The Unsettling, Anti-Science Certitude on Global Warming
Climate-change ‘deniers’ are accused of heresy by true believers. That doesn’t sound like science to me.
By John Steele Gordon, Wall Street Journal
Are there any phrases in today’s political lexicon more obnoxious than “the science is settled” and “climate-change deniers”?
The first is an oxymoron. By definition, science is never settled. It is always subject to change in the light of new evidence. The second phrase is nothing but an ad hominem attack, meant to evoke “Holocaust deniers,” those people who maintain that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction, ignoring the overwhelming, incontestable evidence that it is a historical fact. Hillary Clinton’s speech about climate change on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, included an attack on “deniers.”
The phrases are in no way applicable to the science of Earth’s climate. The climate is an enormously complex system, with a very large number of inputs and outputs, many of which we don’t fully understand - and some we may well not even know about yet. To note this, and to observe that there is much contradictory evidence for assertions of a coming global -warming catastrophe, isn’t to “deny” anything; it is to state a fact. In other words, the science is unsettled - to say that we have it all wrapped up is itself a form of denial. The essence of scientific inquiry is the assumption that there is always more to learn.
Climate science today is a veritable cornucopia of unanswered questions. Why did the warming trend between 1978 and 1998 cease, although computer climate models predict steady warming? How sensitive is the climate to increased carbon-dioxide levels? What feedback mechanisms are there that would increase or decrease that sensitivity? Why did episodes of high carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere earlier in Earth’s history have temperature levels both above and below the average?
With so many questions still unanswered, why are many climate scientists, politicians - and the left generally - so anxious to lock down the science of climatology and engage in protracted name-calling? Well, one powerful explanation for the politicians is obvious: self-interest.
If anthropogenic climate change is a reality, then that would be a huge problem only government could deal with. It would be a heaven-sent opportunity for the left to vastly increase government control over the economy and the personal lives of citizens.
Moreover, the release of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit in 2009 showed climate scientists concerned with the lack of recent warming and how to “hide the decline.” The communications showed that whatever the emailers were engaged in, it was not the disinterested pursuit of science.
Another batch of 5,000 emails written by top climate scientists came out in 2011, discussing, among other public-relations matters, how to deal with skeptical editors and how to suppress unfavorable data. It is a measure of the intellectual corruption of the mainstream media that this wasn’t the scandal of the century. But then again I forget, “the science is settled.”
Consumers Will Pay Big for Obama’s Alternative Energy Push
By Dr. Larry Bell, University of Houston
President Obama’s war on coal brings new meaning to his lead from behind strategy. It involves replacing reliable fossil energy sources with pixie dust-powered alternatives.
Only one day following the Supreme Court’s ruling to block EPA’s planned power plant mercury emission regulations, he committed the U.S. to a goal of generating 20 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
That means at least three times more subsidies than we currently blow on windmills and burn with sunbeams...and that’s a lot.
Wind and solar each already receive more than 50 times more subsidy support per megawatt hour than conventional coal, and more than 20 times more in terms of average electricity generated by coal and natural gas.
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures, annual “Federal interventions and subsidies” for wind (4.4 percent of American electricity) costs for taxpayers ranged from $5.5 billion and $5.9 billion between 2010 and 2013, and from $1.1 billion rocketing up to $4.5 billion for solar (0.4 percent of our electricity) during that period. For comparison, those allocated to fossil fuels (about 60 percent of total electricity) dropped from $4 billion to $3.4 billion.
Although lemming powers of observation aren’t highly regarded, wouldn’t you think witnessing fellow critters plunge en masse over cliff edges would offer cause for some among them to reconsider the perilous path ahead?
Painful EU experiences offer teachable lessons. Consider Denmark for example. On Earth Day, 2010, President Obama praised the country as a great green power model. And yes, while the country theoretically produces about 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar, CEPOS, a Danish think tank reported that this only supplied between 5 percent and 9.7 percent of average annual demand over the previous 5-year period.
Danish consumers pay the highest electricity rates in Europe, more than three times more than we do.
Existing German energy policies, where 7.8 percent of electricity comes from wind and 4.5 percent derives from solar, force households to fork out for the second highest power costs in Europe often as much as 30 percent above the levels seen in other European countries. (900,000 German households had their electricity shut off for inability to pay during a recent cold winter period.)
Such circumstances are only likely to worsen with Angela Merkel’s plans to wean the country off fossil fuels and nuclear power. Subsidies for wind power which deliver only about one-fifth of the theoretical installed capacity are three times higher than those paid for conventional electricity.
President Obama also lauded Spain as a fine example of renewable energy progress. Yet a study released by researchers at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos a few months later presented a far less enviable picture.
Over the previous eight years the Spanish government had spent $791,597 in subsidies to create each green energy job, and exceeded $1.38 million per wind energy job.
Each of those green jobs cost 2.2 jobs in lost opportunities elsewhere in the workforce, and each MW of installed wind energy capacity destroyed 4.27 other jobs.
Italy’s wind and solar experience record is even worse. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Bruno Leoni Institute, the amount of capital required to generate one job in the renewable sector would create between 4.8 and 6.9 in the industrial sector or elsewhere just based upon subsidies alone.
Of the 50,000 to 120, 000 renewable jobs they propose to create by 2020, 60 percent will be temporary.
Experiences in the United Kingdom are reportedly similar to those in other EU countries. A study by Verso Economics determined that each renewable job “created” by subsidies displaced 3.7 others in their general economy. “Renewable Obligations” which increase market prices for electricity from renewable sources cost U.K. consumers an additional $1.75 billion during 2009/2010.
In 2011 British wind turbines produced a meager 21 percent of installed capacity (not demand capacity) during good conditions.
As in Germany this has necessitated importation of nuclear power from France. Also similar to Germany, the government is closing some of its older coal-fired plants - any one of which can produce nearly twice the electricity of Britain’s 3,000 wind turbines combined.
Yeah, and then there’s our own uber-green California, which mandates that renewables provide 33 percent of the state’s electricity by 2020 and proposes to increase to 50 percent by 2030.
Over just the past three years their electricity rates have already risen by 2.18 cents per kilowatt hour - about four times the national rate - as more and more wind and solar came on line.
Meanwhile, so long as natural gas drilling is restricted, climate crisis hoax-premised EPA regulations strangle fossil power generation, and nuclear energy expansion is delayed, we are racing hell-bent along the same road to perdition. Let’s consider the peril before joining the EU and California lemming pack in a final, fatal jump.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom” (2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012).
Read more here.
Pope Francis’s Laudato Si encyclical is often eloquent, always passionate, but too often encumbered by platitudes and simply erroneous thinking. The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. That’s why, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor.
On all of this he certainly has a lot of new friends in the United Nations, Big Green and Climate Crisis, Inc. It is tremendously disappointing that he seems unable to think these issues through, open his mind to and ideas, speak with scholars outside his closed circle, and promote policies that will actually help the poor instead of condemning them to continued poverty, disease, despair and early death.
My article this week shows where I believe Pope Francis went wrong and why free market capitalism and hydrocarbon energy remain the best way forward.
Thank you for posting it, quoting from it, and forwarding it to friends and colleagues.
An errant environmental encyclical
Pope Francis’ prescriptions will perpetuate poverty, disease, premature death in Third World
The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.
“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”
The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).
All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.
One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model."[emphasis added]
However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.
Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]
Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.
Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.
Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.
Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.
We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.
As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years. None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.
Over the past three decades, fossil fuels - mostly coal - helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.
Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.
Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance, because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.
Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?
We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people - from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.
No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years, because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.
The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise - or give up on further progress.
But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.
Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.
Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral and lethal.
It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
El Ninos always produce a global pop in temperatures. So expect that this next 6 months or so even in the only accurate data, from satellites. Strong El Ninos usually are followed by a pendulum like strong La Nina with a cooling. Major volcanoes can override or diminish any warming as El Chicon and Mt. St. Helens did in the early to mid 1980s and Pinatubo/Cerro Hudson did in the early to mid 1990s.
As we have written after the coldest January to March for the northeastern United States (10 states plus DC), and a cooling of 3F for the last 20 years in winters, you may not want to hear what solar scientists are telling us.
The month, UK astrophysicists in a release (http://www.rt.com/news/273169-solar-cycle-ice-age/) reported that:
“Our planet is just 15 years from a new ‘mini ice age’ that could cause extremely cold winters characterized by the freezing of normally ice-free rivers as well as by year-round snow fields in areas that have never witnessed such climate conditions before, a group of astrophysicists claim.
The scientists drew this conclusion based on a new model of the sun’s activity that reportedly enables the researchers to make “extremely accurate predictions” of changes in solar activity.”
The study findings were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting on July 9 and published in the Royal Astronomical Society papers.
Their new model based suggests we will see the conditions last experienced during what was called the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago.
The Maunder minimum is a name of a period between 1645 and 1715 characterized by prolonged low solar activity as well as by extremely cold winters in Europe and North America at the heart of the climatic period between 1550 and 1850 called the ‘Little Ice Age.’
This finding is not unique nor new. “My opinion is that we are heading into a Maunder Minimum,” said Mark Giampapa, a solar physicist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona. “I’m seeing a continuation in the decline of the sunspots mean magnetic field strengths and a weakening of the polar magnetic fields and subsurface flows.”
Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov who heads Russia’s prestigious Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg warned in a 2013 paper that: “after the maximum of solar Cycle-24, from approximately 2014, we can expect the start of the next bicentennial cycle of deep cooling with a Little Ice Age.”
Australian Scientist, Dr. David Evans remarked “As we head to the UN meeting in Paris 2015 where global bureaucracy beckons, a sharp cooling change appears to be developing and set to hit in the next five years. Yet consortia of five-star politicians are not preparing for climate change, only for global warming. Around the world a billion dollars a day is invested in renewable energy, largely with the hope of changing the weather. Given that 20% of the world does not even have access to electricity, history books may marvel at how screwed priorities...of ‘bureaucratized science’ were”.
Do I believe it? Yes! When I taught in college in the cold late 1970s, I had a panel in the second Northeast Storm Conference (now in its 41st year) on factors in climate. The panel included MIT’s Hurd ‘Doc’ Willett, who showed how the sun’s cycles (22 years, 180-200 years and others) affected the climate. He predicted then a cool down starting in the 1990s. I have published peer reviewed papers that showed how though the sun’s detectable brightness (called irradiance) only changed 0.1% over most 11 year cycles, there were amplifying factors that greatly increased the sun’s affect on climate on decadal and century scales (everyone recognizes earth sun orbital parameters affect our days, seasons and the longer term cycles of glaciation it is all the other time frames that try to ignore).
These amplifiers include ultraviolet radiation that varies 6 to 8% in the 11 year cycle and produces heat from ozone chemistry in the high atmosphere in low and middle latitudes, geomagnetic activity that causes the ionization heating and displays called the ‘aurora’ and also the solar wind modulated galactic cosmic rays that affect the amount of cloudiness (and through that, solar heating) we experience. All of these have been shown from empirical evidence to produce more warming when the sun is active and less when it is quiet.
So what remedy should we pursue? I turn again to Dr. Abdussamatov who I met over a year ago in a Las Vegas climate convention. There was the language barrier, but he spoke enough English and I did have some Russian coursework in high school and college so we did understand each other.
Dr. Abdussamatov points out that Earth has experienced such major cooling occurrences five times over the last 1,000 years, and that: “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.”
“The most reasonable way to fight against the coming Little Ice Age is a complex of special steps aimed at support of economic growth and energy-saving production in order to adapt mankind to forthcoming period of deep cooling which will last approximately until the beginning of the 22nd century. Early understanding of reality of the forthcoming global cooling and physical mechanisms responsible for it directly determines a choice of adequate and reliable measures which will allow the mankind, in particular, population of countries situated far from the equator, to adapt to the future global cooling.”
Given that cooling produces more mortality and suffering than warming, we should take this seriously and push back at efforts to drastically disrupt our energy solutions to combat a failing prophecy that politicians, our universities and the compliant media have been indoctrinating our children and the masses on for two decades.
By John Reid
The development of modern science in the late 18th century went hand in hand with the rise of modern industrial capitalism. Its potteries, mines, steam engines, mechanization, and science itself, were all done by private enterprise. The role of government was to enforce patents and maintain a healthy legal and commercial environment.
Nowadays most scientists are paid by the government. What passes for science has largely become taxpayer-funded Environmentalism. Environmentalism has taken over much of science.
Scientists discover, understand and inform. Environmentalists preach.
“All of us ... are borrowing against this Earth in the name of economic growth, accumulating an environmental debt by burning fossil fuels, the consequences of which will be left for our children and grandchildren to bear. Marcia McNutt - Chief Editor, Science Magazine.”
This is preaching. There is no scientific justification for this statement, which was made by the editor of one of the world’s most prestigious science journals. It is a statement of militant Environmentalism, pure and simple. To say that she should have known better is to misunderstand the situation. It would be like saying that the Communists, who controlled big chunks of the Australian trade union movement in the 1950s, “should have known better”. Environmentalists are way ahead of those old Communists; their “Long March through the Institutions” is now a fait accompli.
It works like this: activists use science to push for international action on a science-related issue in an area such as health or environment. Then, an international agreement is established, and the science on which it is has been based becomes institutionalized and funded by government. Time and again, when this happens, “the science” stops being science. This is because the scientists working on the relevant topic start being advocates and stop being researchers. After all, they are now being paid by the bureaucracy to support a particular doctrine, not to discover new stuff.
Real science, which requires a sceptical and innovative frame of mind, then withers on the vine.
Here are some examples:
In 2012 I received 7000 milli-Sieverts of radiation as treatment for prostate cancer. I found out from the Web that this is twice the fatal dose! I became curious about how I came to survive this assault and I discovered that radiation administered in moderate doses is not cumulative and is not especially harmful. In my case it was definitely beneficial.
But the International Committee for Radiological Protection says otherwise . They say radiation effects are always cumulative and that there is no safe dose: see here about Wade Allison’s book, Radiation and Reason.
But you can’t be too careful, I hear you say. Well, yes you certainly can be too careful. The Japanese government was too careful when it forcibly relocated 100,000 people following the Fukushima meltdown.
Number of deaths: about 1600 people.
Cause of deaths: Suicide mainly.
Number of cases of radiation sickness: 3 people.
Number of deaths caused by radiation: none!
The suicides arose from the social dislocation which occurred when people were compelled to leave their homes and their farms and their jobs and their schools to be relocated to the other side of Japan for reasons of political correctness.
The 1968 London Convention on Ocean Dumping
This forbids the disposal of poisons such as heavy metals in the deep ocean. Hydrothermal vents were discovered in 1977, 9 years after the convention took place. Also known as “black smokers”, they lie on mid-ocean ridges and above volcanic hotspots, 2 to 3 kilometres below the surface of the ocean. Every year they pump into the ocean:
500 tonnes of Arsenic, 1500 tonnes of Lead, 50,000 tonnes of Copper, 140,000 tonnes of Zinc and many other metals including Uranium and its radioactive daughters. This has been going on for, perhaps, a billion years or so.
Nature is the biggest polluter of the ocean and the London Convention is a joke. In fact it is worse than a joke because it precludes sensible, practical solutions to important environmental problems. For example, without it we could dispose of radioactive waste in deep ocean trenches where it would be out of harm’s way until it is ultimately subducted under the earth’s crust by geological processes.
The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the most egregious example of this science-destroying institutionalization. It is all the more virulent because it feeds into the pre-existing mindset of Left and Green ideologies about “Corporate Greed” and “Mankind wrecking the planet”.
Billions of dollars are being pumped into this. Tens of thousands of climate modellers, their technicians and their computer jocks are the self-righteous recipients. They are not going to give up their funding easily - for them this is the greatest thing since sliced bread and, what is worse, most of them sincerely believe that they are saving the planet.
Over the last 30 years, Climate Science, once a forgotten little wallflower, has become a rock star.
There is really no solid evidence that human activities affect global climate. It is only a theory. Computer models based on this theory have no predictive power; they are complicated curve-fitting exercises and, like all such curve-fitting exercise, they fail catastrophically outside the range of the fit.
On the other hand there is ample evidence that so-called “greenhouse gases” do not affect global temperature to any observable degree (see my UNFCCC Submission to the Federal Government for more detail), viz.:
The observation that the amount of industrial CO2 added to the ocean-atmosphere system since the beginning of the industrial revolution, about 400 Gigatons, is only a tiny fraction of the total amount in the system, 32,000 Gigatons.
The observed rate of decrease in temperature with height, the adiabatic lapse rate, is measured many times a day throughout the world by weather balloons and it fits a simple convective heat transport model of the lower atmosphere. It does not fit a simple radiative heat transport model; there is no blanket of CO2 “holding the heat in”.
Careful comparisons of small changes in global average temperature with variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration indicate that the latter lags the former by about ten months indicating that temperature increases cause CO2 increases and not the other way around.
The global distribution of atmospheric CO2 concentration recently observed by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory does not support the view that increases in this gas are largely due to Western industrial activity. Rather, the gas appears to emanate from the rice paddies and rain-forests of the Third World (see here and here).
The observation that global average temperature has a variance spectrum which is “red” at every time scale from one year to 100,000 years (i.e. the longer the time scale the bigger the variation). The small variations (~0.8C) which occurred during the 20th Century are only to be expected. They are random walk excursions. There is nothing to explain. Climate science is like picking patterns in TattsLotto numbers. Meteorologists can predict the weather up to about a week ahead. That’s as good as it gets.
But if you are a scientist who is part of the climate change institution this evidence is all irrelevant. The “Science of Climate Change” was frozen sometime back in the 1990s when the IPCC was first set up. Nowadays it is just a matter of running ever more complex computer simulations and making more “projections” of future climate and its alarming consequences.
And, of course, re-jigging the data so that it fits the models better.
We often hear it said that “97 percent of climate scientists agree...” and so on
Well they would, wouldn’t they.
About the author: I have a PhD in Upper Atmosphere Physics from the University of Tasmania. I have worked for the Australian Antarctic Division and CSIRO in auroral physics, ocean waves and fluid dynamic modelling. I am a scientist - I discover things. I discovered cosmic noise absorption pulsations and I discovered the physics underlying the frequency down-shifting of surface gravity waves. I am presently working on a method for distinguishing between cyclical behaviour and random walk excursions in natural time series.
“People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.”
Walter C. Langer
The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.
By William M. Briggs
St. Francis of Assisi’s hymn Laudato Si’ spoke of “Brothers” Sun and Fire and “Sisters” Moon and Water, using these colorful phrases figuratively, as a way of praising God’s creation. These sentimental words so touched Pope Francis that he named his encyclical after this canticle (repeated in paragraph 87 of the Holy Father’s letter).
Neither Pope Francis nor St. Francis took the words literally, of course. Neither believed that fire was alive and could be talked to or reasoned with or, worse, worshiped. Strange, then, that a self-professed atheist and scientific advisor to the Vatican named Hans Schellnhuber appears to believe in a Mother Earth.
The Gaia Principle, first advanced by chemist James Lovelock (who has lately had second thoughts) and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, says that all life interacts with the Earth, and the Earth with all life, to form a giant self-regulating, living system.
This goes far beyond the fact that the Earth’s climate system has feedbacks, which are at the very center of the debate over climate change. In the Gaia Principle, Mother Earth is alive, and even, some think, aware in some ill-defined, mystical way. The Earth knows man and his activities and, frankly, isn’t too happy with him.
This is what we might call “scientific pantheism,” a kind that appeals to atheistic scientists. It is an updated version of the pagan belief that the universe itself is God, that the Earth is at least semi-divine - a real Brother Sun and Sister Water! Mother Earth is immanent in creation and not transcendent, like the Christian God.
What’s this have to do with Schellnhuber? In the 1999 Nature paper “’Earth system’ analysis and the second Copernican revolution,” he said:
Ecosphere science is therefore coming of age, lending respectability to its romantic companion, Gaia theory, as pioneered by Lovelock and Margulis. This hotly debated ‘geophysiological’ approach to Earth-system analysis argues that the biosphere contributes in an almost cognizant way to self-regulating feedback mechanisms that have kept the Earth’s surface environment stable and habitable for life.
Geo-physiological, in case you missed it. Cognizant, in black and white. So dedicated is Schellnhuber to this belief that he says “the Gaia approach may even include the influence of biospheric activities on the Earth’s plate-tectonic processes.” Not the other way around, mind you, where continental drift and earthquakes effects life, but where life effects earthquakes.
Although effects such as the glaciations may still be interpreted as over-reactions to small disturbances - a kind of cathartic geophysiological fever - the main events, resulting in accelerated maturation by shock treatment, indicate that Gaia faces a powerful antagonist. Rampino has proposed personifying this opposition as Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.
Mother Earth gets the flu and instead of white blood cells and a rise in temperature to fend off the infection, it sends white ice and a decrease in temperatures. How? Geophysiologically! I remind the reader that our author, writing in one of the world’s most prominent science journals, does not use these propositions metaphorically. He proposes them as actual mechanisms.
Schellnhuber echoes the theme of a cognizant, i.e. self-aware, planet in another (co-authored) 2004 paper in Nature 2004, ”Climbing the co-evolution ladder,” suggesting again that mankind is an infection, saying that mankind “perturbs ...the global ‘metabolism’” of the planet.
Schellnhuber, a one-time quantum physicist who turned his attention to Mother Earth late in his career, was also co-author of a 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper ”Imprecise probability assessment of tipping points in the climate system,” which asked select scientists their gut assessment about the arrival of various “tipping points.” Tipping points are a theme of Schellnhuber’s research (see inter alia this and this).
Tipping points are supposed moments when some doom which might have been avoided if some action had been taken, is no longer possible to avoid and will arrive no matter what. Tipping points have come and gone in climate forecasts for decades now. The promised dooms never arrive but the false prophets never quit. Their intent is less to forecast than to induce something short of panic in order to plead for political intervention. When the old tipping point is past, theorists just change the date, issue new warnings and hope no one will notice.
One of the tipping points Schellnhuber asked about was the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, depending on what the temperature did. All of the selected experts (who answered the questions in 2004 and 2005) gave moderate (~15-25%) to quite high probabilities (50-80%) for this event to have occurred by 2015. The ice did not melt.
Schellnhuber Michelangelo Gaia
From a paper for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Hans Schellnhuber and Maria Martin, illustrating the idea of a methane tipping point. As a modification of Michelangelo’s iconic image from the Sistine Chapel, Earth replaces God, and Adam puts Earth at risk of descending into a fiery abyss.
Schellnhuber presented more tipping points to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2014 in the co-authored paper, ”Climate-System Tipping Points and Extreme Weather Events.” In that paper, Schellnhuber has a “scientific” graph with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Adam “flicking” a planet earth over a methane tipping point, such that the earth would roll down into a fiery pit labeled the “Warming Abyss.” Hell on earth.
The Problem of People
Schellnhuber is most famous for predicting that the “carrying capacity” of the earth is “below” 1 billion people. When confronted with this, he called those who quoted him “liars.” But he then repeated the same claim, saying, “All I said was that if we had unlimited global warming of eight degrees warming, maybe the carrying capacity of the earth would go down to just 1 billion, and then the discussion would be settled.” And he has often said that this temperature tipping point would be reached - unless “actions” were taken.
The man is suspicious of people. In that same interview he said, “If you want to reduce human population, there are wonderful means: Improve the education of girls and young women.” Since young women already know where babies come from, and since this knowledge tends neither to increase nor decrease population, the “education” he has in mind must be facts about how to avoid the consequences of sex. Austin Ruse discovered a 2009 talk in which Schellnhuber said the earth “will explode” due to resource depletion once the population reaches 9 billion, a number that the UN projects in 2050. Presumably he wants earth to avoid that fate, so he must support the population control that Pope Francis so clearly repudiated in his encyclical.
Confirmation bias happens when a scientist manipulates an experiment so that he gets the outcome he hoped he would get. When Schellnhuber invites only believers in tipping-points-of-doom to characterize their guesses of this doom, his view that the doom is real will be confirmed. And when he publishes a paper that says, “Scientists say world is doomed” the public and politicians believe it. Scientists skeptical of the doom are dismissed because they are skeptics. This isn’t good science. It’s really bad religion, and a pagan one at that.
Global warming research is characterized by an insider’s club. If you believe, you’re in. If you doubt, you’re out. This is also so at the Pontifical Academies of Science where Schellnhuber was appointed by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The bishop locked scientists with contrary views out of the process, scientists he has repeatedly dismissed as “funded by the oil industry.” Given this, how likely is it that the Holy Father was fully aware of the views of the chief scientist who advised him.
Biden: If You Don’t Believe in Manmade Global Warming, You Must “Deny Gravity” As Well
By Philip Hodges
Yeah, well, if you do believe in manmade global warming, you probably also believe that bailing out the green industry and bankrupting other energy sectors will convince the weather to stop being so “unpredictable.”
John Kerry said something similar not too long ago, that manmade global warming is an “elementary truth” like gravity. I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. Gravity has been observed since the beginning of time. People may have not had all the equations that described it, but everyone knew it was there. Everyone knew that if you dropped an apple, it would fall to the ground. No one disputed it.
The fact that there is such scientific opposition to the idea of manmade global warming, and the fact that so much of the data have been “adjusted” in order to yield more “suitable” dire global warming predictions, shows how unsettled it is. It’s the opposite of something like gravity. And like one commenter noted, “I’d think we’d have noticed if gravity had just stopped for over 18 years.”
Manmade global warming is not science. It’s mostly politics, mixed in with unfounded assumptions and just enough scientific half-truths that people believe in it.
The Blaze reported:
In his first public speech since the death of his son, Vice President Joe Biden tore into skeptics of man-made climate change.
Biden criticized the House Republican budget he said would cut the Energy Department’s renewable energy budget by 40 percent.
“As hard as it is to believe, many of these same people continue to deny the reality of climate change,” Biden said Tuesday at the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit. “They also deny gravity. But they also deny there is such a thing as climate change. That’s the problem. The point is the safety and security of the United States of America and every community across the country.”
“As a consequence of this, many investors are pulling back from early-stage research in clean energy, labs and startups,” Biden said. “There has been an 85 percent decline in traditional state early stage venture capital investment in clean energy over the last seven years.”
He noted the reports of a leaked Vatican document from Pope France calling for action on climate change and blaming human activity.
“The front page of the Washington Pope Post,” Biden corrected himself and joked. “They sometimes think they are pope.”
He read the headline and quoted from the article that said the leaked encyclical said, “The poor of the earth are shouting.” They will be screaming if your administration gets their way.
Biden warned the United States was a threshold for taking action.
“This is a critical moment for our country - not only for us but for our children and grandchildren,” Biden said. He’s right, their future will be dim if we follow the scientifically illiterate ideologically driven prescriptions of the administration.
He later added, “By 2025 we expect to double fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon -saving American families $1.7 trillion at the pump.”
He’s worried about green energy investors. I wonder how much he’s got invested. It’s in his best interest to get as many people jumping on the green energy bandwagon so that his investments and those of his liberal buddies grow. That’s what this whole global warming thing is about. Everyone knows it’s not science. It’s about investments and “market trends.” The EPA’s Gina McCarthy admitted the EPA policy is not about ecology but an ‘investment’.
EPA Clean Power Plan Will Hit Blacks And Hispanics Hardest
By Harry Alford, Investor’s Business Daily
The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental activists frequently claim that climate change will disproportionately affect poor and minority communities.
This, they argue, justifies unprecedented environmental regulations like the EPA’s soon-to-be-finalized “Clean Power Plan” to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
But what effect will the regulation itself have on minority communities? A new study commissioned by my organization, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, answers this question.
The Clean Power Plan will lead to lost jobs, lower incomes and higher poverty rates for the 128 million blacks and Hispanics living in America. This should serve as a warning to federal and state lawmakers as they prepare for this sweeping regulation to go into effect in the coming months.
The underlying economics explain why this regulation will inflict the most severe harm on our communities.
The study estimates that restructuring America’s energy grid, which the EPA’s rule will require, will lead to $565 billion in higher annual electricity costs by 2030, when the regulation will be fully implemented.
With blacks and Hispanics spending a larger share of their income on energy than whites, the burden of higher costs will fall hardest on minorities. We will be hurt again through job losses, as businesses take steps to mitigate the damage of higher overhead.
The study estimates that this single regulation will cause cumulative job losses for blacks and Hispanics of roughly 7 million and 12 million, respectively, over the next 20 years. Over the same time period, black families can expect their annual incomes to fall by $455, while Hispanics will take home $515 less per year.
This regulation will also impose higher costs of living, which again hit minority families the hardest. Today, blacks spend 10% more of their income on housing, 20% more on food, 40% more on clothing and 50% more on utilities than do white families.
Similar disparities exist for Hispanics: 5% more on housing, 10% more on utilities, 40% more on clothing and fully 90% more on food.
By raising energy prices, EPA’s rule will make these essential items more expensive - knocking minority communities down another rung on the economic ladder.
These factors - fewer jobs, lower incomes and higher costs of living - threaten to impoverish millions. The study estimates that the regulation will increase black and Hispanic poverty by 23% and 26%, respectively. We work hard to provide a better future for our children, yet this regulation only pushes the American dream even further out of reach.
The only good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways that states can mitigate, or altogether avoid, this regulation’s impending impact.
Already, more than a dozen states have sued the EPA over the rule, which faces legal opposition from experts on both sides of the aisle. Other states should join this suit.
State leaders could also refuse to implement the plan altogether. As currently written, the regulation calls on unelected state environmental agencies to draft their own state plans and submit them directly to the EPA for review and approval. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed an executive order blocking her state’s environmental agency from submitting a plan. Other states have introduced legislation to the same effect.
The grim reality is that the EPA wants states to do their dirty work for them. By submitting a plan, states will become complicit in the agency’s plan to shut down reliable power plants, impose higher energy costs and plunge minority families deeper into poverty.
For the sake of their constituents, elected officials have an obligation to fight this federal takeover of state authority.
Lawmakers in Washington and state capitals should act soon. The EPA is scheduled to release its final regulation next month, kicking off a one-year period before states will be forced to comply. As this deadline approaches, our elected officials should determine how best to confront - and resist - the Clean Power Plan. They should remember that the well-being of millions of minorities hangs in the balance.
Alford is president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Here is what many main stream media outlets are calling ‘monster storm Bill’ or a massive storm...hyperbole to the extreme.
Over a dozen Bills would fit comfortably inside of Texas (as well as the entire world’s population with quarter acre homes and property despite the proclamations of some very big name people worried about the world running out of room and calling for an effort to depopulate the planet from 7 to under 1 billion). One will be standing aside the Pope Thursday when he reads his encyclical.
I don’t mean to minimize any pain for those who a few years back suffered from drought and now flooding. We are reliving the 1950s as honest brokers like Huug van den Dool at CPC have noted based on analogs of global ocean temperatures. Devastating Hurricane Audrey occurred in June 1957 following the megadrought that lasted 7 years in Texas (this drought was less than half that one).
The rains this past year have been promoted as unprecedented. You may recall the drought the last 4 years (June to May to incorporate this wet May) was called the start of a permadrought from Climate change. See how the last 12 wet months or the prior 48 months of dryness were both not unprecedented. The trend flat a few years ago is up slightly.
After it leaves the too wet south central states, the storm will help improve soil moisture to the northeast where the last two months have been too dry.
Thinkprogress has continued their hype campaign based on NASA data shenanigans
“Historically, the global temperature trend-line is more like a staircase than a ramp. We now appear to be headed for a step-jump in global temperatures - one that scientists have been expecting. NASA reported this week that this was the hottest five-month start (January to May) of any year on record. Climate expert and UK Guardian columnist John Abraham put together this chart of how the start to 2015 compares to previous years. As Abraham notes, “2015 is a whopping 0.1C (0.17F) hotter than last year, which itself was the hottest year on record.”
Sorry John you are wrong again (I can’t remember a day when Soros funded TP and Abraham have even been correct). Note I would have used the word right, but of course TP is far, far left.
The global data that goes into the models run by NOAA four times a day (not manipulated because they need to get the forecasts right) says this year to date is unremarkable (middle of the pack back to just 2005).
The satellite data (average of RSS and UAH6.0) also shows no warming since 1996 and certainly nothing remarkable in 2015.
Yes there will be a poke up with the El Nino in upcoming months (always does) but with the Atlantic colder and the sun heading toward a long, deep slumber, watch out below the last years of this decade. The Royal Society say the pause (now 18.5 years) would have to last 50 years before they would regard their theory as questionable. I hope I am around long enough to watch them (all of them) admit their failures. I suspect like Erlich’s doom projections of the 1970s of millions of death starting in the 1980s from starvation from overpopulation and scarcity of resources/famine, this whole scare may just disappear into the dustbin of history. My fear though is that the damage to our economy and way of living will be unrepairable as they are discovering too late in Europe.
Update: See this excellent, comprehensive review of the Karl/Peterson Science paper finding that there is no hiatus by Dr. Calvin Beisner.
See this from No Tricks Zone on how NCDC destroyed Maine’s true temperature history by every means possible to achieve their goal of erasing the pause.
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a study Thursday claiming there’s no hiatus in global warming. But new satellite-derived temperature measurements show there’s been no global warming for 18 years and six months.
“For 222 months, since December 1996, there has been no global warming at all,” writes climate expert Lord Christopher Monckton, the third viscount Monckton of Brenchley
“This month’s [satellite] temperature - still unaffected by a slowly strengthening El Nino, which will eventually cause temporary warming - passes another six-month milestone, and establishes a new record length for the Pause: 18 years 6 months,” Monckton adds.
Monckton’s data comes as NOAA scientists release updated data purporting to show there’s actually been no hiatus in global warming. NOAA scientists made adjustments to temperature records to show more than twice as much warming as the old analysis at the global scale from 1998 to 2012.
“Newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA’s [National Centers for Environmental Information] do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,’” wrote NOAA scientists in a new study.
The difference between Monckton’s data and NOAA’s data is that satellites measure the lowest few miles of the atmosphere, temperature measurements from government scientists rely on thousands of weather stations, buoys and ships across the world’s surface.
Both satellites and surface temperature readings, however, showed prolonged periods without statistically significant warming trends - 15 years for surface temperatures and more than 18 years for satellites.
Scientists have already pushed back against NOAA’s new study. The news site Mashable interviewed about a dozen climate scientists not involved in the study, and nearly all of them said “the study does not support the authors’ conclusion that the so-called warming pause never happened.”
“Instead, they said it simply proves that changing the start and end dates used for analyzing temperature trends has a big influence on those measurements, a fact that was already widely known,” Mashable reported.
“The main claim by the authors that they have uncovered a significant recent warming trend is dubious,” scientists with the libertarian Cato Institute wrote in an open letter on the NOAA study.
“The significance level they report on their findings (.10) is hardly normative, and the use of it should prompt members of the scientific community to question the reasoning behind the use of such a lax standard,” they wrote.
See Ross McKitrick’s analysis of the different data sources and artifacts here.
As Canadian Climatologist Tim Ball observed:
“Once Environment Canada bureaucrats convinced the politicians that CO2 and global warming was a problem they were on a treadmill. They ignored evidence, such as the complete failure of their predictions. They are very unlikely to tell politicians, who have based strong public positions on the information that they were wrong. They effectively said the science was settled, which is never true.
This is what happens when scientists are bureaucrats. It’s time to close down Environment Canada and take scientists out of bureaucracies completely because their scientific integrity is inherently compromised.” (Tim Ball)
The radical environmentalist/bureaucrat in charge of the NOAA data sets (which by the way are provided to NASA and Hadley for their use) describes his efforts to save the world as a knife fight.
Peterson’s data goes to NASA for their own set of ‘adjustments’. See how since 1980, every new data set version has been cooler in the early 20th century and warmer late. Yes there is man made global warming but the men are in Asheville and the Bronx.
If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.
It is time to rid our national data center of the bureaucrats.
Ron Arnold, Executive Vice-President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Why do so many climate-related news reports sound like propaganda written by zealous, even fanatical, environmentalists who could never be called impartial or objective?
Why have reporters belonging to the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) abandoned the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, which includes a pledge to support “open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant,” and instead promoted retaliation against scientists with whom they disagree, often calling for the censorship of climate-alarm skeptics?
The evidence suggests SEJ’s actions weren’t based solely on the perennial need for sensational headlines or the usual left-wing politics of covering the environment beat. It’s more personal. Many environmental journalists seem driven by emotions aroused before they entered journalism school: fear and loathing of modern technology and the flourishing human populations it brings.
That’s the core of the environmental catechism as taught by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb, and The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth.
Many green beat reporters appear to harbor feelings of misanthropic self-loathing, as National Book Award novelist Jonathan Franzen said of himself in The New Yorker: “I was raised as a Protestant and became an environmentalist, but I’ve long been struck by the spiritual kinship of environmentalism and New England Puritanism. Both belief systems are haunted by the feeling that simply to be human is to be guilty.”
This makes environmentalism and journalism a treacherous coupling. The father of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Bert Bolin, said as much. In his 2008 A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change, Bolin wrote, “There has been an unfortunate polarization of the way the media report the climate change issue. ...It was non-governmental groups of environmentalists, supported by the mass media, who were the ones exaggerating the conclusions that had been carefully formulated by the IPCC.”
The scientific evidence was weak, but the environmental journalists’ belief was strong, so they lied. Period.
Once greens attained real influence, environmental reporters emerged as vengeful authoritarians driven by power and a furious intolerance toward doubters who threatened their belief and personal status. The science, as Heartland Institute Policy Advisor Norman Rogers pointed out, is just window dressing.
Joyfully Wearing ‘Pareto’s Blindfold’
Rogers took his cue from the Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, who, in 1901, wrote in The Rise and Fall of Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology: “The greater part of human actions have their origin not in logical reasoning but in sentiment [emotion]. Man, although impelled to act by non-logical motives, likes to tie his actions logically to certain principles; he therefore invents these a posteriori in order to justify his actions.”
We can think of this as “Pareto’s Blindfold” and apply it to climate reporting: Reasoning about science with many environmental reporters is futile because you’re not dealing with science or reason, you’re dealing with illogical principles invented to justify their fear, loathing, human guilt, and retribution. Reporters can’t see this, much less admit it to themselves.
With the Obama administration’s Machiavellian collusion, reporters who are more environmentalist than journalist now rule the climate beat.
Big Money Supports Alarmism
You can credit the SEJ, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with more than 1,200 member reporters and academics in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and 27 other countries, with the general decline in journalistic standards among environmental journalists. SEJ has received 119 grants from 35 notorious anti-development foundations, totaling $9.5 million since 1999. With this financial prompting, the SEJ’s stalwarts, including Andrew Revkin (The New York Times), Seth Borenstein (Associated Press), and Suzanne Goldenberg (The Guardian), have led the decline of climate news into ideological warfare.
To many SEJ writers, it is not possible for them to be biased, because issues have only one side: their own.
Associated Press’ Borenstein asserted, “The nature of reporting is to get two sides to an issue. But the nature of science reporting is to get what’s really happening.”
SEJ thinks whatever isn’t environmental dogma is a lie, as indicated by its reference webpage “Climate Change: A Guide to the Information and Disinformation.”
SEJ writers also promote “false balance,” the notion that giving opposing views concerning climate change any mention at all is not real balance because skeptics are liars paid to undermine the truth. Thus, Pareto’s Blindfold justifies total censorship.
Public Sees Through Hype
Fortunately, the public has resisted this biased climate journalism. A March Gallup Poll found the number of people saying they worried “a great deal” about global warming peaked in 2000 at 72 percent. Despite increasingly hyperbolic media coverage, the number of people greatly worried about climate change fell to 55 percent in 2009 and has remained there since. Significantly, 42 percent of Americans think reporters exaggerate the seriousness of global warming, and only 21 percent think media reports are generally correct.
Perhaps a big reason behind newspapers’ declining readership is reporters’ increasing abandonment of their traditional fourth-estate role as government watchdog and defender of dissent in favor of promoting the “official” views of government and large bureaucratic institutions.
Climate reporters have stooped to reprehensible smears to destroy skeptic scientists with false “science-for-sale” allegations in orchestrated campaigns with extremists such as Greenpeace. The true colors of their yellow journalism are showing, loud and ugly. Link.
When will Climate Scientists admit they were wrong?
By Patrick Michaels, CATO
This article appeared in TownHall.com on May 29, 2015.
Day after day, year after year, the hole that climate scientists have buried themselves in gets deeper and deeper. The longer that they wait to admit their overheated forecasts were wrong, the more they are going to harm all of science.
The story is told in a simple graph, the same one that University of Alabama’s John Christy presented to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 15.
The picture shows the remarkable disconnect between predicted global warming and the real world.
The red line is the 5-year running average temperature change forecast, beginning in 1979, predicted by the UN’s latest family of climate models, many of which are the handiwork of our own federal science establishment. The forecasts are for the average temperature change in the lower atmosphere, away from the confounding effects of cities, forestry, and agriculture.
The blue circles are the average lower-atmospheric temperature changes from four different analyses of global weather balloon data, and the green squares are the average of the two widely accepted analyses of satellite-sensed temperature. Both of these are thought to be pretty solid because they come from calibrated instruments.
“The longer that they wait to admit their overheated forecasts were wrong, the more they are going to harm all of science.”
If you look at data through 1995 the forecast appears to be doing quite well. That’s because the computer models appear to have, at least in essence, captured two periods of slight cooling.
The key word is “appear.” The computer models are tuned to account for big volcanoes that are known to induce temporary cooling in the lower atmosphere. These would be the 1982 eruption of El Chichon in Mexico, and 1992’s spectacular Mt. Pinatubo, the biggest natural explosion on earth since Alaska’s Katmai in 1912.
Since Pinatubo, the earth has been pretty quiescent, so that warming from increasing carbon dioxide should proceed unimpeded. Obviously, the spread between forecast and observed temperatures grows pretty much every year, and is now a yawning chasm.
It’s impossible, as a scientist, to look at this graph and not rage at the destruction of science that is being wreaked by the inability of climatologists to look us in the eye and say perhaps the three most important words in life: we were wrong.
An MIT professor of meteorology is dismissing global-warming alarmists as a discredited “cult” whose members are becoming more hysterical as emerging evidence continues to contradict their beliefs.
During an appearance on this writer’s radio show Monday, MIT Professor emeritus Richard Lindzen discussed the religious nature of the movement.
“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it,” he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”
Lindzen, 74, has issued calm dismissals of warmist apocalypse, reducing his critics to sputtering rage.
Last week, government agencies including NASA announced that 2014 was the “hottest year” in “recorded history,” as The New York Times put it in an early edition. Last year has since been demoted by the Times to the hottest “since record-keeping began in 1880.”
But that may not be true. Now the same agencies have acknowledged that there’s only a 38 percent chance that 2014 was the hottest year on record. And even if it was, it was only by two-100ths of a degree.
Lindzen scoffs at the public-sector-generated hysteria, which included one warmist blogger breathlessly writing that the heat record had been “shattered.”
“Seventy percent of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing.”
Last week, after scoffing at Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a Senate vote on global warming, Lindzen was subjected to another barrage of diatribes. At his listed MIT phone number, Prof. Lindzen received a typical anonymous call:
“I think people like you should actually be in jail,” the male caller told him, “because you must know where this is all leading not the people you support and take your money from to make these outrageously anti-human comments (also ‘know’… In other words, you’re a sociopath!”
Lindzen chuckled when the voicemail was replayed.
This writer asked him if, as has been alleged in some of the warmist blogs, he is taking money from the energy industry.
“Oh, it would be great!” he said with a laugh. “You have all these people, the Gores and so on, making hundreds of millions of dollars on this, Exxon Mobil giving $100 million to Stanford for people who are working on promoting this hysteria. The notion that the fossil-fuel industry cares - they don’t. As long as they can pass the costs on to you, it’s a new profit center.”
Lindzen said he was fortunate to have gained tenure just as the “climate change” movement was beginning, because now non-believers are often ostracized in academia. In his career he has watched the hysteria of the 1970’s over “global cooling” morph into “global warming.”
“They use climate to push an agenda. But what do you have left when global warming falls apart? Global normalcy? We have to do something about ‘normalcy?’”
As for CO2, Lindzen said that until recently, periods of greater warmth were referred to as “climate optimum.” Optimum is derived from a Latin word meaning “best.”
“Nobody ever questioned that those were the good periods. All of a sudden you were able to inculcate people with the notion that you have to be afraid of warmth.”
The warmists’ ultimate solution is to reduce the standard of living for most of mankind. That proposition is being resisted most vigorously by nations with developing economies such as China and India, both of which have refused to sign on to any restrictive, Obama-backed climate treaties. Lindzen understands their reluctance.
“Anything you do to impoverish people, and certainly all the planned policies will impoverish people, is actually costing lives. But the environmental movement has never cared about that.”
EPA Plan to Ban Coal Hits Major Roadblock
By Phil Kerpen
The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public - but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board.
The draft rule mandated the use of so-called carbon capture and storage, a technology that would inject carbon dioxide underground but which has so far proved to be little more than a white elephant experiment. To mandate this technology, the law required the EPA to prove it was “adequately demonstrated” and “commercially available.” Thanks to E&E Legal, they failed.
Dawn Reeves at Inside EPA broke the story that carbon capture and storage has apparently been dropped from the agency’s final rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions. She also, curiously, reports that the White House may not allow the EPA to back down, instead forcing the agency to defend the legally indefensible in court.
But whether they win now or not until the issue is litigated, E&E Legal has scored a huge victory for the rule of law and economic common sense.
I reached out to Chris Horner, their lead author on the comment that carried the day.
“We submitted comments for the record explaining that EPA had made a mockery of the interagency review process, ignoring the government’s own experts in order to push an ideological agenda,” Horner said.
That’s a crucial point because if the EPA is demonstrably not serving as an expert but an ideological actor, it would not warrant deference in court, making its whole global warming agenda vulnerable.
E&E Legal obtained information proving that expert analysis from the Department of Energy actually concluded the opposite of what the EPA claimed when they asserted that carbon capture and storage had been “adequately demonstrated.”
“The truth is that the experts had persuasively argued the opposite, in effect, that carbon capture and storage has been demonstrated to be not viable,” Horner said. “Making this more egregious, the Department of Energy had paid a quarter of a billion taxpayer dollars to learn this information and lesson that EPA ignored and even misrepresented.”
The EPA was caught red-handed faking science and ignoring expert opinion, in effect requiring a technology that they knew did not practically exist. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that their actual intended purpose was indeed to impose a de facto ban on coal-fired power plants. And they might have gotten away with it if E&E Legal hadn’t busted them.
States Rebel Against EPA’s Clean Power Plan
State Officials have gone on the offensive against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) limiting carbon-dioxide emissions at existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants.
The CPP would establish state-by-state carbon emissions rate reduction targets.
Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., in late April issued an executive order arguing that the EPA “has exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act,” the 1970 federal law requiring the EPA to take steps to reduce air pollution that harms the public’s health, from which the EPA claims authority for the CPP.
Fallin also prohibits the state’s Department of Environmental Quality from participating with the development of plans to implement CPP regulations.
And she said that if the CPP is adopted this summer, she “will not submit” a State Implementation Plan (SIP) intended to ensure full compliance with the federal mandate, Thomas K. Lindsay disclosed in an article for realclearpolicy.com.
Nine days after Fallin issued the executive order, Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to discuss what Abbott predicted would be “grave consequences for the State of Texas” if the CPP is enforced.
Abbott’s press advisory said the CPP “will certainly result in higher energy prices for Texans, killing jobs and stagnating Texas’ unprecedented economic growth.”
The Texas House of Representatives is considering a bill that would require the state, like Oklahoma, to deny the EPA’s request that it submit a SIP for the federal mandate.
Texas and Oklahoma are not alone, observes Lindsay, director of the Centers for Tenth Amendment Action and Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He cited one survey disclosing that there are now 32 states “in which elected officials have expressed firm opposition” to the CPP.
Several U.S. senators have proposed legislation to combat the CPP. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., head of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, and six other senators introduced the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA).
The bill would extend the CPP’s compliance deadlines pending review by federal courts, and bar any state from being forced to implement a SIP or a Federal Implementation Plan if the state’s governor concludes that doing so would harm the state’s economy.
ARENA would also prohibit the EPA from withholding federal highway funds from states that are found to not be in compliance with the CPP.
FOOTNOTE: According to The Atlantic, the EPA itself admits that the CPP’s effect against the threat of climate change will be so small, reducing warming by 0.016 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century, that it will be impossible to measure.
See how EPA’s 3,373 regulations are 6,552 times as long as the Constitution; 46 times ss long as the bible here.
See these two stories in the Patriot Post:
It was also the snowiest February in parts of the northeast.
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale
Dr. Roy Spencer introduced the updated and much corrected UAH atmospheric temperature data in his blog post Version 6.0 of the UAH Temperature Dataset Released: New LT Trend = +0.11 C/decade. The new temperature anomaly data for the lower troposphere, mid troposphere and lower stratosphere are presently in beta form for comment. That is, they’re not official...yet. I suspect the update will not go over well with the catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming crowd. Links to the version 6.0 beta data are at the bottom of Roy’s post, which also contains a detailed discussion of the updates. So if you have questions, please ask them at Roy Spencer’s blog through the above link. This post is a simple data presentation.
The version 6.0 beta temperature anomaly data for the lower troposphere used in this post are here.
In this post, we’ll take a quick look at the new UAH version 6.0 beta lower troposphere temperature anomaly data, comparing it to: (1) the current UAH version 5.6 data and (2) the RSS lower troposphere temperature data.
BASED ON LINEAR TRENDS, THE NEW UAH LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURE DATA SHOW NO WARMING FOR 18+ YEARS, LIKE RSS
For Figure 1, I’ve extended the new UAH version 6.0 beta and the RSS lower troposphere temperature anomaly data as far back in time as they could go while showing no warming based on their linear trends. The new UAH data show no warming for 219 months, and for the RSS data, it’s 220 months.
Figure 1 Enlarged
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURE DATA
The following is a reprint of the initial discussion of lower troposphere temperature data from the monthly updates. The most recent update is here.
Special sensors (microwave sounding units) aboard satellites have orbited the Earth since the late 1970s, allowing scientists to calculate the temperatures of the atmosphere at various heights above sea level. The level nearest to the surface of the Earth is the lower troposphere. The lower troposphere temperature data include the altitudes of zero to about 12,500 meters, but are most heavily weighted to the altitudes of less than 3000 meters.
See the left-hand cell of the illustration here. The lower troposphere temperature data are calculated from a series of satellites with overlapping operation periods, not from a single satellite. The monthly UAH lower troposphere temperature data is the product of the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). UAH provides the data broken down into numerous subsets. See the webpage here [version 5.6 data]. The UAH lower troposphere temperature data are supported by Christy et al. (2000) MSU Tropospheric Temperatures: Dataset Construction and Radiosonde Comparisons. Additionally, Dr. Roy Spencer of UAH presents at his blog the monthly UAH TLT data updates a few days before the release at the UAH website. UAH uses the base years of 1981-2010 for anomalies. The UAH lower troposphere temperature data are for the latitudes of 85S to 85N, which represent more than 99% of the surface of the globe.
UAH VERSION 5.6 VERSUS UAH VERSION 6.0 BETA
Figure 2 compares the current version 5.6 UAH lower troposphere temperature anomaly data to the recently released version 6.0 beta. The comparisons start in the Januarys of 1979, 1998 and 2001 and run through March 2015. The first full year of the UAH lower troposphere temperature data is 1979, while 1998 and 2001 are commonly used as start years during discussions of the recent slowdown in global surface and global lower troposphere temperatures. They are the same time periods we present in the monthly surface and lower troposphere temperature anomaly updates. See the most recent update here.
Figure 2 Enlarged
Since 1979, the new version (v6.0 beta) of the UAH lower troposphere temperature data show a noticeably lower warming rate than current version 5.6 data. For the periods starting in 1998 and 2001, the new beta version data show cooling of the lower troposphere based on the linear trends, while the current 5.6 version data show warming.
RSS VERSUS UAH VERSION 6.0 BETA
The warming rate since 1979 for the new UAH data is slightly less than (basically the same as) the lower troposphere temperature anomaly data from RSS. The shorter term cooling rates since 1998 and 2001 are also comparable. See the graphs in Figure 3.
Figure 3 Enlarged
The RSS lower troposphere temperature data used to be an outlier, showing much lower trends than the surface temperature data and the UAH lower troposphere data. That will no longer be the case with the new UAH version 6.0 data.
The UAH version 6.0 beta lower troposphere temperature anomaly data are here.
The UAH version 5.6 lower troposphere temperature anomaly data are here.
The RSS lower troposphere temperature anomaly data are here.
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
The eastern Pacific has driven the climate bus the last two years. The warm water moved into the Gulf of Alaska in 2013 and the Alaska ridge pumped down arctic and at times Siberian air down to the Great Lakes and east. A constant stream of clipper storms brought snow almost every other day to the lakes.
In 2014 the warm water was carried south along the west coast and aided by diminished upwelling with a displaced/weakened Pacific high, helped as it did in the mid 1970s, produce the California drought. See the sea surface temperature anomalies this winter.
Though the media wants to focus on the western warmth and drought, the bigger story has been the cold and snow to the east the last two winters.
Chicago had its coldest December to March in the record back to 1872 and third snowiest winter in 2013/14, Detroit had its snowiest winter since 1880.
See the brutal 2013/14 winter that focused on the Great lakes and Upper Midwest.
This winter, the trough and the axis of coldest air was in the mean farther east, the expansion east made easier by a cooling North Atlantic. The cold shifted to the northeast and all of the cities in eastern Canada, which had their coldest February and January to March and in many places in the east, the snowiest ever on record (similar to what we saw and earlier wrote about in parts of central New England).
We wrote about the remarkable February 2015 in March.
This week, NCDC updated their Climate pages to include March 2015 and looked at the brutal eastern January to March story for the Northeast, and the cold in the Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley, South and Southeast.
In the northeast region (the 10 eastern states with all the major metros and DC) had their coldest January to March in the record back to 1895.
The trend the last 20 years has been down 1.5F/decade!
It has cooled in the last 20 years in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes/Upper Midwest, South and Southeast.
Western, Northwest and Southwest plots, which had two decade cooling trends though 2012 have flattened with the warmer winters the last two years.
The last two winters have been throwback winters for the Great Lakes and northeast.
No one who has lived in central New England including the Boston area has experienced a 6-week and calendar month as extreme for the combination of cold and snow as we have this late winter. Here in the Nashua area, February 2015 was the coldest month ever recorded with an average temperature of 12.2F. It beat out January 1888, which had averaged 12.9F. A record 18 days had low temperatures zero or below (as cold as 14F below). 25 days remained freezing or below, also a record.
In Boston where temperature records began in 1872, this month was exceeded only by February 1934, which brought Boston their all-time record of -18F. Temperatures never rose out of the 30s this year in February in Boston though it topped 40 four times in 1934.
The cold in February 2015 was not confined to the Boston-Nashua area. It was the coldest month ever in Worcester, Hartford and Portland. It was the coldest February in Chicago and Cleveland and 3rd coldest in New York City, 5th coldest month ever in Detroit and Baltimore, both with records back into the early 1870s.
The year Nashua replaced, 1888, was the year was the year of the Blizzard of ‘88 in March. That storm called ‘The Great White Hurricane’ dumped as much as 50 inches of snow in parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts, while parts of New Jersey and New York had up to 40 inches. Drifts were reported to average 30-40 feet, over the tops of houses from New York to New England, with reports of drifts covering three-story houses. That storm spared eastern New England its worst as milder Atlantic air dominated the early stages of that storm with less than 2 feet here in the Nashua area and just 12” in Boston although 42” fell in southwest New Hampshire at Dublin.
2015 in Nashua had a record February for snowfall, though Boston had more with 64.6 inches and 100.4 inches in the 39 days following January 24th. The 110.6 inches exceeded the 107.6 inch record from 1995/96. The snow that year was spread out over 6 months with thaws, not concentrated so much in less than 6 weeks. The snow blitz and the intense cold is why the snow piles were so high this year.
ONLY 1717 BEAT THIS?
Looking back through accounts of big snows in New England by the late weather historian David Ludlum, it appears for the eastern areas, this winters snowblitz may have delivered the most snow since perhaps 1717.
That year, snows had reached 5 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. The New England Historical Society’s account indicated New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut were hardest hit, a lot like 2015 in what was known as the year of the great snows.
“Entire houses were covered over, identifiable only by a thin curl of smoke coming out of a hole in the snow. In Hampton, N.H., search parties went out after the storms hunting for elderly people at risk of freezing to death… Sometimes they were found burning their furniture because they couldn’t get to the woodshed. People maintained tunnels and paths through the snow from house to house.”
The driver for this winter was a peculiar configuration of ocean warm and cold pools, similar to the frigid winters of 1916/17, 1917/18, 1976/77 and 1977/78. We correctly forecasted the last two historic winters many months in advance based on the ocean patterns. The models suggest the ocean temperatures remain in this configuration this spring and summer resulting in a cool spring and relatively cool and wet summer.
You may hear or read the increased snow is consistent with global warming because warmer air holds more moisture. In actual fact, only 1 of the 14 years with more than 60 inches of snow in Boston was warmer than normal.
During the 40 days of snowy weather this winter, we averaged over 11F below normal. Cooling increases snowfall not warming. Indeed winter temperatures have cooled over the last two decades in the United States which fits with the fact that 10 year running mean of Boston area snowfall has increased to the highest level since snow records were first kept in 1890.
The cold continued in March here in New England. The month averaged 5.8F below normal here in Nashua and 5.1F below in Boston. There were only four 50F days after no 40F days in February in Boston. This compares with seventeen 50F days, eleven 60F days, seven 70F days and one 80F day in March 2012.
JANUARY TO MARCH RECORD COLD
The January to March average temperatures were the coldest in the entire record in Nashua, Worcester, Providence, Hartford and third coldest in Boston behind only 1885 and 1895.
Ironically 2012 was the warmest first quarter in the record. Despite that spike then, temperatures in the winter (and cold season) in the US (including the northeast states) have declined for over 20 years, which fits with the fact that 10 year running mean of Boston and eastern New England area snowfall has increased to the highest level since snow records were first kept in 1890. This season, most areas of central New England had the snowiest mid to late winter and many spots the snowiest season on record.
The combination of cold and snow here to northern areas and back to the Great Lakes the last two winters, harkens back to the Little Ice Age that ended in the early 20th century.
In 2013/14, Chicago had their coldest December to March back to 1872 and third snowiest while Detroit had their snowiest back to 1880.
The Adirondacks in these years usually gets the worst of the arctic cold. Saranac Lake in February 2015 was 13.6F below normal with 23 sub-zero days, no day reaching freezing and 4 record lows. March had 15 days zero or below with 10 record lows. Last March (2014), Saranac Lake was 11.4F below normal with 10 sub-zero days and 7 record lows. These were two amazing late winters.
WHAT IS BEHIND THE EXTREMES?
I learned early in my career from the some of the giants in the field like Jerome Namias how ocean temperature pools that change locations with changes in the global ocean current circulation patterns in conjunction with strong El Nino and La Nina events are important to where the jet stream sets up and how strong and persistent it is. This determines how extreme winters and summer are for both temperature and precipitation.
A super La Nina in 2010/11 (2nd strongest in 120 years by some measures), set up warm water in the central Pacific and cold water near the west coast of North America, which lead to that record warm and droughty 2011/12 central and eastern winter, spring and summer. That warm water came east first to off of Alaska last year leading to the historic winter near the western Lakes and North Central and then the warm water was carried by the currents southeast to the entire west coast forcing the cold to take aim more on the eastern Lakes and Northeast.
Similar changes occurred in the Atlantic. Starting in 2007, warm North Atlantic helped build high pressure in the Polar Regions and drive Siberian air west to Europe where in December 2010, the UK had their second coldest December since 1659 in the Little Ice Age.
Though scientists had warned them snow was a thing of the past, the UK and much of northern Europe had all-time record snows and cold in 5 of 6 years. The North Atlantic turned cold last year and more so this year and Europe turned milder. But a cold North Atlantic means colder and snowier winters in eastern Canada, the Great Lakes and northeast. The Atlantic thus helped exaggerate the Pacific driven cold last two winters.
At Weatherbell.com, where we use the oceans and sun in our statistical models for long-range prediction, we successfully predicted many months in advance these historic winters.
By Joseph D’Aleo
A quick 2.9 inches of snow at the end of a weekend cold rain storm followed by another 2.3 inches in the following weeks brought Boston to an all-time snow record of 110.6 inches (over 9 feet) beating out the all-time record of 107.6 set in 1995/96. In that year, the snow was spread out over 6 months.
This year it has been mostly concentrated in 40 days centered on the second coldest month in the city’s history. Records for snowfall began in 1891, temperatures in 1872 in Boston. The snowy recent years have the 10 year running mean at a new high in the entire record.
California is seeing the reverse of 2012 when the eastern Pacific was cold and the coastal areas cold and wet. Now the eastern Pacific is warm due to downstream effects after the super La Nina of 2010/11 and the cluster of La Ninas since 2007. This warming in the eastern Pacific is similar to what happened in the 1970s when La Ninas were dominant and some strong in the last cold PDO. In 1976, water warmed off the west coast and a two year devastating drought followed despite, like this year, a weak El Nino. 1977/78 was legendary big snow year in Boston which 2014/15 will surpass or at least rival in the minds of the populace that experienced both years.
See the warm water now.
See the California precipitation plot since 1895. It is obious there is no ‘trend’ anymore than the dry warm year in 2012 in Texas was anything unusual or the start of a permanent drought.
The warmists decided several years ago to play ambulance chasing games to try and alarm the public into believing every natural event was man made and required eliminating fossil fuel from the energy equation because it emits CO2, a beneficial gas, which by the way we emit 40,000 ppm in every breath we take into air containing near 400 ppm. Record crop yields have occurred as a benefit of the increased CO2, allowing us to feed more of the world’s people at a lower cost.
By Joe D’Aleo, CCM
Despite the fact that winters have been cooling in the CONUS (all 9 climate regions) for the last 20 years and snows have been increasing, the Union of Concerned ‘Scientists’, an advocacy group whose environmentalists have taken over most universities at least here in the northeast have been advising the state goverments that warming was producing less snow and threatening the ski and maple sugar industries. They have been repeating this since at least 2007, ignoring new snow records not only in ski areas but in the big cities. Boston 10 year running mean is at a new high. A lot of bad energy and regulatory policy has been already enacted based on ‘failing climate models’ on the state and federal level.
While some democrats with full mainstream media support, are trying to silence scientists who don’t accept the so called consensus ‘warming’ position, mother nature is voting ‘Nay’.
Last three years had heavy snows and last March was coldest ever in VT. 2nd coldest in NH, ME, 5th in MA. It was the coldest and snowiest December to March ever in Chicago and snowiest ever in Detroit. NOAA and Enviornment Canada had projected at the end of November 2013 a warm winter for the Great lakes and east in 2013/14. NOAA’s winter outlook in October for 2014/15 smarting from a busted 2013/14 headlined the politically correct forecast
“Repeat of last year’s extremely cold, snowy winter east of Rockies unlikely.”
Note that we have high respect for NOAA forecasters at all levels who strive hard to provide accurate forecasts and life saving warnings. However, the last two years were high confidence cold forecasts based on ocean temperature patterns. I was told over dozen years ago, NOAA seasonal forecasters are not permitted to work with any factors not statistically determined by the universities or labs to be valid. Private sector forecasters can play detective and look at all factors- like ocean warm and cold pools outside the tropical Pacific and solar. See how well the ocean pools and other factors’ analog pattern (left) fit the actual November to February mean (through February 27) (right).
After a frigid November, in late December, mild weather got the official winter off to a slow start nationwide. January brought cold to the central and east but the thaw mid month central knocked down the anomalies there. Then came this February. The month has been a remarkable one from the Great Lakes to the Northeast and Mid Atlantic.
This February has been 2nd coldest winter month EVER in BOS behind only February 1934. BOS had 8 feet of snows since January 24th and will set the all-time record this week (they are now at 102”, record 107.6 inches in 1995/96).
In Boston, where they have had 8 feet of snow since January 24th, it was the 2nd coldest February and month ever. It was the snowiest winter (DJF) on record and will be the snowiest season perhaps by Monday. There is some evidence this may be the snowiest year since the Pilgrims were here in 1717.
It was the coldest month ever in Worcester and Hartford, 2nd coldest in Providence (like Boston trailing 1934).
In Concord it was the 2nd coldest February just 0.1F behind 1934. In Nashua the next town west from me, it was the coldest month ever beating out January 1888! Records go back to 1886. Nashua had 18 days at 0 or below and 25 days below freezing, both records for any month. We are foot away from the all time record.
In Chicago where it was the 3rd snowiest February, it was the coldest since records began in 1872. February 2014 was 8th coldest.
It ranked between 2nd and 5th coldest month in lower Michigan.
In Cleveland it was the coldest February and trailed only 1977 for the coldest month.
The ice cover has increased to 88.8%. Last year this is when the ice made its run for the gold, topping out at 92.5%. They were 85.4% on the same date.
The next 5-10 days, cold temperatures will help challenge the record. As with Antarctica, when the facts are inconvenient, expect the media to dredge up some story that implies the opposite. The last two weeks there were stories that Lake Superior may be warming faster than any other lake in the world. The last two years it has frozen over (rare because it is so deep) and last year ice flows remained into June with lake temperature 7F below normal.
In New York CIty it was the 3rd coldest February and 9th coldest month since records began in 1869.
In Baltimore, it was the 5th coldest month since 1871.
Speaking of icy water, this is from a photographer on Nantucket. It should be looked at from the perspective that some scientists were blaming the snows in Boston on a warm Atlantic pool east of Cape Cod (MMann - as much as 21F above normal). In actual fact specific humidity during the cold period was well below normal and each of the three major snowstorms occurred in Bston with temperatures in the teens.
The waves captured by NBC photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh are so thick with ice that they’ve drawn comparisons to ‘Slurpees’ and other frozen beverages, but the texture and shape of the wave also suggest a giant, grey tongue, licking the shores of Nantucket.
Here’s what the photographer had to say about his images: “When I pulled up to the beach I could see the horizon just look strange. When I got to the top off the dunes I saw that beginning about 300 yards away from the shoreline the ocean was starting to freeze. The high temp that day was around 19 degrees. The wind was howling from the southwest which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not change the shape. What resulted was perfect, dreamy, slush waves. Most waves were around 2 feet with some larger sets slushing through around 3 foot or waist high. What an experience to be absolutely freezing on the beach watching these roll in while I mind-surfed them! I wonder if a shaper can make me a special designed slurfboard?”
“The next day I drove up to see if they melted but beginning that same 300 yards away from shore the water had frozen solid and there were no waves at all. I’ve been asking all the fishermen and surfers I know if they have ever seen such a thing and they have all reported that this is a first, a result of it being the coldest winter we’ve had in 81 years. I guess the people I asked weren’t old enough to remember a colder winter than this!”
One last thought, we hear that warming is why we are seeing more snow because warm air holds more water. Meteorologists know that cold weather produces snow. When it is cold, the atmospheric water content is less. See this prior analysis. Indeed most big snow years are cold years, warm years lean on snow.
Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.
Repeated cold snaps led to temperatures far below freezing across the eastern United States in the past two winters. Parts of the Niagara Falls froze, and ice floes formed on Lake Michigan. Such low temperatures had become rare in recent years. Pictures of icy, snow-covered cities made their way around the world, raising the question of whether climate change could be responsible for these extreme events.
It has been argued that the amplified warming of the Arctic relative to lower latitudes in recent decades has weakened the polar jet stream, a strong wind current several kilometres high in the atmosphere driven by temperature differences between the warm tropics and cold polar regions. One hypothesis is that a weaker jet stream may become more wavy, leading to greater fluctuations in temperature in mid-latitudes. Through a wavier jet stream, it has been suggested, amplified Arctic warming may have contributed to the cold snaps that hit the eastern United States.
Temperature range will decrease
Scientists at ETH Zurich and at the California Institute of Technology, led by Tapio Schneider, professor of climate dynamics at ETH Zurich, have come to a different conclusion. They used climate simulations and theoretical arguments to show that in most places, the range of temperature fluctuations will decrease as the climate warms. So not only will cold snaps become rarer simply because the climate is warming. Additionally, their frequency will be reduced because fluctuations about the warming mean temperature also become smaller, the scientists wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate.
The study’s point of departure was that higher latitudes are indeed warming faster than lower ones, which means that the temperature difference between the equator and the poles is decreasing. Imagine for a moment that this temperature difference no longer exists. This would mean that air masses would have the same temperature, regardless of whether they flow from the south or north. In theory there would no longer be any temperature variability. Such an extreme scenario will not occur, but it illustrates the scientists’ theoretical approach.
Extremes will become rarer
Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. It showed that the temperature variability in mid-latitudes indeed decreases as the temperature difference between the poles and the equator diminishes. Climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed similar results: as the climate warms, temperature differences in mid-latitudes decrease, and so does temperature variability, especially in winter.
Temperature extremes will therefore become rarer as this variability is reduced. But this does not mean there will be no temperature extremes in the future. “Despite lower temperature variance, there will be more extreme warm periods in the future because the Earth is warming,” says Schneider. The researchers limited their work to temperature trends. Other extreme events, such as storms with heavy rain or snowfall, can still become more common as the climate warms, as other studies have shown.
North-south shift makes the difference
And the jet stream? Schneider shrugs off the idea: “The waviness of the jet stream that makes our day-to-day weather does not change much.” Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability.
Schneider wants to explore the implications these results have in further studies. In particular, he wants to pursue the question of whether heatwaves in Europe may become more common because the frequency of blocking highs may increase. And he wants to find why these high pressure systems become stationary and how they change with the climate.