Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Record high global temperature in June a lie
Drawing on NOAA data, it is asserted below that we did have a record high global temperature in June. But the "record" temperature exceeded the previous high by only one twentieth of one degree, a figure that would be non-trivial only if it were repeated frequently. More importantly, it is well outside the accuracy inherent in the data. Temperature measurement is very spotty worldwide with large areas such as China, Russia and Africa having very few data sources. So a great deal of the "data" used to calculate world temperature is in fact "interpolations", in plain language guesses. So one immidiately suspects that the guesses were simply more expansive in June.
And the U.S. temperature data strongly supports that suspicion. The USA by far has the best temperature record. The measurements are not perfect. They are affected by siting problems in many cases but there are so many measuring stations that interpolations are rarely needed. So what does out best source of uninterpolated data show? You can see it on the map below. The USA was mostly one big COOL spot! QED, as they used to say. The global data is fudged
A minor source of amusement is that the NOAA report that formed the basis for the article below tabulates national temperatures for a number of nations, including such places as Latvia, but does NOT give U.S. average temperatures! I wonder why?
Last month was a scorcher for global temperatures with warmth over land and sea breaking records for June while sea-surface temperatures posted their largest departure from long-term averages for any month.
Combined average temperatures over land and sea were 0.72 degrees above the 20th century average of 15.5 degrees, making it the hottest June and adding to the record May and equal record April, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
More striking for climatologists, though, were the sea-surface temperatures. These came in 0.64 degrees above the 20th century average of 16.4 degrees – the first time any month had exceeded the long-run norm by more than 0.6 degrees.
Parts of all major ocean basins notched their warmest June, with almost all the Indian Ocean and regions off south-eastern Australia the hottest on record.
An El Nino event remains about a 70 per cent chance of forming during the northern summer, which could see more records tumble. The weather pattern sees the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean becoming relatively warm compared with western regions, and typically brings hotter, drier than usual conditions to south-east Asia and Australia.
Climate scientists say man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are trapping more solar heat and leading to the global warming that increasing the likelihood that hot rather than cold records will be broken.
The first half of the year tied 2002 as the third-warmest on record for land and sea-surface temperatures, NOAA said.
Myths Busted at Climate Change Conference
Attendees of The Heartland Institute's 9th International Conference on Climate Change held in Las Vegas from July 7-9, "Just Don't Wonder About Global Warming, Understand It," heard some of the world's leading climate scientists and researchers discuss the latest state of global warming science, including questions of whether manmade global warming will harm plants, animals, or human welfare. Eight hundred participants gathered to hear 64 speakers from 12 different countries despite the fierce summer heat of Las Vegas. At one point 4,000 individuals were listening to the conference as it was streamed live from Las Vegas.
Speakers addressed myths of climate alarmism, specifically refuting the often-repeated assertion that 97 percent of scientists disagree with so-called global warming skeptics. On the contrary, speakers noted, only 0.5 percent of the authors of 11,944 scientific papers on climate and related topics over the past 21 years have said they agree most of the warming since 1950 was manmade, and that is only one of the necessary preconditions for an asserted global warming crisis. Speakers also cited the Remote Sensing Systems satellite record which shows there now has been no global warming for 17 years and 10 months.
During the opening dinner, meteorologist Joe Bastardi explained extreme weather events are not becoming any more frequent or severe as the planet warms. To the contrary, Bastardi documented how hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other extreme weather events are declining in frequency and severity. To the extent there are short-term increases in extreme weather events at some places within the overall global decline, Bastardi showed those follow weather and climate patterns that existed long before recent global warming.
During the breakfast session on Day 2, Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore chronicled the radicalization of once-noble environmentalist groups. Standing before photographs of himself leading environmental protests and provocative actions against whalers and other corporate entitites, Moore explained how Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups are now harming human health and welfare by demanding so many resources be dedicated to the fictitious global warming crisis. True environmental progress would be made fighting for land conservation and other real environmental concerns rather than trumped-up global warming claims, Moore explained.
Patrick Michaels, a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and former program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society, explained during the Day 2 luncheon how government research grants are promoting the false notion of an alarmist consensus. Large government research grants are handed out almost uniformly to scientists who will promote the idea of global warming crisis, which ensures more budgetary dollars for government agencies addressing the topic and subsequently more research grants for the participating scientists, he noted.
Presenting the Science
The breakout sessions featured additional dozens of compelling presentations.
Howard Hayden, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Connecticut, demonstrated how all energy sources have environmental drawbacks. Hayden, moreover, showed scientifically how wind, solar, and other renewable power sources simply cannot meet the nation’s energy demands. Wind and solar power require tremendous amounts of land to produce even a very small amount of electricity. Although there may be room for expensive renewable power at the margins, global warming strategies that aim to shut down conventional power will not find enough replacement renewable power to keep the lights on, Hayden demonstrated. True land conservationists, said Hayden, are among the most vocal opponents of wind and solar power facilities.
Dr. John Dunn, a medical doctor, attorney, and advisor for the American Council on Science and Health, debunked EPA assertions that restrictions on power plant emissions will save lives and benefit human health. Dunn documented that human mortality rates are much higher during cold spells and winter months than during heat waves and summer months. Addressing EPA’s claims that tangential reductions in particulate matter and other emissions will save lives, Dunn showed that EPA’s assertions are totally unsupported and defy comprehensive health and mortality data. Also worth noting, EPA reports power plant emissions of the Six Principal Pollutants have already declined 70 percent even without EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide restrictions. Existing rules and regulations will reduce those emissions even further, with or without the proposed carbon dioxide restrictions.
Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James M. Taylor provided a concise and compelling summary of the scientific evidence for modest instead of severe global warming. Taylor’s presentation, along with all of the ICCC-9 presentations, was videotaped and is available online. Taylor gave a lively 10-minute talk with visual-friendly charts and graphs to share with family, friends, and acquaintances who would like to learn more about the global warming debate.
Denying Blessings of Modernity
At the final panel discussion, "Panel 21: Global Warming as a Social Movement," on Wednesday afternoon, the distinguished panelists included E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., founder and national spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance; Paul Driessen, J.D., a senior advisor to the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise; and Peter Ferrara, J.D., a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute. Serving as moderator was Minnesota State Rep. Pat Garofalo.
Panelists Beisner, Driessen, and Ferrara all argued climate alarmists tend to be radical environmentalists who view people primarily as polluters and consumers who use up Earth's resources and poison the planet in the process, never seeing free people as voluntarily being good stewards of natural resources. Through the manmade global warming alarm, activists have used governments to deny affordable and reliable energy and other modern blessings to the developing world, panelists noted.
Only 20% Think Debate About Global Warming Is Over
Voters strongly believe the debate about global warming is not over yet and reject the decision by some news organizations to ban comments from those who deny that global warming is a problem.
Only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the scientific debate about global warming is over, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Sixty-three percent (63%) disagree and say the debate about global warming is not over. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters think there is still significant disagreement within the scientific community over global warming, while 35% believe scientists generally agree on the subject.
The BBC has announced a new policy banning comments from those who deny global warming, a policy already practiced by the Los Angeles Times and several other media organizations. But 60% of voters oppose the decision by some news organizations to ban global warming skeptics. Only 19% favor such a ban, while slightly more (21%) are undecided.
But then 42% believe the media already makes global warming appear to be worse than it really is. Twenty percent (20%) say the media makes global warming appear better than it really is, while 22% say they present an accurate picture. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
Still, this is an improvement from February 2009 when 54% thought the media makes global warming appear worse than it is. Unchanged, however, are the 21% who say the media presents an accurate picture.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 7-8, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Consistent with earlier polling is the finding that 60% of voters consider global warming a serious problem, with 37% who describe it as a Very Serious one. Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree and don’t believe global warming is that serious a problem, with 14% who say it is Not At All Serious.
But even among those voters who consider global warming a Very Serious problem, 57% say the debate is not yet over. These voters by a 49% to 34% margin also oppose the decision by some news organizations to ban global warming skeptics.
The older the voter, generally speaking, the more likely they are to believe that the debate about global warming is not over.
Most voters across all demographic categories say the debate is not over. Most also oppose the decision by some media outlets to ban global warming critics.
Men and those over 40 are more skeptical of the media’s coverage of global warming than women and younger voters are.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans and a plurality (45%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party believe the media makes global warming appear to be worse than it really is. Just 22% of Democrats agree. But Democrats also believe much more strongly than the others that global warming is a serious problem.
Twenty-seven percent (27%) of voters in President Obama’s party think the scientific debate about global warming is over, a view shared by only 12% of GOP voters and 16% of unaffiliateds.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all voters say they have been following recent news reports about global warming at least somewhat closely, with 33% who are following Very Closely.
Because congressional Republicans oppose most of the initiatives he has proposed, the president has signaled that he is prepared to take whatever actions he can alone to deal with a problem he attributes largely to certain human activities. However, just 30% of voters think the president should take action alone if necessary to deal with global warming. Twice as many (59%) say the federal government should only do what the president and Congress jointly agree on.
While most voters have expressed concern about global warming for years, only 41% are willing to pay more in taxes or in utility costs to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. That includes 23% who are willing to pay no more than $100 extra a year.
Understanding of ice age still developing
Brand new research published today (Friday 27th June 2014) in the journal Nature Specific Reports has provided a major new theory on the cause of the ice age that engulfed large parts of the Northern Hemisphere 2.6 million years ago.
The study, which was co-authored by Dr Thomas Stevens, of the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, discovered a previously unknown mechanism by which the joining of North and South America changed the salinity of the Pacific Ocean and caused substantial ice sheet growth across the Northern Hemisphere.
This change in salinity encouraged ice to form, which caused a change in wind patterns, leading to intensified monsoons. The monsoons provided moisture that enabled an increase in snowfall and the growth of major ice sheets, some reaching 3km thick.
The team of researchers analysed deposits of wind-blown dust known as red clay that accumulated between six million and two and half million years ago in north central China, adjacent to the Tibetan plateau, and used them to reconstruct changing monsoon precipitation and temperature.
“Until now, the cause of the Quaternary ice age had been a hotly debated topic”, said Dr Stevens. “Our findings suggest a significant link between ice sheet growth, the monsoon and the closing of the Panama Seaway, as North and South America drifted closer together. This provides us with a major new theory on the origins of the ice age, and ultimately our current climate system.”
Astonishingly, the research team discovered there was a strengthening of the monsoon during global cooling, rather than the intense rainfall that has usually been associated with warmer climates.
Dr Stevens added: “This led us to discover a previously unknown interaction between plate tectonic movements in the Americas and dramatic changes in global temperature. The intensified monsoons created a positive feedback cycle, promoting more global cooling, more sea ice and even stronger precipitation, culminating in the spread of huge glaciers across the Northern Hemisphere.”
Australia shoots down climate lobby’s scare mongering
By Marita Noon
Thursday, July 17 was a big news day. The world was shocked to learn that a Russian-made missile shot down a Malaysian Airlines jet with 298 on board as it flew over Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. Though flight 17 eclipsed the news cycle, there was another thing shot down on July 17.
Almost a year ago, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott won a landslide election with a nearly single-issue campaign: repeal the carbon tax. On July 17, he made good on that promise, as the Australian Senate voted, 39 to 32, to abolish the “world’s biggest carbon tax”—a tax that was reported to “do nothing to address global warming, apart from imposing high costs on the local economy.”
Australia was one of the first major countries, outside of the European Union, to adopt a carbon price—first suggested in 2007 and passed under Labour Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2011. Gillard’s campaign promised: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.” While she attempted to brand it a carbon price, not a “tax,” Sinclair Davidson, a professor in the school of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University, said: “The electorate had a very specific understanding of her words” and perceived it as a broken promise.
Australia’s carbon tax, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was “recognized by the International Energy Agency as model legislation for developed countries.” The WSJ reports that when Australia’s carbon tax was passed, the Brookings Institution “described Australia as an ‘important laboratory and learning opportunity.’”
So, what do we learn from the “laboratory” the now-failed “model legislation” offered?
First, the WSJ states: “The public hates it.” The (UK) Telegraph calls the tax: “one of the most unsuccessful in history” and points out that it is “unique in that it generated virtually no revenue for the Australian Treasury due to its negative impact on productivity; contributed to the rising costs that have taken the gloss off the country’s resources boom; and essentially helped to bring down Ms. Gillard’s former Government.” The Telegraph, in an article titled: “Australia abandons disastrous green tax on emissions,” adds that the tax failed in “winning over voters who faced higher costs passed on by the companies that had to pay for it.” In Slate, Ariel Bogel claims the 2011 bill required “about 350 companies to pay a penalty for their greenhouse gas emissions.”
While Australia is, as the WSJ put it: “the world’s first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions,” it is not the only one to back away from such policies. New Zealand has weakened its emissions trading scheme; Japan has retreated from its pledges to cut greenhouse emissions and instead committed to a rise in emissions; Canada withdrew from the Kyoto protocol in 2011; England, where “the bill for green policies is rising,” has “so far resisted calls to expand tax on carbon emissions”; the European Union carbon emissions trading scheme—the biggest in the world and the heart of Europe’s climate-change program—is in dire straits; and, just the day after Australia’s news was announced, South Korea—whose planned 2015 emissions trading market launch would make it the world’s second largest—hinted at an additional delay due to projected costs to businesses.
The Telegraph offers this summary: “Carbon trading mechanisms and green taxes have largely been a failure elsewhere and especially so in Europe where they have dragged on investment and threatened long-term energy security.”
These are important lessons in light of the renewed push for a carbon tax in the U.S. Consider the partnership of President George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, who are, together, who are calling for a climate tax.
According to the WSJ, the World Bank called Australia’s repeal “one of the biggest international threats to the rollout of similar programs elsewhere.” The climate lobby is concerned as “Australia’s vote shows that the real obstacle to their dreams of controlling more of the world’s economy is democratic consent.”
In the U.S., similar efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by increasing costs to emitters, and therefore consumers—in our case, cap and trade—failed to achieve “democratic consent” even when
Democrats had control. The people didn’t want it. So, the Obama Administration now is trying to go around Congress with onerous rules and regulations on emissions.
As in the U.S., a carbon tax—or cap and trade—is not the only policy increasing energy costs to Australian consumers. In the U.S., we have the Renewable Portfolio Standard; Australia has its Renewable Energy Target (RET). Both require the addition of expensive wind-and-solar energy.
Jennifer Marohasy, Ph.D., who worked for 12 years as a scientist for the Queensland government, told me: “Of course while the carbon tax needed to be repealed, its abolition will go only some way to reducing pressures on Australian businesses and households. The so-called Clean Energy Act 2011 is part of a tsunami of regulation and legislation introduced over recent years that has seen the average electricity price in Australia increase by 70% in real terms. Next in line must be the mandatory RET, a government-legislated requirement on electricity retailers to source a specific proportion of total electricity sales from renewable energy sources including wind and solar, with the extraordinary costs serving as a hidden tax—paid by all electricity users.”
In the Australian Financial Review, Alan Moran, an economist specializing in regulatory matters, in particular covering energy, global warming, housing, transport, and competition issues, and Director of the Institute of Public Affairs’ Deregulation Unit, agrees that the carbon tax is just one of the burdens holding down the Australian economy. He sees a cascade of programs for support of high-cost renewables and penalties for fossil-fuel use and “a bewildering array of subsidies and programs.”
Both see the RET as the bigger issue. Marohasy says: “In short, repeal of the carbon tax is a big symbolic win. But it’s mostly just window-dressing: to appease the masses. In the background, proponents of anthropogenic global warming who dominate our political class still very much control the levers of government and intend to continue to terrorize the population with claims of catastrophic global warming, while consolidating their rent-seeking through the RET.” She explained: “Money collected from the carbon tax went to government, money collected through the RET largely goes to the global warming industry.” Which is why some in the Australian Senate agreed to vote for the repeal—as long as the RET isn’t touched.
However, Abbott has stated: “All of us should want to see lower prices and plainly at the moment the renewable energy target is a very significant impact on higher power prices.” Time will tell how Abbott fares in the RET battle. But for now, he’s given the world a “learning opportunity” on climate change and energy policy.
Meanwhile, the climate lobby resorts to hyperbole to push its scare-mongering tactics. In closing her piece in Slate, Bogle whines: “As someone who has to live in the quickly cooking world Abbott leaves behind…” Perhaps she’s missed the data that the planet’s predicted warming hasn’t happened—despite ever-increasing CO2 emissions. According to satellite records, there has been no warming in almost 18 years.
May America learn from, as the Brookings Institution observed, the “important laboratory” of Australia’s foray into climate schemes.
'Sure Hope So': Harry Reid Wants to Pass Carbon Tax Bill After Midterms
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was asked Monday if Democrats will move a carbon tax bill after the midterm election.
"I sure hope so," he told a "clean energy" conference call.
The reporter asked Reid what would change after the midterm to put carbon tax legislation back on the table:
"Well, I think what's happening in the world," Reid replied. "I mean we have -- as we speak, we have wildfires raging in five or six different states in the west. I mean raging.
"I heard in a briefing I had this morning, a big fire in Washington is zero percent contained -- zero. You can see the fires burning in the west from satellites miles above the sky. It's -- so there are lots of reasons why we need to take another look at this."
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is among the Democrats pushing for a carbon tax, which would raise the price of energy for everyone.
In a speech on the Senate floor last month, Whitehouse said the federal tax code should be used to address climate change:
"I believe carbon-driven climate change hurts our economy, damages our infrastructure, and harms public health," Whitehouse said on June 25. "Yet those costs are not factored into the cost of fossil fuels. That means the cost of the pollution has been borne by the public.
"I believe we should adopt a carbon fee to correct this market failure and return all its revenue to the American people..."
A carbon tax bill won't advance unless Democrats retake the House and retain control of the Senate in November. With that goal in mind, President Obama was heading west on Tuesday to raise money for his party.
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Posted by JR at 5:28 PM