Monday, February 05, 2018

Global Temperatures Drop Back To Pre-El Nino Levels

According to the satellite data

The onset of La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean has caused temperatures drop to levels not seen in six years, according to satellite temperature data.

“Note that La Niña cooling in the tropics has finally penetrated the troposphere, with a -0.12 deg. C departure from average,” wrote atmospheric scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer, who compile satellite data at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

Satellite data, which measures Earth’s bulk atmosphere, show temperature anomalies dropped from 0.41 degrees Celsius in December to 0.26 degrees in January. The temperature drop was brought about by a La Niña cooling event in the tropics.

La Niña is in full swing in 2018, plunging temperatures in the tropics to -0.12 degrees Celsius in January, down from 0.26 degrees the previous month. It’s the third-largest tropical temperature drop on record.

“The last time the tropics were cooler than this was June, 2012 (-0.15 deg. C),” the scientists wrote.

“Out of the 470 month satellite record, the 0.38 deg. C one-month drop in January tropical temperatures was tied for the 3rd largest, beaten only by October 1991 (0.51 deg. C drop) and August, 2014 (0.41 deg. C drop),” they wrote.

La Niña settled in late 2017, with cooler waters reaching from South America, across to eastern Pacific islands. It’s the opposite of El Niño warming events.

“The last time the Southern Hemisphere was this cool (+0.06 deg. C) was July, 2015 (+0.04 deg. C),” Christy and Spencer wrote.

“The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through January 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade,” they wrote.


Great Lakes ice cover isn't cooperating with the "runaway global warming" narrative:

2/2/2016:  5.8%
2/2/2017:  8.3%
2/2/2018: 29.1%


The solar influence

When comparing current Solar Activity (SC24) to 100 years ago its very obvious the future trend is for COOLING... as to why the MetOffice, NASA and NOAA predict Warming is a complete mystery. The next Cycle (SC25) is expected to be even lower.

The area enclosed by the black line represents the latest solar activity and that area is well down on previous periods, meaning that the sun has been unusually inactive recently.  And solar cycles DO correlate with weather.

A Washington State Carbon Tax: All Pain, No Gain,/b>

Even with unrealistically positive assumptions, the benefits would be minuscule. With respect to Washington governor Jay Inslee’s renewed proposal for a “carbon” tax on that state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, a number to keep closely in mind is: 2/1000 of a degree. That would be the global temperature effect in the year 2100 if Washington were to reduce its GHG emissions to zero immediately.

That figure comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate model, under a set of assumptions that exaggerate the effects of emissions reductions. Obviously, the effect of the governor’s proposed tax would be vastly smaller. And by the way, the governor’s proposal would not apply to jet fuel, as Boeing is the state’s largest private employer.

Even with that glaring concession to political reality, Inslee apparently still believes that the state should make itself a moral example and “mark the way.” Sorry, but the federal bureaucracy until Donald Trump assumed the presidency was way ahead of him. Implementation of the Obama administration’s entire package of climate policies would have reduced temperatures by 25/1000 of a degree, while the Paris agreement, if implemented fully, would yield a reduction of 17/100 of a degree.

Those effects, by the way, would be too small to be measured reliably. And so Inslee’s claim that his proposed tax would “save our children” from droughts, flooding, fires, and other “existential threats” is preposterous.

Inslee seems implicitly to recognize this, and so he reverted to a justification based upon the employment that will be created by an expansion of “clean energy” production. That, too, is deeply dubious. His tax on energy would shift employment away from energy-intensive sectors toward others, and in the aggregate would reduce employment by making the economy smaller. (U.S. data show that energy consumption and employment move together closely. The same is true for energy consumption and GDP growth, household income, and reductions in the poverty rate.)

And about that “clean energy”: There is nothing “clean” about it. There is heavy-metal pollution created by the production process for wind turbines. There are noise and flicker effects of wind turbines. There is the large problem of solar-panel waste. There is wildlife destruction caused by the production of renewable power. There is massive and unsightly land use made necessary by the unconcentrated nature of renewable energy.

And above all, there is the increase in emissions of conventional effluents caused by the up-and-down cycling of the backup conventional-generation units, which are needed to avoid blackouts caused by the unreliability of wind and solar power — a reality curiously underreported in the popular discussion.

With respect to the “existential threats” asserted by Inslee: There is no question that increasing GHG concentrations are having measurable effects. But they are far smaller than the climate models would lead one to believe. The degree to which recent warming has been anthropogenic is unsettled in the scientific literature, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its fifth assessment report (AR5) has reduced its estimated range of the effect in 2100 of a doubling of GHG concentrations from 2.0–4.5 to 1.5–4.5 degrees C.

Moreover, there is little evidence of strong climate effects attendant upon increasing GHG concentrations, in terms of sea levels; Arctic and Antarctic sea ice; tornado activity; tropical cyclones; U.S. wildfires; drought; and flooding. IPCC in the AR5 is deeply dubious (Table 12.4) about the various severe effects often hypothesized (or asserted) as future impacts of increasing GHG concentrations.

Climate change caused by GHG emissions might prove to be a serious problem. It might prove to be a minor problem, and it might prove to be beneficial on net. We simply do not know, and the argument that very large costs ought to be imposed by climate policies upon the economy — that is, upon actual people — with trivial or unmeasurable benefits is deeply problematic. More research, more technological advance, and adaptation over time are likely to prove far wiser.

In his State of the State address, Inslee used the phrase “carbon pollution” no fewer than five times. That term is political propaganda, the obvious purpose of which is to cut off debate before it begins by assuming the answer to the underlying policy question. Carbon dioxide is not “carbon,” and it is not a “pollutant,” as a certain minimum atmospheric concentration of it is necessary for life itself.

By far the most important GHG in terms of the radiative properties of the troposphere is water vapor; no one calls it a “pollutant.” Why not? Is it because ocean evaporation is a natural process? So are volcanic eruptions, but the toxins, particulates, and other effluents emitted by volcanoes are pollutants by any definition. All of us would do well to use the phrase “greenhouse gases,” which has the virtue of being scientifically accurate without assuming the answer to the underlying policy question. Willie Sutton, who robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” would be proud.

Whatever Inslee’s spending preferences for the revenues, interest-group competition within the legislature guarantees that good intentions would yield quickly to ordinary pork-barrel politics. With no prospect of environmental improvement and little of real beneficial spending, what is the rationale for a tax on “carbon?” Why not on zucchini?


UN does not like Australia's climate policies

Oh, Goodie!

Australia's climate policies are "a decade behind" other rich nations, according to a United Nations investment official, leaving the country exposed to risks of a so-called "green paradox" when carbon emissions will have to make a precipitous retreat.

A phasing out of coal and other fossil fuels is the centrepiece of four recommended investor goals to be unveiled by the UN's Principles for Responsible Investment unit in New York on Thursday morning, eastern Australian time.

Fiona Reynolds, UNPRI's managing director, said investors needed to take the lead in forcing companies to reveal their exposure to fossil fuels and to step up pressure on governments to meet their Paris climate commitments.

"Investors have a huge, huge role to play on climate change," Ms Reynolds told Fairfax Media, citing their ability to influence the companies they own, including steering them away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. "This a really urgent issue."

While countries in Europe of all political persuasions were tackling the need to switch to a low-carbon future, the debate in Australia 10 years behind, she said.

"Australia keeps battling about the downsides and not the opportunities that could be available to the country in this transition," Ms Reynolds said.

The Abbott government's scrapping of a carbon price in 2014 - and the kryptonite reaction to another policy since - went against the global trend.

Some 40 nations had introduced some form of carbon pricing and major international investors were generally supportive, Ms Reynolds said.  "They say, 'As investors, we work in market-based systems. We need carbon pricing,'" she said. "It's a high priority."

Josh Frydenberg, the environment and energy minister, said the Turnbull government won't support a carbon price: "The last time Australia had a price on carbon it was Labor's $15.4 billion carbon tax which was a disaster that sent electricity prices up and made us less competitive."

Pricing carbon, though, received support this week from European researchers who say putting a price on emissions would be a key method to avoid a "green paradox" that had implications for nations such as Australia.
'Nightmare scenario'

In a paper published in Nature Climate Change, the researchers looked at the possibility that fossil-fuel owners, in anticipation of future carbon curbs, would accelerate extraction rates to maximise profits - contrary to the object of those restrictions.

"Strong and timely signals" from climate policy-makers are necessary to counter the incentive to expand output of fossil fuels in the short term, they said.

Nico Bauer, a modeller from Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the paper's lead author, said Australia faced the "grass paradox" because of its fossil fuel wealth, including about 13 per cent of the world's coal reserves.

A "serious carbon price" would affect use of coal in Australia and promote faster take-up of renewable energy, Dr Bauer said.

Australia faced being "a victim of a blame game" if the Paris goal of a 2-degree warming limit is exceeded, a prospect that should serve to motivate climate action, he said, adding "the carbon price would be economically the most efficient instrument".

A delay also increased the likelihood of a "carbon bubble" emerging that would end up being popped rather than deflated if governments resorted to a "climate policy shock" to get emissions down to the required rate of reduction.

"This, however, is a kind of a nightmare scenario for financial regulators, because they figure out a financial crisis scenario and they fear something like a fossil-fuelled Lehman Brothers event," Dr Bauer said.




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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