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In the Wake of the News

Highlighted Article: An Assessment of the 4th National Climate Assessment

From: Watts Up With That?

By Andy May

An Assessment of the 4th National Climate Assessment

The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Volume II is out and generating a lot of discussion. Volume II, Impacts Risks and Adaptation in the United States to climate change can be downloaded here (Reidmiller, et al. 2018). Volume I, published last year, on the physical science behind the assessment is here (Wuebbles, et al. 2017).

The mainstream media (MSM) is breathlessly reporting about it using the following template or something similar:

“[Volume II] of the Fourth National Climate Assessment shows how [America/city/state/poor/people of color/old people/young people, etc.] are already feeling the effects of climate change from [wildfires/droughts/floods/disease/hurricanes/etc.].

 

An Assessment of the 4th National Climate Assessment

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Implied Warranty and Climate Research

 

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) recognizes the existence of an implied warranty of fitness for particular purpose in commercial sales contracts, which it defines as follows:

 

            § 2-315. Implied Warranty: Fitness for Particular Purpose.

Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is unless excluded or modified under the next section an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.

 

The UCC does not apply to Federal government contracting, since the ultimate buyer is the citizens of the government, represented by the citizens’ elected representatives. Those elected representatives authorize and appropriate funding for all the functions of government. Those funds are then committed by the direct buyer (executive branch departments and agencies) to fund contracts with other government agencies and with outside organizations and individuals.

The conceptual framework of “fitness for particular purpose” can be used to analyze government contracting, either with outside entities or with other government agencies. The seller (outside contractor or government researcher) has reason to know the particular purpose for which the good (research) is being contracted, most frequently from the Request for Proposals (RFP) prepared by the buyer. The buyer (government department or agency) relies on the seller to furnish suitable goods (research results), frequently under the oversight of a buyer’s contracting officer.

Applying this concept to climate change research conducted with government funding, it is critical that both parties understand the particular purpose for which the research is required. Ideally, this particular purpose should be to advance the understanding of the science behind climate change, the various factors which contribute to climate change, the impact of each of those factors on climate change and the extent to which each of those factors could be and should be controlled, since this is the “particular purpose” for which the funds were authorized and appropriated. Advancing this particular purpose optimally requires a broad focus on all of the relevant factors and careful data collection and analysis.

Regrettably, this does not appear to be the particular purpose of current government funded climate change research. The sole focus on CO2 by both the US government agencies and the IPCC and the exclusion of research on other factors including natural variability, solar impacts, etc. suggests that the particular purpose is not the ideal purpose described above. The government is not authorized to purchase valueless services under its appropriation and budgetary rules, which calls into question the ongoing funding of “scary scenario” studies based on unverified models reinforces this assessment. The continued collection of flawed data which is then “adjusted” also reinforces the assessment.

What then is the particular purpose for which the buyers are contracting with sellers?

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

H. L. Mencken

Could it be that the particular purpose of much of current government funded climate change research is to alarm the populace and cause it to seek to have the government lead it to the “safety” of a carbon and meat free global economy with socialist global governance? The willingness of government and the IPCC to rely on flawed data and unverified models while focusing on creating “scary scenarios” using the flawed RCP 8.5 and encouraging the media to communicate the “scary scenarios” loudly and broadly would suggest that this might well be the case.

The substantial funds already expended on studies which contribute nothing to the advancement of the science could form the legal basis for a class action lawsuit on behalf of US taxpayers for budgetary waste. Such a lawsuit, by an organization such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, could result in discovery of some very interesting and potentially damning information regarding the motivations of the involved federal departments and agencies.

Fortunately, the growing gap between the “adjusted” observations and the CMIP5 models has become so obvious that elements of the consensed climate science community have acknowledged the shortcomings of the data and models and made suggestions for resolving the issues. However, it remains to be seen whether this acknowledgement leads back to a broad focus on the underlying science, a more open approach to considering research which questions the consensus narrative and a more rigorous data collection and analysis effort. Ultimately, that determination will be based on the particular purpose of the buyer (government department or agency).

 

Tags: Bad Science

Highlighted Article: Special Report on Sea Level Rise

From: Climate Etc.

By: Judith Curry

Special Report on Sea Level Rise

 

“This report reflects 18 months of work on this topic. Why have I devoted so much time to the sea level rise issue? First, I regard sea level rise to be the most consequential potential impact of predicted global warming. Second, there is a great deal of public confusion about the issue, including decision makers. Third, a number of CFAN’s clients have queried me about a range of specific concerns that they have regarding sea level rise (and I have been doing consulting on this topic).

 

Special Report on Sea Level Rise

 

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

To Peer or not to Peer

The consensed climate science community places great importance on the process of peer review and professes great confidence in its capability to validate its research methods and results and to enhance acceptance of those research methods and results. However, the willingness of some journals to allow authors to select the peers to review their research has caused some to refer to the process as “pal review”, suggesting that the process does not always involve serious, critical review of research methods and results.

A recent research report published in the journal Nature regarding the magnitude of ocean heat uptake suffered from a lack of serious, critical peer review. Shortly after publication, a major mathematical error was discovered which caused the calculated magnitude of the ocean heat uptake reported to be greater than it should have been; and, caused the uncertainty of the reported results to be understated.

The mathematical errors were first identified by British mathematician Nicholas Lewis, a catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) skeptic. Lewis contacted the authors and made them aware of the error, which they acknowledged and have since corrected. However, while the original publication of the study results received significant media coverage because of the apparent significance of its results, the corrections have received far less media attention.

Dr. Tim Ball, also a CAGW skeptic, has suggested that this might not have been a completely innocent mistake. Ball suggests that this study might have been rushed to publication so that it was available prior to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 24 (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018 because of its potential to influence the conclusions of the Conference. Similar suggestions were made regarding Karl et al 2015 “pause-buster” study of sea surface temperatures (ERSST.v4). This study, while not acknowledged as faulty and corrected, has been updated by NCEI (ERSST.v5).

Perhaps the most notorious of the peer reviewed studies which have been discovered to be in error, but not corrected, is the Mann “hockey stick”. The inappropriate use of tree ring analysis and the use of inappropriate statistical analysis techniques in development of the hockey stick were first identified by Dr. Steve McIntyre. Mann was completely unwilling to cooperate with McIntyre’s efforts; and, he continues to avoid providing access to the details of his research.

It appears obvious that the inclusion of skeptical scientists, statisticians and mathematicians in the peer review process would be a major step in the direction of accuracy and reproducibility in climate change research. A recent article suggests that the results of half of peer reviewed climate science studies cannot be reproduced, in some cases even by the original researchers.

The current state of peer review is totally unacceptable. In the case of climate science, not only can’t the research results be reproduced, but the conditions under which the project was conducted cannot be replicated.

It is inconceivable that major public policy decisions affecting millions of people and the expenditure of trillions of dollars should be made based on largely irreproducible research results.

 

Tags: Peer Review

Climate Alarmist Creed

We believe in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (the founder of global warming / climate change alarmism).

We believe in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the aggregator and promoter of consensus climate science).

We believe CO2 is the climate “control knob” (which supersedes natural climate variation).

We believe CO2 is “carbon pollution” (even though it is largely responsible for the greening of the globe).

We believe that global average temperature anomaly increase must be limited to a maximum of 2°C, and preferably 1.5°C to avoid climate catastrophe (even though the globe and its occupants thrived in warmer temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period).

We believe in near-surface temperature anomaly products (even though the data are incomplete, inaccurate, “adjusted”, “infilled”, homogenized, re-analyzed and re-adjusted).

We believe in climate models (even though they are incomplete, unverified, divergent and unrepresentative of the temperature anomaly products).

We believe in high climate sensitivity (even though we do not know what the sensitivity is).

We believe in strong positive cloud feedback (even though satellite data support strong negative cloud feedback).

We believe the rate of sea level rise is increasing and will continue to accelerate (even though the data from long duration tide gauges do not support this belief).

We believe aggressive actions must be taken to reduce / eliminate CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels (even though the renewable alternatives to fossil fuels are uneconomical, intermittent and not dispatchable).

We believe that the creation of “scary scenarios” of potential future climate catastrophes is necessary to attract the attention of the public and convince them to accept the changes we deem necessary to avoid these catastrophes (even though the “scary scenarios” are impossible / extremely unlikely).

We believe the consumption of meat and milk must be reduced / eliminated to make the land dedicated to their production available for food crop production and to avoid the “greenhouse gas” emissions associated with their production (even though much of the land in question is not suited to the production of food products).

We believe that capitalism must be rejected and replaced (even though no other economic system has proved even equally successful or equitable).

We believe that wealth and income must be redistributed in the interests of fairness (though it is unclear how this redistribution would reduce / eliminate anthropogenic climate change).

We believe achieving the required changes will require some form of global governance (even though many countries would resist such governance and the history of substantially more limited experiments in multi-national governance is littered with failure).

We believe the global government must take actions to stabilize and then reduce global population (even though the identified approaches to doing so are broadly unacceptable and abhorrent).

These are our beliefs, as revealed by the UNFCCC and supported by the IPCC. We are called to evangelize in the interests of humanity. We ignore the infidels who reject our efforts to evangelize; and, we vilify the heretics who resist those efforts and encourage resistance in others. We reject the objections of the infidels and heretics regarding certain aspects of our beliefs, since all aspects of our beliefs support each other and the overarching belief structure.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists, IPCC, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Memo to President Trump

Mr. President

Many share your reasonable and clearly articulated skepticism of the climate change “consensus” and the consensed climate change community, including many active climate scientists. Regrettably, among the reasons for this skepticism are the actions of three organizations within the Executive Branch of the U.S. federal government: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

These organizations are involved in the collection and analysis of near-surface land temperature data and ocean surface temperature data. Each of these organizations selects from among the data collected globally, “adjusts” the chosen data, analyzes the “adjusted” data and produces reports detailing the temperature anomalies the “adjusted” data portray from a selected reference period. Clearly, the data are not “adjusted” because they are highly accurate, but rather because they are known / believed to be inaccurate for a variety of reasons.

The National Association of Scholars recently published a study regarding the irreproducibility of scientific results. The focus of the study was on the inability of scientists to reproduce the results of studies conducted by other scientists, using the same data and methods or similar samples and methods. Einstein is reputed to have defined insanity as:  “continuing to do the same things and expecting different results”. He might well have defined irreproducibility as continuing to do the same things and achieving different results.

Recent analyses suggest that NASA GISS, NOAA and NCEI have an internal irreproducibility problem – they appear to be unable or unwilling to reproduce their own results.

Unfortunately, there is a history of multiple adjustments to the temperature anomalies over time. The graph below displays two instances of “adjustments” to, or “re-analysis” of, the global temperature anomaly record made by NASA GISS. The climate over the period from 1880 to 1980 and its actual anomaly from the reference period did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was reduced by as much as ~0.2°C early in the period, thus increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period, as shown in the area highlighted in yellow in the graph. The climate over the period from 1980 to 2001 and its actual anomaly from the reference period also did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was increased by as much as 0.2°C late in the period, as shown in the area highlighted in green in the graph, again increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period. We cannot determine from the information in the graph the number of times the anomalies were “adjusted” or “re-analyzed”. We can only determine the cumulative effects of the “adjustments” or “re-analyses”, which appear to total ~0.4°C, or approximately 1/3 of the reported anomaly change over the entire 136-year period. We do not know which, if any, of the anomaly plots contained in this graph is accurate. We do know, however, that they cannot all be accurate.

 

NASA

 

NOAA has a similar issue with the sea surface temperature analyses. The graph below shows three versions of the NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature “Dataset” developed by NCEI. (The term “dataset” is shown in quotes because once data are “adjusted” they cease to be data and become merely estimates of what the data might have been had they been collected timely from properly selected, calibrated, sited, installed and maintained sensors.) The differences between the graphs are approximately 0.1°C at the end points, but the changes in the more recent ERSST.v4 and ERSST.v5 graphs more than double the reported rate of change of sea surface temperature. Again, we do not know which of the graphs is accurate, but we know that they cannot all be accurate. While the reported temperature anomalies are small, the specific heat of water is approximately 4 times the specific heat of air and the oceans represent approximately 70% of the surface of the earth. Therefore, the difference in the amount of energy represented by the temperature anomaly change is dramatically larger than the difference represented by the near-surface temperature anomalies.

 

Global Sea Surface Temperature Trend

 

The magnitude of the “adjustments” made to the U.S. near-surface temperature anomaly data by NOAA has varied significantly with time, as shown in the graph below. The earlier “adjustments” represent a reduction from the measured data to the reported estimates of approximately 1°C, or approximately the same magnitude as the reported global temperature anomaly change over the entire period of the global instrumental temperature record. These “adjustments” make the U. S. temperature anomaly appear larger and dramatically increase the reported rate of change of the temperature anomaly.

 

Historical Climatology Average US Temperature

 

It is long past time for the U.S. federal government to form a Tiger Team of skeptical climate scientists and statisticians to critically evaluate the entire process of temperature data acquisition, data “adjustment”, data analysis and reporting of results at NASA GISS and NOAA NCEI.

The consensed climate science community has recently called for the construction of a global near-surface temperature measurement network similar to the US Climate Reference Network. The key feature of the US CRN is that the data do not need to be “adjusted”. The consensed climate science community has also recently acknowledged that the current ensemble of climate models is “running hot”, producing potential future scenarios with temperature anomalies two to three times the anomalies present in the “adjusted” near-surface observations. Both events represent potential positive signs that the consensed climate science community might be getting serious about collecting accurate data and producing plausible projections of potential future climate conditions.

The potential costs in capital and human deprivation represented by the approaches to CO2 emissions reductions proposed by the UNFCCC and the IPCC demand that the climate be measured and understood far better than is the case today before these approaches are aggressively pursued. You have understood and responded to these issues by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords. You now have the opportunity to take the lead in advancing the science of climate change.

 

Tags: NASA, NOAA, Temperature Record, Adjusted Data

Climate Sensitivity

 

Elements of the consensed climate science community have recently acknowledged that the projections of future global average near-surface temperature anomalies produced by the CMIP5 ensemble of climate models are 2-3 times higher than the “adjusted” near-surface temperature observations, as shown below.

 

CMIP5

This is a first crucial step in the process of identifying the causes of the differences between the projections and the observations and then correcting the models and their inputs to resolve the discrepancies.

There are several potential issues to be addressed in this process:

  • the current models do not accurately model the functions of the environment;
  • the current models were “tuned” with faulty near-surface temperature data;
  • the climate sensitivity values used to run the models are too high; and,
  • the forcings and feedbacks used to run the models are incorrect.

Each of these issues must be addressed and resolved before any of the models can be verified, no less demonstrated to have any predictive ability. The first issue listed will likely be the last issue resolved, since it cannot be properly addressed until the inputs to the models are verified to be accurate. Until one or more of the models is verified, the projections produced by the models are unsuited to form the basis for economically significant government policy formation.

A recent study has documented numerous flaws in the HadCRUT4 temperature anomaly product which would render it highly questionable as the basis upon which to tune the various climate models. However, HadCRUT4 is the near-surface temperature data set preferred for this purpose by the IPCC and the UNFCCC. Other analyses suggest that the NASA GISS and NOAA/NCDC temperature anomaly products are even more flawed than HadCRUT4.

A review of recent studies of climate sensitivity to a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration documents progressive reduction of the central estimate of climate sensitivity, as shown below.

 

CO2 Climate Sensitivity

 

The IPCC uses a climate sensitivity range of 1.5 - 4.5°C in its Fifth Assessment Report. Virtually all of the most recent estimates fall toward the lower end of that range, or below the lower end of the range. Therefore, it is apparent that one of the principal factors causing the model projections to be higher than the observations is excessive sensitivity estimates. While this issue is obviously being actively addressed by climate scientists, it is uncertain whether the IPCC will reflect the results of this research in its next assessment report.

A study of the issues of forcings and feedbacks in the climate system identifies that it is still uncertain whether the net feedbacks in the climate system are positive or negative, no less the magnitude of effects. Note that his study is 10 years old and the issue has still not been resolved.

Against this background, it is interesting to note that, as the divergence between the “adjusted” near surface observations and the climate models increases over time, the reported IPCC confidence in its conclusions regarding future warming and the role of human activities in that warming continue to increase, as shown below.

 

Certainty Channel

 

This represents an apparent victory of hope over experience.

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Tags: Climate Sensitivity, Climate Models

Highlighted Article: Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate

From: Friends of Science Society

 

Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate

 

Climate science is a complex blend of chaotic, dynamic systems. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary Report 15 (SR15) attempts to predict the implications of a 1.5°Celsius (C) rise in Global Surface Mean Temperatures (GSMT) over the temperature of the pre-industrial era. The focus of the report is on the influence of human industrial emissions of carbon dioxide as the assumed driver of climate change and recent warming. Despite the number of scientists involved, science can go astray for no other reason than a singular focus through ‘the same lens.’

 

Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Signals

 

New York City has recently placed several illuminated road signs throughout the city in cooperation with the Climate Museum as part of a program called “Climate Signals”. The signs are an attempt to call attention to the issue of climate change. The messages on the signs include:

 

  • CLIMATE DENIAL KILLS
  • CLIMATE CHANGE AT WORK
  • END COAL-ONIALISM
  • 50,000,000 CLIMATE REFUGEES
  • FOSSIL FUELING INEQUALITY
  • ALT FACTS END NOW

The individual messages are so short as to leave their meanings confusing and uncertain. They might easily be taken out of context, except that there is no context provided.

 

Climate Denial Kills

“CLIMATE DENIAL KILLS” is perhaps the most ridiculous and misleading of the signs. First, almost no person with even a modicum of education denies that the earth has a climate, so there are not many potential killers around. Second, there is no record on anyone who has been killed by climate denial, or climate change denial, or anthropogenic climate change denial or even catastrophic anthropogenic climate change denial. There is no evidence, but it is the seriousness of the charge. (HT: Tom Foley, D WA)

 

Climate Change at Work

“CLIMATE CHANGE AT WORK” is probably the least effective sign, since viewing it against the view of the city in the background gives no indication that anything is actually happening, other than the normal activities of life in the city. The climate cannot be seen or felt to be changing, or to be effecting change in anything else.

 

Abolish Coal-onialism

“ABOLISH COAL-ONIALISM” is perhaps the most difficult to understand. I do not understand any link between coal and colonialism. The largest coal consuming nation is not now, nor has it ever been, a colony. The second and third largest coal consumers were colonies at one time, but that was decades or centuries ago.

 

50,000,000 Climate Refugees

“50,000,000 MILLION CLIMATE REFUGEES” is a prediction made by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2005 for the year 2010. There are still no documented climate refugees and the one documented attempt by an individual to have himself declared a climate refugee failed.

 

Fossil Fueling Inequality

“FOSSIL FUELING INEQUALITY” could mean a lot of different things, or it could be meaningless. Nations’ fossil fuel resources and production and distribution infrastructures are unequal. Per capita consumption of fossil fuels is unequal. The fractions of national energy consumption provided by fossil fuels are unequal. People’s needs for energy, fossil fuel or other, are unequal. The values of fossil fuels are also unequal. There might be a meaningful issue involved, but I do not understand what it is; and, I suspect most of those who will view the signs won’t either.

 

Alt Facts End Now

“ALT FACTS END NOW” is confusing at a fundamental level. Something is either a fact or it is not. Regarding climate change, there are very few facts in evidence and those facts are fundamental:

  • global climate is changing, as it has throughout the history of earth we have been able to study;
  • sea level is rising, as it has been since the end of the last ice age;
  • human activities are releasing CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere;
  • land use changes are affecting the albedo of the earth; and,
  • the earth is greening, partially as the result of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Beyond those fundamental facts, there are estimates, hypotheses and unverified models.

These illuminated signs are intended to be thought provoking and compelling. However, they are unlikely to be any more compelling than the multitude of “scary scenarios” hyped by the mainstream media. It is a wonder the City of New York bothered.

 

Tags: Climate Change Debate

Highlighted Video: The Truth About Global Warming

By: Fox News

 Oct. 21, 2018 - 14:28 - Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, provides insight into the debate over climate change and the political games played to create policy.

 

 

The Truth About Global Warming

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

“Without any evidence”

The expression “without any evidence” is currently being used frequently by the US media, most frequently regarding assertions made by a certain political figure. Interestingly, other assertions by other political figures, unaccompanied by any evidence, are reported without the caveat “without any evidence” by the same media. This represents a not-so-subtle form of commentary.

Assertions by prominent members of the consensed climate science community are frequently made “without any evidence”, though I have not seen or heard the caveat used in this context. For example, virtually all the “scary scenarios” produced by members of the consensed climate science community are introduced to the media, and by the media to the public, without mention of the fact that such studies are produced “without any evidence”. Unverified models, estimated climate sensitivities, estimated forcings and estimated Representative Concentration Pathways are not evidence and do not produce evidence.

Three major hurricanes in 2017 and two in 2018 led to assertions by members of the consensed climate science community that these storms were made more likely, more powerful, more dangerous, and more destructive as a result of human-induced climate change. These assertions were all made “without any evidence”; and, in some cases, in the face of evidence to the contrary. Attribution studies based on unverified climate models are hardly evidence since the inputs are not evidence.

Media reports of massive human migration as the result of climate change are also made “without any evidence” of the reported causation, though there is certainly evidence of the migration. Similarly, reports regarding the imminent submersion of low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as the Maldives, and of coastal areas globally are attributed to human-induced climate change “without any evidence” of human causation; and, in the face of evidence that sea level rise has been occurring at a relatively constant rate since formal sea level measurement was instituted.

Reports of increased frequency and intensity of tornadoes, tropical cyclones, heavy rain events, flooding and drought are made, not only “without any evidence”, but in conflict with the available evidence. These reports are dutifully passed on and highlighted by the media, without resort to the “without any evidence” caveat.

Similarly, assertions that the global economy must transition from capitalism to some other economic structure, such as global socialism, are made and accepted by the media “without any evidence” that such a transition would be effective; and, in the face of the universal failure of socialism to provide the benefits it has promised. The same is true of assertions that global wealth and income must be redistributed as part of the economic transition, also presented “without any evidence” that such redistribution would somehow “make it all better”.

Ultimately, assertions that avoiding a future climate catastrophe would require a transition to global governance are also made “without any evidence” that global governance is necessary, or that instituting global governance of some type would be sufficient to avoid the threatened climate catastrophe.

The willingness of the media to pass on a variety of assertions regarding climate “without any evidence” is certainly indicative of a lack of intellectual curiosity, as is the apparent willingness of those consuming the media output not to question its value.

 

Tags: Global Governance, Climate Change Debate, Climate Change Myths
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