Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blue skies, golden sunshine and still air again in Brisbane

My home State of Queensland has had a phenomenal amount of rain and wind over the last week.  And it caught up with me yesterday in the form of a nearly 12 hour electricity outage.  But, as you will see, paradise is regained today.

Warmists constantly claim that every drought indicates global warming so now that places as different as Australia and England are getting flooding, global cooling must be at work.  That's their logic, anyway, if logic you can call it.  Dogmatism would be a better word for it.

I am an atheist but I think there is better evidence for the divinity of Christ than for the link between recent weather and global warming.  Deprived of one religion, many people invent another.


By Gregg Thompson, Astrophysicist, Australia

Now that none of the predictions made by Global Warmers have not eventuated and that the opposite has occurred, it's time for government to admit that Climate Change it is an extremely expensive scam on taxpayers.

The number of predictions GWers have got right is ZERO.  The media should be publishing the following.


Temperatures would continue to go up.

WRONG. They haven't since 1997 and since 2007 they have gone down. Climate centres and NASA are finally admitting this.

Snow would never be seen again by many children. They  would not know what it is.

WRONG. Since 2006/7 winter there have been the heaviest snow falls in the northern hemisphere for 20 -80 years and in some places as far back as records go.

The Arctic would be half the size by now and it will be completely gone within this decade.

WRONG. It has gone back to its typical cold cycle size and it will not be gone due to the Sun being so dormant. It has never disappeared even when the Sun is at maximum for long periods because it is only summer there for 6 weeks and the rest of the time it is -25C to -50C.

Glaciers would continue to recede and many would no longer exist.

WRONG. Almost all glaciers are surging due to years of very heavy snow falls.

Drought would continue and this would have caused water wars by now.

WRONG. Since 2006, we have had huge floods, many the biggest on record across all developed continents . Many places like Lake Eyre have filled four times in 3 years! There has never been any water wars.  

Sea level would have risen by 2000 to start flooding low lying areas in cities at sea level. Flooded subways, basements and underground carparks would have make cities unliveable by now.  
WRONG. Sea level have not risen and there is no sign that it will. No islands at sea level have been evacuated as Al Gore so fraudulently claimed. And Bangladesh is still above sea level, contrary to his predictions.

CO2 causes heating of the climate.

WRONG. Changes in Solar Activity accounts for 99.99% of climate changes on Earth. The trivial amount of manmade CO2 at one ten millionth of the atmosphere has zero effect.

Received via email.  The author has requested that his email address not be published -- but all his facts are readily checkable

'Waste' heat generated by buildings in large cities 'can affect climate thousands of miles away'
This raises the possibility that ALL the measured temperature rise of the 20th century was caused by population and urbanization increase.  That possibility  is normally discounted by reference to stations outside the city.  But on this data cities would have an effect on even some isolated stations

Heat emanating from buildings, factories and vehicles in large cities can affect the climate thousands of miles away.  The 'waste heat' disrupts atmospheric systems that alter the weather over great distances, raising or lowering seasonal temperatures by up to 1C, research suggests.

The effect may explain why winter temperatures are warmer than predicted in some parts of the northern hemisphere.

Some of the world's most populated and energy-intensive cities lie beneath major circulation channels in the atmosphere.

They include the northern polar jet stream, a meandering river of wind that blows around the Earth at more than 100mph.

Heat energy carried from cities by these circulation systems accounts for winter warming across large areas of northern North America and northern Asia, say scientists.

In some remote areas, temperatures are pushed up by as much as 1C.

Meanwhile the air over parts of Europe is made cooler, the research shows. Here, changes to atmospheric circulation caused by the waste heat can lead to 1C reductions in temperature, mostly in the autumn.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggest that heat generated by cities can widen the jet stream.

Heat energy carried from cities by circulation systems accounts for winter warming across large areas of norther North America and northern Asia

`What we found is that energy use from multiple urban areas collectively can warm the atmosphere remotely, thousands of miles way from the energy consumption regions,' said lead scientist Dr Guang Zhang, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.

`This is accomplished through atmospheric circulation change.'
Spread out across the world, the net average temperature increase produced by city waste heat is a negligible 0.01C. But at a regional level, the impact is significant, say the researchers.

Co-author Dr Aixue Hu, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said: `The burning of fossil fuel not only emits greenhouse gases but also directly affects temperatures because of heat that escapes from sources like buildings and cars.

`Although much of this waste heat is concentrated in large cities, it can change atmospheric patterns in a way that raises or lowers temperatures across considerable distances.'

The scientists analysed the energy consumption that generates waste heat. They calculated that in 2006, the world's total energy consumption was 16 terawatts, or 16 trillion watts - the equivalent of leaving 10 billion 100-watt lightbulbs on for a year.

Of this, an average 6.7 terawatts was consumed in 86 metropolitan areas in the Northern Hemisphere.


Draft UN climate report shows 20 years of overestimated global warming, skeptics point out

A preliminary draft of a report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked to the public this month, and climate skeptics say it contains fresh evidence of 20 years of overstated global warming.

The report -- which is not scheduled for publication until 2014 -- was leaked by someone involved in the IPCC’s review process, and is available for download online. Bloggers combing through the report discovered a chart comparing the four temperature models the group has published since 1990. Each has overstated the rise in temperature that Earth actually experienced.

“Temperatures have not risen nearly as much as almost all of the climate models predicted,” Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, told FoxNews.com.  “Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row... what that means is that it's time for them to re-evaluate,” Spencer said.

The IPCC graph shows that the midpoints of the various models predicted that the world would warm by between about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. Actual warming was much less than that: 0.28 F, according the data the IPCC cites.

But that doesn’t mean the IPCC models are wrong, others argue.

“It’s important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming,” Aaron Huertas, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told FoxNews.com.  [A big admission for a Warmist.  Once we let that in the door, how do we know or not that ALL the important factors are natural]

“For instance, it would have been impossible for the IPCC to predict if a volcanic eruption might temporarily cool the Earth, as the Mount Pinatubo eruption did in 1991.”

The IPCC’s climate report draft also notes that “the model projections ... do not fully account for natural variability.”

Other types of natural anomalies include solar variability and weather patterns such as the El Niño southern oscillation.

Scientists include a “margin of error” in their models to account for unpredictable variations like volcanoes and weather patterns. Yet one of the IPCC’s models missed the actual warming trend entirely -- in other words, the actual temperatures were outside its “margin of error.” In the other three models, the actual warming trend fell within the very lower bounds of what they predicted would happen.

At least that’s what the IPCC’s chart shows. One scientist who recently published a study that found that the IPCC predictions were very accurate argues that it is likely wrong.

“The IPCC graph you refer to is just a draft version which still has a number of problems that will be ironed out,” Potsdam University physics professor Stefan Rahmstorf [Germany's equivalent of Jim Hansen] told FoxNews.com.

Skeptics such as Spencer also say that the chart does not mean that global warming is a hoax.

“The IPCC's claim is that they are 90 percent sure that humans have 'contributed to' the observed warming. Hell, even I would agree with that innocuous statement.”

But he says it does indicate that greenhouse gases are having less of an affect on climate than the IPCC thought.

“It is evidence that CO2 is not nearly as strong a climate driver as the IPCC has been assuming. This is the possibility they do not allow to be considered, because it would end all of their policy-changing goals,” he said.


The slow retreat of Warmism

Last week the Research Council of Norway announced the results of a new assessment of the climate system’s “sensitivity” taking into account the leveling off of global temperatures during the decade from 2000 to 2010. The study projects that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations over pre-industrial levels will increase global temperatures by between 1.2°C and 2.9°C, with 1.9°C being the most likely outcome. That is considerably cooler than the UN IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) estimate of 2°C to 4.5°C, with 3°C as the most probable outcome.

Climate sensitivity is an estimate of how much warming results from a given increase in CO2 concentrations. Estimates typically project the amount of warming from a doubling of CO2 concentrations over the pre-industrial (year 1750) level of 280 parts per million (ppm). At the current rate of increase (about 2 ppm/yr), a doubling to 560 ppm is expected by mid-century.

Climate alarm depends on several gloomy assumptions — about how fast emissions will increase, how fast atmospheric concentrations will rise, how much global temperatures will rise, how warming will affect ice sheet dynamics and sea-level rise, how warming will affect weather patterns, how the latter will affect agriculture and other economic activities, and how all climate change impacts will affect public health and welfare. But the chief assumption is the range of projected warming from a doubling of CO2 concentrations — the sensitivity estimate.

When the reseachers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO) applied their computer “model and statistics to analyse temperature readings from the air and ocean for the period ending in 2000, they found that climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration will most likely be 3.7°C, which is somewhat higher than the IPCC prognosis.” However, ”when they entered temperatures and other data from the decade 2000-2010 into the model, climate sensitivity was greatly reduced to a ‘mere’ 1.9°C.”

Referring to the IPCC AR4 warming forecasts, project manager Terje Berntsen, a geoscience professor at the University of Oslo, commented: “The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity.”

No single study can make a dent on the self-anointed “scientific consensus.” But the Norwegian study is one among several recent studies that call into question the IPCC sensitivity assumptions. Cato Institute climatologist Patrick Michaels recently summarized a partial list of such studies in Forbes magazine:

"Richard Lindzen gives a range of 0.6 to 1.0 C (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 2011); Andreas Schmittner, 1.4 to 2.8 C (Science, 2011); James Annan, using two techniques, 1.2 to 3.6 C and 1.3 to 4.2 C (Climatic Change, 2011); J.H. van Hateren, 1.5 to 2.5 C (Climate Dynamics, 2012); Michael Ring, 1.5 to 2.0 C (Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 2012); and Julia Hargreaves, including cooling from dust, 0.2 to 4.0 C and 0.8 to 3.6 C (Geophysical Research Letters, 2012). Each of these has lower and higher limits below those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

In Addendum: Climate Change Impacts in the United States (pp. 26-28), Michaels and his colleague Chip Knappenberger discuss those studies in greater detail and also illustrate with two graphs how the IPCC AR4 warming projections should be adjusted in light of more recent climate sensitivity research. Note that the ‘long, fat tail’ of high-end warming projections in AR4 is absent from projections based on more recent science.

TOP: A collection of probability estimates of the climate sensitivity as presented in the IPCC AR4.  The horizontal bars represent the 5 to 95 percent ranges, and the dots are the median estimate. BOTTOM: A collection of post-IPCC AR4 probability estimates of the climate sensitivity showing a lower mean and more constrained estimates of the uncertainty. The arrows below the graphic indicate the 5 to 95 percent confidence bounds for each estimate along with the mean (vertical line) where available.

Michaels comments: “People are beginning, cautiously, to dial back 21st century warming because there has been none. Because dreaded sea-level rise is also proportional, those estimates are going to have to come down, too.”


New Book By Hans von Storch: Climate Scientists Took On Role Of Prophets…”Completely In Over Their Heads”

At their blogsite here climatologist Professor Hans von Storch and cultural scientist Werner Krauss have announced they’ve authored a new book on the topic of climate change, society and policy:  “The Climate Trap – The dangerous proximity of politics and climate science”

The book will be released later this month by Munich publisher Hanser Verlag. A longer excerpt for reading is available here in German.

This is neither a skeptic nor an alarmist book. In it von Storch and Krauss have plenty of harsh criticism for both sides of the debate, and then some. Both sides, they claim, are responsible for having driven the climate issue into the ground. The book, they say, explains how climate science got there in the first place, and what possibilities are left to get climate sciences back on track so that it can produce productive action.

Here are some excerpts of the publisher’s excerpt.  On the state of climate change today, von Storch and Krauss write:

"After the unprecedented success story of climate change becoming an object of public attention and concern, climate policy and the accompanying climate debate have wound up in a dead end. Despite the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements, commitments to transform the energy supply, and all the climate summits, there’s been no noteworthy success. To the contrary: The curve depicting global emissions of greenhouse gases has been surging upwards. In the summer of 2012, at the summit Rio +20, katzenjammer was everywhere.”

On the climate debate:

"Together with climate politics, the climate sciences have ended up in a credibility crisis. The often-made commitment of limiting the temperature increase to 2°C is scientifically controversial and practically impossible politically. The debate is also being paralyzed by a raging public dispute between alarmists and skeptics. [...]

The climate debate is stuck in the mud, the credibility of climate scientists has been cast into doubt, and the policymakers’ ability to act on the issue of climate is minimal. We are sitting in the climate trap.”

Why are we in this trap? Von Storch and Krauss write:

"It’s not only incompetent politics, the exaggerations by the media and climate protectors, or the destructive forces of the skeptics that are responsible for the interim failure of climate policy. More responsible is the fact that we failed to understand the problem in its full dimension.”

The authors reveal how they feel about alarmist scientists. Since the early 2000s they felt “something was amiss”.

"Was the climate apocalypse really at our doorstep as we could read in the media? Or were they exaggerating in their depiction of the results coming from climate science? [...]

The climate scientist [von Storch] had the suspicion that climate science was dragging around a ‘cultural rucksack’ that was influencing the interpretation of the data. The cultural scientist [Krauss], with regards to the appearances by some climate scientists in the media and the roles they were readily assigned, was reminded of weather-wizards and shamans of foreign cultures.”

In the book, the authors even describe climate science as a ‘tribe of scientists’ and how some began behaving like prophets:

"Some climate scientists were regular interview-partners and talkshow guests – and thus self-confidence became bigger, to the point that they knew the truth about climate change and thus became convinced that policy-making and society should follow the deeper insight of science.

Without really being aware of it, climate scientists had taken over the role of prophets: They predicted the imminent end-of-the-world if society did not fundamentally change soon, reduced its emissions, and behaved more sustainably with the environment. The problem was not only the message, but also that they were were often completely way in over their heads with the role as mediator between nature and society.”

These “prophets” put out a story that was too much to handle. Von Storch and Krauss write:

"Science delivered the raw material for a big climate narrative, one that still continues to shape our perception and media depiction of climate change today. It unleashed the horror scenarios of the Cold War and the fear of the atom, conveying them into the 21st century. A narrative seeded in the world by climate scientists, and one that keeps going out of their control again and again.”

The authors tell us that the way out of the “climate trap” is to begin by “viewing climate change as an issue that does not hang over us like ominous writing on the wall, but as one that has an appropriate place in our societies.” Krauss and von Storch are telling us: “Cool it!” They propose a third, alternative way.

If the rest of the book is like the beginning, then it will have the potential to change the direction of the climate discussion in Germany for the better. It’ll be near the top of my birthday wishlist.


Renewables Fail the Cost Test, Again

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just released their Energy Infrastructure Update report, which shows how much new electric generating capacity was installed for 2012. According to the report, renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, and wind) accounted for 49.10% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in 2012 for a total of 12,956 MW. More than a quarter of that new capacity (25.29%, or 3,276 MW) reportedly came on-line in the month of December 2012 alone and wind led the way in 2012 with 164 new "units" totaling 10,689 MW.

Advocates of renewable energy are likely cheering these new numbers-even though, according to the FERC report, renewables still only account for 15.40% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity, with wind coming in at 4.97%. (Note: wind megawatts are not comparable to other megawatts, as they're not always available.)

Without directly saying so, the FERC report highlights renewable energy's dependence on government subsidies. Why in a twelve-month year, did more than a quarter of the new capacity come online in just one month-the month of December?

Despite intensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the American Wind Energy Association, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy-that was set to expire at the end of 2012-wasn't extended until the Fiscal Cliff Deal became law on January 2, 2013. Those seeking to benefit from the government largesse had the financial motivation to get as many wind projects as possible up and running. As long as the project was completed in 2012, it would receive the PTC for the next ten years. The Fiscal Cliff Deal gave wind energy developers one more year to take advantage of the PTC-but the PTC extension wasn't a sure thing until after it had already expired. (Note: the new PTC deal changed the requirements from being completed by the end of the one year extension to qualify, to merely starting construction by December 31, 2013.)

Wind energy advocates claim that the PTC is needed to help make wind energy cost competitive with traditional energy sources, such as coal and natural gas. However a new report from the American Traditions Institute that looks at the "Hidden Costs of Wind Electricity" reveals that the true costs for wind-generated electricity are actually one-and-a-half to two times more than what the Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecasts.

According to the EIA, the levelized cost of electricity generated from an advanced natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant is 6.3 cents per kilowatt hour and 11.1 cents from advanced coal or nuclear. The EIA models forecast wind-generated electricity at 9.6 cents per kilowatt hour-which sounds very promising-but fails to take into account the "hidden costs."

The hidden costs of wind-generated electricity include:

 *         Because, with rare exceptions, wind can only operate as an appendage to traditional generation, not as a replacement, the cost of primary fossil-fueled plants must be included. The traditional plants are kept available to balance wind's large variations in output. Adding wind to the system reduces the amount of generation for which the plants are paid and therefore increases their operating costs.

 *         The reduced fuel efficiency wind imposes on those plants.

 *         Due to the remote siting of most wind facilities, real costs include long-distance transmission and the losses that come with it.

According to the report, these hidden costs are not included in the EIA figures because the regulatory authorities have not required wind operators to pay for them, rather the costs have, once again, been borne by consumers. The authors state: "In an honest, transparent, and accountable political system, that should not be an excuse for policy makers to ignore their impact on consumers, jobs, and the economy."

With the hidden costs factored in, the report concludes that wind's true cost is about 15.1 cents per kilowatt hour for natural-gas fired back-up and 19.2 cents for coal-fired back up-or one-and-a-half to two times the cost of new-construction coal- or gas-fueled electricity. (The higher costs do not include the 12 billion in taxpayer dollars going to the wind industry due to the PTC extension.)

The authors believe these costs will go up, not down. First, wind energy is a mature industry-worldwide market is more than $50 billion per year. Therefore, costs are unlikely to be reduced by either technological advances or further economies of scale. Additionally, most current wind facilities have been built in locations that could piggyback on existing transmission infrastructure-as these easier opportunities are used up, new installations will have higher transmissions costs.

But the dollar figures are only part of the hidden costs.

Renewable energy proponents tout "clean" and "green" as one of its key selling points. Many utility companies offer customers an option to feel good about saving the planet by using the more expensive renewable energy.

But recent news from Germany-which is reputed to have more renewable energy than most of the developed world, and Greece-where the economy is known to be one of the worst in the developed world, show that, in practice, expensive energy is neither clean nor green, and carries negative unintended consequences.

Both countries are reporting that trees are disappearing from forests and parks as "impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat."

In Germany, Der Spiegel blames high energy costs for a rise in tree thefts and wood-burning stove purchases: "Germans bought 400,000 such stoves in 2011, the German magazine FOCUS reported this week. It marks the continuation of a trend: The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005."

Similarly, the Wall Street Journal reports that in Greece: "As winter temperatures bite, that trend is dealing a serious blow to the environment, as hillsides are denuded of timber and smog from fires clouds the air in Athens and other cities, posing risks to public health." In addition to the environmental devastation, the illegal logging has caused and the visible pollution from burning wood, the high cost of electricity has caused schools in Greece to close because they can't afford heat and lives have been lost as the wood-burning fires have broken out of wood stoves, burned down houses, and killed residents-including children trapped in their burning home.

As most of America is in the midst of a deep freeze, and the Obama Administration is moving forward with its renewable energy programs, the hidden costs of expensive electricity to human life and the environment need to be counted as well as the economic impacts. As the stories from Europe clearly point out, expensive electricity hits the poor the hardest.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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