Just How Accurate Are Weather And Climate Measurements?

by Dr J. Lehr & T. Ciccone, Jan 5, 2021 in ClimateChangeDispatch

The accuracy and integrity of weather and climate measurements have always been a concern. However, errors and omissions were not as consequential in the past as they are now.

A hundred or even fifty years ago, our major weather concerns were more limited to local weather. When we have a flight from NYC to LAX, we need to know more detailed and reliable weather information, like is it snowing in St. Louis where we have a layover?

Or the farmer in Nebraska who needs to see the spring wheat production forecast in Ukraine. He needs the best possible information to better estimate the number of acres of winter wheat he should plant for today’s global markets.

We especially need better and more reliable information to decide what actions we should consider preparing for climate changes.

While scientists, engineers, and software programmers know the importance and the need for this data accuracy, the general public is not aware of how challenging these tasks can be.

When looking at long term climate data, we may have to use multiple proxies (indirect measures that we hope vary directly with weather), which add an extra layer of complexities, costs, and sources of error.

One of the most commonly used proxies is the ancient temperature and CO2 levels from ice core samples. Also, for the last few hundred years, tree-ring data was a primary source of annual temperatures.

Climate Change Causation: Was The Medieval Warm Period ‘Regional?’

by F. Menton, Jan 5, 2021 in ClimateChangeDispatch

Some commenters yesterday noted that the climate establishment has not just completely ignored the threat to their orthodoxy posed by the Medieval Warm Period and other similarly-warm pre-human-emissions eras.

Initially, there was a recognition that this issue could be important, and there was definitely some attempt to deal with it.

However, over time, the accumulation of evidence, particularly as to the existence Medieval Warm Period as a global phenomenon, gradually became overwhelming.

So — in the face of evidence that, under the normal precepts of the scientific method, would be deemed to invalidate the hypothesis that only human CO2 emissions could be causing current warming — how can the orthodoxy be kept alive?

The answer, almost entirely, has been to resort to the hand-waving of “detection and attribution” studies, and hope nobody notices. And, to a remarkable extent, nobody notices.

Readers may be interested in a short history of this issue.

See also  A prequel to the Dantean Anomaly: the precipitation seesaw and droughts of 1302 to 1307 in Europe

The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies by Guillaume Pitron, review — our dirty future

by P. Homewood, Jan 6, 2021 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

When Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland from Denmark in 2019 it was dismissed as illegal and absurd. However, the president’s expression of interest was far from absurd, says Guillaume Pitron. Under its soil Greenland boasts one of the largest concentrations of the rare metals that the world will need to power electric cars, computers, mobile phones, robots, solar power plants, artificial intelligence and many high-tech “green” innovations that have not been dreamt up yet. If Trump were after those minerals, buying Greenland would have been a smart move.

The global production and sales of rare metals are dominated by China. It mines so much of them on home soil and controls so much of their extraction in Africa and elsewhere that it oversees up to 95 per cent of the global production of certain minerals. This puts Beijing in charge of “the oil of the 21st century”, writes Pitron, which is a problem for western nations because it means China can restrict supply and drive prices up or down at will, as Opec does with oil. We have “entrusted a precious monopoly of mineral sovereignty to potential rivals”, he notes.

Discarded devices waiting to have their precious metals extracted


Rare earth minerals production is very energy intensive. Extracting a single kilogram of some requires mining as much as 1,200 tonnes of rock. “Clean energy is a dirty affair,” Pitron writes. He drives home his point by touring villages near polluted lakes in China that are known locally as “cancer villages”.