Friday, July 24, 2015

Where has that pesky heat gone?

Warmists are convinced that there is some unmeasured heat hiding somewhere but can't decide where.  First it was in the Atlantic then in the Pacific.  But Whoops! the Pacific actually seem to be cooling.  Never mind.  Voila!  It's now in the Indian ocean. Story below mostly just modelling so mainly for laughs

The extra heat that has entered the Pacific Ocean during the period of slow surface warming since 1998 has been transferred to the Indian Ocean, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience. The findings reconcile reports of an enhanced heat uptake in the Pacific Ocean over the past 15 years or so with an observed *decrease* in the heat that is stored there. [Which is pretty pesky!]

Global mean surface temperatures have nearly stabilized since 1998 despite observations at the top of the atmosphere suggesting that the Earth has continued to warm. A significant portion of this heat is believed to have entered the Pacific Ocean, but measurements of the Pacific’s heat content indicate that it has actually been decreasing.

Sang-Ki Lee and colleagues analysed observational data along with simulations with a global ocean–sea ice model, and find that the increased heat uptake in the Pacific Ocean has been compensated by increased heat transport to the Indian Ocean, through the passages of the Indonesian Archipelago. The heat gain in the Indian Ocean accounts for 70% of the heat storage in the top 700 m of the global ocean. The authors suggest that if this transport persists, the accumulating heat in the Indian Ocean could be projected into the Atlantic Ocean, which has already heated substantially since the mid-twentieth century.


Amplifying the speculation

Timed nicely for the big climate conference in Paris coming soon. Even Michael Mann thinks the central claim is 'far fetched'.  And their claim of  polar melting is simply a lie. Total polar ice-cover has been growing, not melting.  The key words highlighted

Sea levels could rise by as much as 10 feet in the next 50 years due to 'highly dangerous' global warming, a leading climate scientist has warned.

Dr James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, and 16 other researchers are preparing to publish new projections for how the oceans may respond to climate change.

They warn an increase in average global temperatures of just 1°C could result in dramatic changes in sea level and an increase in powerful storms.

They conclude that 2°C of warming – the international target for limiting global warming – will be 'highly dangerous' to humanity.

The study warns that glaciers in Greenland and the Antarctic could melt 10 times faster than projections put forward by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which predicted sea levels would rise by around one metre (three feet) by the end of the century.

The scientists said: 'Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating.

'It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.'

Dr Hansen, who was Nasa's lead climate scientist until 2013 when he retired and now holds a post with Columbia University's Earth Institute, has described the paper as his most important to date.

Dr Hansen was one of the first scientists to publicly highlight the risk of global warming during evidence he gave to the US congress in 1988.

He said he now plans to take the results of the latest study to policymakers in an attempt to make them realise the importance of taking action to curb climate change.

Last year the UN's IPCC warned world leaders they need to restrict global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial targets by cutting carbon emissions.

However, the new study by Dr Hansen and his colleagues, which is to be published by the online journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, suggests even keeping climate change within these limits may not save the world from disaster.

The 66-page long report highlights evidence that ice loss in many parts of the planet is accelerating.

Previous estimates of sea level rise have assumed ice loss would occur at a consistent rate, but the new evidence suggests it can double within 10 years.

They warn that as ice loss increases, the ice sheets could suffer large scale disintegration and it could change the circulation of the oceans due to large amounts of cold fresh water appearing in the seas.

Last winter, widely seen as the warmest on record across much of the world, saw the water in the North Atlantic reaching the *coldest* temperatures on record, perhaps due to ice loss from Greenland.

Dr Hansen and his colleagues claim this could eventually lead to the ocean currents that circulate warm and cool water around the globe shutting down.

This would lead to the tropics warming more without the ocean to pull heat away towards the poles and this could also lead to more powerful storms.

Their paper notes that in the Eemian period, an interglacial period around 120,000 years ago, there is evidence that gigantic waves moved huge boulders from the seafloor to the top of hills in the Bahamas.

At the time sea levels rose by between 16-30 feet (5-9 metres) due to ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland. It is thought that global temperatures were around 1 degree C warmer than today.

According to the Washington Post, Paul Hearty, a geologist at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, who co-authored the study, said: 'During this last warm interglacial, not much warmer than the present, [the world saw] not only a higher than present average sea level, but ultimately a significantly higher sea level that required the melting and or collapse of probably both Greenland and West Antarctica, along with basically this great oceanic disturbance.

'There were storms, and a lot of more catastrophic type events associated with this big climate shift.'

However, some scientists have reacted sceptically to the findings in the paper.

Dr Ruth Mottram, a glaciologist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, said she did not think such large rises in sea level were possible and doubted the rate reported in the article.

Dr Michael Mann, a climate researcher at Penn State University, told the Washington Post that he felt the shut down of heat transport in the oceans 'seems rather far fetched'.

However, he said their arguments for the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and substantial sea level rise that would result was 'compelling'.


British Warmist Bob Ward loses another one

IPSO has published its latest judgement on a case brought by Bob Ward against David Rose, the third in as many years. This revolved around a story last year about GISS's claim that 2014 was the warmest on record and their failure to note the significant possibility that that it might not be.

I must say this seemed a relatively small point to me, but it clearly got Bob Ward's blood boiling, in the way that the Jesuits would get a bit upset over minor theological transgressions. It's not so much the details of the offence as the source of the challenge to authority that upsets. No quarter for heretics.

As one might expect, therefore, our obsessive climate Jesuit handed the case over to the Inquisition - the press "regulator" IPSO - no doubt hoping that they would condemn Rose to burn at the stake. Unfortunately IPSO were not playing the same game and their judgement, handed down a few weeks ago, was, yet again, a sound defeat for Ward:

"The Committee noted that information about the margin of error had been made available by GISS, but that it was not in dispute that these details had been omitted from the press release. The article had made clear that this specifically was the basis for its criticism of Nasa, and the newspaper was entitled to present its view that this omission represented a failure on the part of the organisation. While the information had been released by Nasa, it had been released to a limited selection of people, in comparison to those who would have had access to the press release, and had not been publicised to the same level as the information in the release. The press briefing images referred to by the complainant were available on Nasa’s website, but were not signposted by the press release. In this context, it was not misleading to report that the information relating to the margin of error had emerged in circumstances where the position was not made clear in the press release. While these details of the margin of error may have been noted in a press briefing two days previously, rather than “yesterday”, as reported, this discrepancy did not represent a significant inaccuracy requiring correction under the terms of the Code.

So Ward's complaint to IPSO has met the same fate as the earlier ones. Which makes the score to date Heretics 3, Jesuits 0.

One wonders how much longer this can go on before IPSO starts treating Ward as a vexatious litigant. Can they award costs against him, I wonder?


Britain moves to slash renewable subsidy costs

Britain’s government on Wednesday moved to rein in the spiralling costs of renewable power subsidies which it said threatened to push up household bills.

The plans include closing support for small-scale solar projects, changing the way renewable projects qualify for payments and modifying subsidies for biomass plants.

The proposals come just a month after the government said it would scrap new subsidies for onshore wind farms from April next year.

“We can’t have a situation where industry has a blank cheque and that cheque is paid for by people’s bills,” Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said on BBC radio.

Figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show the cost of renewables subsidies could reach 9.1 billion pounds a year by the 2020/21 tax year compared with a proposed budget of 7.6 billion.

Investors said the government’s u-turn had undermined the industry’s case for investing in renewable electricity production.

“The government has stripped away without warning incentives for projects on which many companies have made major investment decisions in renewable technologies,” said Richard Kirkman, technical director at Veolia UK, a subsidiary of French environmental services group Veolia (VIE.PA).

Other European governments have also curbed generous renewable subsidies.

Last year Germany changed its renewable energy law, seeking to cap support for renewables, while Spain changed its subsidy scheme for solar plants after higher than expected demand.

Britain's DECC also said on Wednesday it would no longer guarantee subsidies offered for biomass conversion projects.

The decision sent shares in power company Drax (DRX.L), which is in the process of converting its coal plants to using biomass, down around 2 percent in early trading but they have since recovered.

As part of extensive reforms of Britain's electricity market, the government has been changing the way it supports renewable energy by replacing direct subsidies with a contracts-for-difference (CfD) system.

Under the scheme, qualifying projects are guaranteed a minimum price at which they can sell electricity and renewable power generators bid for CfD contracts in a round of auctions.

But Rudd on Tuesday cast doubt on whether there would be another auction of CfD renewable support by telling a parliamentary committee she could not confirm it would take place.

Asked to clarify Rudd’s comments, a DECC spokeswoman said only that decisions on any further CfD auctions would be taken in due course.

Under the first round of auctions held last December, the government awarded contracts to 27 renewable projects worth a total of more than 315 million pounds.

Previously, the government said the budget for the next CfD allocation round would be confirmed later this year and that the second auction could take place in the autumn.


Minister Slams German Government’s Green Energy Reform Plan: “Nonsense…Little To Do With Reality”!

As more wildly fluctuating solar and wind energy is fed into the German power grid, the question of how to prevent blackouts has been elevated to urgent.

Germany’s weekly Die Zeit recently published an interview with Franz Untersteller, Environment Minister of the state of Baden Wurttemberg. He claims “electrical power supply will be tight“. The reason is because of the federal government’s latest energy reform plan.

Untersteller believes that Germany is headed on the wrong path and is in the process of repeating California’s 1990s blunders, which led to widespread rolling blackouts and a crippling of the Golden State’s power grid.

Currently Germany’s federal Economics Minister, Sigmar Gabriel is planning a reform of Germany’s electricity market. The aim, Zeit writes, is “to allow growth of the fluctuating share of power generation without the occurrence of blackouts whenever green electricity is lacking due to the weather“.

Untersteller thinks the federal government’s plan will lead to power shortages in some areas, in part as a result of the coming shutdown and/or mothballing of non-fluctuating nuclear and conventional power plants – in combination with the lack of power transmission lines to feed power in from north German offshore windparks. There is now an immediate need for a stable baseload power supply in southern Germany.

However Untersteller sees few investors willing to invest in back-up conventional power plants that can be switched on and off as needed according to fluctuating supply because of their complete lack of profitability: “Why would investors want to build such plants? [..] Talk to the managers of the energy business. Many of them are saying that the investment decisions that they made a few years ago would not be made today because of the falling price levels on the spot power exchanges.”

Untersteller calls the federal government’s latest plan for installing reserve capacity using old brown coal plants “nonsense” because they are unable to switch on and off quickly enough in response to wind and solar power supply fluctuations. Untersteller tells Die Zeit: “Old brown coal plants viewed technically are the crass opposite of flexible power plants.”

Untersteller is puzzled as to why Germany has opted to use solutions that have already failed in other countries, recounting a meeting he had with managers of Cailfornia power company PG&E:

“When I told them what the German federal government was planning, their eyebrows went up. California had a similar system, but only until the year 2000. They had blackout situations.”

As a solution to Germany’s power grid needs, Untersteller proposes a “focused capacity market” where in a complicated process certain flexible and environmentally friendly capacities would be bid on and auctioned off with the aim of fulfilling the requirements for a reliable power supply in a market-oriented manner. It would be costly, but Untersteller says, “Supply reliability has its price“, i.e. the consumer would get stuck with the tab.

On the government’s current plan to reform the power market, Untersteller says that it is based on “ideal conditions – on conditions that in my opinion have very little to do with the daily reality in the energy business.”



Three articles below

Millionaire British Tory brands Prime Minister Tony Abbott's climate change policies 'illogical'

A lot of rich people think they are obviously superior and therefore should control the "peasants" -- which is what the global warming scare is good for.  He makes no mention of any evidence for global warming, probably because he knows of none

A prominent British Tory MP has lashed out at Prime Minister Tony Abbott over his climate change policies, labelling them a misrepresentation of true conservative values.

Former British environment minister Richard Benyon wrote in an opinion piece for Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Abbott's decision to become the first world leader to abolish a carbon price is 'illogical.'

The conservative MP urged the prime minister to speak for common sense ahead of a global summit on climate change in Paris at the end of the year.

Declaring that Mr Abbott's policies go against the grain of true conservative values, Benyon writes: 'true conservative values include distaste for over-regulation and enthusiasm for entrepreneurialism.

'But they also include a respect for sound science and economics, a belief in protecting the natural world and a responsibility to do the best for the biggest possible number of one's citizens,' Benon writes.

The former British army member said the issue transcended a national scale, urging the prime minister to speak for common sense in the climate change debate.

'This is more about a global issue where many of us want to see sensible politicians on the centre-right recognising that climate change is a clear and present danger to our world,' he said.

The article is one of the most scathing critiques on the government's environmental policies from the a right wing politician to date.

Mr Abbott's government is due to reveal its post-2020 carbon reduction targets in August, ahead of a global summit on climate change in Paris at the end of the year.

Last year, Mr Abbott declared climate change was not the most important problem the world is facing, after UN climate change spokesman Dan Thomas labelled it the 'defining issue of our time'.

In November American president Barrack Obama piled pressure on the Abbott government to act on climate change, declaring that natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef were under direct threat from climate change.


Conservative politician To Host 'Carnival Of Coal' To Make 'Eco-Lunatics Lose Their Minds'

The New South Wales government's Whip in the Legislative Council really loves coal, and he’s hatching a plan to “make the left lose their collective mind in impotent rage”.

The Liberal MP Dr Peter Phelps will be hosting a ‘Carnival of Coal’ at New South Wales Parliament next month “to declare support for coal and associated industries and to send a loud and clear message that action is needed now to protect a secure, inexpensive energy future”.

“The event was inspired by a lunch with a couple of mates from my federal staffer days in Canberra,” said Phelps, who assured New Matilda he is “always happy to assist the fourth estate where [he] can”.

“The question came up: what could we do that would make the left lose their collective mind in impotent rage?

“Naturally, there is nothing the green/left hates more than coal, so I thought it would be a nice way of trolling the eco-lunatics and their fellow-travellers, especially those in the left-wing media who are always the first to hit the 'hysterical outrage' button whenever anyone challenges the efficacy of their pet pieties.”

The event appears to be a parody of an earlier invite, to another ‘party with a purpose’, from Greens MP John Kaye.

“I will be hosting a Solar Shindig at NSW Parliament House to declare support for solar and other renewable technologies and to send a loud and clear message that action is needed now to protect the clean energy future,” Kaye said in an email to parliamentarians.

Just a few hours later Phelps followed suit, managing an impressive turnaround speed to offer “I liked carbon before it was coal” stickers for parliamentarians who can’t make it.

Himself an avid distributor of stickers - only, with a slightly different message - Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham slammed the New South Wales Libs for their “complete disregard for all those who want to see our food bowl in the Liverpool Plains saved from coal mining”.

Buckingham, former Independent MP Tony Windsor, the New South Wales Farmers Association and a host of others have unleashed a blitzkrieg of criticism against the Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce over the federal government’s approval of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine in the food bowl of north west New South Wales.

Having declared “the world has gone mad” because of an approval his government issued, Joyce is unlikely to attend. But state Liberal MP Scott MacDonald will be there – he *accidentally* sent an email ostensibly aimed at a staffer to all of Parliament within six minutes.

MacDonald will likely be rubbing shoulders with the big boys of big coal at Phelps’ ‘carnival’, which will be held at Parliaments’ Waratah Room on August 11.

Phelps tells New Matilda there’ll “probably [be] drinks, nibbles, unremitting mockery of green/left lunacy and their hatred of human achievement,” too.

“I also hope that there will be free samples of coal for MPs to be able to take away and place in their office for a display of solidarity,” he said.

“As for industry people, I hope they all come, but I don't have any confirmations from them yet - perhaps because I haven't asked any of them yet. Which I should get around to doing, now that I think of it. Thanks for the reminder.”

Phelps said coal needs mates “because it has been demonised by the extreme green movement, despite it being the safest, cheapest and most reliable source of power in Australia and around the world”.

The coal-loving Coalition member said he does not want to see the industry scaled back in New South Wales, which is a view shared by the Premier Mike Baird.

“I reject the quasi-religious mysticism of anthropogenic global warming, and the increasingly fascistic tendencies of its disciples,” Phelps said.

And yes, he does worry about “what lunatic Socialist governments will do in an attempt to appease the extreme green agenda”.

He said that the response to his event has been “pretty good, so far”.

“But the really interesting thing will be to see how many ALP people turn up, given their putative support for blue collar workers (remember what the 'M' in CFMEU stands for!), especially those that purport to represent miners in the Hunter Valley and Illawarra.”


Astonishing renewable energy target turnaround by the Australian Labor party

In politics nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems, as they say, but Tony Abbott will wonder if it ever gets any better than this.

Bill Shorten has just gifted the Coalition the most simple and effective mantra for the next election - vote Labor and you get higher electricity prices.

Given Labor's intention to return to a price on carbon this was always likely to be the case but it has now been amplified - put up in bright lights if you like - by Shorten himself.

By promising to more than double the share of renewable energy in the economy over the next decade and a half, Labor cannot escape the reality of higher electricity prices.

It is an extraordinary policy announcement - without any detail.

Having voted in parliament last month to lower the nation's guaranteed renewable energy share to about 23 per cent by 2020, Labor is now saying it will boost that share to 50 per cent by 2030.

Labor's spokesman Mark Butler seems to have no idea how the target will be achieved, what it will cost or whether it will increase the country's emissions reduction performance.

"When we get into government and look at putting the finer detail of this," he told SkyNews in an amazing interview, "obviously the cost of power for households and businesses is absolutely the top of the list as well as making sure that energy supply is secure."

In other words, elect us and then we will work out how this policy works and what it will cost you.

On the weekend I wrote that the difference between the government and opposition on climate change was an illusion: "Labor postures as alarmist and evangelical, while the Coalition postures as cautious and sceptical, yet they promise identical emission outcomes through different methods. It is beyond parody."

And I even suggested that despite the rhetoric Labor might not promise to do much more because the downside was obvious; "the higher Labor sets its sights the higher the costs it will have to impose."

Well now Labor has taken a massive risk - and in my view one it will soon regret.

It is promising to do much more on climate change, and it is promising to do it with your money.

Yet, of course, because of Australia's tiny share of global emissions (just over 1 per cent) it can't deliver any discernible environmental benefit. It is all for show.

Just how much extra it will cost is anyone's guess.   But remember these are government mandated targets - if renewable energy was cheaper it wouldn't have to be mandated, investment would flow there naturally.

If wind energy was really more cost-effective than coal and gas, Labor would not have been complaining just days ago about the government directing Clean Energy Finance Corporation investment away from wind projects.

If wind energy really drove down prices, Labor would not have agreed in parliament just weeks ago to not only reduce the 2020 renewable energy target but exempt industries where jobs were under threat.

The cost pressures and threatened job losses that Labor pragmatically tried to alleviate in that decision are now back on the table - with double the impact - thanks to today's announcement.  It is an astonishing policy turnaround.

The sudden change, the lack of detail and the timing all suggest this is about Bill Shorten desperately seeking to appeal to the Green Left of his party in order to head off the aspirations of his deputy and potential leadership rival Tanya Plibersek.

This is Labor turning its back on household costs, manufacturing jobs and economic prosperity in order to appeal to the inner city green left.

For all his problems over almost two years of government, Abbott must be thinking good things really do come in threes: Kevin Rudd destroyed his prime ministership when he dropped his commitment to an emissions trading scheme aimed at meeting what he called the greatest moral challenge or our time; Julia Gillard blew herself up when she broke her carbon tax promise; and now Shorten has put a carbon price and a massive (uncosted) renewable energy target on the table.

Whatever is happening to the climate, politics doesn't seem capable of changing.



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.  

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