Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Last week a group of climate scientists published a paper that admitted the estimates of global warming used for years were, er, wrong

IN February 2016, climate scientist Dr. John Christy presented testimony to Congress demonstrating that the UN IPCC’s CMIP5 climate models grossly exaggerate and over estimate the impact of atmospheric CO2 levels on global temperatures. Dr. Christy noted in his testimony that “models over-warm the tropical atmosphere by a factor of approximately three″.

Dr. Christy was 100% correct …

A landmark paper by warmist scientists in Nature Geoscience now concedes the world has indeed not warmed as predicted, thanks to a slowdown in the first 15 years of this century. One of its authors, Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London, admits his past predictions of runaway warming were too alarmist.

“When the facts change, I change my mind. We are in a better place than I thought.”

ANOTHER author, Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at Oxford, confessed that too many of the mathematical models used by climate scientists to predict future warming “were on the hot side” — meaning they exaggerated.

“We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models.”

“We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.” Myles Allen – professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford

SO, the sceptics – the “climate deniers” – were spot-on, again.

AND yet we have spent literally trillions of dollars of other peoples’ (taxpayers) money on alarmist global warming climate change policies, schemes and rent-seeking scams (windmills, solar panels, mothballed desal plants, pink bats, carbon taxes etc) on the advice of overheated, predictive computer models that do not even observe real-world reality!?

DON’T expect an apology or your money back anytime soon. The climate juggernaut will keep digging at your hip pocket a little while longer – too much money is on the line and too many reputations are now at stake.


Some desert animals can weather climate change better than expected

Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect animals and plants on Earth. Just how exactly? That's often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species shift their distribution area. On the other hand, much less is known about how individual animals and populations react to the changes. Scientists of the UFZ in Leipzig have now investigated this with nocturnal desert geckos. In the journal Ecological Monographs they come to encouraging findings. Therefore, with the heat alone, the animals will probably not get into trouble so quickly. And the negative consequences of the increasing drought can compensate them to some extent. The same could apply to other desert reptiles.

In the world of reptiles there are certainly more spectacular species than Gehyra variegata . And yet, this small, nocturnal gecko has managed to add a whole new dimension to the discussion about the ecological consequences of climate change. The approximately five-centimeters large animals with the gray or brownish skin live in the deserts of Australia. For them, the hollow trunks of eucalyptus trees are the perfect refuges. After hunting insects overnight, they spend the hot days there, when temperatures can easily climb to more than 40 degrees Celsius.

Especially in such hot deserts climate scientists expect even more extreme conditions in the future. It's supposed to get hotter and drier all over the world. But how will the unique flora and fauna of these ecosystems respond to these new challenges? Using the example of the small gecko, which is representative of other nocturnal desert inhabitants, the researchers have pursued this question.

Prof. Klaus Henle, who heads the Department of Conservation Research at the UFZ, began in the 1980s with data on Gehyra variegatagather. In the Kinchega National Park in eastern Australia, he and his colleagues have been capturing reptiles for over 30 years, measuring them, photographing them for identification purposes and then releasing them with a marker. The UFZ researchers have now placed this information in relation to the weather conditions on site, but also to global climatic phenomena - and have come to surprising results. "We had expected that both higher temperatures and greater drought would adversely affect the animals and their stocks," says biologist Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth. After all, reptiles need a certain amount of moisture so that, for example, egg development and skinning work properly. When the animals dry out, it becomes life-threatening for them. And the same applies if they overheat due to high temperatures.

"But with our geckos we have found that they grow and survive particularly well in hot years," says the researcher. "So you are in better shape and the stock is increasing rather than decreasing." But why can that be? To find out, Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth has observed the behavior of the reptiles and measured their body temperature. At night, she has targeted the hunting animals with an infrared thermometer that can determine the temperature from a distance. In order to be able to detect the geckos also in their day resting places, small passive transmitters were used, as they are used for example also as identification chips for dogs. Usually these are implanted under the skin. But a five-centimeter-long reptile dwarf just is not big enough for that. So the researchers made the animals small backpacks in which the chip was close to the body. He then had himself targeted with a radio frequency antenna. He betrayed not only the whereabouts, but also the temperature of each candidate.

It showed that geckos do not choose particularly cool spots despite the heat of the desert. 30 to 35 degrees Celsius should already have the refuge. "These high temperatures need the animals to properly digest their food," explains the researcher. So sometimes they crawl specifically into particularly sun-exposed branches. In a rather chilly year, the UFZ employee even noticed to her surprise that the geckos left their tree and took sunbaths. This search for enough heat costs energy. And if it is not successful, digestion will not work optimally. That could be the reason that cool years have a negative effect on the geckos.

Even the most pleasant temperatures are of no use if it is too dry. Because then the animals not only get physical problems. There are also fewer insects in those phases that could eat them. As expected, the geckos actually experience hard times during periods of drought. Decisive are not only the precipitation on site. Every few years, the climate anomaly La NiƱa brings torrential rains to the Australian East Coast. Months later, the water also reaches the desert via the rivers - where it ensures higher humidity and plenty of insects. "In addition to the local conditions, global climate phenomena also play a role for the animals," emphasizes the researcher. One must therefore look beyond the rim of the respective area,

So far, everything speaks for the fact that the geckos probably will not get a heat, but rather a drought problem. However, they can obviously compensate for this to a certain extent. The study also shows that the animals are emaciated in dry years. But their stocks do not shrink anyway. "That's because in bad times they reduce their growth and reproduction," explains Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth. Then they focus on surviving until next year. As these reptiles grow unusually old at the age of 28, they can easily afford one or the other lost breeding season. And when the times are better again, they catch up on the missed.

Even if climate change worsens the living conditions for the geckos, they are unlikely to die out right away. And according to the UFZ researchers, this optimistic message should also apply to other long-lived desert animals. However, that is not a license to make climate change easy. "If several very dry years follow each other, the animals can not buffer this," says Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth. At some point, even the most hardened survivor will end up.

SOURCE  (Translated)

Let's Celebrate Engines and Electricity

Viv Forbes

Most chapters of human history are defined by the tools and machines that were used.

In the Stone Age, the first tools were “green tools” – digging sticks, spears, boomerangs, bows and arrows made of wood; and axes, clubs, knives and grinders made of stone. These were all powered by human energy.

Then humans learned how to control fire for warmth, cooking, warfare and hunting.

Another clever person invented the wheel and we harnessed animal power using donkeys, horses, mules and oxen, and made better tools like bridles, saddles and yokes from wood, fibre and leather.

All of these tools made hunting, gathering and trade easier and more reliable.

Then wooden ploughs revolutionised the cultivation of wild grasses for food for animals and humans. Farming started.

Trade and exchange was made easier with money using rare commodities like gold, silver, gems and shells.

Tool-making made a huge advance in the Bronze Age with the discovery of how to extract metals like copper, lead, zinc and tin from natural ores using charcoal. Brass, bronze and pewter made many useful tools. These were then replaced with better tools when man discovered how to smelt iron and make steel.

Then along came the game-changers – engines and electricity.

The steam engine, running on wood and then on coal or oil, revolutionised life with steam-driven pumps, traction engines and locomotives releasing millions of draught animals from transport duty.

Then came electricity when steam engines were used to drive generators. All the windmills, coaches, sailing ships, lamps, stoves and dryers powered by green energy (wind, water, wood, animal energy, whale oil and beeswax) became obsolete.

Mankind made another leap forward with the invention of internal combustion engines using petroleum liquids and gases for fuel.

An even bigger leap was the harnessing of nuclear power to produce almost unlimited clean energy from controlled reactions using tiny amounts of fuel.

Nothing in life is without risk, and every tool or engine can be misused. On balance, however, tools, engines and electricity have allowed humans to live better from less land and natural resources per person than ever before. Societies with an abundance of capital equipment are richer, have lower population growth and have the leisure and resources to provide far more environmental protection.

Therefore we should spend “Earth Day” celebrating “Engines and Electricity”.


Sea Level Rise: Human Portion is Small

By Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

There is a continuing debate over sea level rise, especially how much will occur in the future. The most annoying part of the news media reporting on the issue is that they imply sea level rise is all the fault of humans.

This is why the acceleration of sea level rise is what is usually debated, because sea level has been rising naturally, for at least 100 years before humans could be blamed. So, the two questions really are (1) Has sea level rise accelerated?, and (2) how much of the acceleration is due to humans?

Yesterday’s spat between Gavin Schmidt and Willis Eschenbach dealt with the question of whether sea level rise has accelerated or not. Gavin says it has. Willis says not, or at least not by a statistically significant amount.

I’m going to look at the data in a very simple and straightforward manner. I’ll use what I believe are the same data they did (Church & White, from CSIRO, updated through 2013 here), and plot a trend line for the data before 1950 (before humans could reasonably be blamed), and one for the data after 1950:

If we assume that the trend prior to 1950 was natural (we really did not emit much CO2 into the atmosphere before then), and that the following increase in the trend since 1950 was 100% due to humans, we get a human influence of only about 0.3 inches per decade, or 1 inch every 30 years.

Even though it looks like there is some evidence of even stronger acceleration more recently, sea level has varied naturally on multi-decadal time scales, and it is dangerous to extrapolate any short term trends far into the future. Climate models aren’t of much help in determining the human contribution because we have no idea how much of recent warming and glacial melt was natural versus human-caused. Models still can’t explain why glaciers started melting in the mid-1800s, just like they can’t explain why it warmed up so much from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.

The bottom line is that, even if (1) we assume the Church & White tide gauge data are correct, and (2) 100% of the recent acceleration is due to humans, it leads to only 0.3 inches per decade that is our fault, a total of 2 inches since 1950.

As Judith Curry mentioned in her continuing series of posts on sea level rise, we should heed the words of the famous oceanographer, Carl Wunsch, who said,

“At best, the determination and attribution of global-mean sea-level change lies at the very edge of knowledge and technology. Both systematic and random errors are of concern, the former particularly, because of the changes in technology and sampling methods over the many decades, the latter from the very great spatial and temporal variability. It remains possible that the database is insufficient to compute mean sea-level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming, as disappointing as this conclusion may be.”


Do Tourists Cause Global Warming?

The scientific journal Nature Climate Change yesterday published a study measuring the “carbon footprint of global tourism.” It’s big. Taking into account all tourism-related expenditures for transport, shopping, and food, it adds up to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases a year, or 8 percent of global emissions. Here’s the study’s abstract:

Tourism contributes significantly to global gross domestic product, and is forecast to grow at an annual 4 percent, thus outpacing many other economic sectors. However, global carbon emissions related to tourism are currently not well quantified. Here, we quantify tourism-related global carbon flows between 160 countries, and their carbon footprints under origin and destination accounting perspectives. We find that, between 2009 and 2013, tourism’s global carbon footprint has increased from 3.9 to 4.5 GtCO2e, four times more than previously estimated, accounting for about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport, shopping and food are significant contributors. The majority of this footprint is exerted by and in high-income countries. The rapid increase in tourism demand is effectively outstripping the decarbonization of tourism-related technology. We project that, due to its high carbon intensity and continuing growth, tourism will constitute a growing part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“The majority of this footprint is exerted by and in high-income countries.” So you might suppose people in rich countries should eschew or at least dramatically cut back on cruises, jet-setting, and tourism in foreign lands. But the economic fallout for many poor countries would be nasty. As a review article in today’s Climatewire points out, for “small islands popular among travelers . . . the footprint of international visitors . . . may account for as much as 80 percent of their national emissions.” But that means tourism accounts for most of their national incomes. For example, in 2017, the Maldives got 76.6 percent of its national income from tourism.

Maldives and other members of the Association of Small Island States are among the most aggressive advocates of penalizing and restricting fossil fuel consumption in industrialized nations. Have they thought things through?

According to the Nature study, the association between personal wealth and travel is so strong that in countries where per capita income exceeds $40,000, a 10 percent increase in per capita income yields a 13 percent increase in carbon footprint. Even a “modest” carbon tax like that advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would have significant negative impacts on U.S. economic growth, household purchasing power, and employment. That would put a damper on many U.S. households’ vacation plans.

The Nature study looks only at tourism-related emissions, but the carbon footprint for all forms of travel is larger still. In a 2009 report, Beyond Transport Policy, the European Environment Agency (EEA) fretted that despite high motor fuel taxes and tough fuel economy mandates, European Union transport sector emissions had increased by 26 percent during 1990-2006. Here (lightly edited) is how I summarized the agency’s angst at the time:

Why have taxes and mandates failed to reduce transport sector emissions? The EEA report spotlights the unheard-of fact that the “key drivers” of demand for transport services are “external” to the transport sector. So despite what you’ve been told, people don’t drive just for the heck of it, buy airplane tickets for the sheer thrill of flying, ship products or order deliveries just to keep things moving. No, most people use transport vehicles to shop, work, educate their children, vacation, or supply products to customers. And—horrors—they do these things “without considering the consequences on transport demand and greenhouse gas emissions”!

What this implies, of course, is that we cannot have what the EEA calls a “sustainable transport system” until politicians and bureaucrats control those pesky “external drivers”—the other economic sectors that generate the demand for transport services.

The EEA report provides detailed case studies on how three external drivers—food production and consumption, short-haul air travel for business and leisure travel, and education—increase emissions by increasing the demand for transport. Each study reveals what every sober adult should already know. Work causes emissions. Play causes emissions. Education causes emissions.

In short, life causes emissions, especially where people are prosperous, free to come and go as they please, and seek to work, play, and learn.

While acknowledging that transport demand comes from “external drivers” on which transport policies have had little impact, the EEA report fails to go “beyond transport policy.” Despite promising a new approach, the EEA’s solution to the alleged problem of too many people driving, flying, shipping, and importing turns out to be imposing taxes on fuels, imports, passengers, and vehicles.

Both the recent Nature study and the older EEA report miss the big picture. A tourism industry big enough to account for 8 percent of global emissions is a big contributor to human well-being. Here’s how the World Travel & Tourism Council describes the sector in its 2017 annual report:

Despite the ever-increasing and unpredictable shocks from terrorist attacks and political instability, to health pandemics and natural disasters, Travel & Tourism continued to show its resilience in 2016, contributing direct GDP growth of 3.1 percent and supporting 6 million net additional jobs in the sector. In total, Travel & Tourism generated US$7.6 trillion (10.2 percent of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. The sector accounted for 6.6 percent of total global exports and almost 30 percent of total global service exports.

For the sixth successive year, growth in Travel & Tourism outpaced that of the global economy (2.5 percent). Additionally in 2016, direct Travel & Tourism GDP growth not only outperformed the economy-wide growth recorded in 116 of the 185 countries covered by the annual economic impact research (including in major Travel & Tourism economies such as Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico and South Africa), but it also was stronger than the growth recorded in the financial and business services, manufacturing, public services, retail and distribution, and transport sectors.

So by all means, let’s tax fuels, passengers, and vehicles—it won’t harm anyone except a few oil barons and coal magnates! And if climate campaigners really believe that, I’ve got some bridges in Brooklyn I’d like to sell them.




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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