Friday, January 19, 2018

The big if

The writers below admit that their predictions are a big if so one wonders why they bother making them.  Its all just modelling silliness anyway.  And when have models ever got it right?

Two years ago this week, the world came together in Paris to sign a landmark agreement aimed at stopping the Earth's temperature from rising dangerously high.

But according to a new report from Climate Tracker, an independent research group, we're way off track to hit the target laid out in the Paris climate agreement.

The Paris Agreement pushed member nations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide and methane, in order to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Each country submitted its own plan for reducing emissions that cause our atmosphere to trap more heat.

But if all of the signatories fulfill their pledges — and that's a big if — global temperatures will still increase by 3.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, according to Climate Tracker's latest report.

President Donald Trump has pledged to pull the US out of the agreement, claiming it hurts US manufacturing — but that process that will take several years. If the US does leave, it will be the only country in the world not signed on.

What could happen if the planet exceeds the 2-degree limit

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if global temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, climate-related risks like wildfires, sea level rise, and crop failure will be magnified.

The 2-degree limit was first established in a working paper by an economist — not a climate scientist — in the 1970s, but it has proved to be a useful rallying point for the international community.

Scientists have outlined how continued emissions could lead to the complete loss of ice sheets in Greenland over the next few centuries, which could cause sea levels to rise by 7 meters, or over 21 feet, submerging populated coastal cities like New York and Miami. In certain regions, moving past the 2-degree limit could cause average crop yields to be 25% lower — and those effects only increase the warmer it gets.

It's important to note, however, that modeling climate change is a highly complex process with many variables, so these effects are a matter of probabilities, not an absolute certainty.

The US' potential withdrawal would add 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100

Climate Tracker's report calculates that the US's withdrawal from the Paris agreement would add approximately 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming to its projections for the year 2100.

And while the report notes that carbon dioxide emissions have flattened over recent years, it's too soon to say that global emissions have peaked. Climate Tracker predicts that greenhouse gas emissions will grow between 9% and 13% from 2020-2030 based on current trends.

In order to hit the targets laid out by the Paris agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak around 2020 then rapidly fall.

But there are some positive signs. Climate Tracker estimates that policies implemented in 2017 reduced their global temperature predictions by 0.2 degrees Celsius over 2016 projections. And India and China — two of the fastest-growing economies in the world — have made significant headway in reducing the growth rate of their greenhouse gas emissions.

Nonetheless, Climate Tracker predicts emissions in India will grow approximately 7% between 2020-2030, and China's will rise 51% in the same period.

The report notes, however, that climate modeling is a tricky business with a lot of room for error.

A study published by Nature earlier this month estimates that the world will be 15% hotter in 2100 than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — whose work formed the basis of the Paris agreement goals — projected, based on a new set of calculations.

This new research suggests humans will probably have to reduce emissions even more steeply to avoid crossing the thresholds agreed to in Paris.


Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere ‘significant but not alarming’

More rubbish talk about what they admit is an unknown

Alarmist projections of how sensitive Earth’s climate is to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been proved wrong by new research published today in Nature.

The paper said there was a less than one-in-40 chance of climate sensitivity being greater than 4C, renewing hope it would be possible to avoid global warming exceeding the Paris target of 2C.

Climate sensitivity, the amount of warming caused by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is hotly contested. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published estimates ranging from 1.5C to 4.5C.

Other scientists have said climate sensitivity could be as low as 1C because other factors had played a greater role in recent warming than had been acknowledged by climate models.

Scientists in Britain said they had used new techniques to narrow the range to between 2.2C and 3.4C.

The latest Nature paper found the most likely outcome would be 2.8C, with 66 per cent confidence limits. The findings are consistent with the IPCC “likely” range of 2.2C-3.4C.

Announcing the results, Nat­ure said “analysis suggests that ­extremely high estimates of this sensitivity can be ruled out’’. So, too, could estimates below 1.5C.

Peter Cox from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science at the University of Exeter used a new method to calculate climate sensitivity based on the observed historical variability in temperature rather than the warming trend itself.

Earlier attempts had focused on the historical warming record or reconstructions of past ­climates. “We use an ensemble of climate models to define an emergent relationship between ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) and a theoretically informed metric of global temperature variability,” the new paper said.

“This metric of variability can also be calculated from observational records of global warming, which enables tighter constraints to be placed on ECS,” it said.

The new methodology reduced the probability of equilibrium climate sensitivity being less than 1.5C to less than 3 per cent, and the probability of it exceeding 4.5C to less than 1 per cent.

The Nature paper said ECS remained one of the most important unknowns in climate change ­science.

ECS is defined as the global mean warming that would occur if the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration were instantly doubled and the climate were then brought to equilibrium with that new level of CO2.

Estimates of ECS play an important role in global agreements to combat climate change.


Head of Int'l. Energy Agency: Electric Cars Won't Overtake Traditional Cars Any Time Soon

At a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Faith Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, was asked for his views about the "electrification" of transportation.

"The number of electric cars will grow," Birol told the panel. "But our numbers show that, even two decades from now, the biggest chunk of the cars we are running will be the existing internal combustion engines, the traditional cars."

Birol said he expects the number of electric cars to grow in places such as Europe and China, where there is a lot of incentive and subsidies to produce them.

"And with the declining costs of batteries for electric cars, plus the very generous government subsidies in some countries, we see the electric cars are increasing substantially," Birol said.

Birol said despite the proliferation of electric cars in some countries, the demand for oil will continue to grow.

"The cars are not the biggest part of the oil-demand growth," he explained. "Oil demand today in the world is driven by trucks, jets, ships and, most important, (the) petrochemical industry. Even though there will be a lot of electric cars coming into markets, running in the streets of the world, we will still see that there is a need for new oil production."

Birol said the anticipated growth in oil demand and production "is definitely good news for the U.S. economy."

He noted that the U.s. production of natural gas from fracking "is going to bring a lot of energy to the markets," and he expects the U.S. to be the largest liquified natural gas exporter in the world by 2020.

But what's good for the United States may adversely affect oil producers in the Middle East:

"[I]f I had to pinpoint one vulnerability in our world, in terms of oil and gas, it is the following," Birol said. "Many countries in Middle East, and also some major eastern European countries -- their economies are single-product economies -- oil and, in some cases, gas.

"When the price of these commodities go down, or, as we just discussed ... the electric cars one day become a major, major part of transportation, they may seriously suffer -- their economies. And they are not -- they are not prepared for that.

"Their entire economy, social life, is based on oil revenues. This is a major vulnerability, especially today, when the oil prices will be, we expect, more and more volatile, and technology may make big surprises. Therefore, the -- as International Energy Agency, we are going to focus, in our next outlook -- World Energy Outlook -- these vulnerabilities of these countries."


LAPD Blew $10 Million On A Fleet Of Electric BMWs It Doesn’t Use

The Los Angeles Police Department purchased a pricey fleet of electric BMWs last year, but most of them are either being misused or not used at all, according to a Los Angeles CBS affiliate investigation.

BMW delivered  one hundred electric cars to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) every three years through a program designed to make the department green, yet many of those vehicles are either sitting idle or officers are using them as a type of show-and-tell throughout the community.

“It’s all a part of saving the Earth, going green … quite frankly, to try and save money for the community and the taxpayers,” LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas told a reporter with CBS Los Angeles. The program, which began in April 2016, has apparently turned into a money burner.

The investigation also found that most of the electric cars have only been used for a few thousand miles from the beginning of the project until August 2017.

One reporter watched as a commanding officer with the LAPD’s fiscal operations took a zero-emission vehicle out for a spin to get a manicure. Officer Annemarie Sauer spent more than an hour inside the nail salon before walking out with a manicurist and gesturing toward where the BMW was parked.

“First of all, if they’re going to be using $10 million of our money, or basically leasing $10 million of equipment, they ought to have a damn plan!” local political watchdog Jack Humphreville told CBS. “Isn’t that just a tremendous waste of money?”

The move to amp up the city’s electric vehicle fleet comes as Democratic lawmakers in California aim to force commuters into Teslas and other electric vehicles.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, for instance, floated the idea last year to introduce a bill in January 2018 that would ban the sale of produced after 2040. The Democrat said California drivers must adopt electric vehicles if the state is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


The inconvenient truth is that catastrophists are wrong

Comment from Australia

It should come as a great relief to know the freezing temperatures recently experienced in the northern hemisphere do not signal an end to global warming.

Imagine if mankind’s increasingly costly attempts to arrest CO2 emissions were unnecessary. That the misallocation of productive resources, prolonging the misery of the world’s most vulnerable people, was nothing more than a cynical ideological exercise?

Hopefully, those global warming doubters in Florida watching frozen iguanas falling stiff from the trees now know that while they were freezing, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, little old Penrith in Sydney, Australia, was the warmest spot on the planet, recording its highest temperature ever, having “broken the all-time maximum temperature record for … the Sydney metropolitan area”.

Well, perhaps in all that excitement the bureau can be forgiven for overlooking the fact Penrith Lakes started recording temperatures only in 1995 and for missing a much higher temperature recorded in nearby Richmond in 1939. But they were right. It was hot.

In a hurried piece in Fairfax publications, the Climate Council of Australia’s Will Steffen throws hot water on any misconceptions that may have been drawn from abnormal snowfalls in Britain, Switzerland and Japan, the record-breaking cold snap in Canada and the US, and the expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

He says: “Terms like ‘global warming’ and the mental images they trigger can be misleading when people attempt to understand what is happening to the climate. A far better term is ‘climate disruption’, which captures the real nature of the vast array of changes, many of them abrupt and unexpected, that are occurring.”

So fire and ice, it’s to be expected.

Of course you won’t be surprised to learn Steffen claims “the climate disruption we are increasingly experiencing is not natural. It is caused by the heat-trapping gases we humans are pouring into the atmosphere primarily by the burning of coal, oil and gas.”

On the day Steffen’s opinion piece appeared, this newspaper republished Matt Ridley’s article in The Times claiming “the Earth is very slowly slipping back into a proper ice age”. This confirms research by Henrik Svensmark, Australia’s David Evans and others, who correlated low solar activity (fewer sunspots) and increased cloud cover (as modulated by cosmic rays), with a cooling climate.

Indeed, last year scientists submitted 120 papers linking historical and modern climate change to variations in solar activity.

Steffen wasn’t among them. He says: “Whole ecosystems are succumbing to (human-induced) climate disruption. In 2016 unusually dry and hot conditions triggered massive fires in Tasmania’s World Heritage forests, while ocean circulation patterns have moved ­unprecedented underwater heatwaves around the world, driving the tragic coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.’’

Yet the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt, dismisses many of the claims that he says “misrepresent the extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Peter Ridd from James Cook University goes further, saying: “We can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the ARC (Australian Research Council) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated, and this is a great shame.”

Steffen’s work could fit this description. He spends much time pushing eco-catastrophism. “Climate disruption” he says “brings growing risks of large-scale migration and conflict as people, particularly the most vulnerable, are forced to deal with increasingly difficult conditions where they live. Some security analysts warn that climate disruption will dwarf terrorism and other conventional threats if present trends continue or worsen.

“Had enough of climate disruption? Then let’s leave our 20th-century thinking behind and get on with the job of rapidly building innovative, clever, carbon-neutral 21st-century societies.”

But Ridley questions the influence of carbon dioxide. He reminds us that: “In 1895 the Swede, Svante Arrhenius, one of the scientists who first championed the greenhouse theory, suggested that the ice retreated because carbon dioxide levels rose, and advanced because they fell. If this was true, then industrial emissions could head off the next ice age. There is indeed a correlation in the ice cores between temperature and carbon dioxide, but inconveniently it is the wrong way round: carbon dioxide follows rather than leads temperature downward when the ice returns.”

But where would manmade global warming “science” be if it relied on just facts? For decades, climate science has been plagued by scandals, deceit and the confessions of whistleblowers.

Penrith’s hyped recording is not new. Scientist and long-time BOM critic Jennifer Marohasy has been calling for an audit and urging Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg “to inform the World Meteorological Organisation that the temperatures recorded by our bureau are not consistent with calibration, nor any international standard”, and, to “direct the bureau to desist from announcing new record hot days”.

Still, institutionalised data bias is a handy default for radical-left eco-catastrophists who have a tendency to extract worst-case scenarios from every weather event.

But despite their best efforts, in the public’s eyes their story is wearing thin. There have been too many false predictions and unwarranted alarmism. People are wising up to the reality that climate science has become an unfalsifiable ideology and resent having their moral conscience questioned should they disagree.

If Ridley is right and the earth is slowly slipping back into a proper ice age, it will be literally cold comfort, not to mention lethal, to keep passing it off as climate disruption.

To survive such an event, our successors will need a plentiful supply of cheap, reliable energy, impossible given today’s intelligentsia’s religious objection to low-cost fossil and nuclear fuels.

It’s not carbon dioxide that threatens us with extinction but blind ideology dressed up as science.




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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