Friday, December 21, 2018

Another attempt to kill the "Pause"

It is perfectly proper to re-analyse an existing body of data, though the analysis is likely to be of interrest only if all steps in the reanalysis are revealed. Revising the data itself, however, is an intrinsically dubious enterprise -- particularly if each revision to the data leads to a result more satisfactory to  theory in circumstances where the original data were not in line with theory

But that is the situation with Warmism. The actual climate data conflict strongly with the global warming theory.  Particularly pesky was the apparent stasis in temperature during the first 14 years of C21.  CO2 levels rose but global temperatures did not. And that is a fatal flaw.  CO2 molecules don't have a little timer in them that tells them when to reflect heat.  They just start reflecting whatever heat they are going to heat immediately they arrive in the atmosphere. So C21 temperatures should have reflected rising CO2 levels but did not.

So the C21 pause is basically quite fatal to Warmism.  But that doesn't dent the beliefs of Warmists of course.  They set about finding a way around the problem.  And data revision is one possibility.  Reanalysing the existing data is harder but is also sometimes attempted.

The first such data revision was by Thomas Karl, the former head of a major NOAA technical center.  He noted that the data on ocean temperature was pretty wobbly and applied "corrections" to it which tended to show that the "missing" C21 heat was still generated but had been swallowed up by the oceans. Why the oceans started doing that only at the turn of the century was unexplained.

There were however enough infelicities in Karl's work to disturb  even a lot of Warmists.  It was a too obvious "fix" with too little attention to all the data.  The work was, in a word, too open to derision.  So some prominent Warmists, including Michael Mann got together as co-authors of the Fyfe paper, which re-admitted a C21 temperature slowdown.  The Fyfe paper was however a ramble rather than a proper scientific report and ended up admitting that they did not know why the slowdown occurred, though various theoretical explanations were suggested.  They spoke of "the EMBRYONIC field of decadal climate prediction" in their conclusions.

But now a gaggle of the old hands have tried again in an article headed by Risbey and including in its co-authrs Stefan Rahmstorf, who believes that temperature changes of thousandths of one degree are significant. The paper claims that "pauses" in warming are common and the early C21 pause is therefore wrongly focused.  They present analyses that give results very different from results presented in hundreds of other papers.

An obvious reason why they get different results is that they use data "through 2016", where 2016 was the height of the El Nino effect. So they include natural warming into CO2-based warming, a handy conflation but a completely illegitimate one

In a second article by Lewandowsky, Michael Mann and others, much the same gaggle of authors rely on a fresh lot of data from the Arctic.  But that is very suspect. There is furious volcanic activity under the Arctic sea-ice, particularly along the Gakkel ridge -- so attributing warming there to atmospheric influences is very tendentious.  The fact that the Arctic warms irregularly and is often out of sync with temperatures elsewhere is in fact pretty clear evidence that temperatures there are not part of anything global.  Incorporating Arctic data into atmospheric climate models is therefore simply unscientific.

Below is a credulous presentation of the latest shenanigans

The United Nations panel of climate science experts mentioned it in a 2013 report, scientists have published more than 200 papers analyzing it, and climate deniers said it was proof that climate change didn't exist, but in reality the global warming "pause" or "hiatus" never occurred.

That is the conclusion of a pair of studies, published Tuesday in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters, based on statistical reassessments of a recent 10-year period that appeared at the time to evince a flattened warming curve.

These are the latest of several assessments to caution that the hiatus theory has no real significance either for climate science or for science-based policy. Even so, they seem unlikely to stamp out the discussion, which has become a deeply embedded meme in some circles.

"In hindsight, with current GMST [Global Mean Surface Temperature] datasets, there is no statistical evidence for a 'pause,'" concluded one of the two studies, which reassessed temperature monitoring from the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The second study, which focused on what appeared to be a difference in observed temperatures and earlier projections from climate models, reached a similar conclusion.

"There was a natural slowdown in the rate of warming during roughly the decade of the 2000s due to a combination of volcanic influences and internal climate variability, but there was no actual 'hiatus' or 'pause' in warming," Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and an author of the climate modeling study, said.

A Lack of Arctic Data

The notion of a pause in warming from approximately 1998 to 2012, was fueled in part by incomplete data and erroneous projections that have since been corrected, the studies conclude.

It's long been obvious that if there had been any blip in the trends it was temporary. The years that followed have hit new temperature records. And new evidence has made clear why some were fooled.

Scientists know, for example, that the Arctic is warming at a faster rate than the planet as a whole, but there weren't enough temperature observations from the Arctic in the early 2000s to accurately measure the changes that were occurring there. As a result, data sets on global temperature tended to omit the Arctic until recently, when researchers came up with a better way to extrapolate data from the region.

"We simply didn't have all the information available at the time," Stephan Lewandowsky, a researcher at the University of Bristol and lead author of the climate modeling report said.

Natural phenomena, including increased volcanic activity and decreased solar activity, also masked human-caused warming during the late '90s and early 2000s, seemingly deviating from what climate models had projected, Lewandowsky said.


Call for Human Self-Extinction

I heartily support this call -- as long as the deed is voluntary.  In which case only those who believe in it will discontinue themselves -- thus ridding us a of a pack of nuisances

As the world's 2.2 billion Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah sent by God the Father to save mankind from sin and death, The New York Times has published an article calling for mankind to be eradicated from the earth.

In a piece entitled "Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?", Clemson philosophy professor Todd May argues that humanity is a scourge of the planet, and the world would be better without us. He's seemingly taking his cue from Marvel's "Infinity War" and its villain Thanos, who [spoiler alert] wipes out half of all life in the universe for the same reasons May expounds.

What horrific crimes has humanity committed making us worthy of self-extinction? According to May, humans are (1) responsible for the "climate change" that is "devastating ecosystems," (2) increasing population encroaching on the ecosystems of animals, and (3) factory farming animals, causing them "nothing but suffering and misery" before they are slaughtered for food.

In summary, "Humanity, then, is the source of devastation of the lives of conscious animals on a scale that is difficult to comprehend."

Interestingly, May never mentions man's inhumanity to man, as with the Holocaust, or genocide in places like Rwanda, as a cause for concern. No, only cruelty to cows, chickens, and pigs warrants his sympathy, and displacement of the snail darter his wrath. Apparently, the thought of inadvertently impacting a species through our development of the earth's resources for human use, or exercising dominion over animals for human good (i.e., for food or labor) is repulsive to May. But the thought of the global extermination of humanity in order to return the earth to its natural state is perfectly acceptable.

May acknowledges that "nature itself is hardly a Valhalla of peace and harmony," noting, "Animals kill other animals regularly, often in ways that we (although not they) would consider cruel." But he then argues the predatory nature of humans is far worse than any other species. That is, however, a subjective judgment that only humans possess the intelligence to make.

After a philosophical exercise in the relative worth of a human soul, in which he highlights the positive contributions of humanity (an advanced level of reasoning, our ability to create art, literature, music, etc.), he contemplates whether it would be worth saving humanity to perpetuate its positive attributes ... before concluding it would not.

May argues, "Unless we believe there is such a profound moral gap between the status of human and nonhuman animals, whatever reasonable answer we come up with will be well surpassed by the harm and suffering we inflict upon animals. There is just too much torment wreaked upon too many animals and too certain a prospect that this is going to continue and probably increase; it would overwhelm anything we might place on the other side of the ledger."

Unless we believe that there is a profound moral gap? Yes, that is exactly what we believe!

Of course, quite hypocritically, May is not quite ready to sacrifice himself to the cause. Instead, he argues that existing humans should take steps to prevent any more humans from coming into the world.

This twisted philosophy finds a welcomed home in the hearts of modern progressives, who have long argued for population control through methods like sterilization and abortion. They paint a bleak, hopeless picture of humanity's future.

In the 1970s, they warned of a "coming Ice Age" that would kill off most of humanity, followed by the dark specter of apocalyptic "climate change," coercing us into abandoning the abundant energy and higher standard of living that comes with industrialization. Harvard biologist George Wald declared in 1970 that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years." Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, argued that due to scarce food supplies "the death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." Ehrlich also insisted that by 1980 "urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution," and he proclaimed "the life expectancy of a man would plummet to just 42 years."

Since then, the global population has more than doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.7 billion, yet rapid advances in technology allow us to grow vastly more food on far less land and with fewer resources, drastically reducing world hunger and poverty. Life expectancy has mostly lengthened, not plummeted. Technology has resulted in cleaner air and water in advanced societies, indicating human ingenuity is the solution, not the problem.

Sadly, it is this contempt for the worth of human life, deeply rooted in the death cult of progressivism, which has truly resulted in unfathomable human (and animal) suffering over the last century. The variants of totalitarian socialism (in which the state is god) have resulted not only in the deaths of six million Jews in the Holocaust, but in the brutal deaths of more than 100 million people whose communist governments deemed them of no value beyond their labor.

America alone has seen 60 million unborn children slaughtered in abortion clinics since 1973. Around the world, Down Syndrome children are being aborted into extinction, and throughout Europe thousands of the sick, elderly, and mentally ill are being euthanized without their consent.

This is the inevitable result when humans no longer believe human life has intrinsic value. Ironically, those who share May's nihilistic view of humanity bring about the greatest suffering.

Though flawed, mankind is also capable of goodness and self-sacrifice. In our absence, animals would be no less predatory, and nature no more forgiving. With humanity, the earth is capable of breathtaking beauty, kindness, and progress. We think we'll stick around.


Trump EPA Rolls Back Another Obama Power Grab

Navigable waters is now clearly defined so as not to be Obama's overly broad power grab. 

Once again under President Donald Trump, some semblance of common sense and sane definitional language returned to the U.S. government. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its proposal for replacing Barack Obama’s 2015 power-grabbing redefinition of the Waters of the United States rule.

Under Obama, the EPA widely expanded the Clean Water Act’s definition of navigable waters to include pretty much every conceivable form of surface water — even irrigation ditches and rain-filled potholes. It was a clear and outrageous case of government overreach.

In announcing the change, acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler explained, “Our proposal would replace the Obama EPA’s 2015 definition with one that respects the limits of the Clean Water Act and provides states and landowners the certainty they need to manage their natural resources and grow local economies. For the first time, we are clearly defining the difference between federally protected waterways and state protected waterways. Our simpler and clearer definition would help landowners understand whether a project on their property will require a federal permit or not, without spending thousands of dollars on engineering and legal professionals.”

Predictably, Democrats and environmentalists were quick to misrepresent the definitional change, calling it a “sickening gift to polluters,” the “dirty water rule,” or as Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) laughably insisted, “nothing short of senseless.” In reality, it was the 2015 EPA’s redefinition of “navigable waters” that was senseless.

The announcement garnered high praise from Republicans, however. “The 2015 rule was an expansion of federal power that used bureaucrat-speak to strip landowners of their rights and local governments of their ability to manage waters within their borders,” said Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). “This new approach is the product of doing it the right way — openly, with the input of the American people.”

It should be normal to have clearly written rules with consistently limited definitions that any member of the public can understand without a lawyer. Regulations that are so overly broad that they prevent individuals from knowing if they are in compliance or not are bad, as they have the potential for abuse of power written all over them. Thankfully, the Trump EPA is seeking to clean things up.


Vatican Wants All Nations To Decarbonize, Stop Using Fossil Fuels

Will they be the first to turn off their lights?

The Vatican has called for the “decarbonization of the current fossil fuel-based economy” in its hard-hitting final declaration for the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, Wednesday.

Climate change, the declaration states, “is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.”

The Vatican praised global leaders who “struggled to find the will to set aside their short-term economic and political interests and work for the common good,” finding consensus in a rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.

The summit and its agreements are an example of “multilateral dialogue,” which is critical for combatting climate change, the Vatican stated.

Unfortunately, it continued, the rulebook does not adequately reflect the “urgency necessary to tackle climate change,” which represents “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

Advancing “the dignity of the human person, alleviating poverty by the promotion of integral human development, and easing the impact of climate change through responsible mitigation and adaptation measures go hand in hand,” it said.

The Vatican also called for a reasonable “transition period,” presumably reflecting the time necessary to move from fossil fuels to alternative forms of energy.

Using the language of vocation, the Vatican text says that we are “called” to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

It also urged “much greater ambition” in anti-CO2 programs in order to achieve “the decarbonization of the current fossil fuel-based economy,” which will demand “lifestyle changes.”

When U.S. presidential adviser Wells Griffith spoke on the benefits of clean-burning fossil fuels in a panel discussion on the side of the Katowice summit, he was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers.

“We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” Griffith said.

The panel underscored the importance of cheap fossil fuels as a means for developing nations to emerge from poverty.


Stop Wasting Australia's Dam Water

by Viv Forbes,

The Saltbush Club today accused state and federal governments of wasting water often desperately needed everywhere west of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. The “Saltbush Water Watch” has been established to monitor government action and inaction and report on priorities.

The Executive Director of the new and growing Saltbush Club, Mr Viv Forbes, said “From Adelaide to Longreach we have allowed green subversives to prevent new dam construction and to dictate the waste of water caught in existing dams.”

“Without water conservation the Murray River would turn back into a string of disconnected waterholes every big drought. More reliable fresh water has benefitted humans and nature all along the river.

“Luckily (and predictably), Tim Flannery’s climate alarm forecasts of endless drought has proved wrong, or this area of Australia would now be depopulated.

“The green activists behind the water waste are not pro-environment – they are anti-human. Humans are part of the environment.

“The Saltbush Club is in the process of setting up several “Watch Groups” to investigate, monitor and report on this political war on human activity. It has appointed Mr Ron Pike, “A Bushie from the Back of Barellan” to lead the Saltbush Water Watch.

“Ron has a lifetime of experience of farming, irrigation and politics in the Murray Darling Basin. He was the first farmer to use water from the Snowy Scheme to irrigate his farm in 1961.

Ron says:

“The food we eat, the water we drink and the power we use for most of our endeavours, are available only because previous generations invested their know-how and money for the future. “It is time this generation did the same.”

Via email


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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