Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ya gotta laugh!

Huge excitement over an apparent temperature rise of just one tenth of one degree Celsius! plus an argument from ignorance!

As the old saying goes, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But they ignore that. Given their inability to "explain" a tiny fluctuation they say it MUST be due to human activity! They sure are exemplars of scientific rigor! They should go into epidemiology. Speculation passes for fact every day there

It's not research anyway. It's just modelling. Did they include a model where clouds had a cooling effect? I don't need to guess. For your delectation, I append the journal abstract

A US-led research group is claiming to have bolstered the argument that global warming is real, and humans are largely to blame. Scientists say this is the most comprehensive study to date on global ocean warming. The research has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The team looked at rising ocean temperatures over the past 50 years, and a dozen models projecting climate change patterns.

Australian based co-author, Dr John Church from Australia's island state of Tasmania says there's no way all of the world's oceans could've warmed by one tenth of a degree Celsius without human impact. He says nature only accounts for 10 per cent of the increase. [How does he know?]

Dr Church says researchers from America, Australia, Japan and India examined a dozen different models used to project climate change, past studies have only looked at a couple at a time.

"And this has allowed the group to rule out that the changes are related to natural variability in the climate system," he said.

Leading climate change and oceanography expert, Professor Nathan Bindoff says scientists are now certain man-made greenhouse gases are the primary cause. "The evidence is unequivocal for global warming," he said.

He says the new research balances the man-made impacts of warming greenhouse gases and cooling pollution in the troposphere, against natural changes in the ocean's temperature and volcanic eruptions.

"This paper is important because for the first time we can actually say that we're virtually certain that the oceans have warmed, and that warming is caused not by natural processes but by rising greenhouse gases primarily," he said.

The research team says the ground-breaking study will help guide further climate change research and international policy development.

Human-induced global ocean warming on multidecadal timescales

By P. J. Gleckler et al.


Large-scale increases in upper-ocean temperatures are evident in observational records. Several studies have used well-established detection and attribution methods to demonstrate that the observed basin-scale temperature changes are consistent with model responses to anthropogenic forcing and inconsistent with model-based estimates of natural variability. These studies relied on a single observational data set and employed results from only one or two models. Recent identification of systematic instrumental biases in expendable bathythermograph data has led to improved estimates of ocean temperature variability and trends and provide motivation to revisit earlier detection and attribution studies.

We examine the causes of ocean warming using these improved observational estimates, together with results from a large multimodel archive of externally forced and unforced simulations. The time evolution of upper ocean temperature changes in the newer observational estimates is similar to that of the multimodel average of simulations that include the effects of volcanic eruptions.

Our detection and attribution analysis systematically examines the sensitivity of results to a variety of model and data-processing choices. When global mean changes are included, we consistently obtain a positive identification (at the 1% significance level) of an anthropogenic fingerprint in observed upper-ocean temperature changes, thereby substantially strengthening existing detection and attribution evidence.

Nature Climate Change (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1553

The Overstatement Of Certainty about ocean heat content

In the discussion on the Levitus et al 2012 paper

Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL051106, in press

which I have posted on several times; e.g. see

Comment On Ocean Heat Content “World Ocean Heat Content And Thermosteric Sea Level Change (0-2000), 1955-2010″ By Levitus Et Al 2012

the level of uncertainty in the ocean data has not been emphasized. This post is to highlight this issue with respect to modeled uncertainty of ocean heat content changes.

As shown in the figure below from Levitus et al 2012, they claim that the uncertainty range of the observations (the vertical lines on the red line) narrows to very small levels in recent years.

However, with respect to the uncertainty of the multi-decadal global model predictions, when run in a hindcast mode, the paper

Sen Gupta et al, 2012: Climate Drift in the CMIP3 Models. Journal of Climate;doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00312.1

provides valuable insight into this issue. I posted on this paper in

My Comments On A New Paper “Climate Drift In The CMIP3 Models” By Sen Gupta Et Al 2012

With respect to the ocean heat data specifically, Sen Gupta et al write that [highlight added]

Even in the absence of external forcing, climate models often exhibit long-term trends that cannot be attributed to natural variability. This so called ‘climate drift’ arises for various reasons including: perturbations to the climate system on coupling component models together and deficiencies in model physics and numerics…….To illustrate this we have focussed on simulated trends over the second half of the 20th century……Below depths of 1000 to 2000m, drift dominates over any forced trend in most regions. As such steric sea-level is strongly affected and for some models and regions the sea-level trend direction is reversed….”

Clearly, even if the observed uncertainty was as small as concluded by Levitus et al 2012 [which given the areal coverage they report at 2000m is unrealistically small] any attempt to use the multi-decadal climate model predictions to provide an explantion for this warming at depth (even if real) is not robust scientifically.

source of image


Windy British bishop defeated by public opposition

The Right Reverend Michael Langrish, the Bishop of Exeter, claimed his staff had been subjected to 'outright verbal abuse' over the plans to erect two turbines in three North Devon communities.

Campaigners claimed victory saying they were 'thrilled' at their 'David and Goliath victory' but were saddened that the debate had turned sour.

The proposal, which will now be dropped, was estimated to have generated a potential £50,000 a year.

The Diocese of Exeter was among the first in the country to trial the approach to improve its green credentials but the U-turn could now halt a wave of applications across the country.

A letter from the bishop was read out to congregations in Chittlehampton, Black Torrington and East Anstey in North Devon during services on Sunday.

He apologised that communities were not consulted earlier in the process but condemned what he claimed was 'hostility and aggression' disproportionate to the plans.

He said clergy and officers had been subjected to 'hostility', 'outright verbal abuse', and 'abusive and bullying tactics'.

The Bishop said: "I, and many of my colleagues, have received very unpleasant letters and those who have attended meetings in a genuine effort to explain the thinking behind our proposals have been shouted down and called liars."

But he said the diocese remained committed to reducing its carbon footprint whilst protecting rural Devon.

Peter Wood, chairman of East Anstey parish council, claimed a public meeting had been 'swamped' with 'pushy' turbine protesters from outside the parish.

"There was wrongdoing on both sides," he said. "The diocese did not consult properly but I'm saddened that we can't debate this sensibly, with reason and respect.

"I think people were rather intimidated to speak in favour of it."

Richard Hopton, who lives 180 metres from the proposed Chittlehampton turbine site, said: "I'm thrilled that the Church has seen the light and done the decent thing. "It's very sad that, according to the bishop, this has descended into abuse but I'm afraid it's an emotive issue and people get wound up."

The barrister and journalist said he had not been party to the abuse and had only heard 'robust' questioning at meetings. But he added: "This is a great moment - it's a David and Goliath victory. The Church is an enormous institution and it's a very large landowner - we have to fight. "This is a good day for Devon but it's a great day for the rest of the country too. Hopefully we have pulled a wedge out from under the bottom of the door."


Bank of Obama America Pledges $50 Billion to Combat Climate Change

Bank of America got a $45 billion bailout during the financial crisis. Think what Heartland could do with funding like that!

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) said it will contribute $50 billion over the next 10 years to address climate change, the latest company to boost its investments toward environmental goals.

The new set of goals will be effective on Jan. 1, following the anticipated completion of the bank's current 10-year pledge of $20 billion, which it said is four years ahead of schedule. "Environmental business delivers value to our clients, return for our shareholders, and helps strengthen the economy," said Chief Executive Brian Moynihan. "We met our prior goal in about half the time we set for ourselves, so more than doubling our target is ambitious but achievable."

The bank's new initiative includes lending, equipment finance, capital markets and advisory activity and carbon finance, as well as advice and investment help.

Bank of America will focus on promoting energy efficiency; renewable energy, including wind, solar and hydropower; lower-carbon transportation like electric and hybrid vehicles; and water and waste treatment and disposal initiatives.

The company said it will work with third parties to assess the impact of its commitment on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching other environmental goals.

The company has spent $17.9 billion toward its initial pledge, including $8.4 billion for energy efficiency activities, including low-cost loans and grants for retrofitting low-income neighborhoods for energy efficiency. It spent $5 billon on renewable energy projects, including helping the San Jose Unified School District in California to run on solar energy. An additional $1 billion went to consumer financing of hybrid vehicles.

By 2015, the company said it hopes to reduce its energy consumption by 25% from 2004, as well as reducing its paper and water consumption, and disposing of electronic waste through certified vendors.

Shares were down 4 cents to $7.52 in recent trading. The stock is up 35% so far this year.


Even the Guardian admits it: Warmism MUST drive up energy bills

Red herring campaigns can't disguise that

The environment world has a new obsession: energy bills. It's manifesting itself everywhere. Greenpeace recently urged the prime minister to "take personal responsibility for protecting consumers from high energy prices" and delivered a giant energy bill to Centrica HQ. The shadow climate secretary has declared that we should frame global warming around "bills, not bears". A new climate change direct action group spent their first interview bemoaning the monopolistic powers of the Big Six. Progressive campaign group 38 Degrees have even set-up a collective buying scheme to help people get cheaper gas and electricity. And a coalition of environment groups are focusing their campaigning efforts on using carbon taxes to tackle fuel poverty, promising warmer homes and lower bills.

It's not hard to see where all this comes from. Green policies are under attack from the likes of the Daily Mail and George Osborne, so it's important to remind policymakers and the public that rising gas prices have largely driven recent hikes in bills. Equally, campaigning on cost helps emphasise that the environment movement is in tune with people's current economic concerns. Harnessing anti-corporate sentiment makes sense too – as does coming up with new ways to empower consumers through collective buying. And making sure people aren't shivering in their beds by insulating more homes is a no-brainer.

That all makes perfect sense, but there's something about the current focus on energy bills and energy company profits that makes me uncomfortable. My fear is that the Mail and Osborne have set the agenda and everyone else is dancing to their tune, inadvertently strengthening a very unhelpful paradigm: that energy should be cheap.

That could be risky, because while cutting carbon and avoiding climate change may make perfect economic sense in the long term, the awkward truth is that doing so will add to energy costs for a long time to come. Indeed, the single most important reason that we're not yet making much progress on solving climate change globally is surely that politicians everywhere are nervous of adding to energy costs in the coming years by constraining fossil fuel use. Every nation is agreed that we should limit temperature rise and that the long-term future should be powered by abundant and inexpensive renewables, nuclear or CCS. But that doesn't make it any easier or cheaper to leave the fossil fuels in the ground in the meantime – which is the only thing that matters to the climate.

In other words, to make any progress, we need to win the argument on a more fundamental level. We need to make people care sufficiently about climate change that they're prepared to pay more for energy in the short and medium term in order to avoid potentially catastrophic environmental, social and economic impacts in the long term.

If you're not convinced, just take a look at the recent analysis of energy bills by the Committee on Climate Change. Greens usually cite this document to show that wholesale gas prices are behind recent bill increases – and also that efficiency measures could limit future rises. Those are both crucial points. But the analysis also contains a less comfortable message: that over the next decade, renewable subsidies and carbon taxes will add far more to energy bills than rising gas prices are expected to. Indeed, if ambitious efficiency measures get implemented as we hope, then by 2020 clean-energy subsidies and carbon taxes will most likely account for more than a fifth of domestic electricity bills (less if gas prices rise faster than expected, but more if gas prices end up lower than expected due to large shale discoveries or other factors).

As long as people care about climate change – about bears as well as bills, if you will – then we should be able to stomach those costs. Surveys suggest that many people (including majorities in China and India as well as the US) would in principal be willing to pay more for energy if they felt it would really help tackle global warming. That said, no one wants their bills to soar, especially in an economic downturn.

So the environment movement needs to perform a difficult balancing act. On the one hand it must defend environmental policies economically and show that it cares about rising bills. On the other, it needs to avoid adding yet more weight to the cultural expectation for – and political prioritisation of – cheaper energy. If that expectation is too great, then green policies will come under increasing stress in the coming decade as their costs increase, and anything that boosts gas supplies in the meantime (such as the EU's plan to support gas as a low-carbon fuel) will be easier to justify politically.

Of course, whatever happens we're going to need much more effort to combat fuel poverty. For as long as vulnerable people are suffering in freezing homes, we're failing as a society. But solving that problem means targeted anti-poverty assistance – not lower bills for everyone, which would tend to incentivise more consumption across the board.

In the case of driving, everyone would take this as a given. We'd never tell David Cameron "to take personal responsibility for protecting drivers from high oil prices". Neither would we organise group-buying schemes for petrol and diesel, even though the average household spends as much on driving as it does on home energy and oil company profits are, as far as I can tell, higher than those of the utilities. Of course, petrol and home energy aren't equivalent for a whole number of reasons, but I still think there's something telling in the comparison.

Maybe I'm worrying about all this too much. Perhaps campaigners are right to be devoting so much of their attention to energy bills and utility profits. But I do feel there's a risk of making the argument purely economic – all bills and no bears – because by the terms of current economics, the greenest path will almost certainly not be the least expensive path. So let's be a bit careful which paradigm we're pushing: clean is more important than cheap.


Agenda 21: Alabama may have outfoxed it. Why you should care

“Agenda 21″ sounds like a daft-but-harmless-idea you can ignore. I found it hard to get enthused, but I was wrong, and no one sums this up better than James Delingpole in “Watermelons” (aka “Killing the Earth to Save it). To paraphrase James’s brilliant work (forgive me James) from page 190:

Some of you still aren’t convinced that you need to worry about Agenda 21 because you are thinking:

a) Agenda 21 sounds way too much like Area 51, (you know Aliens and the Roswell incident). Nut job stuff.

b) It was signed in 1992. If it was that bad, we’d have heard by now. Surely?

c) What sovereign nation would be so insane as to sign itself up for a binding treaty?

James explains that it’s real, it’s important (like an anti-magna-carta), and its’ a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Governments could sign up because it was “voluntary”, but then those voluntary rules are scrupulously and doggedly enforced by the “labyrinthine, democratically unaccountable behemoth that is the United Nations.”

Furthermore, he points out that it’s not like they’ve bothered to hide their aims — they want to control your resources, your money, your actions and every decision you want to make:

“Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.” – excerpt from The UN, Agenda 21*

Agenda 21 is very much about property rights (ie. their right to your property). Justice Gilpin-Green quotes Agenda 21:

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market,” Agenda 21 says. “Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of the society as a whole.”**

Agenda 21 is so non-threatening, voluntary, and out of date, that Alabama has just written legislation specifically designed to stop it. The legislation has passed. It protects property rights against anything linked to Agenda 21, and also stops the state sending or receiving money to Agenda 21 NGO’s or GONGO’s.

Who knew that Alabama needed legislation to stop private property from being confiscated without due process? (Who knew there are Democrats against Agenda 21?)

Agenda 21 also appears in other forms like, ICLEI, or the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Gilpin-Green says “When countries like the United States fail to adopt the environmentalist agenda promoted by the United Nations, that organization manages to bypass them by providing various incentives to state, county, and municipal organizations.” Apparently some towns get funding from the UN and display their cheques proudly. How does that work — taxpayers pay money to a government, which gives it to a foreign unelected body, which then pays their local council in order to gain influence? So much for your votes. When the chain of voting-to-power becomes so long and distant, it’s a case of your money, used against you.

More HERE (See the original for links


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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