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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
FoS Climate Science Newsletter - 2019

By: Ken Gregory, P.Eng.

 

CliSci # 312          2019-09-28

 

Environment Canada Threw out 100 years of Historical Temperature Data

The Blacklock’s Report in Ottawa reported that Environment Canada omitted a century’s worth of observed weather data in developing its computer models on the impacts of climate change.  All of the observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 was scrapped and replaced by computer model simulated temperatures. Lorrie Goldstein wrote about this in the Toronto Sun and the The Province. He wrote “These computer simulations are part of the federal government’s ClimateData.ca website launched by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna on Aug. 15.”  In many cases the observed temperatures scrapped by Environment Canada in creating its computer models, were higher in the past than today. For example, Vancouver had a higher record temperature in 1910 (30.6 °C) than in 2017 (29.5 °C). Toronto had a warmer summer in 1852 (32.2 °C) than in 2017 (31.7 °C). The highest temperature in Moncton in 2017 was four degrees cooler than in 1906. Minister Catherine McKenna gives the public inaccurate information about climate all the time. She blamed flooding in Toronto on man-made climate change, but “the area has been flooding since the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago”. Also see American Thinker.

 

Earth’s Atmosphere Gas Composition

A reader asked Friends of Science where he can find a chart indicating the composition of Earth’s atmosphere. Most pie charts you may find on the internet only show the composition of the dry atmosphere. Water vapour isn't usually shown because it is very variable by location, altitude and time, but It is the most important greenhouse gas. A 1% change in water vapour has 5.48 times the effect on Earth’s energy balance as a 1% change in CO2. The amount of water vapour for the total atmosphere was calculated from the precipitable water vapour (PWV) in 2018 (year average) from NOAA's NCEP reanalysis here. The PWV is the thickness in mm of the water vapour of a column of atmosphere if it was all precipitated as liquid water. I convert it to parts per million (ppm). Water vapour concentration declines greatly with altitude. Water vapour in ppm near the surface can be calculated from the specific humidity global average. I have prepared pie-in-pie charts of the composition of Earth's atmosphere for the total atmosphere and for the near surface atmosphere. The global average water vapour concentration is 42 times that of CO2 near the surface, and 9.5 times that of CO2 of the total atmosphere.

 

Why the Huge Discrepancy of Tropical Warming Between Climate Models and Observations?

Everyone who follows climate science knows that there are huge discrepancies between warming in the tropics compared to the climate model simulations, both at the surface and in the atmosphere. Satellites have been observing the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes since 2003, both the shortwave solar radiation and the longwave earth radiation.  As the Earth changes temperatures, the radiation imbalance at the TOA changes. Dr. Spencer presented an analysis that compared the ratio of short-term TOA radiative fluxes (sum of longwave and shortwave) to tropical lower troposphere temperature changes, as determined by satellite observations and as simulated by 19 climate models. Spencer wrote “The observations suggest a much larger resistance to a temperature change (vertical axis [of the chart]) than the models do, by over a factor of 4, for the same temperature change.” The measurements show the TOA response is 4.5 times that of the climate models. This large, temperature stabilizing feedback is also the reason that the observed monthly temperature changes are only 54% of that of the models. If this large negative feedback were programmed into climate models they would simulate a much lower rate of temperature rise.

 

No Arctic Warming in 90 Years

A paper (Arazny et al 2019) published this year provides Arctic air temperature information from four scientific expeditions in the years 1899 to 1931. These expeditions were to the Franz Josef Land of the Arctic located east of Greenland. The abstract says “During the 1930/1931 expedition, which represents the Early Twentieth Century Warming (ETCW), conditions were clearly more favourable (including predicted clothing insulation being 0.3 clo lower and 4.0 °C higher wind chill temperature than conditions observed nowadays).” The conclusions state “During the 1930/31 expedition it was 4.6 °C warmer than the years 1981–2010.” Kenneth Richard wrote a summary of several papers on Arctic temperature reconstructions. “There has been no significant net warming in Greenland during the last 90 years according to newly published papers.”

 

Changes in US Regional Precipitation on Multiple Time Scales

Ross McKitrick and John Christy published a paper in the Journal of Hydrology, preprint here, that evaluates the US regional precipitation trends. Precipitation is affected by long-term persistence, meaning that a dry year is often followed by many dry years. The trends depends strongly on the start and end years of the trend analyses. The authors found that Palmer Drought Index changes of the US southeast and Pacific Coast regions post 1900 are within the range of natural variability. A new database of precipitation over 1901-2017 shows an upward trend that is not consistently significant and the trend largely disappears in the full record from 1872. The trends “disappear or reverse in the post-1978 portion of the data set, which is inconsistent with them being responses to enhanced greenhouse gas forcing.  The recent US Climate Science Special Report concludes “confidence is high that precipitation extremes will increase in frequency and intensity in the future” throughout the US due to rising greenhouse gas levels. At the same time it cautions that significant natural variability precludes attribution of past drought and flood trends to anthropogenic forcing. That report should have said confidence is low because attribution of past precipitation in not possible.


 

CliSci # 311          2019-09-11

 

Florida Major Hurricane Strikes: No Significant Increase in Intensity from Sea Surface Warming

Have landfalling major hurricanes on the east coast of Florida increased in intensity from warming sea surface temperatures? Twenty-two major hurricanes have struck the east coast of Florida (including the Keys) since 1871. The observed increase in intensity of these storms at landfall due to SST warming over the years has been a statistically insignificant 0.43 knots per decade (0.5 mph per decade) as calculated by Dr. Spencer.  From 1879 to 2018 the sea surface temperature trend in the region south-east of Florida during the hurricane season was 0.019 ± 0.005 °C/decade, or 0.032 ± 0.015 °C/decade from 1950 to 2018. There is a very weak relationship between SST and hurricane intensity of +13.5 ± 15.4 knots/°C of SST warming, which is not statistically significant. The confidence intervals are one standard deviation, 68%. Multiplying the larger warming trend by the wind speed change per temperature change gives 0.43 ± 0.53 knots/decade, or 0.50 ± 0.61 mph/decade.  As this is statistically insignificant at 1 standard deviation, there has been no observed increase in landfalling east coast Florida major hurricane strength with warming.

 

Western Hudson Bay Polar Bears in Great Shape After Five Good Sea Ice Seasons

Dr. Susan Crockford criticized polar bear researcher Andrew Derocher for not publishing the body weight and condition he has collected on Western Hudson Bay (WHB) polar bears over the last 25 years. She says that observations of ice conditions and the conditions of bears recorded onshore shows that the last five sea ice seasons for the WHB polar bears have been good. Derocher implied on twitter that 2019 was the first good year in many years, which Crockford calls “nonsense”. This year the fall freeze-up was slightly before the 1980s average and “at least half of Derocher’s tagged bears were still out on the ice at the end of July.” Crockford recounts the sea ice conditions 2015 to 2018 and finds them almost identical to the 1980s. Back in 1983 there was a very late freeze-up that hit the bears very hard and “they had not come off the ice in very good shape.” Crockford wrote “It looks to me that conditions now are actually better than in the 1980s.”

 

Sea Levels: A Case Study of North America

A study of relative sea level rise from tide gauges of North America published last month shows that sea level rise will not be a problem. There are 20 long-term tide gauges along the Pacific coast of North America. The average rate of rise is -0.38 mm/year (negative meaning falling!) with an average acceleration of +0.0012 mm/year2. This implies that the sea level on the Pacific coast in 50 years (2019 – 2069) would be 1.8 cm lower than it is now. There are 33 long-term tide gauges along the Atlantic Coast of North America. The average relative sea level rise is 2.22 mm/year, and the average acceleration is +0.0027 mm/year2. This implies that the sea level on the Atlantic coast in 50 years would be 12 cm higher than it is now.

 

Sea Levels: West Coast Canada

I updated my graph in the Sea Level Rise section of my Climate Science Essay on the Friends of Science website [access from home page bottom of the first column of the 3-column section, or in Climate Science > General Climate Sciences] of the west coast of Canada’s sea level rise based on 10 long-term tide gauges. The graph shows a sea level decline of 0.049 mm/year. In 50 years the sea levels on the west coast of Canada may be 2.5 mm lower than now if the trend continues.

 

Electric Cars Have Higher CO2 Emissions

The Australian newspaper reported that Australia’s eastern states are responsible for more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than gasoline powered vehicles, according to an expert report. The article reported that the electric car policy of the Labor party would require up to A$7 billion of recharging infrastructure across the nation. CO2 emissions from electric vehicles in the state of Victoria are particularly high, similar to the average diesel vehicle CO2 emissions, which are 29% higher than gasoline vehicles. ”The engineering firm ABMARC who prepared the report, say that on average, in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Queensland, gasoline vehicles “provide less CO2 than electric vehicles”, with ABMARC linking the emissions disparity with “Australia’s continued reliance on coal-fired power stations”.

 

Solar Energy Badly Harms the Environment. It Must Be Taxed, Not Subsidised

An article published in The Times of India argues that solar power is extremely expensive, seriously harms the environment and should be taxed, not subsidized. The author is an economist and was instrumental in forming the Swarna Bharat Party which stands opposes subsidies. The India government plans to subsidized solar energy by $6.5 billion until 2022 plus indirect subsidies by renewable energy certificates. As solar energy is extremely dilute, it requires vast land areas, “thus pushing out forests and harming biodiversity.” During winter, rooftop solar “generates less than 10% of its capacity for days on end.” Solar power can by compared to fossil fuels only when the cost of batteries is included. A set of batteries costing $200,000 and weighing over 20,000 pounds are needed to store the equivalent of one barrel of oil. “The energy equivalent of about 100 barrels of oil is required to fabricate a quantity of batteries that can store a single barrel of oil-equivalent energy”.

 

The Gestalt of Heat Waves

Clyde Spencer wrote an article about heat waves where he examined the historical temperature variability and the differences between the daily Tmin and Tmax. The IPCC is predicting an increase in heat waves. Heat waves are usually defined as a period of a few days when the daily high temperature is significantly above the short-term average high temperature. The US Environmental Protection Agency presents this graph showing in the US the most intense heat waves were in the 1930s. Spencer calculates the coefficient of variation (CoV) of the Tmax (or a normalized standard deviation) from land only temperature data and found that since 1950 there has been a small upward trend in the CoV until 1996, then it starts to decline. The decline of the CoV of Tmax implies there is no empirical support for the prediction that future heatwaves will be worse or more frequent. 

The CoV for Tmin shows a decline to 1952, increasing to 1990, than declining. The declining trends are expected by the greenhouse effect (also by the heat island effect) as it impedes the cooling at night so decreases the Tmin variance. But it is hard to explain the increase in the CoV of Tmin from 1952 to 1990. A plot of the Tmax to Tmin difference shows declining values to 1990 as expected, but the difference increases after 1990. This is counter to greenhouse warming theory.


 

CliSci # 310          2019-08-26

 

The Heartland 13th International Conference on Climate Change

I attended the 13th international Conference on Climate Change on July 25, 2019 in Washington D.C. at the Trump International Hotel. The conference featured 27 excellent speakers. The Heartland 13th ICCC website shows most of the video presentations here.  Click on the “Videos” tab. The talks are grouped by topics Scientific Observations, Energy and Climate Economics, Winning Public Policy Options and Advancing from Theory to Practice. I met with two strong supporters of Friends of Science for dinner and excellent conversation the evening before the conference. We enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to speak with many of the speakers and scientists.

 

The Climate Story Forbes Doesn’t Want You to Read

Journalist Doron Levin wrote an article for Forbes based on an interview with Dr. Nir Shaviv about the solar effects of climate change and related issues. It describes the scientific research published over many years by Professors Henrik Svensmark and Nir Shaviv. The article was published on Forbes website on August 9, and it received 40,000 impressions in “a couple of hours” according the Shaviv. Soon afterwards the article was taken down because it did not conform to the IPCC generated consensus. The webpage now says “This page is no longer active. We regret any inconvenience.” However, a copy of the article is published here. Shaviv is quoted “Based on the increase of solar activity during the twentieth century, it should account for between half to two-thirds of all climate change,” he said. “That, in turn, implies that climate sensitivity to CO2 should be about 1.0 degree [Celsius] when the amount of CO2 doubles.” Shaviv wrote an article just after the Levin story was censored by Forbes which provides the scientific backing for the main points raised in the interview.

 

Groundwater Resources in Africa Resilient to Climate Change

A paper published in Nature show that groundwater resources in Africa are resilient to global warming, and contrary to climate models, the resource may increase with warming. Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground. The study investigated how groundwater is replenished in different climate zones. The authors used multi-decadal records of groundwater levels and rainfall. In humid areas groundwater is replenished primarily by rainfall the directly infiltrates the land surface, whereas in drylands it occurs predominantly by leakage from temporary streams and ponds. This leakage is enhanced during heavy rainfall events which are commonly associated with ENSO. Economic models of climate change currently assume that global warming will reduce water resources in arid regions. This study shows that assumption is wrong; more and intense rainfall associated with global warming in arid regions will increase ground water recharge. See this UCL news release and this Conversation article about the study.

 

No U.S. Warming Since 2005

About 80% of weather stations in the USA used to monitor climate are non-compliant with NOAA’s standards as they are located too close to artificial heat sources or sinks. The NOAA/NCDC homogenization adjustment of their main temperature dataset causes temperature trends of well sited stations to be adjusted upwards to match the trends of poorly sited stations that are contaminated by the nearby hear source and urban development. However, NOAA created the Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consisting of 114 rural temperature monitoring stations unaffected by local or urban development. This article by James Taylor presents the USCRN temperature record (graph here) which shows no warming since 2005 when the network went online. Taylor says “There is also good reason to believe U.S. temperatures have not warmed at all since the 1930s. Raw temperature readings at the preexisting stations indicate temperatures are the same now as 80 years ago. All of the asserted U.S. warming since 1930 is the product of the controversial adjustments made to the raw data.”

 

Deaths from Climate and Non-Climate Catastrophes

From 1920 to 2017, climate-related deaths, including floods, droughts, storms and extreme temperatures, have declined by 95%.  This decline is curtesy of fossil fuels and increasing technology and wealth that increases our resilience to catastrophes. See this graph from Bjorn Lomborg. Notice that the reduction in absolute deaths has happened while the global population has increased four-fold. The individual risk of dying from climate-related disasters has declined by 98.9% from the 1920s to the last decade.

 

Britain Should Impose Limits on New Wind and Solar Farms

More than a million households and businesses were left in the dark and commuters stranded when the lights went out in Great Britain on August 9, 2019. Colin Gibson, who was power network director of Britain’s electricity system, claimed that some existing turbines and solar panels may have to be disconnected and new developments restricted, to “secure” the system. The outage occurred after the Little Barford gas-fired power station in Cambridgeshire and a major wind farm off the Yorkshire coast both temporarily stopped producing electricity. According to the Financial Times, a provisional report by National Grid suggested that the wind farm may have tripped offline seconds before the Little Barford power station.

 

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

This policy brief published by the Heartland Institute reviews recent research to determine if there is any evidence from long-term coastal tide gauges of any acceleration and then examines claims that islands and coral atolls are being inundated by rising sea levels. Parker and Ollier (2017) described six datasets of tide gauges they characterized as especially high quality. The paper lists the average trend of the six datasets and the acceleration. All of the tide gauges used has a range of more than 60 years. The average trend and acceleration is 1.425 mm/yr and 0.0026 mm/yr2, respectively. The trend is the rate of sea level rise at around the midpoint of the time range. Assuming the average tide gauge range is 80 years, the current sea level rise is estimated by adding the acceleration over 40 years to the trend. This calculation gives an estimated 1.53 mm/year current rate of sea level rise. This value is much less than estimated by the IPCC. Local sea level rise in many areas are affected by land subsidence due to groundwater depletion and, to a lesser extent, subsidence from glacial isostatic adjustment and tectonic land movements. A recent analysis of changes in the areas of 27 reef islands from Pacific atolls concluded they were growing due to coral growth and sediment transport on to the reef flats.


 

CliSci # 309          2019-08-10

 

1970s: Earth Warmed 0.6°C From 1880-1940 And Cooled -0.3°C From 1940-1970. Now It’s 0.1°C And -0.05°C.

Kenneth Richard wrote a good summary of the surface temperature manipulations of the major global datasets. The consensus in the mid-1970s was that “the globe had warmed by +0.6°C from 1880 to 1940, and then cooled by -0.3°C (to -0.4°C) from 1940 to 1970.” Then several climate scientists featured in the climate-gate scandal exchanged emails about changing the temperature data by removing warming of 0.15 degC from the 1940s because the 1940s were  “too warm”. The emails said the southern temperature are “mostly made up” due to insufficient coverage and they had “fun” in 1995 “inventing” monthly temperature anomalies. The 1880 to 1940 warming trend has been slashed from +0.6°C (1970s) to +0.1°C today. “The 1949 to 1970 global cooling [-0.3°C] has be transformed into a -0.05 °C hiatus.”

 

Twelve Centuries of European Summer Droughts

This EurekAlert news release presents results of a study led by Fredrik Ljungqvist that reveals northern Europe has tended to get wetter and southern Europe to get drier during warmer periods. The recent changes in drought patterns are not unprecedented. A comparison between the drought history and simulations from climate models “revealed that the climate model simulations show a too strong relationship between warm and dry summers, and do not capture that a large part of Europe has received more precipitation, not less, when it has been warm in the past 12 centuries.” Dr. Ljungqvist said, “The climate model simulations seem to underestimate how large parts of Europe actually experiences wetter summers when the climate is warmer. Our study implies a possible exaggeration in the climate models of temperature-driven drought risk in parts of northern Europe under global warming.”

 

12 New Papers Provide Robust Evidence The Earth Was Warmer During Medieval Times

Kenneth Richard wrote “The Medieval Warm Period (1100 years BP) was 1.5°C warmer than today (14°C vs. 12.5°C) in the SE Pacific or Southern Ocean.” A paper presents a sea surface temperature record from the southern Chilean margin in the Pacific spanning the last 2,300 years. It show a large cooling from 14 °C at 1,100 years before present (BP, means before 1950) at the Medieval Warm Period to 12.5 °C at 600 years BP. Another paper reported an accumulation of mummified southern Elephant seals from an island on the Victoria Land Coast, Antarctica. “Elephant seals used to breed on the Victoria Land Coast ~1000 years ago because there was open water access back then whereas this region is locked in sea ice today. To escape the reach of modern sea ice, elephant seal breeding colonies are now located ~2,400 km further north (sub-Antarctic islands) of where they bred during Medieval times. Another paper finds that “There has been a rapid drop (approximately -1°C to -1.5°C) in sea surface temperatures during the last 50 years near the coast of Peru. 1-2°C warmer temperatures persisted ~1,000 years ago.”

 

Holocene Temperature and Ice Cap History of Northwest Greenland

This paper presents a new summer temperature reconstruction of northwest Greenland using subfossil insect assemblages from the sedimentation history of a lake near the margin of the ice sheet. The warmest temperatures were between 10 and 6.2 thousand years before present followed by cooling to the last millennium. The maximum temperatures were “at least 2.4 – 3 °C warmer than modern and at least 3.5–4 °C warmer than the pre-industrial last millennium.” The authors infer that the “North Ice Cap reached its present-day size ~1850 AD, having been smaller than present through most of the preceding Holocene.” The paper reveals “NW Greenland’s “outlet glaciers were smaller than today from ~9.4 to 0.2 ka BP” (9,400 to 200 years before 1950), and that “most of the land-based margin reached its maximum Holocene extent in the last millennium and likely the last few hundred years.”

 

New IPCC Report on Climate Change and Land

The IPCC publishes a special report on climate and land after a week-long approval plenary where government delegates modified and approved the 43-page summary for policy makers. The final full report will be changed to agree with the changes made by the government delegates. Judith Curry provided a list of reviews and commentary about the report. Humans manage about 72% of ice-free land area, including 12% for growing crops, 22% for managed forests, 37% is grasslands for grazing and other uses, and 1% for Infrastructure. The report says, “Enhancing food security and reducing malnutrition, whilst also halting and reversing desertification and land degradation, are fundamental societal challenges that are increasingly aggravated by the need to both adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts without compromising the non-material benefits of land.” The report says that the total amount of forest across the world declined by around 3% from 1990-2015. Curry remarks “Growing crops for biofuels makes no sense, especially if you cut down forests to do this.” The report claims that warming conditions and changing rainfall patterns will also “trigger changes in land- and crop management, such as changes in planting and harvest dates, type of crops, and type of cultivars”, the report notes, “which may alter the conditions for soil erosion”. In general, the report says conditions will get worse, whereas in reality, everything, especially crop yields are getter better. Also see this article by Eric Worrall at WUWT.

 

1200 Year Reconstruction of Temperature Extremes in the Northeastern Mediterranean Region

 Extreme heat years have “substantially” declined over the last 450 years (since CO2 emissions began rising). The warmest and highest extreme years occurred during Medieval times according to this paper. The authors compiled 132 maximum latewood density (MXD) tree‐ring series of living and relict pine trees from high‐elevation sites in Greece. Forty series reach back into the first millennium and the oldest sample dates to 575 CE. Analysis of temperature extremes reveals the coldest decades were 1061–1070 and 1811–1820. The warmest decades were 1141–1150 and 1481–1490.

 

Energy Storage Costs Must Fall 90% to Reach Renewable Energy’s Full Potential

The cost of energy storage will be critical in determining how much renewable energy can contribute to the decarbonization of electricity. A new study found that technologies with energy storage capacity costs below $20/kWh could enable cost-competitive baseload power that is available all of the time over a twenty-year period. This would require a 90% drop in storage costs relative to today’s technologies. However, allowing the renewable energy system to fail to meet demand for just 5% of the hours over a 20-year period can halve the cost of renewable electricity, the researchers report. The trick there is to figure out how to supply electricity for the remaining 5% hours.


 

CliSci # 308          2019-07-23

 

Oscillations of the Baseline of Solar Magnetic Field and Solar Irradiance on a Millennial Timescale

Dr. Valentina Zharkova of the Northumbria University, U.K. published a paper in Nature last month that describes a long-term oscillation of the solar background magnetic field associated with the double dynamo waves generated in two layers of the Sun. She says the solar activity is heading in the next three decades to a modern grand minimum. A reconstruction of the solar total irradiance suggests that the total solar irradiance (TSI) has increased by 1 to 1.5 W/m2 since the Maunder minimum, closely correlated with the Earth’s temperature. The authors calculated a double dynamo summary curve of magnetic field variations back in time 100,000 years which includes the grand (350 to 400 year) solar cycles. The super-grand cycle oscillation of the baseline magnetic field has a period of 1950 ± 95 years. This cycle is associated with a long-term solar inertial motion about the barycenter of the solar system and the increase in TSI and terrestrial temperatures of the past two centuries. Figure 2 of the paper shows strikingly similar patterns in five grand cycles repeating every 2000-2100 years. The last minimum of a super-grand cycle occurred at the beginning of Maunder minimum. The amplitude of the super grand cycle is small, only about 1.8% of the amplitude of the grand cycle. A substantial temperature decrease is expected during the next grand minima in 2020-2055, excluding any human-induced factors. See this video of an interview with Dr. Zharkova where she discusses the paper.

 

Biased Data Undermines the England and Wales Precipitation Record

An article in Nature says “The England and Wales Precipitation (EWP) series is a continuous monthly record of British snow and rainfall, stretching back to 1766.” Climate scientists have used this record to claim the warming would cause winters to become wetter and summers drier. “Their reconstruction showed that the EWP underestimated winter precipitation before 1870, whereas summer rainfall was overestimated before 1820. As a result, the widely accepted conclusion that winters have become wetter and summers dryer since 1766 appears to be an artefact.”

The source paper found that precipitation for pre-1879 winters are biased low due to gauge under-catch of snowfall. The authors are less certain that the pre-1820 precipitation are too high due to decreasing network density and less certain data at key stations.

 

Cosmic Rays Influence Earth’s Climate During Geomagnetic Reversal

New evidence from Chinese Loess Plateau during the Earth’s last geomagnetic reversal transition 780,000 years ago reveals that galactic cosmic rays (GCR) affect climate by increasing cloud cover. A paper published in Nature, Scientific Reports provides evidence of the GCR-induced cloud effect on the East-Asian monsoon during the last geomagnetic reversal. The monsoon records from the Chinese Loess Plateau shows that the summer monsoon was affected by the climate events before and after the reversal. The winter monsoon intensified and dust accumulation rates increased, coinciding with a cooling event in Osaka Bay. The winter monsoon intensified for 5000 years during which the Earth’s magnetic field weaken to less than 25% of its present strength and the GCR flux increased by more than 50%. The annual average temperature dropped 2 to 3 °C during the magnetic field reversal period. The winter monsoon is caused by the influx of cold, dry wind from the Siberian air mass. The higher GCR flux increased low-cloud cover over the Siberian High which increased the land-ocean temperature gradient, which intensified the winter monsoon. A summary of the research is provided by Kobe University, Japan. Professor Hyodo, an author of the study said “This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”

 

How Much CO2 and the Sun Contribute to Global Warming

The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ESC) is the most important measure for the CO2 influence on our climate, but its estimated value ranges by a factor of eight. Dr. Hermann Harde published a paper that presents detailed line-by-line radiation transfer calculations and results from an advanced 2-layer climate model to investigate the contribution of greenhouse gases and solar effects of global warming. The simulations reproduce the direct, no-feedback equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of CO2 as estimated by the IPCC within a few percent. The model gives a positive water vapour feedback of not more that 14%, which is 1/7 of the IPCC's value. The model shows that the surface temperatures increase faster than air temperatures, so warming causes more convection and evaporation and precipitation, resulting in strong negative feedbacks. The simulations show that the global warming and cloud changes can best be explained when the temperature feedback on clouds has only a minor effect but the sun has a large effect on lower cloud cover. The author estimates the climate sensitivity of 0.7 °C and a solar sensitivity of 0.17 °C for a 0.1% increase in TSI. The sun contributed 60% and GHG contributed 40% of the warming over 100 years.  A summary of his paper is here.

 

The USA Levelized Cost of Electricity for Five Generation Sources

Using the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports, blogger David Middleton compiled the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for five generation sources for the years 2014-2019. He presents tables showing capacity factor, capital costs, fixed and variable operating costs, transmission costs and subsidies. Note that the LCOE for intermittent renewables does not include costs imposed on backup systems, primarily natural gas, which are forced to rapidly vary their output to offset the variability of renewable power. The table below presents the LCOE without subsidies for 3 years.

 

LCOE without Subsidies

 

Wind

Year

$/MWh

Nat Gas CC

Nuclear

Solar PV

Onshore

Offshore

2015

2013 USD

72.60

95.20

125.30

73.60

196.90

2018

2017 USD

49.00

92.60

63.20

59.10

138.00

2019

2018 USD

41.20

77.50

60.00

55.90

130.40

The LCOE of natural gas closed cycle plants in 2019 was only 57% of that in 2015. Solar PV LCOE in 2019 was 48% of that in 2015. Solar PV capacity factor is only 29%. It doesn’t work 71% of the time. Electricity generated by natural gas is much cheaper than any other source, and it has the great advantage of being dispatchable and dependable.

Detection of UHI Bias in China’s Climate Network

A new study shows that about 50% of the recorded warming of China since the 1940’s is due to uncorrected urbanization bias. The near-surface temperature records show that China warmed by about 0.8 °C from 1950 to 2010. The study used the divergence between the minimum (Tmin) and maximum (Tmax) temperatures since the 1940s to estimate the urban heat island effect (UHIE). Atmospheric boundary layer physics predict much higher UHI effect during the night at Tmin than at the daytime at Tmax. The regions in China with the largest Tmin-Tmax divergence are also the most populated, thus the temperature warming is strongly affected by UHI. The actual warming divergence of the Tmin-Tmax over China, 1950-2010, was 4.4 time the average climate model prediction of Tmin-Tmax. The government temperature indexes do not correct for the UHIE. NASA’s GISS UHI correction algorithm was intended to remove the UHIE, but instead it increases the warming in 45% of the adjustments.


 

CliSci # 307          2019-07-10

 

Resilience of Central Pacific Corals to Repeated Heat Stress Events

Climate alarmists claim that continued global warming will cause coral reefs to suffer widespread bleaching-related mortality in the future. A recent study [Donner and Carilli 2019] shows that corals acclimatized to heat stress. A review by CO2 Science says the authors analyzed nine years of coral reef survey data of the Gilbert Islands of the Republic of Kiribati from 2004 and remote sensing variables to evaluate the coral’s response and recovery from multiple heat stress events. The corals experienced heat stress from El Niño events, but despite similar levels of heat, fewer coral were bleached during the 2009/10 El Niño than the 2004/05 El Niño. The scientists conclude that corals of the Gilbert Islands "showed evidence of acclimation to heat stress." The abstract says “Spatial and temporal patterns in benthic cover suggest growing resistance to bleaching-level heat stress among coral communities subject to high inter-annual temperature variability and local disturbance, due to the spread of “weedy” and temperature-tolerant species…”.

 

The Appalling Environmental Cost Of Wind Energy

A new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) shows that wind farms are killing thousands of birds, ducks and bats in Germany. The report “The Impact of Wind Energy on Wildlife and the Environment” contains contributions from several authors. It reports that about 200,000 bats are killed annually at onshore wind turbines in Germany alone. The number of wind turbines in Germany have tripled over 18 years 2000 to 2017. The death toll on bats may already be ecologically significant and there is concern for their future populations. Windfarm operators are evading strict compliance with the rules, to detriment of both birds and bats. Some bird species have grown in numbers in recent years due to conservation programs. Birds of prey and ducks are disproportionately endangered by collisions with wind turbines. Wind turbines will likely have a population-relevant effect on the buzzard and the red kite.

 

Norwegian Polar Bears Continue to Thrive in 2019

Dr. Susan Crockford reports “Results from spring Norwegian fieldwork in the Svalbard region of the Barents Sea are in and they show that despite having to deal with the most extreme loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, polar bears in this region continue to thrive.” Svalbard is the western half of the ‘Barents Sea’ polar bear subpopulation. Polar bear data were collected by researchers of the Norwegian Polar Institute from March to May, 2019. The institute published a body condition index of adult male polar bears for March-May over the period 1993-2019. There is no significant trend over that time period; however, there is a large upward trend of the median condition from 2016 to 2019. The 2019 median polar bear condition was the highest recorded since 1994! There is no significant trend over time in the proportion of females with one-year-old cubs nor new cubs of the year. The new results show the polar bears in the Svalbard region are thriving despite a profound decline of late summer sea ice. Late spring sea ice in the Svalbard area this year at 28 June remains above average and the Barents Sea in general still has abundant ice.

 

Failed Predictions: May Was the Second Wettest Month in US History

The 2010 publication, titled "A Global Overview Of Drought and Heat-Induced Tree Mortality Reveals Emerging Climate Change Risks for Forests" was accepted by the Obama administration as scientific evidence that climate change had made the Earth "increasingly vulnerable to higher background tree mortality rates and die-off in response to future warming and drought, even in environments that are not normally considered water-limited."  But NOAA reported that May U.S. precipitation totaled an average of 4.41 inches (112 mm, or 3.6 mm/day), 1.50 inches above average, and ranked second wettest in the 125-year period of record for May as well as second wettest for all months since January 1895. See more at American Thinker.   According to CRU precipitation data, the US precipitation trend 1901-2018 is increasing by 0.16 mm/day/century.

 

Austrian Weather Agency: “Glaciers Have Recovered” Due To A “Snowy Winter”

The Austrian weather service has confirmed that last winter, the glaciers in the Hohe Tauern have grown more strongly than they have for 20 years. The Hohe Tauern glaciers have grown “up to 25%” when compared to an average winter. The snow depth was measured using some 560 probes scattered on the glacier. After the measurements in April this year, the cool and humid May caused the snow cover in the high mountains to grow by another 100 to 150 cm.

 

Contrary to Predictions, Great Lakes Water Levels Now at Record Highs

Dr. Roy Spencer wrote “When the Great Lakes water levels were unusually low from approximately 2000 through 2012 or so, this was pointed to as evidence that global warming was causing the Great Lakes to dry up.” A National Geographic 2012 article titled “Warming Lakes: Climate Change and Variability Drive Low Water Levels on the Great Lakes” blame human-caused climate change in part for the low lake levels. Then in two year, low lake levels changed to high lake levels. This was attributed to high precipitation and an unusually cold winter that caused the lakes to freeze over, reducing evaporation. All of the Great Lakes have reached record high level in June 2019. Recently, climate alarmist changed their story to claim that human-caused climate change has caused the water levels to become more variable. Spencer presents graphs  that show no increased variability since 1917, when levels started being accurately monitored.

 

Part of the Pacific Ocean Is Not Warming as Expected, Why?

An article published by Phys.org compares the climate model predictions of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface warming to observations. The models predict that all of the Pacific tropics should be warming, but in fact part of the tropics called the “equatorial cold tongue” which is along the equator from Peru into the western Pacific, is not warming. The article says “It is produced by equatorial trade winds that blow from east to west, piling up warm surface water in the west Pacific, and also pushing surface water away from the equator itself. This makes way for colder waters to well up from the depths, creating the cold tongue.” The models say the region should have started warming decades ago but it remains cool. The equatorial cold tongue plays a key role in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A new paper reports that scientists using a simplified model of the region found that the climate models have too high relative humidity and too low wind speeds, which make them too sensitive to greenhouse gases. In the real world, heat added by rising GHG is offset by upwelling of cold water from below.


 

CliSci # 306          2019-06-23

 

The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-related Mortality

Temperature-related mortality Is a major driver of high social cost of carbon dioxide values in most integrated assessment models. Real world data tells a different story. Temperature-related deaths in the U.S. have decline dramatically over the 20th century. This paper published in 2013 by the National Bureau of Economic Research says “Using the most comprehensive set of data files ever compiled on mortality and its determinants over the course of the 20th century, this paper makes two primary discoveries. First, we find that the mortality effect of an extremely hot day declined by about 80% between 1900-1959 and 1960-2004. As a consequence, days with temperatures exceeding 90°F [32 °C] were responsible for about 600 premature fatalities annually in the 1960-2004 period, compared to the approximately 3,600 premature fatalities that would have occurred if the temperature-mortality relationship from before 1960 still prevailed. Second, the adoption of residential air conditioning (AC) explains essentially the entire decline in the temperature-mortality relationship.”

Total Precipitable Water and the Greenhouse Effect

Total precipitable water is an important climate parameter as it is a measure of the total amount of water vapour which is the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Water vapor increases with global warming and in the climate models it amplifies the direct small warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. It is often incorrectly assumed that an increase in total precipitable water corresponds to a positive water vapour feedback. The greenhouse effect is very sensitive to water vapour in the upper atmosphere. Water vapour in the 12 to 9 km altitude layer has 81 times the greenhouse effect as water vapour in the surface to 1.5 km altitude. This article written by me shows that based on humidity data from a major reanalysis dataset, declining humidity in the upper atmosphere offsets the greenhouse effect of increasing humidity in the lower atmosphere. The greenhouse effect of increasing water vapour in the atmosphere may not have caused a positive water vapor feedback, contrary to climate models. This may explain why the climate models have simulated a global surface warming from 1979 to 2018 of over twice the satellite observed warming.

Domestic Livestock and Climate Change

A report by The Food and Agricultural Organization raised a concern in 2006 that domestic livestock was causing global warming through increasing methane emissions. This paper asks “is global climate really at risk from livestock husbandry and cropping?” CO2 emitted by livestock respiration and digestion does not increase atmospheric CO2 levels as it was previously captured through photosynthesis and is offset by growing crops.  Methane (CH4) growth stabilized in the 1990s. World cattle population rose by over 100 million between 1990 and 2005 with no increase is atmospheric CH4. The geographical distribution of domestic animal density shows no relationship to the global distribution of methane concentrations. The paper “exposed important methodological deficiencies in IPCC and FAO instructions and applications for the quantification of the manmade part of non-CO2 greenhouse  gas emissions from agro-ecosystems.” Main point of the paper are given at NoTricksZone.

 

Fire Facts Foil Climate Fraud

PM Justin Trudeau said “Canadians are seeing the impact of climate change with an increase in wildfires in Western Canada.” The government of Canada declared a climate emergency in part due to a fear that climate change will and has increased forest fires. The Canadian National Fire Database graph here shows the number of forest fires in Canada have declined significantly (about by half) from 1989 to 2017. The area burned has been quite variable, but the six years with the greatest area burned from 1980 were all before 1999. A post by Gregory Wrightstone criticized the U.S. 4th National Climate Assessment report for falsely claiming the climate change is increasing forest fires. He refers to several studies that show the global burned area has been declining, include in North America. He wrote “Many fire experts agree that the decline is due to increasing soil moisture content owing to warming temperatures (more precipitation) and increasing CO2 (lessened water needs by plants).” But CO2 also enhances tree growth which provide more fuel for fires. The key graph shows the global area burned has declined from 5 million km2/yr in the 1910s to 3.6 million km2 in the 2000s.

 

Florida Bay Islands Grow in Size

A study of 15 island in the Florida Bay, USA, and their mangrove forests used 61 years of historical aerial photographs and a 27-year series of Landsat images to evaluate their resilience to inundation by sea level rise. The study showed that the “low-lying islands significantly increased in area” and “there was a positive relationship between the increase of island area and mangrove expansion in these islands”. Much like coral reefs, the growing forests can increase the elevation of the islands in response to sea level rise.

 

Role of Humans in Past Hurricane Potential Intensity Is Unclear

A climate model study analyzed model experiments to determine if North Atlantic hurricane intensity can be attributed to human-caused emissions over 1958-2005. Of the 11 climate models analysed, the authors found that seven model predicted an increase in intensity in response to emissions, which four did not. One model predicted a decreasing trend of hurricane potential intensity and two models predicted an increasing trend. The abstract says “These results indicate that currently we cannot attribute changes in North Atlantic hurricane intensity to human‐related forcings.”

 

U.S. Atlantic Shoreline Area Increases Due to Beach Nourishment

A new paper Armstrong and Lazarus (2019) reports that the U.S. Atlantic shoreline is growing in area, not eroding, after 1960 at approximately +5 cm/year, indicating widespread apparent accretion despite steady sea level rise. The authors used U.S. Geological Survey shoreline records from 1830–2007 spanning more than 2,500 km of the U.S. Atlantic Coast to calculate a mean rate of shoreline change. Cumulative sediment input by natural and human activity have caused the beach areas to grow.  The authors then spins this good news by claiming that the growing beach areas are masking the “true” rates of shoreline erosion. Huh?


 

CliSci # 305          2019-06-06

 

Tertiary Hyperthermal Events: Precursors of Today?

A paper published in SSRN reviews the hyperthermal events at 56 to 52 million years ago (Ma). There was a dramatic warming event 56 Ma known as Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) when the global temperature increased several degrees in a few thousand years and the deep ocean’s acidity increased by 0.3-0.4 pH units. There were six hyperthermal events from 54.2 to 52.8 Ma during period known as the Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO). During this time the global temperatures were 5 to 10 °C warmer than the current, the warmest of the last 100 million years. These temperature changes caused partial extinction of some small, marine animals and the diversification and expansion of other marine animals. Temperature changes also caused extinctions of some mammals, followed by diversification of many modern mammals, including Primates. The CO2 content in the atmosphere during the warm periods were usually more than 5 times higher than present in the Mesozoic. Sediment chemical analysis has shown that warming precedes the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere. Orbital forcing is the primary cause of the six hyperthermal events. Other proposed processes can’t account for the timing of those events. The co-author is Albert Jacobs, a founder of the Friends of Science Society.

 

Dr. Patrick Moore’s Response to the Biodiversity Report

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife held a Hearing on May 22, 2019 on Responding to the Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The IPBES is an United Nations organization established in 2012. “The report finds that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.” CliSci #304 presented a rebuttal of the IPBES report by Gregory Wrightstone. Only 3 known species came extinct in the 2000s. Dr. Patrick Moore wrote in his submission to the hearing “Fewer than 900 extinctions have been documented in the 500 years since 1500 AD. About 95 percent of them were on islands.” Moore explains that the primary causes of species extinctions by humans are overhunting, eradication of pests, massive clearing of native ecosystems for food and biofuel production and the introduction of predators. The IBPES claims there are 8 million species, but 6.2 million of those are unidentified and unnamed. Moore wrote “This is highly unprofessional. Scientists should not, in fact cannot, predict estimates of endangered species or species extinction based on millions of undocumented species.” Most of the assumed unidentified species are insects and microbes. [alt link]

 

Canadian Historical Snow Survey Data and Analysis of Snow Water Equivalent Trends, 1967–2016

Snow depths and snow water equivalent (SWE) observation are made at approximately 1000 sites across Canada in support of water resource planning. This paper presents an analysis of the data over the 50-year period from 1967 to 2016. The data shows large spatial variability, but only a small percentage of sites shows statistically significant trends. The largest negative trends are over lower latitudes and there were mainly positive trends in the Arctic SWE. Arctic sites showed increasing trends in 1 April snowpack density of 6.6 kg/m3 per decade with little change is snow depth. The abstract says “This has potentially important consequences for the soil thermal regime because it provides a cooling influence from an increase in snowpack effective thermal conductivity.”

 

Projections of Future Rice Yields in the Northeast China Plain

CO2Science.org reviewed a paper Zhang et al. (2019) that investigated the effect of temperature change and CO2 fertilization on rice yields in the northeast China plain using “a well-validated crop model”.  China is the world's largest producer of rice, producing 30% of the global total. The impact of temperature rise without the CO2 fertilization effect was reported as 1.3% increase in yield at 1.5 °C, 0.4% at 1.8 °C and -2.3% at 2.4 °C. The impact of temperature rise and with the CO2 fertilization effect was reported as 10.0% at 1.5 °C & 517 ppm CO2, 11.6% at 1.8 °C & 536 ppm and 12.9% at 2.4 °C & 640 ppm.  The yield at a 2.4 °C temperature rise changed from a decline of 2.3% without CO2 fertilization to a yield gain of 12.9% with the CO2 fertilization effect at 640 ppm CO2 concentration. The paper concludes that “CO2 fertilization effects [will] predominate over the effects of climate change in the middle and late 21st century, with benefits for rice yields." However, CO2Science notes that “several rice genotypes have been shown to be highly sensitive to atmospheric CO2 enrichment, producing a doubling of yield or more if CO2 concentrations rise to the levels predicted in the RCP8.5 scenario by the end of the century.” If rice farmer adapt to the changing CO2 levels by switching to those rice, ”farmers will see incredible and sustained future rice yields throughout the entire 21st century and beyond!”

 

Recent Tornadoes are Due to Unusually Cold Weather

Fox News reported “A vicious storm tore through the western outskirts of Kansas City on Tuesday, spawning one or more tornadoes that downed trees and power lines, damaged homes and injured at least 12 people in the latest barrage of severe weather that saw tornado warnings as far east as New York City.” Several US politician are blaming global warming for the extreme weather. Dr. Spencer published an oped in Fox New that explains tornadoes require strong wind shear, which is changes in wind velocity with height, which exists only when a cool air mass collides with a warm air mass. That is, “tornado formation requires unusually cool air.” In May, the lower troposphere in the USA was 0.61 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Spencer wrote “In recent decades, slow warming in the U.S. has been accompanied by fewer of these cold springtime air masses over the West. …  The long-term trend of strong (EF3) to violent (EF5) tornadoes has been decidedly downward, with 2018 experiencing a record low in activity. … The alarmist claims of AOC, Gore, and Sanders are not just speculative; they opposed by our observations and by meteorological theory.”

 

AMOC Sensitivity to Surface Buoyancy Fluxes

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a major ocean current that consists of a northward flow of warm, salty water in the upper layers of the Atlantic, and a southward flow of colder, deep waters. A paper published in Climate Dynamics investigated the sensitivity of the AMOC to surface heat and freshwater fluxes in an ocean general circulation model.  It reports that ocean heat loss from the subpolar region in the winter strengthens the AMOC at a lead time of 6 months, while the same heal flux in the summer leads to a delayed AMOC weakening at a lag of 8 months. This is attributed to buoyancy changes due to salinity responses which counteract the impact of heat fluxes to a varying extent depending on the seasonal mixed layer depth. The seasonality in the AMOC sensitivity to surface freshwater fluxes, from melting ice, is less pronounced with no sign reversal between the response to summer and winter perturbations.

 

Kriged Sea Level Rise

This post at WUWT presents a reconstruction of sea level rise (SLR) derived by kriging tide gauge data corrected for vertical land velocity as measured by GPS. Kriging is a statistical interpolation method which takes into account how observations differ over distance. The reconstruction indicates a SLR trend of 2.3 mm/yr from 1900 to 2017. The trends from both 1960 to 2017 and 1993 to 2017 are 2.5 mm/yr. This trend is less that the trend from satellite data of 3.0 mm/yr from 1993 to 2017 (net of the 0.3 mm/y of global isostatic adjustment for comparison).


 

CliSci # 304          2019-05-21

 

The Little Ice Age and 20th-century Deep Pacific Cooling

Energy balance calculations of equilibrium climate sensitivity assume that the oceans are at temperature equilibrium at the initial period used to calculate the temperature change. The Earth cooled considerably from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. The cooling surface waters is now in the deep oceans. A new paper by Gebbie and Huybers (G&H 2019) used an ocean circulation model and modern and paleoceanographic observations from both the end of the 19th century and the end of the 20th century to show that the deep Pacific ocean is still cooling. The abstract says “The implied heat loss in the deep ocean since 1750 CE offsets one-fourth of the global heat gain in the upper ocean.” The paper says “historical model simulations are biased toward overestimating ocean heat uptake when initialized at equilibrium during the Little Ice Age”.  The ongoing deep Pacific is cooling, which revises Earth's overall heat budget since 1750 downward by 35%.

The Lewis & Curry 2018 paper (L&C 2018) estimated the ECS at 1.50 °C per CO2 doubling by the energy balance method. It assumed there was no temperature or heat content change in the oceans below 2000 m from the initial period of 1869–1882 to 1992. The G&H 2019 paper shows that the global ocean heat was declining until 1950. If heat uptake used in L&C 2018 is revised downward by 35%, the ESC would be 1.38 °C. I have criticized the L&C 2018 paper for not accounting for the natural warming from the Little Ice Age and the urban heat island effect. With those corrections the ECS may be 1.01 °C, which is 32% of the climate models’ average value.

 

Plant Growth Is Increasing Nearly Linearly With CO2

Scientists from Australia and France measured the strength of the earth’s biosphere response to increasing CO2. They examined global photosynthesis satellite data, laboratory studies and used new modeling. The scientists found that photosynthesis, which extracts CO2 from the atmosphere, has increased in nearly constant proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO2. "This is an important step forward in the long and complex task of gauging how terrestrial vegetation will respond to climate change in the longer term," Associate Professor Cernusak said. The study is important because two of the three most cited economic models of climate change (DICE and PAGE) that calculates the cost/benefits of CO2 emissions all but ignore the benefits of CO2 fertilization, and one model (FUND) assumes that the benefits will quickly saturate. If those models were calibrated to the data, the calculated social benefits of CO2 emissions would significantly exceed the social costs.

 

Continuous Observations in the North Atlantic: More Variable Than Expected

The first results of a continuous observation system in the North Atlantic challenges the long-held view that the Labrador Sea dominates ocean-circulation variability, says a report published in Physics Today. The Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) moves warm surface water from the tropical Atlantic to higher latitudes where it loses heat to the atmosphere. The cold, salty and dense water in the northern Atlantic sinks to a depth of 1 to 5 km and travels southward back to the tropics. This over-turning circulations takes about 600 years. The $35-million Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) is an array of deployed moored instruments and sub-surface floats that continuously measure temperature, salinity and velocity at regular depth intervals in the northern Atlantic. The array extends from Labrador to southern Greenland to the north west coast of Scotland. An article on WUWT shows the MOC flow rate from August 2014 to April 2016. The variability of the eastern North Atlantic between Greenland and Scotland is up to one-half of the total flow, which is far greater than project designers expected. The article’s author wrote “the surprisingly large variations in flow challenge expectations derived from climate models regarding the relative amount of overturning between the Labrador Sea and the gateway to the Arctic between Greenland and Scotland.” The overturning in the Labrador Sea is much smaller than the scientists expected.

 

Mass Extinction Lie Exposed: Life Is Thriving

Gregory Wrightstone on his blog criticized a recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which claims that human actions threaten around 1 million species with extinction, many within decades. The International Union for Conservation of Nature produces a “Red List”, which catalogues every known species that has gone extinct. A chart shows all 529 species from the Red List with a known extinction date by decade of extinction from 1500. It shows that extinctions peaked in the late 1800s and early 20th century with 2 decades that had extinctions greater than 50 each. The extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia). A chart here from 1870 shows the extinction rate declined from 42 per decade in the 1930s to 29 in the 1980s, 12 in the 1990s, and 3 in the 2000s. Wrightstone wrote “instead of a frightening increase, extinctions are actually in a significant decline.” The BBC reported that according to IUCN data, only one animal, a mollusk, has been identified as having gone extinct since 2000, as shown at NoTricksZone here.

 

End-Paleozoic Mass Extinction: Hierarchy of Causes

A paper published this year examined the largest mass extinction in the Phanerozoic which occurred at the boundary between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, about 252 million years ago. A geological time scale chart is here. The abstract says the extinction occurred in two steps; first around the Middle-Late Permian boundary and then at the Permian-Triassic boundary. (The Permian period was at the end of the Paleozoic era.) There were large temperature drops at both times associated with the biodiversity drops. The end-Permian extinction is often attributed to mantle plume-generated large igneous provinces, which are large accumulations of igneous rocks when magma moves to the surface. In addition to volcanic activity, the article says galactic cosmic radiation could have had a profound impact on Earth’s climate by causing extensive cloud coverage. Starburst events in our galaxy coincide in timing with the cooling associated with the end-Permian extinction. An earlier paper showed there was a large drop in sea levels during the extinction event which could only be caused by a large increase in ice over the continents. This ice age lasted only 80,000 years, but the extreme cold killed off 95% of marine species.


 

CliSci # 303          2019-05-05

 

PostMedia Censors Climate Science Ads

I wrote a article titled “Climate Science and Economics” dated March 24, 2019 which was published on the FOSS website, Economics section here. The article has links to many scientific references. It explains that empirical evidence shows that much of the warming recorded by thermometers since 1850 was a combination of natural warming and urban warming, with greenhouse gases causing a significant but lesser role. The climate model’s average trend in the bulk troposphere since 1980 is 250% of the measurement, so the models and projections are wrong. One economic model shows that Canadians benefit from greenhouse gas emissions by over C$100 billion per year by 2100. I registered with Elections Alberta as an election third party advertiser then contracted with PostMedia to publish three ads based on my article to be published in the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal in both the print editions and the website editions. The three ads, ‘Climate models are running too hot’, ‘Alberta’s climate plan: A burden with no benefit’ and ‘CO2 fertilization and warming benefits us all’, are here. I pre-paid the ads on March 29. The first two ads were published by April 8 as per the agreement. On April 10, I received an email from PostMedia saying that the Editorial department canceled the ad campaign, thereby breaking our contractual agreement. The two ads were removed from the websites prematurely and the third ad was not published. The explanation was "We are not in the business of presenting incorrect information if we know it to be so." PostMedia did not say what information in their opinion was incorrect and did not provide any evidence that anything in the ads were inaccurate.

 

The Weakness of Tropospheric Warming as Confirmed by AIRS

Dr. Roy Spencer published a series of blog post that compares temperatures trends from NASA’s Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) instrument on a NASA satellite to the UAH lower troposphere data and other satellite derived temperature datasets. The first article shows that the AIRS instrument can only measure surface temperatures when there are no clouds. RSS, NOAA and UW continue to use an old NOAA-14 satellite that has a large warming bias due its drift far from it initial local observation time that can’t be corrected. Spencer shows the UAH data has the best agreement with radiosondes and reanalyses data. The second article compares the AIRS data trends Sept. 2002 through March 2019 over the USA to NOAA and UAH lower troposphere trends. The AIRS surface temperature trend at night is 0.57 °C/decade while the daytime trend is only 0.15 °C/decade. This is a very large daily temperature trend range compared to other datasets. However, the UAH data matches well with the AIRS daily average through the atmosphere to 8 km altitude. 80% of the US warming has been at night. The third article compares the global UAH, RSS and AIRS lower troposphere (LT) temperature variations from Sept. 2002. There is amazingly good agreement between UAH LT and AIRS temperature trends, despite that AIRS can’t measure through clouds. The RSS LT trend is 0.07 °C/decade greater than AIRS and UAH LT trends. The AIRS data validates the UAH LT record of only modest tropospheric warming, and falsifies the too high trend of RSS LT.

 

A New 200‐year Spatial Reconstruction of West Antarctic Surface Mass Balance

Antarctica consisted of a large Eastern ice sheet, a smaller Western ice sheet and the Antarctic peninsula. The Eastern ice sheet has been slightly gaining ice from 1992, but the Western ice sheet mass trend is more uncertain. A new paper published in Geophysical Research: Atmospheres,  presents a reconstruction of the surface mass balance (SMB) over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) spanning 1800-2010. The study is based on ice core records combined with a European reanalysis model and a regional climate model. The results show a significant negative trend of -1.9 ± 2.2 Gt/yr over the WAIS during the 19th century but a significant positive trend of 5.4 ± 2.9 Gt/yr between 1900 and 2010. In contrast, the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) shows opposite SMB trends to the WAIS trends with different signs in the 19th and 20th centuries. The study compared the trends to large-scale atmospheric oscillations. The SMB in the AP and WAIS are significantly correlated with the Southern Annular Mode (the north–south movement of the westerly wind belt that circles Antarctica), but the correlations are unstable.

 

Impacts of Urban Encroachment on Air Temperature Observations

In response to criticism to NOAA’s temperature data set that many of its stations are poorly sited and affected by urban warming, NOAA conducted a multi-year experiment to study the impact of urban development on temperatures. The experiment at Oak Ridge, TN consists of a station in a built-up area and four stations placed over grass at increasing distances 4, 30, 50, 124 and 300 m from the built-up area. The abstract says “temperature observations were warmest for the site closest to the built environment with an average temperature difference of 0.31 and 0.24 °C for aspirated and unaspirated sensors respectively. Mean aspirated temperature differences were greater during the evening (0.47 °C) than day (0.16 °C). … These results suggest that small-scale urban encroachment within 50 meters of a station can have important impacts on daily temperature extrema (maximum and minimum)”.  The paper is here. An aspirated station includes a fan inside the radiation shield. The paper is discussed here. Anthony Watts had previous published the effects of siting on 30-year temperature trends. He showed that the temperature trends of well sited surface stations are only 63% of the official adjusted NOAA temperature trends, see graph.

 

Natural Variability Contributes to Recent Arctic Sea Ice Loss

A model study of Arctic sea ice provides a regional estimate of the role of natural internal variability on the observed sea ice loss over the last half century. The study, which used the Community Earth System Model, shows that the role of internal variability depends strongly on the month and region.  Natural variability accounts for more than 60% of the Kara Sea late summer sea ice loss. The spring sea ice loss in the Barents Sea and other areas has been dominated by internal variability, not by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. However, internal variability may account for less than 10% of late summer sea ice loss in the East Siberian Sea.

 

Electric Vehicles Considerably Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars

A new German study exposes how electric vehicles will hardly decrease CO2 emissions in Europe over the coming years. Electric vehicles have "significantly higher CO2 emissions than diesel cars." That is due to the significant amount of energy used in the mining and processing of lithium, cobalt, and manganese, which are critical raw materials for the production of electric car batteries. The researchers carried out their detailed calculations using the concrete examples of a modern electric car and a modern diesel vehicle. The Brussel Times reports that considering the CO2 emissions related to production of batteries and the Germany energy mix in electricity generation, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than diesel vehicles. In their study, the authors criticize the fact that EU legislation allows electric vehicles to be included in calculations for fleet emissions with a value of “zero” CO2 emissions. The reality is that, in addition to the CO2 emissions generated in the production of electric vehicles, almost all EU countries generate significant CO2 emissions from charging the vehicles’ batteries using their national energy production mixes.


 

CliSci # 302      2019-04-20

 

Friends of Science Event  ‘Polar Bears and Solar Flares’

After a tasty dinner at the Red and White Club in Calgary on April 10, 2019, polar bear researcher and author Dr. Susan Crockford showed evidence that polar bears are far more resilient to climate change that is commonly believed. She showed that polar bear populations have been increasing in recent decades despite the declining summer sea ice area. The global polar bear population has likely increased by a factor of 4 from the 1960’s to around 39,000 today. She sold her new book “The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened” at the event, which is available here. Next, Dr. Willie Soon showed the audience that there are strong correlations between daytime high temperatures and the variations of solar radiation, implying that the sun is the main driver of climate change. Dr. Soon shows that the variability of solar radiation is much larger than suggested by the sun spot numbers.  He also presented clear evidence that the government temperature indexes are strongly affected by the urban heat island effect. The two presentations are available on the Friends of Science website.

 

Hurricanes & Climate Change: 21st Century Projections

Dr. Judith Curry has finished her series of blog posts on hurricanes. The first two blog posts in the series was discussed in CliSci # 299. The third post about landfalling hurricanes show that there has been a statistically insignificant decreasing trends of U.S. landfalling total hurricanes and major hurricanes (Category 3-5) from 1900 to 2017. The fourth post discussed four recent U.S. landfalling hurricanes. Of the four, only the amount of rainfall in hurricane Harvey in 2017 can plausibly be link to global warming. Dr. Curry wrote a final blog post of the series on projections of hurricane activity to 2100 in response to human-caused global warming and the role of natural climate change. Climate models that parameterized hurricanes are far too sensitive to increasing CO2. They give climate sensitivities averaging 3.2 °C versus 1. 6 °C from a observationally-based energy budget study. This biases the impact of hurricanes high. Curry wrote “Most climate models predict a decrease in the global number of hurricanes by 2100.“ The GFDL hurricane model projects the maximum intensity will increase by about 5% during the 21st century and the median hurricane size will remain nearly constant globally. An investigation of the effects of natural decadal variability on hurricanes shows that the models do not have any prediction skill beyond a decade at most. This is because of large uncertainties in the timing of shifts in the multidecadal indices such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A shift of the AMO to its cool phase, expected in about 7 years,  would likely result in fewer hurricanes, lower values of accumulated cyclone energy.

 

The Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland Is Advancing and Thickening as Regional Ocean Cools

The Jakobshavn Glacier in West Greenland drains 6.5% of the Greenland ice sheet and produces around 10% of all Greenland icebergs. It was the largest source of mass loss from Greenland over the last 20 years. A paper published last month in Nature says “Here we use airborne altimetry and satellite imagery to show that since 2016 Jakobshavn has been re-advancing, slowing and thickening. We link these changes to concurrent cooling of ocean waters in Disko Bay that spill over into Ilulissat Icefjord. Ocean temperatures in the bay’s upper 250 m have cooled to levels not seen since the mid 1980s.” The ocean cooling is linked to heat loss in the current that circulates around southern Greenland.

 

Urbanization Has Increased Minimum Temperatures 1.7 °C in the UK

A study of the urbanization effect on daily maximum and minimum temperatures in the United Kingdom found that the annually averaged minimum temperatures from surface weather stations in fully urban areas were 1.9 °C higher than rural areas while the daily maximum temperatures were not significantly affected by urbanization. In London, England, the urban heat island intensity (UHII) of the minimum temperatures (Tmin) is about 1.7 °C and Tmin UHII are above 1.0 °C in many UK cities. The UHII is stronger in Spring and Summer. The maximum change in Tmin of UHII is 2.2 °C in May. The degree of urbanization was calculated at 10 km X 10 km areas surrounding surface weather stations. The study says that the UHII is maximized during the night as heat absorbed by urban structures will be reradiated back into the atmosphere at a slower rate due to smaller sky views, than natural landscapes. Also, the impervious surfaces in an urban area causes a reduction of evaporative cooling.

 

What Climate Models Get Wrong About Future Water Availability

A hypothesis was proposed in the past that the dry regions will get drier and wet regions will get wetter in response to global warming, but historical precipitation records show that the hypothesis is true less than half of the time. Climate models are notoriously bad at predicting rainfall changes, and models can generate extremely different results for the same region. A study published in Geophysical Research Letters shows that climate models that best reproduce historical precipitation records converge in their predictions of water availability in the future, defined as precipitation minus water consumed by plants and evaporated by the Sun. This article says “When the team used only historically accurate models to simulate water availability from 2006 to 2100, they produced more consistent forecasts.” The accurate models predicted that severe drought “would be 5 times less likely to occur compared to the prediction by the full 36-model ensemble. Overall, the constrained group of models showed that previous projections of extreme future changes in water availability were less likely to occur on more than 70% of Earth’s land surface.” In short, models that better match historical records generate more consistent forecasts than models that fail to history match. That should be no surprise.

 

Radiative Forcing by Dust and Black Carbon on the Juneau Icefield, Alaska

The warming effect of black carbon (BC) and dust is a major contributor to Arctic warming.  This study presents data and analysis for May and July 2016 of the effects of BC and dust in snow from the Juneau icefield in Alaska.  BC is a by-product of burning biomass, forest fires and some fossil fuels. The dark particles absorb solar radiation, which enhances the melting of snow and ice. The radiative forcing (RF) of BC and dust averaged 4 W/m2 in May, increasing to 87 W/m2 in July as the aged snow increased the concentrations of the BC and dust. The RF was dominated by dust. By comparison, the RF of CO2 from 1750 to 2011 was only 1.7 W/m2

 

‘Our Planet’ Film Crew Is Still Lying About Walrus Cliff Deaths

Dr. Susan Crockford said on her blog “the claim by David Attenborough and production crew of Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’ that the walruses they showed falling to their deaths were victims of global warming” is “contrived nonsense”.  Dr. Crockford’s analysis concludes that the walrus deaths were initialed by polar bears as reported by The Siberian Times in the fall of 2017. This incident and the one filmed by the Netflix crew are one and the same. She wrote “The lie being told by Attenborough and the film crew is that 200-300 walruses fell during the time they were filming, while in fact they filmed only a few: polar bears were responsible for the majority of the carcasses shown on the beach below the cliff. This is, of course, in addition to the bigger lie that lack of sea ice is to blame for walrus herds being onshore in the first place.”  She wrote “Several dozen polar bears spooked a small herd of about 5,000 walruses so badly that hundreds fell off the cliff to their deaths.”


 

CliSci # 301      2019-03-30

 

Friends of Science 16th Annual Event  “Polar Bears and Solar Flares”

LAST CALL for tickets to our event with Dr. Susan Crockford and Dr. Willie Soon. Ticket sales end April 2nd.  See our notice at the top of our home page, or order tickets here.

 

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Trends (1967-2018): A comparison Between Climate Models and Observations

According to the climate models, snow cover should have steadily decreased for all four seasons. However, the observations show that only spring and summer demonstrates a long-term decrease. This paper, Connolly et at 2019, compared simulation runs from 24  climate model to satellite records over the period 1967 – 2018. Separate analysis was done for each of the four seasons. Only the spring and summer snow cover exhibited a long-term decrease, but the pattern was quite different from the model projections. The decrease in spring and summer largely occurred in a single step-change in the late 1980s. The observed negative trend for spring are larger in magnitude than the model-predicted spring trends. The observed trends for autumn and winter show a small long-term increase, contrary to the climate model projections that show decreasing snow cover. Snow cover increased for all seasons in the Tibetan Plateau region and China, while climate models predicted a decrease in snow cover. In winter, the average model snow cover trend (1967-2016) was -34,000 km2/yr, while the observed trend was +16,000 km2/yr. This is similar to autumn where the average model trend was -31,000 km2/yr, while the observed trend was +24,000 km2/yr.

 

A Book Review: Good News About Polar Bears

Larry Kummer, editor of the Fabuis Maximun website, wrote a review of Dr. Susan Crockford’s new book, “The Polar Bears Catastrophe That Never Happened”. He wrote “This is a fascinating book about science, about the making of public policy, about climate change, and above all – about nature. They all intersect in the debate about the future of polar bears. Zoologist Crockford crisply tells the history of the rise and fall of polar bears as climate change icons. It is an engrossing story of a small niche group of dedicated biologists, the apex predator of the polar regions, and the American public.” Key points are: Natural and non-climate human factors are ignored. Predictions were presented for public policy action before the underlying models are validated. The Polar Bear Specialist Group predicted in 2005 that the global polar bear population was likely to decline by more than 30% within the next 35 - 50 years. Instead, the population has increased by about 20%. The official book launch will be on April 10, 2019 in downtown Calgary, Alberta at the Centini Restaurant, 160 8th Ave SE from 12:00-2:00 pm. That evening she’ll be giving a presentation for the Friends of Science banquet and lecture event at the Red and White Club, in McMahon Stadium at the University of Calgary.

 

Vegetation and climate change in the Pro-Namib and Namib Desert

The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa along the Atlantic coast. The pro-Namib is the transition zone between the arid Namib and the escarpments to the East that has a moderate amount of rainfall. This paper presents empirical evidence of increased vegetation cover from one hundred landscape photographs from the late 19th century to the present. Old photos were re-photographed to evaluate changes in woody cover. Vegetation change was related to values of precipitation and temperatures for the period 1948-2017. The abstract says “The resulting analysis reveals a trend of increased vegetation cover associated with increased precipitation (fog and rain) in the coastal Fogbelt and the inland Savanna transition with a shrinking of the hyper-arid Minimum zone between the two.”  The results contradict regional climate model forecasts that project widespread aridification. Increasing vegetation is due to both increased moisture and CO2 fertilization.

 

FORCE MAJEURE: The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

This report by Dr. Henrik Svensmark shows that the solar influence on climate is much larger than is recognized in government and IPCC reports. The report reviews three theories of how the sun can influence climate other than just the total heat output of the sun, called total solar irradiance. Dr. Svensmark says that the effect of sun modulating the galactic cosmic rays that effect cloud formation has received substantial empirical support in recent years. Other solar effects includes the solar ultraviolet changes and the atmospheric electric field effect on clouds. The report discusses the strong correlation between solar activity and global temperatures over the last 12,000 years. Experiments in 2006 showed that cosmic ray can create small aerosols (1 – 2 nm diameter) but it was disputed that those would grow large enough to effect clouds. Later experiments show that when air is exposed to ionizing radiation the aerosol clusters grow much more quickly to become cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the size range of 50 to 100 nm. Water droplets can form on CCN. Explosions on the sun called ‘Forbush decreases’ changes cloud characteristics, indicating that the cosmic  ray – cloud link explains around 1 W/m2 forcing over the solar cycle.

 

California Climate Has Always Been Wild And Unstable

A new paper titled “Biomarkers reveal abrupt switches in hydroclimate during the last glacial in southern California” used biological proxy measurements from a sedimentary core to investigate the past climate variability of southern California.  The study found that California’s climate has always been variable, even during the last ice age when CO2 levels were very low (about 200 ppm).  The study contradict claims often made the California climate change in recent years is unusual. The abstract says “During the late glacial (32–20 ka) we find abrupt variability, with precipitation isotopic shifts (~70‰) that are independent of temperature swings implicating changes in storm track, rather than local temperature as drivers of the precipitation isotope signal. Temperature is however not irrelevant for hydroclimate: we find extreme warmth at 29.4 ka and 26.8 ka, the latter coincident with existing reports of an extended dry period (27.5–25.5 ka), suggesting a long hot and dry interlude during the generally cooler glacial period.

 

Solar Variability Weakens the Walker Cell

An international team of researchers has found robust evidence for signatures of the 11-year sunspot cycle in the tropical Pacific. They analyzed historical time series of pressure, surface winds and precipitation with specific focus on the Walker Circulation—a vast system of atmospheric flow in the tropical Pacific region that affects patterns of tropical rainfall. They have revealed that during periods of increased solar irradiance, the trade winds weaken and the Walker circulation shifts eastward. A researcher at the University of Oxford said, “we detected a robust slowdown of the Walker cell during years associated with solar-cycle maxima." Along with changes in the wind anomalies, the dominant patterns of tropical precipitation shift to the central Pacific during solar-cycle maxima. As a result, rainfall decreases over Indonesia and in the western Pacific, and increases over the central Pacific Ocean. A climate model forced by only the 11-year solar cycle also showed much stronger wind anomalies in the Pacific during solar maximum.

 

Greenland Glacier Did an About-face – Growing Again

NASA research shows that Jakobshavn Glacier, which has been Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the last 20 years, has made an unexpected about-face. Jakobshavn is now flowing more slowly, thickening, and advancing toward the ocean instead of retreating farther inland. The researchers conclude that the slowdown of this glacier, known in the Greenlandic language as Sermeq Kujalleq, occurred because an ocean current that brings water to the glacier's ocean face grew much cooler in 2016. Water temperatures in the vicinity of the glacier are now colder than they have been since the mid-1980s. The research is based on data from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and other observations. The cold water was set in motion by the North Atlantic Oscillation, which has switched to its cold phase.


 

CliSci # 300      2019-03-09

 

Global-Scale Multidecadal Variability Missing in State-of-the-Art Climate Models

Climate model projections include some random variability that might simulate a portion of natural climate variability, but they do not include multidecadal or millennium scale climate variability seen in the temperature records.  They don’t match the multidecadal oscillations of the 20th century. A paper published late last year, Kravtsov et al, investigated the discrepancies between observations and the models are reports “the discrepancies between the observed and simulated climate variability on decadal and longer timescale have a coherent structure suggestive of a pronounced Global Multidecadal Oscillation. Surface temperature anomalies associated with this variability originate in the North Atlantic and spread out to the Pacific and Southern oceans and Antarctica, with Arctic following suit in about 25–35 years.” None of the model simulations match the observed temperature oscillations in magnitude, spatial patterns or their sequential time development.

 

Circular Reasoning with Climate Models

Circulate reasoning is when one concludes what he initially assumed. The climate models assume next to no natural climate change. The IPCC says the climate model can only match the temperature history with greenhouse gas emissions, so all warming is caused by those emissions. Dr. David Wojick wrote “If you assume that only humans can cause climate change then of course it follows that all climate change is caused by humans. But this is just true by assumption, not by science. The reasoning is perfectly circular.”  Legitimate science requires the inclusions of all drivers of climate change, whether or not there are good theories to explain those drivers. Wojick wrote “But rather than seeing that this result simply follows from the initial assumptions, the IPCC amazingly claims that it proves that human are the sole cause of climate change. It proves nothing of the sort.”

 

Friends of Science 16th Annual Event  “Polar Bears and Solar Flares”

Our annual Climate Change Science evening this year is featuring two excellent speakers who fight climate dogma every day. Please join us on April 10th for our Friends of Science Annual Event.  Polar Bears: Researcher and Author – Dr. Susan Crockford: "Polar Bears: Too Hot to Handle" will be speaking about how a thriving species like the polar bear came to be classified as ‘threatened’ with extinction based on untested computer models. Solar Flares: Astrophysicist - Dr. Willie Soon: "The Sun Also Warms" will discuss the solar and orbital boundary conditions necessary for the study of Earth climate and how the sun affects the climate. No special climate science knowledge required. Purchase your tickets now.

 

Two Critiques of the New Santer et al. (2019) Paper

An alarmist science paper by Ben Santer et al. has received a lot of press coverage recently.  Ben Santer is the alarmist scientist who changed the conclusions of the second IPCC assessment report after it was approved by the scientists from “no study to date has both detected a significant climate change and positively attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes” to “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.”

John Christy and Roy Spencer examined the paper which claims that the 40 year satellite record of global troposphere temperatures agree with climate model simulation so well that there is less than a 1 in 3.5 million chance that the agreement is by chance. Spencer wrote “The new Santer et al. study merely shows that the satellite data have indeed detected warming (not saying how much) that the models can currently only explain with increasing CO2 (since they cannot yet reproduce natural climate variability on multi-decadal time scales).” He explains that climate models are adjusted to produce no long-term warming or cooling in the absence of changing greenhouse gases, thereby eliminating the possibility of the models showing any natural climate change. Only greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) can cause substantial warming in the models. Sanders uses circular reasoning to conclude that the observed warming is human caused. The author’s metric for reporting the alleged agreement between models and observations is very misleading as it tells us little about the magnitude of the agreement. The graph on the home page of the FoSS website shows that the climate models average trend is 214% of the UAH satellite trend, which is very poor agreement.

Ross McKitrick wrote a detail critique of the Santer et al paper that criticized the paper’s design and statistics. He explains that the metric used by the authors is consistent with very low climate sensitivity and a large discrepancy between the observation and model temperature trends. The authors calculated a model “fingerprint” pattern in the mid-troposphere that showed amplified warming over the tropics in the models subject to historical and projected RCP8.5 forcing. The authors falsely assumed that all the historical forcing was caused by greenhouse gases (GHG). The satellite observations are compared to the models pattern with and without GHG. McKitrick wrote “What they have detected is that observations exhibit a better fit to models that have the Figure 2 warming pattern in them, regardless of cause, than those that do not.” However, the nature-only pattern in the models doesn’t include natural warming by design. It just has noise. Any natural warming in the models were eliminated by detrending the simulations in each grid cell. The paper compared an artificially exaggerated resemblance between observation and tuned models versus an artificially worsened natural forcing case to get a nonsense result. McKitrick concludes “they have not identified a unique anthropogenic fingerprint, or provided a credible control for natural variability over the sample period.”

 

Temperature-related Human Mortality in Southern New England

I team of researchers investigated the relationship between temperatures and mortality in Rhode Island during 1999 to 2011, considering the effect of a time lag. The lowest mortality rate is when daily mean temperatures were 22 °C. The study found that 12% of the deaths that occurred during the study period were attributable to temperatures below 22 °C and 0.13% of deaths were attributable to temperatures above 22 °C. The percent of deaths caused by cold weather were about 100 times that of those caused by hot weather. Under forecast increasing temperatures without adaptation, a 3.0 °C temperature increase from now would cause about 50 more heat-related deaths but about 270 fewer related deaths for a net savings of 220 lives. CO2 Science reviewed the paper and presented the key graphs. They wrote “Clearly, cold temperatures are far more deadly to human health than warm temperatures; and a little global warming would help to save human lives.”


 

CliSci # 299      2019-02-24

 

Influence of Solar Activity Changes on European Rainfall

This paper looks at the solar influences on European precipitation in 39 countries over the period 1902 – 2015. The 11 year solar cycle influences rainfall in parts of Europe in certain months. Rainfall appears to lag solar activity with several years delay. February precipitation in Central and Western Europe yields the strongest solar response with correlation coefficients between sunspot data and monthly precipitation  reaching up to +0.61. The abstract says “it is suspected that increases in Central European rainfall are actually triggered by the solar minimum some 3–4 years before the rainfall month … Similar lags of a few years occur between solar activity and the solar-synchronized North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) due to memory effects in the Atlantic.” h/t co-author Sebastian Lüning

 

Aerosol-driven Droplet Concentrations Dominate Oceanic Low-level Clouds

A new paper claims that the abundance variations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) aerosols explains three-fourths of the variability in the cooling effects of low-level marine clouds. The paper says that the radiative cloud effect are more sensitive to the variations of CCN than the current climate models indicate. The abstract says “The development of novel methodologies to retrieve cloud droplet concentrations and vertical winds from satellites represents a breakthrough that made this quantification possible.”

 

A Global Assessment of Atoll Island Area Changes

There have been several studies of tropical island and atoll area changes to assess their vulnerability to sea level rise. Atolls are ring shaped coral reefs in the mid-ocean, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon. An atoll may included many reef islands. This latest study reanalyzed the available photo and satellite imagery of 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands over several decades to a century. The study found that “no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of the islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted.” 73% of islands were stable and 15.5% of the islands increased in size.  Islands that changed less than 3% in area were categorized as stable. The paper reports than “no island larger than 10 ha decreased in size”.

 

Hurricanes and Climate Change: Detection & Attribution

Dr. Judith Curry is writing a series of article about hurricanes. The first article is about hurricane detection.  It shows that the measurements of hurricane frequency and intensity is poor before 1970. Since 1981 there has been a slight decreasing trend in the number of all hurricanes with a slight increasing trend in major hurricanes. There is a slight decreasing trend in the global accumulated cyclone energy, the integral of hurricane frequency, duration and intensity. The study of storm occurrence prior to the historical record indicated that the recent hurricane activity in not unusual and there was a hyperactive period in the North Atlantic 3400 to 1000 years before the present.

The second article about attribution says that the observational database since 1970 is too short to assess the full impact of natural variability associated with ocean circulations. Hurricane activity is affected by ocean oscillations such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. There are usually twice as many hurricanes during La Niña than during El Niño years. Curry writes “The trend signal in hurricane activity has not yet had time to rise above the background variability of natural processes.” Any changes in hurricane activity due to manmade climate change are not yet detectable.

 

Carbon Cut Apocalypse: Cost of Australian Labor Party Energy Plan

The Labour Party in Australia proposes to cut CO2 emissions by 45%. An article published in the Australian reports on research by Brian Fisher and says the plan “would push electricity prices 50 per cent higher, cost workers up to Au$9000 a year in lower wages and wipe Au$472 billion from the economy over the next decade, according to the first independent modelling of the energy policies of both the government and opposition.” Brian Fisher is the former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics. He also calculates that the cost of meeting the 26-28% reductions under the Paris Agreement would cost Au$70 billion in cumulative economic losses by 2030 and a 2% decline of real wage growth. Note: 1 Australian $ = 0.94 Cdn $.

 

What’s Natural? Changing Sea Levels

Jim Steele, 25-year past director of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, wrote an article on sea level rise that shows many coastal cities are sinking much faster than sea levels are rising. He wrote “Pumping out groundwater not only causes lands to sink, it increases the oceans’ volume. China’s Huanghe Delta is sinking 10 inches a year. Southeast Asian cities battle sinking rates of 1.2 to 2.4 inches per year. Regions around Houston, Texas had sunk 10 feet by 1979; a disaster waiting to happen where hurricanes commonly generate 15-foot storm surges. Likewise, New Orleans was doomed by sinking 1.4 inches per year.” Ocean warming and glacier melting has added only 0.06 inches per year of sea level rise from 1850 to 1990.

 

Nitrogen and Atmospheric CO2 Drive the Increasing Carbon Sink

One reason why climate models overestimate global warming is that they assume too much of the emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere. The terrestrial CO2 sink as been increasing in recent decades. This paper estimates the influence of CO2 and nitrogen deposition and their interactions to changes in net primary production using a land model. The paper reports that nitrogen deposition and the CO2-N2 synergy were significant contributors to the current increasing terrestrial CO2 sink that led to a substantial increase in CO2 fertilization, which provides great economic benefits by increasing crop and forest yields.


 

CliSci # 298      2019-02-10

 

CO2 Capture at Drax Wood-Burning Power Station

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire, England started a pilot project to capture one tonne of CO2 per day from its wood combustion. This has resulted in much media fanfare. The BBC says Drax is the first in Europe to capture CO2 from wood-burning. The power station burns 7 million tonnes of wood per year to generate about 9,800 GWh/year of electricity. Burning woodchip releases 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per MWh of electricity generated.  The plant produces about 15 MtCO2/yr due to wood burning.  The project will capture 0.0024% of its wood burning CO2 emission. Drax invested £400,000 in the project and it is unclear how much government funding the project received. Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said that the startup of the pilot project “requires us to identify ways in which the carbon dioxide we're now capturing can be stored …”. Currently, at great cost, the CO2 is captured and released into the atmosphere. Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch said “Burning biomass is absolutely the wrong option for so many reasons. Forests are vital for the health of the climate so we need to keep them not burn them.”

 

Tropical Hurricanes in the age of Global Warming

The Global Warming Policy Foundation published a report by Paul Homewood about Tropical Hurricanes that summarizes recent studies and hurricane data. The IPCC reported in its 2013 assessment “It is unlikely that annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have increased over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.” The observation methodology of hurricanes have changed dramatically since the 19th century, so older records prior to the satellite era likely under report the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Homewood wrote “Data provided by HURDAT also shows that recent hurricane activity in the North Atlantic has not been unusual by historical standards. In 2017, there were six major Atlantic hurricanes, but the highest total recorded was eight in 1950.” The hurricane record show decadal variability that strongly correlates to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation which has been occurring for at least a millennium. The cold phase of the AMO results in drought in the Sahel, causing dust over the Atlantic Ocean that lowers the intensity of hurricanes. Available evidence confirms that hurricane frequency has been as great in many prior periods as it has been recently. There is no evidence that global warming has increased the frequency of hurricanes.

 

Polar Bears Have Been Terrorizing a Russian Town Since December

Polar bear scientist Dr. Crockford reports on her blog that since early December a group of 52 polar bears have terrorize the Russian village of Belushaya Guba on southern Novaya Zemlya on the Barents Sea. Some of the bears are aggressive and have entered residential and office buildings. A state of emergency was declared to help the town residents. Crockford wrote “Global warming is blamed for the problem but as is so often the case, that claim does not stand up to scrutiny.” The region is influenced by warm ocean currents that keep the area free from winter ice since the early 1989s. Ice maps show that by late November there was enough ice for bears at Novaya Zemlya to return to the ice and resume hunting. The polar bear population around Svalbard and the Barent Sea are still increasing. The polar bear problem “reflect the confluence of a growing human presence in the Arctic and thriving polar bear populations, not lack of sea ice due to global warming.”

 

Disrupting the Theory on Polar Vortex and Global Warming

Some scientists have promoted the idea the global warming causes more polar vortex disruptions thereby leading to more frequent extreme cold outbreaks in the mid-latitudes. Bob Vislocky tests this theory using long temperature records of the northern USA from NOAA. Vislocky says If there has been an increase in extreme cold outbreaks, “then the temperature difference in winter between the warmest day and the coldest day should increase over time.” The average trend over 1875 to 2019 of the temperature difference between the warmest and coldest winter days of the records he selected is a decrease of 0.22 °C/decade. This means that the coldest winter days are increasing at 0.22 °C/decade faster than warmest days, thereby disproving the theory that warming is causing more extreme cold outbreaks.

 

The Upper Stratospheric Solar Cycle Ozone Response

The variability of the ultraviolet (UV) part of the solar electromagnetic spectrum is 100 to 1000 times greater than the variability of the total solar irradiance depending on the wavelength. Solar output has generally increased throughout the 20th century, contributing to global warming. Changes in UV radiation affects the quantity of ozone in the stratosphere which changes its temperature, eventually affecting surface temperatures. A paper published in Geophysical Research Letter says that recent “advancements have let to more robust observational data.” The ozone response to solar variations is best represented by a new BASICv2 ozone composite and those based on Solar Backscatter UV satellite instruments alone should not be used. The observed solar cycle signal exhibits an upper stratosphere U‐shaped spatial structure with lobes emanating from the tropics to high altitudes at mid‐latitudes. See here for a description of the UV-Ozone-Climate process.

 

Friends of Science 16th Annual Event  “Polar Bears and Solar Flares”

We are pleased to announce a Climate Change Science evening featuring two excellent speakers who fight climate dogma every day. Please join us on April 10th for our Friends of Science Annual Event. * Early Bird ticket pricing discount ends February 28th. Polar Bears: Researcher and Author – Dr. Susan Crockford: "Polar Bears: Too Hot to Handle" will be speaking about how a thriving species like the polar bear came to be classified as ‘threatened’ with extinction based on untested computer models. Solar Flares: Astrophysicist - Dr. Willie Soon: "The Sun Also Warms" will discuss the solar and orbital boundary conditions necessary for the study of Earth climate and how the sun affects the climate. No special climate science knowledge required. Purchase your tickets now.

 

2018 Surface Temperatures

NASA scientists from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) said that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth-highest ever recorded. The GISS index is contaminated by the effects of urbanization and poor siting of surface stations. Here is a graph of the GISS temperature index compared to the UAH6.0 lower troposphere satellite temperature index of global temperatures. According to AGW theory, the lower troposphere is supposed to increase at a faster rate than the surface temperatures, but the datasets show the opposite results. The graph shows that the GISS trend is too high by 0.05 °C/decade due to the urban heat island effect.  By the satellite record, 2018 was the 6th warmest year since 1977.


 

CliSci # 297      2019-01-28

 

A comparison of CMIP5 Climate Models with HadCRUT4.6

Dr. Clive Best compared suite of climate model temperature anomaly simulations for different representative concentration pathways (RCPs) to HadCURT4.6 near-surface global temperature measurements. The models runs and the observations temperatures are relative to the monthly base period 1961-1990, meaning that the average of each month over this 30-year period of each climate model run and the temperature measurements are equal, but the trend over the period may be different. His graph shows the temperature data lies below all the RCP simulations after 1998. Best also produced a graph of absolute temperatures, not anomalies, from 12 different models of the RCP8.5 emissions scenario. He wrote, “The disagreement on the global average surface temperature is huge – a spread of 4°C. This implies that there must still be a problem relating to achieving overall energy balance at the TOA [top-of-atmosphere].” This appears to a big problem for the calculation of the albedo related to snow and ice, which depends critically of the actual temperature difference from the melting/freezing point.

 

No, Oceans Are Not Warming Faster than Previously Thought

The journal Science published another climate paper containing substantial errors that resulted in numerous alarmist media reports.  The New York Times falsely reported that “Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought”. Climatologist Nic Lewis published a rebuttal of the paper “Cheng et al 2019” titled “How fast are the oceans warming?”.  He wrote “Contrary to what the paper indicates:

•    Contemporary estimates of the trend in 0–2000 m depth ocean heat content over 1971–2010 are closely in line with that assessed in the IPCC AR5 report five years ago
•    Contemporary estimates of the trend in 0–2000 m depth ocean heat content over 2005–2017 are significantly (> 95% probability) smaller than the mean CMIP5 model simulation trend.

On the first point; the IPCC AR5 report mentioned 5 studies of ocean warming 0 to 700 m, but it used only the highest estimate of global warming for good reasons, the other assessments did not evaluate all of the ocean areas. AR5 assessed the 0 to 2000 m warming rate at 0.36 W/m2, which is almost identical to the average of 3 recent estimates of 0.37 W/m2. [The m2 relates to the total Earth’s area, not ocean area] The Cheng 2019 paper falsely said that AR5 reported a 0 to 2000 m warming rate of 0.20 to 0.32 W/m2.

On the second point; Cheng 2019 falsely claimed that the warming rate over 2005–2017 for the top 2000 m from recent studies is consistent with the climate model mean. The model mean rate is 0.70 W/m2, much greater that the 0.54 estimated by Cheng 2019, and greater than the 0.60 W/m2 average of three recent studies. Lewis says the uncertainty of the Cheng estimate is three time that reported by the authors.

 

Ocean Warming in Climate Models Varies Far More than Recent Study Suggests

Dr. Roy Spencer also reviewed the Cheng paper and emphasizes that the climate models give a huge range of ocean warming rates as shown in this graph. He writes “for the period in question (1971-2010) [the plot] shows a factor of 8 range between the model with the least ocean warming and the model with the most warming, based upon linear trends fitted to the model curves”.  This huge range is mainly due to uncertainty in climate sensitivity and the effects of aerosols. The error ranges on the climate model mean in the paper “refer to how well each time series of heat content (whether observations or models) is fit by a regression line. That tells us nothing about how certain the dataset or model is as it assumes the datasets are perfect. He gives the warming rate of the oceans in more familiar units of degrees Celsius, “During the period 2005-2017, the oceans (0-2000 m) have warmed at a rate of 0.003 °C per year.” That is 0.03 °C/decade; very slowly.

 

Early 20th Century Global Warming

Dr. Judith Curry reviewed the early 20th century warming period (and mid-century cooling) with respect to climate forcing attribution. According to the global near-surface temperature record HadCRUT4.6, the warming trend 1910 to 1945 was 0.14 C/decade, which was almost identical to a UHIE corrected HadCRUT warming trend 1970 to 2003 of 0.15 °C/decade, see graph.

 
Curry discusses a paper Hegerl et al 2017 and writes that it “analyzed the internal variability associated with ocean circulations during the period since 1900. They found that the unusual cold anomaly circa 1910 originated in the South Atlantic, and then spread globally in the subsequent decade, leading to cold anomalies in both Atlantic and Pacific.” Warm phases of the both the AMO and PDO contributed to early 20th century warming. The Arctic warming began in 1915, with an increase of about 1.6 °C between 1917 and 1937, then cooled by 1.4 °C to 1967. A paper by Tokinaga et al says “concurrent phase shift of Pacific and Atlantic interdecadal variability modes is the major driver for the rapid early 20th-century Arctic warming.” Northern summer cloud cover is strongly correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that causes low cloud cover during warming periods. Curry criticized the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment report for circular reasoning to attribute late 20th century warming to greenhouse gases. Curry states “The Arctic in particular responds very strongly to multidecadal and longer internal variability, and also to solar forcing.”

 

Do Atmosphere Temperatures Support Greenhouse Gas Warming Theory?

A paper published this month in Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics evaluated the atmospheric temperature trends of the UAH satellite temperature record to determine if the data supports the theory that global warming is mainly due to the increase in greenhouse gases, hereafter GHG theory.  The paper evaluated temperature trends in four vertical regions and five latitudinal bands. The GHG theory (as used in climate models) requires that the temperature change is more enhanced at high altitudes than near the surface, that near-surface temperature trends are amplified at high latitudes in each hemisphere, that the stratosphere temperature decline in response to tropospheric warming and that the tropopause increases in height.
The paper reports;
•    The troposphere temperature trends decreases with height.
•    The lower troposphere temperature trends in the southern hemisphere decreases at high latitude.
•    The thermal regime in the lower stratosphere is mainly affected by the ozone dynamics and not by the thermal regime in the troposphere alone. Therefore, the observed cooling in the lower stratosphere cannot be attributed unambiguously to the warming of the troposphere.
•    The near zero trend of the tropopause cannot support the increase in the height of tropopause.


Each of the four points is contrary to GHG theory. The atmospheric temperature data does not support the GHG theory, but contradicts it.


 

CliSci # 296      2019-01-13

 

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Increases Significantly from 1990

It is ski season again! I was skiing at Lake Louise the day after 77 cm of new snow. I am interested in how global warming might be effecting fall and winter snowfall. Rutgers Snow Lab of Rutgers University publishes weekly data of the northern hemisphere and regional snow cover.  The average snow cover of the northern hemisphere from 1972 to 2018 is 25 million km2 and the trend is -0.14 ± 0.11 million km2/decade, which is tiny. The trend from 1990 to 2018 is +0.24 ± 0.11  million km2/decade, which is small but positive. On a quarterly basis, from 1979 to 2018, the trend in the fall (months S,O,N) is significantly positive. There is no trend in winter (D,J,F) and snow in the spring and summer have decreased slightly. Dr. David Viner of Climate Research Unit in the U.K. predicted in March 2000 “within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” His prediction was a major blunder.

 

Sea-Surface Temperature Errors in Climate Models

The climate forecasts produced by the IPCC are done by taking the simple average of the predictions of 29 groups of climate models. Dr. Pat Michaels says that this practice is “foolhardy” as some models are terrible at forecasting, example, the Canadian climate model, most of them are running too hot, and some models are better than others in specific applications.  The Russian climate model actually tracked the observed climate quite well.  A paper “Taking climate model evaluation to the next level” published this month says “Owing to different model performances against observations and the lack of independence among models, there is now evidence that giving equal weight to each available model projection is suboptimal.”  That is an understatement. The paper proposes “advanced methods for model weighting” based on comparisons of models to observations. The paper presents a map of sea-surface temperature errors of the average of all the climate models compared to the observations. The model errors range from -2.5 °C to over 2.5 °C is some regions. The models have almost the entire southern circumpolar sea too warm, much of it off more than 1.5°C. The seas off the west coasts of South America and Africa are more than 2 °C too warm in the models. These are regions where cold water upwells to the surface and are responsible of El Nino events.

 

Antarctica and “alarming” Sea Level Rise

Rud Istvan, author of “Blowing Smoke: Essay of Energy and Climate” wrote an interesting article on the possibility of melting ice sheets to dangerously accelerate sea level rise.  He shows that Greenland can’t cause significant sea level rise as its ice sheet is land-locked in a bowl surrounded by mountains. Ice cores reaching back to the Eemian interglacial period proved that even much higher temperatures than today for thousands of years did not melt the ice sheet. In Antarctica, the east Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) has been stable and may be gaining ice.  Most of the EAIS is anchored by mountains. The west Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) is losing ice, but a third of it is anchored by mountains. A 2012 ice core shows that a portion of the WAIS called Ronne remained stable during the warm Eemian period. The recent Andrill ice core program shows that the Ross portion of the WAIS did not collapse during all previous interglacials for at least three million years. The smaller Amundsen Embayment is losing ice, but much of that may be due to volcanism. A recent paper suggests it might become unstable in 200 to 900 years, so it might contribute 1 mm/yr of sea level rise. One paper says “…the effect of anthropogenic climate drivers at this location [Amundsen Embayment] has not exceeded the natural range of climate variability in the context of the past ~300 years.”

 

National Climate Assessment: A crisis of Epistemic Overconfidence

Judith Curry published an initial review about “overconfidence” of the US 4th National Climate Assessment (NCA) report, volume 1, which is about climate science. She notes that chapter 1 says that average temperatures in recent decades have been much higher, and have risen faster than at any time in the past 1,700 years, with ‘high confidence’.  This contradicts IPCC AR5 report which says the average “NH temperatures, the period 1983-2012 was … likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence).” Based on various statements in AR5, the “medium confidence” is not justified. “High confidence” also contradicts a statement in the NCA that says “there are still many uncertainties in understanding the hemispheric and global changes in climate over Earth’s history, including that of the last few millennia.” The NCA relied on Mann et al. 2008 and PAGES 2k Consortium 2013. The Mann et al 2008 report was a hockey stick paper that used stripbark bristlecone pine trees which grows rapidly in response to CO2 fertilization, not temperature. The PAGES 2k reconstructions were strongly criticized by Steve McIntyre for also using the stripbark bristlecone pine series and for only selecting series that had a hockey stick shape. The definition of ‘high confidence’ in NCA is “moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary etc.),  medium consensus” which sounds like only ‘medium confidence’.

 

Global Reconstruction of Historical Ocean Heat Storage and Transport

A paper published this month presents estimate of ocean heat content from 1875 to 2017 for depths 0-700 m, 0-200 m and below 200 m for both the global ocean and the Atlantic ocean. The paper reports that the global ocean absorbed as much heat during 1921–1946 as during 1990–2015. Since the 1950s, up to one-half of excess heat in the Atlantic Ocean at mid-latitudes has come from other regions via circulation-related changes in heat transport. The abstract says “We find that the global ocean absorbed heat during this period at a rate of 0.30 ± 0.06 W/m2 in the upper 2,000 m and 0.028 ± 0.026 W/m2 below 2,000 m, with large decadal fluctuations.” The authors wrote “Our results highlight that the substantial amounts of heat accumulated in the ocean and associated sea-level rise can be influenced by ocean circulation changes and low- to midlatitude air–sea interactions.

 

Climate Change Had Nothing To Do With the Camp Fire in Paradise

James Steele was director of a university field station in the Tahoe National Forest for 25 years. He wrote about the horrific Camp Fire is Paradise, California that destroyed rows of homes while surrounding trees were merely scorched. He says that large fires have recently burned 1.8 million acres per year in California, but before 1800, fires burned 4 million acres per year despite cooler temperatures. Wildfire have increased since 1970 relative to previous decades when there was intensive fire prevention and fire fighting to extinguish fires as soon as possible. In the 1970s the US Forest Service switched to a “let it burn” policy if human-made structures were not endangered. The Ponderosa pines around the town of Paradise endures fires about every 11 years. Governor Brown vetoed a bill to secure the power grid two years ago. A power line caused the ignition that started the fire that was fed by “fine fuels” such as leaves and underbrush. High wind fanned the fire into an inferno. Buildings that had “defensible space” without “fine fuels” nearby were spared. Any warming of the land during the cool seasons due to CO2 will help to reduce the winds that fan wildfires. Climate change had nothing to do with the fire.
 


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