Wind Turbines Catch Fire, One Self-Destructs Spectacularly, In Idle Wind Park

What follows is a video posted at Youtube showing how a wind turbine caught fire and self-destructed in a spectacular fashion. Certainly nothing you’d want to be close to as debris is seen flying over a large area.

Hat-tip Gerti at FB.

What’s interesting is that in the background we see there is also a second turbine on fire. The other turbines in the park are not even operating, even that the wind is blowing, which tells you just how useless these things are in helping developing countries get electrified and modern.

Most likely this was some feel-good project financed or even funded by the UN, World Bank or some renewable energy development and technology transfer fund of some type. This is what we get for the money.

One can only speculate on the root cause of the problem. In many third world or emerging countries, however, maintenance standards are often inadequate, and so such systems break down far more prematurely, thus making them even bigger money losers.

 

Amazing Climate UNCHANGE …Global Sea Ice Over Past 38 Years Remains Virtually Level!

Global sea ice stable for 38 years

By Kenneth Richard

Everyone knows that climate change is normal occurs naturally, at times rapidly, and that there is really nothing we can do about it. Amazingly, with some climate aspects, there has not been any change in about 40 years.

According to NSIDC sea ice trend data, from 1979 to 2006, the sea ice losses for the Arctic (purple trend line in graph below) were effectively counterbalanced by the sea ice gains in the Antarctic (green trend line), producing a conspicuously flat trend line in global sea ice.

Ken_seaice_1

Global sea ice has remained unchanged over the past 38 years, as measured by satellite. Source: woodfortrees.com here.

From 2006 to 2016, global sea ice trends have also been remarkably stable despite a massive increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions during this period. In fact, the sea ice gains in Antarctica have perhaps modestly superseded the losses in the Arctic, resulting in a very slight increasing overall trend in global-scale sea ice during the last 10 years:

Ken_seaice_2

Overall trend surprisingly shows slight increase. Source. woodfortrees.com here.

In 1979, global atmospheric CO2 was measured at 337 ppm. In 2016, global atmospheric CO2 has exceeded 400 ppm.

For both hemispheres combined, then, the addition of about 65 ppm of atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1979 has apparently had no overall effect on global-scale sea ice trends.

 

Already 240 Published Papers In 2016 Alone Show AGW “Consensus” Is A Fantasy!

770 papers questioning AGW “consensus” since 2014

By Kenneth Richard

It is apparently regarded as “consensus” science that more than half of the climate changes occurring since the mid-20th century have been caused by humans.  For example, the IPCC’s “consensus” statement from 2013 reads like this:

It is extremely likely more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

The “extremely likely” designation for this position seems to suggest there is little to no disagreement with this statement in the scientific community, or at least this is what we are apparently supposed to believe.

Only a relatively minor and inconsequential role

Interestingly, since January 2014, the last 2 and half years, 770 peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published in scholarly journals that call into question just how settled the “consensus” science is that says anthropogenic or CO2 forcing dominates weather and climate changes, or that non-anthropogenic factors play only a relatively minor and inconsequential role.

Instead of supporting the “consensus” science, these 770 papers support the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties apparent in climate modeling and the predictions of future climate catastrophes. Furthermore, these scientific papers strongly suggest that natural factors (the Sun, multi-decadal ocean oscillations [AMO/PDO, ENSO], cloud and aerosol albedo variations, etc.) have both in the past and present exerted a significant influence on weather and climate, which means an anthropogenic signal may be much more difficult to detect or distinguish as an “extremely likely” cause relative to natural variation.  Papers questioning the “common-knowledge” viewpoints on ocean acidification, glacier melt and advance, sea level rise, extreme weather events, past climate forcing mechanisms, the “danger” of high CO2 concentrations, etc., have also been included in this volume of 770 papers.

In 2014, there were almost 250 papers that may support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position. see here.

In 2015, there were over 280 papers that may support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position, see here.

240 papers already in 2016

Now updated for the first 6 months of 2016, a review of the literature has already uncovered a list of 240 papers published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals that support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position, see here.

This 2016 list includes 43 papers supporting a Sun-Climate link, which can be added to the 188 papers linking the Sun to climate changes published in 2014 (93 papers) and 2015 (95 papers).

Voluminous evidence

This voluminous evidence of a strong non-anthropogenic influence on climate would seem to undermine the IPCC’s contention that the “consensus” position (e.g., climate change is mostly caused by humans) has been wholly accepted in the scientific community.

Would it be too much to ask for the IPCC to consider this scientific evidence when issuing their next report?

See 240 papers from 2016 here.

 

Heavier Global Precipitation Not In Our Lifetime – Postponed To 2100, U. Of Leipzig Study Finds!

I had to chuckle when I read the following press release on a study that found that global precipitation has not risen after all. Models and media reports wrong again!
==========================================

Leipzig meteorologist studies effects of climate change on worldwide precipitation

Regenschauer über dem tropischen Atlantik, aufgenommen vom Forschungsschiff Polarstern.<br />Foto: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bernhard Pospichal/Institut für Meteorologie

Rain over the tropical Atlantic. Photo taken from the Polarstern research vessel, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bernhard Pospichal/Institute for Meteorology.

Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air. Does this mean that climate warming leads to more precipitation on average than it did a few decades ago? Dr. Marc Salzmann of the Institute for Meteorology at the University of Leipzig looked at this question. In a study he found that climate change so far has not had an impact on the average global precipitation amount. This could change by the end of this century. The meteorologist published his findings in “Science Advances”.

“The Arctic is melting, temperature and sea level are rising, and every year a new record is reached with CO2 in the atmosphere. Only the global average amount of precipitation has not changed measurably,” says Salzmann. Indeed precipitation has increased in some regions of the earth, but at the same time it has decreased in others. It is also known that as a consequence of climate change, there are heavy rainfalls more often. “With the worldwide average precipitation, however, neither computer models nor observations show significant changes,” he explains.

This is due to tiny particles called aerosols that float in the air and are created, for example, by sulfur dioxide. They have a cooling effect on the climate. But according to Salzmann, they do not suffice to offset the global temperature warming that is caused by greenhouse gases. Yet the affect of aerosols on precipitation has still been strong enough to offset the affect by greenhouse gases on the global average precipitation.

“My study shows that the global precipitation amount on average falls an estimated 3 to 4% per degree Celsius of cooling by aerosols, while the already known value for greenhouse gases is only 1.5 to 2% precipitation increase per degree of warming,” says the meteorologist. These different “hydrological sensitivities” is the reason why we can be thankful that the average precipitation amount has changed very little worldwide even though the global mean temperature has risen.

However for the future – already at the end of this century – Salzmann expects a significant increase in global precipitation amount. Because greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for a long time, the concentration rises even if emissions remain steady. Aerosol particles on the other hand get washed away by rain rather quickly.

Original in “Science Advances”: “Global warming without global mean precipitation increase?”

 

Statistical Analysis Shows Germany’s June Mean Temperatures Completely Stable

NoTricksZone reader Indomitable Snowman, a scientist who wishes to remain anonymous, has submitted an analysis of June temperature in Germany measured by the DWD German Weather Service.
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German June Temperature Data – Statistical Analysis

By: The Indomitable Snowman

Recently, Pierre posted an article that included temperature data for the month of June in Germany. By inspection the sequential plot of the data appeared to show no long-term trend of any sort. However, more insight can be gained via quantitative statistical analysis.

Statistical Results

Using the tabulated data (graciously provided by Josef Kowatsch) for the sequential years 1930 – 2015 (86 data points in total), it is readily found that the mean value of the data set is 15.7, while the standard deviation is 1.20.

Trend Chart

Using the data points and the above information, it is a simple task to construct a “trend chart” – in which the data points are plotted, but with the inclusion of horizontal lines for the mean value, +/- one standard deviation, and +/- three standard deviations:

Snowman_1

The trend chart clearly shows that the “system” is statistically well-behaved, with the points clustering close to the +/- one-standard-deviation band – indicating that there is no secular change in the underlying system over the time span, and that the variability about the mean can be solely attributed to statistical fluctuations. (It is also a well-known problem that when such a stable system is sequentially sampled, apparent-but-phantom “trends” will seem to appear; these can be seen in the plot, but they are not meaningful – they are artifacts of the sequential sampling.)

Histogram

The proper way to group the data in such a system is grouping by standard deviations – something that is best-presented in a simple histogram:

Snowman_2

The center bar is the number of occurrences within one standard deviation of the mean, while the other bars (moving outward) show the number of occurrences from one to two standard deviations (plus and minus), etc. Even though the number of data points is relatively small for the emergence of complete statistical behavior (i.e., the system is undersampled), a Gaussian profile (expected of a system that has a stable mean and statistical fluctuations about that mean) is clearly discernable.

Further, simple Gaussian statistics would predict the following number of occurrences for a Gaussian system with 86 data points – 54 within one standard deviation of the mean, 30 between one and two standard deviations, and 2 beyond two standard deviations. The actual numbers from the data are 55, 28, and 3 – remarkably close to the simple Gaussian expectations, even though the system has been undersampled.

Conclusion

Statistical analysis of the data indicates that the system in question has been stable over the entirety of the sampling period (1930 – 2015) and is not changing. In particular, the system, even though undersampled, produces results that are in almost exact agreement with expected results for a system that is stable around a central mean – with the variability between individual samples being entirely attributable to simple statistical variability.

 

The EU’s “Climate-Political Nightmare”! Germany’s Flagship Daily ‘Die Welt’ Comments On Brexit

Economics editor Daniel Wetzel at Germany’s center-right national daily Die Welt here writes that the Brexit may be the end of the Paris climate treaty and that it is a climate-political nightmare for the EU.

Already, he notes, the price of CO2 emissions certificates has plummeted to near low-grade levels, see chart at Die Welt.

The Die Welt journalist writes that those holding these pollution-permitting certifcates saw a large chunk of value get wiped out. Already at the end of last year the certificates had a value of near 9 euros. Now they are hovering at less than 5 euros.

The reason for the plunge in price, Wetzel writes, is that Great Britain will no longer be bound to the European Emissions Trading system, and so dozens of UK power plants will no longer need their certificates and will likely dump them on the European market, causing their price to plummet further. The result, Wetzel writes:

For industrial plants all over Europe there will be hardly any financial incentive left to invest in CO2-saving efficiency technology.”

New political constellation at Westminster

Activists are still hoping that Britain will remain in the Emissions Trading Scheme, even after exiting the EU, just as non EU member Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein are currently doing. Wetzel asks whether Britain will continue staying commited to ambitious CO2 reductions as it has in the past. One factor that speaks against continued commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is that “among Brexiteers and EU-skeptics in Unitted Kingdom – as is the case with the German AfD – the number of climate skeptics is especially high“.

Wetzel adds:

In part not only is the man-made impact on climate questioned, but whether climate change is happening at all. In a new political constellation in Westminister, the high British climate targets may not be possible to maintain in the future.”

A weakened Europe in climate negotiations

Here Wetzel cites a recent research paper by the Chatham House that looked at the possible impacts on climate policy should Britain vote to leave the EU. The Chatham Report has in its conclusion:

A diminished EU, for its part, would be weaker in managing relationships with Russia, which already seeks to divide it and to negotiate bilateral energy deals with individual member states. The EU would also be less able to influence global climate negotiations alongside other major powers such as China and the United States, as it would represent a much smaller share of the global economy and of global emissions. This would not serve the longterm interests of either the UK or the EU.

The report concludes that in the event of a British exit (which is now the case), Britain would be freer to decide its energy policies on its own without meddling from Brussels.

Climate policy-making center of gravity shifts eastwards

What bodes especially ill for European climate policy, Wetzel writes, is that the “decision-making center of gravity” will now likely shift eastwards to more climate-policy obstinate countries, such as coal-producing Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Wetzel even warns, citing the Chatham House report, that should Britain not live up to its climate protection commitments, it could face “international criticism, and in the worst case sanctions from other countries“.

U-Turn! Scientists At The PIK Potsdam Institute Now Warning Of A “Mini Ice Age”!

The daily Berliner Kurier here writes today that solar physicists at the ultra-warmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are warning that Europe may be facing “a mini ice age” due to a possible protracted solar minimum.

Solar activity has been much lower than predicted earlier. Credit: D. Hathaway/NASA/MSFC

The Berliner Kurier writes:

That’s the conclusion that solar physicists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reached when looking at solar activity.”

For an institute that over the past 20 years has steadfastly insisted that man has been almost the sole factor in climate change over the past century and that the sun no longer plays a role, this is quite remarkable.

The Berliner Kurier reports that the PIK scientists foresee a weakening of the sun’s activity over the coming years. “That means that conversely it is going to get colder. The scientists are speaking of a little ice age.”

According to the PIK scientists, the reduced solar activity will, however, not be able to stop the global warming and only brake the warming up to 2100 by 0.3°C.

Given the extreme warnings of warming and sea level rise put out by the Potsdam Institute in the past, this still represents an extraordinary admission, one that has us suspecting a major climate turnaround may be ahead – despite all the efforts by the Potsdam Institute to play it all down. Here we see them possibly setting up a global warming postponement of a couple of decades. The sun plays a role after all.

The source of the Berliner Kurier report is the Austrian weather site wetter.at here. The wetter.at site writes that some solar physicists suspect the current solar inactivity may be “the start of a new grand minimum” like the one the planet saw in the 17th century and left Europe in an ice box.

Dozens of studies show Little Ice Age was global!

Though most scientists agree that the Little Ice Age took place, many dispute its extent. Some insist it was localized over the North Atlantic region. But now there are dozens of studies that show it was in fact a global event. That should make us worry.

 

Another Wet Central European Summer In The Works, Threatening To Make Climate Models 86% Wrong!

Germany’s DWD national weather service in Offenbach has released data and results for the month of June 2016 in its latest press release.

Germany and much of Europe have seen plenty of rain in June – all flying in the face of earlier computer models that warned climate change would lead to scorchingly hot summers with protracted periods of drought. The opposite has in fact happened since the predictions were made.

Climate models 86% wrong

So far a vast majority (11 of 13) of Central Europe’s last summers over the past 13 years have been normal or wetter than normal. The current one has started off very wet, and is likely to make it 12 of 14 summers that will be normal wet or wetter than normal, thus making the climate models 86% wrong!

Last summer was drier than normal, receiving 85% of the normal rainfall. The current 14-day forecast for Germany sees rainy weather for the first part of July, with no signs of a dry period in sight.

June temperature in the normal range

June came in warmer than normal, as measured by the DWD’s 2000 measurement stations. The preliminary mean for June was 17°C, 1.2°C above the 1981- 2010 mean.

Precipitation was significantly above normal with an average of 115 liters per square meter falling – some 35% above the mean of 85 liters. Numerous severe thunderstorms and hail hit wide areas of the country.

Somewhat less sunshine than normal.

In June 2016 Germany saw a mean of 181 hours of sunshine, which is 9% below the mean of 198 hours. The northeast region of Germany saw the most sunshine – with areas near 300 hours.  The south and the west regions of the country saw far less sun with many areas seeing well below 150 hours of sunshine.

 

Antarctica Expert Dr. Eric Steig: “Evidence Antarctic Glacier Retreat Due To AGW “Is Weak”!

More “consensus” science: Antarctica not influenced by AGW

By Kenneth Richard

In recent years, the headlines of common news sources have austerely warned that West Antarctica is melting rapidly:

Then, last November (2015) a NASA study (Zwally et al., 2015*) was released indicating that the growth in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) has been exceeding the losses since the early 1990s, and that the net mass gains from the AIS were negatively contributing to sea level.  This, of course, did not affirm the alarmist headlines.

RealClimate, an AGW blog co-founded by Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann, necessarily cobbled together a response to the inconvenient study.  After all, a growing polar ice sheet in response to anthropogenic global warming did not advance the cause.

The result was an essay written by Jonathon Bamber – “So what is really happening in Antarctica?”** – which essentially characterized the Zwally et al. (2015) conclusion as a peculiar outlier. Most other papers on Antarctic ice sheet mass balance indicate that the AIS is losing about -50 to -100 Gt/year on average (which is the equivalent of about one inch per century of sea level rise contribution).

These studies were characterized as more likely to be accurate than the NASA-sponsored paper that found a net AIS gain of about +100 Gt/year.  In other words, “consensus” logic (the more people agree, the more likely they are to be right) was employed to “refute” the NASA study. This graph (below) from the RealClimate essay was featured as a visual representation of just how “out-there” the Zwally et al. (2015) paper was compared to the “consensus” conclusions of other scientists:

RealClimate

Image: RealClimate.org.

Sometimes, though, a thorough reading of entries on AGW blogs like RealClimate can prove enlightening. Buried in the comment section of this same essay — comment number 26 to be specific — was an admittance by Dr. Eric Steig (moderator of comments) that the evidence that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) responds to anthropogenic global warming, is “weak.” Not only that, he acknowledged that about half of scientists agree with him on this.

Dr. Eric Steig’s Comment 26:

I think the evidence that the current retreat of Antarctic glaciers is owing to anthropogenic global warming is weak. The literature is mixed on this, about 50% of experts agree with me on this.”

The admission that Antarctica may not respond to CO2 emissions, or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in general, has been affirmed several more times in other recent scientific analyses.  The most recent example is a peer-reviewed paper by Smith and Polvani (2016) published online just last week. These scientists set out to determine if anthropogenic forcing can explain why West Antarctica has warmed substantially in the last few decades, or why East Antarctica has not warmed substantially during the same period.

After analyzing the factors involved for the warming of West Antarctica and the peninsula, Smith and Polvani concluded that an anthropogenic signal is “completely absent” when “natural climate variability” is included. In other words, “natural climate variability” is the driving force behind the West Antarctica and peninsula warming, and “there is little evidence of anthropogenic SAM-induced driving of the recent temperature trends.”

Below are the key points from the paper Smith and Polvani, 2016:

The recent annually averaged warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, and of West Antarctica, stands in stark contrast to very small trends over East Antarctica. This asymmetry arises primarily from a highly significant warming of West Antarctica in austral spring and a cooling of East Antarctica in austral autumn. Here we examine whether this East–West asymmetry is a response to anthropogenic climate forcings or a manifestation of natural climate variability. We compare the observed Antarctic surface air temperature trends over two distinct time periods (1960–2005 and 1979–2005), and with those simulated by 40 models participating in Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We find that the observed East–West asymmetry differs substantially between the two periods and, furthermore, that it is completely absent from the forced response seen in the CMIP5 multi-model mean, from which all natural variability is eliminated by the averaging. We also examine the relationship between the Southern Annular mode (SAM) and Antarctic temperature trends, in both models and reanalyses, and again conclude that there is little evidence of anthropogenic SAM-induced driving of the recent temperature trends. These results offer new, compelling evidence pointing to natural climate variability as a key contributor to the recent warming of West Antarctica and of the Peninsula.

—–

Here is a further sampling of some (6) other recently-published papers indicating that an anthropogenic forcing (warming) signal may not be detectable for Antarctica, or that natural variability dominates in that region:

1. Le et al., 2016

Our analysis suggests that internal climate variability played a more significant role than external forcings in short-term SAT variability in the regions of the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the Arctic, the Antarctic Peninsula, and its surrounding oceans.

2. Garfinkel et al., 2015

Correct representation of the SSTs changes is important for the Northern Hemisphere, while correct representation of stratospheric ozone changes is important for the Southern Hemisphere. The ensemble-mean trend (which captures only the forced response) is nearly always much weaker than trends in reanalyses. This suggests that a large fraction of the recently observed changes [in sea surface temperatures, ozone] may, in fact, be a consequence of natural variability and not a response of the climate system to anthropogenic forcings.

3. Thomas et al., 2015

Introduction: It is expected that the observed recent atmospheric warming in this region [Bellingshausen-Amundsen coast region between the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica] will result in increased snow accumulation, although the stable water isotopes from Ellsworth Land ice cores have shown that the recent rise in temperature here is not unusual in the past 300 years [Thomas et al., 2013]. Therefore, it is unclear whether these recent glaciological changes are part of a longer term natural trend or associated with anthropogenic climate forcing.

4. Altnau et al., 2015

For East Antarctica, no general warming and increase in precipitation is found in surface observational data (Turner et al., 2005; Monaghan et al., 2006, 2008). This is important because an increase in precipitation, and hence increased surface mass balance (SMB), might mitigate sea level rise. … We conclude that, in the last 2 centuries, conditions in the interior DML [Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica] have been fairly stable and only weakly influenced by changes in atmospheric dynamics.”

5. Raphael et al., 2016

The Amundsen Sea low (ASL) is a climatological low pressure center that exerts considerable influence on the climate of West Antarctica. Its potential to explain important recent changes in Antarctic climate, for example, in temperature and sea ice extent, means that it has become the focus of an increasing number of studies. … The ASL has deepened in recent decades, affecting the climate through its influence on the regional meridional wind field, which controls the advection of moisture and heat into the continent. Deepening of the ASL in spring is consistent with observed West Antarctic warming and greater sea ice extent in the Ross Sea.”

6. Schmithüsen et al., 2015

For this region [central Antarctica], the emission to space is higher than the surface emission; and the greenhouse effect of CO2 is around zero or even negative, which has not been discussed so far. We investigated this in detail and show that for central Antarctica an increase in CO2 concentration leads to an increased long-wave energy loss to space, which cools the Earth-atmosphere system. … For most of the Antarctic Plateau, GHE-TES [greenhouse effect as measured by the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer] is close to zero or even slightly negative; i.e., the presence of CO2 increases radiative cooling.

Yet, let’s assume the alarmist headlines are actually true and that indeed Antarctica has been melting rapidly, or has eclipsed the “point of no return.” If the burgeoning scientific “consensus” is that Antarctica is likely not responding to anthropogenic or CO2 forcing,  or that warming trends (for West Antartica and the peninsula) are predominantly a consequence of natural variability, the alarmist headlines forecasting an Antarctic ice melt catastrophe effectively lose their impact.

Apparently the scientifically “weak” evidence that the Antarctic climate is significantly affected by anthropogenic forcing doesn’t make a good headline.

—–

* “NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

** So what is really happening in Antarctica?

 

“Red Blood On Green Hands”: Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ Turns Into a Wrecking Ball …”The Rescue That Isn’t”

Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt look at recent news articles on the Energiewende (transition to green energies) in the German mainstream media. Finding: the Energiewende has turned into a folly and the media are waking up.

Due to a shortage of time, I will present the main points of the DkS article.

The Energiewende Disenchantment

Things are not going well for Merkel’s Energiewende, and it would be almost entertaining if it were not such a serious issue. Globally countries looked at Germany with keen interest, wondering if the ambitious project would ever succeed. Now we see that the project has run aground. In Switzerland people are starting to feel pity for their northerly neighbors.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung did not mince words in a June 15 article:

Berlin’s project of the century now in a precarious situation: The disenchantment with the Energiewende
In the discussion over the Energiewende, illusions and myths dominate. […] indeed the euphoria is gone. Recently the director on the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Trade Union, Michael Vassiliadis, depicted a ‘High-End-Version of GDR central planning economy’ as the state intervenes in increasingly more sectors in order to organize the ‘greenhouse gas-neutral’ society by 2050.”

A week later at Die Welt, Daniel Wetzel wrote on the Energiewnde madness – with drastic words:

The absurd excrescence of climate protection
Greenpeace revealed a study on what the world climate treaty of Paris would mean for the citizens. If implemented Germany would be unrecognizable in just a few years.”

On June 14, 2016, even the climate activist Focus allowed concerns by Florian Asche to be printed:

Climate protection-paradox. Commentary:
Energiewende is causing more damage than climate change itself is.

The Energiewende is supposed to rescue our planet. Here no cost or effort is to be spared. However, the good intentions will fall flat if we barrel over the original aims, FOCUS-Online-Expert Florian Asche believes. Politics seem to be ignoring this paradox. […]

A rescue that isn’t.”

So crazed is the rush to rescue the planet, that Asche writes:

Suicide because of the fear of death

Currently it is not climate change that is the big threat, but rather it is much moreso the unplanned climate protection that is threatening our spectrum of species. So here the German Wildlife Foundation estimates a quarter million strictly protected bats are lost per year because of wind turbines. The red kite, a species found only in Germany, has a total population of 13,000 birds. With an annual loss of 1000 birds, the days of this species will soon be numbered.”

Also at Spiegel the German government gets only sharp criticism:

Energiewende: No signs of Merkel
As the Schildburger fools noticed that they constructed their new town hall and forgot the windows, they came up with the brilliant idea simply bringing sunlight inside with buckets. This was also the same type of optimism that the architects of the German Energiewende demonstrated, as a recent report of the German Federal Grid Agency shows. As new wind turbines and solar systems get installed, almost everywhere transmission lines are missing. […] Acccording to the report, a total of 6000 kilometres of new power lines have to be installed.”

On May 30, 2016, the German Employers Association (DAV) disclosed that a very expensive Mother’s Day present was made.

On Mother’s Day 21 million euros were given away in 7 hours: More socialism is not possible.

The fun and games cost us 21.3 million euros. No, not the presents for mothers on Mother’s Day – rather to those who were kind enough to accept our surplus power. On Sunday, May 8, 2016, there were blue skies with lots of sun over the country, and much wind along the coast. […]

It works! The Greens cheered; sun wind and everything else could supply Germany with power completely. Such wacky aphorism spew green parliamentarians again and again across the country. When you don’t count the costs, it works.”

What remains ahead? The outlook is grim Die Welt stated in clear terms on June 10, 2016:

Energiewende – The worst remains ahead”

Especially wind turbines have become notorious. On May 10, 2016 Jan Grossarth described in the FAZ the incredible destruction of nature now taking place in Germany in the wake of the wind energy growth:

The countryside, a wind industrial park
Is the Energiewende leading to ‘more nature’? Absolutely not. We used to think that it would. Now it is clear for everyone to see in the countryside how the solar era looks: rapeseed, corn and wind turbine monocultures everywhere.”

Lüning and Vahrenholt add at DkS:

Not only the landscape is in danger, but also millions of birds have been killed. The Green Party has been quiet about this. Collateral damage that is to be tolerated? Blood is stuck to Green hands. In a few years, when the euphoria over wind disappears, there’s going to have to be an investigation. How could the green movement have gone so awry as to damage nature and wildlife – all motivated by a supposed climate protection, whose neffectiveness and necessity is becoming ever more questionable?”

 

Another Doomsday Climate Prediction Gets Postponed …Effect On Gulf Stream “Smaller Than Expected”

Germany’s Geomar Research Center recently published a press release (see below) concerning the latest on the Gulf Stream. Hat-tip: DkS.

Some leading scientists have claimed that melting Greenland glaciers due to “man-made global warming” will lead to a disruption of the Gulf Stream and cause the North Atlantic region’s climate to change dramatically. However, the latest computer simulations show this scenario may be delayed.
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Breathing space for the Gulf Stream

Scientists calculate the fate of the Greenland meltwater

20 June 2016/Kiel. The salinity of the waters around Greenland plays an important role in driving the Gulf Stream. There are concerns that a progressive freshening by the increasing ice losses from the Greenland ice sheet could influence and weaken the current system.

New model calculations conducted by an international research team suggest, however, that a large fraction of this meltwater is effectively removed from the most sensitive areas by swift, narrow boundary currents, delaying the influence on the Gulf Stream. The study is published today in the international journal Nature Geoscience.

Greenland’s glaciers are melting. Recent work by researchers at the University of Bristol found a 50% increase in the freshwater flux since 1990. Due to both enhanced summer melt and calving of outlet glaciers more than 5000 cubic kilometers of extra meltwater have been flowing into the sea, equivalent to a quarter of the volume of the Baltic Sea. The fate of this freshwater is of great importance for the system of ocean currents in the North Atlantic, which is governed by the density of the waters surrounding Greenland. A reduction in the water density especially in the Labrador Sea due an increased influx of freshwater could ultimately lead to a weakening of the current system, including the Gulf Stream.

Using a newly developed computer model, an international team of scientists led by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel has now simulated in detail the pathways and effects of the additional meltwater. “The effects of the melting Greenland glaciers initially remain smaller than expected, since a large part of the meltwater is effectively flushed out by fast, narrow currents along the coastline of North America. Thus changes in the critical, northern seas are delayed”, explains GEOMAR researcher Prof. Claus Böning, lead author of the study.

The computer model takes into account the regional differences in meltwater discharge trends and very fine details of the ocean currents. This fine detail allowed the researchers to assess more accurately the influences of the narrow boundary currents and small-scale eddies on the water exchange between the coastal shelf and the deep ocean.

The model calculations showed that more than half of the meltwater is transported southwards along the Canadian coast by the Labrador Current. Less than 20 percent remain in the area between Greenland and Labrador which is critical for the Gulf Stream system. The model suggests that the melting-induced impact on ocean salinity is, to date, only half as large as natural variations measured in the past decades.

However, the simulation also shows a progressive trend in the freshening of the Labrador Sea. “If we project the rise in Greenland melting rates into the future, we expect first noticeable changes in the Labrador Sea in two or three decades”, emphasizes Professor Böning, “in this sense the Gulf Stream may just get some breathing space”. “Meltwater fluxes from Greenland have been accelerating in recent years and if, as seems likely, this trend continues we could see changes in ocean circulation even sooner” explains co-author Jonathan Bamber, Professor at the University of Bristol.

Reference:
Böning, C. W., E. Behrens, A. Biastoch, K. Getzlaff, J. L.. Bamber (2016): Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2740

Background information:
The model computations were performed at the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN). The study was supported by the cooperative programme RACE (Regional Atlantic Circulation and Global Change, BMBF grant 03F0651B) and the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” funded by the DFG.

 

Germans Rejecting Wind Power …Public Health Issues, Industrial Blight, Damage To Ecosystems

Once welcome as a clean alternative for producing energy, wind turbines in Germany are today faced with ever more hostile political and social environments.

As the turbines increase in size, so do their impacts on people and ecosystems that are near them. In the southern German town of Winterlingen hundreds of people recently packed into a sports facility to listen to a talk by sound expert, Dr. Johannes Mayer on the effects of low frequency sound, so-called infrasound, on humans. Ten years ago not even a handful would have shown up. But today as interest in the adverse effects of infrasound from wind turbines are surfacing and becoming a major public issue, citizens who face the possible invasion by a wind park are taking a keen interest in the topic.

According to the online Schwaebische.de here, Mayer issued strong warnings on the adverse health-effects wind turbines can have on people.

Using the available research results, he emphasizes that people do not hear the infrasound emitted by wind turbines, but that they can feel them. “For 20 to 30% of the exposed persons there are massive consequences: The body comes under a state of constant, uninterrupted stress ,” said the speaker. Difficulty sleeping, disturbed concentration and irritability and depressive mood are the consequences says Johannes Mayer.”

 

 

Weather Statistics Show June Mean Temperature In Germany Hasn’t Changed in 80 Years!

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning und Professor Fritz Vahrenholt

June brings with it sunshine and warmth – Germany can rely on that.

The German June mean temperature, however, has hardly changed over the past 85 years, as the official weather data of the German DWD National Weather Service confirm:

Figure: June mean temperature trend in Germany over the past 85 years. Data: DWD. Chart: Josef Kowatsch

What stand out are the negative peaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Then in the 2000s there was a sudden upward jump.

Today June mean temperatures have been moving well within a normal range. Of course this is much too boring for the media to report on. Luckily at the Die kalte Sonne website, you get all the facts unfiltered.

Thanks to Josef Kowatsch

 

Technical Problems …Two More Huge German Offshore Wind Parks Cut Off From Grid!

Good thing Germany still has reliable sources of energy, such coal and nuclear power, online. Otherwise the citizens would find themselves sitting in the dark and seeing their food spoiling away in fridges and freezers.

Bard Offshore windpark

Turbines over troubled waters. Photo right: Bard

More reports are out that Germany’s string of problems surrounding its ambitious installation of offshore wind parks has been extended once again.

North German online news site www.nwzonline.de (NWZ) reports there is “no longer a connection” to two North Sea windparks due to “a faulty transmission cable”.

According to the NWZ, the 135-kilometer Dolwin 2 cable runs from the North Sea to the North German coast and ends in the Emsland town of Dörpen. Engineers suspect the fault is somewhere onshore.

Dolwin 2 cable delivers power from wind parks Godewind 1 and 2, which are operated by Danish energy company Dong. The two wind parks comprise 97 wind turbines and have a rated capacity of 582 megawatts, the NWZ reports.

According to NWZ, grid operator Tennet blames Swedish engineering giant and cable manufacturer ABB for the problems. Currently ABB has not been able to identify the source of the problem and the power interruption is expected to cost (consumers) millions.

The BARD 1 debacle

Dolwin 2 is hardly the only debacle that has plagued the German offshore wind industry. Another embarrassment was the BARD 1 offshore wind park, which was planned to deliver power to Germany in early 2014, but because of a series of major engineering faults, the wind park did not deliver power until one and half years later – in October 2015. Read here and here.

So great were the losses at BARD 1 that a bank was forced to take over the project. The project ended up costing 3 billion euros and was much more expensive than anticipated.

Riffgat’s half-year outage

Also giant wind park Riffgat stopped delivering power late last year – also a faulty transmission cable. Read here. There’s no news from the Riffgat site on whether or not the park has been returned online. The site has not issued a press release in over 2 years.

The online OZI here reported as of April 27, 2016: “Still no power coming from Riffgat“. However, just days ago – after more than half a year of being shut down – Riffgat hobbled back online.

It seems the wind industry has been busier repairing offshore wind parks than operating them.

 

Germany’s ‘Die Welt’: The Paris Climate Treaty And “The Absurd Excrescence Of Climate Protection”!

German flagship national daily Die Welt has a commentary by Daniel Wetzel on a new report just released in Berlin by Greenpeace Energy, which outlines what Germany needs to do in order to fulfill the Paris Treaty.

“Unrecognizable in just a few years”

So profound would be the ramifications of doing what is necessary to fulfill the Paris Treaty that Wetzel is left with no option but to label it as the “absurd excrescence of climate protection“.

He writes that if carried out, Germany would be “unrecognizable in just a few years“. In other words, following Paris is pure economic lunacy.

For example the Greenpeace Energy report writes that in order for Germany to meet its Paris Treaty targets, the country would have to completely end its production of vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines by the year 2025, and electrify important freight routes and German autobahns, and of course the entire bus and freight traffic industry in the shortest time. Wetzel writes that it would mean the end of the internal combustion in less than a decade, with no planned alternative for replacement in sight.

What that would mean for the German automotive industry, the very backbone of its economy, the country’s competitiveness, jobs and location as a place to do business, Wetzel writes: “The study does not look into it.”

In Germany one of every 6 jobs is connected to the automotive industry.

Cost? Too high to calculate

On that one point, which concerns transportation, Wetzel writes: “Concepts and cost estimates for this are not yet available.”

Gas and oil heating ban by 2020

Implementing the Paris Treaty to the letter would not only have profound consequences for the transport sector, but also for Germany’s other primary major energy consumer: heating. According to the Greenpeace Energy Report, “Because the product lifetime cycle for heating systems is up to 20 years, it is necessary to ban the installation of new gas and oil heating systems beginning in the year 2020 in order to achieve full decarbonization by 2040“.

Wetzel writes: “German furnace manufacturers would have to stop production immediately.”

To accomplish the aimed decarbonization, Wetzel tells readers that Germany would need to increase its current green energy generation capacity some five fold, according to the study, from 600 terawatt-hours to 3120 terawatt-hours by 2040.

Wetzel criticizes Germany’s Energiewende, claiming that a number of highly naïve projections were used earlier to convince the public that somehow it would all work out. For example in 2010, Germany expected to cut electricity demand some 10% by 2020 when in fact electricity consumption has not been cut back at all – despite three recent relatively mild winters.

To replace Germany’s current fossil fuels with green energy, Wetzel writes that the Greenpeace Energy estimates it will be necessary to increase the current number of wind turbines in operation in Germany from 26,000 today to some 80,000 over the coming years! Yet, anyone who knows the public’s current sentiment with respect to littering the landscape with industrial turbines will tell you that this is all pie in the sky.

Already one German state, Bavaria, has made the permitting of new turbines practically impossible.

Already we see the huge widening chasm between the Greens’ demands and reality – making us wonder if they are still in touch. Undeterred and seemingly immune to rationality, they continue clinging to the decarbonization vision despite its growingly apparent absurdity.

Already Germany has put itself on the path to NOT MEETING the Paris climate targets and by a very long shot. The country’s new energy feed-in act scales back (and certainly does not five-fold) the installation of new renewable energy installations in the future, Wetzel points out.

Already the requirements for fulfilling Paris outlined in the Greenpeace Energy report are rendered dustbin material. Yet the Greenpeace Energy report insists that wind and solar energy installations must be ramped up six fold, and even call for consumers to subsidize it all. Currently, Wetzel writes, Germans are already paying 25 billion euros annually in feed in support.

CO2 emissions, by the way, have not fallen in 7 years, some 175 billion euros later. That even goes beyond “absurd”.

 

Paging Attorneys General! …

2016 Scientific Consensus: Climate Models Aren’t Working

By Kenneth Richard

In a 2015 editorial on the dire consequences of human-caused climate change, Marcia McNutt, editor of the journal Science, stated with conviction that “the time for debate has ended.”   It’s the “action” of reducing our CO2 emissions that is now “urgently needed” instead of debating what apparently is “settled” science. She even laced her opined declaration that the scientific debate is now over with some religious imagery, seemingly characterizing the “treacherous offenders” who remain skeptical or unconcerned about climate change as “sinners” deserving the hottest, innermost sections of Hell.

The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed. … In Dante’s Inferno, he describes the nine circles of Hell, each dedicated to different sorts of sinners, with the outermost being occupied by those who didn’t know any better, and the innermost reserved for the most treacherous offenders. I wonder where in the nine circles Dante would place all of us who are borrowing against this Earth in the name of economic growth, accumulating an environmental debt by burning fossil fuels, the consequences of which will be left for our children and grandchildren to bear? Let’s act now, to save the next generations from the consequences of the beyond-two-degree inferno.”

Apparently McNutt’s activist admonitions haven’t convinced scientists publishing papers in other journals that scientific debate about climate change is over.

The year isn’t even half over yet, and already there have been over 20 peer-reviewed papers published that confirm that the climate models relied upon by those advocating that the debate is over (a) do not match observations, (b) leave out important factors affecting climate, (c) don’t have predictive skill, (d) failed to simulate the warming “pause” or “hiatus” of the 21st century, (e) have large uncertainties and biases that impinge on their reliability, and/or (f) are based on assumptions that have been found to be wrong.

Here are some quick-hit examples of statements undermining the validity of climate models found in recently published papers:

  • “[C]onstraints are needed to guide model development and reduce uncertainty in estimates of the radiative forcing. Unfortunately, the preindustrial observations needed to constrain the sensitivities are not available.”
  • “[C]limate model runs … indicate no skill at replicating long-term temperature and precipitation changes.”
  • “This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately.”
  • “The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. … The results … reverse the commonly accepted idea that the early Earth had a thicker atmosphere to compensate for weaker sunlight.”
  • There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing … the rate of warming slowed down at a time when greenhouse-gas emissions were rising dramatically.”
  • “Climate models, however, have large uncertainties in representing dehydration and cloud processes in the TTL [tropical tropopause layer], and thus their feedback with surface climate, prohibiting an accurate projection of future global and regional climate changes”
  • “They found that the wave-like movements of the mantle are occurring at a rate that is an order of magnitude faster than had been previously predicted.”

Perhaps the scientists who have the audacity to report on the considerable uncertainty and unreliability inherent in climate models — or the wrongness of their previously-held assumptions about the Earth-Atmosphere system — can be excused for their lack of understanding of “settled science.” After all, as Marcia McNutt declares, the debate is over; the climate models tell us so; it’s now time to act.

Fortunately, those scientists who “don’t know any better” about the debate being over may be able to escape to the outermost corridors of Hell rather than the innermost ones — where apparently it’s much, much hotter. That’s apparently where we can find those who don’t yet agree that the debate is over, and that activism is now science.

Obviously, there are valid and very substantial reasons why many are skeptical.

21 Papers From 2016

Below are 21 papers published so far in 2016 (through mid-June) that do not support the contention that climate modeling is “settled science,” or that the scientific debate is now over.

1. Christy and McNider, 2016

Three time series of average summer daily maximum temperature (TMax JJA) are developed for three interior regions of Alabama (AL) from stations with varying periods-of-record and unknown inhomogeneities. The time frame is 1883-2014. … Varying the parameters of the construction methodology creates 333 time series with a central trend-value based on the largest group of stations of -0.07 °C decade-1 with a best-guess estimate of measurement uncertainty being -0.12 to -0.02 °C decade-1. This best-guess result is insignificantly different (0.01 C decade-1) from a similar regional calculation using NOAA nClimDiv data beginning in 1895. … Finally, 77 CMIP-5 climate model runs are examined for Alabama and indicate no skill at replicating long-term temperature and precipitation changes since 1895.”

2. Fyfe et al., 2016

It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.”

 (press release):

There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” says lead author John Fyfe, a climate modeller at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, British Columbia. “We can’t ignore it.” … Susan Solomon, a climatologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, says that Fyfe’s framework helps to put twenty-first-century trends into perspective, and clearly indicates that the rate of warming slowed down at a time when greenhouse-gas emissions were rising dramatically.

3. Zhao et al., 2016

The authors demonstrate that model estimates of climate sensitivity can be strongly affected by the manner through which cumulus cloud condensate is converted into precipitation in a model’s convection parameterization, processes that are only crudely accounted for in GCMs. In particular, two commonly used methods for converting cumulus condensate into precipitation can lead to drastically different climate sensitivity, as estimated here with an atmosphere–land model by increasing sea surface temperatures uniformly and examining the response in the top-of-atmosphere energy balance. The effect can be quantified through a bulk convective detrainment efficiency, which measures the ability of cumulus convection to generate condensate per unit precipitation. The model differences, dominated by shortwave feedbacks, come from broad regimes ranging from large-scale ascent to subsidence regions. Given current uncertainties in representing convective precipitation microphysics and the current inability to find a clear observational constraint that favors one version of the authors’ model over the others, the implications of this ability to engineer climate sensitivity need to be considered when estimating the uncertainty in climate projections.”

4. Ljungqvist et al., 2016

We find a larger percentage of land area with relatively wetter conditions in the ninth to eleventh and the twentieth centuries, whereas drier conditions are more widespread between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Our reconstruction reveals that prominent seesaw patterns of alternating moisture regimes observed in instrumental data across the Mediterranean, western USA, and China have operated consistently over the past twelve centuries. …. [T]he intensification of the twentieth-century-mean hydroclimate anomalies in the simulations, as compared to previous centuries, is not supported by our new multi-proxy reconstruction. This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using palaeoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context.”

Press release:

According to a new study, the Northern Hemisphere has experienced considerably larger variations in precipitation during the past twelve centuries than in the twentieth century. Researchers from Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland have found that climate models overestimated the increase in wet and dry extremes as temperatures increased during the twentieth century.”

5. Ghan et al., 2016

A large number of processes are involved in the chain from emissions of aerosol precursor gases and primary particles to impacts on cloud radiative forcing. … However, we are most interested in the radiative forcing since the preindustrial era. Because few relevant measurements are available from that era, relationships from recent variability have been assumed to be applicable to the preindustrial to present-day change.

Given the diversity of the relationships, constraints are needed to guide model development and reduce uncertainty in estimates of the radiative forcing. Unfortunately, the preindustrial observations needed to constrain the sensitivities are not available.One method would be to use recent trends in regions where emissions have changed substantially during the period when reliable measurements are available. For example, Cherian et al. used measurements of trends in the downward solar radiance at European sites from the period 1990–2005, when SO2 emissions declined threefold, to constrain global estimates of aerosol radiative forcing since the preindustrial era. Although such an analysis is highly informative, it does not provide guidance on removing biases in models that overestimate or underestimate the downward solar trend over Europe, which could be due to errors in any of the factors that produce the cloud radiative forcing change or the clear-sky change, as well as natural variability in cloud cover. Removing those biases is necessary if climate models are to be used for simulations of future climate change. Additional data characterizing each of the factors and components are needed. Some of the necessary data (Lre, aerosol optical depth) are available from 1990, but reliable estimates of Ndτ, and R are not available for years before 2001, when the Earth Observing System satellite constellation was launched.”

6. Le et al., 2016

The low agreement between models in simulating the impacts of solar variations on SAT in several regions suggests the different dynamical responses in these models, possibly associated with inaccurate parameterization of the processes related to solar forcing. Our analysis suggests that internal climate variability played a more significant role than external forcings in short-term SAT variability in the regions of the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the Arctic, the Antarctic Peninsula, and its surrounding oceans. The possibility of long-term impacts of external forcings on SAT and the uncertainties that might be contained due to effects of internal climate modes other than El Niño–Southern Oscillation underscore the necessity for a more detailed understanding of the dynamical response of SAT to external forcings.”

7. McKinley et al., 2016

The ocean has absorbed 41 per cent of all anthropogenic carbon emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning and cement manufacture. The magnitude and the large-scale distribution of the ocean carbon sink is well quantified for recent decades. In contrast, temporal changes in the oceanic carbon sink remain poorly understood. It has proved difficult to distinguish between air-to-sea carbon flux trends that are due to anthropogenic climate change and those due to internal climate variability. Here we use a modelling approach that allows for this separation, revealing how the ocean carbon sink may be expected to change throughout this century in different oceanic regions. Our findings suggest that, owing to large internal climate variability, it is unlikely that changes in the rate of anthropogenic carbon uptake can be directly observed in most oceanic regions at present, but that this may become possible between 2020 and 2050 in some regions.”

8. Hawkins et al., 2016

Irreducible uncertainty in near-term climate projections

Abstract: These results suggest that climate projections need to be performed with many more ensemble members than at present, using a range of ocean initial conditions, if the uncertainty in near-term regional climate is to be adequately quantified.

Summary and Discussion: The presence of initial condition uncertainty and non-linearity produces significant irreducible uncertainty in future regional climate changes. For trends of 20 years, the climate change signal rarely emerges from the noise of internal variability in FAMOUS. Uncertainty in future trends of temperature and precipitation reduce for longer trends as the initial condition uncertainty saturates.”

9. Hoggard et al., 2016

Our power spectral analysis reveals significant discrepancies between observed and predicted dynamic topography.”

[press release]

Map of flow within the Earth’s mantle finds the surface moving up and down ‘like a yo-yo’

Researchers have compiled the first global set of observations of the movement of the Earth’s mantle, the 3000-kilometre-thick layer of hot silicate rocks between the crust and the core, and have found that it looks very different to predictions made by geologists over the past 30 years. … They found that the wave-like movements of the mantle are occurring at a rate that is an order of magnitude faster than had been previously predicted. The results, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, have ramifications across many disciplines including the study of ocean circulation and past climate change.”

10. Som et al., 2016

Our data indicate a surprisingly low surface atmospheric pressure of Patm = 0.23 ± 0.23 (2σ) bar, and combined with previous studies suggests ~0.5 bar as an upper limit to late Archaean Patm. The result implies that the thin atmosphere was rich in auxiliary greenhouse gases and that Patm [surface atmospheric pressure] fluctuated over geologic time to a previously unrecognized extent.”

[press release]

Early Earth’s air weighed less than half of today’s atmosphere

The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere. The results, published online May 9 in Nature Geoscience, reverse the commonly accepted idea that the early Earth had a thicker atmosphere to compensate for weaker sunlight. The finding also has implications for which gases were in that atmosphere, and how biology and climate worked on the early planet. […]

For the longest time, people have been thinking the atmospheric pressure might have been higher back then, because the sun was fainter,” said lead author Sanjoy Som, who did the work as part of his UW doctorate in Earth and space sciences. “Our result is the opposite of what we were expecting. […]

We’re still coming to grips with the magnitude of this,” Buick said. “It’s going to take us a while to digest all the possible consequences.” Other geological evidence clearly shows liquid water on Earth at that time, so the early atmosphere must have contained more heat-trapping greenhouse gases, like methane and carbon dioxide, and less nitrogen.”

11. Harrison et al., 2016

Palaeoclimate assessment has demonstrated that changes in large-scale features of climate that are governed by the energy and water balance show consistent responses to changes in forcing in different climate states, and these consistent responses are reproduced by climate models. However, state-of-the-art models are still largely unable to reproduce observed changes in climate at a regional scale reliably. While palaeoclimate analyses of state-of-the-art climate models suggest an urgent need for model improvement, much work is also needed on extending and improving palaeoclimate reconstructions and quantifying and reducing both numerical and interpretative uncertainties.”

12. Lehner et al., 2016

Comparisons of the observed global-scale cooling following recent volcanic eruptions to that simulated by climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) indicate that the models overestimate the magnitude of the global temperature response to volcanic eruptions. Here we show that this overestimation can be explained as a sampling issue, arising because all large eruptions since 1951 coincided with El Niño events, which cause global-scale warming that partially counteracts the volcanically induced cooling. By subsampling the CMIP5 models according to the observed El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase during each eruption, we find that the simulated global temperature response to volcanic forcing is consistent with observations. Volcanic eruptions pose a particular challenge for the detection and attribution methodology, as their surface impacts are short-lived and hence can be confounded by ENSO. Our results imply that detection and attribution studies must carefully consider sampling biases due to internal climate variability.”

Introduction: Estimates of the relative contributions by anthropogenic and natural forcings inform our attempts to constrain transient and equilibrium climate sensitivity [Collins et al., 2013]. Yet such attempts are inherently complicated by the fact that we observe only one of many possible climate trajectories. With internal variability contributing significantly to decadal-scale trends in certain quantities and regions, robust attribution of climate change can become challenging and sensitive to the particular realization of variability sampled in the observational record [Deser et al., 2012a].”

13. Rehfeld and Laepple, 2016

Temperatures in Asia, and globally, are very likely to increase with greenhouse gas emissions, but future projections of rainfall are far more uncertain. Here we investigate the linkage between temperature and precipitation in Asia on interannual to multicentennial timescales using instrumental data, late Holocene paleoclimate proxy data and climate model simulations. We find that in the instrumental and proxy data, the relationship between temperature and precipitation is timescale-dependent. While on annual to decadal timescales, negative correlations dominate and thus cool summers tend to be rainy summers, on longer timescales precipitation and temperature are positively correlated; cool centuries tend to be dryer centuries in monsoonal Asia. In contrast, the analyzed CMIP5/PMIP3 climate model simulations show a negative correlation between precipitation and temperature on all timescales. Although many uncertainties exist in the interpretation of the proxy data, there is consistency between them and the instrumental evidence. This, and the persistence of the result across independent proxy datasets, suggests that the climate model simulations might be considerably biased, overestimating the short-term negative associations between regional rainfall and temperature and lacking long-term positive relationships between them.”

14. Hand, 2016

Models suggest that climate change should weaken the AMOC as warmer Arctic temperatures, combined with buoyant freshwater from Greenland’s melting ice cap, impede the formation of deep currents. But so far, limited ocean measurements show the AMOC to be far more capricious than the models have been able to capture.”

15. Chiodo and Polvani, 2016

An accurate assessment of the role of solar variability is a key step towards a proper quantification of natural and anthropogenic climate change. To this end, climate models have been extensively used to quantify the solar contribution to climate variability. However, owing to its large computational cost, the bulk of modeling studies to date have been performed without interactive stratospheric photochemistry: the impact of this simplification on the modeled climate system response to solar forcing remains largely unknown. Here we quantify this impact, by comparing the response of two model configurations, with and without interactive ozone chemistry. Using long integrations, we first obtain robust surface temperature and precipitation responses to an idealized irradiance increase. Then, we show that the inclusion of interactive stratospheric chemistry significantly reduces the surface warming (by about one third) and the accompanying precipitation response. This behavior is linked to photochemically-induced stratospheric ozone changes, and their modulation of the surface solar radiation. Our results suggest that neglecting stratospheric photochemistry leads to a sizable overestimate of the surface response to changes in solar irradiance. This has implications for simulations of the climate in the Last Millennium and geoengineering applications employing irradiance changes larger than those observed over the 11-year sunspot cycle, where models often use simplified treatments of stratospheric ozone that are inconsistent with the imposed solar forcing.”

16. Stier, 2016

Aerosol–cloud interactions are considered a key uncertainty in our understanding of climate change (Boucher et al., 2013). Knowledge of the global abundance of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) is fundamental to determine the strength of the anthropogenic climate perturbation. Direct measurements are limited and sample only a very small fraction of the globe so that remote sensing from satellites and ground-based instruments is widely used as a proxy for cloud condensation nuclei (Nakajima et al., 2001; Andreae, 2009; Clarke and Kapustin, 2010; Boucher et al., 2013). However, the underlying assumptions cannot be robustly tested with the small number of measurements available so that no reliable global estimate of cloud condensation nuclei exists. This study overcomes this limitation using a self-consistent global model (ECHAM-HAM) of aerosol radiative properties and cloud condensation nuclei. An analysis of the correlation of simulated aerosol radiative properties and cloud condensation nuclei reveals that common assumptions about their relationships are violated for a significant fraction of the globe: 71 % of the area of the globe shows correlation coefficients between CCN0.2 % at cloud base and aerosol optical depth (AOD) below 0.5, i.e. AOD variability explains only 25 % of the CCN variance. This has significant implications for satellite based studies of aerosol–cloud interactions. The findings also suggest that vertically resolved remote-sensing techniques, such as satellite-based high spectral resolution lidars, have a large potential for global monitoring of cloud condensation nuclei.”

17. Wegmann et al., 2016

The early twentieth century Arctic warming (ETCAW) between 1920 and 1940 is an exceptional feature of climate variability in the last century. Its warming rate was only recently matched by recent warming in the region. Unlike recent warming largely attributable to anthropogenic radiative forcing, atmospheric warming during the ETCAW was strongest in the mid-troposphere and is believed to be triggered by an exceptional case of natural climate variability. Nevertheless, ultimate mechanisms and causes for the ETCAW are still under discussion. Here we use state of the art multi-member global circulation models, reanalysis and reconstruction datasets to investigate the internal atmospheric dynamics of the ETCAW. We investigate the role of boreal winter mid-tropospheric heat transport and circulation in providing the energy for the large scale warming. Analyzing sensible heat flux components and regional differences, climate models are not able to reproduce the heat flux evolution found in reanalysis and reconstruction datasets. These datasets show an increase of stationary eddy heat flux and a decrease of transient eddy heat flux during the ETCAW. Moreover, tropospheric circulation analysis reveals the important role of both the Atlantic and the Pacific sectors in the convergence of southerly air masses into the Arctic during the warming event. Subsequently, it is suggested that the internal dynamics of the atmosphere played a major role in the formation in the ETCAW.”

18. Kim et al., 2016

Cirrus clouds in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) and water vapor transported into the stratosphere have significant impacts on the global radiation budget and circulation patterns. Climate models, however, have large uncertainties in representing dehydration and cloud processes in the TTL, and thus their feedback with surface climate, prohibiting an accurate projection of future global and regional climate changes. Here, we use unprecedented airborne measurements over the Pacific to reveal atmospheric waves as a strong modulator of ice clouds in the TTL. Wave-induced cold and/or cooling conditions are shown to exert a nearly ubiquitous influence on cirrus cloud occurrence at altitudes of 14-18 km, except when air was very recently influenced by convective hydration. We further observe that various vertical scales of cloud layers are associated with various vertical scales of waves, suggesting the importance of representing TTL waves in models.”

19. Dhomse et al., 2016

[T]here are still large [uncertainties] in current observational and meteorological reanalysis datasets, so accurate quantification of the influence of solar flux variability on the climate system remains an open scientific question.”

20. Sterl, 2016

The large heat capacity of the ocean as compared to the atmosphere provides a memory in the climate system that might have the potential for skilful climate predictions a few years ahead. However, experiments so far have only found limited predictability after accounting for the deterministic forcing signal provided by increased greenhouse gas concentrations. One of the problems is the drift that occurs when the model moves away from the initial conditions towards its own climate. This drift is often larger than the decadal signal to be predicted. In this paper we describe the drift occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean in the EC-Earth climate model and relate it to the lack of decadal predictability in that region. While this drift may be resolution dependent and disappear in higher resolution models, we identify a second reason for the low predictability. A subsurface heat content anomaly can only influence de atmosphere if (deep) convection couples it to the surface, but the occurrence of deep convection events is random and probably mainly determined by unpredictable atmospheric noise.

21. Rugenstein et al., 2016

The ocean dominates the planetary heat budget and takes thousands of years to equilibrate to perturbed surface conditions, yet those long time scales are poorly understood. Here we analyze the ocean response over a range of forcing levels and time scales in a climate model of intermediate complexity and in the CMIP5 model suite. We show that on century to millennia time scales the response time scales, regions of anomalous ocean heat storage, and global thermal expansion depend non-linearly on the forcing level and surface warming. As a consequence, it is problematic to deduce long term from short term heat uptake or scale the heat uptake patterns between scenarios. These results also question simple methods to estimate long term sea level rise from surface temperatures, and the use of deep sea proxies to represent surface temperature changes in past climate.”

 

New Paper Finds That Even Seismic Activity Correlates Better With Warming Than CO2!

The correlation between seismic activity (geothermal flux) as a natural mechanism in the 1979 to 2015 global warming is stronger than the correlation with carbon dioxide during the same period.

Hat-tip: Kenneth Richard

Viterito, 2016

The Correlation Of Seismic Activity And Recent Global Warming

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states with high confidence that the warming of global temperatures since 1901 has been driven by increased radiative forcing. The gases responsible for this enhanced forcing are ‘greenhouse gases’ of anthropogenic origin, and include carbon dioxide, methane, and halocarbons. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change has challenged these findings and concludes that the forcing from greenhouse gases is minimal and diminishing. They add that modelling attempts of past and future climate states are inaccurate and do not incorporate important solar inputs, such as magnetic strength and total irradiance. One geophysical variable that has been overlooked by both groups is geothermal flux.

This study will show that increasing seismic activity for the globe’s high geothermal flux areas (HGFA), an indicator of increasing geothermal forcing, is highly correlated with average global temperatures from 1979 to 2015 (r = 0.785). By comparison, the correlation between carbon dioxide loading and global temperatures for the same period is lower (r = 0.739). Multiple regression indicates that HGFA seismicity is a significant predictor of global temperatures (P < 0.05), but carbon dioxide concentrations do not significantly improve the explained variance (P > 0.1). A compelling case for geothermal forcing lies in the fact that 1) geothermal heat can trigger thermobaric convection and strengthen oceanic overturning, important mechanisms for transferring ocean heat to the overlying atmosphere, and 2) seismic activity is the leading indicator, while global temperature is the laggard.

The paper concludes that the world should wait until all of the climate system is understood before enacting laws to curb GHG emissions:

To ameliorate the problems of rising global temperatures, legislative and taxing initiatives are currently being proposed and evaluated by governing bodies around the world. Most of these initiatives are designed to curb GHG emissions. However, this study shows that we may want to delay such actions until all of the climate system’s inputs are fully accounted for.”

 

Spiegel Science Editor: “Surprises Me Again And Again How Some React To Critical Articles On Climate Science”

On June 8 Spiegel science editor Axel Bojanowski wrote a rather harsh piece criticizing recent claims in the German media that “heavy rainfalls” were becoming more frequent in Germany when in fact there is no statistical evidence to support the claim.
Boj_blog
Spiegel journalist, Axel Bojanowski. Photo: Axel Bojanowski.

He even went so far to call the claims in the media “a climate bluff”. I wrote about that Bojanowski’s Spiegel piece here.

Hat-tip: Reader Till.

Over the past few weeks Germany and parts of Europe have experienced heavy rainfalls. Unsurprisingly some catastrophe-obsessed scientists tried to link the weather to climate change. This prompted the Spiegel journalist to write in his June 8 commentary that the climate doomsday headlines made with every occurring weather anomaly seem to have become a “knee-jerk” reaction by German media outlets.

In response to his critical article, Bojanowski, a geologist by education, was met with a fierce backlash, led by Potsdam scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, who posted one his patented, carefully-crafted the-science-is-settled essays, see here.

Harming science

Four days later, on June 14, at his blog here, Bojanowski shot back, defending the harsh criticism and tones he used in his critical article, and reiterated that the evidence of more days with extreme rainfall remains was non-existent and that scientists who claim otherwise are harming the discipline of science:

My criticism was simple: Weather data show no increase in days with heavy rainfalls in Germany – experts, who hide this data, or who claim the opposite, are misleading the citizens, squandering trust in science, and are making science obselete.”

On claims his criticism was exaggerated, he writes: “No. When experts – especially experts paid by the citizen – hide information or spin it, you should be able to read about this.”

Bojanowski adds:

None of the scientists or meteorolgists that I had criticzed supplied data that would show a long-term increase in heavy rainfalls in Germany. That’s exactly the problem.”

Bojanowski does say, however:

But it would not surprise me if soon there were data showing an increase in heavy rainfalls in Germany.”

Climate science is not like other sciences

Because Bojanowski writes about climate, geology and earth sciences, he is well aware that debate and challenge are the fuels that drive scientific progress. So it’s only natural for him to express his surprise at the reactions of scientists and journalists had to his critical articles. He summarizes:

It surprises me again and again how some react to critical articles on climate science. In medical journalism, critical, evidence-based journalism has established itself. I’m very curious to see how things will progress in climate science, foremost concerning the results.”

Indeed, especially over the coming 5 – 10 years.

 

Rigged Contest… French Government Disqualifies Skeptic Climate Project, Claiming It “Did Not Fulfill Criteria”!

Now the latest on the French government disappearing a skeptic project from a climate contest.

In a contest that is set up to find the best solutions to a “problem”, it is not always wise to propose irrefutable scientific evidence that shows the “problem” does not even exist, and thus making the contest a waste of money and resources…and especially if your chances of winning are good!

Dr. Sebastian Lüning informs that he has received a letter from the French government (see below with my translation), explaining why his project was disqualified.
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Emergency brakes: French Government removes Medieval Warm Period Map project from climate project competition

As reported on several occasions already at this site, the French government is holding a competition that allows people to vote via the Internet to support projects on climate change. Our Medieval Warm Period (MWP) Map was among the voting. The voting runs from June 6 to July 6, 2016. Many readers have already cast their votes. We would like to thank these readers for their support. Also internationally there has been vibrant interest for the project after notrickszone.com reported on the contest.

Unfortunately we must inform you that all votes cast for the MWP project up to now have been declared invalid by the French Federal Ministry for Environment, Energy and the Oceans. One week after voting began on June 13, 2016, we received a letter from the Ministry stating that the project had to be taken out of the competition. Reason: It did not fulfill the criteria of the competition. It was signed by the French General Commissar for Sustainable Development. You can see a copy of the original letter below, which we provide in its entirety in the spirit of sustainable transparency. Since then only an error message appears at the original project page of the ‘100 Projects for the Climate’ site.

On the background for the reasons behind the move, one can only speculate. Presumably the MWP Map project received such a great number of votes that the organizers got scared and panicked. Obviously public demands a scientific clarification of the pre-industrial climate development, which up to now has not been available to this degree of detail and user-friendliness – despite the millions that have been poured into climate research. Obviously it is not a welcome development that the natural warm period of 1000 years ago would get such attention. Thus someone had to pull the emergency brake, and quickly sweep it all under the carpet and hope no one notices. Not exactly very tactful.

Moreover, the MWP Map has recently revealed something quite interesting for France: Except for Southern France and the French Alps, there has been an embarrassing data gap on French climate history of the past 1000 years. Note that the data recording for France has already been concluded for our first round.

We don’t anticipate further studies to be plotted for France. Does someone wish to cover up this inconvenient situation? Even worse: All studies with temperature results have found a really warm MWP (red points). From a hydrological standpoint, the MWP was a dry period with reduced precipitation (yellow points). Click on the points for France to find details about the studies:

With respect to the large data gaps for France and the large importance of the MWP Map, in a letter to the Ministry we will kindly request alternative support outside the scope of the ’100 Projects for the Climate’. The start of a new cooperation?”

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What follows next is a copy of the rejection letter from the French Government, courtesy of Dr. Lüning:
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FrenchGov letter
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In English:

Madam, Sir,

We have taken notice with great interest of the project you submitted on our web-platform concerning the initiative: “100 projects for the climate”.

This initiative aims to put value on concrete solutions to combat climate change, protect and preserve the environment, and falls on the objectives for sustainable development of Agenda 2030 put forth by the United Nations. These solutions should be the fruit of the imitative of citizens, innovative, active and reproducible.

Within this scope, and for a smooth processing, a review of the submitted projects was conducted by myself on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Oceans based on the criteria. Using this guideline it appears that your project, despite all the interest shown in it, does not fulfill the mentioned criteria. Therefore it may not be included and will be removed from the web platform.

We thank you for your participation and your interest in the fight against climatic change.

Yours […] truly,

The Commissar General for Sustainable Development

Lawreance Monnoyer Smith”

 

SCANDAL? French Government Disappears Skeptic’s Project From ‘100 Projects For The Climate’ Contest!

It’s no secret that Dr. Sebastian Lüning’s outstanding, purely scientific Medieval Warming Period Map project has been held in very high regard within the science community.

It’s also no secret that some government-funded scientists and a slew of activists are not at all happy that it has created controversy and cast serious doubt over climate science. Indeed Lüning’s project has exposed that climate science has been a bit sloppy in its handling of the inconvenient Medieval Warm Period (MWP).

Recently Dr. Lüning entered his Medieval Warming Period Map project in a French-government sponsored contest, 100 Projects for the Climate, which has the aim of selecting and supporting the 100 best climate-related projects. Read background here and here.

To say the least, the project seemed to be generating a fair amount of voter activity.

Recently I got some mail from readers who had sought to cast their vote for Lüning’s project at the French-government operated website. They asked me to check the link because they had been getting the following error message:

100 Projects for the climate

I checked this over and there is nothing wrong with the link which allowed votes to be cast for Lüning’s project – except for the fact that the page now “doesn’t exist”. Many people (and we suspect perhaps too many) had already successfully cast their votes for the Medieval Warming Period Map. Was the link changed in the middle of the contest?

I’ve contacted Dr. Lüning about this and I’m hoping that he’ll post some news on this soon.

Too inconvenient?

Could this be the French government moving to shut out a project that is simply too hot and too inconvenient to handle?

One notes that the projects are about climate change and how to deal with it. It is truly mysterious that a quality project, such as Lüning’s, which relies solely on a huge base of scientific literature, would be disappeared for whatever reason.

This stinks to high heaven and we can only hope that project’s disappearance has to do with a technical glitch, and not some political reason rooted in irrationality (fear of alternative views), or worse. It just seems to be too foul that one of the surely very few SKEPTIC projects happens to be the one that has been affected in this way.

I’m very curious to find out how all of this will unfold. I have a feeling we have not heard the last of this.