Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #483 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-12-11 (December 11, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink facts because they are not to our taste.” – John Tyndall, 1877.

Number of the Week: 15 States


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

Scope: Last week, TWTW focused on the CLINTEL lecture William Happer gave in Amsterdam. The lecture is important because it presents evidence that the total approach used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers including many US science institutions is wrong if the goal is to calculate the influence of increasing greenhouse gases on temperatures. If the goal is frightening the public to raise money, then the approach may be successful.

This TWTW will address the issue somewhat differently. In a podcast, Meteorologist Cliff Mass explains why he thinks that the climate models with non-linear equations can be used to forecast the future climate even though such models cannot successfully forecast the weather two weeks into the future. The views of Mass deserve consideration because he has been critical of many of the tricks used by the climate establishment such as “Fractional Attribution of Risk” (FAR), also called “Optimal Fingerprinting.”

Also, this TWTW will discuss the Happer presentation in light of what blogger Ron Clutz calls “Five Lines of Evidence Against GHG Warming Hypothesis.” The critical issue is understanding what is occurring in the atmosphere where greenhouse gas warming occurs. What is occurring on the surface may or may not reflect what is occurring in the atmosphere. The approach of the IPCC and its followers of using surface-air temperature data (measurements about shoulder height) is a poor approximation of atmospheric temperature trends.

Also briefly discussed are some of the actions by the Biden Administration to “combat climate change” which will inevitably increase energy prices in the US. These receive great press, but the press is not paying the energy bills of the public. Plus, it would be careless not to mention that in litigation the attorneys for Facebook fact checkers wrote that its fact-checking is opinion not fact!


Can Climate Models Forecast? In his podcast Cliff Mass asserts that unlike weather models which cannot forecast beyond two weeks, climate models can. Weather prediction is specific, and (with chaos theory) non-linear complex systems like the atmosphere rapidly lose predictability over time.

Mass asserts that climate predictions are different than weather prediction – they do not predict the exact state of the atmosphere at a particular time, but they predict the average conditions over time. He states that climate is highly controlled by the input and output of energy in the atmosphere: how much solar radiation is going in, how much radiation (infrared) is going out. And he further states that the outgoing radiation is dominated by the composition of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Thus, he asserts that models can provide excellent guidance.

However, there is uncertainty in the models, including the amount of greenhouse gases and particles in the air (aerosols). Further there are known problems with clouds and precipitation, and with natural variability such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), convection, and thunderstorms. Nonetheless, Mass states that climate predictions make sense but those making predictions/forecasts must recognize the uncertainties.

Mass gives a good overview from the standpoint of one who understands weather prediction and the limits of predictions. However, one of the very important items he does not mention is how changing concentrations of each greenhouse gas interact with other greenhouse gases and how these changes in turn change the outgoing radiation. Understanding these changes entails an understanding of spectroscopy and quantum theory, which Mass may not recognize. Spectroscopy was developed to understand the interaction between electromagnetic energy (light energy) and matter such as molecules of greenhouse gases. Quantum theory was developed to explain these experimental observations.

As shown by William Happer, the effectiveness of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas is lost at the current concentrations. In fact, the effectiveness is lost at concentrations well below the concentrations required for many living plants. This loss of effectiveness is called saturation. It is similar to a sponge full of water, which cannot absorb much more. (Or very humid air which is called saturated because it cannot absorb any more water at a given temperature.)

Further, Mass does not mention water vapor, which was recognized as the dominant greenhouse gas by greenhouse pioneer John Tyndall who began his experiments using early spectroscopy in 1859. Water vapor changes the effectiveness of all other greenhouse gases, especially methane. Thus, projecting the composition of the atmosphere into the future is largely meaningless unless one takes into account the changing effectiveness of all the greenhouse gases with changing composition. However, the climate models used by the IPCC do not. By relying on surface-air temperatures, the IPCC modeling effort confuses the changing greenhouse effect with other human effects and natural influences, and its predictions become essentially meaningless. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.


Four Ways to Failure? Following his post on the Happer lecture, Ron Clutz posted “Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails 2021” which updates previous posts on that subject. Clutz states a hypothesis that may state the claims of the IPCC. TWTW will not get into the hypothesis because the IPCC does not state one and any proposed hypothesis can be claimed not to be true by some of the IPCC followers. What is interesting is the five different studies that Clutz brings up countering the IPCC findings that human CO2 emissions will have a significant influence on global temperatures. Four of these studies are discussed below. The fifth deals with planetary motion and is beyond the scope of this TWTW.

The first three studies rely on radiosonde balloon studies and Clutz explains what goes up on a radiosonde balloon launch. According to Clutz”

In 2004 Ferenc Miskolczi studied the radiosonde datasets and found that the optical density at the top of the troposphere does not change with increasing CO2, since reducing H2O maintains optimal radiating efficiency.  His publication was suppressed by NASA, and he resigned from his job there. He has elaborated on his findings in publications as recently as 2014.

Clutz links to a more complete description of what happened to Miskolczi at NASA. The second of the four studies was by Ronan and Michael Connolly on radiosonde data in 2014. It concluded:

“It can be seen from the infra-red cooling model of Figure 19 [not shown] that the greenhouse effect theory predicts a strong influence from the greenhouse gases on the barometric temperature profile. Moreover, the modeled net effect of the greenhouse gases on infra-red cooling varies substantially over the entire atmospheric profile.

“However, when we analysed the barometric temperature profiles of the radiosondes in this paper, we were unable to detect any influence from greenhouse gases. Instead, the profiles were very well described by the thermodynamic properties of the main atmospheric gases, i.e., N 2 and O 2 , in a gravitational field.”

“While water vapour is a greenhouse gas, the effects of water vapour on the temperature profile did not appear to be related to its radiative properties, but rather its different molecular structure and the latent heat released/gained by water in its gas/liquid/solid phase changes.

“For this reason, our results suggest that the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is very small, perhaps negligible. At any rate, its magnitude appears to be too small to be detected from the archived radiosonde data  Pg. 18 of referenced research paper.” [not shown]

Again, Clutz has a link to a more complete discussion. The third paper is John Christy’s testimony on March 29, 2017, to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. It features a graph that actually appeared in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (AR5, 2013). The graph clearly shows that IPCC models without greenhouse gas components more closely follow the observed vertical tropical temperature trends from 1979 to 2010 than the IPCC models do when they include the greenhouse gas components. Until roughly above 40,000 feet, the warming forecast in the model trends with greenhouse gases greatly exceeds the warming observed in the atmosphere. It makes no difference how good the physics behind the models is, if they are used to forecast the effect of greenhouse gases, they must get the influence of the gases correct. They do not.

The fourth study is from the presentation by William Happer discussed in last week’s TWTW. This relies on five instruments on three satellites in the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) program designed to measure changes in electromagnetic radiation at the top of the atmosphere: how much radiation is coming in at the top of the atmosphere and how much is going out. If greenhouse gases are causing dangerous global warming, we should be seeing a striking increase. We are not seeing it. There is variation but no trend. Clutz gives a lengthy description of what is not occurring. He uses both the older Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) data that began in 1984 and the CERES data that began in 1997.

Clutz reproduces Happer’s important graph showing how different greenhouse gases influence outgoing radiation. Due to triggering spam-blockers, the graph is reproduced in this TWTW on the SEPP website but is not in the text.

The green line in the graph shows what would be radiated to space if there were no carbon dioxide and the world would be colder. The black line shows what is radiated to space with a CO2 concentration of 400 ppm (parts per million volume) slightly less than this year’s concentration. Clutz writes:

“The important point here is the red line. This is what Earth would radiate to space if you were to double the CO2 concentration from today’s value. Right in the middle of these curves, you can see a gap in the spectrum. The gap is caused by CO2 absorbing radiation that would otherwise cool the Earth. If you double the amount of CO2, you don’t double the size of that gap. You just go from the black curve to the red curve, and you can barely see the difference. The gap hardly changes.

“The message I want you to understand, which practically no one really understands, is that doubling CO2 makes almost no difference.” [Boldface in original]

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Creating Problems, Not Solving Them: Those who lived through the 1970s probably remember the long lines to buy gasoline and sharp increases in energy costs. This started with the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the US for its support of Israel during the 1973 Arab Israeli War. The embargo extended to other nations such as the Netherlands as well. The Nixon administration announced measures to boost domestic oil production and reduce vulnerability. Even though there was no satisfactory peace agreement between Israel and the Arab states, the embargo was lifted in 1974. Measures undertaken by the US government included the creation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a national 55-mile-per-hour speed limit, imposition of fuel economy standards and the creation of the International Energy Agency.

Later in the 1970s the Carter Administration promoted development of the US coal industry to make the US less dependent on imported oil. Energy independence became a slogan of both political parties. Independence in terms of zero net imports of oil and gas were achieved during the Trump administration. Now the Biden administration has launched a war on carbon dioxide, which actually poses no threat to the US public. As seen above, adding carbon dioxide does little to increase atmospheric temperatures.

At the recently completed 26th Conference of Parties in Glasgow by the UN, China, India, and other eastern Asian countries did not even give lip service to western demands to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. They realize what a great benefit fossil fuels are in providing much cleaner heating than traditional fuels such as wood and dung. Further, they realize how critical reliable, affordable electricity is for operating a modern economy – something that appears beyond the scope of modern, sophisticated westerners. Developing countries in Asia recognize how critical the use of fossil fuels is for lifting many people out of extreme poverty. Why Western leaders are so oblivious to the plight of the poor is a mystery.

Yet, climate envoy John Kerry continues to complain that Asian countries are not doing their share “to fight climate change”, in essence to fight nature. The Biden Administration is using banking regulations to try to prevent banks from lending money to companies that explore and develop oil resources, it is cutting off pipelines, and doing whatever it can to reduce fossil fuel production, which will inevitably increase energy prices. With superb irony, it pleaded to OPEC and Russia to increase oil production while trying to suppress production in North America. Furthermore, the Biden Administration disavows any responsibility for increasing energy prices and for inflation, which are the inevitable outcomes of its actions. See links under Change in US Administrations, Energy Issues – US, and Washington’s Control of Energy and Article # 3.


Factional Opinion or Opiniated Facts? Anthony Watts notes that Facebook’s “fact checkers” and Meta Platforms, Inc. labeled climate change information by journalist John Stossel as “false and misleading.” Stossel sued and in their legal response, the attorneys for Meta Platforms, Inc. state:

“For another, Stossel’s claims focus on the fact-check articles written by Climate Feedback, not the labels affixed through the Facebook platform. The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.”

So, labels given by “fact checkers” are protected opinion which sums up their search for evidence. See links under Censorship.


Tornadoes: Several late season tornadoes hit Kentucky and neighboring states in the evening of December 10 and the morning of December 11. As Joe Bastardi of WeatherBELL Analytics explains that late season tornadoes often occur at night, when people are not as alert to tornadoes as during the day. Contrary to claims of some, late season tornadoes are not the result of global warming. See this week’s Saturday Summary,


Number of the Week – 15 States: In an essay about the problems with implementing the goals of COP 26, Francis Menton writes that the treasurers of 15 states wrote the US banking industry they will protest banks that cut-off funds to coal and oil industries by withdrawing all state funds in those banks. See link under Change in US Administrations.


Facebook’s Legal Admission That Its ‘Fact Checks’ Are Not Factual at All

By Anthony Watts, Climate Realism, Dec 9, 2021

Link to legal filing: Case 5:21-cv-07385-VKD Document 27 Filed 11/29/21

United States District Court, Northern District of California, Stossel v. Facebook, Inc.

EMails: Facebook Sics its “Independent Fact Checker” on Disfavored Speech

By Staff, Government Accountability and Accessed Dec 9, 2021

“Facebook, Google, WaPo All Seek to Cancel Climate Realism

“Facebook alerts activist “fact-checkers” to “insanely viral” Stossel video

“Taxpayer-financed institutions assisting

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

Climate Change and CO2 Not a Problem

By William Happer, CLINTEL lecture, Nov 16, 2021

With transcript and images from Feb 2021 presentation, by Ron Clutz, Via Science Matters, Dec 4, 2021

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