Climate Glasnost?

Civil Defense Perspectives November 2013 Vo. 30 No. 1 [published January 2014]

In its Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to confront some inconvenient truths, such as the 16-year “pause” in global warming. Even Nature, “one of the most alarmist voices in the climate debate,” is having to “walk back its past predictions of climate apocalypse,” writes Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute.

In an Aug 29, 2013, editorial, Nature conceded that the “prolonged hiatus in warming…came as a surprise,” and several papers that assess recent data “conclude that the climate may not be as sensitive to greenhouse gases as was previously thought.”

“Perhaps we are moving towards a ‘climate glasnost’; a time in which, finally, the science can be debated rationally,” writes The Spectator on Sept 21, “and we can study the decisions made in those days, and see that the Climate Change Act was, in fact, a deeply irresponsible piece of legislation.” This Act committed future governments unilaterally to slashing Britain’s carbon emissions to a fifth of what they had been in 1990 (http://tinyurl.com/ljldyol, cited in CCNet 9/20/13).

“You certainly know the jig is up when the New York Times finally recognizes that the feverish climate fervor is overheated,” writes Larry Bell (Forbes 9/10/13, http://tinyurl.com/nhynqty).

“That lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases accumulated at a record pace,” highlighting “important gaps in our knowledge,” writes Justin Gillis (NY Times 6/10/13, http://tinyurl.com/m9paq6u).

Models vs. Reality

The temperature simply isn’t following the IPCC-projected trend —which itself keeps changing. In 1988, James Hansen projected a 0.5 °C increase per decade. The IPCC projection was 0.38° in 2007, and 0.23° in the 2013 second draft. The final draft slashed the projection to 0.17° (0.10-0.23 °C/decade, with the IPCC’s “best guess” being at the lower end of the projected range). The observed value is 0.11 over 63 years, and 0.00 over the last 17 years. (Note that projections are not predictions.)

“The IPCC has quietly, furtively, but very definitely capitulated in the face of real-world evidence,” writes Christopher Monckton, although “there is not a hint of it in the Summary for Policymakers” (http://tinyurl.com/jwmxozy).

A sentence added to the Second Order Draft of AR5 is “an astounding bit of honesty, a killing admission that completely undercuts the main premise and the main conclusion of the full report, revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the whole,” writes Alec Rawls on www.stopgreensuicide.com on 12/13/12. This sentence admits that there is strong evidence for a solar effect beyond total solar irradiance (TSI). The IPCC attributes post-1980 warming primarily to human effects because TSI cannot account for it.

When the UN founded the IPCC in 1988, it was mandated to look for anthropogenic effects. This was the only type of research that was to be funded, published, and given credibility (L Solomon, Huffington Post 12/9/13, http://tinyurl.com/qfkaxqj).

Other failed “expert” prognostications are the loss of the polar icecaps (both are gaining mass) and an increase in extreme weather events.

A major retreat from previous reports is that the IPCC now recognizes the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, both of which contradict the notorious Mann “hockey stick.”

Denial and Cover-up

Even as discrepancies between models and observations increase, the IPCC claims that its level of confidence in its work has increased, and a dire outcome is “extremely likely.” Noting that “important” fact, Nature writes: “No serious politician on the planet can now dispute” the underlying IPCC message that “greenhouse gases are altering earth’s climate.” However, it also writes that “it is time to rethink the IPCC” and “the current report should be its last mega-assessment” (Nature 9/19/13).

In its communications to the public and policymakers, the UN completely omitted the fact, reported by Der Spiegel, that only three of 114 climate models could reproduce the 15-year hiatus in warming (Climatedepot.com 10/9/13).

IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri, who is a railway engineer, said it would take “at least” 30 to 40 years to ascertain that the upward temperature trend was broken (http://tinyurl.com/kvtrrsz).

The hiatus could simply be natural climate variability. Mora et al. seek an index to determine when a given variable exceeds the bounds of historical variability in a given location, signaling the start of a “radically different climate” (10/10/13). Kosaka and Xie seek to tie the hiatus to equatorial Pacific surface cooling (Nature 9/19/13). In an Aug 29 editorial accompanying online publication, Nature suggests that this phenomenon, affecting only 8% of the earth’s surface, could be an “important lever.” However government officials decide to characterize climate sensitivity—the latest IPCC summary suggests 1.5-4.5 °C rather than 2-4.5°C , “the underlying science has not changed.”

Alarmists are looking for the “missing heat” in the really deep ocean—it somehow managed to escape detection while passing through the first 2 km, note Dennis Mitchell and David Legates (Investors Business Daily 10/16/13).

A leaked UN report showed that politicians urged scientists to cover up the 15-year pause. Germany asked that references to the pause be deleted because the short period was “misleading.” Hungary worried about providing ammunition to “deniers” of man-made climate change (CCNet, op. cit.).

The Antidote: NIPCC

Although AR5 retreats on at least 11 alarmist claims in earlier reports, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (www.NIPCC.org) identified 13 misleading or false statements and another 11 additional statements phrased so as to misrepresent the science. The 1,200-page report systematically challenges IPCC’s claims of “dangerous” climate changes, and shows the deficiency of its models—which oversimplify or ignore key natural climate drivers such as solar variations, cosmic ray fluxes, wind, clouds, precipitation, ocean currents, and recurrent phenomena such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (El Niño and La Niña). Scientific references are conveniently archived.

The lucid 14-page Summary for Policymakers should be required reading for reporters and politicians.

Sea Level Rise: Where the Water Comes From

The usual suspects for a rise in sea level—about 1.8 mm per year in the latter half of the 20th century—is global warming with shrinking glaciers and melting icecaps. However, the combination of these factors and the thermal expansion of the oceans accounts for only 1.1 mm. Groundwater extraction, with subsequent runoff into the oceans, appears to account for most of the rest. Artificial reservoirs created by dams have the opposite effect, but the net depletion of groundwater more than cancels this out, according to a report in Nature Geoscience (http://tinyurl.com/cflxpqj) on May 12, 2012.

 Germany Reinvents Energy Crisis               

Germany’s “success” in getting 25% of its energy capacity from “renewable” has been a disaster, writes Holman Jenkins (WSJ 11/9/13, http://tinyurl.com/o37bn44). Germans rush to grab the subsidies, but CO2 output has risen, because money-strapped utilities burn cheap American coal when wind and solar fail. Brownouts and blackouts are likely. Electricity costs three times as much as in the U.S., and a top European energy official now speaks frankly of “deindustrialization” in Germany.

Angela Merkel’s top energy advisor explains how the New Economics is supposed to work in Germany. “When more people consume oil and coal, the price will go up, but when more people consume renewable energy, the price of it will go down.”

Minority View

Although only 36% of 1,077 geoscientists and engineers responding to a survey published in 2012 in the peer-reviewed journal Organization Studies agreed with the “comply with Kyoto” view, authors split the majority into four subgroups based on reasons for disagreement. They liberally use the terms “deniers” and “climate change resistance” and speculate that the skeptics are engaged in “defensive institutional work” to legitimatize the Albertan oil industry (http://tinyurl.com/chjnpl6).

Only 24% of those television forecasters who are also meteorologists agree with the IPCC claim that “most of the warming since 1950 is likely human-induced,” according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society. Surveys of scientists themselves, writes James Taylor (Forbes 2/13/13, http://tinyurl.com/amfwwzq) show that the majority may disagree with the views proclaimed by organizations, such as AMS (http://tinyurl.com/92uzykp), that purport to speak for them.

Zero is the number of “scientific institutions and societies that have issued statements agreeing with CAGW [catastrophic anthropogenic global warming], and that surveyed their members to find out how many agreed with the statement before issuing it and published the results of the survey.” stated Ross McKitrick (TWTW 8/7/13, www.sepp.org).

50-to-1 Project

The cost of trying to prevent climate change, by the Global Warmers’ own math, is at least 50 times as great as the cost of adapting to it—if and when it happens. The cost of trying to prevent 1° in temperature change is calculated to be $3.2 quadrillion. See the math and scientist interviews at www.50to1.net.

We Calculate, You Decide

                Carbon tax fans can calculate the reduction in world temperatures resulting from a specified reduction in CO2 emissions and a chosen assumption of climate sensitivity (temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of atmospheric CO2), using a device developed by Patrick Michaels and  Paul (“Chip”) Knappenberger (http://tinyurl.com/kvvstlk). In the most extreme case, a 100% reduction in all industrialized countries and a sensitivity of 4.5, the temperature increase could be reduced by 0.124 °C by 2050 and 0.352 °C by 2100.

How Many Bureaucrats to Screw in a Light Bulb?               

It takes three: One to ban 75-cent incandescent bulbs. One to pay an energy company $10 million. One to help sell you its $50 bulbs, all in the name of lowering energy costs.

Sea Level Fall in Human History

Sea levels fell dramatically during the Little Ice Age. Ephesus, an important port in Roman times, is now 5 km from the Mediterranean. In 1066, William the Conqueror occupied a Roman fort, Pevensey Castle, on an island that is now 1 mile inland. Pisa, which was powerful until 1300 A.D. because of its maritime trade, is now 7 miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea, writes Robert W. Endlich (http://tinyurl.com/ncc7omg).

Weakest Solar Activity in More Than 100 Years               

The sun is now at the peak of an 11-year sunspot cycle, which is the weakest in 100 years. This may explain why solar geomagnetic storms have caused relatively few problems. Fewer sunspots mean lower radiant energy output (CCNet 12/16/13, http://tinyurl.com/l2x2ytt).

Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, now estimates a 25% chance of a repetition of the last grand minimum, the late 17th century Maunder Minimum, when there were no sunspots for 70 years. The Maunder Minimum coincided with the worst European winters of the Little Ice Age. But Lockwood says we should not expect a new ice age. Human-induced global warming, he says, is already a more important force than even major solar cycles (New Scientist 11/1/13. http://tinyurl.com/n42zgh4).

Humanity a Major Force for Millennia               

Based on evidence from Antarctic ice cores, human-caused global warming long preceded the Industrial Revolution. Methane began an otherwise inexplicable rise 5,000 years ago, just when people started cultivating rice in man-made, methane-producing wetlands. A rise in CO2 8,000 years ago might have resulted from early farmers clearing forests. Paleoclimatologist William Ruddiman of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville calculates that these two effects may have warmed the world by 0.8°C, about as much as humans have allegedly warned the globe over the past two centuries (Science 11/22/13).

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                “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.” Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman.

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