Friday, April 15, 2016
El Nino Collapses - Global Sea Ice Makes A Strong Comeback
North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures Back To 1980s Levels
Daily global sea ice anomalies versus 1979-2008 mean; data courtesy University of Illinois "cryosphere"
Global temperatures spiked during the last half of 2015 as a result of the strong El Nino and were still at very high levels relative-to-normal as recently as last month. In addition, global sea ice appeared to be impacted by El Nino as it took a steep dive during much of 2015 and remained at well below-normal levels going into this year. In the past couple of months, however, El Nino has begun to collapse and will likely flip to a moderate or strong La Nina (colder-than-normal water) by later this year. In rather quick fashion, global temperatures have seemingly responded to the unfolding collapse of El Nino and global sea ice has actually rebounded in recent weeks to near normal levels. --Paul Dorian, Vencor Weather, 11 April 2016
Marc Morano on TV for DC Film Premiere – Teases Mystery Animal that Was Mascot for both Cooling & Warming fears
British Liberals' flagship 'Green Deal' for houses cost £240 million but saved no energy and actually led to bills going up
A flagship scheme to insulate homes cost taxpayers £240million but failed to deliver energy and carbon emissions savings and actually put bills up, a damning report has found.
Ministers set up the Green Deal four years ago to encourage homeowners to save energy by installing loft and wall insulation and more efficient boilers at no up-front cost.
But the National Audit Office said that while the 'ambitious' aim 'looked good on paper', it failed to deliver any meaningful benefit.
The scheme, pioneered by former Lib Dem energy secretary Chris Huhne, even increased suppliers' costs – and as a result energy bills – as firms paid out more money to meet the obligations.
Under the Green Deal, providers met the upfront costs of installing efficiency measures and householders paid the money back from savings they made on their energy bills.
It found that while 1.4million homes had benefited from measures ranging from new boilers to insulation by the end of the last year, just 1 per cent of households took out Green Deal loans. The 14,000 households which did fell far below expectations.
The figure was blamed on the Government's design and implementation of the scheme which failed to persuade householders energy efficiency measures were worth paying for, it was said.
The low take-up on the now abandoned scheme meant it cost the taxpayer £17,000 per loan plan, the report found.
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: 'The Department [of Energy and Climate Change] now needs to be more realistic about consumers' and suppliers' motivations when designing schemes in future to ensure it achieves it aims.'
Last year Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that the scheme would close with immediate effect because of low take-up and to protect taxpayers from further losses. Take-up was low because of high interest rates and the fact that loans were attached to a property, like a mortgage, so had to be paid off or passed on to the next owner if the applicant moved.
The scheme, which cost £240million to set up and run, including grants to stimulate demand, did not deliver additional energy or carbon savings, which would have been made anyway through other schemes.
An investigation into the Green Deal Finance Company, set up to provide finance for the scheme, also found a £25million loan from the Government was unlikely to be paid back by the company. The company paid 13 members of staff £1.3million in 2014. The NAO concluded the Green Deal did not achieve value for money and delivered 'negligible' carbon savings.
The design of the 'energy company obligation' (ECO), which requires suppliers to install energy saving measures in homes to cut carbon emissions, to support the Green Deal reduced its value for money too.
The £3billion ECO scheme, costs of which are passed on to consumer bills, saved only around 30 per cent of the carbon emissions of previous programmes.
Taken together, the Government's various energy efficiency schemes in the past few years cost £94 for each ton of carbon they saved, significantly more than the £34 per ton of carbon dioxide of the schemes they replaced.
Meg Hillier MP, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said the Department had been 'flying blind' when it came to implementing the scheme. She said: ' [It has] cost over £3billion to date, but the Department has achieved little energy savings compared to previous schemes.'
Obama's Climate Sleight of Hand
Expect Barack Obama to pull out all the stops before he vacates the White House in January. That includes a sleazy effort to handcuff the next president — assuming that person is not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders — when it comes to decoupling the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Here’s how:
The Washington Post says, “When at least 55 countries, who account for at least 55 percent of global emissions, have all moved to join the agreement … [it] then enters into force after a 30 day wait period. According to data just released by the U.N., the U.S. and China accounted for around 38 percent of emissions, meaning that if the two act swiftly, it will be much easier to meet the emissions threshold.” The signing off process gets underway on April 22, and since the U.S. and China are already on board it won’t take much to authorize the accord.
But timing is everything, and the speed at which the Obama administration is pushing to formalize the agreement suggests it’s preparing for a worst-case scenario. Article 28 of the agreement states, “At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement.” Furthermore, explains the Post, “[T]he withdrawal itself doesn’t take effect until ‘expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal.’ So that’s 4 years — the length of a presidential term.”
It’s a sordid strategy. The Obama administration insists the agreement is legally non-binding so as to avoid the whole “treaty” thing in the Senate. But that means, under normal circumstances, a successor can simply reject it. Still, Obama’s savvy play here is to create a situation in which deviating from the deal’s terms once it becomes official results in a severe backlash from international partners. Consequently, the repeal process becomes convoluted. Arizona State University’s Daniel Bodansky claims, “It was not negotiated by the U.S. (or any other country) as a means of binding the next president.” Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not going to stop Obama from trying. Republicans had a chance to defund the measure last year, but ultimately failed. They will have only themselves to blame if the next president faces legal hurdles by trying to repeal it.
Weather Ripples and Climate Tides
Every time a north wind blows hot air over Adelaide, some Chicken Little cries “Global Warming”. And when an El Nino predictably causes a hot year like 1998 or 2015/16, some sensation-seeking celebrity will trumpet “hottest year eevah”.
They are watching short-term weather ripples and waves and ignoring the underlying climate tide. Daily, monthly and yearly temperature records will always be equalled or broken. That is what weather does – it fluctuates.
In the medium term, Earth temperature trends are influenced by variations in solar activities as evidenced by sun-spot cycles. These variations affect solar intensity, cosmic rays, clouds and Earth temperature, causing medium-term climatic events like the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warming. There are persuasive signs that recent solar activity has peaked. So maybe we can expect cooler weather soon.
But to see what the climate is doing we must look longer-term and study the glacial cycles. The Milankovitch cycles of Earth in the solar system control these.
We live in the Holocene warm interval within the Pleistocene Ice Age – a time of recurring cycles of ice separated by brief warm interludes. Earth’s climate is driven by solar system cycles, and climate changes appear first in the Northern Hemisphere which has more land in the sensitive sub-polar regions. The GRIP ice core from Greenland shows the long-term average temperature there peaked 7,000 years ago and has trended down for at least 3,000 years.
Greenland is now cooler than 8000 year ago:
We will still have hot days and heat waves, El Nino will still bring droughts and floods, sea ice will come and go, but the climate mid-summer has passed and the temperature tide is going out. Spreading alarm about short-term temperature fluctuations of a fraction of a degree is a distraction.
Promoting damaging energy and land management policies designed to prevent warming, just as the next climate winter approaches, will be seen by future generations as bizarre.
SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)
Climate Change Surveys Still Useless
Pollsters should ask how much Americans will pay to set an example to the world
Public opinion polls are regularly cited by politicians and activists to support government action on climate change. Yet these surveys rarely make meaningful contributions to the public policy debate since they ask about issues that do not matter, while ignoring issues that do matter.
Happily, most polling companies have matured to the point that they no longer ask respondents whether they think ‘climate change is real’ or whether they believe there is a scientific debate about the causes of climate change. Public understanding of the inevitability of climate change on a dynamic planet and the massive uncertainty about future climate states has rendered such questions pointless.
Yet pollsters still have a long way to go before their climate change surveys should be taken seriously.
Gallup’s annual environmental poll, the results of which were released throughout March, is a case in point.
It does not matter whether Americans have heard that “scientists recently reported that 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year on record,” as Gallup misleadingly informed respondents in the preamble to one of its survey questions. While some scientists say 2015 temperatures were exceptional, many others do not. They understand that, due to the uncertainties in the early part of the record, no one knows if temperatures today are higher than in earlier decades.
But the issue is irrelevant anyways. What difference does it make if one year exceeded the previous warmest year by hundredths or even tenths of a degree? Changes of that magnitude are not noticeable in the real world and appear only after complicated manipulation of the data.
Similarly, Gallup’s question about whether Americans “generally believe these reports [about 2015’s supposed record] are accurate or not accurate” has no bearing on public policy formulation. The accuracy of computations of trivial changes is obviously unimportant.
Gallup asked respondents about the causes of the supposed “record temperatures in 2015.” Again, aside from scientists working in the field, who cares? The reasons for such tiny variations are not relevant to policy discussions.
The question that does matter is:
Will emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human activities cause dangerous global warming and other climate problems in the foreseeable future? It is only future climate changes that should be of concern to policy makers. The past is history. We cannot change it.
And for the issue to be worthy of public debate, let alone a billion dollars a day, the amount now spent around the world on climate finance, any forecast temperature rise would have to be expected to be dangerous.
Even then, we would have to know, with a reasonable degree of confidence, that such warming, if it occurs, will be as a result of our CO2 emissions. The issue at hand is not a generic “human-caused climate change,” one of the possible answers provided by Gallup in its survey. The debate, and indeed the subject of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), concerns one particular type of human-caused climate change, namely that supposed caused by our CO2 emissions.
Of course, the answer from most of the public to the above hypothetical poll question would have to be, “I don’t know.” How could they? Even the world’s leading scientists don’t really know the answer. “Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science,” according to University of Western Ontario applied mathematician Dr. Chris Essex, an expert in the mathematical models that are the basis of climate concerns. “Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.”
A question that would make sense to poll Americans on would be:
"How much are you prepared to pay in increased taxes and other costs to reduce America’s CO2 emissions to encourage other countries to follow suit so as to possibly avert dangerous climate change that may someday happen?"
That is the real question. After all, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has admitted that plans such as the CPP will have no measurable impact on global climate. She has repeated informed Congressional hearings that the purpose of the CPP is to set an example for the world to follow.
But developing countries, the source of most of today’s emissions, have indicated that they have no intention of limiting their development for ‘climate protection’ purposes. In fact, all United Nations climate change treaties contain an out clause for developing nations so that they need not make reductions if it interferes with their “first and overriding priorities” of development and poverty alleviation.
Most people would pay nothing at all to support an improbable hope that other countries follow America to possibly avert a hypothetical future problem. But pollsters have never asked the public about this important issue. It’s about time they did.
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Posted by JR at 12:28 AM