Tallest Climate Tale Winner

Thanks to GWPF for honoring my submission nominating the Tallest Climate Tale of 2019. Their post is We Have A Winner: Tallest Climate Tale of 2019 Text below in italics.Date: 12/02/20GWPF

We have been deliberating hard, and have decided upon a winner for our competition.

At the start of the year, we asked GWPF readers to send us nominations for our search to find the tallest climate tale of 2019. You have not let us down, sending us in entries from around the world.

An honourable mention must go to last year’s winner, Andrew Kissling, from New Zealand, who delivered the goods yet again. Amongst his excellent entries were an article claiming child marriage was increasing because of climate change, and that chips are now an inch shorter, and climate change is to blame.

However, topping the list this year was Ron Clutz, who many of you may be familiar with from his blog, Science Matters. The judges felt that his entry captured perfectly the absurdity of today’s climate change debate.

The article claimed that rational thought itself may become a victim of climate change. We at the GWPF know that rational discussion about climate change is already very rare.

Congratulations to Ron, who wins a bottle of whisky and two GWPF books (Population Bombed and The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened).

Original Post:  CO2 Hysteria Impairs Thinking

An article by James Pero at Daily Mail confirms suspicions about muddled thinking regarding global warming/climate change.  Is carbon dioxide making it harder to THINK straight?   Excerpts in italics with my comments and images.

Rising CO2 levels may hinder cognitive function and could decrease decision-making efficiency by 50 PERCENT in 2100, study says. 

  • Carbon emissions may have a drastic impact on cognitive function
  • Researchers say that CO2 may decrease classroom decision making
  • It could reduce decision making by as much as 50 percent in 2100, they say

Rational thought may eventually become a victim of climate change according to a new study.

[Well, media announcements and studies like this one show rationality is already greatly compromised.]

Research presented by scientists at the annual American Geophysical Union and submitted to the journal GeoHealth suggests that increased CO2 may soon diminish humans’ capacity to think clearly.

The findings follow previous studies that show how indoor air pollution and poor ventilation can hinder people’s ability to perform mentally, including a study published last year from the University College London.

[Note the chart at the top showing that CO2 in the atmosphere is 410ppm (parts/per/million), or 0.04%.  Note also that health and safety regulations for buildings expect no harmful effects below 5000 ppm, which would be 10 times the present amount.]

‘Human cognitive performance declines with an increase in CO2’, the researchers wrote in the paper.

‘Direct impacts of CO2 emissions on human cognitive performance may be unavoidable.’

Those studies concluded that circulating air and regulating the amount of CO2 trapped in a room can help mitigate the effects of too much CO2, but new research suggests ventilation in a climate change-addled future might just make matters worse.

[This diagram shows the ratio of human to natural carbon dioxide in the atmosphere equals the ratio of their inflows, independent of residence time.

The amount of CO2 flowing from humans into the atmosphere is miniscule (about 4%) compared to CO2 flowing from the oceans and biosphere (96%).  Thus the human component presently is 17ppm (or 0.002%).  Eliminating our emissions entirely would have no discernable impact on the total amount.  See Who to Blame for Rising CO2?]

It also used two different climate models – one that factors in reductions in CO2 and another that projects conditions if emissions continue unfettered.

In the model that factors in some emissions intervention, scientists say decision making in the classroom could decrease by 25 percent while a model without emissions mitigation could see a whopping 50 percent reduction.

Though previous studies have shown a correlation between brain function and CO2, not much is currently understood about why the gas affects our brains the way it does.

As noted by Gizmodo, a previous study on CO2’s correlation to brain function showed that an increase as little as 5 percent had reduces brain activity.

[Let’s see: A 5% increase in CO2 would be a leap from 0.041% to 0.043%, requiring some fine sensors to even detect it.  Doubtful that brains are that sensitive to the gas itself, but obviously there is huge sensitivity to the idea of rising CO2.

OTOH plants have sensed and appreciated the increased CO2 as shown in the greening of the planet since 1982]
No current research has studied the kind of long-term exposure that will would result from rampant climate change.

As noted by researchers, however, all of the adverse effects of CO2 on mental performance can still be averted by making a concerted effort to lower emissions and stave off climate change.

This is your brain on CO2 hysteria. Just say no!

 

2020 Dems: Hatred Destroys from Within

Wise advice for 2020 Dems.  If only they can stop hating and mend their ways.

Jonathan F. Keiler elaborates at the American Thinker After Three Years of Hate, the Dems Have Lost It Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Writing in the Atlantic (“This is No Way to Beat Trump”) Thomas Nichols, a self-described former Republican and #NeverTrumper, castigates Democrats for their failure to take down President Trump, in light of the disorganized Iowa Caucus and the party’s unimpressive stable of candidates. In the piece, Nichols pretends to dispense hard-headed political advice. In fact, the article reveals why he and the Democrats he wants to help are floundering.

Their perception of the world is so distorted by manic dislike of President Trump that they have ceased to act as a responsible political party which can offer a reasonable alternative.

The very premise of Nichols’ case, and by extension that of the Democrat party and all its putative candidates, is that beating Trump must be their principal goal, eclipsing all other concerns. Nichols thinks the Democrats are not attempting to do this — which is preposterous. But more interestingly having come to this false conclusion, he has no prescription for exactly how to beat Trump, only that it must be done.

Of course, beating Trump has been the monomania of the Democrats (and #NeverTrumpers) for over three years. It’s the first and last thing out of all the candidates’ mouths when they speak, and one of the few things they agree upon.

The Washington Post recently ran a typical article highlighting the malady entitled “’Tempted to despair’: Trump’s resilience causes Democrats to sound the alarm.” Huh? Are we talking about a presidential campaign or a soap opera? It’s quite as if Trump were ill, the Dems suffering heirs hoping he’ll just die — which is probably not far from the truth.

Manias in general are not good things. Occasionally a smart or extremely lucky maniac reaches his objective. Much more often mania sidetracks its victim by severely narrowing his focus, depriving him of necessary context and a broader and more realistic picture of reality.

That’s what’s happened to the Democrats. The Iowa caucus disaster is one symptom. The failed impeachment of Trump another. The stable of unstable Democrat candidates yet another.

And it’s pretty easy to see in the modern Democrat party the same dynamic taking hold, albeit before they have actually achieved total political control. Trump in almost every respect is the Dems’ Emmanuel Goldstein, a subject of such mindless animus and vituperation that the party can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s been three years of hate, and way more than two minutes a day.

Modern therapeutic psychology would suggest an intervention, and in the United States such a role has often been played by the press. Historically, when a party or politician went off the deep end, there was a vibrant press to point it out, mock it, and return things to semblance of rationality. That has not been the case in America for a generation or two now, with the mainstream media having lost most all semblance of objectivity to become the Democrats’ great enabler. And indeed, the mandarins of the modern media are, if anything, even more Trump-afflicted than the party that they supposedly cover.

Very much like a schizophrenic, neither the Dems nor the media can recognize the pervasive objective truth about American today — things are going pretty well.

The economy is doing great, unemployment is low, and the markets are confident. We are ending a China trade war with some gains. Borders are more secure. Unemployment is at historic lows. With the exception of small military commitments to Afghanistan and Syria, we are at peace. We are energy self-sufficient, and even climate-change doomsayers must now admit things are not so bad.

The Democrats have a lot of problems. But their biggest one is their grip on reality. As long as that’s the case, whoever they pick in 2020 is not likely to be any more successful than Emmanuel Goldstein.

What If the US Banned Fracking?

Other posts have addressed the murky science underneath the claim that burning fossil fuels makes the earth warmer, and the alarmist claims that a warmer world is more dangerous than a colder one. This post takes up the issue that even if rising human CO2 emission were causing dangerous warming, what are the likely consequences of policies to cut down on carbon-based energy. Text below in italics comes from sources listed as links at the end.

This issue arises in the US context because presidential candidates of leftist stripes have pledged to do away with fracking operations and forego the resulting boom in natural gas and tight oil production.

The Narrative

“I will ban fracking—everywhere.”
— Elizabeth Warren

“Any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands.”
— Bernie Sanders

“I favor a ban on new fracking and a rapid end to existing fracking.”
— Pete Buttigieg

“I want you to look in my eyes. I guarantee you, I guarantee you we’re gonna end fossil fuel.”
— Joe Biden

And don’t forget the Democratic 2016 nominee whose election was narrowly averted by the Trump surprise:

“So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.”
– Hillary Clinton in 2016

In other words, she declared her intention to follow the Obama program: Regulate anything that moves until it stops moving.

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Some skeptics caution against overreacting to electioneering rhetoric, citing the practical limits of presidential authority to implement a ban on fracking. But “elections have consequences,” executive orders have an impact, and few industries have been subjected to such consistent attack and misinformation. It might be hard to imagine serious proposals to ban, say, farming or at least all grain farms, but it would be theoretically possible to do so by radically increasing imports. Administrative agencies can pursue creative interpretations of the labyrinth of rules and issue aggressive “guidances.” A broad and coordinated set of such actions can slow or outright stop all manner of industrial activities up and down supply chains, including, especially, the construction of vital pipelines and ports. And lest one forget, Congress enacted legislation in 1972 and 1982 to ban oil production on about 90% of America’s offshore domains.

A detailed analysis has been performed by the Global Energy Institute. The updated report is What if . . . Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?

The Economic Benefits of the Shale Revolution and the Consequences of Ending It.

The Reality

The extraction of oil and gas through the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (colloquially, “fracking”) has catapulted the United States into leadership of the world’s energy markets. Since 2007, fracking has doubled U.S. oil production and increased gas production by 60%. Instead of a major importer, America is rapidly becoming the largest exporter of oil and is expected to supply the majority of net new energy traded on global markets over the next two decades.

If the U.S. imposed a fracking ban, the supply disruption would trigger the biggest oil and natural gas price spikes in history—almost certainly by more than 200%—which would, in turn, tip the world into recession. Even the expectation that a ban could be enacted would destabilize markets. U.S. imports and the trade imbalance would soar, as would consumers’ spending on energy. To keep the lights on, America would have to nearly double the quantity of coal burned, as well as import up to 1 million barrels of oil per day for dual-fueled power plants that would lose access to natural gas.

A fracking ban, regardless of motivation, is anchored in magical thinking that non-hydrocarbon energy sources could fill a massive global energy shortfall if the U.S. exited the world stage as a major supplier of oil and natural gas. Both fuels will be critical for the global economy for decades to come. The key issue is not whether wind and solar can supply more energy—they can and will—but whether a future American administration would reverse the progress of the last decade in lowering energy prices and enhancing geopolitical stability.”
—Mark Mills, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute

Supply Impact

The study is based on what GEI calls conservative assumptions. These include the continued use of hydraulic fracturing in non-tight oil and gas plays, and a 23.7% annual decline rate for existing shale plays. GEI also assumes a drop in gas exports to Mexico, and increase in gas imports from Canada, and a shift from LNG exporting to LNG importing—all designed to close the supply/demand gap that would occur as shale gas is phased out.

“Currently, shale production is about 50.5 Bcf/d or 62 percent of U.S. production. Under a hydraulic fracturing ban, production from existing sources would drop significantly due to the field production decline rates. Similarly, natural gas production from tight gas formations would drop quickly as well, since they rely on hydraulic fracturing to generate production,” GEI said.

With gas in tighter supply (see graph above), prices would soar to $12/MMBtu by 2025 (2nd graph below).

Economic Impact

With supply for gas and oil constricted, energy prices would rise dramatically. In addition to $12/MMBtu gas, GEI says that West Intermediate crude would reach about $130/bbl by 2025, or more than double today’s price and nearly double the forecast out to 2025.

“In 2025, the U.S. would lose around 19 million jobs and $2.3 trillion in GDP. For comparison, this is roughly three times the economic impact of the Great Recession of the late 2010s,” GEI said. “Disallowing hydraulic fracturing would shrink the size of the U.S. energy industry and eliminate its ability to cushion the economy against large swings in prices. A ban on hydraulic fracturing would essentially be the worst of both worlds – low production as if prices were low, while the rest of the economy (in the form of millions of households and businesses) struggles to adapt to a doubling of oil prices and quadrupling of natural gas prices,” it said.

The economic results for the nation and for key energy-producing states (as well as two, Michigan and Wisconsin, which are considered to be close in the 2020 election) is shown below.

Why a US Self-embargo is Unicorns All the Way Down

The fracking ban campaign is neither new nor connected only to the politics of this presidential election cycle. The movement emerged from the intersection of two global trends: the expansion of hydrocarbon production; and a time when many pundits and policymakers believe that an “energy transition” to something different is urgently needed. For example, some 400 domestic and international environmental leaders and organizations petitioned the United Nations in September to demand “a global ban on fracking.”[14] Essentially all fracking production is done in the United States.

A ban on fracking would end U.S. exports, cause imports to soar, and increase the trade deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. The more serious impact would come from the shock to global markets. Global oil prices swing widely when markets are surprised by even a 1%–2% change in the supply/demand balance. A fracking ban would entail a loss of 7% of global oil production, comparable to the 7% lost with the infamous 1973 Arab oil embargo—an embargo that drove world oil prices up 400% and triggered a global recession.[25] Similarly, the 1979 Iranian revolution took 5% of oil off global markets. Prices rose more than 200%, sparking another global recession.[26] Today, taking shale production off the market would also constitute an additional 17% loss to global markets in the form of natural gas.[27] Higher energy prices would hit global consumers; Americans would pay more than $100 billion a year at the gas pump alone, an average of $1,000 per household.[28] Even a slow 10-year production phase-out would trigger an estimated two-year recession in America and eliminate $270 billion of private investment.[29] There would be some winners: Russia and OPEC would derive huge revenue and geopolitical benefits.

Losing the share of new electricity generation that is now fueled from natural gas (produced by fracking) would push utilities to increase the use of existing underutilized power plants where they’re available, which are mainly coal-fired.[30] That would increase carbon dioxide emissions by some 600%—more than all emissions avoided from wind and solar on U.S. grids.[31]

Regions heavily dependent on natural gas but with minimal coal capacity would be faced with rolling blackouts—such as New England (where gas currently provides 49% of electricity), the Mid-Atlantic region (38%), and the Pacific coast (30%).[32] Some of that shortfall could come from burning oil in the 130 GW of gas-fired turbines designed to be dual-fueled.[33] If fully utilized, those turbines would burn about 1 mmbd of oil (necessarily imported), a 10-fold increase in U.S. oil-fired power generation.

The Impossibility of Filling the Gap

The central motivation for the movement to ban fracking is the global abundance of hydrocarbons at a time when many pundits and policymakers believe that an “energy transition” is urgently needed. But America’s shale production could not be replaced quickly by alternatives, at any price, regardless of climate-change motivations. To the extent that there is an “energy transition” to new technologies, it is happening in slow motion.

Politically popular wind and solar power have become far less expensive and have enjoyed massive global subsidies; but together, they still provide only 1.8% of global energy. The 5 million electric vehicles on all the world’s roads now displace 0.1% of global oil use.[34]

Replacing the quantity of energy produced by fracking in the U.S. shale fields would entail (in energy-equivalent terms) expanding all of America’s solar and wind production by 2,000% more than what has been added in the past decade.[35] Somehow accomplishing that miracle wouldn’t help the 99% of Americans driving oil-fueled cars. In fact, because the hydrocarbon market is global, the entire world would have to increase global wind and energy supply by 500% to replace the energy that would be lost from an American fracking ban—never mind the additional energy needed to fuel global economic growth.[36]

Resources:

New Study by Global Energy Institute Puts Impact of Fracking Ban at $7.1 Trillion Over Four Years

A Fracking Ban Would Trigger Global Recession

New Chamber Analysis Quantifies Economic Risks of Proposed Fracking Ban

U.S. Chamber of Commerce says proposed fracing ban puts Texas economy at risk

Coronavirus 101

The best overview I have seen comes from Rud Istvan at Wuhan Coronavirus–a WUWT Scientific Commentary  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

Basic Virology

What follows perhaps oversimplifies an unavoidably complex topic, like sea level rise or atmospheric feedbacks to CO2 in climate science.

There are three main types of human infectious microorganisms: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. (I skip important complicating stuff like malaria or giardia.) Most human bacteria are helpful; the best example is the vast gut biome. In human disease some bacteria (typhoid, plague, tetanus, gangrene, sepsis, strep) and certain classes of fungi (candida yeasts) can cause serious disease, as do some human viruses (polio, smallpox, measles, yellow fever, Zika, Ebola).

There are two basic forms of bacteria (Prokaryotes and Archaea, neither having a genetic cell nucleus). Methanogens are exclusively Archaean; most methanotrophs are Prokaryotes. Membrane bound photosynthetic organelle containing cyanobacteria are the evolutionary transition from bacteria to all Eukaryotes (cells having a separate membrane bound genetic nucleus) like phytoplankton, fungi, and us. Both Prokaryote and Eukaryote single cell (and all higher) life forms have a basic thing in common—they can reproduce by themselves in an appropriate environment.

Viruses are none of the above. They are not ‘alive’; they are genetic parasites. They can only reproduce by infecting a living cell that can already reproduce itself. The ‘nonliving’ viral genetic machinery hijacks the reproductive machinery of a living host cell and uses it to replicate virions (individual virus particles) until the host cell ‘bursts’ and the new virions bud out in search of new hosts.

There are two basic virus forms, and two basic genetics.

Form

1. Viruses are either ‘naked’ or ‘enveloped’. (see image at top).  A naked virus like cold causing rhino has just two structural components, an inner genetic whatever code (only the two basic types–DNA and RNA–are important for this comment) and an outer protective ‘capsid’ protective viral protein coat. An example is cold producing rhinovirus in the family picornavirus (which also includes polio).

2.Enveloped viruses like influenza and corona (Wuhan) include a third outer lipid membrane layer outside the capsid, studded with partly viral and partly host proteins acquired from the host cell at budding. These are used to infect the next host cell by binding to cell surface proteins. The classic example is influenza (internal genetic machinery A or B) designated HxNy for the flavor of the (H) hemagglutinin and (N) neuraminidase protein variants on the lipid membrane surface.

Genetic Type

The second major distinction is the basic genetics. Viral genetic machinery can be either RNA based or DNA based. There is a huge difference. All living cells (the viral hosts) have evolved DNA copy error machinery, but not RNA copy error machinery. That means RNA based viruses will accumulate enormous ‘transcription’ errors with each budding. As an actual virology estimate, a single rhinovirus infected mucosal cell might produce 100000 HRV virion copies before budding. But say 99% are defective unviable transcription errors. That math still says each mucosal cell infected by a single HRV virion will produce about 10 infective virions despite the severe RNA mutation problem. The practical clinical implication is that when you first ‘catch’ a HRV cold, the onset to clinical symptoms (runny nose) is very fast, usually less than 24 hours.

This also explains why adenovirus is not very infective. It is a DNA virus, so mutates slowly, so the immune memory is longer lasting. In fact, in 2011 the FDA approved (for military use only) a vaccine against adeno pharyngoconjuntivitis that was a big problem in basic training. (AKA PCF, or PC Fever, highly contagious, very debilitating, and unlike similar high fever strep throat untreatable with antibiotics.) In the first two years of mandatory PCF vaccine use, military PCF disease incidence reduced 100 fold.

Upper Respiratory Tract viral infections.

So-called URI’s have only two causes in humans: common colds, and influenza. Colds have three distinguishing symptoms–runny nose, sore throat, and cough—all caused not by the virus but by the immune system response to it. Influenza adds two more symptoms: fever and muscular ache. Physicians know this well, almost never test for the actual virus seriotype, and prescribe aspirin for flu but not colds. Much of what follows in this section is based on somewhat limited actual data, since there has been little clinical motivation to do extensive research. A climate analogy would be sea surface temperature and ocean heat content before ARGO. Are there estimates? Yes. Are there good estimates? No.

Common cold URI’s stem from three viral types: RNA rhinovirus (of which there are about 99 seriotypes but nobody knows for sure) causing about 75% of all common colds, RNA coronaviruses, for which (excluding SARS, MERS, and Wuhan) there are only 4 known human seriotypes causing about 20% of common colds, and DNA adenoviruses (about 60 human seriotypes, but including lots of non-cold symptom seriotypes like conjunctivitis (pink eye and pharyngoconjunctivitis) causing about 5% of common colds.

Available data says rhinovirus seriotypes are ubiquitous but individually not terribly infective, coronavirus seriotypes are few but VERY infective, and adenoviruses are neither. This explains, given the previous RNA mutation problem, why China and US are undertaking strict Wuhan quarantine measures.

This also explains why there is no possibility of a common cold vaccine: too many viral targets. You catch a cold, you get temporary (RNA viruses are constantly mutating) immunity to that virus. You next cold is simply a different virus, which is why the average adult has 2-4 colds per year.

A clinical sidebar about URI’s. Both are worse in winter, because people are more indoors in closer infectious proximity. But colds have much less seasonality than flus. Summer colds are common. Summer flus aren’t.

There is a differential route of transmission explanation for this empirical observation. Colds are spread primarily by contact, while flus are spread primarily by inhalation. You have a cold, you politely (as taught) cover your sneeze or cough with a hand, then open a door using its doorknob, depositing your fresh virions on it. The person behind you opens the door, picking up your virions, then touches the mouth or nose (or eyes) before washing hands. That person is now probably infected. This is also why alcohol hand sanitizers have been clinically proven ineffective against colds. They will denature enveloped corona and adeno, but have basically no effect on the by far more prevalent naked rhinos.

There is an important corollary to this contact transmission fact. Infectivity via the contact route of transmission depends on how long a virion remains infective on an inanimate surface. This depends on the virion, the surface (hard doorknob or ‘soft’ cardboard packaging), and the environment (humidity, temperature). The general epidemiological rule of thumb for common colds and flus is at most 4 days viability. This corollary is crucial for Wuhan containment, discussed below.

The main flu infection route is inhalation of infected aspirate. This does not require a cough, merely an infected person breathing in your vicinity. In winter, when you breathe out outside below freezing ‘smoke’ it is just aspirate that ‘freezes’ and becomes visible. Football aficionados see this at Soldier and Lambeau Fields every winter watching Bears and Packers games. The very fine micro-droplet residence time in the air depends on humidity. With higher humidity, they don’t dry out as fast, so remain heavier and sink faster to where they don’t get inhaled, typically minutes. In typical winter indoor low humidity, they dry rapidly and remain circulating in the air for much longer, typically hours. This is also why alcohol hand sanitizers are ineffective against influenza; the main route of flu transmission has nothing to do with hands.

[Note: The flu virus is contained in droplets that become air borne by sneezing or coughing.  Unless you inhale the air sneezed or coughed by an infected person, the main risk is direct skin contact with a surface on which the droplet landed.]

Wuhan Coronavirus

As of this writing, there are a reported 37500 confirmed infections and 811 deaths. Those numbers are about as reliable as GAST in climate change. Many people do not have access to definitive diagnostic kits; China has a habit of reporting an underlying comorbidity (emphysema, COPD, asthma) as cause of death, the now known disease progression means deaths lag diagnoses by 2-3 weeks. A climate analogy is the US surface temperature measurement problems uncovered by the WUWT Surface Stations project.

There are a number of important general facts we DO now know, which together provide directional guidance about whether anyone should be concerned or alarmed. The information is pulled from reasonably reliable sources like WHO, CDC, NIH, and JAMA or NEJM case reports. Plus, we have an inadvertent cruise ship laboratory experiment presently underway in Japan.

The incubation period is about 10-14 days until symptoms (fever, cough) evidence. That is VERY BAD news, because it has been demonstrated beyond question (Germany, Japan, US) that human to human transmission PRECEDES symptoms by about a week. So unlike SARS where all air travelers got a fever screening (mine was to and from a medical conference in Panama City). Since transmission did not precede symptoms, SARS fever screening sufficed; with Wuhan fever screening is futile. That is why all the 14-day quarantines imposed last week; the only way to quarantine Wuhan coronavirus with certainty is to wait for symptoms to appear or not. Quarantine is disruptive and expensive, but very effective.

Once symptoms appear, disease progression is now predictable from sufficient hundreds of case reports—usual corona cold progression for about 7-10 days. But then there is a bifurcation. 75-80% of patients start improving. In 20-25%, they begin a rapid decline into lower respiratory pneumonia. It is a subset of these where the deaths occur with or without ICU intervention. And as whistleblower Dr. Li’s death in Wuhan proves, ICU intervention is no panacea. He was an otherwise healthy 34 years old doctor.

We also now know from a JAMA report Friday 2/7/2020 analyzing spread of Wuhan coronavirus inside a Wuhan hospital, that 41% of patients were infected within the hospital—meaning the ubiquitous surgical masks DO NOT work as prevention. The shortage of masks is symptomatic of panic, not efficacy.

Scientists last week also traced the source. There are two clues. Wuhan is now known to be 96% genetically similar to an endemic Asian bat corona. Like SARS and ‘Spanish flu’, it jumped to humans via an intermediate mammal species. No bats were sold in the Huanan wet market in Wuhan. But pangolins were, and as of Friday there is a 99% genetic match between pangolin corona and Wuhan human corona. Trade in wild pangolins is illegal, but the meat is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam and pangolins WERE sold in the Wuhan wet market. This is is similar to SARS in 2003. A bat corona jumped to humans via live civets in another Chinese wet market. Xi’s ‘simple’ permanent SARS/Wuhan coronavirus solution is to ban Chinese wet markets.

Conclusions

Should the world be concerned? Perhaps.

Will there be a terrible Wuhan pandemic? Probably not.

Again, the analogy to climate change alarm is striking. Alarm based on lack of underlying scientific knowledge plus unfounded worst case projections.

Proven human to human transmissibility and the likely (since proven) ineffectiveness of surgical masks were real early concerns. But the Wuhan virus will probably not become pandemic, or even endemic.

We know it can be isolated and transmission stopped with 14-day quarantine followed by symptomatic clinical isolation and ICU treatment if needed.

We know from infectivity duration on surfaces that it cannot be spread from China via ship cargo. And cargo ship crews can simply not be given shore leave until their symptomless ocean transit time plus port time passes 14 days.

Eliminating Chinese wet markets and the illegal trade in pangolins prevents another outbreak ever emerging from the wild, unfortunately unlike Ebola.

Footnote:  This is of particular interest to me since my wife and I are presently on a cruise in the Indian Ocean ending in Singapore.  We were supposed to fly from there to Shanghai connecting to Air Canada back to Montreal.  Those AC flights were cancelled for February and unlikely to be available for our transit.

Land Air Temps Continue Cooling in January

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With apologies to Paul Revere, this post is on the lookout for cooler weather with an eye on both the Land and the Sea.  UAH has updated their tlt (temperatures in lower troposphere) dataset for January 2020.  Previously I have done posts on their reading of ocean air temps as a prelude to updated records from HADSST3. This month also has a separate graph of land air temps because the comparisons and contrasts are interesting as we contemplate possible cooling in coming months and years.

Presently sea surface temperatures (SST) are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Enthalpy is the thermodynamic term for total heat content in a system, and humidity differences in air parcels affect enthalpy.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, ocean covers 71% of the planet surface and thus dominates surface temperature estimates.  Eventually we will likely have reliable means of recording water temperatures at depth.

Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST.  He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST by 11-12 months.  This latter point is addressed in a previous post Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

After a technical enhancement to HadSST3 delayed March and April updates, May resumed a pattern of HadSST updates mid month.  For comparison we can look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6 which are now posted for January. The temperature record is derived from microwave sounding units (MSU) on board satellites like the one pictured above. Recently there was a change in UAH processing of satellite drift corrections, including dropping one platform which can no longer be corrected. The graphs below are taken from the new and current dataset.

The UAH dataset includes temperature results for air above the oceans, and thus should be most comparable to the SSTs. There is the additional feature that ocean air temps avoid Urban Heat Islands (UHI).  The graph below shows monthly anomalies for ocean temps since January 2015.After a June rise in ocean air temps, all regions dropped back down to May levels in July and August.  A spike occured in September, followed by plummenting October ocean air temps in the Tropics and SH. In November that drop partly warmed back, now leveling slightly downword with continued cooling in NH. 2020 starts with NH warming slightly, still cooler than the previous months back to September.  SH and Tropics also rose slightly resulting in a Global rise.

Land Air Temperatures Cooling in Seesaw Pattern

We sometimes overlook that in climate temperature records, while the oceans are measured directly with SSTs, land temps are measured only indirectly.  The land temperature records at surface stations sample air temps at 2 meters above ground.  UAH gives tlt anomalies for air over land separately from ocean air temps.  The graph updated for January 2020 is below.

Here we have freash evidence of the greater volatility of the Land temperatures, along with an extraordinary departure by SH land.  Despite the small amount of SH land, it spiked in July, then dropped in August so sharply along with the Tropics that it pulled the global average downward against slight warming in NH.  In November SH jumped up beyond any month in this period.  Despite this spike along with a rise in the Tropics, NH land temps dropped sharply.  The larger NH land area pulled the Global average downward.  December reversed the situation with the SH dropping as sharply as it rose, while NH rose to the same anomaly, pulling the Global up slightly.

2020 starts with sharp drops in both SH and NH, with the Global anomaly dropping as a result.  The behavior of SH land temps is puzzling, to say the least.  it is also a reminder that global averages can conceal important underlying volatility.

The longer term picture from UAH is a return to the mean for the period starting with 1995.  2019 average rose but currently lacks any El Nino to sustain it.

TLTs include mixing above the oceans and probably some influence from nearby more volatile land temps.  Clearly NH and Global land temps have been dropping in a seesaw pattern, more than 1C lower than the 2016 peak, prior to these last several months. TLT measures started the recent cooling later than SSTs from HadSST3, but are now showing the same pattern.  It seems obvious that despite the three El Ninos, their warming has not persisted, and without them it would probably have cooled since 1995.  Of course, the future has not yet been written.

Historic Climate Cycles (glaciers added)

Update: February 7, 2020

This is an update to a post The Ever Changing Climate with a new slide showing fluctuating Alpine glaciers over several thousand years.  Context below is from the previous post along with the new content.

Raymond of RiC-Communications  studio commented on a recent post and made an offer to share here some graphics on CO2 for improving public awareness.  He produced 12 interesting slides which are presented in the post Here’s Looking at You, CO2.   I find them straightforward and useful, and appreciate his excellent work on this. Project title is link to RiC-Communications. This post presents the five initial charts he has so far created on a second theme The World of Climate Change and adds another regarding Alpine glacier studies by two prominent geologists.  In addition, Raymond was able to consult the work of  these two experts in their native German language.

This project is The World of Climate Change

Infographics can be helpful, in making things simple to understand. Climate change is a complex topic with a lot of information and statistics. These simple step by step charts are to better understand what is occurring naturally and what could be caused by humans. What is cause for alarm and what isn’t cause for alarmism if at all. Only through learning is it possible to get the big picture so as to make the right decisions for the future.

– N° 1 600 million years of global temperature change
– N° 2 Earth‘s temperature record for the last 400,000 years
– N° 3 Holocene period and average northern hemispheric temperatures
– N° 4 140 years of global mean temperature
– N° 5 120 m of sea level rise over the past 20‘000 years
– N° 6 Eastern European alpine glacier history during the Holocene period.

03_infographic_wocc-1

04_infographic_wocc

Summer Temperatures (May – September) A rise in temperature during a warming period will result in a glacier losing more surface area or completely vanishing. This can happen very rapidly in only a few years or over a longer period of time. If temperatures drop during a cooling period and summer temperatures are too low, glaciers will begin to grow and advance with each season. This can happen very rapidly or over a longer period in time. Special thanks to Prof. em. Christian Schlüchter / (Quartärgeologie, Umweltgeologie) Universität Bern Institut für Geologie His work is on the Western Alps and was so kind to help Raymond make this graphic as correct as possible.

Comment:

This project will explore information concerning how aspects of the world climate system have changed in the past up to the present time.  Understanding the range of historical variation and the factors involved is essential for anticipating how future climate parameters might fluctuate.

For example:

The Climate Story (Illustrated) looks at the temperature record.

H20 the Gorilla Climate Molecule looks at precipitation patterns.

Data vs. Models #2: Droughts and Floods looks at precipitation extremes.

Data vs. Models #3: Disasters looks at extreme weather events.

Data vs. Models #4: Climates Changing looks at boundaries of defined climate zones.

And in addition, since Chart #5 features the Statue of Liberty, here are the tidal guage observations there compared to climate model projections:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Canadian Watermelons by Conrad Black

Writing in the National Post Conrad Black asks the question: What did Canadians do to deserve this government? Excerpts below with my bolds and images.

Canada is a great country crossing the desert of self-chosen and misguided leadership. There is no vision except platitudes and quixotry

Following the decisive defeat of the international left in the Cold War, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapse of international communism and the defection of China to the virtues of a market economy (though still with a heavy command ingredient), the international left, evicted from power and even intellectual respectability, fetched up in the camp of the conservationists, those who cared most demonstratively for the environment. They shouldered aside the long-standing opponents of untreated effluent and advocates for natural habitats, and assaulted capitalism from a new quarter, waving the green flag of ecological radicalism rather than the red banner of Marx. Capitalism was not to be overthrown in favour of socialism, but rather the more incontestable goal of saving the planet. The left, for once, deserves high marks for improvisation.


In its way, it has been the most pure Leninism: the founder of the Soviet Union said “If you can’t get in the door, use the window.” This is what Marxist Naomi Klein was celebrating with her book “This Changes Everything,” claiming environmentalism would derail capitalism. And the affected militancy of generally respected figures of institutional finance, Mark Carney and Jim Leach and others, in turning themselves into a pressure group for green-friendly investment through the vacuous concept of sustainable finance (though Carney has reservations), are proving the truth of Lenin’s prediction that “The capitalists are so stupid they will sell us the rope we hang them with.” A green test of investment grade will be as complete a fiasco as was the spurious attempt to invest in companies according to the imputable quality of their corporate governance.

Fad follows fad; the only yardstick for measuring the quality of investments is capital appreciation, and those that don’t rise in value will not be sustainable.

Greta Thunberg, the tiresome Swedish teenage scold, has been sailing around the world reproaching the planet’s adult population for failing our progeny by mismanaging the planet environmentally. This is a demonstration of weakness by the environmentalists, not strength. Successive claims of imminent doom by the climate alarmists have consistently failed to materialize. Our oil and gas industries are not being strangled by the irresistible veracity of the climate change movement; the entire world except Western Europe and Canada are carrying on without any obvious sign of believing their carbon emissions are threatening human civilization.

In September, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore repeated that we have 12 years to prevent irreparable climatic damage to life; he said much the same thing a decade ago, and a decade before that. At least he got a Nobel Prize and became a centimillionaire for being so repetitive. Every informed person in the world has realized for over 50 years that we had to be careful to reduce environmental pollution and protect endangered areas and species. The sudden injection of far-left militancy drove the argument to anti-capitalist hysteria and hijacked a vehicle formerly filled with virtuous ecologically minded people. And useful idiots are telling resistant groups like the benighted province of Alberta to enjoy their martyrdom and adjust to impoverishment.

The chief meteorologist of Japan disembarked from the climatist movement several months ago, saying it was unclear what was happening to the climate, if anything unusual. The whole policy of dismantling and discouraging most of the energy industry except the hopelessly inadequate and horrendously costly solar and wind power boondoggles has been officially rejected as based on unproved suppositions by all major governments except the principal Western European countries and Canada. Since the science is divided and the proportions of the whole climate question are impossible to judge, Canada should devote itself to neutral and exacting research to seek, urgently, to ascertain what is happening, instead of singing our hearts out in the chorus of doom, like catechism students, as we strangle our greatest potential source of export revenue and greatest manufacturing cost advantage, our oil and gas industry.

Countries that are not defined by an exclusive culture, like Poland, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Japan and many others are, and cannot claim a unique secular-evangelical mission and mythos, as the United States claims as the redeemer, exemplar, champion and guardian of democratic government and the free market, must define a community of interest, amplify and equitably distribute prosperity, treat its different component regions and cultural groups fairly, and endow themselves with a distinct purpose. What is needed is a vision, without which, as is recorded in Proverbs and is engraved at the entrance to the Canadian House of Commons, “the people perish.”

The current federal government defines its first priority to be fighting climate change, which is nonsense, making a shambles of matters of gender, and inciting egregious myths and practices in native issues.

We are embracing a false national objective to oppress Alberta and Saskatchewan while encouraging charlatans and misfits to claim that there are more than two sexes and that the right of everyone to work out their own sexuality in perfect freedom is a matter for state coercion, and while inciting the inference that those of European ancestry invaded, occupied and oppressed this country in a manner morally indistinguishable from what Hitler and Stalin did to Poland in 1939. There is no vision except platitudes and quixotry. We are driving Alberta to the consideration of extreme remedies and are stuck with the authors of this visionless miasma for four more years. Canada is a great country crossing the desert of self-chosen and misguided leadership. In a democracy, a people gets the government it deserves; we must solemnly consider what we did to deserve this.