Thursday, August 08, 2019

We must change food production to save the world, says leaked report

This hectoring towards getting us to become vegans or vegetarians comes at us from all sides. The health effects of such a diet are very uneven however, to put it  mildly, so global warming has to be rushed out to fill the gap.  An unexaminable hypothesis is a pretty weak reed to lean on however

Attempts to solve the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions from only cars, factories and power plants are doomed to failure, scientists will warn this week.

A leaked draft of a report on climate change and land use, which is now being debated in Geneva by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.

Humans now exploit 72% of the planet’s ice-free surface to feed, clothe and support Earth’s growing population, the report warns. At the same time, agriculture, forestry and other land use produces almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, about half of all emissions of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, come from cattle and rice fields, while deforestation and the removal of peat lands cause further significant levels of carbon emissions. The impact of intensive agriculture – which has helped the world’s population soar from 1.9 billion a century ago to 7.7 billion – has also increased soil erosion and reduced amounts of organic material in the ground.

In future these problems are likely to get worse. “Climate change exacerbates land degradation through increases in rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, wind, sea-level rise and wave action,” the report states.

It is a bleak analysis of the dangers ahead and comes when rising greenhouse gas emissions have made news after triggering a range of severe meteorological events. These include news that:

* Arctic sea-ice coverage reached near record lows for July;

* The heatwaves that hit Europe last month were between 1.5C and 3C higher because of climate change;

* Global temperatures for July were 1.2C above pre-industrial levels for the month.

This last figure is particularly alarming, as the IPCC has warned that rises greater than 1.5C risk triggering climatic destabilisation while those higher than 2C make such events even more likely. “We are now getting very close to some dangerous tipping points in the behaviour of the climate – but as this latest leaked report of the IPCC’s work reveals, it is going to be very difficult to achieve the cuts we need to make to prevent that happening,” said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The new IPCC report emphasises that land will have to be managed more sustainably so that it releases much less carbon than at present. Peat lands will need to be restored by halting drainage schemes; meat consumption will have to be cut to reduce methane production; while food waste will have to be reduced.

Among the measures put forward by the report is the proposal of a major shift towards vegetarian and vegan diets. “The consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds … presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.

There also needs to be a big change in how land is used, it adds. Policies need to include “improved access to markets, empowering women farmers, expanding access to agricultural services and strengthening land tenure security”, it states. “Early warning systems for weather, crop yields, and seasonal climate events are also critical.”

The chances of politicians and scientists achieving these goals are uncertain, however. Nations are scheduled to meet in late 2020, probably in the UK, at a key conference where delegates will plant how to achieve effective zero-carbon emission policies over the next few decades.

The US, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will have just had its presidential elections. A new Democrat incumbent would likely be sympathetic to moves to control global heating. Re-election of Donald Trump, who has called climate change “a hoax”, would put a very different, far gloomier perspective on hopes of achieving a consensus.


Hockey Stick Groundhog Day

Some ancient history

Fifteen to twenty years ago, Michael Mann and colleagues wrote a few papers claiming that current warming was unprecedented over the last 600 to 2000 years.  Other climate scientists described Mann’s work variously as crap, pathetic, sloppy, and crap.  These papers caught the interest of Stephen McIntyre and this led to the creation of his Climate Audit blog and the publication of papers pointing out the flaws in these hockey stick reconstructions. In particular, Mcintyre and his co-author Ross McKitrick showed that the method used by Mann and colleagues shifted the data in such a way that any data sets that showed an upward trend in the 20th century would receive a stronger weighting in the final reconstruction.  With this method, generation of a hockey-stick shape in the temperature reconstruction was virtually guaranteed, which M&M demonstrated by feeding in random numbers to the method.

As climate scientist Rob Wilson put it in an email,

The whole Macintyre [sic] issue got me thinking about over-fitting and the potential bias of screening against the target climate parameter… I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel…   The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

But the climate science community admitted nothing in public. One climate scientist wrote one of the most revealing emails:

-How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think, that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest.


This is all ancient history, and the issue is discussed in detail in Andrew Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion.

Two new papers
So, I felt a strange sense of deja vu or Groundhog Day when I heard from the BBC that ‘new’ research had found that current warming was unparalleled in 2,000 years. The two papers are written by the PAGES2k team, headed by Raphael Neukom. They are Consistent multidecadal variability in global temperature reconstructions and simulations over the Common Era and No evidence for globally coherent warm and cold periods over the preindustrial Common Era (both paywalled). They use data from a 2017 paper by themselves, A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era.

The PAGES2k data has come in for a lot of criticism at Climate Audit. There are numerous problems, such as inconvenient data being deleted or used upside-down, or the use of ‘stripbark’ data, against the recommendation of an NAS panel.

The new papers are quite open about screening for ‘temperature-sensitive’ proxies. From the “Consistent” paper:

For the reconstructions presented in the main text, we use the subset of records selected on the basis of regional temperature screening and to account for false discovery rates (R-FDR subset). This screening reduces the total number of records from 692 to 257, but increases the GMST reconstruction skill for most methods and skill metrics.

(GMST is global mean surface temperature). That’s a fairly drastic reduction in the number of proxy records. Tucked away in Fig 17 of the Supplementary Information are graphs using the “full unscreened PAGES 2k proxy matrix”, which have a less sticky shape than those in the main paper.

But as is often the case in climate science, it’s worse than we thought. The so-called “unscreened” PAGES2k proxies were in fact already screened, with a substantial culling of tree-ring data! This is from the 2017 “Global multiproxy” paper:

So two rounds of proxy screening have been carried out. Furthermore, in one of the methods they use, the proxies are “weighted by their non-detrended correlation with the GMST reconstruction target over the calibration period”, a further technique that helps to ensure that a hockey-stick will be produced.

Steve McIntyre is on the case, see this twitter thread. The first tweet refers to this weighting issue, and number 4 in the sequence mentions the “superscreening” point. The last (at time of writing), number 23, shows how drastic the screening out of North American tree-ring proxies is in the latest papers.

There is also some decline-hiding going on: in one of the Canadian datasets used, when the time series showed the ‘divergence problem’ (heading downwards when temperature goes upwards), the divergent parts of the series were just deleted. See this blog post by Shub with the relevant parts of the paper highlighted. Again, if you do this, when you combine all the data to get an overall picture, you will get a stronger hockey stick effect.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Time Magazine: Arctic Nearing ‘Point Of No Return’

Again:  No mention of geothermal activity in Greenland or the chain of sporadically active volcanoes along the Gakkel ridge.  Telling only half the story is the Green/Left modus operandi

Climate alarmists continue to seek new vocabulary to express the apocalyptic urgency of their cause, with Time magazine now declaring that the Arctic is nearing a “point of no return,” thanks to global warming.

The latest omens of Earth’s demise have taken the form of “extreme weather events” experienced over the past two months in the globe’s far northern regions.

“Plumes of smoke have been picked up by satellites from wildfires across Alaska and Siberia and Greenland has experienced rapid ice loss as usually frigid regions have experienced heatwaves and record temperatures,” Time‘s Jasmine Aguilera laments.

Aguilera takes for granted that these extreme weather events are “caused by climate change,” since Time-readers apparently believe that there were no floods, forest fires, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, tidal waves, or monsoons prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Not only is anthropogenic climate change to blame for all our weather woes, Aguilera notes, but once it warms, the Arctic can never cool again (despite the fact that the Earth has already experienced five or six major Ice Ages in the past with no help from ‘fossil fuels’).

“The basic chemistry and the basic physics of how the atmosphere absorbs heat — there’s no path where you can imagine that the Arctic is going to start to cool off again,” said Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“Cold air has to come from somewhere, cold air doesn’t just magically appear, and that somewhere has to be accounted for in the entire energy balance of the Earth. Right now, the whole Earth has just warmed up,” Brettschneider said. “It would take a dramatic reversal of the chemical composition of the atmosphere.”

Brettschneider is not the only one to suggest that the Arctic may soon be unsalvageable. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus agrees that the Arctic is nearing a point of no return, Aguilera writes, “as the global temperature increases closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial era levels.”

“We haven’t crossed any major irreversible tipping points yet, but for each tenth of a degree that we get closer to 1.5 [degrees Celsius], it’s sort of like time’s running out,” Holthaus said. “We’re already there in some places where the ice just doesn’t exist in the times and places that it used to. That’s a permanent change effectively to those parts of the Arctic.”

“What’s special about the Arctic is that there really is an on and off switch,” Holthaus said. “Once the ice is gone, it really changes things dramatically, and that’s the process that we’re starting to see play out.”


The weepy Inslee claims to have witnessed climate change: But where?

Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee claims in a July 31 CNN editorial, “I’ve witnessed the devastation that climate change can cause.” The question is, in what alternate reality or foreign country did Inslee see this devastation?

The U.S. Climate Reference Network, a network of more than 100 impeccably maintained temperature stations throughout the United States, reports no warming temperatures since the network became operational in 2005.

In fact, 2019 has been colder than the initial year of the Climate Reference Network – 2005. As noted by meteorologist Anthony Watts, “The data, taken directly from NOAA’s national climate data page, shows not only that much of 2019 was below average, but that the US Temperature average is actually cooler now for 2019 than we were in 2005, when the dataset started.”

Feebly attempting to support his point, Inslee said that he recently visited a Detroit neighborhood that he claims has the nation’s most polluted air. Would no neighborhood have polluted air without global warming? He then mentioned floods in Davenport, Iowa and wildfires in California, as if the Mississippi River floodplain was created during the past decade or there was never a Smokey the Bear created way back in 1944.

Regardless, if there has been no warming in our nation since at least 2005, how can Inslee claim to have “witnessed the devastation that climate change can cause”? Is he running in the 2004 presidential election or the 2020 presidential election?


How Australian families are being slugged with higher power bills to fund a $276million project to save koalas and 'increase climate change awareness'

Families will be slugged with higher electricity bills to a fund multi-million dollar climate change project.

The project, introduced by the NSW government, will help save koalas, 'increase public awareness of climate change' and offer pensioners cheap televisions.

Electricity providers Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy, as well as Sydney Water will have to fork out $276million to contribute to the fund.

This would allow the companies to force their customers to foot 25 per cent of the cost by increasing their electricity bill. 

More than $3.25billion has been contributed to the fund by electricity companies and their customers since 2007, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The move comes after the Federal Government's Renewable Energy target scheme added about $68.50 more to the average electricity bill in 2018.

Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and Sydney Water have been ordered to contribute $134million, $86million, $56million and $740,000 respectively.

A whopping $37.5million will go towards a 'Five Million Trees' initiative and $33.6million will fund coastal and floodplain management to prepare for floods.

The fund will give $6.3million to improve five habitats of koalas, while $3.9million will go towards rebates on energy efficient TVs and fridges for pensioners.

The project will also fund bushfire hazard reduction, rooftop solar systems and more efficient street lighting.

An Ausgrid spokeswoman told the publication they don't directly charge customers more for their bill, but that it does contribute to the fund through the company's price changes.

About nine per cent of bills paid by Endeavour Energy customers contributed to the fund.

An Essential Energy spokeswoman said the company collects 'no more or no less' than what is required by law.

A Sydney Water spokesman said the company has not made their customers contribute to the project in 2019-20.

The environment department regulates how companies will help customers recover the charges for the fund.

But NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean did not explain how the department will ensure the charges are actively monitored.

'Over the period of 2017 to 2022, the Climate Change Fund will have an average cost of around $22 per annum for householders, outweighed by savings of around $60 per annum on energy bills,' Mr Kean said.



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.  

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


No comments: