Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Is NASA actually unserious about global warming?
Considering their unwavering support of it, that would be a surprising conclusion. But we find surprising carelessness about it in a place -- their home page -- where they should be very careful about it. One gets the impression that they are just going through the motions without any real commitment to the claim or interest in it. The following email was sent to the senior science editor for the NASA site about the matter -- with a copy to me and some others. Whoever wrote the NASA piece concerned is either very dumb or very careless:
Re: Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warming
Hi Senior Science Editor: Laura Tenenbaum,
At the top of the above referenced web page, it is stated:
"Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources".
I question the use of the time frame, "trends over the past century."
Generally speaking, I believe you will find the consensus (IPCC summary included) to be that it is not until around the middle of the 20th Century - 1950 is often referenced (several, many decades later) - that AGW comes into play. It is not widely believed that until this time CO2 had not yet risen to a level where their might be any potentially observational evidence of a human foot (from anthropogenic greenhouse gases) to be present on global temperature.
In fact - among the various scientific orgs listed on your web site (several referenced in the footnotes), I find very consistent views on this issue:
" . . on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years." [ 2013-50 ='s 1963]
" . .that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s."
" It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities ."
"The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced . ."
"Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century . ."
"Human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) are the dominant cause of the rapid warming since the middle 1900s (IPCC, 2013)" - GSA
"It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)." Joint Science Academies Statement.
"The global warming observed over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases." From Executive Summary "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009) - U.S. Global Change Research Program.
"Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations” IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
I'd suggest that at a minimum the summary regarding consensus on the "birth of AGW," be changed to match your own expert witnesses, i.e., 'somewhere between the middle of the 20th Century to the late 1970's.'
Lest us not forget the graphic on the top of your page shows a clear global cooling cycle from about the 1940's through the late 1970's. It's a bit awkward to sell the view that man's footprint on GW occurred just as the Earth was getting serious - for several decades - about global cooling.
Silly little hyphenated lady has drunk the Kool-Aid
The nicely-spoken Alice Bows-Larkin is an astrophysicist so you can understand her talking about global warming (?) The TED talks are supposed to be about new and exciting ideas but everything this dear lady said in her talk to the London TED in July was pure Warmist boilerplate, with not the slightest originality or any suggestion of evidence for her assertions. Nice graphs of what fellow-Warmists say had to be enough. But her conclusions were stern. See below. She wants "austerity". Since Leftists everywhere are vocally anti-austerity, I wonder how they will square that circle?
"The economist Nicholas Stern said that emission reductions of more than one percent per year had only ever been associated with economic recession or upheaval. So this poses huge challenges for the issue of economic growth, because if we have our high carbon infrastructure in place, it means that if our economies grow, then so do our emissions. So I'd just like to take a quote from a paper by myself and Kevin Anderson back in 2011 where we said that to avoid the two-degree framing of dangerous climate change, economic growth needs to be exchanged at least temporarily for a period of planned austerity in wealthy nations.
This is a really difficult message to take, because what it suggests is that we really need to do things differently. This is not about just incremental change. This is about doing things differently, about whole system change, and sometimes it's about doing less things".
Increased atmospheric CO2 is likely to have positive effects on balance
Mr Robert E.T. Ward BSc, Policy and Communications Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, recently published a piece about my work under the title “Flawed analysis of the impacts of climate change”. Mr Ward raises two main objections, first, to the conclusion that “the overall impacts of unmitigated climate change this century could be positive, even if global average temperature rises by more than 2°C above its pre-industrial level” and, second, to the conclusion that “the welfare change caused by climate change is equivalent to the welfare change caused by an income change of a few percent”.
Let us consider Mr Ward’s objections in turn. Climate change will have many, diverse impacts and it will affect different people in different ways. Some of these impacts are negative, some may be negative or positive, and some are positive. The three key positive impacts are a reduction in the costs of winter heating – a particular boon to the poor in temperate and cold climates – a reduction in cold-related mortality and morbidity – a particular boon to the old and frail in temperate and cold climate change – and an increase of carbon dioxide fertilization – a particular boon to those dependent on water-stressed agriculture. The last effect is more immediate because it depends on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide rather than the consequent climate change.
Twenty-two studies of the total impact of climate change on human welfare have been published and four of these – by the late Professor Ralph d’Arge, Professor Robert Mendelsohn, myself, and Professor David Maddison – show that the net impact of modest global warming may be beneficial. Mr Ward’s protestations notwithstanding, this finding is well accepted in the academic literature – and indeed Mr Ward fails to cite a single dissenting paper.
Mr Ward's focus on the total impact betrays his lack of formal education in economics. What matters is not whether the total impact is positive or negative, but rather when the incremental impacts turn negative. My latest estimate puts that at 1.1°C global warming relative to pre-industrial times, or some 0.3°C warming from today. That cannot be avoided – unless we believe that the climate sensitivity is much lower than commonly found, and we believe that governments are secretly plotting much more drastic emission cuts than those announced. The initial benefits are thus sunk. The corresponding policy intervention is a Pigou tax*, rather than a Pigou subsidy. Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced.
Mr Ward’s second objection is equally unfounded, and again he does not cite any study that contradicts what I wrote. The twenty-two studies cited above all agree that the impact of climate change is small relative to economic growth. This was found in studies by Professor William Nordhaus and Professor Samuel Fankhauser. It was confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from its Second Assessment Report, in a chapter led by the late Professor David Pearce, to its Fifth Assessment Report, in a chapter led by me. Even the highest estimate, the 20% upper bound by Lord Professor Nicholas Stern of Brentford, has that a century of climate change is not worse than losing a decade of economic growth.
Over the years, many people have objected to these estimates. Tellingly, not a single one of these people have published an estimate that strongly deviates from existing estimates. On the contrary, a number of people have set out to prove Nordhaus and Fankhauser wrong, only to find estimates of a similar magnitude.
In sum, climate change is a problem but not the biggest problem in the world. It is good to keep perspective. At the heart of the current problems at Volkswagen lies a system of regulations that prioritizes one problem – carbon dioxide emissions – at the expense of another – particulate emissions. Environmentalists’ relentless focus on a single simple message may be an excellent strategy for fund-raising, but it makes for poor public policy. Incomplete and imperfect as our understanding of climate change and its impacts may be, Mr Ward’s dismissal of the evidence is not the best way forward. Academic inspiration, it gave me none.
A new climate expert
Some logic: If the temperature of Tibet is rising 3 times faster than the rest of the world, it's not a global effect we are looking at
Tibet's exiled leaders, including the Dalai Lama, said on Tuesday two-thirds of the glaciers in their mountain homeland may disappear by 2050 because of climate change and demanded a stake in international climate talks later this year. The Tibetan plateau, which has the largest store of ice outside the North and South Pole, has experienced rising temperatures of 1.3 Celsius over the past five decades, three times the global average, the leadership said in a statement.Tibet, with an average altitude of over 4,000 metres (13,125 ft) is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Warming is already melting glaciers that are the source of water in rivers that help support about 1.3 billion people. "The Tibetan Plateau needs to be protected, not just for Tibetans but for the environmental health and sustainability of the entire world," the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, said.
"As vital as the Arctic and Antarctic, it is the Third Pole," he said in the statement issued from the Indian hill station of Dharamsala, where the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based since the Dalai Lama fled his homeland in 1959.Close to 200 countries will meet in Paris in December to try to hammer out a deal to slow man-made climate change by aiming to keep temperatures below a ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.World leaders are hoping for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol after 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen ended in disappointment due to differences between the United States and China.Tibet's leaders said they want an effective climate change agreement and also want to have a say in the talks.About 80 percent of the ice in Tibet has retreated in the past 50 years, according to the government-in-exile.With the rapidly melting permafrost, 12,300 million tons of carbon could be released into the air, further exacerbating the problems of global warming, they said.
A lie that never seems to die
"Global warming reopens Pacific-Atlantic passage in Arctic"
People have been transiting the NW passage since the '40s. In 1969 the oil tanker SS Manhattan made the passage and the frequency has been rising ever since
ABOARD CCGS AMUNDSEN, Canada — Beneath the Aurora Borealis an oil tanker glides through the night past the Coast Guard ice breaker Amundsen and vanishes into the maze of shoals and straits of the Northwest Passage, navigating waters that for millennia were frozen over this time of year.
Warming has forced a retreat of the polar ice cap, opening up a sea route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for several months of the year.
Commander Alain Lacerte is at the helm as the vessel navigates the Queen Maud Gulf, poring over charts that date from the 1950s and making course corrections with the help of GPS.
“Where it’s white (on the chart), it means the area hasn’t been surveyed,” he explains — leaning over a map that is mostly white. “Most of the far north hasn’t been surveyed, so our maps are unreliable.”
The crew constantly take radar and multi-beam sonar measurements and check their position. “We don’t want any shoals named after us,” says the old sea dog from behind his spectacles.
Almost the size of the European Union, the Canadian Arctic seabed remains largely uncharted. The waters are also shallow and navigating unknown parts can be deadly — even when the north is ice-free.
Today, taking this route cuts 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) off a trip from London to Tokyo, saving time and fuel.
Since the 15th century there have been a dozen expeditions seeking a faster shipping route from Europe to Asia through the north.
The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to cross the Northwest Passage, on board the Gjøa, in an expedition that took three years, finishing in 1906.
Afterward interest in the waterway waned. An average of one ship per year attempted to make the crossing over the past century.
But thawing of the polar ice promises Arctic nations new opportunities to open ocean trade routes and offshore oil fields.
In the summer months the Amundsen is used by Canadian government scientists — among them Roger Provost, a Canadian Ice Service meteorologist — as well as a network of scientists led by the ArcticNet organization.
Provost looked with amazement from the wheelhouse at the lack of any ice cover around the coast guard ship. “Anyone who still denies climate change is real has their head in the ground, they’re blind,” he said.
In 37 years of Arctic exploration, he said he “never imagined ever seeing this,” pointing to satellite images showing a clear path through the Queen Maud Gulf and the M’Clintock Channel, where the Amundsen is headed.
Almost 112 years ago to the day, the explorer Amundsen got stuck in the pack ice here. And in 1979, Provost recalls, another Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker had to cut short its inaugural journey, unable to push beyond this point through thick ice.
Over the past five years the number of cargo and cruise ships, tankers and others crossing the Passage climbed to 117.
In 2010, Canada imposed shipping regulations on seafarers going through the Passage, but the United States and the European Union do not recognize Canada’s ownership of the waterway, considering it international waters.
Climate Change's Great Legacy: International Wealth Redistribution
A $Trillion here, a $Trillion there — pretty soon you’re talking real money.
No, I’m not talking about the U.S. national debt, now at over $18 trillion. That’s a very bad thing that threatens to impoverish our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
I’m talking about the $Trillions being demanded by developing-world countries from rich countries (primarily the United States) as the price of their signing onto a global agreement to cut CO2 emissions at COP21 in Paris in December.
India says it needs $2.5 trillion to meet its energy-and-climate policy goals. Okay, some of that will come from within India itself, but a big portion, it’s clear, will have to come from the US and other rich countries — or it won’t happen.
The Philippines says that without major cash influx from rich countries, it won’t be able to make any CO2 emission cuts.
This is all good news for those of us who know that increased atmospheric CO2 won’t warm things much but will improve plant growth, and hence crop yields, and hence food supplies, around the world.
But for the bureaucrats eager for their share of the global wealth redistribution pie that is the real aim of UN climate negotiations, it’s bad news indeed. How will they fund their retirements after they get run out of their countries for embezzlement and other crimes?
That redistribution is the real goal is clear enough from UN leaders' own statements. E.g., Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the IPCC, said back in 2010:
"The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. … First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole".
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Posted by JR at 1:34 AM