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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #499 – Watts Up With That?


The Week That Was: 2022-04-09 (April 9, 2022)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “When a politician says the debate is over, you can be sure of two things: the debate is raging, and he’s losing it” – George Will, political commentator [H/t Ron Clutz]

Number of the Week: 18,000

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

Scope: The third part in the four-part series called the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This episode is called “Mitigation of Climate Change” and it is the product of Working Group III which “focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.” Of course, the key assumption is that the group understands climate change and its causes, which it does not. TWTW will discuss a few of the deficiencies in the report. https://www.ipcc.ch/working-group/wg3/

Ross McKitrick published a paper showing another set of errors in using statistics to falsely attribute natural events to human caused climate change. After over thirty years the IPCC has not learned to use competent statisticians to examine studies claiming human cause.

As Richard Feynman stated: “If there is something very slightly wrong in our definition of the theories, then the full mathematical rigor may convert these errors into ridiculous conclusions.” (TWTW, Mar 26). The problem is that many politicized scientist, bureaucrats, and politicians claim the ridiculous conclusions are science facts, the same as physical evidence. TWTW will discuss several more examples from NOAA and The Lancet.

The UK government announced it will address the problems brought by not importing Russian gas by relying on more unreliable, expensive wind power and reliable, expensive nuclear power. As discussed below, the problem is that they are fundamentally incompatible.

Francis Menton mentions a graph by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing that the “Per-capita CO2 emissions in China now exceed the average in advanced economies.” Of course, this graph renders foolish the claims that advanced economies must curtail carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. China and Southeast Asia will not stop the use of fossil fuels that is bringing them out of poverty. It takes more than one generation to forget what poverty is.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy prices are exploding. For the US and Canada, which can be independent of imported fossil fuels, politicians are doing their best to promote temporary “fixes” as permanent solutions to the problems their policies create. A few examples will be discussed.

Howard Hayden corrected a small error in essay # 6 of his Basic Climate Physics. Correction of error is critical for science to advance. Failure to correct error is one reason IPCC science has stagnated.

For readers who live in the Washington Metropolitan area, solar physicist Willie Soon is giving a lecture on Monday evening, on “The Weaponization of Science: Politics, Vilification, and the Climate Debate” at the Hillsdale College Center on Capitol Hill.

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Mitigation of Climate Change? To lessen harmful climate change the IPCC must identify the causes. It claims that 80% of global warming is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, without giving any physical evidence. It claims as physical evidence the projections, forecasts, and predictions from climate models which fail basic testing against physical evidence. Thus, as a physical science, the models are worthless for prediction. As discussed a number of times in TWTWs, such as in the January 29, 2022, climate modeler Mototaka Nakamura and physicist Stephen Koonin have stated that climate simulation models may be a useful teaching tool but are of no value for prediction. Nakamura wrote:

“Before pointing out a few of the serious flaws in climate simulation models, in defense of those climate researchers who use climate simulation models for various meaningful scientific projects, I want to emphasize here that climate simulation models are fine tools to study the climate system, so long as the users are aware of the limitations of the models and exercise caution in designing experiments and interpreting their output. In this sense, experiments to study the response of simplified climate systems, such as those generated by the ‘state-of-the-art’ climate simulation models, to major increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases are also interesting and meaningful academic projects that are certainly worth pursuing. So long as the results of such projects are presented with disclaimers that unambiguously state the extent to which the results can be compared with the real world, I would not have any problem with such projects. The models just become useless pieces of junk or worse (worse, in a sense that they can produce gravely misleading output) only when they are used for climate forecasting.

“All climate simulation models have many details that become fatal flaws when they are used as climate forecasting tools, especially for mid- to long-term (several years and longer) climate variations and changes. These models completely lack some of critically important climate processes and feedbacks and represent some other critically important climate processes and feedbacks in grossly distorted manners to the extent that makes these models useless for any meaningful climate prediction. It means that they are also completely useless for assessing the effects of the past atmospheric carbon dioxide increase on the climate. I myself used to use climate simulation models for scientific studies, not for predictions, and learned about their problems and limitations in the process.” [Boldface added]

The same TWTW discussed a paper by Richard Lindzen which identified major problems of the IPCC reports, part of which are below:

  1. The core of the system consists in two turbulent fluids (the atmosphere and oceans) interacting with each other.
  • The two fluids are on a rotating planet that is differentially [unevenly] heated by the sun and unevenly absorbing the solar warming. Solar rays directly hit the equator and skim the earth at the poles resulting in uneven heating, which drives the circulation of the atmosphere. The result is heat transport from the equator towards the poles (meridional).
  • The earth’s climate system is never in equilibrium. [Boldface added]
  • In addition to the oceans, the atmosphere is interacting with a hugely irregular land surface distorting the airflow, causing planetary scale waves, which are not accurately described in climate models.
  •  A vital component of the atmosphere is water in its liquid, solid, and vapor phases, and the changes in phases have immense dynamic consequences. Each phase affects incoming and outgoing radiation differently. Substantial heat is released when water vapor condenses, driving thunder clouds. Further, clouds consist of water in the form of fine droplets and ice crystals. Normally, these are suspended by rising air currents, but when these grow large enough, they fall as rain and snow. The energies involved in phase changes are important, as well as the fact that both water vapor and clouds strongly affect radiation.

“The two most important greenhouse substances by far are water vapor and clouds. Clouds are also important reflectors of sunlight. These matters are discussed in detail in the IPCC WG1 reports, each of which openly acknowledge clouds as major sources of uncertainty in climate modeling.” [Boldface added]

Despite great advances in understanding the atmosphere over the past 40 plus years, the IPCC continues to ignore its characteristics, including atmospheric temperature trends. In reporting the latest findings by the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, including March 2022, Roy Spencer writes:

“The linear warming trend since January 1979 still stands at +0.13 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over global-averaged land).”

This modest rise is within natural variability and does not constitute a climate crisis. Nor does it mean that the linear trend will continue at the same rate.

In addition, the work of W. A. van Wijngaarden & W. Happer for a cloud-free atmosphere shows that there is no generalized theory for the greenhouse effect. That the influence of greenhouse gases on temperature changes with altitude and latitude. For example, the influence of Ozone increases from the surface to the Stratosphere up to about 40 km (25 mi) in the mid-latitudes before declining. Further, all five of major greenhouse gases are saturated, meaning that their effectiveness declines with increasing concentration and carbon dioxide and water vapor are strongly saturated.

Using the work of W. A. van Wijngaarden & W. Happer, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physicist Howard Hayden developed ten essays on Basic Climate Physics, posted on the SEPP website. These essays show that the UN IPCC can account for less than 25% of the heat needed to raise the earth’s surface temperature by 3 degrees C from a doubling of greenhouse gases which is the average claim of the IPCC.

Any organization that claims to be able to forecast the earth’s climate without correctly considering the characteristics of the atmosphere is a political organization, not a scientific one. The findings of the UN IPCC are political, not scientific. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, Measurement Issues – Atmosphere, past TWTWs, https://wvanwijngaarden.info.yorku.ca/files/2021/03/WPotency.pdf?x45936, and

 http://www.sepp.org/science_papers.cfm,

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Incompetent Statistics? Statistician Stephen McIntyre and Econometrician Ross McKitrick demolished the notorious hockey-stick featured in the IPCC Third Assessment Report (AR3, 2001).

In addition, McIntyre has shown that the 2000-year hockey-stick featured in the Summary for Policymakers of The Physical Science Basis, of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6, 2021) is statistical nonsense. The authors assemble many examples of unrelated proxy data into a hockey-stick and assert that the data sources are related. But they fail to use physical evidence showing their relationships and are contradicted by well-established long-term proxies.

McKitrick has shown that attributing probabilities of human cause to unusual weather events is without an established theoretical basis in Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Theory and is most likely highly biased.

Now, McKitrick shows huge problems in a different statistical technique used by climate researchers, Total Least Squares (TLS) in assigning human cause to weather events. McKitrick writes:

Continuing my exploration of the statistical elements of the IPCC climate attribution methodology I have a couple of papers under review at journals in which I use Monte Carlo simulations to analyse the properties of Total Least Squares (TLS, the preferred regression method) under conditions typical in a signal detection regression. There is very little underlying theory about when TLS yields consistent or unbiased results. In a single-variable model with a random explanatory variable TLS corrects a downward bias in Ordinary Least Squares (OLS, the standard regression method). But in many other cases it over-corrects or introduces new biases, and consistency results are not available without imposing unrealistic and untestable assumptions. In one paper I examine the consequences of omitted variables bias, and I will disseminate that paper separately. In this paper I look at what happens if the explanatory variables are allowed to be correlated (as they are in signal detection regressions). The results are, frankly, bizarre. I have posted a draft of the paper on the Earth and Space Science pre-print archive here: [Boldface added, see link below]

The term “bizarre” may be an understatement. Organizations that use statistics need to have their work reviewed by competent statisticians. Unfortunately, with the use of “packaged statistical programs,” many users do not understand the theoretical limitations of statistics. It will be interesting to see if the final episode of AR6, The Synthesis Report, due in September contains the same statistical nonsense. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Bandwagon Science: NOAA has gone on the methane emissions bandwagon by developing mathematical absurdities. NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad stated:

“The evidence is consistent, alarming, and undeniable. We need to build a Climate Ready Nation to adapt for what’s already here and prepare for what’s to come. At the same time, we can no longer afford to delay urgent and effective action needed to address the cause of the problem – greenhouse gas pollution,”

According to the NOAA report:

“’Reducing methane emissions is an important tool we can use right now to lessen the impacts of climate change in the near term, and rapidly reduce the rate of warming,’ Spinrad said. ‘Let’s not forget that methane also contributes to ground-level ozone formation, which causes roughly 500,000 premature deaths each year around the world.’”

Without physical evidence, the claim is a mathematically absurdity. Breathing indoor air from burning dung is a health risk, but ground level ozone from methane is another matter. Is living near swamps in Southeast US deadly? The W. A. van Wijngaarden & W. Happer paper covers the positive climate feedbacks of methane. Strangely, the IPCC has no negative feedbacks to global warming except humans darkening the skies. Yet the earth has cooled before. NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory loses credibility with such reports.

Donn Dears reports on another study showing Americans are villains who produce more than their “fair share” of carbon dioxide.

“Cutting the carbon footprint of rich countries is useless because these emissions will be replaced by emissions from growing nations.”

“This paper exposes these claims as willfully ignorant, at best. By far the worst polluters are the super-rich, most of whom live in high income countries.”

Do academics who advocate a subsistence lifestyle for Americans lead by example to show how it is done? In their calculations do they include the carbon costs of their computers which require extremely reliable electricity to manufacture? Or the costs of storing data on the cloud, which requires reliable electricity?

The once respected medical journal The Lancet now has a section called Planetary Health. It ran an article stating: “National responsibility for ecological breakdown: a fair-shares assessment of resource use, 1970–2017” claiming wealthy nations are responsible for 74% of worldwide ecological harm. Obviously, they fail to account for the benefits of adding CO2 to the atmosphere and the enormous damage of subsistence farming. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science.

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Continued Failure of Wind: The UK government is providing a great example of what not to do. Instead of trying to develop domestic sources of natural gas, which can complement shortcomings as nuclear comes online, it is going for wind and nuclear. John Constable writes:

OUR energy policy has been an incoherent mess since the early 2000s when Tony Blair forced the UK off the carefully engineered and economical gas-to- nuclear strategy that was then under way.”

“Far from clearing up Tony’s mess, Boris and his Government appear to have learned nothing from the failure of the New Labour energy policies.”

Constable and Paul Homewood point out that wind and nuclear power are incompatible. Both types of electrical generation are expensive, but the former is highly erratic, unstable, and unreliable, while nuclear is stable and reliable. To TWTW that a large part of the cost of nuclear power is due to concerns with safety that border on neurotic.

As Homewood writes concerning nuclear expansion:

“The current strike price for Hinkley Point C [nuclear] is £113.83/MWh. If prices could be reduced to below £100/MWh, it would make economic sense given current power prices of double that.

“There are two issues raised by this strategy:

“1) Who will build and fund them? [the nuclear reactors]

“2) A nuclear strategy rather undermines the case for wind and solar power. With the baseload provided by nuclear, wind and solar power will be redundant much of the time.

“And, of course, you cannot simply ramp nuclear up and down to match the vagaries of renewables. Quite apart from the technical issues, the economic case for nuclear depends on 24/7 operation.” See links under Energy Issues – Non-US and Nuclear Energy and Fears

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Unreal! The problems for the UK and EU for cutting off Russian oil and gas are real. It takes time to convert to other forms of electricity generation and wind and solar are unreliable unless an affordable, utility scale form of storage is found. As Francis Menton discussed in last week’s TWTW and below “Reality Cannot Penetrate Into The Fantasy World Of Climate Campaigners.”

“For example, why would a small-population jurisdiction like New York — with about 20 million people, compared to about 2.8 billion for the combination of China and India, and with existing fossil-fuel electricity generation capacity of about 25 GW — struggle to reduce its fossil-fueled electricity generation by, say, one GW per year, when China alone is adding 38 GW of coal-fired power plants this year, and another 47 GW next year, with hundreds more gigawatts worth of coal plants already in the pipeline?”

Further, false promises abound. In discussing a report by the Lazard consulting firm, Andrew Montford writes:

“The graph apparently shows a dramatic fall in the costs of various forms of renewable energy. However, with the best will in the world, the numbers it shows are, well, junk.”

“And the Lazard figure doesn’t look anything like the equivalent figures for UK offshore windfarms either. The UK is important in this field because it has half of the global offshore wind fleet, as well as completely transparent cost data, in the form of Companies House audited accounts. This data shows that the typical capital cost is now around £3.5m/MW, so up to twice the figure suggested by Lazards.”

US offshore wind plans also show imaginative accounting. Add to this the false climate crisis and China, alone, exceeded per capita emissions of advanced economies according to the EIA:

“On a per capita basis, CO2 emissions in advanced economies have fallen to 8.2 tonnes on average and are now below the average of 8.4 tonnes in China. However, the overall average for advanced economies masks significant differences: per capita emissions average 14 tonnes in the United States, 6 tonnes in the European Union, and 3.2 tonnes in Mexico.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy. Energy Issues – US, Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Storage and Article # 1.

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Small Correction: In Basic Climate Physics #6, Howard Hayden corrects an error on the graph on the first page, Climate Constraint Equation. The values on the vertical axis, Greenhouse Gas Effect G were corrected to a range of 70 to 250 with the value of the horizontal line in the graph showing 159 rather than the previous 398. In entering data, a small typo can make a big difference. Correcting errors advances science, ignoring them does not. See http://www.sepp.org/science_papers.cfm

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Monday Evening Lecture: As seen through his own case concerning climate science, award-winning astrophysicist and geoscientist Willie Soon will explain how science has become politicized to target scientists who disagree with the dominant narrative of the scientific community. Dr. Soon will also consider how science could be reformed to be more open and better able to investigate and debate questions of public policy. There is no cost, but reservations are recommended to attend. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD – THE JACKSON

SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving. The entire Biden Administration won in 2021, so individuals in it are still eligible.

The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason the person is qualified for the honor to [email protected] The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness on August 14 to 16.

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Number of the Week: 18,000. According to promotional material: “The IPCC report included 278 authors from 65 countries reviewing over 18,000 scientific papers” all in an effort to avoid discussing the characteristics of the atmosphere where the greenhouse effect occurs. If the greenhouse effect is not significantly increasing in the atmosphere, it cannot cause dangerous warming of the surface. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

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

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-biological-impacts/

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

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

http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr-ii-fossil-fuels/

Download with no charge:

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Climate-Change-Reconsidered-II-Fossil-Fuels-FULL-Volume-with-covers.pdf

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

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

The Weaponization of Science: Politics, Vilification, and the Climate Debate.

By Dr. Willie Soon, Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center, 6:30 pm, April 11, 2022

227 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

Something Weird About Total Least Squares in Optimal Fingerprinting-Type Regressions

By Ross McKitrick, His Blog, Mar 25, 2022

https://www.rossmckitrick.com/

Link to paper: Total Least Squares Bias when Explanatory Variables are Correlated

By Ross McKitrick, Earth and Space Science, (EssoAr), Mar 24, 2022

https://www.essoar.org/doi/10.1002/essoar.10510919.1

online paper

Reality Cannot Penetrate Into The Fantasy World Of Climate Campaigners

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 5, 2022

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-4-5-reality-cannot-penetrate-into-the-fantasy-world-of-climate-campaigners

On Lazard

Renewables Are a Catastrophic Mistake

By Andrew Montford, Net Zero Watch, Apr 4, 2022

Link to report by Lazard

Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy (“LCOE”) analysis addresses the following topics:

By Staff, Lazard, November 2019

Climate Alarmist Claim Fact Checks

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, Apr 7, 2022

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/alarmist_claim_rebuttals_updated/

New IPCC Report Deals in Politically Convenient Fictions Rather than Fact-Based Reality

By Patrick J. Michaels, CEI, Apr 4, 2022

https://cei.org/news_releases/new-ipcc-report-deals-in-politically-convenient-fictions-rather-than-fact-based-reality/

And if they don’t know that…

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 6, 2022

“In fact we already have. We did a whole video on it. Which he seems to have missed. So here’s the brief summary: ECS, which stands for Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, is central to the discussion of atmospheric CO2 because what the science actually says is that if CO2 has the warming effects many scientists have believed since Svante Arrhenius’s pioneering work, then as Barmby says ‘The relationship between global warming to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not linear, it is logarithmic.’”

Wildfires and mudslides already in the environmental media

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP, Apr 4, 2022

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/wildfires_already_in_the_environmental_news1/

China Continues To Laugh At Western “Green Energy” Foolishness

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 2, 2022

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-4-2-china-continues-to-laugh-at-western-green-energy-foolishness

Link to IEA report: Global Energy Review: CO2 Emissions in 2021

By Staff, EIA, March 2022

https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-co2-emissions-in-2021-2

You’ll Miss Fossil Fuels When They’re Gone

Progressives may loathe oil and gas, but modern life doesn’t work without them.

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 8, 2022



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