2 German Scientists Calling For Climate Modelling Moratorium: So Far Only “Failures, Flops And Fumbles”!

Two German scientists describe what many western governments have been basing their energy and environmental policies on. It’s not pretty. What follows is an excellent review of climate modeling so far.
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Fun with Climate Models: Flops, Failures and Fumbles
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

What’s great about science is that one can think up really neat models and see creativity come alive. And because there are many scientists, and not only just one, there are lots of alternative models. And things only get bad when the day of reckoning arrives, i.e. when the work gets graded. This is when the prognoses are compared to the real, observed measurements. So who was on the right path, and who needs go back to the drawing board?

When models turn out to be completely off, then they are said to have been falsified and thus are considered to have no value. The validation of models is one of the fundamental principles of science, Richard Feynman once said in a legendary lecture:

Failed hypotheses have been seen very often in science. A nice collection of the largest scientific flops is presented at WUWT. Unfortunately the climate sciences also belong to this category. Roy Spencer once compared an entire assortment of 73 climate models to the real observed temperature development, and they all ended up overshooting the target by far:

And already yet another model failure has appeared: In August 2009 Judith Lean and David Rind made a daring mid-term climate prognosis in the Geophysical Research Letters. They predicted a warming of 0.15° for the five-year period of 2009 to 2014. In truth it did not warm at all during the period. A bitter setback.

Over the last years it has started to dawn on scientists that perhaps something was missing in their models. The false prognoses stand out like a sore thumb. Not a single one of the once highly praised models saw the current 16-year stop in warming as possible. In September 2011 in an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research Crook & Forster admitted that the superficial reproduction of the real temperature development in a climate model hardly meant the mechanisms were completely understood. The freely adjustable parameters are just too multifaceted, and as a rule they are selected in a way to fabricate agreement. And just because there is an agreement, it does not mean predictive power can be automatically derived. What follows is an excerpt from the abstract by Crook & Foster (2011):

In this paper, we breakdown the temperature response of coupled ocean‐atmosphere climate models into components due to radiative forcing, climate feedback, and heat storage and transport to understand how well climate models reproduce the observed 20th century temperature record. Despite large differences between models’ feedback strength, they generally reproduce the temperature response well but for different reasons in each model.”

In a member journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Eos, Colin Schultz took a look at the article and did not mince any words:

Climate model’s historical accuracy no guarantee of future success
To validate and rank the abilities of complex general circulation models (GCMs), emphasis has been placed on ensuring that they accurately reproduce the global climate of the past century. But because multiple paths can be taken to produce a given result, a model may get the right result but for the wrong reasons.”

Sobriety in the meantime has also spread over to IPCC-friendly blogs. On April 15, 2013, in a guest post at Real Climate Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Sybren Drijfhout and Ed Hawkins made it clear that the models used in the 5th IPCC report were completely inadequate for regional climate prognoses:

To conclude, climate models can and have been verified against observations in a property that is most important for many users: the regional trends. This verification shows that many large-scale features of climate change are being simulated correctly, but smaller-scale observed trends are in the tails of the ensemble more often than predicted by chance fluctuations. The CMIP5 multi-model ensemble can therefore not be used as a probability forecast for future climate. We have to present the useful climate information in climate model ensembles in other ways until these problems have been resolved.”

Also Christensen and Boberg (2012) were critical about the AR5 models in a paper appearing in the Geophysical Research Letters. The scientists presented their main results:

– GCMs suffer from temperature-dependent biases
– This leads to an overestimation of projections of regional temperatures
– We estimate that 10-20% of projected warming is due to model deficiencies”

In January 2013 in the Journal of Climate Matthew Newman reported in an article “An Empirical Benchmark for Decadal Forecasts of Global Surface Temperature Anomalies” on the notable limitations of the models:

These results suggest that current coupled model decadal forecasts may not yet have much skill beyond that captured by multivariate red noise.”

In the prognosis time-frame of multiple decades, they do not perform better than noise. An embarrassment.

Also Frankignoul et al. 2013 expressed serious concerns in the Journal of Climate because of the unimpressive performance of the climate models. They graded the models plainly as “unrealistic” because they did not implement the role of ocean cycles correctly.

In July 2013 Ault et al. looked at a paper in the Geophysical Research Letters and at the models for the tropical Pacific region. They made an awful discovery: Not one of the current models is able to reproduce the climate history of the region during the past 850 years. Excerpts from the abstract:

[…] time series of the model and the reconstruction do not agree with each other. […] These findings imply that the response of the tropical Pacific to future forcings may be even more uncertain than portrayed by state-of-the-art models because there are potentially important sources of century-scale variability that these models do not simulate.”

Also Lienert et al. (2011) found problems with the North Pacific. And in July 2014 in an article in Environmetrics, McKitrick & Vogelsang documented a significant overestimation of the warming in the climate models for the tropical region over the past 60 years.

In March 2014 Steinhaeuser & Tsonis reported in Climate Dynamics on a comparison of 23 different climate models and the extent to which they were able to reproduce temperature, air pressure and precipitation over the 19th and 20th centuries. The surprise was great when the scientists found that the model results deviated widely from each other and were unable to give a correct account of reality. A more detailed discussion is available at The Hockey Schtick.

In a press release from September 17, 2012, scientists of the University of Arizona complained that as a rule climate models failed when looking at periods of three decades and less. Also attempts at prognoses for regional levels were unsuccessful:

UA Climate Scientists put predictions to the test
A new study has found that climate-prediction models are good at predicting long-term climate patterns on a global scale but lose their edge when applied to time frames shorter than three decades and on sub-continental scales.”

In October 2012 Klaus-Eckart Puls at EIKE warned that up to now the temperature prognoses of the climate models have been false for every atmospheric layer:

For some decades now climate models have been projecting trends (“scenarios”) for temperature for different layers of the atmosphere: near surface layer, troposphere, and stratosphere. From the near surface layer all the way to the upper troposphere it was supposed to get warmer according to the AGW hypothesis, and colder in the stratosphere. However meteorological measurements taken from all atmospheric layers show the exact opposite!”

So what is wrong with the models?

For one they still have not found a way to implement the empricially confirmed systematic impact of the ocean cycles into the models. Another problem of course is that the sun is missing in the models as its important impact on climate development continues to be denied. It’s still going to take some time before the sun finally gets a role in the models. But there are growing calls for the taking the sun into account and recognition that something is awry. In August 2014 in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences a paper by Timothy Cronin appeared. It criticized the treatment of solar irradiance in the models. See more on this at The Hockey Schtick.

The poor prognosis-capability of climate models is giving more and more political leaders cause for concern. Maybe they should not have relied on the model results and developed far-reaching plans to change society. To some extent they have already began to implement these plans. Suddenly the very credibility of the climate protection measures finds itself at stake.

The best would be a moratorium on models. Something needs to be done. It is becoming increasingly clear that the present wild modeling simply cannot continue. It’s time to re-evaluate. The climate models so far are hardly distinguishable from computer games on climate change where one sits comfortably on the couch and shoots as many CO2 molecules out of the atmosphere as he can and then reaps the reward of a free private jet flight with climate activist Leonardo di Caprio.

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Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebasian Lüning authored the climate science book The Forgotten Sun. In this book they examined the poor quality of climate models and why they will always fail.

Science With “97% Consensus” and “99% Certainty” Sees 0% Of Its Scientists Willing To Bet On It!

About 10 days ago a press release by the Alfred Wegener Institute gave readers the impression that the Arctic sea ice would keep on melting. In response I sent e-mails to the two scientists cited in it, Marcel Nicolaus and Lars Kaleschke, and asked if they would advise a bet on it. I even posted my bet here.

My proposed bet: mean September sea ice for the period of 2017-2022 will be higher than the September mean for the period 2007 – 2012.

Not surprisingly I got no response.

I also sent versions of that e-mail to other institutes, some having a chronic habit of sounding alarm when it comes to global sea ice. My e-mail:

Dear —–

I’ve read with great interest the latest AWI press release on global sea ice. www.awi.de/en/news/pressreleases/de3

One easily gets the impression the experts believe the Arctic sea ice trend will continue its downward trend over the coming years. This surprises me. Myself I think the Arctic will actually recover over the next decade or two. I’m convinced enough to bet $1000 on this. I believe that the average September sea extent for the years 2017 – 2022 will be greater than the mean September 2007-2012 sea ice extent.

Would you advise me against making such a bet? Would you bet? Surely the science can provide a probability here. Your short comment on this would be very much appreciated.
Kind regards

Pierre Gosselin
http://notrickszone.com

The following scientists/institutes were sent the e-mail:

1. Marcel Nicolaus, AWI
2. Lars Kaleschke, University of Hamburg
3. Stefan Rahmstorf, PotsInstitute
4. NSIDC
5. Dirk Notz, Max Planck Institute
6. Leif Riemenschneider, Max Planck Institute
7. Rebecca Rolf, Max Planck Institute
8. Frank Sienz, Max Planck Institute
9. Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge
10. Dr. Andrey Proshutinsky, Woods Hole Institute
11. Anders Levermann, Potsdam Institute
12. Mojib Latif,

Those who replied are printed in bold, and I’d like to thank them for taking the time to respond, particularly Dr. Dirk Notz and Dr. Andrey Proshutinsky. They both took the time to provide a real reply, see here and here.

Three of the 4 replying advised against betting the Arctic would melt, warning there is too much natural variability involved. Dr. Andrey Proshutinsky even hinted that the Arctic may in fact just do the very opposite.

Mojib Latif also sent a brief reply advising against a bet, citing “natural decadal variability”. He wrote:

I don’t bet. There is of course natural decadal variability which superimposes the long-term downward sea ice extent trend, but this decadal variability is hard to predict.”

Lisa at the NSIDC also sent a reply, providing two links: here and here. Scientists at the NSIDC also declined to bet.

The other eight scientists did not even reply. It seems some like shouting from the rooftops the sky is falling, but suddenly get real quiet when asked to put money on it.

In summary, no one expressed any interest in accepting the above bet and not one even advised anyone to accept it. Result: From a science with a “97% consensus” and “99% certainty”, 0% of the scientists are ready to bet on it.

Three of the 4 scientists who did reply say it is not possible to predict the Arctic sea ice over the next 8 years (yet many scientists claim that predicting the Arctic 50, 100 or 200 years into the future is 99% slam dunk?).

Of course we can understand scientists’ reluctance to bet on Arctic sea ice. But on the other hand why are so many of these scientists insisting that the rest of us bet our modern prosperity on their models being right (when obviously they themselves don’t even trust them 8 years out)?

It all smacks of a sham to me.

 

Climate Change Delusion Has Always Been Popular Throughout History…And A Money-Making, Power-Grabbing Scam

Climate Change As A Popular Delusion
By Ed Caryl
Boileau

N’en déplaise à ces fous nommés sages de Grèce,
En ce monde il n’est point de parfaite sagesse;
Tous les hommes sont fous, et malgré tous leurs soîns
Ne diffèrent entre eux que du plus ou du moins.”

“No offense to those crazy appointed sages of Greece,
In this world there is no perfect wisdom;
All men are fools, and despite all their care
is differentiated as the more or less.”
BOILEAU

From: The title page, Charles MacKay (portrait above). Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Kindle Location 1046). Published in London, 1852. Available free in your chosen format here. Image from Wikipedia Commons, here.

My wife asked me the other day if there were other examples in history of the Climate Delusion presently infecting the world. I immediately thought of the above famous work from the Nineteenth Century, though I had not read it in its entirety until now. I downloaded the Kindle edition and will be quoting it extensively. MacKay devoted two volumes to the history of this phenomenon, though he said he could have devoted 50.

The present may be considered more of a miscellany of delusions than a history— a chapter only in the great and awful book of human folly which yet remains to be written, and which Porson once jestingly said he would write in five hundred volumes!” (Kindle Locations 1152-1153)

Every age has its peculiar folly; some scheme, project, or phantasy into which it plunges, spurred on either by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation. Failing in these, it has some madness, to which it is goaded by political or religious causes, or both combined.” (Kindle Locations 6961-6963).

Most of the delusions MacKay describes somehow involve money. Many describe financial “bubbles” like Tulipomania, the South Sea Bubble, and the Mississippi stock scheme. Mesmerism/Magnetisers and Alchemy made money for the direct practitioners. Pilgrimages to the Holy Land profited the Islamists for hundreds of years until the crusading knights attempted to retrieve the treasure. Whole forests of oaks were reduced to fragments of the True Cross and imported to Europe at huge expense.

In many of these delusions, the practitioners, as well as those practiced upon, were themselves deluded. This was especially true for those delusions associated with the practice of medicine such as the Magnetisers. These practices probably held back the advancement of medicine for many years. Alchemy both advanced and retarded the study of chemistry, leading practitioners into blind alleys and dead ends in search of the “Philosopher’s Stone,” but developing equipment and techniques that would be later used to advance the science.

Men go mad in herds

The parallels with Climate Science are clear: the delusions of the “97%” climate scientists leads to cherry-picking of data and confirmation bias that poison all the work. The bias is driven constantly by the knowledge that only “correct” answers will keep the paycheck coming. In an ancient example from MacKay, Kepler:

In sending a copy of his Ephemerides to Professor Gerlach, he wrote, that they were nothing but worthless conjectures; but he was obliged to devote himself to them, or he would have starved.” (Kindle Locations 5632-5633).

Why don’t the climate scientists see the error of their ways? They sometimes do; usually after retirement, when the press of money no longer holds, or when they are in a position of safety.

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” (Kindle Locations 1143-1144).

So it is not surprising that we see some older and wiser heads in Climate Science, one by one, leaving the clique. So, why the constant projections of calamity from Climate Science? Here too, MacKay has an answer:

Omens. Among the other means of self-annoyance upon which men have stumbled, in their vain hope of discovering the future, signs and omens hold a conspicuous place. There is scarcely an occurrence in nature which, happening at a certain time, is not looked upon by some persons as a prognosticator either of good or evil. The latter are in the greatest number, so much more ingenious are we in tormenting ourselves than in discovering reasons for enjoyment in the things that surround us. We go out of our course to make ourselves uncomfortable; the cup of life is not bitter enough to our palate, and we distil [sic] superfluous poison to put into it, or conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves at, which would never exist if we did not make them.” (Kindle Locations 5742-5746).

The mountaineer makes the natural phenomena which he most frequently witnesses prognosticative of the future. The dweller in the plains, in a similar manner, seeks to know his fate among the signs of the things that surround him, and tints his superstition with the hues of his own clime. The same spirit animates them all— the same desire to know that which Infinite Mercy has concealed. There is but little probability that the curiosity of mankind in this respect will ever be wholly eradicated. Death and ill fortune are continual bugbears to the weak-minded, the irreligious, and the ignorant; and while such exist in the world, divines will preach upon its impiety and philosophers discourse upon its absurdity in vain.” (Kindle Locations 5849-5852).

Is there no hope? Are we doomed to live in fear of the future? Will the doomsayers win? The above quote continues:

Still it is evident that these follies have greatly diminished. Soothsayers and prophets have lost the credit they formerly enjoyed, and skulk in secret now where they once shewed their faces in the blaze of day. So far there is manifest improvement.” (Kindle Locations 5852-5854).

As the predictions of the modern climate soothsayers fall into repeated failure, so will climate science slowly improve. One by one, the workers in this field will correct their errors. Some will fall from a great height and be destroyed. Some will suffer large and small epiphanies and ease into the light.

Like Churchill said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

 

4 Of The Arctic’s (80°N+) Coldest Summers Occurred In The Last 6 Years…Global Sea Ice Now Normal 2 Years!

The North Pole region north of 80°N, monitored by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) since 1958, has in 2014 seen yet another colder-than-normal summer, placing it in the Top 4 coldest since the DMI started monitoring in 1958. The chart below shows the four coldest summers: 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

DMI 4-6

Temperature vs calendar day for the 4 coldest summers above 80°N latitude. Blue horizontal line is 0°C . Four of the last six Arctic summers have been the coldest on the DMI record. Graphics snipped from the dmi.dk.

Arctic summers can be examined going back to 1958 using data from the Danish Meteorological Institute here. The 4 coldest Arctic summers have all occurred in the last 6 years. Not even the summers of the 1960s were colder.

Ocean currents impact the Arctic

It’s obvious that ice melt involves a lot more than just surface atmospheric temperature, and claims it is due to greenhouse gases are misleading and naïve. Other major factors involved are ocean cycles and weather and wind conditions.

From 1980 to 2000, both the AMO and PDO saw warm phases, and so the Arctic ice melt of the late 2000s was likely a reaction to the warmth. The PDO has since flipped to its cooler phase and the AMO is starting its entry into its cool phase. Many experts are expecting an Arctic summertime sea ice recovery over the next 2 decades.

Even Arctic sea ice experts are now backing off their projections of continued sea ice decline over the next 20 years, see here.

Global sea ice normal 2 years

Not only the North Pole is cooling, but so is the South Pole, which has been smashing record highs for sea ice extent a second year in a row, see here. Global sea ice has been slightly above average for almost 2 years now, thus flying in the faces of alarmists who obstinately cling to the belief of a warming planet.

Hat-tip Nick Beal at Twitter.

 

Happy 90th Birthday, Dear S. Fred Singer! Alles Gute Zum Geburtstag!

fredsinger

Very few have shaped the climate science debate and forced the unwanted discussion on climate change like Prof. S. Fred Singer has. Photo: Heartland Instiute

One of the differences I’ve noticed between the USA and Germany is how birthdays are regarded and celebrated, especially the “round ones” ending with a zero, mostly beginning at age 40 (I’ve had a couple myself). They really are a big deal out here and big parties are always in order. The “round ones” are sort of seen as real lifetime milestones.

Today one of the giants of climate science rationality and realism is celebrating his 90th birthday: S. Fred Singer.

Without his leadership and wisdom, the global warming skepticism we see today no doubt would have been very different. It certainly would have been nowhere near as strong and nor feared by alarmists as it is today. We owe him a huge thanks for that.

It would take days or even weeks to write about all his accomplishments. To get an idea you can click here here or here. In 1990 he founded the Science & Environmental Policy Project.

He has authored or co-authored books on global warming, one of which was key in forming my own positions on the subject: Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. German Geologist Sebastian Lüning even credited Dr. Singer for playing a an important role in shaping his positions. It goes without saying that the same can be said for thousands of others.

So NoTricksZone wishes Dr. Singer a wonderful and happy 90th birthday, and I’m sure readers, friend and foe alike, will also join me in wishing him many more years participating and playing an instrumental role in the exciting climate science discussion.

So, heart-felt congratulations to one of my heroes!

 

Antarctic Sea Ice On Turbo-Steroids…Mutates To A Behemoth…Sets Quantum All-Time Record High Extent!

In track and field a sprinter setting a new world record in the 100 or 200-meter dash by a few hundredths of a second is already considered a sensation.

Now imagine a sprinter breaking the 100 or 200-meter dash record by a whole half second, or a pole-vaulter beating the old record not by an inch or two, which would be spectacular, but by an entire foot! That would be unworldly and observers would call it a mutation leap forward.

Antarctica_Record

Antarctic sea ice takes a mutation leap. Source: Cryosphere

This is precisely what has just happened with sea ice growth at the South Pole around Antarctica.

Not only was last year’s all-time high sea ice record beaten this year, but smashed it by such a wide a margin that is meteorologically unworldly. If anyone is searching for a sign of a “tipping point”, this could be one. Unfortunately the tip seems to be in the opposite direction!

At least week’s Saturday Summary, Joe Bastardi even compared the South Pole’s new record to King Kong belting a 700-foot home run out of the ballpark. Not wanting to get too carried away, we have to keep in mind that we are looking here at the satellite record only, which goes back to 1979. Yet, it is still truly amazing by any standard.

Of course everyone’s question now is: Why has this happened? Unfortunately no one has an answer or even plausible hypotheses. It is mysterious. What is clear, however, is that once again alarmist global warming climatologists, who 10 years ago predicted a meltdown was imminent, are embarrassed and speechless. The same can be said about the media.

Never has the consensus been so unsettled.

 

Russian National Television Film Warns Of Cooling…Senior Woods Hole Scientist Calls Arctic Model Runs “Far From Ideal”!

AndreyIn today’s post you will find a Russian National Television film below, viewed only 70 times so far at Youtube, where Russian scientists express doubt on the IPCC’s version of the CO2 story, and warn of a coming cold period. It is the kind of film alarmists do not want the public to see.  It is dubbed over in English

Photo: Andrey Proshutinsky 

In fact Russian scientists warn that the recent Arctic melt may actually forbode a coming cold. It’s happened before.

In yesterday’s post here I wrote about how Max-Planck-Institute Arctic scientist Dirk Notz said he would not bet on the Arctic ice decreasing in the years ahead, saying in a nutshell that there are just too many poorly understood factors and play.

In his response Notz brought up Andrey Proshutinsky (photo above), a senior Russian scientist at the Department of Physical Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. I sent him an e-mail for comment, and I’m very pleased to say he replied (my emphasis):

Dear Pierre,

I am sorry for delay with my response. I just got your message because of traveling.

Answering your question I can say that the situation with Arctic ice changes is highly uncertain. Our observational record is too short, models are not perfect and initial conditions used for model runs are also very far from ideal. We speculate that Greenland ice melt could be a factor influencing Arctic-Subarctic processes but how it will work is not clear yet. More observations and modeling studies are needed.

Thanks,

Andrey”

His advisories are unmistakable: 1) initial conditions for model runs are “very far from ideal” and that 2) “the observational record is too short“, and thus taken together ought to be a very loud and clear message to policymakers who are in a rush to declare the science settled and to build a phony climate thermostat.

Russian scientists warn of “cold” ahead

Minutes later a second email from Dr. Proshutinsky landed in my mailbox. It contained a link to a highly fascinating, balanced Russian National Television of December 2013 film titled “Cold”, see below.

His second e-mail:

In addition to my previous message, I am sending you a link to our website front page www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre where we have two movies (one of them I showed during my talk at Royal Society). The second movie was made by Russian National Television last year. There are two options there: in English and in Russian. This is about 50-minute film “Cold” with opinions of different scientists about future climate changes. Of course, this is information to entertain general public but you can see that there are many factors which can influence climate and some of them are well predictable (like astronomic parameters) but others are not predictable (like volcanic eruptions).

Thanks,

Andrey”

As Proshutinsky points out, it was made “to entertain general public” but shows the “many factors” driving the climate. Be patient the good stuff starts after the 20-min. mark.

Arctic melt forebodes coming cold, Russian scientists theorize

In the video starting at about the 25 minute mark, Russian scientists warn why they think cooling is a real threat, and remind us there are many factors at work within our climate system.

At the 37:40 mark a Russian scientist is quoted saying:

Besides excessive amounf of cartbon dioxide adds some fractions of a degree to the dangerous warming. However to be honest, the weather is controlled by forces that are beyond our control. We can only adapt, if we are able to of course.”

“This warming is not forever”

And at the 45:17 mark:

Warm winters of the recent years no doubt has made many of us pretty relaxed about the cold. Stories about the cold of 1941 and 1812 are perceived as tales of the past. But the climate is a variable thing. History can repeat itself and this warming is not forever.”

If the film makes anything clear, it is that the Russian view of climate science is far more balanced and calm-minded than what we are used to seeing in the west. It is little wonder Russia is not signing on to extend Kyoto.

Photo credit: Andrey Proshutinsky, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

 

Forbes: “Energiewende Is The Worst Possible Example Of How To Implement An Energy Transition”

Forbes summarizes Germany’s Energiewende:

It’s tragicomic.

To summarize: Energiewende is the worst possible example of how to implement an energy transition. The overzealous push for the wrong generation technology has hurt citizens, businesses, and the environment all at the same time.

I want to make it clear that I’m not saying we should abandon solar. It should definitely be part of our generation mix. Due a mix of bad climate and bad policy, Germany ran into problems at a very low solar penetration, and other countries will be able to reach higher penetrations. But even if we ignore cost, there is still a maximum practical limit to solar power based on the realities of grid management.

  • You can’t build more PV solar than the rest of the grid can ramp up/down to accept. The necessary grid storage for large-scale solar power is a “maybe someday” technology, not something viable today. Calls for 50% of power to come from solar in our lifetimes are a fantasy, and we need to be realistic about that.
  • You can’t force utilities to buy unneeded power just because it’s renewable. The energy and materials to build the excess capacity just goes to waste. That is the opposite of green.

We have to learn those lessons. We can’t sweep this failure under the rug.

Every time a renewables advocate holds Germany up as a shining beacon, they set back the credibility of the environmental movement.”

Read entire story here.

Hat-tip: Robin Pittwood

 

Max Planck Institute Arctic Sea Ice Expert: “I Wouldn’t Put Money On Further Decrease Of Ice Cover”!

About 10 days ago Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) put out a press release on global sea ice. In it AWI scientist Marcel Nicolaus and Lars Kaleschke of the Hamburg Cluster of Excellence for Climate Research (CliSAP) confirmed the “long-term downward trend in the Arctic.”

Somewhat annoyed by that conclusion, I sent the 2 scientists an e-mail asking them if they would bet $1000 on the mean 2017-2022 September sea ice will be less than the mean 2007-2012 September sea ice – just to see if they were ready to put their money where their mouth is. I even made my bet public here.

Unfortunately both Marcel Nicolaus and Lars Kaleschke have yet to reply. No surprise.

I also sent similar e-mails to other scientists at leading institutes all over the world, mainly those that actively claim that the Arctic is melting, asking if betting on less sea ice over the next 10 to 20 years was a safe bet. Some replies have come in. The results of which I will disclose soon in the future.

One excellent response I got was from Dr. Dirk Notz of the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Hamburg. I’m very thankful he took the time to send it. In fact he has been so kind to give me permission for me to post it. His reply (my emphasis):

===============================

Dear Pierre,

thanks for being in touch, and sorry for the slow reply. I was at a meeting with surprisingly little internet access.

Regarding the bet: I’d be very careful to place a bet in either direction, simply based on our understanding of the system from climate-model simulations. These basically say that on short time scales, such as from one decade to the next, internal variability can cause both an increase or a decrease of the ice coverage. To exemplify this, I’ve attached a slide that shows 30-year long trends from our climate-model simulations (Trends_for_talk3.pdf).

Notz_1 MPIM

There you see 30-year long trends for different start dates in our simulations, which vary wildly. This would even more be the case for 10-year long trends. Hence, I wouldn’t put money on a further decrease of the ice cover in the years to come, nor on the opposite.

I’ve also attached a plot showing two of the simulations with our Earth-System Model, which suggest that there might be slightly less sea ice in the next decade, but other simulations show a slight increase on these short time scales.

Notz_2 MPIM

Hence, on time scales such as one decade, the ice cover could well increase a bit (as you are suggesting), but it might also decrease. This depends in my opinion primarily on weather patterns in individual summers – nothing we can predict at the moment.

Having said this, however, one of the presentations at the meeting I’ve just been to by Andrey Proshutinsky went in the same direction as you’re suggesting, namely that because of ocean cycles there will be a recovery of sea ice in the years to come. However, I don’t believe this to be a very robust finding that I would put money on at the moment. It’s nevertheless certainly something that we’ll investigate more in the time to come.

I hope this helps you (and I also hope that it’ll save you from eventually having to pay $1000!).

Please let me know if any further questions should come up.

Best wishes,

Dirk

==============================

Dr. Notz is Head of the Research Group Sea ice in the Earth system, where they “use large-scale coupled climate models to better understand the evolution of sea ice in a changing climate”.

What I find interesting is that although he advises me against betting on growing sea ice, he also expressly advises against betting on less. He also drops hints that there are signs pointing to possible Arctic sea ice growth ahead.

Moreover Notz confirms above that Russian oceanographer Andrey Proshutinsky, a senior scientist in the Department of Physical Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, suggests Arctic sea ice cover growth in the years ahead.

In a nutshell, while the AWI seems to have no qualms about (mis?)leading the public to believe Arctic sea ice is shrinking and that the trend will continue, other scientists clearly are no longer ready to go out on that limb.

More on this in the days ahead.

Also read: http://www.carbonbrief.org/

 

EIKE: German Power Grid More Vulnerable Than Ever…”On The Brink Of Widespread Blackouts”!

There was a time when Germany’s power was mostly generated by the traditional sources of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas and hydro. These sources were reliable and keeping the power grid under control was a routine matter. Germany’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide. But then came Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, and with it the very volatile sources of sun and wind.

As a result, today’s German power grid has become a precarious balancing act, and keeping it from collapsing under the load of wild fluctuations has become a real challenge. At the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here, Dr. Klaus Peter Krause writes a piece titled: Always on the brink of a widespread blackouts, where he writes how and why Germany’s power grid has become extremely vulnerable:

Already 3500 emergency grid interventions per year – According to the TAB report of 2011: More than a couple days of blackout would be a national catastrophe – Germany sacrifices its uniquely reliable power supply for the ‘transition to renewable energy’.”

One example Krause cites is a recent incident at the Trimet aluminum plant in the industrial city of Essen:

In the last 12 months the German power grid barely averted a collapse twice by shutting down production. The Westfälische Rundschau (here) on 17 September quoted Trimet Chairman Martin Iffert: ‘We are prepared that something like that would happen as a consequence of the transition to renewable energy, however we were surprised that we had to slam on the brakes already two times.’ According to Iffert the power grid had been on the ‘brink of collapse’ shortly after a drop in wind energy.”

Krause writes that the frequency of emergency grid intervention by grid operators has skyrocketed since renewable energies started coming on line, see the chart here depicting the number of times emergency interventions in the German power grid have been taken each year. Before 2006 grid operators rarely had to take action to keep the grid stable. The number of interventions took off in 2008, and has since spiraled uncontrollably.

Krause writes:

Thus the power supply in Germany is no longer secure enough. It is even highly vulnerable. A blackout could occur on any given day. Up to now they have been successful at averting grid collapses by taking lightning speed action, but the number of emergencies has increased massively and is still rising.”

The instability of the German power grid was even confirmed by Jochen Homann, President of the Bundesnetzagentur, as quoted by German national daily FAZ on 25 June 2014:

Due to the shutdown of the nuclear power plants [in the wake of Fukushima] and the installation of renewable energy generation, the existing power grid is however under considerably more stress. The transmission network operators, who are responsible for the functioning grid operation, must intervene in the use of the grid far more often in order to ensure the stable operation of the grid.”

Krause then explains that the power-consumer protection agency NAEB wrote in a recent member newsletter of volatile power, and how Germany had once acted as a pillar of stability for the overall European-wide power network. “This stability is being sacrificed for no urgent reason and irresponsibly for the sake of the transition to renewable energy, whereby the damage will impact even all of Europe.”

Just how serious the implications of Germany’s unstable power grid are is poignantly described by a German government-commissioned report (TAB, no. 17/5672) of 27 April 2011, where the chance of a massive blackout can no longer be excluded. The summary of the report writes:

Because of the complete proliferation of electrically powered devices in the living and working world, the consequences of a widespread and long-lasting power outage would accumulate to a level of damage of considerable quality. Impacted would be critical infrastructure, and a collapse of the entire society would hardly be preventable.“

Krause writes that just how precarious the situation has become is almost unknown to citizens, and so many are ill-prepared.

He adds that even a power outage of even several hours or a day would cause massive disruptions and paralyze the public transportation of persons and goods, stranding tens of thousands, and blocking fire and medical rescue services, especially in urban areas. Gas stations would be out of order and fuel would thus be lacking. And because of today’s just-in-time supply chains, food at supermarkets would disappear very quickly.

Granted, Krause writes, that the chances of a big blackout are small, but warns the chances are growing and becoming a real threat. “Because of the ‘increase in decentralized and stochiastic power feed-in’, the risk of a grid failure and higher outage rates in on the rise. Here wind and solar energy are meant“.

Moreover, experts say that the German power grid is more vulnerable than ever to storms, snow, ice, criminal activity, terrorism, or just plain human error. All the vulnerability is due to a recklessly applied disorganized renewable energy policy. Krause summarizes:

Germany, like all modern industrial countries is highly vulnerable to possible power outages. But with its energy policy, Germany’s leadership is increasing the risk, without any urgent reason, in a wanton irresponsible manner.”

Finally, Steffen Hentrich, of the Liberalen Institute of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation for Liberty wrote one year ago (here):

It’s no longer a secret that the almost unbridled expansion of so-called renewable energies in the context of a technically and economically overloaded power grid will become a risk for the power supply stability in Germany, and increasingly for our European neighbors.”

 

Spiegel Writes Cook’s 97% Consensus Claims “Are Deceiving The Public”…”A Failed Call To Action”

Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski, an educated geologist, presents an article today at the online Spiegel explaining how the once highly ballyhooed “97% consensus” claim is in fact deceptive and “a half-truth”: Failed Scientists’ Call To Action at UN Climate Conference: The 97 Percent Trap.

Bojanowski begins by describing how last year even President Obama tweeted the claim, but then adds that the “claimed consensus among scientists is actually something other than what Obama suggests“.

97 scientists “deceiving the public”

And on the latest pre-New York Climate Conference campaign by 97 scientists promoting the idea of consensus, the Spiegel journalist writes that “they are deceiving the public“.

Last year scientists led by John Cook of the University of Queensland published in the journal Environmental Research Letters a study showing that more than 97% of scientists claim global warming is man-made. Bojanowski writes: “They [the scientists] had asked environmental activists at the Internet site ‘Skeptical Science’ to evaluate thousands of climate studies.

On the results Bojanowski writes that “less than 1% of the studies expressly disputed the impact by man. A good two thirds took no position on the topic – and so were not included.

No consensus to speak of

Bojanowski blasts the results of the survey, explaining that “the study confirms only a banality: Scientists are for the most part in agreement than man contributes to climate warming. Even hard-nosed critics of climate science do not doubt the physical principle that exhaust from automobiles, factories and power plants warm the air.” He then reminds readers that man’s impact is a side issue, and that the real issue is the extent man has an impact and whether or not the climate warming is a dangerous thing. Here on the real central issues Bojanowski writes there is absolutely no consensus to speak of.

So why are the 97 scientists trying to produce a different impression? Bojanowski provides an answer:

The public, so the authors justify the idea behind the study, are hesitating to support climate protection because of uncertainty over the consensus among scientists. [...] The 97 percent campaign is to ‘strengthen’ the study, the initiators at ‘Skeptical Science’ write.”

Massive criticism from experts worldwide

Critical reaction from other experts came rapidly, Bjoanowski cites Dan Kahan of Yale Law School, who believes the message “promotes the polarization of society“. Also cited is meteorologist Victor Venema of the University of Bonn, who wrote that “‘consensus’ is in itself uncomfortable to many scientists.”

Bojanowski also puts Georgia Tech professor Judith Curry down as a harsh critic of the Cook study asl well. Curry calls the nature of such a survey “senseless”.

Also Richard Tol is cited in the Spiegel article. Bojanowski writes:

Richard Tol of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin aims methodical criticism at Cook’s study: The evaluated climate studies were haphazardly selected. And whether or not the people evaluating the studies worked reliably was not tested. ‘People who want to argue that climate researchers are secretive and incompetent,’ says Tol polemically, ‘only have to point to the 97% consensus paper’.”

Bojanowski ends the piece with a shot of sarcasm, telling readers that “the Environmental Research Letters, which published the paper, was impressed by the Cook study. They selected it best article of 2013.

 

World’s 6th Largest Newspaper Displays DiCaprio’s Hypocrisy…”Private Jets” and “Luxury Mega-Yachts”

Online German daily Bild, the world’s sixth largest daily in print by circulation, reported on the climate demonstration in New York and on the stars who appeared, foremost Leonardo DiCaprio.

At first Bild describes the event as the “largest climate demonstration of all time” and how the event drew more than 300,000 in New York, making it sound impressive.

But then Bild pours cold water on the noble planet rescue attempt and made it look like one hijacked by big Hollywood publicity seekers, and making star Di Caprio look like a hypocrite for demanding climate action while living a lavish life of luxury, mega-yachts, private jets and limousines.

Bild writes:

DiCaprio’s dedication however drew derisive comments. US news site “The Daily Caller“ accused the actor of hypocrisy.

At Twitter critics ridiculed how the star flew over to New York for the demonstration with his private jet. Others pointed out with outrage that the actor was a guest on the giant yacht of an Arabian multi-billionaire earlier this summer.”

Reactions/comments by Bild readers are practically unanimous, with the underlying message: Climate science is a farce and DiCaprio is behaving like a hypocrite. What follows are just a random few I’ve translated:

Reader Liliia Lilianenko comments:

Leonardo di Caprio should refrain from his luxury yacht if he doesn’t want climate change.”

Flecha Rota wrote:

In the meantime lots of scientists are recognizing that solar activity influences the climate one hundred times more than man ever will! But it just doesn’t register in the heads of climate fanatics. As is the case with all fanatics, facts that counter their nonsense are simply blocked out.”

Carlos Hathcock writes:

The great climate lies – and (almost) everyone is fooled by it!”

Stephen Putt:

Climate swindler Al Gore: In 2013 Arctic will be ice-free, but the ice sheet of the Arctic compared to a year earlier has grown by more than 50%.”

Robert Robson:

Photos of Leo spending his holidays on some luxury yacht is what first impressed me along with the headline…Likely he also rides in an SUV to the organic food store three blocks away :)”

And so is the tenor of almost every single reader comment at Bild on the Hollywood star led demo.

Spiegel: False Extinction Claim “A Problem For British Royal Society”…IPCC “Credibility In Question More Than Ever”!

Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski writes here about the grave error committed by the British Royal Society’s in its false claim that the Rhachistia aldabrae snail had gone extinct and that it had been due to global warming. Full story here in English.

Hat-tip: Reader DirkH.

Bojanowski calls the news of the extinction being false “good news”, but says that it has become “a problem for British Royal Society” and that the re-appearance of the alleged climate change victim has put the Royal Society “in difficulty“.

The story, first reported by the Times, is now catching some of the attention of the German mainstream media, which have been reluctant to report the good news. Bojanowski describes how scientists declared the snail extinct and how subsequent rebuttals were rejected.

Eventually a red-faced Royal Society admitted that the reviewers of the rebuttal were the very same who reviewed the 2007 paper which had declared extinction.

IPCC credibility questioned more than ever

Not only the Royal Society has been embarrassed by the snail’s re-appearance, Bojanowski also writes that “the case is also inconvenient for the UN IPCC“, which claimed global warming was threatening to make a number of species extinct and that the snail’s alleged disappearance was a sign of this happening.

On the IPCC Bojanowski writes:

Now credibility is in question more than ever”.

At the end Bojanowski tells readers, however, that the snail’s re-appearance is no reason to call off the alarm:

The number of snails at the Seychelles coral atoll has shrunk considerably since the 1970s. Reason unclear.”

The science is as murky as ever. But one thing is clear: some scientists were in quite a rush to declare it dead and to use it as a poster-child for global warming.

Backfired!

 

NOAA Devolving To An Orwellian Political Farce…Veteran Meteorologist: “Fox Is Guarding The Henhouse”

The NOAA recently declared several months of this year as being the hottest on record, standing out in stark contrast to other datasets and observed reality.

The NOAA claims seem to be so odd that it has become the target of heavy criticism and ridicule (see here, here, here and here), especially with the backdrop of the cold winters the northern hemisphere has recently experienced and the growing global sea ice levels.

The latest condemnation comes from senior meteorologist Joe Bastardi at his latest Saturday Summary, where he called the seemingly rogue institute a “fox guarding the henhouse“. To back up his claim Bastardi presents charts contradicting the NOAA’s Orwellian hottest August claim. According to the veteran meteorologist other datasets such as UAH and NCEP (under +0.20°C) disagree with the NOAA’s outlier figure of +0.75°C.

Bastardi believes the NOAA is no longer a credible source: “I don’t believe it anymore.” To explain why he thinks the NOAA is fudging a heat record, Bastardi shows the following NCEP chart:

SatSumNCEP chart

He asks how can 0.165°C be the warmest ever when other months in the past, like May 1998, were far warmer?

Probably his most compelling piece of evidence pointing to NOAA deception is the next NCEP chart, which depicts a global cooling taking place over the last years, with the current year among the coolest:

SatSum_2

Bastardi, no longer able to hold back his laughter at the NOAA’s claim, asks how the NOAA could possibly say 2014 is the hottest when NCEP uses NOAA data? Looking at ocean cycles, Bastardi believes the planet will see cooler conditions like those in the 1970s by 2030.

NOAA claim “seems to be an outlier”

Dr. Roy Spencer here is less harsh with his assessment of the NOAA’s claim, writing that “the ‘record warm’ SST month of August, 2014 seems to be an outlier, with the SSTs being too warm (or the tropospheric temperatures too cool) compared to the usual behavior”.

For the general citizen observer, if August has set a record at anything, it’s probably the discrepancy magnitude between the NOAA claims and reality itself. With a “record hot planet” sea ice does not grow. Right now, especially at the South Pole, the sea ice is telling us a whole different story. Sea ice doesn’t lie.

Also read Steve Goddard here.world’s

Germany’s Debacle: 2/3 Of Wind Projects “Running Badly To Very Badly”…Case Of The “Missing Wind”

Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here brings up a television report on the disappointing returns from wind parks, recently appearing on SWR South German public television.

The days of the media not questioning green energy are over.

SWF stunned utility manager

Mainz public utility director Detlev Höhner dismayed by wind energy returns. Image cropped here.

Wind parks experienced a gold rush atmosphere, with thousands of turbines being erected over the last 15 years. Now the data are coming in on their real performance, and it looks bad. The German SWR TV report (can be viewed at Youtube) first presents the background on wind energy development in Germany and tells the story of “disappointed investors”, especially in the western German state of Rhineland Palantinate.

Initially investors’ expectations of getting rich on wind were high, the report says. Big returns were promised (between 400 and 800% in 2006). But for a wide majority that dream has shattered violently as losses mount.

“2/3 of all projects are running badly to very badly”

The SWR report at the 1:20 mark says the promises of huge returns were based on overly optimistic wind model forecasts. Werner Haldorf of the pro-wind-energy German Association of Wind Energy analyzed wind park performance and sums up the “surprising” results at the 1:38 mark:

We can say that one third of all projects have pleased the investors, or at least have been satisfactory – depending on how high or low the subjective expectations were, satisfied also with respect to the planning results. And two thirds of all projects are running somewhat badly to very badly.”

In his summary report he concludes:

SWF wind report

The origin of the plight for commercial windparks in Germany is the excessive “planning optimism” (Garrad Hassan) that was created among investors.”

Unexpectedly high repair, maintenance and insurance costs

At the 2:06 mark Daldorf tells SWF that the cause is “the missing wind, too much wind was planned, shoddy planning, improper planning, and unexpected (or falsely expected) high repair, maintenance, and insurance costs“.

These are the results of Daldorf’s nationwide windpark analysis. More and more it is becoming obvious that many of the investors were conned to some extent by Big Wind.

The missing wind

The report then focusses on the wind parks in the German state of Rhineland Palatinate. There the picture is even worse. The problem is that the necessary amount of wind needed to make the projects profitable there often just does not materialize. At the 2:51 mark economist Uwe Pilgram tells viewers that a turbine must run a minimum of 1700 hrs at full capacity each year in order to make a profit. But Pilgram says the average in 2013 was barely over 1400 hours.

Mainz Public Utility Director Detlev Höhner sullenly says that his community’s 20 wind plants put into operation between 2005 and 2010 so far have not made any profit and has made a “light loss”.

In the city of Trier (3:55) the result for its public utility is also disappointing. Public utility manager Rudolf Schöller:

We planned for average wind conditions, but in the first years we had relatively weak winds, and that’s why the wind yields were not so high.”

The reporter tells viewers that some years saw as little as 80% of the expected wind. The reporter adds: “That’s a disaster, experts tells us. A privately run company would certainly have gone bankrupt.”

The problem, the SWR reporter says (5:15), lies in false wind projections. Often times the planning goes out of control and is thus too costly. For the city of Mainz the new wisdom has become: “Don’t trust any planning office“.

Wind index adjusted downward three times!

At the 6:30 mark SWF brings in a wind energy expert Prof. Uwe Leprich, who warns that wind turbines “are not money printing machines” and says that the last years have seen weak wind conditions, yet hopes that will change in the years ahead. Interestingly he says that future wind conditions are based on data from the past and from these data a wind-index is computed for future planning. Here he admits (7:00 mark) that the wind index has been “adjusted three times” downward. Leprich blames the unpredictable weather conditions specifically in Rhineland Palatinate for the wind park profit problems.

The moderator then asks why that had not been foreseen (7:27 mark). Leprich replies that data from the previous decades were used, and blames “changes in wind conditions over the last few years“, adding that the wind index had to be adjusted nationwide. He repeats that especially in Rhineland Palatinate the wind conditions are especially difficult.

Skeptics’ warnings were ignored

Later Leprich says that “new framework conditions” have since been drawn up for planning future projects and that planners will need to be extra careful when siting wind projects. Readers here need to know that wind-park opponents and skeptics provided plenty of warnings on the poor profitability of wind parks, but in the mad and blind gold rush, no one heeded the warnings. Skeptics were branded crackpots, naysayers and complainers.

And what about the communities that have already falsely speculated (8:40) and lost money? Who pays for the losses, asks the moderator? Leprich doesn’t answer the question, making a huge circle around it. It was a rhetorical question anyway.

German green energy companies collapsing

The SWR report also looks at how Germany’s recent cut in subsidies for green energies and on how renewable energy companies are really feeling the pain. At the 9:30 mark the report features German renewable energy company Juwi., which years earlier had boomed mightily in the wind and solar businesses. In 2012 the company even broke the €1 billion mark in sales. But the report continues: “However 2 years later, everything is different“. Today the mood at Juwi is especially bleak as the company lays off its workers: Every third worker is getting a pink slip – 400 in all.

Government to blame…CEO drives expensive sports car

Without the subsidy nipple, the orders disappear and green energy companies die off. At the 12:20 mark the reporter says that the Juwi managing director Matthias Willenbacher blames the government for the misery, just before he is shown cruising in his ultra-high-priced sports car.

Back in the studio at the 14:00 mark, Leprich says the industry grew too fast and was led by inexperienced managers. He says the move into green energies was too rash and uncontrolled. He calls the massive investment in solar energy a mistake and concedes that the industry was too dependent on politics. At the end Leprich still thinks that solar and wind energy are the energies of the future – a seemingly obstinate position in view of the monumental debacle they are turning out to be. Leprich keeps clinging.

Historic industrial debacle

In reality, however, what we are actually seeing is the unfolding of one of history’s greatest industrial debacles, all driven by a fraudulent climate science and a deceptive industry. Slowly realizing they’ve been bamboozled, the German media, government and the numerous green energy promoters are scrambling to save face.

USA poised to follow same ruinous path

With the debacle now clear to the rest of the world, one would think other countries would sober up and be more cautious about following a similar path. They aren’t. Indeed it is truly astonishing that other countries, like the USA for example, are ignoring it all and are now attempting to put themselves on the very same ruinous path to repeat the German debacle, and to do so on an even grander scale.

If there ever was a definition for madness, this is it.