The world is drowning in articles about catastrophic sea level rise (SLR), reminding us that if the ice sheets melt, 260 feet of water will flood our coastal cities. We know that sea level today is 20-30 feet lower than it was at the end of the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago. We also know that sea level has risen 430 feet since the end of the last glacial maximum 22,000 years ago. Research shows this rise was not monotonic but oscillatory, and during periods over the past 10,000 years, sea level has been several meters higher than today. So, evidence supports the possibility of higher sea levels, but does the evidence support the possibility of catastrophic sea level rise from rapidly melting ice?
In this paper, basic science is used to show that catastrophic SLR from melting ice cannot happen naturally over a short period. Additionally, humankind does not possess the capability to melt a large amount of ice quickly even through our most advanced technology. This news should relieve the public, which is routinely deceived by reporting that misrepresents the facts. The public is susceptible to unnecessary alarmism when melt rates and ice-melt masses are presented without perspective and juxtaposed against claims that scientists are worried. This paper uses the same facts but places them in perspective to show that catastrophic risks do not exist.
This post has two related parts. The first has to do with the recently published study of AIRS satellite-based surface skin temperature trends. The second is our response to a rather nasty Twitter comment maligning our UAH global temperature dataset that was a response to that study.
Furthermore, that period (January 2003 through December 2017) shows significant warming even in our UAH lower tropospheric temperature (LT) data, with a trend 0.01 warmer than the “gold standard” HadCRUT4 surface temperature dataset (all deg. C/decade):
I’m pretty sure the Susskind et al. paper was meant to prop up Gavin Schmidt’s GISTEMP dataset, which generally shows greater warming trends than the HadCRUT4 dataset that the IPCC tends to favor more. It remains to be seen whether the AIRS skin temperature dataset, with its “clear sky bias”, will be accepted as a way to monitor global temperature trends into the future.
In Part One of this series, we looked at Peak Oil and its irrelevance to energy production and also discussed the relevance of Seinfeld. In Part Deux, we looked at “abiotic oil,” a real(ish) thing that really doesn’t matter outside of academic discussions and SyFy blogs.
Part Trois will explore perhaps the most meaningless notion to ever come out of academia: Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI or EROI depending on spelling skill). EROEI is like what Seinfeld would have been if it was written by Douglas Adams.
I have maintained since 2015 that in the 2006-2007 season the Arctic underwent a cyclical phase shift, and the rapid sea-ice melting observed over the previous decades ended. A few scientists predicted or explained this shift based on their study of multi-decadal oscillations (see bibliography). They were ignored by mainstream climatology and the press because the “anthropogenic” melting of the Arctic is one of the main selling points of the climate scare. See for example:
Year after year the data supports my view over the desperate scaremongers like Tamino. With the passing of time it is more and more difficult to defend the idea that Arctic melting is continuing, so alarmists keep changing the metric. First it was September sea-ice extent (SIE), then September sea-ice volume, and now annual average SIE. However, the reference measurements are September minimum SIE and March maximum SIE.
This article is more than a biannual update on the Arctic ice situation, as I will focus specifically on showing evidence for the trend change that took place in 2007. As 12 years have passed since the shift, the best way is to compare the 2007-2019 period with the previous 1994-2006 period of equal length to display the striking differences between both periods.
Figure 1. Changes in September SIE for both periods as a percentage change over the first year of the period.
In part one of this series, we looked at Peak Oil and its irrelevance to energy production. In Part Deux, we will look at “abiotic oil,” a real(ish) thing that really doesn’t matter outside of academic discussions and SyFy blogs.
A note on terminology
Some refer to this as “abiogenic oil.” This is not a useful term because all oil is abiogenic. The generally accepted theory of petroleum formation doesn’t state that it is a biogenic process. I discussed this in detail in a 2017 post. I don’t intend to restate it here.
In this post, “abiotic oil” refers to petroleum formed by processes that do not rely on biological source material. The carbon in “abiotic oil” must be inorganic.
A real example of abiotic “oil”
The Lost City Hydrothermal Field is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, about 15 km (~9 mi) west of the spreading center, in water depths ranging from 750-900 m (~2,500-3,000′) (Kelley et al., 2005).
Figure 1. Lost City location map. (University of Washington)
We discuss the issues of primary importance to understand the nature of climate changes in the 20th century and main physical processes responsible for these changes and present a physical model for the solar activity (SA) effect on climate characteristics. A key concept of this model is the heliogeophysical disturbance effect on the Earth climate system parameters driving the long-wave radiation flux moving away from the Earth out into space in high-latitude regions. We address the solar activity effect on the changes in the temperature of the atmosphere and of the World Ocean. The aa–index of the geomagnetic activity (GA) was used as an SA proxy index. We discuss the results of analyzing the regularities and peculiarities of the tropospheric and sea surface temperature (SST) responses to both separate heliogeophysical disturbances and long-term changes in solar and geomagnetic activity. The structure of the tropospheric and SST temperature responses was shown to feature a spatial time irregularity. We revealed the regions, where long-term SST changes are determined mainly by SA variations.
We should be thankful that the gloom-and-doom predictions made throughout the past several decades haven’t come true. Fear-mongering about explosive population growth, food crises and the imminent depletion of natural resources have been a staple of Earth Day events since 1970. And the common thread among them is that they’ve stirred up a lot more emotions than facts.
“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate … that there won’t be any more crude oil,” ecologist Kenneth Watt warned around the time of the first Earth Day event. “You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ’er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” Watt also warned of global cooling and nitrogen buildup rendering all of the planet’s land unusable.
The plots of the Seinfeld TV show often revolved around trivializing important things and blowing trivial things out of proportion. While not a Seinfeld fanatic (I’m more of a Frasierfanatic), I thought the comedy routines were generally brilliant and quite effective.
Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) are largely academic concepts. They are the subject of books, academic publications and Internet “debates” The “debates” about Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI are a lot like the Seinfeld show. They magnify the trivial and trivialize things that actually matter. The “debates” often divide into two camps:
It’s the end of the world (Peak Oil, EROEI).
It’s our salvation from the end of the world (Abiotic oil).
While all three of these energy-related topics are, at least to some extent, real, none of them have the slightest relevance to energy production… except for Peak Oil… But the relevance is generally missed by both sides in Internet “debates.”
I had originally intended on combining Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI into one post; but realized that it would have been longer than Tolstoy’s War and Peace. So, this post will be limited to Peak Oil. Part Deux will deal briefly with abiotic oil and Part Trois will deal more extensively with EROEI.
Yesterday I wrote here how some scientists misrepresent the observed data concerning Greenland ice melt in order to get the alarming results they want. There we see that Greenland has been melting, but recently much more slowly than what we are often led to believe.
Looking at the latest Greenland ice volume data from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), we see that currently the ice volume is below normal, but well within the range of the past 17 years:
Data source: Danish Meteorological Institute. Chart by Kirye.
Also Tony Heller at Real Science here plotted Arctic ice volume for the past 12 years in succession. Here’s how all the media-claimed rapid Arctic melting really looks
by P. Homewood, April 20, 2019 in NotaLotOfPeopleKKnowThat
The Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. It’s been largely submerged beneath the sea over the last 6 decades. The program gives the definite impression that the main reason for this inundation is sea level rise due to melting ice and thermal expansion of the oceans – driven by man-made climate change. Attenborough does mention oil extraction as a cause but his narrative is lost to the general tone of the messaging that this is a “climate catastrophe” and that the families driven from their homes in this part of Louisiana are some of the world’s first “climate refugees”. This is palpable bullshit.
I thought about making this my last article on climate for this or any other website except my own. I planned the action some time ago, but it was the recent headline in the Telegraph that triggered this penultimate move. It said, “Climate change is a risk investors can’t ignore: Black Rock latest to sound the alarm on environment.”
Climate change is not a risk factor. Current climate and climate changes are normal and well within the pattern of change over history, certainly the last 10,000 years. The world believes otherwise, despite efforts by me and others to make the correct information available.
This means that after 50 years (1968-2019) of trying to educate the public about the weather, global warming, and climate change I achieved little or no change in understanding, attitude, or most importantly, policy on the world stage. My attempts to counter the massive deception that began as human-caused global warming (AGW) and later shifted to human-caused climate change, fell short. The deception is now what people accept, although they don’t necessarily believe. Because of that it is now the underlying reason for all policy on energy and environment that are the mainstay of these business-world views, indeed all views.
In 2010 Nunavut’s Minister of Environment Daniel Shewchuk wrote, “Inuit hunters have a close relationship with the land and wildlife. They have observed that the overall population of polar bears in Nunavut is not declining as some suggest, but rather is thriving. No known environmental or other factors are currently posing a significant or immediate threat to polar bears overall. Furthermore, Inuit knowledge and science corroborate that the species can and will adapt to changing and severe climatic conditions, as it has done for centuries.”
The Inuit truly practice the concept of “it takes a village”. Hunters sit down in kappiananngittuq and respectfully share their observations of wildlife and their movements. Kappiananngittuq is the Inuit word for a “safe place to discuss”. Based on community discussions, Inuit have steadfastly claimed it is “The Time of the Most Polar Bears”. Overhunting has been one of the world’s greatest threats to wildlife. And the growing number of polar bears is testimony to wise hunting regulations now honored by the Inuit.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse