Month: September 2017

Climate models overheat

Guest essay by Michel de Rougemont

Without questioning the observed global warming or the emissions to the atmosphere of infrared-absorbing gases, three central issues remain without properly quantified responses, without which no other climate policy than that of a gradual adaptation can be justified: the sensitivity of the climate to human contributions, the disadvantages and the benefits for mankind resulting from a generally warmer climate, and the foreseeable evolution of the climate in consequence of unpredictable changes in human activity. To date, no instrumental observations made in our climate system can disentangle anthropogenic effects and natural variations.

We are left with conjectures and other speculation, both in the recent past and for the future. For this, climatologists develop models with which they can test their hypotheses. But these models are obviously overheating.

To verify their validity, the climate changes must be hindcasted (rebuilt a posteriori). It is then possible to compare the model results with the observed reality. Here is an example of such reconstructions, made with 102 CMIP5 models (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, round Nr 5) from different institutions around the world, compared with series of observations made by balloons and satellites between 1979 and 2016.

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Figure 1 Comparison calculated-observed of temperature anomalies in the mid troposphere. The average red line was smoothed over a 5 years running period. Source : J. C. Christy, University of Alabama at Huntsville. Presented to the US Senate.

Over that period, the mid troposphere temperature over the tropics (just taken here as one example) rose at a rate of 0.11 °C per decade (between 0.07 and 0.17), meanwhile, according to these models, it should have risen at the rate of 2.7 °C per decade (between 0.12 and 0.46). This difference is statistically significant. Since 1998, the global warming of the lower troposphere is only 0.02 °C per decade; this current period is called a “pause”, may be because it is hoped that the temperature will soon get more animated.

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Figure 2 Warming rates of the mid troposphere over the tropics between 1979 and 2016, in °C per decade. Hindcast of 102 models (left, in blue) and observed in 13 observation series (balloons and satellites, right, yellow) The dashed lines indicate a 95% confidence interval for each of these groups Source: J.C. Christy, University of Alabama at Huntsville.

Another view of the same data represents their frequency distribution.

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Figure 3 Warming rates of the mid troposphere over the tropics between 1979 and 2016. Frequency distribution of 102 models (in blue) and 13 observation series (in yellow). Data source from previous graph.

It looks like that model outputs are “normally” distributed around a mean, but only two of them overlap with the observations, the nearest one being of Russian origin.

Discussion

It is unlikely that the observations are erroneous, even if the model-makers have the bad habit of speaking of “experiment” each time they run an “ensemble” of a model on their supercomputers, i.e. by performing several repetitions of a scenario with the same parameters while varying its initial conditions. Until proven otherwise, in vivo results shall prevail over those obtained in silico.

If various models are developed by competing teams, their results should not be expected to converge to an average. And if they did, then this mean should approach reality, a true value. The distribution observed and its sizeable inaccuracy indicate that these models may all be of the same nature, that their approximations of the climate system stem from similar methods and assumptions. There are only two extreme values, one of which (Russian-origin model) is hitting the target at a right place, thus deserving to be better understood. Is it a lucky occurrence, or that of deliberate considerations?

It is undeniable that, with two exceptions, these models overheat, by a factor of about 2.5. The explanations that are provided are not satisfactory because, too often, these results are examined with the help of other models. The only plausible explanation for this difference is that one or more systematic errors are committed that lead to an exaggeration, or amplify themselves as the model is running (by iteration alongside the time scale).

Yet, there are many possible causes of systematic errors. Erroneous interpretation of feedbacks (de Rougemont 2016), known phenomena that are computed only by approximation, the still too coarse modelling patterns tending to amplify instability (Bellprat and Doblas-Reyes 2016), known but not computable phenomena that cannot be considered, or are represented by very rudimentary black boxes, and all unknowns that remain so. Also, a systematic bias may result from the model calibration over a same recent reference period, and with the help of parameters singularly oriented to the emergence of greenhouse gases.

Another complicated but wrong explanation. Reader hang on!
Often, to explain observations in contradiction with the calculated projections, the anthropogenic part of the models will be eliminated from their algorithms (especially the effect of CO2), and computing runs will be made to ascertain what should have occurred without human influence during the period under consideration. As, for example, such a “return-to-Nature” model does not foresee a warming between 1979 and 2016, then the actual warming will be attributed at once to human activities (Santer et al. 2017). Such scientists even dare to talk about “evidence”. Human’s artefact including all his incompetencies, the model is then used as a reference: if the system does not respond as predicted by an “internally generated trend”, as calculated sui generis, any deviation from it will be deemed anthropogenic. This is a tautological way of doing: I am right because I am right. It is pervasive in scientific articles on the climate and in reviews, especially the fifth report of the IPCC. It shows probability distribution curves that are centred on an average of model results, like the blue bars in Figure 3 albeit more nicely Gaussian, without worrying about the accuracy of this average. It does not seem that climatologists, the activist ones of course, understand the demand for accuracy.

So, there is at least one certainty: that climate modelling is not [yet] adequate. Denying this, would be madness, only explicable by a collective hysteria of the apologists of the Causa Climatica. If it remained within the scientific community in search of an eluding truth, it would not be serious, quite the contrary. But when this goes into public policy, such as the Paris agreement and the commitments of its contracting parties, then it is more than very likely that the anticipated measures will be useless and that the huge resources to be involved will be wasted. It’s stupid and unfair.

Bibliography

Bellprat, Omar, and Francisco Doblas-Reyes. 2016. “Attribution of Extreme Weather and Climate Events Overestimated by Unreliable Climate Simulations.”
Geophysical Research Letters 43(5): 2158–64. http://ift.tt/2fFOz2j.

de Rougemont, Michel. 2016. “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. An Estimate Based on a Simple Radiative Forcing and Feedback System.” : 1–8.
http://bit.ly/2xG50Tn.

Santer, Benjamin D. et al. 2017. “Tropospheric Warming Over The Past Two Decades.”
Scientific Reports 7(1): 2336.
http://ift.tt/2qXB8xX.

This article was published on the author’s blog: http://ift.tt/2fFOKdV


clip_image010About the author:

Michel de Rougemont, chemical engineer, Dr sc tech, is an independent consultant.
In his activities in fine chemicals and agriculture, he is confronted, without fearing them, to various environmental and safety challenges.
His book
‘Réarmer la raison’ is on sale at Amazon (in French only)
He maintains a blog
blog.mr-int.ch, as well as a web site dedicated to the climate climate.mr.int.ch
E-mail: michel.de.rougemont@mr-int.ch

He has no conflict of interest in relation with the subject of this paper.

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September 30, 2017 at 01:01PM

Barents Sea Ice-Free. How Come?

Might maritime activities, such as shipping, oil extraction, fishing etc. be having an effect on Barents Sea ice extents?  Arnd Bernaerts has an informative post up at his blog: They warm-up the Arctic! Shipping, Off-Shore, Science etc.!

Dr. Bernaerts explains:

It is not known which alterations shipping, naval forces, research vessels and off-shore industry cause in the Arctic Ocean sea-body structure, whether ice covered or not, and the subsequent impact on the annual sea ice and the polar-weather, called climate change. Bad that science has no idea about this human Arctic warming aspect. Worse, science has never rose, or ever been willing to raise and investigate the subject. At least you will face a hard time to find anything in this respect.

When considering the possible impact of ocean uses on climate change, any activities at sea north of the Polar Circle is a multifold higher than in any other Ocean region. Between the Arctic Ocean and the Equator the climatic impact of human activities the difference could be several hundred, if not thousand times, due to extreme narrow structure margin concerning water temperature and salinity. The temperature range in the upper 150 meter sea surface level is minus 2° to plus 4°C. Arctic salinity is down to 30ppt in places, while the oceans vary between 34ppt and 36ppt. So far it is statistics, and they are ‘wrong’ if not properly applied.

Navigating and other ocean uses in Arctic sea areas without knowing the impact is irresponsible. Navigating through compact ice is even worse, as the force of ship screws may travel over long distances, with significant changes to sea temperatures and salinity.

Summary

The whole article is informative and raises important questions (and not for the first time).  Time to stop obsessing over CO2, the “magic” gas, and try to understand real human impacts.

A Russian liquid gas tanker (LNG) “Christophe de Margerie” just set two Arctic records few weeks ago (Details). The ship not only traveled through the Arctic in record time, but has done so without the use of an icebreaker escort. She is the first of a total of 15 planned LNG carriers that will be gradually deployed.

 

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September 30, 2017 at 11:33AM

Solar Activity Plays Key Role In North American Blizzard Frequency, Study Finds

Yet another study has been published showing that regional climate cycles are related to solar activity. The most recent suggest that blizzards in North America are related to solar activity cycles.

Blizzard in Kansas. Photo: NOAA – public domain.

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More Blizzards in North America During Solar Weak Phases

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)

In January, 2017, a study by Jill Coleman and Robert Schwartz appeared in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology . The paper look at blizzards in the USA. Blizzards are powerful snowstorms in connection with pronounced temperature drops. What follows is the abstract:

An Updated Blizzard Climatology of the Contiguous United States (1959–2014): An Examination of Spatiotemporal Trends
Blizzards are extreme winter storms that are defined by strong winds and falling or blowing snow that significantly reduces visibility for an extended period of time. For the conterminous United States, blizzard occurrence by county was compiled from Storm Data for 55 winter seasons from 1959/60 to 2013/14. Spatiotemporal patterns were examined for blizzard seasons (September–August) at annual, decadal, and monthly frequencies. Linear regression and spectral analysis were used to detect any blizzard cycles or trends. Societal impacts such as fatalities, injuries, property damage, and federal disaster declarations were also tallied. Data revealed 713 blizzards over the 55 years, with a mean of 13 events per season. Seasonal blizzard frequency ranged from one blizzard in 1980/81 to 32 blizzards in 2007/08. The average area per blizzard was 83 474 km2, or approximately the size of South Carolina. Blizzard probabilities ranged from 1.8% to 76.4%, with a distinct blizzard zone in North Dakota, western Minnesota, and northern South Dakota. Every month except July, August, and September has reported blizzards with a peak occurrence in December and January. Federal disaster declarations resulting from blizzards totaled 57, with more than one-half of them occurring in the twenty-first century. Storm Data attributed 711 fatalities during the 55-yr study period, with an average of one individual per event; 2044 injuries were reported, with a mean of nearly three per blizzard. Property damage totaled approximately $9.11 billion in unadjusted dollars, with an approximate mean of $12.6 million per storm.”

Unfortunately we cannot get much information from the abstract and the paper itself is hidden behind a paywall. However, the Daily Mail obviously had access to the paper and reported here some interesting details that unfortunately got no mention in the abstract:

The number of blizzards has DOUBLED in the past 20 years: Scientists blame global warming and sunspots for rise in storms

–From 1960-94, the US had an average of nine blizzards per year
–But since 1995, the annual average has risen to 19, recent study found
–More blizzards are forming outside normal season of October to March
–One explanation is the use of better methods to record severe storms

[…] Coleman claims sunspot cycles may also be to blame, with blizzards increasing in periods when sunspot activity has diminished. […] ‘Sunspot-minimum periods tend to coincide with more frequent polar outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere that could increase the likelihood for blizzard occurrence,’ Coleman told ABC News. ‘However, sunspot activity is only a small component in explaining the frequency of blizzard occurrence.’”

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September 30, 2017 at 09:10AM

What Happened to the Armchair Environmentalists and Climate Alarmists When the Hurricanes Hit?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

There are two ways to get ahead. Pull yourself up or push other people down. There are few better exponents of the pushdown option than the environmental groups and their supporters. They are, for the most part, urban guerrillas, useless people who do little or nothing except undermine the lives of others. They are the green bullies who tell others how to live, yet, hypocritically, live in similar lifestyles. Of course, in the case of Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, they live energy gobbling lifestyles beyond the imagination of those they condemn. This includes going to the point where they destroy people’s lives, economies, and communities. Trump talks about the loss of businesses across the US but needs to note that much is due to the work of environmentalists and politicians at all levels.

Where was Greenpeace during the recent hurricanes? I went to the American Greenpeace web page to find out what they were doing to assist people afflicted by the recent hurricanes. Their US web site says nothing about help. I thought a tag that read “What We’re Doing” would list places where you could donate, plans to send supplies and other rescue efforts. All it did was list six things such as “Fighting Global Warming” and “Saving the Arctic.” The only request about paying was a headline under a picture of an ExxonMobil storage tank that read, “Make fossil fuel companies pay for hurricane destruction.” This implies they believe that human CO2 mostly created by burning fossil fuels is responsible for the hurricanes. They don’t present any evidence to support this claim. Of course, they can’t present evidence because it doesn’t exist.

The web site expects you to send them money for doing nothing to help the people affected. Instead, they point fingers from their urban armchairs at the energy companies that provided the fuel for the people to head down the highway away from danger. While real, employed, hard-working people were doing remarkable things to save lives and help others, Greenpeace asked for money to undermine their economy and further destroy their lives. The problem is Greenpeace is not alone. Most environmental groups, do little more than collect amounts of money, so much of which goes to further destroy jobs and the economy.

They are aided and abetted by political leaders at all levels and of all stripes. These politicians fulfill H.L. Mencken’s observation that,

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.

Notice that the only leader to act decisively and effectively was the White House. All the critics could do was make fun of Melania’s shoes, but they even got that story wrong. A real measure of the White House success was that there were virtually no stories about the impact of the hurricane or of people who suffered any more than was necessary. This was because they would have to report how successful the effort was.

Trump is one of the few leaders to see the fraud that was the Paris Climate Agreement. He is also pulling the plug on all the wasteful and unnecessary expenditures made by other politicians who want to appear good to groups like Greenpeace. The following is a classic example of the ignorance, arrogance, and wrong thinking in a recent report about the preparedness of US urban areas for global warming.

In an article titled “The Best US Cities to Live in to Escape the Worst Effects of Climate Change” the author writes.

“The bottom line is it’s going to be bad everywhere,” Bruce Riordan, the director of the Climate Readiness Institute at the University of California Berkeley, told Business Insider. “It’s a matter of who gets organized around this.” Still, there are some cities with a better chance of surviving the onslaught of a warmer planet, Vivek Shandas, an urban-planning professor at Portland State University, told Business Insider. “There are places that might at least temper the effects of climate change,” he said.

-and-

The Pacific Northwest is the best overall US region for escaping the brunt of climate change, Shandas said. Cities in the area aren’t perfect — “they have other challenges,” he said, but added that “their infrastructure tends to be newer and more resilient to major shocks.” That’s is key when it comes to coping with heat and rising water. Seattle is one of the most “well-positioned” of these cities, Shandas said.

-and-

Portland was the first US city to come up with a plan to prepare for climate change. The city’s historic Climate Action Plan, created in 1993, is a set of policies and initiatives aimed at slashing the city’s carbon emissions. The goal is to cut them 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

I assume Seattle is prepared for sea level rise better than Denver or they are prepared for a stampede from California’s the heat increases there. These comments only bear consideration because they are so ignorant.

I learned a great deal about these urban guerrillas over forty years of working with primary producers like farmers, foresters, and fishermen. No, I won’t be politically correct and call them fishers. Sensible, intelligent, people know it is an inclusive generalist term. My experience is that few groups, especially those in urban areas know or care more about the environment and climate. It affects their daily lives, their homes, children, and income.

Trump talks about the Washington Swamp, but for most rural primary producers every urban area is an ungrateful, ignorant, swamp. We can define the Washington Beltway as the distance that swamp dwellers can see. Maurice Strong knew what he was doing when he set up the global warming deception through the bureaucrats who live in the swamp. The distortions this creates are evident in the weather forecasts. On a regular basis, you hear forecasts offering sunshine and heat when the crops and farmers need cool and rain. It occurred this summer when the entire focus was on the plight of the urbanites forced to flee the hurricanes. Meanwhile, few know about the drought that has affected the crops and everything else in the north-central US. I recall one summer in Manitoba Canada when urban dwellers complained bitterly about the weather. It was sunny all week and rained every weekend jokes appeared that asked, “What do you call it after two days of rain?” Answer, “Monday.” “What do you call it if it rains on Monday?” Answer; “A long weekend.” Farmers loved the summer as they could work in the fields and spend the weekends with their families as the rain nourished their crops.

Urbanites criticize primary producers for changing and damaging the environment, but the only place on Earth was a human-induced warming is attributable and measurable is in the urban heat island effect (UHIE). They blame the rural people for pollution and overuse of chemicals. The problem is the highest levels of pollution and concentration of waste are in the urban areas, and immediate surrounding farmlands used as landfills and hazardous waste dumps in classic, not in my backyard (NIMBY) exploitation. In fact, in most regions farmers are not replacing the chemicals they take from the ground and send to the urbanites as food. Les Henry, a Saskatchewan soil specialist, told me that across the Canadian Prairies they had not replaced 50 percent of the nitrogen taken from the soil. Part of the reason is cost, but a major part is a false concern created by urbanites accusing them of using too many chemicals.

The biggest hypocrisy is that urban areas only developed because the rural areas produced a surplus of food. It is the origin of the word civilization, but now, as they become detached from the production process they become less civilized. As we became urbanized, most people forgot that the society only exists because of that surplus. Many years ago, I coined the phrase that “there are no farms in the city, but no city without farms.”

In the year 2000, I was speaking to approximately 1000 farmers in Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. Their concern was the drought decimating their crops, and forcing many to slaughter cattle they could no longer support. Politicians and urbanites were not listening, or even aware of their plight. I pointed out that about 60 percent of the people in Toronto were not even born in Canada. They represented a bigger vote pool than most of the farmers on the Prairies. It is another measure of the genius of the US Founding Fathers who recognized these inequities and created the Electoral College. Canada is still coping with the monarchical system that puts all the power in the urban areas.

One farmer got up and asked me what I thought they should do. I said the problem requires a solution they would never consider because of who they are and what makes them cope. They must get together and announce they are not planting a crop or sending any animals or byproducts to the urban areas. The irony is society considers farmers conservative, but they are the biggest risk takers. Every time they plant a crop they are at the mercy of the vagaries of weather and nature.

In 1786 Thomas Jefferson expressed the difference between primary producers and the urban dweller.

“An industrious farmer occupies a more dignified place in the scale of beings, whether moral or political, than a lazy lounger, valuing himself or his family, too proud to work, and drawing out a miserable existence by eating on that surplus of other men’s labor which is the sacred fund of the helpless poor.”

Jefferson’s description is almost identical to the derogatory dictionary definition of a parasite.

“• derogatory a person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return.”

I watched and was directly involved with what happens when Greenpeace target an issue they deem unacceptable. One of the jobs we did in anti-submarine patrol out of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was monitoring the annual seal hunt in the Gulf of St Lawrence. This hunt for seals for food and clothing is centuries old, an extremely dangerous and miserable job for extremely low pay. It was the sole source of income for hundreds of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The idea is to get your ship locked in the ice then do daily hunts across the ice. Greenpeace decided this had to stop and began a campaign with staged videos of the hunting method designed to not mar the skin. Besides depriving a hunt that was carefully monitored and provided basic livelihoods, they did more harm than good. For example, they went out on the ice and sprayed green dye spots on the seals to make the pelt worthless. The problem is this destroyed the seal’s camouflage. Seagulls swooped in and killed them by pecking their eyes out. I watched Orca (Killer whales) come up under the ice and break through to capture seals.

The Newfoundlanders responded with great skill and humor as ordinary working people do. Greenpeace claimed they were defending the seals. The Newfoundlanders said the seals ate the Cod and somebody needed to defend the Cod. They formed a group called Codpiece. To further amplify their focus on the hunt, Greenpeace were part of arranging a visit from Brigitte Bardot to witness first-hand what was happening. Newfoundlanders offered to help in their friendly way. Witness what they did when aircraft landed there during 9/11. They said Ms. Bardot needed appropriate clothing for the cold, wet and slippery conditions involved. Only after she came back off the ice did they inform her that the boots and clothing were made from sealskins.

I used to ask where the Sierra Club was when the forest fires were burning? Similarly, I asked where was Greenpeace when the hurricanes hit? Indeed, where are any of the parasitic environmentalists when disasters hit? They are usually sitting in their armchairs blaming those dealing with the problem and planning more destruction. But, based on what I witnessed when they became involved, it is better they stay home. What we need to do, like the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is expose and ridicule their misinformation, lack of understanding, and document the enormous damage they do to people’s economies and lives, by pushing other people down.

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September 30, 2017 at 09:07AM