Climate change

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

Natural variation trumps CO2

Many climate scientists claim that our carbon dioxide emissions are the principal driver of global warming. I have asked several University of Arizona professors, who make such a claim, to provide supporting physical evidence. So far, none have been able to justify the claim with physical evidence.

In this article, we will examine the Earth’s temperature and the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere at several time scales to see if there is any relationship. I stipulate that the greenhouse effect does exist. I maintain, however, that the ability of CO2 emissions to cause global warming is tiny and overwhelmed by natural forces. The main effect of our “greenhouse” is to slow cooling.

There is an axiom in science which says: “correlation does not prove causation.” Correlation, however, is very suggestive of a relationship. Conversely, lack of correlation proves that there is no cause-and-effect relationship.

Phanerozoic time – the past 500 million years:

 

Estimates of global temperature and atmospheric CO2 content based on geological and isotope evidence show little correlation between the two. Earth experienced a major ice age in the Ordovician Period when atmospheric CO2 was 4,000ppm, 10 times higher than now. Temperatures during the Cretaceous Period were rising and steamy, but atmospheric CO2 was declining.

Notice also, that for most of the time, Earth’s temperature was much warmer than now and life flourished. There were some major extinction periods, all associated with ice ages.

Sources:

Berner, R.A. and Kothavala, Z, 2001, GEOCARB III: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time, American Journal of Science, Vol. 301, February, 2001, P. 182–204

Scotese, C.R., http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

Our current ice age – the past 420,000 years:

During the latter part of our current ice age, glacial-interglacial cycles occurred with a periodicity of about 100,000 years which correlates with the changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun as it changes from nearly circular to elliptical with an eccentricity of about 9%. Here we see an apparent correlation between temperature and CO2. The data are from ice cores collected at the Vostok station in Antarctica. The scientists working on the Vostok core noticed that temperature changes PRECEDED changes in CO2 concentration by about 800 years. Again, we see that CO2 doesn’t have much influence on temperature, but temperature has great influence on CO2concentration because temperature controls CO2 solubility in the ocean.

Sources:

Petit, J.R., et al., 1999. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399: 429-436.

Mudelsee, M, 2001. The phase relations among atmospheric CO2 content, temperature and global ice volume over the past 420 ka, Quaternary Science Reviews 20:583-589.

Siegenthaler, U. Et al., 2005. Stable carbon cycle-climate relationship during the late Pleistocene. Science 310: 1313-1317.

The Holocene – the past 10,000 years:

The Holocene represents the current interglacial period. For most of the past 10,000 years, temperature was higher than now. CO2 was fairly steady below 300ppm (vs over 400ppm now). There were cycles of warm and cool periods at a periodicity of 1200 to 1500 years. This periodicity correlates with the interplay of the several solar cycles. The sun itself goes through cycles of solar intensity and magnetic flux. When the cycles are in a strong phase, the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere is reduced, there are fewer clouds to block the sun, so it is warmer. When solar cycles wane, as is beginning to happen now, more cosmic rays enter the atmosphere and produce more clouds which block the sun, so it becomes cooler. The number of sunspots (hence magnetic flux) varies on an average cycle of 11 years. There are also 87-year (Gliessberg) and 210-year (DeVriess-Suess) cycles in the amplitude of the 11-year sunspot cycle which combine to form an approximately 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling.

The 20th Century:

 

The first part of the 20th Century experienced warming in the 1920s and 1930s comparable to current temperatures. According to NASA, atmospheric CO2 rose from 295ppm in 1900 to 311ppm in 1940. Major emissions from burning fossil fuels, however, commenced after WWII in the mid 1940s. The period 1940-1970 saw a CO2 rise of 311ppm to 325ppm. That period also showed global cooling to such an extent that climate scientists were predicting a return to glacial conditions. From about 1980 to 2000, CO2 rose from 339ppm to 370ppm and we had warming during that period until the super El Nino of 1997/1998. Some of this data has been “corrected” by NOAA.

Source: NOAA Climate at a glance

The 21st Century so far 

Microwave data from satellites converted to temperature.

Between the El Nino of 1997 and that of 2016, there have been temperature fluctuations but no net warming. Atmospheric CO2 rose from 363ppm to 407ppm today. It seems that there is no correlation between global temperature and CO2.

As I said at the beginning, while the CO2-induced greenhouse effect has some hypothetical warming potential, that warming is tiny and overwhelmed by the forces of natural variation. So far, I have seen no physical evidence to contradict my contention.

Source : http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/05/uah-global-temperature-update-for-april-2017-0-27-deg-c/

See also: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

More March Madness – AZ Star blames human-caused climate change for March heat

On Sunday, April 30, the Arizona Daily Star published a front-page story by Tony Davis which proclaimed “Greenhouse gases called a factor in March heat.” (Link to online version)

The story begins: “Human-caused climate change was at least partly to blame and probably mostly to blame for Tucson’s record-setting March heat, says a researcher with expertise in this field.”

This story is another example of speculation based on computer modeling and cherry-picked data rather than physical evidence. The Star consulted Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute who analyzed possible factors for explaining Tucson’s March temperatures. “He concluded that long-term temperature trends point almost certainly to human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions as a factor. The unresolved question, he said, is how big of a factor they are.” The article provides no physical evidence to support that conclusion.

Ignoring the high temperatures during the 1900s to 1930s, van Oldenborgh examined the record beginning in 1950 and found “a clear upward trend in the March high temperatures started in the middle 1970s.” (See my article: March 2017 – Hottest Ever in Tucson? for earlier temperature data. That article shows Tucson’s temperatures steadily rising, probably due to the urban heat-island effect, while temperatures in rural Tombstone remained level.)

From the Star: “Looking across Southern and Central Arizona high temperatures for March, van Oldenborgh found they seem to be warming across the region but that Tucson’s temperatures are rising faster than in nearby cities Casa Grande and Willcox.”

“The urban heat-island effect often accounts for differing temperatures between larger and smaller cities. But van Oldenborgh said he tried to account for such differences by focusing his analysis on daytime high temperatures, not nighttime lows that are most commonly affected by the heat island effect.” So he didn’t study the heat island effect.

Oldenborgh looked at computer models. One model set “showed that March high temperatures have risen at a point near Tucson at about 2.5 times the rate the global average temperature has risen since about 1950. The model shows that is the local effect of global warming.” (A new term: local global warming?) The other model set “showed that Tucson has received on average less long-term warming than shown by the first model.”

The article contained much “expert” speculation, but from the material presented, I see no physical evidence justifying the conclusion nor the headlines that could attribute the high March temperatures to carbon dioxide emissions. If it was not just a quirk of natural variation, then maybe Tucson has its own evil cloud of carbon dioxide hovering above the city. Of course, there was lots of hot air expelled by local politicians in March.

In my opinion, this type of story is, to put it politely, junk science, designed to stir up alarm about a subject that has become purely political. It is not really news, but propaganda.

Here is the temperature record from the USHCN weather station at the University of Arizona. The top red line shows March high temperatures. The other lines show a slow rise consistent with the urban heat island effect. Had van Oldenborgh used this more complete record, his “clear upward trend” would have disappeared.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Also look at this story from 2012: MILD WINTER MAKES MARCH MADNESS

The Oman geoengineering scheme to save the planet

A story in the Arizona Daily Star, 4-14-17 (the great march for science issue) shows how some scientists create the most tenuous links between their research and climate change as a plea for funding.

This story is “Oman’s mountains may hold clues for reversing climate change.” (Link) The lede: “Deep in the jagged red mountains of Oman, geologists are searching for an efficient and cheap way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and oceans — and perhaps begin to reverse climate change. They are coring samples from one of the world’s only exposed sections of the Earth’s mantle to uncover how a spontaneous natural process millions of years ago transformed carbon dioxide into limestone and marble.”

The researchers are excited because the exposed mantle rock is mostly peridotite, a coarse-grained igneous rock made up of the minerals olivine and pyroxene, both magnesium silicates. “They hope to answer the question of how the rocks managed to capture so much carbon over the course of 90 million years — and to see if there’s a way to speed up the timetable.” A researcher goes on to say, ““Every single magnesium atom in these rocks has made friends with the carbon dioxide to form solid limestone, magnesium carbonate, plus quartz.”

A couple of nitpicks: Limestone is calcium carbonate, not magnesium carbonate (Calcium and magnesium together with carbonate form a rock called dolomite). Marble is a metamorphic rock which requires heat and/or pressure to form. That “spontaneous natural process” happened not only millions of years ago, but is a continuing natural process in the ocean when calcium ions derived from weathering of surface rocks combine with carbonate ions in the ocean. Basaltic ocean crustal rocks act as a buffer by continuously removing CO2 from the ocean by combining carbonate with calcium derived from surface weathering of rocks.

Their great scheme is this: “a drilling operation could cycle carbon-rich water into the newly formed seabed on oceanic ridges far below the surface. Just like in Oman’s mountains, the submerged rock would chemically absorb carbon from the water. The water could then be cycled back to the surface to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, in a sort of conveyor belt.”

Perhaps the researchers made the climate change link to their research just to suck up grant money so they can continue studying. The geology is interesting, but their idea sounds like another crazy, expensive, and totally unnecessary geoengineering scheme. (See Wacky Geoengineering Schemes to Control Climate)

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Tucson’s March for Science – a plea for continued climate funding

The several “Marches for Science” (held April 22) around the country are not really about science, but about fear that President Trump’s proposed cuts to the EPA and other agencies for climate research will make federal grants disappear. It’s about the money, not the climate.

A front page story in the Arizona Daily Star ( 4-14-17) was about Tucson’s “March for Science.” (Link) They called off the march itself, because they could not afford the price “to barricade North Stone Avenue, hire off-duty police and medics, and take out insurance.” Instead, they settled for a rally on Saturday.

The article featured University of Arizona professor Scott Saleska who is concerned that cuts to the EPA budget will jeopardize his research funding. The article quotes part of a letter which Saleska and other professors sent to EPA head Scott Pruitt.

Here is the money quote: “In fact, we know with an exceptionally high degree of confidence that most of the climate warming over at least the last six decades has been caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.”

I emailed Dr. Saleska (on April 14) asking this question: “What specific physical evidence supports the contention that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is the principal cause of recent warming? Note: computer simulations are not physical evidence. Consensus is not physical evidence.”

Dr. Saleska replied on Thursday, April 20. Rather than citing specific evidence, he deflected the question: “My apologies for the slow reply. Busy week. But you raise an interesting question. What kind of evidence are you looking for? That is, what evidence would, in your mind, support the contention if it were observed?”

My response: “I think physical evidence supporting your contention does not exist because the hypothesis is wrong. So again, what physical evidence do you have in support?”

I have posed that same question to four other UofA “climate science” professors during public meetings. None could cite any supporting physical evidence. Strange that they all have an “exceptionally high degree of confidence” but can cite no physical evidence.

Once upon a time, science was based on empirical evidence rather than politics.

Most of the climate models make the assumption that CO2 is the main driver of global temperature. That assumption, however, causes model output to diverge widely from observations, showing that the assumption is wrong:

 

On the national “March for Science” website (link) is this statement: “We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”[emphasis added] Where is the evidence for the policy on global warming?

In my opinion, climate science has turned into political science and many professors fear that “draining the swamp” will kill their cash cow.

See some real physical evidence:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Climate Madness 10

Here is another collection of recent articles that show the madness and stupidity of global warming hype. I lead off by reporting that my own Congressman, “Rowl” Grijalva, wants to ban politically incorrect books:

Democrats Ask Teachers To Destroy Books Written By ‘Climate Deniers’

by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

Three senior House Democrats asked U.S. teachers to destroy a book written by climate scientists challenging the environmentalist view of global warming.

The Democrats were responding to a campaign by the conservative Heartland Institute that is sending copies of the 2015 book, “Why Climate Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to about 200,000 science teachers. Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott of the Committee on Education, Raúl M. Grijalva of the Committee on Natural Resources, and Eddie Bernice Johnson of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology all issued a statement telling teachers to trash the book. Read more (You can download the book for free here.)

From the alternative universe of California:

California doubles down on stupid

by Anthony Watts

From the LA Times and the “let’s double down on stupid” department:

A cornerstone of California’s battle against climate change was upheld by a state appeals court that ruled the cap-and-trade program does not constitute an unconstitutional tax, as some business groups had claimed.

The 2-1 decision from the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento does not eliminate all the legal and political questions that have dogged the program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

But environmental advocates dismayed by President Trump’s decision to roll back federal regulations in Washington were buoyed by the victory, which preserves the only program of its kind in the country. Read more

And: Global warming fears are driving Malibu home buyers to higher ground out of fear of rapid sea level rise. (Source)

More stupid states:

States File Legal Challenge Asserting Trump’s EPA Must Fight Global Warming

by Chris White, Daily Caller

A coalition of states filed a legal challenge against the Trump administration’s decision to roll back a slew of Obama-era climate regulations.

The legal motion comes after Trump signed an executive order targeting climate change regulations ushered in by former President Barack Obama. The New York-led group of states argue Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has a legal obligation to regulate emissions some climate scientists believe contribute to global warming. Read more

Reigning in politically incorrect ceiling fans:

Dems, Enviros Sue To Force Trump To Issue More Regs On Household Appliances

by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

Democratic attorneys general and environmentalists are suing the Trump administration for delaying the implementation of federal energy efficiency regulations for household appliances and other equipment.

Republicans have long been critical of Energy Department efficiency regulations, and many economists have argued such rules don’t make much of a difference on overall energy consumption. Efficiency regulations also increase appliance prices, but proponents argue the increased up front cost is more than outweighed by increased energy savings over time. DOE’s ceiling fan rule is expected to cost $4.4 billion. Read more

Watch your language!

“Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’”

by David Middleton

As President Trump seeks to reorganize government agencies:

A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication. Setting aside the fact that it is truly idiotic for the Department of Energy to even have an office, department or bureau with the word “climate” in its name… The irony here is priceless. (Read more)

The state of academia:

The carbon footprint of crime has fallen, study finds

by Anthony Watts

A study led by an Engineering Doctorate student at the University of Surrey has found that the carbon footprint of crime over the last 20 years has fallen.

The study, published in the British Journal of Criminology, applied estimates of the carbon footprint of criminal offences to police-recorded crime and self-reported victimization survey data, to estimate the carbon footprint of crime in England and Wales between 1995 and 2015. (Read more) It’s nice that criminals are being more politically correct.

Oh, never mind:

Ex-Chief Scientist: Our Advice To Gov’t On Preventing Global Warming Was Wrong

by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

Former chief scientist Sir David King admitted he was wrong in advising the U.K. government to encourage diesel vehicles to fight global warming.

King said the government overestimated the effectiveness of its programs to encourage diesel vehicles. King was the U.K.’s chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007 and until recently a special representative for climate change.

King advised the U.K. government to push programs to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and concluded that switch to diesel cars would be better for the environment.

Though well-meaning, the continent’s environmental efforts haven’t decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and have raised power prices. Many of Europe’s anti-global warming policies have actually made the situation worse. Read more

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King Jr

“The curse of man, and cause of nearly all of his woes, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.” –H. L. Mencken

See also:
Climate Madness 1
Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

March 2017 – Hottest Ever in Tucson?

Front page news in the print version of Arizona Daily Star on April 4th proclaimed “March here was hottest on record.” (See online version) That may be true but the headline is also misleading because apparently the “record” refers to the weather station at Tucson International Airport which starts in the mid 1940s. Hot weather in the early 1900s is ignored.

The following graphs come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “climate at a glance” page. (Note: NOAA data does not yet include any 2017 measurements.) The National Weather Service is part of NOAA.

Here is the average March temperature for all of Arizona:

Here is the average March temperature for Southeastern Arizona:

Here are the plots for Tucson March average temperatures and maximum temperatures:

 

 

 

 

 

I assume that the truncation of data prior to about 1945 reflects the start of the official temperature record from a weather station at the Tucson International Airport. Other weather stations in Tucson, such as the one on the University of Arizona campus, have been ignored. BTW, the UofA weather station was established in 1891. So, the question is whether or not the “hottest on record” was in fact, the hottest.

For additional perspective, see average and maximum Arizona temperatures for each month here.

Tucson is subject to warming from the urban heat island effect. All the asphalt and concrete absorb energy during the day and release it at night. Also the Tucson weather stations are sited near asphalt and concrete which tend to make the readings higher than they would be in properly sited stations. To demonstrate this, compare Tucson temperatures with Tombstone. Tucson temperatures show a steady rise while Tombstone, shows that after warming from the “little ice age” in the late 1800s, temperatures remain relatively constant.

 

Finally we have a plot of global atmospheric temperatures as measured by satellites. These data include March, 2017 and show that global temperatures are cooling from the heat of our recent El Nino.

For some additional perspective, see 2014 was the third or sixth or 8000th warmest year The material in that article applies to this year also.

Earth Hour: A Dissent

Reblogged from WUWT

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply.

If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations.

No thanks.

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

Humans caused 84% of US wildfires from 1992 to 2012

Although climate change has been blamed for an increase of wildfires in the United States, a new paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that 84% of fires were ignited by humans and this extended the fire season by a factor of three.

Here is the paper abstract:

The economic and ecological costs of wildfire in the United States have risen substantially in recent decades. Although climate change has likely enabled a portion of the increase in wildfire activity, the direct role of people in increasing wildfire activity has been largely overlooked. We evaluate over 1.5 million government records of wildfires that had to be extinguished or managed by state or federal agencies from 1992 to 2012, and examined geographic and seasonal extents of human-ignited wildfires relative to lightning ignited wildfires. Humans have vastly expanded the spatial and seasonal “fire niche” in the coterminous United States, accounting for 84% of all wildfires and 44% of total area burned. During the 21-y time period, the human-caused fire season was three times longer than the lightning-caused fire season and added an average of 40,000 wildfires per year across the United States. Human-started wildfires disproportionally occurred where fuel moisture was higher than lightning-started fires, thereby helping expand the geographic and seasonal niche of wildfire. Human-started wildfires were dominant (>80% of ignitions) in over 5.1 million km2 , the vast majority of the United States, whereas lightning-started fires were dominant in only 0.7 million km2, primarily in sparsely populated areas of the mountainous western United States. Ignitions caused by human activities are a substantial driver of overall fire risk to ecosystems and economies. Actions to raise awareness and increase management in regions prone to human-started wildfires should be a focus of United States policy to reduce fire risk and associated hazards.

Read the full paper here:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/02/21/1617394114.full.pdf?sid=97323811-0b09-4bfb-a5d8-8b6480f6aa0f

Arizona State University researchers want to deploy 100 million ice-making machines to the Arctic

Fourteen researchers from Arizona State University want to save the Arctic ice sheet by deploying up to 100 million ice-making machines at a cost of about $5 trillion over the next 10 years. Essentially, wind-powered pumps will spread ocean water over ice where it will freeze and thicken the sea ice. Their proposal was published January 24, 2017, in Earth’s Future, an open access journal of the American Geophysical Union. You can read their full paper here:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000410/epdf

The researchers claim that loss of Arctic sea ice is due to global warming caused by human release of CO2 (they don’t provide any evidence). Thus, there is an “urgent need to deal with climate change.” Within the paper they invoke all the usual boogeymen of dangerous global warming alarmism.

The paper abstract begins: “As the Earth’s climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically. It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s. This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system, as sunlight that would otherwise be reflected by sea ice is absorbed by open ocean. It is unlikely that CO2levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, so restoring sea ice artificially is an imperative.”

Their ice-making machine:

“We propose that a wind pump mounted on a large buoy, could perform the function of capturing wind energy to pump seawater to the surface. The basic components of such a device would include: a large buoy; a wind turbine and pump, drawing up seawater from below the ice; a tank for storing the water; and a delivery system that takes the water periodically flushed from the tank and distributes it over a large area. The goal is to raise enough water over the Arctic winter to cover an area approximately 0.1 km2 with approximately1 m of ice. A system of such devices would have to be manufactured and delivered to the Arctic Ocean, probably repositioned each season, and would need to be maintained.”

The researchers recognize “it is a challenge to prevent the water inside the device (tank, delivery system) from freezing.” But, they provide no solution. Where will they get energy to heat the water to prevent a freeze? They also say that the buoy-turbine contraption must be sturdy enough to prevent it tipping over in the fickle Arctic environment.

The researchers propose starting small with only 10 million pumps at a cost of $500 billion. They say we would need 100 million devices costing $5 trillion to cover the entire Arctic.

In my opinion, this is just another wacky and completely unnecessary geo-engineering scheme. It is also a complete waste of money and resources. Within the paper is a discussion of the need for a multinational governance of the Arctic ice. This seems to me to be a plea for more bureaucracy and future funding. Why 14 authors for this paper? Maybe the group wants to get “publish or perish” credit, which is vital in academia, before President Trump pulls the plug. Or, it could be a class project with professors and students. By the way, a note in the paper says: “The authors received no funding to carry out this work.” That probably means they had no special grant funding. I presume that the University pays the professors a salary (with taxpayer’s money).

I saw no mention in the paper of an unintended consequence of freezing ocean water: it will increase the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. “When sea water freezes, all of the CO2 that is bound up in that water is forced out. Not only is the dissolved gaseous CO2 released, but all of the CO2 held in the carbonate form is released as well.” (Source)

 

See also:

Predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean

Wacky Geoengineering Schemes to Control Climate

The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw

Climate models for the layman

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a British think tank, has just published an excellent review of climate models, their problems and uncertainties, all of which show that they are inadequate for policy formulation. The paper is written by Dr. Judith Curry, the author of over 180 scientific papers on weather and climate. She recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she held the positions of Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She is currently President of Climate Forecast Applications Network.

You can read the 30-page paper here:

http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/02/Curry-2017.pdf

Here is the executive summary:

There is considerable debate over the fidelity and utility of global climate models (GCMs). This debate occurs within the community of climate scientists, who disagree about the amount of weight to give to climate models relative to observational analyses. GCM outputs are also used by economists, regulatory agencies and policy makers, so GCMs have received considerable scrutiny from a broader community of scientists, engineers, software experts, and philosophers of science. This report attempts to describe the debate surrounding GCMs to an educated but nontechnical audience.

Key summary points

• GCMs have not been subject to the rigorous verification and validation that is the norm for engineering and regulatory science.

• There are valid concerns about a fundamental lack of predictability in the complex nonlinear climate system.

• There are numerous arguments supporting the conclusion that climate models are not fit for the purpose of identifying with high confidence the proportion of the 20th century warming that was human-caused as opposed to natural.

• There is growing evidence that climate models predict too much warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

• The climate model simulation results for the 21st century reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not include key elements of climate variability, and hence are not useful as projections for how the 21st century climate will actually evolve.

Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate system. However, the above points support the conclusion that current GCMs are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems. It is this application of climate model results that fuels the vociferousness of the debate surrounding climate models.