Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The slight warming observed between 1950-2013 is shown to be up to 80% an urban heat Island effect

Paper Reviewed: Quereda, J., Monton, E., Quereda, V. and Molla, B. 2016. Significant Climate Warming (1950-2013) in the Spanish Mediterranean: Natural Trend or Urban Heat Island (UHI). Tethys 13: 11-20.

Quereda et al. (2016) begin their work by stating that although "it may be accepted that urban heating is of local importance, there is no evidence that it alters the global temperature trend," citing the IPCC (2001). However, they backtrack significantly in this regard throughout their analysis of the subject by stating that "on comparing the temperature of urban areas and rural areas, various researchers have concluded that the urban effect could account for between 40% and 80% of the observed thermal trend in the last few decades," citing the studies of Ren et al. (2007), Yan et al. (2010), and McKitrick and Michaels (2007), who concluded that half of the warming trend observed between 1980 and 2002 could have arisen from changes in land use.

In studying the subject in even more detail over the 1950-2013 period, it was further found that this phenomenon could "account for between 70 and 80% of the recorded warming trend in Western Mediterranean cities." And in light of this discovery, Quereda et al. pose the important question: "are urban areas contributing to the observed warming trend on which climate change is based?" to which they respond by stating that "the answer to be drawn from our analysis is fully affirmative." And so they conclude by stating that "in these Western Mediterranean cities, the Urban Heat Island could account for up to 80% of the recorded warming."


Severe global cooling coming

One prophecy is as good as another in these matters

Experts told Daily Star Online planet Earth is on course for a “Little Age Ice” within the next three years thanks to a cocktail of climate change and low solar activity.

Research shows a natural cooling cycle that occurs every 230 years began in 2014 and will send temperatures plummeting even further by 2019.

Scientists are also expecting a “huge reduction” in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053 that will cause thermometers to crash.

Both cycles suggest Earth is entering a global cooling cycle that could have devastating consequences for global economy, human life and society as we know it.

If predictions of the world-wide big freeze come true, the plot to 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow would not be far from reality during winter.

During winter, entire major cities – such as London, Paris and New York – would be subjected to sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow for months.

Millions of lives would be at risk of prolonged blackouts, food and electricity shortages and cold-related health problems.

David Dilley, CEO of Global Weather Oscillations, told Daily Star Online global warming and cooling cycles are determined by the gravitational forces of the Earth, moon and sun.

Each cycle lasts around 120,000 years, with sub-cycles of around 230 years.

He said: “We have had five warming cycles since about 900AD, each followed by a dramatic cooling cycle.

“The last global warming cycle ended in 1790 and the year 2020 is 230 following this – thus I have been talking about rapid cooling beginning in 2019.”

He said the oncoming cooling will send temperatures plummeting to lows last seen in the 1940s – when the mercury bottomed out at -21C during winter in the UK.

He said: “Cooling from 2019 into about 2020 to 2021 will bring world temperatures back to where they were in the 1940s through the 1960s.

“The Arctic will freeze solid and rapidly by 2020 and thus allow much more Arctic air to build up and move southward toward Great Britain.

“Expect by the mid to late 2020s that winter temperatures will dip even colder than the 1940s to 1960s.

“This will last for 60 to 100 years and then a gradual warm-up toward the next global warming cycle that will not be as warm as the one we are now coming out of.”

Research from mathematics professor Valentina Zharkova shows that low solar activity could cause global temperatures to dip to their lowest levels for more than 350 years.

Within three years drastic reductions in heat-releases from the sun could drive substantial cooling in Europe, North America and Asia.

From 1650 to 1710, temperatures across much of Europe – including Britain – plunged when the sun entered a quiet phase known as the Maunder Minimum.

Zharkova believes a similarly extreme deep freeze is on the way – triggering new glaciers, blanket sea ice and frozen over rivers and lakes.

She told Daily Star Online: “We did not calculate temperature variations on the Earth, we can only speculate what should happen by relying on the experience of the previous grand-cycle occurred in the 1645-1705 Maunder minimum. “At that time the mini ice age lasted for 60-65 years.

"The forthcoming grand minimum will last for three solar cycles, or 33 years, from 2020 to 2053, as we predicted.

“Because of huge reduction of solar activity it is expected that the terrestrial temperature will be also reduced as it has happened in 17 century.”

Zharkova, of Northumbria University, made the predictions by studying new mathematical models for solar activity.

She claims her models can predict the solar cycle with 97% accuracy, leaving little margin for error.

The Met Office has previously told Daily Star Online that a new mini-ice age is a “worst case scenario”, adding that while temperatures are likely to dip, it will do little to offset man-made global warming.

George Feulner, of the Potsdam Institute on Climate Change Research, agrees with this view, adding: “The expected decrease in global temperature would be 0.1 degrees Celsius at most, compared to about 1.3 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times by the year 2030.”


Defund Climate Change Research to Pay for Pre-Existing Conditions
Here’s a novel idea.

Take the billions of dollars that’s going toward what supposedly is a settled science issue — climate change — and use it to create a pool for pre-existing conditions. It is our duty to help those less fortunate and for the government to provide a safety net. So let’s form that safety net, dealing with a known problem today, not a ghost that may or may not be there tomorrow — especially since in the age of fossil fuels human progress has skyrocketed. Do you think medicine would be where it is now without the fossil fuel era?

The rest of the nation would be in the free market for insurance, and combined with tort reform and portability, we may be able to bring the price down.

What has been the cost of fighting climate change? Check out this article in Forbes.

All that money for what? A few molecules of CO2 when the established temperature-CO2 record shows no linkage?

We can’t run from the problems of today, nor can you run from the record of the past. People are much more valuable than a few molecules of CO2.

I doubt the American people approve of billions of dollars being spent on researching whether or not the earth is flat (no offense to Kyrie Irving) or other forms of “settled science.” So for the sake of those suffering from pre-existing conditions, why don’t we take the grant money for climate change research and give it to those who really need it? If it’s “settled science,” then give up the money. You can’t have it both ways! What about investing in our inner cities, another need now? Do climate change researchers need the money more than our sick, poor and needy? I think not. I know not.


EPA dismisses half of key board’s scientific advisers; Interior suspends more than 200 advisory panels

A mournful post below from some well established warmist journalists

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department are overhauling a slew of outside advisory boards that inform how their agencies assess the science underpinning federal policies, the first step in a broader effort by Republicans to change the way the federal government evaluates the scientific basis for its regulations.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to replace half of the members on one of its key scientific review boards, while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “reviewing the charter and charge” of more than 200 advisory boards, committees and other entities both within and outside his department. EPA and Interior officials began informing current members of the move Friday, and notifications continued over the weekend.

Pruitt’s move could significantly change the makeup of the 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), which advises EPA’s prime scientific arm on whether the research it does has sufficient rigor and integrity, and addresses important scientific questions. All of the people being dismissed were at the end of serving at least one three-year term, although these terms are often renewed instead of terminated.

EPA spokesman J.P. Freire said in an email that “no one has been fired or terminated” and that Pruitt had simply decided to bring in fresh advisers. The agency informed the outside academics on Friday that their terms would not be renewed.

“We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” Freire said. “This approach is what was always intended for the board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.”

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, says he is not convinced carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 should be regulated.

Separately, Zinke has postponed all outside committees as he reviews their composition and work. The review will effectively freeze the work of the Bureau of Land Management’s 38 resource advisory councils, along with other panels focused on a sweep of issues, from one assessing the threat of invasive species to the science technical advisory panel for Alaska’s North Slope.

“The Secretary is committed to restoring trust in the Department’s decision-making and that begins with institutionalizing state and local input and ongoing collaboration, particularly in communities surrounding public lands,” Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said by email Monday. “As the Department concludes its review in the weeks ahead, agencies will notice future meetings to ensure that the Department continues to get the benefit of the views of local communities in all decision-making on public land management.”

Greg Zimmerman, deputy director of the non-partisan advocacy group Center for Western Priorities, said in an interview that “it just doesn’t make any sense they would be canceling meetings as they do this analysis.” BLM’s regional advisory councils include officials from the energy and outdoor recreation industry as well as scientists and conservationists, Zimmerman added. “The only reasonable explanation is they don’t want to be hearing from these folks.”

The moves came as a surprise to the agencies’ outside advisers, with several of them taking to Twitter to announce their suspensions.

John Peter Thompson, who chairs Interior’s Invasive Species Advisory Panel, tweeted Monday that he had been notified that “all activities are suspended subject to review by Depart of Interior.”

Members of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors had been informed twice — in January, before President Barack Obama left office, and then more recently by EPA career staff members — that they would be kept on for another term, adding to their confusion.

“I was kind of shocked to receive this news,” Robert Richardson, an ecological economist and an associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Community Sustainability, said in an interview Sunday.

Richardson, who on Saturday tweeted, “Today, I was Trumped,” said that he was at the end of an initial three-year term but that members traditionally have served two such stints. “I’ve never heard of any circumstance where someone didn’t serve two consecutive terms,” he said, adding that the dismissals gave him “great concern that objective science is being marginalized in this administration.”

Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology at Utah State University who had served one term on the board, said in an email that she was also surprised to learn that her term would not be renewed, “particularly since I was told that such a renewal was expected.” But she added, “In the broader view, I suppose it is the prerogative of this administration to set the goals of federal agencies and to appoint members to advisory boards.”

Ryan Jackson, Pruitt’s chief of staff, noted in an email that all the board members whose terms are not being renewed could reapply for their positions. “I’m not quite sure why some EPA career staff simply get angry by us opening up the process,” he said. “It seems unprofessional to me.”

Yet Terry F. Yosie, who directed EPA’s Science Advisory Board from 1981 to 1988, noted in an email that the Board of Scientific Counselors does not report directly to the administrator or his office. “It’s quite extraordinary that such a body would receive this level of attention by the Administrator’s office,” he said.

And Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, expressed concern and said he hoped Pruitt reconsidered his decision. “Academic scientists play a critical role in informing policy with scientific research results at every level, including the federal government,” he said.

Pruitt is planning a much broader overhaul of how the agency conducts its scientific analysis, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Pruitt has been meeting with academics to talk about the matter and putting thought into which areas of investigation warrant attention from the agency’s scientific advisers.

The agency may consider industry scientific experts for some of the board positions as long as these appointments do not pose a conflict of interest, Freire said.

Conservatives have complained for years about EPA’s approach to science, including the input it receives from outside scientific bodies. Both the Board of Scientific Counselors and the 47-member Scientific Advisory Board have come under criticism for bolstering the cause for greater federal regulation.

A majority of the members of the Board of Scientific Counselors have terms expiring this fiscal year, along with the terms of 12 members of the Scientific Advisory Board. GOP lawmakers have frequently criticized the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)—a committee within the Scientific Advisory Board—for its recommendation that the EPA impose much stricter curbs on smog-forming ozone. The seven-person panel, which is charged under the Clean Air Act to review the scientific basis of all ambient air quality standards, is legally required to have a medical doctor and a member of the National Academy of Sciences as members.

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who questions the link between human activity and climate change and has several former aides now working for Pruitt, said in an interview earlier this year that under the new administration, “they’re going to have to start dealing with science, and not rigged science.”

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) held a hearing on the issue in February, arguing that the Scientific Advisory Board should be expanded to include more non-academics. The panel, which was established in 1978, is primarily made up of academic scientists and other experts who review EPA’s research to ensure that the regulations the agency undertakes have a sound scientific basis.

“The EPA routinely stacks this board with friendly scientists who receive millions of dollars in grants from the federal government,” Smith said at the time. “The conflict of interest here is clear.”

In a budget proposal obtained by The Washington Post last month, the panel’s operating budget is slated for an 84 percent cut — or $542,000 — for fiscal 2018. That money typically covers travel and other expenses for outside experts who attend the board’s public meetings.

The document said the budget cut reflects “an anticipated lower number of peer reviews.”

Joe Arvai, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board who directs the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, said in an email that Pruitt and his colleagues should keep in mind that the board’s membership, just like its standing and ad hoc panels, “already includes credible scientists from industry” and that its “work on agency rulemaking is open to public viewing and comment. So, if diversity of thought and transparency are the administrator’s concerns, his worries are misplaced because the SAB already has these bases covered.

“So, if you ask me, his moves over the weekend — as well as the House bill to reform the SAB — are attempts to use the SAB as a political toy,” Arvai said. “By making these moves, the administrator and members of the House can pander to the president’s base by looking like they’re getting tough on all those pesky ‘liberal scientists.’ But, all else being equal, nothing fundamentally changes about how the SAB operates.”


Why Trump Can and Should Pull Out of Paris Climate Change Agreement

On April 22, 2016, the United States and 170 other countries signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks “to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.”

This international measure commits signatories to shift their energy industries away from fossil fuels that cause “greenhouse gas” emissions, and toward renewal resources like wind and solar power.

Unfortunately, as documented by Heritage Foundation experts, U.S. enactment of regulations to meet benchmarks set by the Paris Accord would likely achieve only “symbolic” gains, while imposing huge costs to the U.S. in the form of fewer American jobs, lower family incomes, and reduced industrial efficiency.

In short, the Paris Agreement is bad for the American economy. What’s worse, the Obama administration’s decision to join it through a unilateral “executive agreement” not involving participation by Congress raised serious legal questions.

By withdrawing the United States from the agreement, President Donald Trump could achieve a win-win—advancing sound American economic policy in a manner that also strengthens respect for the rule of law.

The Current Agreement

What exactly does the Paris Agreement do?

It sets a target of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by having the signatory governments commit to significantly reducing their global greenhouse gas emissions by “decarbonizing” their economies.

Currently, roughly 80 percent of America’s (and other countries’) energy needs are being met through carbon-based natural resources—mainly coal, natural gas, and oil.

Implementing U.S. regulations to conform to the Paris Agreement’s ideals, as proposed by the Obama administration, would cripple American carbon-based industries and drive up energy costs, harming American workers and consumers.

As Heritage Foundation economists have explained, this agreement’s effects on the U.S. economy and American quality of life would be staggering.

It would result in increased U.S. electricity expenditures of 15-20 percent over the next decade, 400,000 fewer American jobs, a total income loss of over $30,000 for an American family of four, and a loss of over $2.5 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product.

And all this would generate essentially zero environmental benefits.

Presidential Action

Fortunately, the Trump administration is working to prevent these dire economic outcomes by undoing, or simply not enacting the crippling environmental regulations required by the Paris Agreement.

Of particular help was the president’s March 28 executive order, which requires executive agencies to:

…review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.

While this is an encouraging start, the president’s sounds regulatory policy will face potentially serious legal threats unless and until the United States officially withdraws from the Paris Agreement.

Why is this so?

Article 4.2 of the Paris Agreement requires each party to “prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve.”

The Obama administration submitted a nationally determined contribution providing that the U.S. would seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

A private party might now sue the government, claiming that the Trump administration’s environmental regulatory changes (including rescinding, changing, or failing to enact rules) violated this U.S. commitment.

Why? Because Article 4.11 of the agreement allows signatories to adjust a nationally determined contribution “with a view to enhancing its level of ambition, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties to this agreement.”

A plaintiff environmental group, for example, might argue that environmental regulatory relief would not “enhance” the Obama administration’s commitment. Rather, the plaintiff might claim that it would undercut that commitment, and therefore violate the Paris Agreement.

Legal Risks

So is this realistic? As even environmental groups seem to recognize, such a suit would have no merit as a matter of well-settled federal law.

That is because the Paris Agreement’s provisions are not “self-executing”—they do not automatically create binding U.S. legal obligations and require the passage of congressional legislation to be made effective.

What’s more, as federal courts have held, it is presumed that a private party does not have “standing” to sue to enforce an international agreement absent specific language in the statute—and there is no such language in the Paris Agreement.

But that would not stop special interest groups from trying to sue. Recent experience shows that even meritless lawsuits challenging new Trump administration policies may succeed.

All that a plaintiff needs to do is find a federal lower court judge, and a favorable U.S. Court of Appeals, that is willing to ignore basic legal principles in order to further a desired policy objective, and the administration might be stopped dead in its tracks.

For example, very recently, multiple federal judges ignored clear statutory language and Supreme Court precedents in blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspends travel from terrorist safe havens in the Middle East and Africa.

As Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky has explained, these unprincipled decisions reflect the fact that there are too many federal judges “who refuse to follow the law and the Constitution, and whose biases and personal views distort their decision-making.”

Accordingly, it cannot be ruled out that baseless challenges to environmental reforms invoking the Paris Agreement might initially (if not ultimately) succeed in some federal courthouse.

And even assuming they failed (as they should), such challenges would absorb scarce public resources and cause delay in implementing sound environmental policies, while creating unwarranted public confusion as to the international “legality” of the administration’s actions.

Furthermore, continued U.S. membership in the Paris Agreement might be cited as an extra public policy “plus factor” in challenges to environmental regulatory reforms, based on federal administrative law, rather than on the agreement.

Such a “plus factor” theory would have no basis in law, but it would further complicate defense of the administration’s actions.

Even aside from the short-term risk of litigation, continued U.S. membership in the Paris Agreement could be cited by some future president as justification for making a regulatory about-face and implementing new rules, which could cripple fossil fuel industries and harm the American economy.

All of these considerations form a strong case in favor of Trump withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement.

Rule of Law Considerations

But U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement raises one final concern, one rooted in respect for the rule of law.

As detailed in the Heritage Guide to the Constitution, the scope of the president’s unilateral power to enter into an executive agreement without any participation from Congress “remains a serious question.”

Moreover, in light of past practice, the Paris Agreement has all the hallmarks of a treaty, such as targets and timetables. Thus, it should have been submitted to the Senate for ratification as a treaty.

The Treaty Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) requires that two-thirds of senators consent to a proposed treaty. In bypassing the Senate and ignoring this requirement, President Barack Obama displayed contempt for the role of Congress and the democratic process in treaty making.

The president unquestionably has the right to terminate U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement on his own. Promptly exercising that right would benefit the American economy, while also promoting sound principles of law and constitutionalism.



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