By Ken Haapala, President
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Where’s the Water Vapor? Tim Ball was a student of H.H. Lamb, who pioneered the modern study of climate change before it was taken over by those promoting dangerous global warming caused by carbon dioxide (CO2). Ball has worked with the wealth of meteorological data compiled by the naturalists employed by Hudson Bay Company. These data cover much of inland Canada as well as the Hudson Bay, roughly from the early 1700s to the late 1800s. They demonstrate that climate change is not unusual. These data are ignored by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
In a recent post, Ball questions why the most important greenhouse gas, water vapor, is missing from the IPCC reports. He states:
“I will focus on water vapour because it is the least measured, least understood, and yet critical to the entire basis of the warming due to human interference in the greenhouse gas theory.”
“The obsessive political objective was to isolate and demonize CO2 from human sources as the cause of global warming. This was primarily achieved by directing the controlled group of unaccountable people, mostly bureaucrats, to only consider human-causes of climate change. That eliminates the Sun because, as King Canute showed, there are things that no leader (person) can control.”
However, multiple laboratory experiments, dating back for almost a century show that effect of CO2 on temperatures is very limited. The famous 1979 Charney Report contained a claim made by climate modelers that strong positive feedback from atmospheric water vapor which would cause a warming far beyond that possible by CO2. It was impossible to test the claim in 1979 because the method of calculating atmospheric temperatures from measurements of the atmosphere taken by satellites had not yet been developed.
However repeated tests of atmospheric temperatures by John Christy, et al. have failed to show the strong positive feedback. As Ball states:
“I accept the argument that this sounds theoretically sound, but it is not supported by empirical evidence. It does not allow for negative feedback, for example, as more clouds form changing the albedo. Regardless, there is no empirical data and the only data they have is generated in a computer model. The outcome is determined by the data used to construct the model but there is no meaningful data or even good estimates. The sequence then is data is produced using models for which there is no data and the outcome is then used in models for which there is no data. The amount of water vapor increase suddenly becomes important in their narrative. But how much increased evaporation was necessary to create appositive feedback. How can they determine the amount if you don’t know what the original volume was or how it changes over time? Let me put a number on my opening claim. It is probable that even a 1% variation in atmospheric water vapor equals or exceeds all the effects of human sourced CO2.”
Other than in the bureaucratic science of the IPCC, poorly tested models creating data is not considered rigorous science. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.
Quote of the Week. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sherlock Holmes [Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H/t Tim Ball]
Independent Testing: The May 5 TWTW discussed four areas in which the global climate models appear deficient: 1) logic; 2) methodology (procedures used); 3) improper data (use of surface data rather than atmospheric data); and 4) extraneous data (leading to biases). Although it is embargoed until May 14, James Wallace requested that this TWTW discuss a new paper by Wallace, D’Aleo, and Idso, using techniques well established in econometrics to eliminate extraneous data from the satellite temperature record. The reviewers of the paper, “Comment on ‘Examination of space-based bulk atmospheric temperatures used in climate research’ by John R. Christy et al.” include Alan Carlin, Harold Doiron, Richard Keen, Anthony Lupo, Tom Sheahen, chairman of SEPP, and George Wolff.
The Wallace, D’Aleo & Idso paper focuses on the data published by John R. Christy, Roy W. Spencer, William D. Braswell and Robert Junod of the Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, but does not include the most recent adjustments to that data – that is the adjustments for orbital drift occurring in the 1990s. The orbital drift gave a spurious warming. Two adjustments are unnecessary and may give misleading results.
The major purpose of the Wallace paper is to confront the EPA finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare by causing dangerous global warming. Thus, the paper performs detailed analyses which some scientists may consider unnecessary. Many of the elements supporting the endangerment finding have already been abandoned by the IPCC, without it so declaring, and belief in the proclaimed certainty of the global climate models is eroding rapidly.
But the inertia of bureaucratic science continues within the EPA and many other government agencies. We see this inertia with:
1) The 2017 “interim” report of the USGCRP, which proclaimed drastic sea level rise, based on new measurement instruments that had not been calibrated with traditional instrument measurements. These “accelerating” sea level rise claims are being used by municipalities such as New York City, Oakland, and now, King County (Seattle), Washington, against oil companies
2) Personal attacks on the reputations of those who disagree with the findings of IPCC and the USGCRP.
The Wallace et al. report is not superfluous.
Further, independent testing is welcome, because the IPCC’s testing of its models is extremely weak. It is largely meaningless because the IPCC removes a variable from the model and shows the model then fails to calculate the data used. But this does not mean that the values of the variables used in the complete model are correct, or reasonably close to accurate. In the view of TWTW, many variables needed for understanding natural variation are not used.
The Wallace, et al. paper addresses the Tropical Hot Spot, which was called the distinct human fingerprint in IPCC second assessment report (1996) even though no published paper had appeared with such a claim. (Subsequently, a paper was published by Benjamin Santer, et al.) However, no pronounced warming centered about 10km above the tropics is been found in 38 years of atmospheric measurements. (This finding is a repeat of the April 2017 paper by Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo).
More importantly, the Wallace team uses econometric structural analysis to eliminate the effects of solar changes, volcanic activity, and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on satellite data from the start of the satellite record in 1979 to 2016. There is an issue of simultaneity – when the oceans warm they give up carbon dioxide. In two or more equations, temperatures (or CO2) can appear as a dependent variable and an independent variable. Simultaneous equations provide a technique for addressing the problem. [In his movie, Al Gore got the simultaneity problem wrong. He assumed CO2 increases caused oceans to warm. Detailed ice core studies reveal that oceans warm first, followed by increases in CO2.]
To address the influence of ENSO, the authors use NOAA’s Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) These data go back to 1950, but to be consistent with satellite temperature measurements, this discussion is limited to starting in 1979.
To give the data a better fit, less calculated error, the analysis uses a step analysis with the step occurring in 1995. Such analyses are common to econometrics.
Using these techniques, the Wallace paper finds that there is no statistically significant warming of the atmosphere since comprehensive measurements began in 1979. In short, no greenhouse gas warming from CO2, water vapor, a combination of both, or a combination of all greenhouse gases.
This is not to say that decades of laboratory experiments are wrong, but merely that we have not been able to identify greenhouse gas warming. The endangerment finding is premature, at best, and possibly totally wrong. So are the regulations regarding other greenhouse gases and the fear CO2 instilled by the IPCC, et al.
Links to the Wallace et al. study will be provided next week. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/#discussion.
Confusing Beliefs With Character: In 2016, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of a group of attorneys general to combat global warming by suing oil companies. According to the press release they were “committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combatting climate change.”
“The participating states are exploring working together on key climate change-related initiatives, such as ongoing and potential investigations into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change on their businesses. In 2015, New York State reached a historic settlement with Peabody Energy – the world’s largest publicly traded coal company – concerning the company’s misleading financial statements and disclosures. New York is also investigating ExxonMobil for similar alleged conduct.
“Many of the states in the coalition have worked together on previous multi-state environmental efforts, including pressing the EPA to limit climate change pollution from fossil-fueled electric power plants, defending federal rules controlling climate change emissions from large industrial facilities, and pushing for federal controls on emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry.”
These AGs have initiated several lawsuits against oil companies, which named individuals claimed to be paid by oil companies yet gave no evidence. SEPP, and past chairmen Fred Singer, and Fredrick Seitz have been so name. Many of the claims are wild, such as drastic sea level rise of more than 4 feet (1.3 meters) by the end of the century. Apparently, the so-called “Green 20” care little for veracity or evidence.
On May 3, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) won an important decision in the New York Court of Appeals that the AG’s office must turn over communications the AG hoped to hide under the guise of “attorney-client privilege.”
A few days later, on an unrelated issue, AG Schneiderman fell from grace. Many supporters were shocked. Apparently, they confuse political beliefs with moral character.
As described by Manhattan attorney Francis Menton, and others, for decades the New York AGs have been using a previously little known 1921 New York law called the “Martin Act” to extort money from companies that are not politically favored. Proof of intent is not needed, only false statements or omissions by the company. No doubt, Wall Street firms need solid policing, but what about Mr. Gore’s false evidence from ice cores showing CO2 increases cause temperature increases?
King County (Seattle), in Washington State (Puget Sound) just filed a public nuisance complaint claiming dire increases in temperatures up to 8.6°F (4.5°C), sea level rise to 4.5 feet (1.4 meters). The suit discusses the 2017 report by the USGCRP and states the following regarding the Charney Report:
“84. By 1979, the National Academy of Sciences, which is charged with providing independent, objective scientific advice to the United States government, concluded that there was “incontrovertible evidence” that carbon dioxide levels were increasing in the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel use, and predicted that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would cause an increase in global surface temperatures of between 1.5°C and 4.5°C (2.7°F and 8.1°F), with a probable increase of 3°C (5.4°F).”
It’s interesting to see how the models used to make the “predictions” were tested, since there were no comprehensive atmospheric temperatures in 1979. See Article # 2 and links under Litigation Issues.
No Bonding in Bonn: The festivities of the UN Framework Convention ON Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn closed. According to the Secretariat’s web site:
“The roughly 500 staff of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn works towards the goal set out in the Framework Convention and in the Kyoto Protocol, namely to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.”
The May 11 press release stated:
“’I am satisfied that some progress was made here in Bonn. But many voices are underlining the urgency of advancing more rapidly on finalizing the operational guidelines. The package being negotiated is highly technical and complex. We need to put it in place so that the world can monitor progress on climate action,’ said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change.”
Number of the Week: 11.9 million barrels per day (b/d), 220% higher The Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook reported: “EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.7 million b/d in 2018, up from 9.4 million b/d in 2017, and will average11.9 million b/d in 2019, 0.4 million b/d higher than forecast in the April STEO.”
In 2009, the U.S. Crude Oil Production averaged 5.5 million b/d. The 2019 estimate is 220% higher than 2009. In 1977, Haapala was under a government contract to evaluate the models used to predict the world would run out of oil and the US out of natural gas around 2000. He reported that the models were incapable of making such predictions, and why. Global climate models have similar problems. His report disappeared in the bureaucratic science of the time.
We are fortunate that independent oil and gas producers did not believe government models and predictions. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
1. California Takes Big Step to Require Solar on New Homes
State would be first in U.S. to mandate solar arrays on most residences, starting in 2020
By Erin Ailworth, WSJ, May 9, 2018
SUMMARY: According to the journalist: “California took a major step Wednesday toward becoming the first state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes, the latest sign of how renewable energy is gaining ground in the U.S.
“The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve a mandate that residential buildings up to three stories high, including single-family homes and condos, be built with solar installations starting in 2020.
“The commission estimates that the move, along with other energy-efficiency requirements, would add $9,500 to the average cost of building a home in California. The state is already one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, with a median price of nearly $565,000 for a single-family home, according to the California Association of Realtors.
“Still, the change appears to have broad support from home builders as well as California leaders and solar advocates.
“Nationally, solar power makes up less than 2% of U.S. electricity output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But it is rising because of large solar farms as well as rooftop solar arrays on homes and businesses.
“Renewable-energy technologies, in general, are gaining market share in the power sector as their costs go down, along with natural gas, which has become plentiful and cheap due to fracking.
“California has often been a bellwether on U.S. environmental and energy efficiency issues, with states such as Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York sometimes following its lead. But some experts were skeptical that California’s solar-panel mandate would widely influence policies elsewhere.
After discussing praise from some, the journalist writes:
“Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at the University of California, Berkeley, said he thought the state was making a mistake by approving this mandate instead of prioritizing larger solar farms, which are more economical. The state’s policy will be difficult for other states and countries to follow, he said.
“’Every energy economist I know is shaking their head at this,” he said. “In many ways this is setting the wrong example.’
“The policy would provide a big boost to California’s residential solar industry, which saw a slowdown last year.
“An Energy Commission study forecasts that overall solar demand in California would rise by as much as 15% annually, given that California’s low-rise residential housing stock increases by about 2% annually.
“But it is likely to create challenges for California as more electricity generation takes place at homes, said Joe Osha, senior analyst at JMP Securities. That is problematic for power companies because they have to deal with the excess power coming on transmission lines from residences.
“’This is more bad news and challenges for the utilities,’ Mr. Osha said.
The solar proposal, part of an update of the state’s energy efficiency building codes, needs final approval from the California Building Standards Commission. But that panel has traditionally adopted Energy Commission recommendations, officials said.
In the generally glowing report, these was not discussion of the problems facing the California Systems Operator in balancing the load, unloading solar power mid-day in the summer and how much it will cost the consumers.
2. Why N.Y. Pols Aren’t World Class
Too much conformity makes it easy for the Empire State’s fakers and role players.
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, May 8, 2018
SUMMARY: The columnist begins by quoting the final scene in the 1954 movie “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” where a Rear Admiral asks: “Where do we get such men?” Jenkins continues:
“Admittedly it’s only from a deeply perverse sense of irony that this quote, from a movie about World War II veterans giving up their burgeoning civilian lives to fight the Korean War, often has come back to me while watching the career of New York state’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Politicians, by definition, spend their careers claiming to be motivated by the higher good, not personal ambition. They are professional liars in this sense. We forgive them. We understand why it must be so. But even by today’s lax standards, Mr. Schneiderman was prolific.
“Where do we get such men?
His office pumped out two or three press releases into my inbox every day, highlighting his use of his law-enforcement powers to confront individuals or businesses that mainly were on the wrong side of some prevailing Manhattan political correctness.
“Facebook, fuel-economy standards, the Russia investigation, Harvey Weinstein, anything involving EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt —there was no subject in the news that was so far afield from the concerns of New York law that Mr. Schneiderman couldn’t justify rushing out a statement or preferably announcing some sort of pseudo-action (often in the form of “filing comments” if not an actual lawsuit).
“’A.G. Schneiderman To Trump Administration: Don’t Drill On Our Coast,’ went one recent press announcement, not even bothering to state a basis in New York law for the attorney general’s interest in the matter.
“His short-lived case against Exxon was a fabulous example of his method: Adopt the views of Manhattan liberals who are ornamentally passionate about a subject that they bother to know nothing about, in this case the uncertainties inherent in climate predictions.
File a lawsuit and then discover, by opening the first page of any report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that Exxon was right: Climate prediction is replete with uncertainties.
“If Donald Trump was sent to make our existing political class look good by comparison, he’s failing. His flogging of the birther conspiracy, in retrospect, now appears merely opportunistic, dishonest and campy in comparison to the Democrats’ opportunistic, dishonest and malignant flogging of the Russia conspiracy theory.
“Abuses of law as instruments of partisan politics first became a stock in trade of state attorneys general 20 years ago, and nowhere more enthusiastically than in New York. Mr. Schneiderman’s efforts to ride the Russia express, though unavailing, have included promoting a constitutionally dubious proposal to repeal double jeopardy in New York so the state can prosecute people who receive presidential pardons.
“As with his predecessor Eliot Spitzer, the interesting question about Mr. Schneiderman quickly became: How will the great American experiment in self-governance, in order to remain great, bring his cynical, demagogic career to an end? Mr. Spitzer got as far as the governor’s office before succumbing to a prostitution scandal. Mr. Schneiderman resigned Monday after allegations published in the New Yorker magazine that he had hit, choked and threatened women he dated.
“The New York Times noted with understatement: ‘Mr. Schneiderman was widely seen as harboring ambitions to be governor.’ No kidding. Lachrymosely the Times editorial page added that he would now join a ‘sorry list of once-rising stars in New York’s Democratic Party whose careers imploded amid allegations of personal misconduct, including former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former Congressman Anthony Weiner.’
“Unmentioned is how New York’s one-note political culture brings exactly this result on itself. There are no complexities, no ambiguities, no conflicting views to consider or conciliate. Just adopt the catechism and go. This is the formula for a career in New York politics. As the paper’s editorial page demonstrates on a daily basis, hardly is there even a limit on the amount of self-righteousness that will be tolerated as long as you internalize the correct checklist of things to be self-righteous about.
“It’s an environment abnormally conducive to persons who lack real political instincts, talents and convictions, who make their way by being more loudly conformist than the next guy. Mr. Schneiderman tweeted Monday that, while he never assaulted anyone, ‘in the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing.’ Where do we get such men? Their role-playing, paint-by-numbers political careers are a product of New York’s warped one-party politics.”