Archives de catégorie : better to know…?

Why CO2 is Not the Control Knob of Global Temperature and Observational Proof it is Not Causing Dangerous Warming

by Institute for the Human Environment,   August 2019


There is no debate as to whether or not atmospheric carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a so-called greenhouse gas. When present in the atmosphere, this one-carbon and two-oxygen molecule indeed has the capacity to absorb infrared radiation and warm the planet. There is also no debate as to whether or not the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is rising; over the past two centuries it has increased from a meager 0.028% of the atmosphere by volume to a still-meager 0.041% today. Furthermore, there is no argument that global temperatures are warmer today than they were 50, 100 or even 200 years ago. However, there is much debate on whether or not the modern increase in atmospheric CO2 has caused, or is presently causing, dangerous global warming, warming so severe that it is threatening life all across the planet.

But how accurate is this narrative?

In answering this question, one need only examine the historic temperature and CO2 records illustrated in Figure 1 more critically. Certainly, these two variables experience a fairly high degree of correlation over the time period shown. However, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. scientist to recognize and understand the fact that correlation among two variables does not prove causation. Every textbook on statistics teaches as much, and they also teach that a hypothesis of causation among two variables can be rejected if there is no statistically significant correlation between them, or if the correlation fails to be maintained in a consistent and expected manner across time.

By applying such principles to the case being considered here, it can confidently be argued that if carbon dioxide is indeed the all-important control knob of temperature that climate alarmists claim it to be, then changes in atmospheric CO2 should always precede changes in temperature. And, because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, to prove causation those changes must always be such that a rise in CO2 induces a corresponding rise in temperature, whereas a decline in CO2 must always induce a corresponding drop in temperature. Consistent observations to the contrary, if present in the historic record, would therefore serve to invalidate a causation claim, as well as demonstrate that atmospheric CO2 is nothing more than a bit player among the many factors that drive climate change.

Figure 1. 400,000 years of historic temperature and CO2 from the Vostok Ice Core, Antarctica. Source: Petit et al. (1999) Nature 399: 429-436.

‘MASSIVE POOL’ OF METHANE HIDDEN DEEP BENEATH EARTH’S SURFACE DISCOVERED BY SCIENTISTS

by Hannay Osborne, 21 August 2019 in Newsweek from PNAS


A huge source of methane has been discovered deep beneath the surface of Earth, sitting between the upper mantle and lower oceanic crust. The discovery is important as it could provide an insight into the hydrothermal vents that may have helped the planet’s first life emerge. Researchers also argue it could be a source of hydrogen and methane on other planets in the solar system—”even those where liquid water is no longer present.”

The ‘abiotic’ methane—methane that is not formed with organic matter—was found locked inside rocks. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Massachusetts, took 160 samples from hydrothermal sites across the globe, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Guaymas Basin, the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Cayman Rise. After analyzing them with a laser-based microscope, they found that almost all contained pockets of methane.

In their study, published in the journal PNAS, the team says this could be the biggest source of abiotic methane in the world. This reservoir, they say, could account for more methane than was in Earth’s atmosphere before the onset of the industrial era.

The methane appears to have formed by reactions between trapped water and olivine, a group of rock-forming minerals found in the planet’s subsurface. When seawater moves through the deep ocean crust, it mixes with magma-hot olivine. When the mineral cools, the water is trapped inside and a chemical reaction takes place, leading to the formation of hydrogen and methane.

Traditionally, we think of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—as forming when organic material breaks down. When it is emitted into the atmosphere, it has a warming effect far greater than carbon dioxide, although it is far shorter-lived than the latter, disappearing after about a decade.

However, methane is also known to exist on the seafloor. It is released through deep-sea vents—geothermally heated fissures on Earth’s crust. In 2016, scientists with the Ocean Exploration Trust discovered over 500 methane spewing vents off the west coast of the U.S.

However, the source of the seafloor methane has remained something of a mystery. “Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” study author Jeffrey Seewald, a senior scientist at WHOI, said in a statement.

Lead author Frieder Klein added: “We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle. Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology.”

The latest travesty in ‘consensus enforcement’

by Judith Curry, August 14, 2019 in ClimateEtc.


The latest travesty in consensus ‘enforcement’, published by Nature.
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Abstract. We juxtapose 386 prominent contrarians with 386 expert scientists by tracking their digital footprints across 200,000 research publications and 100,000 English-language digital and print media articles on climate change. Projecting these individuals across the same backdrop facilitates quantifying disparities in media visibility and scientific authority, and identifying organization patterns within their association networks. Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources by the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale. These results demonstrate why climate scientists should increasingly exert their authority in scientific and public discourse, and why professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.
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This ranks as the worst paper I have ever seen published in a reputable journal.  The major methodological problems and dubious assumptions:
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  • Category error to sort into contrarians and climate scientists, with contrarians including scientists, journalists and politicians.
  • Apart from the category error, the two groups are incorrectly specified, with some climate scientists incorrectly designated as contrarians.
  • Cherry picking the citation data of top 386 cited scientists to delete Curry, Pielke Jr, Tol, among others (p 12 of Supplemental Information)
  • Acceptance of the partisan, activist, non-scientist group DeSmog as a legitimate basis for categorizing scientists as ‘contrarian’
  • Assumption that scientific expertise on the causes of climate change relates directly to the number of scientific citations.
  • Assumption that it would be beneficial for the public debate on climate change  for the ‘unheard’ but highly cited climate scientists to enter into the media fray.
  • Assumption that scientists have special authority in policy debates on climate change
The real travesty is this press release issued by UC Merced:

The harm that this paper does to climate science is an attempt to de-legitimize climate scientists (both academic and non academic), with the ancillary effects of making it more difficult to get their papers published in journals (stay tuned for my latest engagement with the journal peer review process, coming later this month) and the censorship of Nir Shaviv by Forbes (hopefully coming later this week).

AUSTRALIA HIT BY ANTARCTIC FRONT WITH TOWNS RECEIVING THEIR FIRST SNOW IN DECADES

by Cap Allon, August 12, 2019 in Electroverse


Regions just 90 minutes from Sydney received extremely rare snow over the weekend, as an intense cold front released from the Antarctic pushed north past Tasmania.

Blackheath resident Erica Mann was ecstatic to find fresh white powder falling in her garden, saying it was the most snow she had ever seen there:

“I opened the curtains and I could see a huge amount of snow on top of the water tank — it was so exciting,” she said. “It’s amazing. I went up the street … and all the houses are completely covered in snow.”

Residents in the Riverina also received a dumping of snow, with some towns recording their first falls in decades. Cootamundra local Steve Theobald said the last time he remembered snow there was 1985(solar minimum of cycle 21), while residents in Tumut –just 300 metres above sea level– said it was their first fall since 2000.

Other towns in southern NSW which recorded rare snow include Adelong, Harden and Batlow.

The powder continued falling through Sunday and finally began abating on Monday.

See also here (in French)

Greenland’s ‘Record Temperature’ denied – the data was wrong

by Anthony Watts, August 12, 2019 in WUWT


From the “But, but, wait! Our algorithms can adjust for that!” department comes this tale of alarmist woe. Greenland’s all-time record temperature wasn’t a record at all, and it never got above freezing there.


First, the wailing from news media:

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/climate/european-heatwave-climate-change.html

WAPO: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/10/greenland-witnessed-its-highest-june-temperature-ever-recorded-on-thursday/

Climate Progress: https://thinkprogress.org/greenland-hits-record-75-f-sets-melt-record-as-globe-aims-at-hottest-year-e34e534e533e/

Polar Portal: http://polarportal.dk/en/news/news/record-high-temperature-for-june-in-greenland/


Now from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), via the news website The Local, the cooler reality:

It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains

by The Guardian, August 13, 2019


Plastic was the furthest thing from Gregory Wetherbee’s mind when he began analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains. “I guess I expected to see mostly soil and mineral particles,” said the US Geological Survey researcher. Instead, he found multicolored microscopic plastic fibers.

The discovery, published in a recent study (pdf) titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth.

“I think the most important result that we can share with the American public is that there’s more plastic out there than meets the eye,” said Wetherbee. “It’s in the rain, it’s in the snow. It’s a part of our environment now.”

Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers, as well as beads and shards. The findings shocked Wetherbee, who had been collecting the samples in order to study nitrogen pollution.

Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers. Photograph: USGS

Fake news: an open letter to the Editor of the Washington Post

by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, August 5, 2019 in WUWT


 Yet again, the hard-Left Washington Post has libeled Dr Willie Soon, whom many of us know to be one of the most dedicated scientists in single-minded pursuit of the objective truth about global warming. If you agree with the following Letter to the Editor, please write your own letter and send it in to the Washpot.

Sir,

The Post’s inaccurate and malicious personal attack on Dr. Willie Soon

….

MALDIVES TO OPEN FIVE NEW AIRPORTS IN 2019

by Maldives Insider, May 20, 2019


Five new airports will come into operation by the end of the year, Maldives government announced Sunday.

Transport minister Aishath Nahula told local media that construction of airports on the islands of Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll, Funadhoo in Shaviyani atoll, Maafaru in Noonu atoll, Madivaru in Lhaviyani atoll and Maavarulu in Gaaf Dhaal atoll is nearing completion. Kulhudhuffushi airport will come into operation first, followed by Funadhoo and Maafaru airport in August, she said.

The airport being developed in Kulhudhuffushi, a key population zone in the north, and in Maafaru, a proposed ultra-luxury tourism zone, had earlier welcomed test flights. However, delays in the construction of terminal and other support facilities had pushed back commercial operations.

Six hectares off the southern coast of Kulhudhuffushi and another nine hectares from the island’s wetlands were reclaimed for the airport, which has a runway measuring 1,200 metres in length and 60 metres in width.

Known as the “Heart of the North”, Kulhudhuffushi is the economic capital of the northern Maldives and has a population of over 9,000, making it one of the biggest and most populous islands in the northern part of the country. The island is famous for its mangroves, after which the island itself is named.

What the Climate Change Models Actually Say

by R. Murphy, July 20, 2019 in FoundationEconomicEducation


An Earth scientist’s recent article making the rounds on social media highlights a terrifying conversation he had with “a very senior member” of the IPCC, which is the UN’s body devoted to studying climate science. The upshot of their conversation was that millions of people will die from climate change, a conclusion that leads the author to lament that humans have created a consumption-driven civilization that is “hell-bent on destroying itself.”

As with most such alarmist rhetoric, there is little to document these sweeping claims—even if we restrict ourselves to “official” sources of information, including the IPCC reports themselves. The historical record does not justify panic, but instead should lead us to expect continued progress for humanity, so long as the normal operation of voluntary market interactions continues without significant political interference to sabotage it.

Here is the opening hook from James Dyke’s article, in which he grabs the reader with an apocalyptic conversation:

COLD PERU: “WE ARE GOING THROUGH ONE OF THE MOST INTENSE WINTERS IN 50 YEARS”

by Cap Alon, July 26, 2019 in Electroverse


Lima, the capital of Peru, is going through one of its coldest winters in almost 50 years, according to the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology, with this year even surpassing the truly brutal 2018 season.

“Lima is currently recording minimum temperatures around 14.7C,” said climatology expert Lourdes Menis Álvarez of Senamhi. “As for maximum temperatures, we are around 17.5C.”

Comparing these temperatures to the 2018 season, which itself was one of the coldest winters on record, Álvarez found that this year has been significantly cooler to date, with temps ranging on average between 1C to 1.5C colder.

According to Álvarez, these types of cold winters were once common-place in Lima. Of late, however, strong El Niños have brought “long summers and warm winters” to the region.

Though the tide is clearly now turning. Álvarez: “The winter of 2018 was one of the coldest in almost 50 years. However, the winter of 2019 has already surpassed it in intensity.”

The cold times are returning, in line with historically low solar activity:

 

See also here (Russia)

LE PEER-REVIEW, IRREPROCHABLE ?

by Jo Moreau, 17 juillet 2019 in Belgotopia


Quel est le principe de fonctionnement du « peer review », ou révision par les pairs 

Nous avons déjà pu apprécier à quel point la publication d’un article dans une revue scientifique pratiquant le « peer review » constitue pour certains le sommet, et même la condition sine qua non pour se voir accorder l’autorisation d’émettre un avis sur un sujet donné (dans notre cas : le réchauffement, pardon, les changements climatiques).

L’exemple le plus récent est illustré par la position d’un réseau social bien connu qui émet un avis à la limite calomnieux à l’égard d’un physicien par ailleurs professeur d’université, qui a fait l’objet de mon article précédent : https://belgotopia.com/2019/07/15/menaces-ouvertes-sur-les-ecrits-giecosceptiques/

Comment cela fonctionne-t-il ? Le scientifique (ou le groupe de scientifiques) soumet son étude à l’éditeur de la revue qu‘il aura choisie (ou à plusieurs d‘entre eux). Il s’agit souvent du premier filtre, l’éditeur jugeant si l’étude est ou non conforme à la ligne éditoriale de la revue. Le physicien Edwin BERRY vient encore d’en faire l’expérience. Son étude « Le CO2 d’origine humaine a peu d’effet sur le CO2 présent dans l’atmosphère » a été refusée par l’American Journal of Climate Change sous le seul et unique motif que « La conclusion de cet article est complètement opposée au consensus de la communauté universitaire ». Evidemment, le fait que Ed BERRY soit un GIECosceptique affirmé n’aura pas favorisé sa démarche …

GLOBAL INVESTMENT IN GREEN ENERGY DROPS SHARPLY

by GWPF, July 12, 2019 in FinacialTimes


Investment in clean energy slipped to $117.6bn, a decline of 14 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A sudden change in China’s renewable energy policies last year — when it curbed solar and wind subsidies — has dramatically reduced the number of new projects in the world’s largest market.

Clean energy investment in China was down 39 per cent during the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

However, those figures could improve later this year, suggested Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of Asia-Pacific.

Source: BloombergNEF.

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

by Jim Steele, July 10, 209 in WUWT


What’s Natural?

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

I resent the one-sided mis-characterization of humanity as “destroyers of our environment”. Humans certainly had negative impacts on most ecosystems. However, in contrast to a recent United Nations report insinuating we are threatening one million species with extinction, humans have been working hard to restore nature and prevent further extinctions. Most endangered species are still staggering from disruptions initiated centuries ago. But now humans are correcting past mistakes.

Islands have been extinction hotspots. Sixty-one percent of all known extinctions have occurred on islands and 37% of today’s critically endangered species are found only on islands. The main driver of island extinctions has been purposeful or unintentional introductions of alien species. Introduced species are implicated in 81% of all island extinctions. With no natural predators, Island species did not evolve needed behaviors to avoid introduced rats, cats and stoats. Researchers now suggest eradication of rats and other introduced mammals could prevent the extinction of up to 75% of threatened island birds, reptiles and mammals.

 

 

‘Woke’ Climate Scientists Reveal Deep, Hard-Core Biases In New Article

by Judith Curry, July 9, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch


It’s getting worse.

About 5 years ago, I wrote two blog posts on climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome:

Mother Jones has a new article on the same topic: It’s the end of the world as they know it: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist.

The following scientists were interviewed: Kim Cobb, Priya Shukla, Peter Kalmus, Sarah Myhre, Jacquelyn Gill, Katharine Wilkinson, Eric Holthaus, David Grinspoon, Ken Caldeira.

Lots of ‘trauma,’ read the article to get a flavor. This sentence pretty much sums things up:

“There’s deep grief and anxiety for what’s being lost, followed by rage at continued political inaction, and finally hope that we can indeed solve this challenge. There are definitely tears and trembling voices.”

End of civilization?

The title of the article is: “It’s the end of the world as they know it.” Some selected quotes:

Antarctic Sea Ice Suddenly Declined, But Scientists Warn: Don’t Blame Climate Change

by Adam Vaughan, July 3, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Decades of expanding sea ice in Antarctica have been wiped out by three years of sudden and dramatic declines, leaving scientist puzzled as to why the region has flipped so abruptly.

A new satellite analysis reveals that between 2014 and 2017 sea ice extent in the southern hemisphere suffered unprecedented annual decreases, leaving the area covered by sea ice at its lowest point in 40 years.

The declines were so big that they outstripped the losses in the fast-melting Arctic over the same period.

“It’s very surprising. We just haven’t seen decreases like that in either hemisphere,” says Claire Parkinson at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who undertook the analysis.

However, researchers cautioned against pinning the changes on climate change and said it was too early to say if the shrinking is the start of a long-term trend or a blip.

After growing for decades, Antarctic sea ice extent declined at an unprecedented rate between 2014 and 2017.