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In the Wake of the News

Highlighted Article: AEI - The Green New Deal

  • 5/9/19 at 06:00 AM

 

From: AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE

By: Benjamin Zycher

April 2019

The Green New Deal

Economics and Policy Analytics

" The Green New Deal (GND) is a set of policy proposals, some more concrete than others, with the central advertised goal of ameliorating a purported climate crisis by implementing policies that would reduce US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero, or to “net zero,” by 2050 in some formulations. In addition, the GND incorporates other important social-policy goals as a means of forging a majority political coalition in support. The GND’s central premise is that such policies—either despite or by reducing sharply the economic value of some substantial part of the US resource base and the energy-producing and energyconsuming capital stock—would increase the size of the economy in real terms, increase employment, improve environmental quality, and improve distributional equity. That is a “broken windows” argument: The destruction of resources increases aggregate wealth. It is not to be taken seriously."

The Green New Deal

Economics and Policy Analytics

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Climate Refugee Attribution

 

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) predicted in 2005 that 50 million people could become climate refugees by 2010. UNEP produced a map identifying areas of the globe threatened in various ways by climate change.

 

Climate Refugees Map

 

The President of the UN General Assembly said in 2008 that it had been estimated that between 50 and 200 million people could become climate refugees. The Environmental Justice Foundation warned that “10% of the global population is at risk of forced displacement due to climate change.” Some scientists have been claiming for years that there are already 25 million climate refugees. These predictions, statements and claims have failed to materialize and have been abandoned. The Asian Correspondent published an article asking what happened to these climate refugees, which concluded as follows:

“However, a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world.”

More recently, there has been a concerted effort to link migration from the Middle East and Africa to climate change, primarily by correlating climate “stress” with the climates of war, poverty, religious persecution and gang violence in the countries from which they are fleeing. In some cases, weather events such as droughts and floods have been conflated with climate change, as if to suggest that such events had not occurred previously in these countries, though this is hardly the case.

Most recently, former US Vice President Al Gore and others have asserted that the refugee caravans fleeing Central America are the result of climate change. These assertions are essentially denied by the refugees themselves, who acknowledge that they are fleeing high unemployment, poverty, gang violence and, in some cases, adverse weather events. They are seeking a better life in the US, not merely refugee status in Mexico.

However, these Central American refugee caravans appear not to be spontaneous responses to conditions in their countries. Rather, these caravans are organized, funded, directed and supported by individuals or organizations which have chosen to keep their identities secret; and, aided by the UN Migration Agency. The organization of these caravans is obvious, based on the food, water, sanitation and transportation resources which have been provided along their routes of travel. The direction being provided has caused the caravans to travel greater distances to approach the US border at California, rather than Arizona, New Mexico or Texas.

The first and so far, only self-declared climate refugee, a resident of the island nation of Tuvalu, was denied refugee status in New Zealand since Tuvalu, rather than succumbing to the ravages of rising sea levels, is actually increasing in area. The Maldives, which at one point were the “poster child” for imminent climate refugee migration to higher land, are also growing in land area.

The issue of climate refugees, should there ever be any such refugees, would give rise to demands for financial support and ultimately compensation, raising again the issue of the standards of evidence applied to support and compensation decisions.

 

Tags: Climate Refugees, United Nations

Climate Models?

Our understanding of global warming and cooling is based on both paleoclimatic analysis and instrumental data. Our understanding of climate change is based on observations of temperatures, sea level changes, hurricane and tornado frequency and intensity, flood and drought frequency and intensity, and other factors. Our understanding of anthropogenic climate change is based on the estimated impacts of emissions and land use changes.

Our understanding of potential catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is based on unverified models, tuned against “adjusted” temperature history, fed with estimated climate sensitivities and feedbacks and uncertain climate forcings. These models are typically referred to as climate models, which suggests that they actually model the real climate. However, the model developers acknowledge that there are numerous factors which affect the climate which are not included in the models because they are not sufficiently well understood. There are also likely to be multiple factors which also affect climate but are not known to do so.

Therefore, it is not reasonable to expect that projections made years ago based on these models would match the observed changes in climate over the recent past; and, it is totally unreasonable to expect that these models have any predictive value regarding future climate. The only way that the current models could match the changes in the real climate is if the factors currently included in the models are modeled accurately, the sensitivities, feedbacks and forcings selected are correct, and the factors which are not currently modeled perfectly cancel each other over the modeled period. In a complex, chaotic environment, these conditions are exceeding unlikely to be met.

Dr. Patrick Frank of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource/SLAC at Stanford University, has recently suggested that errors in climate models are large and that they propagate over the period modeled.

“GCM global air temperature projections are no more than linear extrapolations of green house gas forcing. Linear propagation of error is therefore directly warranted. GCMs make large thermal errors. Propagation of these errors through a global air temperature projection will inevitably produce large uncertainty bars.”

Dr. Frank calculated that current models, using Representative Consumption Pathway 8.5 estimates of future global CO2 emissions, would experience an uncertainty envelope of +/-17°C.

“The large uncertainty bars do not indicate possible increases or decreases in air temperature. They indicate a state of knowledge. The uncertainty bars are an ignorance width.”

This uncertainty envelope is enormous relative to the projected future temperature anomalies. Dr. Frank compared this uncertainty envelope with the Hansen 1988 temperature anomaly projections here at 28:17. Clearly uncertainty of this magnitude suggests that modeled scenarios of potential future climate conditions are of no significant scientific value, though their political value should not be underestimated.

Uncertainties in projections of future climate of this magnitude make a mockery of assertions that “the science is settled”. These uncertainties also highlight the scientific uselessness and political motivation of the numerous “scary scenario” studies funded with federal resources which might otherwise be used to advance the state of climate science.

 

Tags: Climate Models, Climate Predictions

Highlighted Article: Good News! No Need to Have a Mental Breakdown Over 'Climate Collapse'

 

From: reason.com

By: Ronald Bailey

 

 

Good News! No Need to Have a Mental Breakdown Over 'Climate Collapse'

 

"What if I told you there was a paper on climate change that was so uniquely catastrophic, so perspective-altering, and so absolutely depressing that it's sent people to support groups and encouraged them to quit their jobs and move to the countryside?" asks reporter Zing Tsjeng over at Vice. She is citing Cumbria University Professor of Sustainability Leadership Jem Bendell's "Deep Adaptation" paper, which asserts that man-made climate change will result in "a near-term collapse in society with serious ramifications for the lives of readers." How near-term? In about 10 years or so..."

 

Good News! No Need to Have a Mental Breakdown Over 'Climate Collapse'

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Attribution Absurdity

In the current mantra of the consensed climate science community, every adverse weather-related event is alleged to have been caused by, or worsened by, climate change. Unverified climate models are being used in attribution studies to calculate the supposed percentage by which certain events were worsened by climate change. The attributed percentages vary wildly, depending on which model is used and which assumptions are input to the model.

Perhaps the most absurd collection of attributions relates to the recent wildfires in California. State government officials have been quick to attribute the occurrence or increased extent and intensity of most of these wildfires to climate change. Post-fire investigations have established that the fires were the result of numerous causes including arson, out-of-control homeless camp cooking and heating fires, and improperly maintained and operated electric transmission facilities.

The most destructive of the recent wildfires, the Camp Fire, is believed to have been caused by electric transmission facilities owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation, California’s largest utility.

“Cal Fire has determined that PG&E likely broke state law in connection with 12 of the 2017 fires, and is investigating the utility’s possible role in the Camp Fire. The Nov. 8 wildfire killed 86 people in the Paradise area, more than any other fire in California history. In disclosures to the state Public Utilities Commission, PG&E has acknowledged significant problems occurred on a transmission tower near the site where the Camp Fire is believed to have started.”

PG&E has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its potential legal liability resulting from the numerous wildfires believed to have been caused by its facilities. The Wall Street Journal described the PG&E bankruptcy as: “The First Climate-Change Bankruptcy”, though it has since provided a more comprehensive attribution. However, based on the Cal Fire determination shown above, numerous studies of forest management practices and analysis of the growing urban-forest interface, it appears absurd to attribute the PG&E bankruptcy or the California wildfires to climate change.

Wildfires occur for a number of reasons. It is not possible to prevent wildfires, but it is possible to minimize their occurrence and reduce the damages they cause. Improved forest management practices have the potential to greatly reduce wildfire damage, but are frequently resisted by environmentalists on the grounds that active forest management disturbs the natural order. Unfortunately, in many cases, wildfires are the natural order.

Attribution of wildfires and other naturally-occurring events to climate change is politically convenient, in that it diverts attention from other causes, focusing it instead on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and climate disruption. Climate change does not start wildfires. Climate change does not add fuel sources to the forest floor which contribute to the intensity and spread of wildfires. The alleged contribution of climate change is changes in precipitation which encourage the growth of various types of plants when precipitation increases, providing an increased stock of combustible material when precipitation decreases. However, precipitation has varied seasonally and annually for as long as man has been monitoring precipitation; and, wildfires were occurring long before anthropogenic climate change became an issue.

Focusing attention away from the actual causes of wildfires will do nothing to reduce their occurrence or effects.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists

Highlighted Article: The "New Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking

 

From: Manhattan Institute

By: Mark P. Mills

 

THE “NEW ENERGY ECONOMY”:AN EXERCISE IN MAGICAL THINKING

 

"A movement has been growing for decades to replace hydrocarbons, which collectively supply 84% of the world’s energy. It began with the fear that we were running out of oil. That fear has since migrated to the belief that, because of climate change and other environmental concerns, society can no longer tolerate burning oil, natural gas, and coal—all of which have turned out to be abundant.


“So far, wind, solar, and batteries—the favored alternatives to hydrocarbons—provide about 2% of the world’s energy and 3% of America’s. Nonetheless, a bold new claim has gained popularity: that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that not only can, but inevitably will, rapidly replace all hydrocarbons..."

 

THE “NEW ENERGY ECONOMY”:AN EXERCISE IN MAGICAL THINKING

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Near-Surface Temperature

 

 

Much has been written about the physical shortcomings of the near-surface temperature record, which include:

 

  • inadequate spatial coverage;
  • urban heat island effects;
  • sensor degradation;
  • enclosure degradation;
  • wind and solar dependent biases;
  • inconsistent time of observation;
  • missing data; and,
  • numerous lesser issues.

 

These issues have been compounded by sensor and enclosure changes over time and measuring station relocation. These factors have led to “adjustment” of the measured temperature data intended to account for these issues.

Far less attention has been paid to the statistical shortcomings of the near-surface temperature record. Two of the most important statistical shortcomings are improper treatment of measurement noise and inadequate frequency of measurement.

Dr. Patrick Frank has calculated the lower limit of instrument noise in the global temperature record for well sited and maintained installations as +/-0.46°C. He has further estimated that the lower limit of the instrument noise for the global near-surface temperature installations is likely twice the lower limit of +/-0.46°C for well sited and maintained sites. These values far exceed the confidence limits (+/-0.10°C) typically reported by the producers of the global temperature anomaly products. If Dr. Frank’s estimate of the instrument noise in the global records is correct, the instrument noise is greater than the reported global temperature anomaly over the entire period of the global instrument temperature record, rendering the reported anomalies insignificant, as discussed in more detail here.

William Ward asserts that “air temperature is a signal and measurement of signals must comply with the mathematical laws of signal processing. The Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem tells us that we must sample a signal at a rate that is at least 2x the highest frequency component of the signal. This is called the Nyquist Rate. Sampling at a rate less than this introduces aliasing error into our measurement.” Ward demonstrates that the aliasing error resulting from recording only daily maximum and minimum temperatures and calculating the mean of those two temperature readings results in a mean aliasing error of 1.4°C, approximately 50% greater than the reported global temperature anomaly over the period of the global instrumental temperature record. Ward also demonstrates that daily errors range up to +/-4°C.

Ward also demonstrates that temperature sampling at rates less than the Nyquist Rate can induce errors in the calculated temperature trends. Trend errors calculated for 26 selected sites range from +0.24°C to -0.17°C per decade, with an average of 0.06°C per decade. This compares with a reported warming trend over the period 1880-2012 of 0.064 +/- 0.015°C (Wikipedia) and a reported warming trend of 0.13°C per decade over the period of the satellite temperature record. Essentially, the reported warming trend shown above is actually (0.064 +/- 0.015°C) +0.24°C / -0.17°C; that is, it is essentially meaningless.

The USCRN is currently considered to be the “gold standard” for near-surface temperature measurement because its sites are CRN-1 sites, located remotely from existing development, use three separate precision temperature sensors and are sampled at the practical Nyquist Rate of 4,320 samples per day, or one sample every 20 seconds. The CRN is the reference for both the Frank and Ward studies. Unfortunately, the CRN is not a global system and it lacks a 30 year historical climate reference period.

 

Tags: Temperature Record

Highlighted Article: Heartland Institute Special Edition To The Green New Deal

 

From: The Heartland Institute

By: H. Sterling Burnett

 

Special Edition Devoted To The Green New Deal

 

"The much-hyped Green New Deal (GND) is being pushed by a rump group of progressive-socialists in the Democratic Party, including prominent members of the Senate with stated presidential aspirations. If enacted, GND would constitute a complete socialist makeover/takeover of the economic system of the United States."

 

Special Edition Devoted To The Green New Deal

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Adaptation and Survival

The universe is estimated to be approximately 13.7 billion years old. Our solar system is estimated to be approximately 4.6 to 5 billion years old, while the earth is estimated to be approximately 4.3 to 4.6 billion years old. Earth’s history is one of periodic glacial periods, shifting continents, volcanic creation and destruction, occasional meteor impacts and a variety of other major and minor events.

Our understanding of earth’s atmosphere and climate is very limited prior to approximately 500 million years ago. The graph below illustrates our current understanding of the earth’s climate history over that period.

Temperature on Planet Earth

The most recent period in earth’s history is arguably the period of greatest temperature stability in the historical record. However, it is obvious the climate continued to change over this period. There is no obvious period of temperature stasis anywhere in the record; and, it seems strange to suggest that the current period should become a period of temperature stasis. There is also no reason to believe that Milankovitch cycles have ceased. Rather, the graph above suggests that the earth might be approaching the peak of a Milankovitch cycle, which would then be followed by several thousand years of cooling temperatures.

The graph below illustrates both the temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration over the entire estimated period of earth’s existence. Temperatures and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been substantially higher in the past than is the case today. The glacial periods shown in the graph above all occurred when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were as high as or higher than current atmospheric CO2 concentration, as shown in the graph below.

Geological Timescale of CO2

Dr. Vincent Gray’s conclusion from this graph: “It will be seen that there is no correlation whatsoever between carbon dioxide concentration and the temperature at the earth’s surface.”

Modern humans as we know them are thought to have evolved approximately 315,000 years ago, though there is evidence of other hominin species as long as 6-8 million years ago. The red X in the graphs above indicate the approximate appearance of modern humans. Modern humans are believed to be the only one of the hominin species which has survived. However, if we accept Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the predecessor organisms of modern humans and all other currently existing creatures have existed on earth throughout its existence, adapting and surviving or not adapting and becoming extinct.

The graphs above make it clear that our human ancestors have adapted, survived and ultimately thrived through a series of temperature changes. The historical record illustrates that humans have fared better in warm than in cool periods. The temperature changes during the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the current warm period pale in comparison to the temperature changes labeled as the Milankovitch Cycles in the first graph above, no less the temperature changes which occurred more than 8 million years ago.

 

Tags: Global Temperature, Temperature Record

Highlighted Article: Hurricanes and Climate Change

 

By: Judith Curry

A five part series from Climate Etc.

"This Report is easier than my Special Report on Sea Level and Climate Change.  Sea level and glaciers are very fast moving topics, whereas for hurricanes, the big picture conclusions haven’t really changed in a decade."

 

1) Hurricanes & climate change: detection

2) Hurricanes and Climate Change: Attribution

3) Hurricanes & climate change: landfalls

4) Hurricanes & climate change: recent U.S. landfalling hurricanes

5) Hurricanes & climate change: 21st century projections

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Highlighted Article: What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security

From: CO2 Coalition

February 21, 2019

 

What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security

 

Plant production has been boosted, the need for water and fertilizer has been brought down, and field experiments show that these effects are likely to increase in coming decades.

Global food security is one of the most pressing problems facing the planet’s growing population. Continuing advances in agricultural technology and expertise will certainly increase food production in many regions, but the required doubling of production by 2100 as diets improve with rising income will still be a difficult task. Fortunately, carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is created when fossil fuels are converted into energy, has proved to be a powerful plant food.

 

What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Highlighted Article: Judith Curry Statement to the US House Committee On Natural Resources

By: Judith Curry

STATEMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Hearing on Climate Change: The Impacts and the Need to Act

"... I am increasingly concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified.1 For the past decade, I have been promoting dialogue across the full spectrum of understanding and opinion on the climate debate through my blog Climate Etc. (judithcurry.com). I have learned about the complex reasons that intelligent, educated and well-informed people disagree on the subject of climate change, as well as tactics used by both sides to try to gain a political advantage in the debate.

With this perspective, my testimony focuses on the following issues of central relevance to climate change, its impacts and need to act:

  • The climate knowledge gap
  • The climate change response challenge
  • The urgency (?) of CO2 emissions reductions
  • Resilience, anti-fragility and thrivability
  • Moving forward with pragmatic climate change policies ..."

 

STATEMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Warming Significance

Recent research has provided greatly reduced estimates of climate sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This research suggests that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, to 540 ppm, would result in an increase of ~1.7°C (~3°F) above pre-industrial global annual average near-surface temperatures. Approximately 1°C (~1.6°F) of this projected increase is reported to have already occurred.

 

Climate Sensitivity Estimates Declining

 

Based on recent analyses, that 3°F temperature increase would manifest as an increase of ~1°F in average annual maximum temperatures and an increase of ~2°F in average annual minimum temperatures in many of the most populous nations on the globe; and, as the average for the globe. These changes would be expected to occur over approximately the remainder of the century, assuming rates of global annual CO2 emissions remain relatively constant.

An increase of 1°F in annual maximum temperature would be of greatest concern if it manifested as an increase in the number of very hot days or an increase in the temperatures on the hottest days. However, this is not the case, at least in the US, where the annual number of days reaching or exceeding 95°F has been declining on average over the period from 1900 to 2018; and, declining precipitously since the peak in the 1930s.Rather, the increase has manifested as an increase in the average daily maximum temperature while not significantly affecting the frequency or magnitude of extreme temperatures.

 

Percent of Days above 95

 

Similarly, the number of nights reaching temperatures at or below 0°F has decreased over the period 1900 to 2018, indicating that winter temperatures have become less extreme as well.

An increase of 2°F in annual average minimum temperatures would be of greatest concern if the increase were associated primarily with the occurrence of extremely hot days. However, as noted above, the frequency of extremely hot days is decreasing, so it is likely that the increase in average minimum temperature during the summer months is more uniformly distributed.

 

Percent of Nights Below 0

 

The combination of the more rapid rise of average annual minimum temperatures, relative to average annual maximum temperatures, and the decline in both hot and cold extreme temperatures has resulted in a decrease in the average daily temperature range of approximately 2°F ,or approximately 10%, in the US over the period from 1900 to 2018. However, this still means that daily average temperatures change by +/- 23°F roughly every 12 hours and +/- 40-50°F seasonally.

 

Average Daily Temperature Range

 

Mexico is the only one of the most populace nations in which the annual average maximum temperature is increasing more rapidly than the annual average minimum temperature, though both are increasing more slowly than the global average temperature change.

Russia and Nigeria are the only ones of the most populous nations in which the average annual maximum temperature is increasing more rapidly than the global average temperature change.

China is the most anomalous of the most populous countries, in that the annual average maximum temperature is increasing at only ~7% of the rate of increase of the global annual average temperature; and, only ~3% of the rate of increase of the annual average minimum temperature.

 

Tags: Climate Sensitivity
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