Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Greenie scientists forget basic science

The article below claims to show that "there has never been a period in the last 2,000 years when temperature changes have been as fast and extensive as in recent decades" and they quote evidence to show that.  I will not quarrel with the evidence concerned at this point but will simply ask:  "So what?

The earth has undergone great temperature change in geological times so what does this recent revelation prove?  Precisely nothing as far as I can see. If previous changes were due to natural factors,  why are recent changes not due to natural factors?  There is precisely ZERO evidence that the recent changes were due to human activity.  Saying that they were is faith, not science

If John Cook's claim that “There was 99% scientific consensus in 2011 that humans are causing global warming.” is true, it simply shows how powerful the pressures to conformity are in our present Left-dominated academe.  Only conformity can explain such a consensus.  There is nothing in the science to explain it and much in the science to contradict it

The scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming is likely to have passed 99%, according to the lead author of the most authoritative study on the subject, and could rise further after separate research that clears up some of the remaining doubts.

Three studies published in Nature and Nature Geoscience use extensive historical data to show there has never been a period in the last 2,000 years when temperature changes have been as fast and extensive as in recent decades.

It had previously been thought that similarly dramatic peaks and troughs might have occurred in the past, including in periods dubbed the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Climate Anomaly. But the three studies use reconstructions based on 700 proxy records of temperature change, such as trees, ice and sediment, from all continents that indicate none of these shifts took place in more than half the globe at any one time.

The Little Ice Age, for example, reached its extreme point in the 15th century in the Pacific Ocean, the 17th century in Europe and the 19th century elsewhere, says one of the studies. This localisation is markedly different from the trend since the late 20th century when records are being broken year after year over almost the entire globe, including this summer’s European heatwave.

Major temperature shifts in the distant past are also likely to have been primarily caused by volcanic eruptions, according to another of the studies, which helps to explain the strong global fluctuations in the first half of the 18th century as the world started to move from a volcanically cooled era to a climate warmed by human emissions. This has become particularly pronounced since the late 20th century, when temperature rises over two decades or longer have been the most rapid in the past two millennia, notes the third.

The authors say this highlights how unusual warming has become in recent years as a result of industrial emissions.

“There is no doubt left – as has been shown extensively in many other studies addressing many different aspects of the climate system using different methods and data sets,” said Stefan Brönnimann, from the University of Bern and the Pages 2K consortium of climate scientists.

Commenting on the study, other scientists said it was an important breakthrough in the “fingerprinting” task of proving how human responsibility has changed the climate in ways not seen in the past.

“This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle. This paper shows the truly stark difference between regional and localised changes in climate of the past and the truly global effect of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions,” said Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College London.

Previous studies have shown near unanimity among climate scientists that human factors – car exhausts, factory chimneys, forest clearance and other sources of greenhouse gases – are responsible for the exceptional level of global warming.

A 2013 study in Environmental Research Letters found 97% of climate scientists agreed with this link in 12,000 academic papers that contained the words “global warming” or “global climate change” from 1991 to 2011. Last week, that paper hit 1m downloads, making it the most accessed paper ever among the 80+ journals published by the Institute of Physics, according to the authors.

The pushback has been political rather than scientific. In the US, the rightwing thinktank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is reportedly putting pressure on Nasa to remove a reference to the 97% study from its webpage. The CEI has received event funding from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and Charles Koch Institute, which have much to lose from a transition to a low-carbon economy.

But among academics who study the climate, the convergence of opinion is probably strengthening, according to John Cook, the lead author of the original consensus paper and a follow-up study on the “consensus about consensus” that looked at a range of similar estimates by other academics.

He said that at the end of his 20-year study period there was more agreement than at the beginning: “There was 99% scientific consensus in 2011 that humans are causing global warming.” With ever stronger research since then and increasing heatwaves and extreme weather, Cook believes this is likely to have risen further and is now working on an update.

“As expertise in climate science increases, so too does agreement with human-caused global warming,” Cook wrote on the Skeptical Science blog. “The good news is public understanding of the scientific consensus is increasing. The bad news is there is still a lot of work to do yet as climate deniers continue to persistently attack the scientific consensus.”


U.S. Government Climate Science vs. U.S. Government Climate Crisis

Dr. Caleb Rossiter presented the following statement at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Hearing on July 25, 2019:

The scientific integrity of the Department of Interior suffered badly in 2018. As a participating agency in the U.S. Global Change Research Program it approved the publication of Volume II of the fourth National Climate Assessment.

Volume II, titled Impact, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, repeatedly contradicts Volume I, Climate Science Special Report, which was published the year before.

Volume I found, as did the latest synthesis report (AR5) by a similar body of government scientists at the UN, in which the United States is a member, that there is no statistically significant evidence that human-caused warming, or in nearly all cases even warming from natural causes, has resulted in an increase in the decadal rates of hurricanes, droughts, floods, storms, precipitation, wildfires, and sea-level rise. Variable periods of extreme weather are not the same as a change in the underlying climate.

Volume II, in contrast, repeatedly claims that there have been increases in all of these variables, and many others, because of human-caused climate change. It presents no statistical proof for these claims. It also uses small regions and inappropriately short time periods for analysis that hide its own data and conclusions from appropriate time periods in Volume I.

Volume II also presents individual and regional examples of crises as being caused by 'climate change,' while Volume I and UN data and conclusions show no trends that allow such attribution. It also repeatedly reports modeled 'expectations' and 'projections'  of extreme and dangerous weather despite the lack of trends to date.

Volume II justifies this narrative of the future by claiming that: 'Climate models have proved remarkably accurate .... Today, the largest uncertainty in projecting future climate conditions is the level of greenhouse gas emissions going forward.' This is a gross misrepresentation of the state of climate modeling, as described in the UN report. Climate models are mathematical exercises in curve-fitting in which thousands of parameters are tuned to enhance the contribution of carbon dioxide to warming. As a result they have been poor at projections, consistently running two to three times too hot over the past 30 years.

It is scientific malfeasance to ignore or misrepresent your own data and conclusions. Volume II is a false narrative, not a work of science, and indeed deserves the label 'fake science.'

I encourage the Committee to use its oversight functions to find out how this breakdown of scientific principles occurred at the Department of Interior and indeed in the entire U.S. Global Change Research Program.

* * *

From its cover showing a wildfire burning in California to the last of its 1,515 pages, Volume II claims incessantly, in contradiction to Volume I and the UN, that human-caused climate change is creating crises in extreme weather.

A single page, provided here, from Volume II's Overview compiles many of these false claims. It fundamentally confuses weather with climate by presenting particular examples of extreme weather as "climate change," despite the Volume I and UN data and conclusions showing no statistically-significant trends for the variables in question.

This page is labeled 'Americans Respond to the Impact of Climate Change.' From the many claims in Volume II that reducing CO2 emissions will reduce the impact of climate change, it is clear that it is referring here to human-caused climate change.

However, this page never tells the reader that the UN has concluded that at least the first half-degree of the past century's one-degree warming, until 1950, was largely natural because there was insufficient CO2 to force temperature. After 1950, during the era of significant CO2 emissions from the surge in global industrialization, the UN concludes that up to half of the second half-degree of the warming still may be natural.

Here is a list of the page's claims that are contradicted by the data and conclusions in Volume I, and by the UN body.

CLAIM: Northwest: Wildfire increases and associated smoke are affecting human health, water resources, timber production, fish and wildlife, and recreation.

FACT: Wildfires have increased since 1970, largely because of forest management practices. Volume I says: "(L)ow to medium confidence for a detectable human climate change contribution in the western United States based on existing studies .... The frequency of large wildfires is influenced by a complex combination of natural and human factors. Temperature, soil moisture, relative humidity, wind speed, and vegetation (fuel density) are important aspects of the relationship between fire frequency and ecosystems .... Forest management practices have resulted in higher fuel densities in most U.S. forests .... Recent literature does not contain a complete robust detection and attribution analysis of forest fires including estimates of natural decadal and multidecadal variability...nor separate the contributions to observed trends from climate change and forest management."

CLAIM: Southwest: Drought in the Colorado River Basin has reduced Lake Mead by over half since 2000, increasing risk of water shortages for cities, farms, and ecosystems.

FACT: Both Volume I and the UN report no significant trends in drought, and so of course did not conclude that droughts were caused by a temperature increase, natural or man-made. Volume I: "(There is) evidence from paleoclimate proxies of cases of central U.S. droughts during the past 1,000 years that were longer and more intense than historical U.S. droughts. UN: We conclude that there is low confidence in detection and attribution of changes in drought over global land areas since the mid-20th century .... Recent long-term droughts in western North America cannot definitively be shown to lie outside the very large envelope of  natural precipitation variability in this region."

CLAIM: Northern Great Plains: Flash drought and extreme heat illustrate sustainability challenges for ranching operations with emerging impacts on rural prosperity and mental health.

FACT: Again, no Volume I or UN trends on drought in the CO2 era. On heat waves, the UN says: "There is also evidence in some regions that periods prior to the 1950s had more heatwaves (e.g., over the USA, the decade of the 1930s stands out and is also associated with extreme drought)." However, the UN was unable to make a global conclusion on whether heat waves have increased, due to a lack of data coverage, but is a weak 66 percent sure that "the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia." In any event, how big is the effect, based on all available global data? Tiny. The study the UN relies on says that there has been an increase since 1950 of just one quarter of one percent in the number of heat waves per year, and a 1.4 percent increase in the total number of heat wave days per year

CLAIM: Southern Great Plains: Hurricane Harvey's landfall on the Texas coast in 2017 was one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

FACT: If it was a "natural disaster" what is a hurricane doing on a page of "impacts of climate change?" And Volume I and the UN do not find that hurricanes are man-made or part of a trend. Volume 1: "(T)here is still low confidence that any reported long-term (multidecadal to centennial) increases in tropical cyclone (note: includes hurricanes) activity are robust. UN: Current data sets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century .... No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin."

CLAIM: Flooding in Louisiana is increasing from extreme rainfall.

FACT: Volume I: "Analysis of 200 U.S. stream gauges indicates areas of both increasing and decreasing flooding magnitude but does not provide robust evidence that these trends are attributable to human influences." UN: "(T)here continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale." (Rossiter note: 'sign of trend' means we don't even know if it is increasing or decreasing.)

CLAIM: Midwest: Increasing heavy rains are leading to more soil erosion and nutrient loss on Midwest croplands.

FACT: There is a trend to heavy rainfall in parts of the United States, although it has not been attributed to human activities. Globally, there is strong regional variation in heavy rains. Volume I: "Heavy precipitation events in most parts of the United States have increased in both intensity and frequency since 1900 (high confidence). There are important regional differences in trends, with the largest increases occurring in the northeastern United States (high confidence). (Rossiter note: the period from 1901 to today includes half a century of natural warming.) However, trends ... identified for the U.S. regions have not been clearly attributed to anthropogenic forcing." UN: "It is likely that since 1951 there have been statistically significant increases in the number of heavy precipitation events in more regions than there have been statistically significant decreases, but there are strong regional and subregional variations."

CLAIM: U.S. Caribbean Damages from the 2017 hurricanes have been compounded by the slow recovery of energy...

FACT: As above, no hurricane trends.

CLAIM: Northeast: Water, energy and transportation are affected by snowstorms, drought, heat waves, and flooding.

FACT: No significant national or global trends, whether man-made or natural, have been identified for these variables. Drought, heat waves, and flooding have been covered above. On snowstorms, Volume I finds regional variation but no national trend:  "Changes in snow cover extent (SCE) in the Northern Hemisphere exhibit a strong seasonal dependence. There has been little change in winter SCE since the 1960s (when the first satellite records became available), while fall SCE has increased. However, the decline in spring SCE is larger than the increase in fall..."


Local governments should steer clear of climate dogma

The County and staff have arbitrarily decided to pledge allegiance to the U.N. and adopt the Paris Climate Pledge.  Years back, during a BOS meeting, Supervisor Dennis Rooker told me the he did not see any U.N. blue helmets there in the County, when I pointed out to him the flawed climate policies of the U.N. IPCC. My how times have changed. Now the County holds the U.N. up as a standard of reference.

What is the justification or objective of this County embrace of the U.N. now?  It is unstated.  The Paris Agreement is deeply flawed in terms of any theoretical impact on global climate change or temperature because two major contributors to global CO2 (if that is the parameter being targeted) are India and China, both of which currently remain unrestrained in their use of fossil fuels by that agreement. In addition, the IPCC has based its alarmist, computer-generated predictions upon the false assumption that carbon dioxide is the prime determinant of global temperature, while ignoring the facts that water vapor (clouds) is the number one greenhouse gas, and that there exists the effect of solar interactions with cosmic particles.


China emits almost twice the amount of greenhouse gases as the US, which it surpassed in 2006 as the world’s top contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Today, China accounts for approximately 23 percent of all global CO2 emissions. The United States government estimates project that, barring major reform, China will double its emissions by 2040, due to its heavy reliance on fossil fuels for steel production and electricity.

India plans to double its coal production to feed a national power grid that suffers from increasingly frequent blackouts, and is the third largest contributor to fossil fuel CO2 production.

The US has never entered into any binding treaty to curb greenhouse gases, but has cut more carbon dioxide emissions than any other nation.

Prior studies have shown the utter futility of these carbon dioxide and fossil fuel reduction schemes on a state-by-state analysis:


From which study, it was calculated that if Virginia were to cease use of all fossil fuels and CO2 production, the savings in global temperature by 2050 would be a minuscule 0.0016 degrees C.  Moreover, it would take only 50 days before global increases in CO2 production would completely wipe out that insignificant temperature saving. Anything the County is proposing will have no real or measurable effect.

County planners and climate lobbyists tout renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuels.  Natural gas produces 35.1 percent of the kilowattage, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and coal is responsible for 27.4 percent. Wind and solar contribute 6.6 percent and 1.6 percent.  Explain how 8 per cent wind and solar will replace 62 per cent reliable energy 24/7. During heat spells, wind activity falls, and wind turbine power output falls just when it is needed the most.

A logical conclusion is that the County staff have an agenda for wishing to ration energy in the County not related to temperature or climate change, or that they are uninformed of these climate/energy facts. The County Staff openly give away the game by using the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as their guide.   Thus, we must then assume that they fully believe the U.N. when Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s fourth summary report released in 2007 stated the priority: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

This is the apparent County goal, and it is moving forward with the support of environmental activists and commercial enterprises hoping to profit from imposed de facto energy rationing. Members of the public at large are greatly outnumbered at relevant County hearings by special interest groups. Unelected County staff are crafting numerous schemes to ration the public’s free use of energy and modes of transportation. These schemes do not offer a cost-benefit analysis, nor do they quantify the impact on the climate. They do reflect an anti-democratic mindset which wishes to impose a government-defined bureaucratic a mode of living including unnecessarily more expensive energy, and higher taxes to subsidize commercial make-work efforts with no proof of cost effectiveness nor measurable impact on the climate.

Or as the chief of staff for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that her signature Green New Deal was not really about saving the planet after all.

In a report by the Washington Post, Saikat Chakrabarti revealed that “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

That “thing” is known as democracy and informed freedom of choice.


Tom McClintock Mocks AOC And Other Doomsday Climate Scenarios

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change on Thursday in Washington, DC, that he has as much expertise as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) or even Prince Charles when it comes to predicting the planet’s future.

Ocasio-Cortez has said we have 12 years to address climate change before disaster hit, and the prince has weighed in with doomsday predictions that range from 18 months to as many as 35 years until catastrophic events unfold.

McClintock said his prediction is based on a planet that has survived a changing climate for a very long time.

“I suppose I have as much authority as either of them to make predictions so I’ll give us another four and a half billion years, which is the amount of time the climate’s already been changing on the planet,” McClintock said to an appreciative crowd at the Heartland Institute’s convention featuring climate scientists and other experts who spent the day making the case against a manmade climate crisis.

McClintock, who is the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Ocean, and Wildlife, said that when the Democrats became the majority party in the 2018 midterm elections they were eager to showcase climate change.

“So when the Democrats began holding hearings and Heartland Institute scholars began showing up and an actual debate began to unfold, our friends on the left seemed to have lost a lot of their interest in those hearings,” McClintock said, adding that he sees that as a positive development.

“They gave us a critical opportunity to engage them on the actual science behind their apocalyptic predictions and they didn’t like where it leads,” McClintock said.

McClintock said despite the humor to be found in the “hysteria” on the left, it calls for serious pushback:

This would be amusing except that it continues to drive public policy despite the failure of every one of their predictions and forecasts to coincide with the actual data we’ve accumulated since this nonsense began. We’ve allowed ourselves once again to be thrown into panic from forces that have been at work shaping our planet since it formed.

McClintock said climate change fear-mongering dates back to the 1970s when both Newsweek and the Washington Post reported on the dangers of an impending new Ice Age.

And that even today the left is ignoring the science that contradicts their apocalyptic predictions.

“The left loves to call us climate change deniers,” McClintock said. “The fact is they deny the science of climate change — the science that documents dramatic changes in climate throughout the epochs that long predate the appearance of mankind.”

Some of the speakers who took part in the conference and presented evidence to refute much of the United Nations claims on climate change that are embraced by Ocasio-Cortez and others included Roy Spencer, Roger Bezdek, Myron Ebell, Patrick Michaels, and Lord Christopher Monckton, former adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a mathematician who has published in peer-reviewed climate journals.

McClintock concluded his remarks at the conference by praising all of the scientists and others at the event.

“Those future generations to come will remember with gratitude and admiration that there were organizations like Heartland and faithful servants of true science as those who are gathered here today willing to endure the injustices and excesses of political demagoguery to lead us out of the darkness of this hysteria and into the light of the bright future that our advancing technology and freedom can and will deliver if we let them,” McClintock said.


Bangladesh wants Australia's coal for new power stations

Bangladesh is urging Australia to take advantage of an "enormous opportunity" to export coal and liquefied natural gas to the developing country, which is experiencing surging demand for the fossil fuels.

The country of about 165 million people has a slew of coal-fired power stations coming online over the next five years and will be importing about 45 million tonnes of coal by 2025, worth a predicted $4 billion to $5 billion annually.

"There is enormous opportunity for export of Australian coal and LNG to Bangladesh given Bangladesh's sustained energy demand," the Bangladesh high commissioner to Australia, Sufiur Rahman, said on Monday. "If these are added to the traditional traded items, Bangladesh could emerge as a major trading partner of Australia soon."

Mr Rahman called for a greater policy focus from the Australian government on the export opportunity and stronger private sector relationships to facilitate the trade.

According to figures provided by the Bangladeshi high commission, about 40 million tonnes of the country's predicted demand in 2025 will be for thermal coal while 5 million will be coking coal, used in steel production.

Bangladesh currently sources the bulk of its coal from Indonesia, South Africa and India but Australia is seen as a supplier of a high-quality, efficient product.

The Bangladeshi market could present a valuable opportunity for the coal industry as exports to China falter. The Chinese government has been subjecting Australian coal to tighter import restrictions, with some analysts fearing political tensions between Beijing and Canberra are to blame.

Australia's coal exports were worth almost $70 billion in 2018-19, with Japan, China and South Korea the major destinations.



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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