Friday, July 10, 2020

Top Scientists Say Modern Climate Change Is ‘Natural Variability’

A commentary titled “‘Just don’t panic – also about climate change’” by Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt appearing at German site tells us there’s no need for panic with respect to climate change, as leading scientists dial back earlier doomsday projections.

No warming until 2050

Vahrenholt claims a negative Atlantic oscillation is ahead of us and the expected second weak solar cycle in succession will reduce anthropogenic warming in the next 15-30 years.

He cites a recent publication by Judith Curry, who sees a pause in the temperature rise until 2050 as the most likely scenario.

Vahrenholt and Curry are not alone when it comes to believing natural-variability-watered-down warming is in the works.

Also, IPCC heavyweight Jochem Marotzke from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg takes a similar stand in a publication in the Environmental Research Letters.

In the paper, Marotzke concludes that all locations examined show “a cooling trend or lack of warming trend” and that there is “no warming due to natural cooling effects” and that in calculations up to 2049.

The researchers find “a large part of the earth will not warm up because of internal variability.”

Distancing from alarmists Schellnhuber, Rahmstorf

And recently The Max Planck Institute Director Marotzke said in an interview with Andreas Frey of the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (FAZ) that there was no need to panic, thus clearly splitting from the doomsday scenarios put out by his alarmist colleagues Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf.

In the FAZ interview, Marotzke also said there was no need to worry that the port city of Hamburg would be flooded in 2100: “Hamburg will not be threatened, that is totally clear.”

Areas not going to be wiped out

Marotzke then told the FAZ that the fears that children have today for the future are not absolutely well-founded, and that entire areas are not going to be wiped out, as often suggested by alarmists.

Sensational French models

When asked why the French issued a press release warning of worse than expected warming, Marotzke said:

“We thought, my God, what are you doing? Because it is very unlikely that the true climate is as sensitive as shown in the new models.”

When asked by the FAZ why the French had put out such dramatic numbers, Marotzke said: “I don’t know,” adding that the climate models are highly complex. “Too many calculation steps overlap, and sometimes we ourselves are amazed at what we do not understand.”

Speaking up against alarmist models

Vahrenholt summarizes the growing doubt by scientists such as Curry and Marotzke over the use of alarmist models:

One gets the impression someone is speaking out against the alarmist use of models. Perhaps Jochem Marotzke is aware that with the warming coming to an end in the next 30 years, model alarmists (Schellnhuber: “We only have 10 years left“) will have unpleasant questions to answer.

When society realizes that the climate modelers have exaggerated in order to make a political difference, we will know who misled the politicians.”


California Regulators Approve Diesel Power Plan to Avert Wildfire Blackouts

California regulators approved a plan for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to spend up to $170 million on diesel-powered generators to keep electricity flowing during anticipated preemptive blackouts in the 2020 wildfire season.

The plan, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on June 11, allows PG&E to use about 450 megawatts of diesel-powered electricity to power homes, businesses, medical facilities, and other essential places in the event of a wildfire.

CPUC determined PG&E’s use of diesel generators for backup power was the option most likely to avoid a repeat of the electric power blackouts used by PG&E in 2018 and 2019 to reduce the threat of wildfires.

Fossil Fuel Power Needed

PG&E plans to install generators at 63 locations in fire-prone counties, to be activated during dangerous wildfire weather when transformers are turned off to prevent them from sparking wildfires. The power company also plans to install temporary electric microgrids, which operate independently of the main power grid, to provide electricity to streetlights, hospitals, police stations, and stores.

“Our specific objective with the development of temporary microgrids is to provide electricity to resources such as medical facilities and pharmacies, police and fire stations, gas stations, banks, markets, and other shared community services when weather conditions make it unsafe to operate the grid,” Debbie Powell, vice president of PG&E’s Asset & Risk Management, Community Wildfire Safety Program said in a statement.

Clean-Energy Opposition

Dozens of residents and members of environmental groups argued against PG&E’s proposals in a virtual hearing held by CPUC. Opponents said the plan would undermine California’s goal of ending the use of fossil fuels by 2045 and the use of the diesel generators would produce unwanted noise and air pollution in local communities.

“We should not be using the same technologies which got us into this mess and causing these wildfires,” Harlow Pittinger of Sunrise Movement told Courthouse News.

PG&E said it considered non-fossil fuel power generation options but concluded they would be impractical to implement in time to provide power during this year’s wildfire season. CPUC agreed with PG&E’s assessment.

To reduce emissions, the company said its mobile generators can use some amount of vegetable oil-based fuel. PG&E is working with communities to develop microgrids powered by renewable power sources located in the areas where power is needed on an emergency basis in future years to replace the fossil fuel dependent microgrids being brought online this year.

CPUC approved PG&E’s plan for 2020, determining the choice was between Californians suffering through potential preventable blackouts during this fire season, as they have in recent years when power was shut down and no backup was available, or the use of fossil fuel powered generators.

CPUC directed PG&E to find cleaner alternatives to use after 2020.


Obama Judges Undermine Pipelines: A ‘Sneak Peek Of The Biden Energy Plan’

The nation may be awash in oil and natural gas, but U.S. pipelines are running on fumes after three high-profile conduits ran aground in 24 hours, the victims of Obama-appointed judges and regulatory uncertainty under the possibility of a climate-woke Biden presidency.

In this week’s triple whammy, a federal judge ordered the 3-year-old Dakota Access Pipeline to empty pending an environmental review. The Keystone XL pipeline, still under construction, was further delayed after the Supreme Court upheld a lower-court order blocking a permit.

Despite winning a Supreme Court case last month, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy stunned the industry by abandoning after six years the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing the “increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States.”

Environmental activists gushed over the historic three-fer, raising the possibility that the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines could be erased next year by a Biden administration, while Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette blasted the “well-funded obstructionist environmental lobby” for killing the Atlantic Coast project.

The decisions were “more reminders that activist judges and special interest litigants are determining the fate of our national and energy security,” Mr. Brouillette said. “These developments should be deeply concerning for every American at every socio-economic level.”

The rulings show that the U.S. pipeline infrastructure has become the soft target for environmental groups seeking to bring down the fossil fuel industry and replace it with renewable energy in the name of fighting climate change.

“To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, our companies must transition away from the use of fossil fuels,” said Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow. “Building more gas infrastructure now without a clear justification is a recipe for stranded assets.”

The Sierra Club hailed the cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast project as a “monumental, historic victory and will have far-reaching implications,” a “watershed moment in the fight for climate action” and “another indicator of the end of fossil fuels.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican, called that view ironic, given that the nation leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which fell by 12% from 2005 to 2017 thanks largely to the increased use of natural gas instead of coal in electricity generation.

“FACT: Natural gas is responsible for majority of emissions reduction over the last 15 years,” tweeted Mr. Crenshaw. “When leftist radicals stop a natural gas pipeline — the safest way to transport natural gas — you have to wonder if they really care about the environment.”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed that if he wins, he will pull the plug on the Keystone XL pipeline’s U.S. leg, which would run shale oil from Canada to Nebraska.

Bill McKibben, the founder of the climate change group, tweeted that “if Biden wins it’s all over” for the Keystone XL.

“Any investor thinking of putting cash into fossil fuel infrastructure projects should be warned they’re tossing their money away,” Mr. McKibben tweeted.

Heartland Institute President James Taylor said Tuesday that “America just got a sneak peek of the Joe Biden energy plan: ‘Better Green than Employed.’”

“Back in December, Biden said he would be willing to sacrifice oil and gas jobs for his green economy,” Mr. Taylor said. “Now, cancellation of the Atlantic Coast pipeline plan cancels 17,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in economic activity at a time when the American economy and American workers desperately need some good news.”

Stephen Moore, founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, called the pipeline cancellation “more evidence that if Biden wins in November our domestic energy industry will be in rubbles and Saudi Arabia and Russia will be the big winners.”

The Keystone XL was hamstrung in April when U.S. District Court Chief Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, canceled the so-called Nationwide Permit 12 allowing work across waterways.

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed other pipeline projects to proceed while environmental reviews are conducted, but not Keystone XL.

TC Energy in Alberta, Canada, said the company remains committed to the Keystone XL, but will “continue to evaluate our 2020 U.S. scope. In Canada, our work in 2020 remains unchanged.”

Environmentalists said the Dakota Access ruling, which was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement, which could take years.

“The shutdown will remain in place pending completion of a full environmental review, which normally takes several years, and the issuance of new permits,” said Earthjustice, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes. “It may be up to a new administration to make final permitting decisions.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Brouillette described the decision as a loss for the economies of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

The 1,172-mile pipeline, which went online in June 2017, carries oil from North Dakota’s Bakken field to oil terminals in Illinois but was challenged by the tribes over fears about environmental damage. The pipeline runs a half-mile from the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.


New Study Shows Oceans At Their Deepest In 250 Million Years

Sea-level rise would be a complicated topic even if it were not politicized. People often talk as though the seabed were like a bathtub, rigid and immobile, into which water either pours or does not.

But it’s not; it rises and falls in complex local patterns, it erodes and accumulates, it shifts about. And it seems to be drifting downward if you get our drift.

This is continental because a new study says thanks to landmasses moving away from one another the seas are about 250 meters deeper than they were in the heyday of the dinosaurs and the seabeds are older than they’ve ever been.

The effect on ocean currents, heat absorption, and climate is… unclear.

It’s strange to realize that, deep as the seas are, they’re not very deep, in the sense that you wouldn’t think a 2.3-mile car ride very far.

You may have heard that if the Earth were the size of a billiard ball it would be smoother, a very cool factoid lacking just one key quality: accuracy.

Actually the Earth’s surface is rough, like sandpaper. But there is an important truth hidden in that urban legend: The mighty mountains and ocean depths that stir our souls are as grains of sand to the Earth.

If our planet were the size of a billiard ball (namely 5.715 cm give or take .127 mm), Mt. Everest would be 0.04 millimeters high, which would certainly simplify one item on the old bucket list.

And the awesome Marianas Trench would be barely bigger, at 0.45 mm. (Don’t ask how big you’d be unless you fancy a session in the Total Perspective Vortex.)

So yes, even the Marianas Trench is nothing to the planet, despite the intricate way life depends not just on oceans but ocean tides.

As to the importance of ocean depth to the biosphere, well, it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

Back when Allosaurus roamed the Earth, there were very high levels of CO2 and it was warmer (which are not causally related) and despite Al Gore’s blather about a “nature hike through the Book of Revelation” life was doing pretty well… except for the stuff that blundered into the path of Allosaurus.

But how much of the warmth, and biological abundance, is related to the oceans being relatively shallower around the slowly separating Laurasia and Gondwana? Did it contribute to the Jurassic being lusher than the Triassic? And if so how? It’s very complicated.

It’s even hard to know what exactly we’re trying to measure when it comes to “sea-level rise” given that some places, including study author Krister Karlsen’s native Norway, have risen hundreds of meters since the ice last retreated and are still rising a few millimeters a year in a rebound from the glaciers’ crushing mass.

But we have bigger fish to fry here, possibly caught at greater depths.

Are deeper oceans bad for life? Are the currents different? How does this depth, and capacity to store more water, affect other processes including climate?

Notwithstanding the science being settled, no one knows.

But over the last 2.5 million years the planet has seen some very harsh conditions for life, with prolonged glaciations and desertification proving that cold is bad and warmth is good. Does it also prove deep oceans are bad for life?

If so, there’s hope on the horizon. Regrettably, it’s the geological horizon. According to this study, continental drift has moved the various bits of land that resulted when Pangaea broke up as far apart as they can get, and the farther apart they are the older and deeper the seabed gets.

Now they should start moving back together again to form a new supercontinent for which the boring name Pangaea Proxima has been proposed. Before Pangaea, there was Rodinia c. a billion years ago and “earlier yet, the supercontinent Nuna might have existed more than 1.5 billion years ago.”

Those names sure beat calling them Pangaea I, II and III or Pangaea Praevia or some dumb thing. But focus on the “might have” there. Don’t we know?

Well, it turns out we don’t. In fact, the article says, “whether this cycle is related to a sea-level supercycle remains uncertain. ‘It’s hard to say anything about the regularity of such a possible cycle,’ says Karlsen.”

With all this uncertainty, it’s important to hang on to the key point: Sea levels are rising because of bad people doing bad things and it will be bad for the good things.

For instance, we noted last week that after years of warnings that the oceans cannot absorb the man-made CO2 that therefore hangs around in the air cooking the planet and it’s a catastrophe, we were suddenly told the oceans were absorbing too much man-made CO2 and it’s a catastrophe.

But this week we’re again told they can’t absorb enough of it, at least in the western Arctic Ocean and, you’ll never guess, it’s a catastrophe.

That’s always the punchline, which at least saves you the trouble of listening carefully to the joke.

Thus, “thresholds of mangrove survival under rapid sea-level rise” warns us that mangroves cannot cope with the supposed recent doubling in sea-level rise although “The response of mangroves to high rates of relative sea-level rise (RSLR) is poorly understood.”

In fact, NASA is boasting that this November, it will launch the best “state-of-the-art” satellite ever to “collect the most accurate data yet on sea level—a key indicator of how Earth’s warming climate is affecting the oceans, weather, and coastlines.”

Not “whether”, you’ll notice. They already made the finding. Now they just need to corral suitable data.

They’re quite up-front about it. NASA boasts that: “These measurements are important because the oceans and atmosphere are tightly connected. ‘We’re changing our climate, and the clearest signal of that is the rising oceans,’ said Josh Willis, the mission’s project scientist at JPL. ‘More than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is going into the ocean.’ That heat causes seawater to expand, accounting for about one-third of the global average of modern-day sea-level rise. Meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets account for the rest. ‘For climate science, what we need to know is not just sea level today, but sea level compared to 20 years ago. We need long records to do climate science,’ said Willis.”

Um if you don’t even know how sea level today compares to 20 years ago, let alone 2,000 or 2 million or 200 million, how do you already know that the clearest signal that “we” are changing our climate is rising oceans, and that about a third is expanding seawater and two-thirds is meltwater? Verdict first, huh?



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: