German Power Giant EnBW Warns Customers Of Power Disruptions From Tomorrow’s European Solar Eclipse

Hat-tip: European Institute for Climate and Energy

German power producer EnBW has sent a letter (see below) to its customers informing them that the situation was under control as tomorrow’s solar eclipse is poised to put Germany in partial darkness shortly before noon and to test the country’s power grid stability.

Because of the eclipse, up to 12,000 megewatts of PV power could disappear from the grid (if it’s sunny) in a mere hour at around 10:00 a.m. Then, shortly before noon, 19,000 megawatts could surge into the power grid in just an hour as the moon allows the sun’s radiation to shine back in unhindered.

EnBW warns of possible grid instability and the disruption of frequency sensitive industrial machinery as a result. In Germany power generators themselves are not allowed to operate power grids. Independent grid operating companies perform that task.

EIKE writes that the letter seems to pre-emptively point the finger at the grid operators should blackouts or disruptions occur.

What follows is that letter, translated in English (German version thanks to J. Kowatsch):

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Re: Partial solar eclipse on March 20, 2015:
Your power supply is in good hands

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

On March 20, 2015, a partial solar eclipse will occur over parts of Europe. This natural phenomenon will also have impacts on the power supply. As your partner for all matters concerning energy, we have put together a few important facts.

The solar eclipse will begin in Spain and end in Scandinavia. In Germany between ca. 9:10 and 12:00 noon up to 82% of the sun will be covered by the moon. If the sky is overcast, then the possible impacts will be very limited. However on a sunny day it will lead to a drop in power generation from PV systems of up to 12,000 megawatts in Germany, which is equivalent to 12 large power plants. Beginning at about 10:50 the power will then increase by up to 19,000 megawatts within about an hour.

The four power transmission grid operators in Germany are responsible for ensuring the usual system stability. The challenge is to completely balance the drop and the later subsequent rapid increase in power fed in from the PV systems by using many flexible power generations units. The power transmission grid operators have prepared well for this event. The employees at the grid control and switching centers have been trained for this special situation, and control centers will be manned with extra personnel on March 20, 2015.

Yet the chances of disruptions cannot be fully excluded. For example frequency fluctuations can effect sensitive systems (CNC machines, robots and other computer-controlled systems, etc.). Should you have any concerns, we recommend that you drive your systems down to a stable condition.

You will find more information at a mutual press release by the four power transmission grid operators dated 23 February, 2015, which we have enclosed. Moreover you will find at “Zeit online“ a fuctuial article as well as a video animation [scroll down] which illustrates very nicely the possible impacts on power feed-in by PV systems in Germany on a sunny day: http://blog.zeit.de/gruenegeschaefte/2015/03/03/sonnenfinsternis-energiewende/.

Have you got questions? Then give me a call. I’m gladly at your service.

Sincerely

Sales & Solutions GmbH

i.V. Christoph Schade

Mail: c.schade@EnBW.com

Enclosed: Press release by the four power transmission grid operators from February 23.

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Green Progress: World’s Most Efficient Gas-Fired Turbines To Get Shut Down Due To “Energiewende”!

With a whopping efficiency of up to 60.75%, it is considered the world’s most efficient gas-fired power plant; it’s the ultimate when it comes to turbine engineering (see following promo video).

“Answer to climate protection” to be mothballed! World’s most efficient gas-fired power generation plant to shut down as a consequence of a run-amok “Energiewende”.

No other conventional power plant on earth is able to extract as much energy from what gets put into it. And because it burns natural gas, the 1400-megawatt Irsching gas-fired Siemens SGT5-8000H power generating units emit relatively low amounts of CO2 and pollutants.

Yet its operators, among them energy giant E.on, are aiming to mothball the recently installed modern gas-fired facility for good. The reason? It’s losing money because Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, which allows conventional plants to operate only when the wind and sun aren’t putting out.

Hat-tip: EIKE here.

The Irsching gas-fired power generators are unable to operate at a profit because the facility has to yield to wind and solar energy, which are mandated to be fed first into the grid by law. The result: the modern gas turbines are forced to operate intermittently when the sun and wind are AWOL, which means they are unable to cover their high operating costs. The dirtier coal power plants have lower operating costs, and so they are making a comeback. Result: the green energy revolution is leading to more CO2 emissions, and not less.

According to FOCUS magazine, the Irsching gas-fired plant located near Ingolstadt in southern Germany has become “the symbol of the faulty development of the Energiewende” – Germany’s ongoing transition to green energies.

Industry association leader Hans-Joachim Reck, complains: “It’s the paradox of the Energiewende that now the cleanest and most efficient power plants in Germany, the gas-fired power plants, cannot earn money.”

The gas-fired Irsching facility isn’t the only one that risks being shut down because they are prevented from operating at their capacities and efficiencies. FOCUS writes: “approximately 50 applications to shut down similar plants have been submitted across Germany“. As more and more erratic solar and wind power come online, the less efficiently gas-fired plants operate. As a result, Germany’s stable component of its power grid is eroding rapidly.

So how bad has Germany’s energy policy become, outsiders may ask? At EIKE economist Dr. Klaus Peter Krause tells us:

What the political leadership has inflicted with its ‘Energiewende’ and continues to inflict is a ‘farce to the tenth power’. When it comes to the financial burden for Germans and the entire [German] economy, it will surpass the also ruinous euro bailout policy.”

That’s awfully ruinous.

The shutting down of gas-fired plants has already put the south German power supply stability at risk. Already the federal government has intervened and forbidden the mothballing of several gas power plants. This of course will only serve to further burden the power utilities with even more costs. Eventually those too will get passed on to German consumers, who are already paying the second highest electricity rates in the world. Little wonder 600,000 households can no longer afford it.

So far only about a quarter of Germany’s power is supplied by renewables. The target is 90% by 2050. Little wonder many experts think the whole system is going to collapse well before that.

Emerging Environmental Scandal: “Thousands Of Tons Of Toxic” Wind Park Rubbish To Get Dumped At Sea!

Bard Offshore windparkFace it. When it comes to environmental protection, the EU can be awfully strict. Drop just a single molecule of something hazardous out somewhere in nature, and expect it to be treated like the crime of the century. That’s the way it usually is with eco-bureaucrats, except of course when it comes to green energies like ugly wind turbines. There everything suddenly has no real environmental impact, and so they get a free pass.

German news weekly Der Spiegel here recently reported on how windmills are now polluting the North Sea through their corrosion protection systems. Spiegel writes:

With the continued expansion of wind parks out to sea, over the coming decades thousands of tons of toxic metal compounds will be brought into the North and Baltic Seas. The reason is the use of so-called sacrificial anodes. These are for preventing the corrosion of the steel bases of the wind parks.

Spiegel describes how these sacrificial anodes, which contain heavy metals, dissolve over time in the water and that no environmental impact study has ever been conducted. According to Spiegel just the interior corrosion protection of each steel tower will dump up to ten tons of aluminum over its 25-year lifetime. Yes, “each tower”!

With plans to install 6500 turbines out to sea by the year 2020, Spiegel calculates that this means 13,000 tons of aluminum rubbish could end up in the North Sea.

The German weekly also writes that the electrical method of corrosion protection, such as that used on ships, is also possible, but that the method is too expensive due to “higher maintenance requirements”. After all, wind power is already unaffordable enough!

So in Europe are 13,000 tonnes of chemical rubbish getting dumped into the sea anything to really worry about? Obviously not if they comes from “green” sources.

Photo credit: Bard 1.

 

Twice As Much Snow Falling In The Russian Ural Mountains Than 100 Years Ago…Leading To More Tree Growth

German public radio Deutschlandfunk (DLF) reported earlier this year that scientists have discovered that twice as much snow has been falling in the Ural Mountains than 100 years ago.

Ural

Yugyd Va National Park. Public domain photo.

Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne here.

The DLF reports:

Ural: snow causing the tree line to rise.
Climate change does not only mean that the temperature is increasing, it can also change the precipitation patterns. In the Ural Mountains of Russia significantly more snow is falling in the wintertime than 100 years ago. The development is having surprising consequences: The bigger amounts of snow is causing the tree line to rise. […]

In the summertime in the Urals its has not gotten notably warmer over the past 100 years. The wintertime temperatures, however, have increased from minus 18°C to minus 16°C. Warmer low pressure systems are bringing more precipitation to the mountains. In the Urals today twice as much snow is falling than 100 years ago. And that is having an impact on the treeline.”

According to the DLF, a team of German and Russian scientists say the tree line is currently rising at a rate of about 4 to 6 meters per decade.

The scientists believe that the doubled snowfall serves to protect young saplings during the winter and allow soil conditions that foster growth during the summer time. Photos of the region has allowed the scientists to determine treelines that today are up to 60 meters higher than 100 years ago.

 

Solar Impulse 2 Flight-Around-The-World “Without A Drop Of Fuel” In Fact Will Burn Tens Of Thousands of Liters!

SolarImpulse_HB-SIA_landing_Brussels_Airport_3-crop

Sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft is to circumnavigate the globe “without a drop of fuel”. However it will in fact need thousands of litres of fuel from support planes. Photo credit: Brussels Airport, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

There’s been a fair amount of hype surrounding the Swiss Solar Impulse 2 project where it is being attempted to go around the world in a purely solar-powered aircraft, “without using a drop of [fossil] fuel“. It is being billed as a landmark flight, signifying a milestone in green aviation. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Hat-tip: Reader Konrad.

The fixed-wing aircraft departed Abu Dhabi on March 9 and has since landed in India. From there it will continue to China, Hawaii, Phoenix, New York, Morocco before finally coming full circle back to Abu Dhabi sometime in August, 2015 – “without emitting any climate gases”. Full planned route here.

The pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will alternate as the craft makes a series of stops along its journey. The plane is able to carry only a single pilot and no passengers. The aim: “We want to show what’s possible with innovative technologies,” Piccard boasted.

The 2200-kg pioneering aircraft has a wingspan that is comparable to that of an Airbus A340. According to Wikipedia lithium polymer batteries will store and power 10 hp (7.5 kW) motors with twin-bladed propellers. The upper wings have 11,628 photovoltaic cells. The major design constraint is the capacity of the lithium polymer batteries. See plane specs here.

Of course the entire flight is supposed to be done “solely” using renewable energy from the sun, and not use a single drop of aircraft fuel. But when one examines the flight more closely it turns out that mission indeed involves a huge fossil fuel carbon footprint.

According to an audio report by SRF Swiss Radio and Television the Solar Impulse 2 mission involves the substitute pilot, a technical ground crew “of dozens of people” and tonnes of equipment and logistical supplies that have to be flown behind using conventional charter flights. The “fossil fuel-free” Solar Impulse 2 journey is in fact being made possible only with the use of tens of thousands of litres of aviation fuel. This is a fact that is being almost entirely ignored by the media.

The SRF reporter tells listeners:

It is so that the entire group, the team members, are multiple dozens of men and women, have to fly behind in charter planes. This naturally is the less sustainable aspect of the entire project, but it just isn’t possible any other way. This involves one cargo plane for transporting all the equipment, and a small passenger plane on which the entire group travels to the destinations.”

A promotion video here shows how the aircraft was transported from Europe to its start point in Abu Dhabi earlier this year: With a Boeing 747!

 

German Meteorologist Says Climate Models Have Gotten 11 Of The Past 12 European Summers Wrong!

German meteorologist Dominik Jung writes at wetter.net that the first preliminary forecast for Central Europe for the upcoming summer issued by the NOAA does not look very favorable. Expect a “grisly summer”, he writes.

He writes that over the last 10 years spring has generally been on the warm and sunny side, but that Central Europeans have had to pay a price for that by having to put up with wet and variable summer weather.

Models wrong 11 out of 12 years!

Jung then reminds us that the climate models have been very wrong with their 2003 predictions that Central Europeans in the future would have to expect hot, barbecued summers like the one seen in 2003. Back then climatologists warned the public to get used to such summers, as it was all consistent with global warming. Turns out that prediction has been a complete flop. Jung writes:

Do you recall the climate prophets after the hottest and driest summer of all time in the 2003 prophesizing more drought summers? None of that has occurred. Of the 11 summers that followed, 7 were wetter than the long-term mean, i.e. too much rain. Moreover predictions of sustained heat waves failed to come true. Four summers turned out to be almost normal and only one single summer was about 15% too dry. The majority of the past summers saw no large heat waves. It was hot only for a few days, with really cooler days with thundershowers in between.

That could be again the case this year. According to the long-term trend of the US weather service, March and April could turn out to be warmer, sunnier and drier than normal. A few days ago the first trend for the months of June, July, August was calculated by the US colleagues and things don’t look better than the past – in fact it looks a little worse!

This year could be a grisly summer. The US long-term model sees no summer month that will be warmer than the long-term average. All three summer months should be at near normal temperatures and accompanied by more precipitation than normal. August is forecast to be especially wet.”

But Jung warns that these are only long-term projections and that one should not put too much stock in them. Many readers here are aware that the seasonal forecasts made by the US weather services (and those of the UK Met Office) often leave much to be desired.

In fact assuming the opposite would likely be a better prediction.

 

Spiegel: NOAA “Embarrassment” Over “Four Years Of Failed El Niño Forecasts” …”Numerous Buoys Have Ceased To Function”!

We keep hearing that the climate and weather forecasting tools are gaining in sophistication, and correspondingly in reliability. Climate model simulators claim to be able to see decades, even centuries, into the future!

Yet Spiegel Science journalist Axel Bojanowski has an analysis here which looks at the recent spate of failed El Niño predictions by the NOAA, and shows that these forecasting tools are still terribly lacking. His latest piece: “Change in global weather: El Niño embarrasses meteorologists“. (Here I’m not sure why Bojanowski (or his editors) chose the term ‘meteorologists’ because much of the work is arguably done by climate scientists.)

It is an accepted fact that the El Niño cyclic changes in the equatorial Pacific surface temperatures have major impacts on the global weather, especially the northern hemisphere. Thus it would be useful if scientists were able to predict them with some degree of rough accuracy.

Unfortunately accuracy is still a long way off as forecasters falsely predicted an El Niño four years long, and only now has it finally begun to take hold. Bojanowski writes:

Seldom have meteorologists been made to look so foolish. Four years long they published the same prognosis: Soon an El Niño would be taking hold in the Pacific.”

The Spiegel journalist describes how last June experts were “80% sure” a powerful El Niño was in the works, and how in 2013 “a peer-reviewed paper in a well known science journal” boasted of new forecasting methods for El Niños. Sadly, these experts aren’t anywhere near getting it right. So, as a result, Bojanowski writes, they have recently become “considerably more cautious” with their forecasts. Embarrassment does that.

Bojanowski describes how the ENSO’s impact on global weather patterns, wildlife, and even regional sea levels, and how NOAA experts have had to admit the latest El Niño has been an unexpectedly tame one – in stark contradiction to forecasts made earlier. He writes: “The inaccurate forecasts of the past year has forced the scientists to rethink their methods, said NOAA expert Gabriel Vecchi in the journal ‘Nature’.”

Numerous buoys out of order!

Bojnowski also writes that the biggest problem is reliably predicting the weakening of the tradewinds, and says this has become difficult because “numerous buoys have ceased to function over the years” and so are no longer able to measure the changes in sea surface temperature.

That is certainly an interesting revelation presented here by Bojanowski. Still, NOAA El Niño forecasters should not feel too bad about their measurement and forecasting woes because it could be much worse. For example their climate colleagues haven’t gotten their global temperature forecasts right in over 18 years!

And concerning what can be done in place of the “numerous” out-of commission buoys, perhaps the NOAA El Niño scientists could consider using the “filling in the data” method and simply apply the measurements made by the closest functioning buoy (even if it is 1000 kilometers away). After all the global surface temperature scientists seem perfectly satisfied with that particular method. The data-fill-in method would surely allow the NOAA El Nino experts to make forecasts that are just as spectacularly accurate as those of the global warming climate scientists.

Flashback: wattsupwiththat.com/el-nino-sea-monitoring-half-dead-already/

 

Feed-In Tariffs For Renewables And Cronyism Set To Ruin Energy Market In The Philippines

NonoyCopy_400x400By Nonoy Oplas
The Philippines enacted the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008 (Republic Act 9513), which contains various subsidies for renewable energies such feed-in-tariffs (FIT).

Photo: Nonoy Oplas

While it was signed into law in December 2008, FIT was not implemented until July 2012 because many sectors including manufacturing opposed higher price on already expensive Philippine electricity rates. But the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace and other environmental groups in the country lobbied hard to implement the FIT and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) was pressured to give in to their lobbying, but at a lower rate as requested by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).

Oplas_1

Figure 1. Proposed vs approved FIT in the Philippines, pesos per kWh. (Rates approved in mid-July 2012).

Prior to July 2012, there were not many renewable plants that were put up because of the uncertainty when the FIT would be granted and implemented. After July 2012, there was certainty and more renewables were put up.

The ERC started public hearings regarding how much would be added to the monthly bill of electricity consumers in the Philippines when FIT is reflected. In August 2014, the National Transmission Corporation (Transco), the FIT administrator according to the law, said that the forecast annual payout for renewable energy companies based on the FIT petition would be P8.5 billion ($192.3 million) for 2015 and P10.25 billion ($231.9 million) for 2016. Wow! (Source: Philippine Star).

Last February, Manila Electric Cooperative (Meralco) and all other electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in the Philippines started collecting the introductory FIT of PHP 0.04 per kWh. If this rate is retained throughout the year, the projected collection by Transco to be distributed to the renewable firms will be PHP2.7 billion. If the 12 percent VAT is included, this will be a P3.02 billion (US$ 68.3 million, at prevailing P44.2/$ exchange rate) siphoning from the pockets of electricity consumers nationwide.

FIT rate will be adjusted and rising through time as more renewables are added to the country’s power generation mix.

Rising FIT has happened and continues to happen in Germany, which probably has one of the world’s most elaborate renewables subsidy schemes. The FIT keeps rising as more renewables, wind and solar especially, are added yearly to the energy mix and electricity distributors are forced to buy them even when cheaper electricity from coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro are available.

Oplas_2

Figure 2. FIT paid by consumers in Germany, in Euro cents per kWh. Source: BMU: Germany’s Electricity Price More Than Doubles…Electrocuting Consumers And Markets, 7 December 2014.

So electricity prices in Germany keep rising. This will happen to the Philippines too, no thanks to RA 9513 the renewables cronyism law.

Oplas_3

Figure 3. Cost paid by households in Germany, Euro cents per kWh. Source: BDEW: Germany’s Electricity Price More Than Doubles…Electrocuting Consumers And Markets, 7 December 2014

What makes FIT a formula for ever-rising price  of electricity? As contained in Section 7 of RA 9513, the FIT forces the following:

(a) Priority connections to the grid for electricity generated from emerging renewables such as wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower and biomass power plants,

(b) Priority purchase and transmission of, and payment for, such electricity by the grid system operators;

(c) Fixed tariff to be paid to renewables producers  for 20 years; and

(d) Compliance with the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

The RPS as contained in Section 6 of the law, is the minimum percentage of generation from eligible renewable energy resources to be set by the NREB.

So combining FIT and RPS, this means that even if cheaper power from say Quezon coal or Sual coal, Magat or Pantabangan hydro, Sta. Rita or Ilijan natural gas are available especially during non-peak hours, but wind power from Ilocos are available, Meralco and the various provincial electric cooperatives of the Luzon grid are forced to buy from the expensive wind power plants.

While many environmental activists were among the groups that opposed electricity price hikes in the past, it is sure they will rein in their noise and militance now that their beloved renewables will be among the major contributors to rising electricity prices in the country. Double talk can happen anytime.

Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced 14 renewable energy projects with combined capacity of 304 MW, which have been endorsed as qualified for the FIT program. The DOE has issued certificates of endorsement (CoE) to five biomass, three small hydro, two solar and four wind power  projects.

This means that the resulting power capacity will be dispatched to the grid at a fixed rate over a period of 20 years.

The installations for RE power totaled 750 MW: run-of-river hydro and biomass projects at 250 MW each, wind power at 200 MW, and solar power at 50 MW, but may soon be raised to 500 MW.

Aside from FIT and RPS, RA 9513 gives many other subsidies or relaxation of regulations and taxation to the renewable producers, privileges that are denied to producers of conventional but cheaper power sources. These privileges include: (a) income tax holiday for 7 years; (b) duty-free importation of renewable energy machinery, equipment and materials within the first 10 years; (c) special realty tax rates; (d) net operating loss carry over (NOLCO) to be carried for the next 7 years; (e) 10% corporate tax rate (not 30%); (f) tax exemption of carbon credits; and (g) tax credit on domestic capital equipment and services.

This author is not against renewable sources per se. They are fine, along with geothermal, big hydro, coal and natural gas. What is objectionable is the cronyism and favoritism granted to the renewables which results in ever rising electricity prices in the country. The case of Germany is already a guide for us. The same pattern is happening too in Spain and UK.

Government intervention and cronyism in energy policy is wrong and counter-productive. Governments should get out of electricity pricing and stop forcing grid operators and electricity distributors to buy from renewables when their rates are expensive. RA 9513 needs major amendments to remove the FIT and RPS schemes.

Nonoy Oplas is a free marketer in Manila who runs the funwithgovernment.blogspot.com.

Embarassing Revelations For Kelley et al…2008 German Radio Already Showed Focus On Climate Change Was Misplaced

The Kelley et al study is increasingly looking like a politically bought panic paper, designed to send out a certain message and mislead the public.

What is especially tragic about the whole nonsense is that the paper only serves to shift the focus away from the real causes behind the worsening tragedy in the Syrian region.

A couple of days ago I wrote about a Spiegel piece that shredded the paper and exposed it as very shoddy work of science.

At Twitter the author of the Spiegel piece, Axel Bojanowski, got a reply from another rather high caliber German journalist, Gabor Paal, who confirms that the situation in Syria has much less to do with climate change, and much more to do with lousy land-use and agricultural practices.

On March 7 Bojanowski wrote:

Did climate change really spark the Syria War as claimed? The basis for that is flimsy.”

On March 9, Paal responded to Bojanowski:

@Axel_Bojanowski I was in Syria in 2008. Scientists acquired funding with reference to ‘climate change’. Land-use was clearly the bigger problem.”

So what we have here is yet another journalist casting grave doubt on the claims made by Kelley et al.

Paal provided the link to a 2008 radio documentary on Syria he had produced with the focus on the crop failures that the Middle Eastern country had been experiencing and their causes. The radio documentary was featured at SWF South German Broadcasting. Throughout the documentary the emphasis on the reasons for the crop problems in Syria was squarely on land-use and poor agricultural practices, with climate change not playing any real role.

The documentary begins by explaining how Syria is divided into 5 different climate zones. In Zone 5, the largest and most arid, groundwater has been pumped out to such an extent that vegetation can no longer thrive. At the 10-minute mark:

More than half the country belongs to Zone 5, the steppes and desert region. Here it rains less than 200 mm per year. Zone 5 is government property. There are no privets lots. Agriculture would be possible here only with irrigation, but the water table has dropped so much that the steppes have become so barren that the government has forbidden all use. The blame for this is not climate change, but rather the way the land is managed.”

The documentary explains how 75% of all farmers raise sheep to earn a living, and that millions of sheep are living where less than 150 mm of rain falls yearly. Vegetation has no chance. “15 – 20% of the steppes are lost and maybe we cannot recover them.” The documentary adds that there are 15 million sheep in Syria and that the figure is 4 times more than 10 years ago.

“Media fixated on climate”

Another problem the region faced, Paal said, was the threat of the UG 99 fungus that threatened the region’s grain crop.

At the very end of the SWR report Paal stated:

In the public media reporting, agricultural research has not made any progress. The media are fixated on climate and the focus on the ground beneath their feet has been lost. And now in the wake of the food crisis, international agricultural reseach has the chance to benefit once again.”

Today, some 7 years later, Kelley et al tells us that this has not come to pass – tragically. The focus still remains on the bogus problem of climate change and people are suffering more unimaginable misery than ever because of it.

Someone needs to go to jail.

 

Climate Experts Say A Google Attempt To Rank Websites Based On “Truth” Would Backfire …”Nut-Job Conspiracy Theories”

A few days ago I wrote about how Google was researching into changing how it ranks websites during searches, claiming that the aim was to give sites that are loose with the truth a lower ranking and to favor sites deemed to be reputable.

But the possibility of abuse in such a system is worrisome.

So I asked some leading climate figures by e-mail what they thought and have gotten some responses. Here’s what they wrote (some editing):

Prof. Nir Shaviv (astrophysicist)

It is just a research project. The Fox News article says ‘A Google spokesperson told FoxNews.com that the fact-based-rankings are, at this point, just a research project.’

I can’t imagine Google will do anything like that. It is so wrong on so many levels it would be shooting themselves in the leg.”

Lubos Motl (physicist):

I don’t believe that it’s technically possible to design an algorithm that could reasonably accurately assign the truth value to all pages on the Internet (it’s just very hard to evaluate all the billions of statements that are out there – quite often, one really knows the answer) – I would be impressed if they proved me wrong; and I don’t believe that Google will impose filters that would selectively and significantly skew results in a direction that is political.

I don’t believe that Google plans to suppress or eliminate skeptical blogs about the climate from the rankings, and I don’t even think that this follows from any media reports on Fox News or elsewhere, so I view these fears as nut job conspiracy theories.

It’s my belief that they’re doing a good job. Some said that the solution to these censorship fears (which seem unjustifiable to me themselves) is to create a competition to Google, or something like that. Even if some folks in Google have politically extreme, left-wing opinions etc., they’re still primarily a technological company that has done amazing things that even some of the best people in big competing companies such as Microsoft couldn’t have matched (and I am a fan of Microsoft). Of course if Google searches turned out to be unusable due to political censorship or something like that, people like me would try to switch to a competition.

Google is an extremely important company and it is assessing its importance sensibly. Generally I am not going to join the bashing of Google based on conspiracy theories. My cooperation with the company (talking about AdSense) has been good for many years and as an ordinary user, I am impressed how many services Google has done for the users basically for free. Even if they wanted to use their search engine to push politics or the climate debate in some direction, they clearly have the right to do so, but because it would mean to throw away the value of the company which has grown into a rather standard corporation, I don’t believe that it will really take place, regardless of the opinions of some officials at various places.

Dr. Holger Thuss (President of EIKE)

Without a doubt, there are a lot of lies out there. However if Google really thinks a truth formula is the right way to promote ‘truth’, it will backfire on them because there simply is no such thing as absolute truth. Hence I believe this step would be entirely unnecessary. It will not stop promoters of ‘inconvenient truths’ such as climate realists from doing what they are doing, and it would cost Google large parts of its credibility. On the other hand, it would slow down important political and scientific debates. I also don’t see how, in the future, Google will convince organizations to pay for its advertising services if its reputation is damaged and people go away to other search engines. Nobody likes to listen to truther organizations.”

Dr. Benny Peiser (Chairman, GWPF)

I very much doubt that Google will implement the proposal to rank websites according to their “truthfulness.” Such a potentially self-destructive move would make Google look like George Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ who was responsible to falsify historical events or rewrite predictions. One only has to think about the way Google would deal with Michael Mann’s ‘Hockey Stick’ and the elimination of the Medieval Warm Period from history to realise the potential for abuse and manipulation.”

Dr. Hans H.J. Labohm (Dutch publicist)

Nobody should claim to possess the monopoly on truth. Therefore let people decide for themselves what information they deem trustworthy. And remember: ‘Du choc des opinions jaillit la vérité!’ Consequently Google should drop this initiative and bury it, covering it with a tombstone with the inscription: R.I.P.

Dr. Sebastian Lüning (Die kalte Sonne)

 Who would be the referees in this process, and how impartial could they be?

Dr Sonja A Boehmer Christiansen (Editor, Energy & Environment)

On whether Google would be able to control the Truth:

NO that would take a long time to emerge if ever…many scientific disputes took centuries to be resolved. Truth is likely to establish itself, temporarily, if combined and advertised in combination with solutions, like AGW.

There are short-term truths of course, what people act on in the hope that it is the truth, but then they usually have another motive to back up the truth like greed, personal advantage, getting research funds, pleasing ‘mates’. If they went ahead, they would be taking on a divine role. A warning!”

 

Spiegel Demolishes Syria War-Climate Change Paper By Kelley et al. …”Hardly Tenable” … “Distraction From Real Problems”

Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski here looks at the new paper Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought,” PNAS, March 2, 2015 by Kelley et al, which claims the 2007−2010 drought contributed to the war in the region.

A number of major news outlets, such as the New York Times and the AP were quick to uncritically dispense it as gospel truth.

Anthony Watts provides good background here.

Spiegel’s view is much more critical and skeptical of the paper’s findings and overall methodology when compared to the New York Times or AP. The online German magazine writes:

An alarming study has created a commotion worldwide. The authors claim that climate change contributed to the drought and civil war in Syria. However this claim is hardly tenable.”

Models in wide disagreement

Bojanowski writes that the decisive evidence in the paper is based on climate models, which show drier conditions for Syria as the greenhouse effect intensifies. However Bojanowski later points out that the climate system in Syria is highly complex and that even the IPCC questions the capability of models reliably simulating the climate system of Syria and that the models are in wide disagreement:

The region lies on the boundary of three climate regions where the weather patterns are hardly understood, the IPCC report says. Foremost the climate simulation models diverge widely from each other when it comes to precipitation. It thus appears unwarranted to use the results of models as a way of confirming the effect of greenhouse gases, believes [William]Briggs.”

Sparse data

Another problem with the study, Spiegel reports, is that the data used were way too sparse, and quoted climate scientist Tim Brücher of the Max Planck Institute for Meterology: “The data should have been handled more critically.”

“Renders a poor service on behalf of climate science”

Probably seeing the paper more as an embarrassment rather than a contribution to science, even warmist institutes were unable to refrain from critique. Bojanowski quotes Thomas Bernauer, a conflict researcher at ETH in Zürich: “The entire paper is problematic as it renders a poor service on behalf of climate science.”

“Study is problematic at a number of levels”

In total Bojanowski says scientists criticize the paper on five aspects, saying that after the criticism, nothing is really left of the paper. According to Spiegel, University of Hamburg expert Tobias Ide says, “The study is problematic at a number of levels.” Peace scientist Christiane Fröhlich of the same university says the civil war “had more to do with wealthy citizens provoking it“.

“A distraction” from the real causes

Francesca De Châtel, Syria expert at Radboud University in Nijmegen, called the paper “a distraction” from the real causes of the war, and pointed out that drought periods are more the norm for the region. The problems stem foremost from land mismanagement and shoddy agricultural practices. Bojanowski quotes De Châtel: “The role of climate change is not only irrelevant, emphasizing it is even damaging.”

No evidence linking drought to civil war

Also Norwegian doctoral candidate Ole Magnus Theisen states that there is no evidence of a relationship between drought and conflict, Spiegel writes.

Bojanowski adds that “the climate argument allows politicians to blame others outside of the country for the hunger.” The Spiegel journalist sums up the science of tying climate change to war in general:

The main causes of civil wars are political. The future security of Africa does not depend on climate, rather on political and economic development.”

In summary one would not be wrong in concluding that the PNAS was definitely asleep during the review of the paper. Hard to get any shoddier.

Spiegel report here.

 

German Physical Chemistry Scientist On Nature Article Of Proof Of CO2 Forcing: “Measurements Show Exact Opposite”

A recent publication in Nature purported it had finally detected the radiative forcing of increasing atmospheric CO2.

German physical chemist Dr. Siegfried Dittrich slams the media’s assertions of proof that CO2 was guilty of the warming, claiming they are faulty and that they were passed on uncritically by German news weekly FOCUS ONLINE. Here’s the translation:
==================================

Climate Warming From Carbon Dioxide?
By Dr. Siegfried Dittrich, on the DPA German News Agency release appearing at Focus-Online 27 February 2015: “Climate warming through carbon dioxide: The proof: CO2 is indeed guilty of the greenhouse effect“.

‘The real guilt by CO2 for the greenhouse gas effect is finally proven.’ This was the subheading of a DPA release appearing at FOCUS Online on 27 February.

Later in the text it is written: ‘For the first time we are seeing the enhancement of the greenhouse effect in nature’, and at the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute for Meteorology it was gleefully added that finally also the magnitude of the anthropogenic impact has become visible.

It all goes back to the latest surface radiation measurements recently published in an essay in Nature (details here and here). However no one seems to have noticed that the measurements actually showed the exact opposite of what is claimed to have been proven above, namely nothing other than what serious climate critics have always been saying about anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

The number for the increase in CO2-dependent back radiation given by Nature of 0.2 watt/m2 per decade is indeed in reality nothing more than trifle. Why would the earth be shocked when 1367 watts per square meter strikes the surface at noon along the equator? The ever-changing deviations from this so-called solar constant mean value are in fact considerably greater than the above given 0.2 watts/m2.

According to the IPCC, the surface radiative forcing increase in the event of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration is exactly 3.7 Watt/m2, a figure that has been independently confirmed on multiple occasions. Over the last decade the atmospheric CO2 concentration increased some 20 parts per million. Currently it stands at about 400 ppm. Here any undergraduate student is able to compute that the resulting surface radiative forcing increase is approximately 0.2 watt/m2, which has been confirmed by the above mentioned measurements.

Also the resulting global temperature increase can be computed using one of the IPCC equations, which also can be derived from the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law.

In Nature it is expressly remarked that the measured difference in surface radiative forcing of 0.2 watt/m2 is solely for cloud-free zones on earth. With an average 40% cloud cover and a 30% overlap between the present water vapor and CO2 absorption spectrum, the above calculated temperature value gets reduced from 0.06°C to 0.03°C. Here in reality we are talking about an effect that is barely measureable, and one that has no dramatic impact when combined with the fictional water vapor amplification, which incidentally the superfluous ‘Energiewende’ is based on ad absurdum. It is more than regrettable that FOCUS uncritically passed on these misinterpretations. A correction should be made immediately.

Dr. rer.nat. Siegfried Dittrich

Megalomaniac Google? … Internet Behemoth Now Fancying Itself As The Ultimate Gatekeeper Of The Truth

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.   – 1 Corinthians 3:18

A wave of commotion has just been unleashed by the very recent FOX News report on Google’s contemplating of changing the way it ranks website pages with its famous search engine. Also read here.

Google Truth

Towering arrogance from speech-rights midgets? The self-appointed gate-keepers of the Truth: Image cropped here.

Rather than ranking websites on their popularity, a Google research group is looking into ranking websites based on how “factual” they are. If implemented, it would literally mean Google taking on the gatekeeper role of who deciding fact from fiction. Google has already created a “knowledge vault” containing “commonly believed facts”. In summary sites found to deviate from what Google considers facts, would be automatically down-ranked in searches. Result: dissident opinions would surely get buried.

Though the system may have some merits, it is chock-full of pitfalls and it risks the establishment of an information dictatorship – a so-called Orwellian Ministry Of Truth. In other countries such information control programs are the sort of things one associates with tyrannies and dictatorships, like Iran, North Korea, Red China, Russia, Venezuela or Islamic fundamentalist states. Note in all these states, leaders are convinced it’s for the overall good of the people.

“That is very troubling,” writes Jim Lakely, Director of Communications of the Chicago-based think-tank The Heartland Institute in an e-mail. He thinks there is no doubt that the ‘facts’ of politicized sites who clearly have a defined agenda will get favorable treatment in Google’s ‘knowledge vault’ while dissident sites will be locked out.

“I worry about this issue greatly… My site gets a significant portion of its daily traffic from Google,” Anthony Watts told FoxNews.com. “It is a very slippery and dangerous slope because there’s no arguing with a machine,” he added.

While Google maintains this project is only in the development phase, others are not so sure. One climate science dissident, who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being, believes that Google is already “heavily biased and directing traffic away” from climate science skeptic sites.

When it comes to science, the move reveals that Google seems oblivious to how the discipline works. It that is so, it makes the omnipotent company all the more dangerous. Science is always hotly disputed. For example is used to be a universal “fact” that saturated fats were bad for human health – before dissidents forced a rethinking. With Google’s new proposed policy, dissident voices would never see the light of day and progress would be stunted as a result. Dissidence is the life blood of science itself. By removing dissidence, as Google unwisely moves to do, science itself would de facto get starved and be catapulted back to the Dark Ages and the times of the Inquisition.

Global warming alarmists have long been working to get Google to suppress dissident voices on the subject of climate change. In 2009 conservative news site Newsbusters here wrote:

Former Vice President Al Gore a few years ago advised Internet behemoth Google about “aspects of search quality.”Such was reported by the New Yorker in its October 12 issue (subscription required). […] given the ongoing concerns about Google’s political leanings and how its search algorithms might be manipulated to favor liberal news outlets over conservative points of view, the very idea that Gore might have had any input to this process is worrisome to say the least.”

Thus we see that the Google project has long been in the works, and so the preparation appears to be grand and fundamental in scale. It cannot be that an organization with the power and might of Google would take it upon itself to police the world’s body of knowledge and to decide who is trustworthy and who isn’t. This borders on dangerous megalomania.

Censorship can be fought

The irresponsible and arguably arrogant deeming of “unreliable sources” is not something that Google alone is contemplating, but was already once reality among some powerful government institutions worldwide just months ago. For example Germany’s Federal Ministry of Environment issued a 123-page publication that singled out German and American journalists and scientists who it claimed were responsible for “spreading doubt and false information“ on climate change. Among them: Fred Singer, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, Frederick Seitz, Joe Barton, Pat Michaels, John Christy and Ross McKitrick.

Fortunately the German journalists and scientists who were targeted did not take the state-sponsored attack lying down. The brochure is no longer available. A small victory for the freedom of scientific dissent.

So will Google and its many backstage operators be successful?

If anything, the move confirms yet again that the globalist alarmists have lost the argument and that the public debate has become unwinnable for them. This is the reason for the “state-of-emergency” scale move. Despite their huge advantages in the media and state funding, they are unable to explain the harsh winters, the models’s failure, the sea ice growth and the many other warmer Holocene periods. Now they are forced to shut down dissidents, a-la-Inquisition.

But it will never work. Every lie has a short shelf-life and can be propped up only for so long. Eventually it gets stale, and no one is left to swallow it.

Google’s move, however, is indeed extremely worrisome and very serious. The new US Congress needs to move swiftly and forcefully, and to put these obviously out-of-control Google executives on the hot seat for a serious grilling or two and a little schooling on the virtues of un-monopolized dissent. The human right to be heard, and to not be silenced, is at stake here. Sympathetic lawmakers need to be contacted.

Kennedy aptly concludes: “Whoever controls the Truth, controls the world“.

The power to determine the truth belongs to the people, and not to Google.

 

“Stunning Development” … EPA Chief Doesn’t Even Know If Climate Projections Are Rights Or Wrong!

It is indeed stunning. A must-watch. It’s as damaging a performance on behalf of a cause that you will ever see.

EPA chief Gina McCarthy also says she doesn’t even know whose models policy is being based on.

She says that the models diverging from actual observations “on the whole makes no difference to the validity in the robustness of climate science that is telling us that we are facing an absolute challenge that we must address …blah blah blah…”

Sorry, but it makes all the difference in science. McCarthy thus confirms observational data mean nothing and that climate science is a religion at the EPA.

“Whose models? What projections?” she asks – as if she has no idea what’s going on at all. This is as incompetent as you will ever see.

 

Solar Cycle Weakening…And: German Analysis Shows Climate Models Do Overestimate CO2 Forcing

By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt

In February the sun was very quiet in activity. The observed sunspot number (SSN) was only 44.8, which is only 53% of the mean value for this month into the solar cycles – calculated from the previous systematic observations of the earlier cycles.

Figure 1: Solar activity of the current Cycle No. 24 in red, the mean value for all previously observed cycles is shown in blue, and the up to now similar Cycle No. 1 in black.

It has now been 75 months since cycle No. 24 began in December, 2008. Overall this cycle has been only 53% of the mean value in activity. About 22 years ago (in November 1992) Solar Cycle No. 22 was also in its 75th month, and back then solar activity was 139% of normal value. The current drop in solar activity is certainly quite impressive. This is clear when one compares all the previous cycles:

Figure 2: Comparison of all solar cycles. The plotted values are the differences of the accumulated monthly values from mean (blue in Figure 1).

The solar polar magnetic fields have become somewhat more pronounced compared to the month earlier (see our Figure 2 “Die Sonne im Januar 2015 und atlantische Prognosen“) and thus the sunspot maximum for the current cycle is definitely history. It’s highly probable that over the next years we will see a slow tapering off in sunspot activity. Weak cycles such as the current one often follow. Thus the next minimum, which is defined by the appearance of the first sunspots in the new cycle 25, may first occur after the year 2020. The magnetic field of its sunspots will then be opposite of what we are currently observing in cycle 24.

The radiative forcing of CMIP5 models cannot be validated?

A recent paper by Marotzke/ Forster (M/F) is in strong discussion here at climateaudit.org with more than 800 comments. Nicolas Lewis pointed out the question: Is the method of M/F for evaluating the trends infected by circularity?

There is not only a discussion about the methods, but also about the main conclusion: “The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.”

Is the natural variability really suppressing our efforts to separate the better models of the CMIP5 ensemble from not so good ones?

Here I present a method to find an approach.

Step 1

I investigated the ability of the 42 “series” runs of “Willis model sheet” (Thanks to Willis Eschenbach for the work to bring 42 anonymous CMIP5 models in “series”!) to replicate the least square linear trends from 1900 to 2014 (annual global data, 2014 is the constant end-date of these running trends). I calculated for each year from 1900 to 1995 the differences between the HadCRUT4 (observed) trends ending in 2014 and the trends of every “series” also ending in 2014. The sum of the squared residuals for 1900 to 1995 the differences between the HadCRUT4 (observed) trends ending in 2014 and the trends of every “series” also ending in 2014.

The sum of the squared residuals for 1900 to 1995 for every “series”:


Figure 3: The sum of the squared residuals for the running trends with constant end in 2014 from 1900,1901 and so on up to 1995 for every “Series” in “Willis sheet”. On the x-axis: the series 1…42.

Step 2

We describe the same procedure described in Step 1, but this time with the trends up to 2004, only 10 years before the end of the trend series:

Figure 4: The sum of the squared residuals for the running trends with constant end in 2014 from 1900, 1901 and so on up to 1995 for every “series” in the “Willis sheet”. On the x-axis: the series 1…42. The ordinate scale is the same as in Figure 3.

Here one sees that the errors for the trends until 2004 on average are much smaller (Figure 4) than they are for the trends up to 2014 (Figure 3). That is no wonder as the parameters of most models for the time period up to 2005 were “set“. Thus the depiction of the trends of the models up to 2014 are also well in agreement with observations:

Figure 5: The trends of the model mean (Mod. Mean, red) in °C/ year since 1900, 1901 etc. up to 1985 with the constant end-year 2004 compared to observations (black).

Obviously the setting of the model parameters no longer “hold” as the errors up to the year 2014 rise rapidly.

Step 3

We calculate the quotients of the errors for the 2014 trends divided by the errors for the 2004 trends (See Figure 4) for every single series and make a 2-dimensional check:

Figure 6: The single series as plotted points. The coordinates are determined by the trend error der until 2014 (X axis) and the ratio of the error up to 2014/2004 (Y axis). The red rectangle marks the “boundaries”, the “good“ series are inside, the “bad“ are outside.

The borders are represented by the standard deviations of both series.

The y-axis in Figure 6 above is the quotient of failures in trend estimations to 2014 (see Figure 5) divided by the trend estimations to 2004 (see Figure 4) with a standard deviation of 3.08; the x-axis is the accuracy of the series in trend estimation for the running trends with the constant end year 2014 (see Figure 5) with a standard deviation of 0.0038. The big differences of many series (up to a factor of 11) between the trend errors compared of 2004 and the trend errors to 2014 is impressive, isn’t it? The stability of the series with great differences seems to be in question, that’s why they are “bad”.

Step 4

Now comes the most interesting part: From the 42 runs of different series, I selected the “good” ones which are within the borders of the red rectangle in Figure 4 and calculated their average. The same procedure was done with all the “bad” ones.

Figure 7: The selected “good” series (see step 1-3), the series mean of all 42 series, the “bad” ones and the observations for rolling trends with constant end-year 2014 in K per annum.

The “good” (blue) series produce a remarkably better approach to the observations than the model mean (red) and the “bad”( green) show the worst performance.

Up to this point we didn’t know what model was behind what “series” in the “Willis sheet”. Thanks to the help from Willis Eschenbach and Nic Lewis we just learned the assignment and the properties of the models behind the “series”, also their corresponding sensitivity with respect to forcing by GHG. The mean value of the transient climate response (TCR), which is the expression for the calculated greenhouse gas effect, is approximately 1.6 for the “good“ models, the model mean (all models) is 1.8 and the “bad” model mean is 1.96.

As one observes is Figure 7, the selection of the “good” models “improves” the convergence towards the observations. For this a TCR of approximately 1.3 is assumed, compare to our blog post “Wie empfindlich ist unser Klima gegenüber der Erwärmung durch Treibhausgase? (How sensitive is our climate with respect to warming from greenhouse gases)“.

Conclusion

The mean of the models overestimates the radiative forcings in the global temperature to 2014. The objectively better models have a lower mean of TCR. The “bad” models have a higher mean of TCR. Many models are perhaps “over tuned” for the trends to 2005. The result is a dramatic loss in forecasting quality beyond the tuning period. Are Marotzke and Forster wrong? Will we ever hear them admit it? There are reasons for doubt.