New Paper Indicates Antarctica Has Been Gaining Ice Mass Since 1800

Antarctica Has Been Gaining Ice,

Lowering Sea Level For Centuries

“Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away”
 NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

For decades scientists have suggested that the effects of a climatic warming would likely lead to an increase in Antarctica’s surface mass balance (i.e., mass gains exceed losses), and this would lead to a concomitant lowering of sea levels.

Oerlemans, 1982

The results indicate that a climatic warming will probably lead to a sea-level lowering of some tens of centimetres in the next centuries. This is because for Antarctic conditions the increase in snow accumulation exceeds the increase in melting.”

Huybrechts and Oerlemans, 1990

“According to this mass balance model, the amount of accumulation over the entire ice sheet is presently 24.06 x 1011 m3 of ice, and no runoff takes place.  A 1°C uniform warming is then calculated to increase the overall mass balance by an amount of 1.43 1011 m3 of ice, corresponding to a lowering of sea level with 0.36 mm/yrA temperature increase of 5.3° C is needed for the increase in ablation to become more important than the increase in accumulation and the temperature would have to rise by 11.4°C to produce a zero surface mass balance.”

Huybrechts et al., 2004

“As a general result, it is found that the effect of increased precipitation on Antarctica dominates over the effect of increased melting on Greenland for the entire range of predictions, so that both polar ice sheets combined would gain mass in the 21st century. The results are very similar for both time-slice patterns driven by the underlying time evolution series with most of the scatter in the results caused by the variability in the lower-resolution AOGCMs. Combining these results with the long-term background trend yields a 20th and 21st century sea-level trend from polar ice sheets that is however not significantly different from zero.”

Lenaerts et al. 2016

“We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the rctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean–atmosphere–land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ∼1∘ in the past, present and future (1850–2100). … CESM [Community Earth System Model] projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB [surface mass balance] of about 70 Gtyear−1 per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet’s edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.”
In contrast to Greenland, where increased snowfall currently does not compensate enhanced surface runoff, this increase in AIS snowfall translates almost fully to ice sheet mass gain and mitigation of sea-level rise (Bengtsson et al. 2011; Shepherd et al. 2012). The reason is that rainfall on the AIS remains small, and most of the liquid water produced by surface melt can refreeze in the snowpack. Even in a warmer future, projected surface runoff losses are dominated by mass gains through enhanced snowfall (Ligtenberg et al., 2013).”

Thomas et al., 2017

“The central Antarctic sites lack coherency and are either not representing regional precipitation or indicate the models inability to capture relevant precipitation processes in the cold, dry central plateau. The drivers of precipitation are reviewed for each region and the temporal variability and trends evaluated over the past 100, 200 and 1000 years. Our study suggests an overall increase in SMB [surface mass balance] across the grounded Antarctic ice sheet of ~ 44 GT since 1800 AD, with the largest (area-weighted) contribution from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP).”

Beleaguered Models: Harvard Physicist/New Study Say Daily Insolation Errors Not Accounted For!

A new paper is out by Rodolfo G. Cionco and Willie W. H. Soon: “Short Term Orbital Forcing (STOF): A quasi-review and a reappraisal of realistic boundary conditions for climate modeling“.

It suggests that climate models have neglected to take surrounding astro-climatic parameters correctly into account, and thus their output results are likely even less reliable.

The abstract above states that the two authors found “important relative differences of up to +- 5%, which correspond to 2.5 W/sqm in the daily mean insolation“. They conclude: “this previously unrecognized error could have a significant impact in initial and boundary conditions for any climate modeling experiment.”

Willie Soon, a Harvard astrophysicist and skeptic of AGW science, wrote in an email:

To our best understanding, this new insolation calculation should supersede/replace the previous outputs provided by Berger & Loutre (1991) and Laskar et al. (2004) and their related publications especially since all these previous calculations/databases have not accounted for the modulating effects from STOF. “

The scientists summarize in the paper that the error “could spread and propagate with time especially when intra-annual insolation quantities are required” and that “the sensitivity of initial climate conditions to these differences should be addressed“.

In other words: it’s back (again) to the drawing board for the beleaguered climate modelers.

The full paper can be downloaded from:  All the supplementary data, both programs and input databases are available here:!Apqs4Ax-5XDXggROueG7s6FC8bqs.


“Experts” Sent In To Convince Public Of Wind Park Safety Met By Derision And “Jeering Laughter”

As wind projects continue to get planned throughout Germany, concerns over their effects on nature, wildlife and human health are growing more than ever.

The online Sächsische Zeitung (SZ – Saxony News) reports how one locality in Germany held a public forum on the subject of low-frequency infrasound earlier this year. Infrasound generated by wind turbines is low-frequency at a range that is not audible to the human ear (< 20 Hz), but the air pressure waves are in fact registered by the inner ear. For a fair amount of people these pulsing pressure changes can trigger a variety of physical discomforts, and over the long term to severe health risks, a growing body of literature shows.

The SZ writes that some 160 citizens showed up to get more information on the subject from 5 experts from the state, most of them there to downplay the health issues of infrasound from wind turbines.

For example, Andrea Bauerdorff of the Federal Ministry of Environment claimed that a health impact from infrasound “could not be expected according to the latest scientific knowledge“.

Physicist Bernhard Brenner of the Bavarian Ministry for Health and Food Safety claimed: “With pure infrasound there really is nothing to worry about“. But many in attendance weren’t buying it, as the SZ wrote that Brenner’s comments were met by “jeering laughter from the wind power opponents“.

Another state expert, psychologist Johannes Pohl, admitted that infrasound was a problem for a “tiny part of the population” (6 or 7 percent of those living close to wind turbines) but then blamed “psychological factors” for it.

Thankfully there was one expert who took a far more critical view: state physician Thomas Carl Stiller, who according to the SZ “received again and again applause from the win energy opponents“. Stiller noted that wind turbines posed “a risk of cancer from the carbon fibers in the event of a fire, social polarization, optical blight” and warned that humans are “not able to adapt to infrasound“. He told the audience that long-term infrasound was shown to cause damage to ears, lungs and heart in laboratory rats.

Did the information forum bring the opposing sides closer together? Not at all, the SZ writes, summarizing:

Citizens initiatives against wind energy doubted the studies and the intent of the scientists behind them, […]. One conclusion remained at the end that almost everyone could agree on: The literature is far to thin. Meanwhile the construction of wind energy will continue to be driven without obstruction.”


20+ Scientists: ‘No Continent-Scale Warming Of Antarctic Temperature Is Evident In The Last Century’

Two More New Papers Document

No Warming Trend In Antarctica

Image Source: State of the Climate, 2016

For several decades now, Antarctica has not been cooperating with the “global” warming narrative, as the continent as a whole has not been warming.

Several scientific papers have been published recently that document the lack of an anthropogenic warming signal for the Antarctic continent or the surrounding ocean, as well as the dominance of natural variability.

Smith and Polvani (2016) concluded that warming of West Antarctica or the Antarctic Peninsula are predominantly natural.

[We] conclude that there is little evidence of anthropogenic SAM-induced driving of the recent temperature trends … compelling evidence pointing to natural climate variability as a key contributor to the recent warming of West Antarctica and of the Peninsula

Turner et al., 2016, in a paper entitled “Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability,” documented a significant cooling trend for the Antarctic Peninsula since the late 1990s.

The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer.”

Jones et al. (2016) concluded that (a) there has been no overall warming trend for large portions of the continent in the past few hundred years, (b) the Southern Ocean has been cooling since 1979, and that (c), because of the cooling ocean, sea ice extent has been advancing.  In other words, climate models that assume humans drive Antarctic climate are “not compatible with the observed trends.”

Most observed trends [over the 36-year satellite data] are not unusual when compared with Antarctic palaeoclimate records of the past two centuries.  … [C]limate model simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with the observed trends. This suggests that natural variability overwhelms the forced response in the observations

A 2,000-Year Cooling Trend For Antarctica, Uninterrupted By Rising CO2 Levels

Scientific documentation of the dominance of natural variability — and a glaring lack of an anthropogenic forcing signal for Antarctica — continues in 2017.

The PAGES 2k reconstruction crew has just published a comprehensive analysis of the surface temperature trends for the entire continent of Antarctica.  The results do not advance the “global” warming narrative.  Instead, over 20 contributing scientists find that modern Antarctic temperatures are still much colder than they were during first millennium, and the long-term cooling trend has not been reversed on a continent-wide scale even with the onset of an assumed anthropogenic influence within the last century.

In other words, natural variability is the dominant factor influencing the Antarctic climate, not anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

 Stenni et al., 2017

“Within this long-term cooling trend from 0-1900 CE we find that the warmest period occurs between 300 and 1000 CE, and the coldest interval from 1200 to 1900 CE.”

“Our new continental scale reconstructions, based on the extended database, corroborates previously published findings for Antarctica from the PAGES2k Consortium (2013): (1) Temperatures over the Antarctic continent show an overall cooling trend during the period from 0 to 1900 CE, which appears strongest in West Antarctica, and (2) no continent-scale warming of Antarctic temperature is evident in the last century.”

“A recent effort to characterize Antarctic and sub-Antarctic climate variability during the last 200 years also concluded that most of the trends observed since satellite climate monitoring began in 1979 CE cannot yet be distinguished from natural (unforced) climate variability (Jones et al., 2016), and are of the opposite sign [cooling] to those produced by most forced climate model simulations over the same post-1979 CE interval.”

“While changes in the SAM have been related to the human influence on stratospheric ozone and greenhouse gases (Thompson et al., 2011), major gaps remain in identifying the drivers of multi-centennial Antarctic climate variability. For instance, the influence of solar and volcanic forcing on Antarctic climate variability remains unclear. This is due to both the lack of observations and to the lack of confidence in climate model skill for the Antarctic region (Flato et al., 2013).”

“Only for the Antarctic Peninsula is this most recent century-scale trend unusual in the context of natural variability over the last 2000-years.”

New Paper: Antarctic Temperatures ‘Much Warmer’ In 1911-’12 Than Any Time Since 1957

Another new paper indicates that measured Antarctic temperatures during exploratory expeditions in 1911 and 1912 were “much warmer” than they have been at any time since 1957.  In fact, there have “never” been temperatures exceeding the early 20th century warmth of the recorded South Pole daily mean temperatures in the last 60 years.  The 1911/12 temperature anomalies reached “greater than 10°C” (as the enclosed graph below indicates).

This demonstrates that there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about modern temperatures in Antarctica, contradicting claims that modern temperatures are driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Fogt et al., 2017

“At their peak on 6 December 1911, the temperatures measured by Amundsen exceeded -16°C, which represents an anomaly relative to our estimate from ERA-Int climatology [long-term temperature and pressure record] of more than 10°C. … Amundsen’s sledging temperature measurements during this time are much warmer than the hourly and daily mean observations collected at the South Pole station since 1957, even when accounting for the average differences in temperature between Amundsen’s location and the South Pole, which is often colder than nearby areas due to pooling of cold air in the slightly lower elevation (Comiso 2000).”

The daily mean temperature measured at the South Pole on December 7, 2015 of -19.8°C (max hourly temperature of -18.2°C) is the only comparable warm day before December 11th, otherwise observed South Pole daily mean temperatures have never exceeded -20°C in this portion of early summer.”

[D]aily maximum temperatures above -20°C occurred for two consecutive days in 2015 and 2012, but these are quite warm exceptions to the normal conditions. In contrast, Amundsen experienced four continuous days with daily mean temperatures exceeding -19.0°C and temperature anomalies from the ERA-Int climatology greater than 10°C [50°F].

“Notably, there is a large positive spike during summer 1911/12, when seasonal mean pressures rise above 1000 hPa. The reconstruction pre-1957 shows only one other summer with pressures above 1000 hPa, in 1925/26, as discussed in Fogt et al. (2016b), while the direct observations display one summer in 1976/77 when they exceed 1000 hPa. This ranks the McMurdo pressure during the summer of the South Pole races [summer 1911/12] in the top three highest over the last 110 years.”

“When the daily mean temperature anomalies were the highest on February 9th and 10th 1912, more than 8°C and 10°C above the ERA-Int climatological average [long-term temperature record], respectively, Scott writes: ‘Very warm on march and we are all pretty tired. To-night it is wonderfully calm and warm, though it has been overcast all the afternoon’ (Huxley 1913, p.389).”

New Literature Strongly Suggests CO2 Residence Time In The Atmosphere Is Exaggerated!

As usual, there are many highly interesting posts on climate science at the German Die kalte Sonne site. What follows is one of the latest, on Harde’s controversial paper:

Is CO2 residence time in the atmosphere exaggerated?

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

The CO2 content in the earth’s atmosphere has risen to a level that surpasses any level seen over the past 800,000 years (Fig. 1). While during the ice ages the CO2 concentration dropped to 180 ppm, it rose to 250 – 300 ppm during the warm periods (interglacials). The reason for this CO2 development is foremost is the gassing out of CO2 from warmed up interglacial water.

Since the start of the industrial revolution the CO2 concentration has reached well above the typical range seen during the previous interglacials. Currently the atmospheric CO2 concentration is a bit over 400 ppm.

Fig. 1: CO2-concentration over the past 80,000 years. Source: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, via Climate Central.

The big question now is how long will it take nature to bring down the anthropogenic CO2 build-up if CO2 emissions were to be massively cut back? Let’s assume that beginning today all coal, oil and gas were to be banned outright. How many years would it take for the CO2 to be absorbed by the natural cycles from the atmosphere?

IPCC: 1000 years

The 5th IPCC report writes here that 60 – 85% of the anthropogenic CO2 would disappear from the atmosphere in about 1000 years. But the complete removal would take a few hundred thousands of years. In Chapter 6 from Working Group 1:

The removal of human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence). Depending on the RCP scenario considered, about 15 to 40% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1,000 years. This very long time required by sinks to remove anthropogenic CO2 makes climate change caused by elevated CO2 irreversible on human time scale.”

Other experts say 100 years

According to the German Ministry of Environment (UBA) things are, however, quicker. At the UBA website we find:

Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas whose average residence life in the atmosphere is 120 years.”

German climate scientist Mojib Latif also accepts a similar figure: reported on 13 January 2016 on a presentation made by Latif within the scope of a Lion’s Club event:

‘CO2 remains in the air 100 years’
Climate scientist Professor Mojib Latif as a guest speaker brought attention to climate change at the New Year’s meeting. […] ‘When we blow CO2 into the air, then it stays there for 100 years,’ said Latif.”

New paper: Just a few years

Hermann Harde of the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg described in a paper that appears in the May 2017 journal Global and Planetary Change and which is already available online presents a new approach that points to a much shorter residence time in the atmosphere. According to Harde, excess CO2 remains in the atmosphere on average only 4 years:

Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere
Climate scientists presume that the carbon cycle has come out of balance due to the increasing anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change. This is made responsible for the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over recent years, and it is estimated that the removal of the additional emissions from the atmosphere will take a few hundred thousand years. Since this goes along with an increasing greenhouse effect and a further global warming, a better understanding of the carbon cycle is of great importance for all future climate change predictions. We have critically scrutinized this cycle and present an alternative concept, for which the uptake of CO2 by natural sinks scales proportional with the CO2 concentration. In addition, we consider temperature dependent natural emission and absorption rates, by which the paleoclimatic CO2 variations and the actual CO2 growth rate can well be explained. The anthropogenic contribution to the actual CO2 concentration is found to be 4.3%, its fraction to the CO2 increase over the Industrial Era is 15% and the average residence time 4 years.”

This value is not to be confused with the residence time of single CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. Here there’s widespread agreement that the molecules themselves remain in the air only a few years before they get replaced by CO2 from the oceans in the sense of an equilibrium reaction.


Fascinating New Studies Confirm Solar Activity Plays Important Role On Driving Climate

Once again what follows is more inconvenient evidence showing that the sun is the main driver, and not singled out trace gas CO2.

The sun drives climate: Spain and Portugal

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

Does the sun influence climate? In today’s post we would like to introduce new studies from Spain and Portugal that shed light on this. In February 2017 a tree-ring study appeared in Climate of the Past. It was authored by Ernesto Tejedor et al, who made a temperature reconstruction for the Iberian Peninsula for the past 400 years.

The authors emphasize that the temperature fluctuations fit very well with the fluctuations in solar activity.

Warm phases coincide with periods of high solar activity. In total the region of study warmed up almost 3°C over the past 400 years, which reflects the transition from the Little Ice Age to the modern warm period — see figure below. However there were phases around 1625 and 1800 when temperatures were at today’s levels for a short time.

Temperature curve in the mountain regions of northern Spain over the past 400 years, compared to solar activity. Source: Tejedor et al. 2017.

What follows is the study’s abstract:

Temperature variability in the Iberian Range since 1602 inferred from tree-ring records
Tree rings are an important proxy to understand the natural drivers of climate variability in the Mediterranean Basin and hence to improve future climate scenarios in a vulnerable region. Here, we compile 316 tree-ring width series from 11 conifer sites in the western Iberian Range. We apply a new standardization method based on the trunk basal area instead of the tree cambial age to develop a regional chronology which preserves high- to low-frequency variability. A new reconstruction for the 1602–2012 period correlates at −0.78 with observational September temperatures with a cumulative mean of the 21 previous months over the 1945–2012 calibration period. The new IR2Tmax reconstruction is spatially representative for the Iberian Peninsula and captures the full range of past Iberian Range temperature variability. Reconstructed long-term temperature variations match reasonably well with solar irradiance changes since warm and cold phases correspond with high and low solar activity, respectively. In addition, some annual temperature downturns coincide with volcanic eruptions with a 3-year lag.”

Next comes Portugal. Anna Morozova and Tatiana Barlyaeva analyzed the temperature curve of the past 100 years in Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto. Here they found a weak but statistically well supported signal of the 11-year and 22-year solar cycles on the temperature data. In the study’s main text we read:

Weak but statistically significant (bi-)decadal signals in the temperature series that can be associated with the solar and geomagnetic activity variations were found. These signals are stronger during the spring and autumn seasons. The multiple regression models which include the sunspot numbers or the geomagnetic indices among other regressors have higher prediction quality. The wavelet coherence analysis shows that there are time lags between the temperature variations and the solar activity cycles. These lags are about 1–2 years in case of the 11-yr solar cycle as well as in case of the 22-yr solar magnetic cycle (relatively to the solar polar magnetic field observations). These lags are confirmed by the correlation analysis. The results obtained by these methods as well as comparison to results of other studies allow us to conclude that the found (bi-)decadal temperature variability modes can be associated, at least partly, with the effect of the solar forcing.”

Continuing out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores islands play an important role in western European weather. In November 2016 Roy et al. in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics looked at the question of whether solar activity could play a role on the well-known Azores highs.

A solar impact on this important weather machine would be of great meaning. And indeed the authors found a significant coupling between the Azores highs and solar activity. The relationship becomes visible foremost when one considers different solar activity characteristic figures, and not only the often used sunspot number. It is becoming increasingly clear that the solar magnetic field plays a just as important role — and brought the needed breakthrough in the case of the Azores.

Time delay effects of 1 to 2 years do have be accounted for. The climate system lags a bit and does not immediately react to every impulse that comes up. Sometimes it takes a little time before the system reacts and adjusts to external factors. What follows is the abstract of the exciting study:

Comparing the influence of sunspot activity and geomagnetic activity on winter surface climate
We compare here the effect of geomagnetic activity (using the aa index) and sunspot activity on surface climate using sea level pressure dataset from Hadley centre during northern winter. Previous studies using the multiple linear regression method have been limited to using sunspots as a solar activity predictor. Sunspots and total solar irradiance indicate a robust positive influence around the Aleutian Low. This is valid up to a lag of one year. However, geomagnetic activity yields a positive NAM pattern at high to polar latitudes and a positive signal around Azores High pressure region. Interestingly, while there is a positive signal around Azores High for a 2-year lag in sunspots, the strongest signal in this region is found for aa index at 1-year lag. There is also a weak but significant negative signature present around central Pacific for both sunspots and aa index. The combined influence of geomagnetic activity and Quasi Biannual Oscillation (QBO 30 hPa) produces a particularly strong response at mid to polar latitudes, much stronger than the combined influence of sunspots and QBO, which was mostly studied in previous studies so far. This signal is robust and insensitive to the selected time period during the last century. Our results provide a useful way for improving the prediction of winter weather at middle to high latitudes of the northern hemisphere.”


Recent Research Shows Climate Models Are Mostly “Black Box” Fudging, Not Real Science

Climate models fail on the test stand

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

20 years ago climate models were celebrated as a huge breakthrough. Finally we were able to reproduce reality in the computer, which had been becoming ever more powerful and faster. Everyone believed that only minor adjustments were necessary, and the target would be reached. But when the computer-crunched results were finally compared to reality, huge unexplained discrepancies appeared.

In parallel, paleo-climatologists produced increasingly robust reconstructions of the real climate development, which served to make the computer problems even more glaring. Month after month new papers appeared exposing the major problems of the climate modelers. Model tests were preferably started in the middle of the Little Ice Age, around 1800, because the warming seemed to fit well with the rise in CO2 emissions.

But if one goes back 1000 years, the model technology falls apart.

In March 2016 Fabius Maximus pointed out the obvious: The models have to be more strictly tested and calibrated before they can be approved for modeling the future.

We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models
[…] The policy debate turns on the reliability of the predictions of climate models. These can be tested to give “good enough” answers for policy decision-makers so that they can either proceed or require more research. I proposed one way to do this in Climate scientists can restart the climate change debate & win: test the models!— with includes a long list of cites (with links) to the literature about this topic. This post shows that such a test is in accord with both the norms of science and the work of climate scientists. […] Models should be tested vs. out of sample observations to prevent “tuning” the model to match known data (even inadvertently), for the same reason that scientists run double-blind experiments). The future is the ideal out of sample data, since model designers cannot tune their models to it. Unfortunately…

“…if we had observations of the future, we obviously would trust them more than models, but unfortunately observations of the future are not available at this time.”
— Thomas R. Knutson and Robert E. Tuleya, note in Journal of Climate, December 2005.

There is a solution. The models from the first four IPCC assessment reports can be run with observations made after their design (from their future, our past) — a special kind of hindcast.”

Another large point of criticism on climate models is the so-called “tuning”. Here climate models are adjusted so that they nearly produce the desired result. This takes part mostly in clandestine rooms behind closed doors where there is little transparency. Hourdin et al. 2016 described the problem in detail in an assessment paper. Judith Curry sums it up best:

Two years ago, I did a post on Climate model tuning,  excerpts: “Arguably the most poorly documented aspect of climate models is how they are calibrated, or ‘tuned.’ I have raised a number of concerns in my Uncertainty Monster paper and also in previous blog posts.The existence of this paper highlights the failure of climate modeling groups to adequately document their tuning/calibration and to adequately confront the issues of introducing subjective bias into the models through the tuning process.”

Think about it for a minute. Every climate model manages to accurately reproduce the 20th century global warming, in spite of the fact that that the climate sensitivity to CO2 among these models varies by a factor of two. How is this accomplished? Does model tuning have anything to do with this?”

Read the entire post at Climate Etc.

In November 2016 in the renowned journal Science, Paul Voosen described the necessity of ending all the secrecy and black boxes in order to allow some public transparency:

Climate scientists open up their black boxes to scrutiny
Climate models render as much as they can by applying the laws of physics to imaginary boxes tens of kilometers a side. But some processes, like cloud formation, are too fine-grained for that, and so modelers use “parameterizations”: equations meant to approximate their effects. For years, climate scientists have tuned their parameterizations so that the model overall matches climate records. But fearing criticism by climate skeptics, they have largely kept quiet about how they tune their models, and by how much. That is now changing. By writing up tuning strategies and making them publicly available for the first time, groups hope to learn how to make their predictions more reliable—and more transparent.”

NTZ Not A Free Forum For Those Who Otherwise Can’t Get Anyone To Listen

Lately there have been a tiny handful of readers who seem to have adopted the idea that NTZ is a personal forum they can simply take over. From now on this is no longer the case.

If you have point to make, then make it. There really is no need for anyone to feel he/she is always right and needs to have the last word on every single point.

The purpose of this blog is to show that the science is nowhere near as settled as it is claimed to be, and that the lofty promises made by green energies are not what they are cracked up to be by any measure. The many reports and lists of peer-reviewed publications presented here clearly support that. If you have a hard time with that reality, then I’m very sorry; I can’t help you.

In a true democratic and open society people have the right to dissent without others barging in — like a William Connelly or Dana Nuccitelli — and obstinately demanding the climate science is settled and that we all have to fall into line. Long comment strings will be discarded in the future.

If you really do have so much good stuff to say, then start your own blog. If you’re as good as you think you are, it may well be a smashing success!

We welcome different opinions here, but leave the uncompromising insistence and the need to dominate out. Make your point and move on.

From now on don’t think this is a mike on a podium that you just can grab any time you want, sound off, and expect everyone to nod in agreement.

I think most adults know what proper manners regarding dialogue are, and so there should be no need to put up playground rules on this.



Russian Scientists Dismiss CO2 Forcing, Predict Decades Of Cooling, Connect Cosmic Ray Flux To Climate

Scientific Papers Predict

Cooling In Coming Decades

A new scientific paper authored by seven scientists affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences was just published in the scientific journal Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Physics.

The scientists dismiss both “greenhouse gases” and variations in the Sun’s irradiance as significant climate drivers, and instead embrace cloud cover variations — modulated by cosmic ray flux — as a dominant contributor to climate change.

A concise summary: As cosmic ray flux increases, more clouds are formed on a global scale.  More global-scale cloud cover means more solar radiation is correspondingly blocked from reaching the Earth’s surface (oceans).   With an increase in global cloud cover projected for the coming decades (using trend analysis), a global cooling is predicted.

Stozhkov et al., 2017

Cosmic Rays, Solar Activity, and Changes in the Earth’s Climate

Stozhkov, Y.I., Bazilevskaya, G.A., Makhmutov, V.S., Svirzhevsky, N.S., Svirzhevskaya, A.K., Logachev, V.I., Okhlopkov, V.P.

“One of the most important problems facing humanity is finding the physical mechanism responsible for global climate change, particularly global warming on the Earth. … Summation of these periodicities for the future (after 2015) allows us to forecast the next few decades. The solid heavy line in Fig. 1 shows that cooling (a drop in ΔT values) is expected in the next few decades.”

“Figure 2 shows the dependence between the annual average changes ΔT in the global temperature in the near-surface air layer and charged particle flux N in the interval of altitudes from 0.3 to 2.2 km. We can see there is a connection between values ΔТ [temperature] and N [charged particle flux]: with an increase in cosmic ray flux N, the values of changes of global temperature decrease. This link is expressed by the relation ΔT = –0.0838N + 4.307 (see the dashed line in Fig. 2), where the ΔT values are given in °C, and the N values (in particle/min units) are related to the charged particle flux measured at an altitude of 1.3 km. The correlation coefficient of the line with the experimental data is r = –0.62 ± 0.08.”

“Our results could be connected with the mechanism of charged particle fluxes influencing the Earth’s climate; it includes, first of all, the effect charged particles have on the accelerated formation of centers of water vapor condensation, and thus on the increase in global cloud cover. The total cloud cover is directly connected with the global temperature of the near surface air layer.”

Another newly published scientific paper also projects cooling in the coming decades.  Dr. Norman Page, geologist, attributes climate changes to natural (60-year and millennial-scale) cycles of solar activity (and cloud cover changes), and he notes that the rise in solar activity since the depths of the Little Ice Age has been the predominant climate driver.  The millennial peak in solar activity occurred in about 1991, with the corresponding (lagged) temperature peak in 2004.  Within the next few years the temperature is projected to drop significantly.  Annotated graphs depicting the robust correlation between cloud cover changes and global temperature, as well as the forecasted global cooling, are included below.

Page, 2017

The coming cooling: Usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers

“This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future, unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60 ± year and, more importantly, 1000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver are discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak – inversion point – in the RSS temperature trend in about 2004. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”

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

“Unless the range and causes of natural variation, as seen in the natural temperature quasi-periodicities, are known within reasonably narrow limits, it is simply not possible to even begin to estimate the effect of anthropogenic CO2 on climate. Given the lack of any empirical CO2-climate connection reviewed earlier and the inverse relationship between CO2 and temperature [during the Holocene, when CO2 rose as temperatures declined] seen in Figure 2, and for the years 2003.6–2015.2 in Figure 4, during which CO2 rose 20 ppm, the simplest and most rational working hypothesis is that the solar ‘activity’ increase is the chief driver of the global temperature increase since the LIA.”

German Physicist On Electric Cars: “Slaying Of Beautiful Hypothesis By An Ugly Fact”

Though Vince Ebert makes his living as a prominent cabaret artist in Germany, he is in fact a trained physicist who has a good understanding of science and is thus quite able to see it when someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Prominent cabaret artist, physicist Vince Ebert says electric cars nowhere near what they are portrayed to be. Image cropped from Facebook here.

One example is Germany’s “Energiewende” (transition to renewable energies) where Germany is attempting to wean itself off fossil fuels and to supply its energy needs almost completely with green energies such as wind and sun.

One aim Germany has is to convert all its motor vehicles on the street over the electric vehicles. In fact some green politicians have even called for banning the registration of fossil fuel cars by 2030.

So just how feasible (or absurd) is the proposal? Ebert points out in an opinion piece here, that is a lot easier said than done. Clearly the whole idea is in fact quite absurd.

First he notes that electric cars are a long way from having the over 700+ kilometer range of fossil fuel cars and that electric cars reaching that range are “dreams of the future“.

Quarter million wind turbines

Another major obstacle is the lack of charging stations. Even if Germany managed to put merely 1 million electric cars on its streets, Ebert calculates that this would necessitate the construction of 35,000 wind turbines.

However in Germany there are in fact some 6o million vehicles on the road, and “if every driver charged his car for 30 minutes every second day” and did so evenly distributed over a smart grid, “we would need 140 new power plants or 220,000 wind turbines“…which is almost 10 times more than what is already installed.

This is an enormous number — and it would only be enough for the electric cars and not even include the tens of millions of households, businesses and industry that together need even more power than Germany’s transportation sector.

Worse than fossil fuels

Another problem, Ebert points out, is the enormous size of the batteries. In order to replace the 30 liters of petrol of a conventional car, an electric vehicle needs a modern lithium battery weighing some 900 kilograms. Supplying the hundreds of millions of cars in operation worldwide with the lithium and neodymium would be nowhere near sustainable, Ebert writes. He also cites findings by Germany’s renowned Fraunhofer Institute:

Moreover the Fraunhofer-Institute for Structural Physics concluded that the manufacture and recycling of modern batteries has a negative impact on the ecological budget when compared to the fossil fuel engines.”

In a nutshell, electric cars would only make the environment much worse.

Then there are the organizational aspects of using electric car batteries, Ebert reminds us, asking readers to imagine millions of Germans all leaving at once for summer holidays on the autobahns and then all of them trying to charge their vehicles all at once along the motorway after a just couple of hours of driving. Huge traffic jams would form as cars charge up at stations at the rest areas. While a fossil fuel car can fill up in a matter of minutes, electric cars would be blocking the charging stations for an hour or more. It would be total chaos and mayhem.

Ebert summarizes his opinion on the rush to electric cars by quoting biologist Thomas Huxley:

The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

German Daily Writes Climate Summit-Hosting Germany Embarrassing Itself As Its Own Emissions Rise!

Daniel Wetzel of online German daily Die Welt here writes Germany is hosting 1200 experts from 93 countries at its Foreign Affairs Ministry in Berlin to discuss reductions in global “climate gas” emissions and “climate protection”.

But there is one small, highly embarrassing problem with the event: host Germany has not been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the past 8 years, despite tens of billions invested in green energy. Last year German CO2 emissions in fact rose by some 6 million tonnes, from 902 million tonnes in 2015 to 908 million tonnes.

Die Welt’s Wetzel reports that the timing of the news “couldn’t be worse” and that it is “embarrassing” for host Germany which was once considered a shining example of how to transition over to a clean energy economy.

The reality id that most of Germany’s reductions since 1990 resulted from the shutting down the filthy communist-run industries in former East Germany — something that was achieved by modern industry. Very little progress has in fact been made since 2000, when the renewable energy drive began in earnest — despite the now over 1 trillion euros committed thus far.

German skeptic site Science Skeptical here presents Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 tonnes since 1990, when german reunification took place:

German greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent in millions of tonnes) have not fallen since 2009. Source: Science Skeptical, German Office of Environment, UBA

Die Welt’s Wetzel not only writes that Germany’s progress in reductions is embarrassing, but that the country will also surely miss its 2020 reductions target of 40%. Currently Germany has cut reductions by 27.6%, and that has not gone anywhere since 2009. Again, the lion’s share of reductions came from shutting down East German communist-run industry.

The Berlin climate summit will be joined by leading German federal ministers from Angela Merkel’s government, such as Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries and Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, all from Merkel’s coalition SPD socialist partner. There’s no mention if any minister from Merkel’s CDU party will bother attending.

Wetzel writes that if the global community wishes to meet its 2050 targets, the rate at which renewable energy gets installed will have to increase 7-fold!

As Science Skeptical writes that is likely not going to happen as the planet continues to gallop from one emissions record to another.

Global emissions set a new record in 2015. Source: German Office of Environment, UBA.

The claim by climate activists that the world can wean itself off fossil fuels is nothing more than a pie-in-the-sky illusion.

50 Inverted Hockey Sticks – Scientists Find Earth Cools As CO2 Rises

Modern ‘Warmth’ A Brief Excursion From

8,000-Year (Continuing) Cooling Trend

The scientific literature is replete with evidence that the geological record for the Holocene (the last 10,000 years) fails to support the concept that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations cause ocean and land temperatures to rise.

Actually, the scientific literature strongly suggests that the correlation between rising CO2 and temperature would appear to veer off in the opposite direction: as CO2 rises, temperatures decline.

So if there is a correlation for the Holocene, it may be the inverse of climate model expectations.

Modern ‘Warmth’ Excursion Has Had Little Or No Effect On The Overall Long-Term Cooling Trend 

According to an estimate of global sea surface temperature (SST) changes during the last 2,000 years (“Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era“), the addition of the last 2 centuries (1800 to 2000 C.E.) of relatively modest SST warming only changes the overall per-millennium global cooling trend (~0.4°C) by one tenth of one degree.  In other words, using a long-term perspective, the Holocene cooling trend has continued largely uninterrupted during the last two centuries.

McGregor et al., 2015

“Our best estimate of the SST cooling trend, scaled to temperature units using the average anomaly method (method 1), for the periods 1–2000 CE is –0.3°C/kyr to –0.4°C/kyr, and for 801–1800 CE is –0.4°C/kyr to –0.5°C/kyr

Overall cooling has been ongoing for most of the last ~8,000 years, mixed in with temporary warming “spikes” that last for a century or two.  The modern warming that emerged in the early 20th century will, if history is a guide, eventually revert back to the cooling trajectory of the last several thousand years.  Gerhard (2004) facilely illustrates this overall global cooling trajectory — with swerves and spikes along the way.

Gerhard, 2004

CO2 Concentrations Rose Steadily Throughout The Last 8,000 Years…While Earth Cooled

While the planet has been steadily cooling (with brief warming excursions) for the last 8,000 years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have tilted in the opposite direction, rising from about 260 parts per million (ppm) ~8,000 years ago to about 280 ppm in ~1800 C.E.

So if CO2 rises as temperature drops, the correlation suggested by climate models (temperature should rise as CO2 rises) is not supported by by a large portion of the available scientific evidence.

Listed below are 50 inverse “hockey stick” graphs featuring a long-term global cooling trend that is largely uninterrupted by modern era temperatures.  These reconstructions illustrate the unheralded disconnect between CO2-driven climate models and the geological record.

Jiang et al., 2015

Lecavalier et al., 2013

Luoto et al., 2014

Abrantes et al., 2017

Esper et al., 2014

Jalali et al., 2016


Renssen et al., 2009

Rosenberg et al., 2004

Rosenthal et al., 2013

Khiyuk and Chilingar, 2006

Rinne et al., 2014

Gennaretti et al., 2014

Fudge et al., 2016

Harning et al., 2016

Munz et al., 2015

Tyson et al., 2000

Mark, 2016

Steinman et al., 2016


Yamamot et al., 2016

Shevenell et al., 2011

Bostock et al., 2013

Kim et al., 2007

Viau and Gajewski, 2009

Thienemann et al., 2017

“[P]roxy-inferred annual MATs [annual mean air temperatures] show the lowest value at 11,510 yr BP (7.6°C). Subsequently, temperatures rise to 10.7°C at 9540 yr BP followed by an overall decline of about 2.5°C until present (8.3°C).”

Schneider et al. 2014

Sepúlveda et al., 2009

Böll et al., 2014

Brocas et al., 2016


Shevenell et al., 2011

Mulvaney et al., 2012

“A marine sediment record from off the shore of the western Antarctic Peninsula also shows an early Holocene optimum during which surface ocean temperatures were determined to be 3.5°C higher than present. Other evidence suggests that the George VI ice shelf on the southwestern Antarctic Peninsula was absent during this early-Holocene warm interval but reformed in the mid Holocene.”

Krawczyk et al., 2017

Foster et al., 2016

Andersen et al., 2004


Fortin and Gajewski, 2016

Caniupán et al., 2014

Birks and Seppä, 2004

Rella and Uchida, 2014

Kawahata et al., 2017

Levy et al., 2013

Weldeab et al, 2005

Dupont et al., 2004

Cloud-Forming Cosmic Rays Above Average More Than One Year As Sun Begins Slumber

Translated/edited from

A huge hole in the magnetically hot corona of the sun in the coming weeks will lead to a powerful solar wind and initiate hefty polar lights in the earth’s magnetic field. This will be a brief pause in the solar activity slumber that has taken hold over the past year and thus allowed cosmic rays to penetrate almost freely into the earth’s atmosphere.


“Coronal holes are places–big places–where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape,” NASA writes. “A wide stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole is expected to reach our planet on March 23rd. The impact of the solar wind should produce magnetic activity around Earth’s poles and could spark the first auroras of northern spring.“  Source NASA.

In the HMI magnetogram the coronal hole today appears as a large dark spot on the left side (east side) of the sun and over the coming days as the sun rotates (Bartel’s Rotation) will be aimed at the earth, see the following image:

HMI magnetogram from March 17, 2017 shows a large dark hole with little magnetic activity on the sun’s surface (CH/Coronal Hole). As the sun rotates the coronal hole will be aimed at the earth and a large solar wind of electrically charged solar plasma will strike our planet. Source:

Even though there have not been any solar sunspot activity in 2 weeks, meaning galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) have been easily reaching into the earth’s atmosphere. Now these galactic cosmic rays will be deflected away temporarily from the earth by the expected powerful solar winds.

The SILSO chart from March 17, 2017 above shows the daily solar sunspot count over the past 30 days. In early March there was a plummet from 55 to zero on March 4 and March 6-17. The month’s average (blue line) has fallen below SN 10. Source:

Whether this results in a so-called Forbush event, where a strong fall in high energy cosmic rays such as the sort of a solar eruption, coronal mass ejection(CME), remains to be seen.

The impacts can be monitored daily using the Finnish University’s OULU which measures galactic cosmic rays (GCR).

Because of the unusually weak solar sunspot beginning in 2016, GCR intensity has increased significantly:

The above Oulu plot shows the daily strength of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) as a percent of mean value from January 2015 until March 17, 2017, top right. Due to the increasingly weaker solar sunspot activity galactic cosmic rays has increased significantly since 2015. The temporary large drop in June 2015 was caused by a so-called Forbush event, where powerful solar winds shielded the earth from cosmic rays. Source:

Wikipedia describes Coronal Holes“:

Coronal holes are areas where the Sun’s corona is colder, hence darker, and has lower-density plasma than average because there is lower energy and gas levels. Coronal holes are part of the Sun’s corona and are constantly changing and reshaping because the corona is not uniform. The Sun contains magnetic fields that arch away from areas in the corona that are very thin due to the lower levels of energy and gas,[1] which cause coronal holes to appear when they do not fall back. Thus, solar particles escape at a rate great enough to create a lower density and lower temperature in that area.”

In the areas designated by A, the magnetic flied lines are closed and trap the plasma of the corona. In the area designated B (coronal hole) the magnetic flied lines extend out into space and plasma can escape.“ Source: Coronal Hole, Sebman81, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The shielding of the earth against cloud-initiating cosmic rays during the solar winds coming from the coronal hole will however be only temporary. Recall that CERN measured that cosmic rays enhances cloud formation by to 100 times.

The solar minimum of 2019/20 will bring extra cosmic rays, pink auroras, and much more.

“Dec. 26, 2016: Christmas Day 2016 brought a fantastic display of auroras to the Arctic Circle. A great many of them were pink. James Helmericks sends this picture from the Colville River Delta in northern Alaska.“ Source: pink auroras.

We will continue to watch how long the sun continues its sunspot strike, excluding coronal holes, as was the case in February 2017: Eastern Limb of Sun Feb 18th and 19th 2017 – YouTube.

Yours, Schneefan2015

Potsdam PIK Climate Director Says We Will Have To Go Back To Mud Huts By 2040

Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) here presents a commentary by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of German ultra-alarmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Professor Schellnhuber fears that the planet could warm even as much as 12°C if man does not act quickly to totally eliminate greenhouse gases. He adds that he “has all the evidence” and that climate scientists “are only trying to do a job” for us.

Hat-tip: Reader Dennis A.

With the US Administration pledging to back out of the Paris climate treaty, Schellnhuber is now calling on scientists “to take to the streets to counter climate denial“.

If we want to hold the 1.5 degrees [Celsius; 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit] line, which is the ambitious goal of the Paris agreement, we have maybe 300 billion tons left – more or less the budget of 10 years – if we do business as usual. If we want to hold the 2 degrees line, which is more realistic, we have another 20 to 30 years to go, but no more actually. So it’s a very tight budget.

It’s quite mind-boggling – for example, by 2030, we have to phase out the combustion engine. And we have to completely phase out the use of coal for producing power. By 2040 we will probably have to replace concrete and steel for construction by wood, clay and stone.

We are at the crossroads now: We either say: this thing is too big for us, this task cannot be done. [Then] we will be transformed by nature, because we will end up with a planet warming by 4, 5, 6 or even 12 degrees. It would be the end of the world as we know it, and I have all the evidence.”

In short, the eccentric professor from Potsdam is essentially claiming that unless we return to living in mud huts with thatched roofs and forego the fundamental amenities of modern life, our great grandchildren will end up living in super tropical hot-house conditions.

Fortunately Schellnhuber’s view is a rare one that is out on the remote fringe. Other climate scientists hold a far more sober view, like Prof Judith Curry. Interestingly, climate hardly seems to be a concern for Schellnhuber’s boss, Angela Merkel, who yesterday did not mention climate change once during her press conference with President Trump. In fact much of the discussion was about trade, economy …along with a little fake news and wire-tapping.


Shumlin’s Folly: Burlington Buried by Record 30″ Of Snow – Vermont Gov Warned End Of Skiing In 2007!

The largest city of my home state of Vermont — Burlington — was buried by a record-shattering 30.4 inches (ca. 80 cm) of snow from recent storm Stella.

Burlington, Vermont area gets buried by record-smashing snow as bitter temperatures grip region. Image cropped from Westford Webcam.

Hat-tip: reader Indomitable Snowman

Amusingly the reader Snowman just informed me by e-mail that 10 years ago Former Vermont governor Peter Schumlin (then Senate President) warned the state would need to plaster its beautiful green mountains with 500-foot tall industrial wind turbines in order to prevent massive warming. He said:

Any reasonable scientist will tell you that we’re going to rise anywhere between another two and three degrees in the next 30 years. That means that New Jersey’s climate is moving to Vermont in the next decade. That has tremendous implications in our economy’s ski, maple-sugar making, leaf-peeping and the list goes on and on. So we are — I at least am — looking at this with a major sense of panic.”

Well, it looks like the maple sugaring and ski season will be extended well into April — at least for this year. Schumlin’s prediction is yet another that is exposed as just plain idiotic and silly.

The massive snowstorm dumped 30.4 inches at the Burlington airport, making it the greatest March snowstorm on record and the 2nd largest all-time (records date back to 1883) in terms of snowfall. The biggest snowfall was 33.1 inches in January 2010.

A daily record snowfall of 17.8 inches was set at Burlington, VT on March 14. This smashes the old record of 10.0 inches set in 1980. Also with 12.6 inches on March 15 the snowfall record was shattered for the date — previous record was 4.1 inches set way back in 1940.

For those claiming that it just doesn’t snow like it used to in Vermont, the statistics show that 4 of the top 10 snowfalls in fact occurred over the past 10 years, with 7 of the top 10 in the past 31 years!

What follows are the statistics provided by Snowman.

Top 10 greatest snowstorms (inches of snow) at Burlington, Vermont:
(1) 33.1 Jan 2-3 2010
(2) 30.4 Mar 14-15 2017
(3) 29.8 Dec 25-28 1969
(4) 25.8 Mar 6-7 2011
(5) 25.7 Feb 14-15 2007
(6) 24.7 Jan 13-14 1934
(7) 22.9 Mar 5-6 2001
(8) 22.4 Mar 13-14 1993
(9) 20.0 Nov 25 1900
(10) 19.7 Jan 25-28 1986

Top 4 March snowstorms for Burlington:
(1) March 14-15, 2017…30.4″
(2) March 7-8, 2011…..25.8″
(3) March 5-6, 2001…..22.9″
(4) March 13-14, 1993…22.4″

Top 5 Snowiest March`s at Burlington:
(1) 47.6 2001
(2) 39.9 1993
(3) 37.0 1896
(4) 33.1 1971
(5) 31.8 2017 thru 3/15

Top 5 daily snowfalls at Burlington for March 14:
(1) 17.8 2017
(2) 10.0 1980
(3) 6.9 1993
(4) 4.1 1956
(5) 4.0 1897

Top 5 Daily snowfalls at Burlington for March 15
(1) 12.6 2017
(2) 4.1 1940
(3) 3.5 1998/1933
(4) 3.4 1958
(5) 3.0 1901


4 New Papers Suggest Falling Sea Levels More Harmful To Corals Than Rapidly Rising Sea Levels

Are Modern Rates Of Sea Level Rise

Too Slow For Optimal Coral Growth?

Since the 20th century began, global sea levels have been rising at rates of about 1.7 – 1.8 mm/year, or about 0.17 to 0.18 of a meter (~7  inches) per century.


Zerbini et al., 2017

Our estimated rates for the northern Mediterranean, a relatively small regional sea, are slightly lower than the global mean rate, + 1.7 ± 0.2 mm/year, recently published in the IPCC AR5 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report) … Our regional results, however, are in close agreement with the global mean rate, + 1.2 mm/year, published by Hay et al. (2015) which is currently being discussed by the oceanographic community.”

Svendsen et al., 2016

“From our reconstruction, we found that the Arctic mean sea level trend is around 1.5 mm +/- 0.3 mm/y for the period 1950 to 2010, between 68ºN and 82ºN. This value is in good agreement with the global mean trend of 1.8 +/- 0.3 mm/y over the same period as found by Church and White (2004).”

Parekh et al., 2017

Sea level change in the Indian Ocean is about 1.5 mm/year in the past sixty years or so, whereas the global sea level trends are a bit higher [1.7 mm/year].”

McAneney et al., 2017

Global averaged sea-level rise is estimated at about 1.7 ± 0.2 mm year−1 (Rhein et al. 2013), however, this global average rise ignores any local land movements. Church et al. (2006) and J. A. Church (2016; personal communication) suggest a long-term average rate of relative (ocean relative to land) sea-level rise of ∼1.3 mm year.”

Wenzel and Schröter, 2014

Global mean sea level change since 1900 is found to be 1.77 ± 0.38 mm year on average. …   [T]he acceleration found for the global mean, +0.0042  ±  0.0092 mm year, is not significant

In contrast, during the middle Holocene, sea levels rose at rates of 9.6 mm/yr (0.96 of a meter per century) during the 350 years between 6,850 to 6,500 years ago (Meltzner et al., 2017), and relative sea levels (RSL) were about 1 to 2 meters higher than present during that time.  During the Early Holocene (~12,000 to 8,000 years ago), sea levels rose at rates of about 0.74 of a meter to to almost 1.1 meter per century (7.4 mm/yr to 10.9 mm/yr), which is about 5 to 6 times the modern rate (Khan et al., 2017).

Corals, thought to be biologically fragile and highly susceptible to abrupt sea level changes and high sea temperatures…survived these much higher rates of sea level rise from the geological past.

Scientists have apparently found that coral communities do not grow as well, but instead they “shut down” — even reaching very high mortality rates (85%) — when sea levels fall rapidly.  Falling sea levels (and cooling) are suggested to be more lethal to corals than high-temperature bleaching events during El Niño years or rising sea levels (Eghbert et al., 2017).

These findings would not appear to support the current perspective that modern coral communities are threatened by “global” warming and rapidly rising sea levels.

Recent Rapid Sea Level Fall Induced Higher Coral Mortality Than Bleaching

Eghbert et al., 2017

In September 2015, altimetry data show that sea level was at its lowest in the past 12 years [Indonesia], affecting corals living in the bathymetric range exposed to unusual emersion. In March 2016, Bunaken Island (North Sulawesi) displayed up to 85% mortality on reef flats dominated by Porites, Heliopora and Goniastrea corals with differential mortality rates by coral genus.”
“[R]apid sea level fall could be more important in the dynamics and resilience of Indonesian reef flat communities than previously thought. This study reports coral mortality in Indonesia after an El Niño-induced sea level fall. The fact that sea level fall, or extremely low tides, induces coral mortality is not new, but this study demonstrates that through rapid sea level fall, the 2015–2016 El Niño has impacted Indonesian shallow coral reefs well before high sea surface temperature could trigger any coral bleaching. Sea level fall appears as a major mortality factor for Bunaken Island in North Sulawesi, and altimetry suggests similar impact throughout Indonesia.”

Reefs ‘Turn Off’ (Stop Growing) When Sea Levels Fall And Seas Cool

Dechnik et al., 2017

[I]t is generally accepted that relative sea level reached a maximum of 1–1.5 m above present mean sea level (pmsl) by ~7 ka [7,000 years ago] (Lewis et al., 2013).”
“Over the last few decades, the global decline of modern reefs has been linked to environmental and climatic changes in response to anthropogenic activities.  However, recent geological and ecological research on fossil reefs in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and wider Indo-Pacific identified intervals of significant reef ‘turn-off’ in response to natural environmental forces earlier in their development during the mid- to late Holocene.”
“Increased upwelling, turbidity and cyclone activity in response to increased sea-surface temperature (SST’s), precipitation and El-Nino Southern Oscillation variability have been ruled out as possible mechanisms of reef turn-off for the mid-outer platform reefs. Rather, a fall (~0.5 m) in relative sea level at 4–3.5 ka is the most likely explanation for why reefs in the northern and southern regions turned off during this time.”
Similar hiatuses in Holocene reef growth were identified in Japan from about 5.9 to 5.8 ka, 4.4 to 4.0 ka and from 3.3 to 3.2 ka. They were attributed to oscillating sea level and relatively cold sea-surface temperatures.”


Corals Survived Sea Level Rise Of 6 – 13 mm/yr During Middle Holocene – But ‘Killed’ When Sea Levels Fell Rapidly

Meltzner et al., 2017

Half-metre sea-level fluctuations on centennial timescales from mid-Holocene corals of Southeast Asia … RSL [relative sea level]  history between 6850 and 6500 cal years BP that includes two 0.6 m fluctuations, with rates of RSL change reaching 13±4 mm per year.”
“Here RSL rose to an initial peak of +1.9 m [above present] at 6,720 cal years BP, then fell rapidly to a lowstand of +1.3 m, remaining at about that level for ∼100 years, before rising to a second peak at +1.7 m shortly after 6,550 cal years BP.  Around 6,480 cal years BP, RSL appears to have fallen again to +1.3 m before rising to a third peak at +1.6 m or higher. … The peak rate of RSL rise, averaged over a 20-year running time window over the period of study (6,850–6,500 cal years BP), is +9.6±4.2 mm per year (2σ); the peak rate of RSL fall is −12.6±4.2 mm per year.”
The central dome of each microatoll grew during a period when RSL was high; RSL then fell rapidly, killing the upper portions of the corals; RSL then stabilized at a lower elevation, forming a series of low concentric annuli 0.6 m higher than present-day analogues; RSL [relative sea level] then rose 0.6 m in less than a century, allowing the coral to grow upward to 1.2 m higher than modern living corals.”

During The Early Holocene, Sea Levels Rose At Rates 5 – 6 Times Higher Than Today

Khan et al., 2017

“Only Suriname and Guyana [Caribbean] exhibited higher RSL [relative sea level] than present (82% probability), reaching a maximum height of 1 m [above present] at 5.2 ka [5,200 years ago].”
“Because of meltwater input, the rates of RSL change were highest during the early Holocene, with a maximum of 10.9 ± 0.6 m/ka [1.09 meters per century] in Suriname and Guyana and minimum of 7.4 ± 0.7 m/ka [0.74 meters per century] in south Florida from 12 to 8 ka [12,000 to 8,000 years ago].”

Solar Activity Continues Near 200-Year Low. And Antarctic Sea Ice Drop Caused By Natural Factors

The Sun In February and Arctic Sea Ice

Von Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated and condensed [due to time constraints] by P. Gosselin)

The star at the center of our solar system was also very inactive last month. The determined sunspot number SSN of 26.1 was only 50% of what is normal.

Fig. 1: Mean solar activity (blue) compared to the activity of the current cycle (red) and the very similar solar cycle 5 (black).

A comparison of all the cycles:

Fig. 2: The activity of all cycles 1 to 24. Depicted is the deviation from the mean. The current cycle began in December 2008 and is the 3rd quietest since systematic observations began in 1755.

The behavior of the solar polar fields also indicate that the upcoming solar cycle 25 could be as weak as SC 6. According to the current conditions, we could experience a solar minimum that is similar to that experienced during the Dalton Minimum (SC 5, 6 and 7) of 1790 – 1830. The strongly decoupled polar fields is a phenomenon that has yet to be observed since systematic observations began in the 1970s – a time when the solar activity was stronger than at any time ever observed.

Antarctica: So little ice as never observed before!

Last month we saw plenty of headlines about this. The German ARD remained rather factual, but others were dramatic and even employed photo-shopped images suggesting climate alarm. First the facts: This year’s ice extent is at a record low, as is referenced by the NSIDC in its report. Here’s the chart:

Fig. 3:  Sea ice extent around Antarctica in February compared to 1979 (in %). Source.

The dashed line depicts the overall trend, and it remains strongly upward. The long-term trend is what counts when it comes to climate. Yearly fluctuations are related to weather. A look at the GISS temperatures across Antarctica shows no relevant trend.

Fig. 4: Antarctic surface temperature as to GISS.

What follows are the sea surface temperatures (SST). Here we see where the sea ice loss is coming from:

Fig. 5: Temperature anomaly of the ocean surrounding Antarctica.

Here we recognize the downward trend since the 1990s, followed by a sharp upward spike at the end. Certainly much of this has to do with the weather at the end of 2016, more precisely since September.  There is no real information on what is behind the spike.

One suspicion is the very powerful El Nino of 2015/16, but such a spike did not follow the El Nino 1997/98. It must be kept in mind that there were some real global differences between the last powerful El Nino and the one from the late 1990s, see study here. One suspects that a chain of events may have unfolded which led to a warming of the water around Antarctica. Next year will likely tell us if this is only a temporary powerful warming spike, or if it is the start of a trend reversal.

Media reports that global warming is now catastrophically reducing sea ice around Antarctica are however, wild speculation. In a recent study here on the AMOC, it is determined that a powerful heat transport towards the North causes a special pattern: The sea surface temperature (SST) cools and the depths get warmer. The deeper water at the edge of the continent down to 700 meters shows a warming trend. Here’s a look at the lower depths there:

Fig. 6: Ocean temperature anomalies down to 700 meters deep around Antarctica.

The divergence between the lower layers and its surface can be clearly seen. In Fig. 5 we see the sudden positive spike in SST, but the ocean down to 700 meters cannot of course follow along due to its high thermal inertia.

In the North Atlantic we do see, however, a retreat in heat transport since about 2012:

Figure. 7: The surface temperature anomalies in the sub-polar North Atlantic since 1980.

It may very well be that the El Nino is in part causing the “see-saw” effect: A stronger northward directed heat transport (strong AMOC) cools the water at the sea surface of the ocean (the sea ice grows) around Antarctica while it gets warmer in the water depths. A weaker AMOC (Fig. 7 favors a diminishment compared to the years after 1998) reverses the condition in the south: it gets warmer on the sea surface (sea ice melts) and the depths get colder.

We await with suspense the measurements around Antarctica to see whether this is the case. These are all natural processes, and whether man-made warming plays a role — if yes, how much of a factor it really plays — is completely unclear.

It is far too early to start blaring out that man is melting the Antarctic. Propaganda and science do not go well together. The internal variability of the currently cooling North Atlantic is simply “nature at work”.

German Scientists Slam DWD German Weather Service Concealment Of February Cooling Trend!

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt

(German excerpts translated/edited by P Gosselin)

On February 27, 2017, the DWD German National Weather Service concluded in its February report:

February 2017 was much too warm and with only average sunshine

Offenbach, 27 February 2017– At the beginning of February 2017, it was still cold in the north-east due to the influence of high pressure. However, low pressure troughs bringing milder air were already reaching into the south and west of the country. Then, from the middle of the month onwards, all parts of the country were exposed to a powerful westerly airflow that brought much precipitation. These conditions culminated on 23 February with storm gusts, particularly in the west, and spring-like temperatures in the south. Overall, February was much too warm and precipitation and sunshine were almost balanced. This is what the initial analysis by the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) of data from its around 2,000 weather stations shows.”

Continue reading at DWD.

The recent February was much too warm! One can easily imagine as follows: A wild temperature peak standing out well above the otherwise usual temperatures. Once again more proof that for years things have been going in only one direction: only hotter and hotter and hotter.

However the DWD does not provide any chart along with its press release. Wouldn’t many people certainly like to see the February heat trend as a chart? It’s a pity that the DWD chooses not to show charts here.

Thankfully Josef Kowatsch stepped in for the DWD and produced a chart using the official DWD data to show the February mean temperature curve for the last 30 years:

Figure: Chart of the February mean temperature over the past 30 years in Germany, data from the DWD, chart: Josef Kowatsch.

The sense of wonder is large: What do they mean by “much too warm”? The climate trend over the past 30 years for February shows a clear downward movement. This year’s uptick is nothing unusual and has happened regularly over the past 3 decades. nach.

This is truly a poor showing by the DWD, which misled the citizens. There is absolutely no reference made to the last 30 years, no chart, no context. This is a most dubious politicization of the weather report…

Moreover what follows is the trend of the North Atlantic oceanic heat, which shows a very clear cooling trend has taken hold since 2007:

Figure: Trend of the North Atlantic heat down to a depth of 700 meters over the past 60 years. Chart: Climate4You

Uncertainties, Errors In Radiative Forcing Estimates 10 – 100 Times Larger Than Entire Radiative Effect Of Increasing CO2

Climate Model Errors = 20 W m-2

CO2 Climate Forcing = 0.2 W m-2

Scott Pruitt, the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has recently been characterized as a climate science “denialist” by world news organizations.   A UK Guardian headline, for example, has claimed that “EPA head Scott Pruitt denies that carbon dioxide causes global warming“.  

The “denialist” characterization stems from an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen in which Pruitt was asked whether he believes that CO2 has been proven to be the climate’s “control knob”.  Pruitt replied that “we don’t know that yet” and that “there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”  But he also said, no, he doesn’t think CO2 is a primary contributor to climate change.  Apparently that is all it takes to unleash the climate “denialist” name-calling.

Scott Pruit:   “No. I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.  So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. … We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

In a Washington Post analysis of Pruitt’s comments entitled “EPA Chief’s Climate Change Denial Easily Refuted…”, the host’s reply to Pruitt’s last statement about the need to continue debating the degree of human impact was included:

That’s the whole point of science. You keep asking questions.”

Responding to this rather fundamental point, Washington Post political journalist Philip Bump seemingly agreed with the need to keep questioning and debating the science (since that is indeed the “whole point of science”).  But then he immediately contradicted himself.

“Well, sure. But the point of science is also to accept the answers to those questions once determined. And in the scientific community, the answer to the question of the link between greenhouse gases and warming has been determined.”

So apparently because it “has been determined” that CO2 causes warming or cooling when increased or decreased, therefore we should not question the degree to which the climate models accurately record the effect of increasing or decreasing CO2, or how much warming or cooling is caused by CO2 fluctuations relative to other climate-forcing factors.

And why should we refrain from asking questions about the relative influence of CO2 forcing on the climate?  Because those questions have not been determined…or answered.  Not even close.  After all, the uncertainty and error margins associated with modeling the radiative energy changes in the Earth system are 10 to 100 times  greater than the entirety of the forcing attributed to CO2 changes.

1. CO2 Radiative Forcing Effect Just 0.2 W m-2 For 2000-2010

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has indicated, “global climate is determined by the radiation balance of the planet.”  If the balance in the radiative energy budget (incoming vs. outgoing energy) tips positive (as expressed in Watts per square meter, or W m-2), warming occurs.  If it dips negative, cooling occurs.  The IPCC presumes that positive energy balances have been ongoing for decades, driven almost exclusively by the increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

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

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

Feldman et al., 2015

2. The Radiative Energy Imbalance For 2000-’10 Was 0.6 W m-2

In a 2012 Nature Geoscience paper entitled “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations” by Stephens et al. (2012), the radiative energy imbalance for the 2000-2010 decade was determined to be positive, as expected.  Interestingly, though, the positive energy balance of 0.6 W m-2 was 3 times larger than the forcing value (0.2 W m-2) attributed to the CO2 increase during the same period.

Stephens et al., 2012

“The current revised depiction of the global annual mean energy balance for the decade 2000–2010 is provided … For the decade considered [2000-2010], the average imbalance is 0.6 Wm–2 when these TOA fluxes are constrained to the best estimate ocean heat content (OHC) observations since 2005.”

3. 67% (0.4 W m-2) Of The 2000-’10 Energy Increase Not From CO2

If the imbalance in the energy budget was 0.6 W m-2 during 2000-2010, and the modeled CO2 radiative forcing estimate was 0.2 W m-2 during the same period, that means that there was a positive forcing of 0.4 W m-2 that was not due to the increase in CO2 concentration.  What this indicates is that the IPCC’s conclusion that all or nearly all of recent global warming is due to the increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions is not supported by the surface energy imbalance estimates.  Two-thirds of climate forcing must be due to some unknown mechanism or mechanisms that the IPCC has somehow failed to identify in etiological analyses.  And if only 33% of recent climate forcing is anthropogenic, and 67% cannot be accounted for, where does the certainty that humans are driving climate change come from?

4. Energy Change Uncertainty 10-100 Times Larger Than CO2 Forcing

Speaking of certainty — or, more appropriately, uncertainty — in climate forcing or energy imbalance values, Stephens and colleagues emphasize the requisite uncertainty in the estimates of the energy imbalance for 2000-2010: an enormous ±17 W m-2.

A 17 W m-2 uncertainty range in the energy balance estimate (0.6 W m-2) means that the actual energy balance could be anywhere from -16.4 W m-2 to +17.6 W m-2.   This range of uncertainty effectively renders the 0.2 W m-2 CO2 forcing estimate meaningless, as the uncertainty in the volume of energy change during 2000-2010 is 85 times greater than the forcing attributed to CO2 for the same period.

Stephens et al., 2012

This small imbalance [0.6 W m-2] is over two orders of magnitude [100 times] smaller than the individual components that define it and smaller than the error of each individual flux.”
“The net energy balance is the sum of individual fluxes. The current uncertainty in this net surface energy balance is large, and amounts to approximately 17 Wm–2.  This uncertainty is an order of magnitude [10 times] larger than the changes to the net surface fluxes associated with increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
“The quoted value of the sensible heat flux is a combination of the land and ocean sensible heat fluxes  with a simple weighting based on land/ocean surface area. The flux value of 24 Wm–2 is also larger than previously assumed and remains highly uncertain, as exemplified by the range of 14–34 Wm–2 that results from different land flux estimates. No definitive measure of the uncertainty of this flux exists and the uncertainty range given merely reflects a judgement on where the value most likely lies.”

Even the IPCC acknowledges that the uncertainty in heat flux estimates reaches up to 20 W m-2, and that this uncertainty dwarfs the less than 2 W m-2 of total radiative forcing attributed to anthropogenic CO2 emissions during the last few centuries.

IPCC AR4 (2007)

“Unfortunately, the total surface heat and water fluxes are not well observed. Normally, they are inferred from observations of other fields, such as surface temperature and winds. Consequently, the uncertainty in the observational estimate is large – of the order of tens of watts per square metre [20 W m-2] for the heat flux, even in the zonal mean.”

IPCC AR5 (2013)

“The overall uncertainty of the annually averaged global ocean mean for each term is expected to be in the range 10 to 20%. In the case of the latent heat flux term, this corresponds to an uncertainty of up to 20 W m–2. In comparison, changes in global mean values of individual heat flux components expected as a result of anthropogenic climate change since 1900 are at the level of <2 W m–2  (Pierce et al., 2006).”

Frank, 2008

It turns out that uncertainties in the energetic responses of Earth climate systems are more than 10 times larger than the entire energetic effect of increased CO2.”

5. IPCC Hides Uncertainty, Errors In Radiative Energy Change

Advocates of the position that CO2 is the climate’s “control knob” would like to divert attention away from the uncertainties and errors in climate modeling, of course.  Likewise, the IPCC has notoriously buried data that might cast doubt on the “consensus” position (which states that most climate changes have been driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions since the mid-20th century).

To find the uncertainty and error ranges in the climate model estimates of radiative forcing, one must deliberately set out to locate the esoteric “Supplemental Material” documents from each report.  The IPCC would not dare publish estimates of massive climate modeling errors and uncertainty in locations where they are most likely to be viewed.

Frank, 2008

“One must go into Chapter 8 and especially Ch 8 Supplementary Material in the recently released IPCC AR4 to find GCM [General Circulation Model] errors graphically displayed in W m-2. Such forthright displays [of error/uncertainty, as shown in the graphs below] do not appear in the SPM [Summary for Policy Makers] or in the Technical Summary; i.e., where public bodies are more likely to see them.

Supplementary Material from Chapter 8, IPCC AR4

“Figure S8.5 shows that GCM errors in ‘mean shortwave radiation reflected to space’ range across 25 W m-2.”

“The errors in outgoing longwave radiation, Figure S8.7, are similarly large [~20 W m-2]…”

6. ‘From Where Comes The Certainty Of A Large CO2 Impact On Climate?’

So if the models are so hopelessly riddled with errors and uncertainty that an anthropogenic radiative forcing signal cannot be distinguished from noise, or if the total magnitude of the warming attributed to humans is one-tenth to one-hundredth of the error or uncertainty ranges, why are those who dare question the degree to which humans affect the Earth’s climate branded as “deniers” of science?

Exactly what is the truth that climate “deniers” are actually denying?

If the uncertainty is larger than the effect, the effect itself becomes moot. If the effect itself is debatable, then what is the IPCC talking about? And from where comes the certainty of a large CO2 impact on climate?”                                                   –Dr. Patrick Frank, “A Climate of Belief

Merkel’s Lead Minister Signals Germany Ready To Give Up Leadership Role Against Climate Change!

Germany appears poised to make a fundamental course correction in its climate and energy policy.

Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier says the days of going-it-alone on climate protection are about to end. Photo source: here.

Germany has long been a steadfast and influential proponent of “climate protection”. Also the country’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), directed by climate doomsday professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, has been one of the most influential European players in underpinning the science that has shaped Europe’s stringent  climate policy. The PIK has worked relentlessly in close partnership with the UN and North American climate institutes.

That construct, however, may soon be dealt a serious blow as one of Angela Merkel’s closest ministers, Peter Altmaier, told a group of industry leaders that Germany’s days of “going-it-alone on climate protection” are about to end — this according to the highly reputable online Die Welt here.

As Germany’s power industry reels from massive multi-billion euro record losses and power consumers get left in the dark by the hundreds of thousands as power supply gets cut off, the German government may finally be realizing that its climate and energy policy has only wrought tremendous pain and no benefit.

Daniel Wetzel of Die Welt writes:

In climate protection Germany has always played the roles of a front-runner and a model pupil. This now appears to be over.”

Last Friday at the ritzy Hotel Adlon in Berlin, Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier spoke before a group of business leaders and CEOs, and reportedly reaped thunderous applause when he signaled “the expensive climate-political go-it-alone” by Germany “may soon be over“.

According to Die Welt, Altmaier said: “I am totally convinced that the path of national targets is false” and what’s needed in the near future are “European and international targets“.

So far Germany’s approach has not worked, and has been sharply criticized by industry and environmental economists, who say it “has not saved one extra gram of CO2 under the roof of the European Emissions Trading.”

Whether Altmaier’s views get implemented by the Merkel government remains to be seen. However, the movement to relax the country’s draconian climate protection policies appear to be gaining steam. Die Welt writes that Altmaier’s position are also in agreement with the recently minted “energylab 2030” energy concept by leaders of Merkel’s CDU party:

Special national targets for climate protection are counter-productive and thus fundamentally should be dropped.”

Die Welt writes that the German government finally may have realized that its grandstanding target of reducing CO2 emissions twice as fast as the rest of Europe had been “over-ambitious”.

What could have led to these signals of fundamental course change? Die Welt’s Wetzel ends the article by writing:

Among experts it is sure that the federal government’s bold promise made in 2010 of cutting back CO2 emissions 40% by the end of the decade will be significantly missed.”