Friday, January 06, 2017

There was NO "hiatus" in global warming -- but only if you include El Nino

Practically everybody, from Warmists to skeptics, accepts that global temperatures plateaued in C21.  There was a "pause" or "hiatus" in global warming.  Yet in the latest study we have powerful proof that there was NO plateau, no "hiatus' no "pause".  A big upset.  But is it?

The guys behind the new study have no shame.  They have done careful work but made a most convenient and demonstrably false assumption.  It does sounds like they have used a meticulously validated data set.  And they have.  But the study has a couple of old Warmist lags behind it so I knew that a quick look at the raw data would expose fraud.  It took me only minutes to see it but there it is as plain as the nose on your face in their summary graph reproduced below.

They include in their data the whole of the 2015/2016 El Nino episode, a natural climatic fluctuation unrelated to anthropogenic global warming. Have a look at the graph up to 2014 only and there is that pesky plateau again: ups and downs but no trend.  The claims made by the authors are a calculated deception.

Warmists did early on in the El Nino period discount the El Nino influence and claimed that the temperature rise was mainly due to anthropogenic global warming.  But as the figures came in that became untenable.

1). For a start, the El Nino period just happened to coincide with a flatlining in CO2 levels.  So with no increase in CO2, a temperature increase could not be due to CO2.

2).  My favourite graph below shows a temperature history that is typical of El Nino (a rise followed by a fall) but which is totally unlike what we would expect from an increase in CO2 levels.  Rises of CO2 in the period of interest are permanent.  They don't suddenly go into reverse.  It is the whole Warmist case that CO2 rises are cumulative.

Note that the graph refers to sea-surface temperature, which is  the main focus of the current study. There is just no honesty in these galoots

A new independent study shows no pause in global warming, confirming a set of temperature readings adjusted by U.S. government scientists that some who reject mainstream climate science have questioned.

The adjustments, made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2015 to take into account changes in how ocean temperatures have been measured over the decades, riled a House committee and others who claimed the changes were made to show rising temperatures.

The House Science Committee subpoenaed the agency's scientists and then complained that NOAA wasn't answering its requests quickly enough.

Last year,the NOAA updated its main SST reconstruction, its Extended Reconstruction Sea Surface Temperature, or ERSST, accounting for the recent spike in buoy measurements and incorporating adjustments to ship-based measurements.

NOAA’s latest numbers increased the SST trend estimate over the last 18 years from 0.07° Celsius per decade to 0.12° Celsius per decade, highlighting a notable difference between NOAA’s latest ERSST record and three other commonly-used SST measuring series.

The new international study looked at satellite data, readings from buoys and other marine floats for ocean temperatures.

Each measurement system independently showed the same 20 years of increase in temperatures that NOAA found: about two-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit per decade since 2000, said the study's lead author, Zeke Hausfather of the University of California, Berkeley.

'Our research confirms that NOAA scientists were right,' Hausfather said. 'They were not in any way cooking the books.'

NOAA adjusted past data to take into account old measurements by ships that often recorded temperatures from their engine rooms, where heat from the engines skewed the data.

Buoys and satellite data don't have such artificial warming, Hausfather said.

In 1990, about 90 percent of the ocean temperature readings were done by ships, now it is about 85 percent by the more accurate buoys, Hausfather said.

Scientists Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who weren't part the original study or the more recent one that confirmed its conclusions, called both accurate.

'This paper further allays any qualms that there may have been scientific errors or any non-scientific agendas,' Trenberth said in an email.

Officials at the House Science Committee did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Hausfather's study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances .

SOURCE.  The journal article ("Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records") is here

Obama Takes One More Shot in His War on Coal on His Way Out the Door

Last Monday, the Obama administration’s Office of Surface Mining (OSMRE) issued its so-called Stream Protection Rule. This regulation, which the administration has been working on behind closed doors for six years, represents the logical culmination of this administration’s war on coal. This rule, if not overturned, would increase regulatory costs for coal mines to such an extent that candidate Obama’s promise to “bankrupt” coal companies will be largely achieved.

There is a reason this regulation was snuck out the week before Christmas during the last weeks of the Obama administration: the rule is a massive, possibly illegal, regulatory overreach. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, the very law that gives the OSMRE its regulatory authority, specifically prohibits OSMRE from promulgating regulations which duplicate other environmental rules. Yet this is precisely what the new Stream Protection Rule is designed to do.

Under the proposed rule, coal mines would be required to undertake onerous new permitting requirements related to any streams near the mine. This water, however, is already regulated by the states under state law and the federal government under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The problem for President Obama and his radical environmentalist allies is that the states don’t regulate coal mining as harshly as they want them to. Their solution is to create this new regulation to be the final hammer to destroy what’s left of the coal industry in America.

Initially, the affected states sought to work with the Department of Interior and OSMRE in developing this regulation, with ten states signing on to cooperate. Eventually, though, eight of those ten states withdrew from the discussion because the federal government was so clearly uninterested in state input, rather seeking a route to massively expand federal power.

The effects of this regulation are brutal. According to the National Mining Association about a third of all remaining coal-related jobs could be destroyed. In a laughably tone-deaf response to this, the chief of OSMRE asserted that the rule will actually create twice as many jobs as it would destroy because coal mines would be required to hire legions of workers to comply with this regulation. Only a bureaucrat could say that with a straight face.

This rule is currently set to take effect on January 19, 2017, the day before the next President is inaugurated. While the regulation is final, it is not yet permanent. Congress is readying legislation which could repeal this rule immediately. These is also the opportunity for President Trump to reverse this rule through the regulatory process, though that could take an extended period of time.

This rule must be stopped. President Obama’s war on coal must end with his presidency.


Climate change expert sentenced to 32 months for fraud, says lying was a 'rush'

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job.

John C. Beale’s crimes were “inexplicable” and “unbelievably egregious," said Judge Ellen Huvelle in imposing the sentence in a Washington. D.C. federal court. Beale has also agreed to pay $1.3 million in restitution and forfeiture to the government.

Beale said he was ashamed of his lies about working for the CIA, a ruse that, according to court records, began in 2000 and continued until early this year.

“Why did I do this? Greed – simple greed – and I’m ashamed of that greed,” Beale told the court. He also said it was possible that he got a “rush” and a “sense of excitement" by telling people he was worked for the CIA. “It was something like an addiction,” he said.

Beale pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade. He perpetrated his fraud largely by failing to show up at the EPA for months at a time, including one 18-month stretch starting in June 2011 when he did “absolutely no work,” as his lawyer acknowledged in a sentencing memo filed last week.

When Huvelle asked Beale what he was doing when he claimed he was working for the CIA, he said, "I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house."

He also said he used the time "trying to find ways to fine tune the capitalist system" to discourage companies from damaging the environment. "I spent a lot of time reading on that," said Beale.

Prosecutor Jim Smith said Beale's crimes made him a "poster child for what is wrong with government."

The sentence drew swift reaction from Capitol Hill, including demands from a top Republican for further investigation into the EPA to determine how Beale got away with his fraud for so long.

"The case this morning highlights a massive problem with the EPA," said Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He said Beale had stolen taxpayer money under the nose of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who for years had been his immediate boss.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.), chair of the committee, sought to defend McCarthy. "I commend the EPA administrator for taking steps to shine a light on the actions of this rogue employee, and her actions helped uncover his crimes," she said.

Boxer also called Beale's sentence "appropriate given [his] outrageous activities."

EPA inspector general Arthur Elkins, whose office investigated Beale’s case, said in a statement Wednesday that his office is “actively looking at the EPA’s sloppy internal controls and management actions that enabled Mr. Beale’s frauds to occur…Expect to see the results of more audits from us in the coming months.”

When he first began looking into Beale’s deceptions last February, said EPA Assistant Inspector General Patrick Sullivan, who spearheaded the Beale probe, “I thought, ‘Oh my God, How could this possibly have happened in this agency? … I’ve worked for the government for 35 years. I’ve never seen a situation like this.”

Until he retired in April after learning he was under federal investigation, Beale, an NYU grad with a masters from Princeton, was earning a salary and bonuses of $206,000 a year, making him the highest paid official at the EPA. He earned more money than the agency’s administrator, Gina McCarthy, according to agency documents.


The constancy of change and the new catastrophism: a personal reflection on crisis-driven science

by Nick Eyles and Andrew D. Miall – Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto

In 2010, we published what is now a best-selling (and award-winning) book Canada Rocks-The Geologic Journey aimed at telling the dramatic story for a public audience of how Canada (and North America) has evolved over the last 4 billion years. It was a milestone in our professional and personal lives as we went on many field trips to fill in gaps in our own understanding and in the process stepped well beyond our own areas of expertise. We learned much about this fantastic country and its geology.

What is patently obvious from reviewing Canada’s ancient history is that scientists still do not have an adequate understanding of Earth’s complex systems on which to base sound economic and environmental policy. From the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans onwards to the deep interior of the planet our knowledge of complex earth systems is still rather rudimentary. Huge areas of our planet are inaccessible and are little known scientifically. There is still also much to learn from reading the rock record of how our planet functioned in the past.

In so many areas, we simply don’t know enough of how our planet functions.

And yet……

Scarcely a day goes past without some group declaring the next global environmental crisis; we seemingly stagger from one widely proclaimed crisis to another each one (so we are told) with the potential to severely curtail or extinguish civilization as we know it. It’s an all too familiar story often told by scientists who cross over into advocacy and often with the scarcely-hidden sub-text that they are the only ones with the messianic foresight to see the problem and create a solution. Much of our science is what we would call ‘crisis-driven’ where funding, politics and the media are all intertwined and inseparable generating a corrupting and highly corrosive influence on the scientific method and its students. If it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead is the new yardstick with which to measure the overall significance of research.

Charles Darwin ushered in a new era of thinking where change was expected and necessary. Our species as are all others, is the product of ongoing environmental change and adaption to varying conditions; the constancy of change. In the last 15 years or so however, we have seemingly reverted to a pre-Darwinian mode of a fixed ‘immutable Earth’ where any change beyond some sort of ‘norm’ is seen in some quarters as unnatural, threatening and due to our activities, usually with the proviso of needing ‘to act now to save the planet.’ Honest scientific discourse and debate is often rendered impossible in the face of the ‘new catastrophism.’

Trained as geologists in the knowledge of Earth’s immensely long and complex history we appreciate that environmental change is normal. For example, rivers and coastlines are not static. Those coasts, in particular, that consist of sandy strand-plains and barrier-lagoon systems are continually evolving as sand is moved by the waves and tides. Cyclonic storms (hurricanes), a normal component of the weather in many parts of the world, are particularly likely to cause severe erosion. When recent events such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy cause catastrophic damage, and spring storms cause massive flooding in Calgary or down the Mississippi valley, and droughts and wildfires affect large areas of the American SW these events are blamed on a supposed increase in the severity of extreme weather events brought about by climate change.

In fact, they just reflect the working of statistical probability and long term climate cyclicity. Such events have happened in the past as part of ongoing changes in climate but affected fewer people. That the costs of weather and climate-related damage today are far greater is not because of an increased frequency of severe weather but the result of humans insisting on congregating and living in places that, while attractive, such as floodplains, mountain sides and beautiful coastlines, are especially vulnerable to natural disasters.

Promises of a more ‘stable future’ if we can only prevent climate change are hopelessly misguided and raise unnatural expectations by being willfully ignorant of the natural workings of the planet. Climate change is the major issue for which more geological input dealing with the history of past climates would contribute to a deeper understanding of the nature of change and what we might expect in the future.

The past climate record suggests in fact that for much of the Earth’s surface future cooling is the norm. Without natural climate change Canada would be buried under ice 3 km thick; that is it normal state for most of the last 2.5 million years with 100,000 years-long ice ages alternating with brief, short-lived interglacials such as the present which is close to its end.

It is self-evident to us that the public debate concerning environmental change largely lacks an understanding of natural variability. Since the last Ice Age ended, some 12,000 years ago, Earth has been through several periods lasting hundreds of years and possibly longer when it was either warmer or colder than at present.

Several earth scientists have suggested that a study of natural variability over recent geologic time should be completed in order to provide a baseline against which anthropogenic change may be evaluated, but this important history has not been introduced fully into the public debate, and is a long way off.

It has to be said that the natural variability of the last few thousand years or hundreds of years or tens of years has formed almost no part in the ongoing discussion of climate change which in some circles assumes that any change since 1940 is largely man-made. This opinion is uninformed by geologic science.

The way forward it strikes us is for more scientific honesty and less politics, less grandstanding. ‘We don’t know’ is an honourable credo for scientists. In this regard, we need more science to be directed to the environment, particularly toward better planning of the world’s communities to make them more resilient in the face of change.

And it is an increasingly urban face that our planet presents. The many large supercities of the rapidly-approaching future world will be absolutely massive consumers of resources and producers of wastes; they will be the biggest determinants of our global environmental footprint; and it is surely there that much of our effort should be spent.

Today, the rate of change of some parts of the world, especially in regard to urbanization and the ‘rush to the city’ is taxing our abilities simply to map and assess the environmental repercussions of transforming a natural environment to a built landscape. There is no simple technological fix either. Satellite and other monitoring data for example still has to be collected, interpreted, ground truthed, and acted on; steps available only to wealthier countries.

In large areas of the planet the lack of human and financial resources, equality and personal freedoms and political choices trump any global environmental concerns and hobble international co-operation. To these people our obsession with saving the environment must ring hollow. The onus here is on the wealthiest nations with the largest scientific academies to put forward credible notions of how our planet is changing and to discuss the possible origins in an intellectual environment where data gaps are fully acknowledged free of catastrophic overtones.


2016 was the hottest year ever on Australia’s East coast, confirms Bureau of Meteorology

How sad for the BOM!  Only the East coast was very hot on average in 2016 -- and that's no more than 5% of Australia's land area. And it wasn't even consistent along the East coast.  While Sydney and Melbourne were frying, temperatures in Brisbane were mostly much lower, despite Brisbane being closer to the tropics.  What a nonsense it is to try to extract generalizations about temperature from a system as chaotic as the Earth's weathrer!

And note how humble the BOM now are over El Nino.  The old triumphalism is gone.  They now admit that 2015/2016 temperatures were much influenced by El Nino and make no claims of anthropogenic global warming for the years concerned. They now see anthropogenic global warming only in "long term trends"! A Trump effect?

A RECORD breaking year of scorching heat and driving rain on Australia’s east coast meant that climate-wise, many of us have "shifted a few hundred kilometres north," a weather expert has said.

Australia’s average national mean temperature rose 0.87C above average to make 2016 the fourth-warmest year on record, according the Bureau of Meteorology’s Annual Climate Statement, released on Thursday.

But the residents of Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart sweltered through their hottest year ever.

The report comes as a heatwave punishing south eastern Australia shows no sign of ending.

Melbourne and Sydney will have highs in the mid-thirties in the coming days but it’s South Australians really in the firing line with a string of 39C days heading into the weekend.

Blair Trewin, a senior climatologist at the weather bureau, told the El Niño weather system and climate change combined to send the mercury soaring.

"Australia’s climate in 2016 was certainly consistent with long term trends over the last century which has seen Australia warm to the same degree as the rest of the world and all the indications are these warming trends will continue into the future."

The only years in Australia that were warmer than the past 12 months were 2013 followed by 2005 and then 2014. The past four years have all been in the top six hottest years in Australia.

Globally, 2016 is likely to be confirmed as the world’s hottest year ever.

"It was a year of two halves with a relatively dry first four months and then from May onwards it became very wet with late autumn to early spring the wettest such period on record," said Mr Trewin.

"The contrast was especially clear in Tasmania with drought conditions earlier in year and then they had so much rain is was the sixth wettest year on record."

The higher than normal temperatures and increased rain along much of the east coast led to weather conditions more usual for cities much further north.

Sydney verged on the tropical with highs in the city more like coastal towns on the NSW mid-north coast, such as Nelson Bay and Forster.

Climate wise, Brisbane was effectively pushed even further into the tropics experiencing rain and heat more standard for towns like Gympie and Maryborough beyond the Sunshine Coast.

"Along the east coast it was about a degree above normal and while that doesn’t equate to the whole difference between Sydney and Brisbane, that level of warming is equivalent to shifting a few hundred kilometres north," said Mr Trewin.

Some of the notable climatic events in Australia last year were bushfires in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia and a nationwide heatwave from late February to mid-March. That added up to the warmest Australian autumn on record.

Then in May, drought-breaking rains led to flooding in multiple states and the wettest ever late autumn to early spring period.

For the country as a whole, annual rainfall was 17 per cent above average.

Sea surface temperatures around Australia were the warmest on record in 2016, and were 0.77°C above average.

The warmest year on record for the east coast contrasted with South Australia which pretty much hit the average in terms of temperature.

Inland parts of south west Western Australia was one of the few places globally to come in cooler than usual.

Across the globe, climate change has seen temperatures continue to rise over the long term.

However, this is exacerbated in El Niño years such as 2016. The El Nino weather system is caused by warmer sea temperatures in the Pacific sucking warm air over North America while leaving Australia hot and dry.

The opposing La Nina system usually brings wetter conditions across the continent.

"El Niño years tend to be warmer and La Nina tend to be cooler so if you look at handful of years in last 30 that have come in below average they are La Nina years."

Looking ahead, Mr Trewin said the lack of El Niño would mean 2017 would probably be a cooler year overall than 2016. But it certainly won’t be cold.

La Nina never really got started depriving the east coast of the wet weather it brings.

"Our outlook for the early part of this year is relatively dry conditions in Eastern Australia, particularly NSW and southern Queensland, but conversely relatively wet conditions in much of Western Australia.

"It’s unlikely 2017 will be as warm as 2016 globally but it’s likely to be warmer than all years prior to 2015."



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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