The Week That Was: 2018-12-22 (December 22, 2018)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
On to Chile: Some seem to be disappointed with the outcome of the 24th Conference of Parties (COP-24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland, in a coal mining district. Rather than adopting hard, fast rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the delegates adopted vague generalities and promised to do more. Reading through the “bureaucratic speak,” of the concluding remarks by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, read by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, the stated goals were not accomplished. The Secretary General wrote:
“I’d first like to thank the Presidency of the COP for the enormous efforts it deployed to organize this 24th session in Katowice, Poland.
“I also want to acknowledge the tireless work of Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], as well as of her staff throughout this session.
“And I of course want to thank all Member States for their commitment and dedication which was once again demonstrated through countless long hours of work here during the last few days.
“Katowice has shown once more the resilience of the Paris Agreement – our solid roadmap for climate action.
“The approval of the Paris Agreement Work Programme is the basis for a transformative process which will require strengthened ambition from the international community. Science has clearly shown that we need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change.
“From now on, my 5 priorities will be: ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition and ambition.
“Ambition in mitigation. Ambition in adaptation. Ambition in finance. Ambition in technical cooperation and capacity building. Ambition in technological innovation.
“Ambition will be at the centre of the Climate Summit that I will convene in September 2019.
“And ambition must guide all Member States as they prepare their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2020 to reverse the present trend in which climate change is still running faster than us.
“It is our duty to reach for more and I count on all of you to raise ambitions so that we can beat back climate change. [Boldface added]
Not only did the Secretary General not bother to attend, but he spoke of raising ambitions. For what purpose? Beating back climate change? Driving the world to the “ideal climate” of the Little Ice Age, when cold, wet European summers led to starvation for millions? If increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) caused this change we all should be thankful. But it is unlikely that CO2 had a significant effect on global temperatures. Any effect must be established by hard evidence, not numerical models based on speculative assumptions. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, After Paris, After Paris! – COP-24, and https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2018-12-15/secretary-generals-remarks-the-conclusion-of-the-cop24-0
Five Policy Questions: On his blog, Roy Spencer, the co-developer of the method of measuring temperature trends from satellites, asks five big questions regarding government policy. Three questions deal with science policy regarding global warming / climate change; two deal with energy policy. The three on science policy are:
“1) Is warming and associated climate change mostly human-caused?
2) Is the human-caused portion of warming and associated climate change large enough to be damaging?
3) Do the climate models we use for proposed energy policies accurately predict climate change?”
To these three questions, TWTW would add: Which dataset more accurately and directly measures greenhouse gas warming – atmospheric temperature trends or surface temperature trends?
Spencer gives his answers and more fully describes them in his book “Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People.” He states: “Regarding the first question, I might concede it is indeed possible most of the warming since the 1950s is human-caused.”
SEPP Chairman emeritus Fred Singer may disagree with this concession by Spencer. He has written that the warming since about 1980 is largely man-made, it is artificial. It is a combination of poor surface data collection, change in land use, and surface data manipulation. Further, surface data points cover only a very small part of the earth’s surface. Therefore, the surface dataset is not for the most part reflecting global climate change and it is not recording the effects of CO2, which, at any rate, occur in the atmosphere.
Spencer discusses the growing discrepancy between satellite measurements and surface measurements. This discrepancy is one of the several examples Singer uses to assert that the late 20th century warming in the surface dataset is largely artificial.
Of the five questions, the two energy policy questions Spencer poses are:
“4) Would the proposed policy changes substantially reduce climate change and resulting damage?
5) Would the policy changes do more good than harm to humanity?”
In preparing an answer to these two energy policy questions, TWTW asks: What technology can replace hydroelectric, coal, and natural gas power plants to deliver reliable electricity that modern civilization needs? The only solution today is nuclear. Wind and solar are inherently highly variable. The proposed, but not-yet existent, solution to uncontrollable energy sources is storage in batteries, compressed gas in underground caverns, flywheels, and the like. No matter what storage eventually becomes good enough for grid-scale usage, it will always favor conventional power over variable power. A storage system for wind and/or solar must be able to store many days’ energy.
By contrast, if more conventional 24/7 power plants are installed to provide more than conventional baseload power, the excess energy stored during times of low demand can be released during times of high demand. The storage system would have to store about a quarter of one day’s demand, rather than several days’ or weeks’ worth.
Spencer gives his response to these questions, see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Deficiencies in the IPCC Special Report: Writing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Ray Bates, a former professor of Meteorology at the Niels Bohr Institute and former senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses some of the deficiencies he found in the special report SR1.5 issued by the IPCC in October, leading up to COP-24. Among the deficiencies, is that SR1.5 deviated from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5, 2013), the latest from the IPCC, without evidence needed for a change.
“The central attribution statement of Working Group I in the Fifth Assessment2 was as
‘It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.’
“This statement did not necessarily attribute all the observed post-1950 warming to anthropogenic effects, nor did it attribute the substantial early 20th century warming (1910–1945) to such effects. In contrast to this caution, SR1.5 portrays all the global warming observed
since the late 19th century3 as being human-induced (see Figure 1). This major departure
from the Fifth Assessment is presented without any rigorous justification.”
Also, Bates takes exception to the frequently used term “Lines of evidence”:
A phrase much used by the IPCC is ‘lines of evidence’. Implicit in this phrase is the realistic acknowledgement that there is much in climate science that is not known with certainty and which perhaps never can be. Something that is known with certainty is that the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other trace gases that trap heat radiation at infrared wavelengths in the atmosphere are increasing as a result of human activities. Balancing this, it is also known that the dominant greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere is naturally occurring water vapour, which is far more abundant than the trace gases. When air rises and cools, the water vapour it contains condenses into clouds, which affect the greenhouse properties of the atmosphere in major ways. Quantifying cloud radiative effects with precision, however, is beyond the capability of present-day climate science. For as long as this remains the case, modelling the climate system’s response to increasing GHG emissions will remain an area of uncertainty.
Richard Lindzen has raised similar issues with the treatment of clouds and water vapor. Further, the concept of lines of evidence is used in US reports and in the EPA finding that CO2 and other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. Lines of evidence are not hard evidence.
Bates discusses two papers, published after AR-5, which are ignored in SR1.5: 1) ‘Climate scientists open up their black boxes to scrutiny’, by Paul Voosen and 2) ‘The art and science of climate model tuning’, by Hourdin et al. Bates states:
“These papers point out that relatively small changes to the parameter settings in the representations of subgrid-scale physical processes in global climate models can lead to large changes in the models’ rate of warming in response to increasing GHGs. The Voosen paper reports an example in which modifying a poorly-determined parameter controlling how fast fresh air mixes into clouds changed the climate sensitivity – the equilibrium warming resulting from a doubling of carbon dioxide levels – of the model in question from 3.5◦C to 7◦C. The Hourdin et al. paper makes it clear that what modellers do in practice is to tune their models empirically so that they reproduce the observed 20th century warming, while giving a value of equilibrium climate sensitivity that lies in ‘an anticipated acceptable range’. It is known that there is no unique tuning that will give any particular desired result.”
Among the conclusions, Bates states:
“The SR1.5 report represents a very significant departure from previous IPCC reports in the direction of increased alarm regarding global warming, particularly as compared with the Fifth Assessment. No rigorous justification for this departure has been provided.
“In reality, since the Fifth Assessment considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that global warming is more of a long-term threat than a planetary emergency. This evidence consists mainly of observational results suggesting lower climate sensitivity (i.e. less warming in response to any given increase in greenhouse gas concentrations) and results indicating a greater contribution from natural variability to explaining observed global temperature trends. The IPCC has not passed on this evidence to policymakers in its SR1.5 report.”
Some of the comments by Bates apply to US efforts as well. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Selling Fear: Michael Connoly, Roman Connoly, and Imelda Connoly, and Willie Soon and Patrick Moore have issued a report on the Greenpeace business model, which one can interpret as selling fear. (Patrick Moore was a founder of Greenpeace and departed some years ago.) The model can be summarized as:
1. “Invent an ‘environmental problem’ which sounds somewhat plausible. Provide anecdotal evidence to support your claims, with emotionally powerful imagery.
2. Invent a ‘simple solution’ for the problem which sounds somewhat plausible and emotionally appealing, but is physically unlikely to ever be implemented.
3. Pick an ‘enemy’ and blame them for obstructing the implementation of the ‘solution’. Imply that anybody who disagrees with you is probably working for this enemy.
4. Dismiss any alternative ‘solutions’ to your problem as ‘completely inadequate’”.
According to the authors:
“This model has been very successful for them, with an annual turnover of about $400 million ($0.4 billion). Although technically a “not for profit” organization, this has not stopped them from increasing their asset value over the years, and they currently have an asset value of $270 million ($0.27 billion) – with 65% of that in cash, making them a cash-rich business. Several other groups have also adopted this approach, e.g., Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Union of Concerned Scientists.”
The report goes through several campaigns by Greenpeace such as Climate Change, Forests & Oceans, and Plastics. The overall purpose is not to educate, but to persuade. Understanding and details may restrict the goals of persuading others and raising money.
The entire report is a valuable guide to how organizations can profit by selling fear. The appendices give further detail, especially the highly influential writings of Chris Rose on “How to Win Campaigns.” Parts of the writings by Rose reminded Ken Haapala of the 1928 book by Edward Bernays, “Propaganda.” Bernays was called the “Father of Modern Advertising.” But after WWI, Bernays did not sell fear. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
New EPA Rules: In the Federal Register, the EPA announced new rules for greenhouse gas standards for New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources for Electric Utility Generating Units. These are particularly important for coal-fired utilities. The previous administration wrote the old rules to prevent High Efficiency, Low Emission (HELE) coal-fired power plants. Not only more efficient, HELE plants reduce emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Particulate Matter (PM) as well a carbon dioxide.
Under the old rules, the limits on CO2 were so low, that HELE plants could not be constructed in the US. Such plants are being constructed in Europe, China, Japan, etc. and the technology continues to improve. By keeping the system under significant pressure, the temperature difference between the heat source and the sink (exhaust) is increased, increasing the efficiency of the system (Carnot cycle). See link under EPA and other Regulators on the March.
Number of the Week: Up to a 50% increase in efficiency? In the US, coal-fired power plants have an efficiency of about 33%. Advanced Ultra-Supercritical power plants, such as GE Steam H with temperatures reaching 650ºC, 1200ºF, are approaching 50% efficiency. If reached, this would be an increase in efficiency of 51%.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Video of the public release of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels. ET from Katowice, Poland – site of the UN’s COP24.
By Staff, Video, NIPCC, Dec 4, 2018
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
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
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, Draft Summary for Policymakers, NIPCC, Oct 3, 2018
The Five Questions Global Warming Policy Must Answer
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 18, 2018
Deficiencies; In the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees
By J. Ray Bates, GWPF, 2018
Irish scientist questions warnings on climate change
Prof Ray Bates says recent report ignored ‘important evidence’ reducing threat level
By Kevin O’Sullivan, The Irish Times, Dec 21, 2018
Analysis of Greenpeace Business Model: Greenpeace wants a piece of your green
By Michael Connolly, Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon, Patrick Moore and Imelda Connolly, Heartland.org, Dec 2018
How Can So Many Scientists Be So Wrong About the Pause?
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Dec 20, 2018
Link to paper in question: A fluctuation in surface temperature in historical context: reassessment and retrospective on the evidence
By James S Risbey, Stephan Lewandowsky, Kevin Cowtan, Naomi Oreskes, Stefan Rahmstorf, Ari Jokimäki and Grant Foster, Environmental Research Letters, Dec 19, 2018
From Whitehouse: “The pause [1998 to 2015] ended due to a severe example of weather not climate, the 2015 super El Nino, after which temperatures are returning to pre-El Nino pause levels. Nowhere in the body of this paper is the El Nino even mentioned!”
Former astronaut: ‘Hundreds of different factors’ affect climate, not just humans
By Kevin Mooney, Washington Examiner, Dec 19, 2018
An Example of AR4 WG2 False Alarmism
By Rud Istvan, WUWT, Dec 16, 2018
Concord and discord among Northern Hemisphere paleotemperature reconstructions from tree rings
By St. George and Esper, Quaternary Science Reviews, Jan 1, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The warm season data presented show a cooling starting in the 1400s.]
Defending the Orthodoxy
I won’t justify Trump’s climate change policy for a second: Todd Stern
US diplomats are working in Katowice to implement the Paris Agreement, says Todd Stern, who was one of the architects of the Paris Agreement as America’s special envoy on climate change when Barack Ob[ama was president]
By Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, Dec 14, 2018 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
[SEPP Comment: Lots of smoke hiding the key issue: in Paris why did the US demand a last-minute change, after a number of delegates signed the document, in effect changing it from a treaty to an agreement after it was signed by many of the delegates? A treaty requires approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Then it becomes enforceable law in the US. An agreement is an “executive” agreement only enforceable by the executive (in office) if he so wishes.]
State attorneys general add dire national climate study to comments challenging EPA climate rollbacks
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Dec 21, 2018
“A coalition of 29 state attorneys general are using the text of the Trump administration’s National Climate Assessment to back their claims that two recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rollbacks are out of step with reality.”
Business Insider: Dubai is the Hellscape Our World Will Become Because Climate Change
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 20, 2018
From Worrall: “I’m not sure how the people of Dubai feel about a green journalist describing their beautiful and popular city as an unsurvivable hellscape. Last time I visited Dubai it seemed quite pleasant, amazing shops, nice beaches, polite and friendly people.”
BBC’s London HQ put on lockdown over climate change protest
Extinction Rebellion group calls for environment to be made ‘top editorial issue’
By Jim Waterson, The Guardian, UK, Dec 21, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Do Fish Smell?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 20, 2018
The 1.5 degree Objective
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 18, 2018
The Anti-Democratic United Nations
Presidents and Prime Ministers come and go. The UN machine persists.
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Dec 17, 2018
Christmas Competition: The Tallest Climate Tales of 2018
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Dec 19, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Clever competition.]
Help us Expose the Great Global Warming Fraud
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Dec 17, 2018
Link to estimates of global spending: Follow the (Climate Change) Money
By Stephen Moore, Townhall, Dec 18, 2018
What the hell was he thinking?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 18, 2018
“The Nobel Prize for Climate Catastrophe”… Seriously?
Guest ridiculing by David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 21, 2018
UN climate accord ‘inadequate’ and lacks urgency, experts warn
Agreement will fail to halt devastating rise in global temperature, say scientists
Bly Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Dec 16, 2018
“The world has been put on notice that its best efforts so far will fail to halt the devastation of climate change, as countries came to a partial agreement at UN talks that failed to match up to the challenges faced.
“Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank chief economist and author of a seminal review of the economics of climate change, said: ‘It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate, given the scale and urgency of the risks we face. The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising. A much more attractive, clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction is in our hands.’”
[SEPP Comment: Any “notice” from Stern is losing effect. No doubt, some UK politicians are regretting they believed the numbers on the costs of global warming and the benefits of immediate action created by Stern with his discount rates. In the US financial world such actions are called “cooking the books.”]
John Kerry: Forget Trump. We All Must Act on Climate Change.
If we fail, it won’t be just the president’s fault.
By John Kerry, NYT, Dec 13, 2018
[SEPP Comment: When Kerry was Secretary of State, the initial Paris agreement in 2015 was binding, but the US demanded changes making it not binding. Strangely, Mr. Kerry does not address this issue. Are there other major facts that Mr. Kerry does not address?]
Paris Climate Accord Death Spiral Underway (FT article begins the autopsy)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Dec 18, 2018
Chile to replace Brazil as 2019 UN climate summit host
By Staff Writers, AFP, Dec 14, 2018
U.N. climate alarmist global process failing
Guest essay by Larry Hamlin, WUWT, Dec 21, 2018
After Paris! – COP-24
Around the World, Climate Goals Clash With Reality
China, Canada and the EU all back the Paris accord the U.S. decided to withdraw from, but they also face local pressures that can erode their ambitions
By Emre Peker, WSJ, Via GWPF, Dec 13, 2081
Rupert Darwall: Defeat in the Air at the UN Climate Conference
By Rupert Darwall, WSJ, Via GWPF, Dec 19, 2018
US, Russia succeed in keeping IPCC report out of climate deal
By Urmi A Goswami, The Economic Times, India, Dec 18, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Hell Freezes Over at Global Climate Crisis Confab
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Dec 17, 2018
CCOP-Out: The Annual UN Climate Merry-Go-Round
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Dec 17, 2018
Link to review: COP 24, Katowice: The Climate Carousel
By Staff Writers, GWPF, 2018
Climate Deal Falls Short Of Breakthrough Needed To Stop Global Warming
The deal struck at a global conference in the heart of Polish coal country, where some 25,000 delegates had gathered, adds legal flesh to the bones of the 2015 Paris agreement.
By Brady Dennis, Griff Witte and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, Via NDTV, Dec 16, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Did Katowice Actually Achieve Anything?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 18, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Paid UN officials did very well, and the bonus pay for many delegates from Africa was appreciated! See link immediately below.]
The Very Model of a Global Green Rorter
By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, Dec 20, 2018
Nations agree on rules for implementing Paris climate accord
By Tal Axelrod, The Hill, Dec 15, 2018
“President Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism toward climate change, saying most recently that he does not believe a climate report commissioned by the [Obama] White House that forecasted dire physical and economic consequences for the United States from climate change if action is not taken.”
Change in US Administrations
Trump trolls the UN
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 17, 2018
[SEPP Comment: A different view!]
Social Benefits of Carbon-Based Fuels
Energy & Modernity: Three Industrial Revolutions (Heartland Institute treatise excerpt)
By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Dec 19, 2018
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Dreadful Year End for the UN
If you’re a UN bureaucrat, recent weeks have been full of disappointment
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Dec 19, 2018
EU, U.S. CO2 reductions completely overwhelmed by world’s developing nations fossil fuel driven emission increases
Guest essay by Larry Hamlin, WUWT, Dec 19, 2018
Max Planck Institute Director: “Low Probability” CO2 Reductions Will Have Impact On Climate Next 20 Years!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone Dec 19, 2018
Climate Change: Millions Of Americans Have Voted With Their Feet For A Hotter Climate
Editorial, IBD, Dec 20, 2018
Ignoring Climate Alarmists, UK Government Promises More Flights and Bigger Airports
By Staff Writers, The Times, Via GWPF, Dec 18, 2018
Seeking a Common Ground
Climatism and the Reification of Global Temperature
By Mike Hulme, His Blog, Oct 24, 2018
“Global temperature does not cause anything to happen. It has no material agency. It is an abstract proxy for the aggregated accumulation of heat in the surface boundary layer of the planet. It is far removed from revealing the physical realities of meteorological hazards occurring in particular places. And forecasts of global temperature threshold exceedance are even further removed from actionable early warning information upon which disaster risk management systems can work.
“Global temperature offers the ultimate view of the planet—and of meteorological hazard—from nowhere.”
1963: An Arctic Reindeer Population Crash
By David Klein, Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Via GWPF, Dec 16, 2018
Link to paper: The Introduction, Increase, and Crash of Reindeer on St. Matthew Island
By David Klein, Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, No Date
[SEPP Comment: An animal tipping-point, not one for physical earth.]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Evolutionary Thermotolerance of a Marine Diatom
Schaum, C.-E., Buckling, A., Smirnoff, N., Studholme, D.J. and Yvon-Durocher, G. 2018. Environmental fluctuations accelerate molecular evolution of thermal tolerance in a marine diatom. Nature Communications 9: 1719, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03906-5. Dec 21, 2018
“And if this latter conclusion holds true, then current predictions of the impacts of global warming on future primary production are not only off in the magnitude of change that they predict is coming, but in the very sign or direction of that change. Instead of declining, therefore, future primary production will likely increase as temperatures warm.”
A CO2-induced Stimulation of Red Spruce Forest Growth Since 1989
Mathias, J.M. and Thomas, R.B. 2018. Disentangling the effects of acidic air pollution, atmospheric CO2, and climate change on recent growth of red spruce trees in the Central Appalachian Mountains. Global Change Biology 24: 3938-3953. Dec 20, 2018
The Positive Response of Seven Phytoplankton Species to Ocean Acidification
Pardew, J., Pimentel, M.B. and Low-Decarie, E. 2018. Predictable ecological response to rising CO2 of a community of marine phytoplankton. Ecology and Evolution 8: 4292-4302. Dec 19, 2018
As the modern investigation into the potential impacts of so-called ocean acidification on marine life continues, one narrative is beginning to emerge across the scientific literature, which is that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations will likely benefit the growth of primary producers.
A Marine Macroalgae that Benefits from Elevated CO2 and Elevated Temperature
Liu, L., Zou, D., Jiang, H., Chen, B. and Zeng, X. 2018. Effects of increased CO2 and temperature on the growth and photosynthesis in the marine macroalga Gracilaria lemaneiformis from the coastal waters of South China. Journal of Applied Phycology 30: 1271-1280. Dec 17, 2018
Measurement Issues — Surface
Hump Day Hilarity – climate science in denial, wishes “the pause” away
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 19, 2018
The Climate Sciences Use Of The Urban Heat Island Effect Is Pathetic And Misleading
By Geoffrey H Sherrington,, WUWT, Dec 20, 2018
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
2018 6th Warmest Year Globally of Last 40
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 20, 2018
Hamburg Meteorologists Find New Method For Better European Winter Forecasts…80% Certainty
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 18, 2018
The end of the Little Ice Age
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Dec 20, 2018
Discovery of recent Antarctic ice sheet collapse raises fears of a new global flood
By Paul Vossen, Science, Dec 18, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to abstract: PP11A-05: Absence of the West Antarctic ice sheet during the last interglaciation
By Anders Carlson, et al, AGU 100, Dec 10, 2018
“During the last interglaciation (LIG; ~129-116 ka), global mean sea level (GMSL) was >6 m above present.”
[SEPP Comment: Nothing new here! Did the “collapse” take 13,000 years?]
Is Greenland Melt “Off the Chart?”
By Patrick Michaels, CATO, Dec 17, 2018
Link to paper: Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming
By Luke Trusel, Nature, Dec 5, 2018
“If all the ice came off Greenland, sea level would ultimately rise 23 feet. So 30% of that is 6.9 feet, spread out over 6000 years. That works out to a Greenland-induced sea level rise of 1.1 feet per millennium when it was much warmer.”
Inside The Acceleration Factory
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Dec 17, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Arctic Glaciers ADVANCED 16 km During 2008-2016 In A Region That Was 6°C Warmer ~9,000 Years Ago
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 20, 2018
Biologists escalate conflict over Inuit management of polar bear populations
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 20, 2018
Quote of the day: ‘I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.’ [Andrew Derocher, University of Alberta]”
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Californian Climate Scientists Discover Farmers Adapt to Changed Conditions
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 16, 2018
link to article: How US Corn Farmers Adapted to Climate Change
Changing weather and planting practices in recent decades have led to increased corn yields, but whether the findings will apply to other crops and regions remains unknown.
By Gabriel Popkin, Inside Science, Dec 14, 2018
Link to paper: Peculiarly pleasant weather for US maize
By Butler, Mueller, and Huybers, PNAS, Nov 20, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Climate Fail Twofer: The “Rising Costs Of Climate Change As Oil Prices Drop” and “Deniers Are a Danger to Our Security”
Guest commentary by David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 20, 2018
Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century
Even forest trees growing in average conditions may decline in productivity as much as 75 percent
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Dec 18, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: Sampling bias overestimates climate change impacts on forest growth in the southwestern United States
By Stefan Klesse, et al, Nature Communications, Dec 17, 2018
From the abstract: “Although there are uncertainties associated with our statistical approach, projection based on representative FIA samples suggests 29% less of a climate change-induced growth decrease compared to projection based on climate-sensitive ITRDB samples.” [Boldface added.]
[SEPP Comment: Less decrease means slower growth?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving
Sun-generated electricity reached a level that actually shifted peak energy demand away from the usual midmorning, showing solar’s growing role on the region’s electric grid.
By Tux Turkel, Press Herald, Dec 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Chartsmanship, the art of making the insignificant appear to be important. On the critical chart, the left axis goes from 12,000 megawatts to 17,000 megawatts, making the solar power appear important to total power when it contributed a maximum of about 1460 mw (8.6% of the total) in the brief time it contributed at all!]
BBC’s Fake African Penguin Claim–Complaint Upheld
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 15, 2018
“But what makes this instance particularly remarkable is that somebody, whether the presenter or his production team, simply invented this claim out of thin air. After all, they should have known that the report from South Africa made no mention of rising tides or climate change at all.”
Der Spiegel’s “Fabricated News” Scandal Shakes Western Mainstream Journalism To The Core
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 21, 2018
Next Year To Be “One Of The Hottest Years Of All Time”–Claims Pathetic Daily Mail
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 20, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
‘Climate Alarmism,’ ‘Propaganda’ Fill US Agency Websites, Report Finds
By Tim Pearce, Daily caller, Dec 20, 2018
Allstate Should Pull this Ad and Apologize for Misleading the Public
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 17, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Perhaps once a year there is a “once in 500-year” weather event someplace. Can anyone predict it in advance?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Children Buy Into Climate Tipping Point
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Dec 16, 2018
[SEPP Comment: If the earth goes over the tipping point does it fall into the same abyss seamen go when they sail too far from the sight of land?]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Northeast states pledge to cut transportation emissions
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 18, 2018
DC passes bill to make city run on 100-percent clean energy by 2032
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Dec 18, 2018
[SEPP Comment: More “smoke and mirrors” at the expense of the ratepayers on the grid.]
Questioning European Green
George Melloan: The Yellow Jackets Are right About Green Policies
By George Melloan, WSJ, Via GWPF, Dec 17, 2018
Link to lecture: Global Warming for the Two Cultures
By Richard Lindzen, GWPF, 2018
Questioning Green Elsewhere
“Rescuing the Low-Carbon Energy Transition From Magical Thinking”… With More Magical Thinking
Guest commentary by David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 22, 2018
Bill McKibben: “divestment is hitting the fossil fuel industry where it hurts”… NOT!
Guest NOT! by David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 18, 2018
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below!]
Divestment Delusions Part Deux: Trillions Under Management
Guest ridiculing by David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 19, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Exposing the false claims in the link immediately above! Blackrock, one of the largest investors in coal reserves, is divesting?]
Where Did The Money Go?
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Dec 19, 2018
Climate protests cost $91 billion in lost economic activity, chamber study finds
Keep it in the Ground activists target pipelines, fracking, terminals
By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times, Dec 19, 2018
Link to Report: Infrastructure Lost: Why America Cannot Afford to “Keep It In the Ground”
By Staff Writers, Global Energy Institute, US Chamber of Commerce, 2018
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
The Carbon Tax Riots May Be The Breaking Point For France’s Socialism
As calls for reduced taxes continue, there will have to be a national discussion regarding welfare spending and other socialist policies.
By Stephen Davis, The Federalist, Dec 17, 2018
Economists Love Carbon Taxes. Lots of Regular Folks Don’t.
Raising the price of gasoline, heat, and electricity is a steep political hill to climb.
Ronald Bailey, Reason, Dec. 19, 2018, [H/t WUWT]
Carbon taxes start in all of Canada in 2 weeks
By Alan Tomalty, WUWT, Dec 18, 2018
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Homeowners with solar panels are ‘giving their excess power to the grid for free’ after government closes energy payment scheme
By Joe Midddleton and Colin Fernandez, Daily Mail, Dec 18, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Review of Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units
By Staff Writers, EPA, Dec 20, 2018
Energy Issues – Non-US
Oil loses ground as US shale growth undermines Opec+ cuts
Saudi Arabia’s plan to slash exports to the US next month is shoring up expectations
By Staff Writers, Bloomberg, Gulf News, Dec 15, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
End of an era as Germany’s last black coal mine closes
By Daphne Rousseau, AFP, Dec 19, 2018
Energy Issues — US
NERC: Accelerated Coal and Nuclear Retirements Pose Limited Reliability Risks
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Dec 20, 2018
Regulators Confirm Trump’s Concern: Coal And Nuclear Closures Could Lead To Power Outages
By Charles the Moderator, From Daily Caller, WUWT, Dec 18, 2018
Link to report: Generation Retirement Scenario: Special Reliability Assessment
By Staff Writers, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), Dec 18, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Same NERC report, but two different opinions. See the link immediately above.]
Southwest governors strike natural gas deal with Mexican state
By Rafael Bernal, The Hill, Dec 19, 2018
Return of King Coal?
Coal boom in India and Southeast Asia to cancel out declines in North America and Europe, says report
‘The story of coal is a tale of two worlds’
By Josh Gabbatiss, Independent, UK, Dec 19, 2018
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Don’t let the window close on a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage deal
Editorial, LA Times, Dec 17, 2018
Mutant Time Bomb Or Weasel Words, Junk Science And Scare Mongering?
By Rich Kozlovich, ACSH, Dec 10, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Texas City Featured in Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Sequel” Lost Millions in Its Green Energy Gamble
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Dec 18, 2018
[SEPP Comment: It appears that the city speculated on future energy, a risky business.]
Sydney Hail Storm: Just how hailproof are those solar panels?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 22, 2018
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: December 17, 2018
By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Dec 17, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Cambodia hails opening of country’s largest dam despite opposition
By Staff Writers, Stung Treng, Cambodia (AFP) Dec 17, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
IRS Will Stop Handling Subsidies to Tesla Buyers in 2020
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Dec 14, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
What the high-speed rail audit really means
By Jon Coupal, Press Telegram, CA, Dec 16, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Other News that May Be of Interest
The stiffest porous lightweight materials ever
By Staff Writers, (SPX), Dec 17, 2018
Link to paper: 3D Plate‐Lattices: An Emerging Class of Low‐Density Metamaterial Exhibiting Optimal Isotropic Stiffness
By Thomas Tancogne‐Dejean, et al., Advanced Materials Sep 19, 2018
Why People Prefer Bad News
By Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, Dec 17, 2018
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Debunked: Insect Decline in Rainforest caused by Climate Change
Guest Post by Bob Vislocky, WUWT, Dec 21, 2018
Winter Is Coming: The 1st Scientific Study Of ‘Game Of Thrones’
By Chuck Dinerstein, ACSH, Dec 10, 2018
Saturn’s rings to solve global warming!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Dec 15, 2018
“A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.
“There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full Moon, for example.
“But the idea, detailed today in the online version of the journal Acta Astronautica, illustrates that climate change can be battled with new technologies, according to one scientist not involved in the new work.
“To keep the particles in place, gravitationally significant shepherding spacecraft might be employed. They would herd the particles much like small moons keep Saturn’s rings in place. LiveScience, 27 Jun 2005.”
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Dec 19, 2018
“Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from hay fever, while 16 million adults endure asthma.
“Although genetics play an important role in these conditions, recent research is finding that higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide are making allergy seasons worse, stimulating plants to produce more pollen and increasing fungi growth.
“There have been significant increases in allergies and asthma in recent decades, which obviously cannot be explained by any change in genetics, said Christine Rogers, a research associate in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University. Live Science, 22 Nov 2005”
Giant gun to solve global warming!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Dec 20, 2018
“Scientists claim they can fight global warming by firing trillions of mirrors into space to deflect the sun’s rays forming a 100,000 square mile “sun shade”.
“According to astronomer Dr Roger Angel, at the University of Arizona, the trillions of mirrors would have to be fired one million miles above the earth using a huge cannon with a barrel of 0.6 miles across. The gun would pack 100 times the power of conventional weapons and need an exclusion zone of several miles before being fired.
“Dr Angel has already secured NASA funding for a pilot project and British inventor Tod Todeschini, 38, was commissioned to build a scaled-down version of the gun. He constructed the four-metre long cannon in his workshop in Sandlake, Oxfordshire, for a TV documentary investigating the sun shield theory.
“He said: ‘The gun was horrendously dangerous. This was the first gun I’d ever built.’ The Telegraph, 26 Feb 2009” [Boldface added]
1. How America Broke OPEC
Lessons from the U.S. rise to be the world’s largest oil producer.
Editorial, WSJ, Dec 14, 2018
SUMMARY: The word “Broke” may be too extreme. However, the power of OPEC has been greatly diminished. The editorial begins by reminding the readers of “peak oil” then continues with :
“…So much for that. The U.S. the other week for the first time in 75 years became a net petroleum exporter as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries wrangled over how to respond to America’s growing energy bounty.
“U.S. crude production has surged 20% in a year and nearly tripled in a decade thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. American output is rising at the fastest rate in a century. Earlier this year the U.S. eclipsed Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer.
“For nearly six decades OPEC has dominated oil markets by setting production quotas among its 15 members. In late 2014, OPEC flooded the market with oil in an effort to break U.S. drillers who were burning cash on mounds of debt. As oil prices fell below $40 a barrel in 2015-2016, many wildcatters folded or were absorbed by larger producers.
“But the survivors became more efficient. Technology—including drones with thermal imaging to detect leaks along with improvements in horizontal drilling—boosted productivity. Over the last five years production per rig has more than tripled in the Permian Basin and quadrupled in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. While the Bakken rig count has fallen by 70%, output has increased by a third.
“Most American oil refineries have processed heavier crudes, which depressed prices for lighter, sweeter grades produced in the new wells. But in late 2015 the GOP Congress expanded shale-oil’s market by lifting the export ban on crude in return for Barack Obama’s demand to extend renewable energy tax credits. U.S. crude exports have since soared to 3.2 million barrels a day.
“Many U.S. producers say they can turn a profit at $50 a barrel and even as low as $30 in the Permian’s most productive regions. Yet most OPEC members need prices ranging between $70 and $90 per barrel to balance their budgets. The cartel scaled back output in 2016, but shale producers roared back as prices recovered. America’s shale gusher has presented a quandary for OPEC and especially its largest member, Saudi Arabia, which faces large budget deficits as it works to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East.
“Earlier this year, the Saudis obliged President Trump by increasing output to prevent prices from soaring with the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Even so oil prices hit a four-year high in early October. But they have since declined 30% amid weakening world economic forecasts, sanctions exemptions and surging U.S. production.
“OPEC and Russia last week agreed to scale back production collectively by 1.2 million barrels a day, but the meeting exposed the cartel’s cracks. Qatar quit amid hostilities with the Saudis. Small producers carped they were too insignificant to affect global supply. Algeria produces one million barrels per day, which is as much as U.S. output has increased in five months.
“Saudi Arabia, Russia and allied producers agreed to shoulder the bulk of the cuts while Libya, Iran and Venezuela received exemptions. Some in the media claim the Saudis defied Mr. Trump’s pleas to keep oil prices low, yet U.S. shale producers are likely to benefit from OPEC’s cuts by capturing more market share.
“One of the biggest constraints on U.S. production has been a distribution bottleneck. Hence West Texas Intermediate now sells at a $8 to $9 discount to Brent crude on the world market. But next year three pipelines capable of delivering two million barrels of Permian crude to the Gulf Coast are expected to come online. In 2020 two more pipelines that can carry two million barrels a day are expected to be completed.
“Oil companies are also racing to build more export terminals to handle the supply gusher, which isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. The U.S. Geological Survey reported recently that the Permian’s Delaware Basin holds more than twice as much oil and 18 times as much natural gas as the heavier-drilled Midland region.
“Barack Obama, hilariously, is now claiming credit for the shale boom. ‘You know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer . . . that was me, people,’ he said last month at Rice University. But drilling leases on federal land declined 28% during his two terms amid new restrictions on land use. Drilling skyrocketed on private land, despite attempts by his regulators to block pipelines, slow down approvals, and impose higher costs on production.
“The Trump Administration is expediting pipeline and terminal permitting and opening new federal land to drilling. Last year’s tax reform unlocked Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Interior Department recently scaled back needless Obama protections for the sage grouse, which will allow drilling on nine million acres in oil-rich states. Leases are being snapped up at auction, even in areas where recoveries are now low and expensive. As technology advances, many investors expect the break-even price of production to fall.
“Politicians in the past have sought to secure American energy independence with price controls, ethanol mandates and the oil export ban. But they and OPEC should note that America owes its new energy prosperity to industry innovation, private property, and the free market.”
2. Only Good Management Can Prevent Forest Fires
There’s nothing new about catastrophic blazes. It’s how nature has always dealt with overgrowth.
By Tom McClintock, WSJ, Dec 17, 2018
The California Congressman writes:
“Pundits and politicians have taken to calling the rising incidence of catastrophic wildfire ‘the new normal. ‘ But California’s experience in the 21st century is neither new nor abnormal. It is, in fact, the old normal. The devastation unfolding today is how nature manages forests. Like an untended garden, an abandoned forest will grow until it chokes itself to death. Nature deals with morbid overcrowding through drought, disease, pestilence and ultimately catastrophic wildfire.
“Scientists studying charcoal deposits in California estimate that prehistoric wildfires destroyed between 4.5 million and 11.9 million acres a year. When Juan Cabrillo dropped anchor in San Pedro Bay in October 1542 (the height of the Santa Ana fire season), he promptly named it the ‘Bay of Smoke. ‘
“Our modern sensitivities reel at the devastation of the Camp Fire, which recently incinerated 153,000 acres, wiped out the entire town of Paradise, and claimed at least 86 lives. Yet in 1910 the ‘Big Burn ‘ in Idaho and Montana consumed three million acres, wiped out seven towns, and killed 87 among a far smaller and sparser population.
“The U.S. Forest Service had formed only five years earlier, driven by scientific breakthroughs in the understanding of forest ecology. The first wave of American conservationists didn’t watch helplessly as the cycle of catastrophic overpopulation followed by catastrophic wildfire wiped out entire forests. Instead, they believed, management could keep forests healthy and resilient for generations.
“Excess timber comes out of a forest in two ways—it gets carried out or burned out. For much of the 20th century, harvesting excess timber produced thriving forests by matching tree density to the ability of the land to support it. Foresters designated surplus trees, and loggers bid for the right to remove them at auction, with the proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury. These revenues were then put back into forest management and shared with local communities.
“What went wrong? In the 1970s, Congress passed a series of laws subjecting federal land management to time-consuming and cost-prohibitive environmental regulations. Instead of generating revenues, forest management now costs the government money. As a result, timber harvested from federal lands has declined 80%, while acreage destroyed by fire has increased proportionally.
“A half-century of environmental regulation hasn’t helped the forests thrive. A typical acre in the Sierra can support roughly 80 mature trees, but the current density is more than 300 trees. A single fully grown tree can draw 100 gallons of water from the soil on a hot day. Drought kills overcrowded forests quickly.
“The environmental left blames climate change. Yet this doesn’t explain the dramatic difference between federal lands and private forests that practice scientific forest management. The boundary lines can often be seen from the air because of the condition of the forests. How clever of the climate to decimate only the lands hamstrung by these environmental laws.”
After discussing that trees absorb CO2, the Representative concludes:
“Today’s environmental laws have restored the old normal, making drought, disease, pestilence and fire a constant scourge of our forests. A healthy forest that is maintained and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations is an abnormal condition produced by modern forest management. Ironically, in the name of improving the environment, we have surrendered our forests to a policy of neglect, which, as it turns out, isn’t benign.”