Archive for the ‘Uncertainty’ Category

Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]

Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


Variations of this aerosol claim have been around for many years. These researchers seem uninterested in known oceanic cycles which might help to explain the observed temperature changes, instead relying on climate models. But another researcher notes that ‘black carbon emissions in some parts of the Arctic are still quite common’, as confirmed recently here. An earlier study (2007) reported ‘There is, however, at least a fourfold uncertainty in the aerosol forcing effect.’ So it looks like the jury is still out regarding air pollution in the Arctic.

Humans may have been altering Arctic sea ice longer than previously thought, according to researchers studying the effects of air pollution on sea ice growth in the mid-20th Century.

The new results challenge the perception that Arctic sea ice extent was unperturbed by human-caused climate change until the 1970s, reports Phys.org. Scientists have observed Arctic sea ice loss since the mid-1970s and some climate model simulations have shown the region was losing sea ice as far back as 1950.

In a new study, recently recovered Russian observations show an increase in sea ice from 1950 to 1975 as large as the subsequent decrease in sea ice observed from 1975 to 2005.
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Image credit: relativelyinteresting.com

Image credit: relativelyinteresting.com


Results so far from climate models are very unconvincing, despite huge resources of manpower and technology.

London, 21 February: Claims that the planet is threatened by man-made global warming are based on science that is based on inadequate computer modelling. That is the conclusion of a new briefing paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).   

The report’s author, eminent American climatologist Professor Judith Curry, explains that climate alarm depends on highly complex computer simulations of the Earth’s climate. 

But although scientists have expended decades of effort developing them, these simulations still have to be “tuned” to get them to match the real climate. This makes them essentially useless for trying to find out what is causing changes in the climate and unreliable for making predictions about what will happen in the future. 
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Credit: Scottish Power

Credit: Scottish Power


When does the UK climate fiasco budget run out? Not any time soon it seems, unless the Treasury squeezes out mad and/or bad ideas like unilateral CCS projects.
H/T GWPF

The UK government spent £100m on a competition to promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes but it all fell apart. This was even after £68m had been spent on a previous competition for CCS, which it cancelled in 2011.

NAO’s report finds that the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s plan to use a second competition to develop and deploy carbon capture and storage was ambitious, but ultimately, unsuccessful when the Treasury pulled the rug away because of uncertainty over costs.
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Credit: thegwpf.com

Credit: thegwpf.com


Alan Carlin argues that the stability of the Earth’s climate within its two fundamental modes, glacial and interglacial, is underestimated or ignored by climate modellers in their desire to talk up supposed human-caused factors.

The UN IPCC reports on climate are truly unusual scientifically.

Without any serious discussion or even an attempt to point out their unusual nature, they try to convince readers that the basic nature of Earth’s climate has been radically changed after millions of years, all because one very minor constituent of the atmosphere has been increasing, as it usually does during interglacial periods in response to higher temperatures.

During this long period the basic nature of Earth’s climate can be characterized as bistability. In other words, Earth has had dual climate equilibria. One occurs during ice ages and the other during interglacial periods. Both are very stable except that Earth flips from the ice age equilibrium to the interglacial roughly every 100,000 years and flips back again after another 10,000 to 12,000 years.

History suggests that we may be close to the next flip into an ice age, the colder of the two bistability climates. This has enormous implications for humans and all life on Earh. But the upper “limit” on interglacial temperatures does not appear to have been breached in all that time.
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A different view - source:  ARGO marine atlas [credit: climatedepot.com]

A different view – source: ARGO marine atlas [credit: climatedepot.com]


This is from US CLIVAR. If their graph is to be believed the ocean heat content went up by a factor of about 6 between 1980 and 2012. The title of their paper is ‘The global warming hiatus: Slowdown or redistribution? (Earth’s Future)’. Of course ‘missing heat hiding in the ocean’ is not exactly a new claim from climate alarm theorists.

Atmospheric greenhouse gases have continued their steady increase in the new century. Logically, one would expect that global mean surface temperature (GMST) would also continue to increase in the same fashion as experienced in the latter decades of the 20th century.

However, between 1998 and 2013 GMST actually plateaued with much smaller increases than the average over the last 60 years and labeled the “global warming hiatus.” The fact that this slowdown in GMST increase was not predicted by most climate models has led some to question the steady increase in heat predicted under increased greenhouse gas conditions.

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Scott Adams on global warming

Posted: December 9, 2016 by tchannon in ideology, Uncertainty

Tim wrote

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has an article up

The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science

Before I start, let me say as clearly as possible that I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change. If science says something is true – according to most scientists, and consistent with the scientific method – I accept their verdict.

So when I say I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change, I’m endorsing the scientific consensus for the same reason I endorsed Hillary Clinton for the first part of the election – as a strategy to protect myself. I endorse the scientific consensus on climate change to protect my career and reputation. To do otherwise would be dumb, at least in my situation.

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cardellini_scrTalkshop readers with good memories may remember the article I wrote back in 2012 on findings by Cardellini et al that volcanic soils emitted far more CO2 than previously thought (and are not included in IPCC carbon cycle inventories). The implication is that longer sunshine hours during the 1980s-90s may well have released a lot of sequestered CO2 from these soils, thus raising atmospheric levels. Which would mean humans are not responsible for all of the increase, as has long been assumed.

Now another article from Robert Wylie on Livescience.com raises the issue again:

Robin Wylie, is a doctoral candidate in volcanology, atUniversity College London. He contributed this article to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

The exploding hills really give the game away: We’ve always known the Earth is a smoker. The true extent of its habit, though, is only just beginning to surface.

Before the human species found its talent for pyromania, atmospheric levels of the Earth’s greenhouse superstar, carbon dioxide (CO2), were controlled, for the most part, by volcanoes.

Since our planet emerged from the debris which formed the solarsystem, some four and a half billion years ago, a lifetime supply of primordial carbon has been locked away in the mantle — against its will. Partnering with oxygen and smuggled as a dissolved gas in liquid rock, it breaches the surface at our planet’s volcanic airways: CO2, then, has been seeping into the planet’s atmosphere for as long as there has been one.

Until the end of the 20th century, the academic consensus was that this volcanic output was tiny — a fiery speck against the colossal anthropogenic footprint. Recently, though, volcanologists have begun to reveal a hidden side to our leaking planet.

Exactly how much CO2 passes through the magmatic vents in our crust might be one of the most important questions that Earth science can answer. Volcanoes may have been overtaken in the carbon stakes, but in order to properly assess the consequences of human pollution, we need the reference point of the natural background. And we’re getting there; the last twenty years have seen huge steps in our understanding of how, and how much CO2 leaves the deep Earth. But at the same time, a disturbing pattern has been emerging.

In 1992, it was thought that volcanic degassing released something like 100 million tons of CO2 each year. Around the turn of the millennium, this figure was getting closer to 200. The most recent estimate, released this February, comes from a team led by Mike Burton, of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology – and it’s just shy of 600 million tons. It caps a staggering trend: A six-fold increase in just two decades.

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Credit: NASA climatekids

Credit: NASA climatekids


Another round of claims and counter-claims about climate is underway as natural variation takes its course. Talk of records often relates only to the satellite era.
H/T GWPF

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record, reports David Rose in The Mail on Sunday. 

According to satellite data, the late 2016 temperatures are returning to the levels they were at after the 1998 El Niño. The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

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US President-elect Trump [image credit: politico.com]

US President-elect Trump [image credit: politico.com]


The winds of change following the US election are about to blow through the well-funded – up to now at least – world of climate-related bureaucracy, as CCN mournfully reports.

US Republicans are expected to axe billions of dollars in climate finance when they take the White House and Congress in January.

Funds to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of global warming and develop sustainably will be redirected to domestic priorities.

“We are going to cancel billions in payments to the UN climate change programmes and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure,” said President-elect Donald Trump in his 22 October Gettysburg address. With a Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, there appears to be little standing in his way.

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A solar cycle 24 prediction chart [credit:NASA]

A solar cycle 24 prediction chart [credit:NASA]


What follows are extracts, omitting a few of the more technical aspects which can be viewed in the GWPF’s full article here. Possible ‘colder climates’ get a mention.

Sten Odenwald of NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium writes:
Forecasters are already starting to make predictions for what might be in store as our sun winds down its current sunspot cycle in a few years. Are we in for a very intense cycle of solar activity, or the beginning of a century-long absence of sunspots and a rise in colder climates?

Ever since Samuel Schwabe discovered the 11-year ebb and flow of sunspots on the sun in 1843, predicting when the next sunspot cycle will appear, and how strong it will be, has been a cottage industry among scientists and non-scientists alike.

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Hinkley Point, Somerset [image credit: conservativehome.com]

Hinkley Point, Somerset
[image credit: conservativehome.com]


Seconds out, round 10 – or so it might seem in the Hinkley nuclear struggle. Who kept who in the dark [pun intended]? PEI’s Diarmaid Williams takes a ringside seat.

Five of the 17 board members who voted to approve a decision by EDF to press ahead with the development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in England are now seeking a court annulment of that decision.

The board members, all union representatives, say they were not provided with information that was crucial to their decision on the day.

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A polar bear inspects a US submarine near the North Pole [credit: Wikipedia]

A polar bear inspects a US submarine near the North Pole [credit: Wikipedia]


‘How predictable’ assumes some predictability of a future ‘ice-free’ Arctic in summer – debatable at least.
H/T US CLIVAR – Climate Variability and Predictability Program

The strong decline in the summer sea ice cover of the Arctic over the last decades has led many to ask when the Arctic will be ice-free for the first time.

Rather than providing yet another answer to this question, in a recent Geophysical Research Letters article by Jahn et al., they focused on determining how well the occurrence of an ice-free Arctic can be predicted, due to the inherent internal climate variability of the system.

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nuke-powerIn a surprise move, the UK govt has put the brakes on the Hinkley Point nuclear power contract. Yesterday, there was anticipation in the media that the directorate of EDF would approve the scheme. In the event, the vote was 10 to 7 in favour, though one director resigned beforehand.

Maybe the depth of the split on the EDF board has given the new UK government the jitters. In a brief two line statement this morning, the business secretary, Greg Clark, said the government would now examine all components of the deal and decide in the Autumn whether to go ahead, or not.

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Chinese wind power [image credit: clearwinds.co.uk]

Chinese wind power [image credit: clearwinds.co.uk]


Even if the turbines themselves are in working order, unreliable intermittent wind power remote from the areas of densest population can cause havoc to China’s power grid system, as Andrew Follett reports in the Daily Caller.

The government stopped approving new wind power projects in the country’s windiest regions in early March, according to China’s National Energy Administration statement. These regions previously installed nearly 71 gigawatts of wind turbines, more than the rest of China combined.

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credit: IB Times

credit: IB Times


This non-project (so far) must hold some sort of record for delays, doubts, cost increases and basic feasibility. PEI reports on the latest negative news.

The beleaguered Hinkley Point C project in western England is set to suffer another setback, with the unions involved in EDF reinforcing their opposition to the nuclear power plant project going ahead.

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Therein lies the problem – or one of them. How’s that cloud modelling going for instance?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.cato.org/blog/climate-modeling-dominates-climate-science

An interesting study from Pat Michaels and David Wojick:

Computer modeling plays an important role in all of the sciences, but there can be too much of a good thing. A simple semantic analysis indicates that climate science has become dominated by modeling. This is a bad thing.

What we did

We found two pairs of surprising statistics. To do this we first searched the entire literature of science for the last ten years, using Google Scholar, looking for modeling. There are roughly 900,000 peer reviewed journal articles that use at least one of the words model, modeled or modeling. This shows that there is indeed a widespread use of models in science. No surprise in this.

However, when we filter these results to only include items that also use the term climate change, something strange happens. The number of articles is only reduced to roughly…

View original post 545 more words

Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]

Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]


Pursuit of short-sighted energy policies is leading Germany on a dangerous path, as DW.COM reports from the AGM of major company RWE (aka ‘npower’ in the UK). Turning a blind eye to the possibility of future reliance on renewables won’t end well, says the CEO. Will any top politicians listen to the advice?

German power group RWE endures a bruising shareholders’ meeting. Still heavily involved with coal, the energy company has caught the brunt of activists and market changes. But its CEO has fought back, making the case for non-renewable energy sources.

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Empty supermarket shelves before Hurricane Sandy [credit: Wikipedia]

Empty supermarket shelves before Hurricane Sandy [credit: Wikipedia]


Running out of…sanity? Probably not, but the media has to get its ‘news’ stories from somewhere, as this GWPF report implies.

What explains our insatiable appetite for stories about shortages? Ever since Thomas Malthus warned of imminent food shortages and mass starvation in 1779, the spectre of a Malthusian resource catastrophe has resurfaced among each new generation of pessimists.

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Tim writes,

Image

Figure 1, Met Office Hadley monthly rainfall series for England and Wales start date 1766. Winter 2015/16 was wet but ordinary. (data processing by the author, see previous articles)
Plots for all data series as PDF (2MB).

Some other parts / regions of the country do show an extreme but this adds weight to the flicker noise (or 1/f) hypothosis for weather noise.

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False alarm

False alarm


It may only be the conclusion of one expert, but it makes a change from the usual tidal wave of evidence-light negative assertions about the potential future of our Earth. He said it was ‘extremely difficult’ to find a correlation between carbon dioxide levels and temperature trends.

The global average temperature is likely to remain unchanged by the end of the century, contrary to predictions by climate scientists that it could rise by more than 4C, according to a leading statistician.
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