Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

On Methane Permafrost /Clathrates Scare Stories

January 18, 2011

Delisle 2007- Geophysical Research Letters
Near-surface permafrost degradation: How severe during the 21st
century?

“Based on paleoclimatic data and in consequence of this
study, it is suggested that scenarios calling for massive
release of methane in the near future from degrading
permafrost are questionable. “

Carbon Sense Coalition- Methane in Atmosphere

January 12, 2011

Methane In Atmosphere – Just Natural Gas Passing Through

The role of methane in the atmosphere has been emphasized by the IPCC to the point that many governments regard methane as almost as important as carbon dioxide amongst the greenhouse gases. The result is that emissions from natural gas pipelines, coal seams and agricultural livestock have been included in schemes to limit the growth of greenhouse gas concentrations. Analysis of changes to atmospheric methane within the last one hundred years suggests that the annual increases from 1930 to 1990 were due to losses from the production, transmission and distribution of natural gas that have now been reduced. Measurements over the last fifteen years show only natural variability. The data provide no justification for any attempts to reduce methane from industrial or agricultural activity.

For a full report by Tom Quirk, Twentieth Century Sources of Methane in the Atmosphere, see: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/quirk-methane-in-atmosphere.pdf [PDF, 223 KB]

Energy Tribune – on the Myth that Sceptics are Stooges for Big Oil

January 12, 2011

“Climate Change Sceptics are Stooges for Big Oil”

As a meteorologist and climate change (what happened to global warming?) investigator I constantly hear the charge that we who do not kneel at the altar of Al Gore are simply hired hacks for “Big Oil.” We are clueless stooges who will say anything for money. This old and tired argument is used over and over again by people who don’t do any research to back up that claim, they simply “know it’s true” because they read it in the New York Times or Newsweek or saw it on some television program. I wonder how many of those making this charge drive a car, use plastics, fly on planes or use virtually any product that we in our hydrocarbon based society enjoy? I’d bet all of them.

But when it comes to climate change they insist that “Big Oil” is pouring billions and billions of dollars into skeptic’s bank accounts. They are not. I have not received one dime of money from any oil company nor do I know anyone who has. But the claim is Big Oil is essentially employing skeptics to do their dirty work for them. If it were true part of that dirty work would be defending the right to use fossil fuels to power the world today and tomorrow despite the UN’s assertion that the developed world has expropriated the future from the developing nations because they “used up all the carbon space in the air.” Part of that dirty work would involve liberating carbon dioxide from its label as pollution by the main stream media and carbon opportunists like Al Gore and large Wall Street investment firms. Part of the dirty work would be exposing hypocrites like film maker James Cameron and billionaire Ted Turner who want you to live with less to “save the planet” while they live with more. Part of the dirty work would be exposing the truth about the benefits of more carbon dioxide in the air, its enhancement of agriculture and all living things and its miniscule role in changing the future climate of the world. Part of that dirty work would be telling the truth about where the real money in climate change is. Here’s the result of some dirty work for you.

If you want to know who is getting the big bucks for climate change research one needs look no farther than our own government. Your government will spend in the neighborhood of 4 billion dollars this year to study climate change. And that’s just this year! You only need to look at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2011 budget request to get the answers. Go down to chapter 15, Climate Change in the FY 2011 Budget. Here you will find out how much money is going to be spent in just one year to save you from climate change. The numbers are staggering. In 2011 your government will spend $10.6 million dollars a day to study, combat and educate people about climate change.

The big winner in the climate change money train is the National Science Foundation. They are requesting $1.616 billion dollars. They want $766 million dollars for the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Program. This is a 15.9% increase from their last budget. They also need another $370 million for the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) an increase of 16%. The say they also need another $480 million for Atmospheric Sciences an increase of 8.1% and Earth Sciences up 8.7%. Oh, and not to be left out we need $955 million for the Geosciences Directorate, an increase of 7.4%. That’s a mighty hefty sum of money to dig into if you’re doing climate change research.

The second largest request for money in 2011 comes from the Department of Energy. They say they need $627 million dollars for things like funding for renewable energy. The request represents a whopping 37% increase from last year! They want a 12% increase for energy efficiency programs. They want to eliminate $2.7 billion dollars of subsidies for industries that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. A 37% increase? I thought we were broke.

Well apparently there’s plenty of money around! Let’s get NASA in on the parade of open hands. For 2011 NASA wants $438 million dollars to study climate change, an increase of 14%. NASA’s total Earth Sciences budget request is actually $1.8 billion dollars. Some $809 million of that is for satellites, some of which are specifically put in orbit to study climate change. It is difficult to separate out which ones are for climate monitoring and which ones are not so I won’t include this number in the over all climate change money train, but make no mistake about it, a significant percentage of the $809 million is exclusively for climate change satellites.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking for $437 million dollars for climate research. This is an increase of 21.4% from the previous budget. This includes funds for regional and national assessments of climate change including ocean acidification. Once again, another meaty bag of money to tap into for researchers who have nice cars and big houses and need to keep up the payments. All aboard the money train!

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is also interested in tapping into the climate change vault. They say they need $244 million in 2011. Of this total, $171 million is for the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. This program identifies areas and species that are most vulnerable to climate change and implements coping strategies. Another $73 million is needed for The New Energy Frontier Initiative. The goal of this program is to increase solar, wind and geothermal energy capacity. Interesting that solar and wind power don’t actually make any money without this government funding.

Wow! This list just goes on and on, no wonder we have a $14 trillion dollar deficit!

But wait! as the say on TV there’s more. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants there share of the pot of gold. They need $169 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an increase of 1%. Do you really believe that next year greenhouse gases will be reduced by EPA spending $169 million dollars? I would bet the ranch that greenhouse gases will continue to increase next year and the year after that and the year after that despite EPA spending millions of dollars. It’s a complete waste of $169 million dollars.

I’m beginning to wonder if there is any government agency that does not get some climate change funding! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants $338 million dollars for climate change programs. They want $159 million dollars for climate change research, up a whopping 42%. They also want another $179 million for renewable energy, an increase of 41%! The USDA’s climate change efforts are supposed to help farmer and land owners adapt to the impacts of climate change.

We’ll there you have it. How much of the requested money these government agencies actually get is not yet known. The way they spend money in Washington you can rest assured they’ll get most of it.

So the next time someone says all those climate change deniers are being propped up with money from Big Oil you might want to bring up the nearly 4 billion dollars that is being hand fed to government agencies, Colleges and Universities and private research facilities.

Can Peer Review Be Fixed?

August 14, 2010

From Jo Nova: Can Peer Review Be Fixed?


“Seriously, what other profession would call unpublished comments by two unpaid anonymous colleagues “rigorous”?

Dear IRS officer, my tax return was audited by two accounting friends I won’t name, and they say it’s right. OK?”

Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high

August 14, 2010

From WUWT:

Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high

Subsidized Green Jobs Still Destroy Jobs Elsewhere

May 14, 2010

The Foundry

Last month Politico reported that the alternative energy sector had upped its lobbying efforts from $2.4 million in 1998 to $30 million in 2009. So what is the renewable power industry getting for its investment? Studies like this one by Navigant Consulting, Inc. for the Renewable Electricity Standard-Alliance for Jobs. The RES Alliance study found that “that a 25% by 2025 national RES would result in 274,000 more renewable energy jobs over no-national RES policy.”
Which is great news if you own a renewable electricity business. But what if you’re not? What if you manufacture widgets and you need inexpensive power to stay in business? The RES Alliance study tells you nothing about what happens to those jobs. It never even tries.
The reality is that Renewable Electricity Standards will cause energy prices to go up and that those higher energy prices will lead to job losses throughout the economy. Just ho many jobs will RES destroy on net? The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis crunched the numbers and found that an RES would reduce employment by more than 1,000,000 jobs.
The idea that forcing Americans to pay artificially high energy prices thanks to renewable electricity standards is a classic example Frederic Bastiat broken window fallacy. In 1850 Bastiat wrote:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? … Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.
But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”
It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

30000 Anti Global Warming Scientists Can’t Be Wrong

May 5, 2010

30000 Anti Global Warming Scientists Can’t Be Wrong

By Fred Dardick Friday, April 30, 2010

Nature Magazine, the academic journal that introduced the world to X-rays, DNA double helix, wave nature of particles, pulsars, and more recently the human genome, is set to publish a paper in June that shows atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for only 5-10% of observed warming on Earth.

As explained by the paper’s author Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, “The climate is warming, yes, but not because of greenhouse gases.”

For the preeminent scientific journal in the world to publish Kauppinen’s work shows conclusively that Al Gore’s much touted “scientific consensus” supporting human-caused global warming is a myth.
Eco-censors and the global warming hoax

For years scientists have been trying to get out the message past the eco-censors that there are thousands and thousands of them who do not buy into the global warming hoax.

Since 2009 more than 238 physicists including Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever and professors from Harvard, MIT, Princeton, UCLA and dozens of other top universities and research institutions have signed an open letter addressed to the Council of the American Physical Society saying the scientific data did not support the conclusion that increased CO2 concentrations are responsible for global warming.

In 2009 over 700 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC members, joined with Senator Inhofe in a Senate Minority Report to express their doubts over man-made global warming claims.

In the report U.S. Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg was quoted as saying “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.”

In the largest effort to date to document global warming dissent in the scientific community, 31,486 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,029 PhD, 7,157 MS, 2,586 MD and DVM, and 12,714 BS or equivalent – have signed on with the Global Warming Petition Project to state “the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity.”

Many of the best and brightest minds in the United States and around the world are in total agreement: The so-called global warming “scientific consensus” is a complete fabrication and does not exist.

Five Myths About Green Energy

May 3, 2010

Washington Post

“Five myths about green energy

By Robert Bryce
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Americans are being inundated with claims about renewable and alternative energy. Advocates for these technologies say that if we jettison fossil fuels, we’ll breathe easier, stop global warming and revolutionize our economy. Yes, “green” energy has great emotional and political appeal. But before we wrap all our hopes — and subsidies — in it, let’s take a hard look at some common misconceptions about what “green” means.

1. Solar and wind power are the greenest of them all.

Unfortunately, solar and wind technologies require huge amounts of land to deliver relatively small amounts of energy, disrupting natural habitats. Even an aging natural gas well producing 60,000 cubic feet per day generates more than 20 times the watts per square meter of a wind turbine. A nuclear power plant cranks out about 56 watts per square meter, eight times as much as is derived from solar photovoltaic installations. The real estate that wind and solar energy demand led the Nature Conservancy to issue a report last year critical of “energy sprawl,” including tens of thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry electricity from wind and solar installations to distant cities.

Nor does wind energy substantially reduce CO2 emissions. Since the wind doesn’t always blow, utilities must use gas- or coal-fired generators to offset wind’s unreliability. The result is minimal — or no — carbon dioxide reduction.

Denmark, the poster child for wind energy boosters, more than doubled its production of wind energy between 1999 and 2007. Yet data from Energinet.dk, the operator of Denmark’s natural gas and electricity grids, show that carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation in 2007 were at about the same level as they were back in 1990, before the country began its frenzied construction of turbines. Denmark has done a good job of keeping its overall carbon dioxide emissions flat, but that is in large part because of near-zero population growth and exorbitant energy taxes, not wind energy. And through 2017, the Danes foresee no decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.

2. Going green will reduce our dependence on imports from unsavory regimes.

In the new green economy, batteries are not included. Neither are many of the “rare earth” elements that are essential ingredients in most alternative energy technologies. Instead of relying on the diversity of the global oil market — about 20 countries each produce at least 1 million barrels of crude per day — the United States will be increasingly reliant on just one supplier, China, for elements known as lanthanides. Lanthanum, neodymium, dysprosium and other rare earth elements are used in products from high-capacity batteries and hybrid-electric vehicles to wind turbines and oil refinery catalysts.

China controls between 95 and 100 percent of the global market in these elements. And the Chinese government is reducing its exports of lanthanides to ensure an adequate supply for its domestic manufacturers. Politicians love to demonize oil-exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, but adopting the technologies needed to drastically cut U.S. oil consumption will dramatically increase America’s dependence on China.

3. A green American economy will create green American jobs.

In a global market, American wind turbine manufacturers face the same problem as American shoe manufacturers: high domestic labor costs. If U.S. companies want to make turbines, they will have to compete with China, which not only controls the market for neodymium, a critical ingredient in turbine magnets, but has access to very cheap employees.

The Chinese have also signaled their willingness to lose money on solar panels in order to gain market share. China’s share of the world’s solar module business has grown from about 7 percent in 2005 to about 25 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, the very concept of a green job is not well defined. Is a job still green if it’s created not by the market, but by subsidy or mandate? Consider the claims being made by the subsidy-dependent corn ethanol industry. Growth Energy, an industry lobby group, says increasing the percentage of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply would create 136,000 jobs. But an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that no more than 27,000 jobs would be created, and each one could cost taxpayers as much as $446,000 per year. Sure, the government can create more green jobs. But at what cost?

4. Electric cars will substantially reduce demand for oil.

Nissan and Tesla are just two of the manufacturers that are increasing production of all-electric cars. But in the electric car’s century-long history, failure tailgates failure. In 1911, the New York Times declared that the electric car “has long been recognized as the ideal” because it “is cleaner and quieter” and “much more economical” than its gasoline-fueled cousins. But the same unreliability of electric car batteries that flummoxed Thomas Edison persists today.

Those who believe that Detroit unplugged the electric car are mistaken. Electric cars haven’t been sidelined by a cabal to sell internal combustion engines or a lack of political will, but by physics and math. Gasoline contains about 80 times as much energy, by weight, as the best lithium-ion battery. Sure, the electric motor is more efficient than the internal combustion engine, but can we depend on batteries that are notoriously finicky, short-lived and take hours to recharge? Speaking of recharging, last June, the Government Accountability Office reported that about 40 percent of consumers do not have access to an outlet near their vehicle at home. The electric car is the next big thing — and it always will be.

5. The United States lags behind other rich countries in going green.

Over the past three decades, the United States has improved its energy efficiency as much as or more than other developed countries. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, average per capita energy consumption in the United States fell by 2.5 percent from 1980 through 2006. That reduction was greater than in any other developed country except Switzerland and Denmark, and the United States achieved it without participating in the Kyoto Protocol or creating an emissions trading system like the one employed in Europe. EIA data also show that the United States has been among the best at reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per $1 of GDP and the amount of energy consumed per $1 of GDP.

America’s move toward a more service-based economy that is less dependent on heavy industry and manufacturing is driving this improvement. In addition, the proliferation of computer chips in everything from automobiles to programmable thermostats is wringing more useful work out of each unit of energy consumed. The United States will continue going green by simply allowing engineers and entrepreneurs to do what they do best: make products that are faster, cheaper and more efficient than the ones they made the year before.”

Climate Change & the Dinosaurs

April 27, 2010

Scientists studying fossils and minerals from Arctic Svalbard, in Norway, have discovered evidence that the ‘greenhouse’ climate of the Cretaceous period was punctuated by a sudden drop in global temperatures.

Further detail

Climate Science in Denial- Richard Lindzen in Washington Post

April 26, 2010

Climate Science In Denial

By RICHARD S. LINDZEN

In mid-November of 2009 there appeared a file on the Internet containing thousands of emails and other documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. How this file got into the public domain is still uncertain, but the emails, whose authenticity is no longer in question, provided a view into the world of climate research that was revealing and even startling.

In what has come to be known as “climategate,” one could see unambiguous evidence of the unethical suppression of information and opposing viewpoints, and even data manipulation. The Climatic Research Unit is hardly an obscure outpost; it supplies many of the authors for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Moreover, the emails showed ample collusion with other prominent researchers in the United States and elsewhere.

One might have thought the revelations would discredit the allegedly settled science underlying currently proposed global warming policy, and, indeed, the revelations may have played some role in the failure of last December’s Copenhagen climate conference to agree on new carbon emissions limits. But with the political momentum behind policy proposals and billions in research funding at stake, the impact of the emails appears to have been small.

The general approach of the official scientific community (at least in the United States and the United Kingdom) has been to see whether people will bother to look at the files in detail (for the most part they have not), and to wait until time diffuses the initial impressions in order to reassert the original message of a climate catastrophe that must be fought with a huge measure of carbon control.

This reassertion, however, continues to be suffused by illogic, nastiness and outright dishonesty. There were, of course, the inevitable investigations of individuals like Penn State University’s Michael Mann (who manipulated data to create the famous “hockey stick” climate graph) and Phil Jones (director of the CRU). The investigations were brief, thoroughly lacking in depth, and conducted, for the most part, by individuals already publicly committed to the popular view of climate alarm. The results were whitewashes that are quite incredible given the actual data.

In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise whatever in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: That the climate is warming, the warming is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide, and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.

We may reasonably wonder why they feel compelled to endorse this view. The IPCC’s position in its Summary for Policymakers from their Fourth Assessment (2007) is weaker, and simply points out that most warming of the past 50 years or so is due to man’s emissions. It is sometimes claimed that the IPCC is 90% confident of this claim, but there is no known statistical basis for this claim—it’s purely subjective. The IPCC also claims that observations of globally averaged temperature anomaly are also consistent with computer model predictions of warming.

There are, however, some things left unmentioned about the IPCC claims. For example, the observations are consistent with models only if emissions include arbitrary amounts of reflecting aerosols particles (arising, for example, from industrial sulfates) which are used to cancel much of the warming predicted by the models. The observations themselves, without such adjustments, are consistent with there being sufficiently little warming as to not constitute a problem worth worrying very much about.

In addition, the IPCC assumed that computer models accurately included any alternative sources of warming—most notably, the natural, unforced variability associated with phenomena like El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, etc. Yet the relative absence of statistically significant warming for over a decade shows clearly that this assumption was wrong. Of course, none of this matters any longer to those replacing reason with assertions of authority.

Consider a letter of April 9 to the Financial Times by the presidents of the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Royal Society (Ralph Cicerone and Martin Rees, respectively). It acknowledges that climategate has contributed to a reduced concern among the public, as has unusually cold weather. But Messrs. Cicerone and Rees insist that nothing has happened to alter the rather extreme statement that climate is changing and it is due to human action. They then throw in a very peculiar statement (referring to warming), almost in passing: “Uncertainties in the future rate of this rise, stemming largely from the ‘feedback’ effects on water vapour and clouds, are topics of current research.”

Who would guess, from this statement, that the feedback effects are the crucial question? Without these positive feedbacks assumed by computer modelers, there would be no significant problem, and the various catastrophes that depend on numerous factors would no longer be related to anthropogenic global warming.

That is to say, the issue relevant to policy is far from settled. Nonetheless, the letter concludes: “Our academies will provide the scientific backdrop for the political and business leaders who must create effective policies to steer the world toward a low-carbon economy.” In other words, the answer is settled even if the science is not.

In France, several distinguished scientists have recently published books criticizing the alarmist focus on carbon emissions. The gist of all the books was the scientific standards for establishing the alarmist concern were low, and the language, in some instances, was intemperate. In response, a letter signed by 489 French climate scientists was addressed to “the highest French scientific bodies: the Ministry of Research, National Center for Scientific Research, and Academy of Sciences” appealing to them to defend climate science against the attacks. There appeared to be no recognition that calling on the funding agencies to take sides in a scientific argument is hardly conducive to free exchange.

The controversy was, and continues to be, covered extensively by the French press. In many respects, the French situation is better than in the U.S., insofar as the “highest scientific bodies” have not officially taken public stances—yet.

Despite all this, it does appear that the public at large is becoming increasingly aware that something other than science is going on with regard to climate change, and that the proposed policies are likely to cause severe problems for the world economy. Climategate may thus have had an effect after all.

But it is unwise to assume that those who have carved out agendas to exploit the issue will simply let go without a battle. One can only hope that the climate alarmists will lose so that we can go back to dealing with real science and real environmental problems such as assuring clean air and water. The latter should be an appropriate goal for Earth Day. (Wall Street Journal)

Mr. Lindzen is professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.