Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Warmists discover some real feedbacks

The feedback from increasing cloud that is central to their theory is very dubious.  The best evidence is that clouds cause cooling, not warming.  But there are various real climate feedbacks and they seem finally to have discovered some -- and put their "spin" on the discovery.  I reproduce underneath the article below some comments by Profs. Robert Giegengack and Don Easterbrook

Scientists agree that an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases causes the Earth’s temperature to rise, but they’ve also noticed that relationship seems to swing both ways: warmer temperatures also seem to correspond with an increase in greenhouse gases. But drawing conclusions about the nature of the relationship is tricky, because though scientists have seen a correlation, they haven’t been able to show causation.

Now, scientists believe they’ve untangled the relationship. In a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, researchers from the University of Exeter claim to have found direct evidence that as global temperatures rise, so does the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, creating a positive feedback that in turn warms the Earth even more — basically, global warming creates more global warming.

“We discovered that not only does thickening the blanket of heat-trapping gases around our planet cause it to get warmer, but also, crucially, when it gets warmer this increases thickens the blanket of heat-trapping gases,” Tim Lenton, the paper’s author, told ThinkProgress, “so we have a process called a ‘positive feedback’ that amplifies changes in the Earth’s temperature.”

This isn’t the first time this relationship has been suggested. Scientists have previously used data from Antarctic ice cores to show that historic temperature rises were accompanied by spikes in global carbon dioxide levels, but other studies cast doubt on that timing, showing a lag of some thousand years.

While several models suggest a correlation between warming temperatures and an increase in greenhouse gas, Lenton’s team is the first to prove the relationship using direct evidence, taken from ice cores nearly one million years old.

The team — comprised of scientists from the University of Exeter, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Wageningen University in the Netherlands — analyzed Antarctic ice core data from the end of ice age cycles 400,000 and 800,000 years ago. That ancient ice is important, because it offers an extremely large amount of historical global temperature and greenhouse gas concentration data, which the scientists were able to analyze to figure out how the two interact.

Combining historical data about temperature and greenhouse gas composition, the scientists used a mathematical approach known as Takens’ theorem to look at the relationship between the two. The approach, Lenton explained, is based on the idea that if one variable causes even a small change in the other, the more information you have about the first variable. The more information you have about the first variable, the better you should be able to predict the change in the second. Eventually the variables will converge, giving researchers an idea of how strong the first is in predicting change in the second.

“We find that if A and B are temperature and CO2 (or temperature and methane) we get strong reciprocal causality,” Lenton said, proving that warmer temperatures cause an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

The findings provide even more support to the overwhelming evidence that humans are causing global warming by pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The surprise, Lenton explained, is that the findings also show that increasing temperature eventually increases greenhouse gases.

“It implies that we should expect the ‘Earth system’ to respond to anthropogenic global warming by amplifying it with the release of additional greenhouse gases,” Lenton said.

Though the study looks at historical data, Lenton acknowledges that current implications can’t be overlooked. “The Earth is a complex system containing many feedbacks, and they are strong enough to swing the planet between the depths of an ice age and a warm ‘interglacial’,” Lenton said.

The Earth is currently warming at a much faster rate than previous warming events, roughly ten times faster than ice-age-recovery warming, according to NASA. In 2013, atmospheric greenhouse gas hit a record high, and scientists warned that the Earth’s ability to store and mediate gas, through plants and oceans, might been approaching its saturation point.

We’re already seeing unexpected changes in the climate: the West Antarctic ice shelves, for instance, is melting at a much faster rate than scientists predicted. “As we meddle with the climate system now, driving it to hotter temperatures, we should expect the Earth to reply by amplifying the changes we are causing,” Lenton said.


Comment on the above by Prof. Robert Giegengack

"We" have known for a long time that the change in insolation  represented by Milankovic variation is not adequate to bring about the change in temperature documented by the O-isotopes in the Antarctic ice cores.

From the time that the first ice-core data were published (~1980), students of climate change have acknowledged that, despite strong evidence that Milankovic cyclicity controls the timing of the glacial/non-glacial oscillation, the magnitude of temperature change recorded in the ice cores exceeds what could be expected from the Milankovic variations. Thus, positive feed-back processes have been invoked from day one. Those include:

1. albedo feedback: when it gets colder, glaciers advance at high  latitudes/altitudes, and more incoming insolation is reflected to space by ice-covered surfaces; when it gets warmer, glaciers shrink, and exposed soil and open water absorb more insolation.

2. When the atmosphere is warmer, it holds more H2O vapor, the most effective greenhouse gas; as temperature falls, the capacity of the atmosphere to hold H2O as vapor declines

3. higher temperatures drive CO2 and other gases out of solution in sea water. When sea-water temperature declines, solubility of CO2 in sea water rises.

4. higher temperatures favor respiration of soil micro-organisms over photosynthetic drawdown of CO2; when temperatures fall, activity of soil micro-organisms is reduced, and photosynthetic drawdown of CO2 gets ahead.

5. higher temperatures thaw permafrost, releasing CH4 to the atmosphere. CH4 is also a greenhouse gas, but it quickly oxidizes to CO2 and H2O. We don't know the extent to which higher temperatures might release CH4 from methane hydrates on the continental shelves.

There may be other positive feedback processes, not yet identified.

This is not "news". The feedback processes were described in detail in the 1980s. They have operated in every glacial/non-glacial cycle represented in the Antarctic ice cores.

Prof. Don Easterbrook adds:

Ice cores leave little doubt that climatic warming ALWAYS precedes  increases in atm CO2 and studies of shorter term (months/yrs) increases in CO2 following warming confirm the cause and effect of warming ----> increased atm CO2.

It is very clear from ice cores that ice ages are brought to a close abruptly by warming that precedes increased CO2 so CO2 is not involved in the warming. The weakness in this paper is that there is no evidence that CO2 causes more than insignificant warming.

Perverse climate “morality”

Current climate policies mean energy deprivation, poverty, disease and death for billions

Paul Driessen

You’ve got to admit, liberal are masters at describing every initiative they launch as “the moral thing to do.” Their campaign for draconian energy regulations and a new global warming treaty is no exception. Protecting people, wildlife and ecosystems from climate catastrophes is the greatest moral cause of our time, alarmist scientists, activists, politicians, bureaucrats, clerics and journalists insist. Rubbish.

It has nothing to do with morality. It’s all about money, power and control. It narrowly defines “morality” to ignore the incredible benefits that fossil fuels and electricity bring to people everywhere – while dismissing the enormous harm their policies will wreak on families and ecological values that they profess to care so much about. And it makes no mention of the fact that they will rarely, if ever, be held accountable for their falsehoods and fraudulent science, or the damage and deaths they cause.

On March 31, President Obama promised to slash America’s carbon dioxide emissions 28% below 2005 emission levels by 2025 and 80% by 2050, taking us back to Civil War era emission levels, 150 years ago. He wants U.S. taxpayers to contribute our “fair share” to a new UN $100-billion-per-year UN slush fund to help poor countries adapt to and mitigate rising seas, storms and other climate change disasters that our plant-fertilizing CO2 emissions allegedly cause. He instructed his federal agencies to implement a host of new rules prior to the December 2015 United Nations climate conference in Paris.

Mr. Obama’s EPA will use “Clean Power Plan” and other regulations to shutter more coal-fired generating plants, issue new methane rules for landfills and natural gas production, funnel countless millions of dollars to activist and propaganda groups, and use sue and settle lawsuits to impose even tighter restrictions. FEMA will require that states use CO2-based computer models to determine how manmade climate change threatens communities, if they want disaster preparedness funding.

The Council on Environmental Quality will require that all applicants for federal project permits fully evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and potential impacts on climate change, to the satisfaction of bureaucrats and litigious Big Green pressure groups. The Department of Energy will issue new efficiency standards that double the cost of pickup trucks and appliances, and spend more taxpayer billions on wind, solar and biofuel loans and subsidies. The Interior Department will close more federal lands to drilling, and exempt more wind and solar projects from endangered species and other environmental laws.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation and World Bank will refuse to lend money for coal-fired power plants, and even most gas-fueled generators and hydroelectric facilities, in developing countries.

These actions will have disastrous consequences. According to the Heritage Foundation, NERA economic consultants and other experts, EPA’s actions alone will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and a $100-billion loss in gross domestic product. By 2030, America’s electricity output will drop by nearly 10% even as we add 54 million people to our population. Brownouts and blackouts will occur regularly, and we will be told to get used to using expensive electricity when it’s available, instead of when we need it.

Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find thousands of dollars a year for soaring electricity, vehicle and appliance costs. Small businesses will have to find tens of thousands of dollars to keep the heat and lights on. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to pay millions more.

Millions of middle class workers will get laid off – in coal mines, power plants, factories, shops and other businesses. Entire families and communities will be impoverished. Bread winners lucky enough to find work will be forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and suffer severe sleep deprivation.

Families will have to cope with more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die. But the White House, EPA and other federal agencies studiously ignore these impacts. The only moral issue they want to talk about is alleged impacts from exaggerated and fabricated manmade climate change.

Two-thirds of Florida’s endangered manatees survive cold winters by huddling in warm waters that flow from coal-fired power plants. EPA’s plant closures could cause hundreds of them to die, while millions of birds and bats will be slaughtered every year by proliferating wind turbines.

Meanwhile, thousands of elderly people perish every winter from hypothermia, because they can no longer afford to heat their home properly, due to soaring electricity costs under Britain’s climate policies.

In poor countries, millions already die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, because of polluted air from open cooking fires, filthy water, spoiled food, substandard hospitals and squalid living conditions – because billions still do no have access to electricity. Imagine your life following hurricanes or other natural disasters that make electricity and safe water unavailable for a week or month. Then picture living that way for decades on end. White House, World Bank and OPIC policies will save people from “climate disasters” decades from now by killing them tomorrow. This they pass off as morality.

In the years since EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned DDT in 1972, tens of millions of Africans and Asians died from malaria. Now his daughter is promoting similarly deadly policies, as lead author for the National Climate Assessment, which hypes every exaggerated and imaginary climate scare imaginable. Other Big Green and Climate Crisis radicals oppose GMO crops and chemical fertilizers, and insist that starving, energy deprived families limit their living standards to what is dictated by climate activists and supported by wind, solar and biofuels. The death tolls continue to mount.

African Development Bank’s president Donald Kaberuka says poor nations will no longer tolerate these hypocritical, lethal policies. His bank will continue loaning money for coal-fired generating units. But in a perverse irony, the absence of World Bank and OPIC money means those projects will not have sufficient funding to install modern, readily available pollution controls. So millions of families will finally have electricity and won’t be sickened by wood and dung fires, but new pollutants will needlessly afflict them.

Japan is also financing coal-fired power plants in Japan, India and Bangladesh – often using Green Climate Fund money! It points out that these high-efficiency units burn coal with less pollution and fewer carbon dioxide emissions than older plants – and stresses the importance of helping impoverished countries get reliable, affordable electricity to create jobs, improve living standards and save lives.

China, India, Germany, Poland and other countries are also building coal-fueled power plants at a steady clip. And Russia says it will “comply” with any new treaty primarily by emphasizing CO2 reductions due to absorption by forests. At this rate, the United States will soon be the only nation that strangles its economy and imperils people’s health and welfare in the name of stopping climate change.

But the Obama Administration is imposing its authoritarian policies anyway – and justifying them by falsifying temperature data and ignoring the reality that: (1) rising carbon dioxide levels are improving crop and tree growth; (2) temperature, hurricane, sea ice and other trends contradict climate models and manmade disaster hysteria; and (3) any human influences on the climate are drowned out by the sun, deep ocean circulation patterns and other powerful natural forces. No wonder alarmists won’t debate skeptics.

Earth’s climate and weather will continue changing, because the forces driving them are always in flux. We simply have to adjust to them. But Obama prefers the Lewis Carroll approach to climate and morality.

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less,” Humpty Dumpty told Alice, “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things,” Alice replied. No, Humpty responded. “The question is, who is to be master, that’s all.”

We the People must not let Obama & Co. be our master. Congress can and should refuse to ratify any climate treaty. It can and should defund these totalitarian initiatives. The next president can and should review and revoke every one. States can and should challenge them in court and refuse to knuckle under.

Via email

Global cooling on the way?

Russian climatologists tend to think that the evidence points to an oncoming global cooling event.  Below is the abstract from a recent peer-reviewed paper from Russia



Pulkovo observatory of the RAS, Saint Petersburg, Russia

The average annual decreasing rate of the total solar irradiance (TSI) is increasing from the 22-nd to the 23-rd and 24-th cycles, because the Sun since the 1990 is in the phase decline of quasi-bicentennial variation. The portion of the solar energy absorbed by the Earth is decreasing. Decrease in the portion of TSI absorbed by the Earth since 1990 remains uncompensated by the Earth's radiation into space at the previous high level over a time interval determined by the thermal inertia of the Ocean. A long-term negative deviation of the Earth’s average annual energy balance from the equilibrium state is dictating corresponding variations in it’s the energy state. As a result, the Earth will have a negative average annual energy balance also in the future. This will lead to the beginning of the decreasing in the Earth's temperature and of the epoch of the Little Ice Age after the maximum phase of the 24-th solar cycle approximately since the end of 2014. The influence of the consecutive chain of the secondary feedback effects (the increase in the Bond albedo and the decrease in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to cooling) will lead to an additional reduction of the absorbed solar energy and reduce the greenhouse effect. The start of the TSI’s Grand Minimum is anticipated in the solar cycle 27±1 in 2043±11 and the beginning of the phase of deep cooling of the 19th Little Ice Age for the past 7,500 years around 2060±11.

Thermal Science, 19, 2015

British National Trust boss vows to go to war on global warming

She should stick to hats

The National Trust was last night warned not to meddle in politics after it vowed to step up attempts to tackle climate change.

Critics said the charity risked damaging its popularity by getting mired in a debate that bitterly divides politicians, economists and the public.

The backlash came after director-general Dame Helen Ghosh yesterday set out how the organisation would actively campaign to slow the pace of global warming. She insisted its charitable status should not stop it taking a stance.

The former senior civil servant said: ‘Like any other charity we cannot be political with a capital ‘P’, but that doesn't stop us from campaigning on issues that strike at the heart of what our charitable purpose asks us to do.

‘All the practical evidence we have at the trust shows that the biggest challenge we are now facing concerns the threat to biodiversity and wildlife.’

The organisation – which describes itself as Europe’s biggest conservation charity – has already launched its ten-year strategy in which it said climate change ‘poses the single biggest threat’ to the places it looks after.

It pledged to meet half its energy needs with green sources such as wind, solar and hydropower by 2020.

But Dame Helen went further yesterday, telling The Sunday Telegraph she was especially concerned about the effects of climate change on the Trust’s 775 miles of coastline – saying parts of it were ‘falling off into the sea’. [Coastal erosion has been going on for over a century in Eastern England]

Insects such as silverfish, which are found in warm and damp areas including under carpets in many Trust properties, are no longer being killed off by ‘crisp, cold winters’.  [Really??]

Dame Helen, who joined the Trust two years ago, said: ‘The protection of our natural environment and historic places over the past 100 years has been core to the work of the Trust but it has never been just about looking after our own places.

‘The natural environment is in poor health, compromised by decades of unsustainable management and under pressure from climate change.

‘Wildlife has declined, over-worked soils are washing out to sea; villages and towns are flooded.’ But Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, last night said the subject was better left to Parliament.

‘It seems to me very surprising that the National Trust has taken this stance – it is entering a political debate with very strongly held views on both sides,’ he said.  ‘I would not have thought that is the role of a charity like the National Trust.  ‘I would suggest that the subject would be better left to politicians to debate the issue.’

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum – a think-tank which is sceptical of the extent of climate change – added: ‘The National Trust risks alienating a lot of its members over this issue.

‘Why have they come out now after 20 years of debate about climate change? It is a very popular organisation and I fear that this step will cause lots of trouble with its membership.

‘This is a token gesture that will not change anything in terms of policy.’


The $15 Billion Failure to Store Nuclear Waste

By Alan Caruba

“The American people have spent 30 years and $15 billion to determine whether Yucca Mountain would be a safe repository for our nation’s civilian and defense-related nuclear waste.” That’s a quote of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) reported in the April issue of The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.

Compare that with the one year and 45 days it took to build the Empire State Building or the five years it took to build the Hoover Dam in the depths of the Great Depression. In the first half of the last century, Americans knew how to get things done, but the rise of environmentalism in the latter half, starting around the 1970s, has increased the cost and time of any construction anywhere in the U.S. In the case of Yucca Mountain it has raised issues about nuclear waste that is currently stored is less secure conditions.

As reported by CNS News in January, “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has released the final two volumes of a five-volume safety report that concludes that Nevada’s Yucca Mountain meets all of its technical and safety requirements for the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.” Five volumes!

So why the delay?  The NRC says the Department of Energy “‘has not met certain land and water rights requirements’ and that other environmental and regulatory hurdles remain.”

A Wall Street Journal editorial on March 30 asserted that It is not about environmental and regulatory hurdles. It is about a deal that Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the former Senate Majority Leader, cut with President Obama to keep Yucca Mountain from ever opening for use. In return, Reid blocked nearly all amendments to legislation to shield Obama from having to veto bills. He virtually nullified the Senate as a functioning element of our government.

“Since there is no permanent disposal facility, spent fuel from the nation’s nuclear reactors—‘enough to fill a football field 17 meters deep’ according to a 2012 Government Accountability Office report—is currently being stored at dozens of above-ground sites. The GAO expects the amount of radioactive waste to double to 140,000 by 2055 when all of the currently operating nuclear reactors are retired.”

The United States where the development of nuclear fission and its use to generate electrical energy occurred is now well behind other nations that have built nuclear facilities and are adding new ones. As Donn Dear, an energy expert with Power For USA, points out “there are only four new nuclear power plants under construction, all by Toshiba-Westinghouse LLC. One other plant, Watts Bar 2, whose construction was held up for several years, is being completed by TVA.”

Meanwhile, as Dear notes, “South Korea is building four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates. The Russian company, Rosatom, is building power plants in Turkey, Belarus, Vietnam, and elsewhere. The China National Nuclear Corporation is scheduled to build over twenty nuclear power plants.”

These represent jobs and orders for equipment that are not occurring in the United States, along with the failure to utilize nuclear energy to provide the growing need for electricity here. The same environmental organizations opposing construction here are the same ones supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s attack on coal-fired electrical plants. The irony is, of course, that nuclear plants do not produce carbon dioxide emissions that the Greens blame for the non-existent “global warming”, not called “climate change.”

A cynical and false propaganda campaign has been waged against nuclear energy in the U.S., mostly notably with the Hollywood film, “The China Syndrome” about a reactor meltdown. If you want to worry about radiation, worry about the Sun. It is a major source. Three incidents, Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, added to the fears, but no one was harmed by the Three Mile Island event and Chernobyl was an avoidable accident.

More recent was the March 11, 2011 shutdown of the Fukushima reactor in Japan as the result of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Three of its cores melted in the first three days, but there have been no deaths or radiation sickness attributed to this event. That’s the part you’re not told about.

In the end, all it takes is one ignorant President to set progress back for decades. In this case it was President Jimmy Carter for not allowing reprocessing of nuclear waste, a standard practice in France where only one-fifth of spent fuel requires storage. In the 1980s there were three U.S. corporations leading the way on the introduction and use of nuclear energy to produce electrical power; General Electric, Westinghouse Electric, and Babcock & Wilcox. Today only Babcock-Wilcox continues as a fully owned American company.

Thanks to President Obama, we have lost another six years on the Yucca Mountain project. That fits with his refusal to permit the Keystone XL pipeline. No energy project that might actually benefit America will ever see his signature.

Some are arguing that America is a nation in decline and they can surely point to the near destruction of our nuclear energy industry as one example. That decline can begin to end in 2017 with the inauguration of a new President.


Climate 'sceptic' Bjorn Lomborg's Australian influence grows as he joins University of WA

One of the world's best-known climate contrarians, Bjorn Lomborg, will establish a base in Perth as his influence in Australia grows.

The controversial Dane has struck a four-year deal with the University of Western Australia to run a policy research centre in its business school, which will focus on the nation's future prosperity.

Dr Lomborg said he planned to spend a "significant amount of time" in Australia following his appointment this month as one of the Abbott government's advisers on foreign aid.

That appointment was criticised sharply by the Labor opposition and environmental activists, who questioned why someone who played down the effects of global warming should be advising on Pacific Island nations, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Dr Lomborg acknowledged on Wednesday his work had divided audiences but said he would continue to offer "rational advice on the best way to prioritise public spending".

"Australian politics seems very dichotomous, which is not a good thing if you want people to look ahead and find common solutions," he said.

"But this is not a right or a left-wing project. We'll inevitably annoy people who support some left-wing pet ideas as well as those who hold onto some right-wing ideas."

Dr Lomborg is best known for his books The Skeptical Environmentalist and its follow-up volume Cool it, which were criticised by climate scientists for underplaying the rate of global warming.

More recently, the Copenhagen Consensus Centre he founded has studied international development issues. His trademark approach is to use cost-benefit analyses to tell governments which projects produce the most social value per dollar spent.

His latest work, The Smartest Targets for the World, says, for example, that establishing free trade, ending overfishing or fossil fuel subsidies, or eliminating malaria, tuberculosis or child malnutrition represent "phenomonal" value for money. However, encouraging sustainable tourism or reducing child marriages or drug abuse are relatively wasteful uses of aid funds.

Dr Lomborg said his Perth-based Australia Concensus Centre would allow him to apply his economic modelling "to a rich country for the first time".

He said that, as with most Western nations, policy discussions in Australia tended to focus on the few years of the election cycle.

"We're going to look at long-term issues and their consequences: pension reform, infrastructure spending, what we should do with the environment, schooling, immigration and so on. Hopefully, our research will create helpful information for policymarkers.

"But, in the end, economists are not who'll decide what happens in Australia or the world: we're just putting the prices of the different options on the menu."

The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, said Dr Lomborg's centre "will become the go-to place for useful economic research to inform the national and international debate".



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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