Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Would global warming increase both flooding AND drought?
That is the prediction that Warmists are attached to. But it runs counter to basic physics. Warming should cause more evaporation off the oceans which will in turn fall as rain. So more flooding would be a reasonable expectation during warming. So how is warming supposed to cause drought too?
The short answer is "models" but leaning on them is leaning on a broken reed. A more substantial answer is that warmer weather will not only evaporate water off the seas but also off the land. So you may have an initial drying effect on the land. But wherever the evaporation comes from, it will end up as rain. So there can be no net loss to the land. The clouds will give its moisture back plus more moisture from the oceans. And the earth surface is two thirds ocean so we are looking at a LOT more rain.
So a recent paper (below) has caused heartburn among Warmists. It says that the slight warming of the 20th century did NOT cause drought -- which is what one would on basic principles expect and which is borne out by other studies -- e.g. "the proportion of Europe experiencing extreme and/or moderate drought conditions has changed insignificantly during the 20th century". And another finding for a dry region during C20: "We found no evidence for a decrease either in mean annual rainfall or in the incidence of drought".
Note also the greening of the Sahel in late C20 and early C21. Instead of getting drier, the semi-desert Sahel got greener.
So professional Warmist Joe Romm has rubbished the paper. He says the paper is discredited and shows that it's conclusions are contradicted by "findings" from Warmist studies. That contradiction should bother us not at all so let us look at the academic criticisms of the paper:
ANY scientific paper is open to criticism, No study is perfect. So the issue is whether the criticisms discover a fatal error or make an improbable generaliztion. The criticisms Romm refers to are here. And they are far from totally dismissive. A few quotes:
In a recent study (Donat et al., 2016, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2941) we found that, when aggregating over the dry and wet regions of the world, precipitation changes are consistent between models and observations over the past 60 years. Nevertheless, it is true that modelling and analysis of precipitation changes are still related to a number of uncertainties, especially when it comes to regional changes in precipitation. This is partly related to the large temporal variability in local precipitation time series, but also shortcomings in the models with simulating processes related to precipitation."
I am not too surprised that there is disagreement for the 20th century as there is a strong component of random variability evident in the observational record. The picture of the “wet getting wetter and the dry getting drier” is one that is very likely to emerge over the course of this century but has not been evident, or expected, during the 20th century.
If this paper’s conclusion about model overprediction holds up to further scrutiny it will be extremely interesting; my own work focuses on model-data discrepancies so I am particularly interested. But due to the above aspects of the study, I am not convinced that this particular conclusion will hold up. We shall see, as I am sure this result will attract lots of attention."
So the study is not at all as risible as Romm claims. It is just one indication of what is going on.
Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries
Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist et al.
Accurate modelling and prediction of the local to continental-scale hydroclimate response to global warming is essential given the strong impact of hydroclimate on ecosystem functioning, crop yields, water resources, and economic security1, 2, 3, 4. However, uncertainty in hydroclimate projections remains large5, 6, 7, in part due to the short length of instrumental measurements available with which to assess climate models. Here we present a spatial reconstruction of hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries across the Northern Hemisphere derived from a network of 196 at least millennium-long proxy records. We use this reconstruction to place recent hydrological changes8, 9 and future precipitation scenarios7, 10, 11 in a long-term context of spatially resolved and temporally persistent hydroclimate patterns. We find a larger percentage of land area with relatively wetter conditions in the ninth to eleventh and the twentieth centuries, whereas drier conditions are more widespread between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Our reconstruction reveals that prominent seesaw patterns of alternating moisture regimes observed in instrumental data12, 13, 14 across the Mediterranean, western USA, and China have operated consistently over the past twelve centuries. Using an updated compilation of 128 temperature proxy records15, we assess the relationship between the reconstructed centennial-scale Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate and temperature variability. Even though dry and wet conditions occurred over extensive areas under both warm and cold climate regimes, a statistically significant co-variability of hydroclimate and temperature is evident for particular regions. We compare the reconstructed hydroclimate anomalies with coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model simulations and find reasonable agreement during pre-industrial times. However, the intensification of the twentieth-century-mean hydroclimate anomalies in the simulations, as compared to previous centuries, is not supported by our new multi-proxy reconstruction. This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using palaeoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context16, 17.
When you look at the big picture....
German State Of Bavaria “Puts Brakes On” Wind Energy
German Bavarian Broadcasting, Bayerischer Rundfunk, has a report on wind energy in the southeastern state that is famous for its Oktoberfest, dirndls and lederhosen. It appears the brakes have been effectively applied to the scenery pollution industry.
Bavaria is also home to some of the country’s most idyllic landscapes. But unfortunately Germany’s “Greens” have been pushing hard to industrialize this precious natural treasure – all with the aim of saving the planet. They have proposed the construction of dozens of wind parks of 200-meter tall turbines across the country side.
In the early days wind turbines were viewed as sort of a novelty and many communities even lobbied to get them. However, as wind parks sprouted across the country, people woke up to the natural destruction and overall inefficiency the wind energy has wreaked. Today, the BR report tells us that the tipping point has been reached: wind parks are no longer welcome; They’re too ugly, noisy, inefficient and only a very few profit from them at the expense of the many.
The BR report features one Bavarian village, Obbach, where a wind park with five 200-meter tall turbines was installed just 800 hundred meters away. Unfortunately for the village the park had been approved before Germany’s 10-H rule was enacted, and so construction went ahead much to the dissatisfaction of the village residents. The 10-H rule stipulates that no turbine may be closer to a living area than 10 times its height. Had the rule been enacted sooner, it would not have been possible to put up the park and the Obbach’s residents would have been spared the eyesore and noise.
Resident Andrea Lettowsky tells BR: "For me I keep thinking about how this used to be a beautiful landscape with open fields, and now it’s an industrial zone.”
That’s pretty much the sentiment that has spread across Germany, and with the 10-H rule Bavaria is leading the way in the country’s growing resistance to landscape spoilage by inefficient wind power. Already over 300 citizens initiatives have formed to resist the construction of new parks across the country.
Moreover, recent reports tell us the German government is poised to scale back on renewable energies, aiming to cap it at 40 – 45% of total energy supply by 2025, according to the Berliner Zeitung.
The BR reports that although it is too late for Obbach, the new 10H rule is welcome and now gives communities the power to stop wind park projects that are aggressively pushed by deep-pocketed outside investors. Though it’s regrettable the park could not be stopped, Lettowsky is optimistic that other projects will be stopped elsewhere. The BR report concludes:
The fact is that the 10-H rule and the resistance from the citizens have pretty much put the brakes on further wind park construction in Bavaria.”
Indeed, thanks to forward looking states like Bavaria, the renewable energy tide is changing for the better.
Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film
Fathom Events and SpectiCast are giving a major push to the anti-global warming documentary “Climate Hustle,” with plans for showings at nearly 400 theaters on May 2.
Variety has learned exclusively that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is participating in the event. The screening of the documentary, produced by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot.com, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Palin, with opening remarks by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. Morano is planning to show clips of Bill Nye, best known as “the science guy,” from an interview. Variety reported earlier that Nye was scheduled to appear but his rep for said he was not invited to participate.
The invitation-only panel discussion will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., following a screening of “Climate Hustle.”
“I’m very passionate about this issue,” Palin told Variety. “We’ve been told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way.”
Palin noted that, while governor in 2008, she sued the U.S. government over placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as “unreliable,” “uncertain” and “unproven,” but a federal judge backed the government scientists’ finding in 2011.
“I wanted facts and real numbers,” Palin said. “The polar bear population is stable, if not growing and the designation would have stymied Alaska’s pursuit of developing its natural resources.”
The “Climate Hustle” presentation by Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, represents a departure from its usual fare of music and family films.
Among the largest past presentations for the company, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group: “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary” at 800 locations; “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith” screened at 637 sites; “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts” at 584 theaters; and “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark,” a documentary about Christian comedian, at 512 locations.
Palin said “Climate Hustle” offers a countering view to Al Gore’s global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which grossed nearly $50 million and won Academy Awards for best documentary feature and original song.
“People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard,” she added. “I’m very pleased that this is written and spoken in layman’s terms. My dad taught science to fifth and sixth graders, and it was very important to him that science be presented in an understandable way.”
Marc Morano, host of “Climate Hustle” said, “This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. ‘Climate Hustle’ presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades, and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about ‘global warming.'”
The film profiles Georgia Tech climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre.
“Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.
“‘Climate Hustle’ is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming,” said Mark Rupp, co-founder and president of SpectiCast Entertainment. “We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue and ‘Climate Hustle’ provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way.”
Morano founded the anti-climate change website Climatedepot.com in 2009. Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, named Morano the “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” in 2012.
CHART: Power Is A LOT More Expensive Under Obama
The average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since January, 2009, due in part to regulations imposed by President Barack Obama and state governments, even though the price of generating power has declined.
Record low costs for generating electricity thanks to America’s new natural gas supplies created by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, haven’t translated into lower monthly payments for consumers due to new regulations.
The price of generating electricity in the eastern U.S. fell by half under Obama, but utilities raised monthly bills for residential customers, according to government data.
The biggest price increase in the U.S. was in Kansas, where prices rose from 8.16 cents per kilowatt-hour in January, 2009, to 11.34 cents in January, 2015. That’s a 39 percent increase in the price of electricity during Obama’s tenure. States like Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah, and Ohio saw enormous increases in the price of electricity as well, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
States with large and developed natural gas and oil industries generally saw their average electric bill drop. The biggest price drop was in Texas, where prices fell by almost 10 percent during Obama’s tenure. States like Louisiana, Arkansas, Maryland, Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, Maine and the District of Columbia all saw the average electric bill fall since January, 2009.
“President Obama openly ran in 2008 on a platform of making electricity rates ‘skyrocket’ and bankrupting anyone who dared to build a coal plant in the United States,” Travis Fisher, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Now, more than seven years into his presidency, it should come as no surprise that his efforts have taken a widespread toll in the form of higher electricity rates for nearly every state in the union.”
Despite falling generation costs, electrical utilities are being forced by the government to pay for billions of dollars of government-mandated “improvements” and taxpayer support for new wind and solar power systems.
“The administration has subsidized our highest-cost sources of electricity–new wind and solar facilities–while shutting down a significant portion of our most economic source, which is the existing workhorse fleet of coal-fired power plants,” Fisher continued. “In fact, rates are going up when they should be going down. For example, natural gas prices reached their peak in 2008 and have since fallen by two-thirds. Coal prices are stable. What’s really behind the increase in electricity prices is an increase in subsidized and mandated wind and solar power combined with a decrease in low-cost electricity from coal.”
Most analysts agree rising residential electricity prices are also harmful to American households. Pricey power disproportionately hurts poorer families and other lower-income groups as the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on “basic needs” like power, so any increase in prices hits them the hardest.
As essential goods like electricity becomes more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything. The higher prices are ultimately paid for by consumers, not industries.
Fracking ban looming in Australia
The Northern Territory government says the new regulations it's developing for mining will be more transparent and put the onus on companies to prove they're doing all they can to minimise any risks from fracking.
But environmental groups say companies can't be trusted to do that unless there's something in it for them.
The Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining is sitting in Darwin on Tuesday, following previous hearings in Queensland and NSW.
Shale gas fracking is a big issue for the NT as it heads to an election in August, with Labor promising a moratorium if it wins, which has caused uncertainty in the local industry and raised concerns that it will cost more jobs.
There has been a groundswell of anti-fracking sentiment across the NT even as the current Country Liberals government talks up the economic benefits.
It says the science is in, and that there have been no reported instances of fracking in the NT causing any water contamination.
A report it commissioned in 2014 found there was no need for a moratorium if there was proper regulation in place, and the government is developing a new regulatory framework which it says will require companies to go above and beyond to minimise any potential risks, rather than meeting a prescribed minimum standard which may not adequately forsee all potential risks on every project.
"Built into this is significantly more transparency and stakeholder engagement through that approvals process than has ever been present before, so that everyone does have, we believe, a greater level of transparency and therefore hopefully confidence in the processes we're implementing," said Ron Kelly, CEO of the NT Department of Mines and Energy.
But all scientific reports on the practice say the industry is only safe if a robust regulatory regime is in place "and we're not there yet", said David Morris, principal lawyer with the Environmental Defenders Office NT.
Until that is developed, he supports a moratorium, he said.
"The other thing I have significant concerns about is the capacity of the regulator in an environment where we have a huge amount of onus placed on the operator to do the right thing," Mr Morris said.
"I'm not sure that history tells us we should have a great deal of confidence in oil and gas operators doing the right thing, unless they're required to or they see an incentive in doing so."
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Posted by JR at 12:27 AM