Thursday, March 26, 2015

More stupid speculation and bad data from some arch-Warmists

The data behind the claim below is totally corrupt, almost hilariously so, (See here) but even if it were immaculate the inferences drawn below from it would still be very questionable

The North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is not well understood and attributing a change in it to global warming is pure speculation.  Rahmstorf is an oceanographer so he should be particularly ashamed at lending his name to this.  But, then again, he claims that observed average temperature differences of a few HUNDREDTHS of a degree mean something, even though they are not even statistically significant.

And attributing changes in such a vast body of water to a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius is on the face of it improbable anyhow

The Gulf Stream, the ocean current that brings mild weather to northern Europe and balmy conditions to the south east of the US, is slowing at its fastest rate in 1,000 years.

New research has revealed that the enormous currents that circulate warm and cold water around the Atlantic ocean has slowed by 15-20 per cent over the past century.

Scientists say that the increasing flow of fresh water from melting Greenland ice sheets may be driving the slowdown.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceans physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: 'It is conspicuous that one specific area in the North Atlantic has been cooling in the past hundred years while the rest of the world heats up.

'Now we have detected strong evidence that the global conveyor has indeed been weakening in the past hundred years, particularly since 1970.

The findings suggest that as global temperatures rise due to climate change, areas that are warmed by the Gulf Stream could see temperatures fall, particularly in the winter. [Warming causes cooling, once again]

The Gulf Stream is a powerful current that forms part of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

This is a system of currents that are driven by the rising and sinking of water in different regions of the Atlantic.

Warm water from the equator is driven north towards the Artic where it cools, increases in salinity and sinks to the ocean depths.

This drives deep sea currents that pump water back to the equator, where it is warmed, rising to the surface and feeding the currents towards the pole.

In the Arctic, cold salty water sinks to the ocean depths, driving deep sea currents down to the equator where warmer water then rises to the surface and feeds the Gulf Stream.

The influx of warm water from the equator, which travels up through the Gulf of Mexico, past Maine and then up the west side of Britain and Norway, helps to warm weather systems in Northern Europe.

It makes winter conditions in much of northern Europe far milder than they normally would be, keeping Britain and the west coast of Norway largely snow and ice free through the winter months.

The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the sea in the northern Atlantic is colder than predicted by computer models.  [What?  Another  model failure?]

They estimate that 8,000 cubic kilometres of fresh melt water haver flowed into the northern Atlantic from Greenland's icesheets between 1900 and 1970.

This fresh water is less dense than the salty water of the ocean and tends to float on the surface, disturbing the balance that causes cold water to sink in that region.

Usually freezing sea ice in the arctic causes the salinity of the ocean water to increase and so become more dense. Adding fresh water dilutes this effect.

Using recent sea surface and atmospheric temperature data, along with data from ice-cores, tree rings and sediments, they found that the changes in the ocean currents are unprecedented since the year 900AD.

However, the researchers also found that the cooling above the Northern Atlantic may also help to slightly reduce the effect of warming on the continents due to climate change.

They warn, however, that if the circulation weakens too much it could even break down completely. [How?]

Professor Jason Box, from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said it appeared man-made climate change was responsible for the slow down of the Gulf Stream and may worsen as global temperatures increase.

He said: 'The human-caused mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet appears to be slowing down the Atlantic overturning – and this effect might increase if temperatures are allowed to rise further.'


Why do Climate Denial and Racism go Hand in Hand?

Once again Warmists are abusing the messenger rather than discussing the facts. And they attempt to link only two individual climate skeptics to racism.  So even if all they say is true and relevant, they have no statistically sound basis for any generalization.  A sample of two is most unlikely to yield accurate generalizations. It would certainly fail a test of statistical significance.  Two swallows don't make a summer any more than one does.  So the post below is yet another example of the low intellectual level behind most Warmist writing

Famously climate denying Senator Ted Cruz announced for  President this week.

Above, see   Senator Cruz’s extravagant praise for one of the 20th century’s most prominent Southern racist segregationists, Jesse Helms. There’s a little well-documented history there for those too young to remember.

I’ve posted before on the link between racism and climate change denial, and I’ve noted that Senator Jim Inhofe is to climate denial as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights.  Both clung to outmoded and terribly destructive irrational prejudice, long beyond what reason would dictate. Even Thurmond softened his racial rhetoric in later years – while Inhofe has grown only more bombastic and shrill.

Here is yet another example, in Senator Cruz open admiration for Jesse Helms. Maybe there’s an answer to this in the way the denialist brain functions, that’s an area for further research.


Science Museums Urged to Cut Ties With Kochs

Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.

A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions....

....Chris Norris, a paleontologist and prominent blogger on museum issues, warned that if museums started removing board members or turning down donations, they risked damaging their reputations for objectivity. Doing so, he added, would enable “others to argue that the information they provide is partisan and not to be trusted.”


Fossil Fuel Divestment Activists Could Stand in the way of any Transition to Cleaner Energy

Nobody is likely to confuse tiny Brevard College in North Carolina, student population about 700, with the University of California system, with 233,000 students on 10 sprawling campuses. But they have at least one thing in common: Students and faculty members think they can help "save the planet" if their schools stop investing in companies that recover and process fossil fuels.

Faculty, students, and alumni from 17 schools, including Dartmouth, Georgetown, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania, have even created a donor-advised divestment fund to pressure their universities "to do the right thing and divest from fossil fuels." When a school complies, it will receive the donations and earnings given in its name.

Though the school is not a member of this "Fossil Free Divestment Fund," Brevard's trustees recently fell in line, voting to purge such stocks from the school's $25 million endowment.

While those promoting divestment on college campuses clearly believe in their cause, what they don't appear to understand is that divestment could actually slow America's transition to nonpolluting energy.

As Lisa Jackson, President Obama's first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, made clear in her July 2009 testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. action on climate change would have no impact on average global temperature if emissions in China, India, and the European Union continue to rise.

If the United States acting alone on climate change would have no practical impact, how much of an impact do you think the symbolic gesture of a few universities (or even a lot of universities) tinkering with their investment portfolios would have?

However, while divestment would have a negligible impact on climate change, it could have an impact on university earnings. That, in turn, could slow efforts to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, roughly $22 billion in university funds are invested in energy and natural-resource companies, about 5 percent of all university assets.

Harvard President Drew Faust, whose students staged a sit-in recently in support of divestment, observes that endowments are a "resource, not an instrument to impel social or political change."

Consider the University of California. In its wide-flung system, tens of thousands of students commute to class each day, so there's a practical side to the question as well. But there's also the matter of the reported $91 billion portfolio the chief investment officer manages, which helps fund academics, operations, pensions, research, and scholarships.

This is where divestment activists allow ideology to get in the way of practicality.

Universities already are on the cutting edge of technological advances that could help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Divestment would hinder those efforts.

Robert Stavins, a professor of business and government at Harvard's Kennedy School and a lead author in three rounds of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says, "The real contributions of great universities to the fight against climate change will be through our products: research, teaching, and outreach to policy-makers. That is how we have made a difference on other societal challenges, and it is how we will make a real difference on this one."

While the vote by Brevard College's trustees may make students feel good, what divestment on a large scale could do is reduce the amount of money universities have to finance serious environmental research.

A bad idea at the best of times, selling oil and gas stocks in today's world of fossil-fuel abundance is an even worse idea. Crude oil prices have fallen dramatically during the past year, and the share prices of U.S. oil companies have followed the market down. Buying "high" and selling "low" is never a wise investment strategy - not for individual investors, not for institutions, and not for colleges and universities.

Universities can help chart America's energy future. But they can do this best in the classroom and laboratory, not by dumping their energy investments - especially at a loss.


An Obama prophecy fulfilled:  Electricity Price Index Climbed to New Record in February

The prophecy

The seasonally adjusted electricity price index climbed to a new record of 213.009 in February, up from 212.290 in January and from 206.404 a year ago.

The average price for a KWH of electricity—at 13.8 cents—was also the highest it has ever been in the month of February.

Electricity prices have not always risen in the United States.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual electricity price index, which measures the price of electricity relative to a baseline of 100, was 45.5 in 1913. By 1947, it had dropped to 26.6. By 1974, it had risen to only 44.1—meaning electricity was relatively less expensive in 1974 than it had been in 1913.

Electricity Price Index-February

Generation of electricity peaked in the United States in 2007, when the nation produced 4,156,745 million KWH of electricity, according the Energy Department’s Monthly Energy Review.

So far, the Department of Energy has only reported the electricity generation numbers for the first eleven months of 2014 (through November). But in those eleven months, the nation produced 3,748,649 million KWH of electricity, which is less than the 3,812,783 million KWH produced in the first eleven months of 2007.

That means the U.S. produced 64,134 million KWH less electricity--or 1.68 percent less--in the first eleven months of 2014 than it did in the first eleven months of 2007. At the same, according to Census Bureau estimates, the population of the United States grew from 301,621,157 in July 2007 to 318,857,056 in July 2014.

There has been a particularly dramatic decline in amount of electricity produced by coal in the United States since 2007. In the first eleven months of that year, the U.S. produced 1,845,881 million KWH of electricity using coal, according to the Monthly Energy Review. In the first eleven months of 2014, it produced 1,463,297 million KWH of electricity using coal. That is a decline of 382,584 million KWHs or 20.7 percent.

Average Price of KWH by Month

Increased production of electricity using solar and wind sources has not made up for the decline in coal power. In the first eleven months of 2007, the U.S. produced 550 million KWH using solar and 17,811 million KWH using wind—for a combined total of 18,361 million KWH for solar and wind.

In the first eleven months of 2014 that had increased to 17,360 million KWH using solar and 167,044 million KWH using wind for a combined solar-wind total of 184,404 million KWH from solar and wind—an increase from 2007 of 166,043 million KWH in solar and wind power.

That made up for only 43.4 percent of the lost production from coal.

Through November, the 184,404 million KWH of electricity produced in the United States using solar and wind equaled only 4.9 percent of the 3,748,649 million KWH electricity produced in the country in the first eleven months of 2014.

Data released by the BLS today also showed that the average price for a kilowatt hour (KWH) of electricity was 13.8 cents in February. That is the same as the average price in January of this year, but the highest price ever recorded for a February.

The average price for a KWH of electricity tends to hit its annual peak in the summer, decline in fall, hit its low point in winter and rise in spring. In July through November of 2012, the average price for a KWH was less than it had been in July through November of 2011. But in 2013 and 2014, the average price for a KWH set a monthly record in every month of the year. January and February of 2015 have continued that trend—with the average price of a KWH setting monthly records.

Annual Electricity Price Index

In June, July and August of 2014, the average price of a KWH hit  an all-time record of 14.3 cents.

While electricity prices have been climbing to new records in the United States over the past two years, that has not been the case with other sources of energy. The price indexes for gasoline and fuel oil have declined dramatically over the past year—although they did increase from January to February.

“The energy index rose 1.0 percent in February, ending a series of seven consecutive declines,” said the BLS in its monthly summary of the Consumer Price Index. “The gasoline index turned up after a series of sharp declines, rising 2.4 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 5.3 percent in February.) The fuel oil index also increased after recent declines, rising 1.9 percent. The electricity index rose 0.3 percent in February after a 0.9-percent increase in January. The only major energy component index to fall in February was natural gas, which declined 2.0 percent following a 3.4-percent decrease the prior month. Despite the February increases, the gasoline and fuel oil indexes have declined sharply over the past year, falling 32.8 percent and 31.2 percent, respectively. The index for natural gas has also declined over the past year, falling 6.5 percent, but the electricity index has increased 3.2 percent.”

The overall seasonally adjusted price index went up only 0.2 percent in February. "Over the last 12 months," said the BLS, "the all items index was unchanged before seasonal adjustment."


Hypocrisy Alert: Obama Signs Executive Order To Lead On Climate Change

The week following the Obama’s taking two separate planes to Los Angeles, President Obama signed an executive order that will mandate the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels.

The President is committed to addressing the climate change threat – both by taking action here at home and showing leadership on the world stage. As part of his commitment to lead by example to curb the emissions that are driving climate change, today President Obama will issue an Executive Order that will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels — saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs — and increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent. Complementing this effort, several major Federal suppliers are announcing commitments to cut their own GHG emissions.

Today, the Administration is hosting a roundtable that will bring some of these large Federal suppliers together to discuss the benefits of their GHG reduction targets or to make their first-ever corporate commitments to disclose emissions and set new reduction goals.

Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions supports the climate change agreement he made with China where the president committed the U.S. to lower emissions between 26 to 28 percent below 2005 amounts by 2025.

The federal government will meet part of its emission reductions by using more clean energy and increasing the use of electric vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, Obama did not make any personal commitments to cut back on his family’s use of air travel to save the planet.



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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