Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #354

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week: “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth, if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” – Leo Tolstoy [William Readdy]

Number of the Week: Up to 100 times more

Why I Don’t “believe” In …: Judith Curry brought up a thoughtful essay by Robert Tracinski illustrating how politicians and the like try to persuade others to accept their views by manipulating meaningful terms to the point of rendering the terms meaningless. Currently it is fashionable to invoke the term “science” to justify one’s political policies and beliefs.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #353

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Letter to President Trump: On March 18, under the leadership of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and The Heartland Institute, about forty independent organizations and over one hundred individuals sent a letter to Donald Trump supporting the proposed President’s Commission on Climate Security under the direction of William Happer of the National Security Council staff. Robert Bradley posted the entire letter on the web site Master Resource. A few key points are quoted below:

“The commission would consist of a small number of distinguished experts on climate-related science and national security. It would be charged with conducting an independent, high-level review of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and other official reports relating to climate and its implications for national security. Its deliberations would be subject to the transparency requirements of the Federal Advisory Committees Act.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #350

The Week That Was: March 2, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.” – Richard Feynman, “The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist”.

Number of the Week: 99.99997% Certainty

It’s Not Real, It’s Puccini: Last week’s TWTW discussed that in order to fully enjoy certain types of art, such as opera and some movies, members of the audience must suspend reality. Similarly, to believe certain claims by climate scientists, one must suspend reality – including knowledge of nature. As if on cue, the Nature publishing group came out with two papers that require suspending reality and knowledge of nature.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #349

The Week That Was: February 23, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Don’t pay attention to ‘authorities,’ think for yourself.’” – Richard Feynman, “The Quotable Feynman”

Number of the Week: Not €1.57 billion, but closer to €7 billion

The Greenhouse Effect: this is the first in a series on the greenhouse effect as it is being measured in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases are nearly transparent to sunlight but partially opaque to thermal radiation from Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is a predicted warming of the surface and lower atmosphere and a cooling of the stratosphere and upper atmosphere as the concentration of greenhouse gases increases. The most important greenhouse gas is water vapor, H2O. Carbon dioxide, CO2, is of lesser importance. Nitrous oxide, N2O, and methane, CH4, make only minor contributions to greenhouse warming. The most abundant gases in the atmosphere, nitrogen, N2, and oxygen, O2, are not greenhouse gases since they are nearly transparent to both sunlight and thermal radiation. There is no doubt that the greenhouse effect exists, but there is considerable uncertainty about how large it is.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #347

The Week That Was: February 9, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week:On specific energy and climate issues I’m guided by what the data tell me, not by claims made in the scientific literature. This is why you will find me disagreeing with most of the ‘consensus’ views on climate change but not all of them. My main concern for the future of my three grandchildren isn’t climate change, but that the misguided efforts of the people who want to save the world from it will leave them freezing in the dark.” – Roger Andrews, RIP.

Number of the Week: 1.4 million barrels per day (b/d)

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #346

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Influence of Greenhouse Gases: The past two TWTWs discussed that when liquid water changes phases and turns into a gas, water vapor, it absorbs heat energy, which is not measured by temperature. By convention, the energy is called latent heat. Most, but not all, of the idealized process takes place in the tropics or what was once labeled the Torrid Zone, lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. In the idealized model, solar energy transports the water vapor to the top of the troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) where the water vapor condenses into rain, or freezes into ice, releasing the latent heat.

This idealized process, which TWTW called the weather engine, apparently accounted for a major amplification of the greenhouse gas effect emphasized by climate modelers discussed in the 1979 Charney Report. The speculated impact is called the “hot spot” and is common to global climate models. As TWTW previously discussed, 40 years of comprehensive atmospheric temperature trends and 60 years of more narrow weather balloon temperature measurements by separate instruments do not reveal an unusual rate of warming at the speculated (hypothesized) region. Thus, the prediction fails and one should no longer assume the speculated warming exists.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #345

The Week That Was: 2019-01-26,Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers.”— Bernhard Haisch, astrophysicist [H/t William Readdy]

Number of the Week: 250 Million MW short

Observations or Theory? Last week’s TWTW discussed the weather engine, a process illustrated in a graph in the Kiehl and Trenberth’s paper on the “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget.” Energy from the sun causes water vapor and evapotranspiration to rise in the atmosphere, then condense into liquid water (or ice) in the upper troposphere giving off latent heat centered about 9 to 11 km (30,000 to 36,000 feet). This was the apparent source of the tropical “hot spot” used by climate modelers and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers. It provided the argument in the 1979 Charney Report that an increase water vapor would dramatically increase the greenhouse gas effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).

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