N. Atlantic Keeps Its Cool

RAPID Array measuring North Atlantic SSTs.

For the last few years, observers have been speculating about when the North Atlantic will start the next phase shift from warm to cold. Given the way 2018 went and 2019 is following, this may be the onset.  First some background.

. Source: Energy and Education Canada

An example is this report in May 2015 The Atlantic is entering a cool phase that will change the world’s weather by Gerald McCarthy and Evan Haigh of the RAPID Atlantic monitoring project. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

This is known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and the transition between its positive and negative phases can be very rapid. For example, Atlantic temperatures declined by 0.1ºC per decade from the 1940s to the 1970s. By comparison, global surface warming is estimated at 0.5ºC per century – a rate twice as slow.

In many parts of the world, the AMO has been linked with decade-long temperature and rainfall trends. Certainly – and perhaps obviously – the mean temperature of islands downwind of the Atlantic such as Britain and Ireland show almost exactly the same temperature fluctuations as the AMO.

Atlantic oscillations are associated with the frequency of hurricanes and droughts. When the AMO is in the warm phase, there are more hurricanes in the Atlantic and droughts in the US Midwest tend to be more frequent and prolonged. In the Pacific Northwest, a positive AMO leads to more rainfall.

A negative AMO (cooler ocean) is associated with reduced rainfall in the vulnerable Sahel region of Africa. The prolonged negative AMO was associated with the infamous Ethiopian famine in the mid-1980s. In the UK it tends to mean reduced summer rainfall – the mythical “barbeque summer”.Our results show that ocean circulation responds to the first mode of Atlantic atmospheric forcing, the North Atlantic Oscillation, through circulation changes between the subtropical and subpolar gyres – the intergyre region. This a major influence on the wind patterns and the heat transferred between the atmosphere and ocean.

The observations that we do have of the Atlantic overturning circulation over the past ten years show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative (colder surface waters) phase. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.

Cold “blobs” in North Atlantic have been reported, but they are usually winter phenomena. For example in April 2016, the sst anomalies looked like this

But by September, the picture changed to this

And we know from Kaplan AMO dataset, that 2016 summer SSTs were right up there with 1998 and 2010 as the highest recorded.

As the graph above suggests, this body of water is also important for tropical cyclones, since warmer water provides more energy.  But those are annual averages, and I am interested in the summer pulses of warm water into the Arctic. As I have noted in my monthly HadSST3 reports, most summers since 2003 there have been warm pulses in the north atlantic.
amo december 2018
The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N.  The graph shows the warmest month August beginning to rise after 1993 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since.  December 2016 set a record at 20.6C, but note the plunge down to 20.2C for  December 2018, matching 2011 as the coldest years  since 2000.  Because McCarthy refers to hints of cooling to come in the N. Atlantic, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

May is a transitional month, and does serve to show the pattern of North Atlantic pulse related to the ENSO events. In the last two decades, there were four El Nino events peaking in 1998, 2005, 2010 and 2016.  All those years appear in the May AMO record as over 20.4C, a level not previously reached in the North Atlantic. Note the dropoff to 20.2C the last two years.

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks.  The short black line shows that 2019 began slightly cooler than January 2018, and tracking closely since.

With all the talk of AMOC slowing down and a phase shift in the North Atlantic, it seems the annual average for 2018 confirms that cooling has set in.  Through December the momentum is certainly heading downward, despite the band of warming ocean  that gave rise to European heat waves last summer.

amo annual122018

 

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Zero Carbon $$ Poppycock


Tim Worstall writes at Adam Smith The Observer is More Than Usually Confused on the Subject of Climate Change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The costs of doing something about climate change versus the costs of not is a subject that has been well hashed over in the Stern Review and the work of William Nordhaus. No point in revisiting all of that here. However, The Observer manages to get itself more than usually confused over the subject in the business editorial.

The idea is that we should strive ahead to be a zero carbon society and economy because we’ll create vast profits from having done so.

But the spin-off economic benefits of being in the vanguard of decarbonisation are potentially enormous. The countries that move first to develop green technologies will reap monopoly profits until such time as their rivals catch up.

That’s not quite how it’s working out already. Britain installs a large number of solar panels – too many for a country so far north perhaps – but not one single solar cell is made in Britain. It’s difficult to have world leadership in the manufacturing of a technology when you don’t actually do the manufacture. To be world leader in solar panel installation might be a nice green badge to wear on the Scout’s uniform but being able to nail things to the roof is not what international monopolies are built of. We seem to import our windmills from Denmark and such places. And so on.

But even to think along such lines is to be making a category error. For while it might be true that government policy encourages the development and deployment of such technologies it’s not actually government, nor the country, that does or will own them. They do belong and will belong to the private sector economic actors who develop them.

Perhaps Drax will solve the thorny problem of carbon capture without expending so much energy doing the capturing as to make the process economic. Unlikely but still – that process will belong to Drax, not GB PLC.

That’s not the only error of course. For British companies to be able to extract monopoly profits from foreigners means that they must have actual monopolies. Which means that they’ll have a monopoly over their technologies here in the UK too, extracting monopoly profits from our hides. Which isn’t the point nor the policy at all, is it?

There’re unlikely to be monopoly profits from going green, they wouldn’t belong to the nation that suffered the costs and even if there were we’d be working as hard as we could to break the monopoly for fear of the costs such would extract from us. Meaning that the promise of global monopoly profits from going green isn’t all that alluring a prospect, doesn’t it?

Climate Politics: Elites vs. Workers

Chuck DeVore at Forbes connects the dots between three recent events suggesting that progressive warmists are increasingly opposed by workers who used to vote with them. Devore describes a divide in the US electorate, but there are comparable stresses in European countries like France, Germany, Italy, Hungary and others. His article is How Tesla, Crony Corporate Welfare, And The Green New Deal Portend A Coming Political Realignment. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A series of three seemingly unconnected events over five days in Ohio and California hint at a fundamental political realignment, underscoring the fragility of the American left’s coalition going into the 2020 election.

There is a growing, and likely irreparable, rift between elite progressive environmentalists who are accustomed to dominating the narrative within the Democratic Party and—to a slightly lesser extent, within the major media—and blue-collar workers, especially those in the trades that build the nation.

First, on May 29, ten Democrats in the Ohio State House joined 43 Republicans to pass House Bill 6 and send it to the Senate. HB 6, which eliminates the state’s renewable portfolio standard for electricity, was opposed by environmental groups who feared it would slow the development of wind and solar power in favor of nuclear power and even coal. Free market groups also opposed the measure for its $300 million in subsidies they labeled “corporate welfare.” When Democrats join Republicans to mount a direct challenge to the principles of the Green New Deal, it indicates that Ohio, and other key swing states, may be beyond reach to any presidential candidate touting the wholesale elimination of nuclear and coal-fired power.

Then on June 1, Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, won a seven-way election to chair the California Democratic Party with 57% of the vote in the first round of balloting against more progressive opponents. As reported in Politico, Hicks’ labor colleagues mounted a “Blue Collar Revolution” demonstration at the California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco the day of his convincing win. The goal of the convention protest was to warn party regulars that labor will walk if the Green New Deal moves forward, threatening jobs. In May, the same labor group protested Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s version of the Green New Deal, chanting, “Garcetti’s gotta go.”

Finally, on June 3, Bloomberg reported that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has made $2 billion since 2010 by selling fuel economy credits to General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU). The credits were likely purchased to comply with the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, passed during Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s first time leading the House.

This $2 billion transfer from GM and Fiat Chrysler to Tesla amounted to about $4,000 per electric car delivered—on top of the $7,500 credit buyers of the first 200,000 Teslas could claim on their federal income tax returns. Just the $2 billion in CAFE transfer payments alone had the effect of adding almost $100 to the price of a of a Chevy Silverado or a Dodge Ram to subsidize an electric car purchase by what was, on average, a white, non-Hispanic man with no children at home making $143,177 per year. In 2017, half of U.S. households had income below $61,372.

GM is said to be in the market to buy more credits to hedge their bets should President Trump lose reelection and mileage (and emissions) credits become more valuable due to a renewed government mandate for electric vehicles. Political observers should expect that government support for Tesla and its mercurial founder, Elon Musk, will become fodder for the 2020 campaign.

The cash transfers involved in making the Green New Deal a reality run into the trillions, dwarfing Tesla’s mere billions of subsidies. Noting the looming challenge of reconciling the ambitious reordering of the economy in the name of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Jessica Levinson, a professor who teaches politics and ethics at Loyola Law School, said, “The Green New Deal may be the darling of the Democratic Party — but it really divides the Democrats on a fault line, which is more of the elites against the working class Democrats who are concerned about losing their jobs.”

And while politicians who support the Green New Deal contend that they will spend billions to retrain workers who lose their jobs because of the newly planned economy, Levinson notes that workers in the skilled trades “don’t necessarily want to be retrained… nor is it even possible.”

This is largely the reason why America’s largest labor union, the AFL-CIO, has registered its opposition to the Green New Deal.

How the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for president reconcile their near-unanimous support of a vastly expensive and economically disruptive environmental plan with beating President Trump in key swing states that feature a strong jobs base in manufacturing and extractive industries such as natural gas production, will be a difficult political task.

 

Kids Fortune Tellers Vs. US Update

The 21 young people suing the U.S. government for exacerbating climate change hope the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sends their case to trial.

By Karen Savage writes at Climate Liability News Ninth Circuit Judges Appear Skeptical of Role in Kids Climate Suit vs. U.S. Government. Excerpts in italics with my bolds

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday appeared skeptical of the courts’ role in dealing with climate change in the landmark constitutional climate case brought by 21 young people against the U.S. government. But the kids’ attorneys argued in a pivotal hearing that they are only asking the court to apply rights already laid out in the Fifth Amendment.

The hearing, held in Portland, Ore., will decide whether the case, Juliana v. United States, continues on toward trial. The suit has been vehemently opposed by the Justice Department since it was filed in 2015, and this hearing could grant the government an extraordinary measure by granting an appeal before the trial even began.

Judges Mary H. Murguia and Andrew D. Hurwitz of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Josephine L. Staton of District Court for the Central District of California presided over the hearing and are expected to issue their ruling in the next few months.

Hurwitz summed up the issues the court is wrestling with, primarily whether the courts should intervene in a subject ordinarily left to the executive and legislative branches.

“I’m sympathetic to the problems you point out,” he said. “But you shouldn’t say this is just an ordinary suit. … You’re asking us to do a lot of new stuff, aren’t you?”

Julia Olson, lead attorney for the young plaintiffs, disagreed.

“It would be the first time that it would have been done, your Honor, as to this factual context where the government admits the monumental threat to people and to lives and that their acts in promoting fossil fuels and allowing for the extraction and all the affirmative things they do cause the emissions that are a substantial cause of climate change,” Olson said.

Hurwitz pushed back on Olson’s assertion, saying it appeared as if the plaintiffs were asking the court to break new ground by allowing the case to continue.

“The issue here is whether this branch of government, embodied by the three of us today, has the ability to issue the relief that your clients seek,” said Hurwitz to Olson during her arguments, adding that he doesn’t doubt that Congress and the president could give the plaintiffs the relief they seek.

“I don’t think Congress and the president ever will,” said Olson in response.

“Well then we may have the wrong Congress and the wrong president. That’s occurred from time to time over history,” said Hurwitz.

“You present compelling evidence that we have a real problem. You present compelling evidence that we have inaction by the other two branches of government. It may even rise to the level of criminal neglect. But the tough question for me is do we get to act because of that.”

The plaintiffs allege in the suit that the federal government is violating their Constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by promoting an energy system that exacerbates climate change. They also say the government is failing to protect essential public trust resources and are asking for a science-based program to reduce carbon emissions and protect the climate for future generations.

The federal government has tried numerous times to shake the case since it was first filed in 2015. The Ninth Circuit has rejected four petitions for an extraordinary writ of mandamus by the government and the Supreme Court has rejected additional requests. The Ninth Circuit eventually granted a final, last-ditch effort to hear a pre-trial appeal late last year, and this hearing was their chance to hear oral arguments from both sides.

“The outcome of this hearing will determine the future of our case and whether or not there will be justice for young people in this country, who are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis,” said Vic Barrett, a 20-year-old plaintiff from White Plains, NY.

“Our fundamental constitutional rights, including our right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life, are being violated by our government,” said Barrett.

In November 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken became the first to rule that “the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society” and ordered the case to trial.

Aiken’s ruling prompted the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to intervene on behalf of the federal government, but the industry groups quickly withdrew after Judge Coffin ruled that the groups must intervenors take a joint position on climate science.

Attorneys for the Trump administration contend there is “no fundamental constitutional right to a ‘stable climate system’ and maintain that because “global climate change affects everyone in the world,” the plaintiffs are not suffering from a legally actionable injury, but from “generalized grievances.”

“This action is one that appears to enforce the Constitution, but in reality it’s nothing more than a direct assault on the constitutional design,“ said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, lead attorney for the Department of Justice.

One district court judge in the country is acting to impose a plan on the entire executive branch in the country, to tell them to stop having inaction on climate change, to do additional things to combat it,” Clark said. “That’s sort of something that’s radical, its anathema.”

The government also maintains that even if that right existed, and the plaintiffs have been harmed, the government is not responsible.

Plaintiffs say the actions by the Trump administration are continuing to harm them by further damaging the climate.

“The U.S. government has known for nearly four years that my co-plaintiffs and I are being personally harmed by their actions,” Barrett said. “Yet it continues to use public resources for fossil fuel extraction and production, and give legal sanction to the national fossil fuel energy system, completely abdicating its responsibility to protect us from the dangers it helped perpetuate.”

The government has argued that the suit falls under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which outlines procedures for judicial review when plaintiffs make claims against a federal agency, and said that the “plaintiffs have refused to comply with the requirements of the APA.”

That premise was rejected by Aiken, who said that the APA does not address the plaintiffs’ claims because they seek review of “aggregate action by multiple agencies, something the APA’s judicial review provisions do not address.”

In a trial, the young plaintiffs plan to call expert climate science witnesses, as well as experts in attribution science, who have researched how much of global warming can be attributed to particular countries and industries.

Much of the evidence already submitted by the young plaintiffs comes from the government itself, with extensive research into climate impacts coming NASA and NOAA, as well as the release last year of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

In her closing arguments, Olson asked the court to lift the stay and remand the case to trial.

When our great grandchildren look back on the 21st century, they will see that government sanctioned climate destruction was the constitutional issue of this century,” Olson said.

“We must be a nation that applies the rule of law to harmful government conduct that threatens the lives of our children so that they can grow up safe and free and pursue their happiness. That is what the founders intended.”

Footnote:

How amazing that the kid’s lawyer is able to see into the future so clearly!  Did she learn that in law school, is it a gift, or does she have a crystal ball?

An Accidental Blogger: Collection of Science Matters Essays

Introducing a New Page: Guide to Science Matters

Thanks to hunter’s continuing appreciation of my posts, I am prompted to do a long overdue reorganization of the material to be found here. As explained before, my blogging activity started by accident. In 2015 Judith Curry asked commenters at her blog Climate Etc. to register with WordPress, and in that process I ended up with a free blog of my own. I started playing around with it, posted some comments I had made on others’ blogs (WUWT, Not A Lot Of People Know That, No Tricks Zone, etc.). All of a sudden it became a place where I could consolidate things I learn by writing them into essays, as well as provide a portal for others’ essays worthy of more readers.

My original set of categories no longer reflects the range of subjects addressed in the 1000+ posts on offer at Science Matters. Hunter suggested publishing, but I am not interested in the money or in the hassle to obtain permissions for content reblogged from others’ websites. So instead I am changing the structure of Science Matters to hopefully make the topics more accessible to interested visitors.

Overarching Concept:

As the stool above shows, the climate change package sits on three premises. The first is the science bit, consisting of an unproven claim that observed warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. The second part rests on impact studies from billions of research dollars spent uncovering any and all possible negatives from warming. And the third leg is climate initiatives (policies) showing how governments can “fight climate change.”

So far I have re-categorized and re-tagged essays from the last year or so according to a reference structure, incorporating the above three dimensions along with General Science and General Society categories.  The captions associated with the each category are assigned to posts as Tags. Of course, occasionally a post touches on more than one category or tag topic.

Climate Science

Global Warming Scare
Theory of Climate Change
Climate Models
Climate Factors
Oceans Make Climate
Solar Effects
Carbon Dioxide

Climate Impacts

Temperature Trend Analysis
Arctic Sea Ice
Glaciers and Land Ice
Sea Levels and Flooding
Food Supply
Biosphere and Climate
Extreme Weather

Climate Initiatives

Climate Ideology
Climate Media
Climate Politics
Climate Policies
IPCC Conferences
Climate Adaptation
Climate Litigation
Climate Energy Policies
Renewable Energy
Fossil Fuels
Climate Finance
Climate Medicine

Science in General

Environmental Scares
Science and Ideology
Science Principles
Science Humor

Society in General

Social Ideologies
Political Foibles
General Humor

How to Access Content of Interest

Clicking on the box in the upper right corner of any webpage presents a menu showing first a tag cloud.  Clicking on any tag produces all posts so tagged. Then after a list of Top Posts and Pages is a list of the Categories, including the five above in bold, as well as some categories applied to older posts.  Clicking on any category produces a list of all associated posts. Further on is a search box in which you can access posts including a key word or phrase, say “EPA”, or “Plastics,” “Climate Surveys”, etc.

Independently of the box, on any posted page, the associated category appears in red just above the post title.  Clicking it will produce the list of essays on that topic.  Hopefully it is clear that categories are more broad and tags more specific.

Have fun.  Let me know if you have suggestions to improve this utility.

Ron Clutz

 

Climate Cartel: Watch Your Wallets

Climate bonds and pledges are creating virtual finance and group think cartels based on the faulty scientific premise that carbon dioxide controls climate change, when it is the sun’s direct and indirect effect.  Billions of dollars are being applied to the wrong societal response; children are being misled and frightened and society is left unprepared for impending cooling of a solar minimum. H/T Friends of Science

Background

On May 28, 2019, the National Observer reported on The Clean Energy Ministerial conference at Vancouver, the 10th of its kind, bringing together energy ministers from 25 countries as well as other officials from government, industry and non-governmental organizations that represent the bulk of clean energy investment. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

One of the top officials at the European Union’s lending arm  ,Ambroise Fayolle, vice president of the European Investment Bank, said investments connected with the climate crisis and the low-carbon transition will continue and expand.

“It’s clearly going to stay. The needs are huge. We know that in Europe only, we would need to invest 400 billion euros ($602 billion) every year to catch up on the needs of energy efficiency.”

The EIB has a requirement that at least a quarter of its investments must be related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2018, it directed 16.2 billion euros ($24.4 billion) to this effort in 2018, or close to 30 per cent, which is above its target.

The bank is trying to generate new low-carbon markets, said Fayolle, though initiatives such as its Climate Awareness Bond, the first green bonds which began about a decade ago.

Billions of Public and Private Funds Misallocated

This public sector policy flies in the face of observable facts. Friends of Science Society says the sun drives climate change, not carbon dioxide. The sun is moving into a cooling period as reported by Space Weather on April 10, 2019, meaning fossil fuel stocks will be more valuable than ever.

In fact, the world has cooled half a degree Celsius (0.5°C) in the past three years as the solar minimum kicks in, according to the December 2018, NASA GISS temperature record.

In an analysis of future energy markets by BP, summarized by Robert Lyman in a May 29, 2019 blog post all fossil fuel use is predicted to grow to at least 2040.

Lyman deconstructs “green energy” advocates’ myths that conventional energy is diminishing in volume or demand versus the actual data which shows the opposite to be true.

Friends of Science Society says the financial community has embarked on a path far removed from climate science, focusing solely on the carbon dioxide molecule, rather than the larger climate picture. The National Observer article on climate investments of May 28, 2019, quotes Alberta Premier Jason Kenney calling concerns over “climate risk” the “flavor of the week.”

Groups like the UNPRI and Climate Bond Initiatives and the CDP Worldwide have effectively created a ‘climate cartel’ of activist investors, focussed on making signatories agree to investing only in projects that support goals to lower carbon dioxide. This has skewed investment in projects like the Alberta oil sands, as reported in a previous press release by Friends of Science of March 22, 2018. This leaves valuable oil sands assets open to vulture investors, reducing the long-term net worth of these reserves to Canada.

Friends of Science Society says many financial and philanthropic community members associated with climate bonds have funded environmental groups. Those groups have ramped up fears of a warming world and alleged ‘climate emergency’ to create a societal ‘climate psychosis.’ Unnecessary fear grips children, evidenced in the sad story of Greta Thunberg, as told in Quillette of April 23, 2019.

In Canada, part of that psychosis is born out of the “Tar Sands Campaign” – a Green Trade War against Canada’s primary resource industry, as discussed in an op-ed on Friends of Science blog of May 26, 2019. LINK: blog.friendsofscience.org/2019/05/26/down-the-rabbit-hole-with-andrew-nikiforuk/

As Emeritus Professor Francois Gervais presented at the 2018 Porto Climate Conference, the scientific consensus now is that carbon dioxide’s effect on warming in nominal to nil, meaning a low-carbon dioxide transition will have no effect on global warming but will be burdensome in terms of debt to future generations. 

“Such a policy goal would make humanity $14 trillion poorer compared to doing nothing at all about climate change,” estimates Robert Murphy in his analysis of Nobel winning economist William Nordhaus’ work regarding the UN’s Paris targets of limiting carbon dioxide, published Nov. 5, 2018 article in The Library of Economics and Liberty.

Is it moral to leave our children freezing in the dark, terrified of life itself and saddled with debt, to make ‘low-carbon’ investors rich?

About  Friends of Science Society is an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens who are celebrating its 16th year of offering climate science insights. After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).

Footnote:

Willie Soon is both humorous and informative in addressing Friends of Science recently:

 

 

 

Climate Emergency Medicine Update

Climate Quakery

Update June 4, 2019 Climate Doctors Warn of Health Hazards to Kids Suing US 

Published today in the formerly respectable New England Journal of Medicine The Case of Juliana v. U.S. — Children and the Health Burdens of Climate Change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds, followed by a discussion of the rise of Climate Medicine, whereby doctors have joined lawyers in the dash for climate cash.

As the Juliana plaintiffs argue — and we agree — climate change is the greatest public health emergency of our time and is particularly harmful to fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents.2,3 The adverse effects of continued emissions of carbon dioxide and fossil-fuel–related pollutants threaten children’s right to a healthy existence in a safe, stable environment. It is for this reason that we, together with nearly 80 scientists and physicians and 15 health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, submitted an amicus brief to help educate the Ninth Circuit about this extraordinary threat.

Note:  Doctors For Disaster Preparedness are not Distracted by Global Warming

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) are concerned to be ready for real disasters and not be distracted by irrational fears like global warming/climate change. They have provided a useful resource for people to test and deepen their knowledge of an issue distorted for many people by loads of misinformation and exaggerations.  Their website has a lesson set called the Climate Change IQ (CCIQ) providing a good skeptical critique of ten top alarmist claims. The format is succinct and non-technical. Each alarmist claim is posed as a question, followed by a short skeptical answer, which is highlighted with a single telling graphic. Links to supporting documents are also shown.  The text above in red is linked to DDP website, while my synopsis is How’s Your CCIQ?

Background:  The Rise of Climate Medicine

Prior to Bonn COP23 the media was awash with claims that climate change is an international public health crisis.  For example, in just one day from Google news:

Climate change isn’t just hurting the planet – it’s a public health emergency–The Guardian

Climate change’s impact on human health is already here — and is ‘potentially irreversible,’ report says –USA TODAY

Climate Change Is Bad for Your Health–New York Times

From heat stress to malnutr­ition, climate change is already making us sick–The Verge

As Richard Lindzen predicted, everyone wants on the climate bandwagon, because that is where the money is.  Medical scientists are pushing for their share of the pie, as evidenced by the Met office gathering on Assessing the Global Impacts of Climate and Extreme Weather on Health and Well-Being (following Paris COP).  Not coincidentally, the 2nd Global Conference on Health and Climate was held July 7-8, 2016 in Paris.  Following that the American Public Health Association declared:

2017 is the Year of Climate Change and Health

“We’re committed to making sure the nation knows about the effects of climate change on health. If anyone doesn’t think this is a severe problem, they are fooling themselves.” — APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, in The Washington Post

The new field of Climate Medicine is evidenced by a slew of new organizations and studies.  In addition to numerous agencies set up within WHO and the UN, and governmental entities (such as the Met Office), there are many NGOs, such as:

Health Care Without Harm
Health and Environment Alliance
Health and Climate Foundation
Climate and Health Council
United States National Association of County and City Health Officials
Care International
Global Gender and Climate Alliance / Women’s Environment and   Development Organization
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations
Climate Change and Human Health Programme, Columbia U.
Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard
National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANC Canberra
Centre for Sustainability and the Global Environment, U of Wisconsin
Environmental Change Institute, Oxford
London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK
International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, US National Academies of Science
US Climate and Health Alliance
Etc, etc., etc.

Of course, they are encouraged and abetted by the IPCC.

 

From the Fifth Assessment Report:

Until mid-century, projected climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist (very high confidence). Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change (high confidence). By 2100 for RCP8.5, the combination of high temperature and humidity in some areas for parts of the year is expected to compromise common human activities, including growing food and working outdoors (high confidence). {2.3.2}

In urban areas climate change is projected to increase risks for people, assets, economies and ecosystems, including risks from heat stress, storms and extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, water scarcity, sea level rise and storm surges (very high confidence). These risks are amplified for those lacking essential infrastructure and services or living in exposed areas. {2.3.2}

Feared Climate Health Impacts Are Unsupported by Scientific Research

NIPCC has a compendium of peer-reviewed studies on this issue and provides these findings (here)

Key Findings: Human Health
• Warmer temperatures lead to a decrease in temperature-related mortality, including deaths associated with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and strokes. The evidence of this benefit comes from research conducted in every major country of the world.

• In the United States the average person who died because of cold temperature exposure lost in excess of 10 years of potential life, whereas the average person who died because of hot temperature exposure likely lost no more than a few days or weeks of life.

• In the U.S., some 4,600 deaths are delayed each year as people move from cold northeastern states to warm southwestern states. Between 3 and 7% of the gains in longevity experienced over the past three decades was due simply to people moving to warmer states.

• Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics. Coronary and cerebral thrombosis account for about half of all cold-related mortality.

• Global warming is reducing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases related to low temperatures and wintry weather by a much greater degree than it increases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases associated with high temperatures and summer heat waves.

• A large body of scientific examination and research contradict the claim that malaria will expand across the globe and intensify as a result of CO2 -induced warming.

• Concerns over large increases in vector-borne diseases such as dengue as a result of rising temperatures are unfounded and unsupported by the scientific literature, as climatic indices are poor predictors for dengue disease.

• While temperature and climate largely determine the geographical distribution of ticks, they are not among the significant factors determining the incidence of tick-borne diseases.

• The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is not only raising the productivity of Earth’s common food plants but also significantly increasing the quantity and potency of the many healthpromoting substances found in their tissues, which are the ultimate sources of sustenance for essentially all animals and humans.

• Atmospheric CO2 enrichment positively impacts the production of numerous health-promoting substances found in medicinal or “health food” plants, and this phenomenon may have contributed to the increase in human life span that has occurred over the past century or so.

• There is little reason to expect any significant CO2 -induced increases in human-health-harming substances produced by plants as atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise.

Source: Chapter 7. “Human Health,” Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2014).
Full text of Chapter 7 and references on Human health begins pg. 955 of the full report here

Summary

Advances in medical science and public health have  benefited billions of people with longer and higher quality lives.  Yet this crucial social asset has joined the list of those fields corrupted by the dash for climate cash. Increasingly, medical talent and resources are diverted into inventing bogeymen and studying imaginary public health crises.

Economists Francesco Boselloa, Roberto Roson and Richard Tol conducted an exhaustive study called Economy-wide estimates of the implications of climate change: Human health

After reviewing all the research and crunching the numbers, they concluded that achieving one degree of global warming by 2050 will, on balance, save more than 800,000 lives annually.

Not only is the warming not happening, we would be more healthy if it did.

Oh, Dr. Frankenmann, what have you wrought?

Footnote:  More proof against Climate Medicine

From: Gasparrini et al: Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study. The Lancet, May 2015

Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.

“It’s often assumed that extreme weather causes the majority of deaths, with most previous research focusing on the effects of extreme heat waves,” says lead author Dr Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK. “Our findings, from an analysis of the largest dataset of temperature-related deaths ever collected, show that the majority of these deaths actually happen on moderately hot and cold days, with most deaths caused by moderately cold temperatures.”

Later on in 2017, Lancet set the facts aside in order to prostrate itself before the global warming altar:

Christiana Figueres, chair of the Lancet Countdown’s high-level advisory board and former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said, “The report lays bare the impact that climate change is having on our health today. It also shows that tackling climate change directly, unequivocally and immediately improves global health. It’s as simple as that.’’

 

 

 

Al Gore Serial Science Denier

Everett Piper writes in the Washington Post Times The party of science deniers. Excerpts In italics with my bolds.

This past Wednesday, May 29, former Vice President Al Gore spoke to the graduating seniors at Harvard University. A summary of his talk? There is an “assault on science” that threatens “the capacity of the human species to endure” on planet Earth.

Mr. Gore proceeded to warn both students and faculty at Wednesday’s annual Class Day convocation, stressing that “reason” and “rational debate” were under threat from what he called “ideology of authoritarianism” by those who disagree with him and his political agenda.

Science “is now being slandered as a conspiracy based on a hoax,” Mr. Gore said. “The subordination of the best scientific evidence is yet another strategy for controlling policy by distorting and suppressing the best available information.”

This is the man who told us in 2006 that we had “ten years to save the planet” and that the Arctic would be ice-free by summer of 2014. In case you haven’t checked lately, that has not happened, nor are we even close.

This is the man who, at the same time, said the gulf stream would slow down and cause untold climate devastation as the result. News flash: Current scientific data actually shows the gulf stream has had zero decrease and may actually be speeding up.

This is the man who warned polar bears would become extinct in just a handful of years because of their loss of habitat. Update: The facts show polar bear numbers are now at an all-time high.

This is the same man who told all of us “sea levels could rise by as much as 20 feet in the near future” when, in fact, current data shows that for decades the pace has been about 3mm per year and has not changed. That’s about the height of two dimes.

This is the same guy who prophesied the rise of CO2 levels would devastate the planet and cause untold human suffering, when in reality, the modest rise in CO2 we actually have experienced has resulted in a global greening that has relieved human poverty around the world.

This is a man who predicted the devastation of low-lying Pacific Island nations such as Tuvalu because of rising sea-levels when in fact Tuvalu and some other island nations have actually grown in landmass since Mr. Gore’s doom and gloom pronouncements.

Al Gore is the man who has not only ignored the scientific facts of all the above, but who also is aligned with the party that now has the temerity to deny the biological fact of a female, and thereby pretend that any male can become a female just because he “feels” like it.

This is the same guy who, for decades, has turned a blind eye to the CDC data on sexually transmitted diseases and who promotes a political agenda that has resulted in over 25 percent of our nation’s millennial-aged women now carrying an STD.

This is the same guy who pretends to be pro-woman while denying the fact that women are real and not merely the imagination of dysphoric men who want to pretend and play make-believe.

This is a man who apparently doesn’t understand that it is logically and scientifically impossible to be a feminist if you persist in denying the empirical fact of the feminine.

Mr. Gore’s pseudo-science doesn’t stop with his ignorance of climatology, physiology, sexuality and biology. He demonstrates his ignorance in matters of economics as well. By ignoring the empirical proof that socialism has never, ever, resulted in anything other than the loss of human freedom and human flourishing, he seems oblivious to the fact that if there ever was a political and economic model that smacks of the “ideological authoritarianism” of which he now warns, it is his own.

In testimony before Congress this past year, Judith Curry, former chairman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said this of Mr. Gore’s political agenda and that of his blind followers: “This behavior risks destroying science’s reputation for honesty. It is this objectivity and honesty which gives science a privileged seat at the table. Without this objectivity and honesty, scientists become regarded as another lobbyist group.”

Ms. Curry’s comment is spot on. Science dies at the hands of its supposed champions when they prove themselves more interested in political power than simply telling the truth.

If Aesop taught us anything, it is this: Crying “wolf” over and over again always proves one simple fact in the end — Truth “is being slandered as a conspiracy based on a hoax.”

• Everett Piper, the former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).

 

April Ocean SSTs Hold Steady

The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through April 2019. Hadley Centre did some technical upgrades and only now published results for March and April

 

A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  2018 started with slow warming after the low point of December 2017, led by steadily rising NH, which peaked in September and cooled since.  The Tropics rose steadily until November, and are now cooling as well.

In 2019 we can see that NH is flat, the Tropics are up and down, and SH gently rising.  As a result, all regions are converging on the Global average anomaly of 0.57C  All regions are about the same as 2017 and 2015, but much cooler than 2016.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.

The annual SSTs for the last five years are as follows:

Annual SSTs Global NH SH  Tropics
2014 0.477 0.617 0.335 0.451
2015 0.592 0.737 0.425 0.717
2016 0.613 0.746 0.486 0.708
2017 0.505 0.650 0.385 0.424
2018 0.480 0.620 0.362 0.369

2018 annual average SSTs across the regions are close to 2014, slightly higher in SH and much lower in the Tropics.  The SST rise from the global ocean was remarkable, peaking in 2016, higher than 2011 by 0.32C.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

Open image in new tab to enlarge.

1995 is a reasonable starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.  Note also that starting in 2014 SH plays a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
AMO August 2018

The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since. Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The short black line shows that 2019 began slightly cooler than January 2018,  and in February matched the low SST of the previous year.

Summary

The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies will likely cool in coming months.  Once again, ENSO will probably determine the outcome.

Postscript:

In the most recent GWPF 2017 State of the Climate report, Dr. Humlum made this observation:

“It is instructive to consider the variation of the annual change rate of atmospheric CO2 together with the annual change rates for the global air temperature and global sea surface temperature (Figure 16). All three change rates clearly vary in concert, but with sea surface temperature rates leading the global temperature rates by a few months and atmospheric CO2 rates lagging 11–12 months behind the sea surface temperature rates.”

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.

uss-pearl-harbor-deploys-global-drifter-buoys-in-pacific-ocean

USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

 

Economists as “Useful Idiots” for Green Socialists

Robert P. Murphy writes at Mises Wire Economists Have Been “Useful Idiots” for the Green Socialists. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

In the old Soviet Union, the Communists allegedly used the term “useful idiot” to describe Westerners whose naïve political views furthered the Soviet agenda, even though these Westerners didn’t realize that they were being exploited in such fashion. It is in this context that I confidently declare that American economists have been useful idiots for the green socialists pushing extreme climate change policies. The radical environmentalists were quite happy to embrace the economic concepts of “Pigovian negative externalities” and a carbon tax in the past, but now that it is impossible for economic science to endorse their desired agenda, the activists have discarded the entire field as hopelessly out of touch. Economists who still support a carbon tax and other climate “mitigation policies” should be aware of the bigger picture.

Using the UN’s Own Document to Defeat the Climate Change Agenda

I have been making this case for years. For example, back in 2014 I used the latest (and still most recent) UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report to show that the then-popular climate change target of 2 degrees Celsius of warming could not be justified by the research summarized in the report. In other words, I used the UN’s own report to show that the popular climate change “cures” would be worse than the disease.

Yet even though they had spent years berating the critics of government action as “climate deniers” who rejected the “consensus science,” in this case — once they realized that the economic models of climate change wouldn’t support aggressive intervention—the environmental activists all of a sudden began pointing out all the things that the UN-endorsed studies left out. Rather than summarizing the cutting edge knowledge on climate science and mitigation policies, the IPCC document turned into a bunch of misleading nonsense that would give ammunition to deniers.

Nobel Laureate Inconveniently Blows Up the Paris Agreement

Last fall, we had another demonstration of the chasm between the actual research and the media/political treatment: William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on climate change, on the same weekend that the UN released a “special report” advising governments on how to try to limit global warming to as little as 1.5 degrees Celsius.

There was just one little problem: Nordhaus’ Nobel-winning work clearly showed that the UN’s goal was insane. According to his model, it would literally be better for governments around the world to do nothing about climate change, rather than enact policies limiting warming to 1.5°C. Rather than aiming for a 1.5°C target, Nordhaus’ most recent model runs indicated that the “optimal” amount of warming to allow was closer to 3.5°C. (To an outsider this might not seem like a huge discrepancy, but it is absolutely gigantic in the context of the climate change policy debate. Many activists would confidently predict that even 2.5°C of warming would spell disaster for our grandchildren.)

The Guardian’s Slam Dunk

Ah, but I got the best confirmation of my quixotic position just this month, when the Guardian ran an editorial with this subtitle (my highlighting):

Does everybody see that? The people at the Guardian already know what the policy answers are, without needing any help from the economists.

Conclusion

My economist colleagues who continue to urge for a “carbon tax swap deal” in order to get rid of “onerous top-down regulations” and enact a simple “price on carbon” are fooling themselves. Whether it’s in a ballot initiative in Washington State—literally designed by an environmental economist, or in the wonky columns of Vox’s climate expert, in the political calculus of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, or in the FAQ on the Green New Deal itself, the environmental activists in US politics are making it quite clear that they will not settle for such half-measures.

Market-friendly economists chiming in on the American political scene should stop being useful idiots for the green socialists. Whatever the possible merits of a theoretical carbon tax package—in which a regressive hike in energy prices is matched dollar-for-dollar with corporate income tax cuts, and decades of special-interest favoring regulations are thrown out the window in the zeal for efficiency—this is all a moot point. If market-friendly economists succeed in getting their readers to hold their noses and support a carbon tax, they will all learn quite quickly that the deal has been altered.