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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
FoS Climate Science Newsletter - 2021

By: Ken Gregory, P.Eng.

 

CliSci # 355          2021-10-14

 

Atmospheric Ionization and Cloud Radiative Forcing

A new paper by Svensmark et al discusses the importance of atmospheric ionization produced by cosmic rays.  Changes in solar activity affect the cosmic ray flux that may lead to cloud condensing nuclei. The paper shows that the average of the five strongest week-long decreases in atmospheric ionization, called Forbush Decreases (FD), coincides with changes in the average net radiative balance of 1.7 W/m2 using CERES satellite observations. FDs are caused by a magnetized plasma cloud from the Sun hitting the Earth, thereby shielding part of the cosmic ray flux. The cloud observations show that these variations are mainly caused by changes of the solar reflectivity (or albedo) of low clouds and are almost exclusively located over the oceans. The abstract concludes “These observed radiation and cloud changes are consistent with a link in which atmospheric ionization modulates aerosol’s formation and growth, which survive to cloud condensation nuclei and ultimately affect cloud formation and thereby temporarily the radiative balance of Earth.”

Laboratory experiments confirm that ions assist the nucleation of new small aerosol particles. Airborne observations also show that ion nucleation is an important source of aerosols in the troposphere. Recent experimental results detail how ions can accelerate the growth of small aerosols by increasing the mass-flux from the gas phase to aerosols to create cloud condensing nuclei. It is shown that a ∼10% decrease in cosmic ray ionization of the five strongest FDs results in a global radiative forcing of 1–2 W/m2 with a delay of ∼ 5–7 days. A consistent picture is emerging, suggesting that variations in ionization are connected to aerosols and clouds and now also the energy budget.

 

The Inability of Wind and Solar Electric Generation to Power Modern Civilization

A new paper discusses the significant physical, economic, reliability, and environmental barriers to replacing fossil fuel powered electricity with wind and solar powered generation of electricity. The author states in the introduction “this proposed replacement is an impossible and extremely costly non-solution for a non-problem.” The world uses about 14 TW of primary energy but the power use is very unequal. Bringing the world up to OECD standards would necessitate about 40 TW of world power by mid-century. The average power of solar energy is about 20% of its capacity. US government subsidies for constructing wind turbines between 2016 and 2020 was ~US$24 billion. The US uses 400 GW of electric power. The article says that the US would need the equivalent of 12 million Tesla car batteries to provide only 12 hour of power backup when wind and solar power fails. Replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind power would require an enormous amount of land area and producing large quantities of rare earth minerals from foreign countries, which raises security concerns. Recently, Germany, California and Texas, which relied heavily on solar and wind, lost power for long periods of time. Providing energy storage backup economically to avoid blackouts is a barrier that is in reality, just about impossible to overcome.

 

Radiative Energy Flux Variations from 2000 to 2020

This new study evaluated the global radiative energy flux as measured by the CERES satellite over 2000 to 2020. The authors found the declining or reflected solar radiation to be the most important contributor to the net flux of 0.8 W/m2 into the climate system over the evaluated period. A summary of the study was published here. It says “The warming of the last 20 years has its essential cause in the change of the clouds.” The reduction in cloud cover caused more sunlight to reach the surface of the earth. The authors wrote “The long-wave back radiation (the so-called greenhouse effect) contributed only to a lesser extent to the warming. It was even largely compensated for by the likewise increasing permeability of the clouds to long-wave radiation emanating from the Earth.”  The study also considered the heat content of the climate system since 1750 which is mostly in the oceans. The heating was during three episodes of 20 to 30 years interspersed with milder phases. The cause of the cloud changes remains unclear. It could be due to a decrease in aerosols, natural ocean oscillations, feedback effects or by a combination of these factors.  However, it is clear that the warming of the last 20 years has been caused more by change in the clouds than by the classical greenhouse effect.

 

Antarctica’s South Pole Station Records the Coldest Winter

The average temperature at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station between April and September was a frigid -61 °C, which was the coldest on record dating back to 1957. The previous record cold for the period was -60.6 °C in 1987. The Russian Vostok Station dipped to -79.4 °C on September 30. Matthew Lazzara, an expert on the meteorology of Antarctica, said “At these temperatures, it is difficult to operate aircraft. Between -50°C and -58°C you put the aircraft at risk with the hydraulics freezing up or fuel turning into a jelly.” 

 

Changes in Atlantic Major Hurricane Frequency over the Past 170 Years

A new paper by Vecchi et al uses a new “homogenization method” for evaluating past changes in hurricane frequency to overcome the problem of changing observing practices. The study found that “the recorded century-scale increases in Atlantic hurricane and major hurricane frequency, and associated decrease in USA hurricanes strike fraction, are consistent with changes in observing practices and not likely a true climate trend.” The authors applied the homogenization method to the Atlantic basin and report that the increase of hurricane frequency since the 1970s is not part of a century-scale increase, but a recovery from a deep minimum in the 1960s–1980s. Internal climate variability may be the major cause of the frequency changes. Major hurricanes of categories 3 to 5 cause about 80% of hurricane damages in the USA despite only representing 34% of all USA hurricanes. Figure 4 of the paper shows that using homogenized data, the ratio of North Atlantic major hurricanes to all hurricanes from 1910 to 1930 and 1950 to 1960 was higher than in the 2000s. Models forecast that there should be an increase in hurricane intensity with global warming. The authors wrote “once we include a correction for undercounts in the pre-satellite era basin-wide NA [North Atlantic] HU and MH [major hurricane] frequency, there are no significant increases in either basin-wide HU or MH frequency, or in the MH/HU ratio for the Atlantic basin between 1878 and 2019. Despite the 1°C global warming seen since the mid-18th century, hurricane intensity and frequency remained well with the range of natural variability and have not trended upwards.

 

Cold Related Deaths Greatly Exceed Warm Related Deaths

This new study of temperature related deaths estimated the global and regional burden due to non-optimal temperature exposure. The cause specific burden was calculated for the period 1990 to 2019 from 65 million deaths from nine countries. “In 2019, the average cold-attributable mortality exceeded heat-attributable mortality in all countries for which data were available.” The cold effects generally occur over a wide range of temperatures, whereas the heat effects tend to occur at only the upper end of the temperature range. There were negligible heat effects for Chile and New Zealand. The numbers of cold-related deaths were 19 times more than warm-related deaths in South Africa. In China, cold-related deaths exceeded heat-related deaths by a factor of 9.8. In the USA, cold-related deaths were 10.3 times more than warm-related deaths in 2019. On a global basis, cold-related deaths exceeded heat-related deaths by a factor of 5.0 in 1990, and 3.8 in 2019. The study shows that global warming is causing a net benefit to health.


 

CliSci # 354          2021-09-25

 

Significant Geothermal Heat Beneath the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica

The ice losses from the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica was until recently attributed to climate change. Researchers have shown in a new study that a conspicuously large amount of heat from Earth’s interior beneath the ice has likely affected the sliding behaviour of the ice. A news release about the study says “This substantial geothermal heat flow, in turn, are due to the fact that the glacier lies in a tectonic trench, where the Earth’s crust is significantly thinner than it is e.g. in neighbouring East Antarctica.” West Antarctica is made up of several small, relatively thin crustal blocks that are separated by trench or rift systems. In the region of the Thwaites glacier the Earth’s crust is only 17 to 25 km thick. The researchers created new maps of this geothermal heat flow that shows similar to values in the East Africa Rift Valley. The new heat flow maps are based on geomagnetic field datasets. The news release says “the heat flow could be a crucial factor that needs to be considered when it comes to the future of Thwaites Glacier.” A significant portion of sea level rise shouldn’t be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Catastrophes of the 21st Century

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. published a paper that looks at global trends of catastrophes of the 21st century. He says the competition in the marketplace of ideas can lead to the acceptance of erroneous claims and bad policy decisions. The costs of natural or climate driven hazards have been rising, while the costs as a proportion of societal wealth have been declining. The data shows that global weather-related losses as a percent of gross world product has declined from 0.27% in 1990 to 0.18% in 2019, which is a 33% decline. Peilke notes that the decline of costs per wealth reflects the interaction of the events and society. His analysis of extreme weather events concluded “there was exceedingly little evidence for an increase in the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events that cause the vast majority of property damage around the world.” The intensity of landfalling US hurricanes has actually decreased by ~20% since 1900.

 

Wildfire Smoke Causes Clouds to Reflect More Sunlight

The smoke from wildfires can act as nuclei for forming individual droplets in clouds. Smoke particles and clouds in the western United States were sampled with a research aircraft to measure the properties of smoke particles and how they influenced the properties of small cumulus clouds. On average, sampled clouds had about 5x as many droplets, and droplets were about 1/2 the size, as in clouds not influenced by smoke. Because of their small droplet sizes, these smoky clouds are expected to reflect more light and produce less rain than clouds in clean air. A change of cloud albedo has a very large impact on the absorbed solar energy, so wildfire smoke may help to reduce local temperatures.

 

Global River Delta Areas Are Increasing

River deltas are economically and ecologically valuable environments. This study shows that over the past 30 years, despite sea-level rise, deltas globally have experienced a net land gain of 54 km2/year, or about 1,600 km2 over the period. The authors studied 11,000 coastal deltas worldwide.  They find that 25% of the delta area growth is due to deforestation-induced increases in fluvial sediment supply. River damming has resulted in a loss of sediment supply to nearly 1000 deltas, however some of those deltas have continued to grow, probably through channel infilling.

 

Economic Development and Declining Vulnerability to Climate-related Disasters in China

Economic vulnerability to climate-related disasters decreases as income increases, especially for developing countries. This study of disasters in China shows that economic development is correlated with the significant reduction in human fatalities. The economic vulnerability as a fraction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has significantly declined among all economic regions in China. The economic development level is correlated with human and economic vulnerability to climate-related disasters, and this vulnerability decreased with the increase of per-capita income. The decrease of reported fatalities surpassed 5.8% per year during 1978-2015 and 4.4% per year since 1990. The direct economic losses from climate-related disasters increased by 1.3% per year since 1990. The economic losses as a fraction of GDP declined 74.1% from the 1990s to the 2010s. The mortality rate is higher in regions with a lower income level. The paper concludes “Our results show a general pattern of decreasing vulnerability over time within all economic regions and a clear vulnerability gap between them. Importantly, the vulnerability declined non-linearly with per capita GDP.”

 

Recent Polar Ice Trends

The National Snow & Ice Data Center reports that the Arctic sea ice extent reached its annual minimum extent of 4.72 million km2 on September 16, 2021. The 2021 minimum is the twelfth lowest in the satellite record and is the highest minimum since 2014. The daily graph of Arctic sea ice extent showing year 2012 and 2015 – 2021 is here. The 2021 minimum is 1.34 million km2 greater than the 2012 minimum. The global sea ice extent, see graph, shows an annual decline trend of 0.49 million km2 per year, or 0.22% per year.

 

The New IPCC Hockey Stick

Stephen McIntyre has published a series of blog posts at Climate Audit that investigates the proxies by latitude band of the new IPCC hockey stick. This post discusses the proxies used in the PAGES reconstruction for the region from the equator to 30 °N. “PAGES” is an acronym of the group that produced the hockey stick graph which appears in the new IPCC Summary for Policy Makers. Importantly, it doesn’t appear in the technical report. McIntyre wrote that the reconstruction “for the 0-30N latband (extracted from the global reconstruction) looks almost exactly the same as reconstructions for the 0-30S and 30-60S latbands. However, none of the actual proxies in this latband look remotely like the latband reconstruction”. The purpose of the reconstruction is to compare recent temperatures to estimates of the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warm Period (RWP). But only one proxy has values before AD925. That proxy is from an ocean core offshore northern Africa and it shows only a very minor increase during the 20th century. McIntyre wrote “If this is the ONLY data for the 0-30N latband through most of the first millennium, how can PAGES2K say with any confidence that modern values are higher than first millennium values? They can’t.”


 

CliSci # 353          2021-09-10

 

Fighting Climate Change: Can We Humans Regulate Earth’s Climate?

Friends of Science published this report that summarizes the current situation of climate policy, economics and science. The report, which was sponsored by Canadians for Sensible Climate Policy (CSCP), shows that the Paris Climate Accord won't have a significant effect on climate and that the goal of 'net zero' is not achievable in Canada. There are no affordable and reliable technologies to replace fossil fuels. Climate change is affected by powerful natural factors as well as by human activities. Governments and unelected bureaucrats can't design and operate energy systems better than the private sector. Climate models run far too hot. There is no evidence that warming reduces economic growth or causes extreme weather. There is no climate emergency. We estimate the capital cost of achieving net zero emissions assuming CO2 emissions are reduced by 50% and the remainder is sequestered by carbon capture is C$12 trillion, or $1.3 million per family of four, not including stranded assets.

 

EU’s Biofuels Policy has Wiped Out Forests the Size of the Netherlands

The Belgium based NGO ‘Transport and Environment’ says 10 years of EU’s failed biofuels policy has wiped out forests the size of the Netherlands. This T&E article states “It is likely that roughly 4 million hectares of forests have subsequently been razed, destroying an estimated 10% of the world’s remaining orangutan habitats.” A Euopean directive introduced in 2010 set a 10% renewable energy target for transport by 2020. This has driven up demand for palm and soy oil which is mainly sourced from Asia and South America. The use of palm and soy biodiesel causes "three times more CO2 emission than the fossil diesel it replaced." Laura Buffet, energy director at T&E, concluded “The EU’s transport sector is currently propping up demand for ruinous palm oil without consumers knowing it. We need to phase-out palm oil biofuels immediately.”

 

Hurricane Ida and Global Warming: Unsupported Claims

Many main-stream media irresponsibly linked hurricane Ida to global warming. For example, weather anchor on NBC's Today show Al Roker said “We are looking at the results of climate change ... that's what created this monster storm".  Cliff Mass wrote on his blog, “But it is easy to demonstrate that real data shows that these claims are without basis, and that National Public Radio, the Seattle Times, and others are publishing stories that are contradictory to the best science and observations.” The claims are based on the idea the greenhouse gas emissions caused the Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperature to be unusually warm, which would power the hurricane.  Chris Mass presented a temperature anomaly map and wrote “The water temperatures were actually COOLER than normal where Ida started to intensify (south of Cuba).  Interestingly, this is due to the vertical mixing due to previous Hurricane Grace.  And for much the route north of Cuba, where Ida rapidly strengthened, temperatures were normal or slightly above normal (less than 1°C above normal). The number of major (categories 4 & 5) and total hurricanes that have struck the continental U.S. both indicate declining trends since 1900.

 

Net +6% Expansion in the Area of Atoll Islands During the 21st Century

Most people believe that sea level rise is a dangerous impact of global warming. This article by Ken Richards discusses several studies that show the areas of atoll islands have been increasing in recent decades. In particular, this study used Landsat imagery to analyze changes in land area on 221 atolls in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Between 2000 and 2017, the total land area of these 221 atolls has increased by 62 km2 or 6.1%. Most of the increase has been in the Maldives and the South China Sea. Two other studies used “aerial photographs dating to the 1940s (and 1960s and 1970s) of 104 and 71 reef islands in the equatorial Pacific to compare shoreline changes over time.” Richards wrote “The scientists found there has been a net shoreline expansion of 3% and 2.45%, respectively, in the 104 and 71 islands analyzed in the last 50 to 75 years. Once again, none of these studies support claims of catastrophic sea level rise engulfing island coasts as a consequence of global warming.”

 

How Much Has the Sun Influenced Northern Hemisphere Temperatures?

This major study by 23 authors reviewed the science of the Sun’s influence on northern hemisphere (NH) temperature trends. It is a rebuttal of the IPCC’s recent AR6 report which assumes the Sun has a negligible effect on temperature trends. The scientists compiled 16 estimates of total solar irradiance (TSI). They used 5 methods of estimating NH temperatures. The tree-ring proxies, glacial proxies, sea surface temperatures and rural only temperatures give similar results.  The abstract says “The standard estimates using urban as well as rural stations were anomalous as they implied a much greater warming in recent decades than the other estimates.” This shows that urban warming bias is a major problem in government temperature datasets. The different TSI estimates suggest everything from no role for the Sun in recent decades to most of the recent global warming being due to changes in solar activity (that is, that recent global warming is mostly natural). The composite of the ACRIM group that was in charge of the three ACRIM satellite missions that monitored the TSI suggests that TSI generally increased during the 1980s and 1990s but has slightly declined since then. If the ACRIM dataset is correct, then it suggests that much of the global temperature trends during the satellite era could have been due to changes in TSI.

 

Talking Points on the So-Called Climate Crisis By Alex Epstein

Alex Epstein provides a seven-point quick summary about fossil fuels and climate change. Alarmists have been predicting a climate crisis for 40 years. There is none. The climate death rate has decreased by 98% over the last century. Fossil fuels have made the climate far safer. Thanks to fossil fuels the Earth is far greener than it was just 40 years ago. The continued use of fossil fuels will provide reliable, low-cost energy and significant greening, and a far better life for billions of people. A rapid elimination of fossil fuel use will cause a crisis by making energy completely unreliable and unaffordable for industry and consumers.

 

Antarctica Sees Growing Sea Ice

Kirye for NoTricksZone presents plots of Antarctic sea ice as measured by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) over the satellite era starting 1979. “Minimum sea ice extent has remained steady over the past 4 decades. But both the mean and maximum sea ice extents have risen, meaning more ice at the South Pole.  More ice of course only forms when the temperature drops. Global warming has yet to reach the South Pole. This is one of the most inconvenient regions on the planet for the global warming alarmists.” The best-fit trend 1979-2020 shows an increase of 63.3 million km2. Meanwhile, the Arctic sea ice melt during August was slow. The September 9, 2021 sea ice extent was 4.88 million km2, which was greater than the same day of 2015 thru 2020, and 1.38 million km2 greater than in 2012.


 

CliSci # 352          2021-08-25

 

The IPCC’s Attribution Methodology Is Fundamentally Flawed

Dr. Ross McKitrick published an important paper in Climate Dynamics showing that their “Optimal Fingerprinting” methodology on which they have long relied for attributing climate change to greenhouse gases is seriously flawed and its results are unreliable and largely meaningless. He summarized the paper in this blog post. The paper is highly technical, but the results are important and simple. Ross wrote “Some of the errors would be obvious to anyone trained in regression analysis, and the fact that they went unnoticed for 20 years despite the method being so heavily used does not reflect well on climatology as an empirical discipline.” The paper is largely a critique of a paper (At99) that set out the flawed attribution methodology.  The IPCC promoted it the third assessment report and falsely claimed in the new AR6 report that attribution to greenhouse gases (GHG) is “Unequivocal”. The growing confidence of the IPCC that GHG are largely responsible for global warming is based on the flawed methodology. The IPCC and climate journals fail to involve people with relevant statistical expertise. The methodology violates an important condition for unbiasedness and tells us nothing about whether the results of an optimal fingerprinting regression are valid. Climate models are constructed assuming that GHG are the major driver of climate change and urban and natural warming factors are ignored. Climate model results are used to test that GHG are the major driver of climate, which is circular reasoning.

 

Chevron Concedes Carbon Capture & Storage Failures

Chevron wasted A$3 billion finding out that carbon capture and storage (CCS) isn’t economically effective. Chevron operates Australia’s only commercial-scale CCS project and has conceded the project has failed to meet its targets. Chevron has sequestered only 5 MtCO2 from 2019 to July 2021 at its CCS facility connected to its massive A$70 billion Gorgon LNG plant. The CCS facility was supposed to store 4 MtCO2 per year, or about 20 MtCO2 to date. The LNG facility started up in 2016. This article says “It took several years after the start of gas production for the Gorgon CCS project even to begin operation due to delays and technical difficulties. Chevron will be forced to purchase offsets from carbon markets. “This admission from Chevron highlights once again that carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the fossil fuel sector is an expensive failure,” Climate Council senior researcher Tim Baxter said.

 

Electric Vehicle Fire Catastrophe

The US government plans to convert 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet to electricity by 2050. Gregory Wrightstone wrote “Recent events around the world reveal that fire catastrophes from electric vehicles (EVs) are not only possible, but increasingly likely. The fire risk of the lithium-ion batteries that these EVs rely on for power is well documented, as they have been known to spontaneously combust in the most inopportune times and places.” His article lists a number of recalls of electric vehicles to fix defects in battery modules that have led to fires. He says “Internal combustion engine vehicles can also catch fire, but those tend to be during accidents or while driving, not sitting passively in a home or parking garage, as can occur with EVs. In addition, fire crews can extinguish a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle fire, but not so for EVs. EVs are nearly impossible to extinguish with water and need to normally be allowed to just burn out, which may take many hours.” A horrific German bus station inferno led two towns to completely ban all-electric vehicles from parking in underground garages.

 

Almond-Growing Crisis – After Three Straight Years of Record Crops

An article by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute calls out the National Public Radio (NPR) website for an article claiming global warming is causing an almond production crisis while California’s almond production set consecutive records in 2018, 2019 and 2020. California almond production is benefiting from more atmospheric carbon dioxide and increasingly beneficial climate conditions. Taylor wrote “The only almond crisis is a crisis in journalistic ethics and standards while promoting a fictitious almond crisis.” California farmers are now growing annually eight times as many almonds as was the case just 25 years ago. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record crop yields this year for the important corn and soybean crops, as well as other crops. This builds upon consistent growth in U.S. crop production and records being set on a near-annual basis. Globally, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts the 2020/2021 crop season will set yet another record for crop production. FAO reports global crop production has increased more than 10 percent during the past decade.”

 

Holocene glacial history of Renland Ice Cap, East Greenland

A new study documents a much warmer-than-today Early and Middle Holocene in East Greenland, a time when ice caps were “absent” or far less extensive than they are presently. The study was reviewed by Ken Richards. He wrote “Exposed moss and willow shrubs buried beneath today’s receding East Greenland glaciers can be dated to 400 to 500 years ago, suggesting this period (the early Little Ice Age) was as-warm or warmer than today.”  The authors also report there were occasionally brief “cold stages” during the Holocene when Greenland’s glacier extent advanced to today’s levels. The study reports “the ice cap was smaller than present during most of the Holocene”. This confirms previous studies that show the Holocene optimum was significantly warmer than recent despite the then low CO2 concentrations. Richards wrote “What may not yet be widely accepted is the conclusion that the modern temperatures and ice extent still fall within the range of a Holocene “cold stage” rather than a warm stage.”

 

Climate Models Overstate Atmospheric Warming

An article by Ross McKitrick originally published at Climate Etc. blog on August 25, 2020 (one year ago) was republished on the blog August 17. I reported on the article in CliSci # 330 of 2020-08-27. The article is well worth reading. Perhaps the most important result is that the Canadian climate model simulated warming trend of 1979-2014 in the tropical mid-troposphere (MT) is 7 times the observed trends. Canada’s climate policies are largely based on this failed model. The average climate model trend in the tropical MT is 3.3 times the average trend of the observations.


 

CliSci # 351          2021-08-11

 

IPCC Publishes AR6 Working Group 1 (Climate Science)

The Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) published its sixth assessment report (AR6) on climate science on August 9th. Here is the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). The report is mostly based on climate models that grossly overwarm the atmosphere compared to measurements. The stated equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) likely range was changed from 1.5 to 4.5 °C in AR5 to 2.5 to 4.0 °C in AR6. The likely lower bound of ECS was increased to 2.5 °C even though the median ECS calculated by energy balance, ranges from 1.2 °C to 1.8 °C  depending on the method and assumptions used by the authors. Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt asks “How can it be the uncertainty range of CO2 climate sensitivity has been drastically narrowed down when the latest climate models (CMIP6) have failed across the board?" Temperature proxy expert Stephen McIntyre of the Climate Audit blog says the temperature graph of the SPM figure 1 “The calculation is a grotesque brew of data mining, ex post screening and lousy proxies." Roger Pielke Jr., a world expert on extreme weather, wrote about weather disaster normalization “There are 54 studies that IPCC could have cited in this literature. 53/54 claim no attribution of disaster losses to climate change. 1/54 claims attribution to climate change. Which papers were cited by IPCC? Only 1 (the 1/54)".

 

CLINTEL: New IPCC Report Provides Little Objective Basis for Policymaking

CLINTEL conducted a preliminary review of the AR6 climate science report and published a statement which said “It appears that the SPM is, as in previous reports, prone to data exaggeration and so provides little objective basis for policymaking.” The statement noted that only last week climate scientists admitted that their new version of climate models are ‘overheated’ and therefore too alarmist. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s GISS said “You end up with numbers for even the near-term that are insanely scary – and wrong.” The first graph of the SPM is a false temperature reconstruction of the last 2000 years that fails to show the well documented large temperature changes among the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Age Cool Period, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. The ICPP again tried to eliminate the natural climate change historical record as they did using the Mann hockey stick graph in AR3. CLINTEL also says “Global mean sea level projections to 2100 appear similarly exaggerated. … The generalized SPM claims of increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events appear inconsistent with previous IPCC reports.” A warmer world is a wetter world, and global data shows droughts are becoming less severe. This SPM says that droughts are increasing “in some regions”. There have always been large natural changes in regional climates and as the world is getting wetter it is not believable that droughts in some regions are caused by greenhouse gases. CLINTEL says “there is no climate crisis, and that climate policy should be based on prudent cost-effective adaptation rather than unaffordable ineffective mitigation.”

 

Whitehouse Climate Brochures: Are Record Temperatures Occurring More Often in the USA?

The ten Whitehouse climate brochures present the current state-of-the-science on various topics of climate change. Dr. John Christy wrote this article about the USA temperature record. The U.S. has monitored weather conditions somewhat systematically since the late 1800s. The highest and lowest temperature at each weather station each day are referred to as the daily extremes. Stations with at least 105 years of data were examined. Of the 15 years with the most record high values, 14 occurred before 1955 and six in the decade of the 1930s alone. There is a slight downward tendency toward fewer record high temperatures. The 1930s was a remarkable decade for producing record hot days.

 

How Climate Scenarios Lost Touch With Reality

Roger Pielke Jr. and Justin Ritchie published this paper that shows the expectation that science is inherently self-correcting may not be true “as observers discover that many published findings are of poor quality, subject to systemic biases, or irreproducible.” In particular, “the scenarios of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the end of the twenty-first century are grounded in outdated portrayals of the recent past.” The authors say “the outdated scenarios provide a misleading basis both for developing a scientific evidence base and for informing climate policy discussions.” Emissions scenarios are a key input for the climate models that aim to project the future climate. The IPPC said the since “the future is inherently unpredictable, the development of a ‘business-as usual’ scenario is neither desirable nor possible.” The IPCC selected for emissions scenarios; the highest emissions scenario called RCP8.5 was the only one that didn’t include mitigation actions, so by default it was assumed to be a business-as-usual case. That scenario is the most commonly used but it is a highly implausible future and represents “a present that already deviates significantly from reality.” RCP8.5 projects to 2100 a six-fold growth in global coal consumption per capita, while energy forecasting groups agree that coal consumption has already or will soon peak.

 

Sea level Rise Forecast are Based on Expert Judgment

Willis Eschenbach wrote that the new IPCC Assessment Report 6 (AR6) makes it quite clear that much of what is in the report is not science. Instead, it is the opinions of a biased set of scientists. “Evidence”, for them, also includes models and expert judgment. The IPCC has a new “Sea Level Projection Tool” to give us their expert judgment on what sea-level rise might be in various areas around the planet.” Willis plotted the San Francisco sea level tide gauge record from 1854 to April 2021 which has a trend of 2.0 mm/year with no statistically significant acceleration. Willis also plotted [graph] the projection tool’s forecast of four different emissions scenarios with 2100 forcings of 1.9, 2.6, 4.5 and 7.0 W/m2. Willis wrote “In their 'expert judgment' of the model results, the median result of the models for San Francisco sea-level rise for the current decade is 4 mm per year … say what? It’s been half of that for 170 years, and it’s suddenly gonna double this decade?” And we are already 2 years into the 2020s. “Sorry, but this is not science in any form. This is a joke.”

 

Patrick Michaels: Observations Concerning the Newest IPCC Report

Dr. Patrick Michaels published his observations about the IPCC’s AR6 report. He says the case for catastrophic climate change “is extremely weak”. The report says the RCP8.5 emissions scenario likelihood is considered low, but if mentions consequences from RCP8.5 far more than any other scenario. AR6 makes “glib assertions” for which that is little robust evidence. AR6 makes the cardinal error of aggregating families of models rather than using those that are more representative of reality. AR6 completely minimizes the profound greening of the terrestrial surface that is occurring because of increasing carbon dioxide. Over 90% of the greening is the direct result of human activity.


 

CliSci # 350          2021-07-25

 

 Whitehouse Climate Brochures: Problems in the Four “National Assessments” of USA Climate Impacts

The ten Whitehouse climate brochures present the current state-of-the-science on various topics of climate change. “Systematic Problems in the Four “National Assessments” of Climate Change Impacts on the United States”, written by climatologist Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, reviews the problems with these four reports and their impacts. Michaels wrote  the four “documents  represent  some  of  the  most  egregious  distortions  of  science  in  service  of  policy  that  have  ever  been  published.” The assessments were based on models that perform worse at simulating 10 years of US temperature data than picking random numbers.  There is a growing disparity between predicted bulk tropospheric temperatures and the observed values, especially at altitude in the tropics, indicating that these models over warm the atmosphere and are systematically flawed. They are therefore useless for predicting the impacts of climate change. Michaels calls the reports’ use of the models “scientific malpractice.” Best practice demands that only models that match the observations be used for predictions and policy. The reports also incorrectly used the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas emissions scenario which is an extremely unlikely very high emissions scenario. The four assessment reports have dramatically overstated the effects of the changing USA climate because the models used have large high biases coupled with assuming far too high future greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The Unregulated Risks of Lithium-Ion Battery Stored Energy

Wind and solar generated electrical power require very large battery storage facilities to provide electricity when the power generation is low, especially if fossil fuel use for back-up is restricted.  The authors of this paper “call upon Government and regulators to begin an urgent review of the burgeoning proposals for mega-scale Lithium-ion battery developments that call safety and policy into question.” See a press release about the paper. Large energy farms are proposed to use “mega-scale” Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) of several hundred MWh storage capacities. They would store the energy of many hundreds tons of TNT equivalent, or several times the energy of the August 2020 Beirut explosion. The Li-ion batteries can fail by “thermal runaway” causing huge battery fires. These fires require no oxygen to propagate and are extremely difficult to control. The fires emit toxic gases such as hydrogen fluoride and other flammable gases. Numerous large BESS fires have already occurred. The explosion potential and the lack of engineering standards to prevent thermal runaway may put control of “battery fires” beyond the knowledge, experience and capabilities of local fire and rescue services.

 

GM Asks Chevy Bolt EV Owners Not to Charge Overnight or Park Inside

Following three recent Chevy Bolt EV fires, GM is telling owners to not charge the electric vehicles overnight and not to park inside a garage. GM is investigating the issue. There have been 8 confirmed fires of this model. Any charging should be able to be monitored, which is why they are now recommending to not charge overnight when people are asleep. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a safety alert, telling the car owners “Vehicles should be parked outside away from homes and other structures regardless of whether the interim or final recall remedies have been completed.” The requirement to continuously monitor the charging greatly reduces the utility of the EV. A Tesla Model S crashed April 17, 2021, killing two people and burst into flames. Fire fighters had difficulty putting out the fire. Eight firefighters ultimately spent seven hours putting out the fire using 28,000 gallons of water — an amount the department normally uses in a month.

 

On Three Counts, Climate Models and Energy Policy Have Failed

Climate Change the Fact website from Australia publishedan article from “The Climate Study Group” that was recently published in Melbourne’s Herald-Sun on June 25, 2021.  The article cites three major failures. First, the modelers failed to assess implications of climate cycles. Long-term solar cycles have resulted in the Little Ice Age (LIA) when there was low solar activity, and a natural recovery from the LIA as solar activity increased. Second, they failed to provide evidence of a multiplier of the direct CO2 effect by clouds and moisture. In fact, there is no evidence for the assumed large multiplier or positive feedback effect. Third, faulty predictions resulted in harmful energy policy. In Australia, energy policies based on failed predictions have led to rising power costs and unreliable energy, bringing deindustrialization. Reliable and inexpensive coal-fired generating units are being forced to close. The unreliable wind and solar power are backed-up by natural gas-fired power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. Elsewhere, 1,160 coal fired units are planned or under construction, mostly in Asia. Australia should build high-efficiency coal-fired and nuclear power units. See the PDF.

 

Analysis of Heavy Rainfall Days for Germany

This paper shows an analysis of heavy rainfall days in Germany exceeding daily thresholds of 10, 20 and 30 mm since 1900. The abstract says “Although the trend variability depended on the chosen exceedance threshold, a general long-term trend for the whole of Germany was consistently not evident.”  Some parts of Germany experienced small positive trends since 1950 while other parts experienced small negative trends. Since 1951, the number of heavy rainfall days per year for the whole of Germany has hardly changed, almost independently of their definition. Heavy rains can quickly lead to rising water levels and flooding, often accompanied by soil erosion.

 

Europe’s Deadly Floods Leave Scientists Stunned

Beginning on 13 July, 2021, intense storms dropped as much as 15 cm of rain in 24 hours, swelling streams that then washed away houses and cars and triggered massive landslides. At least 196 people had died as of 20 July—165 in Germany and 31 in Belgium. Four day before the storms, a Europe-wide flood alert system issued a forecast of extreme rainfall. Flood forecasters assumed that the early forecast and warnings would be really helpful, but they were stunned by the scenes of devastation and deaths despite the ample warnings. After the 2002 floods in eastern Germany, a survey of residents revealed that one-third of the people who received flood warnings reported having "no clue" what to do next.

 

Empirical Evidence of Declining Global Vulnerability to Climate-related Hazards

This study quantified the dynamics of socio-economic vulnerability to climate-related hazards. Using a global, spatially explicit framework that integrates population and economic dynamics with one of the most complete natural disaster loss databases the authors quantified mortality and loss rates across income levels and analyzed their relationship with wealth. The evidence shows decreasing trends in both human and economic vulnerability. Global average mortality and loss rates have dropped by 6.5 and nearly 5 times, respectively, from 1980 to 1989 to 2007–2016. The results also show a clear negative relation between vulnerability and wealth. The decline in vulnerability with increasing wealth is consistent across the radii analyzed. It is strongest for the lowest ranges of GDP per capita and weakens as income levels become higher. Natural disaster costs globally reached US$314 billion dollars in 2017. Key drivers behind rising losses are exposure changes in terms of rising population and capital at risk, as well as better reporting. The paper reported 16,412 climate-related events in 7 categories over 1980 to 2016. The most events are reported for floods (5275) and wind (4570). Expressing natural hazard impacts as a share of the exposed population/GDP rather than in absolute terms helps in understanding the greater burden for poorer countries.

 

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate Change and Deaths from Extreme Heat and Cold

Media headlines tell us that hundreds of people have died after the recent heat waves in Canada and the northwestern U.S.  Politicians and the media almost entirely ignore that rising temperatures also have the effect of reducing cold waves and cold deaths. Cold restricts blood flow needed to keep our core warm, increasing blood pressure and killing through strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory diseases. Each year, more than 100,000 people die from cold in the U.S. and 13,000 in Canada — which is more than 40 cold deaths for every heat death. On a worldwide basis, cold deaths vastly outnumber heat deaths. Global warming reduces more deaths than it causes, saving possibly 100,000 lives each year.


 

CliSci # 349          2021-07-08

 

Hazards Ahead: Speed Bumps on the Road to Decarbonization- Part 2

Join Us for this Free LIVE online event! Hosted by Michelle Stirling today, Thursday July 8 - 7 PM MDT. See the Promo Video

 

Whitehouse Climate Brochures: The Sun-Climate Connection

The ten Whitehouse climate brochures present the current state-of-the-science on various topics of climate change. The Sun-Climate Connection reviews estimates of the total solar irradiance (TSI) and its correlation with climate indicators. Four estimates of TSI imply a highly variable Sun. If these high variability estimates are correct, then it is plausible that much (or even most) of the climate changes since the 19th century might have been solar-driven. Using rural-only station to calculate the Northern Hemisphere temperature trends and considering a high solar variability TSI estimate, most of the trends since 1881 can be explained by natural climate change.

 

Fatalities Due to Severe Weather in the Czech Republic, 2000–2019

A new study of severe weather related fatalities in the Czech Republic reported that there were 1164 weather-related fatalities during the 2000–2019 study period, exhibiting a statistically significant falling trend. Those attributable to frost (31%) predominated, followed by glaze ice, rain, and snow. Fatalities were at their maximum in January and December and at their minimum in April and September. Only 20 fatalities were attributed to heat (heat waves) during the 2000–2019 period, an average of 1 fatality a year. Nine such cases were recorded in 2006. A total of 137 fatalities were attributed to snow, including six in avalanches. Most (84.7%) were due to vehicle accidents. Glaze ice was responsible for 222 fatalities, 96% of them were vehicle accidents. Cold weather or frost caused 360 fatalities. The majority of these deaths occurred among the homeless due to freezing or hypothermia. The sum of cold, ice and snow deaths (719) were 36 times greater than heat related (20) deaths. See a summary here.

 

Pennsylvania’s Flawed Use of Climate and Emissions Models

Dr. Patrick Michaels wrote that the Pennsylvania climate action plan suffers from serious problems; the climate models that are the basis of the plan do not work and the emission assumption RCP8.5 is a gross exaggeration of future emissions and greenhouse gas concentrations. Only the Russian climate model INM-CM4 correctly simulates what has been observed in the tropical atmosphere. A 2020 paper published in Nature says “Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more realistic baselines make for better policy.” Using the climate model that best matches the observations along with a realistic emissions scenario reduces the projected 2000 – 2050 warming by 69% to only 0.9 °C (1.7 °F). Michaels wrote “The Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan report, which serves as the basis for Governor Wolf’s Executive Order 2019-07, needs to be dramatically revised, and should no longer be used as the basis for any policy proposals in its present form.”

 

The Sun's Clock

Not only the 11-year cycle, but also all other periodic solar activity fluctuations can be clocked by planetary attractive forces. EurekAlert news release reports that this is the conclusion of Dr. Frank Stefani and his colleagues from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics in Germany and the Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics in Russia. With new model calculations, they are proposing a comprehensive explanation of all important known sun cycles for the first time. They also reveal the longest fluctuations in activity over thousands of years as a chaotic process.” Their new paper published in Solar Physics says that it is undisputed that the solar magnetic field controls these activity fluctuations. The authors say that the sun's angular orbital momentum could be transferred to its rotation and thus affect the internal dynamo process that produces the solar magnetic field. Integrating this process into their model caused it to reproduce several solar cycles known from observations, including the ~200-year Suess-de Vries cycle.

 

Researchers Foresee Weak Solar Cycles Until 2050…

Analyzing the cyclic nature of solar activity, leading scientists suggest a solar minimum is set to persist until 2050. It’s important to estimate the features of the next solar cycle because they serve to improve preparedness in space exploration and minimizing risks in technological and sociological activities. There is a clear link between solar activity and climatic patterns in terms of precipitation and temperature worldwide. The authors applied machine learning algorithms to a newly constructed annual sunspot time series which gives insights into the Sun’s magnetic dynamo. The analysis suggests the ~11-year sunspot cycle is closely connected with 120-year oscillatory magnetic activity variations. Their model forecasts a new phase of extended solar minima that will persist until sunspot cycle 27, about 2050.

 

Solar Panels Degrade Twice as Fast as Predicted

Operational solar assets are continuing to experience higher than expected rates of degradation, with annual degradation in the field at around 1 percent, according to a Solar Risk Assessment report by kWh Analytics. The report details the risk to solar assets posed by financial modeling, operational performance, and extreme weather. It finds that assumptions made in 2016—that solar modules would degrade by around 0.5 percent annually—is outdated and underestimates annual degradation by as much as 0.5 percent. The median annual degradation for residential solar systems is 1.09 percent and non-residential systems is 0.8 percent. The report states that over a 20-year asset life, project degradation could therefore be underestimated by as much as 14 percent.

 

Cold Deaths Plummet as Temperature Rise

Bjorn Lomborg wrote in USA Today “Too often news stories and research focus only on the negative climate change impacts." Ignoring the decline of heat related deaths due to adaptation and air conditioning and the large decline in cold-related deaths skews the impacts and “leaves us poorly informed”. Lomborg wrote “Heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the United States, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has more than halved. More importantly, cold deaths vastly outweigh heat deaths worldwide. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the United States, Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outweigh heat deaths by 7-to-1. Globally, about 1.7 million deaths are caused by cold a year, more than five times the number of heat deaths. This matters because rising temperatures from global warming will reduce the number of cold deaths. This suggests that leaving out cold deaths flips the central message.”

 

BC Heat Wave Caused by Natural Climate Variability, Not Global Warming

As the intense heat wave in the western provinces eases its grip, Madhav Khandekar, a former Environment Canada research scientist says that this weather event, while unusual, was caused by natural climate variability and is comparable to heat waves that occurred in the 1920s and ’30s. At the height of the heat wave, the village of Lytton in B.C. set a Canadian record of 49.6 °C on June 29. Khandekar said “During the 1930s, often known as the ‘dust bowl’ years of North America, there were serious heat waves, and the highest temperature in Canada was recorded in a small town in Saskatchewan in July 1937: the temperature of 45 °C,” he said. He also said Canada and other parts of the world regularly experience extreme cold temperatures as well, such as in the winter of 2018 when an “extreme cold warning” was issued for most of New Brunswick.


 

CliSci # 348          2021-06-20

 

What You Really Need to Know About Renewable Energy

Join host Michelle Stirling this Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 7pm MDT for “What You Really Need To Know About Renewable Energy (That The Pembina Institute Won’t Tell You)”. Michelle will walk through a PowerPoint summary of information from the Friends of Science Professional Engineering team, who did a qualitative analysis of a report by the Pembina Institute of August 2020. They found that Pembina’s claims about wind and “solar being reliable, cheap and clean electricity” are based on dangerously wrong assumptions and, if climate and energy policies are implemented based on Pembina’s assessments, this will cause power prices to skyrocket beyond the average Alberta family’s annual income. See a trailer here and the live stream here.

 

Friends of Science 17th Annual Event videos Are Now Free

We have now taken down the paywall for our 17th Annual event and both videos of Donna Laframboise and Dr. Roy Spencer are available free of charge, and their powerpoints are also posted online. Donna’s video; “Climate activism: Undermining free speech, free thought & free choice”. Roy’s video; “The most important reasons why there is no climate emergency”.

 

Biased Media Reporting on the New Santer et al. Study

Dr. Roy Spencer wrote about the biased media reporting of a new study that compared observed climate parameter trends to climate models trends. His summary says “A new paper by Santer et al. in Journal of Climate shows that observed trends during 1988-2019 in sea surface temperature [SST], tropospheric temperature [TLT and TMT], and total tropospheric water vapor [TWV] are generally inconsistent, by varying amounts, with climate model trends over the same period.” The measured tropospheric warming rate and the tropospheric water vapor moistening rate are both less than those in the climate models. The paper doesn’t single out the tropospheric temperatures as being in error, but widespread reporting claims that the observations are wrong rather than the models. The DailyMail headline was “Satellites may have been underestimating the planet’s warming for decades”. The Santer paper shows that sea surface temperatures are rising much slower than simulated by climate models. The models incorrectly assume the mid-troposphere water vapour increases with constant relative humidity, but the observations show relative humidity decreasing there. Spencer’s summary says “Observational evidence is shown that free-tropospheric humidity does not increase with tropospheric temperature as much as in the GFDL climate model. Thus, weak tropospheric warming measured by satellites could be evidence of weak water vapor feedback in the free troposphere, which in turn could explain the weaker than (model) expected surface warming.”

 

Submission: Social Cost (Benefit) of Carbon Dioxide from FUND

The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested comments on “Technical Support Document: Social Cost of Carbon, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide Interim Estimates”. I submitted comments and a 20 page document that presents social net benefits of CO2 values of 11.3 USD/tCO2 at 3% discount rate and 6.0 USD/tCO2 at 5% discount rate. Agriculture impacts dominate the social net benefit values. The values were calculated by a modified FUND model that includes corrections of energy use and CO2 fertilization. In Cli-SCi 346, I reported a social net benefit of 11.7 USD/tCO2 at a 3% discount rate using the HadCRUT4.5 temperature data. The submission is slightly different as it uses an infilled temperature dataset to determine the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). The resulting median ECS is 1.19 °C for a doubling of CO2.

 

Long-term Variability & Trends in Droughts in Western Europe

A new study analyzed precipitation data from 199 stations over the period 1851 to 2018 across Western Europe. The abstract says “Results reveal a general absence of statistically significant long-term trends in the study domain, with the exception of significant trends at some stations, generally covering short periods.” The largest increasing drought conditions were found for summer in the British and Irish Isles. “In general, drought episodes experienced in the last two or three decades have precedents during the last 170·years. “  See this graph from Roger Pielke Jr.  "Our study stresses that from the long-term (1851–2018) perspective there are no generally consistent trends in droughts across Western Europe."

 

Conversion of Peatlands for Agriculture Contributes to CO2 Emissions

A new study finds a large, previously unknown contribution to climate change through human conversion of peatlands for agriculture. The study suggests the conversion of carbon-rich peatlands for agriculture could have added 250 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere which is equivalent to 7 years of current emissions from fossil fuel use. Most of this conversion was before the industrial era. The study “suggests that even now, we lack a complete understanding of how the Earth’s land surfaces are driving and modulating the warming of the planet.” Dead plant matter in peatlands does not fully decay due to the watery conditions. When the peatland is drained the ancient plant matter begins to decompose, emitting CO2. Some of the peat carbon must have gone back into the land as plants grew which might mean more of a buffer exists against climate change than previously believed. Another possibility is that there had been less deforestation than previously believed.

 

Offshore Wind Turbines Alter Winds and Reduce Future Potentials

A new study shows that offshore wind farms wake effects decrease the power generation efficiency of wind farms downwind. The authors simulate near future wind farm scenarios in the North Sea and assess power generation losses due to wind farm wake. The reduction in wind speed extends 35 to 40 km downwind. Wind speed deficits are highest during spring. The wake effect reduces the capacity factor by 20% for more, which increases energy production costs. The abstract says “We conclude that wind energy can be a limited resource in the North Sea. The limits and potentials for optimization need to be considered in climate mitigation strategies”.

 

Good News for Australia’s Barrier Reef

Dr. Peter Ridd was fired from his position at James Cook University for breaching the university's code of conduct by criticising his colleagues' research on the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. Dr. Ridd wrote on his facebook page (June 14) “In 2016, there was a major bleaching event in the northern section of the Reef. There were doom headlines around the world and Prof Hughes, who led the monitoring of the coral, famously tweeted ‘I showed the results of the aerial surveys of bleaching on the GBR to my students. And then we wept’. It is time to stop crying. The worst affected area for that event, around Lizard Island where coral cover halved, has now totally recovered. It only took 5 years.” The 2016 bleaching event was caused the El Nino event. “The rapid recovery of the coral in the Cooktown region is not surprising. Despite what our institutions are saying, these events are perfectly natural - they certainly did not start in the 1970’s as many scientists, such as Prof Hughes, claim. The rapid recovery is also indicative of an ecosystem in excellent shape.”  Peter Ridd’s appeal in his important academic freedom case against James Cook University will be heard by the High Court of Australia on Wednesday, June 23.


 

CliSci # 347          2021-06-05

 

Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, And Why It Matters, by Steven E. Koonin

This article by Rupert Darwall is a review of Steven Koonin’s new book. Koonin is a physicist at New York University. He was the lead moderator of a debate hosted by the American Physical Society (APS) between three climate scientists who agreed and three who disagreed with the IPCC’s position on climate change. The climate skeptics easily won the debate. Koonin wrote “I came away from the APS workshop not only surprised, but shaken by the realization that climate science was far less mature than I had supposed.” The IPCC is not telling the whole truth. Koonin’s indictment of the IPCC science starts with its reliance on unreliable computer models. The modeler admitted to tuning their model by targeting an equilibrium climate sensitivity of about 3 C, the value the IPCC wants. Koonin wrote “That the models can’t reproduce the past is a big red flag – it erodes confidence in their projections of future climates.” Darwall wrote in his review “The second part of Koonin’s indictment concerns the distortion, misrepresentation, and mischaracterization of climate data to support a narrative of climate catastrophism based on increasing frequency of extreme weather events.” The book can be purchased at Amazon.

 

Legislating Energy Poverty: A Case Study of Climate Policy

This case study of California’s and New York’s climate change policies show that they will impose large economic costs while not necessarily leading to significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. The CA-NY approach is to increase the costs for fossil fuels and subsidize the costs of favored energy sources, mainly wind and solar. “When the full impacts from the policies are considered, it is clear that the CA-NY climate policies are imposing net economic hardships on Californians and New Yorkers.” The policies cause higher electricity and gasoline prices, less economic activity, increasing poverty rates and increased cronyism due to the politicization of the economy.

 

Stationarity in the Variability of Arid Precipitation in Central Asia

Precipitation is particularly scarce in arid Central Asia (CA). This study investigates the statistics of stationarity in the totals and extremes of precipitation in CA from long rainfall records and tree-ring reconstructions. The longest rainfall record (from 1881) of total precipitation and annual maximum 1-day precipitation amounts show stationary behavior. Also, nearly all the Global Historical Climatology Network of precipitation observatory sites indicated likely stationary behavior, meaning that there is no significant change in the mean precipitation or its variance over time. The reconstructed tree-ring records were also indistinguishable from a random process. The climate models also show that the total precipitation closely approximated a purely random process, contrary to claims by climate alarmists that dry regions would get drier. However, the annual maximum 1-day precipitation increased in most of the climate models implying that extreme precipitation may increase in the future. The global water cycle is expected to intensify in a warmer world based on theoretical expectations causing an increase in total global precipitation. However, the observed precipitation totals do not yet display robust changes across the global land area.

 

Australia's Hidden History of Megadroughts Captured in Tree Rings

Scientists analysing growth rings of 700-year-old native cypress trees in Western Australia's Wheatbelt say the region suffered a series of megadroughts lasting up to 30 years in past centuries. Climatologist Alison O'Donnell said rainfall records since 1900 capture "one of the wettest periods in the last 700 years".  The tree-ring record shows that Western Australia experienced a pair of 30-year droughts, far more severe than any seen since European settlement, in the 1760s and the 1830s. O'Donnell said “Droughts are a lot more common than we think they are." 

 

Large Increases in the Water Use Efficiencies of Three Tropical Forest Trees

CO2Science reviewed a paper that examined the water use efficiency of three tropical forest tree species. Four researchers examined the tree-ring cores and determined the water use efficiency using historic trends in the stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) of tree rings over the period 1986-2015.  The study reported that the WUE increased by 29% for 2 species and 46% for the other.  Rising CO2 improves plant WUE, typically by reducing plant stomatal apertures, which reduces water lost to the air via transpiration. Statistical analysis determined that the 53 ppm CO2 increase over the 30-year period explained 86% of the WUE increase. The reviewer wrote “And thus we find yet another real world example that rising atmospheric CO2 is benefitting vegetation across the globe by helping to improve plant iWUE. Amazingly, a mere 15% increase in CO2 was powerful enough to raise the intrinsic water use efficiencies of these tropical forest tree species by 29-46%.”

 

The State of the Climate 2020

This report by Dr. Ole Humlum, Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography, University of Oslo, Norway, is focused on observations of the climate up to 2020. Considering surface air temperature records since 1850/1880, the year 2020 was very warm – nearly as warm as 2016. Short-term temperature changes are dominated by ocean to atmosphere heat exchanges via ENSO. In the uppermost 100 m of the global oceans, temperatures have increased since about 2011. At 200–400 m depth, temperatures have exhibited little change during the observation period.

 

New Survey show Polar Bear Population increases in Chukchi Sea

A new polar bear survey using fixed-wing aircraft and heat-detecting technology for the first time estimates the population in 2016 to be between 3,435 and 5,444.  This is significantly larger than a previous estimate of 2,937 polar bears for the same year but derived from an integrated population model applied to a smaller area.  The new survey found that the population on the Russian portion of the Chukchi Sea was 9 times larger than on the USA portion. Dr. Susan Crockford wrote “This study required rather more models and associated assumptions than usual to come up with its population estimates. That’s primarily because they were based on sightings of only 8 bears or groups of bears in the US and 49 bears or groups of bears in Russia (‘groups’ were mothers and cubs) and surveys were limited primarily due to foggy weather and changing sea ice conditions.”

 

Fish Adapt to Ocean Acidification by Modifying Gene Expression

 The uptake of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 by oceans is causing a gradual reduction in pH. The oceans are becoming slightly less alkaline but will never be acidic.  Marine organisms have to adjust their physiology to adapt to a reduced pH environment which, at the molecular level, is achieved by modifying the expression of genes. There are a few places on this planet where volcanic activity has CO2 bubbling from the seafloor creating conditions that are similar to those predicted to occur across the oceans in the near-future. Such natural laboratories can then help us to understand what will happen to marine organisms in the future under an ocean acidification scenario. Researchers collected samples from CO2 seeps and analysed molecular data from a fish species which has successfully adapted to the lower pH environment at CO2 volcanic vents. The study found a higher gene expression in gonads in fish living at the CO2 vents than those from control environments with ambient CO2 and pH conditions. The genetic changes in regulatory sequences would not impact the fitness of the individuals carrying them when living in an ambient pH environment, but these provide the fish with adaptive advantages for living in a reduced pH environment. Therefore, fish should be able to readily adapt to changing pH caused by CO2 emissions.


 

CliSci # 346          2021-05-19

 

The Social Net Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Climate policies such as carbon taxes are set by governments using social cost of carbon (SCC) values calculated by a small set of economic computer programs called integrated assessment models (IAM). FUND is the most complex of the IAMs which links scenarios and simple models of population, technology, economics, emissions, atmospheric chemistry, climate, sea level, and impacts. FUND and distinguishes 16 major world regions. It is the only model used by the US Government that includes benefits of warming and CO2 fertilization, and accounts for adaptation. Unfortunately, the climate component that determines temperature is flawed as it assumes that the deep oceans are instantly in temperature equilibrium with the atmosphere, without any time delay, when the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is 1.5 °C or less. The likely range of ECS based on energy balance calculations using actual historical temperatures is 0.76  -  1.39 °C with a best estimate of 1.04 °C. The default ECS in FUND is 3.0 °C. The energy impact component of FUND is very flawed as shown here. A study of the CO2 fertilization effect and the FUND agricultural component shows that the FUND CO2 fertilization effect should be increased by 30%.

I created a modified version of FUND which incorporates a 2-box ocean climate model that is tuned to closely match the temperature profile of climate models. I have replaced the flawed space heating and cooling components with new components to match the empirical heating and cooling USA data. The model assumes that when other regions reach the wealth per person equal to that in the USA in 2010, they will have similar space heating and cooling costs at that in the USA. I also increased the FUND CO2 fertilization effect by 30%. This allows me to calculate the realistic social net benefit of CO2 emissions using all impact sectors, weighted by the energy balance based ECS probability distribution. The table below shows the SCC (negative means CO2 emissions are net beneficial) in US and Canadian dollars, using 3% and 5% discount rates, with and without the CO2 fertilization update, for emissions in 2020. The results show the net benefits of CO2 emissions range from Can$ 10 to 14 /tCO2 depending on the discount rate used.

$/tCO2

US$ 2020

Can$ 2020

Discount Rate

3%

5%

3%

5%

Corrected Energy

-8.48

-4.43

-10.22

-5.33

Corrected Energy & CO2 Fertilization

-11.78

-6.17

-14.19

-7.44

The data show that climate change with CO2 fertilization effect is quite beneficial, so policies costing trillions of dollars to reduce CO2 emissions are misguided.See a more detailed report here.

 

Increasing CO2 Has Led to 13% More Vegetation Over the Past 100 Years

A new German study by Merbach et al looks at the question of just how beneficial the added CO2 has been to plant growth globally. The study reported that the global vegetation cover increased approximately 11- 14%, of which 70% can be attributed to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Since 1982, the inventory of trees has increased more than 7%. Food production is expected to surge due to the increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. For example, soy beans, wheat and rice yields are forecast to increase by 8.7%, 6.5% and 6.2% as CO2 concentrations increase from 410ppm (in 2019) to 550 ppm (expected in 2050), respectively.  From 1990 to 2015 in Germany, crop yields for wheat, barley, corn and potatoes rose more than 30%, which the researchers attribute in part to the higher CO2 concentrations.

 

Large-scale Ocean Circulation Control Coastal Sea Levels

Understanding historical and projected coastal sea-level change is limited because the impact of large-scale ocean dynamics on local sea levels in not well known. This study used a global set of tide-gauge records over nine regions to analyse the relationship between coastal sea-level variability and open-ocean sea levels related to density fluctuations. Sea-level variability follows open-ocean steric height variations along many coastlines. The study reconstructed coastal sea levels due to ocean density and circulation changes. The reconstruction explains up to 91% of coastal sea-level variability. Combined with barystatic components related to ocean mass change and vertical land motion, the reconstruction also permits closure of the coastal sea-level budget since 1960. The authors find ocean circulation has dominated coastal sea-level budgets over the past six decades, reinforcing its importance in near-term predictions and coastal planning.

 

Reduced Arctic Sea Ice Is Not Linked to Severe Winter Weather

Every time severe winter weather strikes the United States or Europe, reporters are fond of saying that global warming may be to blame. A decade ago some scientists proposed that melting Arctic sea ice may cause the polar jet stream winds that confine cold Arctic air weaken, letting it spill further south. A small trend in observations to 2010 has weakened after another decade of observations. A team of scientists say that there are few signs of colder winters in Eurasia or North America or more frequent weakening or waviness in the jet stream. The researchers ran climate computer models of the Arctic with and without sea ice loss. They found only a tiny effect of sea ice loss on the polar jet stream.

 

Biden’s National Fire Center Disappears ‘Inconvenient’ U.S. Wildfire Data

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has been the keeper of U.S. wildfire data for decades, tracking both the number of wildfires and acreage burned all the way back to 1926. In a blatant act of cherry-picking, NIFC “disappeared” a portion of it, and only shows data from 1983. This article by Anthony Watts compares the full dataset to the cherry-picked data from 1983. The dataset shows the area burned by wildfires had declined by a factor of  5.7 from the 1930s to the 2010s, which undermined claims being made by the media that climate change was making wildfires more frequent and severe. Watts wrote “This attempt to rewrite the official United States fire history for political reasons is both wrong and unscientific. NFIC never previously expressed concern its historical data might be invalid, or shouldn’t be used. It seems NIFC has caved to political pressure to disappear inconvenient wildfire data. This action is unscientific, dishonest, and possibly fraudulent.”

 

Does Ocean Acidification Alter Fish Behavior? Fraud Allegations

An article published by Science raises fraud allegation about the research on ocean acidification (actually neutralization) effects on fish behaviour conducted at James Cook University in Australia. Philip Munday has co-authored more than 250 papers. He and Danielle Dixson, a U.S. biologist, began in 2009 to publish evidence showing that the oceans’ changing chemistry affects fish behaviour. In January 2020, a group of seven young scientists, led by fish physiologist Timothy Clark of Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, published a Nature paper reporting that in a massive 3-year study, they didn’t see these dramatic effects of acidification on fish behavior at all. Some scientists hailed it as a stellar example of research replication that cast doubt on extraordinary claims that should have received closer scrutiny from the start. Clark and others of the group asked three funders of the Munday research to investigate possible fraud in 22 papers. They say there is evidence of manipulation in publicly available raw data files for two papers and “statistically impossible” effects from CO2 reported in many of the other papers. The Clark team’s findings published in Nature: Elevated CO2 levels in water had a “negligible” effect on fish’s attraction to chemical cues from predators, their activity levels, and “lateralization”.


 

CliSci # 345          2021-05-04

 

The True Cost of Wind and Solar Electricity in Alberta

Wind and solar generators cannot meet consumers’ electricity needs when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. Advocates argue that renewable generation can be backed up with battery energy storage systems (“BESS”) that store energy when renewable generation is high and release energy when that generation is low. Batteries cannot economically manage the months-long seasonal variations in wind, sun, and cloud. At today’s prices, the batteries needed to ensure a reliable supply of electricity from wind and solar generators in Alberta would cost almost two trillion dollars. Two trillion dollars is almost six times Alberta’s 2019 GDP of $353 billion. Spending this astronomical sum on electricity infrastructure would raise the price of electricity to nearly $5/kWh, almost a hundred times greater than the average 2011-2020 wholesale market price of 5 ¢/kWh. The electricity bill for the average home consuming 10,800 kWh per year would be $51 thousand per year, an amount far beyond the ability of most Albertans to pay. The Canadian government has pledged to be net CO2 emissions zero, so fossil fuel generated electricity can’t be used as backup in the near future. Under the existing market rules, generators are not held accountable for any costs their intermittency and nondispatchability impose—including (but not limited to) the cost of backup generation. See this FOSS report.

 

Electricity From the Sun:  Reality Versus Fantasy

In a recent article in the Calgary Herald, journalist Licia Corbella was effusive in her praise of both solar energy and Alberta’s competitive electricity market. She quoted Robert Hornung, president and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, who also extolled the virtues of solar generation and the competitive market. Energy professionals related to FoSS critiqued this assessment in this new report. The report reveals that renewables investor receive huge hidden subsides from the province’s consumers. A solar panel produces in December only 29% of its July output, assuming there is no snow on the panel. The cost of battery backup for each home equipped with enough solar panels to produce the annual electricity demand would be $1.3 million, and that would have to be repeated every ten years, which is the expected battery life. The excess electricity output in July is often five or six times greater than the customer’s consumption. The report says “Since it is economically infeasible to buy enough batteries to cover the winter shortfall, it is also infeasible to buy enough to store the summer surplus.  So, the excess solar energy must either flow out to a grid that is larger than today’s or the solar array’s output must be reduced.” Contrary to Corbella’s article, high solar penetration requires a massive buildup to transmission capacity, not less. In the past, investors build power plants to meet consumer’s demand for electricity. Solar project now are built to displace existing generation, and a large fraction of revenue is from the lack of delivery of an unmeasurable amount of an invisible substance, CO2. It is unknown how much it will cost Albertans in hidden subsidies related to transmission and backup generation costs. Renewable electricity shows up when it wants to while fossil-fuel electricity shows up when we want it to.

 

Hydrologic Extremes Across Australia

This study published in the Journal of Hydrology evaluated trends from 1960 to 2017 in rainfall, soil moisture and streamflow in Australia. “Northern parts of Australia have experienced increasing annual rainfall totals, resulting in increased water availability in the tropics with increased soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and runoff, particularly during the hot, wet monsoon season. In contrast, the southwest and southeast coasts of Australia have experienced declines in rainfall, particularly in the colder months”. Since 1960, Australia has not experienced any continent-wide changes in rainfall patterns. Summers seem to be slightly wetter overall, with “increased water availability in the tropics”

 

Trends in Antarctic Sea-ice Driven by ENSO–SAM over 2,000 Years

A paper published in Nature Geoscience presents two new decadal-resolution records of sea ice and sea surface temperatures over the last 2000 years. The records show pervasive regional climate heterogeneity in the Antarctica sea ice cover. The author’s analysis of the data with the help of a climate model suggests that regional condition were driven by the variability of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). The abstract says “Antarctic sea ice has paradoxically become more extensive over the past four decades despite a warming climate.” I created a plot the Antarctica sea ice extent from satellite data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center from 1979 to April 2021. The year 2020 average sea ice extent was 300,000 km2 greater than that in 1980, and there was a small upward trend 1979 – 2020.

 

“Global Warming” is Only ~50% of What Models Project

For Earth Day, Dr. Roy Spencer published a graph of global-average sea surface temperatures from the ERSSTv5 dataset with 68 computer climate model simulation of the new CMIP6 set from 1979 to 2021. I digitized the chart of trends. The average trend of the climate models is 0.272 °C/decade. The trend of the measurements is 0.116 °C/decade. The model trend average is 2.34 times the ERSSTv5 trend. See Spencer’s blog post. The global troposphere warming trend using UAH satellite data from 1979 to April 2001 is 198% of the CMIP5 set of climate models as shown here. Note that the current La Nina is now having a strong cooling effect on the global troposphere. The April 2021 temperature anomaly is the same as June 1980.

 

Northern Red Sea Corals Pass Heat Stress Test with Flying Colors

This EurekAlert news release reports that scientists subjected Gulf of Aqaba corals to a range of heat stresses including the higher temperatures likely to occur in the coming decades. The average maximum monthly temperature in these waters is currently around 27°C, so the scientists exposed coral samples to temperatures of 29.5 °C, 32 °C and 34.5 °C, over both a short time period (three hours) and a longer one (one week). "The main thing we found is that these corals currently live in temperatures well below the maximum they can withstand with their molecular machinery, which means they're naturally shielded against the temperature increases that will probably occur over the next 100 or even 200 years," says Romain Savary of EPFL in Switzerland and lead author of the study.

 

Failed Climate Predictions

Rud Istvan has written many blog posts over the last 10 years. He reviews some of the climate alarmist’s most fundamental failed predictions, and why they failed. The climate scare is largely based on climate models that don’t work. They overstate the tropical troposphere warming by about 3 times. The most plausible reason is thunderstorms, which reduce upper atmosphere humidity with warming, but cannot be modelled, only parameterized. In absolute temperature terms, the CMIP5 models varied by ~4 °C in the year 2000 (early in their tuning period) about the observed ~15.5 °C global average. Few were close to the observed reality. Models predict an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 1.5 to 4.5 °C, but assuming no natural climate change and no urban warming, observational ECS estimates using energy balance shows about 1.6 °C, or around 1.0 °C after correcting for those factors. Sea level rise was predicted to accelerate but it hasn’t based on long records of GPS-corrected tide gauges. Crop yields were predicted to fail but they continue to increase. See more here.


 

CliSci # 344          2021-04-19

 

Climate ‘Emergency’? Not So Fast

Climate scientists Dr. Richard Lindzen and Dr. Willian Happer co-authored an article published on National Review. They wrote that the Biden administration’s crusade against a supposed “climate emergency” resembles the medieval crusades against foreign infidels. The authors say that the research literature does not support the claim of a climate emergency. The warming from CO2 emissions would be small and benign. History shows that warming periods extend growing seasons and have been very good for humanity. Cooling periods were accompanied by barbarian invasions, famines, and plagues. More CO2 will certainly increase the productivity of agriculture and forestry as CO2 is plant food. A thousand years ago Greenland was much warmer than today. Warming from methane is about one-tenth of than from CO2. The crusade against farmers due to methane emissions will be all pain for no gain. Climate models predict two to three times more surface warming than has been observed, so they have already been falsified.

 

Correcting Mixed‐Phase Clouds Over the Southern Ocean

Simple energy balance models, which compare climate forcing to actual global temperature changes, show low climate sensitivity to CO2 levels, implying that clouds and water vapour do not cause strong positive feedbacks. A major problem with climate models is poor representation of clouds over the Southern Ocean leading to cloud feedbacks that are too large. An important paper published in Geophysical Research: Atmospheres challenges the climate models by using new remote-sensing datasets. The study shows that models do a poor job of simulating clouds of ice crystals topped with super-cooled liquid droplets. Adapting the cloud parameters a climate model to match the datasets can reproduce the observed mixed‐phase clouds. This change significantly increases the amount of sunlight these clouds reflect to space. Compared to ice crystals, liquid droplets tend to reflect more solar energy toward space, cooling the planet. The study shows that the climate models used to set government policy assume too high climate feedbacks and are too sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Including Ocean Eddies in Models Reduce Sea Level Rise Projections by 25%

A new paper published in Science Advances investigated the contribution of Antarctica ice melt to sea level rise with a standard resolution climate model compared to a high-resolution ocean eddy resolving version of the model. The high resolution model projects a sea level rise contribution from Antarctica of near zero in 2100 while the low resolution version projects a 9.3 cm higher sea level rise. The abstract says “Current sea-level projections are based on climate models in which the effects of ocean eddies are parameterized. Here, we investigate the effect of ocean eddies on global mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) projections, using climate model simulations. Explicitly resolving ocean eddies leads to a more realistic Southern Ocean temperature distribution and volume transport. These quantities control the rate of basal melt, which eventually results in Antarctic mass loss. In a model with resolved ocean eddies, the Southern Ocean temperature changes lead to a smaller Antarctic GMSLR contribution compared to the same model in which eddies are parameterized. As a result, the projected GMSLR is about 25% lower at the end of this century in the eddying model. Relatively small-scale ocean eddies can hence have profound large-scale effects and consequently affect GMSLR projections.” Therefore for a given climate sensitivity, the GMSLR projected by climate models should be discounted by 25%.

 

Solar Variability Is Tied to the Onset of Decadal La Nina Events

A new study published in Earth and Space Science shows a correlation between solar cycles and a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean suggesting that solar variability is driving multi-year climate variability. Many climate scientists are unclear on the role the sun has on the changing climate. A news release about the paper quotes Scott McIntosh, co-author of the paper, who said “This study shows there’s reason to believe it absolutely does and why the connection may have been missed in the past." The 11-year solar cycle does not have a definite beginning or end. This study used a more precise 22-year solar derived from the solar magnetic polarity cycle. The termination of the magnetic cycle can be determined with more precision than the sunspot cycle. The authors found that the five terminator events that occurred between 1960 and 2010-11 all coincided with a flip from an El Nino to a La Nina. The solar cycle 24 that has just ended also corresponds to the current La Nina event. Statistical tests show that there was only a 1 in 5,000 chance or less (depending on the statistical test) that all five terminator events included in the study would randomly coincide with the flip in ocean temperatures. The authors suggest that the influence of the Sun’s magnetic field on the amount of cosmic rays that enter the Earth’s atmosphere might be the physical connection between the Sun and the Earth responsible for the ENSO correlation.

 

Ocean Temperatures Over the Last 700 000 Years from an Antarctic Ice Core

The Earth’s global mean temperature has changed significantly between cold glacial and warm interglacial periods over the last million years. A new paper published in Climate of the Past presents reconstructed ocean temperature over the last 700,000 years by using ratios of noble gases and nitrogen trapped in the Antarctic EPICA Dome C ice core. The amount of each gas dissolved in seawater depends on the ocean temperature. The reconstructed temperatures during the last seven glacial periods are consistently about 3.3 °C cooler than the Holocene. The interglacial before 450,000 years ago were 1.6 °C cooler than the Holocene. Ocean temperatures in the warm periods 450,000 years ago were much colder than in the present warm period. A news release about the paper says “The new measurements show that ocean temperature is also shaped by changes in ocean circulation. The so-called global circulation of deep waters has a significant impact on heat storage in the ocean.” The previous (120 kya) and the third previous (330 kya) interglacial periods were significantly warmer than the Holocene.

 

Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet 1992–2016

A new paper, Zwally et al 2021, published in Glaciology, reconciles results from GRACE gravimetry with three satellite altimetry datasets. The paper’s abstract says “GRACE and ICESat Antarctic mass-balance differences are resolved utilizing their dependencies on corrections for changes in mass and volume of the same underlying mantle material forced by ice-loading changes. Modeled gravimetry corrections are 5.22 times altimetry corrections over East Antarctica (EA) and 4.51 times over West Antarctica (WA)”. The mantle under EA is denser than that under WA. The ice mass changes during 2003-08 were estimated at 150 Gigatonnes per year (Gt/y) for EA, 66 Gt/y for inland WA, -95 Gt/y for coastal WA and -26 Gt/y for the Antarctic Peninsula, giving an Antarctic total gain of 95 Gt/y. Beginning in 2009, large increases in coaster WA dynamic losses overcame long-term EA and inland WA gains, bringing Antarctica close to balance at -12 ± 64 Gt/y by 2012-16. The total Antarctica mass balance successively changed from a gain of 144 ± 61 Gt/y during 1992–2001, to 95 ± 26 Gt/yduring 2003–08, to 34 ± 85 Gt/y during 2009–11 and to −12 ± 64 Gt/y during 2012–2016. The total ice mass of Antarctica is 26,500,000 Gt.  A decade of ice loss of 120 Gt represents 0.00045% of Antarctica ice causing 0.26 mm of sea level rise.

 

Climate Blame Game: Are We Really Causing Extreme Weather?

William Briggs wrote an essay that argues claims from climate change event attribution studies suffer from gross over-certainties and cannot be trusted. Scientists who attribute extreme events to human influences have the curious and false idea that Earth’s climate never changed before mankind began interfering with it. We can guess what the climate would have looked like without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions but we would never be able to independently check whether our guess is true. Attribution studies uses models that fail to match the current and past states of the climate. Apparently all events attributed to climate change are deemed to be harmful, never beneficial. Anthropogenic climate change will likely increase the number of pleasant summer days and cause better crop growing weather. Only bad events are reported, demonstrating “an irreparable confirmation bias in attribution studies.” There were eleven attribution studies of the recent California drought. They came to various conclusions including that it was natural. Once adjustments are made for population and economic growth, “there is no statistical connection between climate change and measures of weather-related damages”.


 

CliSci # 343          2021-04-03

 

Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the New Jersey Coast

Dr. Judith Curry via her company Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) published a 42 page assessment of sea level rise (SLR) projections for the New Jersey coast provided by scientists from Rutgers University; the ‘Rutgers Report’.  The CFAN review finds that the Rutgers’ projections are more than a factor of two higher than the IPCC projections because they include extreme scenarios of instability in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Curry posted a series of three articles on her blog about her review, the 3rd one is here. The relative SLR at Atlantic City, New Jersey is 4.12 mm/yr from a tide gauge 1911 to 2019, with no acceleration. The relative rise is higher than the global average due to the land sinking at -1.25 to -1.53 mm/yr due to adjustments from the retreat of glacier ice following the last Ice Age, ground water extraction and sediment compaction. The Rutgers Report gives a most likely SRL from 2000 to 2100 of 1.01 m, average 10.1 mm/yr. The IPCC projection of global SLR from the 2019 special report for the medium emission scenario RCP4.5 is 0.55 m for 1996 to 2100, equivalent to 0.53 m for 2000 to 2100, average 5.3 mm/yr. The global SLR in the Rugers Report is about double the recent IPCC report. The IPCC doesn’t believe that WAIS instabilities are a major concern. Curry wrote “Deep uncertainty due to climate change requires moving away from the ‘predict then act’ paradigm to one of ‘robust decision making,’ characterized by continuous learning and dynamic adaptation.”

 

Tropical Cyclone Landfall in Japan Since the Mid-nineteenth Century

A new paper investigated tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the NW Pacific and landfall in Japan by using historical TC track data and meteorological observation data. The authors report “We identify lower annual TC landfall numbers during the 1970s to the 2000s and find other periods have more TC landfall numbers including the nineteenth century. No trend in TC landfall number is detected.” The TC intensities were high around 1900, in the 1910s, from the 1930s to 1960s, and after the 1990s. There was a significant increasing intensity trend from 1977 to 2019, but the intensity during the 2010s was similar to 1940 to 1965. TC landfall location has a fluctuation of about 100-year interval.

 

Ancient Undergrowth Discovered Beneath Greenland’s Ice Sheet

A team of researchers described the discovery of perfectly preserved twigs and leaves locked within a tube of ice and dirt from northwestern Greenland recovered from a core drilled through the ice sheet. The ice core was drilled in 1966 but the dirt at the bottom of the ice was analyzed in 2019. The existence of these plants implies that there was once vegetation at that spot now buried by 1.4 km of ice, which shows that a large portion of Greenland must have been ice-free within the past million years. Lead author Andrew Christ reported that the samples are like a time capsule of Greenland before the ice. “Ice sheets typically pulverize and destroy everything in their path,” he said, “but what we discovered was delicate plant structures. They’re fossils, but they look like they died yesterday.” The paper says “The similarity of cosmogenic isotope ratios in the upper-most sediment to those measured in bedrock near the center of Greenland suggests that the ice sheet melted and re-formed at least once during the past million years.” See this review of the paper.

 

A Short History of Climate Alarm!

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) published a paper by climate writer Paul Homewood that gives a history of climate alarm and failed climate predictions. Homewood says “It doesn’t matter what area of the climate you are looking at, climatologists have an extraordinary ability to be wrong.” A few of the failed predictions were;

  • Noel Brown, UN Environment Program 1989: “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels by the year 2000.” But coastal land area grew by 1300 km2 in that period.
  • David Viner, U of East Anglia, UK 2000: “within a few years [in the UK], winter snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’”. But the UK gets as much snow now as in 2000.
  • Tim Flannery, Climate Commission, Australia, 2007: “Brisbane and Adelaide – home to a combined total of three million people – could run out of water by year’s end.” Then the rains came and by December 2008, Adelaide’s reservoirs were 75% full.
  • Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge, 2012: “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2015/16.” The minimum sea ice extent was 4.4 million km2.

 

Extinction Distortion

Dr. Jay Lehr published an article on CFACT about the fake claim that global warming will cause a million species to go extinct. A UN agency claims that there are 8.7 million species on Earth based on a single paper. The number was generated by a mathematical model that contained no physical data. The UN scientist who testified at US government committee hearing in 2019 claimed there 10,000 new species are discovered every year. The actual number of new species discovered was 226 in 2018, 71 in 2019, 213 in 2020. Patrick Moore and Marc Marano testified at the committee that there are a total of just 1.74 million identified and named species. Insects account for about half of the known species. The UN scientist presented their preposterous numbers to convince politicians that the use of fossil fuels must be stopped to save a million species, almost all of them are unknown. Patrick Moore correctly says “if one or two million species were to go extinct tonight, we would never know it happened because we didn’t even know they existed in the first place”. During the past century the number of species extinctions has declined by 80% as a result of the efforts of naturalists, real environmentalists and even hunters.

 

Interannual to Millennial Patterns of the Global Surface Temperature

Nicola Scafetta published an important new paper that compares climate model projection to historical proxy temperatures and climate oscillations from spectra analysis. Natural variability of global temperatures is modeled by a set of harmonics from inter-annual to millennial scales. The millennial oscillation was responsible for the Roman Warm Period to the Dark Ages Cold Period to the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age, and likely causes about 50% of the warming observed since 1850. The analysis implies an equilibrium climate sensitivity for CO2 doubling of about 1.5 °C.  This value does not account of likely urban warming contributing to the temperature rise. The semi-empirical model, which includes greenhouse gas and volcanic forcings, well matches the temperature record and predicts relatively steady global temperature from 2000 to 2030–2040 and a 2000 to 2100 mean projected global warming of about 1 °C. The climate models were extended back in time using the known climatic forcings for the last millennium. In 1000 AD the divergence between the extended climate model and the data is 0.5 °C, which is about 50% of the warming observed from 1800 to 2000. The failure of the climate models to match the Medieval Warm Period implies they are using wrong solar forcings or are missing solar-climate amplifying mechanisms. Paleoclimatic data shows evidence of a strong solar climatic influence at multiple time scales. The study concludes that about half of the warming observed since 1850 had to be naturally induced by solar forcing resulting in a millennial oscillation.

 

Scafetta: CMIP5 Models Unable to Replicate Medieval Warm Period, Ignore Nature

Andy May wrote a review of Dr. Nicola Scafetta new paper described above. The review gives further details of the analysis. May wrote “the CMIP5 models assume that natural variation and internal climate variability are zero. So, they have no way to compute the MWP warming … By assuming that the Sun is invariant, they can assign all the warming to CO2. … In general, Scafetta’s model shows us that the CMIP5 models are missing important climatic “forcings” or mechanisms.

 

Canceling the AMO

Judith Curry wrote a rebuttal to Michael Mann's paper that claims the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is caused by volcanoes and aerosol pollution. She presents a lengthy review of many papers about the AMO and wrote, "With that context, you can see why I am not accepting the aerosol explanation (pollution and/or volcanoes) for an explanation of what causes the AMO. ... So, what exactly is wrong with Mann’s analysis? He relies on global climate models, which are inadequate in simulating the AMO. ...  Relying on global climate models, which don’t adequately simulate the multi-decadal internal variability, to ‘prove’ that such multi-decadal internal variability doesn’t exist, is circular reasoning (at best).  How does this stuff get published in a journal like Science?” Also see the March 2021 newsletter, Science News for a longer version.


 

CliSci # 342          2021-03-17

 

The 'Non-crisis' Reality of Climate Change

This article, posted in the Washington Times, argues that the rate the sea level rise is manageable and that several countries have been increasing their land areas. The city of Miami Beach is increasing its elevation via a cost effective engineering project. Low-lying islands around the world are mostly growing in size despite sea level rise and contrary to earlier predictions. Plants like warmth, water and CO2. The world has been greening due to CO2 fertilization causing increasing agricultural yields. Indur M. Goklany reports that between 1990 and 2017, the death rate from climate sensitive diseases and events dropped from 8.1% to 5.5%. The number of deadly wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes has not increased.  To date, global warming has been a net benefit for mankind.

 

Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Cooling Overestimated by Ship-track Data

The effect of human-caused aerosols on clouds is a major uncertainty in climate science. Studies of cloud tracks formed by ship exhausts have been used to estimate the impact of aerosols on clouds. The aerosols can increase the cooling effects of clouds because they make clouds brighter and reflect more sunlight. This news release about this paper finds that these studies overestimate the cooling effects of aerosols by up to 200%. The authors compared numerical simulations with satellite analyses and found that offsetting warming effect of decreasing cloud amount needs to be taken into account. Glassmeier, the lead author, says “The problem is that the clouds get brighter at first but after a while they start to get thinner and thus less bright again. And ship tracks disappear before we can observe this dimming effect.” A naïve implementation of climate-engineering by adding aerosols to clouds could even result in cloud darkening and the opposite of what was intended.

 

Drylands will NOT expand with Greenhouse Warming

A paper published this month in Nature Climate Change uses projections from climate models and dynamic global vegetation models to compare two indexes of aridity and reports that global drylands will not expand with global warming. Some previous studies used an index of aridity that failed to yield qualitatively correct projections of the terrestrial water cycle. The aridity index overestimates the effects of warming on dryland as it does not account for the physiological effect on vegetation of increasing atmospheric CO2. Atmospheric aridity is thus not an accurate proxy of the future extent of drylands. CO2 fertilization cause plants to use water more efficiently so they need less water while growing faster and larger. The paper concludes “climate model ecohydrological projections indicate no global drylands expansion under greenhouse warming, contrary to previous claims based on atmospheric aridity.” Drylands include deserts, grasslands, shrublands and savannah woodlands, representing 50% of the Earth’s land surface. The study introduces the “ecohydrological index” (EI) – a new metric for defining drylands that represents vegetation amounts and water-stress levels, and captures the links between plant behaviour and atmospheric CO2 levels. See this article by Ayesha Tandon that provides further information about the study. The study predicts that the area of drylands will shrink slightly with warming.

 

Cloud Feedback and Aerosol‐Cloud Interaction

This paper published in January this year shows that the new climate models (CMIP6) have more positive cloud feedback and stronger cooling effect from aerosol‐cloud interactions than earlier models. The increase of these two effects compared to the previous version of climate models (CMIP5) offset each other during the historical period. Aerosol emissions from the use of fossil fuels and biofuels are primarily concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. Aerosols cause more and whiter clouds which have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight. The strong aerosol models produce an interhemispheric warming that contradicts the observed warming during the 20th century. The observed warming of the two hemispheres is consistent with low weak aerosol indirect effects, smaller positive cloud feedback and low climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Nic Lewis wrote a review of the paper. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) spread of the models has increased from 2.0-4.7 °C in CMIP5 to 1.8-5.5 °C in CMIP6. The main cause of the increase is due to the greater cloud feedbacks. The models with low ECS matches the North and South hemisphere temperatures, but the models with high ECS (and high cloud feedbacks) fail to match those temperature observations. The data shows ECS is at the low end of the climate model’s ECS range.

A previous paper shows that high ECS values contradict paleoclimate proxy data. See “Climate Model Fails Test Simulating the Last Glacial Maximum” of CliSci # 339

 

Coral Extinction Crisis Canceled – 500 Billion Coral Colonies

This new paper assessed the number of coral colonies there are in the Pacific Ocean and evaluated their risk of extinction. The analysis suggests that there are roughly half a trillion coral colonies in the Pacific Ocean. The abstract says “Two-thirds of the examined species have population sizes exceeding 100 million colonies, and one-fifth of the species even have population sizes greater than 1 billion colonies. … the global extinction risk of most coral species is lower than previously estimated.” Science Daily reports “the eight most common coral species in the region each have a population size greater than the 7.8 billion people on Earth.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) overestimates extinction risks of many coral species, listing some species with over a billion colonies as vulnerable to global extinction. The study estimates “tens of billions of corals on the Great Barrier Reef.” The authors report “our findings call into question earlier inferences that a considerable proportion (one-quarter) of the estimated Indo-Pacific coral species could go globally extinct with the next few decades”. The study falsifies the claim by the IPCC that “Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 °C [from preindustrial times]”. This review of the paper says “Coral require warm water, not cold water, to live. Corals are expanding their range towards the poles, while still thriving at and near the equator. … Coral have existed continuously for the past 40 million years. Coral survived and thrived when temperatures were significantly warmer than they are today.”

 

Greenland Ice Melt Has Slowed Down Significantly Over Past Decade

The total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is the sum of the surface mass balance (SMB) and the coastal ice discharge. This article presents time series charts of the SMB, discharge and the total mass balance. The SMB declined from 1886 to 2012 but has increase since then. In 2020, the surface gain due to snow has exceeded the loss due to melt by 350 Gt/yr. The rate of discharge, the mass of ice that breaks off the coast into the oceans, has been steady from 2005 through 2020 at 500 Gt/yr. The total mass balance is negative, meaning a net ice loss in total, but has been decelerating since 2012. Ice loss has been slowing down substantially for about a decade. The 2020 total ice loss was only 150 Gt, which represents 0.0052% per year of the 2,900,000 Gt total ice mass.

 

A Remarkable Decline in Landfalling Hurricanes

Dr. Roger Peilke Jr. wrote “Since 1945, the number of hurricanes that make landfall has declined by about a third.” Roger notes that 2020 was not a unusually busy year for hurricanes, with 44 hurricanes including 21 major hurricanes of category 3 or greater. Hurricanes exhibit large year-to-year and decade-to-decade variability and the portion that makes landfall also varies. About 60% of worldwide economic damage from disasters comes from landfalling hurricanes in the United States, and more than 80% of that is from major hurricanes. The North Atlantic and Western Pacific basins together accounted for about 70% of global landfalls with records back to 1945. The overall number of landfalling hurricanes has decreased dramatically since the 1940s, while the number of major hurricane landfalls has shown no trend. The best-fit trend declines from 15/yr to 10/yr over 1945 to 2020.


 

CliSci # 341          2021-03-02

 

Texas Cold Snap Was Not ‘Unprecedented,’ and it was Inexcusable to be Unprepared

There has a great deal of commentary about the recent Texan cold snap and the resulting blackout of February 15-18. Judith Curry published a list of articles here. Much of the media coverage falsely claimed the cold snap was “unprecedented”. This article in the Washington Post reports “the December 1983 cold outbreak was as cold and long-lived as that of this past week. There was also a cold outbreak in early February 1985 on par with this past week. … the December 1989 and December 1983 outbreaks were slightly colder”. This article says “there were many more flooded homes during and immediately after this arctic cold outbreak than during Hurricane Harvey in 2017! This flooding occurred as pipes broke in thousands of homes … By 7-10 days prior to the event, it was possible to see that a truly extraordinary event was in store for many in the southern states.” This article says “ERCOT's most recent winter forecast included a worst-case scenario for the grid that roughly predicted the needed demand but underestimated the amount of generation that would be unusable by almost half.” This article says “Texas has the most competitive electricity market in the country … However, a dramatic expansion of wind energy generation, spurred by a flood of federal subsidies and state subsidies, including the massive socialized cost of renewable-driven transmission lines, has upended the dynamics of our market. … Texas cities are compounding the problem by forcing the use of wind and solar in place of reliable generation.” Roger Peilke wrote “the recent Texas electricity crisis should remind us that we still need to prepare for climate, not just climate change.  Part of that preparation requires making better use of hindsight. Because if we are not even prepared for the past, it is certain that we won’t be prepared for the future.”

 

NASA Vegetation Index: Global Rapid Greening Trend

NASA’s Vegetation Index shows good news: the world’s land area has greened 10% since 2000. Zoe Phin produced a graph of the daily data and the 12-month running mean from 2000 to 2021. The index has increased by 9.94%. That’s about 10% global greening in only 20 years. Zoe wrote “We are incredibly fortunate! I just wish everyone felt that way. But you know not everyone does. To the extent that humans enhance global greening is precisely what social parasites want to tax and regulate. No good deed goes unpunished.”

 

A 30-Year Reconstruction of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

This new paper (Worthington et al 2020) presents an Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) reconstruction extending from 1981 to 2016 that shows no overall decline. The AMOC is a very large ocean circulation (which includes the Gulf Stream) that carries about 90% of the heat transported poleward by the Atlantic Ocean. It also transports fresher cold water from the Arctic towards the Equator at deep ocean depths. The IPCC says that an AMOC slowdown by 2050 is very likely. An AMOC decline was observed between 2004 and 2012 by the RAPIC array, consisting of ocean temperature measurements via submarine cables and wind, temperature and current measurement via buoys. The authors develop an empirical model of AMOC variability based on RAPIC data and historical hydrographic data. Density anomalies were used as proxies for water mass layer transports. By representing the deep return layers of the AMOC, the model could capture lower-frequency changes missed by other proxy models.  Other studies “ignore changes in the deep circulation that are beginning to emerge in the observations of AMOC”. The resulting time series shows multi-annual variability in agreement with RAPID observations and shows the downturn between 2008 and 2012 but no overall decline. Since that minimum, the strength of the AMOC has recovered and the southward deep ocean flow “has regained a vigour not seen since the 1980s.”

 

“Acceleration” in Satellite Sea-Level Rise Found to Be False

An article authored by Willis Eschenbach here and reposted here and here examined the satellite data used by the University of Colorado to calculate the global sea level rise and its acceleration. He wanted to know why the satellite data show much larger acceleration than the tide gauge data. The satellite data are composed of measurements from four satellites operating over different time periods with some overlap. Willis plotted up the satellite data and fitting linear trends to each set of satellite data. The linear trends of the Topex, Jason 1, 2 and 3 satellites are 2.6, 2.5, 4.1 and 3.7 mm/yr, respectively. Willis claimed he found the answer by saying the acceleration is so great because “the two most recent satellites show trends that are significantly larger than the earlier two satellites.” But that is no explanation because if there were actually sea level rise acceleration the linear trend at the later period would indeed be greater than the earlier period. This doesn’t show that there is anything wrong with the calculated acceleration of 0.097 mm/yr2. However, the linear trend of the satellite data during the periods of their overlaps should be the same if the satellites were calibrated correctly. I created graphs of the Topex/Jason1, Jason1/Jason2 and Jason2/Jason3 overlap periods. The differences between the latter and the earlier satellite trends over the overlap periods are 1.47 mm/yr, 0.33 mm/yr and 2.75 mm/yr. The increase in trends over the three overlay periods sum to 4.55 mm/yr. The overlap periods are 3.7 yr, 4.9 yr and 0.6 yr. The trend difference of the overlap period of Jason2 to Jason3 is very uncertain due to the short overlap. Even ignoring the last overlap, the trend increases by the failure to match the trends of the data over the overlaps of the first three satellites is 1.81 mm/yr. Therefore, most of the sea level acceleration of the reported satellite data is bogus and is due to the failure to properly calibrate the satellite data. The sea level acceleration indicated by the best quadratic fit to 63 long tide gauge records is 0.013 m/yr2, which is 13% of the acceleration reported by the University of Colorado satellite data. See the graphs here.

 

The Risks of Communicating Extreme Climate Forecasts

A new paper examined 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse from the first Earth Day in 1970.  For decades climate researcher and activists used extreme forecasts to influence public perception and to call for action on climate change. Most forecasts predict extremely unlikely cataclysmic events resulting from climate change. None of the predicted events happened. The authors wrote “observing a string of repeated apocalyptic forecast failures can undermine the public's trust in the underlying science.”  In fact, 48 predictions have already expired at the end of 2020 with failure as no catastrophe happened. Most of the predictions never admitted to any uncertainty about the event or the date. “Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich and British environmental activist Prince Charles are serial failed forecasters, repeatedly expressing high degrees of certainty about apocalyptic climate events. … Their predictions have repeatedly been apocalyptic and highly certain...and so far, they've also been wrong." The average time horizon of predictions of a climate apocalypse event made prior of 2000 was 22 years, while 68 predictions made after 2000 had time horizons of 21 years.

 

State of the Polar Bear Report 2020

Dr. Susan Crockford has published her “State of the Polar Bear Report 2020”.  She wrote “celebrate the fabulous news that polar bears had yet another good year.” The Global Warming Policy Forum issued a press release about the report. The press release says “Crockford clarifies that the IUCN’s 2015 Red List assessment for polar bears, which Facebook uses as an authority for ‘fact checking’, is seriously out of date. New and compelling evidence shows that bears in regions with profound summer ice loss are doing well.” The report presents recent polar bear survey results of 8 subpopulations, two of which showed insignificant declines after very modest ice loss. The rest were either stable or increasing. “As a result, the global population size is now almost 30,000 – up from about 26,000 in 2015.” Plankton growth in the Arctic reached record highs in August 2020. More plankton means more fodder for the entire food chain, including polar bears. This explains why bears are thriving.


 

CliSci # 340          2021-02-14

 

Adaptation Much More Profitable than Mitigation

The world should focus much more on climate adaptation and much less on mitigation. This is the conclusion of the global Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) following the international climate summit that took place in the Netherlands over the past two days. Adaptation has already amply proven its value, while mitigation turns out to be inefficient and expensive. A ‘green recovery’ (Build Back Better) from the corona crisis with a strong emphasis on mitigation – which was constantly advocated during the climate summit – is therefore a misleading message. Two recently published graphs in this CLINTEL press release show how much has already been achieved, mainly thanks to prosperity and adaptation. There is absolutely no evidence for an impending climate crisis, as CLINTEL stated in its World Climate Declaration. The mortality from extreme weather events are down 98% in last century. The mortality rate per capita is down 99%.The monetary losses trend from extreme weather events as a proportion of wealth has declined by 27% from 1900 to 2020. In a 2019 report, the Global Commission on Adaptation already stated that one dollar invested in adaptation yields about four dollars in benefits. Investment in mitigation yields minimal benefits and leads to poverty.

 

Disproving Kossin’s Increasing Hurricane Intensity Claims

This article by Greg Kent is an excellent rebuttal of Kossin et al 2020 which claimed to find a “shift toward greater intensity” hurricanes as “increased probabilities of exceeding major hurricane intensity.” Climate theory has long predicted an increase in the strongest hurricanes (tropical cyclones) but it is not apparent in the observational record. The main-stream media hyped the story. The Washington Post headline claimed that “The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change.” This and similar claims simply weren’t true. The study calculated the proportion of times that hurricane wind speeds, determined every 6 hours, were above 100 knots indicating Category 3 or higher, over two time periods, 1979-1997 and 1998-2017. The proportion of times of Category 3 or above wind speeds increased from 27% to 31%. Unfortunately the wind-speeds counts are wrong and the author has confirmed they were wrong. The corrected proportion changed from 34% in the early period to 37% in the later period. When calculating the 95% confidence intervals of the proportions of each time period the correlation between wind speed of the 6-hour measurement must be taken into account which was not done in the original or revised version of the paper. When the confidence intervals are recalculated, the change from 34% to 37% becomes insignificant as the confidence interval overlap. That means an increase in wind speeds has not been identified as the apparent increase in the proportion may due to randomness.

Kent wrote “If fundamental errors can occur in a paper like this, then apparently no scientific paper is infallible.” The cut-off year between the two periods (1997/1998) occurs when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) flips from a cool period to a warm period, and it is widely known that the AMO has a substantial impact on hurricane intensity. The increase in wind speed is probably nature and temporary. The Kossin et al dataset also shows that the increasing proportion of intense storms is only for category 3, not for the stronger category 4 and 5 hurricanes. The analysis fails to account for the falling number of hurricanes. The data show that intense hurricane wind speeds are declining, 17% on average, and the most intense wind speeds have declined the most. Category 3+ winds speeds declined 9%, Category 4+ declined 13%, and Category 5 have declined a whopping 29%. Kent wrote “The net affect has been a decrease in intense winds and a significant decrease in the most intense winds over the last 40 years.” This is the opposite of what the major newspapers reported about the study. Category 4 and 5 storms caused 48% of economic losses. The destructive potential of global intense hurricanes has fallen by 10%.

 

Detection of Non‐climatic Biases in Land Surface Temperature Records

The surface temperature record is contaminated by urban development warming effects which are not removed for government temperature datasets or climate models. Dr. Scafetta published an important paper in January which investigates the urban heat island effect and other biases in the land temperature records by comparing climate data to model simulations. The UHIE warms nighttime temperatures more that daytime temperatures, reducing the diurnal temperature range (DTR) between the minimum and maximum daily temperature. The DTR changes over time are compared to the climate simulated DTR. Vast regions of the world show DTR reductions up to 0.5–1.5 °C larger than the modeled simulations. The largest reduction in DTR occurs where fast urbanization has occurred. Also, from May to October, daily maximum temperatures globally warmed 40% less than the simulations. Regions with the lowest DTR reductions and with low urbanization warmed about 20–30% less than the models’ hindcast. Scafetta compared land and sea temperature data to their computer simulations and found that 25 to 45% of the land warming from 1950 to 2010 is due to the UHIE.

 

Urban Heat Island Effects on U.S. Temperature Trends

U.S. temperature trends of the government datasets from NOAA, GISS (NASA) and HadCRUT are seriously contaminated by the urban heat island effect (UHIE). These datasets use the temperature daily maximum and minimum reading of the 1,218-station U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN), which requires very uncertain time-of-observation adjustments. The Integrated Surface Database (ISD) records hourly temperature data from weather stations located mostly at airports and is mostly independent from the USHCH dataset.  Dr. Roy Spencer applied regression analysis to IDS hourly temperature data between the temperature trends and local population density, which is a UHIE proxy. The temperature trend extrapolation to zero population density is the temperature trends with the UHIE removed. The resulting U.S. trend (1973 to 2020) is +0.13 °C/decade, which is only 50% of the USHCN trend of +0.26 °C/decade. The variability among USHCN trends is 60% greater than that of the IDS trends, indicating that the IDS data is superior quality. Climate studies should always remove the spurious UHIE trends so as not to attribute warming due to urbanization and increasing energy use to greenhouse gas induced warming.

 

Case Study: Alberta’s Blackspring Ridge 1 Wind Project

This study of the Blackspring Ridge 1 wind project gives insight into the feasibility of wind power to provide reliable electricity to meet demand in a 2050 net-zero Alberta. The net power generation over a 2-month period averaged 144 Megawatts (MW) being 48% of the projects nameplate capacity of 299 MW. The 166 turbines are expected to kill 2570 bats and 1360 birds per year. To provide reliable power without fossil fuels would require 35,000 MW of energy storage at a cost of $16 Billion, assuming future storage cost decline by 50% to 2050.

The study shows that to replace all fossil fuels in Alberta will require the construction of 30,000 MW nameplate capacity of wind power, being 16,500 turbines at 1.8 MW each. To provide reliable power will require 4,200,000 MW of energy storage at a cost of $1,900 Billion. The study says “Reaching NetZero is neither technically, logistically nor economically feasible.”

 

 John Christy: Models for AR6 Fail to Reproduce Tropical Temperature Trends

Dr. John Christy gave an online presentation via a Zoom meeting for the Irish Climate Science Forum as reported in this article published by CLINTEL.  The article provides a link and password to the presentation. I highly recommend watching the presentation. The main job of a scientist is testing hypotheses, said Christy. The best way to test the climate models is to test the most pronounced feature which is a strong warming in the upper tropical troposphere, also called the tropical hot spot. This enhanced warming is located 9 to 12 km over the tropics. The average warming trend 1979 to 2019 of the new climate model simulations of CMIP6 (for the next IPCC report) is 0.40 °C/decade, while the observation by weather balloons is only 0.17 °C/decade. The models over-warm the atmosphere by a factor of 2.4 compared to the measurements. The Canadian climate model warming trend is 0.60 °C/decade which is a factor of 3.5 too high! The variability of each simulation is much greater than the observations. The model variance exceeds the observations on average by a factor of four. The article reports “Christy said this indicates the models underestimate negative feedbacks operating in the real climate system. Models, when they heat up, do not allow enough heat to escape to space. The real climate system has a more effective cooling mechanism than the models.” The large trend and variance differences to the real world measurement means the climate models fail the test. Christy also shows there in no increase in extreme weather and discusses other aspects of climate.

 

A Warmer Arctic Does NOT Cause Mid-Latitude Cold Snaps

Activist climate scientists of the Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK) and others have been claiming for years that a warming Arctic disturbs the jet stream, weakening the polar vortex which results in cold Arctic air dipping into the middle latitudes. Gullible media outlets have been repeating this false narrative to blame cold snaps on CO2 emissions. A new paper in Nature refutes the narrative. The paper says “But predictions of a more negative Arctic Oscillation, wavier jet stream, colder winters in mid-latitudes or, more specifically, in Eurasia, and more frequent and/or widespread cold extremes have not become reality.” The short term jet stream waviness that fuels the speculation of Arctic influences on mid-latitude cold snaps have not continued. The daily cold temperatures had been warming more than daily high temperatures which is beneficial to people and animals. The authors wrote “We argue that updated observational and reanalysis records [show] that the Arctic influence on mid-latitudes is small compared to other aspects of climate variability”.  Pierre Gosselin discusses the story and says “The claim a warm Arctic is behind the brutally cold winter conditions at the mid latitudes is shown by a Nature study to be scientifically baseless. … But don’t expect the media to concede they’ve been duped any time soon.”


 

CliSci # 339          2021-01-30

 

Earth is Losing Ice Much Slower than We Thought

A reader asked for a critique of this article from Informed American titled “Does It Seem Hot Outside? Earth’s Ice Melting Faster Than We Thought”. Faster than who thought? Not the UN’s IPCC. The article says "The melting of land ice – on Antarctica, Greenland and mountain glaciers – added enough water to the ocean during the three-decade time period to raise the average global sea level by 3.5 centimeters." This is 1.17 mm/yr of sea level rise. For context, the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 16 metres. The last IPCC report in Figure 13.11 shows projections of components of sea level rise, a part of which is here. Ice loss from all sources is total less thermal less water storage. For 2020, that is 4.5 - 2.0 - 0.5 = 2.0 mm/yr. So the IPCC projected ice-melt sea level rise (SLR) for 2020 is 0.83 mm/y greater than the actual of about 1.17 mm/yr over the last 30 years. The article says "The melt rate is more than 50% faster than three decades ago." Using simple algebra, the 2020 melt rate SLR is 1.40 mm/yr. The ice melt is only 70% of what the IPCC thought it would be in 2020. It is not greater than "We Thought", so the article is wrong. The sea level rise rate at 2020 is 3.5 mm/yr according to altimetry data including the effects of glacial isostatic adjustment of -0.3 mm/yr. The FUND integrated assessment economic model, ECS = 1.0 °C, calculates the economic impact of a decade of sea level rise from all sources, 2010 to 2020 is US$1.9 billion, or 0.00021% of gross world product (US$87 trilllion) each year. That is utterly insignificant. Details here.

 

Could Recent U.S. Warming Trends be Largely Urban Heat Island Effect?

Dr. Roy Spencer used many surface temperature station pairs from low to high population densities to construct the cumulative Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) as a function of population density. The largest warming effect per change in population density occurs at the lowest population densities, with the most warming at the highest population densities, graph here. He also compared the temperature trends (1973 to 2011) of US temperature stations to their population densities. He used the Integrated Surface Database (ISD) hourly data. He put the individual stations into four population density subgroups and found the trend of temperature trends versus population density to power 0.2 is the same as the trend of individual stations, graph here. Extrapolating the data to zero population density gives 0.01 °C/decade.  The ISD raw data (without extrapolating to zero population density) gives a temperature trend of 0.15 °C/decade. The Climate Research Unit data from the UK gives 0.24 °C/decade and NOAA gives 0.26 °C/decade. This NOAA trend is about the same as Spencer gets using the highest population density group. This implies that NOAA has spuriously increased the warming trends compared to the raw data. The data strongly suggest that a large portion of the warming in official dataset is spurious UHIE and faulty adjustments.

 

Climate Model Fails Test Simulating the Last Glacial Maximum

Climate modelers have increased the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of their models for the IPCC next report. Eight models report ECS greater than 5 °C. In contrast, the ECS estimated by using the measured temperature record, when accounting for the natural and urban warming, indicates an ECS of about 1.0 °C. This study tests the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to examine whether its high ECS is realistic. The simulated LGM global mean temperature decrease exceeds 11°C, greater than both the cooling estimated from proxies and simulated by an earlier model version. The large discrepancy between the LGM temperature in the model and proxies is attributed to strong shortwave cloud feedbacks in the model. The abstract says “We find that the amount of cooling [during the LGM] in the CESM2 simulation is much larger than supported by the observational evidence, indicating the model's ECS is too large.”

 

High CO2 Fertilization Inferred from Leaf to Global Observations

This new paper (Haverd et al 2020) says the global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP), the rate of CO2 fixation by photosynthesis, has risen by 31% since 1900. The paper reports a global CO2 fertilization effect of 30% since 1900, or 47% for a doubling of CO2 since the pre‐industrial level. This is much higher than previous estimates of global greening that do not use the full range of available constraints. The abstract says “These findings suggest a larger beneficial role of the land carbon sink in modulating future excess anthropogenic CO2”.

 

Biophysical Impacts of Earth Greening Controlled by Aerodynamic Resistance

Satellite observations show widespread increasing trends of leaf area, known as the Earth greening. Increasing CO2 promotes photosynthesis causing plant to grow faster and use water more efficiently. Earth greening causes a reduction in land surface temperatures in 93% of the vegetated area. The abstract says “The increase in [leaf area index] LAI produces a decrease in aerodynamic resistance, thereby favoring increased turbulent heat transfer between the land and the atmosphere.” Aerodynamic resistance mostly related to surface roughness. The study finds that the area of LAI-induced cooling (30%) is six times of that of LAI-induced warming (5%). Aerodynamic resistance plays a dominant role in regulating the biophysical impacts of Earth greening on land surface temperatures.

 

Effects of Irrigation on Global Climate

This study investigated the effect of observed irrigation changes over the 20th century. Using a dataset of irrigation volumes and a climate model, the effects of the irrigation changes were simulated. In the early 20th century, irrigation led to cooling in the summer in southern and eastern Asia. Irrigation rapidly expanded in North America, Europe and Asia over the century. Irrigation also led to winter warming over parts of North America and Asia in the latter part of the century. Precipitation increases occur primarily downwind of the major irrigation areas. Irrigation begins to significantly reduce temperature trends during the summer over the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes and tropics beginning around 1950. The simulations show that irrigation causes an increase in cloud cover for many regions, but the increases do not directly map to the most highly irrigated areas. Eastern India warmed from a weakened Indian monsoon, driven by a cooler Asian land surface and reduced land‐sea temperature contrast. The cooling due to irrigation in the northwestern portions of the Indian subcontinent is about 3 °C relative to the control runs without irrigation. The globally averaged change in temperature from irrigation is a cooling over land of about 0.1 °C.

 

Substantial Decline in Atmospheric Aridity due to Irrigation in India

This paper examined the role of irrigation on soil moisture and atmospheric aridity in India. India has the largest irrigated area in the world, increasing threefold between 1950 and 2013. The Indo-Gangetic Plain, which is one of the most intensively irrigated regions in the world, experienced significant cooling of about 0.8 °C and an increase in solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence during the crop growing season. Atmospheric aridity has significantly declined while soil moisture and relative humidity have increased by 2.0% over the Indo-Gangetic Plain during 1979–2018. The cooling of land due to irrigation is caused by increased evapotranspiration.  A majority of global climate models do not explicitly represent irrigation for the future projections of climate. Climate models need to incorporate the influence of irrigation for reliable projections in the intensively irrigated regions.


 

CliSci # 338          2021-01-17

 

No Climate Emergency! Dr. Roy W. Spencer LIVE Online January 19, 2021 at 7 pm MST

The second part of the Friends of Science Society’s 17th annual climate science event will take place online on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7 pm Mountain Standard Time (UTC - 7 hours). The event will feature a recorded presentation, “The Most Important Reasons Why There is No Climate Emergency”, by Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After the presentation Dr. Spencer will be available for a live online Q&A. For details on how to access this event, please see this link.

 

New York Can’t Buy its Way Out of Blackouts

New York City (NYC) will soon install a 400 MWh battery to help back up the growing reliance on intermittent wind and solar electricity. The battery is more than triple the size of 129 MWh battery in Australia which is currently the world’s largest. NRC peak demand is about 13 GW which occurs during heat wave caused by stagnant high pressure systems which often last for a week. Wind produces little electricity during those periods so 100% back up is required. The new battery will back up demand wind power for only 1 minute 50 seconds (400 MWh/13000 MW). Storage to back up a week of peak demand is 2,184,000 MWh, or 5,460 batteries of 400 MWh each. The battery is estimated to cost about $600 million. David Wojick’s article says it would cost $3 trillion to reliably back up wind power in NRC.

 

The Climate Change Flyers

David Legates (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) asked several expert climate scientists to write short, easily understandable brochures that supported the general view that there is no climate crisis or climate emergency, and pointing out the widespread misinformation being promoted by alarmists through the media. They were intended to be placed on the White House website but with the change of government in Washington DC, that didn't happen.  The article titles and authors are;

Introduction by Dr. David Legates
The Sun Climate Connection by Drs. Michael Connolly, Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon
Systematic Problems in the Four National Assessments of Climate Change Impacts on the US by Dr. Patrick Michaels
Record Temperatures in the United States by Dr. John Christy
Radiation Transfer by Dr. William Happer
Is There a Climate Emergency by Dr. Ross McKitrick
Hurricanes and Climate Change by Dr. Ryan MaueClimate, Climate Change, and the General Circulation by Dr. Anthony Lupo
Can Computer Models Predict Climate by Dr. Christopher Essex
The Faith-Based Nature of Human-Caused Global Warming by Dr. Roy Spencer

All the articles are here.

 

Study Confirms Antarctica Has Not Warmed in Last Seven Decades

A new paper published in Nature states “The Antarctic continent has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite a monotonic increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases.” The authors used model to investigate the Antarctic temperature response under the current geography and with a flattened Antarctic ice sheet. The results show that the lack of warming despite a large increase in CO2 is due to the high elevation of the ice sheet. The thick ice sheet caused the polar meridional cell to form which prevents warm temperature advection toward the Antarctic continent. The high ice elevation also inhibits the amount of moisture to reach the pole. The scientists also observe that over the past several decades, “Antarctic sea ice area has modestly expanded.” Figure 1 of the paper shows that most of the continent has been cooling with only the Antarctic Peninsula warming.

 

New glacier evidence for ice-free summits during the life of the Tyrolean Iceman

A new paper by an Austrian-Swiss team of glaciologists presents ice-core evidence that most of the Alps were ice-free 6000 years ago.  The ice cores show that the 3500 m high Weißseespitze summit was ice free 5900 years ago. An article here presents a chart showing that is was some 2 °C warming at that time of low CO2 concentrations than today. After the last ice age ended, all glaciers below 4000 m elevation in the East Alps melted. Cooling started 6000 years ago and glaciers returned. In combination with other evidence the paper shows “that in the Alps only the highest elevation sites remained ice-covered throughout the Holocene. Just before the life of the Iceman, high Alpine summits were emerging from nearly ice-free conditions, during the start of a Mid-Holocene neoglaciation.”

 

Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom

Dr. Patrick Moore just published a book of the subject title. He says “most of the scare stories in the media today are based on things that are either invisible, like CO2 and radiation, or very remote, like polar bears and coral reefs. Thus, the average person cannot observe and verify the truth of these claims for themselves.”

 

Gauging Quaternary Sea Level Changes through Scientific Ocean Drilling

This  paper presents an overview of recent advances in paleo-sea level studies based on analysis of samples and data from deep-sea sediment cores and drowned coral reefs. Between 20,000 and 6,000 years before present, melting of these ice sheets raised global mean sea level (GMSL) by more than 100 m. The paper says “Analysis of uranium series nuclides from Tahitian corals that grew during TII [the second last glacial termination] suggests that ice volume reductions preceded atmospheric CO2 increase, but postdate increased insolation at Northern Hemisphere high latitudes— confirming the Milankovitch hypothesis, which says that glacial terminations were initiated by changes in high-latitude insolation.” Cooling events of 3 °C to 5 °C severely impacted the Great Barrier Reef, resulting in at least five near death events during the last 30,000 years”.

 

Episodic Reef Growth in the Northern South China Sea linked to Warm Climate During the Past 7,000 Years

High‐precision uranium‐thorium dating of dead branching corals from the South China Sea indicates that the reef framework grew episodically over the past 7,000 years. The authors of this paper identify abrupt coral reef growth and recovery in the South China Sea since the last century (especially post‐1960 CE), indicating that the Current Warm Period is an optimal episode for reef growth. Reef growth occurred during the warming of the mid-Holocene Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period. Reef growth dramatically slowed or ceased during the cold periods of the Dark Age Cold Period and the Little Ice Age. Also see an article by Ken Richard on coral reefs.


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