Climate change

Problems with wind and solar generation of electricity – a review

This post consolidates the main points of many of my articles on wind and solar generation of electricity. The [ir]rationale behind the renewable energy campaign is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions which are alleged to be the main cause of global warming despite the lack of any supporting physical evidence. We will see that replacing electricity generation from fossil fuels with wind or solar will have no significant effect on global warming; that it significantly raises the cost of electricity; that it destroys wildlife and wildlife habitat; that wind generation has deleterious effects on human health; and that because wind and solar generation is intermittent and unpredictable, fossil fuel generation or nuclear generation will still be necessary. At the end of this post are links to some of my articles on the subject.

1. Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by switching to wind and solar will have almost no effect on global warming.

Carbon dioxide (which makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere) is continually being emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, plants, formation of limestone, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy annual emission reports, humans are responsible for about 3% of total CO2 emissions; the rest is from natural sources. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume (water vapor is the main greenhouse gas); therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents just over one-tenth of one percent (0.12%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year. The U.S. is responsible for about 18% of global emissions, so elimination of U.S. emissions will make a difference of about 0.02% of total emissions.

The American Enterprise Institute estimates that eliminating all carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel generation of electricity would cut the global increase in temperature by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius, by 2100.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg (president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of the book: The Skeptical Environmentalist) estimates that U.S. climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F) by 2100. (Source)

2. Cost of transition to 100% renewables

An analysis from Scottish consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates the cost of transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, as recommended by the “Green New Deal” and other overzealous climate change plans, would cost at least $4.5 trillion over that time period. The American Action Forum estimates the costs of moving the entire country to 100 percent renewable sources would be $5.7 trillion, or $42,000 per household. The several states that have imposed Renewable Energy Mandates (requiring a certain percent of electricity be produced from wind and solar) have already raised electricity prices by 11percent, which has cost us $125.2 billion. (Source)

Experience from Europe shows that the more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. In the graph below the vertical scale is Euro cents per kilowatt-hour, the horizontal scale is the installed capacity of renewables (solar and wind) per capita. (For reference, the U.S. average residential cost is 12 cents/kwh which is about 9.6 euro cents/kwh, lower than all European countries on the graph.) (Source)

3. Enormous land footprint of wind and solar destroys wildlife habitat

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, for the contiguous U.S.:

If all electricity were to be supplied by solar generation it would require 11,674 solar farms with a total footprint of 525,312 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by wind generation, it would require 6,954 wind farms with a total footprint of 1,808,166 square miles.

If all electricity was supplied by nuclear generation, it would require 3,553 nuclear stations with a total footprint of 4,619 square miles. (Source)

 

4. Destruction of wildlife:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats.

“New studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, ‘eco-friendly’ wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year.” (Source)

Many birds are also killed by concentrating solar installations: see Avian mortality from solar farms.

5. Human health problems from wind turbines:

Wind turbines produce low-frequency sound, called infra-sound, which may cause many health problems. Infra-sound affects the vestibular system, causing symptoms resembling seasickness, accompanied by headache, dizziness, and “deep nervous fatigue.” It can affect ocular reflexes, causing nystagmus; spinal reflexes, causing tremors; and autonomic reflexes, causing shortness of breath. Infra-sound can lead to well known consequences such as tumor development, cardiac infarcts and/or the need for cardiac bypass surgery.

6. Wind and solar generation makes the electric grid unstable.

Wind and solar generation are unpredictably intermittent. Adding an unpredictable supply to the mix makes grid management very complex and increases the danger that the grid will become unstable and fail. The problem is multiplied as wind and solar generation become a larger percentage of the total power sources.

7. Renewable energy is not as green as advertised

PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. (Source)

8. Wind farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms – puts people in danger

A new report from the National Weather Service says that wind farms have some unfortunate negative impacts on the ability of Doppler radar to track storms.

“Wind farms affect … radars in several ways; first, the turbines can block a significant percentage of the radar beam and decrease the radar signal power down range of the wind farm, particularly if the wind farm is within a few miles of the radar. Second, the wind farm can reflect energy back to the radar system and this appears as clutter or false reflectivity data. This reflectivity can create false precipitation estimates and disrupt precipitation algorithms used by the radar and other software programs. Finally, wind farms can significantly influence velocity and spectrum width data, which can cause bad data sampling of rotating storms and false storm motions, along with impacting algorithms used by the radar to process this data. Since the wind turbines have motion and produce reflectivity, schemes designed to filter out the clutter do not work properly.”

 

Former EPA scientist and economist Alan Carlin opines, “Climate alarmism is probably the most insidious, largest, and most dangerous scam ever perpetrated on the American public and most of the developed world. Unless brought down by reality, it is now reaching such dimensions that it could even end the position of the current developed countries as the primary engine for economic and technological progress. Instead, the dictates of climate alarmism may eventually consume as much as half of the resources available and yield nothing but climate virtue signaling.” (Source)

References on  Wryheat:

Six Issues the Promoters of the Green New Deal Have Overlooked

The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

Avian mortality from solar farms

Big Wind gets “get out of jail free card” from Obama Administration

Wind turbines versus wildlife

Wind turbines killed 600000 bats last year

Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

How infrasound from wind turbines can cause cancer

Why alternative energy is not a viable alternative for electrical generation

Winds farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms

Solar energy cannot economically compete in electricity generation

Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate

Why you should vote NO on Arizona proposition 127

Winds farms decrease weather radar ability to track storms

 

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The Broken Greenhouse – Why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

How much global warming is dangerous?

What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

 

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Could One Trillion More Trees Stop Global Warming?

The latest panacea to stop global warming is to plant trees, lots of trees. An Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein, printed on the front page of the July 5, 2019, Arizona Daily Star suggests that one trillion new trees will do the job. As an aside, I regard Borenstein as a propagandist rather than a journalist, in part, because he often refers to carbon dioxide emissions as “carbon pollution” even though carbon dioxide is necessary for life on earth (See my article: Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth).

The story is based upon a press release from EurekAlert! which summarizes research from The Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich. The researchers estimate that planting enough trees, an amount equivalent to covering the entire United States, would suck up “two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.” “The researchers calculated that under the current climate conditions, Earth’s land could support 4.4 billion hectares of continuous tree cover. That is 1.6 billion more than the currently existing 2.8 billion hectares.” “The study also shows which parts of the world are most suited to forest restoration. The greatest potential can be found in just six countries: Russia (151 million hectares); the US (103 million hectares); Canada (78.4 million hectares); Australia (58 million hectares); Brazil (49.7 million hectares); and China (40.2 million hectares).”

I have some questions/reservations about this unnecessary scheme:

1. How much water will be needed to grow one trillion trees, and where will the water come from?

2. Will not large areas of forest decrease the albedo of the planet, i.e., increase the amount of sunlight absorbed rather than reflected, and thereby heat the surface?

3. Through the process of evapotranspiration, trees add water vapor to the air. Water vapor is a much stronger green-house gas than carbon dioxide. Could this itself cause more warming?

These questions are not addressed in the research.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The Broken Greenhouse – why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

Six Issues the Promoters of the Green New Deal Have Overlooked

Although the Earth’s climate has been changing for more than 4 billion years all by itself, we are now told that we can stop climate change simply by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Ignorance-based plans such as the Green New Deal propose that we terminate electricity generation by fossil fuels and replace all of it with renewables such as wind and solar. Proponents of such plans have not considered the environmental nor economic implications.

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

1)The Enormous Land Requirements of Wind and Solar Electricity Generation

The enormous land requirements for enough wind and/or solar to replace fossil fuel generation will wreak havoc with agriculture, and will destroy wildlife and their habitats.

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, for the contiguous U.S.:

If all electricity was supplied by nuclear generation, it would require 3,553 nuclear stations with a total footprint of 4,619 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by solar generation it would require 11,674 solar farms with a total footprint of 525,312 square miles.

If all electricity were to be supplied by wind generation, it would require 6,954 wind farms with a total footprint of 1,808,166 square miles. (Source)

A minor problem: Because wind and solar generation are unreliable and intermittant, these methods would still require backup generation with is usually natural gas or coal generation. Because those backup units would have to be cycled up and down depending on wind and sunlight conditions, one ironic effect would be greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas–fired backup generation  are 22 percent higher than normal operation according to a study by the American Enterprise Institute.

Carbon dioxide (which makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere) is continually being emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, plants, formation of limestone, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy annual emission reports, humans are responsible for about 3% of total CO2 emissions; the rest is from natural sources. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume (water vapor is the main greenhouse gas); therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents just over one-tenth of one percent (0.12%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year. The U.S. is responsible for about 18% of global emissions, so elimination of U.S. emissions will make a difference of about 0.02% of total emissions. Is stopping U.S. emissions worth spending trillions of dollars and disrupting our economy? Will that save the planet?

2) The deadly toll on wildlife from all these additional wind or solar installations:

Wind turbines versus wildlife:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats. Newer studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year. See also: Avian mortality from solar farms

3) The Green New Deal Would Have ‘No Effect’ On Climate Change

By Emily Zanotti

A new study from the American Enterprise Institute questions whether the Green New Deal would have any real impact on climate change at all — leaving it little more than an effort to dismantle industry.

The AEI report breaks down the GND into bite-sized policy proposals, assessing not simply the cost, but the proposed effectiveness of each legislative item to address the core goal of the GND: reducing American carbon emissions to a “net zero” by 2050.

The researchers’ ultimate conclusion? “It is not to be taken seriously.”

The “net zero” emissions proposal is particularly nonsensical, AEI warns, given that such an effort would require an estimated $490 billion per year investment in “green energy” ( $3,845 per year per household) and a sharp decrease in land available for agriculture. It also fails to address a very specific problem when it comes to U.S.-specific plans for climate change abatement: it fails to consider that the U.S. is only one of several heavy carbon-emitting nations, and that the vast majority of industrial pollution comes from the developing world and from countries like China and India.

In total, completely enacted, funded, and efficiently meeting goals, things AEI does not anticipate the GND would ever do — the full plan would cut the global increase in temperature by 0.083 to 0.173 degrees Celsius, by 2100, a number, the report says, is “barely distinguishable from zero.” (Source) ☼

4) Another part of the Green New Deal is retrofitting all buildings to be more energy efficient.

A study in the UK estimated that retrofitting British homes would cost $5.6 trillion and retrofitting U.S. homes would cost $26 trillion while achieving only a 50-60% CO2 reduction. (Read more)

5) For most of geologic history, there is no correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 content. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas, about 25 times more abundant than carbon dioxide.

A major ice age occurred during the Ordovician Period 450 million years ago even thought atmospheric CO2 was 4,000ppm, 10 times higher than it is now. Carbon dioxide dropped during the Carboniferous Period because many of the Earth’s coal deposits formed then. By coincidence, a major ice age occurred at the end of the Carboniferous related to the 145 million year cycle of ice ages. Temperatures rose prior to rise of atmospheric CO2 at the end of the ice age. During the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods,150 million years ago, CO2 began a long slide from about 2,500ppm to about 350ppm. However, global temperatures remained steamy for 50 million years during the Cretaceous Period at about 13°C warmer than now. The Cretaceous was another period of coal formation.

There is an apparent correlation during the glacial-interglacial cycles of our current ice age. But ice core data shows that temperature changes preceded changes in CO2 by about 800 years (because temperature controls CO2 solubility in the ocean). 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%. Read more ☼

6) How Infrasound from Wind Turbines Can Cause Cancer

This article from the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions reviews several research studies that show infrasound from wind turbines can cause cancer. Read the full paper at http://wiseenergy.org/Energy/Health/LFN_and_Cancer.pdf

Here is an introduction:

Recently, President Trump made a statement about the possibility of wind turbine noise causing cancer. Predictably much of the press scoffed at this claim. Even some Republican legislators objected. But what are the facts?

Since this is a technical matter, let’s clarify some basics… Infrasound is Low Frequency Noise (LFN)… Industrial wind turbines generate substantial LFN… A variety of wind turbine LFN caused human and animal health problems have been well-documented (see this small sample of studies)… But what about cancers?

The medical term genotoxins is separated into three main groups: carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens (i.e. toxins that cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects)… LFN has been identified as a genotoxic agent of disease, capable of inducing blood vessel wall thickening as seen in autopsy, as well as through light and electron microscopy studies. This can lead to well known consequences such as tumor development, cardiac infarcts and/or the need for cardiac bypass surgery. The pathology caused by excessive exposure to LFN is termed vibroacoustic disease (VAD), and has been diagnosed among several occupational and environmentally exposed populations.

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

UPDATE: Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow takes apart Joe Biden’s “Clean energy revolution”

Read the full article: Reality bites Joe Biden’s “Clean Energy Revolution”

Among his points:

Before we destroy our energy and economic system, we need to see solid, irrefutable proof that we face an actual climate crisis – and be able to debate and cross examine those who make such claims. So far, instead of a debate, climate crisis skeptics just get vilified and threatened with prosecution.

There’s nothing clean, green, renewable or sustainable about wind, solar or battery power. Those technologies require enormous amounts of land, concrete, steel and other raw materials – and many of their most critical materials are extracted and processed using child labor and near-slave wages for adults, with few or no workplace safety rules, and with horrific impacts on land, air and water quality.

The Biden plan would cost many times the “$1.7 trillion in federal funds over ten years” that his talking points use to entice voters: dollars, lost jobs, lower living standards and fewer freedoms.

Modern industrialized societies simply cannot function on expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent electricity. As Germany, Britain, Spain, Australia and other countries have shown, that kind of energy eliminates 3-4 times more jobs than it creates – especially in factories and assembly lines, which cannot operate with repeated electricity interruptions … and cannot compete with foreign companies that get affordable 24/7/365 coal-based electricity and pay their workers far less than $15, $25 or $45 per hour.

A Summary of Earth’s Climate History-a Geologist’s View

Thoughts from Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom, Emeritus Professor of Geography, California State University, Stanislaus

Earth scientists have learned that earth was significantly warmer than present (by perhaps about 8 to 10 °C) for about 80% of the earth’s 4.6-billion-year history.

From a historical as well as a geological perspective, warming trends are beneficial for humans, for agriculture, and for plants and animals. No “tipping points’ were reached during past geologic intervals when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were much higher than present. In fact, life flourished during these relatively warmer conditions.

For the past 2 million years (Quaternary Period), the earth has been in an ice age comprised of some 20 major glacial/interglacial cycles. Each cycle was characterized by very wide swings of temperature and precipitation.

For the past 10,000 years, the earth has experienced an unusually warm and stable (interglacial) climate known as the Holocene Epoch. The stable and favorable climate of this interglacial allowed for the development of agriculture and human civilization.

71% of the earth is covered with ocean water. 90% of the world’s ice is in Antarctica. Our instrumental climate records only extend about 100 to 150 years back. There are still not enough weather stations on the earth to determine the average temperature of the earth. The best data from satellites and the Argo (ocean robot) systems suggests the planet has been cooling slightly since 1998.

Exhaustive analyses of proxy paleoclimatic records (deep sea cores, ice cores, tree-rings, glacial deposits, soils, loess sequences, cave deposits, pollen studies, etc.) by scientists reveal that past climate changes are complex and of varying frequency and magnitude. There is much we still don’t agree on. Many scientists, including myself, believe climate change is cyclical and these cycles are of varying periodicities.

The main climate drivers include variations in solar output, ocean circulation dynamics (the ocean stores some 22 times more heat than the atmosphere and circulates that heat around the globe), and orbital variations in the earth-sun-moon system.

Carbon dioxide has a negligible effect on atmospheric temperatures. Rather, because the oceans hold about 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere, and because the oceans and atmosphere exchange CO2, CO2 fluctuations are mainly caused by changes in ocean temperatures. And ocean temperature changes are mainly driven by the sun.

Because we have seasons, the earth is constantly warming and cooling in various locales. Weather and climate change is a constant. But is the earth as a whole warming or cooling? The answer to this question depends entirely upon the length of the climate record being analyzed. On the basis of many paleoclimatic records, earth scientists agree that the general trend over the past 3 million years has been toward cooling; the trend over the past 15,000 years has been toward warming; the trend over the past 5,000 years has been toward cooling; and there has been a warming trend since Little Ice Age maxima about 1650 AD. The earth warmed very slightly between about 1975 and 1998, and since 1998 the trend has been toward cooling. Read full post

Rebuttals to climate alarmist claims

This series of articles was originally published by ICECAP:

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/alarmist_claim_rebuttal_update/ 

Below are a series of rebuttals of the most common climate alarmists’ claims such as those made in the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment Report.  The authors of these rebuttals are all recognized experts in the relevant scientific fields. The rebuttals demonstrate the falsity of EPA’s claims merely by citing the most credible empirical data on the topic.

For each alarmist claim, a summary of the relevant rebuttal is provided below along with a link to the full text of the rebuttal, which includes the names and the credentials of the authors of each rebuttal.

Claim: Heat Waves are increasing at an alarming rate and heat kills.
Summary of Rebuttal

There has been no detectable long-term increase in heat waves in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Most all-time record highs here in the U.S. happened many years ago, long before mankind was using much fossil fuel. Thirty-eight states set their all-time record highs before 1960 (23 in the 1930s!).  Here in the United States, the number of 100F, 95F and 90F days per year has been steadily declining since the 1930s. The Environmental Protection Agency Heat Wave Index confirms the 1930s as the hottest decade.

James Hansen while at NASA in 1999 said about the U.S. temperature record “In the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934”.

When NASA was challenged on the declining heat records in the U.S, the reply was that the U.S. is just 2% of the world.  However, all the continents recorded their all-time record highs before 1980.

Interestingly while the media gives a great deal of coverage to even minor heat waves to support the case that man-made global warming is occurring, the media tends to ignore deadly cold waves. But in actual fact, worldwide cold kills 20 times as many people as heat. This is documented in the “Excess Winter Mortality” which shows that the number of deaths in the 4 coldest winter months is much higher than the other 8 months of the year. The USA death rate in January and February is more than 1000 deaths per day greater than in it is July and August.

Clearly, there is no problem with increased heat waves due to Climate Change.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Heat Waves

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Claim: Global warming is causing more hurricanes and stronger hurricanes.

Summary of Rebuttal
The long-term linear trend in the number and intensity of global hurricane activity has remained flat. Hurricane activity does vary year-to-year and over longer periods as short-term ocean cycles like El Nino/La Nina and multidecadal cycles in the Pacific (PDO) and Atlantic (AMO) ocean temperature regimes favor changes in activity levels and some basins over others.

Credible data show this is true despite much better open ocean detection than before the 1960s when many short-lived storms at sea would have been missed as there were no satellites, no aircraft reconnaissance, no radar, no buoys and no automated weather stations.

Landfall counts are more reliable. This data shows that the number of U.S. landfalling hurricanes and major hurricanes has been on the decline since the late 1800s.

However, the impacts on the United States has varied considerably with time, with very active seasons giving way to long lulls during which the public forgets the lessons from past storms and the risks of settling in vulnerable areas. The regions targeted vary too. The period from 1926 to 1935 was very active in the Gulf area. After decades of no impact storms, there were 8 major devastating storms on the east coast from 1938 to 1960 then a 25-year lull until Gloria and then Hugo began another active era.

This century Isabel in 2003, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004 and Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 all made landfall on the mainland.  2005 holds the record for 5 category 4 and 4 category 5 impact storms. At the time, some speculated this was the new norm for the Atlantic due to climate change. However, after the active 2005 season and before the landfall of two major storms on the U.S. in 2017, the U.S. had gone 4324 days (just short of 12 years) without a major hurricane landfall, exceeding the prior record 8-year lull in the 1860s.

Harvey in 2017 was the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas since Ike in 2008 and the first Category 4 hurricane in Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Note that there has been no increase in Texas in either hurricanes or major hurricanes. In 2017, Irma was the first landfalling hurricane and major hurricane in Florida since Wilma in 2005. This was also after a record lull – 4439 days. The previous record lull back to 1851 was 2191 days from 1979 to 1985.

Michael whose tight core winds did major damage on a portion of the Florida panhandle in 2018 had the 20th lowest pressure for an Atlantic storm and was third lowest for a storm making landfall behind the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

In short, there is nothing unique or unprecedented about recent hurricane seasons or hurricanes. Active Atlantic seasons like 2004 and 2005 and 2017 were similar to 1893, 1926, 1933, 1950 and 1995. 1893 had 5 major hurricanes two of which both caused over 2000 deaths making that year the deadliest on record at that time. 7 years later in 1900, the Great Galveston hurricane killed up to 12,000, making it the most deadly in U.S. history.

Strong hurricanes like Maria in 2017 with devastation on the Caribbean islands are not unique. The Great Hurricane of 1780 killed 27,500 while ravaging the Caribbean islands with winds estimated over 200 mph. It was one of three hurricanes that year with death tolls over 1000.

The heavy rains associated with slow moving Harvey and Florence led to claims that slow movement was related to climate change. Careful analysis of the data shows a flat linear trend in storm motion over land for over the last half century.

The most recent (2018) U.S. Government analysis of the 36 most costly hurricane disasters in U.S. history, showed that increasing damages are due to increasing population density and infrastructure vulnerability, not due to storm intensity.

Chris Landsea (NOAA) in 2011 noted “instead of a dramatically increasing trend of hurricane damages, destruction from these storms varies on a decade-to-decade timescale with more damages in the early 1900s, low damages during the late 1900s to early 1920s, much higher destruction in late 1920s to the early 1960s, and reduced damages from the late 1960s to early 1990s. Certainly, the U.S. hurricane damages from 1996 to 2005 were quite high, but now it is evident that these were quite similar to the decade of 1926 to 1935. So, after straightforward consideration of the non-meteorological factors of inflation, wealth increases, and population change, there remains no indication that there has been a long-term pick up of U.S. hurricane losses that could be related to global warming today. There have been no peer-reviewed studies published anywhere that refute this.”

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Hurricanes
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Claim: Global warming is causing more and stronger tornadoes.
Summary of Rebuttal

Tornadoes are failing to follow “global warming” predictions. Strong tornadoes have seen a decline in frequency since the 1950s. The years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 all saw below average to near record low tornado counts in the U.S. since records began in 1954.  2017 rebounded only to the long-term mean. 2018 as of the end of May is ranking below the 25th percentile.

This lull followed a very active and deadly strong La Nina of 2010/11, which like the strong La Nina of 1973/74 produced record setting and very deadly outbreaks of tornadoes. Population growth and expansion outside urban areas have exposed more people to the tornadoes that once roamed through open fields.

Tornado detection has improved with the addition of NEXRAD, the growth of the trained spotter networks, storm chasers armed with cellular data and imagery and the proliferation of cell phone cameras and social media. This shows up most in the weak EF0 tornado count but for storms from moderate EF1 to strong EF 3+ intensity, the trend slope has been flat to down despite improved detection.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Tornadoes
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Claim: Global warming is increasing the magnitude and frequency of droughts and floods.
Summary of Rebuttal

Our use of fossil fuels to power our civilization is not causing droughts or floods. NOAA found there is no evidence that floods and droughts are increasing because of climate change. The number, extend or severity of these events does increase dramatically for a brief period of years at some locations from time to time but then conditions return to more normal. This is simply the long-established constant variation of weather resulting from a confluence of natural factors.

In testimony before Congress Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. said: “It is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last century.”

“The good news is U.S. flood damage is sharply down over 70 years,” Roger Pielke Jr. said. “Remember, disasters can happen any time…”. “But it is also good to understand long-term trends based on data, not hype.”

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Droughts and Floods
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Claim: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires.
Summary of Rebuttal

Wildfires are in the news almost every late summer and fall.  The National Interagency Fire Center has recorded the number of fires and acreage affected since 1985. This data show the number of fires trending down slightly, though the acreage burned had increased before leveling off over the last 20 years. The NWS tracks the number of days where conditions are conducive to wildfires when they issue red-flag warnings. It is little changed.

Weather and normal seasonal and year-to-year variations brings a varying number and extent of wildfires to the west every year and other areas from time to time. The 2016/17 winter was a very wet one in the mountains in the west, in parts of the northern Sierra, the wettest/snowiest on record).  Wet winters cause more spring growth that will dry up in the dry summer heat season and become tinder for late summer and early fall fires before the seasonal rains return.

2017 was an active fire year in the U.S. but by no means a record. The U.S. had 64,610 fires, the 7th most in 11 years and the most since 2012.  The 9,574, 533 acres burned was the 4th most in 11 years and most since 2015. The fires burned in the Northwest including Montana with a very dry summer then the action shifted south seasonally with the seasonal start of the wind events like Diablo in northern California and Santa Ana to the south.

Fires spread to northern California in October with an episode of the dry Diablo wind that blows from the east and then in December as strong and persistent Santa Ana winds and dry air triggered a round of large fires in Ventura County.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season was the most destructive one on record with a total of 8,987 fires that burned 1,241,158 acres. It included five of the 20 most destructive wildland-urban interface fires in the state’s history.

When it comes to considering the number of deaths and structures destroyed, the seven-fold increase in population in California from 1930 to 2017 must be noted. Not only does this increase in population mean more people and home structures in the path of fires, but it also means more fires.  Lightning and campfires caused most historic fires; today most are the result of power lines igniting trees.  The power lines have increased proportionately with the population, so it can be reasoned that most of the damage from wild fires in California is a result of increased population not Global Warming. The increased danger is also greatly aggravated by poor government forest management choices.  The explosive failure of power lines and other electrical equipment has regularly ranked among the top three singular sources of California wildfires for the last several years. In 2015, the last year of reported data, electrical power problems sparked the burning of 149,241 acres – more than twice the amount from any other cause.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Wildfires
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Claim: Global warming is causing snow to disappear.
Summary of Rebuttal

This is one claim that has been repeated for decades even as nature showed very much the opposite trend with unprecedented snows even in the big coastal cities. Every time they repeated the claim, it seems nature upped the ante more.

Alarmists have eventually evolved to crediting warming with producing greater snowfall, because of increased moisture but the snow events in recent years have usually occurred in colder winters with high snow water equivalent ratios in frigid arctic air.

The eastern United States as an example has had 29 high impact winter snowstorms in the last 10 years. No prior ten-year period had more than 10.

Snowcover in the Northern Hemisphere, North America and Eurasia has been increasing since the 1960s in the fall and winter but declining in the spring and summer. However, as NOAA advised might be the case, snowcover measurement methodology changes at the turn of this century may be responsible for part of the warm season differences.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Snow
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Claim: Global warming is resulting in rising sea levels as seen in both tide gauge and satellite technology.
Summary of Rebuttal

This claim is demonstrably false.  It really hinges on this statement: “Tide gauges and satellites agree with the model projections.” The models project a rapid acceleration of sea level rise over the next 30 to 70 years.  However, while the models may project acceleration, the tide gauges clearly do not.

All data from tide gauges in areas where land is not rising or sinking show instead a steady linear and unchanging sea level rate of rise from 4 up to 6 inches/century, with variations due to gravitational factors.  It is true that where the land is sinking as it is in the Tidewater area of Virginia and the Mississippi Delta region, sea levels will appear to rise faster but no changes in CO2 emissions would change that.

The implication that measured, validated, and verified Tide Gauge data support this conclusion remains simply false.  All such references rely on “semi-empirical” information, which merges, concatenates, combines, and joins, actual tide gauge data with various models of the reference author’s choosing.  Nowhere on this planet can a tide gauge be found, that shows even half of the claimed 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise rate in “Tectonically Inert” coastal zones.  These are areas that lie between regions of geological uplift and subsidence.  They are essentially neutral with respect to vertical land motion, and tide gauges located therein show between 1 mm/yr (3.9 inches/century) and 1.5 mm/yr (6 inches/century rise). The great Swedish Oceanographer, Nils-Axel Morner, has commented on this extensively, and his latest papers confirm this ‘inconvenient truth’.

Furthermore, alarmist claims that “Satellites agree with the model projection” are false.  Satellite technology was introduced to provide more objective measurement of the sea level rise because properly adjusted tide gauge data was not fitting Alarmists’ claims.  However, the new satellite and radar altimeter data lacked the resolution to accurately measure sea levels down to the mm level. Moreover, the raw data from this technology also conflicted with Alarmists’ claims. As a result, adjustments to this data were also made – most notably a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). GIA assumes that basically all land is rebounding from long ago glaciations and oceanic basins are deepening. The assumption is that this rebounding is masking the true sea level rise. Alarmists continue to proclaim that their models project a rapid acceleration of sea level rise over the next 30 to 70 years, when those same models have failed to even come close to accurately predicting the past 25 years.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal – Sea Level
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Claim:  Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice loss is accelerating due to global warming.
Summary of Rebuttal

Satellite and surface temperature records and sea surface temperatures show that both the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are cooling, not warming and glacial ice is increasing, not melting. Satellite and surface temperature measurements of the southern polar area show no warming over the past 37 years. Growth of the Antarctic ice sheets means sea level rise is not being caused by melting of polar ice and, in fact, is slightly lowering the rate of rise. Satellite Antarctic temperature records show 0.02C/decade cooling since 1979. The Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been getting sharply colder since 2006. Antarctic sea ice is increasing, reaching all-time highs. Surface temperatures at 13 stations show the Antarctic Peninsula has been sharply cooling since 2000.

The Arctic includes the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Iceland, and part of Siberia and northern Alaska. Because of the absence of any land mass in the Arctic Ocean, most of area lacks glaciers, which require a land mass. Thus, most of the Arctic contains only floating sea ice. Greenland, Iceland, northern Alaska, and northern Siberia contain the only glaciers in the general Arctic region.

Because of the absence of any land mass in the Arctic Ocean, most of the Arctic contains only floating sea ice.  Because the arctic ice is floating, it is subject to intrusians of warmer water under the ice during the natural multidecadal warm cycles especially from the North Atlantic, which thins the ice and reduces the ice extent in summer with its accompanying warmer air temperatures. Increased ice and colder temperatures are observed during cold water ocean cycles.

Arctic temperature records show that the 1920s and 1930s were warmer than 2000. Official historical fluctuations of Arctic sea ice begin with the first satellite images in 1979. That happens to coincide with the end of the recent 1945-1977 global cold period and the resulting maximum extent of Arctic sea ice. During the warm period from 1978 until recently, the extent of sea ice has diminished, but increased in the past several years. The Greenland ice sheet has also grown recently.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland
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Claim: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification, which is catastrophically harming marine life.
Summary of Rebuttal

As the air’s CO2 content rises in response to ever-increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, more and more carbon dioxide is expected to dissolve into the surface waters of the world’s oceans, which dissolution is projected to cause a 0.3 to 0.7 pH unit decline in the planet’s oceanic waters by the year 2300. A potential pH reduction of this magnitude has provoked concern and led to predictions that, if it occurs, marine life will be severely harmed – with some species potentially driven to extinction – as they experience negative impacts in growth, development, fertility and survival.

This ocean acidification hypothesis, as it has come to be known, has gained great momentum in recent years, because it offers a second independent reason to regulate fossil fuel emissions in addition to that provided by concerns over traditional global warming. For even if the climate models are proven to be wrong with respect to their predictions of atmospheric warming, extreme weather, glacial melt, sea level rise, or any other attendant catastrophe, those who seek to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions have a fall-back position, claiming that no matter what happens to the climate, the nations of the Earth must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions because of projected direct negative impacts on marine organisms via ocean acidification.

The ocean chemistry aspect of the ocean acidification hypothesis is rather straightforward, but it is not as solid as it is often claimed to be. For one thing, the work of a number of respected scientists suggests that the drop in oceanic pH will not be nearly as great as the IPCC and others predict. And, as with all phenomena involving living organisms, the introduction of life into the analysis greatly complicates things. When a number of interrelated biological phenomena are considered, it becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, to draw such sweeping negative conclusions about the reaction of marine organisms to ocean acidification. Quite to the contrary, when life is considered, ocean acidification is often found to be a non-problem, or even a benefit. And in this regard, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the robustness of multiple marine plant and animal species to ocean acidification – when they are properly performed under realistic experimental conditions.

Detailed Rebuttal and Author: AC Rebuttal – Ocean Acidification

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Claim: Carbon pollution is a health hazard.
Summary of Rebuttal

The term “carbon pollution” is a deliberate, ambiguous, disingenuous term, designed to mislead people into thinking carbon dioxide is pollution. It is used by the environmentalists to confuse the environmental impacts of CO2 emissions with the impact of the emissions of unwanted waste products of combustion. The burning of carbon-based fuels (fossil fuels – coal, oil, natural gas – and biofuels and biomass) converts the carbon in the fuels to carbon dioxide (CO2), which is an odorless invisible gas that is plant food and it is essential to life on the planet.

Because the burning of the fuel is never 100% efficient, trace amounts of pollutants including unburnt carbon are produced in the form of fine particulates (soot), hydrocarbon gases and carbon monoxide.  In addition, trace amounts of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and other pollutant constituents can be produced.  In the US, all mobile and industrial stationary combustion sources must have emission control systems that remove the particulates and gaseous pollutants so that the emissions are in compliance with EPA’s emission standards.  The ambient air pollutant concentrations have been decreasing for decades and are going to keep decreasing for the foreseeable future because of existing non-GHG-related regulations.

Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Health
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Conclusion

The well-documented invalidation of the “three lines of evidence” upon which EPA attributes global warming to human -caused CO2 emissions breaks the causal link between such CO2 emissions and global warming. {See here and here}

This in turn necessarily breaks the causal chain between CO2 emissions and the alleged knock-on effects of global warming, such as loss of Arctic ice, increased sea level, and increased heat waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. These alleged downstream effects are constantly cited to whip up alarm and create demands for ever tighter CO2 regulation. EPA explicitly relied on predicted increases in such events to justify the Endangerment Finding supporting its Clean Power Plan. But as shown above, there is no evidence to support such claims, and copious empirical evidence that refutes them.

The enormous cost and essentially limitless scope of the government’s regulatory authority over GHG/CO2 emissions cannot lawfully rest upon a collection of scary stories that are conclusively disproven by readily available empirical data.

The legal criteria for reconsidering the Endangerment Finding are clearly present in this case. The scientific foundation of the Endangerment Finding has been invalidated. The parade of horrible calamities that the Endangerment Finding predicts and that a vast program of regulation seeks to prevent have been comprehensively and conclusively refuted by empirical data. The Petition for Reconsideration should be granted

Lindzen explains the climate system

The following are excerpts from a lecture presented by Dr. Richard Lindzen to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. Dr. Lindzen was Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until his retirement in 2013. He is the author of over 200 papers on meteorology and climatology and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the Academic Advisory Council of GWPF.

Each of the following sections has more to it. Read the entire lecture here:
https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2018/10/Lindzen-AnnualGWPF-lecture.pdf

The climate system

The following description of the climate system contains nothing that is in the least controversial, and I expect that anyone with a scientific background will readily follow the description. I will also try to make the description intelligible to the non-scientist.

The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids (the atmosphere and the oceans) interacting with each other. By ‘turbulent,’ I simply mean that it is characterized by irregular circulations like those found in a gurgling brook or boiling water, but on the planetary scale of the oceans and the atmosphere. The opposite of turbulent is called laminar, but any fluid forced to move fast enough becomes turbulent, and turbulence obviously limits predictability. By interaction, I simply mean that they exert stress on each other and exchange heat with each other.

These fluids are on a rotating planet that is unevenly heated by the sun. The motions in the atmosphere (and to a lesser extent in the oceans) are generated by the uneven influence of the sun. The sun, itself, can be steady, but it shines directly on the tropics while barely skimming the Earth at the poles. The drivers of the oceans are more complex and include forcing by wind as well as the sinking of cold and salty water. The rotation of the Earth has many consequences too, but for the present, we may simply note that it leads to radiation being distributed around a latitude circle.

The oceans have circulations and currents operating on time scales ranging from years to millennia, and these systems carry heat to and from the surface. Because of the scale and density of the oceans, the flow speeds are generally much smaller than in the atmosphere and are associated with much longer time scales. The fact that these circulations carry heat to and from the surface means that the surface, itself, is never in equilibrium with space. That is to say, there is never an exact balance between incoming heat from the sun and outgoing radiation generated by the Earth because heat is always being stored in and released from the oceans and surface temperature is always, therefore, varying somewhat.

In addition to the oceans, the atmosphere is interacting with a hugely irregular land surface. As air passes over mountain ranges, the flow is greatly distorted. Topography therefore plays a major role in modifying regional climate. These distorted air-flows even generate fluid waves that can alter climate at distant locations. Computer simulations of the climate generally fail to adequately describe these effects.

A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast impacts on energy flows. Each component also has important radiative impacts. You all know that it takes heat to melt ice, and it takes further heat for the resulting water to become vapor or, as it is sometimes referred to, steam. The term humidity refers to the amount of vapor in the atmosphere. The flow of heat is reversed when the phase changes are reversed; that is, when vapor condenses into water, and when water freezes. The release of heat when water vapor condenses drives thunder clouds (known as cumulonimbus), and the energy in a thundercloud is comparable to that released in an H-bomb. I say this simply to illustrate that these energy transformations are very substantial. Clouds consist of water in the form of fine droplets and ice in the form of fine crystals. Normally, these fine droplets and crystals are suspended by rising air currents, but when these grow large enough they fall through the rising air as rain and snow. Not only are the energies involved in phase transformations important, so is the fact that both water vapor and clouds (both ice- and water-based) strongly affect radiation. Although I haven’t discussed the greenhouse effect yet, I’m sure all of you have heard that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that this explains its warming effect. You should, therefore, understand that the two most important greenhouse substances by far are water vapor and clouds. Clouds are also important reflectors of sunlight.

The unit for describing energy flows is watts per square meter. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and re-emission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. The Earth receives about 340 watts per square meter from the sun, but about 140 watts per square meter is simply reflected back to space, by both the Earth’s surface and, more importantly, by clouds. This leaves about 200 watts per square meter that the Earth would have to emit in order to establish balance.

The sun radiates in the visible portion of the radiation spectrum because its temperature is about 6000K. ‘K’ refers to Kelvins, which are simply degrees Centigrade plus 273. Zero K is the lowest possible temperature (-273?C). Temperature determines the spectrum of the emitted radiation. If the Earth had no atmosphere at all (but for purposes of argument still was reflecting 140 watts per square meter), it would have to radiate at a temperature of about 255K, and, at this temperature, the radiation is mostly in the infrared.

Of course, the Earth does have an atmosphere and oceans, and this introduces a host of complications. So be warned, what follows will require a certain amount of concentration. Evaporation from the oceans gives rise to water vapor in the atmosphere, and water vapor very strongly absorbs and emits radiation in the infrared. This is what we mean when we call water vapor a greenhouse gas. The water vapor essentially blocks infrared radiation from leaving the surface, causing the surface and (via conduction) the air adjacent to the surface to heat, and, as in a heated pot of water, convection sets on. Because the density of air decreases with height, the buoyant elements expand as they rise. This causes the buoyant elements to cool as they rise, and the mixing results in decreasing temperature with height rather than a constant temperature. To make matters more complicated, the amount of water vapor that the air can hold decreases rapidly as the temperature decreases. At some height there is so little water vapor above this height that radiation from this level can now escape to space. It is at this elevated level (around 5 km) that the temperature must be about 255K in order to balance incoming radiation. However, because convection causes temperature to decrease with height, the surface now has to actually be warmer than 255K. It turns out that it has to be about 288K (which is the average temperature of the Earth’s surface).

This is what is known as the greenhouse effect. It is an interesting curiosity that had convection produced a uniform temperature, there wouldn’t be a greenhouse effect. In reality, the situation is still more complicated. Among other things, the existence of upper-level cirrus clouds, which are very strong absorbers and emitters of infrared radiation, effectively block infrared radiation from below. Thus, when such clouds are present above about 5 km, their tops rather than the height of 5 km determine the level from which infrared reaches space. Now the addition of other greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) elevates the emission level, and because of the convective mixing, the new level will be colder. This reduces the outgoing infrared flux, and, in order to restore balance, the atmosphere would have to warm. Doubling carbon dioxide concentration is estimated to be equivalent to a forcing of about 3.7 watts per square meter, which is little less than 2% of the net incoming 200 watts per square meter. Many factors, including cloud area and height, snow cover, and ocean circulations, commonly cause changes of comparable magnitude.

It is important to note that such a system will fluctuate with time scales ranging from seconds to millennia, even in the absence of an explicit forcing other than a steady sun. Much of the popular literature (on both sides of the climate debate) assumes that all changes must be driven by some external factor. Of course, the climate system is driven by the sun, but even if the solar forcing were constant, the climate would still vary. This is actually something that all of you have long known – even if you don’t realize it. After all, you have no difficulty recognizing that the steady stroking of a violin string by a bow causes the string to vibrate and generate sound waves. In a similar way, the atmosphere–ocean system responds to steady forcing with its own modes of variation (which, admittedly, are often more complex than the modes of a violin string). Moreover, given the massive nature of the oceans, such variations can involve time scales of millennia rather than milliseconds. El Niño is a relatively short example, involving years, but most of these internal time variations are too long to even be identified in our relatively short instrumental record. Nature has numerous examples of autonomous variability, including the approximately 11-year sunspot cycle and the reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field every couple of hundred thousand years or so. In this respect, the climate system is no different from other natural systems.

Of course, such systems also do respond to external forcing, but such a forcing is not needed for them to exhibit variability. While the above is totally uncontroversial, please think about it for a moment. Consider the massive heterogeneity and complexity of the system, and the variety of mechanisms of variability as we consider the current narrative that is commonly presented as ‘settled science.’

The popular narrative and its political origins

Now here is the currently popular narrative concerning this system. The climate, a complex multifactor system, can be summarized in just one variable, the globally averaged temperature
change, and is primarily controlled by the 1-2% perturbation in the energy budget due to a single variable – carbon dioxide – among many variables of comparable importance. This is an extraordinary claim based on reasoning that borders on magical thinking. It is, however, the narrative that has been widely accepted, even among many sceptics.

Many politicians and learned societies go even further: They endorse carbon dioxide as
the controlling variable, and although mankind’s CO2 contributions are small compared to the much larger but uncertain natural exchanges with both the oceans and the biosphere, they are confident that they know precisely what policies to implement in order to control carbon dioxide levels.

The evidence

At this point, some of you might be wondering about all the so-called evidence for dangerous climate change. What about the disappearing Arctic ice, the rising sea level, the weather extremes, starving polar bears, the Syrian Civil War, and all the rest of it? The vast variety of the claims makes it impossible to point to any particular fault that applies to all of them. Of course, citing the existence of changes – even if these observations are correct (although surprisingly often they are not) – would not implicate greenhouse warming per se. Nor would it point to danger. Note that most of the so-called evidence refers to matters of which you have no personal experience. Some of the claims, such as those relating to weather extremes, contradict what both physical theory and empirical data show. The purpose of these claims is obviously to frighten and befuddle the public, and to make it seem like there is evidence where, in fact, there is none.

Conclusion

So there you have it. An implausible conjecture backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly has become politically correct ‘knowledge,’ and is used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization. What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays. False claims about 97% agreement will not spare us, but the willingness of scientists to keep mum is likely to much reduce trust in and support for science. Perhaps this won’t be such a bad thing after all – certainly as concerns ‘official’ science.

There is at least one positive aspect to the present situation. None of the proposed policies will have much impact on greenhouse gases. Thus we will continue to benefit from the one thing that can be clearly attributed to elevated carbon dioxide: namely, its effective role as a plant fertilizer, and reducer of the drought vulnerability of plants.

See also:
Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect
An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

Main temperature database used by IPCC found to contain multiple errors

An audit of the HadCRUT4 dataset, the primary global temperature database used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found multiple errors.

HadCRUT4 is also the dataset at the center of “ClimateGate” from 2009, managed by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University.

The paper, An Audit of the Creation and Content of the HadCRUT4 Temperature Dataset by John McLean (PhD), was first published as a PhD thesis and now as a book. Get the book for $8 here. Read the original thesis here (free download).

The audit found more than 70 areas of concern about data quality and accuracy.

Australian researcher John McLean says that HadCRUT4 is far too sloppy to be taken seriously even by climate scientists, let alone a body as influential as the IPCC or by the governments of the world.

Main points:

The Hadley data is one of the most cited, most important databases for climate modeling, and thus for policies involving billions of dollars.

McLean found freakishly improbable data, and systematic adjustment errors, large gaps where there is no data, location errors, Fahrenheit temperatures reported as Celsius, and spelling errors.

[The improper transposition of Fahrenheit temperatures to Celsius is serious. Fahrenheit 40 is a cool temperature but Celsius 40 is equivalent to 104 Fahrenheit. This erroneous transposition is real “man-made global warming.”]

Almost no quality control checks have been done: outliers that are obvious mistakes have not been corrected. For instance, one town in Columbia spent three months in 1978 at an average daily temperature of over 80 degrees C (176 F). One town in Romania stepped out from summer in 1953 straight into a month of Spring at minus 46°C. These are supposedly “average” temperatures for a full month at a time. St Kitts, a Caribbean island, was recorded at 0°C for a whole month, and twice!

Temperatures for the entire Southern Hemisphere in 1850 and for the next three years are calculated from just one site in Indonesia and some random ships.

Sea surface temperatures represent 70% of the Earth’s surface, but some measurements come from ships which are logged at locations 100km inland. Others are in harbors which are hardly representative of the open ocean.

When a thermometer is relocated to a new site, the adjustment assumes that the old site was always built up and “heated” by concrete and buildings. In reality, the artificial warming probably crept in slowly. By correcting for buildings that likely didn’t exist in 1880, old records are artificially cooled. Adjustments for a few site changes can create a whole century of artificial warming trends.

Details of the worst outliers:

For April, June and July of 1978 Apto Uto, Colombia had an average monthly temperature of 81.5°C, 83.4°C and 83.4°C respectively. (178 to 182 Fahrenheit)

The monthly mean temperature in September 1953 at Paltinis, Romania is reported as -46.4 °C (in other years the September average was about 11.5°C).

At Golden Rock Airport, on the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean, mean monthly temperatures for December in 1981 and 1984 are reported as 0.0°C. But from 1971 to 1990 the average in all the other years was 26.0°C.

Bad data and bad modeling assumptions make IPCC temperature simulations diverge widely from really. That’s why we should not believe the IPCC when they cry “wolf” and say it’s the end of the world unless we give them billions of dollars and get rid of fossil fuels.

The primary conclusion of the audit (as noted by Anthony Watts) is that the dataset shows exaggerated warming and that global averages are far less certain than have been claimed.

One implication of the audit is that climate models have been tuned to match incorrect data, which would render incorrect their predictions of future temperatures and estimates of the human influence of temperatures.

Another implication is that the proposal that the Paris Climate Agreement adopt 1850-1899 averages as “indicative” of pre-industrial temperatures is fatally flawed. During that period global coverage is low – it averages 30% across that time – and many land-based temperatures are very likely to be excessively adjusted and therefore incorrect.

 

Why is it that a PhD student working from home can find mistakes that the British Met Office, a £226 million institute with 2,100 employees, could not. Significantly, the Met Office, in a statement, said they do not disagree with any of his claims.

Maybe, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his farewell address:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The fake two degree political limit on global warming

Climate change in perspective – a tutorial for policy makers

The Hothouse Horror (Ho Hum)

A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) speculates on major warming in our future. It has sent the gullible, alarmist press into a twitter of claiming that we must do something immediately. Trouble is, this very speculative paper says major warming may, might, could, perhaps occur sometime within the next few centuries to thousands of years.

Here is the abstract:

We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values. [full paper here]

 

What? Me worry? Dr. Judith Curry (retired Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) opines: “A paper about climate outcomes on a millennial time scale would seem to be completely irrelevant to any conceivable policy. Even if our understanding of all of these climate processes were certain (reality check: we are dealing with deep uncertainty with regards to future climate outcomes), geologic and solar wild cards will almost certainly come into play to produce climate surprises.”

The horrid hothouse described in the paper is actually the normal temperature for planet Earth according to geological evidence (except during ice ages). Current global average surface temperature is about 57°F (14°C) versus a “normal” temperature of 77°F (25°C) as shown on the graphic below:

 

During times of “normal” (very warm) temperatures life was abundant and robust. If (or when) we return to those temperatures we will have to adapt as it gets warmer and sea level rises.

My impression of this paper is that its sixteen co-authors are taking advantage of the political climate to get their names on a paper published in a professional journal, something very important to academics.

On the other hand, we might first have to adapt to colder temperatures. Scientists who pay attention to solar cycles have noticed that the magnetic strength of the sun is declining with each cycle. This means that more cosmic rays will enter the atmosphere and produce more clouds and hence more cooling. The graphic below shows the gradual decline of temperature during our current inter-glacial period and the cyclic nature of warm-cold periods. Speculation is that we are about to enter one of the cold spells of the Holocene or even that the relatively benign inter-glacial period is coming to an end.

Here is an example:

The Next Ice Age

By Dr. S. Fred Singer

While most people still worry about global warming, I am more concerned about the next Ice Age. A glaciation would present a serious problem for survival of our present civilization, akin to a nuclear winter that many worried about 30 years ago.

Natural warming of the Earth reached a peak 65 million years ago. The climate has been generally cooling ever since. Antarctic ice sheets started growing 25 million years ago. In the last 2.5 million years, the Earth entered the period of Ice Ages [the geological name is The Pleistocene] and has been experiencing periodic glaciations where much of the land was covered by miles-thick ice sheets.

There have been about 17 glaciations, each lasting approximately 100,000 years, separated by short inter-glacials lasting about 10,000 years.

We are approaching the likely end of the present warm inter-glacial, called the Holocene. It’s time to prepare for the next glaciation to see how we can overcome it – or at least postpone its onset. Read more (Singer is a physicist and a Professor emeritus of environmental science, University of Virginia.) I’m with Fred.

If Dr. Singer is right, then we all should triple our “carbon footprints” assuming you believe that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

An article in Science 2.0: “Not As Scary As It Seems: Planet At Risk Of Heading Towards “Hothouse Earth” State” [link] Gives a summary and comments on the paper. They say “Hothouse earth does not make us extinct – still a very habitable planet” and “In short, it is a hypothesis not yet supported by evidence.”

A summary of climate change principles and state of the science – a rebuttal of climate alarmism

This post collects several past articles which review the science and bring together some main points on the state of the climate debate. These points show that the politically correct, carbon dioxide driven meme is wrong. Readers can use these articles to counter climate alarmist. Read each article for more details.

Climate change in perspective

Climate change is a major issue of our times. Concern is affecting environmental, energy, and economic policy decisions. Many politicians are under the mistaken belief that legislation and regulation can significantly control our climate to forestall any deviation from “normal” and save us from a perceived crisis. This post is intended as a primer for politicians so they can cut through the hype and compare real observational data against the flawed model prognostications.

The data show that the current warming is not unusual, but part of a natural cycle; that greenhouse gases, other than water vapor, are not significant drivers of climate; that human emissions of carbon dioxide are insignificant when compared to natural emissions of greenhouse gases; and that many predictions by climate modelers and hyped by the media are simply wrong.

 

A simple question for climate alarmists – where is the evidence

“What physical evidence supports the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are the principal cause of global warming since 1970?”

(Remember back in the 1970s, climate scientists and media were predicting a return to an “ice age.”)

I have posed that question to five “climate scientist” professors at the University of Arizona who claim that our carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of dangerous global warming. Yet, when asked the question, none could cite any supporting physical evidence.

 

Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth

Rather than being a “pollutant.” Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth as we know it. Earth’s climate has been changing for at least four billion years in cycles large and small. Few in the climate debate understand those changes and their causes. Many are fixated on carbon dioxide (CO2), a minor constituent of the atmosphere, but one absolutely necessary for life as we know it. Perhaps this fixation derives from ulterior political motives for controlling the global economy. For others, the true believers, perhaps this fixation derives from ignorance.

 

Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

The “greenhouse effect,” very simplified, is this: solar radiation penetrates the atmosphere and warms the surface of the earth. The earth’s surface radiates thermal energy (infrared radiation) back into space. Some of this radiation is absorbed and re-radiated back to the surface and into space by clouds, water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Water vapor is the principle greenhouse gas; the others are minor players. It is claimed that without the greenhouse effect the planet would be an iceball, about 34∘C colder than it is.* The term “greenhouse effect” with respect to the atmosphere is an unfortunate usage because it is misleading. The interior of a real greenhouse (or your automobile parked with windows closed and left in the sun) heats up because there is a physical barrier to convective heat loss. There is no such physical barrier in the atmosphere.*There is an alternate hypothesis:

 

What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell proposed in his 1871 book “Theory of Heat” that the temperature of a planet depends only on gravity, mass of the atmosphere, and heat capacity of the atmosphere. Temperature is independent of atmosphere composition. Greenhouse gases have nothing to do with it. Many publications since, have expounded on Maxwell’s theory and have shown that it applies to all planets in the Solar System.

The Grand Canyon of Arizona provides a practical demonstration of this principle.

 

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The U.S. government’s National Climate Assessment report and the UN IPCC both claim that human carbon dioxide emissions are “intensifying” the greenhouse effect and causing global warming. The carbon dioxide driven global warming meme makes four specific predictions. Physical evidence shows that all four of these predictions are wrong.

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard Feynmann

 

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

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.

 

How much global warming is dangerous?

The United Nation’s IPCC and other climate alarmists say all hell will break loose if the global temperature rises more than an additional 2º C (3.6ºF). That number, by the way, is purely arbitrary with no basis in science. It also ignores Earth’s geologic history which shows that for most of the time global temperatures have been much warmer than now. Let’s look back at a time when global temperatures are estimated to have been as much as 34ºF warmer than they are now. Hell didn’t break loose then.

 

Effects of global warming on humans

The EPA’s “endangerment finding” classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant and claimed that global warming will have adverse effects on human health. Real research says the opposite: cold is deadlier. The scientific evidence shows that warming is good for health.

 

Geology is responsible for some phenomena blamed on global warming

Melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets have been blamed on global warming, but both have a geologic origin. The “Blob” a recent warm ocean area off the Oregon coast, responsible in part for the hot weather and drought in California, has been blamed on global warming, but that too may have a geologic cause.

 

The 97 percent consensus for human caused climate change debunked again

It has been claimed that 97% of climate scientists say humans are causing most of the global warming. An examination of the numbers and how those numbers have been reached show that only 8.2% of scientists polled explicitly endorse carbon dioxide as the principal driver.

Read also a more general article: On consensus in science

Conclusion:

The basic conclusion of this review is that carbon dioxide has little effect on climate and all attempts to control carbon dioxide will be a futile and expensive exercise to no end. All the dire predictions are based on flawed computer models. Carbon dioxide is a phantom menace.

 

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

Nitrogen in rocks identified as major plant fertilizer not considered by climate models

Organic nitrogen compounds such as ammonia (NH3) act as plant fertilizers. Robust plant growth consumes more atmospheric carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis. However, atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is relatively inert. It is converted to organic nitrogen compounds by bacteria in the top soil layers. (See nitrogen fixation) Climate models have assumed that the atmosphere is the only source of nitrogen and have therefore underestimated its fertilization effect and also underestimated the capability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. New studies show that much nitrogen comes from rocks, some already in useable organic form. Weathering of rocks releases this organic nitrogen.

“A considerable amount of the nitrogen in igneous and sedimentary rocks exists as ammonium ions held within the lattice structures of silicate minerals. In sedimentary rocks, the ammonium is held by secondary silicate minerals; in igneous rocks, the ammonium is contained largely within potassium-bearing primary minerals. Analyses indicated that most of the nitrogen in igneous rocks, and from one-tenth to two-thirds of that in sedimentary rocks (shales) occurred as fixed ammonium.” (Source)

Nitrate deposits in arid and semi-arid regions provide another source of nitrogen.

“Nitrogen bearing rocks are globally distributed and comprise a potentially large pool of nitrogen in nutrient cycling that is frequently neglected because of a lack of routine analytical methods for quantification. Nitrogen in rock originates as organically bound nitrogen associated with sediment, or in thermal waters representing a mixture of sedimentary, mantle, and meteoric sources of nitrogen.” (Source)

A new study, reported by Science Daily, concerns research conducted by University of California – Davis published April 6, 2018.

“For centuries, the prevailing science has indicated that all of the nitrogen on Earth available to plants comes from the atmosphere. But a study from the University of California, Davis, indicates that more than a quarter comes from Earth’s bedrock.”

“The discovery could greatly improve climate change projections, which rely on understanding the carbon cycle. This newly identified source of nitrogen could also feed the carbon cycle on land, allowing ecosystems to pull more emissions out of the atmosphere, the authors said.”

“Geology might have a huge control over which systems can take up carbon dioxide and which ones don’t.”

“While there were hints that plants could use rock-derived nitrogen, this discovery shatters the paradigm that the ultimate source of available nitrogen is the atmosphere. Nitrogen is both the most important limiting nutrient on Earth and a dangerous pollutant, so it is important to understand the natural controls on its supply and demand. Humanity currently depends on atmospheric nitrogen to produce enough fertilizer to maintain world food supply. A discovery of this magnitude will open up a new era of research on this essential nutrient.”

Study citation: B. Z. Houlton, S. L. Morford, R. A. Dahlgren. Convergent evidence for widespread rock nitrogen sources in Earth’s surface environment. Science, 2018; 360 (6384): 58 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4399.

Looks like “climate science” is still not settled. For instance, a 2003 study published in the same Science journal claimed, “there will not be enough nitrogen available to sustain the high carbon uptake scenarios.” Investor’s Business Daily opines: “with more nitrogen available, plant life might be able to absorb more CO2 than climate scientists have been estimating, which means the planet won’t warm as much, despite mankind’s pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.”

 

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists