Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Debunking the New York Times' faith in climate models

Warmist journalist Justin Gillis of the NYT is answering questions as part of the live coverage of the UN climate summit, his first question below is a good one:
"Why Should We Trust Climate Models? Despite decades of work with climate models, science has failed to produce a single model with any predictive value. Why should we trust them? Clearly they don’t work."
Followed by Gillis' apologist response, and the HS rebuttal submitted [still in "moderation"]

United Nations General Assembly
SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 11:49 AM


Why Should We Trust Climate Models?

Q : Despite decades of work with climate models, science has failed to produce a single model with any predictive value. Why should we trust them? Clearly they don’t work.

Asked by KeMa

A. Thanks for the question, but your statement is dubious. Climate models have proven to have quite a bit of predictive value. In the first paper on global warming, published in 1896, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius constructed a simple set of equations predicting that the earth would warm from the carbon dioxide humans were pumping into the atmosphere; it took 80 years to be sure he was right, but he was. In the 1960s, the first truly elaborate climate models predicted that the Arctic would warm faster than the earth as a whole; that turned out to be correct. Early climate models predicted that the higher levels of the atmosphere would cool as the lower levels warmed; that turned out to be correct. In the 1980s and 1990s, climate models predicted that we would start to get more intense rains as global warming proceeded; that turned out to be correct. There are many, many examples like this.

What is true, however, is that modern climate models are not very good at predicting short-term climatic variations that are influenced by natural cycles like El Niño and La Niña; they were not designed to do this. For that reason, the models did not foresee the slowdown in global warming that has occurred over the past 15 years or so.

Scientists would certainly like to improve the models to the point that they can make such short-term predictions, and some of them think they are closing in on the goal. All climate scientists acknowledge imperfections in the models, but far from hiding this, they talk about it endlessly in huge scientific conferences that anyone can attend.

Hockey Schtick

 Interglacial, CA 


1. Arrhenius proven wrong by Robert W. Wood's classic experiment in 1909, not the way the "greenhouse effect" actually works


2. Climate models actually predicted Antarctic sea ice would decline more than Arctic sea ice, and more warming in Antarctica. Instead the reverse has occurred with record high Antarctic sea ice.

3. Models predicted mid-upper toposphere would warm more than surface to create a "hot spot." Didn't happen, hasn't been found after 60 years of balloon and 35 years of satellite observations.

4. Models predicted decrease in outgoing LWIR radiation, the opposite occurred over past 62 years

5. Clausius-Clapayron relation, not models based on parameterizations,  predicted 7% increase in precipitation per 1C warming, only 1-2% increase observed. 

6. You are right that models are unable to model ocean oscillations, natural variability, clouds, convection, gravity waves, atmospheric oscillations, solar amplification mechanisms, etc.

7. They are not closing in on the goal," and that's why two paper published last month say the current crop of models need to be abandoned in favor of a whole new approach of stochastic modeling.


8. That's why all the models are overheated and have been falsified at confidence levels of 95-98%+


9. RichWa's comment below on belief in model ensenbles & independence debunked:



 is a trusted commenter Banks, OR 19 minutes ago
One should also be aware that we are not talking about trusting a single model but rather the results of numerous models. The fact that booth NASA and NOAA have shown this, 2014, to be the warmest summer on record, with each using a different methology in making this determination increases the scientific proof that 2014 is the warmest summer of record. The fact that different methods of climate modeling all show the same and/or similar results enhances the probablity of the overall conclusions regarding how we are affecting climate.

New report shows the futility of Obama's CO2 cuts, China is in control

A NYT article today by Andrew Revkin "Shows China’s Central Role in Shaping World’s Climate Path," which for those who believe man-made CO2 is the control knob of climate [not me], illustrates the futility of Obama's EPA plan to cut US CO2 emissions an additional 30% by 2030, and bankrupting cheap electricity from coal in the process. 

The reasons include:

  • US emissions have already been decreasing at the same rate as proposed by the EPA without any intervention at all and at the same linear rate shown by the added lines on Revkin's graph below are on target for a 2 Gigaton/year decrease by 2030 [before EPA intervention].

  • Conversely, China is on target to increase CO2 emissions by 9 Gigatons/year by 2030, and India to increase emissions by 2.5 Gigatons/year by 2030, a total of 11.5 Gigatons/year increase by 2030. 

  • The painful US sacrifice of 2 Gt/yr CO2 emissions is only 17% of the increased emissions from the developing 3rd world countries of China and India, a drop in the bucket that will have no noticeable effect. The leaders of both China and India will not be attending this weeks UN Climate Summit, India's Prime Minister is being called a climate skeptic by The Guardian and is rightfully far more interested in bringing cheap and reliable electricity to his people. Nether China nor India has any concrete plan to reduce CO2 emissions, just lip service, thus are unlikely to do so or to follow Obama's wishful "lead."
Bottom line is, no matter how much Obama delivers on his promises to make US electricity prices "skyrocket," "bankrupt the coal industry," and to force unreliable & expensive green energy down our throats, it will clearly be all pain and no gain, even for the CAGW true believers. 

Linear extrapolations of recent trends added to NYT graph

From The Economist, the surprising major sources of CO2 emission [equivalents] reductions include China's one-child policy, the Montreal Protocol [since debunked], and hydropower [debunked]

New CO2 Emissions Report Shows China’s Central Role in Shaping World’s Climate Path

report from the Global Carbon Project shows China's soaring trajectory for heat-trapping carbon dioxide.Credit Global Carbon Project
While President Obama and more than 100 other heads of state are expected to participate in the United Nations Climate Summit today, President Xi Jinping of China, the country making by far the biggest contribution to the atmospheric buildup of greenhouse gases, will not appear.
That’s just one indication of the enormous roadblocks facing those trying to press for a strong new global agreement on stemming global warming in negotiations next year. (For more on the roadblocks, read the recent Op-Ed article by Robert N. Stavins, who heads the environmental economics program at the Harvard Kennedy School.)
Chris Buckley, a longtime China correspondent for The Times, has written a valuable piece for the Sinosphere blog on China’s central role in propelling, and possibly slowing, the buildup of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. The post centers on an interview with Glen Peters, a scientist who is one of the authors of this year’s Global Carbon Budget report, tracking emissions trends for carbon dioxide from energy and cement production. Here are several excerpts and a link to the rest:

The view from a coal-fired power plant in China's Hunan Province in June.Credit Jason Lee/Reuters
In the latest Global Carbon Budget, China seems to figure even more prominently than ever. Why is that? After all, it’s not the only country emitting carbon dioxide. Many wealthy countries have higher average emissions per person.
China has undergone unprecedented economic and structural changes in the last decades, and this is also true for carbon dioxide emissions. In 2002, China emitted around 14 percent of global emissions and the International Energy Agency wrote that in 2030 Chinese emissions would remain well below those of the United States.
Since then, Chinese emissions have grown at around 8 percent per year, passing the United States in emissions in 2006. China now emits 28 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than the United States and European Union combined, and almost double the emissions of the United States alone. China has per-capita emissions 45 percent over the global average, and higher per-capita emissions than the European Union. Sixty percent of the growth in global emissions since 2002 is due to China. Even though China has emitted less in total than the United States and European Union since pre-industrial times, the gap is fast closing. The major changes are all happening in China, and the world’s eyes are therefore on China….
So what does your most recent research tell you about where China’s carbon emissions could be headed, and how much they’ll have to bend to give the world a chance of meeting the two-degree target?
Since China is responsible for almost 30 percent of current global emissions and emissions continue robust growth, to have any realistic chance of keeping below two degrees requires strong action by China. We estimate that the remaining emission quota to stay below two degrees Celsius requires China to reduce emissions at around 8 to 10 percent per year and this is, in many cases, greater than the mitigation challenge for the United States. By comparison, the transition to nuclear energy in France, Belgium and Sweden in the 1980s led to reductions of 4 percent per year, but they only lasted for a decade. The mitigation challenge for China is immense.
That sounds daunting. Could you explain the implications? Many Chinese scientists and officials say that China’s carbon emissions are likely to keep growing until at least around 2025, and possibly many years after that. But you’re saying that keeping to a two-degree goal will demand much faster, deeper cuts from China, not to speak of the rest of the world. Is that right?
There is a broad misconception of what it means to keep below two degrees. Most analyses use models that have very optimistic assumptions about the implementation of carbon pricing globally and the availability of key technologies like carbon capture and storage. Analyses also focus on what happens at the global level, hiding country-specific details. This gives the impression that mitigation is easy once there is sufficient political and societal support.
The engineering reality on the ground is likely to be quite different. While China is moving forward with stronger and stronger climate policies, it is unclear if China’s current level of ambition is consistent with keeping global warming below two degrees. The arithmetic of the small remaining emission quota means that the more China emits, the less others can emit. This brings issues of equity and fairness directly into the debate. Despite positive progress in Chinese climate policy, the reality is that, to be consistent with two degrees, a peak and decline in Chinese emissions will have to occur sooner and faster.
You’ve said that, given the failure of advanced countries to do much more in cutting emissions, China has a chance to lead the way in the climate negotiations. But how could it make the kind of emissions reductions you have in mind without hurting its economy? As you know, there’s a great deal of reluctance in China to making changes that could put economic growth at risk.
Each country has its own historical context, which often psychologically constrains options moving forward. Norway is among the richest nations in the world but does not see a path away from its dependence on oil and gas extraction. In contrast, its immediate neighbors Denmark, Sweden and Finland have been almost as successful, but without oil and gas.
There are many ways that a country can find its riches. The secret for China is to make itself a part of the solution. It is clear that to keep below two degrees requires massive new investments in renewable technologies, batteries, electric cars, and carbon capture and storage. A bold move forward will ensure these technologies are “Made in China,” with the riches to closely follow.

New paper predicts fewer hurricanes and cyclones in the future

A paper published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society adds to many other papers finding increased CO2 and warmer climates are expected to lead to fewer hurricanes and tropical cyclones, the opposite of the scaremongering from climate alarmists. 

Warming, if it resumes again after the 18-26 year "pause" in global surface temperatures, tending to decrease the temperature differences or gradients between the equator and the poles, and it is temperature differences [not absolute temperatures] that lead to extreme weather including cyclones and hurricanes, explaining why the models predict fewer hurricanes in a warmer climate. 

Hurricanes and climate: the U.S. CLIVAR working group on hurricanes

Kevin J.E. WalshSuzana J. CamargoGabriel A. VecchiAnne Sophie DalozJames ElsnerKerry Emanuel,Michael HornYoung-Kwon LimMalcolm RobertsChristina PatricolaEnrico ScoccimarroAdam H. Sobel,Sarah StrazzoGabriele VillariniMichael WehnerMing ZhaoJames P. KossinTim LaRowKazuyoshi OouchiSiegfried SchubertHui WangJulio BacmeisterPing ChangFabrice ChauvinChristiane JablonowskiArun KumarHiroyuki MurakamiTomoaki OseKevin A. ReedR. SaravananY. Yamada,Colin M. ZarzyckiPier Luigi VidaleJeffrey A. Jonas and Naomi Henderson

While a quantitative climate theory of tropical cyclone formation remains elusive, considerable progress has been made recently in our ability to simulate tropical cyclone climatologies and understand the relationship between climate and tropical cyclone formation. Climate models are now able to simulate a realistic rate of global tropical cyclone formation, although simulation of the Atlantic tropical cyclone climatology remains challenging unless horizontal resolutions finer than 50 km are employed. This article summarizes published research from the idealized experiments of the Hurricane Working Group of U.S. CLIVAR (CLImate VARiability and predictability of the ocean-atmosphere system). This work, combined with results from other model simulations, has strengthened relationships between tropical cyclone formation rates and climate variables such as mid-tropospheric vertical velocity, with decreased climatological vertical velocities leading to decreased tropical cyclone formation. Systematic differences are shown between experiments in which only sea surface temperature is increased versus experiments where only atmospheric carbon dioxide is increased, with the carbon dioxide experiments more likely to demonstrate the decrease in tropical cyclone numbers previously shown to be a common response of climate models in a warmer climate. Experiments where the two effects are combined also show decreases in numbers, but these tend to be less for models that demonstrate a strong tropical cyclone response to increased sea surface temperatures. Further experiments are proposed that may improve our understanding of the relationship between climate and tropical cyclone formation, including experiments with two-way interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere and variations in atmospheric aerosols.

New paper finds low-CO2 US drought in 1934 was the most extreme of past Millennium

A paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters finds the Western North America dust bowl drought of the low-CO2 year 1934 was the most extreme drought by far of the past Millennium. In addition, the low-CO2 1934 heat, drought and extreme weather was a global phenomenon, not limited to the US. 

How did the most extreme drought by far over the past Millennium and global heat, drought, and extreme weather happen when the man-made CO2 'control knob' was out of commission? Could it possibly be that natural forces/forcing dominates the climate and man-made CO2 is not the 'control knob' on decadal or even centennial timeframes?

US Severe Drought Down 90% Since 1934

Eighty years ago, severe drought covered most of the US, but now covers less than 5% of the country. 

The Worst North American Drought Year of the Last Millennium: 1934

Benjamin I Cook, Richard Seager, and Jason E Smerdon

During the summer of 1934, over 70% of Western North America experienced extreme drought, placing this summer far outside the normal range of drought variability and making 1934 the single worst drought year of the last millennium. Strong atmospheric ridging along the West Coast suppressed cold season precipitation across the Northwest, Southwest, and California, a circulation pattern similar to the winters of 1976–1977 and 2013–2014. In the spring and summer, the drying spread tothe Midwest and Central Plains, driven by severe precipitation deficits downwind from regions of major dust storm activity, consistent with previous work linking drying during the Dust Bowl to anthropogenic dust aerosol forcing. Despite a moderate La Niña, contributions from sea surface temperature forcing were small, suggesting that the anomalous 1934 drought was primarily a consequence of atmospheric [natural] variability, possibly amplified by dust forcing that intensified and spread the drought across nearly all of Western North America.

Monday, September 22, 2014

WSJ debunks Malthusian UN study claiming population bomb by 2100: "Could easily be a dud"

The New Population Boom Could Easily Be a Dud

A high-profile study predicts as many as 12.3 billion people on earth by 2100. Human behavior may not cooperate.

Sept. 22, 2014        THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The steady slowdown in world population growth in recent decades has dimmed interest in what was once called "the population question." But now concern, even alarm, about global population growth may have been reawakened by a widely publicized new study in the journal Science.

The study warns that the current expert consensus, which envisions the world's population stabilizing over the coming century, is likely wrong. Applying elegant and innovative demographic techniques for long-range population projections, the study concludes: "There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100."

If global population were to hit the upper boundary of that range, human numbers would leap by more than five billion over the rest of the century—a larger absolute gain than during the entire 20th-century population surge.

The study's 14 co-authors are largely drawn from the U.N. Population Division, a respected demographic unit separate from U.N. policy-making authorities, and co-author John Wilmoth, the division's chief, is renowned in his field. With that pedigree, the study will be taken seriously in scientific and policy circles. And it is all but certain to reignite Malthusian debates about the race between mouths and food, and to re-energize the international population-planning activists who castigate governments and aid donors for their complacency about the global demographic threat.

No doubt the study will also color the climate-change debate—after all, billions more consumers will mean even greater greenhouse-gas emissions. Count on the Science study to figure prominently at this week's climate-change summit during the U.N. General Assembly.

Yet some skepticism is in order. In technical terms, the innovation that made this study worthy of publication in a flagship scientific journal is its use of probabilisticlong-term population projections. Conventional population projections—including those by the U.N. Population Division—typically offer high-, medium-, or low-variant scenarios. But these are only meant to illustrate plausible future paths, without making claims about the likelihood of ultimate outcomes. By contrast, the new projection (using Bayesian probability, for the 18th-century mathematician Thomas Bayes ), assigns odds to future scenarios, based on past and current experience.

In the Science study, the main reason for concluding that the world's population will most likely continue to rise is sub-Saharan Africa. At an estimated five-plus births per woman, average fertility today is well over twice as high for sub-Saharan Africa as for the rest of the world. Between 1950 and the present, the region's numbers more than quintupled, jumping by almost 800 million (to nearly one billion) and accounting for about a fifth of the overall growth in human numbers. In the new probabilistic projections, sub-Sahara's population would account for practically all world-wide population growth for the rest of the century—and could end up with four billion or five billion-plus people by 2100.

The key question: Does this probabilistic approach increase the accuracy of our long-term perspective on population? The short answer: no. The basic trouble with all long-range population projections is that they are driven by assumptions about birth levels—and there is still no reliable method for predicting fertility levels a generation from now, to say nothing of a century hence. Demographers are even hard-pressed to explain historical fertility patterns.

Half a century ago, in the early 1960s, East Asia's overall fertility level was about 5.5 births per woman; today, according to the U.N. Population Division, it is about 1.6 per woman—70% lower. In scope, scale and speed, nothing like this decline had happened in human history. Bayesian projections would never have regarded that outcome as likely, just as they would have most likely missed the startling 70% drop in fertility in Iran between the early 1980s and early 2000s.

Unlike contemporary fruit flies or red deer or any other species, modern homo sapiens exhibit demographic rhythms that are new and fundamentally unfamiliar from our past experience. Around the world we see record high life expectancies, record low birth rates, and record speeds in improving health conditions or effecting family change. Under such circumstances, modeling the demographic future is more difficult than ever.

Fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa has to date been more halting and tentative than in any other major region in the world. Using that past performance as the basis for projecting future fertility trends shouldn't inspire confidence. Currently sub-Saharan fertility levels are twice as high as what would be needed for long-term population stability, and the authors of the Science study assume that the region will remain a demographic exception for generations. Maybe that will prove correct—but maybe it won't.

Some variables to consider: In 2000 a third of Africa's women of childbearing age (15-49) had a high-school education or better; researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna anticipate that by 2050 the figure will be 70%. Also around 2050, the U.N. Population Division projects that life expectancy at birth will average nearly 70 for the sub-Saharan region, up almost a decade and a half from today.

If such changes come to pass—changes that have corresponded with lower birth rates elsewhere in the world—would Africa still remain resistant to fertility decline? Some would reply that cultural tradition and related factors will continue to support high fertility rates, and those voices may ultimately be right. But that same argument was made about the greater Middle East not so long ago—and we now know how mistaken the assumption of unchanging "family values" was.

Global fertility is a matter of human volition, and no computational breakthrough can alter this fundamental fact. The ability to make reasonably precise guesses about the fertility patterns of the unborn, not to mention their children and grandchildren, is one we manifestly lack.

Mr. Eberstadt is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

New paper says IPCC climate models are basically worthless to project regional climate change

A paper published today in Nature Geoscience finds 
"nearly everything we have any confidence in when it comes to climate change is related to global patterns of surface temperature, which are primarily controlled by thermodynamics. In contrast, we have much less confidence in atmospheric circulation aspects of climate change, which are primarily controlled by dynamics and exert a strong control on regional climate. Model projections of circulation-related fields, including precipitation, show a wide range of possible outcomes [of different signs and amplitudes], even on centennial timescales. Sources of uncertainty include low-frequency chaotic variability and the sensitivity to model error of the circulation response to climate forcing."
...a damning critique of IPCC climate models and projections, which basically admits the models cannot be used to predict regional climate change with any confidence. It also implies that the models cannot be used to predict extreme weather or precipitation. 

Further, the "nearly everything we have any confidence in when it comes to climate change is related to global patterns of surface temperature, which are primarily controlled by thermodynamics" is also incorrect to claim that there should be confidence in model thermodynamics, because the models are not based on the "basic physics" of thermodynamics, and consist almost entirely of parameterizations/fudge factors which are unable to properly simulate the fundamental thermodynamic aspects of convection, chaotic turbulence, clouds, solar amplification mechanisms, etc which greatly affect surface temperature.

In addition, a vote of no confidence on model thermodynamics is warranted due to violating the second law of thermodynamics with respect to simulating conventional turbulent heat flow, one of the most important mechanisms of heat transfer in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric circulation as a source of uncertainty in climate change projections 

Theodore G. Shepherd

Nature Geoscience (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2253 Received 20 May 2014 Accepted 20 August 2014 Published online 21 September 2014 

The evidence for anthropogenic climate change continues to strengthen* [wishful thinking], and concerns about severe weather events are increasing [no evidence]. As a result, scientific interest is rapidly shifting from detection and attribution of global climate change to prediction of its impacts at the regional scale. However, nearly everything we have any confidence in when it comes to climate change is related to global patterns of surface temperature, which are primarily controlled by thermodynamics. In contrast, we have much less confidence in atmospheric circulation aspects of climate change, which are primarily controlled by dynamics and exert a strong control on regional climate. Model projections of circulation-related fields, including precipitation, show a wide range of possible outcomes, even on centennial timescales. Sources of uncertainty include low-frequency chaotic variability and the sensitivity to model error of the circulation response to climate forcing. As the circulation response to external forcing appears to project strongly onto existing patterns of variability, knowledge of errors in the dynamics of variability may provide some constraints on model projections. Nevertheless, higher scientific confidence in circulation-related aspects of climate change will be difficult to obtain. For effective decision-making, it is necessary to move to a more explicitly probabilistic, risk-based approach.
*The scientific proof that "evidence for anthropogenic climate change continues to strengthen"

Regional climate model projections

WSJ: People's Climate Demarche: Climate lobby should explain 'hiatus' in warming that has lasted 16, 19 or 26 years

People's Climate Demarche

The anticarbon campaign stalls even at the United Nations.

Updated Sept. 22, 2014 3:58 a.m. ET    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Tens of thousands of environmental protestors paraded through New York City on Sunday, in a "people's climate march" designed to lobby world leaders arriving for the latest United Nations climate summit. The march did succeed in messing up traffic, but President Obama won't achieve much more when he speaks Tuesday at this latest pit stop on the global warming grand prix.

Six years after the failure of the Copenhagen summit whose extravagant ambition was to secure a binding global treaty on carbon emissions, Mr. Obama is trying again. The Turtle Bay gathering of world leaders isn't formally a part of the international U.N. climate negotiations that are supposed to climax late next year in Paris, but the venue is meant to be an ice-breaker for more than 125 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state to start to reach consensus.

One not-so-minor problem: The world's largest emitters are declining to show up, even for appearances. The Chinese economy has been the No. 1 global producer of carbon dioxide since 2008, but President Xi Jinping won't be gracing the U.N. with his presence. India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (No. 3) will be in New York but is skipping the climate parley. Russian President Vladimir Putin (No. 4) has other priorities, while Japan (No. 5) is uncooperative after the Fukushima disaster that has damaged support for nuclear power. Saudi Arabia is dispatching its petroleum minister.

(L-R) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, former United States Vice President Al Gore, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal take part in the "People's Climate March" down 6th Ave in the Manhattan borough of New York September 21, 2014.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon excused these truancies at a press conference last week: "In any event, we have other means of communications, ways and means of having their leadership demonstrated in the United Nations." In that case, why not do a conference call?

To understand the coldness of this brush off, global CO2 emissions increased to 35.1 billion metric tons in 2013, a new record and a 29% increase over a decade ago. Of the year-over-year carbon climb, China at 358 million metric tons jumped by more than the rest of the world combined and is responsible for 24.8% of emissions over the last five years. Over the same period, developing nations accounted for 57.5%.

What this means is that regardless of what the West does, poorer countries that are reluctant to sign agreements that impede economic progress hold the dominant carbon hand. No matter U.S. exertions to save the planet from atmospheric carbon that may or may not have consequences that may or may not be costly in a century or more, the international result will be more or less the same, though U.S. economic growth will be slower.

Mr. Modi is unlikely to indulge the rich world's anticarbon politics when a quarter of the Indian population still lacks electricity. Mr. Obama might also pause to reflect that 30.6% of the 114.8 American households qualify for low-income energy subsidies. Thus by the Administration's own reckoning they can't afford current energy costs, much less the higher costs of a zero-carbon future.

In his first speech as White House budget director, Shaun Donovan nonetheless told the Center for American Progress on Friday that "the scale of our ambition at home is going to be the single most important driver" for climate action by China and other nations. In fact, the costly anticarbon regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency is developing will by the EPA's estimate address a mere 0.18% of world-wide carbon emissions. Some effort in persuasion.

This reality has now led more than a few climateers to claim that decarbonizing the economy will be magically cost-free. Mr. Donovan lectured that "climate denial will costs us billions of dollars," as a hotter planet reduces GDP and drives up deficits, while natural disasters like coastal superstorms impose new relief costs on the federal fisc.

So the problem is so dire that we must impose huge new costs on carbon and energy production, but don't worry—you won't feel a thing. The government will create all new energy industries and wealth in a seamless transition. Caveat emptor: Supposedly professional economists who promise that scarce resources can be made scarcer at zero cost have stopped practicing economics. They have become politicians, if not as honest.

Rather than debasing economics, perhaps the climate lobby should return to the climate science and explain the hiatus in warming that has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years depending on the data set and which the climate models failed to predict even as global carbon dioxide emissions have climbed by 25%. Their alibi is that the new warming is now hidden in the oceans, an assertion they lack the evidence to prove.

The campaign to redo the global energy economy has produced plenty of spectacle (the activists in Manhattan), contempt for democratic norms (the EPA), and the promise of a less prosperous future (Germany's renewable fuels fiasco). But perhaps Mr. Modi has a better sense of priorities because while in New York he plans to attend a Central Park event on the theme of reducing global poverty as well as the 9/11 memorial that is a reminder of the renewed threat of terrorism.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New paper shows nature absorbs ~83% of man-made CO2 emissions, much more than previously thought

A paper published today in Earth System Science Data Discussions analyzes the 2014 carbon budget and predicts man-made CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels and cement production have increased by 65% since 1990. However, atmospheric levels of CO2 have only increased by 11% since 1990, indicating that ~83% of man-made emissions have been absorbed by natural sinks, far greater than the IPCC belief that natural sinks absorb 50% of man-made emissions. 

Thus, natural sinks [such as the up to 30% greening of the planet over the past few decades] are expanding faster than the IPCC anticipated, CO2 lifetime in the atmosphere is much less than the IPCC believes, or the source of the increase is primarily natural due to ocean outgassing, or some combination of the three. 

Thus, the IPCC assumptions about greenhouse "pathways" and "warming in the pipeline" are exaggerated, erroneous, and overheated. 

Further, the 65% increase in CO2 emissions was only associated with 0.2C warming since 1990. If we make the false assumption that 100% of the warming since 1990 was due to man-made CO2 emissions, we can calculate the climate sensitivity to man-made emissions as

~0.2C = x*ln(1.65), where x = 0.399 [13 times less than the 5.35 fudge factor (x) the IPCC uses]

Thus a doubling of man-made emissions [as opposed to net atmospheric levels] of CO2, assuming all warming is due to man-made CO2 emissions, would produce a temperature rise of only 0.28C, in line with several other observational estimates of low climate sensitivity to CO2 levels:

0.399*ln(2) = .28C

Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., 7, 521-610, 2014

C. Le Quéré1, R. Moriarty1, R. M. Andrew2, G. P. Peters2, P. Ciais3, P. Friedlingstein4, S. D. Jones1, S. Sitch5, P. Tans6, A. Arneth7, T. A. Boden8, L. Bopp3, Y. Bozec9,10, J. G. Canadell11, F. Chevallier3, C. E. Cosca12, I. Harris13, M. Hoppema14, R. A. Houghton15, J. I. House16, A. Jain17, T. Johannessen18,19, E. Kato20, R. F. Keeling21, V. Kitidis22, K. Klein Goldewijk23, C. Koven24, C. S. Landa18,19, P. Landschützer25, A. Lenton26, I. D. Lima27, G. Marland28, J. T. Mathis12, N. Metzl29, Y. Nojiri20, A. Olsen18,19, T. Ono30, W. Peters31, B. Pfeil18,19, B. Poulter32, M. R. Raupach33, P. Regnier34, C. Rödenbeck35, S. Saito36, J. E. Salisbury37, U. Schuster5, J. Schwinger18,19, R. Séférian38, J. Segschneider39, T. Steinhoff40, B. D. Stocker41, A. J. Sutton12,42, T. Takahashi43, B. Tilbrook44, G. R. van der Werf45, N. Viovy3, Y.-P. Wang46, R. Wanninkhof47, A. Wiltshire48, and N. Zeng49

Abstract. Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe datasets and a methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates, consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from Land-Use Change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in SOCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean COmeasurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent Dynamic Global Vegetation Models forced by observed climate, CO2 and land cover change (some including nitrogen-carbon interactions). We compare the variability and mean land and ocean fluxes to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2004–2013), EFF was 8.9 ± 0.4 GtC yr−1ELUC 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1GATM 4.3 ± 0.1 GtC yr−1SOCEAN 2.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND 2.9 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1. For year 2013 alone, EFF grew to 9.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, 2.3% above 2012, contining the growth trend in these emissions. ELUC was 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1GATM was 5.4 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1SOCEAN was 2.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 and SLAND was 2.5 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1GATM was high in 2013 reflecting a steady increase in EFF and smaller and opposite changes between SOCEAN and SLAND compared to the past decade (2004–2013). The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 395.31 ± 0.10 ppm averaged over 2013. We estimate that EFF will increase by 2.5% (1.3–3.5%) to 10.1 ± 0.6 GtC in 2014 (37.0 ± 2.2 GtCO2 yr−1), 65% above emissions in 1990, based on projections of World Gross Domestic Product and recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2014, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 545 ± 55 GtC (2000 ± 200 GtCO2) for 1870–2014, about 75% from EFFand 25% from ELUC. This paper documents changes in the methods and datasets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this living dataset (Le Quéré et al., 2013, 2014). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2014). 

Debunking the claim that global warming causes record-high Antarctic sea ice

According to recent global warming propaganda articles published in New "Scientist" and Grist
"Record sea ice around Antarctica is due to global warming"  [with no evidence to back the claim]
"Antarctic sea ice hits a record max, and that’s not good."

Therefore, more sea ice is evidence of global warming and less sea ice is evidence of global warming, the infallible and unfalsifiable AGW theory in a nutshell. 

This inanity is easily rebutted from the paleoclimate records, which clearly demonstrate Antarctic sea ice has markedly increased over the past 7,000 years since the [warmer by 2-3C] Holocene Climate Optimum, and that Antarctica had much less sea ice during the [warmer by up to 8C] last interglacial. If global warming caused a large decrease in sea ice during both the Holocene and the last interglacial, and assuming the melting point of ice has not changed, then the record-high Antarctic sea ice levels today are clearly the result of cooling, not warming. 

This is entirely consistent with the bipolar seesaw theory of climate, ocean oscillations such as the AMOC, conservation of energy, the freezing point of water, etc., but definitely not global warming in the past or the present. 

Further, the overheated climate models laughably predicted the opposite that global warming would cause Antarctic sea ice to decline more so than Arctic sea ice. However, apparently the models do understand better than some climate scientists that warming [if it is occurring] is expected to cause less sea ice, not more. 

Related reposts:

New paper finds Antarctic sea ice has markedly increased over past 7000 years

A forthcoming paper in Climate of the Past finds the annual sea ice duration around the west Antarctic Peninsula has markedly increased over the past 7,000 years. The authors attribute the changes to "decreasing mean annual and spring [solar] insolation despite an increasing summer insolation" and to ENSO variability changes. In addition, the authors find the temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula has dropped ~2C over the past 9000 years.

Second graph from top shows decrease in temperature over past 9000 years. Third graph from top shows the proxy for sea-ice and shows a marked increase over the past 7000 years.

Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 1-41, 2013

Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by insolation and ENSO variability changes

J. Etourneau1,*, L. G. Collins1, V. Willmott2, J. H. Kim2, L. Barbara3, A. Leventer4, S. Schouten2, J. S. Sinninghe Damsté2, A. Bianchini4, V. Klein1, X. Crosta3, and G. Massé1

1Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques, UMR7159, CNRS/UPMC/IRD/MNHN, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
2Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of marine Biogeochemistry and toxicology, 1790 Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands
3EPOC, UMR5805, CNRS, Université Bordeaux 1, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence, France
4Colgate University, Department of Geology, 13 Oak Drive, 13346 Hamilton, USA
*current address: Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, 237-0061, Japan

Abstract. The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m) and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present) in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) alkenes for sea ice and TEXL86for temperature) and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages). The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP) was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~ 7000–3000 yr BP), local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~ 3000 yr) was characterized by more variable temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The stepwise increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation despite an increasing summer insolation. We postulate that in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, between 4000 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between ENSO and climate variability in the WAP suggests that other climatic factors might have been more important in controlling WAP climate at this time.

New paper finds Antarctica had much less sea ice during the last interglacial

A paper published today in Climate of the Past finds Antarctic sea ice extent was much less than the present during the last interglacial period ~120,000 years ago. According to the authors, "During the last interglacial, the [sea ice proxy at 2 sites in Antarctica] are only half of the Holocene levels, in line withhigher temperatures during that period, indicating much reduced sea ice extent in the Atlantic as well as the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean."

Prior research has also shown that Antarctic sea ice has markedly increased over past 7000 years since the Holocene Climate Optimum, when temperatures were significantly higher than the present. 

During the last interglacial, sea levels were 31 feet higher than the present, sea ice extent much less than the present, and Greenland was 8C warmer than the present, all with "safe" levels of CO2. There is no evidence the current interglacial is any different. 

Top graph shows temperature proxy from 2 drilling sites. Horizontal axis is thousands of years before the present. Temperatures were higher than the present during the interglacial ~120,000 years ago. Bottom 2 graphs show a proxy for Antarctic sea ice was only about half of Holocene levels. 

Clim. Past, 9, 2789-2807, 2013

S. Schüpbach1,2,3, U. Federer1,2, P. R. Kaufmann1,2, S. Albani4, C. Barbante3,5, T. F. Stocker1,2, and H. Fischer1,2
1Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
3Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics Department, University of Venice, Venice, Italy
4Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
5Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes – National Research Council, Venice, Italy

Abstract. In this study we report on new non-sea salt calcium (nssCa2+, mineral dust proxy) and sea salt sodium (ssNa+, sea ice proxy) records along the East Antarctic Talos Dome deep ice core in centennial resolution reaching back 150 thousand years (ka) before present. During glacial conditions nssCa2+ fluxes in Talos Dome are strongly related to temperature as has been observed before in other deep Antarctic ice core records, and has been associated with synchronous changes in the main source region (southern South America) during climate variations in the last glacial. However, during warmer climate conditions Talos Dome mineral dust input is clearly elevated compared to other records mainly due to the contribution of additional local dust sources in the Ross Sea area. Based on a simple transport model, we compare nssCa2+ fluxes of different East Antarctic ice cores. From this multi-site comparison we conclude that changes in transport efficiency or atmospheric lifetime of dust particles do have a minor effect compared to source strength changes on the large-scale concentration changes observed in Antarctic ice cores during climate variations of the past 150 ka. Our transport model applied on ice core data is further validated by climate model data.

The availability of multiple East Antarctic nssCa2+ records also allows for a revision of a former estimate on the atmospheric CO2sensitivity to reduced dust induced iron fertilisation in the Southern Ocean during the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene (T1). While a former estimate based on the EPICA Dome C (EDC) record only suggested 20 ppm, we find that reduced dust induced iron fertilisation in the Southern Ocean may be responsible for up to 40 ppm of the total atmospheric CO2 increase during T1. During the last interglacial, ssNa+ [sea ice proxy] levels of EDC and EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML) are only half of the Holocene levels, in line with higher temperatures during that period, indicating much reduced sea ice extent in the Atlantic as well as the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean. In contrast, Holocene ssNa+ flux in Talos Dome is about the same as during the last interglacial, indicating that there was similar ice cover present in the Ross Sea area during MIS 5.5 as during the Holocene.