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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
FoS Climate Science Newsletter - 2021

By: Ken Gregory, P.Eng.


CliSci # 345          2021-05-04


The True Cost of Wind and Solar Electricity in Alberta

Wind and solar generators cannot meet consumers’ electricity needs when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. Advocates argue that renewable generation can be backed up with battery energy storage systems (“BESS”) that store energy when renewable generation is high and release energy when that generation is low. Batteries cannot economically manage the months-long seasonal variations in wind, sun, and cloud. At today’s prices, the batteries needed to ensure a reliable supply of electricity from wind and solar generators in Alberta would cost almost two trillion dollars. Two trillion dollars is almost six times Alberta’s 2019 GDP of $353 billion. Spending this astronomical sum on electricity infrastructure would raise the price of electricity to nearly $5/kWh, almost a hundred times greater than the average 2011-2020 wholesale market price of 5 ¢/kWh. The electricity bill for the average home consuming 10,800 kWh per year would be $51 thousand per year, an amount far beyond the ability of most Albertans to pay. The Canadian government has pledged to be net CO2 emissions zero, so fossil fuel generated electricity can’t be used as backup in the near future. Under the existing market rules, generators are not held accountable for any costs their intermittency and nondispatchability impose—including (but not limited to) the cost of backup generation. See this FOSS report.


Electricity From the Sun:  Reality Versus Fantasy

In a recent article in the Calgary Herald, journalist Licia Corbella was effusive in her praise of both solar energy and Alberta’s competitive electricity market. She quoted Robert Hornung, president and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, who also extolled the virtues of solar generation and the competitive market. Energy professionals related to FoSS critiqued this assessment in this new report. The report reveals that renewables investor receive huge hidden subsides from the province’s consumers. A solar panel produces in December only 29% of its July output, assuming there is no snow on the panel. The cost of battery backup for each home equipped with enough solar panels to produce the annual electricity demand would be $1.3 million, and that would have to be repeated every ten years, which is the expected battery life. The excess electricity output in July is often five or six times greater than the customer’s consumption. The report says “Since it is economically infeasible to buy enough batteries to cover the winter shortfall, it is also infeasible to buy enough to store the summer surplus.  So, the excess solar energy must either flow out to a grid that is larger than today’s or the solar array’s output must be reduced.” Contrary to Corbella’s article, high solar penetration requires a massive buildup to transmission capacity, not less. In the past, investors build power plants to meet consumer’s demand for electricity. Solar project now are built to displace existing generation, and a large fraction of revenue is from the lack of delivery of an unmeasurable amount of an invisible substance, CO2. It is unknown how much it will cost Albertans in hidden subsidies related to transmission and backup generation costs. Renewable electricity shows up when it wants to while fossil-fuel electricity shows up when we want it to.


Hydrologic Extremes Across Australia

This study published in the Journal of Hydrology evaluated trends from 1960 to 2017 in rainfall, soil moisture and streamflow in Australia. “Northern parts of Australia have experienced increasing annual rainfall totals, resulting in increased water availability in the tropics with increased soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and runoff, particularly during the hot, wet monsoon season. In contrast, the southwest and southeast coasts of Australia have experienced declines in rainfall, particularly in the colder months”. Since 1960, Australia has not experienced any continent-wide changes in rainfall patterns. Summers seem to be slightly wetter overall, with “increased water availability in the tropics”


Trends in Antarctic Sea-ice Driven by ENSO–SAM over 2,000 Years

A paper published in Nature Geoscience presents two new decadal-resolution records of sea ice and sea surface temperatures over the last 2000 years. The records show pervasive regional climate heterogeneity in the Antarctica sea ice cover. The author’s analysis of the data with the help of a climate model suggests that regional condition were driven by the variability of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). The abstract says “Antarctic sea ice has paradoxically become more extensive over the past four decades despite a warming climate.” I created a plot the Antarctica sea ice extent from satellite data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center from 1979 to April 2021. The year 2020 average sea ice extent was 300,000 km2 greater than that in 1980, and there was a small upward trend 1979 – 2020.


“Global Warming” is Only ~50% of What Models Project

For Earth Day, Dr. Roy Spencer published a graph of global-average sea surface temperatures from the ERSSTv5 dataset with 68 computer climate model simulation of the new CMIP6 set from 1979 to 2021. I digitized the chart of trends. The average trend of the climate models is 0.272 °C/decade. The trend of the measurements is 0.116 °C/decade. The model trend average is 2.34 times the ERSSTv5 trend. See Spencer’s blog post. The global troposphere warming trend using UAH satellite data from 1979 to April 2001 is 198% of the CMIP5 set of climate models as shown here. Note that the current La Nina is now having a strong cooling effect on the global troposphere. The April 2021 temperature anomaly is the same as June 1980.


Northern Red Sea Corals Pass Heat Stress Test with Flying Colors

This EurekAlert news release reports that scientists subjected Gulf of Aqaba corals to a range of heat stresses including the higher temperatures likely to occur in the coming decades. The average maximum monthly temperature in these waters is currently around 27°C, so the scientists exposed coral samples to temperatures of 29.5 °C, 32 °C and 34.5 °C, over both a short time period (three hours) and a longer one (one week). "The main thing we found is that these corals currently live in temperatures well below the maximum they can withstand with their molecular machinery, which means they're naturally shielded against the temperature increases that will probably occur over the next 100 or even 200 years," says Romain Savary of EPFL in Switzerland and lead author of the study.


Failed Climate Predictions

Rud Istvan has written many blog posts over the last 10 years. He reviews some of the climate alarmist’s most fundamental failed predictions, and why they failed. The climate scare is largely based on climate models that don’t work. They overstate the tropical troposphere warming by about 3 times. The most plausible reason is thunderstorms, which reduce upper atmosphere humidity with warming, but cannot be modelled, only parameterized. In absolute temperature terms, the CMIP5 models varied by ~4 °C in the year 2000 (early in their tuning period) about the observed ~15.5 °C global average. Few were close to the observed reality. Models predict an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 1.5 to 4.5 °C, but assuming no natural climate change and no urban warming, observational ECS estimates using energy balance shows about 1.6 °C, or around 1.0 °C after correcting for those factors. Sea level rise was predicted to accelerate but it hasn’t based on long records of GPS-corrected tide gauges. Crop yields were predicted to fail but they continue to increase. See more here.


CliSci # 344          2021-04-19


Climate ‘Emergency’? Not So Fast

Climate scientists Dr. Richard Lindzen and Dr. Willian Happer co-authored an article published on National Review. They wrote that the Biden administration’s crusade against a supposed “climate emergency” resembles the medieval crusades against foreign infidels. The authors say that the research literature does not support the claim of a climate emergency. The warming from CO2 emissions would be small and benign. History shows that warming periods extend growing seasons and have been very good for humanity. Cooling periods were accompanied by barbarian invasions, famines, and plagues. More CO2 will certainly increase the productivity of agriculture and forestry as CO2 is plant food. A thousand years ago Greenland was much warmer than today. Warming from methane is about one-tenth of than from CO2. The crusade against farmers due to methane emissions will be all pain for no gain. Climate models predict two to three times more surface warming than has been observed, so they have already been falsified.


Correcting Mixed‐Phase Clouds Over the Southern Ocean

Simple energy balance models, which compare climate forcing to actual global temperature changes, show low climate sensitivity to CO2 levels, implying that clouds and water vapour do not cause strong positive feedbacks. A major problem with climate models is poor representation of clouds over the Southern Ocean leading to cloud feedbacks that are too large. An important paper published in Geophysical Research: Atmospheres challenges the climate models by using new remote-sensing datasets. The study shows that models do a poor job of simulating clouds of ice crystals topped with super-cooled liquid droplets. Adapting the cloud parameters a climate model to match the datasets can reproduce the observed mixed‐phase clouds. This change significantly increases the amount of sunlight these clouds reflect to space. Compared to ice crystals, liquid droplets tend to reflect more solar energy toward space, cooling the planet. The study shows that the climate models used to set government policy assume too high climate feedbacks and are too sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions.


Including Ocean Eddies in Models Reduce Sea Level Rise Projections by 25%

A new paper published in Science Advances investigated the contribution of Antarctica ice melt to sea level rise with a standard resolution climate model compared to a high-resolution ocean eddy resolving version of the model. The high resolution model projects a sea level rise contribution from Antarctica of near zero in 2100 while the low resolution version projects a 9.3 cm higher sea level rise. The abstract says “Current sea-level projections are based on climate models in which the effects of ocean eddies are parameterized. Here, we investigate the effect of ocean eddies on global mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) projections, using climate model simulations. Explicitly resolving ocean eddies leads to a more realistic Southern Ocean temperature distribution and volume transport. These quantities control the rate of basal melt, which eventually results in Antarctic mass loss. In a model with resolved ocean eddies, the Southern Ocean temperature changes lead to a smaller Antarctic GMSLR contribution compared to the same model in which eddies are parameterized. As a result, the projected GMSLR is about 25% lower at the end of this century in the eddying model. Relatively small-scale ocean eddies can hence have profound large-scale effects and consequently affect GMSLR projections.” Therefore for a given climate sensitivity, the GMSLR projected by climate models should be discounted by 25%.


Solar Variability Is Tied to the Onset of Decadal La Nina Events

A new study published in Earth and Space Science shows a correlation between solar cycles and a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean suggesting that solar variability is driving multi-year climate variability. Many climate scientists are unclear on the role the sun has on the changing climate. A news release about the paper quotes Scott McIntosh, co-author of the paper, who said “This study shows there’s reason to believe it absolutely does and why the connection may have been missed in the past." The 11-year solar cycle does not have a definite beginning or end. This study used a more precise 22-year solar derived from the solar magnetic polarity cycle. The termination of the magnetic cycle can be determined with more precision than the sunspot cycle. The authors found that the five terminator events that occurred between 1960 and 2010-11 all coincided with a flip from an El Nino to a La Nina. The solar cycle 24 that has just ended also corresponds to the current La Nina event. Statistical tests show that there was only a 1 in 5,000 chance or less (depending on the statistical test) that all five terminator events included in the study would randomly coincide with the flip in ocean temperatures. The authors suggest that the influence of the Sun’s magnetic field on the amount of cosmic rays that enter the Earth’s atmosphere might be the physical connection between the Sun and the Earth responsible for the ENSO correlation.


Ocean Temperatures Over the Last 700 000 Years from an Antarctic Ice Core

The Earth’s global mean temperature has changed significantly between cold glacial and warm interglacial periods over the last million years. A new paper published in Climate of the Past presents reconstructed ocean temperature over the last 700,000 years by using ratios of noble gases and nitrogen trapped in the Antarctic EPICA Dome C ice core. The amount of each gas dissolved in seawater depends on the ocean temperature. The reconstructed temperatures during the last seven glacial periods are consistently about 3.3 °C cooler than the Holocene. The interglacial before 450,000 years ago were 1.6 °C cooler than the Holocene. Ocean temperatures in the warm periods 450,000 years ago were much colder than in the present warm period. A news release about the paper says “The new measurements show that ocean temperature is also shaped by changes in ocean circulation. The so-called global circulation of deep waters has a significant impact on heat storage in the ocean.” The previous (120 kya) and the third previous (330 kya) interglacial periods were significantly warmer than the Holocene.


Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet 1992–2016

A new paper, Zwally et al 2021, published in Glaciology, reconciles results from GRACE gravimetry with three satellite altimetry datasets. The paper’s abstract says “GRACE and ICESat Antarctic mass-balance differences are resolved utilizing their dependencies on corrections for changes in mass and volume of the same underlying mantle material forced by ice-loading changes. Modeled gravimetry corrections are 5.22 times altimetry corrections over East Antarctica (EA) and 4.51 times over West Antarctica (WA)”. The mantle under EA is denser than that under WA. The ice mass changes during 2003-08 were estimated at 150 Gigatonnes per year (Gt/y) for EA, 66 Gt/y for inland WA, -95 Gt/y for coastal WA and -26 Gt/y for the Antarctic Peninsula, giving an Antarctic total gain of 95 Gt/y. Beginning in 2009, large increases in coaster WA dynamic losses overcame long-term EA and inland WA gains, bringing Antarctica close to balance at -12 ± 64 Gt/y by 2012-16. The total Antarctica mass balance successively changed from a gain of 144 ± 61 Gt/y during 1992–2001, to 95 ± 26 Gt/yduring 2003–08, to 34 ± 85 Gt/y during 2009–11 and to −12 ± 64 Gt/y during 2012–2016. The total ice mass of Antarctica is 26,500,000 Gt.  A decade of ice loss of 120 Gt represents 0.00045% of Antarctica ice causing 0.26 mm of sea level rise.


Climate Blame Game: Are We Really Causing Extreme Weather?

William Briggs wrote an essay that argues claims from climate change event attribution studies suffer from gross over-certainties and cannot be trusted. Scientists who attribute extreme events to human influences have the curious and false idea that Earth’s climate never changed before mankind began interfering with it. We can guess what the climate would have looked like without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions but we would never be able to independently check whether our guess is true. Attribution studies uses models that fail to match the current and past states of the climate. Apparently all events attributed to climate change are deemed to be harmful, never beneficial. Anthropogenic climate change will likely increase the number of pleasant summer days and cause better crop growing weather. Only bad events are reported, demonstrating “an irreparable confirmation bias in attribution studies.” There were eleven attribution studies of the recent California drought. They came to various conclusions including that it was natural. Once adjustments are made for population and economic growth, “there is no statistical connection between climate change and measures of weather-related damages”.



CliSci # 343          2021-04-03


Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the New Jersey Coast

Dr. Judith Curry via her company Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) published a 42 page assessment of sea level rise (SLR) projections for the New Jersey coast provided by scientists from Rutgers University; the ‘Rutgers Report’.  The CFAN review finds that the Rutgers’ projections are more than a factor of two higher than the IPCC projections because they include extreme scenarios of instability in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Curry posted a series of three articles on her blog about her review, the 3rd one is here. The relative SLR at Atlantic City, New Jersey is 4.12 mm/yr from a tide gauge 1911 to 2019, with no acceleration. The relative rise is higher than the global average due to the land sinking at -1.25 to -1.53 mm/yr due to adjustments from the retreat of glacier ice following the last Ice Age, ground water extraction and sediment compaction. The Rutgers Report gives a most likely SRL from 2000 to 2100 of 1.01 m, average 10.1 mm/yr. The IPCC projection of global SLR from the 2019 special report for the medium emission scenario RCP4.5 is 0.55 m for 1996 to 2100, equivalent to 0.53 m for 2000 to 2100, average 5.3 mm/yr. The global SLR in the Rugers Report is about double the recent IPCC report. The IPCC doesn’t believe that WAIS instabilities are a major concern. Curry wrote “Deep uncertainty due to climate change requires moving away from the ‘predict then act’ paradigm to one of ‘robust decision making,’ characterized by continuous learning and dynamic adaptation.”


Tropical Cyclone Landfall in Japan Since the Mid-nineteenth Century

A new paper investigated tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the NW Pacific and landfall in Japan by using historical TC track data and meteorological observation data. The authors report “We identify lower annual TC landfall numbers during the 1970s to the 2000s and find other periods have more TC landfall numbers including the nineteenth century. No trend in TC landfall number is detected.” The TC intensities were high around 1900, in the 1910s, from the 1930s to 1960s, and after the 1990s. There was a significant increasing intensity trend from 1977 to 2019, but the intensity during the 2010s was similar to 1940 to 1965. TC landfall location has a fluctuation of about 100-year interval.


Ancient Undergrowth Discovered Beneath Greenland’s Ice Sheet

A team of researchers described the discovery of perfectly preserved twigs and leaves locked within a tube of ice and dirt from northwestern Greenland recovered from a core drilled through the ice sheet. The ice core was drilled in 1966 but the dirt at the bottom of the ice was analyzed in 2019. The existence of these plants implies that there was once vegetation at that spot now buried by 1.4 km of ice, which shows that a large portion of Greenland must have been ice-free within the past million years. Lead author Andrew Christ reported that the samples are like a time capsule of Greenland before the ice. “Ice sheets typically pulverize and destroy everything in their path,” he said, “but what we discovered was delicate plant structures. They’re fossils, but they look like they died yesterday.” The paper says “The similarity of cosmogenic isotope ratios in the upper-most sediment to those measured in bedrock near the center of Greenland suggests that the ice sheet melted and re-formed at least once during the past million years.” See this review of the paper.


A Short History of Climate Alarm!

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) published a paper by climate writer Paul Homewood that gives a history of climate alarm and failed climate predictions. Homewood says “It doesn’t matter what area of the climate you are looking at, climatologists have an extraordinary ability to be wrong.” A few of the failed predictions were;

  • Noel Brown, UN Environment Program 1989: “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels by the year 2000.” But coastal land area grew by 1300 km2 in that period.
  • David Viner, U of East Anglia, UK 2000: “within a few years [in the UK], winter snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’”. But the UK gets as much snow now as in 2000.
  • Tim Flannery, Climate Commission, Australia, 2007: “Brisbane and Adelaide – home to a combined total of three million people – could run out of water by year’s end.” Then the rains came and by December 2008, Adelaide’s reservoirs were 75% full.
  • Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge, 2012: “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2015/16.” The minimum sea ice extent was 4.4 million km2.


Extinction Distortion

Dr. Jay Lehr published an article on CFACT about the fake claim that global warming will cause a million species to go extinct. A UN agency claims that there are 8.7 million species on Earth based on a single paper. The number was generated by a mathematical model that contained no physical data. The UN scientist who testified at US government committee hearing in 2019 claimed there 10,000 new species are discovered every year. The actual number of new species discovered was 226 in 2018, 71 in 2019, 213 in 2020. Patrick Moore and Marc Marano testified at the committee that there are a total of just 1.74 million identified and named species. Insects account for about half of the known species. The UN scientist presented their preposterous numbers to convince politicians that the use of fossil fuels must be stopped to save a million species, almost all of them are unknown. Patrick Moore correctly says “if one or two million species were to go extinct tonight, we would never know it happened because we didn’t even know they existed in the first place”. During the past century the number of species extinctions has declined by 80% as a result of the efforts of naturalists, real environmentalists and even hunters.


Interannual to Millennial Patterns of the Global Surface Temperature

Nicola Scafetta published an important new paper that compares climate model projection to historical proxy temperatures and climate oscillations from spectra analysis. Natural variability of global temperatures is modeled by a set of harmonics from inter-annual to millennial scales. The millennial oscillation was responsible for the Roman Warm Period to the Dark Ages Cold Period to the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age, and likely causes about 50% of the warming observed since 1850. The analysis implies an equilibrium climate sensitivity for CO2 doubling of about 1.5 °C.  This value does not account of likely urban warming contributing to the temperature rise. The semi-empirical model, which includes greenhouse gas and volcanic forcings, well matches the temperature record and predicts relatively steady global temperature from 2000 to 2030–2040 and a 2000 to 2100 mean projected global warming of about 1 °C. The climate models were extended back in time using the known climatic forcings for the last millennium. In 1000 AD the divergence between the extended climate model and the data is 0.5 °C, which is about 50% of the warming observed from 1800 to 2000. The failure of the climate models to match the Medieval Warm Period implies they are using wrong solar forcings or are missing solar-climate amplifying mechanisms. Paleoclimatic data shows evidence of a strong solar climatic influence at multiple time scales. The study concludes that about half of the warming observed since 1850 had to be naturally induced by solar forcing resulting in a millennial oscillation.


Scafetta: CMIP5 Models Unable to Replicate Medieval Warm Period, Ignore Nature

Andy May wrote a review of Dr. Nicola Scafetta new paper described above. The review gives further details of the analysis. May wrote “the CMIP5 models assume that natural variation and internal climate variability are zero. So, they have no way to compute the MWP warming … By assuming that the Sun is invariant, they can assign all the warming to CO2. … In general, Scafetta’s model shows us that the CMIP5 models are missing important climatic “forcings” or mechanisms.


Canceling the AMO

Judith Curry wrote a rebuttal to Michael Mann's paper that claims the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is caused by volcanoes and aerosol pollution. She presents a lengthy review of many papers about the AMO and wrote, "With that context, you can see why I am not accepting the aerosol explanation (pollution and/or volcanoes) for an explanation of what causes the AMO. ... So, what exactly is wrong with Mann’s analysis? He relies on global climate models, which are inadequate in simulating the AMO. ...  Relying on global climate models, which don’t adequately simulate the multi-decadal internal variability, to ‘prove’ that such multi-decadal internal variability doesn’t exist, is circular reasoning (at best).  How does this stuff get published in a journal like Science?” Also see the March 2021 newsletter, Science News for a longer version.


CliSci # 342          2021-03-17


The 'Non-crisis' Reality of Climate Change

This article, posted in the Washington Times, argues that the rate the sea level rise is manageable and that several countries have been increasing their land areas. The city of Miami Beach is increasing its elevation via a cost effective engineering project. Low-lying islands around the world are mostly growing in size despite sea level rise and contrary to earlier predictions. Plants like warmth, water and CO2. The world has been greening due to CO2 fertilization causing increasing agricultural yields. Indur M. Goklany reports that between 1990 and 2017, the death rate from climate sensitive diseases and events dropped from 8.1% to 5.5%. The number of deadly wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes has not increased.  To date, global warming has been a net benefit for mankind.


Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Cooling Overestimated by Ship-track Data

The effect of human-caused aerosols on clouds is a major uncertainty in climate science. Studies of cloud tracks formed by ship exhausts have been used to estimate the impact of aerosols on clouds. The aerosols can increase the cooling effects of clouds because they make clouds brighter and reflect more sunlight. This news release about this paper finds that these studies overestimate the cooling effects of aerosols by up to 200%. The authors compared numerical simulations with satellite analyses and found that offsetting warming effect of decreasing cloud amount needs to be taken into account. Glassmeier, the lead author, says “The problem is that the clouds get brighter at first but after a while they start to get thinner and thus less bright again. And ship tracks disappear before we can observe this dimming effect.” A naïve implementation of climate-engineering by adding aerosols to clouds could even result in cloud darkening and the opposite of what was intended.


Drylands will NOT expand with Greenhouse Warming

A paper published this month in Nature Climate Change uses projections from climate models and dynamic global vegetation models to compare two indexes of aridity and reports that global drylands will not expand with global warming. Some previous studies used an index of aridity that failed to yield qualitatively correct projections of the terrestrial water cycle. The aridity index overestimates the effects of warming on dryland as it does not account for the physiological effect on vegetation of increasing atmospheric CO2. Atmospheric aridity is thus not an accurate proxy of the future extent of drylands. CO2 fertilization cause plants to use water more efficiently so they need less water while growing faster and larger. The paper concludes “climate model ecohydrological projections indicate no global drylands expansion under greenhouse warming, contrary to previous claims based on atmospheric aridity.” Drylands include deserts, grasslands, shrublands and savannah woodlands, representing 50% of the Earth’s land surface. The study introduces the “ecohydrological index” (EI) – a new metric for defining drylands that represents vegetation amounts and water-stress levels, and captures the links between plant behaviour and atmospheric CO2 levels. See this article by Ayesha Tandon that provides further information about the study. The study predicts that the area of drylands will shrink slightly with warming.


Cloud Feedback and Aerosol‐Cloud Interaction

This paper published in January this year shows that the new climate models (CMIP6) have more positive cloud feedback and stronger cooling effect from aerosol‐cloud interactions than earlier models. The increase of these two effects compared to the previous version of climate models (CMIP5) offset each other during the historical period. Aerosol emissions from the use of fossil fuels and biofuels are primarily concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. Aerosols cause more and whiter clouds which have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight. The strong aerosol models produce an interhemispheric warming that contradicts the observed warming during the 20th century. The observed warming of the two hemispheres is consistent with low weak aerosol indirect effects, smaller positive cloud feedback and low climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Nic Lewis wrote a review of the paper. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) spread of the models has increased from 2.0-4.7 °C in CMIP5 to 1.8-5.5 °C in CMIP6. The main cause of the increase is due to the greater cloud feedbacks. The models with low ECS matches the North and South hemisphere temperatures, but the models with high ECS (and high cloud feedbacks) fail to match those temperature observations. The data shows ECS is at the low end of the climate model’s ECS range.

A previous paper shows that high ECS values contradict paleoclimate proxy data. See “Climate Model Fails Test Simulating the Last Glacial Maximum” of CliSci # 339


Coral Extinction Crisis Canceled – 500 Billion Coral Colonies

This new paper assessed the number of coral colonies there are in the Pacific Ocean and evaluated their risk of extinction. The analysis suggests that there are roughly half a trillion coral colonies in the Pacific Ocean. The abstract says “Two-thirds of the examined species have population sizes exceeding 100 million colonies, and one-fifth of the species even have population sizes greater than 1 billion colonies. … the global extinction risk of most coral species is lower than previously estimated.” Science Daily reports “the eight most common coral species in the region each have a population size greater than the 7.8 billion people on Earth.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) overestimates extinction risks of many coral species, listing some species with over a billion colonies as vulnerable to global extinction. The study estimates “tens of billions of corals on the Great Barrier Reef.” The authors report “our findings call into question earlier inferences that a considerable proportion (one-quarter) of the estimated Indo-Pacific coral species could go globally extinct with the next few decades”. The study falsifies the claim by the IPCC that “Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 °C [from preindustrial times]”. This review of the paper says “Coral require warm water, not cold water, to live. Corals are expanding their range towards the poles, while still thriving at and near the equator. … Coral have existed continuously for the past 40 million years. Coral survived and thrived when temperatures were significantly warmer than they are today.”


Greenland Ice Melt Has Slowed Down Significantly Over Past Decade

The total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is the sum of the surface mass balance (SMB) and the coastal ice discharge. This article presents time series charts of the SMB, discharge and the total mass balance. The SMB declined from 1886 to 2012 but has increase since then. In 2020, the surface gain due to snow has exceeded the loss due to melt by 350 Gt/yr. The rate of discharge, the mass of ice that breaks off the coast into the oceans, has been steady from 2005 through 2020 at 500 Gt/yr. The total mass balance is negative, meaning a net ice loss in total, but has been decelerating since 2012. Ice loss has been slowing down substantially for about a decade. The 2020 total ice loss was only 150 Gt, which represents 0.0052% per year of the 2,900,000 Gt total ice mass.


A Remarkable Decline in Landfalling Hurricanes

Dr. Roger Peilke Jr. wrote “Since 1945, the number of hurricanes that make landfall has declined by about a third.” Roger notes that 2020 was not a unusually busy year for hurricanes, with 44 hurricanes including 21 major hurricanes of category 3 or greater. Hurricanes exhibit large year-to-year and decade-to-decade variability and the portion that makes landfall also varies. About 60% of worldwide economic damage from disasters comes from landfalling hurricanes in the United States, and more than 80% of that is from major hurricanes. The North Atlantic and Western Pacific basins together accounted for about 70% of global landfalls with records back to 1945. The overall number of landfalling hurricanes has decreased dramatically since the 1940s, while the number of major hurricane landfalls has shown no trend. The best-fit trend declines from 15/yr to 10/yr over 1945 to 2020.


CliSci # 341          2021-03-02


Texas Cold Snap Was Not ‘Unprecedented,’ and it was Inexcusable to be Unprepared

There has a great deal of commentary about the recent Texan cold snap and the resulting blackout of February 15-18. Judith Curry published a list of articles here. Much of the media coverage falsely claimed the cold snap was “unprecedented”. This article in the Washington Post reports “the December 1983 cold outbreak was as cold and long-lived as that of this past week. There was also a cold outbreak in early February 1985 on par with this past week. … the December 1989 and December 1983 outbreaks were slightly colder”. This article says “there were many more flooded homes during and immediately after this arctic cold outbreak than during Hurricane Harvey in 2017! This flooding occurred as pipes broke in thousands of homes … By 7-10 days prior to the event, it was possible to see that a truly extraordinary event was in store for many in the southern states.” This article says “ERCOT's most recent winter forecast included a worst-case scenario for the grid that roughly predicted the needed demand but underestimated the amount of generation that would be unusable by almost half.” This article says “Texas has the most competitive electricity market in the country … However, a dramatic expansion of wind energy generation, spurred by a flood of federal subsidies and state subsidies, including the massive socialized cost of renewable-driven transmission lines, has upended the dynamics of our market. … Texas cities are compounding the problem by forcing the use of wind and solar in place of reliable generation.” Roger Peilke wrote “the recent Texas electricity crisis should remind us that we still need to prepare for climate, not just climate change.  Part of that preparation requires making better use of hindsight. Because if we are not even prepared for the past, it is certain that we won’t be prepared for the future.”


NASA Vegetation Index: Global Rapid Greening Trend

NASA’s Vegetation Index shows good news: the world’s land area has greened 10% since 2000. Zoe Phin produced a graph of the daily data and the 12-month running mean from 2000 to 2021. The index has increased by 9.94%. That’s about 10% global greening in only 20 years. Zoe wrote “We are incredibly fortunate! I just wish everyone felt that way. But you know not everyone does. To the extent that humans enhance global greening is precisely what social parasites want to tax and regulate. No good deed goes unpunished.”


A 30-Year Reconstruction of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

This new paper (Worthington et al 2020) presents an Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) reconstruction extending from 1981 to 2016 that shows no overall decline. The AMOC is a very large ocean circulation (which includes the Gulf Stream) that carries about 90% of the heat transported poleward by the Atlantic Ocean. It also transports fresher cold water from the Arctic towards the Equator at deep ocean depths. The IPCC says that an AMOC slowdown by 2050 is very likely. An AMOC decline was observed between 2004 and 2012 by the RAPIC array, consisting of ocean temperature measurements via submarine cables and wind, temperature and current measurement via buoys. The authors develop an empirical model of AMOC variability based on RAPIC data and historical hydrographic data. Density anomalies were used as proxies for water mass layer transports. By representing the deep return layers of the AMOC, the model could capture lower-frequency changes missed by other proxy models.  Other studies “ignore changes in the deep circulation that are beginning to emerge in the observations of AMOC”. The resulting time series shows multi-annual variability in agreement with RAPID observations and shows the downturn between 2008 and 2012 but no overall decline. Since that minimum, the strength of the AMOC has recovered and the southward deep ocean flow “has regained a vigour not seen since the 1980s.”


“Acceleration” in Satellite Sea-Level Rise Found to Be False

An article authored by Willis Eschenbach here and reposted here and here examined the satellite data used by the University of Colorado to calculate the global sea level rise and its acceleration. He wanted to know why the satellite data show much larger acceleration than the tide gauge data. The satellite data are composed of measurements from four satellites operating over different time periods with some overlap. Willis plotted up the satellite data and fitting linear trends to each set of satellite data. The linear trends of the Topex, Jason 1, 2 and 3 satellites are 2.6, 2.5, 4.1 and 3.7 mm/yr, respectively. Willis claimed he found the answer by saying the acceleration is so great because “the two most recent satellites show trends that are significantly larger than the earlier two satellites.” But that is no explanation because if there were actually sea level rise acceleration the linear trend at the later period would indeed be greater than the earlier period. This doesn’t show that there is anything wrong with the calculated acceleration of 0.097 mm/yr2. However, the linear trend of the satellite data during the periods of their overlaps should be the same if the satellites were calibrated correctly. I created graphs of the Topex/Jason1, Jason1/Jason2 and Jason2/Jason3 overlap periods. The differences between the latter and the earlier satellite trends over the overlap periods are 1.47 mm/yr, 0.33 mm/yr and 2.75 mm/yr. The increase in trends over the three overlay periods sum to 4.55 mm/yr. The overlap periods are 3.7 yr, 4.9 yr and 0.6 yr. The trend difference of the overlap period of Jason2 to Jason3 is very uncertain due to the short overlap. Even ignoring the last overlap, the trend increases by the failure to match the trends of the data over the overlaps of the first three satellites is 1.81 mm/yr. Therefore, most of the sea level acceleration of the reported satellite data is bogus and is due to the failure to properly calibrate the satellite data. The sea level acceleration indicated by the best quadratic fit to 63 long tide gauge records is 0.013 m/yr2, which is 13% of the acceleration reported by the University of Colorado satellite data. See the graphs here.


The Risks of Communicating Extreme Climate Forecasts

A new paper examined 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse from the first Earth Day in 1970.  For decades climate researcher and activists used extreme forecasts to influence public perception and to call for action on climate change. Most forecasts predict extremely unlikely cataclysmic events resulting from climate change. None of the predicted events happened. The authors wrote “observing a string of repeated apocalyptic forecast failures can undermine the public's trust in the underlying science.”  In fact, 48 predictions have already expired at the end of 2020 with failure as no catastrophe happened. Most of the predictions never admitted to any uncertainty about the event or the date. “Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich and British environmental activist Prince Charles are serial failed forecasters, repeatedly expressing high degrees of certainty about apocalyptic climate events. … Their predictions have repeatedly been apocalyptic and highly certain...and so far, they've also been wrong." The average time horizon of predictions of a climate apocalypse event made prior of 2000 was 22 years, while 68 predictions made after 2000 had time horizons of 21 years.


State of the Polar Bear Report 2020

Dr. Susan Crockford has published her “State of the Polar Bear Report 2020”.  She wrote “celebrate the fabulous news that polar bears had yet another good year.” The Global Warming Policy Forum issued a press release about the report. The press release says “Crockford clarifies that the IUCN’s 2015 Red List assessment for polar bears, which Facebook uses as an authority for ‘fact checking’, is seriously out of date. New and compelling evidence shows that bears in regions with profound summer ice loss are doing well.” The report presents recent polar bear survey results of 8 subpopulations, two of which showed insignificant declines after very modest ice loss. The rest were either stable or increasing. “As a result, the global population size is now almost 30,000 – up from about 26,000 in 2015.” Plankton growth in the Arctic reached record highs in August 2020. More plankton means more fodder for the entire food chain, including polar bears. This explains why bears are thriving.


CliSci # 340          2021-02-14


Adaptation Much More Profitable than Mitigation

The world should focus much more on climate adaptation and much less on mitigation. This is the conclusion of the global Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) following the international climate summit that took place in the Netherlands over the past two days. Adaptation has already amply proven its value, while mitigation turns out to be inefficient and expensive. A ‘green recovery’ (Build Back Better) from the corona crisis with a strong emphasis on mitigation – which was constantly advocated during the climate summit – is therefore a misleading message. Two recently published graphs in this CLINTEL press release show how much has already been achieved, mainly thanks to prosperity and adaptation. There is absolutely no evidence for an impending climate crisis, as CLINTEL stated in its World Climate Declaration. The mortality from extreme weather events are down 98% in last century. The mortality rate per capita is down 99%.The monetary losses trend from extreme weather events as a proportion of wealth has declined by 27% from 1900 to 2020. In a 2019 report, the Global Commission on Adaptation already stated that one dollar invested in adaptation yields about four dollars in benefits. Investment in mitigation yields minimal benefits and leads to poverty.


Disproving Kossin’s Increasing Hurricane Intensity Claims

This article by Greg Kent is an excellent rebuttal of Kossin et al 2020 which claimed to find a “shift toward greater intensity” hurricanes as “increased probabilities of exceeding major hurricane intensity.” Climate theory has long predicted an increase in the strongest hurricanes (tropical cyclones) but it is not apparent in the observational record. The main-stream media hyped the story. The Washington Post headline claimed that “The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change.” This and similar claims simply weren’t true. The study calculated the proportion of times that hurricane wind speeds, determined every 6 hours, were above 100 knots indicating Category 3 or higher, over two time periods, 1979-1997 and 1998-2017. The proportion of times of Category 3 or above wind speeds increased from 27% to 31%. Unfortunately the wind-speeds counts are wrong and the author has confirmed they were wrong. The corrected proportion changed from 34% in the early period to 37% in the later period. When calculating the 95% confidence intervals of the proportions of each time period the correlation between wind speed of the 6-hour measurement must be taken into account which was not done in the original or revised version of the paper. When the confidence intervals are recalculated, the change from 34% to 37% becomes insignificant as the confidence interval overlap. That means an increase in wind speeds has not been identified as the apparent increase in the proportion may due to randomness.

Kent wrote “If fundamental errors can occur in a paper like this, then apparently no scientific paper is infallible.” The cut-off year between the two periods (1997/1998) occurs when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) flips from a cool period to a warm period, and it is widely known that the AMO has a substantial impact on hurricane intensity. The increase in wind speed is probably nature and temporary. The Kossin et al dataset also shows that the increasing proportion of intense storms is only for category 3, not for the stronger category 4 and 5 hurricanes. The analysis fails to account for the falling number of hurricanes. The data show that intense hurricane wind speeds are declining, 17% on average, and the most intense wind speeds have declined the most. Category 3+ winds speeds declined 9%, Category 4+ declined 13%, and Category 5 have declined a whopping 29%. Kent wrote “The net affect has been a decrease in intense winds and a significant decrease in the most intense winds over the last 40 years.” This is the opposite of what the major newspapers reported about the study. Category 4 and 5 storms caused 48% of economic losses. The destructive potential of global intense hurricanes has fallen by 10%.


Detection of Non‐climatic Biases in Land Surface Temperature Records

The surface temperature record is contaminated by urban development warming effects which are not removed for government temperature datasets or climate models. Dr. Scafetta published an important paper in January which investigates the urban heat island effect and other biases in the land temperature records by comparing climate data to model simulations. The UHIE warms nighttime temperatures more that daytime temperatures, reducing the diurnal temperature range (DTR) between the minimum and maximum daily temperature. The DTR changes over time are compared to the climate simulated DTR. Vast regions of the world show DTR reductions up to 0.5–1.5 °C larger than the modeled simulations. The largest reduction in DTR occurs where fast urbanization has occurred. Also, from May to October, daily maximum temperatures globally warmed 40% less than the simulations. Regions with the lowest DTR reductions and with low urbanization warmed about 20–30% less than the models’ hindcast. Scafetta compared land and sea temperature data to their computer simulations and found that 25 to 45% of the land warming from 1950 to 2010 is due to the UHIE.


Urban Heat Island Effects on U.S. Temperature Trends

U.S. temperature trends of the government datasets from NOAA, GISS (NASA) and HadCRUT are seriously contaminated by the urban heat island effect (UHIE). These datasets use the temperature daily maximum and minimum reading of the 1,218-station U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN), which requires very uncertain time-of-observation adjustments. The Integrated Surface Database (ISD) records hourly temperature data from weather stations located mostly at airports and is mostly independent from the USHCH dataset.  Dr. Roy Spencer applied regression analysis to IDS hourly temperature data between the temperature trends and local population density, which is a UHIE proxy. The temperature trend extrapolation to zero population density is the temperature trends with the UHIE removed. The resulting U.S. trend (1973 to 2020) is +0.13 °C/decade, which is only 50% of the USHCN trend of +0.26 °C/decade. The variability among USHCN trends is 60% greater than that of the IDS trends, indicating that the IDS data is superior quality. Climate studies should always remove the spurious UHIE trends so as not to attribute warming due to urbanization and increasing energy use to greenhouse gas induced warming.


Case Study: Alberta’s Blackspring Ridge 1 Wind Project

This study of the Blackspring Ridge 1 wind project gives insight into the feasibility of wind power to provide reliable electricity to meet demand in a 2050 net-zero Alberta. The net power generation over a 2-month period averaged 144 Megawatts (MW) being 48% of the projects nameplate capacity of 299 MW. The 166 turbines are expected to kill 2570 bats and 1360 birds per year. To provide reliable power without fossil fuels would require 35,000 MW of energy storage at a cost of $16 Billion, assuming future storage cost decline by 50% to 2050.

The study shows that to replace all fossil fuels in Alberta will require the construction of 30,000 MW nameplate capacity of wind power, being 16,500 turbines at 1.8 MW each. To provide reliable power will require 4,200,000 MW of energy storage at a cost of $1,900 Billion. The study says “Reaching NetZero is neither technically, logistically nor economically feasible.”


 John Christy: Models for AR6 Fail to Reproduce Tropical Temperature Trends

Dr. John Christy gave an online presentation via a Zoom meeting for the Irish Climate Science Forum as reported in this article published by CLINTEL.  The article provides a link and password to the presentation. I highly recommend watching the presentation. The main job of a scientist is testing hypotheses, said Christy. The best way to test the climate models is to test the most pronounced feature which is a strong warming in the upper tropical troposphere, also called the tropical hot spot. This enhanced warming is located 9 to 12 km over the tropics. The average warming trend 1979 to 2019 of the new climate model simulations of CMIP6 (for the next IPCC report) is 0.40 °C/decade, while the observation by weather balloons is only 0.17 °C/decade. The models over-warm the atmosphere by a factor of 2.4 compared to the measurements. The Canadian climate model warming trend is 0.60 °C/decade which is a factor of 3.5 too high! The variability of each simulation is much greater than the observations. The model variance exceeds the observations on average by a factor of four. The article reports “Christy said this indicates the models underestimate negative feedbacks operating in the real climate system. Models, when they heat up, do not allow enough heat to escape to space. The real climate system has a more effective cooling mechanism than the models.” The large trend and variance differences to the real world measurement means the climate models fail the test. Christy also shows there in no increase in extreme weather and discusses other aspects of climate.


A Warmer Arctic Does NOT Cause Mid-Latitude Cold Snaps

Activist climate scientists of the Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK) and others have been claiming for years that a warming Arctic disturbs the jet stream, weakening the polar vortex which results in cold Arctic air dipping into the middle latitudes. Gullible media outlets have been repeating this false narrative to blame cold snaps on CO2 emissions. A new paper in Nature refutes the narrative. The paper says “But predictions of a more negative Arctic Oscillation, wavier jet stream, colder winters in mid-latitudes or, more specifically, in Eurasia, and more frequent and/or widespread cold extremes have not become reality.” The short term jet stream waviness that fuels the speculation of Arctic influences on mid-latitude cold snaps have not continued. The daily cold temperatures had been warming more than daily high temperatures which is beneficial to people and animals. The authors wrote “We argue that updated observational and reanalysis records [show] that the Arctic influence on mid-latitudes is small compared to other aspects of climate variability”.  Pierre Gosselin discusses the story and says “The claim a warm Arctic is behind the brutally cold winter conditions at the mid latitudes is shown by a Nature study to be scientifically baseless. … But don’t expect the media to concede they’ve been duped any time soon.”


CliSci # 339          2021-01-30


Earth is Losing Ice Much Slower than We Thought

A reader asked for a critique of this article from Informed American titled “Does It Seem Hot Outside? Earth’s Ice Melting Faster Than We Thought”. Faster than who thought? Not the UN’s IPCC. The article says "The melting of land ice – on Antarctica, Greenland and mountain glaciers – added enough water to the ocean during the three-decade time period to raise the average global sea level by 3.5 centimeters." This is 1.17 mm/yr of sea level rise. For context, the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 16 metres. The last IPCC report in Figure 13.11 shows projections of components of sea level rise, a part of which is here. Ice loss from all sources is total less thermal less water storage. For 2020, that is 4.5 - 2.0 - 0.5 = 2.0 mm/yr. So the IPCC projected ice-melt sea level rise (SLR) for 2020 is 0.83 mm/y greater than the actual of about 1.17 mm/yr over the last 30 years. The article says "The melt rate is more than 50% faster than three decades ago." Using simple algebra, the 2020 melt rate SLR is 1.40 mm/yr. The ice melt is only 70% of what the IPCC thought it would be in 2020. It is not greater than "We Thought", so the article is wrong. The sea level rise rate at 2020 is 3.5 mm/yr according to altimetry data including the effects of glacial isostatic adjustment of -0.3 mm/yr. The FUND integrated assessment economic model, ECS = 1.0 °C, calculates the economic impact of a decade of sea level rise from all sources, 2010 to 2020 is US$1.9 billion, or 0.00021% of gross world product (US$87 trilllion) each year. That is utterly insignificant. Details here.


Could Recent U.S. Warming Trends be Largely Urban Heat Island Effect?

Dr. Roy Spencer used many surface temperature station pairs from low to high population densities to construct the cumulative Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) as a function of population density. The largest warming effect per change in population density occurs at the lowest population densities, with the most warming at the highest population densities, graph here. He also compared the temperature trends (1973 to 2011) of US temperature stations to their population densities. He used the Integrated Surface Database (ISD) hourly data. He put the individual stations into four population density subgroups and found the trend of temperature trends versus population density to power 0.2 is the same as the trend of individual stations, graph here. Extrapolating the data to zero population density gives 0.01 °C/decade.  The ISD raw data (without extrapolating to zero population density) gives a temperature trend of 0.15 °C/decade. The Climate Research Unit data from the UK gives 0.24 °C/decade and NOAA gives 0.26 °C/decade. This NOAA trend is about the same as Spencer gets using the highest population density group. This implies that NOAA has spuriously increased the warming trends compared to the raw data. The data strongly suggest that a large portion of the warming in official dataset is spurious UHIE and faulty adjustments.


Climate Model Fails Test Simulating the Last Glacial Maximum

Climate modelers have increased the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of their models for the IPCC next report. Eight models report ECS greater than 5 °C. In contrast, the ECS estimated by using the measured temperature record, when accounting for the natural and urban warming, indicates an ECS of about 1.0 °C. This study tests the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to examine whether its high ECS is realistic. The simulated LGM global mean temperature decrease exceeds 11°C, greater than both the cooling estimated from proxies and simulated by an earlier model version. The large discrepancy between the LGM temperature in the model and proxies is attributed to strong shortwave cloud feedbacks in the model. The abstract says “We find that the amount of cooling [during the LGM] in the CESM2 simulation is much larger than supported by the observational evidence, indicating the model's ECS is too large.”


High CO2 Fertilization Inferred from Leaf to Global Observations

This new paper (Haverd et al 2020) says the global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP), the rate of CO2 fixation by photosynthesis, has risen by 31% since 1900. The paper reports a global CO2 fertilization effect of 30% since 1900, or 47% for a doubling of CO2 since the pre‐industrial level. This is much higher than previous estimates of global greening that do not use the full range of available constraints. The abstract says “These findings suggest a larger beneficial role of the land carbon sink in modulating future excess anthropogenic CO2”.


Biophysical Impacts of Earth Greening Controlled by Aerodynamic Resistance

Satellite observations show widespread increasing trends of leaf area, known as the Earth greening. Increasing CO2 promotes photosynthesis causing plant to grow faster and use water more efficiently. Earth greening causes a reduction in land surface temperatures in 93% of the vegetated area. The abstract says “The increase in [leaf area index] LAI produces a decrease in aerodynamic resistance, thereby favoring increased turbulent heat transfer between the land and the atmosphere.” Aerodynamic resistance mostly related to surface roughness. The study finds that the area of LAI-induced cooling (30%) is six times of that of LAI-induced warming (5%). Aerodynamic resistance plays a dominant role in regulating the biophysical impacts of Earth greening on land surface temperatures.


Effects of Irrigation on Global Climate

This study investigated the effect of observed irrigation changes over the 20th century. Using a dataset of irrigation volumes and a climate model, the effects of the irrigation changes were simulated. In the early 20th century, irrigation led to cooling in the summer in southern and eastern Asia. Irrigation rapidly expanded in North America, Europe and Asia over the century. Irrigation also led to winter warming over parts of North America and Asia in the latter part of the century. Precipitation increases occur primarily downwind of the major irrigation areas. Irrigation begins to significantly reduce temperature trends during the summer over the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes and tropics beginning around 1950. The simulations show that irrigation causes an increase in cloud cover for many regions, but the increases do not directly map to the most highly irrigated areas. Eastern India warmed from a weakened Indian monsoon, driven by a cooler Asian land surface and reduced land‐sea temperature contrast. The cooling due to irrigation in the northwestern portions of the Indian subcontinent is about 3 °C relative to the control runs without irrigation. The globally averaged change in temperature from irrigation is a cooling over land of about 0.1 °C.


Substantial Decline in Atmospheric Aridity due to Irrigation in India

This paper examined the role of irrigation on soil moisture and atmospheric aridity in India. India has the largest irrigated area in the world, increasing threefold between 1950 and 2013. The Indo-Gangetic Plain, which is one of the most intensively irrigated regions in the world, experienced significant cooling of about 0.8 °C and an increase in solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence during the crop growing season. Atmospheric aridity has significantly declined while soil moisture and relative humidity have increased by 2.0% over the Indo-Gangetic Plain during 1979–2018. The cooling of land due to irrigation is caused by increased evapotranspiration.  A majority of global climate models do not explicitly represent irrigation for the future projections of climate. Climate models need to incorporate the influence of irrigation for reliable projections in the intensively irrigated regions.


CliSci # 338          2021-01-17


No Climate Emergency! Dr. Roy W. Spencer LIVE Online January 19, 2021 at 7 pm MST

The second part of the Friends of Science Society’s 17th annual climate science event will take place online on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7 pm Mountain Standard Time (UTC - 7 hours). The event will feature a recorded presentation, “The Most Important Reasons Why There is No Climate Emergency”, by Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After the presentation Dr. Spencer will be available for a live online Q&A. For details on how to access this event, please see this link.


New York Can’t Buy its Way Out of Blackouts

New York City (NYC) will soon install a 400 MWh battery to help back up the growing reliance on intermittent wind and solar electricity. The battery is more than triple the size of 129 MWh battery in Australia which is currently the world’s largest. NRC peak demand is about 13 GW which occurs during heat wave caused by stagnant high pressure systems which often last for a week. Wind produces little electricity during those periods so 100% back up is required. The new battery will back up demand wind power for only 1 minute 50 seconds (400 MWh/13000 MW). Storage to back up a week of peak demand is 2,184,000 MWh, or 5,460 batteries of 400 MWh each. The battery is estimated to cost about $600 million. David Wojick’s article says it would cost $3 trillion to reliably back up wind power in NRC.


The Climate Change Flyers

David Legates (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) asked several expert climate scientists to write short, easily understandable brochures that supported the general view that there is no climate crisis or climate emergency, and pointing out the widespread misinformation being promoted by alarmists through the media. They were intended to be placed on the White House website but with the change of government in Washington DC, that didn't happen.  The article titles and authors are;

Introduction by Dr. David Legates
The Sun Climate Connection by Drs. Michael Connolly, Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon
Systematic Problems in the Four National Assessments of Climate Change Impacts on the US by Dr. Patrick Michaels
Record Temperatures in the United States by Dr. John Christy
Radiation Transfer by Dr. William Happer
Is There a Climate Emergency by Dr. Ross McKitrick
Hurricanes and Climate Change by Dr. Ryan MaueClimate, Climate Change, and the General Circulation by Dr. Anthony Lupo
Can Computer Models Predict Climate by Dr. Christopher Essex
The Faith-Based Nature of Human-Caused Global Warming by Dr. Roy Spencer

All the articles are here.


Study Confirms Antarctica Has Not Warmed in Last Seven Decades

A new paper published in Nature states “The Antarctic continent has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite a monotonic increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases.” The authors used model to investigate the Antarctic temperature response under the current geography and with a flattened Antarctic ice sheet. The results show that the lack of warming despite a large increase in CO2 is due to the high elevation of the ice sheet. The thick ice sheet caused the polar meridional cell to form which prevents warm temperature advection toward the Antarctic continent. The high ice elevation also inhibits the amount of moisture to reach the pole. The scientists also observe that over the past several decades, “Antarctic sea ice area has modestly expanded.” Figure 1 of the paper shows that most of the continent has been cooling with only the Antarctic Peninsula warming.


New glacier evidence for ice-free summits during the life of the Tyrolean Iceman

A new paper by an Austrian-Swiss team of glaciologists presents ice-core evidence that most of the Alps were ice-free 6000 years ago.  The ice cores show that the 3500 m high Weißseespitze summit was ice free 5900 years ago. An article here presents a chart showing that is was some 2 °C warming at that time of low CO2 concentrations than today. After the last ice age ended, all glaciers below 4000 m elevation in the East Alps melted. Cooling started 6000 years ago and glaciers returned. In combination with other evidence the paper shows “that in the Alps only the highest elevation sites remained ice-covered throughout the Holocene. Just before the life of the Iceman, high Alpine summits were emerging from nearly ice-free conditions, during the start of a Mid-Holocene neoglaciation.”


Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom

Dr. Patrick Moore just published a book of the subject title. He says “most of the scare stories in the media today are based on things that are either invisible, like CO2 and radiation, or very remote, like polar bears and coral reefs. Thus, the average person cannot observe and verify the truth of these claims for themselves.”


Gauging Quaternary Sea Level Changes through Scientific Ocean Drilling

This  paper presents an overview of recent advances in paleo-sea level studies based on analysis of samples and data from deep-sea sediment cores and drowned coral reefs. Between 20,000 and 6,000 years before present, melting of these ice sheets raised global mean sea level (GMSL) by more than 100 m. The paper says “Analysis of uranium series nuclides from Tahitian corals that grew during TII [the second last glacial termination] suggests that ice volume reductions preceded atmospheric CO2 increase, but postdate increased insolation at Northern Hemisphere high latitudes— confirming the Milankovitch hypothesis, which says that glacial terminations were initiated by changes in high-latitude insolation.” Cooling events of 3 °C to 5 °C severely impacted the Great Barrier Reef, resulting in at least five near death events during the last 30,000 years”.


Episodic Reef Growth in the Northern South China Sea linked to Warm Climate During the Past 7,000 Years

High‐precision uranium‐thorium dating of dead branching corals from the South China Sea indicates that the reef framework grew episodically over the past 7,000 years. The authors of this paper identify abrupt coral reef growth and recovery in the South China Sea since the last century (especially post‐1960 CE), indicating that the Current Warm Period is an optimal episode for reef growth. Reef growth occurred during the warming of the mid-Holocene Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period. Reef growth dramatically slowed or ceased during the cold periods of the Dark Age Cold Period and the Little Ice Age. Also see an article by Ken Richard on coral reefs.

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