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Study: Global Warming Will Cut Crop Yields – Assuming No Adaption

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India sets grain production record

Because we know CAGW is causing famine throughout the land~ctm  From The Times of India Govt revises foodgrain output to record 275.68 million tonnes Vishwa Mohan | TNN | Aug 16, 2017, 08:57 PM IST NEW DELHI: India’s foodgrain production for the 2016-17 crop year is estimated at record 275.68 million tonnes. The government on … … Continue reading

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August 17, 2017 at 12:30PM

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Drilling Starts At Blackpool Fracking Site As Firm Launches £100,000 Community Fund

Shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has begun drilling at its Preston New Road site in its bid to tap into reserves of natural gas in deep lying rocks known as the Bowland Shale.

Preston New Road site land owners, Rosalyn, left, Andrew, Pam and Allan (seated) Wensley start the drilling rig, with Cuadrilla driller Thorsten Strathmann

And the company has made a donation of £100,000 to an independent Community Benefit Fund, managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, to share some of the profits, and benefit the area around the drill site.

The Cuadrilla drilling rig at Preston New Road Residents are set to receive a survey carried out by Membership Engagement Services, an independent research company.

They will be asked their views on which types of local community issues or projects should be aided by grants from the fund. The residents will also be consulted on whether they wish the funds for the other three wells Cuadrilla has planning consent to drill and hydraulically fracture to be paid into the independent Community Benefit Fund, managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, or proportionately directly to individual local households via a separate scheme. If all three wells are drilled, this would total another £300,000.

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August 17, 2017 at 11:53AM

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Politicians Can’t Get Enough Energy Cronyism

From solar to coal, politicians love to subsidize power production

Despite the breadth of the current political divide, it appears that there is at least one thing that all politicians can agree upon: energy sector cronyism. The only real dispute is over the preferred beneficiaries.

Under President Barack Obama, green energy subsidies were given out like candy. The failure of solar panel company Solyndra is well-known, but the problem extends well beyond the shady loan deal and its half-billion-dollar cost to taxpayers.

Between 2010 and 2013, federal subsidies for solar energy alone increased by about 500 percent, from $1.1 billion to $5.3 billion (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), and all federal renewable energy subsidies grew from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion over the same period. Congressional Budget Office testimony before Congress further reported that 59 percent, an estimated $10.9 billion, of energy-related tax preferences in 2016 went to renewables.

Subsidies have come down from their 2013 peak, thanks to the expiration of some of the post-financial crisis “stimulus” programs, but so-called green energy—solar in particular—still receives vastly higher subsidies on a per- kilowatt-hour basis. However, that didn’t stop the largest U.S. solar panel manufacturer, SolarWorld, from filing for bankruptcy earlier this year despite $115 million in federal and state grants and tax subsidies since 2012, along with $91 million in federal loan guarantees.

SolarWorld and fellow bankrupt manufacturer Suniva are now begging for even more government assistance, in the form of a 40-cent-per-watt tariff on solar imports and a minimum price of 78 cents (including the 40-cent tariff) a watt on solar panels made by foreign manufacturers. Without that help, a Suniva executive argued, the company would “go extinct.” So basically, these companies can’t compete despite all of the taxpayer dollars they’ve received and have petitioned the United States International Trade Commission to further punish consumers on their behalf by banning them from buying cheaper and higher-quality panels abroad.

Green energy companies aren’t the only ones who think that the Trump administration will be receptive to handout requests. Shortly after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice used a recent Trump rally to announce that he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, he began negotiating the price for his defection. Namely, he wants federal tax dollars thrown at the Appalachian coal industry, which is losing market share to cheaper energy sources, such as natural gas.

Gov. Justice ambitiously hopes that utilities will rake in $15 in federal subsidies for every ton of Appalachian coal burned. He’d be on much more solid ground if he simply demanded an end to subsidies for coal’s green energy competitors. But in the world of politics, saving taxpayer dollars—as opposed to giving handouts to corporations and preferred industries—is never the chosen path.

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August 17, 2017 at 11:53AM

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What Do We Know About Arctic Sea ice Trends?

Satellite observations indicate that the average Arctic sea ice extent has generally decreased since the start of the satellite records in October 1978. Is this period long enough to assess whether the current sea level trend is unusual, and to what extent the decline is caused by humans?

This change in Arctic climate is often promoted as evidence that humans are causing drastic climate change. For instance, an April 29th 2017 article in the Economist (“Skating on thin ice”, pg 16) implied that the Arctic is melting unusually, dramatically and worryingly:

“The thaw is happening far faster than once expected. Over the past three decades the [Arctic sea ice extent] has fallen by more than half and its volume has plummeted by three-quarters… SWIPA estimates that the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer by 2040. Scientists previously suggested this would not occur until 2070.”

However, is the 1978-present satellite record really long enough to allow us to:

  1. a) Assess how unusual (or not) the recent trends are?
  2. b) Determine how much of the recent climate change is human-caused vs. natural?

Recently, we published a study in Hydrological Sciences Journal (HSJ) in which we extended the Arctic sea ice estimates back to 1901 using various pre-satellite era data sources (Abstract here).

HSJ have chosen this article as one of their “Featured Articles” which means that it is free to download for a limited time: here. But, if you’re reading this post after that offer has expired and you don’t have paywall access, you can download a pre-print here.

In our study, we found that the recent Arctic sea ice retreat during the satellite era actually followed a period of sea ice growth after the mid-1940s, which in turn followed a period of sea ice retreat after the 1910s. This suggests that the Arctic sea ice is a lot more dynamic than you might think from just considering the satellite records (as the Economist did above). So, in this post, we will review in more detail what we currently know about Arctic sea ice trends.

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August 17, 2017 at 10:52AM

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U.S. Coal Makes a Comeback

Coal is showing signs of a revival and breathing economic life into West Virginia and other coal states. It is becoming more competitive as a fuel source as the price of natural gas has risen 63% since March 2016

Not long ago liberals hailed the demise of coal as inevitable while the Obama Administration strangled the industry with regulation. But don’t look now, Tom Steyer, because coal is showing signs of a revival and breathing economic life into West Virginia and other coal states.

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy proclaimed in 2015 that coal “is no longer marketable.” She planned to be the lead undertaker. The Obama Administration worked tirelessly to fulfill her mission and may have succeeded had Hillary Clinton become President. “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of work,” the 2016 Democratic nominee famously promised.

Yet the Trump Presidency seems to have lifted animal spirits and coal. Weekly coal production has increased by 14.5% nationwide over last year with even bigger bumps in West Virginia (19%), Pennsylvania (19.7%) and Wyoming (19.8%). Exports were up 58% during the first quarter from last year. Apparently coal can be marketable if regulators let it be.

***

The Obama Administration first targeted coal consumption with rules on mercury emissions and ash disposal that would have made it next to impossible to build a new coal-burning power plant. Then came the 2015 Clean Power Plan that would have forced the existing fleet of coal plants into early retirement.

Finally, the Obama anti-coal warriors sought to shut down coal’s export potential. Thick-seamed coal on federal land in the Powder River Basin overlying Wyoming and Montana is relatively clean-burning and inexpensive to mine. The Obama Interior Department suspended new coal leases on federal land last winter and then reassessed royalty payments—thereby reducing investment and profitability. In December came the coup de grâce: Interior’s stream rule usurping state authority over permitting.

President Trump has called a cease fire to his predecessor’s “war on coal.” In February he signed a resolution repealing the stream rule under the Congressional Review Act. The Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is dismantling the power rule as well as the ash and mercury rules. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has re-opened leases and rescinded the royalty revaluation.

Meanwhile, coal is becoming more competitive as a fuel source relative to natural gas, whose price has risen 63% since March 2016 amid an expanding market. The Energy Information Administration says the U.S. will be a net exporter of natural gas this year.

Growing pipeline networks have boosted gas exports to Mexico and are providing new domestic outlets for gas trapped in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. Pipeline export capacity to Mexico is expected to nearly double by 2019. Several interstate pipelines are under review to deliver gas to the Midwest, eastern Canada and Gulf Coast for export. Liquefied natural gas exports have increased six-fold in the last year, and five new terminal projects are expected to be completed within three years. While coal and natural gas compete as electric power fuels, they can both prosper if energy markets expand.

This is all horrifying to the climate-change lobby, but they might note that U.S. coal exports are rising to countries that claim climate-change virtue. Exports to France increased 214% during the first quarter of this year amid a nuclear power plant outage. Other European countries like Germany and the U.K. are utilizing U.S. coal to stabilize unreliable renewable sources and make up for electric capacity lost from the shutdown of nuclear plants. First-quarter coal exports were up 94% to Germany and 282% to the U.K. Et tu, Angela Merkel ?

Coking coal used to make steel is also currently a hot commodity, and its price can soar whenever a storm hits Australia and shuts down mines as one did this spring. Metallurgical exports to China rose 357% during the first quarter. As much as Mr. Trump denounces China’s overproduction of steel, U.S. coal miners are benefitting.

***

The bigger story is that there’s still demand for U.S. coal if regulators allow energy markets to work. The Energy Information Administration in June projected that U.S. coal power generation will increase by 13% by 2025 “as the existing fleet of coal-fired generators can be more fully utilized and fewer coal-fired generators are retired.” With the Obama Clean Power Plan, the EIA had forecast a 2% to 16% decline.

Coal production will likely never return to its heyday of decades ago. Recent bankruptcies that have made coal companies leaner and more competitive also mean that fewer workers are needed to produce the same output. But even the current modest rebound is helping coal states.

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August 17, 2017 at 10:52AM

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New Article is Unveiled

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Bug In UNHIDING THE DECLINE : Please Update

When I released UNHIDING THE DECLINE three days ago, I mentioned that there were probably bugs in it. I found one which is causing it to report recent temperatures too cool.

NOAA has lost a lot of station data since 1990, and a number of these missing data entries have been showing up in the .dly files as “7-9999.” I was looking for “-9999” but did not recognize “7-9999” as being two separate fields.  Because of recent NOAA station data loss, this was causing me to calculate post-1990 temperatures too cool.

Please update your code!  ghcn.py  for Linux/Mac   ghcn.exe  for Windows

These are the correct graphs for summer temperature.

 

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August 17, 2017 at 09:30AM

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Breaking: Drilling Begins At Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

The shale gas firm, Cuadrilla has confirmed that drilling began today at its site at near Blackpool.

The Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton will see the first horizontal shale gas exploration wells in the UK.

A spokesperson for the company said drilling began early this afternoon but was unable to give a precise time.

Drilling will continue 24-hours a day and the company has estimated it will be completed before the end of the year. Fracking is expected to take place early next year.

Cuadrilla’s spokesperson said the company would drill the pilot well vertically to about 3,500m. Samples would then be taken from the shale rocks. Based on analysis of the samples, Cuadrilla wold then decide where to drill the first two horizontal wells, which would be at depths of 2,000-3,500m.

An opponent of drilling described the news as “a sad day for Lancashire and democracy”.

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August 17, 2017 at 09:22AM

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Hybrid trucks to operate on ‘electric highway’ in Germany 

Credit: siemens.com

Could be expensive, but similar systems have already been installed in Sweden and California. No overtaking?

The German state of Hesse is to build a 10km-long highway with overhead power lines that trucks can connect to at speed with a pantograph, reports Power Engineering International.

Siemens Mobility are to develop the line to supply electricity to hybrid trucks, which will then be able to operate twice as efficiently as they would when running on petrol or diesel.

The company said that a 40-tonne truck running for 100,000km on an eHighway would realise €20,000 in reduced fuel costs.


Roland Edel, chief technology officer with Siemens’ Mobility Division, said: “With the eHighway, we’ve created an economically viable solution for climate-neutral freight transport by road. Our technology is an already existing and feasible alternative to trucks operating with internal combustion engines.”

The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim interchange at Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstad interchange. Siemens says the key innovation is the “intelligent” pantograph, which allows the trucks to connect to the catenary system while travelling at 90km/h.

The eHighway is predicted to be twice as efficient compared to internal combustion engines with energy consumption cut in half and a significant reduction in local air pollution. 

Trucks equipped with the pantograph system can operate locally emission-free with electricity from the overhead line and automatically switch to a hybrid engine on roads without overhead lines.

Continued here.

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August 17, 2017 at 07:48AM

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Why the Former Elites With the Best Access to Information are the Most Misinformed?

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Follow Up To Air Pollution Scare Story

By Paul Homewood

 

 

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A few follow-ups on the air pollution story.

 

 

Long Term Pollution Trends

First, the official pollutant trends from DEFRA:

 

 

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We can see that emissions of most pollutants have fallen sharply since the 1990s and earlier, notably NOx and PMs.

If 40,000 people really are dying of air pollution, I hate to think how many were in the 1970s!

DEFRA also show progression towards the international Gothenberg standards. NOx is already well below the 2010 target, and both NOx and PMs are close to achieving the 2020 one.

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Analysis From University of Cambridge

Back in February, the Winton Centre published its own pretty damning analysis of the Royal College of Physicians study:

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Does air pollution kill 40,000 people each year in the UK?

Air pollution is news. The Daily Mail claims that Air pollution is ‘killing 40,000 a year in the UK’ Greenpeace says 40,000 lives were cut short by air pollution in the U.K., while the Guardian reports Air pollution crisis ‘plagues’ UK, finds UN human rights expert. But where does the 40,000 figure come from, what does it mean, and is there really a ‘crisis’? I discovered that digging down to the basis for this figure required some statistical detective work, so brace yourself for some forensic details…

Where the ‘40,000’ comes from

The number itself was rather easy to find: it comes from a 2016 report Every Breath We Take: the Lifelong Impact of Air Pollution by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), in which they state

Each year, inhaling particulates causes around 29,000 deaths in the UK, which, on recent evidence, may rise to around 40,000 deaths when also considering nitrogen dioxide exposure

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In turn, these estimates are derived from a 2009 report by Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP)

The Winton study goes on to reveal the huge uncertainties around the projections, which even the COMEAP acknowledged.

In particular, the COMEAP conclusions are mainly based on one paper by Pope et al in 2002, which examined around 500,000 adults in the US. Although Pope estimated a 6% increase in annual mortality risk per 10 mPM (10 ‘micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter), damningly the COMEAP points out that Pope made no allowance for socio-economic status, something that would be expected to have a major impact on mortality.

Other studies come up with drastically different conclusions. For instance, the WHO estimate only 16,000 attributable deaths in the UK from air pollution.

And, as Winton point out, these are not actual, counted deaths, as the RCP fraudulently claim. The most that can be argued is that air pollution makes existing illnesses worse. So, for instance, somebody dying of lung cancer may die slightly earlier than otherwise.

 

 

New US Study

As mentioned above, the claim of 40000 deaths is largely based around one study in the US.

This year, a new study, “Air Quality and Acute Deaths in California, 2000 – 2012”, by Young, Smith & Lopiano has concluded that there is no link between PM2.5 and acute deaths.

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Steve Milloy’s recent book, Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA, is a reminder of just how the issue of air pollution has been overhyped and politicised lately.

The highly political report by the RCP is just one more example.

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August 17, 2017 at 07:09AM

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Australia, Denmark, Germany vie to win Highest Global Electricity Cost! (It’s the Nobel Price Prize?)

It’s not even close: If South Australia seceded it would have the highest electricity price of any nation on Earth.

 Australian Households pay highest power prices in the World, AFR.

South Australian households are paying the highest prices in the world at 47.13¢ per kilowatt hour, more than Germany, Denmark and Italy which heavily tax energy, after the huge increases on July 1, Carbon + Energy Markets’ MarkIntell data service says.

When the eastern states’ National Electricity Market was formed in the late 1990s, Australia had the lowest retail prices in the world along with the United States and Canada, CME director Bruce Mountain said.

 The Markintell report graph:

Note the odd coincidence of Price with Wind Energy Penetration:

Wind energy is “free” but countries with the most wind power are also the most likely to get to the top of the Prize Pool for exorbitant electricity. Wind energy penetration is highest in  Denmark (1st), Portugul (8th), Ireland (6th), Spain (11th), Germany (3rd). Conversely, renewable energy penetration is low in places at the tail end of the price curve like Luxemburg 6%, Estonia 15%, Hungary 7%, Lithuania 15.5%. In the low mid price range […]

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August 17, 2017 at 05:40AM

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2016 Record Warm Surface Temperatures: The Party’s Over!

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Pat Michaels writes:

 

 

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As expected, and thanks to the big 2015-6 El Niño, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that 2016 is the warmest year in their 150-year long global surface temperature record. They didn’t mention that there are signs that global average temperatures are headed back to pre-El Niño values, which may put them near the range of the long “pause” in warming beginning in 1997 that ended with the recent El Niño.

There are several sources showing this. Here’s the satellite data from the University of Alabama-Huntsville through last month:

Temperatures have fallen to within approximately 0.15⁰C of the average since the end of the last (1998) big El Niño and the beginning of the recent one. These are “bulk” data for the lower atmosphere.

You can see similar behavior in the surface record from the University of East Anglia:

In this record, the “pause” from mid-1997 through 2013 is obvious. It will be interesting to see where this record settles out, as the early 2017 data look very “pause-y”.

We are also suffering from the problem that NOAA’s (the folks who made today’s announcement) record is the “pause-buster” version that used a new record of sea-surface temperatures (designated ERSSTv4) that became progressively warmer, beginning in 1998, compared to its predecessor (ERSSTv3).  It also raised very good buoy temperatures to match very bad ship intake tube temperatures. Just inside a large hunk of conductive metal sitting in the sun isn’t a good place to take the water temperature.  

One increasingly popular recent surface temperature history is “reanalysis” data in which temperatures are transformed onto a tight latitude/longitude grid that provides a spatially “level playing field”, bypassing the problems that occur as weather stations move, or go off or on-online. You can also see the temperature peak here, and that we are approaching pre-El Niño values.

It looks like the warm party is breaking up.

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August 17, 2017 at 05:39AM

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Russian Scientists Find ‘Appreciable Contribution’ From Natural Variability, Solar Forcing To Recent Warming

Most Of Warming Trend Since 1980s

Is Naturally Driven, Not CO2-Driven

According to a new statistical analysis of centennial-scale surface temperature changes, half (0.5 °C) of the warming trend over the last 135 years (0.95 °C) can be explained by both (a) the existence of commonly-occurring natural (non-anthropogenic) variations of temperature that can reach the same amplitudes of the modern trend (see above image), and (b) external factors such as solar activity and greenhouse gases, with the latter factor accounting for “less than is commonly believed”.

Scientist Dr. Maxim Ogurtsov and his colleagues cite extensive evidence that any external forcing of the modern trend that falls outside the range of natural variability can be appreciably attributed to non-greenhouse factors.

Ogurtsov et al., 2017

It is widely accepted also that this global warming is caused primarily by anthropogenic increase of greenhouse gases concentration . However debates on this question still continue.
Some experts maintain that current warming does not exceed the natural fluctuations of climate. Evidence of appreciable contribution to global warming of non-greenhouse factors has been obtained by many authors.
1.  Soon et al., 2015 noted that if the urbanization effect is properly taken into account, one can conclude that solar variability is the dominant factor of Northern Hemisphere long-term temperature changes since at least 1881.
2.  Zhao and Feng, 2014 reported that variations in solar activity play an important role in changes of climate over global scale during the last more than 100 years.
3.  According to Harde (2014)the Sun is the main contributor to global warming of the last century.
4.  Lüdeсke et al. (2014) showed that variations of Central European temperature after 1757 were likely governed by periodic oscillations resulted from intrinsic climatic dynamics.
5.  Scafetta (2010) and Scafetta (2012) claimed that the global climate oscillations from 1950 to 2011 were appreciably influenced by astronomic planetary cycles, particularly by motion of Jupiter and Saturn.
6.  Swanson and Tsonis, 2009 noted that in the period 1900-2000 Northern Hemisphere climate variability might be partly explained by chaotic dynamics.
7.  Privalsky and Fortus (2011) modeled variations of global temperature during 1850- 2009 as an autoregressive process of the fourth order. They arrived at a conclusion that global warming of the last 150 years could be fully explained by natural climatic variability without any external forcing.

Conclusion

[I]t is reasonable to regard the global warming as a phenomenon exceptional from the point of view of intrinsic climatic oscillations, which need an additional external forcing factor for explanation. On the other hand, the statistical experiments showed that an appreciable part of the global warming might be a result of natural fluctuations of climatic system. … [O]ur results show that the contribution of these external factors (including greenhouse effect) to the global warming could be less than is often believed.
Changes in the solar radiation at the Earth’s surface (global brightening) might be important source of the warming of the last decades (Ogurtsov et al., 2012).

Surface Incident Solar Radiation Trend Since The 1980s Can Explain All Recent Warming (And More)


As noted in their conclusion above, Ogurtsov and colleagues have previously published a paper that establishes surface incident solar radiation (SSR) – solar radiation absorbed (or not) by the Earth’s surface (oceans) via decadal-scale reductions (or increases) in cloud cover – can account for all of the radiative forcing of temperature changes during the 1983 to 2001 period, when surface temperatures increased by about 0.5 °C.   In fact, the intensity of the direct, shortwave forcing during that 18-year period – 3 W m–2 to 6-7 W m–2 – was larger than the resulting temperature change itself.


Ogurtsov et al., 2012

Changes in the climate of the Earth depend evidently on the background solar irradiance, i.e. on the amount of shortwave solar radiation incoming into the atmosphere and the fraction of this radiation, which is reflected back to the space. Recent evidence show that solar radiation incident at the Earth’s surface has increased appreciably in the end of 20th century (Pallé et al, 2006). The phenomenon is often called a global brightening.
Change in background solar radiation through 1983- 2001 causes a positive radiative forcing ranging from 3 W × m–2 to 6 – 7 W × m–2 . If we take a value of climatic sensitivity adopted by IPCC, we obtain that increase of the global temperature by 1.5˚C – 3.6°C is a result of the radiative forcing of 3 W × m–2.


In Contrast, CO2 Forcing Contributes Just 0.2 W m–2  Per Decade To Modern Warming


According to climate models, the total climate forcing effect of the roughly 120 parts per million (ppm) increase in atmospheric CO2 during the ~165 years since 1750 is 1.8 W m–2.

As assessed in a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature, the CO2 concentration increased by 22 ppm during the first 10 years of the 21st century.  The radiative forcing (warming) effect of this 22 ppm CO2 increase was modeled to be 0.2 W m–2.  So of the 1.8 W m–2 of total CO2 radiative forcing since 1750, 0.2 W m–2 was added during the first decade of this century.

So if CO2 forcing accounts for roughly 0.2 W m–2 per decade of the globe’s radiative forcing with an increase of 22 parts per million (ppm), and if surface incident solar radiation (SSR) accounts for 3 to 6-7 W m–2 for the 18-year period (~2.5 W m–2 per decade)between 1983 and 2001, it could be reasonably concluded that surface incident solar radiation could account for at least 10 times more of the modern climate forcing as CO2 increases have.  Graphed, the difference in trends may look like this:

In sum, not only is the variation in temperature of the last 135 years not remarkable or outside the range of what can be achieved naturally or internally, but the magnitude of the external forcing from surface incident solar radiation for recent decades far exceeds the reputed attribution from CO2 concentration changes.   Therefore, it could reasonably be said that there is no clear anthropogenic signal detectable in the climate changes of the last 135 years when one considers the contexts of natural variation and natural climate forcing.


Supporting Scientific Papers


Goode and Palle, 2007

The decrease in the Earth’s reflectance from 1984 to 2000 […] translates into a Bond albedo decrease of 0.02 (out of the nominal value of about 0.30) or an additional global shortwave forcing of 6.8 Wm2. To put that in perspective, the latest IPCC report (IPCC, 2001) argues for a 2.4 Wm2 increase in CO2 longwave forcing since 1850. The temporal variations in the albedo are closely associated with changes in the cloud cover.
Conclusion: In this paper we have reviewed the physical mechanisms behind solar irradiance variation, and we have reviewed how on the timescale of solar evolution, the Sun cannot have been any dimmer than it is at the most recent activity minima. We have also shown how concurrent changes in the Earth’s reflectance can produce a much larger climate impact over relatively short time scales. Thus, a possible Sun–albedo link, would have the potential to produce large climate effects without the need for significant excursions in solar irradiance. These could provide an explanation for the apparently large climate response to apparently small solar changes, as well as how the 11/22 year solar cycle is imprinted on Earth. Regardless of its possible solar ties, we have seen how the Earth’s large scale reflectance—and the short wavelength part of the Earth’s radiation budget—is a much more variable climate parameter than previously thought and, thus, deserves to be studied in as much detail as changes in the Sun’s output or changes in the Earth’s atmospheric infrared emission produced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

Herman et al., 2013

[T]here has been a global net decrease [of 3.6%] in 340 nm cloud plus aerosol reflectivity [which has led to] an increase of 2.7 W m−2 of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface and an increase of 1.4% or 2.3 W m−2 absorbed by the surface [between 1979 and 2011].

Sanchez-Lorenzo et al., 2017

Downward surface solar radiation (SSR) is a critical part of the Global Energy Balance and the climate system … Pinker et al. (2005) used a different product (2.5° resolution) and found that the derived global mean SSR series underwent a significant increase of 1.6 W m−2 per decade from 1983 to 2001. … On the other hand, Hatzianastassiou et al. (2005) derived a SSR product from 1984 to 2000 (2.5° resolution) and reported a significant increase of +2.4 W m−2 per decade in the global mean series, which is considerably higher than the results from Pinker et al. (2005) and Hinkelman et al. (2009).

Posselt et al., 2014

Global [surface solar] radiation has an overall positive, and significant, trend [1983-2010] over the Meteosat disk which is mainly due to a negative trend in the effective cloud albedo, i.e., a decrease in cloudiness. Trends due to changes in the clear sky radiation are small and only induced by trends in the water vapor fields. Trends caused by changes in the direct effects of atmospheric aerosol are not represented because an aerosol climatology is used.
All considered regions show positive trends for the extended CM SAF surface radiation dataset pointing to an increase in solar surface radiation and, thus, a brightening by either a decrease in cloudiness or a decreased atmospheric absorption of solar radiation. However, the extent and also the significance of the trends in the different regions vary substantially. The trend for Europe of 4.35 W m− 2 dec− 1 is in the order of trends derived from surface measurements by Wild (2012) of 2 W m− 2 / dec− 1 for the 1980s to 2000 and 3 W m− 2 / dec− 1 after 2000.

Wild et al., 2005

The changes in both satellite derived and measured surface insolation data are also in line with changes in global cloudiness provided by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), which show an increase until the late 1980s and a decrease thereafter, on the order of 5% from the late 1980s to 2002. A recent reconstruction of planetary albedo based on the earthshine method, which also depends on ISCCP cloud data, reports a similar decrease during the 1990s. Over the period covered so far by BSRN (1992 to 2001), the decrease in earth reflectance corresponds to an increase of 6 W m-2 in absorbed solar radiation by the globe. The overall change observed at the BSRN sites, estimated as an average of the slopes at the sites in Fig. 2A, is 0.66 W m-2 per year (6.6 W m-2 over the entire BSRN period).

McLean, 2014

The reduction in total cloud cover of 6.8% [between 1984 – 2009] means that 5.4 Wm−2 (6.8% of 79) is no longer being reflected but acts instead as an extra forcing into the atmosphere… To put this [5.4 Wm-2 of solar radiative forcing via cloud cover reduction between 1984-2009] into context, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report…states that the total anthropogenic radiative forcing for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.29 Wm−2 for all greenhouse gases and for carbon dioxide alone is 1.68 Wm−2.  The increase in radiative forcing caused by the reduction in total cloud cover over 10 years is therefore more than double the IPCC’s estimated radiative forcing for all greenhouse gases and more than three times greater than the forcing by carbon dioxide alone [from 1750 to present].

Hukuba et al., 2017

At 36 locations worldwide, we estimate the cloud radiative effect (CREatm) on atmospheric solar absorption (ASRatm) by combining ground-based measurements of surface solar radiation (SSR) with collocated satellite-derived surface albedo and top-of-atmosphere net irradiance under both all-sky and clear-sky conditions. To derive continuous clear-sky SSR from Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) in-situ measurements of global and diffuse SSR, we make use of the Long and Ackerman (2000) algorithm that identifies clear-sky measurements and empirically fits diurnal clear-sky irradiance functions using the cosine of the solar zenith angle as the independent variable. The 11-year average (2000-2010) CREatm (all-sky minus clear-sky) is overall positive at around +11 Wm-2 using direct measurements form ground and space, and at 4 Wm−2 in the CERES EBAF dataset. This discrepancy arises from a potential overestimation in clear-sky absorption by the satellite product or underestimation by the combined BSRN/CERES dataset. The forcing ratio R shows that clouds enhance ASRatm most distinctly at desert-like locations that overall experience little occurrence of clouds. This relationship is captured by both the combined dataset and CERES EBAF.

Avakyan, 2013

The author associates the recently observed climate warming and carbon dioxide concentration growth in the lower atmospheric layers with variations of solar-geomagnetic activity in global cloud formation and the significant decrease in the role of forests in carbon dioxide accumulation in the process of photosynthesis. The contribution of the greenhouse effect of carbon-containing gases to global warming turns out to be insignificant.

Wielicki et al., 2002

It is widely assumed that variations in Earth’s radiative energy budget at large time and space scales are small. We present new evidence from a compilation of over two decades of accurate satellite data that the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) tropical radiative energy budget is much more dynamic and variable than previously thought. Results indicate that the radiation budget changes are caused by changes in tropical mean cloudiness. The results of several current climate model simulations fail to predict this large observed variation in tropical energy budget. The missing variability in the models highlights the critical need to improve cloud modeling in the tropics so that prediction of tropical climate on interannual and decadal time scales can be improved.

Stozhkov et al., 2017

The global millennial temperature rising trend seen in Figure 11 from 1984 to the peak and trend inversion point in the Hadcrut3 data at 2003/4 is the inverse correlative of the Tropical Cloud Cover fall from 1984 to the Millennial trend change at 2002. The lags in these trends from the solar activity peak at 1991 (Figure 10) are 12 and 11 years, respectively. These correlations suggest possible teleconnections between the GCR flux, clouds, and global temperatures.

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August 17, 2017 at 05:35AM

Daily News 0

Fast, Dirty Natural Gas Plants Get Boost From Electric Cars

By Paul Homewood

 

 

From Bloomberg:

 

 

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Britain’s goodbye to fossil-fuel cars by 2040 could boost the need for dirtier natural gas-powered stations.

The government’s goal to replace gasoline and diesel cars with those powered by electricity could see the construction of so-called open-cycle gas stations, said Carsten Poppinga, senior vice president of trading and origination at Statkraft AS, the Norwegian utility that operates hydro power plants and wind farms across the U.K.

Such units can keep the grid from buckling from the strain of people charging cars in peak demand periods. The catch? While the plants can start generating power almost instantly, they don’t recycle waste heat, making them emit more greenhouse gases per megawatt than the combined-cycle stations that comprise the largest share of the U.K.’s daily power output.

Britain may have no choice but to use the less environmentally friendly option, though. With little spare generation capacity, the nation is vulnerable to power shortages, particularly on cold, winter days when wind and solar energy may be in short supply.

“Fundamentally there isn’t as much overcapacity on the British market as in Germany,” Poppinga said by phone from Dusseldorf. “You could think about building open-cycle gas power plants to increase the flexibility in the system.”

Open-cycle gas generators cost less to build but have higher emissions per megawatt-hour produced than combined-cycle gas turbines. OCGTs convert about 33 percent of their fuel into power, while CCGTs manage as much as 60 percent, according to the fossil-fuel industry environment group IPIECA in London. That’s still less dirty than oil, diesel or coal-fired stations, which can emit double what a gas-fired station does.

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Meanwhile a research note from consultants, Wood Mackenzie, takes a closer look at the impact of the UK government’s proposal to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040:

Alan Gelder, Wood Mackenzie’s senior vice president, refining and chemicals research, said: “If auto manufacturers can deliver this, then oil demand will peak and then decline swiftly. Judging by Mr Gove’s comments, this will have a massive impact on the refining sector and the oil markets.”

He added: “According to our base case analysis, we expect there to be over 34 million passenger cars on UK roads by 2035, of which over 4 million are battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

“Sales of BEVs are expected to ramp up quite considerably after 2025, with one in three cars sold in the UK by 2035 expected to be fully electric (with typical new car sales over 2 million vehicles per year). “

Wood Mackenzie expects electricity demand from both these types of vehicles will reach 12 TWh or 3% of total electricity demand in the UK at this time, requiring over 400,000 new public charging points at an investment cost of over £30 billion.

Alan added: “By 2035, we expect the remaining internal combustion engine (ICE) passenger fleet will continue to consume over 6 million tonnes of gasoline and 7 million tonnes of diesel per year.  This amounts to a 40% reduction compared to the amount of fuel consumed by cars today.  However, UK total oil demand decline is projected to be only 20%, due to demand growth from airlines and commercial vehicles. “

The UK currently has over 8000 retail stations. These are  closing at a rate of approximately 100 per year. By 2035, we expect only 6000 sites to remain.

If the government’s proposal permits only BEVs to be sold post 2040, then the situation changes.

Alan said: “It could take almost 20 years for the ICE fleet to fully convert unless incentives are put in place to accelerate scrappage of such vehicles.”

Johannes Wetzel,  research analyst, cross-commodity analytics, EMEARC, said: “Assuming that all ICE passenger cars were to switch to BEVs by 2035, electricity demand would increase by 55 TWH to 16% of overall demand, which would be a challenge for power grid stability, so massive investment in flexible power generation, electricity storage and the grid itself will be necessary.

“Currently peak load on the UK power grid is roughly 53 GW in winter. The introduction of fast charging technology means that EV charging load will rise as well.

“If, in 2035, 5% of the EV fleet were to charge at the same time, the load on the grid could soar by up to 40 GW. Massive investment in flexible power generation, electricity storage and the grid itself will be necessary to keep the lights on.”

Alan added: “The sustainability of the UK refining industry is threatened, as gasoline typically represents one third of the refined products supplied from UK refineries (though currently 20% of UK gasoline production is exported).

“Retail sites could close at a much faster rate than our base case, outlined earlier, and will need to change business models to survive the transition to a battery-led car fleet. On top of this, the impact of government fuel duty revenue lost – currently  around £27.5 billion per year – will be significant. “

The impact on the oil, refining and electricity sectors extends beyond the UK, as if this change is delivered here, it is likely to be replicated across many other parts of the world.

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Just read this piece again:

If, in 2035, 5% of the EV fleet were to charge at the same time, the load on the grid could soar by up to 40 GW. Massive investment in flexible power generation, electricity storage and the grid itself will be necessary to keep the lights on

5% may well turn out to be an optimistic assessment.

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August 17, 2017 at 05:09AM