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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Hottest Year Evah

2015 – The Warmest Year in the Near-surface Instrumental Temperature Record

The US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS) and the UK Hadley Center / University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (HadCRUT) have proclaimed 2015 to be the warmest year in the instrumental record of global near-surface temperatures. They reported that 2015 was 0.16 +/- 0.09°C (NCEI), 0.13 +/- 0.10°C (NASA GISS) and 0.18 +/- 0.10°C (HadCRUT) warmer than 2014.

Obviously, the increase in global average near-surface temperature from 2014 to 2015 could not be precisely 0.16°C and precisely 0.13°C and precisely 0.18°C, though it might fall within the range of those calculated figures (0.13 – 0.18°C). However, based on the confidence limits expressed by the producers of each of these global temperature anomaly products, the estimated global near-surface temperature difference between 2014 and 2015 would more likely fall within the range of 0.03°C (0.13°C – 0.10°C) – 0.28°C (0.18°C + 0.10°C), or 5 times the range of the calculated figures (0.05°C vs. 0.25°C).

Assuming that the confidence limits on the temperature increases reported by the producers of these near-surface temperature anomaly products for 2014 were the same as the confidence limits reported for 2015, it is statistically possible that 2014 was actually warmer than 2015. However, the linked paper suggests that the global near-surface temperature anomaly calculations are based on temperature readings with an estimated +/- 0.2°C station error, which has been incorrectly assessed as random error; and, that there is also systematic error from uncontrolled variables. The author calculates a representative lower limit of uncertainty in the calculated temperature anomalies of +/- 0.46°C; and, based on this lower limit of uncertainty, the global near-surface anomaly trend is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

The Law of Large Numbers, relied upon by the global near-surface temperature anomaly producers to report global anomalies to greater precision than the underlying “adjusted” temperatures, requires that the errors in the underlying temperatures be random. Assessments of the errors introduced by the temperature measuring instruments, their enclosures, their siting and changes in the characteristics of their surroundings suggest strongly that the measurement errors are not random; and, that the “adjustments” made to the temperature readings are not random and do not make the errors in the resulting “adjusted” readings random either.

Tags: Warmest, Hottest, Temperature Record

Highlighted Article: A Guide to Understanding Global Temperature Data

Dr. Roy Spencer just published this booklet.

A Guide to Understanding Global Temperature Data

This is a pretty basic, balanced view of the global temperature issue.

"Whether we use thermometers, weather balloons, or Earth-orbiting satellites, the measurements must be adjusted for known sources of error. This is difficult if not impossible to do accurately. As a result, different scientists come up with different global warming trends—or no warming trend at all."

Tags: Highlighted Article

The “Pause” Returns

The climate science community had been troubled by an extended “pause” in global warming prior to two events in the Spring of 2015: the onset of a major El Nino in the NINO region of the Pacific; and, the publication of Karl et al 2015 (Possible Artifacts of Data Biases in the Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus’), the “pause buster” reanalysis of global sea surface temperatures (ERSSTv4). As the result of one or both of those two events, the “Pause” paused, though it was frequently said to have ended.

However, the end of the 2015/2016 El Nino and the disappearance of the Pacific “Warm Blob” off the West coast of North America have restored the pause in the satellite anomaly products produced by UAH and RSS, to 23 years and 1 month and 22 years and 8 months respectively, through May 2016. The pause has also been restored in the HadCRUT near-surface temperature anomaly product, to 11 years and 2 months; and, in the HadSST sea surface temperature anomaly product to 19 years and 10 months, through April 2016. The pause has not yet been restored in the NASA GISS LOTI (land/ocean temperature index) temperature anomaly product through May 2016, nor in the NOAA NCEI combined anomaly product through April 2016. This is likely the result of the sea surface temperature revisions in NCEI’s ERSSTv4 sea surface temperature product, as well as near-surface data “adjustments”.

It appears likely that the pause will ultimately be restored in the NASA GISS and NOAA NCEI combined temperature anomaly products as both near-surface and sea surface temperatures continue to drop with the end of the 2015/2016 El Nino and the “Blob”; and, with the anticipated onset of the 2016/2017 La Nina, though the increased sea surface temperatures resulting from the Karl et al 2015 reanalysis will likely delay the restoration by several months in both combined anomaly products.

Tags: Pause, El Nino

Goodbye, El Nino

The major El Nino of 2015-2016 is over. Sea surface temperatures in the Nino regions have dropped to normal or below normal levels.

All of the temperature anomaly products are showing cooling from the peak of the 2015-2016 El Nino. The NASA GISS near-surface temperature anomaly product is the only near-surface temperature anomaly product currently available through May, 2016. It has declined by 0.4°C from its peak. The UAH tropospheric temperature anomaly has dropped by 0.3°C from its peak, while the RSS tropospheric temperature anomaly has dropped by 0.5°C from its peak. The NCEI and HadCRUT temperature anomaly products have also cooled from their peaks through April, 2016, though the drops are not as large since they do not include the May 2016 changes.

The Pacific “warm blob”, which has also been affecting global temperatures, has also disappeared, according to NASA. This should further reduce the sea surface temperature anomalies; and, thus, all of the global integrated temperature anomalies.

NOAA and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology have issued La Nina alerts for 2016-2017. Both organizations are anticipating a moderate to strong La Nina. However, there is no basis on which to project the magnitude and extent of the sea surface temperature cooling which will result.

The news releases from the producers of the near-surface temperature anomaly products tended to minimize the assessment of the impact of the El Nino on their surface temperature anomalies. However, the end of the El Nino has already produced a very significant reduction in the NASA GISS anomaly products. There is no reason to expect that similar reductions will not appear in the NCEI and HadCRUT anomaly products when the May 2016 anomalies are announced. This should make it quite clear that the minimal attribution of the 2015 warming to the El Nino was political spin, rather than scientific assessment.

Tags: El Nino

COP 21 Agreement

The Obama Administration insisted that the Agreement reached at the conclusion of COP 21 in Paris, France not be legally binding on the parties because of the near-absolute certainty that the US Senate would not ratify the Agreement as a treaty; and, because of the very limited likelihood that the Congress would appropriate the anticipated level of funding which would have been required by the UN Clean Energy Fund.

The US has reportedly pledged $3 billion of the ~$10 billion currently pledged to the UN Green Climate Fund, with the stipulation that the US pledge not exceed 30% of the total funds pledged. The COP 21 Agreement calls for funding from a “floor” of $100 billion per year, beginning in 2020, apparently in perpetuity. The Group of 77 + China have stated that the $100 billion is insufficient and must be increased substantially.  Assuming that the US maintains its 30% stipulation, the US would be expected to pledge ~$30 billion per year, or more, to the Green Climate Fund.

The current US pledge of $3 billion is to be provided over a period of 4 years; and, it is not certain whether it is intended to be “new money”, or funds reallocated from other appropriations. However, meeting the expected US share of the $100 billion per year would require a new congressional appropriation, which is highly unlikely in the current Congress. That appropriation would have to be funded by a new tax, such as a carbon tax, which would have to be adjusted upward “Progressively”, as CO2 emissions declined, to maintain the pledged funding stream.

There is currently very little definition regarding the criteria to be used to determine allocations from the UN Green Climate Fund. Much of the funding would likely be distributed to known kleptocracies; and, predictably, very little of the funding would actually reach the citizens of those kleptocracies purportedly adversely impacted by climate change. Based on the UN’s history, in which the Iraq “Oil for Food” program degenerated into the Iraq “Oil for Palaces, Payloads and Payoffs” program, a high percentage of the $100 billion per year would likely be consumed by waste, fraud and abuse.

Tags: COP - Conference of Parties

US EPA Clean Power Plan

The primary weapon in the US Administration’s crusade to save the world from anthropogenic global warming (climate change) is the US EPA Clean Power Plan, which sets CO2 emissions limits for coal-fired electric generators which could only be met with the installation of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) systems. The plan requires CO2 emissions from power generation to be reduced by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Plan effectively requires the retirement of older coal-fired generators which are either technologically or economically unsuitable for the installation of carbon capture systems. The Plan also effectively discourages (prevents?) the construction of new coal-fired generators, since CCS is currently not demonstrated technology at commercial scale; and, the technology does not appear to be economically viable, even on new plants designed to accommodate CCS. The Plan also encourages expanded transition from economic dispatch of power generators (lowest cost first) to environmental dispatch (renewables and lowest emissions first), thus inexorably increasing wholesale power costs.

A coalition of 26 states and one coal company have filed suits against EPA in federal court, seeking to have the court overturn the EPA rule; and, to stay its execution until the legal challenges are resolved. The stay is viewed as essential, given EPA’s history of “slow walking” the appeals process, thus forcing those affected by the regulations to prepare to comply with the contested regulations, even as they challenge them in the courts. This is particularly important for electric generators, which require long lead times for planning, regulatory approval, equipment procurement and installation, construction and commissioning.

Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives have also filed challenges to the Plan under the Congressional Review Act, challenging EPA rules for both existing and new power plants. Congress considered the inclusion of CO2 under the Clean Air Act, but chose not to include CO2 as a criteria pollutant under the Act. Thus, certain members of Congress believe that EPA has effectively rewritten the Act in the issuance of the Clean Power Plan.

Tags: EPA, Clean Power Plan, Coal

The Many Costs of COP 21

“The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things; of painted ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.”

The pledges of GHG emissions reductions made by the developed country participants at COP 21 will impose a variety of costs on individuals and businesses in those countries. Premature replacement of existing coal-fired electric generating facilities will result in economic dead losses, both for the owners of the generation facilities and for the owners of the coal mines which have provided their fuel. The extent of these economic dead losses cannot be accurately determined until the specific generators to be abandoned and coal mines to be closed have been determined; and, that process is ongoing. The closure of these plants and mines will also result in job losses in both industries, as well as job losses in the transportation industries which moved the coal from the mines to the generators.

Closure of these existing facilities will require the construction of new facilities to replace their electricity output. New natural gas combined-cycle generators will be more efficient than the coal generators they replace; and, in the current market, will use less expensive fuel. In areas without available natural gas transmission and storage capacity, major investments will also be required to deliver and store the additional natural gas required to fuel the new generators.

New renewable generating facilities will be more expensive per megawatt hour generated than either the closed coal plants or the new natural gas plants; and, will require significant expansion of the electric transmission grid and the installation of massive quantities of grid storage, increasing electricity rates as has occurred in several countries in Europe, including England and Germany.

Taxpayers in the developed countries will also be required to provide the $100 billion per year pledged to the UN Clean Development Fund to support energy development and climate change mitigation and remediation in the developing countries. The developing countries, to the extent that they implement renewable generation, will find their development impeded by the higher costs of the renewable generation and the construction costs of the storage required to achieve acceptable reliability of service.

China, India and other developing nations have clearly expressed their unwillingness to impede their economic development in the interest of controlling the global climate. While these nations intend to increase their reliance on nuclear generation and renewables, they are also aggressively increasing their use of coal-fired generation. Once each of these countries reaches its peak CO2 emissions rate, at some undefined date in the future, their emissions will decline slowly over a period of approximately 40 years (expected plant life, absent life extension investments), assuming that old coal-fired plants being retired are not replaced by new coal plants. The COP 21 Agreement does not preclude such actions by these countries.

The COP 21 Agreement includes the intent to achieve net-zero global annual CO2 emissions by 2100. The global investments required to achieve this result are estimated to exceed $1 trillion per year. The Agreement also includes the desire to achieve net-zero emissions, at least among the developed nations, far sooner, with the hope of limiting global mean near-surface temperature increase to 1.5oC. The investments required to achieve that result would be far greater than $1 trillion per year, because of the shorter period over which the investments would be made and the state of development of the technologies required to achieve that result.

A recent analysis by University of Alabama Hunstville (Drs. John Christy and Roy Spenser) suggests that, at current warming rates, the global temperature anomaly would peak below 1.5oC regardless of the emissions reductions agreed to in the COP 21 Agreement. However, that analysis, like the continuing satellite temperature record, is likely to be ignored, since it does not fit the globalist narrative.


Financial Mechanism of the Convention

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at COP 16 in 2010, as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention. The original intent was for the developed countries to provide a fund of $100 billion for use by the developing nations in climate adaptation and remediation, of which only about $10 billion has actually been pledged.

COP 21 set a new “collective quantified goal” of $100 billion per year for GCF funding, beginning in 2020. However, the Group of 77 plus China argued that this base funding level must be substantially increased if it is to meet the requirements of the Group of 77 plus China to contribute to the goals of the COP 21 Agreement, as well as meet their adaptation and remediation needs.

It is interesting that the number 1 and number 3 GHG emitters are members of this group; and, that neither of these countries has submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) document which makes any commitment to emissions reductions.

The UNFCCC COP 21 Agreement expresses some degree of urgency with regard to this funding, despite the fact that there are no demonstrated adverse impacts of anthropogenic global warming (AGW); and, significant evidence of positive climate impacts on crop production and general vegetation growth.

The Board of the Green Climate Fund has determined that the pledged funds should be allocated approximately 50% to adaptation and 50% to remediation over time; and, that at least 50% of the adaptation funds should be devoted to meeting the needs or the most vulnerable nations.

There is currently no formula which determines the contributions of individual nations to the Green Climate Fund. Currently, relatively few nations have announced commitments.


Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) Comparisons

Prior to COP 21, nations were asked to submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) toward the COP objective of reducing global carbon emissions. The key aspects of the INDCs submitted by the four largest CO2 emitters are listed below.

1 – China (9680 Mt CO2)

  • Peak CO2 emissions by around 2030.
  • Lower CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% from 2005 levels.
  • Increase non-fossil share of primary energy consumption to ~20%.
  • Increase forest stock volume by 4.5 billion cubic meters from 2005 levels.

2 – USA (5561 Mt CO2)

  • Reduce GHG emissions by 26-28% by 2025 from 2005 levels

3 – India (2597 Mt CO2)

  • Lower CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020.

4 – Russia (1595 Mt CO2)

  • “Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long-term indicator, subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests.”

The EU countries collectively are the fourth largest emitter (~4500 Mt CO2). The EU countries have agreed to reduce annual emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The INDCs of the rest of the nations which submitted them can be found here.

There are several key points which must be made about these INDCs.

  • None of these INDCs are legally binding.
  • Global annual CO2 emissions would continue to increase, even if these INDCs are actually achieved.
  • Any nation can exit the agreement after 3 years, effective 1 year after notification.
  • The INDCs are not directly comparable in form or time frame.
  • The USA contribution is a percentage reduction from a historical emissions level by 2025
  • The Russian contribution is also a percentage reduction from a historical emissions level by 2030, subject to a condition.
  • The Chinese contribution is actually negative “until around 2030”, though it commits to a reduction of “carbon intensity” from a historical intensity level.
  • The Indian contribution is also negative, through an undefined time frame, though it commits to a reduction of “carbon intensity” by 2020.

In summary, it is not possible to determine when, or even if, global annual CO2 emissions would stabilize, no less begin to decline, under the Agreement reached at the conclusion of COP 21. It appears unlikely that stabilization will occur prior to 2030; and, even less likely that net zero CO2 emissions will be achieved by 2050.

It is clear that the current INDCs, even if met in their entirety, are insufficient to allow the earth to stay within the 2oC target established by the UNFCCC, no less achieve the 1.5oC sought by the nations which have declared themselves to be the most vulnerable. These nations are typically low lying coastal nations or island nations thought to be most susceptible to sea level rise. This is particularly interesting, since there has been no significant change in the rate of sea level rise over the past 145 years, despite the significant increase in global annual CO2 emissions over the past 65 years. There does not appear to be even a coincidental relationship between CO2 emissions and sea level rise, no less any causal relationship.


Patrick Moore: Should We Celebrate CO2

In October of 2015 the Global Warming Policy Foundation invited Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, to deliver a lecture at their annual meeting. See what he has to say about CO2 in his "SHOULD WE CELEBRATE CO2?"

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