Monday, February 29, 2016

Bob "sea level" Kopp is at it again

As we saw recently, Bob is the "semi-empirical" man  -- i.e. he guesses a lot.  One of Australia's far Left webzines seems not to have picked that up.  Their article below meekly accepts the assertions of Bob and his friends about coastal flooding in the USA.  In my usual pesky way, however, I have had a look at the source article to see where the numbers come from.  Below is what I found in the Executive Summary:

"Human-caused climate change is contributing to global sea level rise and consequently aggravating coastal floods. This analysis removes the assessed human-caused component in global sea level from hourly water level records since 1950 at 27 U.S. tide gauges, creating alternative histories simulating the absence of anthropogenic climate change. Out of 8,726 days when unaltered water level observations exceeded National Weather Service local “nuisance” flood thresholds for minor impacts, 5,809 days (3,517-7,332 days, >90% confidence interval) did not exceed thresholds in the alternative histories.

In other words, human-caused global sea level rise effectively tipped the balance, pushing high water events over the threshold, for about two-thirds of the observed flood days. The fraction has increased from less than half in the 1950s, to more than three-quarters within the last decade (2005-2014), as global sea level has continued to rise."

So Bob was just guessing again. HOW did he "assess" the human-caused component in sea level rise?  By the same "semi-empirical" methods he has used elsewhere.  There is no way you can tease out a human component in sea level rise without using assumptions.  And sea-level rise in recent years has been so slow that there is little likelihood that there is any human-caused component in it at all.

But the fun does not stop there. Bob says that the period 2005-2014 shows the human influence particularly strongly.  WHICH human influence?  There was no global warming at all during that period according to the satellites so the "influence" cannot be anything due to global warming.

Just another example of Warmist theory running away from the data

New research released this week has dusted down the “human fingerprints on thousands of recent floods”, and found that sea level rise was the cause of two thirds of American floods since 1950.

The study looked at 27 tidal gauges around the United States, and found that since mid-century nearly 6,000 ‘nuisance’ floods would not have happened if not for human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

And as sea levels rise, things are only getting worse: Since 1950, there has been an unbroken upward trend in the number of flood days caused by anthropogenic climate change, according to the report published by American think-tank Climate Central.

Between 1955 and 1965, around 45 per cent flood events were attributed to climate change. In the decade to 2014 however, a staggering 76 per cent of floods were pushed over the levee by mankind.

The study drew its conclusions by taking estimates of how much sea-level rise humans have caused, and detracting that unnatural increase from the levels reached during a given flood event.

If the National Weather Service’s threshold for a ‘nuisance flood’ wouldn’t have been crossed without sea-level rise caused by unnatural emissions, it was found to have been ‘caused’ by climate change.

The floods in question don’t neccesarily cause major damage, but the report said they “do cause material harm, inconvenience and economic drag”.


What Are The Chances Of Getting All These Record Hot Years Without The Extra Greenhouse Gases?

This little post is a potboiler aimed at debunking a Warmist potboiler.

Graham Readfearn labours long in the Garden of Warmism.  He is a freelance writer so has to keep churning the stuff out. Hence the potboiler he has written below.  I note parenthetically that he is of Northern English origin but has now settled in Brisbane, where I live. Maybe I should invite him over for a cup of tea and some cake one day and see if I can find out what makes him tick.  Northern grievance?  Could be.

I am mentioning his piece because similar claims are made "ad nauseam" by Warmists and yet are grossly deceptive.  No one who has seen an actual graphical and numerical plot of 21st century temperatures would be in any doubt that it is utter BS.  So, to start, here is one plot:

What you see is a plateaued number series.  In some years the temperature goes up a bit while in others it goes down a bit -- with no overall trend, no sign of warming going on.  But before that plateau, temperatures were lower.  So they are all hotter than that previous period, however specified.  There was some warming prior to the plateau but it has now stopped.

But Warmists never mention a plateau.  They pretend that all those hotter years were hotter than one-another, when they are not.  A series of "hot" years COULD indicate steady warming or it could indicate a plateau.  Warmists pretend that the obviously wrong explanation is the right one.

Is there such a thing as an honest Warmist?

But it is reasonable to ask why the graph supplied by Readfearn shows a great leaping line whereas my graph above shows a flat line?  What gives?

Easy:  With all graphs you have to look at the calibrations on both axes.  And if you do that, you see that Readfearn depicts an entirely different period from my graph above.  His graph goes back to 1880 whereas my graph shows the current situation only. And during the C20, there WAS some slight warming.  But that has now ceased in C21.

The rise in temperature on Readfearn's graph doesn't look slight but again the trick is to look at the calibrations.  It is calibrated in tenths of one degree Celsius only.  So it DOES show very slight warming.  It just uses a visual trick (widely-spaced  calibrations) to make the rise seem dramatic.

Since this is a potboiler, I should perhaps mention one remaining issue:  Warmists don't accept that there has been a complete temperature plateau.  They are always declaring some year to be the warmest, third warmist etc.  But again they are being deceptive.  The differences between years that they are talking about are tiny  -- in hundredths of one degree -- so are not significant statistically or in any other sense

From hot to fractionally less hot, here are the planet’s ten warmest years on record – 2015, 2014, 2010, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2009, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

These are the numbers according to NASA and include measurements taken on land and at sea in a record that goes back to the year 1880.

Now that’s a pretty remarkable run of hot years for an era when, according to the rusted-on professional climate science denialists, global warming was supposed to have stopped.

But what are the chances of getting a run of “hottest on record” years like that - 14 of the 16 hottest years all happening since 2000 - without all the extra greenhouse gases that humans have been judiciously stockpiling in the atmosphere and oceans?

Well, the chances of this happening, climate scientist Professor Michael Mann tells me, are… wait for it…  one-in-13000.  Mann, of Penn State University, is the lead author of a new paper published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

The study takes in data up to 2014, when the chance of that hot streak was one-in-10000.  Since the study was submitted, Mann has re-run the numbers to include the new “hottest year” of 2015, giving us the one-in-13000 number.


Permafrost thaw boost to global warming

This article is simply a lie.  It tells nothing about what is happening in Permafrost regions.  All it reports is an experiment designed to show what WOULD happen if we had global warming, which we do not

Arctic permafrost that is thawing due to global warming is releasing greenhouse gases, further compounding the problem of climate change, a study says.

As the permafrost thaws, changes in the way its soil microbes function and the soil carbon decomposes add to the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, according to the study by US and Chinese scientists, which was released on Thursday.

Carbon dioxide and methane are the main greenhouse gases that trap heat and contribute to climate change.

Permafrost is the perennially frozen ground that covers a quarter of the land in the northern hemisphere, primarily in the Arctic, says the study published in the monthly Nature Climate Change journal.

Working in Alaska, researchers warmed plots of tundra to thaw the permafrost and after 18 months found numerous changes in the soil microbes, it says.

"This study highlights the critical role that microbes play in mediating carbon losses from Arctic soils," said Susan Natali, a scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and co-author of the Nature Climate Change paper.

"The rapid response of the microbial community to warming suggests that the large store of soil carbon currently contained in permafrost will be highly susceptible to decomposition once it is thawed."

Previous studies have suggested that permafrost could decline by as much as 70 percent by the end of the century, according to the statement.


Here’s Where The 2016 Candidates Stand On Global Warming

Americans will head to the polls Tuesday to vote on who they believe should represent their party in the general election.

As Super Tuesday nears, polling data shows global warming is now the most polarizing and divisive issue in American politics. Global warming is even more divisive than abortion or gun control. Here are the positions of every presidential candidate on global warming.


Donald Trump: The real estate mogul has repeatedly written tweets skeptical of global warming. Trump has called global warming a “hoax,” “mythical,” a “con job,” “nonexistent,” and “bullshit.” He views policies created to fight global warming as hurting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness with China.

Marco Rubio:The Florida senator believes global warming is happening, but doesn’t think humans are the main cause. Rubio does not believe Obama’s attempts to fight global warming will have much of an impact.

“I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” Rubio said in 2014.

Rubio supports the Keystone XL pipeline and offshore oil and gas drilling. He also strongly opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, and wants to reduce federal regulations on fracking. He took the No Climate Tax pledge and voted against extending the Production Tax Credit.

Ted Cruz: The Texas senator is perhaps the most vocal global warming skeptic in the race. He is the only candidate to put forward a technical argument against it, citing satellite temperature records which show no warming for the last 18 years.

“How do you address the fact that in the last 18 years the satellite data show no demonstrable warming whatsoever?” Cruz asked Sierra Club president Aaron Mair during a Congressional hearing. “The computer models say that there should be dramatic warming, and yet the actual satellites taking the measurement don’t show any significant warming!” Cruz asserted during the same confrontation.

John Kasich: The Ohio governor has repeatedly stated he believes global warming is caused by humans, and says this sets him apart from the other GOP candidates.

“I know that human beings affect the climate,” Kasich said in an interview in Vermont last week. “I know it’s an apostasy in the Republican Party to say that. I guess that’s what I’ve always been — being able to challenge some of the status quo.”

Ben Carson: Neurosurgeon Ben Carson believes global warming exists, but says it is natural and politically irrelevant.

“There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on,” said Carson during an interview in Iowa. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant.”


Hillary Clinton: The former secretary of state plans to address global warming by building “half a billion” solar panels and extending green energy tax credits. Hillary stated she will “make the production tax credit for wind and solar permanent.”

Clinton says global warming is mostly driven by carbon dioxide from power plants, and has defended the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator is probably the most vocal global warming alarmist in the race, and promises to go even further than President Barack Obama in terms of regulations to curb warming.

“The scientists are virtually unanimous that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, they tell us, if we do not act boldly the situation will only become much worse,” according to Sanders’ campaign website.


Global Warming Doubts Spur Push to Block Science Standards in  W.Va.

Doubt over man's contribution to global warming, particularly through burning coal for power, is fueling a push by West Virginia lawmakers to block new science standards in schools.

In a state defined by a coal industry that is now on life support, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted 73-20 on Friday to delay the new science standards related to Common Core.

Discussion on the measure Thursday focused on concerns, largely by coal proponents, that teaching the standards about global warming would follow a "political agenda" and an "ideology."

The vast majority of peer-reviewed studies, science organizations and climate scientists say global warming stems largely from manmade sources.  A major source of carbon emissions is burning coal.

"In an energy-producing state, it's a concern to me that we are teaching our kids, potentially, that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state," said Del. Jim Butler, R-Mason.

The science standards, set to take effect July 1, would be blocked for at least a year and existing standards would remain in their place. The measure next heads to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the education chairman says he has no issue with the bill.

"As it stands right now, I have no problems with it at all," said Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston. "I'm going to work it and send it right through."

It's unclear how the full Senate would act on the proposal.

In April 2015, the state Board of Education made some changes to the standards that global warming doubters favored; for example, adding "natural forces" to the list of climate-change debate topics, which already included greenhouse gases; human changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases; and relevant laws and treaties.

Climate change only appears in a handful of places in the standards. In one example, ninth-graders are tasked with analyzing "geoscience data and the results from the global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems."

The full bill passed Friday also would change standards for other subject areas. Experts appointed by the House speaker and Senate president would suggest new math and English standards to be put in place by the 2017-18 school year.

Last year, the Board of Education stripped its Common Core-related standards for math and English and replaced them. But some lawmakers say the new standards still resemble Common Core too closely.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the state shouldn't keep changing its educational standards year after year.

He also criticized lawmakers for the change on the science standards.

"Those are things that our educators should be making those decisions on, as opposed to somebody because of a belief they have," Tomblin said.

Some delegates said it would be dangerous to start limiting the information presented to students by blocking the science standards.

"It's a bigger world than just West Virginia that many of these students are going to live in," said Del. Dave Perry, D-Fayette.


Ontario decides to save the world

Just another tax grab which will have no impact on the climate

The big news from Ontario’s budget is old news. Taxes are going up.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The proposed tax hikes for carbon-emitting products, such as gasoline and home heating fuel, are part of Ontario’s effort to combat global warming.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government doesn’t want to call these particular levies taxes. It refers to them instead as “proceeds.”

And to encourage reporters covering Thursday’s budget not to focus on these “proceeds,” the government announced them earlier in the week.

But Wynne’s decision to finally bite the bullet and set up a so-called cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most important moves she has made since becoming premier.

According to budget documents, the government estimates it will charge greenhouse gas emitters (except those, such as cement producers, that it chooses to exempt) about $18 per tonne of carbon spewed into the atmosphere.

They in turn will pass the cost onto final consumers. The government reckons that this will mean, for instance, a gasoline price hike of 4.3 cents a litre. Natural gas for home heating is expected to rise by 3.3 cents a cubic metre.

With Ontario’s system now finally in place, Canada is on its way to establishing a national minimum price for carbon.

Ontario’s scheme is hardly ambitious. British Columbia charges a carbon price of $30 per tonne. Alberta is planning to charge $20.

Nor will Ontario’s actions ensure Canada’s ability to meet the exceedingly modest climate-change targets it set for itself in Paris last year. But it is a start.

One problem with Ontario’s plan is that it is not clear how the money raised from cap-and-trade will be spent.

Ontario’s Liberal government is giving free tuition to university and college students from low-income families — and taking more from motorists and homeowners through costlier gasoline and natural gas.

Technically, the $2.4 billion raised over the next two years is to be earmarked for green projects that reduce carbon emissions. But the opposition Progressive Conservatives are suspicious — and rightly so.

Governments have a bad record when it comes to handling funds in supposedly dedicated accounts. In Ottawa, both Liberal and Conservative government have used the Employment Insurance fund to cover off shortfalls in general revenue.

The Ontario Liberals say they would never do that. But given their record of throwing money at dubious projects, such as the quasi-private air ambulance service ORNGE, the Liberals do not always inspire confidence.

Still, the decision to effectively levy a tax on carbon is a necessary step if climate change is to be curbed. It is one of the few ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The rest of Thursday’s budget focused on targeted austerity.



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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