Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Warming causes cooling -- again

If warming causes cooling, global warming is an unfalsifiable theory.  It is just a religion. But that fazes no Warmist.  The report below is an old chestnut.  It pops up every few years.  Sometimes they claim that the Gulf Stream has already slowed down but that soon gets knocked on the head.  In the latest iteration below, the author plays it safe.  He makes his predictions for 300 years in the future.  No need for us to worry, then.  It's all just modelling anyway.  You can get anything you want out of modelling -- particularly if you are as crooked as a Warmist

Yale University scientist Wei Liu has calculated that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation could collapse within 300 years. The graphic illustrates predicted responses on surface temperature and precipitation.

Climate change could become so extreme that it might trigger the cataclysmic collapse of a vital Atlantic Ocean current and plunge parts of the Northern Hemisphere into a frigid new reality, a study warns.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) transports warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic and helps regulate climate and weather patterns all over the world. As it releases the warmth into the air, the cooling water sinks and flows back to the tropics to repeat the process. But researchers fear that as the air in the north warms significantly due to climate change, the AMOC won’t be able to transfer its warmth to the atmosphere and the great circulatory engine of the ocean could stagnate and shut down.

“It is a major player in the climate system, important for Europe and North America. So it’s a big deal,” Tom Delworth, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Verge.

The doomsday scenario is chillingly like the plot of the sci-fi movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” in which the collapse of an ocean current turns North America and Europe into frigid wastelands in a matter of weeks.

The risk was uncovered by Yale University scientist Wei Liu, who has calculated in a study published in Science Advances that the AMOC could collapse within 300 years once atmospheric carbon dioxide increases to 710 parts per million. Last week’s levels were 405 parts per million. There is already evidence that the AMOC has slowed, according to the paper. A shutdown would trigger “prominent cooling” of the northern North Atlantic and a “remarkable sea ice expansion,” according to Wei’s model. In addition, the normal rain belt of the temperate areas would be pushed significantly southward over the tropical Atlantic.

The model also predicts disruptions in other parts of the world. Without cold water moving south again, the new scenario indicates a stronger warming pattern south of the equator, creating far more rain for places like northeastern Brazil and less rain for Central America. The model also predicts a greater reduction in Antarctic sea ice.

Wei warns that this fragility in the life-sustaining AMOC has been overlooked in climate change models. “The significance of our study is to point out a systematic bias in current climate models that hinders a correct climate projection,” he said in a statement.

The concern about AMOC “is a very provocative idea,” said study co-author Zhengyu Liu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “For me, it’s a 180-degree turn because I had been thinking like everyone else,” he added, referring to his earlier perspective that the AMOC would remain relatively stable regardless of the effects of climate change.


Delingpole has a win

A Warmist complained to Britain's Independent Press Standards Organisation that James Delingpole, writing in the Spectator,  had mocked the ocean acidification theory unjustifiably. The committee found that Delingpole had done nothing wrong.  Below is the judgment, followed by an excerpt of the paper by Patrick Moore which Delingpole referred to

Delingpole in sepia

Findings of the Complaints Committee

19. The article was written in the first person, and sought to challenge what it made clear was the consensus view on ocean acidification. Before the article set out its criticisms, it referred to there being an extensive academic literature on the subject, and made clear that the theory had been endorsed by scientists from a number of institutions. The article referred to the author as being one of a group of “sceptics”, and a “denier”, and the final sentence of the article suggested it was “time our supposed ‘conspiracy theories’ were taken more seriously”. The article was clearly a comment piece, in which the author was expressing sceptical views on ocean acidification, and describing sceptical views expressed by others, that were contrary to the academic consensus. The Committee’s role is not to make findings of fact or to resolve conflicting evidence in relation to matters under debate. Rather, it assesses the care taken not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, and establishes whether a distinction is clearly made between comment, conjecture and fact, in determining whether the Code has been breached.

20. The Committee noted the complainant’s position that no experts in the field had expressed concern that ocean acidification could cause a “mass extinction”. However, it was not in dispute that many considered ocean acidification to be a matter of concern, and some believed it posed a serious threat to marine life. In this context, the claims the article made in support of its position that it was a “scaremongering” theory were not significantly misleading. The Committee noted the complainant’s position that the evidence did not “increasingly suggest”, that ocean acidification was “trivial”. The article went on to make clear what this evidence was, which the author was entitled to select in support of his position. In addition, the article made clear that this view was contrary to the consensus. The article was not misleading on this point.

21. The Committee noted the complainant’s position that the article misrepresented the paper reviewing the academic literature on ocean acidification. It was not misleading to claim that the paper was a “review of all the papers published on [ocean acidification]”, in circumstances where the paper described itself as “providing a brief overview of the history of research on [ocean acidification]”. The paper in question did refer to there being a publication bias towards papers which report negative effects of ocean acidification, and referred to a paper which highlighted methodological problems in research in the area. The manner in which the article presented the author’s interpretation of the paper was not significantly misleading.

22. The article reported that two named individuals had omitted historical data on oceanic pH from their research on ocean acidification, but that another named individual had incorporated this data into his own chart. The fact that the article misdated one of the charts referred to in this debate was not a significant inaccuracy in this context. While the Committee noted that the complainant agreed with the decision to omit this data, such that he considered the conclusions derived from its use to be invalid, the article was not a significantly misleading report of this scientific debate. It was not significantly misleading for the article to express the view that the omission of this data represented a flaw.

23. In support of the position that ocean acidification “wouldn’t be a disaster”, the article referred to reasons put forward by Patrick Moore. The Committee noted that the complainant disagreed with these reasons, and referred to research by other scientists which suggested that ocean acidification would harm the marine eco-system. The article had previously made clear that many were concerned by the possible consequences of ocean acidification, and it was not misleading for it to describe the alternative point of view, as put forward by Mr Moore. It was not disputed that this individual had been involved in the early days of Greenpeace movement, and whether or not he was “co-founder” was not significant in the context of the article.

24. It was not in dispute that the ocean acidification research programme had received public funding. Which government department had provided this funding, and whether it was provided directly, or via a research council, was not significant. The article’s claim that it looked “increasingly to be the case” that global warming theory was a “busted flush”, the claims about the reasons why research has been conducted on ocean acidification, and the claim about the ease with which the issue of ocean acidification could have been “resolved”, were matters of comment, and were clearly presented as the author’s opinion. The Committee did not establish that the article failed to clearly distinguish between comment and fact. It did not establish that the article contained any significant inaccuracies or misleading statements, such as to demonstrate a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article under the terms of Clause 1 (i), or such as to require correction under the terms of Clause 1 (ii).There was no breach of Clause 1.


25. The complaint was not upheld.



The scare is a pack of lies



1. The concept of ocean acidification is a recent phenomenon that has resulted in an explosion of journal articles, media reports and alarmist publications from environmental organizations.

2. Many papers on ocean acidification, said to be caused by rising man-made CO2 levels in the atmosphere, predict that it will result in the mass extinction of marine species that employ calcification, including corals, shellfish and many species of plankton, and that this, in turn, will result in the extinction of many other marine species.

3. Assumptions about pre-industrial ocean pH beginning around 1750 and laboratory studies that cannot adequately emulate natural oceanic conditions are the basis for the predictions of the future pH of the oceans.

4. Marine species that calcify have survived through millions of years during which CO2 was at much higher levels in the atmosphere.

5. All species are capable of adapting to changes in their environments. Over the long term, genetic evolution has made it possible for all species extant today, and their ancestors, to survive radical changes through the millennia. In the short term, phenotypic plasticity and transgenerational plasticity allow species to adapt to environmental change in relatively rapid fashion.

6. Seawater has a very large buffering capacity that prevents large shifts in pH when weak acids such as carbonic acid or weak bases are added to it

7. All species, including marine calcifying species, are capable of controlling their internal chemistry in a wide range of external conditions.

8. If the forecasts of continued global warming are borne out, the oceans will also become warmer and will tend to outgas CO2, offsetting to some extent the small increased partial pressure that might otherwise occur.

9. An analysis of research on the effect of lower pH shows a net beneficial impact on the calcification, metabolism, growth, fertility and survival of calcifying marine species when pH is lowered up to 0.3 units, which is beyond what is considered a plausible reduction during this century.

10. There is no evidence to support the claim that most calcifying marine species will become extinct owing to higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and lower pH in the oceans.


Reality-based climate forecasting

Continuing to focus on carbon dioxide as the driving force will just bring more bogus predictions

Paul Driessen

These days, even shipwreck museums showcase evidence of climate change.

After diving recently among Key West’s fabled ship-destroying barrier reefs, I immersed myself in exhibits from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, the fabled Spanish galleon that foundered during a ferocious hurricane in 1622. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum now houses many of the gold, silver, emeralds and artifacts that Mel and Deo Fisher’s archeological team recovered after finding the wreck in 1985.

Also featured prominently in the museum is the wreck of a British slave ship, the Henrietta Marie. It sank in a hurricane off Key West in 1700, after leaving 190 Africans in Jamaica, to be sold as slaves.

As Fisher divers excavated the Henrietta wreck, at 40 feet below the sea surface they found – not just leg shackles and other grim artifacts from that horrific era – but charred tree branches, pine cones and other remnants from a forest fire 8,400 years ago! The still resinous smelling fragments demonstrate that this area (like all other coastal regions worldwide) was well above sea level, before the last ice age ended and melting glaciers slowly raised oceans to their current level: 400 feet higher than during the frigid Pleistocene, when an enormous portion of Earth’s seawater was locked up in glaciers.

Climate change has clearly been “real” throughout earth and human history. The question is, exactly how and how much do today’s human activities affect local, regional or global climate and weather?

Unfortunately, politicized climate change researchers continue to advance claims that complex, powerful, interconnected natural forces have been replaced by manmade fossil fuel emissions, especially carbon dioxide; that any future changes will be catastrophic; and that humanity can control climate and weather by controlling its appetite for oil, gas, coal and modern living standards.

If you like your climate, you can keep it, they suggest. If you don’t, we can make you a better one.

Not surprisingly, climate chaos scientists who’ve relied on the multi-billion-dollar government gravy train are distraught over the prospect that President Donald Trump will slash their budgets or terminate their CO2-centric research. Desperate to survive, they are replacing the term “climate change” with “global change” or “weather” in grant proposals, and going on offense with op-ed articles and media interviews.

“This is what the coming attack on science could look like,” Penn State modeler and hockey stick creator Michael Mann lamented in a Washington Post column. “I fear what may happen under Trump. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance.” (Actually, it’s his million-dollar grants that hang in the balance.)

A “skeptic” scientist has warmed to the idea that a major Greenland ice shelf may be shrinking because of climate change, a front-page piece in the Post claimed. Perhaps so. But is it manmade warming? Does it portend planetary cataclysm, even as Greenland’s interior and Antarctica show record ice growth? Or are warm ocean currents weakening an ice shelf that is fragile because it rests on ocean water, not land?

The fundamental problem remains. If it was substandard science and modeling under Obama era terminology, it will be substandard under survivalist jargon. The notion that manmade carbon dioxide now drives climate and weather – and we can predict climate and weather by looking only at plant-fertilizing CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” – is just as absurd now as before.

Their predictions will be as invalid and unscientific as divining future Super Bowl winners by modeling who plays left guard for each team – or World Cup victors by looking at center backs.

As climate realists take the reins at EPA and other federal and state agencies, the Trump Administration should ensure that tax dollars are not squandered on more alarmist science that is employed to justify locking up more fossil fuels, expanding renewable energy and “carbon capture” schemes, reducing US living standards, and telling poor countries what living standards they will be “permitted” to have.

Reliable forecasts, as far in advance as possible, would clearly benefit humanity. For that to happen, however, research must examine all natural and manmade factors, and not merely toe the pretend-consensus line that carbon dioxide now governs climate change.

That means government grants must not go preferentially to researchers who seek to further CO2-centrism, but rather to those who are committed to a broader scope of solid, dispassionate research that examines both natural and manmade factors. Grant recipients must also agree to engage in robust discussion and debate, to post, explain and defend their data, methodologies, analyses and conclusions.

They must devote far more attention to improving our understanding of all the forces that drive climate fluctuations, the roles they play, and the complex interactions among them. Important factors include cyclical variations in the sun’s energy and cosmic ray output, winds high in Earth’s atmosphere, and decadal and century-scale circulation changes in the deep oceans, which are very difficult to measure and are not yet well enough understood to predict or be realistically included in climate models.

Another is the anomalous warm water areas that develop from time to time in the Pacific Ocean and then are driven by winds and currents northward into the Arctic, affecting US, Canadian, European and Asian temperatures and precipitation. The process of cloud formation is also important, because clouds help retain planetary warmth, reflect the sun’s heat, and provide cooling precipitation.

Many scientists have tried to inject these factors into climate discussions. However, the highly politicized nature of US, IPCC and global climate change funding, research, regulatory and treaty-making activities has caused CO2-focused factions to discount, dismiss or ignore the roles these natural forces play.

The political situation has also meant that most research and models have focused on carbon dioxide and other assumed human contributions to climate change. Politics, insufficient data and inadequate knowledge also cause models to reflect unrealistic physics theories, use overly simplified and inadequate numerical techniques, and fail to account adequately for deep-ocean circulation cycles and the enormity and complexity of natural forces and their constant, intricate interplay in driving climate fluctuations.

Speedier, more powerful computers simply make any “garbage in-garbage out” calculations, analyses and predictions occur much more quickly – facilitating faster faulty forecasts … and policy recommendations.

The desire to secure research funding from Obama grantor agencies also perpetuated a tendency to use El Niño warming spikes, and cherry-pick the end of cooling cycles as the starting point for trend lines that allegedly “prove” fossil fuels are causing “unprecedented” temperature spikes and planetary calamity.

Finally, the tens of billions of dollars given annually in recent years to “keep it in the ground” anti-fossil fuel campaigners, national and international regulators, and renewable energy companies have given these vested interests enormous incentives to support IPCC/EPA pseudo-science – and vilify and silence climate realists who do not accept “catastrophic manmade climate change” precepts.

The Trump Administration and 115th Congress have a unique opportunity to change these dynamics, and ensure that future research generates useful information, improved understanding of Earth’s complex climate system, and forecasts that are increasingly accurate. In addition to the above, they should:

* Reexamine and reduce (or even eliminate) the role that climate model “projections” (predictions) play in influencing federal policies, laws and regulations – until modeling capabilities are vastly and demonstrably improved, in line with the preceding observations.

* Revise the Clean Air Act to remove EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide – or compel EPA to reexamine its “endangerment” finding, to reflect the previous bullet, information and commentary.

* Significantly reduce funding for climate research, the IPCC and EPA, and science in general. Funding should be more broadly based, not monopolistic, especially when the monopoly is inevitably politicized.

This is not an “attack on science.” It is a reaffirmation of what real science is supposed to be and do.

Via email

At last: Work begins at British fracking site

It doesn’t exactly look like a revolution in the making: a set of temporary traffic lights blocking off a small stretch of Lancashire A-road.

But the new traffic control measures, installed on Preston New Road near Little Plumpton by fracking firm Cuadrilla, represent the modest beginnings of a key frontier in the search for shale gas that ministers hope could one day transform Britain’s energy supplies.

In October, the Government granted Cuadrilla planning consent to frack at the site, between Blackpool and Preston, against the wishes of the local council.

On Thursday, the company announced it had now begun initial construction work in a step chief executive Francis Egan hailed as an “important milestone”.

The traffic measures are designed to allow for the construction of a new access road into the field where the exploration will take place. Over the next three months Cuadrilla plans to develop a site roughly the size of a rugby pitch, creating a well pad lined with an impermeable membrane to protect the environment.

In April, it hopes to begin drilling down thousands of feet into the rock to take samples and assess the best trajectory for horizontal wells that will, for the first time in the UK, extend out into the shale rocks beneath nearby homes.

Fracking – pumping water, sand and chemicals into the well to hydraulically fracture the rocks and release gas trapped within them – should follow in the third quarter, enabling the company to test how easily gas can be produced.

Mr Egan said: “Twelve months from now we hope this work will prove the economic viability of this indigenous shale gas resource in Lancashire, which will help improve energy security for the nation.”

Cuadrilla believes that some 200 trillion cubic feet of gas could lie in its Lancashire licence area. If 10pc could be extracted, it would be equivalent to about 7 years’ worth of the UK’s gas needs.

But the private equity-backed company has not undertaken any shale drilling in Lancashire since 2011 when it caused earth tremors attempting to frack a vertical well at Preese Hall, leading to a moratorium.

Indeed, despite the lifting of the ban a year later and enthusiastic Government backing for a UK shale gas “revolution”, no fracking has taken place anywhere in the country since.

This year, however, industry hopes are high with Cuadrilla’s efforts in Lancashire getting underway at the same time as Third Energy prepares to frack an existing vertical well at its site in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

The Kirby Misperton fracking, which got planning consent from the local council earlier last May, had been held up pending a judicial review challenge which was thrown out in December.

Though there are two outstanding legal challenges against Cuadrilla’s planning consent, the company said they did not represent any impediment to it starting work.

In Lancashire on Thursday, a handful of anti-fracking campaigners gathered with placards on the pavement by Cuadrilla’s new roadworks.

“A record number of people objected to the council, and we were listened to when the council decided to not let fracking happen,” said Gillian Wood, from Blackpool. “It's appalling that this is being forced on us, our countryside and our climate, and we won't stand for it.”

Like the traffic lights, Thursday's small-scale protest is also expected to represent only the modest beginning.



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


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