The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.
Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.
We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.
Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.
According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.
However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.
Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100, ‘This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’
These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts.
‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’
He pointed out that, in claiming the effect of the solar minimum would be small, the Met Office was relying on the same computer models that are being undermined by the current pause in global-warming.
CO2 levels have continued to rise without interruption and, in 2007, the Met Office claimed that global warming was about to ‘come roaring back’. It said that between 2004 and 2014 there would be an overall increase of 0.3C. In 2009, it predicted that at least three of the years 2009 to 2014 would break the previous temperature record set in 1998.
So far there is no sign of any of this happening. But yesterday a Met Office spokesman insisted its models were still valid. ‘The ten-year projection remains groundbreaking science. The period for the original projection is not over yet,’ he said.
Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several papers that argue the Met Office climate models show there should have been ‘steady warming from 2000 until now’.
‘If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,’ he said.
He believes that as the Met Office model attaches much greater significance to CO2 than to the sun, it was bound to conclude that there would not be cooling. ‘The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate,’ Dr Scafetta said. Meanwhile, one of America’s most eminent climate experts, Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said she found the Met Office’s confident prediction of a ‘negligible’ impact difficult to understand.
‘The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,’ said Professor Curry. As for the warming pause, she said that many scientists ‘are not surprised’.
She argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
‘They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,’ said Prof Curry. When both oceans were cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle ‘flipped’ back from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also thought likely to flip in the next few years .
Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre, said some scientists found the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because doing so means admitting that the oceans – not CO2 – caused much of the global warming between 1970 and 1997. The same goes for the impact of the sun – which was highly active for much of the 20th Century.
‘Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’
Meanwhile, since the end of last year, world temperatures have fallen by more than half a degree, as the cold ‘La Nina’ effect has re-emerged in the South Pacific.
‘We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’
The Cost of Obama's Green Appeasement
This weekend’s Boston Globe Magazine will feature a gargantuan, 3600 word homage to rabid environmentalism in the form of a profile on 350.org founder Bill McKibben. The piece and President Obama’s disastrously short-sighted decision Wednesday to reject permitting for Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline are both symptomatic of a much larger ailment plaguing liberal politicking in general and the Obama administration in particular: a continual willingness to sacrifice the well-being of the majority for an elite, hypocritical minority.
The Keystone project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast, has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect decent-paying American jobs and reduce our dependency on the oil of despotic, anti-western nations with questionably sane leaders. But radical environmentalists like McKibben – a second generation jailed protestor and disciple of John Kerry – seem either not to know or else don’t care what real poverty looks like. And he is among the leaders of the voting contingent to which our president is pandering – purely for political reasons.
The Harvard-educated McKibben, who was among the 1,252 people arrested during protests against the pipeline outside the White House last year, is on a mission to “end the tyranny of oil” and coal. Along with his worship of the false god of climate change, McGibben like many leftist elitists is committed to “social justice” according to the Globe. What McGibben and his ilk overlook is that real social justice begins with a job, the dignity of work, and the ability to care for and feed one’s own family. McGibben & Company’s quest is anti-jobs and therefore anti true social justice.
According to analysis released just this week by the Brookings Institution, child poverty has risen 4% in the past five years – an addition of 3 million impoverished kids, most of them added in the time Obama has been in office. The state with the highest rate? Mississippi, in the Gulf Coast – the very region in which many of the Keystone XL’s quarter-million jobs would have been created, and where the Obama administration’s six-month deepwater drilling moratorium cost Americans tens of thousands of jobs. T.V. talk show host – and Obama supporter – Tavis Smiley said recently, “Many of the ‘new poor’ are the former middle class.”
Obama claims to be “all in” for domestic energy production and job creation, but when handed a no-brainer like Keystone, he choose to side with a radical minority of his base. Why? As Michael Brune, the head of the Sierra Club said, “it shores up the base, definitely.”
On Capitol Hill there has been almost universal silence from Congressional Democrats who apparently are listening to that same “base.” So, what does that say about what agenda really drives the Democratic Party? Politico.com says that according to a “top Democratic fundraiser” the issues driving the party donors are “Keystone and gay marriage.”
Obama and the Democrats may soon grow to regret the Keystone decision. There are about 25 million Americans unemployed, under employed, or that have given up even trying to find a job. If you’re out of work or struggling to get by, a politician focused on killing jobs and promoting gay marriage probably doesn’t sound like one that has your best interests at heart.
Besides all jobs we now stand to lose out on, we also face a considerable new security challenge in the form of a bolstered China. As Rep. Steve King of Iowa said this week: “If we block [the pipeline] that oil will certainly go to China. It will enrich their economy.” Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper has no intention of waiting for the United States to reverse this wrongheaded move; his goal is to see Canada at the forefront of the energy game. Harper will travel to Beijing next month, where he will likely take part in talks on selling his country’s vast oil supplies to the Chinese government. And China is serious about quenching its thirst for oil.
“Chinese firms aren’t just buying stakes, they’re buying whole operations,” reads a piece this month in Canada’s daily Globe and Mail. “It’s a new phase of China’s step-by-step Canada strategy. It will change not just the oil patch but Canada’s foreign policy. And a game of international energy politics is afoot in Canada’s West.”
When Obama finally turns around for a gander at his fellow Washington backers on this latest political choice, he will see he has precious few.
America's worst regulatory agency outdoes itself
California continues its leading role as the national laughingstock of regulatory absurdity. This week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), forged another link in its unbroken chain of disastrous environmental policies. New CARB regulations reflect a decision process heavily influenced by three primary sources: Joseph Stalin, Al Gore and Pee-Wee Herman.
Let's look at the latest batch of lunacy from those swell 'crats in Sacramento. As an added bonus, we read from SFGATE, the reliable Left Coast mouthpiece that happily shills for the hard left Democratic mouth breathers.
".... the California Air Resources Board unanimously approved strict vehicle emissions regulations that will mandate production of more than a million zero-emission vehicles."
Unanimously? And you only thought I was kidding about the reference to Stalin.
"... the Advanced Clean Car program, will cut in half current greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. It means automakers will have to cut exhaust by two-thirds and begin mass-producing cars that do not run on gasoline."
"Although there may be some bumps in the road for individual vehicles, the steady drumbeat that is driving us to get off of petroleum continues." [Said Mary Nichols, the resources board chairwoman]
The new standards require 15 percent of new cars and small trucks sold each year in California to run on batteries, hydrogen fuel cells or plug-in hybrid technology within the next 13 years.
The new requirements will get increasingly stricter. By 2018, more than 70,000 cars and light trucks sold in California will have to run without spewing fossil fuel exhaust. An estimated 1.4 million zero-emission vehicles will be buzzing around the state by 2025.
By 2025, consumers will save an average of $4,000 over the life of a car compared with today - even though new vehicles will cost more, according to the Air Resources Board.
"Some bumps in the road for individual vehicles," "the new requirements will get increasingly stricter" and "new vehicles will cost more?" And you only thought I was kidding about the reference to Stalin.
Here is the money paragraph. Inhale the pungent aroma of liberal steer droppings lobotomizing the logic pathways of your frontal lobes.
"Scientists say the reductions in greenhouse gases that will result from the new rules are necessary for the world to avoid the most catastrophic effects of human-caused climate change. Regulators say the rules will also drive innovation and, therefore, job growth, reduce U.S. dependence on oil from hostile countries, and save people money on the cost of gasoline and medical care."
What mythical scientists are we talking about? Dr. Gore or Dr. Pee-Wee Herman? What mythical regulators? Perhaps a famous CARB bureaucrat with a fake degree who saddled taxpayers with millions of dollars of regulations? And how about that reduction of U.S. dependence on oil from hostile countries? Do you think they are referring to Canada and Keystone? And what in blue blazes is that last bit about medical costs, kinda creepy huh?
So what is driving all this idiocy? Last year it was called global warming, now neatly repackaged as global climate change. Let's look at today's article from the Daily Mail.
"Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.
The supposed 'consensus' on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years."
Somehow the MSM overlooked this story; it must have been a busy news day. I'm just speculating here, but we won't see or hear about this on the major news networks any time soon.
Was global warming used as a wedge issue for the hard left to enact repressive and onerous governmental regulations to debase our freedoms and property rights?
Do you think that all this hooey from Al Gore and the global warming crowd what just a well orchestrated con game to scare taxpayers into funding billions of dollars of new bureaucracies? Was global warming just another consumer product, advertised and sold like mouthwash by the MSM to an indifferent and scientifically uneducated population?
Damn straight, that is exactly what happened.
Corruption Of The US Temperature Record
Prior to the year 2000, the USHCN and GISS temperature database showed US temperatures as having peaked in the 1930s, with 1934 (by far) the hottest year – and 1998 the fifth hottest.
Dr. James Hansen from NASA wrote at the time :
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
Around the year 2000, USHCN and GISS decided to “adjust” the temperature record, in a way which caused the 1930s to get much cooler, and recent temperatures to get much warmer.
The animated image below shows how the data was adjusted. The year 1934 was cooled several tenths of a degree, while the year 1998 was warmed by half a degree. How is that two years prior to the adjustment, over 365,000 US temperature readings were measured improperly by half a degree?
The adjustments that were made can be seen on the USHCN map below.
The map below uses the same images, but with regions of no temperature change removed. Note how the area of warming temperatures was nearly doubled, while the area of cooling temperatures was reduced by about 90%.
Where is the data that was used before the Y2K corruption? Why is it not made available by the scientist who wrote the text below in 1999?
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought.
It is deeply disturbing that a group of climate activists (Hansen and Karl) have made adjustments which turned a cooling trend into a warming trend.
Biodiesels pollute more than crude oil, leaked data show
Greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels such as palm oil, soybean and rapeseed are higher than those for fossil fuels when the effects of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) are counted, according to leaked EU data seen by EurActiv.
The default values assigned to the biofuels compare to those from Canada’s oil sands – also known as tar sands – according to the figures, which should be released along with long-awaited legislative proposals on biofuels in the spring.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said she could “not comment on leaked documents, such as impact assessments which have not been published.”
But industry and civil society sources described the data as credible and in line with other studies. One said it would sound a death knell for the biodiesel industry, if published.
“I think the science has proved clearly that because of the link to deforestation in places such as South East Asia, a lot of the biodiesels have significantly negative impacts on the climate,” Robbie Blake, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, told EurActiv.
Indirect land-use change
ILUC happens when forests and wetlands are cleared to compensate for lands taken to grow biofuels elsewhere.
One recent report predicted that all of Malaysia’s tropical peatswamp forests would be destroyed by the end of the decade because of ILUC - with alarming consequences for greenhouse gas emissions - unless the expansion of palm oil production was halted.
To measure the climate impact of fuels, Brussels favours assigning default values based on a calculation of their full lifecycle emissions, hence the debate over ILUC factors and biofuels.
In its recent review of the Fuel Quality Directive, the EU proposed a default value of 107g CO2 equivalent per megajoule of fuel (CO2/mj) for oil from tar sands, as compared to 87.5g CO2/mj for crude oil, reflecting the greater environmental harm that its production causes.
Yet while advanced ‘second generation’ biofuels comfortably outperform fossil fuels in the EU’s new data, palm oil is ascribed a value of 105g, soybean 103g, rapeseed 95g, and sunflower 86g, once ILUC is factored in.
The data propose ILUC-incorporating CO2/mj values for biofuels as follows:
Palm Oil - 105g
Soybean – 103g
Rapeseed – 95g
Sunflower – 86g
Palm Oil with methane capture – 83g
Wheat (process fuel not specified) – 64g
Wheat (as process fuel natural gas used in CHP) – 47g
Corn (Maize) – 43g
Sugar Cane – 36g
Sugar Beet – 34g
Wheat (straw as process fuel in CHP plants) – 35g
2G Ethanol (land-using) – 32g
2G Biodiesel (land-using) – 21g
2G Ethanol (non-land using) – 9g
2G Biodiesel (non-land using) – 9g
Isabelle Maurizi, a spokesperson for the European Biodiesel Board, told EurActiv that data such as the leaked biofuels values, and recent reports by the EU’s Joint Research Centre, the European Environmental Agency, and the International Food Policy Research Institute, were not consistent with research in the US.
“We do not recognise the validity of the science due to discrepancies in the results. The science is not grounded yet and is still immature so we would favour incentives in policy-making rather than punitive proposals,” she said.
Any application of the leaked values could severely hamper the ability of biodiesel manufacturers to enter into the EU’s new biofuels certification plan, announced last August.
This stipulates that certification only be awarded to biofuels which emit 35% less greenhouse gas than petrol, with the figure rising to 60% from 2018.
Advanced biofuels producers believe they would meet this standard and Rob Vierhout, the secretary-general of ePURE, a renewable ethanol association, said that the EU needed “a different shade of ILUC factor.”
“If indeed the effects on land use change depend on the feedstock that they’re using, then this has to be recognised in the policy,” he told EurActiv.
In April 2009, the EU legislated that renewable energy sources such as biofuels should make up 10% of Europe’s transportation fuels mix by 2020, and this has legal as well as financial consequences.
Heresy at the BBC
There's an extremely interesting snippet (about 3 minutes long) on the website of BBC Radio 4's "Today" program, which is their flagship program for serious news and current affairs. Peter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford, says that contrary to environmental orthodoxy that fossil fuels will shortly run out, "the facts are very, very different. We're awash with the stuff".
The snippet then goes on, incredibly for the BBC, to talk about how the "challenge" for environmentalists is to come up with an argument against this abundant source of energy, expecially clean burning shale gas. Amazing stuff for the BBC.
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