Feb 24, 2016
Global Warming and the Irrelevance of Science
By Dr. Richard Lindzen
Extracts from the insightful text of lecture delivered on August 20, 2015 to the 48th Session: Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies by Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Emeritus Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In many fields, governments have a monopoly on the support of scientific research. Ideally, they support the science because they believe objective research to be valuable. Unfortunately, as anticipated by Eisenhower in his farewell speech from January 17, 1961 (the one that also warned of the military-industrial complex),
“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”
Under these circumstances, when the government wants a particular scientific outcome the ideal arrangement is vulnerable. However, as I hope to show, the problem is not simply bias.
Rather, the powers that be invent the narrative independently of the views of even cooperating scientists. It is, in this sense, that the science becomes irrelevant. This was certainly the case in the first half of the twentieth century, where we just have to look at Lysenkoism in the former Soviet Union, Social Darwinism, and Eugenics throughout the western world, as well as, in the 1960s, the unfounded demonization of DDT. Each phenomenon led to millions of deaths. And, in each case, the scientific community was essentially paralyzed, if not actually complicit.
Will climate catastrophism join this list? It appears so. The position of the policy world is clear.
Here is President Obama’s constant refrain:
“Climate change is contributing to extreme weather, wildfires, and drought, and that rising temperatures can lead to more smog and more allergens in the air we breathe, meaning more kids are exposed to the triggers that can cause asthma attacks.”
Pope Francis, President Hollande, and virtually all state leaders have chimed in with similar proclamations. And yet, the whole proposition is largely without basis and highly implausible. The association with asthma that is regularly made by both Obama and Hillary Clinton is a good example of nonsense driven by focus groups who find this to be an effective scare theme. The other claims are no better.
Of course, some political figures skip any embarrassing pretenses concerning science and move directly to their agenda. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change:
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
Ms. Figueres is not alone in taking this approach. Pope Francis’ closest adviser castigated conservative climate change skeptics in the United States, blaming capitalism for their views.
Speaking with journalists, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga criticized certain “movements” in the United States that have preemptively come out in opposition to Francis’s planned encyclical on climate change.
“The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits.”
It is difficult to know whether the statements of prominent political figures represents dishonesty, ignorance or both. Ms. Figueres may be the most honest. No proposed measures will have any discernible impact on climate (regardless of one’s view of the physics) unless one rolls back the industrial revolution everywhere and permanently - and even then significant impact on global climate is dubious. Of course, no country outside the western world would even consider this, though they are perfectly happy to endorse the efforts of the West to do so.
A constant feature of the public presentation of the issue is the exploitation of public ignorance. A large poster appearing in the Paris Metro showed the World Wildlife Fund’s signature panda leading young people in mass demonstration (intentionally mimicking the storming of the Bastille) calling for the elimination of CO2. Presumably these young people have never heard of photosynthesis and fail to realize that advanced forms of life would largely cease for levels of CO2 less than about 150 ppmv (we are currently 400 ppmv).
It is clear that the issue of climate does constitute an emergency. However, as is so often the case, the emergency does not arise from science and technology, but rather from politics. It is worth examining whether science can play a role in the mitigation of this emergency. It is doubtful whether the answer will consist in research grants. However, science has much at stake. Its hard earned raison d’etre as our most effective tool for objective assessment is being squandered, and with it, the basis for public trust and support.
If we do nothing to stop this insanity, science will rightly be regarded as just another racket.
This might just be more collateral damage than we can readily afford.
Feb 21, 2016
Remember the Climate!
President Obama continues to insist that climate change is the gravest threat facing our nation. He has even ordered the Defense Department and all branches of our military services to include climate change analyses in their combat planning, training exercises, intelligence gathering, weapons testing and procurement, fuel types and uses, and practically every other aspect of military operations. It is sheer lunacy - befitting a Gilbert and Sullivan parody, right out of The HMS Pinafore.
My article this week examines WHY this is such a colossal mistake - and why reliance on climate models is so misplaced.
Thank you for posting it, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.
Remember the Climate!
Obama orders Pentagon, generals and admirals to make climate change Job One
Military triumphs and catastrophes have often hinged on how well (or luckily) armies and navies employed, avoided or benefited from weather and other natural events. Severe storms helped the British navy defeat Spain’s Armada in 1588. George Washington knew horrid weather meant the Hessians would not expect an attack across the Delaware River on Christmas 1776.
Napoleon captured Moscow before leading his Grande Armee’s exhausted, starving, freezing remnants back to France through a bitter 1812 Russian winter. Hitler’s army never even reached Moscow; it was decimated by disease, starvation, bullets and frigid cold at Stalingrad 140 years later.
Eisenhower’s Normandy invasion plans anticipated a full moon that would illuminate bomber targets and bring low tides to expose German mines and obstacles along the beaches. Instead, overcast skies limited Allied air support - but persuaded the Nazi high command that no invasion would occur for several days. So senior officers stayed in Germany, leaving their army unprepared for D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Throughout history, commanders discovered that trying to predict the weather - or their enemies’ resolve = was fraught with peril. Even today, accurate weather forecasting is a highly uncertain science, even a few days in advance, especially for hurricanes or winter blizzards in Mid-Atlantic states where winds, storm tracks, temperatures and moisture are affected by the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Arctic.
But now President Obama wants to compound his social experimentation with the military, by ordering the Pentagon brass to focus not on imminent weather events surrounding battle plans - not on threats from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, ISIL, Hamas and other real hot spots but on climate change years or decades in the future. He wants to replace Remember the Alamo with Remember the Climate!
Mr. Obama has issued an executive order directing the Department of Defense (and all other federal government agencies) to make preparing for global warming impacts a top priority, and treat climate change as our most serious national security threat. He even warned 2015 Coast Guard Academy graduates that denying” climate change is a “dereliction of duty.” You can’t make this stuff up.
The EO directs the Pentagon to order all military commanders, down to battle planning levels, to include climate change analyses in combat planning, training exercises, intelligence gathering, weapons testing and procurement, fuel types and use, and practically every other aspect of military operations. This could include restrictions on the type and duration of training flights, amphibious landings and tank maneuvers.
It is sheer lunacy. It means bureaucrats and new layers of armed forces bureaucracies will waste time and money, and ignore real weapons and training issues. It means soldiers and sailors must now focus less on real natural and humanitarian disasters, and more on climate refugee crises that exist only in computer models, ivory tower studies and White House press releases. It could affect combat readiness and morale, make our warriors less prepared for warfare, and put them at greater risk of injury and death.
Other Obama orders forced the Air Force to spend $59 a gallon for “renewable” jet fuel and $67 per gallon for camelina-based F[22 Raptor fuel - and the Navy to spend $27 per gallon for biofuels from algae, waste grease and animal fat, and $424 a gallon for 20,000 gallons of “sustainable” diesel fuel. All that when conventional gasoline, diesel and jet fuel sell for $2.00-$3.50 per gallon (thanks to fracking)!
Like the other social experiments, this is being imposed by political operatives with little or no military service, few kids in the military, and minimal concern about how these policies, multiple deployments and stretched-to-the-breaking-point budgets might affect military readiness, morale, safety and families.
Even more absurd, the orders are based on pseudo-science and indefensible assumptions that carbon dioxide now drives climate change, and we have the knowledge and ability to predict climate shifts, extreme weather and related disasters years or decades in advance. Basing defense policies on these notions is ridiculous and dangerous. It’s like Eisenhower using tarot cards to predict Normandy weather.
The IPCC, EPA and White House continue to rely on still “murky” science, climatologist John Christy recently told the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee, “with large uncertainties on many crucial components, such as cloud distributions and surface heat exchanges.” This and other deficiencies cause predictions to be notoriously disconnected from Real World temperatures and weather events.
Contrary to those predictions, instead of rising a degree or more, average global temperatures have flat-lined for 19 years. Instead of more hurricanes, not a single category 3-5 hurricane has struck the U.S. mainland since November 2005 (a record ten-plus years). “Moisture conditions have not shown a tendency to have decreased (more drought) or increased (more large-scale wetness),” Dr. Christy noted.
Climate models still focus on manmade carbon dioxide and ignore most of the powerful, interconnected natural forces that have always driven climate and weather. In fact, “the theory of how climate changes, and the associated impact of extra greenhouse gases, is not understood well enough [for models] to even reproduce the past climate,” Dr. Christy explained to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. There is no way they can forecast future climates, and they have failed to do so.
Climate models pay minimal attention to significant effects of land use changes and major high-impact fluctuations like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (El Nino and La Nina) and North Atlantic Oscillation, University of Delaware climatology professor David Legates observes.
Adds Weatherbell forecaster Joe D’Aleo: they also disregard variations in the sun’s energy output; the important effects of the sun’s ultraviolet output, geomagnetic activity and cloud-enhancing cosmic rays; and the cyclical interplay of cold and warm water pools in our oceans, which significantly influence the severity of winters in Eurasia and North America (as just one example). All these factors affect weather and climate. They assume any warming is dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.
Additional reasons for grossly deficient climate models are their “overly simplified and inadequate numerical techniques,” and the fact that decadal and century-scale circulation changes in the deep oceans “are very difficult to measure and are not yet well enough understood to be realistically included in the climate models,” says Colorado State University weather and hurricane analyst Bill Gray.
Reliable predictive capabilities require that we end our obsession with carbon dioxide as the primary driver of climate change and devote far more attention to studying all the powerful forces that have always driven climate change, the roles they play, and the complex interactions among them.
And yet, Christy noted ruefully, “demonstrably deficient models are being used to make policy.” That has been disastrous for domestic sectors, like coal and manufacturing. It could be lethal for military forces.
One can easily imagine how Gilbert and Sullivan would treat this insanity in an updated HMS Pinafore:
Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
If you want to be admirals at the DOD,
If your soul isn’t fettered to the White House fools,
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule:
Heed the climate models and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of Obama’s Navee!
The revised D’Oyly Carte lyrics notwithstanding, Mr. Obama continues to use climate change to justify his drive to fundamentally transform our economy, society, military, and energy, legal and constitutional systems. Equally ominous, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders share his obsession and objectives.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon brass and line officers must battle these climate directives as forcefully as they would any of the real dangers that face our nation and world. So must we all.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
Note see here how the NOAA/NASA temperature measurements are fraught with major issues that make their ‘politically correct - but scientifically deficient’ assessments worthless.
How not to measure temperature (or climate) #97 - California’s warming air temperatures are population and site bias related
Feb 15, 2016
Historic Weekend Cold in the Northeast
A brutally cold air mass rode the arctic express from north of Alaska and northern Canada to the northeast in just two days. It arrived with temperatures surface and aloft that were more extreme than we have seen in decades.
We were 10 to 20 below zero here in central New England late on Saturday, Sunday morning and again Monday morning. Sunday barely reached the low teens. Wind chills reached the -30s and even -40s at times Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
Boston set records on Saturday with -4F (edging out -3F in 1967), and on Sunday with an amazing -9F, well below the old record of -3F in 1934. It was tied for Boston’s 4th coldest daytime low since the official measurements began at Logan Airport in 1936. It also was coldest temperature at Logan since January 1957, almost 60 years ago. The average temperature was more than 30F below the normal for the date.
It reached -30F at Saranac Lake and -37F at Watertown in New York State and -40F on Mt. Washington with wind chills to -80F. Dozens of people were trapped for several hours on stalled tram cars on a snowy New Hampshire mountain Sunday, braving subzero temperatures while the cars dangled in mid-air before being rescued.
Even New York City dropped to -1F Sunday, coldest since 1994 with wind chills plunging below -30F. NYC cancelled their ice festival Sunday because it was too cold. Ironically last month they cancelled the Central Park Snow Festival because of too much snow.
For the 10 northeast states and DC, January to March in 2014 was the 11th coldest on record since 1895 (with March ranked coldest to second coldest here in northern New England). Last year, January to March was the all-time coldest (tied with 1904). February 2015 was the coldest month of any month in our part of New England in history and also the snowiest (100 inches in 39 days).
This year thanks to El Nino, the cold has been extreme but so far, episodic instead of more continuous and the record breaking January blizzard stayed just to our south.
With the very warm December, temperatures for the meteorological winter of December to February will be above normal here in the northeast (though colder than normal to our south). However, January to March could again end up colder than normal here too, though it will not rank up there with the last two years.
I found the 60 year ago record broken interesting. We have a well-established 60-year cycle in weather, riding on many longer-term cycles related to behavior of the sun and oceans. This is much like the waves on the ocean riding on the longer swells. I have written about these in books and peer-reviewed papers. A change occurred 60 years ago, which I catalogued in my master’s thesis on east coast snowstorms. At that time cold and snow for a few decades suddenly became biased to the latter part of winter. That certainly has been the case the last three years.
At Weatherbell, we advised out clients most of the winter would come January to March, with the potential for significant cold outbreaks and more snowstorms.
Here, we will continue to ride the roller coaster into early next week, but then stronger cold returns again with more snow threats.
In the last El Nino in 2009/10, when the Mid-Atlantic received all-time record snows in what was called ‘Snowmageddon’, we in New England ended up near to below normal for snowfall. Though that may in the end happen this year, we will have numerous chances the next 5 to 6 weeks and one or more may track just right to bury ‘us’. If so, don’t blame me. I am just the messenger. Blame ‘Phil’.
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Dec 23, 2015
Lawsuit Pries Loose A ‘New Climate Data Scandal’
By Ethan Barton, Daily Caller
A non-profit watchdog group’s lawsuit against the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration may have spurred the agency to release documents to a congressional committee that reveal a “new climate data scandal.”
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Dec. 2, 2015, against NOAA “regarding methodology for collecting and interpreting data used in climate models,” the group said Tuesday.
Why Is NOAA Refusing To Hand Over Documents?
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology subpoenaed the same documents earlier this year, but NOAA refused to hand the records over until a few days after Judicial Watch filed its lawsuit.
“We have little doubt that our lawsuit helped to pry these scandalous climate change report documents from the Obama administration,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Given the lawless refusal to comply with our FOIA request and a congressional subpoena, we have little doubt that the documents will show the Obama administration put politics before science in advance of global warming alarmism.”
The documents revealed a “new climate data scandal,” Judicial Watch said in announcing the suit.
“Information provided to the committee by whistleblowers appears to show that the study was rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of NOAA employees,” according to the committee.
Committee Chairman Lamar Smith wrote recently that “NOAA often fails to consider all available data in its determinations and climate change reports to the public.”
The Texas Republican also noted that a recent NOAA study made adjustments to historical temperature records, which led the findings to refute a nearly two-decade pause to global warming.
The Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was filed after the Department of Commerce, which governs NOAA, failed to respond to an Oct. 30 Freedom of Information Act request seeking communications between NOAA’s officials regarding how climate data is collected, analyzed and used.
Smith subpoenaed the agency for the same documents on Oct. 13, and sent a total of four letters to NOAA requesting the information.
Dec 22, 2015
Record Warm December then here comes winter
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, WeatherBell Analytics
The year 2015, which started with the coldest January to March for the Northeast (10 states plus DC) and warm dry southwest, will end with an all-time warmest December for the United States (3rd warmest in the satellite era since 1979 globally). This is thanks in part due to a strong El Nino.
It was colder west and snowy in the mountains. See how Colorado Weather Station Hits -51F, Ties One Of Coldest Temperatures Ever Recorded.
On the morning of December 17 the thermometer at Antero Reservoir dropped to an astounding -51F. The last time that happened was on Feb. 8, 1989.
But like last year when December and Christmas were warm, the pattern will flip. The change will come a bit earlier than 2014/15. There are a lot of reasons to believe this. Warm November and December El Ninos often flip in January to March.
In the strong El Nino of 1965 the Upper Midwest including the Great Lakes and Minnesota and Iowa went from +7.9F in December to -7.2 in January. The second year El Nino of 1987/88 went from +6.5 to -1.8F in January and -3.7F in February. Last year it took a little longer in the weaker Modoki going from +6.1F in December to -8.4 by February. In the 10 northeast states plus DC we went from +5.9F in December to -2.6F in January, an amazing -10.4F in February and -4.5F in March. That made the region the coldest ever since 1895.
The media downplayed this away from the buried cities and NOAA in their winter highlights focused first on the warmth and dryness in California. In the prior winter, which featured record snow in the Great Lakes area and the coldest December to March in Chicago’s long history, it got a media attention during the coldest days mainly because of the term ‘polar vortex’, which sounded like something unique and that we somehow caused.
We hear references to 1997/98 as proof super NINOs bring blow torch winters and high confidence that this will be one. However there are more than subtle differences with 1997/98 as JB, TD and I have discussed.
We see the difference from 1997 shown below is significant east of 150W (this year is much cooler) while it is warmer near the dateline than 1997.
The cooler east and warmer central makes it more Modoki like which means the east is able to see the arctic air come south around the retrogressing western and central Canada ridge into the developing eastern (southeastern) CONUS trough.
Next we have good agreement on the seasonal tools we trust. The CPC CFSv2 as it always does, will be last to ‘see the light’. But our 22 input Pioneer Model, the CPC CA and JAMSTEC agree with the change.
Though just January is shown, the CANSIPS (as shown on the Tropical tidbits site) model shows a similar pattern evolving.
Then as I posted a few days ago, the EPO which has been positive (which favors warm central and eastern US), is not favored with the warm water off the west coast. Cold water like we had 1998-2002 and again 2011 to 2013 favors a +EPO. Warm water, which came on in 2002/03 and 2013/14 favors a -EPO.
See how the developing warm northeast Pacific caused the dominant +EPO that had prevailed into 2002 to take a dive.
See how quickly the EPO changes cause the temperatures to readjust - here for BOS.
The warm water and El Nino becoming Modoki like should favor a -EPO increasingly by 2016.
I had indicated the pattern would start to appear, somewhat inconsistently, in the models by the solstice. Indeed they have. The EPS long range shows it in late January. Come to Weatherbell and see the daily, weekly and even the 45 day European high resolution data.
The op run EC shows an impressive cold outbreak and developing east coast threats and widespread snows next month.
Even the warm CFS has a snowy period ahead.
Note: Our team does daily briefings of which the above is an abbreviated version of. We do daily videos as well, explaining and further expounding on our forecasts and the reasoning them. We specialize in long range and correctly forecast up to 9 months in advance the last two winters and summers. If weather is of interest or affects your business please consider becoming party of the Weatherbell clients family, 4000 strong.