Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Future climate predictions will be better!

The rather amusing article abstracted below admits that: "The large uncertainty associated with projections of future climate change is one of the barriers to political agreement on mitigation policy".  Hear, Hear!

Nice to have that admission of a large predictive failure from Warmists.  They then go on to say that future predictions will be better and that we will have made big progress with predicting 2040 temperatures by 2029 -- which seems delightfully modest.

So how do they arrive at that pearl of wisdom?  By fiddling around with models -- the very models which have repeatedly been shown to have no predictive skill.  Warmists really are a pathetic bunch

Predicting future uncertainty constraints on global warming projections

H. Shiogama et al.


Projections of global mean temperature changes (ΔT) in the future are associated with intrinsic uncertainties. Much climate policy discourse has been guided by “current knowledge” of the ΔTs uncertainty, ignoring the likely future reductions of the uncertainty, because a mechanism for predicting these reductions is lacking. By using simulations of Global Climate Models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 ensemble as pseudo past and future observations, we estimate how fast and in what way the uncertainties of ΔT can decline when the current observation network of surface air temperature is maintained. At least in the world of pseudo observations under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), we can drastically reduce more than 50% of the ΔTs uncertainty in the 2040 s by 2029, and more than 60% of the ΔTs uncertainty in the 2090 s by 2049. Under the highest forcing scenario of RCPs, we can predict the true timing of passing the 2 °C (3 °C) warming threshold 20 (30) years in advance with errors less than 10 years. These results demonstrate potential for sequential decision-making strategies to take advantage of future progress in understanding of anthropogenic climate change.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 18903 (2016). doi:10.1038/srep18903

Reducing Greenhouse Emissions Unlikely to Reduce Global Warming; A More Likely Cause Is Ozone Depletion, According to Longtime US Geophysicist

I am not sure whether this guy has a point or not.  The one thing I am sure of is that he will be ignored

No scientist has ever demonstrated experimentally that observed increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations actually cause air to warm enough to explain global warming. The only experiments documented in the literature were done in 1900 by Knut Angstrom, who showed any warming to be minimal.

"Ozone depletion is the most credible explanation for global warming," says longtime US geophysicist Dr. Peter L. Ward. "Depletion allows more solar ultraviolet-B radiation to reach Earth, providing a more direct and clearer explanation for observed warming."

On January 12, Ward speaks to climate leaders at the American Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans in a session honoring Mario J. Molina, who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for showing how manufactured chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases deplete ozone.

Ward, who worked 27 years with the US Geological Survey and recently published the book What Really Causes Global Warming?, explains how Molina's discovery led world leaders to pass the Montreal Protocol, which began limiting CFC production in 1989. Increases in CFCs stopped by 1993, increases in ozone depletion stopped by 1995, and increases in surface temperature stopped by 1998.

"If we hadn't passed the Montreal Protocol," Ward concludes, "temperatures today would likely be a degree warmer."

"2015 was the hottest ever recorded," Ward explains, "but that is most likely the result of ozone depletion caused by chlorine and bromine emissions from massive lava flows extruded from Baroarbunga volcano in Iceland between August 2014 and February 2015, the highest rate of basaltic lava eruption since 1783.

"As world leaders prepare to spend billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions," Ward asks, "wouldn't it seem prudent to perform some simple tests to demonstrate that greenhouse warming theory actually works?"

This is why Ward issued the Climate Change Challenge in November, offering $10,000 to the first scientist who can prove experimentally that greenhouse gases are more effective than ozone depletion in causing global warming.

"It is vital to all life on Earth that we get this right," Ward says.


Incoherent fury over a comic strip

The leading environmental-themed comic strip in the United States, Mark Trail, is apparently written by a climate-change denier.

The strip’s expanded Sunday editions are intended to be educational, and this week’s (1/3/16) featured a lesson about sulfur dioxide. “Sulfur dioxide is a major cause of acid rain!” the title character, a naturalist, exclaims. He notes that it’s “a byproduct of large-scale farms, power plants and other industries,” as well as “the burning of fossil fuels by large transportation vehicles.”

Trail strikes a positive note, highlighting the importance of environmental awareness: “Fortunately, levels of manmade sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere have been declining for the past two and a half decades as more people have become aware of the issue!”

But then the strip takes an odd turn, suggesting that the big threat to nature from sulfur dioxide comes from nature itself:

    "Recently, an enormous eruption from the volcano Bardarbunga in Iceland released at least 120,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day—eight times higher than the levels produced by all manmade sources in the entire continent of Europe each day

    When the eruption ended…it had produced enough lava to cover an area the size of Manhattan—having a tremendous negative impact on air quality."

The information in the strip, which appears to come from a UPI story  (9/24/15), gives a misleading impression of the environmental impact of the volcano: The 11 million metric tonnes of sulfur dioxide it released into the atmosphere (BBC, 4/15/15) is roughly a tenth of the amount humans release each year, and overall about 99 percent of SO2 in the atmosphere was put there by people.

But that misleading impression—that nature’s impact on air pollution far outweighs humanity’s—is precisely what the strip’s author, James Allen, was seemingly trying to convey. As he explained to readers on the strips’ Facebook group (1/3/16):

    "Today’s Mark Trail—folks I try not to get political over here, but I can admit to you that today’s strip is a little dose of “get real” to people that think mankind is ruining the planet by creating global warming! We are so tiny compared to this planet and what it can do (and recover from)".

The idea that humans are too insignificant to affect the climate is a common trope of global warming deniers. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Since 1750, humans have added to the atmosphere nearly 900 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, creating a marked change in the rate at which the planet absorbs heat.

To use Allen’s volcanic comparison, the US Geological Survey notes that “all studies to date of global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions indicate that present-day subaerial and submarine volcanoes release less than a percent of the carbon dioxide released currently by human activities.”

Mark Trail is syndicated by Hearst‘s King Features to some 175 newspapers. Allen took over the strip in 2014 after the retirement of Jack Elrod, who had been working on it since 1950. Under Elrod’s leadership, the strip was recognized for its contribution to environmental education, including by the US Forest Service, which named part of Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest the Mark Trail Wilderness in 1991.

If Allen doesn’t want to squander that legacy, he should educate himself about the reality of catastrophic climate change—and humans’ contribution to it.


Ya gotta laugh.  The indignant rant above is from a mob called "FAIR" -- but their comment above is not remotely fair.  The writer of the strip spoke of DAILY emissions of SO2.  But FAIR purports to refute him by quoting ANNUAL emissions!  Not sastisfied with that, they quoted figures for CO2, which the strip-writer did not mention. If they had quoted a figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2, the figures they did give for CO2 might have had some point.  But I doubt that they even know what climate sensitivity is.  They just know the precepts of their Warmist religion:  Complete lamebrains! But what do we expect from Warmists, I guess?

Global warming inflicts $1.5 trillion loss on middle-class in 1980-2014: UBS

This is totally nuts.  It seems to attribute ALL natural disaster losses to global warming

Swiss financial services major UBS has said the climate change inflicted a whopping USD 1.5 trillion loss on the middle-class across the globe between 1980 and 2014, and another USD 32 billion in the first six months of 2015 which was the hottest year on record.

"Consumption patterns of those living in cities which are most at risk for climate change significantly....A whopping USD 1.5 trillion of wealth of the middle class has been lost to climate change across the globe between 1980 and 2014," UBS said in a report released from Zurich today.

The losses are high for a vast majority living in cities, especially in South Asia, which is home to the largest number of global middle class, as most people there are not insured against natural calamities, the report noted.

A whopping 91 per cent of weather-related losses in Asia are uninsured, against one-third of weather-related losses in the US, bringing the total amount of losses to USD 1.5 trillion during 1980-2014.

In 2000, nearly half of the global population of six billion lived in cities and the UN expects this proportion to jump to 60 per cent by 2025.

  The report, titled 'Climate change: A risk to the global middle class' also says that the middle class, by virtue of living in cities, have and will continue to bear the brunt of the climate change impact.  Noting that the five costliest events of 2015 were the winter storms in the US, Canada and Europe, it says natural disasters caused as many as 16,200 fatalities and involved losses worth USD 32 billion during the period.

  Most of the global middle class lives in  Southeast Asia, the region with the fastest urban population growth in recent years, it says. Numbering around 1 billion worldwide, and with substantial assets and political influence, the middle class is the key to social order and economic growth and thus represents the greatest opportunity for change.

 Given the size of middle-class and its spending power and dynamism, erosion of its wealth due to climate change threatens both economic and socio-political stability, says the report.  UBS arrived at the loss data after analysing the consumption of the middle-class in 215 cities and comparing consumption patterns to the level of climate change risks.

  The study has found that in cities most at risk from climate change such as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai, spending priorities are noticeably different, with the middle-class there spending between 0.6 and 0.8 per cent more on housing than the national average.

 In the US, middle class in high climate-change risk cities spends between USD 800 and USD 1,600 more annually on housing compared to a lower risk city while cutting down on luxury, entertainment and durable goods.

  Caroline Anstey, UBS group managing director, said, "The impact of climate change on the global population is only predicted to worsen over time."  Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS Investment Bank, added the middle class' substantial assets and political influence make them key to climate change dialogue.

A key finding of the study is low penetration of insurance against natural calamities despite increased threat.

Even in the US, which has the highest level of insurance penetration globally, as much as 32 per cent of weather-related losses remain uninsured. This has resulted in the  US government  spending USD 136 billion, which is equal to USD 400 annually per household, between 2011 and 2013 for disaster relief for hurricanes, floods and droughts totalled.

In less developed and newly industrialised nations, the middle class is typically underinsured, with emerging markets showing very low penetration relative to property value with 0.12 per cent in China and 0.07 per cent in India.

Research shows that as temperatures rise beyond 30 degree Celsius, mortality rates rise. As of 2015, nearly 25 per cent of the 215 cities across 15 countries analyzed already had median annual temperatures above 20 degree Celsius


Melting Antarctic icebergs slow global warming

Something else not accounted for in the famous Warmist "models"

Giant icebergs that break away from the ice sheets around the poles could be having a previously unknown effect on the atmosphere.

Researchers have found that these giant bergs leave a trail of nutrients in their wake which help to generate massive blooms of ocean plankton.

These plankton blooms - which can stretch for hundreds of miles - then absorb a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and lock it into the ocean depths.

The surprise findings could have major implications for climate change predictions, as more carbon is 'sequestered' or locked away by the phytoplankton.

The revelation was made after researchers from the University of Sheffield studied the colour of the ocean from satellite images.

Professor Grant Bigg from the department of geography analysed 175 satellite images taken over an 11-year period from 2003 to 2013, discovering that the phytoplankton blooms showed up as tell-tale greenish tints over distances of hundreds of miles around melting icebergs.

The giant bergs - measuring at least 18km (11 miles) long - calve off of the great Antarctic ice sheet each year and head northwards towards the equator.

As they do so, they melt and fertilise the ocean with trace elements including iron, scraped from the Antarctic land mass, which encourages the growth of huge clouds of phytoplankton.

Professor Bigg said: 'We detected substantially enhanced chlorophyll levels, typically over a radius of at least four to ten times the iceberg's length.'

Furthermore, the effect was seen to persist for at least a month after a giant iceberg had passed by, giving the plankton more time to absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it into the ocean depths.

The finding is at odds with previous research, which suggested that ocean fertilisation from icebergs makes relatively minor contributions to the uptake of CO2 by phytoplankton.

Despite being the Earth's coldest body of water, the Southern Ocean plays a significant part in the global carbon cycle.

It is thought to account for about 10 per cent of global oceanic carbon sequestration, driven by both biological and chemical processes including phytoplankton growth.

Professor Bigg said: 'This new analysis reveals that giant icebergs may play a major role in the Southern Ocean carbon cycle.

'If giant iceberg calving increases this century as expected, this negative feedback on the carbon cycle may become more important than we previously thought.'


Australia: How disappointing to the BoM: 2015 only the 5th hottest year -- even with El Nino helping

Last year was among the top five warmest years in Australian history, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has said in its annual report.  Temperatures were 0.83 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, the report said.

It also noted rainfall was well below average across several areas of Australia — including a large area of inland Queensland, where after three consecutive poor wet seasons long-term drought continued.

Karl Braganza, climate monitoring manager with the BoM, said the El Nino weather pattern was largely behind the hot, dry conditions in 2015. "It's often dry in Australia during an El Nino event," he said.

"The other thing El Nino does is elevates the global surface temperature around the planet as well."

The World Meteorological Organisation has said it was extremely likely that 2015 would be recorded as the hottest year on record globally, when temperatures were averaged out.

"Typically, El Nino tends to be warmer than other years globally, and when you combine that with the global warming trend - so an increase of about a degree over the last century - that's when you start to see records broken, which is what we saw in 1997-98 and what we've seen in 2015 as well," Dr Braganza said.

"Not all parts of the globe are going to record their hottest year when the global temperature comes in as the hottest year on record. "Some parts of the global will be cooler and some will be warmer."



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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