Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another example of strange data selectivity by British climatologists

The official British Met office in this case. An email below from a reader -- noting that once again the best data for a location is ignored -- apparently in favour of something that suits Warmist assumptions better. There was a lot of that with the CRU treatment of the Russian data too. The record referred to below which the meteorologists do use has so many gaps in it that one suspects that the gaps are the attraction. Such gaps can be filled in by Warmist guesses

On this page station temperature files for several countries can be downloaded.

Living in the Netherlands Antilles, I checked: there are only records for Juliana Airport, St. Maarten (788660). That station was only opened in 1951 while records are available for Curaçao island since 1894 but are not listed here. St. Maarten temperature records are available from 1920, long before the airport opened its station.

St. Maarten lists a total of 187 "-99" [no record], figures out of 708 monthly averages. I am quite sure that the Curaçao, main island of the country, records are much more complete than that. One wonders then why records for Curaçao have not been used.

CRU now rejecting their own "landmark" findings

$10Mill worth of landmark IPCC climate research – now struck out at CRU

This CRU webpage where you can still download the CRUTEM3 datasets reveals the stunning fact that they no longer include the landmark paper Jones & Moberg 2003 in the list of references.

Instead, to keep their “chain of evidence” alive the CRU-Meisters now jump back to Jones et al 1999. CRU front page 29 Dec 2009: "Jones, P.D., M. New, D.E. Parker, S. Martin, and I.G. Rigor. 1999. Surface air temperature and its changes over the past 150 years. Reviews of Geophysics 37:173-199".

This raises all sorts of questions because the latest masterwork Brohan et al 2006 (Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Harris, S.F.B. Tett, and P.D. Jones. 2006. Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850. J. Geophysical Research 111, D12106) is written as an evolution from Jones & Moberg 2003 – further and surprisingly there is NO REFERENCE to Jones 1999 in Brohan et al 2006.

Reading the Abstract and first paragraph of the Introduction to Jones & Moberg 2003 – the authors are clearly updating directly from Jones 1994, ignoring the more recent and we would assume improved over 1994 – Jones et al 1999.

So I am saying that there is much evidence here of striking out references to previously lauded Jones versions that one would expect to be naturally included in the “chain of evidence”. I can only conclude that for example, Jones & Moberg 2003 does not measure up now as a work that CRU or the UKMO wants to refer to. Taxpayers may never know the reasons for these odd visible twists and turns in the cloistered and highly secretive IPCC world.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Major northern hemisphere cold snap coming

Cold event setups in atmospheric circulation patterns are aligning. Two days ago I brought to your attention that there was a strong downspike in the Arctic Oscillation Index and that the North Atlantic Oscillation Index was also negative. See The Arctic Oscillation Index goes strongly negative

Yesterday, Senior AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi let loose with this stunning prediction on the AccuWeather premium web site via Brett Anderson’s Global warming blog:
What is facing the major population centers of the northern hemisphere is unlike anything that we have seen since the global warming debate got to the absurd level it is now, which essentially has been there is no doubt about all this. For cold of a variety not seen in over 25 years in a large scale is about to engulf the major energy consuming areas of the northern Hemisphere. The first 15 days of the opening of the New Year will be the coldest, population weighted, north of 30 north world wide in over 25 years in my opinion.

The Climate Prediction Center discussion for their forecast also concurs with both of the above:

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Obama official embarrassed by Democrat plans to convert cropland to forestry

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food.

The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation's incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.

According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does.

Mr. Vilsack, in a little-noticed statement issued with the report earlier this month, said the department's forecasts "have caused considerable concern" among farmers and ranchers. "If landowners plant trees to the extent the model suggests, this would be disruptive to agriculture in some regions of the country," he said.

He said the Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM), created by researchers at Texas A&M University, does not take into account other provisions in the House-passed bill, which would boost farmers' income while they continue to produce food. Those omissions, he said, cause the model to overestimate the potential for increased forest planting.

Mr. Vilsack said he has directed his chief economist to work with the EPA to "undertake a review of the assumptions in the FASOM model, to update the model and to develop options on how best to avoid unintended consequences for agriculture that might result from climate change legislation."

The legislation would give free emissions credits, known as offsets, to farmers and landowners who plant forests and adopt low-carbon farm and ranching practices. Farmers and ranchers could sell the credits to help major emitters of greenhouse gases comply with the legislation. That revenue would help the farmers deal with an expected rise in fuel and fertilizer costs.

But the economic forecast predicts that nearly 80 percent of the offsets would be earned through the planting of trees, mostly in the Midwest, the South and the Plains states. The American Farm Bureau Federation and some farm-state Republican lawmakers have complained that the offsets program would push landowners to plant trees and terminate their leases with farmers. The model projects that reduced farm production will cause food prices to rise by 4.5 percent by 2050 compared with a scenario in which no legislation is passed, the department found.

A department spokesman declined to comment about how quickly the review would take place or whether Mr. Vilsack would revise the department's economic-impact projections.

The Senate has not taken action on climate legislation, although the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill similar to the House's last month. That measure did not include agriculture provisions.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Democrat and chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, has said she will hold hearings on climate provisions but has not indicated when those will take place.

The ranking Republican on the committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and his counterpart on the House Agriculture Committee, ranking Republican Rep. Frank D. Lucas of Oklahoma, wrote to Mr. Vilsack and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson earlier this month to ask for new economic analyses of the House and Senate bills. "EPA's analysis was often cited during debate in the House of Representatives and the study had a great impact on the final vote. If there was a flaw in the analysis, then it would be prudent to correct the model and perform a more current and complete analysis on both [bills]," they wrote.

In a statement, the EPA said: "EPA looks forward to working with USDA and the designer of this particular computer model to continue improving the analytical tools that all of [us] use to predict the ways that different climate policies would affect agriculture."

Allison Specht, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said other studies have largely confirmed the results of the EPA and Agriculture Department analysis. "That's one of the realities of cap-and-trade legislation. The biggest bang for your buck for carbon credits is planting trees," she said.


Another Greenie industry in need of a handout

Large fuel cells at risk without U.S. aid. Fuel cells are not only of interest to Greenies but their "clean" energy gives them Greenie cred

The United States leads the world in manufacturing stationary fuel cells — large sources of clean energy — but the industry is warning Congress that the technology and expertise could be shipped overseas unless the federal government does more to encourage domestic production and use.

Stationary fuel cells are on-site power generators that emit almost no pollutants while producing energy. They are powerful enough to supply electricity, heating and air conditioning for a 1,000-room hotel, a 33,000-student college campus or large industrial structures such as the Pepperidge Farm plant in Connecticut and Sierra Nevada brewery in California.

The energy source is pricey, though, ranging in the millions of dollars per unit. Yet demand for the fuel cells in Japan and South Korea far outstrips domestic supply, partly because foreign governments provide tax incentives or subsidies to companies that import and use the stationary fuel cells. "We need legislation with provisions to promote deployment of fuel cells," said Bill Foster, vice president of government business development for FuelCell Energy Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of stationary fuel cells.

Mr. Foster said that including the industry among the many "green" technologies being supported by the federal government is critical to keeping jobs in the U.S. and ramping up the use of this clean energy supply. The Obama administration's main fuel cells focus has been on cars and buses, largely overlooking the stationary sources.

UTC Power, a division of United Technologies Corp. that manufactures stationary fuel cells, said the industry "needs the government to become a customer." "We need volume, we need customers, and I think the government could become a large consumer," said Michael Brown, vice president of government affairs and general counsel to UTC. "To have the government step up and say, 'We're going to buy 500 fuel cells a year' would jump-start the marketplace."

Mr. Foster said that his Danbury, Conn.-based company is working with Congress for special attention in upcoming bills. He asserts that allowing more energy from fuel cells to be counted as part of a federal renewable-electricity standard (RES) would also promote wider use. The standard is part of pending energy legislation and would mandate that a certain percentage of the nation's energy come from clean sources by a certain date. The proposed RES would only allow fuel-cell energy generated from qualified biofuel sources — not natural gas — to contribute to the standard.

In the meantime, in the absence of federal legislation to drive fuel-cell use, some states are using the federal Investment Tax Credit to promote the use of stationary fuel cells. California and Connecticut also have incentive programs that when coupled with the federal tax credit have helped expand the use of stationary fuel cells.

Mr. Brown said additional incentives and partnerships with energy companies and utilities also would benefit the young industry.

The industry is also targeting Connecticut lawmakers in Congress to include fuel-cell provisions in federal legislation. Mr. Foster said Democratic Rep. Christopher S. Murphy and Democratic Rep. John B. Larson have been fuel-cell champions because FuelCell Energy Inc. and UTC Power both have their headquarters in Connecticut.

Although the technology is commercially viable, it is still relatively unknown, posing a major roadblock for the industry, the industry asserts. Stationary fuel cells range in size, with some measuring about one-fourth the size of a tennis court. They are powered by biofuels — gasses from food processing, landfills and wastewater treatment — natural gas, ethanol, diesel and coal gas. The fuel cell is a combustion-free energy source, as it produces heat and electricity directly from chemical energy, somewhat like a battery. It also emits negligible amounts of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides as well as relatively small amounts of carbon dioxide compared to fossil-fuel-powered electricity plants.

Fuel cells are also a baseload power source and can compete with nuclear and coal-fired electricity to provide the minimum amount of power a utility must make available to its customers. In contrast, wind, solar and other renewable sources can only supply peak-load power, power largely demanded in the late afternoon when consumers return home from work.

The upfront capital cost to produce stationary fuel cells is high, so a larger customer pool, especially in the U.S., would help bring down the cost, the industry asserts.

FuelCell Energy Inc. has sold or has orders for 91 megawatts of stationary fuel cells, with 68 megawatts of that sold to South Korea. The company said it is fearful that without government help, the domestic manufacturing industry will be transferred to nations with a greater demand — a fate that already has befallen wind turbine and solar panel makers. UTC Power, a South Windsor, Conn.-based company, also produces stationary fuel cells that can heat and cool commercial buildings and fuel cells for transportation.


Fireplace fascism in California

Burn wood in the Bay Area, and your neighbors will rat you out and send inspectors to your door who will slap you with a fine. Even on Christmas Day. From the Contra Costa Times:
Bay Area air pollution inspectors found 47 violators burning wood fires illegally during Christmas Day's Spare the Air alert — which was declared because cold, unhealthful air had been forecast. Violators get written warnings for a first offense and $400 fines for a second offense.

"We know a lot of people like to burn on this holiday, but it's our duty to protect public health," said Ralph Borrmann, the spokesman.

It demonstrates once again that there is no limit to how intrusive and destructive government can become in the name of protecting from real or imaginary public threats to safety and health.


Australia: Paint roofs white, says "Green" mayor

FORGET painting the town red - Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants Melbourne's roofs painted white. Cr Doyle believed slathering the tops of inner-city buildings with a white coating would make them cooler and more energy efficient, according to a report in the Herald Sun. He said the whitewash could reflect the sun's rays, reducing temperatures inside skyscrapers, apartment towers, shopping centres and other city structures.

Cr Doyle hit on the city-wide paint job idea after talking to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Copenhagen climate summit. Mayor Bloomberg recently launched a "Cool Roofs" pilot scheme backed by former vice-president and environment campaigner Al Gore. Volunteers in New York will daub 10,000sq/m of roof space white to reduce air-conditioner use.

Cr Doyle has asked Melbourne council officers to investigate how the scheme could be implemented here. "I think it is a real alternative for us," Cr Doyle said.

US President Barack Obama's green guru has encouraged Americans to consider white roofs for the environmental and economic benefits. The special reflective white surface is rolled or sprayed on roofs and dries like rubber. White roofs are easier and more affordable than roof-top gardens, which are also promoted as a way of reducing a city's carbon footprint.



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