Monday, May 27, 2019

Humans held responsible for twists and turns of climate change since 1900

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (the Gulfstream to you) has clearly had a large role in explaining oscillations in our climate.  As such it is something of an alternative to CO2 as an influence. So that is pesky to Warmists.

The authors below, however, have done all sorts of revisions, estimates and modelling which have enabled them to claim that the AMO has in fact done nothing. All the changes are due to human deeds.  So a simple explanation has been swapped for a complex one

When you are a Warmist however you have to ignore a lot.  You even have to ignore the philosophy of science.  One of the basic axioms of science is what some people call Occam's razor:  That a simpler explanation is always to be preferred to a complex one. When we apply that axiom to the explanation put forward by the authors below we have to conclude that their explanation is wrong

While industry and agriculture belched greenhouse gases at an increasing pace through the 20th century, global temperature followed a jagged course, surging for 3 decades starting in 1915, leveling off from the 1950s to the late 1970s, and then resuming its climb. For decades, scientists have chalked up these early swings to the planet’s internal variability—in particular, a climatic pacemaker called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which is characterized by long-term shifts in ocean temperatures. But researchers are increasingly questioning whether the AMO played the dominant role once thought. The oceanic pacemaker seems to be fluttering.

It is now possible to explain the record’s twists and turns almost entirely without the AMO, says Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and lead author of a new study published this month in the Journal of Climate. After correcting for the distinct effects of pollution hazes over land and ocean and for flaws in the temperature record, Haustein and his colleagues calculated that the interplay of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollution almost singlehandedly shaped 20th century climate. “It’s very unlikely there’s this ocean leprechaun that produces cyclicity that we don’t know about,” Haustein says—which means it is also unlikely that a future cool swing in the AMO will blunt the ongoing human-driven warming.

Others aren’t convinced the “leprechaun” is entirely vanquished. “They are probably right in that [the AMO] is not as big a player globally as has sometimes been thought,” says Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “But my guess is that they underestimate its role a bit.”

The AMO arose from observations that sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic seem to swing from unusually warm to cold and back over some 20 to 60 years; the ancient climate appears to have had similar swings. Researchers theorized that periodic shifts in the conveyor belt of Atlantic Ocean currents drive this variability. But why the conveyor would regularly speed and slow on its own was a mystery, and the evidence for grand regular oscillations has slowly been eroding, says Gabriele Hegerl, a statistical climatologist at the University of Edinburgh. “Those are harder to defend.”

The new skepticism kicked off with work led by Ben Booth, a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, U.K.. In 2012, he reported in Nature that pollution hazes, or aerosols, began thickening the clouds over the Atlantic in the 1950s, which could have cooled the ocean with little help from an internal oscillation. In the past year, several independent models have yielded similar results. Meanwhile, most global climate models have been unable to reproduce AMO-like oscillations unless researchers include the influence of pollutants, such as soot and sulfates produced by burning fossil fuels, says Amy Clement, a climate scientist at the University of Miami in Florida.

Now, it seems plausible that such human influences, with help from aerosols spewed by volcanic eruptions, drove virtually all 20th century climate change. Haustein and his co-authors tweaked a relatively simple climate model to account for the fact that most pollution originates over land, which heats and cools faster than the ocean—and there’s much more land in the Northern Hemisphere. And they dialed back the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions—a reasonable move, says Booth, who is not affiliated with the study. “We’ve known models respond too strongly to volcanoes.”

The also adjusted the global temperature record to account for a change in how ocean temperatures are measured; during World War II, the British practice of measuring water samples in buckets gave way to systematically warmer U.S. readings of water passing through ships’ intake valves. Past efforts to compensate for that change fell short, Haustein and his team found, so they used data from weather stations on coastlines and islands to correct the record.

As input for the model, the team used greenhouse gas and aerosol records developed for the next U.N. climate report, along with records of historical volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, and El NiƱo warmings of the Pacific. Comparing the simulated climate with the adjusted temperature record, they found that multidecadal variability could explain only 7% of the record. Instead, soot from industry drove early 20th century warming as it drifted into the Arctic, darkening snow and absorbing sunlight. After World War II, light-reflecting sulfate haze from power plants increased, holding off potential warming from rising greenhouse gases. Then, pollution control arrived during the 1970s, allowing warming to speed ahead.

It’s a compelling portrait, but it could have been substantially different if the team had used other, equally justifiable assumptions about the climate impact of aerosols, Booth says. Trenberth thinks the team’s adjustments had the effect of fitting the model to an uncertain record. “There is considerable wiggle room in just what the actual record is,” he says.

Haustein disputes that the team tailored the model to explain the 20th century warming. “All we did was use available data in the most physically consistent way,” he says. The researchers ran the model from 1500 to 2015, and he says it matches paleoclimate records well, including Europe’s Little Ice Age.

If a grand ocean oscillation isn’t shaping climate, a future ocean cooling is unlikely to buy society time to address global warming. But the demise of the AMO also might make it easier to predict what is in store. “All we’re going to get in the future,” Haustein says, “is what we do.”


Why resources aren’t ‘natural’ and will never run out

Last week, the World Wildlife Fund proclaimed May 10 to be Europe’s “Overshoot Day,” the day that Europe consumed its portion of Earth’s resources for the year. The WWF, the United Nations, and universities continue to warn that modern society is rapidly depleting our natural resources. But instead, trends show that for all practical purposes, Earth’s resources will never run out.

The World Wildlife Fund proclaims August 1 this year as Earth Overshoot Day, where society will have used “more natural resources than the planet is able to produce in a 12-month period.” They estimate that Overshoot Day for the United States occurred already in March, warning that the US is using four times its share of sustainable global resources.

Overshoot Day is a continuation of the long-running ideology that humans are consuming too much of Earth’s resources. [I commented on that back in the '70s -- JR]
Environmentalist David Suzuki said, “We live in a world of finite resources. Although it may sometimes seem quite big, Earth is really very small―a tiny blue and green oasis of life in a cold universe.” Margaret Beckett, UK Environment Secretary pointed out in 2006, “It is a stark and arresting fact that, since the middle of the 20th century, humankind has consumed more natural resources than in all previous human history.”

Price trends are usually a good indicator of resource scarcity. The World Bank maintains a world commodity price database of 41 commodities from 1960 to present. Inflation-adjusted trends show that from 1960-2015, food prices have declined, agricultural raw material and industrial metal prices have been flat, and energy prices, dominatedWhy resources aren’t ‘natural’ and will never run out by the price of oil, have increased. Commodity prices fluctuate widely from decade to decade, but we don’t see a rising price trend indicating resource exhaustion.

The 1972 international best-selling book Limits to Growth predicted humanity would run out of aluminum by 2027, copper by 2020, gold by 2001, lead by 2036, mercury by 2013, silver by 2014, and zinc by 2022. But today, none of these metals is in historically short supply.

Global production of industrial metals soared from 1960-2014. Annual production levels were up: aluminum (996 percent), copper (417 percent), iron ore (531 percent), lead (343 percent), nickel (455 percent), tin (66 percent), and zinc (348 percent). At the same time, the World Bank industrial metal real price index of these seven metals was flat, down a little more thanWhy resources aren’t ‘natural’ and will never run out 1 one percent by 2015. World reserves of copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc stand near all-time highs. Prices are not rising as predicted by resource-depletion pessimists.

“Natural resources” is a misleading label. The term “natural resources” conveys the naive idea that food, energy, or materials can merely be plucked from a tree or gathered from a field or stream. Raw materials are natural, but resources are created by humans from raw materials.

Consider the miracle of copper refining. Rock containing copper is fragmented by explosions and then loaded onto huge trucks with 240-ton capacity. Each ton of rock contains only 13 pounds of copper. The copper ore then goes through a series of milling machines that grind the rock down to a fine powder. Next the powder goes through a flotation cell, where the copper floats to the top of a solution and is skimmed off, producing 28 percent copper concentrate. Three different furnaces come next, smelting the metal into 98 percent copper. Finally, electrolysis is used in a half-mile-long factory to produce ingots that are 99.99 percent copper. Advancing human technology continues to produce high-quality copper from ores of declining copper concentration.

But aren’t we running out of raw materials to make copper metal and other resources? Most people don’t realize the vast quantity of raw materials available on our planet. Canadian geologist David Brooks estimated that a single average cubic mile of Earth’s crust contains a billion tons of aluminum (from bauxite), over 500 million tons of iron, a million tons of zinc and 600,000 tons of copper.

There are 57 million such square miles of Earth’s land surface and almost triple that area under the surface of the oceans. Of course, only a tiny fraction of metals in Earth’s crust is economically recoverable with today’s technology. Nevertheless, Earth’s supply of raw materials is finite, but vast.

But aren’t we running out of hydrocarbon energy? In 1977, President Jimmy Carter told the nation, “World consumption of oil is still going up. If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s …we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”

President Carter and his advisors were wrong. Petroleum engineers changed the world with the technological advances of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. United States daily oil production more than doubled from 5 million barrels in 2008 over 12 million barrels today. US natural gas production also doubled over the last decade.Why resources aren’t ‘natural’ and will never run out 2

From 1980-2017 world petroleum production increased more than 50 percent. But world crude oil reserves increased 150 percent, from 27 years of supply to 46 years of supply at higher production rates. The same doomsayers that continue to forecast resource depletion were certain we had reached peak oil a decade ago.

Today, humanity has the greatest abundance of resources in history. Human ingenuity determines resource availability, not the amount of fruit on a tree or the number of rocks on the ground. Driven by advancing human technology, for all practical purposes, Earth’s resources will never run out.


Presidential wannabe’s climate Christmas tree

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee wants to be President of the United States. If elected, he wants to increase spending by $9 trillion (that’s “t”) by 2030 to fight climate change.

Gov. Inslee’s not exactly a household name, and it shows. The second-term governor is among two dozen declared Democrats who are running for president and he does not register in this crowded field – meaning he’s polling nationally somewhere between zero and 0.8 percent. Even Andrew Yang, another obscurity running for the job, polls better.

Presumably in an effort to break out of the tenths-of-a-percent digits in polling, Gov. Inslee last week unveiled his $9 trillion “Evergreen Economy” plan to transform the country to achieve a promised “net-zero climate pollution before 2045.” This plan follows his initial proposal for “100% clean standards for electricity, new vehicles and new buildings” by 2030, and phasing out coal power by 2035.

According to the plan, there is no need to worry about any economic dislocation, such as the fossil fuel industry being put out of business and the millions of American households standing to lose their employment. Gov. Inslee promises “a comprehensive suite of 28 policy initiatives” that would “put Americans to work in every community” with 8 million new jobs in ten years. These jobs will be created in “clean manufacturing,” “climate-smart infrastructure” and scientific research that will pay “family supporting wages & benefits.”

Gov. Inslee’s plan prints out to 35 pages that outline his 28 initiatives. Within those pages are more bullet points than ornaments on the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Let’s give Gov. Inslee some credit: while climate change has become dogma for every Democratic candidate running for president, his plan provides more information than the typical vapid media release of promises from politicians. Rather, his plan is a whole booklet of mostly vapid promises, with some program details like expanding and updating the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

There are two major problems with Gov. Inslee’s “Climate Mission.” First, $9 trillion in additional federal and private sector dollars has to come from somewhere, and there are not enough millionaires and billionaires to come close to paying for this, even if the government confiscated their wealth.

To paraphrase the late Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, a trillion here, a trillion there – pretty soon it adds up to real money. (Sen. Dirksen actually said “billion” back in the 1960s). With the current federal debt at $22 trillion and growing with existing spending and entitlements, it’s hard to know how much longer this spending-and-debt spree can be sustained. All but a handful of politicians from both parties no longer pretend to care about the national debt, so why should Jay Inslee? However, there is a hard reality to the mathematics of financing debt, which is not unlimited.

Gov. Inslee’s plan also would induce or mandate the private sector to spend money, but that is even more impractical since the private economy can’t print money like the federal government does. American industries also have to compete globally with energy producing countries that will continue to use plentiful, lower-cost fossil fuels.  Since Russia and the Middle East do not share Gov. Inslee’s climate change obsession, they will be more than happy to watch him or some other president pursue it.

There is an even bigger, more alarming problem with Gov. Inslee’s climate plan; that is, what if we spent $9 trillion for something completely unnecessary and impractical?

Throughout the Evergreen Plan, Gov. Inslee assumes its necessity and soundness. “We need a president guided by science,” he said, but he offers none in his plan to justify $9 trillion to attempt to turn the nation’s energy sector and infrastructure inside out. For all his stated commitment to “clean” energy, there also is no mention of nuclear, the cleanest energy in use throughout the world today.

Believing in man-made climate change apparently means never having to prove it. The debate is over, the science is settled, we are constantly told. Gov. Inslee all by himself has started a “Climate Movement” where he claims, “[w]e are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it. The science is clear – we have a short period of time to act.” But, nowhere does he reference actual science or explain why there is a “short time” remaining. Instead, we are supposed to believe a politician’s 35 pages of promises to painlessly transform and better our lives for another $9 trillion based on a truism.

An honest look at the science of the climate would throw a lot of cold water on a government takeover of the economy to solve something that may not need fixing – or can’t be fixed. Time and again claims by politicians, activists and government-funded scientists about climate change have been either proven wrong or been worthy of serious skepticism.

Examples that demolish climate myths continue to manifest, mostly recently including the now expanding glaciers in Iceland and Greenland, the real cause of wildfires in California, or how the “greenhouse effect” actually works to impact the earth. The list goes on.

The point is, before we commit to trillions of dollars to any endeavor, especially one proposed by an ambitious politician, a lot more debate and scrutiny is warranted


British police push to prosecute all 1,130 arrested in big Warmist  protests

Scotland Yard is pushing to prosecute all the 1,130 people arrested in the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest as it called for tougher penalties to deter similar demonstrations.

The Metropolitan Police has set up a dedicated unit of 30 officers to investigate the public order offences allegedly committed by the arrested protesters who range in age from 19 to over 70.

"It is our anticipation that we are putting all of those [arrested] to the Crown Prosecution Service," said Laurence Taylor, deputy assistant commissioner.

If successful, it would be the biggest mass prosecution for civil disobedience for at least 37 years, surpassing the anti-nuclear protests at Upper Heyford in 1982


Australian election result should force Labor Party to rethink its climate change policies

The Coalition’s stunning re-election victory is obviously a triumph for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. His campaign strategy of making economic management and the Labor Party’s big-target, big-taxing, transformative agenda the key election issues was a spectacular success.

Labor did not win the seats it was expected to, and needed to, to form government, in Victoria, Western Sydney, across Queensland, or in Western Australia.

But the result also suggests that the politics of the nation are being shaped by a new social geography. This is demonstrated, ironically, by the fate of former prime minister Tony Abbott, who lost his seat at an election that arguably vindicated the political strategy he has long promoted for the Liberal Party regarding climate change.

It was Abbott who led the Coalition to a crushing victory over Labor in 2013 by promising to “axe the carbon tax”. But when Malcolm Turnbull lost the prime ministership in August 2018, many commentators blamed his fall on an Abbott-inspired coup by the “hard-right, climate change-denying” faction of the Liberal Party.

As in Wentworth (which the Liberals will struggle to regain) affluent former Liberal voters who live in harbourside parts of Warringah such as Manly and Mosman have turned against the man who they condemn for strangling Australia’s response to climate change.

But what the election result has comprehensively shown is that neither Warringah nor Wentworth is representative of vast swathes of the rest of the nation, especially on climate policy. Wealthy voters who can easily pay higher electricity prices can literally afford to treat climate change as a moral issue requiring action regardless of the cost, and to thereby treat the election as a referendum on the issue.

But these sentiments were clearly not shared across the wider electorate. The centre-piece of Labor’s transformative agenda – its 50 per cent renewable energy target and 45 per cent emission reduction polices – did not translate into the election-swinging advantage in the key seats that pundits anticipated.

In fact, these policies almost certainly proved a liability, given that Morrison’s focus on economic management heavily targeted Bill Shorten’s repeated failure to explain the cost of his energy policies – a point the Prime Minister effectively drove home during the leaders’ debates.

Moreover, Labor’s climate change stance was undoubtedly influential in regional Queensland, where the equivocal attitude Labor displayed to the Adani mine project turned off voters concerned about mining jobs and the long-term future of the coal industry. The overall closeness of the election result suggests that the nation remains divided over climate policy.

But having staked so much on this issue, Labor’s election loss can only be viewed as a repudiation of its “progressive” approach.

Since the recently departed Bob Hawke’s fourth and final election victory in 1990, the Labor Party has only won two federal elections in its own right: the 1993 GST election and the 2007 WorkChoices election.

In both cases, Labor’s victory heavily relied on the political mistakes of the Coalition over tax and industrial relations.

Otherwise, Labor’s near 30-year quest to find an election-winning agenda of its own that can form the basis of Hawke-style sustained electoral success has produced a meagre political harvest.

Unless Labor is prepared to rethink the political mistakes that led it to support climate policies that have greater appeal to well-off elites of Wentworth and Warringah than to the battlers of Penrith and Picton, its electoral prospects will remain bleak.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"Australian election result should force Labor Party to rethink its climate change policies"

But it won't.