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In the Wake of the News

Irreproducibility and Climate Science (NAS)

REPRINT (with permission) from National Association of Scholars (NAS)

Edward A. Reid, Jr. has fifty years of experience in the energy industry in technical research and development, market development, marketing and consulting. He writes frequently on climate science.

The recent report by the National Association of Scholars, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science, describes a crisis which pervades modern science in general. It refers only peripherally to issues with climate science, which shares most of the aspects of the broad crisis, but has its own distinctive issues as well.

Albert Einstein is alleged to have defined insanity as continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. He might perhaps have defined irreproducibility as continuing to do the same things and achieving different results.

The earth’s climate is a constantly changing, extremely complex chaotic system, driven by the sun and influenced by numerous external factors including the positions of the other planets in the solar system and cosmic radiation. Many of the factors which influence climate are not well understood. Therefore, while it is reasonable to assume that human activities can influence climate, it is not reasonable to assume that humans could effectively control a complex, chaotic system they do not understand.

Modern climate science focuses on three primary issues: changes in land and ocean temperatures; changes in sea level; and, efforts to model the future of those changes. The climate science community is perceived to have formed a consensus that human emissions of “greenhouse gases”, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into the atmosphere are driving climate change which is manifesting as increased near-surface and ocean temperatures, causing rising sea levels and ultimately leading to a climate catastrophe.

This consensus is viewed as climate orthodoxy and is aggressively defended by the orthodox climate science community. Those who question the orthodoxy have been labeled “deniers” and “anti-science”; and, efforts have been made to prevent publication of their work in major scientific journals and to exclude their work from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). One member of the orthodox climate science community even expressed a willingness to destroy data, rather than make it available to a team questioning the statistical techniques used to analyze the data.

The approach to measuring and tracking changes in near-surface temperatures is fraught with issues. The instruments used to measure near-surface temperature are acknowledged to be in error by an average of more than 2°C in the United States, where the instrument sites have been surveyed and rated. It is reasonable to assume that the instruments located in other nations have similar issues. Therefore, these temperature data are “adjusted” in an effort to resolve the errors. However, once “adjusted”, the temperatures are no longer data, but merely estimates of what the data might have been, had they been collected timely from properly selected, calibrated, sited, installed and maintained instruments.

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 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.

Source: Tony Heller, Real Climate Science

 

A generous assessment of the differing anomaly plots of the ‘adjusted” temperatures shown in the graph above might be that NASA GISS has an internal irreproducibility issue. There are also less generous assessments.

There are several major issues facing climate science:

•             understanding the relationship between near-surface temperature measurements and satellite temperature measurements;

•             resolving the significant differences between surface-based and satellite sea level and sea level rise measurements;

•             establishing discrete values for climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks; and,

•             verifying a climate model which actually models the real climate.

The orthodox climate science community has been very quick to accept the satellite-based sea level rise measurements, which are approximately twice the measurements produced by the surface-based instruments. However, they have so far been reluctant to accept the satellite-based temperature measurements, which typically show smaller anomalies than the near-surface temperature measurements.

In the face of these unresolved issues, the US government and other national governments and funding sources have squandered massive funding on studies using unverified models, uncertain climate sensitivities and ill-defined climate forcings and feedbacks, combined with the most aggressive Representative Concentration Pathway in the IPCC studies (RCP8.5) to produce “scary scenarios” of future climate catastrophes. These studies have no apparent scientific value. They are intended solely to scare the populace into accepting the climate orthodoxy and the actions identified as essential to avoid the “scary scenarios”. 

Fortunately, over the past several months, there have been four developments which suggest the possibility of improvement in the general status of climate science:

•             a group of climate scientists has explicitly acknowledged the shortcomings of the existing near-surface temperature measurement network and called for the development of a global land surface climate fiducial reference measurements network;

•             another group of climate scientists has explicitly acknowledged that the current ensemble of global climate models is “running hot”, largely as the result of high climate sensitivity estimates;

•             EPA Administrator Pruitt has proposed to end the use of “secret science” in EPA rulemakings; and

•             NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt has voiced support for more climate research transparency.

These developments might lead to a refocusing of climate science funding on resolving the major issues facing climate science, rather than on the creation of model-driven “scary scenarios”.

 

Tags: Estimates as Facts, Climate Models, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science

  • David Randall and Christopher Welser
  • National Association of Scholars
  • April 2018

"The study you have before you is an examination of the use and abuse of statistics in the sciences. Its natural audience is members of the scientific community who use statistics in their professional research. We hope, however, to reach a broader audience of intelligent readers who recognize the importance to our society of maintaining integrity in the sciences."

 

THE IRREPRODUCIBILITY CRISIS OF MODERN SCIENCE

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

What We Know About Climate Change

“Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.” Dr. Steven E. Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Koonin makes an important point, particularly regarding the extremely complex science of global climate and the numerous factors which cause or influence, or are thought to cause or influence, climate to change over time.

So, what do we know about climate and climate change?

  • Climate has warmed and cooled in the past.
  • Climate is changing now.
  • Human activities can influence climate and apparent climate.
  • CO2 absorbs and reradiates energy in portions of the infrared wavelength band.
  • Sea level rises when climate warms and falls when climate cools.

And, what do we merely hypothesize about climate and climate change?

  • The sensitivity of climate to anthropogenic emissions.
  • The direction and magnitude of climate forcings.
  • The future rate and extent of temperature change.
  • The future rate and extent of sea level rise.
  • The effects of human activities on extreme weather frequency and intensity.
  • The effects of some degree of warming or cooling on agriculture.
  • The effects of some degree of warming or cooling.
  • The influence of climate on cloud formation.
  • The influence of clouds on climate.

And, what do we not yet understand that affects climate.

  • The El Nino Southern Oscillation.
  • The Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
  • The Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation.
  • The Atlantic Conveyor.

In summary, everything about the earth is connected; and, we do not understand how they are connected, or how they influence and are influenced by climate and climate change.

Koonin’s concern is especially relevant in light of the numerous lawsuits being filed against the Administration, the oil companies and others regarding climate change. The distinction between what is known and what is merely believed, or assumed, or hypothesized will be critical to a fair resolution of these lawsuits.

Perhaps the most fundamental question in these proceedings is: “What is a fact?”

  • Is an “adjusted” temperature a fact or an estimate?
  • Is an “adjusted” temperature anomaly a fact or an estimate?
  • Is an “infilled” temperature a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of climate sensitivity a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of climate forcings a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of Resource Consumption Pathways a fact or an estimate?
  • Do a multitude of climate models produce facts or estimates?
  • Are inconsistent measurements of sea level rise facts or estimates?
  • Are inconsistent rates of sea level rise facts or estimates?

In the cases of ranges of values, we cannot even state as fact that the real value lies within the ranges. In the case of multiple climate models, we cannot even state as fact that the actual future climate response lies within the range of scenarios produced by the models, no less that any one of the models accurately models the real climate, either currently or in the future.

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know.” Donald Rumsfeld

 

Tags: Adjusted Data, Climate Change Myths, Climate Models, Climate Science, Estimates as Facts, Temperature Record

Climate and Climate Model Observations

“Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.” Dr. Steven E. Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy

“We are not concerned with warming per se, but with how much warming. It is essential to avoid the environmental tendency to regard anything that may be bad in large quantities to be avoided at any level however small. In point of fact small warming is likely to be beneficial on many counts.” Dr. Richard Lindzen, Professor Emeritus, MIT

“Predicting climate temperatures isn't science – it's science fiction." Dr. William Happer, Professor Emeritus, Princeton

“Too much of the science of climate change relies on computer models and those models are crude mathematical approximations of the real world.” Dr. Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, Princeton. These models then are "useful for understanding climate but not for predicting climate."

“It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing, due to forcing and response uncertainties and incomplete observational coverage.” IPCC AR5

“It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. ...” NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” Christiana Figueres, Former Chair, UNFCCC

“Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC

“Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.” Bjorn Lomborg, President, Copenhagen Consensus Center

“The anthropogenic global warming we can now expect will be small, slow, harmless, and even net-beneficial. It is only going to be about 1.2 K this century, or 1.2 K per CO2 doubling.” Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

“There is little scientific basis in support of claims that extreme weather events – specifically, hurricanes, floods, drought, tornadoes – and their economic damage have increased in recent decades due to the emission of greenhouse gases. The lack of evidence to support claims of increasing frequency or intensity of hurricanes, floods, drought or tornadoes on climate timescales is also supported by the most recent assessments of the IPCC and the broader peer reviewed literature on which the IPCC is based.” Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., Professor, Colorado State University

"The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever –despite current claims of record setting warming.” Drs. James P. Wallace III, Joseph S. D’Aleo, Craig D. Idso

“While it is beyond question that the climate system has changed since instrumental records were instigated, we can improve our collective ability to characterize these changes through instigating and maintaining a global surface fiducial reference network.” P. W. Thorne, et al

“The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena. Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows. It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences. There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain.” Drs. Richard Lindzen, Steven Koonin and William Happer

“There is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic. Even if it be assumed [for the sake of argument] that all of the 0.8 [degree Celsius] global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 [C] of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 [C] that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted.” Lord Monckton, Drs. Willie Soon and David Legates, and William Briggs

“The scientific conclusion here, if one follows the scientific method, is that the average model trend fails to represent the actual trend of the past 38 years by a highly significant amount. As a result, applying the traditional scientific method, one would accept this failure and not promote the model trends as something truthful about the recent past or the future. Rather, the scientist would return to the project and seek to understand why the failure occurred. The most obvious answer is that the models are simply too sensitive to the extra GHGs that are being added to both the model and the real world.” Dr. John Christy, Professor, UAH

“95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong.” Dr. Roy Spencer, Professor, UAH

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” Dr. Richard Feynman, Professor, Cal Tech

“Data is immutable; “adjusted” temperature records, not so much.” Edward Reid

 

Tags: Climate Models

Highlighted Article: Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases?

By: Andy May

"It’s more likely mostly due to both, but that isn’t really the question. Virtually everyone accepts that climate changes and that CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases; and probably everyone remembers from grade school that the Sun is a variable star. The debate is over how much of recent global warming is due to the Sun, either its internal variability or changes in the Earth’s orbit, and how much is due to human greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from fossil fuels?"

Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part A

Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part B

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Change Questions

Judge William H. Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division will hear the case “The People of the State of California vs. B.P. P.L.C., et al. This case is a civil suit against five major oil companies for alleged present and alleged potential damages caused by global warming and climate change.

The judge has invited a tutorial on the best science available on global warming and climate change as a prelude to the trial. This tutorial is to be provided by both the plaintiff(s) and the defendants. The court has also received an Administrative Motion for leave to submit a tutorial presentation from climate scientists William Happer, Stephen Koonin and Richard Lindzen. The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is pursuing the possibility of filing an amicus brief with the court as well, since it believes it has been slandered in the City of Oakland complaint which is part of the suit.

The Happer / Koonin / Lindzen (HKL) presentation responds point by point to the questions raised by the judge to be responded to in the tutorial. The overview section of the HKL presentation makes the following points:

  1. “the climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half century are common in the geological record, driven by powerful phenomena;
  2. human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows;
  3. it is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences; and,
  4. there have been no detrimental changes observed in most salient climate variables and projections of future changes are highly uncertain.

 

The presentation then provides detailed responses to the questions posed by the judge.

 

The SEPP brief would likely focus on the “standards of evidence: direct or indirect; physical or bureaucratic.”

 

“Physical evidence is hard data showing CO2 is the primary cause of global warming. Increasing emissions, changing climate, etc. are not physical evidence of cause. Bureaucratic evidence includes global climate models that fail basic testing, and group think such as organizations that fail to address the key issue in their reports, etc. The key issue is: do carbon dioxide emissions cause dire warming of the atmosphere? SEPP’s answer is no, and CO2 emissions are beneficial to humanity and the environment.”

 

SEPP would be expected to stress that:

 

  1. there are no hard data on the contribution of anthropogenic CO2 emissions to recent climate warming or sea level rise;
  2. the available temperature data are of questionable accuracy and provide incomplete global coverage;
  3. the available climate models are unverified, are acknowledged to be unrepresentative of the actual climate and have demonstrated no predictive ability; and,
  4. the available sea level rise data show no acceleration during the period of interest (post 1950).

 

Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley and a group of scientist colleagues also filed a brief with the court, asserting that: ““the Court should reject Plaintiff’s case and should also reject those of Defendants’ submissions that assert that global warming is a serious problem requiring urgent mitigation.” This brief is most likely based on a recent scientific paper the group has submitted for publication.

 

Dr. Judith Curry has posted a detailed response to the eighth question posed by the judge for the tutorial at her website. It is unclear whether Dr. Curry intends to file a response with the court.

 

There is no current information regarding potential filings by other skeptical climate scientists, though that is certainly a possibility. Since much of the concern expressed by the plaintiff regards the potential future impacts of sea level rise, separately and in combination with more frequent and stronger storms, a presentation on these issues by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. might be a significant contribution.

 

“I don’t know of any judge who has asked for a tutorial like this,” said Steven E. Koonin, a physicist and former Energy Department undersecretary known for his contrarian views on global warming research. “I think it is a great idea. Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.”

 

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.”, Donald Rumsfeld
 

 

 

Tags: Climate Change Lawsuits

Climate Change Highlights and Lowlights from our first 100

Recent research suggests far lower climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling.

Temperature anomaly producers still “adjusting” flawed temperature measurements.

Climate modelers finally acknowledge that models are “running hot”.

No climate model has yet been verified or demonstrated predictive skill.

Satellites document global greening. CO2 improves growth rates and water management.

Large disparity between satellite and tide gauge sea level rise measurements persists.

Recent research shows no linkage between climate change and extreme weather events.

Climate model based “scary scenario” studies dominate media coverage of climate change.

Recent research documents solar influence on earth’s climate and cloud formation.

UNFCCC already claiming that the Paris Accords do not go far enough to reduce CO2.

The US has begun its exit from the Paris Accords and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The UNFCCC seeks to increase GCF funding from $100 Billion to $425 Billion per year.

The US has terminated contributions to the Green Climate Fund.

The US has not begun its exit from the UNFCCC, as required by US law.

US EPA has proposed an open debate on the status of climate science.

US EPA has not begun efforts to remove the 2009 Endangerment Finding.

US EPA has disavowed “Sue and Settle” approach to environmentalist lawsuits.

Environmentalists are threatening numerous lawsuits against US EPA over Clean Power Plan.

Recent research documents that renewables increase electricity costs, despite claims.

Meeting US energy demand with wind turbines would require ~2.3 million 3MW turbines.

Energy efficiency of US economy continues to increase.

Meeting US energy demand with solar would require ~12 million square miles of collectors.

Solar and wind equipment efficiency is increasing; and, equipment cost is decreasing.

Storage technology to support full renewable transition is not currently economically available.

 

Tags:

Climate Change Dissension

The consensed climate science community and the globalist political community have been partners in a mutual adoration society for several decades. This relationship culminated in the signing of the Paris Accords, which committed the signatories to a globalist response to the impending climate crises envisioned by the climate model scenarios generated by the consensed climate science community. The dream of decades appeared to be within reach.

However, the inauguration of an openly skeptical Administration in the US and its subsequent decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Accords has caused dissension in the ranks of the mutual adoration society. The US has been the primary source of funding for both the consensed climate science community and the globalist political community. However, the current US Administration has reduced funding for the advancement of both the climate science consensus and the globalist political consensus.

The new skepticism on the part of the major source of climate research funding has caused the consensed climate science community to acknowledge the technical weaknesses of both the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) process for collecting and analyzing near-surface temperatures and the use of the current ensemble of climate models for the production and analysis of potential future climate scenarios.

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 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.

It is unlikely that the call for a global Climate Reference Network is totally altruistic, in that there has been no significant effort to extend the existing GHCN measurement program to areas where there is currently no measurement activity. It appears unlikely that nations which have been unwilling to install and operate the far less expensive GHCN measurement stations would be willing to install the far more expensive Climate Reference Network measurement stations. However, the pursuit of such a program would continue the efforts of the consensed climate science community to ignore or minimize the importance of the satellite tropospheric temperature measurements, which are made in the region of the atmosphere in which CO2 absorption of solar radiation actually occurs.

It appears equally unlikely that the acknowledgment of the shortcomings of the current climate models is altruistic. Rather, it appears that this acknowledgment is a response to the growing realization that the models are not, in fact, modeling the real climate, largely as the result of the use of unrealistically large climate sensitivity estimates; and, perhaps also, the use of incorrect cloud forcings.

Recent research suggests that climate sensitivity to CO2 is at or perhaps even below the low end of the range of values used by the IPCC. Recent research also suggests that the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 8.5) used in the climate models to produce many of the failed “scary scenarios” is totally unrealistic.

 

Tags: Temperature Record, Global Historical Climate Network, Global Temperature, Global Governance, Paris Agreement

Sea Level Rise “Settled Science”

“There is a total absence of data supporting the notion of a present sea level rise; on the contrary all available facts indicate present sea level stability. On the centennial timescale, there was a +70 cm high level in the 16th and 17th centuries, a -50 cm low in the 18th century and a stability (with some oscillations) in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries.” Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner

“Over 1000 of the world’s Tide Gauges show pure linear trends, along with minimal (mostly thermal expansion and glacial melt) increases. There are none showing any acceleration of Sea Level rise rate in tectonically inert areas.” Thomas Wysmuller, former NASA meteorologist

“The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904–1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954–2003).” Dr. Simon Holgate

Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades.” NOAA

“Satellite altimetry has shown that global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of 3 ± 0.4 mm/y since 1993. Using the altimeter record coupled with careful consideration of interannual and decadal variability as well as potential instrument errors, we show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections.” Nerem et al

It is not unreasonable to assume that actual global sea level rise lies somewhere between zero and ~3 millimeters per year. It is also not unreasonable to assume that the rate of acceleration of global sea level rise lies somewhere between zero and ~0.084 millimeters per year per year. However, those ranges are quite large; and, they are hardly reflective of “settled science”.

Data from tide gauges documents sea level rise of ~1.45 millimeters per year, only half as rapid as the ~3.0 millimeter per year rise calculated from satellites measurements. It is certainly possible that one of these rates of sea level rise is correct, but it is not possible that both are correct; and, it is possible that neither is correct and that the actual rate of sea level rise does not lie between these two rates.

This large discrepancy in estimates of global sea level rise would seem to argue for an expanded focus on resolving these differences. Research to resolve the differences is certainly more important and more valuable than numerous “scary scenario” studies based on unverified climate models, fed with the higher of the rate of rise estimates and the unrealistic IPCC Representative Concentrations Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario. These “scary scenario” studies attract the interest of the media and the public, but do nothing to advance the state of the science.

This large discrepancy in rate of rise of sea level estimates should be a subject of the Red Team / Blue Team debate proposed by EPA Administrator Pruitt. The procedures used to convert the satellite data to estimates of the rate of sea level rise should also be subject to analysis by Tiger Teams at NOAA and NASA. It is long past time to settle this aspect of climate change science.

 

Tags: Settled Science, Sea Level Rise, Sea Level Change

Highlighted Article: State of the Climate 2017

State of the Climate 2017

The Global Warming Policy Foundation

By: Ole Humlum - former Professor of Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard, Norway, and Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography, University of Oslo, Norway.

 

1. It is likely that 2017 was one of the warmest years, according to temperature records from the instrumental period (since about 1850). However, it was cooler than 2016.

2. At the end of 2017 the average global air temperature was dropping back towards the level characterising the years before the strong 2015–16 oceanographic El Niño episode. This underscores that the global surface temperature peak of 2015–16 was caused mainly by this Pacific oceanographic phenomenon. It also suggests … Complete Report

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Toward A Vegan Future

One aspect of the Ultimate Goal of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming movement is a global conversion to a vegan diet. The sustainability movement asserts that the growing global population is already stressing the available food supply; and, that reduction of the land area dedicated to grazing and growing grains to feed animals for both meat and milk production is essential to avoid mass food deprivation and, ultimately, starvation.

“Researchers from the Sustainability Research Institute at University of Leeds in England and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin” assert that: “Right now, there's not a single country on Earth that provides its people a good, sustainable life.” Essentially, they conclude that those currently enjoying a “good life” are not doing so sustainably; and, that those currently living a sustainable life are not enjoying a “good life”. They suggest that, for all to live a good life sustainably, "we need to become two to six times more efficient at transforming resource use into human well-being." We would also need to massively redistribute wealth and income.

A global shift to veganism is unlikely to occur quickly or voluntarily. Despite concerns about existing stresses on the available food supply, meat consumption and dairy consumption continue to grow as nations become more prosperous. This has led researchers to focus on the various measures of the efficiency of land use for meat production and the efficiency of conversion of resources to edible meat protein. Beef is the least efficient in both land use and protein conversion efficiency, followed by lamb, pork and poultry. Beef production is also responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal husbandry.

Politicians and environmental activists, always eager to maximize their contributions toward a sustainable future, have begun advocation for a meat tax. The environmental activists are concerned about land use, resource consumption and environmental emissions. The politicians envision another source of funding, since they have so far been unsuccessful in instituting a carbon tax. The meat tax would be a form of “sin tax”, intended ultimately to drive meat from the market. As with all “sin taxes”, the tax rate would be increased, as required, to maintain the revenue stream, until there was no meat left to tax.

Beef production has grown far less rapidly than poultry and pork production, likely because of the far greater land and feed requirements and the longer maturation period for beef cattle. Dairy milk production has remained relatively flat in recent years, while consumption of soy milk and nut and grain milks have increased.

Textured vegetable protein meat analogues have been available in the US market for at least 50 years, though their market penetration has been largely limited to those with religious and / or dietary constraints. However, major new public / private partnership efforts are underway in an attempt to increase the acceptability and acceptance of meat analogues as a climate-friendly alternative to commercial animal husbandry. The challenges of approximating taste, texture and chew have largely been overcome for fully cooked products. However, the challenge of successfully approximating the aesthetic qualities of a piece of medium rare beef steak, hamburger, leg of lamb, etc. remains.

 

Tags: Sustainability

Highlighted Article: Sea level rise acceleration (or not)

This is a multi-part series by Judith Curry posted on her blog, Climate Etc.

“I have several clients that are interested in the issue of sea level rise, from a range of perspectives (insurance, engineers, city and regional planning, liability). I am preparing a comprehensive assessment of the topic, with a focus on sea level rise in the U.S. I will be posting draft chapters on the blog for you to critique. I am also hoping that crowdsourcing will help me identify additional resources and information.

  1. Introduction and context
  2. The Geological Record
  3. 19th & 20th Century Observations
  4. Satellite Era Record
  5. Detection & Attribution
  6. Projections for the 21st Century

 

(updated 4/2/18 - added new chapter 6 link and corrrected chapter titles)

 

 

Tags: Highlighted Article, Sea Level Rise, Sea Level Change

The UN Has a Better Idea for Combating Climate Change

The UN Habitat for a Better Urban Future convened the World Urban Forum (WUF9) in Malaysia in February 2018. The broad focus of the Forum is on “sustainable urbanization”. The document which provides the focus for this effort is the “Quito Declaration of the New Urban Agenda”.

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) sent a delegation to the UN Habitat III meeting in 2016, at which the Quito Declaration of the New Urban Agenda was developed and adopted. CFACT partially summarizes the contents of the Quito declaration as follows:

  • Regulating businesses to change their profit-motive operations to ones “based on the principles of environmental sustainability and inclusive prosperity …” (i.e. socialism)
  • A commitment to promote “international, national, sub-national, and local climate action … consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.”
  • Creating new rights to government housing and redistributed wealth.
  • The establishment of a “UN-Habitat multi trust fund … in support of sustainable urban development, to be accessed by developing countries.”
  • Expanding “sexual and reproductive health-care services.” (i.e., population control)
  • Using cities as a vehicle to transfer great wealth from tax and ratepayers to "green energy" corporations that make no meaningful difference to the climate.

While the US has been a party to these proceedings in the past, it appears unlikely that the current US Administration would be supportive of any of the objectives listed above. The Administration has focused on easing regulations on businesses. The US has begun withdrawal from the Paris Accords and is obligated by US law to withdraw from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Administration has shown no inclination to establish new “rights” to government housing or to redistributed wealth. The US has already ceased funding the UN Green Climate Fund and would appear unlikely to commit to funding a UN Habitat multi-trust fund. The Administration has also halted funding to the UN for “sexual and reproductive health-care services” through the UN Population Fund.

The previous US Administration might well have found such programs admirable, but the current Administration would likely find them anathema. The UN maintains its focus on the various aspects of global governance, though still using existing government structures as their vehicle. However, it is unlikely that this approach would achieve the objectives the UN has set, leading ultimately for a push toward global governance through the UN.

A recent study published in the journal Nature, “A Good Life for All Within Planetary Boundariesamplifies some of the issues regarding cities and sustainable development as follows:

 

"We apply a top-down approach that distributes shares of each planetary boundary among nations based on current population (a per capita biophysical boundary approach)...If all people are to lead a good life within planetary boundaries, then our results suggest that provisioning systems must be fundamentally restructured to enable basic needs to be met at a much lower level of resource use."

 

This is clearly an agenda of imposed socialism and should be anathema to all free people.

 

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” --Winston Churchill

 

Tags: United Nations, Sustainability

Highlighted Article: California v. The Oil Companies - The Skeptics Response

In the lawsuit between California and the big oil companies, the federal district court has asked for a tutorial on global warming and climate change. Here is the response from Professors William Happer, Steven E. Koonin, and Richard S. Lindzen. Also included is commentary from Marc Morano at Climate Depot.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION OF WILLIAM HAPPER, STEVEN E. KOONIN, AND RICHARD S. LINDZEN FOR LEAVE TO SUBMIT PRESENTATION IN RESPONSE TO THE COURT’S TUTORIAL QUESTIONS

 

‘Global warming’ on trial: Prominent scientists submit climate skeptics’ case to federal court – Climate Depot, Marc Morano

 

Tags: Highlighted Article, Climate Change Lawsuits, ExxonMobil

Natural vs. Unnatural Temperature Change

The graph below shows the satellite lower troposphere temperature anomaly from inception through January 2018, as prepared by Drs. Roy Spencer and John Christy of the University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH).

UAH Satellite-Based Temperature Graph

The graph has been highlighted to illustrate the numerous instances of natural variation in the running average temperature anomaly record. The instances of natural variation in the monthly anomalies are both more numerous and more rapid than those shown in the running average. These instances of natural variation are larger and more rapid than the longer term positive variation in the anomaly record, some or all of which is alleged to be anthropogenic.

The graph below shows the NASA GISS near-surface temperature anomaly from inception through the end years shown for the three anomaly plots graphed. Note that the three anomaly plots shown in the graph are based on the same temperature data through 1981; and that the red and blue plots are based on the same data through 2001. Clearly, there are numerous incidences of natural variation evident in each of the three anomaly plots, although they do not appear to be as dramatic as in the graph above because of the longer time frame and larger anomaly range displayed.

The graph below displays two instances of unnatural variation in the anomaly record; that is, variation resulting from anthropogenic “adjustments” to, or “re-analysis” of, the global temperature 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 ~0.2oC early in the period, thus increasing the apparent rate of change 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 0.2oC 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 ~0.4oC, 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.

This issue would be far less significant if we were analyzing the results of a controlled experiment which could be rerun after recalibrating the temperature sensors to assure maximum accuracy. However, we are dealing with an ongoing, non-reproducible experiment. The issue would also be far less significant if the expenses of the experiment, or investments which might be made as a result of the experiment, were minimal. However, this ongoing experiment has involved expenses in the billions of dollars; and, the investments to be made as the result of the experiment would be in the tens of trillion of dollars and would affect the lives of billions of people.

This experiment is a vast program, which should not have been begun and should not be pursued with half-vast ideas. We continue to do so at our expense and at our peril.

 

Tags: Natural Variability
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