In the week prior to the administration signing what should constitute an international climate treaty, one think tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was subpoenaed for casting doubt on the agreement’s associated science of climate catastrophe.
As disturbing as such thuggery from state attorneys general would be in any case, the premise of the subpoena is faulty. The Competitive Enterprise Institute did not cast doubt on the dubious climate science. The actual data cast the doubt. The think tank and others have simply pointed out what the data show.
It looks like thoughtcrime has now moved from George Orwell’s novel “1984” to the twisted reality of our judicial system. Pointing out facts should never be a real crime.
The Heritage Foundation’s new Paris-bubble-popping science summary is also a case of letting the numbers tell a story. A story many never hear in the media-hyped spectacle that is international climate policy.
For instance, the chart above shows reconstructed average world temperature data for the past 500,000 years. Depending on the magnification and size of your monitor, each pencil dot would span something on the order of 1,000 years. The myriad 10-degree Celsius temperature flips all happened before man-made carbon dioxide could have had any impact - the final temperature spike started at the end of the last ice age.
Now see if you can follow this: The “science thought police” insist that even though none of the temperature variations for the first 499,950 years had anything to do with human activity, virtually none of the temperature increases of the past 50 years had anything to do with nature. Got it?
A question some overzealous attorneys general might be asking right now is, “Where did this ‘denier’ data come from?” The answer is: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center website (to be very clear, it is part of the federal government).
If those who merely point to data that are inconsistent with an imminent climate crisis are thought criminals, how much more subpoena worthy would be those who actually created the data? This expands the thoughtcrime conspiracy to an entirely new set of perps.
Should the hyperventilating attorneys general subpoena the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its entirety or just the researchers? If donors to think tanks are subpoenaed simply because the think tanks pointed to this data, should not the U.S. Treasury be subpoenaed for actually funding these doubt-creating data?
In any event, it seems disingenuous to wave off huge past temperature changes as entirely natural while branding as science-denying fraudsters those who assert that natural forces are likely still to be playing a significant role. This is a problem for the U.N. Climate Agreement and its signers.
If natural forces have played a significant role in the moderate and unsteady temperature increases of the past 60 years, then what’s the climate hysteria about? If there is no need for hysteria, there is no need for the Paris climate agreement.
Lord Monckton on the Alex Jones Show on the Climate Cops who are increasingly in panic about the increasing public support for the exit of UK from the EU.
By MICHAEL SUNUNU Union Leader Opinion
Climate alarmists appear to be getting desperate. For three decades, they have been forecasting the end of days, yet Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated. We were told Arctic ice would be gone by now. It isn’t. We were told our children wouldn’t experience snowfalls. They will. We were told hurricanes would ravage our coastlines. It’s been 10 years since a major hurricane made landfall in the U.S.
Now the bogeyman is sea level rise. Claims of accelerated sea level rise are all fear and little fact. Professed climate expert Dr. Cameron Wake recently declared homes along the water in Portsmouth were in such danger that their owners should sell now. He stated we could see sea level rise six feet over the next 80 years. “I don’t mean to be hyperbolic here, but that’s the picture,” Wake stated.
Yes, the Earth is warming. It has been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-1800s. There have been periods of cooling, warming, and relatively flat temperatures. The trend has been slowly increasing temperatures, but that is what Mother Nature has been doing for almost 200 years. Sea level has also been rising. Again, records show it has been rising for 200 years.
Any intelligent review of climate data - temperature data, sea level data, hurricane data, global sea ice data, drought data, snow cover data, etc. - shows very little change in long-term trends and no acceleration or rapid changes that can be associated with carbon dioxide levels.
And that is why statements such as Dr. Wake’s are irresponsible.
Looking specifically at sea level rise, there is substantial evidence to refute the outrageous claims made by alarmists. For several hundred years global sea level has risen about 1.5 to 2.5 mm per year +/- 0.5 mm. This is a change of 6-10 inches over a century, not even close to Dr. Wake’s fear mongering of six feet. More importantly, there has been no change in that long-term trend. The Wismar, Germany, record is one of the longest and most complete records of sea level rise in the world. It not only shows a long-term trend of 1.4 mm/year, but it shows no change in that trend (no acceleration over the past 50 years) since carbon dioxide levels have gone from 325 to 400 parts per million.
Long-term records from the Netherlands, Hawaii, Sydney, San Francisco, Panama, Trieste and all around the globe covering almost every major body of water show different rates of sea level rise but no changes in the long-term trends. The different rates of change are partly due to the raw data not accounting for glacial isostatic adjustment (the changes in land and sea floor “height” since the glaciers retreated 10,000 years ago), insolation and other regional factors. More importantly, the long term hasn’t changed in more than 100 years. We are not seeing accelerated sea level rise.
Here in New Hampshire, the Seavey Island (Piscataqua) sea level data go back to 1921 with a few brief breaks in the record. That data show that over the last 90 years, sea level in the Portsmouth area has gone up approximately 100 mm. Since the late 1960s, sea level in Portsmouth has basically been flat.
The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level in Liverpool, England, has been compiling sea level records since 1933. It is not the only global data set for sea level, but it is comprehensive and has a substantial number of long dated data sets. You can browse the data yourself and see how the alarmists fear mongering about sea level is not justified.
In reality, the alarmists such as Dr. Wake do not have a good understanding of our climate. No one does. We don’t fully understand how the sun impacts our climate. We do not understand what causes El Ninos to form and fade. We don’t understand how the atmosphere and our oceans interact. We don’t even understand how cloud formation works and what drives it. That lack of understanding doesn’t appear to have stopped the alarmists from peddling their fears. But their claims cannot stand up to scrutiny anymore. The facts are damning.
Michael Sununu is a consultant in Exeter who has been writing about climate change issues for the past 15 years.
Tracking climate change? Use the daily highs
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (April 29, 2016)—Scientists using long-term surface temperature data to track climate change caused by greenhouse gases would be best served using only daily high temperature readings without the nighttime lows, according to new research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Using temperature data from Alabama going back to 1883, scientists in UAH’s Earth System Science Center developed and tested various methods for creating stable, reliable long-term climate datasets for three portions of inland Alabama.
In addition to creating some arcane mathematical tools useful for creating climate datasets, the team also found daytime high temperature data is less likely to be contaminated by surface issues - such as deforestation, construction, paving and irrigation - than nighttime low temperatures.
“If you change the surface, say if you add buildings or warmer asphalt, you can enhance night time mixing of the lower atmosphere,” said John Christy, the ESSC director and a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at UAH. “That creates a warming caused by vertical mixing rather than changes in greenhouse gases.”
Summer high temperatures are particularly useful in this regard, because summer temperatures tend to be more stable, while cold season temperatures are subject to larger swings due to natural variability. These often wild swings in temperature introduce “noise” into the data, which can mask long-term trends and their causes.
Results of this research were published recently in the American Meteorological Society’s “Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.”
Basically, under pristine natural conditions, in most places a cool layer of air forms close to the ground after the sun sets. This layer of denser, cooler air creates a boundary layer that keeps out warmer air in the deep layer of the atmosphere above it.
Then people move in. People tend to do all sorts of things that mess with the local climate. Breezes blowing around buildings can cause nighttime turbulence, breaking apart the cool boundary layer. Streets, parking lots and rooftops absorb heat during the day and release it into the atmosphere at night, also causing turbulence. Irrigation increases dry soil’s ability to hold heat and releases a powerful greenhouse gas (water vapor) into the lowest levels of the atmosphere over dry and desert areas.
That’s the short list.
When the cool layer of air near the surface is disturbed, warmer air aloft is drawn down to the surface.
All of those cause real changes in the local climate, raising local surface temperatures, especially at night, by amounts large enough to be noticed both by weather station thermometers and by people living in some of those areas.
But none of those changes has anything to do with widespread climate change in the deep atmosphere over large areas of the globe, such as might be seen if caused by increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Over time this might look like warming or an accumulation of heat in the temperature record, but this temperature change is only caused by the redistribution of warmer air that has always been there, just not at the surface,” said Richard McNider, a distinguished professor of science at UAH.
So how can climatologists use existing long-term surface temperature records to accurately track the potential effects of enhanced CO2?
Take the nighttime boundary layer (and all of the things we do to interfere with it) out of play, say Christy and McNider.
“We prefer to take temperature measurements in the deep layer of the atmosphere, which is why we use instruments on satellites,” Christy said. “But the satellite data only goes back to the last few days of 1978. We use the surface record because it is longer, and we really want to look at data that goes back much further than 1978.
“Because of the natural mixing of the atmosphere caused by daytime heating, daily maximum temperatures are the best surface data to use to look at temperatures in the deep atmosphere. At the surface, the daytime maximum temperature just represents more air than the nighttime low.”
The new temperature datasets extend the existing climatology for three regions of interior Alabama (around Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville) by a dozen summers, all the way back to 1883. Summers in Alabama have been cooling, especially since 1954. Interior Alabama’s ten coolest summers were after 1960, with most of those after 1990.
As might be expected given that cooling, climate models individually and in groups do a poor job of modeling the state’s long-term temperature and rainfall changes since 1883. The researchers conclude the models - the same models widely used to forecast climate change - show “no skill” in explaining long-term changes since 1883.
Phil Klotzbach on the passing of Dr. William (Bill) Gray
It is with deep sadness that I write to announce the passing of Dr. William (Bill) Gray to the tropical meteorological community. He was one of the most influential meteorologists of the past 50 years. He was also an incredible advisor, a fantastic mentor and a great friend. I will post a eulogy that I have written for him shortly (ICECAP note: called A Lighter Shade of Gray it was posted here). I have appended his formal obituary below.
DR. WILLIAM GRAY
William Mason Gray (Bill) passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 16th, 2016 at the age of 86. He had remained active in his hurricane and climate change research up until the time of his death. He was well known for his seasonal Atlantic Basin hurricane forecasts and his strong disagreement with the scientific basis of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.
Bill was born in Detroit, Michigan on the 9th of October, 1929. He was the eldest son of Ulysses S. Gray and Beatrice Mason Gray. The family moved to Washington D. C. in 1939 where Bill grew up in the northwest section of the district. He graduated from Wilson High School and George Washington University (1952) and was very active in high-school football and baseball. A knee injury at 21 prevented a desired career in professional baseball.
Bill received a 2nd Lt. commission in the Air Force in 1953 and served as a weather forecast officer for four years, the majority of which was overseas (Azores, England). He remained active in the Air Force Reserves after joining CSU as a weather officer until 1974 when he retired as a Lt. Col. After his active Air Force duty in 1957, he obtained an MS (Meteorology) and Ph.D. (Geophysical Sciences) from the University of Chicago. He then joined the newly-formed Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in 1961.
Bill married Nancy Price (from Oshkosh, Wis.) on the 1st of October, 1954. They had four children, Sarah, Anne (deceased), Janet, and Robert. Nancy Gray was very active for many years in Fort Collins community affairs and politics (including serving as Mayor of Fort Collins in 1980-’81) before her death in 2001.
Bill was a faculty member at Colorado State University from 1961 through his formal retirement in 2005. But after retirement, he continued his hurricane and climate research as a Professor Emeritus until his recent passing. Gray initiated seasonal hurricane forecasts for which he became well known with extensive media coverage in the 1980’s and 90’s. Gray graduated 70 masters and Ph.D. students. Many of his ex-graduate students have become very prominent leaders in the field of tropical meteorology today.
His last graduate student, Phil Klotzbach has very successfully continued these seasonal forecasts since 2006. He worked many years with the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO). He initiated and organized the first WMO International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones in Bangkok in 1985. He traveled the world and maintained collaborations with prominent researchers in the field of tropical meteorology throughout his career. To recognize his leadership and distinguished service in the field of tropical meteorology, he received many professional awards, including the first “Robert and Joanne Simpson Award” (2014) from the National Tropical Weather Conference.
Gray had strong disagreement with the science behind the human-induced global warming hypothesis (AGW) and devoted the major portion of his recent years to research.
Gray is survived by his two daughters, Sarah (of San Diego) and Janet (of Fort Collins) and his son Robert and two grandsons Mason and Liam (of San Diego). Details about a celebration of his life as well as donations in his memory will be forthcoming and posted on the Bolender Funeral Chapel (Fort Collins) website.
I have followed Bill and his approach for tropical forecasting for many years, I used it as a model for my snow and seasonal forecasting efforts. I have attended numerous conferences and discussed the THC, AMO and climate cycles at length with Bill.
I was honored to be asked along with Neil Frank and Bill Read and Phil Klotzbach to participate in the conference and tell the attendees about our experiences with Bill over the years and then awarding him the first ‘Robert and Joanne Simpson Award’ at the National Tropical Weather Conference in 2014.
Here I am with Bill along with two other long time heroes Neil Frank and John Coleman at the first night of the conference.
I will never forget the man, his legacy, his intellect, energy and enthusiasm and his friendship. We will sincerely miss him.
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Great Testimony to the Senate by Alex Epstein. Annoying comments and criticism of him and Catholic Priest by the unhinged and clueless Barbara Boxer are handled well.
The following appears this week in my regional Weeklies here in New England.
The Real Worrisome Trend
By joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
My philosophy when I taught college was to teach my students how to think not what to think. As Socrates said “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”. I told my students that data was king and that models were only useful tools. Any model idea or any theory needed to be examined and validated using data and always used with caution.
The great Nobel laureate Physicist, Richard Feynman taught students “If a theory disagrees with experiment (or data), it’s wrong...that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, or what your name is...If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” Einstein schooled his fellow scientists: “A model or a hypothesis cannot ‘prove’ anything. But data can invalidate a hypothesis or model. It takes only one experiment to prove me wrong”.
The Greenhouse theory being used to change the world fails the test in many ways:
Dr. Patrick Moore, PhD Ecologist and co-founder of Greenpeace in US Senate Testimony on February 25, 2014 testified
“When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished...then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.”
A large team of unbiased climate scientists and I examined the three main tenets of the model-based science used by the EPA in justifying their regulations. We reported to the Supreme Court in a brief that each one has failed the test. There has been no warming for close to 19 years in the satellite and weather balloons measurements despite an increase in CO2 of over 10%. The strong warming in all the climate models that is forecast in the tropical high atmosphere and the tropical oceans does not exist.
And finally even NOAA and the IPCC admitted there has been no trend in drought, flood, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Only snow has increased (which the models suggested would be the only extreme declining).
Still the EPA and NOAA and NASA, pressured by the administration, continues to use these models to predict a dire future and move us away from fossil fuels. And thanks to unprecedented funding of billions of dollars, the universities are gladly supporting this effort. This is something Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell address:
“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded.”
NOAA recently warned of an increase in heat waves and heat wave deaths. The reality is the heat peaked in the first half of the 20th century and has been declining. In fact 23 of the 50 states all time record highs occurred in the 1930s with 38 before 1960. There have been more all time cold records than heat records since the 1940s. The number of 95F days and widespread heat waves have been trending down since the 1930s.
For every continent the all time heat records were set in the 1800s to mid 1900s. Totally ignored is the inconvenient fact that cold kills more people than heat. A rigorous study published last year in the medical journal Lancet examined more than 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 areas: cold countries like Canada and Sweden, temperate nations like Spain, South Korea and Australia, and subtropical and tropical ones like Brazil and Thailand. They found 20 times more people worldwide died from cold than from heat.
Writers of opinion pieces, or bloggers posting graphs showing us that temperatures are rising or ocean heat increasing are misleading you. This is not data but plots of data adjusted by models that make assumptions, many of them shown to be incorrect.
Quote by Chris Folland of UK Meteorological Office:
“The data don’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations [for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions] upon the data. We’re basing them upon the climate models.”
Quote by David Frame, climate modeler, Oxford University:
“Rather than seeing models as describing literal truth, we ought to see them as convenient fictions which try to provide something useful.”
What’s more these plots are done by the same organizations that are responsible for producing the model forecasts. The fox is running the hen house. The data has been changed to be almost unrecognizable from its original form. The 0.7 degree Celsius (1.3F) cooling from 1940 to the 1970s that had the world worried about an ice age has disappeared in these model-corrupted re-writes of history.
Leonard Nimoy talks about global cooling in the late 1970s.
The claimed 1 degree warming (virtually all adjustments) needs to be put into perspective. On a daily basis here in southern New Hampshire, air temperatures change 30F degrees, monthly average temperatures vary over 50F from January to July and can vary as much as 125F in any given year.
If you plot on this scale the global temperature change from the source the UN trusted the most - the UK Hadley Center the claimed warming is virtually imperceptible and certainly not dangerous.
Who is pushing this agenda? The list is long and includes politicians and UN globalists (look up Agenda 21) seeking more power and control over every aspect of your life. Scientists, environmentalists, green NGOs and corporations are chasing the 1.5 trillion dollars/year that is feeding the green monster. The list also includes the scientifically illiterate cause seekers in Hollywood, eco-fanatics and population control socialists that are all supported by the never questioning environmental journalists.
Many use the ‘precautionary principle’ to justify drastic action that perversely has truly drastic ‘unintended consequences’. Eco-fanaticism has decimated Europe. In the past 10 years the price of electricity in Europe has climbed by an average of 63 percent. Polling indicates that 38 percent of British households are cutting back essential purchases, like food, to pay for high-energy bills. Another 59 percent of homes are worried about how they are going to pay energy bills when the Paris accord is enforced.
You may not realize it but we in the ‘blue’ northeast pay the highest electricity prices in the nation - twice that of some other states. The changes the EPA and this administration are pushing could double the rates. The money we saved on gasoline and heating oil this year, thanks to fracking and drilling on private land, was welcomed and the only ‘raise’ many of us got in many a year. That too will be a memory, if the EPA’s plans are not blocked by the courts.
Dixy Lee Ray, former liberal Democrat governor of Washington State saw the Paris accord coming many years ago:
“The future is to be (One) World Government with central planning by the United Nations. Fear of environmental crises - whether real or not - is expected to lead to - compliance”
IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer in November 2010 admitted
“one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.” Instead, climate change policy is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth...”
UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres last year said
“Our aim is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to change the global economic system (destroy capitalism).”
On top of all of that is this truly scary development. The Obama administrations Justice Department is now seriously considering prosecuting companies, organizations and individuals who dare to think independently and refute their claims that global warming is the greatest danger of all to our future wellbeing. That sounds a lot more like pre-world war two Germany than the United States of America.
Now that is a trend we should worry about.
American Energy Alliance
On March 29th, EPA filed its response to the D.C. Circuit Court on why the agency’s regulations of carbon dioxide from power plants is legal. There’s no shortage of whoppers to highlight in EPA’s briefs. Here are a few:
It’s just the market trend, man.
EPA insists the rule “follows existing industry trends without resulting in any fundamental redirection of the energy sector."Further, EPA argues, “these trends are due largely to falling prices for renewables and gas, as well as the aging of existing coal-fired plants.” If this is true, it raises a simple question: why has EPA devoted so much time and resources to this regulation if it is only “follow[ing] existing industry trends?”
The administration and their allies have worked hard to argue they aren’t killing the coal industry. Of course, the intent is to distract the American people from the fact that it is EPA’s unrelenting regulatory agenda that has caused much of coal’s challenges. The list of EPA regulations targeting coal is long, and includes the cross-state air pollution rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (MATS), PM 2.5 regulations, the cooling water intake rule, regional haze regulation, and the ozone rule. These regulations have resulted in dozens of gigawatts of coal generating capacity closing. The MATS regulation alone was responsible for 40 GW of coal closing. EPA is correct that their carbon rule is “following existing industry trends”, but it is EPA that created the trends through regulatory edicts.
Yes, the hydraulic fracturing revolution, which has resulted in low natural gas prices, is also a challenge for coal. Even still, electricity from existing coal plants remains cheaper than electricity from new natural gas power plants.
Lastly, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said this rule was “a big step forward on climate change.” How can this rule be a big step forward if it is just following existing industry trends? McCarthy and EPA are not telling the truth when they say that the rule is merely following industry trends.
Hey DC Circuit, don’t worry that EPA is stretching the Clean Air Act beyond recognition - they’re saving the planet!
The closest EPA comes to mentioning any actual benefits from the rule is with broad and vague references to fighting climate change. For example, this is one of their more outlandish and meaningless statements: “substantially reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions now is necessary to avoid the worst impacts [of man-made global warming].”
The rule says that “climate change is already occurring”, but then fails to state that according to EPA’s own climate model, this regulation would lower global temperatures by 0.019 degrees Celsius by 2100. Other estimates found it would only reduce sea levels by 2 sheets of paper by 2050. In the face of this preposterous benefit (especially given the costs), EPA’s only reply is that they’re not doing it to avoid climate damage; it’s all about showing leadership, as EPA Chief Gina McCarthy testified last week.
When asked about the lack of climate benefits from the regulation, she admitted that the point of the regulation was “having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.”
Last we checked, the Clean Air Act was written to reduce pollution - not to show “leadership.” Showing other countries that the U.S. is willing to drive up electricity prices and harm U.S. citizens isn’t a compelling benefit. But what do we know? After all, we would like to grow the economy and improve the welfare of Americans.
EPA is “very conservative” in their renewable estimates.
Perhaps EPA’s most egregious change from the proposed carbon rule to the final rule is EPA’s assumption of a doubling of renewable generation to fill the void of coal taken off-line and reduced reliance on natural gas. Therefore, it’s only fitting that EPA’s defense of the approach is equally ludicrous.
First, wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy, which means they cannot be relied on to provide sufficient electricity at a given point when the grid needs it. Conversely, coal and natural gas are baseload sources of power, precisely because they can be scaled up or down at any given time to meet energy needs. This is a critical difference between renewables and fossil fuels that permanently makes the former unable to actually replace the latter.
The cherry-picking method used to manufacture these projections has been written about extensively. (Quick explanation: EPA’s methodology of choosing a five-year window (2010-2014) to assess renewable capacity from five difference sources that was added to the grid each year was a reasonable approach. The questionable decision-making came when they chose to take the year with the greatest capacity added for each source to forecast new generation brought online in the future. This demonstrated a clear bias toward substantially rosier assumptions than their “conservative approach” claims and has been criticized for the unrealistic outcome expected from applying this maximum capacity for each source across most of the compliance period). The most consequential assumption pertained to onshore wind. The abnormal amount of wind capacity installations in 2012 as the result of the potential expiration of the wind production tax credit was a clear outlier in all trends and reasonable forecasting for future years. Yet EPA assumed this abnormal production would be the norm in wind capacity additions from 2024-2030.
For some context of the incredible amount of wind generation assumed, the land mass needed for just the turbines EPA believes will be constructed from 2022 to 2030 would be over 5.2 million acres- greater than the combined land area of Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut. This is addition to the 4.2 million acres of wind turbines expected to be installed as of 2021- another questionable projection. The land use assumptions alone are mind-blowing, not to mention the new transmission requirements needed to support this wind fleet.
The EPA’s defense is that it could have used the 2012 amount for every year in from 2022 to 2030 but chose to take the “conservative approach” of assigning the average generation from the 2010 to 2014 timeframe for the first two years of compliance (2022 to 2023). This somehow alleviates their cherry-picked projections for the other seven years of the compliance window.
Finally, it should be noted that EPA is an environmental regulator and not an energy regulator. As such, the court should give EPA no deference to EPA’s claims that “technological advancements, dramatic cost reductions, and renewable industry expansion” will occur. This is clearly outside their expertise and subject to severe academic criticism.
It’s not about energy (even though we’ve promised to bankrupt the coal industry).
One of the EPA’s more incredulous claims in its briefs is that the carbon rule “is not an energy rule” and that “like any pollution limits for the power plant industry, the rule will indirectly impact energy markets.”
EPA makes this claim responding to the argument that the regulation intrudes on state sovereignty by directly regulating energy markets. Because the rule usurps state control, EPA is left with a meek defense that acknowledges the impact but denies any intent. But their intent to bankrupt coal and prevent new coal plants from being built cannot be denied. The agency’s boss, President Obama, promised to bankrupt coal and make electricity prices “skyrocket” in his 2008 presidential campaign, and has demonized the fuel on countless other occasions.
We’re the EPA dammit, give us deference!
While denying any attempt to regulate energy, the EPA spends significant time defending its right to receive Chevron deference for many of the questionable assumptions and interpretations it made in formulating the rule. Yet several of these judgment calls require expertise and familiarity with energy regulation, not environmental regulation.
For example, EPA used a model to predict the cost, transmission requirements, siting, and construction lead times of the new generation. They chose to use data and renewable cost estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) rather than “the governmental entity charged with forecasting electricity generation and demand” - the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The Institute for Energy Research has written about the importance of this choice and how it demonstrates EPA’s strong bias toward renewable energy.
Finally, while seeking to substitute baseload energy (coal) with intermittent energy (wind), EPA does so by looking at wind’s capacity factor (i.e., expected annual generation) instead of the actual generation capacity the grid operator can depend on being available when it is most needed. EPA claims to have understood this point and used the actual generation capacity in their model, but one has to wonder the reason for citing the higher capacity figure in the first place while knowing its inadequacy in meeting demand.
All of these are important judgment calls that EPA is not qualified to make, and have the potential to substantially change the rule. Yet by doing so, it’s pretending to be the national energy czar it professes not to be.
What’s the limiting principle?
At the heart of the EPA’s carbon rule is it’s novel interpretation that the Clean Air Act allows it to go “outside the fence” in its regulatory reach. The technical conversation centers around ambiguous sounding terms like “generation shifting”, but the leap from regulating only power plants to regulating the entire electric grid is a seismic shift in EPA’s authority. If the DC Circuit agrees with the no-holds-barred approach to EPA’s newfound authority, what can the agency not regulate? Won’t the EPA be given reign over the entire U.S. economy? After all, practically every economic activity produces some carbon dioxide.
This is about power and politics. Period.
If there’s any doubt as to what EPA’s obsession with killing the use of natural gas, oil, and coal is truly about, look no further than the press release issued yesterday by New York AG Schneiderman, former Vice President Al Gore and their coalition of state and industry partners. These are the same group of actors that have intervened on EPA’s behalf in the ongoing carbon rule litigation. The press release announces their “historic state-based effort to combat climate change.”
Interestingly, the ONLY initiative outlined is opening potential investigations into companies and individuals who have expressed dissenting views on climate change. If the world were literally burning before us, as this “coalition” believes, would persecution of those who disagree really be the first (most important) step to putting out the fire? Ultimately, the whole movement is about growing government, handing the keys to the city to environmental special interests, and above all, enriching billionaires who have substantial investments in the renewable industry. After all, Al Gore doesn’t have anything to do with law enforcement, but he does have a lot to do with getting rich off global warming alarmism.
April 4th, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
Exactly 9 years ago this week, the eastern U.S. was plunged into below-freezing weather after an unusually warm March just got things growing. The result was about $2 billion in agricultural losses across 16 states.
Similar to that Easter 2007 event, the current forecast for late this week has temperatures into the lower 20s as far south as South Carolina; both Saturday and Sunday morning should see below-freezing temperatures into Alabama and Georgia (forecast graphics courtesy of Weatherbell.com):
Morning low temperatures forecast from the GFS model for Saturday and Sunday (9-10 April 2016). Graphics courtesy of Weatherbell.com.
The state with the greatest losses in 2007 was Georgia, with about $400 million in damage to blueberries, peaches, pecans, and livestock grasses.
Tuesday and Wednesday morning will have extreme cold worst further north, with records so late in the season too.
Despite efforts by the administration and corrupted scientific societies to indoctrinate teachers about AGW, some good news. Roughly half reject the alarmists claims.
H. Sterling Burnett, Townhall | Apr 01, 2016
I recently found hope in an unexpected place: public schools.
A national survey of 1,500 public middle and high school science teachers, representing all 50 states, found just half of those who discuss climate change in the classroom have partaken of the climate alarmists’ Kool-Aid and are brainwashing students to believe humans are causing catastrophic climate change. The survey was conducted by the National Center for Science Education and published in the widely read academic journal Science.
Approximately 75 percent of science teachers in the survey reported they discuss global warming in the classroom, typically for less than an hour or two over the course of an academic year. Of those who do, just over half promote alarmists’ erroneous claim 97 percent of scientists have determined human fossil fuel use is causing catastrophic climate change. About 30 percent of science teachers who discuss climate change say humans may be partly to blame, but they also acknowledge natural factors have played a role. About 10 percent of science teachers deny humans play any role in climate change, and about 5 percent of those who discuss climate change in the classroom don’t discuss causes at all.
Refreshingly, while nearly 68 percent of those surveyed said they personally believe humans are causing global warming, many say they have left their personal opinions out of the classroom, choosing to advance the scientific method and present a balanced view of the evidence.
Based on the experiences I have had while working to keep partisanship on both sides of the climate change debate out of social studies textbooks Texas approved for adoption in 2014 and while battling to prevent sound climate science from being written out of West Virginia’s science curriculum standards in 2015, I have long feared the battle for the hearts and minds of America’s youth on climate issues had been lost. The recent national survey results should give new hope to climate change realists everywhere.
Climate change is occurring. In fact, Earth’s climate is always changing, but there is a significant scientific debate currently ongoing about whether human activities are responsible for all, some, or none of the recent changes to Earth’s climate. Despite claims to the contrary made by some global warming alarmists, scientists do not even agree on whether a warmer climate would be harmful or beneficial.
What’s taught about climate change in our nation’s classrooms should reflect the limited nature of what we can say with confidence concerning future climate and the causes driving any changes that do occur. Thankfully, it appears nearly half the science educators teaching climate change in the classroom agree the children under their care deserve being taught this truth.
If this survey provides an accurate picture of what’s really happening in U.S. classrooms, there is still time for proponents of a sound, balanced, nuanced understanding of climate science and public policy to make their case to public school science teachers.
A concerted outreach effort should be made by climate realists to engage teachers in the climate change debate. The effort should focus on persuading the 50 percent of teachers who deny any uncertainties exist concerning the human causes and catastrophic consequences of climate change to be more open-minded; to recognize natural factors contribute to climate change; that a changing climate will likely result in both benefits and costs; and that proposals currently being pushed by governments to combat global warming come at a high price and have almost no impact on rising temperatures or weather conditions.
Teachers who provide a balanced presentation of the climate change facts should be given high-quality teaching materials and access to classroom speakers who will present a realistic view of climate science and policy. Teachers who make an effort to teach sound, balanced science should be rewarded and supported.
Encouraging science teachers to cling to the scientific method, which demands the constant exercise of reasonable skepticism and testing theory against observed facts - all in the face of media hype and pressure from environmentalists to teach alarmist dogma in the classroom - might be the most long-lasting way to ensure misanthropic climate policies are not foisted upon an unaware, misinformed public now and in the future.
If your school-aged child is not asking you why you’re contributing to the destruction of Earth, thank his or her science teacher for sticking to a fair-and-balanced view of climate science. If your child is repeating frequently used false claims made by climate alarmists, kindly provide the child (and his or her teacher) with the scientific facts.
Investor’s Business Daily
Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare.
We have been told now for almost three decades that man has to change his ways or his fossil-fuel emissions will scorch Earth with catastrophic warming. Scientists, politicians and activists have maintained the narrative that their concern is only about caring for our planet and its inhabitants. But this is simply not true. The narrative is a ruse. They are after something entirely different.
If they were honest, the climate alarmists would admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures - they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state.
Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.
So what is the goal of environmental policy?
“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.
For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”
Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit.
“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”
The plan is to allow Third World countries to emit as much carbon dioxide as they wish - because, as Edenhofer said, “in order to get rich one has to burn coal, oil or gas” - while at the same time restricting emissions in advanced nations. This will, of course, choke economic growth in developed nations, but they deserve that fate as they “have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community,” he said. The fanaticism runs so deep that one professor has even suggested that we need to plunge ourselves into a depression to fight global warming.
Perhaps Naomi Klein summed up best what the warming the fuss is all about in her book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.”
“What if global warming isn’t only a crisis?” Klein asks in a preview of a documentary inspired by her book. “What if it’s the best chance we’re ever going to get to build a better world?”
In her mind, the world has to “change, or be changed” because an “economic system” - meaning free-market capitalism - has caused environmental “wreckage.”
This is how the global warming alarmist community thinks. It wants to frighten, intimidate and then assume command. It needs a “crisis” to take advantage of, a hobgoblin to menace the people, so that they will beg for protection from the imaginary threat. The alarmists’ “better world” is one in which they rule a global welfare state. They’ve admitted this themselves.
by James Delingpole 28 Mar 20161132
Climate change is the biggest scam in the history of the world - a $1.5 trillion-a-year conspiracy against the taxpayer, every cent, penny and centime of which ends in the pockets of the wrong kind of people, none of which goes towards a cause remotely worth funding, all of it a complete and utter waste. Here is an edited version of a speech on this subject I gave last week to the World Taxpayers’ Associations in Berlin.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen; Guten Abend meine Damen und Herren. May I say how grateful I am to Staffan Wennberg and the World Taxpayers Associations for inviting me to speak in Berlin. This is my first time here since 1978. I was a schoolboy then. I learned my first German: “Was trinken wir? Schultheiss Bier.” Now I’m grown up and married with children even older than I was then. Yesterday I went on a tour and I couldn’t help noticing there seem to have been one or two changes.
When I last came I have to confess that the Wall was the highlight of my trip. So echt Cold War. So Spy Who Came In From The Cold! I remember taking the U-bahn underneath the wall, passing through the East German side, and seeing empty grey platforms where the train never stopped, and lurking in the shadows grim looking guards with machine guns. And you know how they say: “If you’re not a communist by the time you’re 18 then you’re heartless and if you’re not a capitalist by the time you’re 40 then you’re brainless.”?
Well I’m afraid I skipped that first stage and went straight to the second. All it took was that little glimpse of East Germany - a place so horrible that if you tried to escape they would shoot you with machine guns - to give me an abiding preference for free markets. Small Government. And low taxes. Low taxes. To many of us here, I suspect, it seems so obvious why low taxes are a desirable thing.
We know, as Bastiat says: “The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.” We’ve seen the performance of low-tax economies like Singapore and Hong Kong and compared it to the performance over the years of high-tax economies like Cuba, North Korea or France. And drawn the obvious conclusions. It’s obvious to us. The evidence supports it. Why isn’t it obvious to the rest of the world?
Well one of the big problems I think is that over the years taxation has acquired a moral dimension it never had originally. When bad King John sent his tax collectors round 13th century England, everyone knew it was to fund his unpopular wars with France. No one said as they handed over their hard-earned groats:"Well at least it’s going to make a better society.”
But today you hear it a lot. You hear people say things like “I don’t mind paying a bit extra in tax if it gives us a better health service.” Celebrities who try to reduce their taxes in complicated offshore schemes are pilloried in the newspaper.
Companies like Google, Starbucks and Amazon which avoid paying taxes find themselves boycotted and the subject of angry campaigns on Twitter. There’s an idea abroad that if you don’t pay your taxes you’re not being clever and canny - as you would have been considered in John’s day. Rather you’re shirking your moral duty to create a better world.
Well I disagree with this. I couldn’t disagree with it more strongly. I believe that far from being a moral force for good, taxes are - almost invariably - a force for greed, corruption, profligacy and waste.
As PJ O’Rourke once noted: ‘Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.’ Nowhere is this truer in the field of the environment which, I sincerely believe - and I’ve been doing a lot of research into this - must count among the biggest wastes of tax money in the history of the world.
Last year Climate Change Business Journal calculated that the total annual spend on the climate change industry is $1.5 trillion a year. All those carbon traders, climate researchers, renewables and biofuels experts, environment correspondents, professors of climate science at the University of East Anglia and the Potsdam Institute, sustainability officers on local councils, and so on, add up the cost of their grants and salaries and $1.5 trillion per year is the ballpark figure you reach.
So what does $1.5 trillion look like in a global economic context? Well, it’s roughly the amount we spend every year on the online shopping industry. $1.5 trillion on the global warming industry; $1.5 trillion on the online shopping industry. But there’s a key difference between these two industries. One exists to provide buyers and sellers what they want - to their mutual benefit; the other is a sham.
Buying stuff on the internet: it’s really useful, isn’t it? It has had a dramatically transforming effect on our quality of life, the way you can order a book at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night and have it appear on your doorstep the very next day. But how did this marvellous industry spring up? Was it because of all the special incentives and tax breaks granted by wise governments? Nope of course not. They weren’t necessary. The online shopping industry sprung up and grew and grew because it was what people wanted, where they chose - of their own volition - to spend their money. Now compare and contrast the global warming industry - which I call a Potemkin industry - because that’s what it is: a fraud; a sham; a conspiracy against the taxpayer.
Do you want to have a guess how much that industry would be worth if it weren’t for all the money funnelled into it via government grants and taxpayer levies and subsidies and regulatory capture? Pretty close to zero, I’d say. Take wind farms - my hobby horse. The cost of intermittent, unreliable wind energy is roughly twice the market rate for onshore wind; three times the market rate for onshore. Nobody’s going to pay that kind of money in the open market. The only way it’s going to happen if people are mandated by the government to do so: which is what of course has happened across Europe and in the US.
Warren Buffett has said it: “wind farms don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
They’re inefficient; they kill birds and bats; they spoil views; they’re environmentally unfriendly - rare earth minerals from China; they’re hazardous; they’re expensive; they’re ugly (well I think they are...)
And in few countries is the damage these monstrosities have done more obvious than in Germany, home of the hateful Energiewende. Energiewende means Energy Transition. It has been a disaster, as Rupert Darwall noted in a recent Telegraph article.
In 2004, the Green energy minister, Jurgen Trittin, claimed that the extra cost of renewable energy on monthly bills was equivalent to the cost of a scoop of ice cream. Nine years later, CDU minister Peter Altmaier said Energiewende could cost around 1 trillion Euros by the end of the 2030s. The cost of feed-in tariffs and other subsidies is currently 21.8bn a year; 20bn is being spent on a new north-south high voltage line and investment in other grid infrastructure is likely to double that number.
They cause real people real misery. In 2013, 345,000 German households could not pay their electricity bills because Energiewende had made them so expensive. That’s the financial damage they’ve caused. What about the environmental damage? Here we are in Germany, the Greenest nation on earth. Aren’t Greens supposed to care about animals? Well they don’t about bats, clearly.
Bats are special. The reason they’re so heavily protected by so many laws is that they are a K-selected species. That is, they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out. Having evolved with few predators - flying at night helps - bats did very well with this strategy until the modern world. But now we have all those eco-friendly wind turbines. Or as I call them bird-slicing, bat-chomping eco-crucifixes. A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1000 or more miles away. This would suggest that German turbines - which one study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year - may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe.
Why would anyone put up such things. One reason and one reason only: follow the money. Where does the money come from? Us!
Who made the decision to spend that money? Not us. Oh definitely not us. Had it been us we might have done a bit of basic due diligence. Like, OK, so these wind turbines are necessary you say to save the planet from the threat of catastrophic and unprecedented man-made global warming? Correct.
So has the planet ever been as warm in human history as it is today? Well, only in the Minoan warming period and the Roman warming period and the Medieval warming period. Just those. Right. And presumably back then all that CO2 heavy industry was burning was a real problem? No just kidding...Out of interest how much has the planet warmed in the last few years?
About 0.8 degrees C since 1850.
Right so since the end of the Little Ice Age (so called because it was characterised by unpleasant cold) and years like the infamous Year Without A Summer (1816), the planet has heated by less than the temperature increase you’d get on a spring day between say breakfast and mid-morning coffee time?
Ah yes but the computer models…
Indeed the computer models. Those amazing models which have been predicting catastrophic, runaway warming, when there has been no significant warming since 1998 - so for eighteen years there has been no global warming? Ah yes but the temperatures of February 2016…
Look I could go on like this forever. I’ve been listening to these increasingly desperate excuses for decades. Perhaps some of you here believe them - if so, there’s a bridge I’d like to sell you…
But it really doesn’t matter whether you believe in global warming or not because here’s the reality: All that money we’re being to spend on the global warming industry - that $1.5 trillion I mentioned earlier siphoned straight out of taxpayers’ pockets - it isn[t going to make the blindest bit of difference. No, I exaggerate. It will make a teeny weeny bit of difference. Bjorn Lomborg has done the calculations. You’re going to love this, if you havent heard this before. These figures are just amazing.
So recently you’ll recall there was a big UN climate conference in Paris COP 21 and all the leaders of the world flew in to save the planet from global warming. But before they turned up, each delegate nation made a voluntary agreement as to how much it was going to cut its carbon emissions. Not compulsory, note. So these countries are free at any stage to abandon their carbon reduction targets - as funnily enough South Korea did last week. This is how much - best case scenario - that various countries are prepared to do to combat climate change.
So Lomborg added up all the countries INDCs - that stands for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions - and worked out, using the climate alarmists[ own models, what effect all this would have on global temperature. Do you want to know how much? (Oh this is the optimistic scenario by the way, not the pessimistic one). If all the countries do their bit then the total reduction in global warming - by the year 2100 will be 0.170 degrees Centigrade. As a climate sceptic friend of mine pointed out at the time, you’d experience a bigger temperature increase than that just walking down from the top to the bottom of the Eiffel tower.
So there’s your deal folks: you - and taxpayers like you - are paying $1.5 trillion a year to reduce the world’s temperatures by the end of this century by 0.170. It’s so perfectly ridiculous it’s almost funny.
And I suppose on a personal level I shouldn’t complain. I call climate change ‘the gift that goes on giving’ because day in day out I get an endless stream of stories to write about the corruption, incompetence, skullduggery of the climate alarmism industry. But, putting my career aside for the moment, is this really a world we’d like to live in? Can it be right that people who have worked hard for their money should have it taken from them and then wasted in so spectacular fashion?
And it’s not just the waste that’s so bad it’s worse than that. If it were simply a form of taxpayer-funded welfare scheme for otherwise unemployable environmental sciences graduates that would be one thing. But this is causing real, lasting harm in any number of ways.
The corrupting effects on science - and the scientific method - which at times are almost redolent of Lysenkoism of the Stalin era. The brainwashing of schoolchildren such as you might have found with the Young Pioneers. The economic damage caused by the misallocation of resources, as so frequently happens in Communist countries. The pollution caused by diesel (introduced, on EU recommendation, because it’s supposedly more CO2-friendly) which calls to mind Chernobyl or the poisoning of the Aral Sea. The human suffering of those 345,000 German households I mentioned who can’t pay their electricity bills.
Does this authoritarianism and corruption and incompetence remind you of anything? Well it has often been said - and there is much anecdotal evidence to support this - that after the Berlin Wall came down the left had a bit of a problem. Capitalism had won the economic argument. Where could the left go next?
But the solution was there waiting them - the green movement. In the guise of saving the world’s environment they could advance all their usual obsessions - control, regulation, state intervention, puritanism, compulsory immiseration - though this time with a smiling, fluffy face. Watermelons they call them: green on the outside, red on the inside.
So the Berlin Wall came down but it never really went away. And sometimes I look at the world and what has been happening with the rise and rise of green lunacy and I ask myself: did the right side really win the Cold War or is it just an illusion?
Phys.org by Maria-Jose Vinas
A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.
The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.
According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
“A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.
According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica - there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”
Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.
But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years - I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.
Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica. Sums are for all of Antarctica: East Antarctica (EA, 2-17); interior West Antarctica (WA2, 1, 18, 19, and 23); coastal West Antarctica (WA1, 20-21); and the ...more.
The study analyzed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites, spanning from 1992 to 2001, and by the laser altimeter on NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003 to 2008.
Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.
“At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.
The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice - enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.
Zwally’s team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.
“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”
“The new study highlights the difficulties of measuring the small changes in ice height happening in East Antarctica,” said Ben Smith, a glaciologist with the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in Zwally’s study.
“Doing altimetry accurately for very large areas is extraordinarily difficult, and there are measurements of snow accumulation that need to be done independently to understand what’s happening in these places,” Smith said.
To help accurately measure changes in Antarctica, NASA is developing the successor to the ICESat mission, ICESat-2, which is scheduled to launch in 2018. “ICESat-2 will measure changes in the ice sheet within the thickness of a No. 2 pencil,” said Tom Neumann, a glaciologist at Goddard and deputy project scientist for ICESat-2. “It will contribute to solving the problem of Antarctica’s mass balance by providing a long-term record of elevation changes” essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica - there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.
Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.
But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years - I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”
NASA study: Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses
Climate researchers have published a new paper this week in the journal Nature Climate Change that acknowledges there has been a global warming slowdown from 2000-2014. Their research shows a hiatus did indeed occur and continued into the 21st century, contradicting another study last June that said the hiatus was just an artifact that “vanishes when biases in temperature data are corrected.” This is not the first time activists have tried to hide the hiatus by using dodgy methods.
This new paper shows a global warming slowdown or hiatus, the authors write, which has been “characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations.” They add, “The evidence presented [in this paper] contradicts these claims.” Ouch.
In this new paper, the authors show there is a “mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” says lead author John Fyfe, a climate modeller at the Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, British Columbia. “We can’t ignore it.” Fyfe prefers the term slowdown over hiatus and adds the usual caveats lest he be taken away from the global warming cash cow: it in no way undermines “global warming theory.”
Gavin Schmidt, a climate activist and a director at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said it’s a “tired discussion and nothing more than academic bickering.” He adds, “A little bit of turf-protecting and self-promotion I think is the most parsimonious explanation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Snarking aside, this new paper says that natural variability (like volcanic eruptions, solar radiance, ocean heat uptake, etc..) are important elements in evaluating our climate. As such, they should be factored in when trying to interpret the temperature record and the millions of variables that affect our climate.
Karl Thomas, the lead author of the so-called “pause busting” study says it’s ‘important to investigate how short-term effects might impact decadal trends, but says that these short term trends do not necessarily elucidate the long-term effects of rising greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”
Fyfe and his colleagues argue that “Karl’s approach was biased” because of a flat temperature pause between the 1950s and 1970s. Fryfe says that his research took into account events that affect decadal temperature trends such as volcanic eruptions, which dampen solar radiation. As an example, climate models underestimate volcanic eruptions and how they impact how much solar radiation hits the planet, specifically at the start of the 21st century.
Susan Solomon, a climatologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, says that Fyfe’s research helps put “twenty-first-century trends into perspective, and clearly indicates that the rate of warming slowed down at a time when greenhouse-gas emissions were rising dramatically.” Solomon says, “It’s important to explain that. As scientists, we are curious about every bump and wiggle in that curve.”
The UN’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has already noted that there was a hiatus in global temperatures this century in its last assessment report. As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, the most accurate method for measuring temperatures is the satellite dataset. It shows no warming for 18 years 8 months with 2015 being an unusually warm year due to a naturally occurring El Nino event.
Fyfe’s paper concludes by saying their “results support previous findings of a reduced rate of surface warming over the 2001-2014 period - a period” when emissions like carbon dioxide increased at a steady rate of about two parts per million each year. They point out that the climate models did not predict the warming hiatus that occurred during the first 14 years of the 21st century, even while so-called greenhouse gases have risen. This “mismatch” is a problem that deserves more scientific scrutiny, they add.
by James Delingpole, Breibart
The climate alarmists have come up with a brilliant new excuse to explain why there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years.
Turns out the satellite data is lying.
And to prove it they’ve come up with a glossy new video starring such entirely trustworthy and not at all biased climate experts as Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann , Kevin :Travesty” Trenberth and Ben Santer. (All of these paragons of scientific rectitude feature heavily in the Climategate emails)
The video is well produced and cleverly constructed, designed to look measured and reasonable rather than yet another shoddy hit job in the ongoing climate wars.
Sundry “experts”, adopting a tone of “more in sorrow than anger” gently express their reservations about the reliability of the satellite data which, right up until the release of this video, has generally been accepted as the most accurate gauge of global temperatures.
This accuracy was acknowledged 25 years ago by NASA, which said that “satellite analysis of the upper atmosphere is more accurate, and should be adopted as the standard way to monitor temperature change.”
More recently, though, climate alarmists have grown increasingly resentful of the satellite temperature record because of its pesky refusal to show the warming trend they’d like it to show. Instead of warming, the RSS and UAH satellite data shows that the earth’s temperatures have remained flat for over 18 years - the so-called “Pause.”
Hence the alarmists’ preference for the land and sea-based temperature datasets which do show a warming trend, especially after the raw data has been adjusted in the right direction. Climate realists, however, counter that these records have all the integrity of Enron’s accounting system or of Hillary’s word on what really happened in Benghazi.
Given the embarrassment the satellite data has been causing alarmists in recent years - most recently at the Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “Data or Dogma” hearing last December - it was almost inevitable that sooner or later they would try to discredit it.
In the video, the line taken by the alarmists is that the satellite records too have been subject to dishonest adjustments and that the satellites have given a misleading impression of global temperature because of the way their orbital position changes over time.
These sound plausible criticisms till you look at this graph provided by one of the scientists criticized in the video, John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville.
What it shows is how closely the satellite data corresponds with measurements taken using a completely independent system -balloons. If the satellites are lying then so are the balloons.
Christy told Breitbart:
There are too many problems with the video on which to comment, but here are a few. First, the satellite problems mentioned here were dealt with 10 to 20 years ago. Second, the main product we use now for greenhouse model validation is the temperature of the Mid-Troposphere (TMT) which was not erroneously impacted by these problems.
The vertical “fall” and east-west “drift” of the spacecraft are two aspects of the same phenomenon - orbital decay.
The real confirmation bias brought up by these folks to smear us is held by them. They are the ones ignoring information to suit their world view. Do they ever say that, unlike the surface data, the satellite datasets can be checked by a completely independent system, balloons? Do they ever say that one of the main corrections for time-of-day (east-west) drift is to remove spurious WARMING after 2000? Do they ever say that the important adjustment to address the variations caused by solar-shadowing effects on the spacecraft is to remove a spurious WARMING? Do they ever say that the adjustments were within the margin of error?
I’m impressed someone went to so much trouble and expense. The “satellite data” must be a real problem for someone. Do we know who financed this video?
Yes, we do. It was made by the Yale Climate Connection and part funded by the Grantham Foundation. The Grantham Foundation is the creation of a UK born US based hedge funder called Jeremy Grantham (and his wife Hannelore) and has since 1997 been at the forefront of promoting climate alarmism.
Among the beneficiaries of Grantham’s green largesse are Lord Stern - author of the heavily discredited Stern Report, now with a cosy sinecure at the Grantham Institute - and Bob Ward, a failed paleopiezometrist and crop-headed pit bull impersonator who is lavishly funded to write angry letters to newspapers and other institutions explaining in boring detail why climate change sceptics are evil and wrong.
As for the motivation behind this well-funded smear video - it’s actually explained at the website which is promoting it.
In coming days, we will hear announcements from NASA, NOAA and others that 2015 was the hottest year in the modern instrumental record.
There will be pushback from the likes of climate denier Ted Cruz, who uses a misreading of satellite temperature data to claim, as he did on Seth Meyer’s show - “no warming in 18 years”
This is the story of how that distortion came to be.
In other words it’s yet another case of the increasingly desperate climate alarmists playing their usual game:
If the facts don’t suit your discredited theory, change the facts.
See also in this Daily Caller story with Dr. Richard Lindzen disputing claims this is the warmest year.
“Frankly, I feel it is proof of dishonesty to argue about things like small fluctuations in temperature or the sign of a trend,” Lindzen, a climatologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells the science blog Climate Depot. “Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?”
“Frankly, I feel it is proof of dishonesty to argue about things like small fluctuations in temperature or the sign of a trend,” Lindzen, a climatologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells the science blog Climate Depot. “Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?”
By David Rothbard
Science lost a champion and we lost a friend.
Respected climatologist Bob Carter has died at 74 years of age following a sudden heart attack. Services will likely be next Monday in his hometown of Townsville, Australia. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.
Bob Carter worked in paleoclimatology, the study of past climate. His knowledge in this field informed his conclusion that scientific data does not support the UN’s claims of catastrophic man-made global warming.
Bob appears prominently in CFACT’’s film Climate Hustle which is now being prepared for theater showings and home video distribution. Last month CFACT flew Bob to Paris for the film’s premiere and to participate in a science briefing. You can see him celebrating with us front and center in this picture.
Marc Morano posted this at Climate Depot: “Bob was a man of great courage, intellect and wit. I am deeply saddened by his passing. He easily seemed a decade younger than his 74 years with his youthful looks and energy level. the world of science has lost a true champion. I first met Bob when I invited him to speak at the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on climate in December 2006. Bob’s full 2006 testimony here. I was in contact with Bob over the years, seeking analysis, quotes and of course he is featured prominently in the upcoming film Climate Hustle. Bob was in Paris decked out in his tux for the Paris premier of the film during the UN climate summit.
Bob was amazing in Paris, good humored and adeptly handling the media and protesters. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Anne and his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.”
In 2010, then Czech President Vaclav Klaus wrote a fitting tribute to Bob titled, ”Thank heavens for Bob Carter.”
Vaclav Klaus, Former President of The Czech Republic
We do thank God for Bob.
We will miss him terribly.
ICECAP NOTE: I met Bob at a climate conference 8 years ago and talked to him there and at other meetings. Here is a presentation at ICCC10 last year.
He is one of my heroes in this battle for truth. His courage and dedication was inspiring. We will carry on in his name.
Here this wonderful tribute to Bob by Lord Monckton here.
Update as winter returned as forecast and a mammoth snowstorm paralyzed the east, the warmists with UCS and the progressive ideologue junk science purveyors at ThinkProgress are still reporting snow declining in the east OR blaming these events on warming. See more here.
Winter is underway. It started warm in December as is often the case in El Ninos.
This week the cold will advance east and south. As El Nino weakens and shift west, cold and snow will again become a story as it did last winter. The UCS, an environmental advocacy group whose environmentalists have assumed control of programs at most universities, has since at least 2007, promised the demise of winter sports activity as snow declines as warming accelerates. Here in NH, they again gave that message to the state legislature last year just before the Boston area 100 inches in 39 day snowmageddon. In this post we will examine the winter story and link to a fact check on all the alarmists claims they have made.
Reference: UNH reports warn of drastic climate change - April 4, 2014, Fosters Democrat
This report here details the nine most relevant claims in the UNH report and provides factual data to refute the basis for those claims.
The authors of the UNH study, while making unfounded statements about the climate, weather, long-term trends and forecasting, do not provide substantial data beyond the flawed forecasts of climate models that have been shown to have failed over the past 20 years.
The data provided here to refute these groundless claims are from a variety of scientifically recognized sources and can be accessed through the source references directly.
As winter advances into the east and south this week, let’s focus on responses to claims made about winter warming and decreased snowfall.
CLAIM #6: Extreme cold temperatures may occur less frequently, and extreme cold days may be warmer than in the past.
FACTS: In the northeast, winters have cooled at a rate of 1.5F/ decade in the last 20 years.
Enlarged Source: NCDC Climate at a Glance
The winter mean temperatures in Concord, NH shows no trend at all since 1868/69, just the natural cycles associated with ocean cycles (annual temperatures in red with 5 year running mean black dash).
Enlarged Source: NWS Portland, Maine
New England’s coldest temperature -50F was equaled in Maine in 2009. 2013/14 was the 4th coldest winter in New Hampshire since 1970 and 2nd coldest March since 1895.
Enlarged Source: NOAA NCDC Month in Review March State Rankings
January to March 2015 was even more extreme. In the northeast (10 northeast states plus DC, it tied for the coldest January to March since 1895 with 1904.
The Union of Concerned Scientists projected that New Hampshire climate would become like North Carolina. This is VERY FAR from the reality. The changes suggest our winters are becoming more like southern Quebec.
CLAIM #7: Warming winters will reduce opportunities for snow- and ice-related recreation (and related economic activity).
FACTS: The UCS had a special presentation in the late summer of 2007 on Mt. Washington promising a dire future for the winter sports and maple sugar industry due to warming.
That winter all time seasonal snow records were set for snowfall in the northeast from Concord to Caribou (and all through the western US up to Alaska).
Along the east coast we have seen record setting snow years and 16 major impact snowstorms just 5 years into this decade making this the snowiest decade on record back to the 1950s and beating out the memorable 1960s and the 2000s, which had 10. For the decade ending 2014/15, we had 25 major impact winter storms affecting the heavily populated areas of the east.
Enlarged NOAA NESIS High Impact Snowstorms
That did not not stop UNH to continue to travel to the state capitol to warn of warming disaster for the ski industry. They did so early last winter I am told after the winter got off a warm, slow snow start. But then 2014/15 set records for snowfall in Boston (back to 1872) and many other locations in the northeast into southeastern Canada.
In Boston, it helped nudge the 10 year running mean of seasonal snow to the highest in the entire record back to the 1880s.
In Boston, the huge snow piles (some of which lasted to July!) were throwbacks to the historic winter of 1717.
Historian David Ludlum wrote “That year, snows had reached five feet in December with drifts of 25 feet in January before one great last assault in late February into early March of 40 to 60 more inches. The snow was so deep that people could only leave their houses from the second floor, implying actual snow depths of as much as 8 feet or more.”
“Entire houses were covered over, identifiable only by a thin curl of smoke coming out of a hole in the snow,” the New England Historical Society noted. “In Hampton, N.H., search parties went out after the storms hunting for widows and elderly people at risk of freezing to death.” Sometimes snow would pile so high people would burn “their furniture because they couldn’t get to the woodshed.”
“It wasn’t uncommon for them to lose their bearings and not be able to find the houses,” the society wrote in its account of winter 1717. “People maintained tunnels and paths through the snow from house to house.”
In the Northern Hemisphere from 1967, 4 of the top 5 snowiest years have occurred since 2007/08, and 5 of the top 6 since 2002/03.
Enlarged NOAA Winter Snowcover Extent (Rutgers)
If you look at snowstorms in the last decade versus the prior 5 decades, you see an amazing increase in high impact snows. We have had 25 high population center impact snow events in the last decade compared to 5 to 8 in the prior five ten-year periods. Many of events uncharacteristically have had very high snow to liquid water content with very low temperatures; the opposite of what the UCS, NOAA and UN had indicated would be the case in the era of global warming.
Environmentalists, like those at the Union of Concerned Scientists at UNH and elsewhere clearly have no skill at predicting the future.
Last week I had the pleasure of dining with my two favorite Fort Collins octogenarians - Dr. Bill Gray and Sue Brackenbury. Their mothers were best friends, but Bill and Sue hadn’t seen each other for decades. Both have been icons of the community in Fort Collins for many years, where Bill’s late wife was mayor in the 1980s. Today is Sue’s 86th birthday, and Bill has a special gift for us.
The Practice of Personal Attacking Global Warming Skeptics - Rather than Responding to Their Scientific Criticisms
By Bill Gray
While visiting the Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Poona, India in August 1966 I met and interacted with a young (~21) and promising Indian meteorologist named Jagdish Shukla. I have not been surprised to see his later scientific rise and very successful meteorological career in the US.
At an evening social event in Poona (August 1966) a number of us (including Shukla) were discussing the then recent China-India War (1962) over China’s infringement on India’s northern border and the political tensions which had continued up to that time. China was then in its isolated cultural revolution period and was belligerent to most outside nations. China’s strong intervention in Korea (1950-53) was still relatively fresh in people’s minds. The US was in the early stages of the Vietnam War and there was worry about China’s possible intervention on the side of the North Vietnamese as they had done in Korea. China was also rapidly advancing in its effort to develop a nuclear bomb. Some people (at the time) were advocating the bombing of China’s nuclear facility before it had developed the bomb (as Israelis did to the Iraq nuclear development facility a number of years later). We discussed the desirability of the US and its allies taking such action. As best I can remember, I did not advocate taking such action and I’m glad that no such action was ever taken.
Fast forward 35 years later to a NOAA Climate meeting Shukla and I attended in Washington around 2001. I was trying to obtain NOAA funding for my CSU project hurricane research which was partly involved with seasonal prediction. My talk at this meeting was directed to the complicate nature of the earth’s climate system and the lack of confidence we should have in the then current numerical climate prediction models of rising CO2 amounts causing large global warming. I specifically criticized the unrealistic positive water-vapor feedback in the climate models, the inability of the models to resolve individual convective units, the lack of proper inclusion of deep ocean circulation processes in the models, and other factors. This was not what the government officials and most of the meeting attendees wanted to hear (and I didn’t get the funding I was seeking). I now see that I was naive in thinking that the global warming question was not totally dominated by governmental and environmental politics unrelated to the science behind the warming issue.
I expected and was prepared for negative comments about the meteorological problems I had pointed out in my talk. The first response came from Shukla. But he didn’t question anything I had just presented. He went directly after me personally - by announcing I was the type of fellow who had earlier advised the bombing of China’s nuclear development facility. He implied by this that I was the type of person too far out of the mainstream to be trusted on any of the serious questions concerning the AGW topic. Shukla was not at all hesitant about bringing up and twisting what he thought I had said 35 years earlier. I was 36 at the time I was then in Poona and about 70 when I gave my later NOAA talk.
These types of personal attacks on us AGW skeptics (unrelated to the physics or science of the topic) are not so unusual. I have heard a number of similar stories about the aggressive isolation and criticisms of skeptics who do not follow the global warming party-line. Most skeptics, as a result, are not able to obtain federal grant support. They pay a high price for trying to tell the truth.
The attempt of the warming crowd to discredit us skeptics can take many forms other than the merits or demerits of the scientific questions we ask. Warming proponents will typically not discuss or defend the physics behind the AGW hypothesis or how their climate models produce the large global warming results they do. They tend to have a ‘take-it’ or ‘leave-it’ mentality or they typically refuse to discuss the warming mechanisms within their models on the grounds that the scientific questions have already been settled.
The warmers usual response to criticism seems to be to try to dig up whatever negative personal information they can uncover about the skeptic and then from this manufactured degraded outlook to imply that the science behind the skeptics criticisms must be similarly flawed.
Why are the warmers so afraid to have open and honest discussion about the basic nitty-gritty assumptions of their AGW hypothesis? I think it is because they well know (but will not admit) that the science behind the AGW hypothesis is ripe with conceptual errors and, in the long run, be proven to be wrong.
I am but one of many AGW skeptics who have been subjected to the warmer’s attempts to isolate, ignore, and personally marginalize us, in order to deflect attention away from the basic scientific problems confronting the AGW hypothesis and its model output representations. I doubt that the global warming crowd would so act if they were really confident of the reality of their science. The warmers are now on a downward slide (which I believe they know but won’t admit) and cannot or will not face-up to the fact that they have picked the wrong horse to bet their future scientific reputations upon. The older warmers are now too far down the AGW road to be able to gracefully extricate themselves. Other warmers may feel that their prestige-enhancements and the governmental funding rewards they have gotten have been worth it - even if their warming alarms are later proven wrong.