Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Warmist claim hot off the press

Mann, Rahmstorf & Co. had a new article published on 25th and the Daily Mail had their take on it on 26th.  So I am a slow-poke in getting to it on 28th.  It's basically another "Warmest year" claim that ignores statistical significance and fails to note that their temperature changes go both down and up relative to the average.  In other words the changes indicate a temperature plateau rather than systematic warming.  Anyway, I reproduce below both the DM article and the academic journal abstract.  You will see that the whole thing is just another modelling exercise -- and you can get whatever answer you want out of models.  You can get everything but an accurate prediction of  actual temperatures

Since the start of the new millennium, the world has experienced a succession of the warmest years on record.

Now scientists say it is extremely likely these unprecedented high global temperatures have been caused by human emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

It comes just days after Nasa confirmed 2015 was the hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.8°F (1°C) above those seen before industrialisation.

The latest study claims it is 'extremely unlikely' that 13 of the 15 hottest years to have occurred since records began 150 years ago would happen since 2000 due to natural variability.

This, they said, suggests it is 600 to 130,000 times more likely than not that human activities and their influence on the climate have caused this record breaking run of hot weather.

The dataset produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia found global mean temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time.

It said the year's average global temperature was the highest ever recorded.

Professor Stefam Rahmstorf, a physicist at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, said: 'Natural climate variations just can't explain the observed recent global heat records, but man-made global warming can.

'It has led to unprecedented local heat waves across the world - sadly resulting in loss of life and aggravating droughts and wildfires.

'The risk of heat extremes has been multiplied due to our interference with the Earth system, as our data analysis shows.'

The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Scienific reports, analysed real world measurements and combined them with computer simulations of the global climate.

This, they continued, allowed them to work out how the climate may have behaved if there had not been any human greenhouse gas emissions.

The results show the odds of human activity being behind the recent spate of record breaking annual global temperatures are far higher than previously believed.

The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth

Michael E. Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Byron A. Steinman, Martin Tingley & Sonya K. Miller


2014 was nominally the warmest year on record for both the globe and northern hemisphere based on historical records spanning the past one and a half centuries1,2. It was the latest in a recent run of record temperatures spanning the past decade and a half. Press accounts reported odds as low as one-in-650 million that the observed run of global temperature records would be expected to occur in the absence of human-caused global warming. Press reports notwithstanding, the question of how likely observed temperature records may have have been both with and without human influence is interesting in its own right. Here we attempt to address that question using a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP53) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature. We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change, though not nearly as unlikely as press reports have suggested. These same record temperatures were, by contrast, quite likely to have occurred in the presence of anthropogenic climate forcing.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19831 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep19831

Why is Newtok in Alaska getting flooded?

Victoria Herrmann, the climate crook below, says it is because of global warming but she doesn't explain why 99% of the rest of the world is NOT getting flooded.  It is plainly a local effect and, as such, not a global effect.  And even The Guardian admits that the land is sinking rather than the sea rising.  There are a few places where coasts have long been sinking -- notably in Eastern England and in some parts of the U.S. East coast.  Newtok is just another one of those

In 2017, it is projected that the highest point in Newtok — the school building — will be underwater. For these Alaskans, climate change is not just a global temperature trend; it is happening under their feet. Shoreline erosion is forcing residents to abandon their community as rising water inundates the lives they once lived. Twenty years ago, the signs were already in place and Newtok made the difficult decision to relocate. Since then, it has been slowly rebuilding its school, homes, and lives inland to escape the ever-encroaching waters.

Newtok residents will be among our country's first climate refugees — but not our last.

Along America's most fragile shorelines, [thousands] will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface.

In the decades to come, thousands more from along America's most fragile shorelines will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface. Over the last 10 years, the Isle de Jean Charles community in Louisiana has lost two-thirds of its residents to dislocation. In the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island's shoreline recedes by about 14 feet a year. On Washington's Olympic Peninsula, the Quinault Indian Nation relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall for protection until it can complete its move uphill.

For them and the residents of dozens of other American towns and ultimately cities, the question is no longer what will be lost to climate change, but what will be saved.

Over the last seven years, President Obama has built a legacy of action on climate change. He negotiated a bilateral agreement with China to reduce greenhouse emissions, lowered tariffs on clean technologies to encourage their spread, and set new rules to cut carbon at home with the Clean Power Plan. With the climate change agreement in Paris successfully negotiated in December, he is set to use his final year in office to continue his commitment to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions, to try to “accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources,” as he said in his State of the Union speech.

While it is essential to mitigate the sources of carbon in the United States, it will not help citizens on the front lines of climate change right now. In order to alleviate the most extreme consequences of a shifting climate, the president must give equal attention to helping communities adapt to a rapidly changing homeland.

As they stand today, federal programs for disaster assistance are limited and mostly unavailable to towns that require climate-induced relocation. Relief programs focus on sudden natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and on rebuilding in place, not on financially supporting the relocation of towns facing gradual inundation.

Because of this, coastal communities across the country must rely on ad hoc federal and state grants, and attempt to rebuild and relocate in bits and pieces, in the hope that the work will be done before an emergency evacuation is needed.

Some steps have been taken to provide support adaptation specific support, but they fall short of any real impact. In September 2015 during the first presidential visit to the Arctic, Obama pledged $2 million to help with voluntary climate-induced relocation efforts in Alaska. This covers less than 2% of the cost to relocate one town, estimated at $100 to $200 million.

In Alaska alone, climate change flooding and shoreline erosion already affects more than 180 villages, 31 of which are in “imminent” danger of becoming uninhabitable.

To truly make a lasting climate change legacy, Obama must take seriously the issue of climate relocation. This means creating a legal and financial structure that can adequately respond to communities in need.

The first step is simple: Convene local, state, and federal stakeholders to draft a framework for relocating all climate refugees within the United States. The difficulty will be in the details, especially determining the source of the financial resources that will be required. The debate over who will fund relocation and which agencies will lend technical assistance will be intense. But those negotiations must begin in order to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

In September during his visit to Alaska, Obama told the country, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.” He must recognize American climate refugees today and use his last year in office to inaugurate the process of saving them from America's eroding edges.


The Climate Snow Job

A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.

An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

That changed last summer, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to overhaul its data, throwing out satellite-sensed sea-surface temperatures since the late 1970s and instead relying on, among other sources, readings taken from the cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels.

The scientific literature is replete with articles about the large measurement errors that accrue in this data owing to the fact that a ship’s infrastructure conducts heat, absorbs a tremendous amount of the sun’s energy, and vessels’ intake tubes are at different ocean depths. See, for instance, John J. Kennedy’s “A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature,” published Jan. 24, 2014, by the journal Reviews of Geophysics.

NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

When the Pacific circulation returns to its more customary mode, all that suppressed cold water will surge to the surface with a vengeance, and global temperatures will drop. Temperatures in 1999 were nearly three-tenths of a degree lower than in 1998, and a similar change should occur this time around, though it might not fit so neatly into a calendar year. Often the compensatory cooling, known as La Niña, is larger than the El Niño warming.

There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?

Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.

It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.

The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.

Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.


Once in favor of wind power, Yates residents become overwhelmingly opposed

YATES – Residents of this Orleans County town used to be big supporters of wind power, even urging town leaders to go out and recruit a wind developer.

That’s not true anymore.

Two surveys last fall showed overwhelming opposition to the Lighthouse Wind project proposed by Apex Clean Energy, which wants to erect a total of as many as 70 wind turbines in Yates and the neighboring Town of Somerset in Niagara County. The exact number and location of the turbines has not yet been determined, a company spokesman said last week.

Somerset town leaders have been vocal in their opposition to the project, hiring former state Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco to provide legal muscle for their fight against the plan.

Yates leaders responded to the plan more quietly, with the result that some of them aren’t in office anymore.

James J. Simon, running for supervisor on an anti-wind power platform, won the seat as a write-in candidate after losing to incumbent John B. Belson by seven votes in the Republican primary. Yates voters also elected John B. Riggi, president of the anti-wind group Save Ontario Shores, to the Town Board.

The citizens group Save Ontario Shores mailed a survey to Yates property owners last fall, and the results showed 77 percent opposition to the Apex project.

The town then mailed out its own survey, targeting all registered voters as well as property owners. The result, announced just before Christmas, was 65 percent opposition to Lighthouse Wind.

The company viewed the smaller percentage of opponents in the town survey as encouraging. Dahvi Wilson, Apex senior manager of public affairs, said, “We believe the results of this survey demonstrate what we have found over time. When people have a chance to learn the facts about the project, rather than being forced to rely on the misinformation being pushed by opponents, they become more supportive of Lighthouse Wind and what it means for this community.”

But Simon had a different view of the results. “By sending out to registered voters as well as property owners, we cast a much wider net,” he said.

He noted that there was some objection to sending out 2,608 surveys when the town’s population is only about 2,500. By including all property owners, it meant that out-of-towners, even some out-of-staters, were able to weigh in. In all, 1,187 surveys were mailed back.

The Yates figures jibe closely with a Somerset survey conducted last spring by that town’s government, which showed opposition as high as 67 percent, depending on how the question was phrased. Its survey went to all property owners, and 56 percent of them responded.

Simon called it a “curious thing” that when Yates conducted a wind power survey in 2007, at a time when there was no actual project pending, 87 percent of households said they agreed with this statement: “The town should encourage wind energy facilities to locate in the Town of Yates.”

The 2007 survey also showed 89 percent of Yates residents supported tax breaks for wind power companies. Last month’s survey showed that 57 percent opposed a tax break for Lighthouse Wind.

So what happened to turn the results almost completely around eight years later?

Simon said, “The public’s more informed, more concerned. Everybody can Google everything. People have become more educated and are more opposed to wind power.”

Wilson of Apex said, “Until our application is submitted in summer 2016, it is impossible to fully judge the project on its merits. The Yates Town Board has taken a very responsible approach in waiting to take a position until all of the relevant information has been collected and submitted as part of the application process, and we encourage others to follow its lead.”


Recycling Makes Greens Go Gaga, but It’s a Real Burden for the Rest of Us

If you’re worried about the planet, please make sure your trash is buried in a landfill; there’s plenty of space available.

On the surface, the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” may seem like a sensible call to action for those who want to limit carbon emissions or reduce the amount of waste left behind for future generations.

The reality, however, is that the costs associated with the process of recycling almost always outweigh the benefits.

Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it only makes sense economically and environmentally to recycle about 35 percent of discarded materials. Among those materials are paper and aluminum cans, according to the agency.

Recycling 1 ton of paper or aluminum cans, the agency says, can save about 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over producing those materials anew.

But not so fast.

Paper mills pay for the trees they process. If it was cost-effective to recycle scrap paper, producers would be beating down your door to buy it. But they aren’t.

That means it’s more expensive and more resource-intensive to recycle old paper than to cut and pulp pine trees and then replant seedlings for processing when mature.

Plastic provides another cautionary tale. Given the recent dramatic decline in crude oil prices, it is now cheaper to make a new plastic container than to recycle an old one.

Even if that were not true, the EPA says that recycling a ton of plastic saves only about a ton of carbon dioxide. However, that estimate doesn’t take into account the water most consumers use to rinse their plastic containers before they put them into a recycling bin.

New York Times science columnist John Tierney recently wrote, citing the work of author Chris Goodall, “If you wash plastic in water that was heated by coal-derived electricity, then the net effect of your recycling could be more carbon in the atmosphere.”

Glass is an even worse recyclable. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 ton you have to recycle 3 tons of glass. If one includes the cost of collecting glass waste in small quantities from neighborhoods, and the pollution produced by the collection trucks and the recycling process itself, glass recycling creates more greenhouse gas emissions and is more expensive than making new glass, which comes primarily from sand, an abundant raw material.

No wonder many municipalities across the country continue to pick up glass in recycling trucks only to dump it at the local landfill.

Why the charade? Because “reduce, reuse, recycle” is an emotional mantra, not reasonable environmental policy, and years of indoctrination has left most Americans blind to the actual evidence surrounding recycling programs.

By sending an extra fleet of trucks around town once a week, adherents of the recycling religion actually are undermining their stated goal of protecting the environment.

It doesn’t help that the rise of the recycling movement has created a powerful interest group of recyclers who lobby politicians to keep things the way they are.

More rational environmental policies would consider the costs and benefits of recycling programs and scrap those that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.

If recycling were truly cost-effective, private companies would be lined up at your doorstep to buy your trash. Don’t look now because they’re not there.

The true recycling test is whether someone is willing to pay you to sort and save your trash. If they’re not, what you’ve been told about recycling in the past is probably just garbage.


Congress Deserves Credit for Trying to Rein in EPA, but More Is Needed

Congress deserves some credit. They passed legislation to try and block some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s overreach, even recognizing that President Barack Obama would veto its bills.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can use an expedited process to rescind agency rules and block an agency from issuing any rule that is substantially the same as the rejected rule.

This is precisely what Congress did for three egregious Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules: two greenhouse gas (GHG) rules, the president’s Clean Power Plan and new source performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, and the infamous EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

Clean Power Plan and New Source Performance Standards

The Clean Power Plan requires states to meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals for existing power plants. The greenhouse gas New Source Performance Standards rule caps emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants so low as to effectively prevent any coal power plant from running without carbon capture and sequestration technology (which has yet to be proven feasible).

The rules are all pain and no gain. The rules would be extremely costly to American families and businesses, particularly so for the poor, Midwestern states which rely more heavily on coal for electricity, and the manufacturing sector which is on the threshold of renewed growth brought on by the oil and gas revolution.

What’s the benefit of this self-inflicted harm to the economy and American people? Next to nothing. The entire purpose of reducing greenhouse gasses is allegedly to have an impact on global temperatures (reductions in greenhouse gasses are just a means to that alleged end, but it often gets confused as the end itself).

Using the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change,” developed with support from the EPA, climatologists Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels estimate that the Clean Power Plan will avert a meager 0.018 degree Celsius (C) of warming by the year 2100.

In fact, if the U.S. went far beyond this greenhouse gas regulation and implemented a plan that crippled the economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100 percent, the world would only be 0.137 degree Celsius cooler by 2100. Including 100 percent cuts from the entire industrialized world merely avert warming by 0.278 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

Waters of the United States Rule

This rule seeks to regulate almost every type of water in this country. This could mean anything from certain man-made ditches to “streams” that are dry land almost all year – except after heavy rain. The list of problems with the rule is extensive. For example, the rule:

Ignores the primary role states are supposed to play in implementing the Clean Water Act (this is bad for the environment because states are in the best position to address local water concerns)

Tramples on property rights by requiring property owners to secure far more permits to engage in even ordinary activities such as farming

Undermines the rulemaking process because, as the independent Government Accountability Office ruled, the EPA violated the law through actions it took to garner support for the rule.
To its credit, Congress took action and passed disapproval resolutions under the Congressional Review Act.

While Obama has vetoed all three bills, Congress has made it clear where it stands on these important issues (overrides are unlikely). Regarding the Waters of the United States rule, for example, Obama is the one who is trampling on property rights, ignoring states, hurting the environment, and effectively ignoring alleged illegal actions by the EPA. He’s the one ignoring the attorneys general and state officials from at least 31 states challenging the rule in court, not to mention farmers, home builders, small businesses, and even environmental groups.

Moving forward, Congress should continue to take action to rein in the EPA. Ideally, they would start doing this through the appropriations process. As much as they should be commended for their actions using the Congressional Review Act, they failed to address these rules in the recent omnibus appropriations bill.

There’s no question that it can be frustrating when Congress, who delegated its lawmaking power to the EPA in the first place, finds it very difficult to rein in the agency. The Congressional Review Act is helpful, but this entire experience shows why agencies shouldn’t be able to push such extreme regulations that are not authorized by a reasonable interpretation of statute or inconsistent with the intent of Congress when it enacted the law.

Congress needs to reassert its lawmaking power. This will mean reforming the rulemaking process and making sure that regulations reflect the will of Congress, not the ideological desires of bureaucrats.



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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