Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The latest temperature data from Switzerland
It's got hotter in Switzerland. From the early C20 to the early C21 it warmed more than twice as much as the rest of the world. An average implies a range so that is not particularly surprising and the authors do not venture an explanation. So all we have is a warning not to generalize from Swiss data. The Warmists undoubtedly will, though
Emerging trends in heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes in Switzerland
S. C. Scherrer et al.
Changes in intensity and frequency of daily heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes are analyzed in Swiss observations for the years 1901–2014/2015. A spatial pooling of temperature and precipitation stations is applied to analyze the emergence of trends.
Over 90% of the series show increases in heavy precipitation intensity, expressed as annual maximum daily precipitation (mean change: +10.4% 100 years 31% significant, p < 0.05) and in heavy precipitation frequency, expressed as the number of events greater than the 99th percentile of daily precipitation (mean change: +26.5% 100 years 35% significant, p< 0.05).
The intensity of heavy precipitation increases on average by 7.7% K 1 smoothed Swiss annual mean temperature, a value close to the Clausius-Clapeyron scaling. The hottest day and week of the year have warmed by 1.6 K to 2.3 K depending on the region, while the Swiss annual mean temperature increased by 1.9 K.
The frequency of very hot days exceeding the 99th percentile of daily maximum temperature has more than tripled. Despite considerable local internal variability, increasing trends in heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes are now found at most Swiss stations. The identified trends are unlikely to be random and are consistent with climate model projections, with theoretical understanding of a human-induced change in the energy budget and water cycle and with detection and attribution studies of extremes on larger scales.
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, ATMOSPHERES. MARCH 2016
Data from China: Climate cycles correlate with solar output and ocean currents only
Tree-ring-width-based PDSI reconstruction for central Inner Mongolia, China over the past 333 years
Yu Liu et al.
A tree-ring-width chronology was developed from Pinus tabulaeformis aged up to 333 years from central Inner Mongolia, China. The chronology was significantly correlated with the local Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). We therefore reconstructed the first PDSI reconstruction from March to June based on the local tree ring data from 1680 to 2012 AD. The reconstruction explained 40.7 % of the variance (39.7 % after adjusted the degrees of freedom) of the actual PDSI during the calibration period (1951–2012 AD). The reconstructed PDSI series captured the severe drought event of the late 1920s, which occurred extensively in northern China. Running variance analyses indicated that the variability of drought increased sharply after 1960, indicating more drought years, which may imply anthropogenic related global warming effects in the region. In the entire reconstruction, there were five dry periods: 1730–1814 AD, 1849–1869 AD, 1886–1942 AD (including severe drought in late 1920s), 1963–1978 AD and 2004–2007 AD; and five wet periods: 1685–1729 AD, 1815–1848 AD, 1870–1885 AD, 1943–1962 AD and 1979–2003 AD. Conditions turned dry after 2003 AD, and the PDSI from March to June (PDSI36) captured many interannual extreme drought events since then, such as 2005–2008 AD. The reconstruction is comparable to other tree-ring-width-based PDSI series from the neighboring regions, indicating that our reconstruction has good regional representativeness. Significant relationships were found between our PDSI reconstruction and the solar radiation cycle and the sun spot cycle, North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, as well as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Power spectral analyses detected 147.0-, 128.2-, 46.5-, 6.5-, 6.3-, 2.6-, 2.2- and 2.0-year quasi-cycles in the reconstructed series.
Climate Dynamics, 2016, pp 1-13
Global Warming Will Kill Our Sex Drives
RICK MORAN below mentions some large holes in this latest attempted-scare but could also have mentioned the high birthrates among many human groups in the tropics
Is there anything global warming can't do? It's absolutely amazing the impact on our planet global warming will have just because the temperature rises a few degrees.
The latest on the catastrophe that will befall us comes from a befuddled academic who claims that warming temperatures will make us less inclined to have sex, thus reducing the number of births in the U.S. by more than 100,000 a year.
"Temperature impacts the sexual patterns of human beings for two reasons, according to Professor Barreca. One reason he gave was that human beings did not want to exert themselves physically in hot weather, due to possible discomfort"
The second reason was more scientific.
"The effect of temperature on the production of sperm — that's been shown to be pretty strong in animals," Professor Barreca said.
"When you expose a bull to high temperatures, sperm motility and sperm count fall right off."
He said with the onset of climate change and global warming, the implications could grow.
"According to a state of the art global circulation model, there is going to be about 90 hot days per year by the end of the 21st century — that's about 60 more days than we currently experience," he said.
"Using our estimates, we project that the number of births will fall by about 107,000 per year in the United States by the end of the 21st century."
He said this implied climate could have an impact on the seasonal variation of births, and ultimately change when we have to attend the most birthday parties.
I guess the good doctor never heard of air conditioning.
Are we doomed to a sexless future where "Not tonight, darling. I have a headache" is replaced with "Get your hands off me. It's too hot"?
No matter. I challenge the notion that hot weather deters people from having sex. An ice cube on warm skin can be very erotic. And it's clear our researcher has never done much with ice cream in the boudoir.
I can mention a few more creative ways to enjoy the heat during coitus but this is a family website and I'm already turning red.
I suppose if the scientists have it wrong and we're going to go through a long period of global cooling, we should get ready for another baby boom while stocking up on oysters and arugula to keep the fires of passion burning brightly.
David Legates on the "consensus"
(David R. Legates, PhD, CCM, is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware)
By now, virtually everyone has heard that “97% of scientists agree: Climate change is real, manmade and dangerous.” Even if you weren’t one of his 31 million followers who received this tweet from President Obama, you most assuredly have seen it repeated everywhere as scientific fact.
The correct representation is “yes,” “some,” and “no.” Yes, climate change is real. There has never been a period in Earth’s history when the climate has not changed somewhere, in one way or another.
People can and do have some influence on our climate. For example, downtown areas are warmer than the surrounding countryside, and large-scale human development can affect air and moisture flow. But humans are by no means the only source of climate change. The Pleistocene ice ages, Little Ice Age and monster hurricanes throughout history underscore our trivial influence compared to natural forces.
As for climate change being dangerous, this is pure hype based on little fact. Mile-high rivers of ice burying half of North America and Europe were disastrous for everything in their path, as they would be today. Likewise for the plummeting global temperatures that accompanied them. An era of more frequent and intense hurricanes would also be calamitous; but actual weather records do not show this.
It would be far more deadly to implement restrictive energy policies that condemn billions to continued life without affordable electricity – or to lower living standards in developed countries – in a vain attempt to control the world’s climate. In much of Europe, electricity prices have risen 50% or more over the past decade, leaving many unable to afford proper wintertime heat, and causing thousands to die.
Moreover, consensus and votes have no place in science. History is littered with theories that were long denied by “consensus” science and politics: plate tectonics, germ theory of disease, a geocentric universe. They all underscore how wrong consensus can be.
Science is driven by facts, evidence and observations – not by consensus, especially when it is asserted by deceitful or tyrannical advocates. As Einstein said, “A single experiment can prove me wrong.”
During this election season, Americans are buffeted by polls suggesting which candidate might become each party’s nominee or win the general election. Obviously, only the November “poll” counts.
Similarly, several “polls” have attempted to quantify the supposed climate change consensus, often by using simplistic bait-and-switch tactics. “Do you believe in climate change?” they may ask.
Answering yes, as I would, places you in the President’s 97% consensus and, by illogical extension, implies you agree it is caused by humans and will be dangerous. Of course, that serves their political goal of gaining more control over energy use.
The 97% statistic has specific origins. Naomi Oreskes is a Harvard professor and author of Merchants of Doubt, which claims those who disagree with the supposed consensus are paid by Big Oil to obscure the truth. In 2004, she claimed to have examined the abstracts of 928 scientific papers and found a 100% consensus with the claim that the “Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities.”
Of course, this is probably true, as it is unlikely that any competent scientist would say humans have no impact on climate. However, she then played the bait-and-switch game to perfection – asserting that this meant “most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
However, one dissenter is enough to discredit the entire study, and what journalist would believe any claim of 100% agreement? In addition, anecdotal evidence suggested that 97% was a better figure. So 97% it was.
Then in 2010, William Anderegg and colleagues concluded that “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support … [the view that] … anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for most of the unequivocal warming of the Earth’s average global temperature” over a recent but unspecified time period. (Emphasis in original.)
To make this extreme assertion, Anderegg et al. compiled a database of 908 climate researchers who published frequently on climate topics, and identified those who had “signed statements strongly dissenting from the views” of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The 97–98% figure is achieved by counting those who had not signed such statements.
Silence, in Anderegg’s view, meant those scientists agreed with the extreme view that most warming was due to humans. However, nothing in their papers suggests that all those researchers believed humans had caused most of the planetary warming, or that it was dangerous.
The most recent 97% claim was posited by John Cook and colleagues in 2013. They evaluated abstracts from nearly 12,000 articles published over a 21-year period and sorted them into seven categories, ranging from “explicit, quantified endorsement” to “explicit, quantified rejection” of their alleged consensus: that recent warming was caused by human activity, not by natural variability. They concluded that “97.1% endorsed the consensus position.”
However, two-thirds of all those abstracts took no position on anthropogenic climate change. Of the remaining abstracts (not the papers or scientists), Cook and colleagues asserted that 97.1% endorsed their hypothesis that humans are the sole cause of recent global warming.
Again, the bait-and-switch was on full display. Any assertion that humans play a role was interpreted as meaning humans are the sole cause. But many of those scientists subsequently said publicly that Cook and colleagues had misclassified their papers – and Cook never tried to assess whether any of the scientists who wrote the papers actually thought the observed climate changes were dangerous.
My own colleagues and I did investigate their analysis more closely. We found that only 41 abstracts of the 11,944 papers Cook and colleagues reviewed – a whopping 0.3% – actually endorsed their supposed consensus. It turns out they had decided that any paper which did not provide an explicit, quantified rejection of their supposed consensus was in agreement with the consensus. Moreover, this decision was based solely on Cook and colleagues’ interpretation of just the abstracts, and not the articles themselves. In other words, the entire exercise was a clever sleight-of-hand trick.
What is the real figure? We may never know. Scientists who disagree with the supposed consensus – that climate change is manmade and dangerous – find themselves under constant attack.
Harassment by Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups, the media, federal and state government officials, and even universities toward their employees (myself included) makes it difficult for many scientists to express honest opinions. Recent reports about Senator Whitehouse and Attorney-General Lynch using RICO laws to intimidate climate “deniers” further obscure meaningful discussion.
Numerous government employees have told me privately that they do not agree with the supposed consensus position – but cannot speak out for fear of losing their jobs. And just last week, a George Mason University survey found that nearly one-third of American Meteorological Society members were willing to admit that at least half of the climate change we have seen can be attributed to natural variability.
Climate change alarmism has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year industry – which guarantees it is far safer and more fashionable to pretend a 97% consensus exists, than to embrace honesty and have one’s global warming or renewable energy funding go dry.
The real danger is not climate change – it is energy policies imposed in the name of climate change. It’s time to consider something else Einstein said: “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” And then go see the important new documentary film, The Climate Hustle, coming soon to a theater near you.
‘Stalinist Conformity': Swiss Professor Says ‘Young Researchers Forced To Submit To Mainstream Theories’
So vulnerable, flawed, and under fire has climate science and other fields become that the only tactic left to defend the disintegrating positions is to use Stalinist measures to suppress dissident views, and even sicking state attorney generals on anyone expressing legitimate doubt – science truth by state legal decree.
Meanwhile in Europe dissident views in a variety of fields, especially climate science, are being suppressed by a power-abusive establishment. Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt report:
"In Weltwoche of 6 April 2016 Prof. Mathias Binswanger was very clear on why young university researchers are quasi forced to submit themselves to the trends of the day, i.e. the overriding mainstream in any particular scientific field:
Mathias Binswanger: ‘The principle is ultimately always the same: Foremost one has to be an often published and often cited figure in his/her scientific field in order to be able to contribute to the ranking of a university. But how does one often publish or become often cited in respected journals of his own field? The most important principles are: Adaptation to the mainstream and do not question any established theories or models.
All submitted articles first must go through a peer-review process where champions of the scientific discipline evaluate it. Under these circumstances a young researcher has no option but to go along with the mainstream theories represented in the top journals and to use the empirical processes that are currently in trend. Only in this way does he/she have any chance of having enough publications to make him/herself eligible to be a professor. Through this very kind of pressure to conform applied by top journals is science obstructed rather than promoted.'”
It is hardly necessary to mention that this principle promotes a “Stalinist conformity” with the highly politicized climate sciences for young researchers. typically today mostly only retired professors dare to speak up when it comes to doubt over the supposed imminent climate catastrophe. These professors finally beco0me free to openly express themselves without threats to their careers threatened.
Rooftop solar companies will only play if the game is stacked in their favor
By Marita Noon
The past couple of weeks have highlighted the folly of the energy policies favored by left-leaning advocacy agencies that, rather than allowing consumers and markets to choose, require government mandates and subsidies. Three major, but very different, solar entities — that would not exist without such political preference — are now facing demise. Even with the benefit of tax credits, low-interest loans, and cash grants that state and federal governments have bestowed on them, the solar industry is struggling.
We’ve seen Abengoa — which I’ve followed for years — file for bankruptcy.
Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar power tower project in the California desert, is threatened with closure due to underperformance.
Then there is SunEdison, the biggest renewable energy developer in the world. It’s on the verge of bankruptcy as its stock price plunged from more than $30 to below $.50 — a more than 90 percent drop in the past year.
All of these recent failures magnify the solar industry’s black eye that first swelled up nearly five years ago with the Solyndra bankruptcy.
Worried about self-preservation, and acting in its own best interest — rather than that of consumers specifically, and America in general — industry groups have sprung up to defend the favored-status energy policies and attack anyone who disagrees with the incentive-payment business model. Two such groups are TASC and TUSK — both of which are founded and funded by solar panel powerhouses SolarCity and SunRun with involvement from smaller solar companies (SolarCity recently parted ways with TASC).
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) is run by the lead lobbyists for the two big companies — both have obvious Democrat Party connections.
Bryan Miller is Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Power Markets at Sunrun (a position he took in January 2013) and is President and co-chair of TASC (May 2013). His LinkedIn page shows that he’s worked for the National Finance Committee for Obama for America and was Finance Coordinator/Field Organizer for Clinton Gore ’96. He’s also served as s senior political appointee in the Obama Administration and ran an unsuccessful 2008 bid for election to Florida’s House of Representatives, District 83.
Co-chair John Stanton is Executive Vice President, Policy & Markets at SolarCity. In that role, he, according to the company website, “oversees SolarCity’s work with international, federal, state and local government organizations on a wide range of policy issues.” Previously, Stanton was Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)—the national trade association for industries that support the development of solar power—with which he oversaw legal and government affairs for the association. There he played a pivotal role in the 8-year extension of the solar investment tax credit. He was also legislative counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clinton administration.
A news report about the founding of TASC states: “First and foremost, the group will work to protect net-energy metering (NEM) rules in the 43 states that have them.”
On March 25, the Wall Street Journal reported: “two dozen states are weighing changes to their incentives for rooftop solar…incentive payments have been the backbone of home solar firms’ business model.” In the past several months, Nevada and Hawaii have ended their NEM programs. TASC has responded with lawsuits. In Hawaii, TASC’s case has already been dismissed with a report stating: the judge’s “ruling in favor of the Defendants has eviscerated TASC’s claims.” Last year, Louisiana capped its “among the most generous in the country” solar tax credit. Arizona Public Service was the trailblazer in modifying generous solar policies when, in 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a fixed charge for solar customers.
As one of the first states to challenge the generous NEM policies, Arizona is still a battleground. That’s where TASC formed another group: TUSK — which stands for Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed. Lobbyist and former U.S. Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. was brought in to give a Republican face to the industry’s advocacy. TUSK even has an elephant, the Republican mascot, as part of its logo. The TUSK home page states: “Republicans want the freedom to make the best choice and the competition to drive down rates” — true, but a core value of the Republican Party is allowing the free markets to work rather than governments picking winners and losers.
While registered in Arizona, TUSK has recently been active in other states — including Nevada, Oklahoma, and Michigan.
The reoccurring theme in the TASC/TUSK campaign is to connect the word “kill” with “solar” — though the NEM modification efforts don’t intend to kill solar. Instead, they aim to adjust the “incentive payments” to make them more equitable. However, without the favors, as was seen in Nevada, rooftop solar isn’t economical on its own. Companies refuse to play when the game is not stacked in their favor.
TASC and TUSK are just two of the ways the rooftop solar industry — also known as a “coalition of rent seekers and welfare queens,” as Louisiana’s largest conservative blog, The Hayride, called them in the midst of that state’s solar wars — is trying to protect its preferential policies. It has other tricks in its playbook.
In addition to the specific industry groups like TASC, TUSK and SEIA, third party organizations like the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) are engaged to intimidate public officials and academics. EPI, run by Gabe Elsner, is considered a dark money group with no legal existence. It can be assumed to be an extension of what is known as the Checks & Balances Project (CB&P)—which was founded to investigate organizations and policymakers that do not support government programs and subsidies for renewable energy. CB&P has received funding from SolarCity. Elsner joined CB&P in 2011 — where he served as Director — and then, two years later, left to found EPI — which C&BP calls: “a pro-clean energy website.” EPI produces material to attack established energy interests and discredit anyone who doesn’t support rooftop solar subsidies. I have been a target of Elsner’s efforts.
Then there is the Solar Foundation — closely allied with SEIA and government solar advocacy programs — which publishes a yearly report on solar employment trends across the country. Solar employers self-report the jobs numbers via phone/email surveys and the numbers are, then, extrapolated to estimate industry jobs nationwide. Though the reports achieve questionable results, threats of job loss have proven to be an effective way to pressure state and federal lawmakers to continue the industry’s favorable policies — such as NEM.
Together, these groups have a coordinated campaign to produce public opinion polling that is used to convince politicians of NEM’s public support. Such cases can be found in Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas. They gather signatures from solar advocates and use them to influence legislators and commissioners. They engage in regulatory and rate proceedings — often creating, as I’ve experienced, an overwhelming presence with mob-like support from tee-shirt-wearing, sign-waving advocates. They run ads calling attempts to modify solar’s generous NEM policies a “tax” on solar and, as previously mentioned, attack utilities for trying to “kill solar.” If this combined campaign isn’t fruitful, and NEM policies are changed, lawsuits, such as those in Hawaii and Nevada, are filed.
This policy protection process may seem no different from those engaged by any industry — as most have trade associations and advocacy groups that promote their cause. Remember “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” and “Pork, the other white meat”? Few are truly independent and self-preservation is a natural instinct.
Yes, even the fossil fuel industry has, for example, the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the National Mining Association, and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. And there are advocacy groups who support various limited-government, free-market positions, as Miller recently accused.
The difference is that fossil fuels provide, and has been providing, America with efficient, effective, and economical energy. Its abundance has lowered costs for consumers and increased America’s energy security. Advocates are not fighting for special favors that allow this natural resource to survive, but are rather attempting to push back on new rules and regulations aimed at driving it out of business.
By comparison, the solar advocacy efforts are, as acknowledged by TASC: “First and foremost, the group will work to protect net-energy metering (NEM) rules,” as without them — and the other politically correct policies — rooftop solar energy doesn’t make economic sense. Because rooftop solar power isn’t efficient or effective, its major selling point is supposed savings that are achieved for a few, while costing all tax- and rate-payers.
With the potential of a change in political winds — remember the solar supporters all seem to be left-leaning, big government believers who want higher energy prices — the campaign for America’s energy future is embedded in the presidential election.
Will big government pick the winners and losers, or will free markets allow the survival of the best energy sources for individual circumstances?
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
Posted by JR at 12:20 AM