Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #270

By Ken Haapala – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Biases in UAH Data? Repeated testing of assumptions, calculations, and models and publicly reporting the results are marks of a rigorous scientific program. The results of such testing are not found in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (IPCC). Yet, defenders of the IPCC process have criticized the efforts of the Earth Systems Science Center at the University of Alabama, in Huntsville (UAH) for continuing to test their products and publicly report the results.

Using a paper published by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), The Guardian newspaper launched into a criticism on the procedures used and reported by UAH, personally Roy Spencer and John Christy. Spencer and Christy have repeatedly demonstrated that the atmosphere is not warming as projected in the models used by the IPCC and the climate establishment. The greenhouse gas effect occurs in the atmosphere, not on the surface and in the oceans. The atmosphere where the greenhouse effect occurs can be defined as the troposphere, up to 50,000 feet. This is where we should see a greenhouse warming. Yet, the Guardian article avoids these details and states:

“To provide perspective, we know the Earth is warming because we can measure it. Most of the heat (93%) goes into the oceans and we have sensors measuring ocean temperatures that show this. We also know about warming because we have thermometers and other sensors all over the planet measuring the temperature at the surface or in the first few meters of air at the surface.”

The article, written by a professor of thermal sciences, ignores the central issues: based on the best measurements, the earth both warmed and cooled over the 20th century, what is the cause? Surface and ocean data of recent warming do not show cause.

Attempting to buttress his arguments, the writer for The Guardian, uses an article published in an AMS journal, which is paywalled. The abstract is vague. It bounces between stratospheric data and tropospheric data used by three groups: UAH, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) and concludes: “Any biases in the UAH, RSS, or STAR products would impact the trends calculated for these products and could explain the differences between these trends. Biases in the UAH series would also impact the UAH TLTv6 lower-troposphere product, which is a linear combination of the UAH TMT, tropopause temperature (TTP), and TLS series.”

The abstract implies biases, but does not provide evidence. Adjustments made two decades ago for orbital decay and for minor orbital drift are not relevant for criticism of today’s data. There is an ongoing controversy regarding stratospheric cooling, and its cause. Including the stratospheric data confuses the issue. This illustrates why it is important to define the data range below the stratosphere, say below 50,000 feet, which Christy did in his written testimony. (Some commentators may use below 10 km, (33,000 feet)).

To further buttress his arguments, The Guardian writer presents a graph showing UAH estimates of temperatures from 1995 to 2009. The graph is obsolete because the data now covers 1979 to 2016. The estimates published at the time increase some 0.2 degrees C. Not discussed, is that the early part of the record includes volcanic activity, which cause cooling. Further, no one denies the data shows warming and cooling over the entire record, with a net warming. Using a short part of the entire record is misleading.

Christy and Spencer do not hesitate to publish their findings, even though their findings have been attacked from many sides of the global warming controversy. Nothing can be considered cast in stone, especially the results of remote instrumentation. Instruments can make erroneous measurements, and the readings of instruments must to constantly tested and retested, particularly remote instruments.

For important data, such as comprehensive measurement of global temperatures, the public deserves to be informed. Now, the AMS publishes a paper that considers such rigorous procedures to be a fault? That following such procedures creates a bias? As the public becomes increasingly aware that the IPCC and its followers exaggerate human influence on climate, we can expect more of these attacks. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

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Quote of the Week. “A common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” – Sir Fred Hoyle

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Number of the Week: 100 times

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Antarctic Melting? One vexing problem is explaining why sea level measurements taken by satellites are showing a greater rate of sea level rise than traditional tidal gages in tectonically stable areas. Some of the studies from NOAA and NASA have end of century rise reflecting a rate of rise many times that shown by local tidal gages. One possible explanation described by retired NASA meteorologist Tomas Wysmuller is that satellites have a difficult time calibrating when going from land to coastal waters. A paper published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters suggests another reason for erroneous calibration.

Written by geoscientists, the paper discusses findings from the southernmost Ellsworth Mountains, the highest mountains in Antarctica. The Ellsworth Mountains are west of the Transantarctic Mountains, which are a continental divide between East Antarctica (about two-thirds of the continent) and the smaller West Antarctica, which includes the Antarctic Peninsula. At the edge of the continent, near the start of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ellsworth Mountains drain into the Weddell Sea and onto the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Particularly interesting to the geoscientists was the age of the rocks exposed above the trimline — a clear line formed on the side of a valley by a glacier and marking the most recent highest extent of the glacier.

The geoscientists reported: “Early estimates of ice mass loss in West Antarctica based on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data, assumed a LGM age for the trimline, and thus postulated high estimates of subsequent ice-mass loss over the Ellsworth Mountains (Ivins and James, 2005).” [LGM is Last Glacial Maximum (about 20,000 years ago)].

Yet, using isotopes of Beryllium, Aluminum, and Neon, the authors suggest that, at a minimum, the timline has been exposed for at least 2.1 to 2.6 million years. It may be far older. If the paper is correct, then those with NOAA and NASA who are projecting major sea level rise this century, much of it coming from West Antarctic melt, are simply wrong. Their models use incorrect data and greatly overestimate a sea level rise contribution from Antarctica. See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

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Fred Singer’s Presentation: American Thinker published the summary by SEPP Chairman Fred Singer of his presentation at the Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-12), sponsored by The Heartland Institute. The presentation focused on the inconsistencies in the surface temperature record and the misuse of temperature data by the IPCC. It includes graphs that may be of interest to the readers of TWTW. The presentation was posted on Watts Up With That? See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy

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Trump’s Dilemma: President Trump has postponed a decision on whether the US will stay in the Paris Agreement. Those who favor the agreement are using the arguments that staying in will honor international agreements, benefit international businesses, not binding in court, etc. Those opposed are using arguments of keeping campaign promises, it will be binding in court, damaging to the interests of US citizens, etc.

One interesting middle ground suggestion is by Representative Cramer (R. ND). He suggests staying in provided certain conditions are met immediately; if they are not met, then leave. Unfortunately, Cramer cites a memo by a Sierra Club lawyer claiming that any lawsuit arguing that the US was bound by its pledge, or the agreement itself, would not likely prevail court. This is hardly reassuring. Should the opportunity arise, the Sierra Club would be among the first to sue, insisting the pledge and / or agreement is binding.

Seldom discussed, is that the science behind the agreement is failing, that human emissions of CO2 are not causing dangerous global warming. Therefore, the rationale for the agreement is failing. Why build a massive fund to be administrated by the UN? The UN ran the IPCC and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which exaggerated human influence on climate, with projections of great calamities, and minimized natural variation?

Given the failing of the science, the arguments for remaining in the agreement may remind a student of World War I as arguments for European countries entering the war, which became a human tar pit for all sides. The ignorance of the leaders wasted the valor of the soldiers.

The US is a constitutional republic with an elegant solution for deciding Trump’s dilemma and the issues around it. Why treat the agreement as a back-room deal? Submit it to the Senate for approval with a recommendation and a time limit. This would eliminate countless hours of legal bills on whether it is binding. See Article # 1 and links under After Paris! After Paris – Favor Agreement, and After Paris – Oppose Agreement.

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Fragile Coral Reefs? With each El Niño, the global warming chorus wails about the death of the coral reefs. These dire predictions are especially strong in Australia. The authors of “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts” demonstrate that “coral bleaching” is a part of the natural processes of coral life. When the water warms, the corals cast off certain algae, giving an appearance called coral bleaching. The corals quickly attract different algae, reestablishing a symbiotic relationship. Similarly, corals adapt when sea level rise or fall. Life adapts.

Writing in the Australian magazine Quadrant, David Mason-Jones challenges the notion that coral reefs are fragile. He brings out seldom recognized events. Eniwetok Atoll was subject to atomic bomb tests, one atoll had an H-bomb test. The corals in the area survived and thrived. Prior to the tests the US Geological Survey drilled into coral, and found remnants of coral as deep as 4550 feet (1380 meters). From the USGS publication at 4528-4553 feet: (Hole F-1):

“Core of limestone, moderately hard, porous, poorly sorted, coarse-grained; made up of Foraminifera and algal debris in a detrital matrix; underlain by limestone with varied assemblage of fossils; algae, Foraminifera, corals, mollusks (Area, Pecten, and molds of Cypraea and minute gastropods), echinoid spines, crustacean fragments; corals and most of mollusks as molds; X-ray analyses showed 100 percent calcite, but thin sections reveal scattered rhombs of dolomite.”

Corals have experienced extensive variations in climate and still find a way to survive. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Energy Price Caps: Apparently, the government of the United Kingdom is considering a not very novel way of addressing the increasing electricity and energy prices – Energy Price Caps. Implemented by President Nixon and continued under Presidents Ford and Carter, energy price controls were a disaster in the US, and will be in the UK. They caused a sharp drop in production of oil and gas in the US, which helped convinced President Carter that the world would run out of oil by the end of last century, and the US would run out of natural gas. “State-of-the-art” models were built showing this exhaustion of resources.

For the UK, the effort is symbolic, perhaps disastrous, and does not address issue: Renewable energy policies are enormously expensive because politicians ignore the costs of providing the back-up needed for reliable electricity. The promised storage solutions are still “around the corner.” Apparently, the minds of politicians promoting alternative energy become frozen, when the scope of the storage needed is discussed. Fortunately, the US did not enact a bill similar to “The Climate Change Act of 2008”, overwhelmingly approved by Parliament. Perhaps this is what the promoters of the Paris Agreement have in mind. See links under Questioning European Green, Subsidies and Mandates Forever and Energy Issues – Non-US

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Energy Game Changes: Senior Fellow of the Manhattan Institute Mark Mills concludes his three-part series on revolutions in energy. In the previous parts, he discussed the revolution in production from hydraulic fracturing of shale, which will continue to revolutionize the energy world with dramatic increases in productivity. On the consumption side, he discussed information technology, an industrial sector that consumes more energy than aviation and will grow faster than other sectors – including electric cars.

Now, he discusses what can be called “subsidy saturation.” The public is tired of financing, through subsides, alternative energy such as solar and wind which are hitting their technical limits of productivity. More spending will not accomplish major breakthroughs on these technologies. Subsidizing research on new technologies is one thing; but, subsidizing deploying old-technology hardware is something else. Further, the US taxing hydrocarbons will face strong public resistance. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US

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Number of the Week: 100 times faster. If the article on the age of the trimline of the Ellsworth Mountains is correct, and the GRACE satellite was calibrated to the maximum extent of the last ice age, then those using the GRACE data may be estimating the melting of West Antarctica to be 100 times faster than what is occurring.

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ARTICLES:

1. Remake the Paris Climate Deal to Promote American Energy

A place at the table would let Trump counter Chinese predation and European unrealism.

By Kevin Cramer, WSJ, May 7, 2017

https://www.wsj.com/articles/remake-the-paris-deal-to-promote-americas-energy-interests-1494187641

The US Representative from North Dakota writes:

“… I endorsed Mr. Trump last April because I believed in his America First agenda, and I advised him on energy policies during the campaign.

“I was wary of Paris and used to favor pulling out, but I’ve changed my mind for two reasons. First, in future climate talks the U.S. will benefit from having Mr. Trump, an experienced negotiator, at the table. Second, the Trump administration can legally scrap President Obama’s emission-reduction pledge without leaving the Paris agreement.

“It is abundantly clear that the agreement, which is and will remain legally nonbinding, does not prohibit lowering the American pledge. In a May 1 memo, Sierra Club lawyer Steve Herz wrote that “it would be extremely difficult to prevail” in any lawsuit arguing that the U.S. was bound by its pledge, or by the agreement itself.

“Thus, any renegotiation would be the easiest deal Mr. Trump has ever made: He would simply submit a new pledge. Then if somehow the U.S. was blocked from changing its commitment, Washington could simply leave the Paris agreement that same day.

“Regardless, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt would be able to rescind the woefully constructed Clean Power Plan and other harmful Obama-era regulations, since they all preceded the climate deal reached in Paris in December 2015. Those regulations and the Paris agreement are legally unrelated.

“There has been spirited debate among House Republicans on the best move to make. Several of my colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee—including conservatives from energy-rich states such as Oklahoma, Missouri and Pennsylvania—agree that the smart strategy is to try to work out a more beneficial deal for the U.S. under the Paris agreement rather than walk away and let China and others take over the discussions. Eight of my fellow Republicans joined me in signing a letter to President Trump laying out specific conditions that would turn Paris into a good deal:

“First, revise the U.S. pledge so it doesn’t harm the economy and comes to reflect America First energy policies.

“Second, cease Washington’s transfers to the Green Climate Fund, and ensure the existing money isn’t spent on wasteful projects.

“Third, negotiate through the Paris Agreement to defend American interests, particularly by advancing technology for clean coal and pushing for increased investment and a better regulatory environment—all of which will create more foreign markets for American clean coal technology.

“Mr. Obama’s Paris pledge was a bad deal, as Mr. Trump explained forcefully during the campaign. But the situation has changed. The new White House can replace those harmful policies with an America First energy vision, and a Paris pledge and negotiations that reflect it.

“What could Paris become with President Trump and his negotiators at the table? Energy Secretary Rick Perry has already aggressively touted the virtues of nuclear and clean coal at a recent Group of Seven energy meeting. That view faces stiff opposition from some of America’s allies in Europe, who will work hard to promote a radical and unrealistic all-renewables vision for global energy policy. The U.S. needs to take them on in every available forum, Paris included.

“Since Paris went into force, many nations in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean have built clean coal plans into their Paris pledges. The White House can build on these pragmatic approaches, using Paris to help the U.S. energy industry and American workers. If Washington were to up and leave, Beijing would fill the leadership vacuum. It isn’t wise to cede that ground.

“Neither America nor the world can afford a European energy future, with skyrocketing prices, or a Chinese energy future, with bureaucratic control and unfair dumping of state-subsidized resources.

“If Mr. Trump can fix Paris, it will be an example of the emerging Trump Doctrine. He would manage to get international credit for staying in the talks and ensuring they aren’t led by China, while at the same time protecting America’s economy.”

CONTINUE READING –>

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