Archive for the ‘climate’ Category

Australia repeals carbon tax

Posted: July 19, 2014 by Andrew in climate, Energy, Politics

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Note from the co-moderator. We welcome Andrew as a new Talkshop contributor.

The biggest story in energy and climate politics, by a mile this week, is the news that at 11:15 EST Thursday the Australian Senate voted 39-32 to repeal the Climate Tax.

Following the vote, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared it a “Useless destructive tax, which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living & which didn’t actually help the environment”. Tony Abbott made removing the bill the key promise of his election campaign.

Not everything has run smoothly for supporters of the repeal. In the days before the Senate vote Clive Palmer, leader of the PUP with 3 key senators, stood next to Al Gore while apparently discussing an emissions trading scheme. He then prevented the first attempt to repeal the bill. After the vote Opposition leader Bill Shorten described Abbott as an “environmental vandal”. This comes on the eve of Australia hosting the G20.

The reaction has been global. The Guardian is not amused, Graham Readfern writes “Science denial, so-called “free market” ideology and the interests of the fossil energy industry are the termites chewing away at the base all efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions”.

Slate ” In Australia, as the Simpsons joke goes, the water goes down the toilet counterclockwise . Now with its government voting to repeal the country’s tax on Carbon – in the process killing it’s most significant means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions – it seems that Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is determined to take the country in the same direction”. While some on Twitter hope for other countries to punish Australia.

On the other hand The Wall Street Journal headline simply  reads ” Tony Abbot shows that climate absolutists have a problem : democracy”. There is an Emission Reduction Fund White Paper as consolation for the supporters of the bill, but the Abbott Government seems intent on further cuts to the Green gravy train.

There has been some progress in the greenhouse. On the ‘toy planet’ thread, physicist Tim Folkerts now agrees with me that longwave infra-red radiated from the air towards the surface doesn’t directly heat the ocean but makes it harder for the ocean to cool. In my view this is due to IR radiation from the ocean making the air warm, reducing the temperature differential between ocean and air, slowing the rate of the Sun warmed ocean’s heat loss. Tim says:

LWIR is indeed incapable of “heating” the oceans in the strict sense of the word (net transfer of thermal energy). The best it can do is aid in making it “a far more difficult task escaping” for the energy.

But it’s hard for him to let go of ingrained notions, so his next comment is full of ambiguities, which I have tried to deal with in my followup comment:

Tim Folkerts: The DWIR DOES amount to ~ 330 W/m^2.

Fine, no problem.

This energy DOES get absorbed by the ocean.

In the top few microns, and is soon re-emitted along with an additional ~60W/m^2 IR, upwards.

The ocean IS warmer than it would be without this DWIR from the atmosphere.

But not because it is absorbed and re-emitted from the top few microns of ocean. The thermalisation of IR in the bulk air helps keep the air warm and that warm air slows the sun warmed ocean’s heat loss.

But the reason the air is warm is because the ocean warms it with the energy it emits into it which is absorbed and re-emitted, or conducted to the O2 and N2 in the air, by water vapour (from the ocean) and co2 (mostly from the ocean). Air has very little heat capacity of its own, and is nearly transparent to incoming solar short wave radiation. And this ocean warmed air is usually convecting upwards.

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The mainstream climatologists are fond of telling us that additional co2 increases the ‘Effective Height of Emission’ of radiation to space by ‘Greenhouse Gases’, and that this must cause a rise in surface temperature because the lapse rate from the average temperature of 255K at the ‘EEH’ to the surface will mean a higher temperature. That lapse rate is what is shown by the slanting red line from surface to tropopause in Fig 1 below.

atm-temp-profile

Figure 1: The atmospheric temperature profile of Earth

But there are some problems with this theoretical scenario.

The 255K figure is derived from the 240W/m^2 solar shortwave radiation incoming to the Earth’s climate system AFTER a proportion has been removed to account for reflection by clouds. But the models underestimate the amount of solar radiation absorbed by clouds because the fundamental physics of light scattering in clouds is poorly understood.

Although we are told a change in the EEH ‘must’ change the surface temperature, no viable mechanism is offered to explain how this imperative ‘must’ will be enforced.  The more rational proponents of the enhanced greenhouse effect hypothesis long ago abandoned trying to claim ‘downwelling longwave radiation’ heats the ocean, since nearly all LW emitted in wavelengths absorbed by water vapour and co2 is absorbed with a kilometre of the surface, all downwelling longwave from above a kilometre above the surface will be absorbed, converted to sensible heat, and convected back  upwards before reaching the surface too. In any case, the 10% of LW reaching the surface from on high can’t penetrate the ocean surface by more than a few nanometres.

So much for radiative theory, but what can a look at the data for the vertical temperature profile shown in Fig 1 tell us that might be really useful?

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The Spectator has a good analysis on the BBC climate reporting bias debacle which coins a new phrase – ‘Climate Correctness’. A few excerpts:

gagging-ordersIt is only a matter of time before Nigel Lawson — if he is allowed on the BBC at all — has to have his words spoken by an actor in the manner of Gerry Adams at the height of the IRA’s bombing campaign during the 1980s. In the case of Mr Adams, whose voice was banned from the airwaves by the government, the BBC stood up for free speech. But it is quite a different story with Lord Lawson. The BBC has effectively banned the former chancellor (and former editor of this magazine) from appearing on its programmes to debate climate change, unless he is introduced with a statement discrediting his views.

When people try to close down debate rather than engage with it, there is a pretty clear conclusion to be drawn: they lack confidence in their own case. The suppression of debate was shown again this week when Vladimir Semonov, a climate scientist at the Geomar Institute in Kiel, Germany, revealed that a paper he wrote in 2009 questioning the accuracy of climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was effectively censored by the scientist to whom it was sent for review.

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Greenhouse effectsFollowing on from our recent debate on the likely extent of the greenhouse effect on Earth, this post will broaden the scope of discussion by allowing consideration of planetary surface temperatures on imaginary worlds. Tim Folkerts proposes a world at the distance from the Sun of our moon (i.e. the same average distance as Earth), with a twist on surface composition:

Konrad,

Just out of curiosity, if I put a ball of water — say a few km in diameter — in some sort of clear plastic baggie to keep it together and prevent evaporation in orbit around the sun @ 1 AU, are you claiming the water inside the baggie will be at least 80 C everywhere?

Or if I put a series of such plastic baggies on the moon to cover the entire surface with water 1 km deep that cannot evaporate, that the surface of the moon would be at or above 80 C everywhere (lets even limit the question to the “tropics” out to ~ 30 degrees N & S to avoid question about what happens at the poles)?

(We could even make the baggie slightly elastic to apply 1 Atm of pressure inward on the ball of water).

____________________________

Tim appears to have misunderstood what Konrad and I are telling him about the atmosphere being a cooling agent rather than a warming agent, and how pressure acts to slow the loss of energy from the oceans via the atmospheric suppression of evaporation and the increased density of a near surface atmosphere, which is not present on his toy planet.

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Physorg has a story on a new reconstruction of volcanic activity from ice cores in Antarctica. It’s fairly strong on boilerplate but there is an interesting kicker near the end of the article:

A team of scientists led by Michael Sigl and Joe McConnell of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI) has completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Both observations and model results show that not all eruptions lead to the same spatial pattern of sulfate deposition,” said Matthew Toohey from the German institute GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. He added, “Spatial variability in sulfate deposition means that the accuracy of volcanic sulfate reconstructions depends strongly on having a sufficient number of ice core records from as many different regions of Antarctica as possible.”
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Excerpts from David Rose’s Mail on Sunday article, plus a couple of tweets from Richard Betts:

BBC spends £500k to ask 33,000 Asians 5,000 miles from UK what they think of climate change: Corporation savaged for ‘astonishing’ campaign survey on global warming
David Rose – Sun 29th June 2014

bbc-greenpeace-medThe BBC has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money asking 33,000 people in Asian countries how climate change is affecting them.

The £519,000 campaigning survey by little-known BBC Media Action is designed to persuade the world to adopt more hard-line policies to combat global warming.

It was immediately condemned yesterday as a flagrant abuse of the Corporation’s rules on impartiality and ‘a spectacular waste of money’ by a top academic expert.

Every year, BBC Media Action gets £22.2 million from the taxpayer via the Foreign Office and Department for International Development.

BBC Media Action has a £40 million annual budget, and the proportion not funded by the taxpayer is paid  by the European Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US government.

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Pierre L. Gosselin provides an English overview of a video presentation in German given by Dr. Sebastian Lüning, a geologist and co-author of the book “The Neglected Sun

This is a geological context that unfortunately is lost on many people like physicists who believe their formulae more than they believe the true facts.

Pierre mentions “All graphics cropped from Lüning’s presentation with permission.” so I won’t copy them here.

http://notrickszone.com/2014/06/29/german-geologist-ipcc-models-a-failure-have-no-chance-of-success-sees-possible-0-2c-of-cooling-by-2020

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I came across this paper today while searching for the heat capacity of Venus near surface atmosphere, which is actually an ocean-like (in thermodynamic terms) supercritical fluid. It presages Harry Dale Huffman’s ‘rediscovery’ of the lapse rate calculation by four decades. Another paper, much more recent, (Bolmatov et al 2013) contains some theory which raises yet more questions about the reasons for Venus’ high surface temperature. So, greenhouse due to radiative proerties of co2 as Sagan claimed, lapse rate due to gravity and pressure as Nikolov and Zeller maintain, or the thermal properties of supercritical fluids and geothermal energy having a hard time escaping the lower atmosphere? Let the debate recommence!

venustemp1

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finnish2

David Archibald’s prediction for global average temperature 2014-2025

David Archibald’s post at Quadrant.org.au has stirred some interesting debate here at the talkshop. David predicts an imminent and steep drop in regional temperatures as a result of the slowdown in solar activity seen since the descent of solar cycle 23 in 2003. It’s not the first time he has made such predictions. As Nick Stokes pointed out in discussion, Archibald told the Australian senate committee in 2009 that temperature was about to go down at a scary 0.2C per annum. It didn’t happen. But David says it’s different this time, because a decade has passed since solar cycle 23 dropped towards a long minimum, followed by the weak cycle 24 we are currently in. The decadal lag is implied by David Evan’s new hypothesis which identifies a ‘notch filter’ which points to a cycle-long lag between changes in solar activity and the effect becoming visible in the terrestrial response. David goes on to predict that due to Penn and Livingstone’s prediction of a very low sunspot number in cycle 25, we are headed for drastic cooling.

There are several points on which I disagree with David’s analysis, and I’ll cover them below the break.

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Updated by co-mod, see end

H/T to Marc Facer for this from Australia:
clive-palmer

The Federal Government says it “is happy” to lock in a legal requirement that power companies pass on savings arising from the abolition of the carbon tax.
The move, which would satisfy the only condition laid down by the Palmer United Party for its crucial support to the repeal bill, follows talks between PUP leader Clive Palmer and Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has told Parliament it will add to the Government’s efforts to monitor power pricing through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“The ACCC will be on the job but we are happy to take the considerations of members of this House and to go even further and to enshrine in legislation guarantees over and above what we already have, so prices will be lower than they would otherwise have been,” he said.

Late yesterday Mr Palmer revealed his party’s position that it would vote with the Coalition in the Senate to repeal the carbon pricing scheme, but only if lower power prices were locked in.
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David Archibald has some form for making dire predictions of imminent global cooling. His latest, including a forecast he claims uses David Evans’ ‘Notch delay climate model’  has just been published online at Quadrant.org.au and makes scary reading. At one level, you could be forgiven for thinking that his doom laden prognosis is as alarmist as those of Al Gore or James Hansen. However, it behoves us to remember that unlike the global warming alarmist’s fear of frying, history backs up the existence and dire effects of sudden cooling events. Personally, I think the coming cooling is unlikely to be as sudden or deep as David fears, but I’ll leave my reasoning for that opinion for the comments section. Strap in and read on.

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Excerpts from: 

The edge of a cold, deep abyss?
David Archibald 25-6-2014

One of the best predictions of climate ever made (weighted for distance and accuracy) was by two Californian researchers, Leona Libby and Louis Pandolfi.  In 1979, they used tree ring data from redwoods in Kings Canyon to make a remarkably accurate forecast1.  From a Los Angeles Times interview of that year,

When she and Pandolfi project their curves into the future, they show lower average temperatures from now through the mid-1980s.  “Then,” Dr. Libby added, “we see a warming trend (by about a quarter of 1 degree Fahrenheit) globally to around the year 2000.  And then it will get really cold—if we believe our projections.  This has to be tested.” 

How cold? “Easily one or two degrees,” she replied, “and maybe even three or four degrees.”

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H/T to Phill for this paper by H.C. Russell reproduced in The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939) Saturday 27 June 1896

Periodicity of Good and Bad Seasons.
MR. H. C. RUSSELL’S THEORY.

hcrussell

The Nineteen Year Weather Cycle—Diagram Illustrating Mr. H. C. Russells Paper on ” The Periodicity of Seasons”

The paper lately read before the Royal Society of New South Wales by Mr. H.C. Russell, the Government Astronomer, a condensation of which has already appeared in the ” Queens lander,” has excited so much interest and so much discussion that no apology is needed for returning to the subject. With the view of affording our readers as full an insight as possible into the grounds upon which Mr. Russell has based his conversion to the theory of the nineteen-year cycle we reproduce the complete paper, as published in the ” Sydney Mail,” with the accompanying diagrams.

Mr. Russell said :— I feel some reluctance in coming for ward to-night with the result of my investigations into the periodicity of good and bad seasons—floods and droughts if you will—because they must come to you as a surprise, and they will make a claim on your confidence which at first sight you will probably not be disposed to grant. For myself, I know that some years ago, if anyone had come to me, stating that it was possible to forecast the seasons many years in advance, I should have received the statement with incredulity, and an inclination to think lightly of the man who advanced such views.’

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I’m of the opinion that before getting into the complexity of numerical modelling, it’s wise to put considerable effort into trying to understand the physical processes at work in the climate system, and the origins of the energy flows that drive them. David Evans’ recent series of posts over at Jo Nova’s site have generated a lot of interesting discussion (despite being roundly ignored by Anthony Watts at WUWT), and I think we can shed some light on the ‘mysterious 11yr lag’ between solar input and climate response.

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An interesting series of posts has appeared at Jo Nova’s site. Jo’s husband, David Evans has done some competent analysis work to unravel the observed ~11 yr ‘delay’ in terrestrial climatic response to solar input. Of interest is the obervation that the solar polar magnetic fields are in the process of weakeneing and changing sign near solar maximum. It is suspected that this is connected with the delay. Head on over to read the posts and comment there as well as here.

Figure 6: The amplitudes of the empirical transfer function when the data is restricted in the ways marked (that is, using a subset of the data used to find Figure 5). The black line and the gray zone are as in Figure 5.

BIG NEWS Part I: Historic development — New Solar climate model coming
BIG NEWS Part II: For the first time – a mysterious notch filter found in the climate
BIG NEWS Part III: The notch means a delay
BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay

I have made a comment, reproduced below the break.

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[image credit: grist.org]

[image credit: grist.org]


James Delingpole highlights the absurdity of US ‘climate policy’ – $4 trillion for what?

In a week when confidence in sea surface temperatures as a measure of ‘climate change’ seems to have gone out of the window, the eye-watering cost of trying to influence the planet’s weather systems beggars belief.

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oldbrew:

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Climate science – calling it wrong since 19??


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Originally posted on Real Science:

Ten climate forecasts which demonstrate that the world’s leading government climate experts have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

NASA’s top experts said that burning fossil fuels would trigger an ice age.

ScreenHunter_390 Jun. 08 22.44

U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming

Snow is a thing of the past.

ScreenHunter_391 Jun. 08 22.46

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past – Environment – The Independent

Arctic ice free by 2000

ScreenHunter_392 Jun. 08 22.49

The Changing Face of the Arctic – Article – NYTimes.com

New ice age coming

ScreenHunter_05 May. 07 09.01ScreenHunter_06 May. 07 09.01The Windsor Star – Google News Archive Search

Manhattan underwater by 2008

ScreenHunter_393 Jun. 08 22.54Stormy weather – Salon.com

Arctic ice free by 2013

ScreenHunter_394 Jun. 08 22.57

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013′

Antarctica will soon be the only place to live.

ScreenHunter_395 Jun. 08 22.59

Why Antarctica will soon be the only place to live – literally – Environment – The Independent

Skiing is doomed

ScreenHunter_396 Jun. 08 23.01

Skiing is ‘doomed’ … so enjoy it while it lasts…

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Once again Pierre L. Gosselin brings fascinating content from the German speaking world

Distinct solar imprint on climate What’s more worrisome,

Schlüchter’s findings show that cold periods can strike very rapidly. Near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier his team found huge tree trunks and discovered that they all had died in just a single year. The scientists were stunned.

“The year of death could be determined to be exactly 8195 years before present. The oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice show there was a marked cooling around 8200.”

That finding, Schlüchter states, confirmed that the sun is the main driver in climate change.

Article “Giant Of Geology/Glaciology Christian Schlüchter Refutes CO2…Feature Interview Throws Climate Science Into Disarray”

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Storm clouds gather [image credit: BBC]

Storm clouds gather [image credit: BBC]

No-shows are the order of the day. Reporting on the non-event continues though.

BBC report: Upset at UN climate talks as ministers go missing

So sad ;-)

oldbrew:

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A very important topic indeed, thanks to Judith Curry for raising it.

Originally posted on Climate Etc.:

by Judith Curry

 . . . suggesting that Dansgaard-Oeschger events resulted from a combination of the effects of sea ice and ice shelves—structures that help define the margins of ice sheets—to account for both the rapid and the slower parts of the cycle.

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