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.



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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The causality of CO2 and global warming

I have no idea who Adolf Stips is but I wish him well. He seems to have something to do with the EU and is clearly a keen Warmist but I can find no other information about him.  I suspect he is Belgian.  You would have to be Belgian to call your kid Adolf these days.  Anyway, he appears to believe that  mathematical methods can detect causality, which is amusing. I reproduce below the abstract of an article under his authorship which makes that claim. It is an article that does seem to have attracted some attention, as one would expect.

During my student days I took three full-year courses in analytical philosophy, meaning that I did a "major" in that subject.  And that bore fruit in that I had a few articles on analytical philosophy topics published in the academic journals, one of which was well received.  And among those articles was included a look at the topic of causality:  What is cause?

For present purposes, however, I will stick with the minimalist approach of David Hume to that topic -- who -- as is well known -- specified temporal priority and constant conjunction as the sole nature of causation.

But Stips and his merry men note that temperature rises used to cause CO2 rises but they "flipped" recently so that CO2 rises now cause temperature rises. To a Humean and, in fact, anyone with half a brain, that would indicate no causal connection between the two. Constant conjunction is shown but not invariant temporal priority.  So Stips is talking nonsense. How  sad!

In addition to the abstract I reproduce below an excerpt from a  plain English summary of the work in  I have verified  the accuracy of the summary in the original article but the summary is easier to follow.

The whole point of the Stips effort is to address the well-known fact that, in paleoclimatological history, temperature rises preceded CO2 rises, which blows Warmist theory out of the water, which asserts the opposite.  Warmists normally ignore that but Stips has bravely taken it on and attempted to circumvent it.

I have zero interest in unravelling Stips's mathematics in order to isolate where his faulty assumptions lie but that he does make faulty assumptions is obvious

On the causal structure between CO2 and global temperature

Adolf Stips, Diego Macias, Clare Coughlan, Elisa Garcia-Gorriz & X. San Liang


We use a newly developed technique that is based on the information flow concept to investigate the causal structure between the global radiative forcing and the annual global mean surface temperature anomalies (GMTA) since 1850. Our study unambiguously shows one-way causality between the total Greenhouse Gases and GMTA. Specifically, it is confirmed that the former, especially CO2, are the main causal drivers of the recent warming. A significant but smaller information flow comes from aerosol direct and indirect forcing, and on short time periods, volcanic forcings. In contrast the causality contribution from natural forcings (solar irradiance and volcanic forcing) to the long term trend is not significant. The spatial explicit analysis reveals that the anthropogenic forcing fingerprint is significantly regionally varying in both hemispheres. On paleoclimate time scales, however, the cause-effect direction is reversed: temperature changes cause subsequent CO2/CH4 changes.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 21691 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep21691

An excerpt from the summary in

"The authors applied the same technique to analyse historical air temperatures and CO2/CH4 data from the past 800,000 years, available thanks to the 3,000 meter deep ice core drilled in Antarctica more than a decade ago, which offers scientists a clue on a time scale of 800 millennia. They found a causal relationship between temperature increase and rising CO2/CH4 levels, which is the exact opposite of the results for the last 150 years. This also confirms the validity of the technique, as it is well known from the ice core data that in historical times, increase of temperatures had been followed by higher CO2/CH4 emissions. The causality relationship appears to have started reversing around 5000 years ago. The analysis confirms this opposite trend for the last 150 years, when unprecedented amounts of CO2 started being pumped into the atmosphere in the industrial age"

Warming and high CO2 are good for life

Recently when I was looking at this temperature reconstruction, I noticed something that I found amusing, and should have noted much earlier.

During the Pre-Cambrian, temps were about the same as today, between 12 and 15 degrees C, for roughly half of that period.  Then they begin to climb, rising to about 22 deg C prior to the Cambrian, and remaining so all the way through and into the Ordovician. Also, CO2 concentration was more than 10 times as great as today for that entire period, the highest it's ever been on Earth.

The amusing thing is that, far from the great damage that elevated CO2 and temperature are alleged to cause, that did nothing to stop the Cambrian Explosion; the first ever appearance of complex animals, including all or nearly all of the phyla extant today.

Solar power corruption in Massachusetts?

The big beast himself

Federal prosecutors are looking at state Senator Brian A. Joyce’s involvement in a massive solar project at Stonehill College in Easton as part of a wide-ranging investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing by the Milton Democrat, according to two people with direct knowledge of the probe.

Joyce, whose law office was raided by FBI agents last week, represented Stonehill and the company that recently installed about 9,000 solar panels at the college, according to legal documents filed with state regulators. Meanwhile, as a state senator, Joyce pushed legislation to make it easier for clean energy projects like Stonehill’s to connect to electric utilities’ power lines.
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US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office convened a grand jury to hear evidence about Joyce’s conduct, according to four people who received subpoenas to appear before or bring documents to the panel.

Joyce, who this week announced he would not run for reelection, has denied he ever used his public position for personal gain or did anything wrong. On Wednesday, his attorney declined to answer questions about the Stonehill project, saying that Joyce is a victim of a “media circus” that is airing unproven charges.

“The apparent improper leak by law enforcement of what is supposed to be a secret investigation has resulted in a media circus which has included unasserted, let alone unproven, allegations of wrongdoing,” said Howard M. Cooper in a statement. “Senator Joyce has not been charged with any violation of any law, by any authority, in any court or any forum, and he will not participate in this media circus except to repeat that he believes he has done nothing wrong.”

A spokesman for Stonehill College did not return several phone calls and messages seeking comment.

Joyce has repeatedly drawn scrutiny for blurring the lines between his public duties and his private affairs. The state Ethics Commission is investigating whether Joyce improperly lobbied state insurance regulators on behalf of another private law client, Energi of Peabody, according to Joyce’s Senate colleagues.

Earlier this year, Joyce agreed to pay nearly $5,000 to settle issues related to his use of $3,367 in campaign funds to pay for his son’s high school graduation party in 2014.

At Stonehill College, Joyce represented both the school and the solar power developer, a Hopkinton-based company called Solect, in sometimes-testy negotiations with National Grid to connect a planned 15-acre field of solar panels to National Grid’s power system. Stonehill estimated the project could save the school an estimated $3.2 million over 15 years, according to information on Joyce Law Firm’s website.

But, to get those savings, Stonehill wanted to wire the electricity directly to the school instead of distributing it across the power grid, something that National Grid opposed. The utility said the approach would require the construction of costly power lines from the solar panels, across a road, to the school.

Faced with the opposition, Joyce Law Group “had to take a more aggressive approach with National Grid,” according to the firm’s website.

Joyce filed a brief with the state Department of Public Utilities in March 2013, arguing that it was not a significant problem to connect panels on one side of Route 138 to Stonehill College on the other side.

State regulators ultimately did not make a ruling, urging the two sides to negotiate a deal.

But, as Joyce was sparring with National Grid, in his other job as a state senator, he filed legislation that would have weakened utilities’ exclusive rights to supply power in their service areas. A measure, filed in January 2013, would have allowed clean energy producers such as Stonehill easier access to the power system even if the utility objected. He filed similar legislation in 2014.

The state’s utilities, including National Grid, opposed the measure and it never advanced in the Legislature.

One state official said the bills filed by Joyce appeared to give him leverage in his negotiations over the Stonehill project by threatening National Grid’s control over its service area, known as franchise rights.

“Franchise rights are the gold standard,” said one state official. Electric utilities “will do anything not to give them up.”

In the end, National Grid agreed to connect the solar project directly to Stonehill College as the school had requested, according to documents filed with the Department of Public Utilities.


How are working Americans supposed to pay for a carbon tax?

In the State of the Union Address last month, President Obama renewed his call for a carbon tax. He called to “change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers, and the earth.” The President’s proposals are purportedly advanced in the name of the people, but what do the people think?

About a month ago, a poll was conducted by YouGov to ask the world about their concern about climate change. Nine percent of Americans expressed they were concerned. Another poll conducted in November by Fox News found the number to be at three percent.

What do you suppose matters the most? According to the most recent Gallup poll, 39 percent were concerned about the economy. In the same poll, while those concerned about the environment came to an underwhelming 1 percent, so-called climate change specifically didn’t even appear on the chart. Why are we pretending?

Polling is not truly exact, but Americans care more about paying bills than carbon emissions. We have negative indicators about economic growth all around us, so a carbon tax wouldn’t come out of the large increase of economic output tomorrow, but out of the stagnant output of today, when the lack of recovery is already keeping the cupboards bare. Working people who are already on the edge can’t afford that.

Wages remain flat, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, and haven’t seen significant growth in over a decade. It is a cruel irony indeed that the same people who claim the mantle of protecting the poor can pass a regressive tax onto them for their most basic needs. Are Washington, D.C. politicians really going to make it more expensive to buy groceries, heat homes and engage in productive activity? This is yet another way to steal money from working Americans without calling it a tax. Consumers end up paying more, but don’t know why.

Think about that. An economy where so much has been spent on creating jobs and growth, the proponents of the carbon tax would make it harder still to grow out of the doldrums that have defined this decade. What are they thinking?

In the meantime, friends of the Obama administration like venture socialist Elon Musk, who supports a carbon tax, add to their competitive advantage by increasing the costs of competitors’ fuel sources to subsidize their business models. The implication is that the average family making around $50,000 a year is paying more to lower the prices of the people who buy $100,000 cars like the Tesla Model S.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government inveighed against the carbon tax, joining with 21 other free market groups on Feb. 24, saying “Americans for Limited Government is proud to join free market and limited government leaders from across the country in opposing the imposition of any carbon tax on the U.S. economy, whether by law or regulatory fiat. Taxing carbon-based energy increases the cost of doing business in the U.S. by increasing the cost of electricity, ships jobs overseas and punishes the American people with higher consumer costs. Low energy costs for the future is the key to America emerging from Obama’s economic malaise and reviving our job producing manufacturing sector.”

Manning urged the House to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 89 to express its sense that it Congress opposes a carbon tax.

That is a good start, but more needs to be done. The carbon tax is already being implemented via regulatory fiat via the Environmental Protection Agency’s Carbon Endangerment Finding defining carbon dioxide as a harmful pollutant under the Clean Air Act, as well as its new and existing power plant rules, the costs of which get passed on to consumers, necessarily making electricity more expensive, just as then-candidate for president Barack Obama promised they would back in 2008.

Creating more hidden taxes that increase the burden on struggling Americans to fix things beyond government control, is truly emblematic, and is yet one more reason why voters are angry with Washington.

Congress alone has the power to stop this insidious theft from working America.

There are two immediate solutions: First, firing a warning shot to the Obama administration that this tax will never pass Congress. Second, passing legislation that rolls back some of these regulations. Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-Colo.) Article I supplemental is one such next logical step to do just that, as it specifically defunds the new and existing power plant rules.

Every American has been raised with the idea that Democrats are the party of the little guy. Instead, the party under Obama is apparently more concerned with fundamentally transforming America than it is with helping the poor and Americans who work for a living — the ones who truly pay for his onerous and growing carbon tax.


Biden ‘stimulus’ anniversary tour avoids Obama’s hand-picked green energy project, now in bankruptcy proceedings

In a week of big news stories, few noticed the seven-year anniversary of Obama’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — signed into law on February 17, 2009. Commonly known as the “Stimulus Bill,” Politico calls it “one of the administration’s most consequential and least popular initiatives.” In fact, according to Politico, “the package of tax cuts and government spending…became so unpopular that the word ‘stimulus’ disappeared from the administration’s rhetoric.”

Despite the bill’s reputation, on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden embarked on a three-city victory tour to celebrate the anniversary of the act for which he oversaw the implementation.

His first stop was New Orleans. There he “toured a new rail container facility paid for through the 2009 stimulus,” reports the New Orleans Advocate. Outside of Memphis, he “viewed progress on an upgrade to the Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal and yard,” that, according to Politico, had “modest crowds of government and corporate officials.” Though the audience was “pre-selected,” their response to Biden’s zest for the program was “politely supportive but not wildly enthusiastic.” Politico adds: “they didn’t seem too excited by his stay-the-course-but-build-more message.”

The next day, at his third stop, he spoke to an “invitation-only crowd of more than 100 guests” at the stimulus-funded renovated Union Depot in St. Paul, MN. There, Biden was unapologetic about the stimulus, saying: “We have created more jobs in this country, because of projects like this.” The Twin Cities Pioneer Press states: “The vice president did not address criticisms of Union Depot, which last year brought in $1.7 million in revenues but cost $7.7 million in costs.”

During his trip, Biden gushed that the stimulus was “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico cites the $90 billion it “pumped into renewable power, advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and other green stuff” as helping to “triple U.S. wind capacity and increase U.S. solar capacity more than 20-fold.” Yet, probably because he, obviously, wanted to focus on the positives, Biden didn’t visit any of the “green stuff” projects.

On the same days the Vice President was crowing about the success of the stimulus, the Spanish company that received more than $3.67 billion of taxpayer funds — the majority (thanks to connections with high-ranking Democrats) through the 2009 stimulus bill — released its Industrial Viability Plan that laid out its plans for survival. The Financial Times reports: “The company is trying to avoid collapse as it restructures its debts and raises cash. Abengoa sought creditor protection in November, and if it were to default it would count as the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history.”

Everybody knows about Solyndra’s brief history, costing taxpayers over $500 million, but Abengoa has managed to use tricks and reported illegal practices to stay alive — until now.

I first became aware of Abengoa, through a series of green energy reports I wrote with researcher Christine Lakatos — known as the Green Corruption blogger — in the summer of 2012. After my piece, How Democrats Say “Crony Corruption” in Spanish: Abengoa, was published, a whistleblower contacted me. After being contacted by several others that corroborated what I’d heard from the first, we dug deeper into the company. In January of 2013, I met with House Oversight Committee staffers who were investigating Abengoa and we shared what we’d learned. Since October 2013, Abengoa has been under investigation for a variety of violations including immigration, employment, and insurance fraud. In addition to several columns on the atrocities at Abengoa, I wrote a comprehensive report on the company that was published by the Daily Caller in March 2014.

Now, it appears that the second largest recipient of taxpayer dollars from Obama’s clean-energy stimulus funds is nearly bankrupt — with the U.S. government being the largest creditor. In November, after Abengoa started insolvency proceedings, the Washington Times wrote: “Abengoa is a Spanish company that was another of President Obama’s personally picked green energy projects, and it’s now on the verge of bankruptcy, too, potentially saddling taxpayers with a multi-billion-dollar tab and fueling the notion that the administration repeatedly gambles on losers in the energy sector.”

Abengoa could be bankrupt by this time next month, as Spanish law gives it four months from the initial filing to try to restructure its debt. Last week, ratings agency Moody’s declared that Abengoa’s underlying operating business is still “viable.” Yet, according to the Financial Times, Moody’s is “maintaining a negative outlook…given that discussions on debt restructuring might not be successful and the company might end up in a formal insolvency process.”

While “discussions” are going on in Spain, the trouble continues here in the U.S. In December, citing “financial difficulties,” Abengoa shut down seven bioenergy plants — including its Hugoton, KS, cellulosic ethanol plant after it sold, according to Biomass Magazine, just one railcar of product. Watchdog reports that the Hugoton plant received a $132.4 million loan guarantee and a $97 million grant. The cellulosic ethanol plant — which was designed to produce fuel from leftover, post-harvest, crops — opened just a little more than a year ago with dignitaries such as U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar participating in the “Ceremonial start-up.” The Garden City Telegram states: “Despite the initial fanfare, the plant never lived up to its billing.” It continues: “At opening, the plant was billed as the first commercial-scale, next-generation biofuel plant.” According to Watchdog, the closure could be a “signal of problems that run much deeper for the industry.” Charlie Drevna, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, says: “This is just another example of the technology not being there, at least as a competitive commercial technology.”

And there’s more. On February 10, the California Energy Commission finally rejected a new plan for the Palen solar farm Abengoa had been developing. The Desert Sun, which has been following developments with the project, reports: The company missed a construction deadline “after entering into pre-bankruptcy proceedings in November.” Though Abengoa is known for energy projects like solar farms and ethanol plants, a water pipeline project it’s been preparing to build near San Antonio, Texas, is now seeking a buyer.

Then, on the very day Biden was touting stimulus successes, a group of grain sellers, who had not been paid by Abengoa Bioenergy, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Kansas. Another suit was previously filed in Nebraska. American companies that haven’t been paid for deliveries, dating back to early August, are owed more than $10 million. They hope the suit will require U.S. creditors be paid before funds from any asset sales are retained by the parent company in Spain — which was just granted by the court.

Abengoa has also been sued by shareholders, who say that the company misled them about its financial plans. Stock prices have been declining throughout late 2015 and plunged after the November bankruptcy announcement. After a 2014 high of $28, the company’s stock is currently trading at $.81.

In Spain, former Abengoa executives have been accused of insider trading and mismanagement. Their assets have been frozen and seized. On February 17, former chairman Felipe Benjumea’s passport was revoked to prevent him from leaving the country.

Drevna, in Watchdog, points out if the plants “can’t even compete in a mandated market. How can they compete in a free market?”

With Abengoa in the news while Biden was on his victory tour, it is clear why he chose to stick to infrastructure projects and avoid the “green” disasters created by, as he called it, “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico suggests that the lack of popularity for his projects is “surely one reason” he decided not to run for president.

While Biden isn’t currently on any ballot, Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are. (Since Abengoa is a foreign company that received U.S. taxpayer dollars, I wonder if the State Department was involved.) Both Sanders and Clinton will double down on Obama’s green energy policies like those that created the embarrassing Abenoga debacle — and many others.

Addressing Abengoa, Biomass Magazine’s senior editor Anna Simet, said: “People have a problem when government money is given to projects like these, and they experience failure. We all know that.” Ya think?


Only the 5th Warmest.  How disappointing!

Australia's Warmists are spinning like a top in the article excerpted below.  The official figures show that 2015 was only the 5th warmest year for Australia:  There were 4 previous years that were hotter -- not moving in the right direction at all! And  temperatures have been reducing, coming off a record peak in 2013 -- all of which is not NEARLY as much fun as NOAA's global figures.

So what to do?  How to keep the scare up?  They have gratefully seized on the latest bit of modelling, with its dire predictions: "climate scientists are predicting". Never mind that the climate models have never made an accurate prediction yet!

IT’S been a sticky old week across southern Australia with the mercury topping 41C in the west of Sydney and severe heatwaves in parts of New South Wales and northern Western Australia.

But far from being an unusual occurrence, climate scientists are predicting heatwaves globally are on the rise with extreme heat events, which previously only occurred "once in a generation", could happen every year.

And that means more than just some extra days at the beach, with predictions of more bushfires, stretched emergency services and severe impacts to farmers and food production.

In a paper published in the journal Climatic Change, researchers found heatwaves only experienced once in every 20 years could, in years to come, happen every year in some places. By 2075, 60 per cent of the Earth’s land mass could see these extreme heat events annually or even more frequently.

By 2050, heatwaves could be three degrees warmer across half the world and across 10 per cent of the Earth’s surface a scorching five degrees hotter.

According to the BoM’s annual climate statement, 2015 was Australia’s fifth warmest year on record with temperatures 0.83C above average and exceptionally warm spells including heatwaves across north and central Australia in March and south and south eastern Australia in the latter part of the year.

Heatwave conditions in Australia are defined by three days of unusually hot minimum and maximum temperatures for any given area.

However, the pattern of heatwaves wasn’t uniform, said Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick. Sydney had seen its heatwave season kicking in three weeks earlier, as had Melbourne — although the latter hadn’t seen an overall increase in the number of days experiencing extreme heat.

While 2015 was one of Australia’s hottest years on record, overall temperatures have been reducing, coming off a record peak in 2013. Aren’t things going in the right direction already?



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


Friday, February 26, 2016

Is the world really warming up? Planet may be no hotter at the end of the century than it is now, claims new report

The Warmists have of course rejected the findings below so perhaps I should note that the difference between the report below and Greenie claims is the difference between fact and theory.  The report below looks at actual temperatures over a long period and finds no overall trend.  Temperatures are plateaued, not rising.

The Greenie approach, on the other hand, is to construct models of what they think influences temperature and use those theoretical models to make predictions.  But for the Greenie approach to give accuratre climate predictions (which they never do) ALL the influences on climate would have to be specified and measured -- which is a practical impossibility.

Whereas the statistical approach below DOES use all the influences -- because it looks at the end-product of all those influences, not just a select few poorly specified influences. So the statistical approach is in principle a much stronger approach to accurate prediction.

But as Bob Ward says below:  "Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future"

He is right.  He of course believes that the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 is a new factor influencing temperature -- something a statistical approach cannot account for.  So he is right in theory but is he right in fact? IS the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 a new factor influencing temperature?  That is not only completely unproven but is strongly counterindicated by the poor correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.  So Bob  Ward rejects the study below by assuming what he has to prove.

So if we want to rely on evidence for our predictions, the approach below is the only horse in the race.

Global warming is unlikely to take hold before the end of the century according to a controversial new statistical study.

The report, published by the think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, claims that while winters are likely to be slightly warmer, there will be no change in the summer.

Using statistical forecasting methods, the report, written a statistician at Loughborough University, contradicts predictions made by climate scientists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has previously warned the planet was on course to experience warming of between 1°F (0.6°C) and 7.2°F (4°C) by the year 2100 based on climate models.

But Professor Terence Mills claims statistical forecasting methods, which uses data from the past to predict the future by identifying patterns and trends, suggests temperatures will change little.

However, he does warn in his report that the forecasts contain 'rather large measures of imprecision'.

Climate scientists have also described the study as 'silly' and pointed out it failed to take account of basic atmospheric physics.

Professor Mills used statistical models that are more commonly used to forecast economic and financial changes and applied them to three climate data sets.

These included records of global surface temperatures, the global lower troposphere temperatures and the Central England Temperature series, which dates back to 1660.

Writing in his paper, Professor Mills argues that climate scientists may have made errors in their predictions by focusing on recent uplifts in global temperatures.

He said such an approach can be 'highly misleading'. 'There is simply no substitute for analysing the entire temperature record using a variety of well-specified models,' he wrote.

Professor Mills work was seized upon by climate change sceptics as evidence that the predictions being made by climate models are exaggerating the risk posed by global warming.

His paper argues that statistical forecasting methods using in predicting complex financial markets and global economies could be put to good use in understanding the relationships between temperatures and factors that cause them to change.

'In terms of the series analysed throughout the paper, a clear finding presents itself for the two global temperature series,' he said.

'Irrespective of the model fitted, forecasts do not contain any trend, with long-horizon forecasts being flat, albeit with rather large measures of imprecision even from models in which uncertainty is bounded.

'The regional CET series does contain a modest warming signal, the extent of which has been shown to be dependent on the season: winters have tended to become warmer, spring and autumn less so, and summers have shown hardly any trend increase at all.

'The monthly pattern of temperatures through the year has remained stable throughout the entire 355 years of the CET record.'

A statement released by the Global Warming Policy Forum, which was founded by former British chancellor Lord Lawson, welcomed the report.

It said: 'His conclusion that statistical forecasting methods do not corroborate the upward trends seen in climate model projections is highly important and needs to be taken into consideration.

'The topic has direct bearing on policy issues since it provides an independent check on the climate-model projections that underpin calculations of the long-term social costs of greenhouse gas emissions.'

However, there was a mixed response from others who had read the report.

David Stern, an environmental economist at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, described the study as 'silly'.

He said: 'This is a prime case of "mathiness" I think - lots of math that will look sophisticated to many people used to build a model on silly assumptions with equally silly conclusions.'

Dr Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office described the paper as 'daft' and that current temperatures were already outside the range predicted in the study.

He reacted to reports of the paper by posting updated graphs from the paper showing the current changes in temperatures on Twitter.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, told Desmog UK: It's an interesting academic exercise with very little value to policy makers.

'Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future.

'If the underlying factors are changing, then your statistical model just simply doesn't work, and that's widely recognised.

'We know greenhouse gas concentrations are going up and that's a fundamental for temperature and that's why statistical models have very little skill in predicting the future, they're not able to take account of the fundamental physics.'


Warmists still have a capacity to surprise us

After the shoddy attempt by Tom Karl to "adjust" the warming "hiatus" out of existence, a brand new paper comes as a surprise.  In it, some hard-core Warmist scientists  REVIVE the hiatus.  Perhaps they are scientists enough to conclude that they cannot just ignore the satellite data.  Though they do not accept the complete plateau that the satellites indicate.  They say that the temperature rise has slowed down to a crawl but there is still some warming going on.

The abstract is below.  It is from a long narrative article which looks at possible explanations for the pause -- and they conclude that a serendipitious combination of natural factors has been cancelling out the influence of increased CO2 levels.  But the argument is all very "post hoc" and vague.  You can explain anything after the event but that is trivial. It's making accurate predictions that support a scientific theory -- and the authors admit that their predictions got it wrong.  And a combination of many effects being needed to build the explanation just makes the explanation more and more implausible and less testable.  It's just a last ditch effort to keep the show on the road.

Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown

By  John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett,Shang-Ping Xie,Yu Kosaka & Neil C. Swart


It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.


Al Gore is still making it up as he goes along

He recently gave a TED talk. See here.  An excerpt:

"The warmer oceans are evaporating much more water vapor into the skies. Average humidity worldwide has gone up four percent. And it creates these atmospheric rivers. The Brazilian scientists call them "flying rivers." And they funnel all of that extra water vapor over the land where storm conditions trigger these massive record-breaking downpours. This is from Montana. Take a look at this storm last August. As it moves over Tucson, Arizona. It literally splashes off the city. These downpours are really unusual"

He didn't really have a chance of being right. Since there has been no significant global warming for over 18 years (the small  El Nino effect for 2015 excepted), it cannot have influenced  anything, including the water content of the atmosphere.  But let us check anyway. Below is a record of water vapor in the atmosphere.  The levels in fact show a slight decline.

Sad, isn't it? For further interseting evidence see a rigorous 2008 paper in Geophys. Res. Letts ("Towards a robust test on North America warming trend and precipitable water content increase") which showed that the slight warming between 1979 to 2006 had NO discernible effect on atmospheric water content.  Pesky stuff, that water vapor!  It clearly does not believe in global warming.

The big mystery is why the audience at TED didn't run Big Al out of town on a rail.  But I suppose that is a bit old-fashioned these days.  Gore himself is a lot wetter than the atmosphere.

It's global warming and fish again

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies wants into the action and below is their attempt.  It's utter nonsense.  In theory a warmer, high CO2 world will produce more life, including fish life.  And the factual movements they note in fish populations cannot be due to global warming because there was no global warming in the period concerned.  Fish stocks are in any case highly unpredictable -- with sudden vanishing followed by sudden abundance -- with very little understanding of it all

Many studies have shown that critical natural resources, including fish stocks, are moving poleward as the planet warms. A new Yale-led study suggests that these biophysical changes are also reallocating global wealth in unpredictable, and potentially destabilizing, ways.

On its surface, these biophysical movements will shift resources from communities and nations closer to the equator into places closer to the poles. In many cases this would seem to exacerbate inequalities between richer and poorer communities.

But writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers suggest that the impacts on net global wealth may not be that straightforward. In fact, they make the case that changes are more likely than not to produce an overall net loss in global wealth.

The reason, says lead author Eli Fenichel, is the inevitable and unpredictable price impacts in places where the quantities of fish stocks increase depending on the quality of its resource management, existing institutions, and fishing regulations.

"People are mostly focused on the physical reallocation of these assets, but I don't think we've really started thinking enough about how climate change can reallocate wealth and influence the prices of those assets," said Fenichel, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "We think these price impacts can be really, really important."

"We don't know how this will unfold, but we do know there will be price effects. It's just Economics 101 -- prices reflect quantity and scarcity and natural capital is hard for people to move," he said. "It's as inevitable as the movement of these fish species."

These impacts on the value of natural capital highlight the need for coherent climate policies that integrate biophysical and social measurements, the authors say.

The study was conducted by researchers at Yale, Rutgers, Princeton, and Arizona State universities.

The paper illustrates how the inclusive wealth framework advocated by UNEP and the World Bank makes it possible to measure the shift in the amounts and distribution of wealth as a consequence of climate change, when coupled with approaches to value natural capital developed by Fenichel and others. As an example, the researchers used fish migration data collected by Malin Pinsky, an assistant professor at Rutgers and co-author of the study.

"We tend to think of climate change as just a problem of physics and biology," Pinsky said. "But people react to climate change as well, and at the moment we don't have a good understanding for the impacts of human behavior on natural resources affected by climate change."

To illustrate their case, the authors model potential outcomes in two fictitious fishing communities (Northport and Southport) in the face of climate-driven shifts in fish populations. Southport's fish stocks decline as the climate changes while Northport's stock increases; it's a scenario that reflects changes anticipated in areas such as the mid-Atlantic and the waters off New England in the eastern U.S.

According to their analysis, if fish quantities increase in a northern community, for instance, it will likely cause a devaluation of that resource locally, particularly if that community isn't equipped to manage the resource efficiently. "If the northern community isn't a particularly good steward or manager, they're going to place a low value on that windfall they just inherited," Fenichel said. "So the aggregate could go down."

"To be clear, the 'gainers' here are clearly better off," he said. "They're just not more better off than the losers are worse off. The losers are losing much more than the gainers are gaining. And when that happens, it's not an efficient reallocation of wealth."

The analysis suggests that policy discussions around climate change should address how the physical changes will affect wealth reallocation, rather than allowing nature to redistribute this wealth in an unpredictable, "willy-nilly" manner.

"It also points to a greater need for the physical sciences and social sciences to be done in a coordinated fashion," Fenichel said. "As much as scientists are doing lots of wonderful multidisciplinary research, I don't know that we're necessarily collecting the kinds of data, in a coordinated fashion, that will inform the emerging metrics of sustainability."


And it's coral reefs again!

And what they say is a physical impossibility.  Warming will OUTGAS CO2 from the oceans, making them LESS acidic, not more acidic.  So what is going on?  What they did was conduct an experiment and ARTIFICIALLY make reef water more acidic.  And that had adverse effects.  But artificial acidification tells us nothing about the probability of natural acidification

Coral reefs are having their growth stunted by ocean acidification caused by global warming, new research has confirmed.

    For the first time, scientists conducted an experiment on a natural coral reef which involved altering sea water chemistry to mimic the effect of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    The results provide strong evidence that ocean acidification linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already slowing coral reef growth, the team claims.

    Without "deep cuts" in greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs may not survive into the next century, scientists say.

    Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with seawater to increase acidity.

    If the water becomes too acid it dissolves away the calcium carbonate corals that molluscs and creatures such as crabs and lobsters need to build their shells and stony skeletons.

    Although previous studies have demonstrated large scale declines in coral reefs in recent decades, the reason for the trend has been harder to pinpoint.

    Acidification is one possible cause, but others include warming, pollution and over-fishing.

    To investigate the role played by greenhouse gas emissions, the US scientists manipulated the acidity of seawater flowing over a section of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's One Tree Island.

    Bringing the reef's pH value - a measurement of acidity or alkalinity - closer to what it would have been in pre-industrial times increased the rate at which calcium carbonate was deposited to grow hard coral exoskeletons.

    Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Albright, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, said: "Our work provides the first strong evidence from experiments on a natural ecosystem that ocean acidification is already slowing coral reef growth.

    "Ocean acidification is already taking its toll on coral reef communities.  "This is no longer a fear for the future; it is the reality of today."

    The research is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

    Other work by Carnegie colleague Professor Ken Caldeira found that rates of reef calcification in 2008 and 2009 were 40% lower than they were in 1975 and 1976.

    He said: "The only real, lasting way to protect coral reefs is to make deep cuts in our carbon dioxide emissions.

    "If we don't take action on this issue very rapidly, coral reefs - and everything that depends on them, including both wildlife and local communities - will not survive into the next century."


And don't forget wine!

The galoot below says that the first effects of warming are being seen in the vineyards.  A pity that it is not being seen in global temperature statistics.  He is probably mistaking natural weather variability for global warming.  In any case, there will be no shortage of wine.  New wine regions are opening up all the time.  Wait until India and China get into their stride!

The first week of December 2015 saw the start of the Paris Climate Conference, hailed by some as the world’s last chance to save the planet from man- made atmospheric pollution from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. The predictions around climate change, including global warming, are dire, from rising sea levels to starvation, maybe leading to wars.

Among such possible social unrest, it almost seems trite to be concerned about the wine which future consumers might enjoy in 2050, or even 2100. However, many grape growers and wine producers are already noticing the early effects of warming and are planning adaptation strategies. Miguel Torres of Spain is investing in higher altitude, cooler vineyards, and Brown Brothers of Australia has invested in the southernmost state, Tasmania. I was one of the first viticulturists to bring climate change impacts on wine to wider notice, using the phrase “Wine will be the canary in the coalmine for the world’s agriculture”.

I remember the responses of a sceptical audience at the Luxembourg OIV (International Office of Wine) General Assembly of 1989, when I delivered a paper on global warming implications for wine appellations. Among other ideas, I suggested that in the future the variety Grenache might be better suited to Bordeaux vineyards than Cabernet Sauvignon – a suggestion greeted by hoots of derision from the audience. Time will tell on this one and on related issues. This was probably the first time that climate change was discussed at OIV. Now, 26 years later, it features in a major way on the agenda and action plan – as it should.

The style and quality of a wine are much affected by weather, especially by temperature and rainfall. ‘Climate’ is the average of weather conditions over time; it is the weather we might expect. The world of wine, especially the Old World,has developed regional specialities of grape varieties and wine styles, and many of these have become benchmarks for the rest of the world. These regions are demarcated much more by temperature than rainfall.

It is this important interaction between grape variety and climate, especially temperature, that makes the grape and wine sector so different from other forms of agriculture. The world of wine is generally classified into discrete regions, as defined by the French appellation schemes. Each region has a discrete mix of varieties and possesses distinctive physical features – climate, geology, soils – which produce distinctive wine styles. Of these physical attributes, climate, and more specifically temperature, is known to be the most important in differentiating between regions and wine styles. I selected some regions producing renowned and distinctive wine styles to make the climate comparisons listed in the table.

Regions from France and the rest of the world are arranged from cooler to hotter, along with a listing of two important varieties per region. Most of the data is taken from The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (2013, seventh edition). That book, sadly, does not include the important but hot (generally) bulk wine areas which I have added for Australia (Sunraysia) and the US (Fresno, California).

As a heat measure I have used the average growing season temperature, as in the World Atlas. I show the present average temperature, and how this might be influenced by an increase of 1.5°C and 2.5°C.The table illustrates several points.

The range of temperatures for the French regions is 5.1°C. The temperature difference from the UK, one of the coolest wine regions in the world, at 14.1°C, to one of the hottest, Fresno in California’s Central Valley (23°C), is 8.9°C.

In the overall scheme of things, these are both small ranges of temperature. The average temperature difference from one region to the next warmer region is very small, at 0.63°C. Compare these figures with the projections based on global warming for this century, ranging from2°C to more than 4°C. Even the smallest temperature increase projected for this century will see massive changes within and between the present wine regions.


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


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some "Semi-empirical" findings!  How lucky we are!

The report below determinedly revives all the old scare about sea-level rise.  The scare has been pretty moribund for a few years now, thanks partly to some heavy hits on it by sea-level expert Nils Axel Morner.

The underlying academic journal article ("Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era") is here and one of the authors, young Bob Kopp, has some useful details about it here.

The article was based on some very complex statistical work and in that context we note that the authors describe their work as "semi-empirical".  What does that mean?  It simply means that their results come partly from  guesswork.  And seeing the authors are keen Warmists we can be sure in which direction their guesses tended. And, with the complex nature of their analyses, guesses at various points could make a big difference to the final outcome.  To believe their conclusions would therefore require an act of faith

And in my usual pesky way, I had a bit of a look at the details of the research.  And I note that their methods produce some pretty weird results.  They found, for instance, that sea levels FELL during the Medieval Warm Period.  Isn't warming supposed to cause sea-level RISE?  They try to get around that by reviving the old Warmist claim that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Northern Europe -- but that is quite simply false.  Evidence of it has been found in places as far apart as Argentina, New Zealand and China.

So have these guys simply lied in order to defend their research methods?  Very nearly.  Kopp says: "Notably, both the decline in sea level and the decline in temperature occurred during the so-called European “Medieval Warm Period,” providing additional evidence that the “Medieval Warm Period” and “Little Ice Age” were not globally synchronous phenomena."

So they say that the warming outside Europe occurred at different times to the warming elsewhere.  And given the uncertainties of dating proxy data that is just barely defensible, if implausible.  It's playing fast and loose with the facts but is not an outright lie.

But their finding that the globe actually COOLED during the Medieval Warm Period  is contrary to all other evidence on the subject that I know of. You would have to have the faith of a Jehovah's Witness to believe their conclusions

Global sea levels rose faster in the 20th century than at any time in the past 3,000 years - and 'climate change is to blame'

Scientists discovered that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels might have actually fallen if it hadn't been for soaring global temperatures.

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

'The 20th century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia - and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster,' said professor Robert Kopp, lead author of the report published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The pattern was revealed by a new statistical analysis technique which extracts global data from local records.

No local record measures global sea level. Instead, each measures sea level at a particular location, where it will differ from the global mean.

The statistical challenge is to pull out the global signal.

The scientists built a database of geological sea-level indicators from marshes, coral atolls and archaeological sites at 24 locations around the world, covering the past 3,000 years.

They also looked at tide gauge recordings for the last 300 years from 66 other locations.

Many of the records came from the field work of Kemp, Horton, or team members Roland Gehrels of the University of York and Jeffrey Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

This information was used to calculate how temperatures relate to the rate of sea-level change. Using this new technique, the researchers showed that the world's sea level fell by about 11 inches (8cm) between 1000 and 1400AD, when the planet cooled by about 0.2°C.

Global average temperature today is about 1°C higher than at the end of the 19th century.

It also found that , had global warming not occurred in the 20th century, the change in sea level would 'very likely' have been between a decrease of 1.1 inch (3cm) and a rise of 2.8 inches (7cm). Instead, the world actually saw a rise of 14cm.

A companion report also found that more than half of the 8,000 coastal nuisance floods observed at US tide gauge sites since 1950 would not have occurred.

Professor Kopp estimates that sea levels will rise by 20 inches to 51 inches (50cm to 130cm) in the 21st century, if the world continues to rely on fossil fuels.


The journal abstract follows

We present the first, to our knowledge, estimate of global sea-level (GSL) change over the last ∼3,000 years that is based upon statistical synthesis of a global database of regional sea-level reconstructions. GSL varied by ∼±8 cm over the pre-Industrial Common Era, with a notable decline over 1000–1400 CE coinciding with ∼0.2 °C of global cooling. The 20th century rise was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries. Semiempirical modeling indicates that, without global warming, GSL in the 20th century very likely would have risen by between −3 cm and +7 cm, rather than the ∼14 cm observed. Semiempirical 21st century projections largely reconcile differences between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections and semiempirical models.

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1517056113. PNAS February 22, 2016

Morner rips the Keystone Kopp

Young Bob Kopp may not have furthered his career much by his evangelism for the rising sea-level gospel.  Dr. Nils Axel Morner has some germane comments on his work below.  Prior to his retirement, Morner  headed the Department of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University

Morner, a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion calls the new study and the media spin surrounding it “demagogic.”

“The PNAS paper is another sad contribution to the demagogic anti-science campaign for AGW. It is at odds with observational facts and ethical principles,” Morner wrote to Climate Depot.

Morner noted:

– global tide gauges show moderate mean rates

– many key sites and test sites show little or no rise at all

– nowhere do we find records of true “acceleration”

– satellite altimetry show a mean rise of 0.5 ±0.1 mm/yr after back-calibration

– past sea level oscillations have been faster & steeper than in the last century

Morner explained: “The paper is full of very bad violations of observational facts.”  Just one example:

This is their graph of sea level change at Christmas Island, Kiribati:

This is the tide gauge record from Christmas Island:

Morner asked: “How can anyone find a rapidly rising trend in this tide gauge record? It is flat or rather slowly falling – but in no way rising.”

“So they work – with no respect to observational facts. A true case for Fraud Investigation,” Morner added.


Morner didn't comment on it but Kopp's combining the Christmas Island and the Kiribati record is yet more of his weirdness.  The two places are in different oceans thousands of miles apart

Prof. Abraham is at it again

He's got stick-to-it-iveness, you've got to give him that. He's got a new article in The Guardian titled: "Fossil fuel funded report denies the expert global warming consensus" and swith a sub-heading:  "The infamous Heartland Institute has distributed to elected officials a nonsense, non-science report full of denial"

And he's actually quite right in one way.  Who can deny that global Warming is the scientific orthodoxy these days?  We skeptics are certainly well aware of it.  The amusing thing is that he goes to great length to prove it -- starting with Oreskes, through Anderegg to John Cook -- though Cook's finding that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on global warming he carefully glides over.

But the whole point of his article is to rebut a Heartland Institute report that criticizes global warming and the only thing that a real scientist would be interested in there would be the climate facts. What are the facts that rebut the Heartland claims?  Scientific questions are decided by the facts, not by opinions.

And he does finally get there, sort of.  Out of the 20 or so paragraphs in his article, two do address climate facts.  Here they are:

"While I won’t spend too much time on the scientifically incorrect or misleading statements in the Heartland report, I will mention a few. In chapter 4, they claim that a doubling of carbon dioxide would result in approximately 1°C warming. They neglected to remind the readers that we have nearly already reached that and we are nowhere near doubling of carbon dioxide yet. The report claims that meteorological observations are consistent with a climate sensitivity of 1°C but they provide no support for this assertion and in fact, the research does not support this.

But even Wikipedia says: ""Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.". Dear me, Prof. Abraham, it seems that Heartland are the orthodox ones on that!  But let us go on:

The report falsely claims that climate models assume all the warming since the industrial revolution is from carbon dioxide. Climate models include many factors in addition to carbon dioxide. The report also falsely claims that models do not attempt to simulate internal climate oscillations. They claim that thawing of permafrost is not likely to emit dangerous methane, which will add to the warming, but they give no evidence to support their claim."

I haven't read the Heartland report but it is true that the Siberian methane scare is widely reported and believed.  But here is an academic journal article which has studied the question --  and found minimal effect of such emissions.  Naughty Prof. Abraham has not kept up with the literature on his subject! No wonder he was reluctant to talk about the facts.

The man is a clown.  My previous comment on him is here.  One of Lord Monckton's scathing comments on Abraham  is  here

Australia's Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought, study says

Warmist dishonesty never stops.  As I have often pointed out before, warmer oceans will OUTGAS CO2 so the result of global warming  will be LESS acidic oceans.  The only way you can make sense of the reasoning below is to assume that CO2 levels will continue to rise WITHOUT causing any global warming.  So that is certainly an interesting admission.  There is a popular version of the article below here

The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification

Mathieu Mongin et al.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 10732. doi:10.1038/ncomms10732

Lawyers for two families suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania have admitted that there is "no scientific proof" that the water has been contaminated with fracking fluid

In a shocking admission that undermines much of the anti-fracking narrative pushed by environmentalists, a lawyer for plaintiffs suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania has admitted the water in the area is not contaminated with fracking fluid.
The admission came in the opening argument by lawyer Leslie Lewis for two families who claim their water was contaminated by fracking.

 “This is not a case — this is not a case about toxic materials ending up in the water,” she told the jury.

“We do not have proof of that. We don't have proof of that. This is not about fracking fluid appearing in the water. Hydraulic fracturing materials, we don't have proof of that,” Ms Lewis added.

Dimock has been characterized as “Ground Zero” for fracking contamination of water. It has featured in the documentaries Gasland 1 & 2 and has been the subject of national and international news reports.

However Pennsylvania DEP and Federal EPA scientists have all failed to find contaminants in the water despite vigorous, multi-year testing.

These findings have now been confirmed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer who said they had no proof of fracking fluid contamination. She said they were taking the case against Cabot Oil & Gas because the water was “undrinkable.”


Most Canadians Still Don’t Buy The Global Warming Narrative

Canadians increasingly don’t believe global warming is man-made, with 56 percent of residents expressing the sentiment in a five-year study published last week by researchers from Yale University and the University of Montreal.

To put that in perspective, a 2008 Gallup poll found that only 39 percent of Canadians thought global warming wasn’t due to human activity. Despite numerous anti-global warming policies, Canadians are becoming more skeptical and the percentage of those who don’t believe global warming is mostly caused by humans has increased substantially.

Of the 5,000 Canadians surveyed, 56 percent did not agree with the statement “Earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activities.”

“The skepticism was a bit surprising,” Érick Lachapelle, a University of Montreal professor who co-authored the study, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Skepticism about global warming in Canada was most concentrated in Alberta, with only 17 percent of the population blaming global warming on humans.

Amusingly, the only regions of Canada with majority support for human-caused global warming are the warmest and most urban.

The study also revealed 79 percent of Canadians believe Earth is getting warmer, 66 percent of Canadians support a cap and trade system and 49 percent of Canadians support increasing taxes on coal, oil and natural gas.

The study was produced by telephone surveys conducted over the course of five years. Each survey featured between 1,014 to 1,502 respondents. Researchers estimate the study has a six-point margin of error for provincial findings and seven-point margin for local findings.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll, 53 percent of Americans do not believe humans are mostly responsible for global warming. In the Pew poll, 35 percent of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest humans are behind global warming, while another 18 percent says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns” and not human activity.



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