Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Putting a Cap on Heat Hysteria

Joe Bastardi
It’s summer, it’s hot, and the climate-change agenda is turning up the heat on the weaponization of weather. So I thought some perspective may be in order.

No question the last three Julys have been warmer than average for a large area of the nation. But for perspective, the three Julys before that were quite cool in the U.S.

The 2015-16 Super El Niño, with its input of massive amounts of water vapor, changed all that. How can we tell it’s water vapor and not CO2? Because nighttime lows (mins) are beating out daytime highs (maxes) in relation to averages. The moisture in the air when the air is stable at night effectively keeps temperatures up (as do Urban Heat Islands).

However, because there is not enough corresponding warming aloft, more clouds form during the day from convective processes as it heats up, leading to more rain and holding maxes down. There is a perfectly natural explanation for why it’s become so wet.

The average for maxes is not as strong for most. West Texas is quite dry, so it’s the exception to the rule. The drier it is, the hotter it can get during the day. But in the area where dew points are higher relative to the rest of the country, you can see the difference (the Southeast, for instance).

Now contrast this with three great heatwave years: 1934,1936, and 1966. Look at the maxes. Now look at the mins:

The maxes are much higher. Remember, “hot” is not 75°F instead of 70°F for a nighttime low. Even mins in the 80s don’t carry the same weight. Hot is when it is 106°F, like it was in July 1936 in New York City. So how did New York City reach 106°F then, but with this current super heatwave, it’s highly unlikely to occur again, despite there being even more widespread urbanization than we had in 1936?

One could say it’s a matter of semantics. But then why do some people use the term “hot” instead of “warm”? Besides, temperature is not a measure of feeling; it’s a metric that is based on heat. Here is the definition of it from

Heat is a form of energy — specifically, the energy that flows between two bodies because of differences in temperature. Therefore, the scientific definition of heat is different from, and more precise than, the everyday meaning. Physicists working in the area of thermodynamics study heat from a number of perspectives, including specific heat, or the amount of energy required to change the temperature of a substance, and calorimetry, the measurement of changes in heat as a result of physical or chemical changes. Thermodynamics helps us to understand such phenomena as the operation of engines and the gradual breakdown of complexity in physical systems — a phenomenon known as entropy.

It’s a form of energy. So to make temperatures higher takes even more energy. If there’s something capping that, it will show up in maxes, not mins.

The fact is, maxes are not going up, but mins are. So the mean is higher. But calling something like the month of June “hot” is absurd, because the planet’s average temperature was low enough that we would all be wearing sweaters. But again, those are feelings. What higher mins mean is that there is more energy available, but it becomes self-limiting at higher temperatures.

So where would water-vapor increases affect temperatures most visibly? We get more water vapor into the air via the oceans, since they have 99.9% of the heat capacity of the system. The increase in moisture, brought about by years of warm water surrounding the U.S. and the input of massive amounts of water vapor into the air by the Super El Niño, simply does not disappear. Remember, an extra gram of water vapor has little impact where it’s normally warm, but it does have an impact where it’s colder. It’s intuitive. What happens when you breathe out on a cold morning when the temperature is near the dew point? That’s not CO2 you see with each breath.

Of course, if I wanted to use the mentality of the people pushing the heat narrative, I could say, “Hey, you have your point if you say it’s warmer, especially at night. But is CO2 not also holding temperatures down during the day?”

If I was a propagandist, I would say CO2 is limiting how hot it can get.

We know that’s not the case, but I am saying that kind of mentality is being used. And yet we can see that what we’re observing is natural.

The “hottest year” missive is a grossly oversimplified distortion of what has perfectly natural causes and can be seen simply by looking at the details of temperatures. The daytime highs of recent Julys can’t hold a candle to what happened in the years shown above.

SOURCE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

We Finally Know Why Florida's Coral Reefs Are Dying, and It's Not Just Climate Change

Since they admit that there has been no change in ocean temperature in the area, it's not climate change at all

Climate change is killing the world's coral reefs. But it's not the only factor turning them into white, dead husks. According to a new study, all the chemicals humans are dumping into the ocean are making it easier for the hotter weather to do its deadly work.

The research paper, published online Monday (July 15) in the journal Marine Biology, is based on data collected over three decades from the Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area in the Florida Keys. Coral coverage declined from 33% in 1984 to just 6% in 2008 in that sanctuary. Even as temperatures have trended upward globally, average local temperatures didn't change much during the study period. This allowed researchers to disentangle a number of different problems sickening (or "bleaching") the reef.

First, the researchers found, bleaching events — due to the loss of algae called zooxanthellae that give coral their color — did tend to occur once water temperatures had spiked above a threshold of 86.9 degrees Fahrenheit (30.5 degrees Celsius). Such a spike occurred 15 times in the period covered in the study (between 1984 and 2014)

Second, and significantly, the ratio of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water turned out to be a key factor in determining when and to what extent coral bleached. When Florida rains caused agricultural fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorous to run off into the ocean, coral death was more common. Those increased nutrients in the water caused algae blooms, which in turn seemed to predict mass coral deaths. Nitrogen, in particular, turned out to be the most important factor related to mass coral bleaching.

This study didn't examine the mechanism by which nitogren leads to bleaching, said Brian Lapointe, lead author of the paper and a researcher at the Harbor Branch of Florida Atlantic University. But other research by scientists studying the Great Barrier Reef has shown why and how it happens, he told Live Science.

As the nitrogen-phosphorous balance in the ocean gets out of whack, certain membranes in the coral start to break down. The coral can't get enough phosphorous, he said, leading to "phosphorous limitation and eventual starvation."

"It degrades the ability of these organisms to survive high light and high temperatures," Lapointe said. "It actually reduces their light and temperature thresholds."

A great deal of the effect of these added nutrients could be mitigated by improved water-treatment plants, the researchers noted. Most of the nitrogen in runoff doesn't pour right off the land into the sea during rainstorms, but instead passes through water-treatment plants that fail to remove the chemical.

In Dutch-controlled regions of the Caribbean, the researchers noted in a statement, improved sewage-treatment plants do pull nitrogen out of the water. And in those places, coral reefs are faring better than they are off the coast of Florida, the scientists pointed out.

Coral isn't just a necessary foundation of thriving marine ecosystems, the researchers said in their statement. Reefs also directly contribute $8.5 billion each year and 70,400 jobs to the Florida economy, according to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

"Citing climate change as the exclusive cause of coral reef demise worldwide misses the critical point that water quality plays a role, too," James Porter, an emeritus professor of ecology at the University of Georgia and a co-author of the paper, said in the statement. "While there is little that communities living near coral reefs can do to stop global warming, there is a lot they can do to reduce nitrogen runoff. Our study shows that the fight to preserve coral reefs requires local, not just global, action."


A Democratic Professor Explains What His Party Gets Wrong about Climate

By Caleb Rossiter

As the Republican-called witness at a recent hearing, I was denounced by the Democrats for denying a fossil-fueled "climate crisis" that, as their witnesses testified, results in violence against women, asthma and obesity in children, and deadly storms. But few actually questioned me. After all, "the debate is over."

So instead, the latest belle of my party's ball, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left the dais to urge protestors outside to drown me out. She'd previously written Google and Facebook, asking them to block me and the CO2 Coalition of 50 unalarmed scientists I direct from speaking at conferences they sponsor.

At the hearing, I presented data from the United Nations contradicting the accepted wisdom that extreme weather is destroying the planet and is traceable directly to a man-made climate crisis. There are no such trends in rates of sea-level rise, hurricanes, floods, or droughts. One Democrat who stuck around to actually question me simply asserted that our coalition is funded by energy companies. I wish! Another wanted to know, "Do you believe in climate change or not?" When I asked him to define it, he cut me off with: "That answers it all...That gives us a hint where you're coming from."

Indeed it does. Where I'm coming from is academia, where defining the scientific terms we discuss is elemental.

The whole affair shows just how much has changed. A decade ago I'd been the one pummeling a Republican-called witness, a little-known pollster named Kellyanne Conway, in my role as counsel to a Democratic committee chairman. And the last time I'd been a witness, as director of a foreign policy group in 1994, I'd been called in by Democrats who were backing our "no arms to dictators" bill. But now I am a heretic for using scientific facts to dispute exaggerated talking points.

The reformed slave's hymn "Amazing Grace" talks about the hour he first believed. My downfall came from the hour I first didn't believe. It was in 2003, when I was teaching at American University and a student had written a term paper accepting these claims from a 2001 U.N. report: the recent four-tenths of a degree increase in global temperature was caused by carbon dioxide emissions; this rate and level of warming were unprecedented for 1,000 years; and carbon dioxide emissions would drive temperatures up six degrees by the year 2100.

As a good Democrat who knew nothing about global warming except that Vice President Al Gore said it was dangerous and driven by the use of fossil fuels, I was predisposed to believe all this. But rather than assess the quality of the report's evidence for its claims, my student had simply accepted the claims because of the credibility of U.N. scientists. "That settles it," she wrote. I scrawled a big red "F" across her paper and wrote, "No, that begins it." The first rule, indeed the purpose, of statistics is not to "appeal to authority" but to force any authority to prove claims like everybody else. I began to read the report, so I could grade her paper when she resubmitted it.

In the U.N.'s summary, I found a temperature chart from 1860 to 2000 based on thermometer readings, mostly from developed countries. Since so little of the earth's land and virtually none of its oceans had been comparably measured, the data were woefully incomplete, making it difficult to draw large-scale conclusions. Only since 1980 was there a reliable estimate, based on radiation readings from satellites. When the differences across time are smaller than the uncertainties and errors, as in this case, there is no justification for claiming "trends."

I could see the recent increase, from 1980 to 2000, but there was also a slightly larger increase from 1910 to 1945, with flat periods before and after. Another chart showed carbon dioxide's share of the atmosphere slowly increasing from 1860 to 1945 and then surging at four times that rate.

The U.N. report said that the first warming was mostly natural but the second was mostly from CO2. The picture was now pretty complicated. During periods of low carbon dioxide, we saw both strong temperature growth and no temperature growth. The same was true for periods of high CO2. This is, of course, not proof of a low correlation or a lack of causation. Life is not bivariate. Other variables and feedback can affect temperature as well. My students had learned to remove the effect of other variables statistically, using a computer modeling technique called multiple regression, so the true level of correlation can surface. If it's strong and the hypothesized cause precedes the effect in time, and you can't think of any other causal variables that should be removed, then you have a case for causation.

It turned out that computer models were indeed the basis for the U.N. claims about recent "detection" of a change in temperature, and "attribution" of the cause being CO2 emissions. But they weren't testable statistical models; they were mathematical exercises in curve-fitting - essentially, finding a model that fits your data. The modelers themselves called them projections rather than predictions.

These Global Climate Models randomly use thousands of input guesses until their output roughly tracks the chart of average temperatures. Then those final guesses are used to run the model forward to estimate how much warming industrial CO2 will cause in 100 years. But one of the input guesses is the warming effect of CO2, so the modelers control the final answer from the start!

The "proof" cited by the U.N. study was that the fit improved when CO2 emissions are included in the model along with a few well-known natural events, such as solar changes and volcanoes. I laughed out loud when I saw that. I could create a great fit with temperature for any series, from batting averages to the stock market, if I too could fiddle with thousands of parameters. The father of these models was Cold War military theorist John von Neumann, who wanted to see if we could cause drought in the Soviet Union. He failed, thank goodness. Von Neumann joked, "with four parameters I can draw an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk."

MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, a member of our coalition who was a U.S.-appointed representative on the U.N. panel but left when it became a propaganda tool, has called the U.N. logic "proof by lassitude." By this he means that just because you can't identify the combination of interactions and feedback that drives temperature doesn't mean there isn't one. Lindzen has pointed out that the modelers themselves build in feedback when it suits them. A full two-thirds of the modeled warming comes from a hypothesized response by the atmosphere to an initial warming from CO2.

The claim of a thousand-year high came from a temperature chart called "the hockey stick," generated by a backward-looking model that took a "new statistical approach" to the records of the widths of the rings of old trees. This one was pretty much all art and no science. The data conveniently wiped out a previous consensus that there had been a natural "medieval warming period" that exceeded today's temperature. The resulting graph was flat until the carbon dioxide era and then shot up by grafting on different data (though not the raw tree ring proxies, which actually went down).

On its face it was silly, and on careful reading it became even sillier. But what the U.N. and my student hadn't recognized was that even if true, the chart was irrelevant to whether our recent warming is mostly human or natural. Every 100,000 years, oscillations in the earth's orbit drive temperatures up and then down far more than the recent fluctuation.

The processes and feedback are poorly understood. A brief stable period within this massive, complex system that ends in correlation with a change in a single variable, carbon dioxide, is no more proof of causation that a strongly oscillating period ending with the same correlation.

When I asked my coalition's physicists, agronomists, geologists, and meteorologists to write about the hour they first didn't believe, it turned out they didn't have one. They always knew that CO2 was a minor warming gas, and never found the models' focus on it compelling. The last 30 years have not been kind to the models. The exaggerated media claims about their projections of warming and its catastrophic effects keep getting extended rather than realized.

Someday the climate science narrative will return to a place of reason. When it does, I'll be waiting there for my Democratic Party.


British school pushing ‘extinction rebellion’ propaganda to 7-year-olds

Voters in Kent will be pleased to discover that their hard-earned taxes have been going on promoting extremist group Extinction Rebellion to children as young as 7. Here’s Ramsgate Arts Primary School asking parents and teachers to take part in a “climate justice” printing session with their new art teacher, who will teach pupils how to decorate their clothes with slogans and symbols from a radical far-left doomsday cult hell-bent on the wholesale destruction of the global economy. Even the new eco-Gove would think twice before putting that in the National Curriculum…

“Our new art teacher Karen Vost will be printing Extinction Rebellion climate justice symbols and messages on clothes if you or your children would like to learn to print and learn more about climate change please pop along and meet Karen.”

An art teacher indoctrinating children into a radical cult making claims about human extinction too extreme for even climate scientists to support. All paid for by you…


Australian government could fund Peter Ridd’s fight against Greenie crooks at James Cook University

Quite aside from anything else the issue of legal costs is big  here.  JCU has already spent $630,00 on denying Dr Ridd justice and once they have to pay Ridd's legal costs that will rise to around one million.  And that is cheap compared to what a High Court appeal would cost.  But that is money that should have been used to fund research and teaching.  It is a fundamentally unjust use of taxpayer funds.  The government has a beef with JCU on those grounds alone.

And a High Court appeal would be sheer vindictiveness.  Once they have lost their case in a lower court, the prospect of a win in the High Court is dim.

The government should impose financial penalties if an appeal goes ahead.  It would be a misuse of funds that were allocated for research and teaching.  JCU will probably claim that the money comes out of administrative funds but if such funds were so flush the surplus could still have been diverted into a research grant, which would have been much more in keeping with the purposes of the university.

And what was Dr Ridd's offence, that has brought down so much rage on his head?  He made a cautious and scholarly comment about the validity of some measurements made by his colleagues.  The normal response to such an observation would be to go back and check the validity concerned.  That such a normal scholarly procedure was not folowed suggests that the measurements really were invalid and known to be invalid, implying that the damage to the Great Barrier Reef was  being exaggerated

In my own research career I was very careful about the validity of my measurements and reported it if a measure did not survive a validity check (e.g. here).  That's light years away from the practices at JCU so I congratulate Peter Ridd for raising the issue there

Attorney-General Christian Porter has told Coalition MPs that the Commonwealth could assist in supporting costs for sacked academic Peter Ridd to help him in his legal fight against James Cook University.

The Australian has been informed by multiple sources that Mr Porter left the door open for the Commonwealth to play a role in supporting Dr Ridd in today’s joint party room meeting and identified a scheme which could be used to assist the academic.

The internal discussion in the party room comes as JCU moves to appeal a Federal Court finding that the university’s sacking of the physics professor was unlawful, with several Coalition MPs voicing their concerns in today’s joint party room meeting at the appeal.

Sources told The Australian that Education Minister Dan Tehan told the joint party room meeting that he was concerned by the decision of JCU to appeal the April decision by judge Salvatore Vasta.

Dr Ridd is seeking financial compensation after he was sacked by JCU for publicly criticising the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the impact of global warming on the Great Barrier Reef.

Liberal MPs told The Australian that Mr Tehan said that he planned to meet with the JCU Vice Chancellor to raise his concerns directly and that Mr Porter viewed the appeal as significant and argued that it had the potential to change the landscape of academic freedom in a fundamental way.

In the party room meeting, Victorian Senator James Paterson asked Mr Porter whether the Commonwealth could do anything to contribute to Dr Ridd’s costs for the appeal, with the Attorney-General giving a loose commitment to see whether there was scope for the federal government to play a role.

This was confirmed by multiple Liberal MPs in the meeting. The Australian has contacted Mr Porter’s office for comment.

The Australian was also told that several Coalition MPs spoke to the issue including Sydney based MP Craig Kelly who initiated the discussion by saying he was concerned at how much money JCU would spend on the appeal.

The Australian has also been informed that George Christensen also said that, while JCU was important to his electorate of Dawson, he was increasingly concerned at the developments in relation to Dr Ridd.

Liberal sources said that North Queensland MP Warren Entsch raised concerns about the impact of the legal dispute on tourism and attitudes towards the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian was also informed that new Queensland Senator Paul Scarr also criticised the JCU press release on the judgment, describing it as outrageous.

In April, Justice Vasta ruled JCU had erred in its interpretation of a clause in its enterprise agreement and deprived Dr Ridd of his right to express his academic opinion. Within hours of the judgment being released in April, JCU published a statement on its website criticising the ruling.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General told The Australian that Mr Porter had undertaken “to get a brief from his department on whether these are matters relevant to the Commonwealth Public Interest and Test Cases Scheme.”

The spokesman said that this scheme provided “financial assistance for cases of public importance, that settle an uncertain area or question of Commonwealth law, or that resolve a question of Commonwealth law that affects the rights of a disadvantaged section of the public.”

“It is notable that there has been no application to this Scheme in relation to this matter,” he said.



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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