A new record Pause length: no warming for 18 years 7 months
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
For 223 months, since January 1997, there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). This month’s RSS temperature shows the Pause setting a new record at 18 years 7 months.
It is becoming ever more likely that the temperature increase that usually accompanies an el Niño will begin to shorten the Pause somewhat, just in time for the Paris climate summit, though a subsequent La Niña would be likely to bring about a resumption and perhaps even a lengthening of the Pause.
Figure 1. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 7 months since January 1997.
The hiatus period of 18 years 7 months is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend. The start date is not cherry-picked: it is calculated. And the graph does not mean there is no such thing as global warming. Going back further shows a small warming rate.
The Pause has now drawn blood. In the run-up to the world-government “climate” conference in Paris this December, the failure of the world to warm at all for well over half the satellite record has provoked the climate extremists to resort to desperate measures to try to do away with the Pause.
First there was Tom Karl with his paper attempting to wipe out the Pause by arbitrarily adding a hefty increase to all the ocean temperature measurements made by the 3600 automated ARGO bathythermograph buoys circulating in the oceans. Hey presto! All three of the longest-standing terrestrial temperature datasets – GISS, HadCRUT4 and NCDC – were duly adjusted, yet again, to show more global warming than has really occurred.
However, the measured and recorded facts are these. In the 11 full years April 2004 to March 2015, for which the ARGO system has been providing reasonably-calibrated though inevitably ill-resolved data (each buoy has to represent 200,000 km3 of ocean temperature with only three readings a month), there has been no warming at all in the upper 750 m, and only a little below that, so that the trend over the period of operation shows a warming equivalent to just 1 C° every 430 years.
Figure 1a. Near-global ocean temperatures by stratum, 0-1900 m. Source: ARGO marine atlas.
And in the lower troposphere, the warming according to RSS occurred at a rate equivalent to 1 C° every 700 years.
Figure 1b. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the UAH satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 5 months since March 1997.
Then along came another paper, this time saying that the GISS global temperature record shows global warming during the Pause and that, therefore, GISS shows global warming during the Pause. This instance of argumentum ad petitionem principii, the fallacy of circular argument, passed peer review without difficulty because it came to the politically-correct conclusion that there was no Pause.
The paper reached its conclusion, however, without mentioning the word “satellite”. The UAH data show no warming for 18 years 5 months.
Figure 1c. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the UAH satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 5 months since March 1997.
For completeness, though no reliance can now be placed on the terrestrial datasets, here is the “warming” rate they show since January 1997:
Figure 1d. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the GISS, HadCRUT4 and NCDC terrestrial monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly datasets shows global warming at a rate equivalent to a little over 1 C° per century during the period of the Pause from January 1997 to July 2015.
Bearing in mind that one-third of the 2.4 W m–2 radiative forcing from all manmade sources since 1750 has occurred during the period of the Pause, a warming rate equivalent to little more than 1 C°/century is not exactly alarming. However, the paper that reported the supposed absence of the Pause was extremely careful not to report just how little warming the terrestrial datasets – even after all their many tamperings – actually show.
As always, a note of caution. Merely because there has been little or no warming in recent decades, one may not draw the conclusion that warming has ended forever. The trend lines measure what has occurred: they do not predict what will occur.
Furthermore, the long, slow build-up of the current el Nino, which has now become strongish and – on past form – will not peak till the turn of the year, is already affecting tropical temperatures and, as the thermohaline circulation does its thing, must eventually affect global temperatures.
Though one may expect the el Nino to be followed by a la Nina, canceling the temporary warming, this does not always happen. In short, the Pause may well come to an end and then disappear. However, as this regular column has stressed before, the Pause – politically useful though it may be to all who wish that the “official” scientific community would remember its duty of skepticism – is far less important than the growing divergence between the predictions of the general-circulation models and observed reality.
The divergence between the models’ predictions in 1990 (Fig. 2) and 2005 (Fig. 3), on the one hand, and the observed outturn, on the other, continues to widen. If the Pause lengthens just a little more, the rate of warming in the quarter-century since the IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 will fall below 1 C°/century equivalent.
Figure 2. Near-term projections of warming at a rate equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] K/century, made with “substantial confidence” in IPCC (1990), for the 307 months January 1990 to July 2015 (orange region and red trend line), vs. observed anomalies (dark blue) and trend (bright blue) at just 1 K/century equivalent, taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH v. 5.6 satellite monthly mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
Figure 3. Predicted temperature change, January 2005 to July 2015, at a rate equivalent to 1.7 [1.0, 2.3] Cº/century (orange zone with thick red best-estimate trend line), compared with the near-zero observed anomalies (dark blue) and real-world trend (bright blue), taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH v. 5.6 satellite lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
The page Key Facts about Global Temperature (below) should be shown to anyone who persists in believing that, in the words of Mr Obama’s Twitteratus, “global warming is real, manmade and dangerous”.
The Technical Note explains the sources of the IPCC’s predictions in 1990 and in 2005, and also demonstrates that that according to the ARGO bathythermograph data the oceans are warming at a rate equivalent to less than a quarter of a Celsius degree per century.
Key facts about global temperature
More HERE (In addition to the scholarly disquisition above, there is a large appendix of technical notes for the benefit of anyone who is inclined to question anything in what Lord Monckton has said)
EPA’s punitive, fraudulent Clean Power Plan
Congress, states and our next president must end EPA harm to human health and welfare
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP) requires that states reduce their electric utility sector carbon dioxide emissions an average of 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. EPA twisted 80 words in the Clean Air Act into 1,560 pages of regulations (plus appendices) demanding that utilities return CO2 emissions almost to 1975 levels, while our population grows by 40 million.
Some 30 states will have to slash their power plant CO2 emissions by more than 32% and at least 12 will have to implement 40-48% reductions. That is a tall order, since all those states now get 50-96% of their electricity from coal, and all of them depend on coal plus natural gas for nearly all their electric power. Imposing that transition and a conversion to 20% or more expensive and unreliable wind and solar energy by 2030 will be disastrous. It will bankrupt families, businesses, industries, communities and even states.
Electricity rates will rise not merely to the 15-17 cents/kWh in “green energy” states like California, from the 8-9 cents per kilowatt-hour currently paid in coal-reliant states. They could skyrocket to the 36-40 cents/kWh now paid in Denmark and Germany (70-80 cents when taxpayer subsidies are included).
That will hammer everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. It will impair our livelihoods, living standards, liberties and life spans. And these destructive rules are being imposed by callous, imperious, unelected, unaccountable federal bureaucrats who are circumventing our laws and Constitution; disregarding the clear will of Congress, which has rejected nearly 700 climate bills; and colluding regularly with radical Big Green pressure groups on sue-and-settle lawsuits and new regulatory edicts.
Under the CPP, everything business owners, workers, families and communities strived for their entire lives will be at risk. Millions of workers will lose their jobs, leaving more families destitute and welfare dependent, their sense of self-worth destroyed. Many will have to choose between buying food and gasoline, paying the rent or mortgage, going to the doctor, giving to their church, or saving for retirement.
Families will face severe sleep deprivation, greater stress and depression, and more drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse, theft and robbery. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die prematurely or commit suicide. More elderly people will perish from hypothermia, because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly.
Instead of acknowledging any of this, EPA employs a “social cost of carbon” scheme that places arbitrary inflated costs on damages it claims result from alleged climate risks from using carbon-based fuels. It includes every imaginable and imaginary cost of using fossil fuels – even absurd claims that its anti-energy plan will reduce asthma rates, which have been increasing while pollution rates are going down.
Meanwhile, the EPA and White House ignore even the most obvious benefits of using fossil fuels.
The Obama EPA keeps its questionable data and analyses secret, refusing to share them even with Congress or governors. It ignores the fact that global temperatures haven’t budged in 18 years, and no category 3-5 hurricane has hit the USA in a record 9-3/4 years – contrary to all climate alarm predictions. About the only thing EPA does admit is that slashing America’s CO2 emissions, and causing all this economic havoc, will prevent less than less than 0.03 degrees F of global warming 85 years from now.
These green dictators refuse to debate any of this. Indeed, they do not want anyone to talk about it.
The intolerant Left is “killing free speech,” says liberal commentator Kirsten Powers. It is committed to tolerance, pluralism and reasoned debate only for itself, and only to advance its agenda. Otherwise, it applies “authoritarian demands for intellectual conformity,” and relentlessly vilifies and tries to silence anyone who speaks up, asks inconvenient questions or challenges the “progressive” worldview.
“Free speech,” says George Will, “has never been … more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. Today they are attacking the theory of free speech … the desirability of free speech … and indeed the very possibility of free speech….”
As if on cue, the IRS targeted numerous conservative groups – and the Milwaukee prosecutor and police monitored emails, invaded homes, seized computers and records, and threatened jail for anyone who disclosed these abuses, to intimidate and silence Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s supporters.
Their actions destroy our fundamental First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly, association and debate. Worse, they severely impair the unalienable rights of people to enjoy affordable, reliable energy and the quality jobs, living standards, health and welfare it brings.
“The ruling class demonizes any questioning of its demands,” says Boston University professor emeritus Angelo Codevilla. “The pretexts differ” from issue to issue,” he notes. “But the reality is the same: Bow or be persecuted.… Consequently, if we wish to remain who we are in the face of threats and declamations meant to force us to honor intellectual and moral falsehoods, we have no alternative but clearly and loudly to distinguish between true and false, and fully make the case for what we believe to be right.”
We must not mince words regarding the evils that energy and climate totalitarianism inflict on families, industries, communities and nations. We must confront the deceit and deceivers, abuses and abusers – and present the hard, ugly realities of what life would be under conditions imposed by eco-extremists.
Right now, we have too many taxes and regulations, too much secrecy and fraud, too many extremists, and far too little accountability in EPA. There is too much eco-religious fervor, too little science and humanity. Poor and minority families are hurt most of all. Our governors, state and federal legislators, attorneys general, courts, next president, and citizen, industry and scientific groups need to take action:
* Refuse to comply with the CPP. Curb the excessive power and representation of environmentalists and bureaucrats in our government. End the constant collusion and the sue-and-settle lawsuits between government agencies and radical environmentalist pressure groups. Cut agency budgets, especially the billions of dollars that EPA and other agencies give to anti-energy advocacy organizations and biased advisory panels.
* Gain access to thus-far secret EPA, NOAA, IPCC and other data, computer codes, models and studies – and subject them to full review by independent experts, to determine which assertions, policies and regulations are valid, and which are based on serious error, deceptive claims or outright fraud.
* During the review process, suspend and defund implementation of regulations and programs that raise serious questions about their honesty and validity. Terminate rules and programs found to be based on fraud, junk science, doctored data, collusion or concocted evidence – and penalize or terminate agency personnel who have engaged in deceptive or fraudulent practices.
* Ensure that regulatory agencies and their advisory councils are honest and transparent; that they represent a broader spectrum of expertise, viewpoints and interests than they do now; and that they fully assess evidence for and against proposed regulations, and their true benefits and costs.
* Restore federalism and the separation of powers for Congress and state governments, and end the deference that courts too often give to agency discretion and authority for even outrageous actions and power grabs by federal agencies.
* Present true stories of workers and families whose jobs and businesses have been threatened or destroyed by EPA and other government policies, programs and diktats; how these citizens have fought back; and their victories over energy, environmental and economic totalitarianism.
These vital actions will almost certainly be opposed by President Obama, Democrats, environmentalist pressure groups, and other members of the Climate Crisis and Renewable Energy Complex. But they are absolutely essential if the United States is going to have an economic and employment revival, and poor, minority and blue-collar families are to be protected from fraud, regulatory excess and ruling elites.
EPA relies on secret comments in No Power Plan rulemaking
By Nathan Mehrens
EPAAfter the release of the Obama Administration’s much-publicized “Clean Power Plan” regulations, reports have indicated that the regulatory process that went into developing this “Plan” may not have been as transparent as touted. Environmental extremist groups were apparently regularly communicating and coordinating with officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency developing the “Plan,” regarding the regulations that comprise the “Plan.” These regulations restrict carbon emissions from power generation facilities.
This is certainly not the first time that they have done this. In other contexts we’ve seen a very cozy hand-in-glove relationship between environmental extremists and the agency personnel that regulate us. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by my organization, Americans for Limited Government, it was revealed that several of these groups were working very closely with the EPA on issues surrounding the handling of coal ash.
This is not how the regulatory process was designed to work. The way it is supposed to work is straightforward:
(1.) the agency hosts public meetings to discuss the subject that is to be regulated;
(2.) the agency is to then take the comments provided in the stakeholder meetings into consideration when developing a proposed regulation;
(3.) after a proposed regulation is developed, it is to be published in the Federal Register and a period of public comment, typically not less than sixty days, is to occur;
(4.) after receiving public comment on the proposed regulation, the agency is to then develop a final rule. This final rule needs to provide a reasoned analysis of how the agency made the decisions it made when finalizing the regulation.
If these steps are followed, then a good deal of deference is provided by the courts to the agency in any litigation challenging the regulation. The regulatory process is supposed to be open and transparent, and the regulations are to be developed using information that is public — not information supplied in secret by activists.
Based on the reports cited above, it appears that the EPA has not been following the proper procedure in how it is regulating us. This is unfortunate because, in many cases, the extremist environmental groups have spent years developing both contacts within the agency and, in some instances, have developed the “farm team” of personnel who now occupy many of the regulation-writing positions.
This cuts the effectiveness of the general public out of the process, because who are you going to listen to — four million individuals who submit comments on an issue, or the “expert” who has carefully developed a relationship with you in order to be in a position to give you a detailed plan of action when the time is right?
Years ago, the EPA developed a policy prohibiting the kind of secret dealings on regulations that we are now seeing. Apparently, at some point, they decided to ignore this policy.
In response to the 1977 decision of the D.C. Circuit in Home Box Office, Inc. v. FCC, the EPA Administrator developed a policy titled “Ex Parte” Contacts in EPA Rulemaking. This policy is still posted on the EPA’s website as part of their regulatory procedures manual.
This policy very tightly mandated that non-public (ex parte) communications regarding pending regulations not occur between regulators and those with an interest in the regulation. In particular, policy advised as follows: “Whenever it is feasible to eliminate private conversations with a person interested in a rulemaking after the rule has been proposed, you should do so. (This would not bar routine status inquiries, etc. — only conversations directed at the merits of the rule itself.) Where this is not feasible, a memorandum to the file should be prepared by the agency participants stating in detail what happened. This memorandum should then be placed in the comment file just as if it were a public comment [emphasis added].”
Based on reports of contacts between EPA personnel and environmental extremists, this policy is no longer being followed by the EPA. This is unfortunate, as it means that the regulations which are promulgated – regulations which are a type of law applying to a wide swath of our entire lives – are being written not in the open, but rather in secret.
Like many problems with the rulemaking process, this is an area that Congress should investigate and fix. No longer should Congress let agencies write regulations in the dark while guided by activists, but instead Congress should do two things: (1.) reclaim its authority to write our laws, and (2.) in those instances where a delegation of rulemaking authority to an agency remains, pass legislation to ensure that any regulations that are promulgated using ex parte communications are unlawful. Doing this will return some small measure of agency accountability to the public.
Greenie says: Clean Power Plan Is 'A Great Start,' But 'I Think We Can Do More'
First coal, then natural gas? Apparently so. A spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund defended the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan on Wednesday, saying the benefits of carbon-reduction are "important" and "real" -- and hinting that they are just a start: methane emissions from natural gas may be targeted next.
"I think we can do more," EDF's Jeremy Symons told CSPAN's morning call-in show. "I think once we get on this path, we will find that we can do more faster. But it's a great start."
Under the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, each state must decide how to rearrange their energy mix to achieve EPA-mandated, pollution-reduction targets. Basically, the plan will force states to abandon coal as an energy source in favor of the wind and solar industries, which are not as cost-effective or desirable in a free market.
With coal out of the picture, Symons said natural gas "can and should compete with clean energy." But, he added, "one issue with natural gas -- natural gas does pollute less than coal in terms of carbon pollution when it's burned. But it emits more (pollution) than clean energy and certainly, the best option, which is energy efficiency.
"But there is one piece that's unaccounted for still, that needs to be dealt with and is unfinished business, and that's the methane emissions from the oil and gas production and transportation sector. "Methane's a very potent greenhouse gas, 80 times or more potent than a ton of CO2 for every ton of methane," Symons said.
"So we need to plug the leaks, which are wasting a valuable natural resource in natural gas throughout the system and stop that pollutant. That's going to save money, it's good business, it's good stewardship. So let's do that. Let's make sure that we get the markets right and let the technologies compete."
According to the Environmental Defense Fund website, "About 1/3 of the warming we’re experiencing today is due to methane and similar climate pollutants. In the U.S., natural gas production and distribution is the biggest source of methane leaks.
"Fixing these leaks is key. Natural gas companies and utilities should improve their own monitoring of natural gas leaks, but a national policy to reduce methane leaks across the supply chain would ensure that all sectors of the natural gas industry are doing their part to reduce pollution."
EDF notes that lawmakers "are starting to wake up to the threats of methane," after the White House this year announced plans for a federal limit on that pollutant.
Symons on Wednesday indicated that the free market isn't conductive to pollution control:
"We want to reduce pollution. That's what we're about. And we want the market to compete to reduce that pollution. POllution is not free.
"When you keep talking about the freedom of markets, the markets are wrong right now. The makets have not incorporated the fact that carbon pollution is causing the damage. We want to make sure that businesses are making choices based on the total impact of the choices that they make.
"Given that -- gien the power of markets, we can get the kind of results on carbon pollution that we got on sulfur dioxide to deal with the acid rain problem..." (The Obama administration set stricter controls on sulfur dioxide in 2010.)
Appearing with Symons on CSPAN, Myron Ebell of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute noted that Symons had "let the cat out of the bag" by admitting carbon pollution is "only the first step."
"And as we go along, each step will be more and more expensive. So the Obama administration and the environmental movement have big plans, and this is only a small piece of it," Ebell said.
The EPA says its Clean Power Plan, by the year 2030, will reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels. At the same time, "utility-scale" solar and wind capacity is projected to double by 2030, compared to 2013 levels.
Japan dials back the panic over nukes
Japan is about to do something that’s never been done before: Restart a fleet of mothballed nuclear reactors.
The first reactor to meet new safety standards could come online as early as next week. Japan is reviving its nuclear industry after all its plants were shut for safety checks since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station north of Tokyo, causing radiation leaks that forced the evacuation of 160,000 people.
Mothballed reactors have been turned back on in other parts of the world, though not on this scale -- 25 of Japan’s 43 reactors have applied for restart permits. One lesson learned elsewhere is that the process rarely goes smoothly. Of 14 reactors that resumed operations after being offline for at least four years, all had emergency shutdowns and technical failures, according to data from the International Atomic Energy Agency and regulators in the U.S. and Canada.
“If reactors have been offline for a long time, there can be issues with long-dormant equipment and with ‘rusty’ operators,” Allison Macfarlane, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said by e-mail.
In Sweden, E.ON Sverige AB closed the No. 1 unit at its Oskarshamn plant in 1992 and restarted it in 1996. It had six emergency shutdowns in the following year and a refueling that should have taken 38 days lasted more than four months after cracks were found in equipment.
Japan’s restarts are being closely watched as the Fukushima disaster snuffed out what was then called a global nuclear renaissance. Success in Japan might allow the industry to re-emphasize nuclear as carbon-free energy before international climate talks in Paris this year, where almost 200 nations will negotiate emission standards.
This week, the Obama administration outlined a limited role for U.S. nuclear plants in its carbon reduction rules, withdrawing some credit for existing nuclear units while giving credit to new reactors under construction.
The first Japanese reactor to restart is at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant on the southern island of Kyushu. It could be back online as soon as Aug. 10, according to the company.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has run safety checks and ensured that Kyushu Electric performed the maintenance required for a restart, Tadashi Yamada, an agency spokesman, said by e-mail. The authority’s rules require nuclear operators to prepare dozens of safety countermeasures, such as building a secondary control room and constructing larger tsunami walls.
Kyushu Electric has performed regular checks since the reactor was shut to ensure it restarts and operates safely, said a company spokesman, who asked not to be identified because of company policy.
“If a car isn’t used for a while, and you suddenly use it, then there is usually a problem. There is definitely this type of worry with Sendai,” said Ken Nakajima, a professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. “Kyushu Electric is probably thinking about this as well and preparing for it.”
Australia: Ever seen this before, a kangaroo feeding in the snow?
David Viner would be surprised. "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past", he said 15 years ago. Being a false prophet is lucrative, though. Viner was Global Director - Climate Change, Environment and Sustainability at the British Council up until 2011. Report below from a couple of weeks ago
Sydney hasn't seen snow since 1836. The Antarctic storm has caused traffic accidents, school closures and power outages around the state on Australia’s southeastern coast
Kangaroos are a common sight for Australian vineyard owner Bill Shrapnel. But a winter storm this week was the first time he’d seen a ’roo in the snow.
Shrapnel guesses about 30 of the “timid” and “watchful” creatures live on his 77-acre Colmar Estate vineyard in Orange, New South Wales.
But before he peeked out his back window Thursday, he had never seen one of the kangaroos in the snow.
“They just turned up and started to feed. The younger ones boxed with one another as if it was just another day.”
A surprised Shrapnel snapped a photo, which his daughter shared on social media.
Shrapnel, 62, and his wife Jan moved to Orange earlier this year from Sydney, which hasn’t seen snow since 1836.
While the couple had prepared for their first winter, he says, “having it snow three times in a week is not what we expected.”
The winter storm caused traffic accidents, school closures and power outages around the state on Australia’s southeastern coast.
Thredbo, a ski resort in New South Wales, recorded 30 cm of snowfall, and highs in Orange and other wintry towns were below 5 C.
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