Monday, January 13, 2014

Predicting precipitation extremes via CMIP5 climate models

Discussing:  Toreti, A., Naveau, P., Zampieri, M., Schindler, A., Scoccimarro, E., Xoplaki, E., Dijkstra, H.A., Gualdi, S. and Luterbacher, J. 2013. "Projections of global changes in precipitation extremes from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 Models". Geophysical Research Letters 40: 4887-4892.

Writing as background for their study, Toreti et al. (2013) state that "precipitation extremes are expected to increase in a warming climate," and, therefore, they felt it was "essential to characterize their potential changes." Before they could do so, however, it was also clearly essential that they had to know how well the models they were going to use would actually perform in this regard. And to answer this important question Toreti et al. had to evaluate how well the models' hindcasts of the past compared with actual historical precipitation records.

This they did for eight high-resolution global climate models chosen from among the well-known group of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models, the hindcasts of which for the period 1966-2005 were compared with high-resolution daily precipitation data for that period from the Euro-Mediterranean region, northern Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and North America.

In describing their findings, the nine researchers report that for the tropics and subtropics, there was a "lack of reliable and consistent estimations" that they thought "might be connected with model deficiencies in the representation of organized convective systems." And in pursuing this thought, they discovered, in their words, that "the identified lack of reliability and consistency in extreme precipitation could be associated with [1] a deficiency in the representation of upward velocities that seems to introduce large differences in climate model output, [2] an underestimation of the response to global warming (Allan and Soden, 2008; O'Gorman and Schneider, 2009), as well as with [3] model difficulties in reproducing processes based on organized convective systems (Zhang, 2005; Benedict and Randall, 2007)."

At the regional level they also discovered that [4] "large variability affects the estimated seasonal changes over specific areas (e.g., eastern Asia in summer)." And, most distressing of all, they noted that [5] "for some areas such as the Indian Monsoon region, where models deficiencies were also identified by Hasson et al. (2013) and Sperber et al. (2013), reliable estimation cannot be achieved," period.

Considering such findings, it appears that after decades of climate model constructing and testing there are still gross inadequacies and misrepresentations in even the world's best climate models that are so serious as to render their projections of future precipitation of less-than-adequate value.


Total to invest £30m in Britain’s shale gas hunt

French energy giant Total is preparing to deliver a major boost to Britain’s search for shale gas by investing close to $50m (£30m) in exploration in the East Midlands.

The deal, expected to be announced on Monday, will see Total take a stake of about 40pc in licences in Lincolnshire, sources told The Daily Telegraph.

Total will be the first international oil and gas major to throw its weight behind Britain’s nascent shale gas industry, in a move that will be hailed by ministers as a huge vote of confidence in its potential.

Ministers hope that shale gas, extracted through the controversial process of fracking, could provide an important new source of energy for the country as North Sea resources dwindle.

Britain is believed to have vast shale gas resources but very little drilling has been done to test how much gas can actually be extracted.

Total is expected to commit about $45m to a drilling programme, as well as paying about $2m in past costs, sources said.

The deal is understood to involve licence areas PEDL 139 and 140, which span more than 90 square miles in the so-called Gainsborough Trough geological basin.

The existing partners in the licences - Dart Energy, IGas Energy, Egdon Resources and eCORP – are all believed to be involved in the deal, transferring part of their stakes to Total.

Fracking, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract gas trapped within rocks, is banned in France due to environmental fears.

Total has made no secret of its desire to acquire UK shale interests, complaining last summer it was “frustrated” at the lack of information on potential new licence areas that will be offered up for exploration by the Government this year.

Total has also been in talks with other UK shale companies about acquiring stakes in their licences.

Monday’s deal will make Total the second French company to buy into the search for UK shale, following GDF Suez, which signed a £24m exploration deal with Dart Energy in October. British Gas owner Centrica bought into licences owned by Cuadrilla in a deal worth up to £160m in June.

Attempts at shale gas exploration in the UK have attracted fierce opposition from environmental campaigners.

Ministers and the shale industry are next week expected to confirm further details of cash benefits for communities near fracking sites, intended to help win public support.

The industry has so far promised £100,000 for every well that is fracked and a 1pc share of revenues if gas is produced, and is expected to set out how those funds will be administered.

Ministers have indicated that the 1pc share could be increased at a later date if shale proves successful but have resisted calls from the Local Government Association to give communities a legal right to a 10pc share.

Michael Fallon, the energy minister, told The Daily Telegraph last month that “imposing too high a levy on revenues could make shale gas projects unprofitable and leave the gas and oil in the ground”


The Cult of Global Warming is Grasping at Straws

The Climate Change alarmists are clamoring to blame the recent cold snap on anthropogenic global warming. And, really, what choice do they have? When record cold temperatures are freezing Niagara Falls, and plunging the American Midwest into an ice age, jokes about Al-Gore sycophants are hard to avoid. In righteous defiance to reality based observations regarding the environment, the far left has unveiled a theory that America’s recent brush with winter weather is actually an experience of anthropogenic global warming.

Or, as Ezra Klein put it:

Well… I guess to an extent, the Washington Post’s in-house manbearpig alarmist is kinda right. One worldwide cold spell does not unequivocally disprove the existence of man-made global warming. But it certainly does call into question the credibility of the experts who suggested such cold was a fading thing of the past.

No. The “polar vortex” does not disprove climate change. (Of course, it doesn’t need to. Global warming theories have mostly disproven themselves.) But it does prove how wrong the “experts” have been on global warming science. Despite the alarmists’ waxing poetic about climatological Armageddon, almost 98 percent of their predictions have proven to be false.

Remember when alarmists were predicting the end of winter as we know it? There was even talk about global cooling in the 1970’s. In the late 1990’s, Al Gore predicted we had roughly ten years left before global temperatures melted ice caps, and submerged major coastal communities. The UN even predicted in 2005 that there would be over 50 million “refugees” from communities deemed “uninhabitable” by global climate change. Back in 2012 the New York Times predicted the demise of the ski industry as global warming eradicated the sport from the face of the (increasingly hot) planet. And in 2013 a global warming research crew found themselves stuck in the Antarctic ice they set out to prove had been melting.

And now, according to the very same UN that predicted doom by the year 2010, we have been in a 15 year “holding pattern” that has seen no significant increase in global temperatures. (Despite the fact that “greenhouse gases” have continued to increase.)

But, when global warming becomes difficult to sell (because the average person sees a snow-plow clearing the streets on a below-zero evening) the leftists do what they do best… They begin to spin.

“This weather is unprecedented!” they scream. Of course a little bit of research, again, puts a muzzle on their alarmism. While left-wing bloggers might be prepared to showcase a frozen Niagara Falls as proof of “extreme” weather patterns, similar photos from the 1890’s, 1910’s and 1930’s dull their argument of extremism.

In the end, the largest problem Al Gore cheerleaders have is their devotion to politics over science. The science that has perpetuated the global warming myth is little more than a “junk” science. And that’s not an editorial on the content, theories, hypothesis, or politically corrupt culture of the grant-gobbling academic hacks who call themselves scientists. (Although, it could be.) That statement is an unbiased and scientific view of Global-warming-science methodology.

Remember those science books in the 9th grade that taught students about the scientific model? Remember the process: Form a hypothesis. Test the hypothesis. Draft a conclusion.

Global-warming-science is working backward. They wrote up a hypothesis, which was immediately proven wrong… (In the 1970’s they predicted an ice age. In the 1980’s they predicted clean air shortages, and “peak oil”. In the 1990’s they hitched their politically driven wagons to the theory of global warming.) So rather than alter their hypothesis (which is what scientists are supposed to do when their theories are proven wrong through fact gathering) they decided to begin working in reverse.

The conclusion, that anthropogenic global warming exists and is causing imminent climatological doom, has been drafted. And all facts, experiences, and studies are therefore proof of an unprovable declarative theory. Anyone who disagrees with them is a “denier.” Belief in anthropogenic global warming is, apparently, more of a religion than a science.

And like a Mayan Priest that claims the sudden drought is the wrath of a god, climate alarmists claim the sudden cold is the result of your non-hybrid SUV. Sacrifice a few trillion dollars (rather than a virgin) and the angry climate gods will soon return normalcy to your seasonal weather schedule…

The fact is, skeptics of global warming are not “deniers”. At least, I’m not. I’m a thinker. And I tend to think someone has no idea what they’re talking about when they sail their ship into an ice-locked portion of the arctic while looking for signs that the polar icecaps are melting… Such moves just don’t scream out for confidence.

Oh, and I have my doubts about manbearpig as well.


Bitter Cold Blasts Chicago, a City Fighting Climate Change

Chicago was blasted this week by the coldest weather in 18 years. Below zero temperatures and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour produced wind chills of minus 40 F. The deep freeze followed a winter storm that blanketed the area with 6 to 10 inches of snow on Sunday. The extreme cold and snow was a natural retort to Chicago’s policies to fight global warming.

On Sunday and into Monday, Chicago was mostly shut down. More than 1,000 flights were cancelled at O’Hare Airport. Chicago public schools and most suburban schools were closed. Northwest Indiana was hit by over 10 inches of lake-effect snow, where officials of Lake County declared a state of emergency, banning all vehicles from snow-covered roads except emergency vehicles.

Temperatures at O’Hare Airport dropped to -15 F, breaking the old daily record of -14 F set in 1894 and 1988. The brutal temperatures were the coldest since the thermometer reached -19 F in 1996, but well short of the all-time cold record of -27 F set January 20, 1985.

The cold weather stands in sharp contrast to Chicago’s policies to slow global warming. In his Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan, Mayor Rahm Emanual lauds efforts to “. . . reduce pollution, and protect homes and communities from the effects of flooding and climate change.” In 2013, the mayor and city council passed an ordinance requiring businesses to audit and disclose energy usage in buildings of over 50,000 square feet. The city’s sustainability plan calls for citizens to install solar panels, consume renewable energy, and use bicycles, mass transit, and electric cars, rather than gasoline-powered automobiles.

University of Chicago professor David Archer is a strong proponent the theory of man-made warming. In his 2010 book The Climate Crisis, Archer notes that the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted reduced snowfall:

One of the robust findings of the report is that snow cover in most continental areas will dramatically decrease unless warming is stopped. . . . Large areas are expected to become snow free.

But there is no evidence of a snowfall shortage in Chicago. O’Hare Airport has already received 34.7 inches of snow this winter through January 5. This exceeds the average annual snowfall of 30.8 inches, with two months of winter yet to go.

Leading Chicago corporations tout their efforts to fight climate change. Steel company ArcelorMittal and financial firm Northern Trust boast of big reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Utility Exelon claims emission savings from costly new solar and wind projects, while winning a 2014 rate hike to pass higher costs on to electricity users. Baxter International purchases renewable energy certificates to “offset” greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts may be great for corporate public relations, but are meaningless when it comes to the climate.

The greenhouse effect is a natural effect, and man-made influences are small. Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds. Ninety-six percent of the remaining portion of the greenhouse effect is due to natural emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from the oceans and biosphere. Human emissions are responsible for only about one percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect. If humankind completely eliminated CO2 emissions, the difference in global temperatures probably could not be detected.

Nevertheless, Chicago organizations continue a futile fight to control the climate. Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington, a Chicago suburb, has established an innovative “Green Tuesdays” program. School lights are off each Tuesday to raise student awareness about climate change and the environment.

Keep up the good work, Chicago. With the ample snow and bitter cold, your efforts to fight global warming appear to be working!


'Dark Money' Funds To Promote Global Warming Alarmism Dwarf Warming 'Denier' Research

Global warming activists claim vast amounts of untraceable special interest money fund global warming skeptics and give skeptics an unfair advantage in the global warming debate. The undeniable truth is global warming alarmists raise and spend far more money – including far more untraceable special interest “dark money” – than global warming skeptics.

Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle published a paper last week in the journal Climatic Change identifying 91 conservative and libertarian think tanks that Brulle claims play an influential role opposing global warming programs. Brulle claims the 91 groups receive approximately $900 million in cumulative funding each year, with approximately $64 million coming from foundations that distribute “dark money” that cannot be traced to a particular donor. Brulle claims the $900 million in funding – and especially the $64 million in dark money – tilts the playing field and gives global warming skeptics undue political and public relations influence.

Global warming alarmists and their media allies present Brulle’s paper as “proof” that money drives the global warming debate and the money is heavily skewed in favor of skeptics. For example, UK Guardian environmental reporter Suzanne Goldenberg published an article last week titled “Conservative groups have spent $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change.”  Scientific American published a similar article titled “’Dark Money’ Funds Climate Change Denial Effort.” Liberal pundit and former MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur posted a 10-minute Internet video discussing Brulle’s paper and playing up its findings.

Brulle’s paper and the media narrative may score some temporary points with members of the general public who do not closely follow the global warming debate, but ultimately Brulle’s paper and the media narrative will backfire on global warming activists. The narrative will backfire because the general public is not stupid. Slick lies may win some converts who will not check the facts, but the greater number of people will check the facts and hold the liars accountable.

As an initial matter, despite what Suzanne Goldenberg and the UK Guardian claim, it is palpably untrue that “Conservative groups have spent $1 bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change.” Without even addressing the mathematical fact that $900 million is $100 million short of the $1 billion claimed by Goldenberg, Brulle’s paper merely tabulates the total money raised by the 91 conservative think tanks for their total operations regarding all issues they address and does not break down how much of each think tank’s resources are devoted to issues such as economic policy, health care policy, foreign policy, climate policy, etc. Goldenberg tells the lie that all money raised by all conservative and libertarian think tanks is devoted to global warming skepticism. Tell that to the supporters of Obamacare.

A look at some conservative think tank websites illustrates the point. While writing this article on New Year’s Day, I pulled up the website for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which Brulle and the media claim is the conservative think tank receiving and spending the most money on global warming skepticism. AEI has 15 articles featured on the front page of its website, and not a single one focuses on global warming.

I also pulled up the website for the Heritage Foundation, which Brulle and the media claim is the conservative think tank receiving and spending the second most amount of money on global warming skepticism. The Heritage Foundation has 10 articles featured on the front page of its website. None of the 10 focuses on global warming. Merely 2 of the 10 focus on any aspect of energy or environment policy.

Between AEI and Heritage – representing fully 30 percent of the money raised by the 91 conservative think tanks – the global warming issue comprises substantially less than 10 percent of their cumulative time, money and efforts. Even if we generously assign to the global warming issue a full 10 percent of the money raised by the 91 foremost conservative think tanks, this means the 91 conservative think tanks are devoting a mere $90 million per year – rather than the asserted $900 million per year (or Goldenberg’s exaggerated $1 billion per year) – to the global warming debate.

And it is not just AEI and Heritage that devote little attention to the global warming issue. The Hoover Institution, identified as raising and spending the third most money on global warming skepticism, also rarely addresses the global warming topic. The most recent Hoover Institution item I can find addressing the topic is a short op-ed published more than two months ago in National Review Online by a Hoover Institution fellow commenting on a global warming poll. Prior to that short op-ed, the most recent Hoover Institution item I can find is an article published nine months ago supporting a carbon tax.

This brings us to another whopper told by Brulle, Goldenberg and their media allies – the assertion that all the think tanks identified in Brulle’s paper actively fight against global warming activism. To the contrary, two of the three top-funded groups (AEI and the Hoover Institution) support a carbon tax. Other groups identified in Brulle’s paper have similarly expressed support for a carbon tax and global warming activism. At least 25 percent of the funding that Brulle claims goes to skeptical think tanks actually goes to think tanks supporting global warming restrictions.

All told, giving the global warming activists every benefit of the doubt, no more than $90 million of conservative think tank money addresses global warming, and no more than $68 million supports conservative think tank efforts opposing global warming activism. This $68 million is counterbalanced by $22 million for conservative think tank efforts supporting global warming activism. That leaves a net of merely $46 million among 91 conservative think tanks opposing global warming activism.

Even though $46 million is far short of the $1 billion claimed by Goldenberg, $46 million may still seem like a large amount of money. It is only a drop in the bucket, however, compared to the money raised and spent by groups supporting global warming activism.

Two environmental activist groups – Greenpeace and The Nature Conservancy – raise more than $1 billion cumulatively per year. These two groups raise more money than the combined funding of the 91 conservative think tanks identified in Brulle’s paper. Just as importantly, these two groups raise money solely for environmental causes and frequently advocate for global warming restrictions. Their $1 billion is not diluted addressing issues such as economic policy, health care policy, foreign policy, etc.

Five environment-specific groups alone raise more than $1.6 billion per year (Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club). All five focus solely on environmental issues and are frequent and prominent advocates for global warming restrictions. When global warming activists claim global warming skeptics receive the lion’s share of funding in the global warming debate, they are lying through their teeth.


Embarrassed Global Warming Alarmists Sink To Comedic Lows With 'Polar Vortex' Excuse

Confronted with the embarrassment of historic cold gripping the nation just as the Obama administration launches a new offensive on the mythical global warming crisis, global warming activists and their media allies just invented their most knee-slapping assertion yet; that global warming causes winter cold outbreaks. Global warming activists, after giving us about 48 hours of silence after the cold temperatures hit while they scrambled to come up with an explanation, now say they have always predicted that global warming would cause more frequent and severe winter cold spells.

It is quite amusing how the global warming propaganda machine works. For about 24 hours after the cold temperatures descended, the alarmists were enforcing radio silence on global warming. Then, when the global warming jokes were too widespread to ignore, they spent the next 24 hours telling us that occasional cold outbreaks are still “consistent” with a rapidly warming planet. Another 24 hours later, they morphed into the “we predicted this all along” meme.

Here are some of the latest headlines along that narrative:

“How frigid ‘polar vortex’ could be result of global warming” – Christian Science Monitor

“Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold” – Time

“US polar vortex may be example of global warming” – The Guardian

“Thank Global Warming for Freezing You Right Now” – The Daily Beast

“Cold as Hell: The Chilling Effect of Global Warming” – Huffington Post

What is really interesting among these and most of the other media accounts on the cold outbreak, is they address the topic like it is long-settled science that global warming causes more frequent and severe winter cold outbreaks. In other words, “It is really, really, really cold throughout the nation, global warming causes everything that people might think is bad, so global warming must cause cold temperatures. Now let’s quickly invent some scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo explanation for how that might be the case.”

The latest explanation/mythical creature creation is a mutant polar vortex; first cousin of Big Foot, the Abominable Snowman, Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles, and the Loch Ness Monster. (By the way, global warming alarmists, are Big Foot and the Abominable Snowman the same? You would know better than I….)

Oh, and for kicks and giggles, check out how global warming alarmists and their media allies blame global warming for a future UFO invasion.

According to this newest warming fad, global warming allegedly causes a weakening of Arctic air currents that keep cold air trapped in the far north. As a result, cold Arctic air can now break out and savage previously warm climates like a crazed zombie apocalypse.

Of course, if global warming alarmists really had predicted that it would cause more frequent and severe cold outbreaks (via Mutant Polar Vortexes, Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles, Yeti, or whatever), we should see such predictions all throughout the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The problem is, it’s not there. Nowhere. Nada. Nunca. Nein. Nyet.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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