Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #291

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President

USGCRP Science? As reported in TWTW last week, a search for the current budget of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) found nothing newer than the requested budget for FY 2017, which ended in September 2017. The USGCRP produced the Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I, (CSSR) released last week. In his evaluation of the latest USGCRP report Joseph Bast of The Heartland Institute linked to an August 20 article in the Washington Post stating that a federal advisory panel to the USGCRP had been disbanded. Its charter was expiring, and the Trump administration chose not to extend it. The advisory panel was the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. The status of the USGCRP is not clear.

What is now called the USGCRP has a murky, politicized past. It was established in 1989 and mandated by Congress in 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” It is to produce a National Climate Assessment every four year. Since 1990, it has produced four reports. The last full report, the 3rd National Climate Assessment, was in May 2014. Apparently, after the election of Mr. Trump, the USGCRP decided on the CSSR, released last week. As with prior NSGCRP reports, it ignores the “natural processes of global change”, which is part of its Congressional mandate.

Such political games are part of USGCRP’s established history. After the election of Mr. Bush, in 2000, under a prior name, the USGCRP released the 2000 U.S. National Assessment of Climate Change report. As shown in the 2008 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel for Climate Change (NIPCC) (Fig 16 & pp 14 to 16), the government report had projections / predictions that were nonsense. The government entity had two different climate models for climate change to 2090, which produced dramatically different results for precipitation, by regions. The worst example was for the Red River watershed in the Dakotas and Minnesota. One model had a precipitation drop of about 80%, turning the region into a desert, the second model had a precipitation increase of about 80%, resulting in dramatic flooding.

The disparity between two models is but one example how inadequately tested global climate models may be used to project / predict almost anything. The federal courts found that the 2000 report did not meet the standards of the Data Quality Act, also called the Information Quality Act. The recent reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the USGCRP have tried to cover up the disparities in the results of their global climate models by blending them into an ensemble. Usually, there are too few runs of any model to establish realistic forecasts for that model. The forecasts change with each run.

Further, the major problem remains, the models are not adequately tested to be used to form government policies on global warming / climate change. As comments by Patrick Michaels carried in last week’s TWTW illustrate, USGCRP ignores the existence of the important problem between the forecasts of atmospheric temperature trends by the global climate models with actual atmospheric temperature trends. The USGCRP ignores physical science. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Defending the Orthodoxy – A Last Gasp?

Quote of the Week. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair [H/t Energy Matters]

Number of the Week: 1.8 to 1

Sea Level Rise: The latest report of the USGCRP states: “The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) is designed to be an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States” In addition to its ignorance of actual atmospheric temperature trends, one can assess how rigorous the report is by examining a dramatic statement in the CSSR: “Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen by about 7–8 inches (about 16–21 cm) since 1900, with about 3 of those inches (about 7 cm) occurring since 1993 (very high confidence). (Ch. 12).”

As shown in the 2008 NIPCC report (pp. 16 to 19), for the last 4000 years sea levels have been rising at a rate of about 7 inches (18 cm) per century, slowly decreasing. The question is: why the sudden shift to a 3 inch rise since 1993, or about 13 inches (33 cm) per century? Indeed, this was Key Finding # 1 in Chapter 12, Sea Level Rise of the CSSR. Yet, atmospheric temperature and CO2 trends did not justify a shift, or inflection point.

“Thus, these results indicate about 11–14 cm (4–5 inches) of GMSL rise from 1901 to 1990. Tide gauge analyses indicate that GMSL rose at a considerably faster rate of about 3 mm/year (0.12 inches/year) since 1993,7,8 a result supported by satellite data indicating a trend of 3.4 ± 0.4 mm/year (0.13 inches/year) over 1993–2015 (update to Nerem et al. 20109[?]) (Figure 12.3a). These results indicate an additional GMSL rise of about 7 cm (about 3 inches) rise since 1990. Thus, total GMSL rise since 1900 is about 16–21 cm (about 7–8 inches).”

“The finding regarding the historical context of the 20th century change is based upon Kopp et al., who conducted a meta-analysis of geological RSL reconstructions spanning the last 3,000 years from 24 locations around the world as well as tide gauge data from 66 sites and the tide gauge based GMSL reconstruction of Hay et al.1”

TWTW contends that the analysis fails for at least 4 reasons. One, the Kopp finding is faulty, with the number of tidal gages used being too few for any global impact, over a short-term, to draw the conclusions in Kopp study. Two, the CSSR recognizes that shifts in wind patterns, causes unknown, result in multi-decadal variation in tidal gages that are not related to CO2. For example, the effects of these wind patterns on Pacific tidal gages were discussed in the June 18, 2016 and February 18, 2017 TWTWs. Yet, these effects are ignored in the Key Finding.

Three, the satellite instrument data have been improperly calibrated to tidal gage data, yielding a hockey-stick effect. Difficulties of calibrating satellite instruments with tidal gages were discussed in the February 18, 2017, TWTW. Four, another source for improper calibration is an overestimate of the influence of melting in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet since the last Ice Age as discussed in the May 13 TWTW. Geological research shows the exposed rocks above the trimline of the southern Ellsworth Mountains to be 2.1 to 2.6 million years old, not recently exposed after the last Ice Age, as assumed by those making calibrations for the GRACE satellites. At best, it is premature to make the generalizations in the CSSR report as a key finding, supporting government control of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal opposing comments by Steve Koonin (discussed in the last TWTW), Kopp contends that his analysis is correct and tries to add weight to his arguments by using tidal flooding along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast as an example of human activity. He is partially correct. Human ground water extraction does cause land subsidence, a major problem in many coastal areas such as Tidewater Virginia. But, it is unrelated to human CO2 emissions.

It will be interesting to read comments by others who have approached sea level rise from a global perspective, using hundreds of tidal gages, such as retired NASA meteorologist Tom Wysmuller. See Article # 2 links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Defending the Orthodoxy – A Last Gasp?


Politicized Science? In another letter to the Wall Street Journal on Koonin’s op-ed, William Colglazier, a “former executive officer of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council”, expresses his concern that the red team/blue team approach would politicize science by stating:

“The quickest way to politicize scientific knowledge, what is known and not known, is to treat it as no different from other aspects of a contentious public-policy debate.”

His concern is well put. It is vital we establish scientific knowledge, what is known and not known. However, government reports on climate science are politicized by government supported scientists who disregard critical atmospheric data, where the greenhouse effect occurs. This disregard of data challenging government policy is the core for the founding of NIPCC and its subsequent reports. The funding of NIPCC was insignificant compared to the over $40 billion the US government spent on climate science since 1993, not to mention the hundreds of billions on alternative sources for electricity. See Article # 2 and Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC


Food Security – An Academic Threat? The UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) has started its 23rd Conference of Parties (COP-23) with a certain member largely absent – the US. The press release for COP-23 states: “UN Climate Change Conference 2017 Aims for Further, Faster Ambition Together” and claims they can succeed by “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Climate Action.” One can assume that what is meant by “Climate Action” is having the UN control of CO2 emissions world-wide, with payments to UN entities. Other press releases included claims that “2017 is set to be hottest non-El Niño year by the UN World Meteorological Organization” (WMO). Unlike 2016 and 2015, nature in not cooperating with the UN and COP-23 by warming the world with an El Niño; thus, the equivocation. Of course, the measurements used by the UN WMO are surface measurements, yet the greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere.

Looking beyond the festivities, one can see an excellent example of the difference between the academic and the practical, as discussed by Admiral Rickover, covered in last week’s TWTW. Admiral Rickover compared academic nuclear reactors with practical nuclear reactors. Academic reactors are not possible. Practical reactors can be built, realized. With the UN activities, one can compare the academic threat to food security with the practical threat to food security.

Of course, the reports of the UN continue to state that carbon dioxide-caused warming threatens agriculture crops, with poor yields from high temperatures, droughts, floods, extreme weather events, etc.

Yet, as presented in Article #2 of last week’s TWTW, the practical threat is different. With the “hot” El Niño years, there has been an oversupply of food grains, threatening the profits of international grain traders and farmers. “Five years of back-to-back bumper crops in markets across the globe have kept grain prices low and upended traditional dynamics in the farm sector. Trading giants like ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Bunge and Cargill Inc., which buy farmers’ crops to market and process, are being squeezed.”

In part, these bumper crops are the result of atmospheric carbon dioxide fertilization, which greatly increases primary plant production, a boon to humanity. [A previous US National Assessment by the USGCRP (and its predecessor) only discussed weeds such as Kudzu, an invasive plant.] Only a few researchers, such as Craig Idso and Richard Tol, analyze the practical benefits of carbon dioxide. Instead, the government-funded academics contrived the “social cost of carbon (dioxide)” ignoring its benefits. The benefits of increased carbon dioxide are foreign to UN bureaucrats.

In addition to CO2 enhancement, the bumper crops of grains show another bright side to modern agriculture – the enormous increases in grain production in tropical Brazil. Long thought to be too hot with soils too poor (thin and acidic), yet total grain production is increasing in Brazil thanks to specialized plant strains and soil treatments. These tropical areas will provide needed back-up in food sources if a solar cooling occurs soon, as predicted by many solar scientists. Such a solar cooling would be devastating to grain production in more northern latitudes in North America and Eurasia, as it was during the Little Ice Age, when millions died of famine and disease as harvests failed during intense wet, cold periods. See last week’s TWTW and links under Defending the Orthodoxy.


Melting Antarctica Ice: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has produced more evidence that a system of volcanoes lies under ice covering the Marie Byrd Land section of the West Antarctica. Marie Byrd Land is about the size of Greenland. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is considered unstable, unlike the far larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is about two-thirds of the Continent. There has been a great deal of speculation, but little evidence, that CO2 caused warming is adding to the instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

A 2017 survey by De Vries showed 138 volcanoes under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet making up what is called the West Antarctic Rift System. De Vries found 91 volcanoes, not previously known. The new JPL research supports the claim that the rift system is active. The rift may be likened to the mid-Atlantic rift driving continental plates apart, running through Iceland. See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice.


Government Policies Killing Jobs: Writing for the Fraser Institute in Canada, economists Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliabari examine the results of government policies in the province of Ontario. The results are another example of politicians allowing ideological beliefs to interfere with practical duties. The economists conclude that rising electricity costs have become a major problem for the prosperity of Ontario and its major cities of Ottawa and Toronto.

“Ontario now has the highest electricity costs across all Canadian provinces and among the highest costs in North America. In 2016, large industrial consumers in Toronto and Ottawa paid almost three times more than consumers in Montreal and Calgary and almost twice the prices paid by large consumers in Vancouver. Even some select large industrial consumers (Class A) that were granted rate reductions still paid higher rates than high-demand electricity users in Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia.”

“Compared to many American and Canadian jurisdictions, Ontario has exhibited the most substantial decline in its manufacturing sector over the past decade. Between 2005 and 2016, while many Northeast jurisdictions that are Ontario’s main competitors boosted their manufacturing sector’s share of GDP, in Ontario it declined by 5.1 percentage points. Since Ontario’s manufacturing sector is lagging behind other jurisdictions, global factors such as world demand, exchange rates, and technological change cannot explain the poor performance. What is different for Ontario is the problem of rising electricity costs, which have likely placed too large a financial burden on Ontario’s manufacturing sector and hampered its competitiveness.”

The economists state:

“The problem of rising electricity costs is a problem made in Ontario, directly tied to the provincial government’s policy choices, which include aggressively promoting renewable sources, structuring long-term contracts poorly, and phasing out coal. The significant employment losses in Ontario’s manufacturing sector and the overall stagnant employment and economic growth rates in this province should concern policy makers. We urge the government to consider meaningful reforms aimed at significantly lowering electricity costs in the province.” See link under Non-Green Jobs


Market Favoritism: Last week’s TWTW discussed what is physically required to provide reliable (dispatchable), stable back-up electricity to wind and solar power. The estimate of 10 gigawatts needed for Southern California requires 5 Hoover Dams and Lake Meads. These will not magically appear.

Donn Dears discusses how the preferential dispatch system used by many market operators, and required in many states, is destructive because it excludes critical baseload power from fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, eventually forcing their closure. This is a rare example where short-run marginal cost pricing becomes costlier to consumers in the long-run, than long-run total cost pricing. These external costs of the wind and solar power generators need to be internalized, placed on the wind and solar power generators. This concept is far different, but parallel, to the effort being made by academic economists on what they claim to be the “social costs of carbon dioxide”, ignoring that increased CO2 is beneficial.

As demonstrated by the Black Event in South Australia, the baseload problem will reoccur. It will not magically go away. A practical electricity back-up system is proven on a commercial scale is needed. Right now, hydropower is the only proven system on a large scale. Long-promised batteries are not evident. See links under Energy Issues – US


Number of the Week: 1.8 to 1 Using government numbers for green jobs, even though many green jobs are temporary, economists Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliabari estimated that for each green job created by government policies, the province of Ontario lost 1.8 manufacturing jobs.


Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

New Paper: Most Modern Warming, Including For Recent Decades, Is Due To Solar Forcing, Not CO2

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 9, 2017


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Uh oh, California Attorney General on the hot-seat over #ExxonKnew fiasco

E&E Legal Forced to Sue California Attorney General for Failure to Release Public Records Already Shared with Green Activists Involving Their Inappropriate Lobbying Practices

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 1, 2017


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013


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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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


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

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


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Freeman Dyson on ‘heretical’ thoughts about global warmimg

By Freeman Dyson, WUWT, Nov 10, 2017


Link to 2007 Essay, Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society

By Freeman Dyson, Edge, Aug 9, 2007


An Avalanche Of Global Warming Alarmism Is About To Hit

By Tom Harris and Tim Ball, Daily Caller, Nov 3, 2017


Today, there is virtually no data for approximately 85% of the Earth’s surface. Indeed, there are fewer weather stations in operation now than there were in 1960

2017 Global Temperature: Too Early to Tell

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Nov 7, 2017


What’s Missing From Long-Term Energy Forecasting?

By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, Sep 21, 2017


Defending the Orthodoxy

Claim at #COP23 – The 2°C limit is attainable

JRC at COP23: A cleaner, greener planet is both possible and affordable

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 8, 2017


“Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service.”

2017 set to be hottest non-El Nino year: UN

By Staff Writers, Brief, Nov 7, 2017


Link to report: 2017 is set to be in top three hottest years, with record-breaking extreme weather

By Staff Writers, UN World Meteorological Organization, Nov 6, 2017


“WMO uses three conventional surface temperature data sets – NOAA’s NOAA Global Temp data set, Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit HadCRUT. data set and NASA GISS’s GISTEMP data set.”

WMO showcases climate science at COP23 opening session

By Staff Writers, WMO, Nov 10, 2017


“Sea surface and ocean temperatures are among warmest on record, global sea levels continue to rise, so far by 26 cm. Arctic and more recently Antarctic sea-ice extent continues shrinking. Ocean acidification threatens marine ecosystems and fisheries and coral reefs are bleaching.”

Food security and climate change

By Staff Writers, IAEA, Nov 6, 2017


Oceans and climate change

By Staff Writers, IAEA, Nov 7, 2017


Defending the Orthodoxy – A Last Gasp?

Climate Science Special Report

Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

“This report is an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States. It represents the first of two volumes of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.”


Early rebuttals of the scientifically flawed NCA

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Nov 6, 2017


Scientific Critique of USGCRP’s 2017 Climate Science Special Report

By Joe Bast, Heartland Institute, Via ICECAP, Nov 5, 2017


Link to article: The Trump administration just disbanded a federal advisory committee on climate change

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Aug 20, 2017


2017 National Climate Assessment: A Self-Falsifying Prophecy?

Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Aug 14, 2017


Questioning the Orthodoxy

New Atmospheric Sciences Textbook: Climate Sensitivity Just 0.4°C For CO2 Doubling

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 6, 2017


[SEPP Comment: The reviewer misses an important issue: the influence of increased water vapor in amplifying a modest increase in temperatures from CO2.]

Polar Bear Week: Twenty Good Reasons to Celebrate Polar Bear Resilience

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Nov 6, 2017


Link to paper: Twenty Good Reasons Not to worry about polar bears: an update

By Susan Crockford, GWPF, 2017


Some Failed Climate Predictions

By Andy May, WUWT, Oct 30, 2017


After Paris!

Unstoppable momentum

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Nov 10, 2017


[SEPP Comment: To do little?]

20 states, 50 cities sign pledge to abide by Paris agreement even if US withdraws

By Max Greenwood, The Hill, Nov 11, 2017


Link to the Pledge: America’s Pledge

By Staff Writers, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nov 2017


[SEPP Comment: How many were enacted by a vote by the elected representatives, and how many by executive orders, which marked the Obama administration’s commitment?]

Fiji’s ‘sinking’ Vunidogoloa Village – Victim of AGW or opportunistic at #COP23 ?

Guest essay by Barry Brill, WUWT, Nov 8, 2017


#COP23 In one graph, best reason ever why the USA doesn’t need to be in the #Paris Agreement

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 7, 2017


Change in US Administrations

Reconsider the Clean Power Plan

By James E. McCarthy, CRS, Oct 25, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]


“Although the agency is proposing to repeal the CPP, it did not propose repeal of the GHG ‘endangerment finding,’ the 2009 agency finding that emissions of CO2 and other GHGs endanger public health and welfare. Without addressing the finding, the agency appears to have a continuing obligation to limit emissions of CO2 from power plants.”

Pruitt Is Right To Withdraw Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’

By Tom Harris, Daily Caller, Oct 30, 2017


France: Trump not invited to climate change summit ‘for the time being’

By Rebecca Savransky, The Hill, Nov 7, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Is Mr. Trump deeply disappointed?]

Problems in the Orthodoxy

In the Country Where Coal Is King, a Battle With the EU Looms

By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, Nov 5, 2017


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Elevated CO2 Alleviates Aluminum Toxicity in Rice

Zhu, X.F., Zhao, X.S., Wang, B., Wu, Q. and Shen, R.F. 2017. Elevated carbon dioxide alleviates aluminum toxicity by decreasing cell wall hemicellulose in rice (Oryza sativa). Frontiers in Physiology 8: 512, doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00512. Nov 10, 2017


“Setting the stage for their study, Zhu et al. (2017) note that aluminum (Al) is the most abundant metal on earth. When present in significant quantities in the soil, it can be detrimental to plant growth, disrupting physiological and molecular properties. In many instances, aluminum toxicity inhibits root elongation, even at very low concentrations, making it difficult for plants to acquire nutrients, thus leading to a reduction in both the magnitude and quality of their growth.”

The Non-response of Ocean Acidification on the Behavioral Activity of a Reef Damselfish

Sundin,J., Amcoff, M., Mateos-González, F., Raby, G.D., Jutfelt, F. and Clark, T.D. 2017. Long-term exposure to elevated carbon dioxide does not alter activity levels of a coral reef fish in response to predator chemical cues. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71: 108, doi: 10.1007/s00265-017-2337-x. Nov 8, 2017


“With respect to why their study results turned out so different from those reported by others, Sundin et al. suggest it may be due to the fact that their study was ‘the first to use automated tracking software to quantify the activity responses of a coral reef fish to predator chemical cues in the context of ocean acidification,‘ which software allows for ‘more precise data of higher validity and objectivity.‘ They also note that their tracking software ‘is not subject to observer biases (e.g., confirmation bias, which is the unintentional preference to detect and focus on outcomes that confirm prior beliefs. ‘But perhaps most important of all was the acclimation time allowed in their study (almost 3 months as opposed to days or weeks in other studies) for the fish to be reared in the elevated CO2 conditions prior to testing. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure, as expressed in the final section of their paper: ‘This study thus adds to the growing literature reporting no behavioral effects in fishes following acclimation to elevated CO2.’”

The Response of 13 Wheat Cultivars to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

Bunce, J. 2017. Using FACE systems to screen wheat cultivars for yield increases at elevated CO2. Agronomy 7: 20, doi:10.3390/agronomy7010020. Nov 6, 2017


“Commenting on his findings, Bunce writes that ‘identification of lines with larger yield increases at elevated CO2 is only a first step to improving the response of a crop species to future CO2 conditions, ‘ noting that identification of traits responsible for those yield differences would be an important ‘next step toward selecting crops for future CO2 environments. ‘”

Models v. Observations

Clouds’ warming potential is frightening researchers

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter, Climate Wire, Nov 7, 2017


“V. ‘Ram’ Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, is the co-author of a recent study predicting that without more action, there could be ‘catastrophic’ and even ‘existential’ results for mankind and other living species by the end of the century.”

[SEPP Comment: Fear of their forecasts that are likely wrong?]

Model Issues

Study: A new method to evaluate overall performance of a climate model

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 3, 2017


Link to paper: Multivariable integrated evaluation of model performance with the vector field evaluation diagram

By Zhongfeng Xu, Ying Han, and Congbin Fu, Geoscientific Model Development, European Geosciences Union Oct 23, 2017


Measurement Issues — Surface

A call for an improved global climate measurement system

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 8, 2017


Link to paper: Designing the Climate Observing System of the Future

By Weatherhead, Wielicki, and Ramaswamy, lead quthors, Earth’s Future, 2007


“First, this paper proposes that priority be given to the most critical needs as identified within the World Climate Research Program as Grand Challenges. These currently include seven important topics: Melting Ice and Global Consequences; Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity; Carbon Feedbacks in the Climate System; Understanding and Predicting Weather and Climate Extremes; Water for the Food Baskets of the World; Regional Sea-Level Change and Coastal Impacts; and Near-term Climate Prediction. For each Grand Challenge, observations are needed for long-term monitoring, process studies and forecasting capabilities.”

[SEPP Comment: Not mentioned among the Grand Challenges is verifying and validating a global climate model. Satellites provide a climate monitoring system, but are largely ignored by the climate establishment.]

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Miniaturized weather satellites?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 10, 2017


Changing Weather

Hurricane History and the Phony Myth

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 7, 2017


Changing Climate

Scottish Summertime Temperatures Not Significantly Warmer Than During Medieval Warm Periods, Scientists Find

By Miloš Rydval et al., Climate Dynamics, November 2017, Via GWPF


Reconstructing 800 years of summer temperatures in Scotland from tree rings

By Miloš Rydval, Climate Dynamics, Jan 12, 2017 [First online]


Changing Seas

High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A MultiEcosystem Comparison

By Gretchen E. Hofmann, PLos One, Dec 2011 [H/t William Happer]


From the Abstract “The effect of Ocean Acidification (OA) on marine biota is quasi-predictable at best. While perturbation studies, in the form of incubations under elevated pCO2, reveal sensitivities and responses of individual species, one missing link in the OA story results from a chronic lack of pH data specific to a given species’ natural habitat.’”

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Study bolsters theory of heat source under Antarctica

By Carol Rasmussen, Phys.org, Nov 8, 2017 [H/t Climate Depot]


Link to paper: Influence of a West Antarctic mantle plume on ice sheet basal conditions

By Seroussi, Ivins, Wiens, Bondzio, Journal of Geophysical Research, Sep 4, 2017


NASA Has More Evidence Volcanic Activity Is Heating Up Antarctica’s Ice Sheet

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Nov 7, 2017


Experts talk of their bleak future, W Hudson Bay polar bears get earliest freeze-up in decades

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Nov 8, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Not much fun for the fund raisers if the star of the charade has “gone hunting.”

Changing Earth

Climate change to make volcanoes more climate disruptive

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 31, 2017


Link to paper: The amplifying influence of increased ocean stratification on a future year without a summer

By Fasullo, Tomas, Stevenson, Otto-Bliesner, Brady & Wahl, Nature Communications, Oct 31, 2017


Acidic Waters

Ocean acidification could threaten Alaska crab populations

By Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 4, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Long on forecasts, short on facts.]

Lowering Standards

Christopher Booker: How the BBC and Blue Planet Got It Wrong about Walruses and Climate Change

By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph (UK) Via GWPF, Nov 4, 2017


ABC renewables fantasy island “farewells diesel” (except for 40% of its power)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 5, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Trump Wrongly Blamed for Destroying Sea Ice Satellite

No, Our Ability to Monitor Sea Ice Has Not Ended

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 6, 2017


Link to the Guardian article: Republicans accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change

By Robin McKie, Guardian, UK, Nov 5, 2017


Quote from the Guardian article: “This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient,” said David Gallaher of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. ‘Our world is ailing and we have apparently decided to undermine, quite deliberately, the effectiveness of the records on which its recovery might be based. It is criminal.” [Boldface added.]

The Guardian invents a myth that Trump obstructs satellite research

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 6, 2017


Ooops! Naomi Oreskes caught with biased numbers on #ExxonKnew

Exposed: Harvard Study Omitted Evidence to Allege ExxonMobil ‘Misled’ Public on Climate

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 7, 2017


Exposed: Harvard Study Omitted Evidence to Allege ExxonMobil ‘Misled’ Public on Climate

By Spencer Walrath, Energy in Depth, Sep 6, 2017


Link to paper: Assessing ExxonMobil’s climate change communications (1977–2014)

By Geoffrey Supran1 and Naomi Oreskes, Environmental Research Letters, Aug 23, 2017


[SEPP Comment: No surprises here from Oreskes.]

Claim: Climate will drive more Refugees into Europe

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 2, 2017


Link to report: Beyond Borders: Our changing climate – its role in conflict and displacement

By Staff Writers, Environmental Justice Foundation, UK, Nov 2, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Getting them Young: Climate Educators Create a Game for 12 Year Olds

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 29, 2017


Green group, children sue Trump over climate change policies

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 6, 2017


“It comes from the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council and two ‘child plaintiffs who have been personally impacted by climate change,’ because one has asthma and another lived through Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene.”

Questioning European Green

The True Cost Of The Climate Change Act

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 10, 2017


“Yet they [the Committee on Climate Change] have grossly underestimated the true costs by adding a bogus cost of carbon into the price of conventional electricity, thus reducing the real value of subsidies for low carbon electricity at a stroke.”

Climate Targets Threaten Germany’s Prosperity, Ministry of Economy Warns

By Jan Dams, Die Welt, Via GWPF, Nov 8, 2017


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Who Pays for “Green” Energy

By John Hinderaker, Powerline, Nov 10, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise

Link to report: Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure

By Steven Hayward and Peter Nelson, Center of the American Experiment, Oct 2017 [H/t Power Line]


[SEPP Comment: How ideological whims of politicians drive up electricity prices.]


Mysterious thing called Populism affecting wildlife

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 7, 2017


Green Jobs

German-Spanish Wind Energy Giant To Lay Off 6000 Workers, Citing “Changing Market Conditions”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 7, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Green jobs are not sustainable without subsidies?]

Non-Green Jobs

Rising Electricity Costs and Declining Employment in Ontario’s Manufacturing Sector

By Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliabari, Fraser Institute, Oct 17, 2017


Funding Issues

Can Intervention By The Rational Stop A Pseudoscientific Scare Backed By Big Money?

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Nov 9, 2017


The Political Games Continue

Lamar Smith, the departing head of the House science panel, will leave a controversial and complicated legacy

By Jeffrey Mervis, Warren Cornwall, Science, Nov 5, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


[SEPP Comment: Government-funded scientists did not like Smith, he asked tough questions about what they call science.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

How to avoid the political pitfalls of carbon taxes

By Bjorn Lomborg, Globe and Mail, Can, Oct 22, 2017


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Congress Has Narrow Window to Level Energy Tax Playing Field

By William Murray, Real Clear Energy, Nov 3, 2017


Link to study, Bringing Tax Reform to the Energy Sector

Bu Josiah Neeley and William Murray, R Street, Nov 2017


[SEPP Comment: The sausage making will not be pretty.]

GOP Tax Plan Resets Big Wind

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Nov 7, 2017


Green Energy Crash: Vestas Shares Dive 17% on Concerns over US Subsidy Cuts

By Staff Writers, Financial Times, Via GWPF Nov 9, 2017


EPA and other Regulators on the March

Administrator Pruitt Issues Directive to Ensure Independence, Geographic Diversity & Integrity in EPA Science Committees

Press Release by Staff Writers, EPA, Oct 31, 2017


Link to directive: Strengthening and Improving Membership on EPA Federal Advisory Committees


Congratulations To Dr. Stan Young, And The EPA

By Hank Campbell, ACSH, Nov 1, 2017


Members of Scientific Boards Received $77 Million From EPA While Advising Agency

Pruitt: ‘Whatever science that we’re involved in at the EPA should not be political science’

By Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon, Oct 31, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]


EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

CRS Legal Sidebar by Linda Tsang, Attorney, CRS, Oct 25, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]


GAO to review whether EPA violated anti-propaganda law

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 6, 2017


Forestry Regulations Ignite More California Wildfires

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 30, 2017


Energy Issues – Non-US

Centrally Planned UK Generation Scenarios for 2030

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Nov 8, 2017


“On 7th November (yesterday), The Government made a Call for Evidence following up on Helm’s review. With a decade or more spent trying to reduce emissions using wind and solar power, while paying lip service to nuclear, we have thousands of individuals employed by government, industry and academia who are committed to the Green cause. Gregg Clark (Secretary of State for Energy and Business) needs to explain how a public consultation of those individuals, institutions and companies is going to advance the cause of an independent review.

[SEPP Comment: Explains why there are only a few objecting to government mandates at EPA hearings.]

What Actually Is “Clean” or “Renewable” Energy?

We don’t really have common, useful definitions for these things.

By Meg Charlton, Slate, Nov 2, 2017


The Changing World Energy Economy

By James Smith and Alex Hatch, Heartland Institute, Nov 2, 2017


Energy Issues — US

The Market for Electricity is Rigged

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 10, 2017


Missouri Utility Closing Coal Plant, Adding Wind Generation

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Nov 2, 2017


“The PSC must rule on the new plan by June 30, 2018. Empire officials on Tuesday said the wind farm project would include an equity partnership that would use $800 million in federal tax incentives, putting the company’s investment in the plan at $700 million. The utility uses some wind power through power purchase agreements, but has said it can further cut costs by building its own wind farms in the region.

“Empire needs to complete the plan by 2020 before the tax incentives expire.”

“Julie Maus, the utility’s director of corporate communications, said in an email to POWER that the transition from coal-fired power to wind power would save Empire’s residential customers $10 each month on their electric bills starting in 2020.”

[SEPP Comment: How much will the needed back-up to wind power cost the customers?]

State economist says global spike in oil price not likely to affect forecast [Alaska]

By Rashah McChesney, KTOO Public Media, Nov 8, 2017


Washington’s Control of Energy

Trump Presides Over Deal To Build The US’s Largest Energy Export Project

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Nov 9, 2017


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

OPEC Projects Global Fossil Fuel Demand To Keep Rising! …Obliterating Dreams Of Carbon Emissions Reductions

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 10, 2017


Get Ready for an Appalachian Gas Bonanza

New projects will pump up the region’s energy economy.

By Tim Loh and Ryan Collins, Bloomberg, Nov 3, 3027 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


“Taken together, these projects should allow Marcellus and Utica gas producers to ship an additional 7.5 billion cu. ft. of gas a day, increasing the region’s pipeline capacity by about a third, says Darren Horowitz, an analyst for Raymond James. ‘It is sorely needed as a long-term solution to free up highly economic Marcellus and Utica acreage’”

Murkowski reveals Arctic Refuge drilling details

By Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media, KTOO Public Media, Nov 9, 2017


Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems

By Richard K. Lattanzio, CRS, Oct 6, 2017


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania Make Substantive Gains for State Nuclear Subsidies

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Nov 1, 2017


“A bitter dispute concerning subsidies for nuclear generation that has divided the power sector grew more intense over the past week as Connecticut, Ohio, and Pennsylvania advanced efforts to keep nuclear plants operating. At the same time, legal challenges to existing measures in Illinois and New York continued in two federal courts.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Can Puerto Rico go 100% solar?

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Nov 8, 2017


“With seasonal variations in output of only around 30% Puerto Rico is at an ideal latitude for solar power, and despite generally low capacity factors (caused by cloudiness) it can be argued that if solar doesn’t work there it won’t work anywhere. And as the results of this post show 100% solar generation can in fact be made to work in Puerto Rico – but only by installing enormously costly amounts of battery storage. The island could be repowered with gas for a small fraction of the cost.”

New Data Confirms Offshore Wind Costs Are Rising Not Falling [UK]

By John Constable, GWPF, Nov 8, 2017


“This illustrates the points made by Hughes, Constable and Aris that there was an increase in costs up to 2013, and that subsequent cost reductions are offset by the increased cost of necessarily constructing in deeper water.”

Antarctic wind turbine crashes in normal wind conditions — no one hurt, diesel saves day

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 8, 2017


Energy & Environmental Newsletter: November 6, 2017

By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, Nov 6, 2017


Germany Builds World’s Tallest Wind Turbine

The turbine comes with a water pump to generate power even when there’s no wind.

By Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, Nov 3, 2017


[SEPP Comment: 809 feet high (245 meters) with pumped-hydro storage. The article does not give the operating duration of pumped-hydro storage.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Corn husks, failed fodder for a power plant

By Charles Battig, American Thinker, Nov 7, 2017


Renewable Fuel Standard Follies

By Peter Ferrara, Spectator, Nov 1, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Are US Vehicle-Mileage Standards Obsolete?

By Steve Goreham, Master Resource, Nov 8, 2017


Congress’s Plan to Kill the Electric Car Tax Credit Could Kill Electric Cars

By Aarian Marshall, Wired, Nov 4, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Subsidies were not needed to sell the model T, why are subsidies needed now?]

In defense of the electric car–part 1

The demise of the Western auto industry: Part 1 – the basics

By John Hardy, WUWT, Nov 5, 2017


In Defense of the Electric Car – part2

By John Hardy, WUWT, Nov 7, 2017


Carbon Schemes

EU blows £520m on carbon capture project that stored no carbon

It takes a really big government to waste money on a scale like this

By Jo Nova, Her Blog Nov 9, 2017


SaskPower carbon capture project uneconomical from the start, critics say

Wind, natural gas offer cheaper options, critics of carbon capture and storage project argue

By Joelie Seal, CBC News, Saskatchewan, Nov 4, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


With America’s ‘Clean Coal’ Flagship Dead, Is CCS Still Credible?

By Chris Lo, Power Technology, Via GWPF, Nov 8, 2017


California Dreaming

Can Intervention By The Rational Stop A Pseudoscientific Scare Backed By Big Money?

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Nov 9, 2017


Health, Energy, and Climate

New Quebec Study: Cold Kills …0.7% Increase Of Heart Failure For Each 1°C Drop!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 8, 2017


Link to paper: Effects of climate and fine particulate matter on hospitalizations and deaths for heart failure in elderly: A population-based cohort study.

By Alain Vanasse, et al. Pub Med, Sep 10, 2017


“No association was found with relative humidity and with PM2.5 regardless of the lag period.”

Other News that May Be of Interest

If The Endangered Species Act Doesn’t Adapt, It Will Go Extinct

By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Oct 19, 2017


Alligators, rulers of the swamps, link marine and freshwater ecosystems

‘Gators follow the tides to find food, ferrying nutrients as they go

By Cheryl Dybas, NSF, Nov 2, 2017



Three headed, six legged frog!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions, Nov 6, 2017


“Kids at a nursery were shocked when they stumbled across a three-headed, six legged croaking frog! Staff at the Green Umbrella nursery thought it was just three frogs close together.

“Spokeswoman Laura Peper said: ‘The children couldn’t believe it.’

“Expert Mike Dilger said: ‘Frogs are primitive, so the occasional extra toe is not unusual, but this is something different.’

“He thinks the frog could have been caused by pollution or climate change.” [Boldface added]

“BBC Newsround, 5 Mar 2004”


1. Global warming and peer review

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Oct 30, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]


The Chairman of SEPP writes:

“An essay in the current issue (Oct. 2017) of Eos, the house organ and newsletter of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), is titled “Red, Blue – and Peer-Review” (P.R.).


“The essay asserts that P.R. is superior to a debate between a (red) team of climate skeptics and a (blue) team of alarmists. I disagree strongly and will point to prominent cases where P.R. is misused to keep contrary opinions and facts from being published and thus enforce a “consensus.” A classic case is described by Douglass and Christy here.


“I can cite many more examples – assuming that the IPCC (U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) represents a kind of P.R., as constantly claimed by alarmist IPCC proponents.


“I have shown, and convinced many others, that the ‘evidential facts’ in support of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), cited by the first three Assessment Reports (A.R.s) of 1990, 1996, and 2001, are based on spurious analyses and data.


“Recently, I discovered that the evidence used by A.R. 4 (2007) and A.R. 5 (2013) does not really exist; it is fake, an artifact of incomplete data analyses. I refer here to the reported surface warming of 1978-1997 (for details, see this). [A Global Warming Surprise, By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, May 11, 2017, http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/05/a_global_warming_surprise.html]

“But publication of such a result is difficult. It involves finding a sympathetic and courageous journal editor who will not send the manuscript to unfriendly, biased reviewers.


“Obviously, a red-blue debate might rapidly settle any controversies – or at least bring them to light. Thus, one understands why consensus-enforcers try to keep out inconvenient facts, avoid debates, and prefer peer review.”


2. Summary of Letters to the Wall Street objecting to the Koonin editorial carried are Article # 1 in the November 4 TWTW:

Good Science Should Rule U.S. Climate Policy

Robert E. Kopp, Ph.D.

“As a scientist and author on the Climate Science Special Report, I stand by its conclusions: The rate of global sea level rise since 1900 has been faster than during any comparable period in at least 2,800 years.


“It’s unfortunate that Steven E. Koonin chose to wait until months after an extensive public review process to critique the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), which he attacks in “A Deceptive New Report on Climate”


“Had he suggested further explanation of decadal variability in global mean sea-level rise during the review process, it might have been added by the authors. They might have noted that the rate of global sea-level rise today is likely faster than during its previous high in the 1930s-40s, also a period of relatively rapid temperature increase. Further, they might have noted the robust acceleration in sea level since 1900 that has been revealed by multiple analyses.


“As a scientist and author on the Climate Science Special Report, I stand by its conclusions: The rate of global sea-level rise since 1900 has been faster than during any comparable period in at least 2,800 years. It has led to about seven to eight inches of global sea-level rise, about three inches of which have occurred since 1993. Human activities have contributed substantially to this high rate, which is a major contributor to the accelerating increase in tidal flooding in over two dozen Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities. One to four more inches of rise will likely occur over this century, depending in part on carbon-dioxide emissions, though levels as high as eight feet cannot be ruled out. The points that Mr. Koonin raises are minor comments about framing; the underlying scientific evidence is correct.”


E. William Colglazier, Ph.D.

“I am the former executive officer of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council (1994-2011) and former Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State (2011-14).


“The quickest way to politicize scientific knowledge, what is known and not known, is to treat it as no different from other aspects of a contentious public-policy debate. Mr. Koonin’s op-ed provides a good example. His so-called red team/blue team proposal for climate science would create two teams to debate scientific uncertainties and their significance. The teams would include nonscientists and scientists outside the relevant disciplines. This effort in effect becomes a political process with value judgments and no guarantee of an unbiased scientific assessment by the most highly qualified experts.


“I commend the Trump administration for not trying to suppress the scientific judgments in the Climate Science Special Report, which are counter to the views of President Trump, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and others in the administration. If the Trump administration really wanted to know the current state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, all it has to do is read the reports of the National Academies as well as the CSSR.”


3. OPEC Says Oil Demand Will Grow Past 2040

Cartel’s view on peak-oil demand differs from some big-oil companies

By Christopher Alessi, WSJ, Nov 7, 2017


SUMMARY: The author discusses that the forecasts of the OPEC cartel contradict Royal Dutch Shell and Norway’s Statoil on the recent concept, peak oil demand. OPEC is more in line with the International Energy Agency:

“In its annual World Oil outlook, OPEC said slower-than-expected global economic growth as a result of increased protectionism and reduced free trade could weigh on oil demand through 2040, resulting in demand of roughly 107.5 million barrels a day in 2040.


“But the cartel predicts long-term oil demand to increase by 15.8 million barrels a day, hitting 111.1 million barrels a day in 2040, compared with 95.4 million barrels a day in 2016. That growth should be fueled by high population growth and a burgeoning middle class in developing countries.


“’Within the developing countries, China is expected to continue to be the largest consumer of oil’ through 2040, while India ‘will be the region with the second-largest overall demand growth,’ the report said.


“However, OPEC said demand in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—a group of 35 industrialized, oil-consuming nations including the U.S.—is expected to decline by 8.9 million barrels a day during the run-up to 2040, driven by slowing population growth, stricter energy efficiency standards and the rise of electric vehicles.


“The cartel said medium-term growth should be buoyed by the introduction of new International Maritime Organization regulations mandating the use of lower sulfur petroleum products in marine fuel, which should likely lead to an uptick in refinery runs.


“’Oil demand growth in 2020 is expected to be higher because of these regulations, primarily due to the likely surplus of high-sulfur fuel oil volumes priced at a discount assumed to be absorbed by the power generation sector and volumetric processing gains from switching from fuel oil to diesel,’ the report said.


“Still, the OPEC report highlighted that global annual demand growth is expected to slow to 810,000 barrels a day in 2022, compared with 1.45 million barrels a day in 2017, a result of expected higher oil prices, efficiency gains, lower population growth in the OECD and China and increased uptake of alternative fuel vehicles.”

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November 13, 2017 7:43 am

‘These four newly-built turbines are expected to produce enough electricity to power over 1000 homes.’

Except when they don’t.

‘Using this method, these turbines successfully pair energy generation with energy storage, solving one of the bigger problems plaguing renewable energy sources like wind and solar.’

Good to know it’s solved. Wait . . . what?

November 17, 2017 12:27 pm

“V. ‘Ram’ Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, is the co-author of a recent study predicting that without more action, there could be ‘catastrophic’ and even ‘existential’ results for mankind and other living species by the end of the century.”
Why is it impossible to find a reference to the study?

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