Friday, October 31, 2014

British forecaster Piers Corbyn denounces MetOffice New computer as 'getting the wrong answers more quickly'

"The New Met Office computer, that has cost the taxpayer £97 million, will just give the wrong answers quicker!", he said.

"The fact is that Standard Meteorology has reached its limits and no amount of extra computing power of a hundred million pounds, a billion or a trillion can overcome its limitations. The rule is Rubbish in Rubbish out.

"Their claim that this shameful theft from the public purse will help them make better long range forecasts is self-serving delusional nonsense and the MPs that fell-for this con must be removed from Office. The MetOffice model that past weather (and sea states) is the main cause of future weather is why they will continue to fail beyond 5 days or a week or so ahead.

They do not understand or want to understand that EXTERNAL predictable aspects of solar activity drive changes in the jet stream, extreme weather and real changes in real climate rather than a computer game climate. To admit that proven scientific fact - witness WeatherAction long range forecasts' proven skill and MetOffice negative skill - requires the surrender of their religious EU driven mission to propagate the delusion of man-made CO2 Climate Change. This they will never do.

"The Met Office charlatans prefer the public to continue to suffer misleading forecasts rather than accept scientific advance. Their absurd CO2 warmist forecasts for BBQ summers of 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012 had floods instead - as correctly forecast by WeatherAction. Their mild winter forecasts of 2009-10 and 2010-11 were follwed by bitter cold and snow - as correctly predicted by WeatherAction months ahead. Furthermore as WeatherAction warned the MetOffice underestimated our storm of Oct 28th 2013 which we predicted 23 weeks ahead, and again as we warned would be the case they underesimated the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo this year which struck Britain & Ireland.

"A look at their new '7day' forecasts on BBC makes it clear they do not know what they are doing. For 7 days ahead they often just present a picture of a possible jet stream pattern (the changes of which they admit they cannot predict in long range or understand in term of CO2) which means almost nothing to the public and is even to the trained eye very open to interpretation. This is not Forecasting it is Wafflecasting. The money would be better spent on the NHS or keeping coalition politicians promises on student fees.

"Far from their forecasts helping the economy the misleading guidance of these charlatans has already cost the economy billions and will do so even more - that is if politicians stupid enough to pay them both vast sums of taxpayers money and excessive attention are not removed from office across the board".


New paper finds no significant 20th century warming for New Zealand

A research paper on the homogenisation of the temperature record in New Zealand, reducing the current official warming rate of 0.9°C per century to 0.3°C per century, has just been published in the international scientific journal Environmental Modeling & Assessment.

The paper addresses the values of the data adjustments required during 100 years of the Seven Station Series, which is recognised as being representative of New Zealand as a whole. It also considers corrections to station data contaminated by vegetation growth, urbanisation and other factors.

The New Zealand historical temperature trend has not been addressed in the scientific literature since the first Seven Station Series was published by M.J. Salinger in 1980. At about the same time, a paper by J.W.D. Hessell called into question the quality of the New Zealand historical weather data used in the series.

The new paper builds on both viewpoints by applying modern techniques to correct sub-optimal raw data and to recalculate the 1980 adjustments. The method used for recalculations was that described in the leading New Zealand paper by Rhoades & Salinger (1993).

Lead author Chris de Freitas commented: “Regional and national temperature trends are widely used for a large number of societal design and planning purposes and it is important that they should be as reliable as modern methods allow.”

He added: “New Zealand provides one of the longest continuous climate series in the Pacific Ocean as well as one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. This means our trends are of ongoing interest to a wide audience of scientists.”

The paper finds that New Zealand warmed over the 20th century by 0.3°C, which, allowing for accepted margins of error, means that there has been no significant warming.



A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand

by C.R. de Freitas et al.


Detecting trends in climate is important in assessments of global change based on regional long-term data. Equally important is the reliability of the results that are widely used as a major input for a large number of societal design and planning purposes. New Zealand provides a rare long temperature time series in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the longest continuous climate series available in the Southern Hemisphere Pacific. It is therefore important that this temperature dataset meets the highest quality control standards. New Zealand’s national record for the period 1909 to 2009 is analysed and the data homogenized. Current New Zealand century-long climatology based on 1981 methods produces a trend of 0.91 °C per century. Our analysis, which uses updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data, produces a trend of 0.28 °C per century.


The Scientific Evidence on global warming

What is the evidence that sea level is rising, that wildfires, drought, and episodes of very high temperatures are increasing, and what is the evidence that such changes are our fault? Let’s take them one by one.

As is well-known, we are blamed for causing a global warming mainly because our burning of fossil fuels is increasing the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. Since this is a greenhouse gas, we must be warming the climate.

Yes, carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that gets so much attention, has increased greatly and rapidly, from 280 parts per million to 400, and as this graph shows, it is continuing that rapid rise.

Has Earth been warming?

Climate has always changed and is always changing. The last Ice Age, which covered places like what is now New York City with ice two miles deep, ended between 17,000 and 12,500 years ago, with overall but highly variable warming since then. Among the variations during the last thousand or so years, there was a warming period lasting approximately 300 years, from A.D. 950 to 1250, known as the Medieval Warm Period (warming compared to what climatologists today call “normal,” taken in general by today’s climatologists to mean the average surface temperature during the past century between 1960-1980 or between 1960–1990). This is the time when Vikings settled Greenland and reached North America, and when in the southern Pacific the Polynesians did a lot of their expansion among far-flung Pacific islands.

The Medieval Warming was followed by the “Little Ice Age,” which lasted from approximately mid-1400 to 1700 A.D and somewhat later. Crop failures occurred in western Europe, and some mountain glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced to the extent that they filled valleys and destroyed villages. Areas to the north that had enjoyed abundant crop production were under ice. This was the time when the human population was devastated by the Black Plague, whose effects may have been exacerbated by poor nutrition as a result of crop failures, and by the damp and cold that reached out across Europe and even to Iceland by about 1400. It was also the time of the early European settlement of the United States. As I have written elsewhere, when the Pilgrims said it was a cold winter, it was a very cold winter.

A warming trend started in the mid-nineteenth century. This was interrupted from about 1940 to 1960 by a cooling, and then the temperature rose until about 20 years ago. An important scientific paper published September 1 this year states that Earth's surface temperature has not changed for the past 19 years, and 16-26 years for the lower atmosphere. That's the conclusion of University of Guelph statistician and Professor of Economics Ross R. McKitrick, who used a novel kind of statistical analysis. He points out that this lack of warming is of "particular note because climate models project continuing warming over the period. Since 1990, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose from 354 ppm to just under 400 ppm, a 13% increase."

Carbon dioxide is definitely continuing to increase in the atmosphere, but Earth's surface and atmospheric temperatures aren't tracking it. Even though our activities are adding carbon dioxide rapidly to the atmosphere, it seems to be having no effect right now on Earth’s average surface and lower atmosphere temperature.

However, the UCS report blithely comments, “Climate models show that if our emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases remain high, Bakersfield could have almost 50 days of extreme heat, with temperatures reaching 104°F or more, by 2050—up from four days a year on average between 1961 and 1990.”

But if the temperature has not changed in 19 to 26 years, then how much credence can we give to this assertion? We must ask whether the climate models have been accurate predictors of recent climate change.

John Christy, the climatologist who is said to be the primary person responsible for the development of satellites that measure Earth’s temperature, compared the combined forecasts of major global climate models with observed temperature change since 1980. As you can see in his graph, there is no correspondence. The climate models do not even come close to forecasting actual temperature change; they forecast a huge, steady increase. In contrast, as you can see in the graph, the temperature has varied a little, as it always does, but as the new paper that I mentioned earlier asserts, it has not changed.

John Christy’s Comparison of Global Warming Model Forecasts

Actual Temperature Change since 1980 (Courtesy of John Christy, Alabama State Climatologist)

Thus the climate models cannot be considered reliable bases for forecasting the future. Indeed, other experts on model validation say that the climate models have never been sufficiently validated in any other ways as well, and therefore are not an accurate representation of the real world we live in. Conclusion: our addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not appear to be increasing Earth’s temperature.

Whatever is happening to Earth’s climate does not seem to be our fault.


Electricity Prices Soaring In Top Wind Power States

Electricity prices are soaring in states generating the most wind power, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Although U.S. electricity prices rose less than 3 percent from 2008-2013, the 10 states with the highest percentage of wind power generation experienced average electricity price increases of more than 20 percent.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the 10 states in which wind power accounts for the highest percentage of the state’s electricity generation are:

Iowa – 27%

South Dakota – 26

Kansas – 19

Idaho – 16

Minnesota – 16

North Dakota – 16

Oklahoma – 15

Colorado – 14

Oregon – 12

Wyoming – 8

The wind power industry claims switching from conventional power to wind power will save consumers money and spur the economy. However, data from the top 10 wind power states show just the opposite. From 2008-2013 electricity prices rose an average of 20.7 percent in the top 10 wind power states, which is seven-fold higher than the national electricity price increase of merely 2.8 percent.

The 2008-2013 price increases in the top 10 wind power states were:

Iowa – 16%

South Dakota – 25

Kansas – 26

Idaho – 34

Minnesota – 22

North Dakota – 23

Oklahoma – -2

Colorado – 14

Oregon – 16

Wyoming – 33

With the sole exception of Oklahoma, every one of the top 10 wind power states saw its electricity prices rise at least 14 percent. For each of these states, electricity prices rose at least five times faster than the national average.

The electricity price increases in states producing the most wind power don’t tell the whole story. Federal and state taxpayer subsidies to wind power producers hide additional costs of wind power. The federal wind power Production Tax Credit (PTC), for example, gave wind power producers 2.3 cents for every kilowatt hour of wind power production last year. With U.S. retail electricity prices at 10.08 cents per kilowatt hour, the PTC allowed wind power producers to hide over 20 percent of wind power costs. This allowed the wind power industry to charge the American people still more money in backdoor tax bills, in addition to the higher retail electricity prices documented above.

Higher electricity prices in states producing the most wind power are taking a devastating toll on disposable incomes and the overall economy.

In Colorado, for example, electricity consumers spent $5.3 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Colorado electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Colorado electricity consumers would have spent only $4.8 billion on electricity. That’s $500 million in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Colorado’s 2 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $250 from the average Colorado household in 2013.

In Minnesota, electricity consumers spent $6.4 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Minnesota electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Minnesota electricity consumers would have spent only $5.4 billion on electricity. That’s $1 billion in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Minnesota’s 2.1 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $476 from the average Minnesota household in 2013.

In Kansas, electricity consumers spent $3.8 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Kansas electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Kansas electricity consumers would have spent only $3.1 billion on electricity. That’s $700 million in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Kansas’ 1.1 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $636 from the average Kansas household in 2013.

The wind power industry’s fallback position is wind power benefits state economies, despite rapidly rising electricity costs, because the switch from conventional power to wind power generates jobs within the wind power industry. This argument, however, amounts to nothing more than a misleading head-fake. Shifting electricity production from conventional power to wind power does not create any net new jobs – it merely shifts jobs from one sector (conventional power) to another sector (wind power). Jobs created in the wind power industry come at the price of eliminating jobs in the conventional power industry.


A new Dutch disease

 According to a number of renowned scientists the fairytale of wind energy will be an onslaught on the buying power of every Dutchman. They're thinking of at least 500 euro per household per year. "This is the greatest waste of community money ever,"  says Pieter Lukkes, Emeritus Professor Economic Geography.

Udo and Lukkes are speaking on behalf of scientists like Kees de Groot, ex-director of the Shell Laboratory Rijswijk, physicist Kees Lepair, economist Hans Labohm, energy researcher Theo Wolters and the Emeritus Professors Frans Sluijter and Ad Verkooijen.

The CPB [Central Planning Bureau] last week announced that the billions to be spent on the Energy Deal will hardly be beneficial for the environment, due to the trade in CO2 rights. Should the emissions of CO2 drops in The Netherlands, then, for instance, Poland (cheaply) buys those CO2 rights and lets its coal-fired power stations there run at full speed.

In Germany, for years the front-runner and light-bearer for the green energy industry, there has been no environmental benefit worth mentioning. Despite the tens of billions [of euros] invested in green electricity, the emissions of CO2 have increased in the past years due to clean nuclear power generators being replaced by wind farms that, during periods of no wind, have necessitated back-up from dirty fossil fuel powered generators. Brown-coal power generators are turning at full speed again. Last year in fact the energy output from those heavily polluting generators was back to 1990 levels.

Prominent German scientists have had enough. This Spring they pleaded for a halt to the billions-usurping "Energewende" [energy-switch], the switch-over from fossil-fuel-powered electricity to wind and solar energy. Costs are rising out of control and deliver hardly any technical innovations or environmental benefits, in the opinion of the commission that was formed by the Chancellor Angela Merkel herself.

The Chancellor did not flinch however. Instead of embracing the report she heavily criticised her own research commission. Just like [Dutch] Minister Kamp (Economic Affairs) did last week with the publication of the barely-positive CPB report.


"Since the turn of the century, under the direction of environmental groups, an enormous publicity campaign has been presented to give the impression that the world will be better off with green energy. Since then politicians are no longer persuaded by any argument to stop it", says Emeritus Professor Lukkes.

In the meantime the Germans are complaining bitterly. Last year they paid 20.2 billion euro for green energy, while that energy was only worth 2 billion on the energy market. German businesses like BASF, Daimler and BMW are already investing more in the USA than in Germany because the energy costs there are half compared to their own country.

It won't come to that in The Netherlands. The many billions in subsidies are collected from the public and middle and small businesses. Big companies do not have to pay that tax.

The Cabinet, in negotiating the Energy Deal with employers, employees and environmental organisations, agreed that by 2023 sixteen percent of Dutch energy must be sustainable. To reach that goal, gigantic wind turbine parks must be built.

Turbines at sea will have to deliver 4,450 megawatt (MW), currently 1,000 MW. On shore turbines must deliver 6,000 MW, currently 2,700. That means an extra 1,150 wind turbines on land. Before the end of the year provinces must indicate where they will be installed. Affected communities often protest strongly against the impact on their local environment.

"Wind energy can only succeed if it is heavily subsidised", says Lukkes. "The subsidy is a perverse stimulant. A kilowatt-hour on the market costs about 5 eurocent. But Kamp guarantees the wind turbine parks a price of about 17 eurocents. The difference, 12 eurocents, is paid for by the taxpayer.

The subsidy stream starts when the turbines are turning. According to the sector, that is already from 2019. But the scientists are not so sure. The sea wind park Barth1, the German show model, is already a year behind schedule due to unforeseen and complex technical problems related to bringing the energy ashore.

Minister Kamp maintains that, by hook or by crook, the expenditure will not exceed 18 billion [euro] of taxpayers money. And that will only happen if costs decrease by 40 percent, says the minister.

"That 40 percent reduction Kamp easily achieves on paper. The minister has removed the connection of the wind parks to the power network in order to achieve the budget. Power network manager TenneT now has to provide the "plug socket" at sea. That means a difference of 20 percent in the cost price. TenneT is of course going to recoup this from the customer. The minister gets a bargain, but not the customer", says physicist Fred Udo.

Eastern neighbours

Kamp is banking on a higher energy price in 2017 and thus with a lower subsidy. Because he will supplement the market price up to 17 [euro] cent per kilowatt hour. The scientists do not believe in a price increase. This is partly due to the nature of wind energy. Electricity can not be stored in bulk. If the wind blows here, than it blows everywhere, including by our eastern neighbours. In the near future, due to the large number of wind turbines, there will often be an electricity surplus. Already now the Germans regularly have a surplus of wind energy which they deliver to us for next to nothing. The energy profits of the wind parks will thus remain low, according to the scientists. This makes them think that the actual subsidy for sea-based wind turbine parks will not be 18 billion but 30 billion.


Australia: Minor party backs Green rollback

And the Greenies are fuming-- See below.  But they are right about "Direct Action".  It won't do anything to the climate -- but nor would Greenie schemes.  And it's a lot cheaper

The Abbott government has secured the likely passage of its Direct Action carbon policy through the Senate.

The news comes as a result of an agreement reached yesterday between Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer, for the PUP to support the bill with minor amendments.

Once again, after tough talk and media stunts, Palmer has rolled over in the back rooms and done a deal in his own best interests. As the owner of several large coal and iron ore mines, Palmer has an obvious vested interest in ensuring a taxpayer-funded compensation plan for big polluters.

As we've argued many times, Direct Action is a fraudulent policy that can’t possibly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to our target of a 5 per cent reduction by 2020.

What it will do is pay the biggest polluters in the country a total of $2.55 billion over the next six years. All for doing what everyone (except the most ardent climate denialists) agrees they must, if the world is to escape devastating warming: lower their fossil fuel pollution.

The government claims the policy will spend $2.55 billion in reverse auctions to those firms that can promise the biggest reductions. This will be great for the bank balances of big polluters, but won’t do much to reduce Australia’s overall emissions.

You can get an idea of just how little the government cares by reference to Hunt’s plans for those polluters who take advantage of the scheme to rapidly ramp up their emissions. He has no plans to punish rogue polluters.

Hunt just expects everyone to play by the rules. After all, fining polluters for releasing greenhouse gases would look awfully like … a carbon tax. “Our intention is no, our budgeting is no, and that's because we think the firms will operate within it," Mr Hunt told Sky News on Thursday.

No credible analyst believes Direct Action can achieve anything like the 5 per cent emissions reduction target we have signed up to. According to respected analysts RepuTex, Direct Action may be able to reduce emissions by 80 to 130 million tonnes at best. “This is equivalent to a shortfall of over 300 million tonnes for Australia to meet its 5 per cent emissions reduction target of 421 million tonnes by 2020,” RepuTex’s Hugh Grossman told The Australian.

Clive Palmer is lying too. He put out a press release yesterday that read “Palmer Saves Emissions Trading Scheme”. Even in the reality-challenged worldview of Palmerama, this is a pretty impressive confection. Australia doesn’t actually have an emissions trading scheme to save: Palmer voted with the government to abolish it.

Palmer is probably talking about his pet scheme for a “zero dollar” emissions trading scheme that would have a carbon price of zero until Australia’s major trading partners introduce their own schemes (presumably Europe is not a major trading partner). He secured a token concession from Hunt on this point, allowing the Climate Change Authority to research the zero-price ETS and report back.

But Hunt is frank about the government’s attitude to such a proposal. “We have agreed to a review but our policy is crystal clear, we abolished the [carbon] tax and we're not bringing it back," Mr Hunt told the ABC this morning.

Palmer is also trumpeting his success in saving certain climate agencies and initiatives like the Climate Change Authority and the Australian Renewable Energy Authority, both of which the government wants to abolish.

It’s not much of a success. The last federal policy that is achieving any emissions reductions of note, the Renewable Energy Target, is hanging in the balance. Palmer has pledged to vote to keep the RET.

On the other hand, he also pledged to vote against Direct Action, which he is now voting for. On recent form, anything Clive Palmer rules out one week is a good chance to receive his support the next.



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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