Greenland Ice Core CO2 Concentrations Deserve Reconsideration

by Renee Hannon, January 7, 2020, in WUWT

Ice cores datasets are important tools when reconstructing Earth’s paleoclimate. Antarctic ice core data are routinely used as proxies for past CO2 concentrations. This is because twenty years ago scientists theorized Greenland ice core CO2 data was unreliable since CO2trapped in air bubbles had potentially been altered by in-situ chemical reactions. As a result, Greenland CO2 datasets are not used in scientific studies to understand Northern and Southern hemispheres interactions and sensitivity of greenhouse gases under various climatic conditions.

This theory was put forward because Greenland CO2 data were more variable and different than Antarctic CO2 measurements located in the opposite polar region about 11,000 miles away. This article re-examines Greenland ice cores to see if they do indeed contain useful CO2 data. The theory of in-situ chemical reactions to explain a surplus and deficit of CO2, relative to Antarctic data, will be shown to be tenuous. The Greenland CO2 data demonstrates a response to the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Dansgaard-Oeschger and other past climate change events. This response to past climate changes offers an improved explanation for why Greenland and Antarctic CO2 measurements differ. Further, Greenland CO2 measurements show rapid increases of 100 ppm during warm events in relatively short periods of time.

Atmospheric CO2 is More Variable in Northern Latitudes

Figure 1, from NOAA, shows atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured from the continuous monitoring program at four key baseline stations spanning from the South Pole to Barrow, Alaska. CO2 has risen from about 330 ppm to over 400 ppm since 1975 and is increasing at approximately 1-2+ ppm/year. Many scientists believe that rapidly increasing CO2 is mostly due to fossil fuel emissions.

Figure 1. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations from NOAA

L’hydrogène, l’éternelle illusion

by M. Gay & S. Furfari, 8 janvier 2020 in Contrepoints

L’hydrogène (H2) est une terrible illusion comme énergie alternative aux combustibles fossiles. Les médias semblent fascinés par ce gaz perçu comme une panacée, mais entre la science et la perception publique ou politique, il y a un abîme.

Cette erreur commune persiste notamment parce que Jeremy Rifkin, un gourou dans le domaine de l’hydrogène, a présenté The Hydrogen Economy dans laquelle ce gaz remplacerait les combustibles fossiles pour la production d’électricité et les transports.

Bon orateur répétant son mantra depuis maintenant plus de 15 ans, Rifkin a réussi à convaincre de nombreux politiciens, en particulier dans l’Union européenne (UE), que la révolution de l’hydrogène était en marche. Mais l’effet magique « abracadabra » ne fonctionne pas dans la science et l’économie.

Climate models continue to project too much warming

by Dr. J. Lehr & J. Taylor, January 6, 2020 in CFACT

A recently published paper, titled “Evaluating the Performance of Past Climate Model Projections,” mistakenly claims climate models have been remarkably accurate predicting future temperatures. The paper is receiving substantial media attention, but we urge caution before blindly accepting the paper’s assertions.

As an initial matter, the authors of the paper are climate modelers. Climate modelers have a vested self-interest in convincing people that climate modeling is accurate and worthy of continued government funding. The fact that the authors are climate modelers does not by itself invalidate the paper’s conclusions, but it should signal a need for careful scrutiny of the authors’ claims.

Co-author Gavin Schmidt has been one of the most prominent and outspoken persons asserting humans are creating a climate crisis and that immediate government action is needed to combat it. Again, Schmidt’s climate activism does not by itself invalidate the paper’s conclusions, but it should signal a need for careful scrutiny of the authors’ claims.

The paper examines predictions made by 17 climate models dating back to 1970. The paper asserts 14 of the 17 were remarkably accurate, with only three having predicted too much warming.

One of the paper’s key assertions is that global emissions have risen more slowly than commonly forecast, which the authors claim explains why temperatures are running colder than the models predicted. The authors compensate for this by adjusting the predicted model temperatures downward to reflect fewer-than-expected emissions. Yet fewer-than-expected greenhouse gas emissions undercut the climate crisis narrative.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has already reduced its initial projection of 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming per decade to merely 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. Keeping in mind that skeptics have typically predicted approximately 0.1 degree Celsius of warming per decade, the United Nations has conceded skeptics have been at least as close to the truth with their projections as the United Nations. Moreover, global temperatures are likely only rising at a pace of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade, which is even closer to skeptic predictions.

Even after the authors adjusted the model predictions to reflect fewer-than-expected greenhouse gas emissions, there remains at least one very important problem, which immediately jumped out at us when carefully examining the paper’s findings: The paper’s assertion of remarkable model accuracy rests on a substantial temperature spike from 2015 through 2017. A strong, temporary El Niño caused the short-term spike in global temperatures from 2015 to 2017. The plotted temperature data in the paper, however, show that temperatures prior to the El Niño spike ran consistently colder than the models’ adjusted predicted temperatures. When the El Niño recedes, as they always do, temperatures will almost certainly resume running colder than the models predicted, even after adjusting for fewer-than-expected greenhouse gas emissions.

Another problem with the paper is that it utilizes controversial and dubiously adjusted temperature datasets rather than more reliable ones. The paper relies on temperature datasets that are not replicated in any real-world temperature measurements. Surface temperature measurements and measurements taken by highly precise satellite instruments show significantly less warming than the authors claim. The authors rely on temperature datasets that utilize controversial adjustments to claim more recent warming than what has actually been measured, which further undercuts their claim of remarkable model accuracy.

Contrary to what has been written in many breathless media reports, the most important takeaways from the paper are that greenhouse gas emissions are rising at a more modest pace than predicted, the modest pace of global temperature rise reflects the modest pace of rising emissions, and climate models have consistently predicted too much warming—even after accounting for fewer-than-expected greenhouse gas emissions. A temporary spike in global temperatures reflecting the recent El Niño does not save the models from their consistent inaccuracy.

The Fracking Decade

by Noah Rothman, January 2020, in Commentary

The malady afflicting the country was unmistakable, according to George W. Bush. “America is addicted to oil,” the president observed in his 2006 State of the Union address. This wasn’t just an observation. It was a call to arms. If the U.S. failed to wean itself off foreign oil, the consequences for the domestic economy and U.S. foreign policy would be grave. Doing so would require substantial investments in America’s ethanol industry as well as the development of oil deposits in pristine natural parks and off the nation’s shores.

In 2008, the U.S. produced an average of just 5 million barrels of oil per day—the nadir of domestic energy production since the exploitation of fossil fuels began in the late 19th century. By 2009, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude was approaching $150 per barrel. The U.S., therefore, was obliged to spend over $1 billion per day on oil imports from foreign countries, few of which could be considered models of good governance. America’s thirst for oil propped up abusive governments in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Syria.