-Wai Yu, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, Dec 2016
From the abstract: “The model of monthly temperature obtained from the seasonal unit root analysis was able to explain 95.9% of the variance in the measured monthly data — much higher than the variance explained by the ordinary least-squares model using annual mean air temperature data…”
Temperatures: Who do you believe? RSS or GISS?
By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Nov 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment; Atmosphere or surface?]
US daily temperature records past, present, and future
By Gerald A. Meehl, Claudia Tebaldi, and Dennis Adams-Smith, PNAS, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
Satellite Data Reinstates Global Temperature Pause
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Nov 21, 2016
[SEPP Comment: During the next six months, temperatures may drop further as sea surface temperatures decline.]
A Revolutionary New U.S. Weather Satellite is Launched: GOES-R
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Nov 20, 2016
State of the art weather satellite launched over the weekend promises huge gains in many areas
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 21, 2016
University of Victoria: Eurasian Cold Waves Not Influenced By Arctic Sea Ice Melt!
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated/edited by P Gosselin), Nov 22, 2016
While the North Pole warms beyond the melting point, it’s freakishly cold in Siberia
By Jason Samenow and Justin Grieser, Washington Post, Nov 18, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Chilling climate revelations from the last ice age
UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Press Release by Staff Writers, Nov 22, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Link to paper: Abrupt reorganization of North Pacific and western North American climate during the last deglaciation
By Juan Lora, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, Nov 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Did melting of Arctic ice 14,000 years ago cause shifts in the jet stream, resulting in drying of the US southwest?]
Unraveling the mysterious source of methane gas in the ocean
By Staff Writers, Cape Cod MA (SPX) ,Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: Marine methane paradox explained by bacterial degradation of dissolved organic matter
By Daniel Repeta, et al., Nature Geoscience, Nov 14, 2016
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
The impact of Arctic warming on the mid latitude jetstream : Can it ? Has it ? Will it?
By Barnes and Screen, Exeter, UK, No date [H/t Climate Etc.]
A Brief History Of Arctic Angst
Briefing by Staff Writers, GWPF, Nov 21, 2016
“Until the noise of a century of media hype and unscientific speculation about the Arctic has been removed from the public debate, science will be unable to explain what, if anything, the signal from the Arctic is telling us.”
Long Term Arctic Temperature Trends
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 23, 2016
[Looking at long-term Arctic records:] “It is fair to say that the current warm period has been more sustained, in comparison with the earlier one which also had several much colder years. But is this simply a case of weather?
“What is clear though is that temperatures have plateaued, and there is no evidence that they will trend higher. Indeed, history suggests that the next move will be downwards.
“As for the longer perspective, we only have to look at Greenland ice core data to see that there is nothing unprecedented about today’s climate there.”
Accounts From 19th-Century Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs Reflect Present Climate Conditions
By James E. Overland and Kevin Wood, EOS Vol. 84, No. 40, 7 October 2003, Via GWPF, Nov 25, 2016
Oh, darn. Study: Most meltwater in Greenland fjords likely comes from icebergs, not glaciers
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 21, 2016
Link to paper: Iceberg meltwater fluxes dominate the freshwater budget in Greenland’s iceberg-congested glacial fjords
By Ellyn M. Enderlin, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, Nov 9, 2016
The Antarctic 2016 sea ice anomalies
By Mark Brandon, His Blog, Nov 24, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]
[SEPP Comment: Automation of full year of changing Antarctic sea ice as compared with 1989 to 1993 mean.]
Scott and Shackleton logbooks prove Antarctic sea ice is not shrinking 100 years after expeditions
By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph, UK, Nov 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The maps are illuminating. In addition, Captain Cook, who was an excellent navigator, sailed closer to the pole than ice would permit now.]
How Captain Robert Scott’s log book from his expedition of Antarctica more than 100 years ago raises troubling new doubts about global warming
By Christopher Booker For The Daily Mail, Nov 24, 2016
Antarctic sea ice strangely the same as 100 years ago when Ford Model T was around
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 26, 2016
Link to paper: Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration
By Tom Edinburgh and Jonathan Day, Cryosphere, Nov 21, 2016
‘Atlas of the Underworld’ reveals oceans and mountains lost to Earth’s history
By Paul Voosen, Science, Nov 22, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
How to Feed the World
By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Nov 22, 2016
“More cereals were produced annually in the last quarter of the twentieth century than in any preceding period, and more grain will be harvested this year than at any time in history. Since 1992, the number of hungry people worldwide has plummeted by more than 200 million, even as the human population grew by nearly two billion.
“But enormous challenges remain. Affordable, nutritious food is one of people’s top priorities everywhere, and one in nine people still do not get enough food to be healthy.
Michael Sununu: Manipulating climate data right before our eyes
By Michael Sununu, New Hampshire Union Leader, Nov 20, 2016 [H/t ICECAP]
NOAA Adjustments Correlate Exactly To Their Confirmation Bias
By Tony Heller, Real Science, Nov 21, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The correlation between USHCN adjustments and atmospheric CO2 is disturbing.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Dangers of Dust In a Warming World
By Travis Holtby, Triple Pundit, Nov 21, 2016
“Desertification is increasing as anthropogenic climate change accelerates.”
[SEPP Comment: Contrary to 30 years of Landsat photos showing a greening world.]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Climate Change, the U.S. Military, and “the Intersection of Politics and Events”
By Schuyler Null, New Security Beat, Nov 1, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Questioning European Green
The European Blackout Risk
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Nov 24, 2016 [H/t Paul Homewood]
“So will the lights go out somewhere this winter? The chances are against it. But if France does black out during severe weather/low wind conditions there could be a ripple effect that causes power outages over a larger area. And if worse comes to worst, which is a possibility that can’t be totally discounted, the question of how long it would take to black-start much of Western Europe will rear its ugly head.”
Analysis: Adding More Solar, Wind Power Increases Dependence On Fossil Fuels, ‘Doubles’ CO2 Emissions
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 24, 2016
Germany Aims To “Throttle” Wind Energy To Avert Grid Overloading …Branch In Uncertainty
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 23, 2016
Irish Fury And Fierce European Opposition To Ugly Wind Turbines Mount Across Europe
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 25, 2016
Protected forests in Europe felled to meet EU renewable targets – report
Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows
By Arthur Neslen, Guardian, UK, Nov 24, 2016
Investing in the ‘bioeconomy’ could create jobs and reduce carbon emissions
By Staff Writers, EurekAlert, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: An assessment of the potential products and economic and environmental impacts resulting from a billion ton bioeconomy
By Jonathan Rogers, et al., Biofpr, Nov 21, 2016
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
New Realism on UK Renewables Subsidies
By John Constable, GWPF Energy editor, Nov 23, 2016
“Frank discussion of the disadvantage of subsidy costs to renewables is now increasingly commonplace in Britain, amongst parliamentarians and others. This is extremely positive, and should give courage to government. But there is more to the full costs of these policies than income subsidies, and it is crucial that the Department of Business does not fudge its forthcoming study of the whole system costs of wind and solar.”
EPA and other Regulators on the March
US moves to block mining near Yellowstone
By Matthew Brown, AP, Nov 21, 2016 [Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Extend the boundaries infinitely!]
Energy Issues – Non-US
Canada to phase out coal power by 2030: official
By Michel Comte, AFP, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Communities near fracking sites get power to decide how to spend £1bn fund, Philip Hammond announces in Autumn Statement
By Francesca Washtell, City A.M., UK, Nov 23, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Up to 10 percent of tax proceeds.]
Levelised Costs Of UK Electricity Generation
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 24, 2016
‘At first sight onshore wind appears to be the cheapest, but there is a catch!
“As I have been pointing out for some time, these costings always include carbon costs in the calculation for CCGT, as the BEIS paper shows on the very next page:
“So although CCGT works out at £66/MWh, the true cost, ignoring the totally artificial imposition of a carbon tax, is really £47/MWh. This is much less than wind or solar.
“And as the paper points out, no allowance is made for other costs incurred because of renewable energy, such as standby capacity and extra grid infrastructure.”
[SEPP Comment: Promoters adjusting the books for their schemes is one thing; when governments engage in such propaganda, it diminishes the integrity of government.]
Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia’s blackout
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 25, 2016
“To help expensive, unreliable, intermittent green energy survive, the government subsidizes it by around 9c per KWhr (bear in mind the wholesale rate for coal fired power is 3 – 4c per kWhr.)”
“The real distortion to the system is the treatment of wind generated power. It is described as non-dispatchable (although some wind farms are now termed semi-dispatchable) as it must be used when generated. Wind farms do not bid a price into the wholesale market but rather take what is on offer, and in addition collect a legislated subsidy of around $70 to $90 per MWh from distributors who pass this cost on to the users. The consequence of this is a distortion of the market that drives out high priced [reliable] generators, such as the cleaner gas-fired plant, whose actual [dispatchable] operating costs are less than the subsidy paid to the wind farms.”
Energy Issues — US
Blowout Week 151
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Nov 19, 2016
[SEPP Comment: More articles on the Texas Wolfcamp oil estimates, Trump election, and other energy issues.]
Washington’s Control of Energy
Feds boost biofuels mandate for 2017
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 23, 2016
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Fracking’s strange origins
The recent energy boom owes much to a 60-year-old discovery by an American geologist named M. King Hubbert. Mason Inman reports.
By Mason Inman, Cosmos, Nov 21, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
The Aramco IPO and the Black Art of Estimating Oil Reserves
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Nov 21, 2016
“It looks like the Saudi princes are using the same envelope as me. In this calculation, reserves become important in determining how long Saudi Arabia can maintain 12 Mbpd production.”
[SEPP Comment: How much is sale of 5% of state-owned Aramco worth?]
Return of King Coal?
How American Coal Could Come Back Leaner and Cleaner
By Christopher Mendoza, American Thinker, Nov 25, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Large-scale wind energy slows down winds and reduces turbine efficiencies
By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Nov 15, 2016
Link to paper: Wind speed reductions by large-scale wind turbine deployments lower turbine efficiencies and set low generation limits
By Lee Miller and Axel Kleidon, PNAS, Nov 14, 2016
Solar-Panel Roads to Be Built on Four Continents Next Year
By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg, Nov 23, 2016
“For now, the cost of the materials makes only demonstration projects sensible. A square meter of the solar road currently costs 2,000 ($2,126) and 2,500 euros. That includes monitoring, data collection and installation costs. Wattway says it can make the price competitive with traditional solar farms by 2020.”
Sweden to scrap taxes on solar energy in 2017
by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) Nov 21, 2016
“In October, the Swedish energy market regulator had estimated that in order to reach the target of 100 percent renewable energy, the share of solar electricity would have to rise to between five and 10 percent.”
[SEPP Comment: At a latitude between 55º and 69º North?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
EU considering halving crop-based biofuels by 2030: draft
By Robert-Jan Bartunek, et al, Reuters, Nov 22, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Will Brussels Fix its Broken Biofuels Policy?
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Nov 22, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Diesel, fuel of the future
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Nov 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Recognizing improvements in diesel engines and their greater efficiency over petrol.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Spain anger over ‘energy poverty’ deaths
By James Badcock, BBC News, Nov 20, 2016 [H/t Paul Homewood]
Other News that May Be of Interest
The TPP monster has 5,544 pages. A real free trade agreement would have 1
Lately the Five Star Free Market label is just a fake seal of approval for something Unfree
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 23, 2016
Link to article: Obama’s Convoluted TPP Agreement Is THREE TIMES AS LONG As The King James Bible [LIST]
By Christian Datoc, Daily Caller, Nov 6, 2016
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Warmer Planet Could Be Dominated by Mosquitoes, Ticks, Rodents and Jellyfish
The distribution of wildlife on Earth is changing with the climate, making conditions more favorable to odd species such as trumpeter swans, beetles, marmots, albatross, killer whales and white-tailed deer
By Lacy Johnson, Scientific American, Feb 20, 2012 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Did it occur when the last ice age ended?]
Attack of the cannibalistic lobsters!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Nov 25, 2016
The waters off the coast of Maine are overflowing with lobsters, which, according to Mother Jones, is actually a bad thing.
Two main factors are causing the lobster population to explode. First, rising sea temperatures brought on by global warming are encouraging the crustaceans to grow quicker and reproduce more often, says Noah Oppenheim, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine.
Second, Oppenheim tells Mother Jones, over-fishing has rid the ocean of the lobster’s natural enemies, which include cod, herring, and other fish.
The result is a lot of lobsters that have nothing eat — which is why, as footage taken by Oppenheim shows, they have resorted to cannibalism. The Week, 24 Jul 2013
[SEPP Comment: Lobsters were cannibalistic long before human fear of global warming!]
1. Trump Can Ax the Clean Power Plan by Executive Order
The aggressive legal positions in Obama’s most controversial rules makes them easier to rescind.
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, Nov 20, 2016
The two attorneys representing the State of Oklahoma against the power plan write: President Obama pledged to wield a pen and phone during his second term rather than engage with Congress. The slew of executive orders, enforcement memorandums, regulations and “Dear Colleague” letters comprised an unprecedented assertion of executive authority. Equally unparalleled is the ease with which the Obama agenda can be dismantled. Among the first actions on President Trump’s chopping block should be the Clean Power Plan.”
[After Congress rejected cap and trade in 2009,] “the Environmental Protection Agency then devised a nearly identical scheme to mandate shifting electricity generation from disfavored facilities, like those powered by coal, to those the EPA prefers, like natural gas and renewables. No statute authorized the EPA to seize regulatory control of the nation’s energy sector. The agency instead discovered, in an all-but-forgotten 1970s-era provision of the Clean Air Act, that it had that power all along.
To support its preferred policy, the agency was compelled to “interpret” the statute in a way that contradicts what it acknowledges is the “literal” reading of the text and clashes with decades of its own regulations. It also nullifies language blocking regulation for power plants because they are already regulated under an alternative program. By mangling the Clean Air Act to intrude on areas it was never meant to, the regulation violates the constitutional bar on commandeering the states to carry out federal policy.
These defects are why the Supreme Court put the EPA’s plan on hold while an appeals court in Washington, D.C., considers challenges brought by the energy industry and 27 states. These legal challenges now appear to have been overtaken by events. President Trump can immediately issue an executive order to adopt a new energy policy that respects the states’ role in regulating energy markets and that prioritizes making electricity affordable and reliable. Such an order should direct the EPA to cease all efforts to enforce and implement the Clean Power Plan. The agency would then extend all of the regulation’s deadlines, enter an administrative stay and commence regulatory proceedings to rescind the previous order.
That would leave the D.C. appeals court—which some supporters of the plan are still counting on for a Hail Mary save—or the Supreme Court with little choice but to send the legal challenges back to the agency. While the Clean Power Plan could technically linger in the Code of Federal Regulations for a year or so, it would have no legal force.
When an agency changes course, it must provide a reasoned explanation to address factual findings supporting its prior policy. In certain instances that requirement may impose a real burden. For example, a rule rescinding the EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” regarding the effects of greenhouse gases would have to address the evidence underlying it. A failure to provide a satisfactory explanation of a change in policy may render a rule “arbitrary and capricious” and vulnerable to legal challenge.
Environmentalist groups have already vowed to bring suit to defend the Clean Power Plan, but a challenge would be toothless. The aggressive legal positions underlying the Obama administration’s most controversial rules—including the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the United States rule, and the FCC’s Open Internet order—will make it easier to rescind them. That’s because rejecting the assertion of legal authority underlying such a rule is enough to justify a policy change. If the agency’s view is that it simply lacks the power to carry out a rule, then it follows that the rule must be withdrawn.
Even if a court were to find that the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act underlying the plan is permissible, that would still not compel the Trump EPA to accept that interpretation as the only permissible one. And even if a court were to rule—erroneously, in our view—that the Clean Power Plan does not violate the Constitution’s vertical separation of powers, that would still not absolve the executive branch of the responsibility to consider that constitutional issue for itself and then act accordingly.
President Obama may soon come to understand that the presidential pen and phone is a double-edged sword.
2. Dear Editor, Pueblo Chieftain (CO), Nov 22, 2016
Unpublished letter from Howard C. Hayden
Sierra Club representative Charlotte Tournay and Pueblo Ready for 100 Campaign’s Meral Cooper praised solar, wind and hydro to the high heavens in Sunday’s opinion section. They didn’t mention jobs, but I have good news. You see, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the solar industry employs 210,000 people, while there are only 190,000 employed in coal mines. Considering the tiny amount of solar electricity produced, the solar industry employs about 70 times as many people for the same amount of electricity. The coal industry is developing plans to compete with that kind of job creation. They will get rid of all that heavy machinery and hire millions of miners to use picks and shovels. It might make electricity a trifle more costly, but think of all the jobs!
Speaking of money, there is a plan afoot to make gasoline free. All we have to do is to get the government to buy it for us. That’s just like wind and solar economics. After all, we have massive subsidies for wind and solar in the form of construction tax credits, production tax credits, local tax breaks, extra fees on utility bills, and mandates requiring that electricity come from wind and solar. If you put solar panels on your house, current law requires the utility to buy your excess daytime electricity at retail rates, which are typically three or four times as much as their wholesale rates. You see, the government is making wind and solar very cheap right now. Free gasoline is an easy next step.
Solar electricity is wonderful. Right now, in sunny places like southern California, you can get only a year-round average of one-sixth of the power it says on the nameplate because there aren’t all that many hours when the sun is well positioned high in the sky. Presently, the solar panels don’t work at night, but just think of what could happen if we had bright lights shining on our solar panels at night! [Boldface added]