Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #481 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-11-27 (November 27, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein

Number of the Week: 4300 Years Ago


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Scope: After the UN Conference of Parties, COP 26, ended with a whimper, a number of diverse topics appeared. The common element they have is they raised issues with the central theme of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are the primary cause of climate change and that human CO2 emissions are causing dangerous global warming.

In no particular order these issues include: one, a questioning of Willie Soon’s use of machine learning to feel confident enough in patterns observed to forecast a diminishing solar intensity; two, a paper by two researchers at the Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy Science that on first review appears to support the work of van Wijngaarden and Happer on Earth’s thermal radiation of five most abundant greenhouse gases; and three, two papers appearing in AAAS Science Advances that question IPCC’s claims in its Summary for Policymakers of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6, SPM, 2021) that there was no climate change for 2000 years, until after the industrial revolution and its use of fossil fuels.

These papers seem remarkable because since the mid-1990s, AAAS Science has had the editorial policy of not publishing anything that questions the “wisdom” of the IPCC. This policy followed by other journals as well has led to many highly questionable “bandwagon” studies that can be described as science fiction.

Also, TWTW will mention efforts of others questioning the IPCC process as well as the absurdity of the energy policies of the Biden administration. But first, a wide-ranging interview of physicist and philosopher Christopher Essex by Calvin Beisner will be presented.


Belief in the Ignorance of Experts: The blurb under the video of Christopher Essex by Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance For The Stewardship of Creation reads:

“’Just follow the science!’ That exhortation gets used to silence anyone who questions anything from COVID lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates to catastrophic manmade climate change to Darwinism to atheism. Challenge official public policy on lockdowns, masks, and vaccines, or on catastrophic global warming, and you’re a ‘science denier.’ Challenge Darwinism or atheism, and you’re a ‘science denier.’ But just what is science? How can it contribute to our understanding of our world—and how we get along with each other? Tonight’s wide-ranging discussion features Dr. Christopher Essex—no, not the country music singer/songwriter Christopher J. Essex, but Christopher Essex the professor of both physics and applied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, co-author with Dr. Ross McKitrick of Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming (one of my favorite books on climate change), and all-round creative and challenging thinker. The conversation will go far beyond climate change to the whole state of scientific activity today.”

The interview is wide-ranging with a number of succinct comments by Essex. Some of them are presented below in an effort to encourage readers to watch the entire interview, which is one hour and forty minutes. Comments by TWTW in brackets.

  • There is no such thing as average temperature of the earth. An average is a statistic, not a measurement. Temperature indicates a state (condition) which is not meaningful.

[NOAA’s, no longer reports a single temperature and states: “Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.14° F (0.08° C) per decade since 1880, and the rate of warming over the past 40 years is more than twice that: 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade since 1981.” (updated Aug 12, 2021)]

  • The more Essex learns about thermodynamics of radiation the less he feels humanity knows.
  • When at St. Peters the most striking thing he observed were the Sierpiński triangles in the floor. These are fractals (never ending patterns), not Euclidean and deal with coping with the problems of infinity and considered modern mathematics. Here they were in a floor built five hundred years ago.

[Such patterns started appearing in the decorative geometry in Italy in the 12th & 13th centuries known as Cosmatesque and date back to the third century BC Greek geometer Apollonius of Perga.]

  • Essex is suspicious of probability and statistics.

[As Ross McKitrick has shown, using tools of descriptive statistics for inferential statistics is a giant leap, which advocates of dangerous CO2-caused global warming have misunderstood. Descriptive statistics explain the characteristics of a sample of a population. Where inferential statistics rely on probability theory to suggest underlying characteristics of the entire population. The IPCC’s greenhouse gas attribution process is based on a misunderstanding of the Gauss-Markov (GM) Theorem and the conditions needed for unbiased and efficient rules for calculation. ]

  • The IPCC claims very small changes in temperature are significant. But these are tiny when compared to daily, seasonal, and annual changes.
  • The models do not build the effect of water vapor until later, but it is an integral part of the greenhouse effect. You cannot throw it in later and expect the model to predict. [this is done after falsely balancing CO2 with aerosols to meet surface temperatures]. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas. He designed a completely good atmospheric model with only water vapor, the other gases have minimal effect.
  • People doing modeling first recognized they were working with “cartoons” but lost track of that.
  • Making policy is a far deeper problem and working with computers to see into the future is a deeper problem than many realize, even experts. Numerics are a question of recipes.
  • Computers are not an oracle. Mathematics goes beyond computers.

[The weather-based mathematical modeling has not progressed for about 40 years and climate science has stagnated. The approach by van Wijngaarden and Happer uses different mathematics and databases and seems to meet the physical description of what is occurring in the atmosphere.]

  • With weather-based models there is a symmetry problem. What is conserved in the differential equations is not the same that is conserved in the discrete maps (graphs).
  • Along with Richard Lindzen, Essex believes the highly used Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) concept does not matter. ECS does not exist in nature; it’s a value in models. As a result, we have computational overstabilization, trying to stabilize problems in the models, etc. As a result, long term dynamics is gone
  • A big problem is over interpreting the models and not understanding their limits. Anyone who has a tool must understand the limits of the tool.

[After a discussion on the closure problem in turbulence which goes back to the 19th century and that the influence of clouds completely overwhelms the effect of greenhouse gases (at least in the real atmosphere), Essex discusses the corruption of science and states that it has happened. For example, the claim that there is a consensus is a corruption. There is no one view.]

  • Scientists engage in a duality, they must be humble, not to fool themselves, yet they have the arrogance to tackle the mysteries of the universe. This requires humility.
  • A good definition of science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, [the quote from Richard Feynman]. We Need to see evidence and reasoning, see for yourself.
  • Highly educated people get caught up in herds, including scientists. Ordinary people often don’t.
  • You have to stop being afraid! The doom that will come to get you, is not the one you are expecting.

The above is a sample of what was discussed. TWTW readers may benefit from watching the entire interview. It reinforced the efforts by TWTW to question everything, including assumptions, physical evidence, reasoning process, and conclusions. Even though mathematics is the language of science, mathematics and logic are not sufficient for understanding. This was demonstrated when scientists attempted to apply Newtonian Mechanics to the behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic scale. An entirely new pattern of thinking was needed – Quantum Theory. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Role of the Sun: Last week’s TWTW discussed the paper by Soon and twenty-two co-authors: “How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere temperature trends? An ongoing debate” and Soon’s presentation at the Heartland Conference on his paper with two co-authors on “Results of hindcasting and forecasting solar activity cycles.”

Writing in Watts Up With That, Leif Svalgaard asserted that Soon was “arguing that there has not been any trend in solar activity in the past 300+ years.” “To my eye there is no difference between our reconstruction and theirs [based on Machine Learning], except that we have error bars, and they don’t. It is amazing how people’s bias can cause them to draw contrary conclusions from [almost] identical data.”

To TWTW, Svalgaard misinterprets Soon’s presentation and paper. He did not state that there was no pattern in solar activity. Soon stated that he was not sufficiently comfortable with the patterns observed to make forecasts. The Machine Learning technique gave him additional assurances that he was not deceiving himself, “you are the easiest person to fool.” Further, the technique uncovered a 5.5-year pattern, which was underreported. See links under Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?


Partial Verification? Advances in Fundamental Physics published a paper by Boris Michhailovich Smirnov and Dmitri Alexandrovich Zhilyaev of the Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy Sciences titled “Greenhouse Effect in the Standard Atmosphere.”

On first review, the paper uses the same database, but a different approach than the work of van Wijngaarden and Happer and reaches roughly the same conclusions — limiting CO2 emissions is a relatively worthless exercise. Part of the abstract reads:

“…Radiative parameters of molecules are taken from the HITRAN database, and an altitude of cloud location is taken from the energetic balance of the Earth. Within the framework of this model, we calculate the parameters of the greenhouse effect…”

The issue here is the calculation of the role of the clouds. There is no generally accepted theory on cloud formation and their role in climate. The van Wijngaarden and Happer paper using the HITRAN database was based on clear skies calculations. Until there is such a cloud theory verified by other techniques and validated by physical evidence, it is difficult to draw any final conclusions concerning Russian paper. However, it makes several key points in the conclusions. [References not included here.]

  1. “In this evaluation as well as previous evaluations, we have a contradiction with the results of climatological models in the analysis of the Earth’s greenhouse effect, according to which the increase in the global temperature differs by five times.”
  • “We show, so the large difference results from ignoring, in climatological models, the Kirchhoff law, according to which radiators are simultaneously the absorbers. In this case, we take the change in the radiative flux created by CO2 molecules as the change of the total radiative flux.”
  • “We proved early that atmospheric CO2 molecules are not the main radiator of the atmosphere. From these evaluations, it follows that water molecules in the atmosphere may be responsible for the observed heating of the Earth.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Surprising Papers: The editors of Science Advances have published several papers that appear to contradict the editorial policy of Science. Both journals are controlled by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which has been highly politicized since the 1990s. These papers question the claims that carbon dioxide is the primary cause of global warming. The abstract of the paper about the intrusion of Atlantic waters into the Arctic Ocean between Greenland and Svalbard (the Fram Strait, a deep passage in the Greenland Sea) reads:

“The recent expansion of Atlantic waters into the Arctic Ocean represents undisputable evidence of the rapid changes occurring in this region. Understanding the past variability of this “Atlantification” is thus crucial in providing a longer perspective on the modern Arctic changes. Here, we reconstruct the history of Atlantification along the eastern Fram Strait during the past 800 years using precisely dated paleoceanographic records based on organic biomarkers and benthic foraminiferal data [found in sediments]. Our results show rapid changes in water mass properties that commenced in the early 20th century—several decades before the documented Atlantification by instrumental records. Comparison with regional records suggests a poleward expansion of subtropical waters since the end of the Little Ice Age in response to a rapid hydrographic reorganization in the North Atlantic. Understanding of this mechanism will require further investigations using climate model simulations.”

As Paul Homewood writes: “Of course, the idea that Arctic warming since the 19th [century] is largely a natural phenomenon has huge ramifications. Not least the fear that the ice will one day return.”

The second paper has to do with the collapse of the advanced rice based agricultural Liangzhu culture in the Yangtze River Delta, about 4300 years ago. The abstract reads:

The Liangzhu culture in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) was among the world’s most advanced Neolithic cultures. Archeological evidence suggests that the Liangzhu ancient city was abandoned, and the culture collapsed at ~4300 years ago. Here, we present speleothem records from southeastern China in conjunction with other paleoclimatic and archeological data to show that the Liangzhu culture collapsed within a short and anomalously wet period between 4345 ± 32 and 4324 ± 30 years ago, supporting the hypothesis that the city was abandoned after large-scale flooding and inundation. We further show that the demise of Neolithic cultures in the YRD occurred within an extended period of aridity that started at ~4000 ± 45 years ago. We suggest that the major hydroclimatic changes between 4300 and 3000 years ago may have resulted from an increasing frequency of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation in the context of weakened Northern Hemisphere summer insolation.

The primary records are from speleothems (structures formed in a cave by the deposition of minerals from water, e.g., a stalactite or stalagmite.) No relationship to CO2 is discussed. This study may reinforce the Svensmark Hypothesis that changes in solar activity may change climate such as temperature and rainfall by shifting the Intertropical Convergence Zone. (NIPCC, 2008, p. 11-13] See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations.


Three Essays: CLINTEL, is an independent group of scholars from 26 countries which operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy with the main objective of generating knowledge and understanding.” It “operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy.” It was founded in 2019 by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok. Its “main objective is to generate knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects of climate change as well as the effects of climate policy on welfare and wellbeing of society. It issued three short, understandable essays for the major groups attending the COP 26 conference:

  1. Message to Heads of Government who attended COP26
  • Message to the Young People who attended COP26
  • Message to the climate scientists who attended COP26

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Load Balancing: The UK is further down the path of destruction of affordable, reliable electricity than the US. It passed legally binding foolish laws such as the 2008 Climate Change Act, thanks to “experts” such as economists who manipulated numbers to deceive the public and politicians. A classic example of the need to believe in the ignorance of experts. The promoters of offshore wind power are failing to deliver reliable wind power at the low-cost they promised. The wind promoters make the exaggerations of real estate promoters such as Donald Trump appear modest.

Andrew Montford discusses the problem of stabilizing power (balancing the load) in the UK with significant wind power.

“The cost of stabilising the grid and keeping the lights on has been rising alarmingly in recent years – it was £1200 million in 2019 and reached around £1792 million in 2020.”

Montford proposes a contest for those who comes the closest at guessing the cost of keeping the lights on in the UK in 2021 when the final bills arrive around February of next year. See links under Seeking a Common Ground, Questioning European Green and Energy Issues – Non-US.


Follow the Herd: Not to be outdone in ignorance, the “experts” in the Biden Administration appear to be following the herd in shutting down reliable energy in favor of false expectations and calling it leadership. Now, after asking OPEC to expand productions to keep prices down, which OPEC refused, the administration is releasing oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve.

Despite many in Washington, the US became a net exporter of oil in 2019. Independent oil producers broke the OPEC monopoly. Independent producers are not the lowest-cost producers, but they can prevent prices from spiraling upward. As this administration works to destroy the US economic strength in oil and gas production, the Secretary of Energy laughs when asked what is the administration doing to stop rising gasoline prices? Then she falsely claims OPEC controls the price of oil. If it does, the Biden Administration gave it the control.

Then we have others in Washington such as the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Eric Lander who, according to The Hill said:

“’Science and technology have done things once thought impossible: making solar energy the cheapest energy and dramatically lowering the cost of wind power and batteries,’ OSTP Director Eric Lander said in a statement. ‘Now we need to do the same with smart grid technologies, clean hydrogen, fusion power, and more — to make carbon-neutral energy the cheapest energy, so it’s always the easy choice — by driving the virtuous cycle of invention and deployment that brings down costs.’”

Where is the proof of concept? In the UK? Acting before the technology exists is living in fantasyland, or today’s Washington. See links under Washington’s Control of Energy and Change in US Administrations.


Number of the Week: 4300 Years Ago: About 4300 years ago climate change began the collapse of the Liangzhu culture in the Yangtze River Delta. This was among the most advanced cultures in the world at that time. Called the Neolithic Period, or New Stone Age, humans were no longer dependent on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants. Characteristics of the Neolithic Period included domestication of animals, agricultural practices, modification of stone tools, and pottery making. Climate change needs to be understood, not falsely attributed to human CO2 emissions.

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Leif Svalgaard Responds to Willie Soon

By Leif Svalgaard, WUWT, Nov 23, 2021

Solar variations controversy

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 21, 2021

Climategate Continued

Climategate: Never Forget (11th anniversary)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Nov 22, 2021

“Today, the Internet is the primary check on the excesses of the politicized UN/IPCC process. Cancel and ignore as they might, the blogosphere is driving the climate-science debate in real time against the Malthusian establishment.”

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Greenhouse Effect in the Standard Atmosphere

By Boris Michailovich Smirnov and Dmitri Alexandrovich Zhilyaev, Institute for High Temperatures of Russian Academy Sciences, Izhorskaya, Moscow, Russia, Advances in Fundamental Physics, Oct 27, 2021 [H/t John McClaughry]

Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 22, 2021

See link immediately above.

Just What Does “Just follow the Science” Mean?

Interview of Christopher Essex by Calvin Beisner


Two decades on the battlefield – more important now than ever

By Joe D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, Nov 22, 2021

Climate Change is much more than CO2 and CO2 is much more than Climate Change

COP26 Trilogy: Message of CLINTEL to Heads of Government, Young people and Scientists

By Clintel Group, Amsterdam, November 2021

“Threatening the living standards of new generations is the true climate emergency.”

The Arctic Ocean began warming decades earlier than previously thought, new research shows

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 27, 2021

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