Friday, 5 April 2013

Climythology

Quadrant onLine has a new piece by Peter Smith titled Climythology.
Read the whole piece at
Quadrantonline.

Smith asks:
Is it possible that governments have collectively lost their senses?
and answers his own rhetorical
Yes, it is.
The risk to alarmists is that governments will catch up with the climate insouciance of their electorates and stop wasting money. Among other things, money will be saved by sacking people like Flannery and removing all of those research grants directed towards proving the undisprovable, which is that climate change does indeed exist and will eventually engulf our grandchildren in the most horrible of fates. Only research grants based on climate propositions which potentially can be shown to be false, in Popperian fashion, will be left standing; and few in number they will be. 
Tony Abbott may well be Australia's next Prime Minister. He has already suggest this. (link)

TONY Abbott has signalled he will sack Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery if he is elected as prime minister in September. 
The Opposition Leader, who has vowed to dismantle the Climate Change department and merge it with the Environment Department in government, said he did not see the point of paying Professor Flannery around $180,000 a year for his views which were already public knowledge. 
He said if elected as prime minister on September 14 and given the opportunity to revoke the carbon tax a whole range of climate change bureaucracies would also be axed.
To counter this, Smith asks: "What to do? "
The answer chosen by the alarmists is to become more alarmist in the hope of panicking the common man and woman or, at least, raising them from their torpor. 
Hence we had Mr Flannery spruiking the latest report of the Climate Commission. He spoke of the angry summer; of 123 records broken; of it all taking us into new climate territory; and so on into what the PM might call hyper-bole. 
However, Murry Salby, Professor of Climate at Macquarie University, disputes their latest explosion of hysteria: (link)

The Climate Commission bases its claims on a selection of temperatures from the latest reincarnation of the record of surface thermometers, recently regenerated by the government-funded Bureau of Meteorology. 
The surface record has been termed by the bureau as its high-quality data. If it is high quality, it is certainly not robust. The bureau's record is routinely readjusted, the next high-quality reincarnation rendering its predecessor obsolete. The adjustments performed are discretionary, applied differently to different sites in the surface network. And if the adjustments are understood, it is by few, if any, outside the bureau. 
For this reason, the recent proclamation that this summer was unprecedented arrives with curious timing: it coincides with the onset of campaigning for the next federal election.
.................................
One record averts these limitations: satellite measurements from microwave sounding units and advanced microwave sounding units provide continuous coverage of Australia, with uniform sampling of the continent. The satellite record derives from a single instrument family. It follows from a single treatment applied uniformly to all data, yielding a record of continental temperature that is homogenous and stable. Unlike surface measurements, it represents temperature in the lowest couple of kilometres of the atmosphere. However, departures from average temperature in this layer mirror departures from average surface temperature - especially under summertime conditions, when convective overturning exchanges air vertically on time scales of only hours. 
Figure 1 (above) displays the record of Australia mean temperature during January (blue) in its anomalous value (the departure from the long-term average January temperature). Last January was warmer than recent Januaries, but hardly unprecedented. It lies about a standard deviation above the average January temperature. And even during the relatively short satellite era, two Januaries were warmer. Superimposed is anomalous summertime temperature (red). It is even less remarkable. Near the three-decade average, it is no more significant than in preceding years. Neither record evidences a sustained shift in the continental baseline. 
Figure 2 displays the record of anomalous temperature for all months. It places the summer of 2012-13 into perspective. Anomalous temperature (red solid circles) lies well within the envelope of other warm anomalies during the preceding three decades. Cold anomalies are just as numerous. If anything, they are even stronger.
For many on Australia's eastern seaboard, this summer was not anomalously hot but, rather, anomalously cool and wet. This is confirmed by the temperature record at Sydney. The central station reported only two marginal days. And during the entire summer maximum temperature reached 32C on only three days. 
In the light of the satellite record, as well as the absence of any systematic change in global temperature for almost two decades, the proclaimed interpretation of this summer should be recognised for what it is: a simplistic explanation of a complex physical system. 

As the Australian Election approaches, we can expect more alarming statements from our Climate Commission and associated bodies trying to shore up their appointments.

To (mis)quote Wayne Swan before the last Election - "That's an hysterically inaccurate claim!"

New climate deniers miss the scientific truth on global warming


NCTCS has written before about whether sceptics should be called "deniers" or should that tag go to LINK and LINK. Now Rich Lowy, writing for the Oregonian, has taken up the call:

New climate deniers miss the scientific truth on global warming

There are few things sadder than the "climate denier." He ignores the data and neglects the latest science. His rhetoric and policy proposals are dangerously disconnected from reality. He can't recalibrate to take account of the latest evidence because, well, he's a denier.

The new climate deniers are the liberals who, despite their obsession with climate change, have managed to miss the biggest story in climate science, which is that there hasn't been any global warming for about a decade and a half. 
Rich quotes from this article in the Economist.
OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. 
Rich notes that, although the Economist has been alarmist over the years, it still can pause and take stock with an article like this.
The deniers feel no such compunction. They speak as if it is still the late 1990s, when measurements of global temperature had been rising for two decades. In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that "we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it's too late." In a passage devoted to global warming, though, he didn't mention the latest trend in global warming. 
Ed Hawkins, a meteorologist from the University of Reading (see graph) has found that if global temperatures stay the same for a few more years, they will fall below the range of 20 climate models. In other words, the scientific "consensus" will have been proven wrong.

Freeman Dyson has been described, since the death of Einstein, as the "most brilliant physicist on the planet."  Dyson has described the use of models by climate scientists as "flawed from the beginning." (link)
"I just think they don’t understand the climate," he said of climatologists. "Their computer models are full of fudge factors." 
A major fudge factor concerns the role of clouds. The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide on its own is limited. To get to the apocalyptic projections trumpeted by Al Gore and company, the models have to include assumptions that CO-2 will cause clouds to form in a way that produces more warming. 
"The models are extremely oversimplified," he said. "They don't represent the clouds in detail at all. They simply use a fudge factor to represent the clouds." 
Dyson also refers to Ed Hawkins:
Dyson said his skepticism about those computer models was borne out by recent reports of a study by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Great Britain that showed global temperatures were flat between 2000 and 2010 — even though we humans poured record amounts of CO-2 into the atmosphere during that decade.
Interesting to note that the heating of the oceans has also levelled off or stalled (as reported by the economist)
Over the past decade the long-term rise in surface seawater temperatures seems to have stalled (see chart 2 below), which suggests that the oceans are not absorbing as much heat from the atmosphere. 


Coal's Comeback. ETS a big flop in Europe

Carbon Tax vs Europe's ETS
Germany's Der Spiegel is asking:

CO2 Emissions: Can Europe Save Its Cap-and-Trade System?

Europe's cap-and-trade system for reducing the release of greenhouse gases is broken, but not everybody wants to fix it. Industry has profited immensely from the plummeting prices of CO2 emissions certificates, and from lax checks on questionable environmental projects undertaken overseas.
The describe how Energy Company RWE (link) made frequent trips to Zambia with stoves that were intended to help poor families cook in a more environmentally friendly way. The rider is: (link)
.....the project wasn't entirely altruistic, because RWE will receive credits for its effort. The stoves in Lusaka are expected to save 1.5 million tons of CO2 by 2020, and in return, RWE's coal-fired power plants would be allowed to emit 1.5 million tons elsewhere. 
Eva Filzmoser of Carbon Market Watch in Brussels declared the Carbon Dioxide trading Market a big flop.

In the end, the flood of such projects undermines the entire emissions trading system. "The most important tool of climate protection no longer works," says Eva Filzmoser of Carbon Market Watch in Brussels. Four years ago, the Austrian national began a solo effort to take a closer look at the emissions trading market. She still believed in the idea at the time. But Filzmoser found herself confronted with an industry that had grown to a volume of $90 billion almost overnight, an industry complete with certifiers, forecasters, dealers and hackers, who trafficked in certificates and created more and more absurd projects. 
Meanwhile, European Union’s energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger has said that, "For Europe to remain in the game, energy taxes must be held in check and no new taxes levied." (link)
Europe is in a quandary. For years, it has claimed to be a global leader in fighting climate change and slashing carbon emissions. Now it finds itself running out of conventional gas and turning back to dirty (sic) coal. Oettinger said onshore and North Sea gas deposits will be depleted by 2035 or 2040. Coal is cheap not only because U.S. supplies are sold at bargain prices but because the penalty for emitting too much carbon has become almost insignificant.
Europe’s cap-and-trade program is meant to make it expensive for industry to pollute (they mean emit vital-to-life CO2 - non-pollution). Industries that emit more carbon dioxide than permitted must buy pollution permits from facilities that release less CO2 than allowed. The market price is determined by the availability of those permits. 
In practice, the economic recession has led to an industrial slowdown, less emissions and an overabundance of permits for sale. Thus, the price of carbon has collapsed to less than €5 per ton.
Coal has become a new and economically interesting input for power production in the E.U.,” says the paper. 



H/t Benny Peiser