Climate News - February 2019

A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.

Alan Moran

1 February 2019
Science
Judith Curry finds “Mean global sea level has risen at a slow creep for more than 150 years”, rising since1900, about 7-8 inches. But there is no recent change in the long term trend.

A contrary position is taken by Cheng et al who claim that the oceans are absorbing heat and hence supressing the global warming of the atmosphere, which would raise sea levels. This New York Times chart reproduces their data.
Willis Eschenbach questions the data arguing we don’t know “the 1955 temperature of the top two kilometres of the ocean to within plus or minus four hundredths of one degree”. David Whitehousepoints to a lack of reliable data on ocean temperatures prior to 2006 when the Argo array of buoys were set up and that, incongruously, data shows similar warming to that of recent years in the early 20th century (when a human induced greenhouse effect was impossible). Roy Spencer considers the authors’ “facts” are made up and, among multiple criticisms, David Lewis says the mathematics is incorrect. However, never to be out-hyped, the Guardian found an “environmental scientist” who claimed, “The ocean heating rate has increased as global warming has accelerated, and the value is somewhere between roughly three to six Hiroshima bombs per second in recent decades”.

The latest data on recorded hurricane activity continues to show the numbers in decline, despite alarmists’ contrary assertions. 
Ian Plimer examines the databases for the claims that ”97 per cent of scientists agree that there is man made global warming” and finds that the interpretation is dictated by the prejudices of the survey conductors and the true figure is the opposite - only 3 per cent actually make such statements unambiguously.

According to Lancet, climate change along with obesity and undernutrition “are the biggest threats to the world population, linked by profit motives and policy inertia, and called for “a binding plan and trillions of dollars to thwart the dangers”.  The Guardian approvingly supports an implausible solution of UN activists who say we should have less land intensive but more nutritious, organic food grown on less acreage. 

The Guardian breathlessly reported findings that the insect population in Puerto Rico had dramatically declined over the past 35 years because, “The number of hot spells, temperatures above 29C, have increased tremendously”. But Paul Homewood demonstrates that the climate data used is faulty and temperatures actually fell in Puerto Rico during the period.  Don’t wait for a Guardian correction!
Politics
Trump housecleaning fires the World Bank President, Obama appointee Jim Yong Kim, who pushed financing for green energy projects, refusing to support coal power investments. Last month, the World Bank announced it would double its investments to fight climate change to around $200 billion over the next five years. Rupert Darwall and Myron Ebell say Kim “behaved as if Hillary Clinton had won Barack Obama’s third term in the 2016 presidential election” and see an opportunity to end the World Bank’s war on coal.

The Trump administration is to cut 11 major greenhouse-oriented energy regulations including  Obama’s Clean Power Plan, that threatened to close many coal power plants, and a reversal of plans to increase vehicle fuel efficiency standards. A majority of Americans profess concern about climate change but only a minority say they are prepared to pay to combat it.

Predictably, Al Gore claimed that climate change is causing the “refugee” caravans to the USA.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez is the latest to announce the earth’s termination date, 12 years away, as a result of global warming, in spite of former UN climate head Christina Figueres having saved it with the Paris Agreement! Presidential aspirant Kamela Harris has endorsed Ocasio-Cortez goal of 100 per cent renewable energy.
 
A German government Commission recommends Germany’s 84 coal plants be phased out by 2038, claiming its plan "will make it possible to achieve the German government’s climate change goals and achieve affordable and secure energy supplies”. Yeah right - driven by renewable subsidies, Germany’s prices are already among the world’s highest! Moreover green groups point out even this is too slow to meet the Paris Climate goals! Meanwhile, a WWF commissioned report reckons Scotland can become greenhouse gas free by 2045. This is timely since UN chief climate alarmist, Antonio Guterres now says the Paris agreement is too conservative and, even if adhered to, will result in 3°C temperature increase!

Endcoal reports that in 2018 some two million Megawatts (MW) of coal plant capacity (6,700 plants) was operating with 237,000 MW under construction and 365,000 MW planned. Over half the capacity under construction is in China and about 15 per cent in India. Coal provides 38 per cent of world electricity with gas at 23 per cent and hydro at 16 per cent; renewables supply 8 per cent.  

China is refusing to permit new solar and wind projects unless they are economically viable, that is, they must be no more expensive than coal after they have paid the costs of their connections and disruption. Disruption in 2017 caused 12% of wind generation and 6% of solar to be curtailed.  About 7 per cent of China’s electricity comes from wind/solar.

Australian companies and investors go green to make more money, and to meet risk assessed by green corporate regulators, infected by the climate disease, that climate change is a risk which companies must weigh up in their actions.

Victorian Energy Minister D’Ambrosio (who previously said loss of coal power stations would be immaterial) said at 10.30 25 January that there’d be no blackouts. Two hours later lack of wind caused them, the Minister claiming this was due to unexpected losses of coal generation! I discussed the vulnerability of the system and the political causes of this the previous day. Nick Cater roasted the Greens for arguing we should all cut back on energy use rather than have the reliable supply that is easily achievable with market-oriented rather than political dictated policies.

Several climate change activists backed by GetUp are contesting the Parliamentary seat held by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The latest is a skier who has support of GetUp and Liberal Party warmists, including NSW Arts and Energy Minister Don Harwin.  See my opinion piece
Whimsy
Samuel Miller-McDonald writes at The Trouble says perhaps the only hope for avoiding catastrophic global warming is for a nuclear war to reduce human population and consumption.

The Global Warming Policy Forum awarded this Daily Mail article, attributing a lower voice pitch of whales to melting ice, as its wackiest climate change claim for 2018.  But in the money-will-buy-you-the-research-findings-you-want category, comes this monster report claiming that a warmer arctic will reduce the numbers of cod.

With impeccable timing, the near record cold in the US, has coincided with star weatherman, Bill Nye “the Science Guy”, claiming that global warming will require the US to grow its food in Canada if nothing is done to stop the temperature rise. 
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