Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Another attempt to deny the significance of the warming "pause"

What a crock! They found that the models gave reasonable predictions of weather in the past and say that the models are therefore right despite the "pause".  But all or almost all of the models have been adjusted at some stage to give accurate hindcasts. So all that the study below shows is that the modellers have done a good job of getting their models to give good hindcasts. Forecasts defeat them, however

The temperature of Earth's surface has increased by only 0.06°C in the past 15 years - a fact that contradicts global warming climate models.  This so-called 'pause' has been used by some groups as evidence by that climate change is not taking place.

Now a new study suggests that the discrepancy between the models and reality is all down to random fluctuations in the Earth's climate – and that the long-term trend still points to severe warming.

Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and Leeds University in the UK say the models do not overestimate man-made climate change.

They claim global warming is 'highly likely' to reach critical proportions by the end of the century - if the global community does not finally get to grips with the problem.

The global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 – which is surprising, considering scientific climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

To explain the discrepancy between model simulations and observations, Professor Marotzke and Piers Forster compared simulated and observed temperature trends over all 15-year periods since the start of the 20th century.

For each year between 1900 and 2012 they looked at the temperature trend that each of the 114 available models predicted for the subsequent 15 years.

They then compared the results with measurements of how the temperature actually rose or fell.

By simulating the average global temperature and other climatic variables of the past and comparing the results with observations, they were able to check the reliability of their models.

The 114 model calculations withstood the comparison.  'On the whole, the simulated trends agree with the observations,' said Professor Marotzke.

'The most pessimistic and most optimistic predictions of warming in the 15 subsequent years for each given year usually differed by around 0.3 degrees Celsius.

'However, the majority of the models predicted a temperature rise roughly midway between the two extremes.

'The observed trends are sometimes at the upper limit, sometimes at the lower limit, and often in the middle, so that, taken together, the simulations appear plausible.

'In particular, the observed trends are not skewed in any discernible way compared to the simulations,' Professor Marotzke explains.

If that were the case, he said, it would suggest a systematic error in the models.

The scientists are now also analysing why the simulations arrived at disparate results by looking at how the models react to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Since 1998, the warmest year on record, the steep increase in global temperatures seen during the 1990s has levelled off, failing to match computer model predictions for climate change.

This pause, or hiatus, has been blamed on weak solar activity and increased uptake of heat by the world's oceans.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year concluded that the deep oceans had been responsible for absorbing an increasing amount of heat, but warned that this could not continue indefinitely.


Hooray! Warmists are now having to talk about THOUSANDTHS of one degree in temperature change!

Completely ignoring issues of accuracy of measurement

The world's oceans are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously, providing a clear signal of global warming, according to new study assessing data from a global fleet of drifting floats.

The research, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data collected from the array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 to show temperatures were warming at about 0.005 [FIVE THOUSANDTHS] degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres.

Oceans south of the 20-degree latitude accounted for two-thirds to 98 per cent of the heat gain during the period studied, with three giant gyres in the southern Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans largely responsible for drawing down the extra warmth.

"The global ocean heat content right now is the most reliable metric of that radiation imbalance" between the energy received from the sun and what is radiated back to space, said Susan Wijffels, an oceans expert at the CSIRO and one of the report's authors.

Until the Argo fleet launched about a decade ago, coverage of ocean temperatures was closely linked to rocords provided by ships – giving readings a strong bias to the northern hemisphere, near continental coasts and during summer, the paper said. Most readings were down to 700 metres or less.

The Argo floats – about 10 per cent of which are operated by Australia – have "hugely revolutionised our ability to track what's happening to the earth," Dr Wijffels said.

The paper noted there has been "no significant trend" in mean sea-surface temperatures since 1998, confirming a "hiatus" that deniers of climate science often point to when claiming global warming isn't happening. However, since the oceans are responsible for absorbing about 93 per cent of the Earth's net energy gain, trends beneath the waves are a much better guide, the researchers said.

"The ocean is just vertically transferring the heat away from the surface to the depth," Dr Wijffels said. "The 'hiatus' is not meaningful."


Obama’s Drilling Ban in Alaska Isn’t About Saving Polar Bears. It’s About His Radical Agenda

It was just recently that President Obama took credit for falling gas prices in his State of the Union address, and already he is sticking another knife in the back of America’s domestic oil and gas producers — to say nothing of the residents of Alaska.

Obama’s latest anti-fossil-fuels directive is to move off-limits to exploration and drilling some 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of the most oil-rich regions in the world. The area to be removed from drilling is larger than the combined land area of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Alaska’s economy is already softening because of low oil prices; now he tosses the state’s drowning economy an anchor.

Obama says his motivation is to keep this land environmentally undisturbed and to protect wildlife — as if he were a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt–style preservationist. “Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place — pristine, undisturbed,” Obama says. “It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska Native communities. But it’s very fragile.”

Well, no, not really. Think of a football field, and then think of placing a postcard on that field. This is roughly the size of the development footprint required to drill in these wilderness lands, compared with the entire Alaskan landmass. Thanks to horizontal drilling, the footprint from oil and gas production is getting smaller all the time. Drilling will hardly alter the majesty of the mountains or the forest lands.

Would oil and gas drillers kill off the eagles, caribou, and polar bears, as the White House warns? These were the arguments made more than 40 years ago against building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System — which carries oil from Alaska’s North Slope to the port of Valdez for shipment to the lower 48 states. Over the last 35 years it has carried more than 17 billion barrels of oil, a quantity worth nearly $1 trillion in today’s dollars. At the time, the Sierra Club moaned that the pipeline would mean “the wilderness is forever broken,” while the Wilderness Society said the project would lead to “imminent, grave and irreparable damage to the ecology, wilderness values, natural resources, recreational potential, and total environment of Alaska.” No bird or caribou would be safe from the carnage. Sound familiar?

Instead, the impact on Alaska’s wildlife and natural beauty has been almost nonexistent. A study delivered in 2002 to the American Society of Civil Engineers found that “the ecosystems affected by the operation of TAPS and associated activity for almost 25 years are healthy.” Today the size of the caribou herd in Alaska is estimated at about 325,000 — four times the number before the pipeline was built.

It turns out that the radical greens in and out of the White House are dead wrong. Nature is not fragile; it is resilient, durable, and adaptable.

So what’s really going on here? This latest White House move isn’t about saving polar bears. It’s about a radical climate-change agenda to stop all domestic oil and gas drilling and coal mining, wherever and whenever possible. The middle-class Americans who will lose jobs or pay more for gas at the pump are collateral damage.

Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski calls this White House maneuver “a stunning attack on our sovereignty and our ability to develop a strong economy . . . for our children and our grandchildren.” She’s right, of course, and it’s not only Alaska’s children and grandchildren who will suffer, but all future generations of Americans. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin and the leaders of ISIS and OPEC are smiling — and not because they care about elk and polar bears.


Pope is a Greenie

He's a nice man but no intellectual -- despite allegedly being a Jesuit

Anyone with doubts the Vatican would abandon a neutral position on the science of climate change can now lay them to rest. Under Pope Francis the Vatican has been sending unmistakable signals that it is joining the junk-science based global warming movement, perhaps with the hopes of resurrecting the notorious system of indulgences (or a form of it) which for centuries swindled common people of their wealth and sent it to the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church preaches that as stewards of the planet man must make responsible use of God-given resources, to use them sparingly, and that we share the fruits of our labors with the poor. Yet the Vatican never will do the same with its tens of billions in assets it has stashed away over the centuries.

In the interview Chairman Sorondo tells Bojanowski that “the Church believes in science – especially Galileo“. And on the upcoming encyclical on climate change, to be released in either June or July, Sorondo refuses to tell Spiegel what is going to be in it. “We will see.”

As to why there is even an encyclical on the climate to begin with, Sorondo tells Spiegel that it is to “provide an impulse” for the upcoming Paris Conference. The Lima Conference “disappointed the Pope”, Sorondo tells Spiegel.

On why a climate treaty is important, Chairman Sorondo spills the beans, telling Spiegel that “climate change has adverse impacts on the poorest two thirds of the world’s population who have no access to fossil energies but who have to bear the consequences of their consumption. Bartholomeos I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, compared climate change to modern slavery at the Conference of Religious Leaders in December.”

Clearly the Catholic Church is sympathetic to this extreme and preposterous position. Why would Chairman Sorondo cite it if it wasn’t. Unfortunately the Vatican fails to see that over the past 50 years fossil fuels have helped the poor far more than any Church’s redistributive plundering ever has over the last 1000 years. More often than not Church obstinate dogmatism often put the brakes on progress and as a result caused far more misery. It’s appalling that the Church fails to recognize that no God-given resource has been such a blessing to the poor as has affordable fossil fuels and that life as we know it today would be unimaginable without it.

Vatican sees Galileo as a “leading figure”

On why the Church is suddenly interested in environmental protection, Sorondo says it is so because “The Church believes in science.” A somewhat taken aback Bojanowski reacts skeptically and brings up the incident surrounding Galileo. Sorondo responds, claiming the Church never condemned Galileo: “He was only put to the test because his scientific evidence had not been convincing. Our Academy today views him as a leading figure.”

Isn’t that the way things usually turn out whenever blind consensus gets asserted and dogmatism prevail in science? For the Vatican unfortunately it took almost 400 years and man going to the moon before they became “convinced”.

Bojanowski responds forcefully, seemingly scoffing at the Chairman’s claim:

    "Galileo’s writings were banned by the Church, or were allowed to appear only in censored versions. He was no longer allowed to freely express himself on his theories. In court he was forced to accept what the Catholic Church regarded as true and was then subsequently punished with arrest. And his colleague Giordano Bruno had to endure much worse: Because he refused to recant his astronomical theories that opposed those of the Church, he was executed.”

Chairman Sorondo admits: “That was in any case a great injustice, and the Church acknowledged that.”

That alone ought to drive home the dangers of religion deciding science. Can we really trust this Catholic Church and current pope on climate science?

Bojanowski also makes another important point: If the consensus of science supports a climate treaty, then why is the Vatican not playing along with the consensus on other scientific issues, like birth control? Here the Chairman is clearly in over his head.

So why is the Catholic Church taking the step of endorsing what is likely the most dubious, tampered and politicized science that civilization has seen in has seen in at least 100 years? Why is it teaming up with groups and political parties that are notorious proponents of abortion, population control, waging war, anti-Christianity and self-centered hedonism? One can only speculate.

To me it all reeks of Chicago-style politics. Perhaps there is a lot more rot in the Vatican than we may think – in addition to the scandals involving child molestation and shady finances. Someone seems to have gotten the goods on the Vatican, and now it’s: play along and everything will be okay, or else there’s going to be lots of trouble. Has the Vatican sold its soul?

As if it ever had one.


I come to bury Renewable Fuel Standards

Not to praise ethanol mandates that kill jobs, raise food costs, and hurt poor families and wildlife

Paul Driessen

They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.

The RFS was a mistake when enacted ten years ago. Since then, despite attempts to curtail it, the program has expanded and had more lives than Freddy Krueger. Perhaps the senators are now paraphrasing William Shakespeare and Marc Antony, saying “I come to bury the ethanol RFS, not to praise it.”

Renewable fuels advocates are predictably fighting back. They say ethanol is vital to agricultural sector jobs and revenues, “homegrown fuels” diversify our energy mix and reduce foreign imports, and biofuels help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” The claims do not withstand scrutiny.

Ethanol has already “hit the blend wall,” the senators point out. Even current ethanol production mandates result in more ethanol than can be used safely in gasoline. That and fewer miles driven of late means refinery “blend targets” have already been met for E10 (10% ethanol) gasoline. More ethanol would impair automotive engine systems and void warranties. All this results in surplus ethanol, increasing corn grower demands for E15 mandates or permits (15% ethanol), and worse market and ecological effects.

And still federal law requires that the ethanol mandate must keep rising: from 9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008 to 14 billion now and 36 billion gallons by 2022. That would exacerbate all these problems.

America is already plowing an area larger than Iowa to grow corn for ethanol, and turning nearly 40% of all its corn into ethanol. The guaranteed income incentivizes farmers to take land out of wheat and rye, conservation easements, pasture land and wildlife habitat – and grow corn instead. Converting these vast fields of corn into ethanol requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest and ship the corn … and more gasoline, diesel and natural gas to produce and transport the ethanol.

Corn growers make money, since they are protected by annual ethanol blend mandates that guarantee a demand, market and high price for their output. But there is no comparable “renewable protein standard” to guarantee a market for statutorily mandated quantities of poultry, pork, beef, eggs and fish.

Thus U.S. corn prices skyrocketed from $1.96 per average bushel in 2005 to as much as $7.50 in autumn 2012 and $6.68 in June 2013, before dropping in 2014 due to record yields and lower demand for corn and ethanol. Since the RFS was implemented, feed costs for chicken, turkey, egg and hog farmers have been nearly $100 billion higher than they would have been in the absence of the RFS, National Chicken Council president Mike Brown estimates.

These protein farmers have been compelled to subsidize corn farmers by almost $1.35 per gallon of ethanol; beef and dairy farmers have been forced to pay similar subsidies. All these costs have been passed on to American families. Since 2007, high and volatile feed costs forced many meat and poultry producers to cut back or cease production, file for bankruptcy or sell their operations to other companies. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer

Energy per acre of corn is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas drilling, conventional and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) alike. Moreover, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy, the US Department of Energy calculates; biodiesel from soybeans consumes an unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of water per million Btu. By comparison, fracking requires just 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced.

New seismic, deepwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technologies have led to discoveries of enormous new reserves of oil and natural gas – and enabled companies to extract far more petroleum from reservoirs once thought to have been depleted. All these newly abundant oil and gas supplies could easily replace ethanol and other biofuels, and slash U.S. oil imports even further.

This resurgence of hydrocarbons has obliterated the Club of Rome “peak oil” notion that we are rapidly exhausting the world’s petroleum, made Big Green environmentalists apoplectic, and caused resource depletion alarmists to make a 180-degree policy turn on natural gas. Just four years ago the Sierra Club used $75 million from Aubrey McClendon and Michael Bloomberg to finance an anti-coal campaign which insisted that coal-fired power plants could be replaced with natural gas facilities.

Now the Sierrans despise natural gas and want to totally ban the technology that created our newfound abundance of gas: hydraulic fracturing. They disregard the benefits of lower gas prices for families and factories, ignore the need for coal and natural gas-based electricity as backup power generation for wind and solar facilities, and concoct all kinds of fanciful “dangers” from fracking operations.

Meanwhile, the prominent environmental think tank World Resources Institute just issued a new report that concluded: turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that it is unlikely to supply a substantial fraction of the world’s energy demand – ever. Perhaps worse, spending countless more billions on this misguided strategy will result in more millions of valuable, fertile acres being devoted to “growing energy” instead of helping to feed malnourished and starving people.

Adding to the reasons the RFS deserves an F on its report card, ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same or more per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, gunks up fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines.

Ethanol production also kills marine life. Much of the nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow all that corn gets washed off the land into waterways that drain into the Gulf of Mexico, where they cause enormous summertime algae blooms. When the algae die, their decomposition consumes oxygen in the water – creating enormous low-oxygen and zero-oxygen regions that suffocate marine life that cannot swim away.

Regarding jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “green jobs” as any that make a company “more environmentally friendly.” The BLS even includes people who drive pilot natural gas, biofuel or hybrid buses. The Solar Energy Society includes accountants, lawyers and landscapers involved even part time with making or installing solar panels. One suspects that even burger flippers could qualify as having green jobs, anytime they sell a meal to a truck driver who happens to be hauling corn to an ethanol plant.

That brings us to “climate chaos” as a last-resort rationale for costly Renewable Fuel Standards. However, Climategate and other IPCC scandals clearly demonstrate that the “science” behind climate disaster claims is conjectural, manipulated and even fraudulent. And actual observations of temperatures, storms, droughts, sea levels and Arctic ice have refused to cooperate with computer models and Hansen-Gore-EPA-IPCC disaster hype and scenarios. The catechism of climate cataclysm – what blogger Jim Guirard calls the Branch Carbonian Cult – can no longer be allowed to justify misguided standards and subsidies.

About the only thing “green” about the ethanol RFS is the billions of dollars it takes from taxpayers and consumers – and funnels to politicians, who dole the cash out to crony corporatists, who then return some of it as campaign contributions, to get the politicians reelected, to perpetuate the gravy train.

It’s time to bury the RFS – and stop forcing motorists to buy gasoline that refiners are compelled to blend into motor fuels. Crony capitalist arrangements benefit too few at the expense of too many.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Via email

Must not genetically engineer trees

Why?  What harm would it do? What is wrong with improving Loblolly pines?

Groups from around the world [1] today joined together to denounce the US government for allowing the first genetically engineered tree, a loblolly pine, to be legalized with no government or public oversight, with no assessment of their risks to the public or the environment, and without regard to overwhelming public opposition to GE trees.

A secret letter from the USDA to GE tree company ArborGen [2], dated last August, was recently exposed by scientist Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Center for Food Safety [3]. In this letter, the USDA made the unprecedented decision to allow ArborGen to pursue unregulated commercial cultivation of a loblolly pine genetically engineered for altered wood composition. These trees could be planted anywhere in the US, without public knowledge or access to information about them.

Gurian-Sherman argues the USDA “is deliberately thumbing its nose at the public” with this decision, pointing out that this is probably the biggest environmental regulatory change in the US since the early 1990s [4].

Loblolly pines are native across 14 states throughout the US Southeast, and are grown in plantations around the world. Their pollen is known to travel for hundreds of miles.

“If these GE loblolly pines are released on a large scale in the US, there will be no way to stop them from cross contaminating native loblolly pines,” said biologist Dr. Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch. “This is deliberate, irreversible and completely irresponsible contamination of the environment with unknown and possibly devastating consequences. Forest ecosystems are barely understood, and the introduction of trees with genes for modified wood characteristics could have all manner of negative impacts on soils, fungi, insects, wildlife, songbirds, and public health. And all this for short term commercial profit.”

Many are also worried about the international implications of this USDA decision. Winnie Overbeek, International Coordinator of the Uruguay-based World Rainforest Movement states, “We are greatly concerned that these unregulated GE pines could be shipped to Brazil or other countries without public, or maybe even government, knowledge, further promoting the expansion of industrial tree plantations in the Global South. This contributes to deforestation and affects indigenous and peasant communities worldwide who depend on forests for survival.”

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Ruddy Turnstone from Florida remarks, “ArborGen and the government may think they have won this round, but there is already a huge anti-GMO movement. There are also forest protection groups, Indigenous Peoples, birders, foresters, scientists, parents, hikers, and many others who do not want the forests contaminated by GE trees. A great many of them will take action to ensure these trees are never planted.”

In 2013, when the USDA called for public comments on another ArborGen request to commercialize a GE Eucalyptus tree (a decision still pending), they received comments at the rate of 10,000 to one opposing the industry request. By simply refusing to regulate this new GE pine, the USDA has cut the public out of the process completely.  In 2013, a conference on Tree Biotechnology in Asheville, NC was disrupted for its entire 5 days by anti-GE tree activists, and there were multiple arrests.



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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