April 30, 2021 New York Nukes Itself

EIA explains the news today New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant closes after 59 years of operation.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Indian Point Energy Center (Indian Point) permanently stopped generating electricity on April 30, 2021, when it retired its last operating nuclear reactor, Unit 3, earlier than originally planned. The Indian Point nuclear power plant began operations in 1962 and produced over 565 terawatthours (TWh) of electricity in the 59 years it was open. The Unit 3 retirement removes almost 1,040 megawatts (MW) of nuclear generating capacity from New York State, leaving about 3,200 MW of remaining nuclear capacity at three plants in upstate New York.

Background from previous post

“New York Nukes Itself” refers not to the disastrous decisions in managing WuHanFlu, but about New York’s insane decision to close nuclear power plants in favor of wind farms.  Robert Bryce writes at Forbes New York Has 1,300 Reasons Not To Close Indian Point. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

At the end of this month, the Unit 2 reactor at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York will be permanently shut down. Next April, the final reactor at the site, Unit 3, will also be shuttered.

TOMKINS COVE , NY – MAY 11: The Indian Point nuclear power plant is seen from Tomkins Cove, New York … [+] CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES

But the premature closure of the 2,069-megawatt nuclear plant is even worse land-use policy. Here’s why: replacing the 16 terawatt-hours of carbon-free electricity that is now being produced by the twin-reactor plant with wind turbines will require 1,300 times as much territory as what is now covered by Indian Point.

Here are the facts: Indian Point covers 239 acres, or about 1 square kilometer. To put Indian Point’s footprint into context, think of it this way: you could fit three Indian Points inside Central Park in Manhattan.

Based on projected output from offshore wind projects (which have higher capacity factors than onshore wind projects), producing that same amount of electricity as is now generated by Indian Point – about 16 terawatt-hours per year – would require installing about 4,000 megawatts of wind turbines. That estimate is based on the proposed South Fork offshore wind project, a 90-megawatt facility that is expected to produce 370 gigawatt-hours per year. (Note that these output figures are substantially higher than what can be expected from onshore wind capacity.) Using the numbers from South Fork, a bit of simple division shows that each megawatt of wind capacity will produce about 4.1 gigawatt-hours per year. Thus, matching the energy output of Indian Point will require about 4,000 megawatts of wind capacity.

That’s a lot of wind turbines. According to the American Wind Energy Association, existing wind-energy capacity in New York state now totals about 1,987 megawatts. That capacity will require enormous amounts of land. Numerous studies, including ones by the Department of Energy have found that the footprint, or capacity density, of wind energy projects is about 3 watts per square meter. Thus, 4,000 megawatts (four billion watts) divided by 3 watts per square meter = 1.33 billion square meters or 1,333 square kilometers. (Or roughly 515 square miles.)

UNITED STATES – AUGUST 20: Aerial view of New York City’s Central Park (Photo by Carol M. … [+] GETTY IMAGES

Those numbers are almost too big to imagine. Therefore, let’s look again at Central Park. Recall that three Indian Points could fit inside the confines of the famed park. Thus, replacing the energy production from Indian Point would require paving a land area equal to 400 Central Parks with forests of wind turbines.

Put another way, the 1,300 square kilometers of wind turbines needed to replace the electricity output of Indian Point is nearly equal to the size of Albany County. Would New York legislators who convene in the capitol in Albany consent to having the entire county covered in wind turbines? I can’t be sure, but I am guessing that they might oppose such plan. (See yellow area in Google Earth image  at top).

These basic calculations prove some undeniable facts. Among them: Indian Point represents the apogee of densification. The massive amount of energy being produced by the two reactors on such a small footprint provides a perfect illustration of what may be nuclear energy’s single greatest virtue: its unsurpassed power density. (Power density is a measure of energy flow from a given area, volume, or mass.) High power density sources, like nuclear, allow us to spare land for nature. Density is green.

Alas, the environmental groups that are influencing policymakers in New York and in other states are strident in their belief that nuclear energy is bad and that renewables are good. But that theology ignores the greenness of density and the essential role that nuclear energy must play if we are to have any hope of making significant reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions.

In short, the premature closure of Indian Point – and the raging land-use battles over renewable energy siting in New York – should lead environmental groups to rethink their definition of what qualifies as “green.” Just because wind and solar are renewable doesn’t mean they are green. In fact, the land-use problems with renewables show the exact opposite.

And there is much more wrong about this.  For a complete discussion  see Forbes article The Indian Point Closure Means More Emissions — And More Cynicism About Climate Action

Zombie Melting Glacier Hype (again)

2035807-robert-frost-quote-some-say-the-world-will-end-in-fire-some-say-inAs we’ve seen many times before, this week Climate Crisis Central put out a scary story about glaciers melting, and captive news outlets dutifully amplified the narrative.  For example, from my news aggregator:

Global satellite data shows how much every glacier on Earth is melting Metro.co.uk

Researchers claim glacier melting has accelerated all around the world Slashgear

Our disappearing glaciers / World will lose 10% of glacier ice even if it hits climate targets The Guardian

A Massive Study of Nearly Every Glacier on Earth Just Revealed a Devastating Trend ScienceAlert

Glacier melt is speeding up, raising seas – study RTE

Global glacier melt is speeding up Swiss Info

Study of nearly every glacier on Earth shows ice loss is speeding up Live Science

Climate change: Accelerated global glacier mass loss in the twenty-first century(Nature) Nature Asia

Glacier melt is speeding up, raising seas: global study France 24

Expert reaction to study looking at global glacier mass loss in the 21st century Science Media Centre

Global glacier retreat has accelerated ETH Zurich

Glacier retreat leading to ‘humanitarian crisis’, says top scientist The Independent

World’s Glaciers Melting Faster Than Ever, With Alaska’s Rate Among ‘Highest on the Planet’ NBC Connecticut

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Yes glaciers individually and seasonally advance and retreat over time, and many people depend on the meltwater to survive. The hype is deceptive in several aspects. Typically, present glacier extents are put into hysterical rather than historical context. Also, the amounts of ice lost are never referenced to the total existing ice mass observed over time. Finally, the attribution of local temperature trends to fossil fuels emissions is presumed without evidence of causation. Some examples of sound scientific analyses provide an antidote to the glaciermania.

Alpine Glaciers Wax and Wane, Don’t Panic

06_infographic_wocc

Prof. em. Christian Schlüchter is a geologist and has studied the glaciers of the Alps in great detail. He reports the findings of very old timber in and below glaciers and what those trees taught him about the glacial epochs of the Alps.  One of the most intuitive finds of Schlüchter’s is this huge tree trunk, found at a glacier tongue (see the most beautiful glacier snout behind!).

schluechterbaum

This place nowadays is clearly above the limit of vegetation and still there is this tree which attracted Schlüchter’s curiosity and fuelled his research: How old is it? Where and under what conditions has it grown and why is it here.

The key message from his slides is that all of these records were left in times when the alpine glacier extent was smaller than in 2005.

Warm periods: more life

The timberline was at least 300 meters higher which indicates a minimum of 1.8° C higher temperatures. An example of this gives Hannibal, who managed to cross the Alps with elephants because the higher regions were much less covered by ice than in recent centuries.

Warm periods: more civilization

As his summary, Schlüchter gave the following facts:

  • More than 50% of the last 11000 years alpine glaciers were smaller than 2005
  • This fact he baptized, “dominance of the Hannibalistic world”
  • Alpine glaciers have shown huge dynamics
  • Events of glacier growth were fast and short
  • The little ice age (from the end of the medieval warm period to about 1850) was the longest glacier extension since the last ice age 12000 years ago
  • Every warming followed an accelerated glacier growth

And more recent news Alpine glaciers are not going away:  Alps Winter Warming “Not Significant”…”Astonishing Contrast Between Official Measurements And Public Opinion”

Austrian researcher skeptic Günther Aigner examined 12 mountains stations across the Alps, spanning Switzerland, Germany and Austria, in order to find out how winter temperatures have developed over the past 50 years.  The temperature data from 12 mountain stations in the European Alps show no winter warming in over 30 years, contradicting alarmist claims.

For more on presentations at the 2019 Munich Climate Realism conference that was interrupted by Antifa thugs see post Munich Climate Conference 2019

Alaska Great for Picking Cherries

Alaska 2019 and 2020

Background from 2017 post Glaciermania

The Weather Network (who do a decent job on local weather forecasting) are currently raving about Glaciers:

You know climate change is getting serious when rivers are resorting to piracy.

Canadian geomorphologist Dr. Daniel Shugar and his team headed to the Yukon last year to study changes in the flow of the Slims River, only to find out the river was gone.

The Slims, which was fed by the Kaskawulsh glacier, has become the victim of the first case of what’s known as river piracy in modern recorded history.

The team’s investigation soon turned up the culprit – the retreat of the Kaskawulsh Glacier, which has been retreating thanks to more than a century of climate warming.

What Actually Happened

web_0416-nw-na-climatemap

For context and scientific perspective we can turn to papers like this one:  Contemporary Glacier Processes and Global Change: Recent Observations from Kaskawulsh Glacier and the Donjek Range, St. Elias Mountains 

One of the most iconic and best studied outlet glaciers of the St. Elias Mountains, Kaskawulsh Glacier was the focus of much glaciological research during the Icefield Ranges Research Project between the 1960s and early 1970s  and contemporary studies suggest that the glacier is temperate throughout. The current area of Kaskawulsh Glacier is ~1095 km2. Ice thicknesses range from 539 m near the topographic divide with the upper Hubbard Glacier and ~500 m at the confluence of the north and central arms at ~1750 m asl to 778 m at ~1600 m asl. The equilibrium line altitude is estimated from 2007 late summer satellite imagery as 1958 m asl, and it appears to have changed little since the 1970s.

The size of Kaskawulsh Glacier has varied considerably through time, with radiocarbon dating suggesting that it expanded by tens of kilometres into the Shakwak Valley (currently occupied by Kluane Lake) ~30 kya during the Wisconsinan Glaciation. In the historical past, Borns and Goldthwait (1966) mapped three sets of Little Ice Age moraines in the glacier forefield on the basis of distinctive variations in vegetation cover, morphology, and the ages of trees and shrubs.

Kaskawulsh Glacier was advancing by the early 1500s and reached its maximum recent position by approximately AD 1680. A recent study based on tree-ring dates suggests that the Slims River lobe reached its greatest Little Ice Age extent in the mid-1750s, whereas the Kaskawulsh River lobe reached its maximum extent around 1717. However, it appears that the glacier did not start retreating from this position until the early to middle 1800s. The recent discovery of a Geological Survey of Canada map of the glacier terminus from 1900 to 1904 indicates that the glacier was still in a forward position at that time, suggesting that most of the terminus retreat occurred in the 20th century.

Recent studies conducted by researchers at the University of Alaska and the University of Ottawa indicate that ice losses from Kaskawulsh Glacier have continued through the latter half of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century, although evidence for any recent acceleration in loss rates is equivocal.

Of the 19 glacierized regions of the world outside of the ice sheets, the region including the St. Elias Mountains made the second highest glaciological contribution to global sea level during the period 1961 – 2000. Only Arctic Canada is expected to exceed this region in sea-level contribution over the 21st century.

The St. Elias Mountains exhibit high interannual variability in ice mass change, which is due in part to the abundance of surge-type and tidewater glaciers in different stages of their respective cycles. Ice dynamics can be a confounding influence when attempting to isolate the effects of climate as an external driver of glacier change. 

About the Two Gorilla Glaciers

World Land Ice Mass

A webpage What is the global volume of land ice and how is it changing? at Antarctic Glaciers.org provides some basic statistics for perspective on land ice.  They provide this table:

World ice table AG org

Notice what they’ve done with this graphic.  A different measure of ice volume hides the proportion of ice melt, covering up how myopic and lop-sided is the alarmist case.  Let’s look at the same table revised with comparable metrics.

World ice table in Gt

 

Now the realities are obvious  99% of the world land ice is on top of Antarctica (88%) and Greenland (11%).  All the fuss in the media above concerns fluctuations in less than 1% of glacier mass.  Secondly, the bottom line is should present melt rates continue ( a big if ) the world would lose 3% of land ice in 1000 years.  Note also the wide range of estimates of the smallest category of glaciers, and also the uncertain reported volume change for East Antarctica.  Note that the melt rates are for 2012 to 2016, leaving out lower previous rates and periods when ice mass gained.

Add to this a recent analysis NASA Surface Station Data Show East Antarctica NOT WARMING Past 4 Decades…Cooling Trend.  

See also Blinded by Antarctica Reports

As for Greenland ice sheet, read the recent research at post  Oh No! Greenland Melts in Virtual Reality “Experiments”.  Excerpts below:

The scare du jour is about Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and how it will melt out and flood us all.  It’s declared that GIS has passed its tipping point, and we are doomed.  Typical is the Phys.org hysteria: Sea level rise quickens as Greenland ice sheet sheds record amount:  “Greenland’s massive ice sheet saw a record net loss of 532 billion tonnes last year, raising red flags about accelerating sea level rise, according to new findings.”

gis-smb-2017-to-2020

Panic is warranted only if you treat this as proof of an alarmist narrative and ignore the facts and context in which natural variation occurs. For starters, consider the last four years of GIS fluctuations reported by DMI and summarized in the eight graphs above.  Note the noisy blue lines showing how the surface mass balance (SMB) changes its daily weight by 8 or 10 gigatonnes (Gt) around the baseline mean from 1981 to 2010.  Note also the summer decrease between May and August each year before recovering to match or exceed the mean.

The other four graphs show the accumulation of SMB for each of the last four years including 2020.  Tipping Point?  Note that in both 2017 and 2018, SMB ended about 500 Gt higher than the year began, and way higher than 2012, which added nothing.  Then came 2019 dropping below the mean, but still above 2012.  Lastly, this year is matching the 30-year average.  Note also that the charts do not integrate from previous years; i.e. each year starts at zero and shows the accumulation only for that year.  Thus the gains from 2017 and 2018 do not result in 2019 starting the year up 1000 Gt, but from zero.

Summary

So it is a familiar story. A complex naturally fluctuating situation, in this case glaciers, is abused by activists to claim support for their agenda. I have a lot of respect for glaciologists; it is a deep, complex subject, and the field work is incredibly challenging. And since “glacial” describes any process where any movement is imperceptible, I can understand their excitement over something happening all of a sudden.

But I do not applaud those pandering to the global warming/climate change crowd. They seem not to realize they debase their own field of study by making exaggerated claims and by “jumping the shark.”

Meanwhile real scientists are doing the heavy lifting and showing restraint and wisdom about the limitations of their knowledge.

kyvp5x

 

 

Two Views of Oceans SST End of April 2021

My preferred SST dataset has been HadSST3, for reasons noted at the end.  However, no new data has been provided for either February or March, so I have been looking at alternatives.  This post will feature ERSST5, with some comparisons with HadSST4 which has now been updated through March 2021.   First the usual contextual introduction.

Overview

The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

The Current Context

The various ERSST sources and history are described at the home page NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST), Version 5.  A major distinction is the practice of interpolation, which involves infilling 2° by 2° grid cells missing sufficient observations in a month.  The values are anomalies from average anomalies for the period 1971 to 2000.  HadSST3 reports only on 5° by 5° grid cells observed in a month, and compares to a baseline 1961 to 1990. HadSST4 is the same as v.3, except that the older data from ship water intake was re-estimated to be generally lower temperature than shown in v.3.  The effect is that v4 has lower average anomalies for the baseline period 1961-1990, thereby showing higher current anomalies than v3. Clive Best has a fuller analysis comparing HadSST3 and HadSST4 in this post HadSST4 and knock on effects.

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST4 starting in 2015 through March 2021. Though the anomaly values are higher than those reported in HadSST3, the patterns of sst changes remain the same. After three straight Spring 2020 months of cooling led by the tropics and SH, NH spiked in the summer, along with smaller bumps elsewhere.  Now temps everywhere are dropping the last six months, with all regions well below the Global Mean since 2015, matching the cold of 2018, and lower than January 2015. A small upward bump in March still leaves all regions the same as March 2015.

Hadsst4 202103

 

A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  In 2019 all regions had been converging to reach nearly the same value in April.

Then  NH rose exceptionally by almost 0.5C over the four summer months, in August 2019 exceeding previous summer peaks in NH since 2015.  In the 4 succeeding months, that warm NH pulse reversed sharply. Then again NH temps warmed to a 2020 summer peak, matching 2019.  This has now been reversed with all regions pulling the Global anomaly downward sharply.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  As noted above, a fifth peak in August 2019 and a sixth August 2020 exceeded the four previous upward bumps in NH.

And as before, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.  The major difference between now and 2015-2016 is the absence of Tropical warming driving the SSTs, along with SH anomalies reaching nearly the lowest in this period. Presently both SH and the Tropics are quite cool, with NH coming off its summer peak.  Note the tropical temps descending into La Nina levels.  At this point, the 2016 El Nino and its NH after effects have dissipated completely.

ERSST202103rev

 

ERSST5 reports only Global SSTs, unlike HadSST4 which also shows results for NH, SH and the Tropics (latitudes 20N to 20S).  The graph shows in green ERSST5 anomalies are much more volatile with both higher and lower extremes, compared to the blue HadSST4.  NH is added since it appears to vary similarly to ERSST, with the notable contradiction in 2016.  Also, the 2019 peak is much higher than 2015-16 in ERSST, whereas HadSST Global shows them comparable.  Both datasets show SSTs dropping sharply since summer 2020, and now below the mean anomaly for the period (only ERSST mean is shown).

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

ERSST95to2103rev

 

In the longer record the 1998 El Nino stands as one bookend and 2019 as the other.  Note that HadSST Global warming events appear more as extended periods of slightly higher anomalies, while ERSST events appear as sharp peaks and valleys.  Note also that present Global SSTs are matching the mean since 1995.

Hadsst4 1995to 202103

1995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peak came in 2019, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. Now September 2020 is dropping off last summer’s unusually high NH SSTs. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows August warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since, including 2020.  Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

AMO decade 032021

 

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The black line shows that 2020 began slightly warm, then set records for 3 months. then dropped below 2016 and 2017, peaked in August and is now below 2016. Note this year is starting out among the coolest analog years.

Summary

The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies may rise slightly in coming months, but once again, ENSO which has weakened will probably determine the outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.

uss-pearl-harbor-deploys-global-drifter-buoys-in-pacific-ocean

USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

 

The National Climate Bank Con

national-climate-bank-1-1536x803-1

At a Hearing April 27, 2021: “Legislative Hearing on S.283, National Climate Bank Act”, Benjamin Zycher provided testimony Summarized at AEI: Statement submitted for the record: Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Summary

This Statement Submitted for the Record offers a critical review of legislation proposed in the 117th Congress, 1st Session, as S. 283, The National Climate Bank Act (hereafter NCBA), the subject of a hearing scheduled for April 27, 2021 before the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. A summary of the arguments presented below is as follows:

  • A National Climate Bank cannot increase the capital resources available to the U.S. economy or to the federal government, and the true economic cost of the outlays envisioned to be made by the National Climate Bank would be almost double the notional budget.
  • The “climate” projects envisioned for the National Climate Bank would be highly inefficient regardless of the assumptions made about climate phenomena and the current and prospective effects of greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the envisioned projects would yield future climate impacts either trivial or undetectable. This explains the failure of the proposed legislation to specify a requirement or to offer a projection of reductions in GHG emissions attendant upon the projects to be funded by the National Climate Bank.
  • The “Findings” in the proposed legislation on current climate phenomena are not supported by the evidence.
  • The “Findings” in the proposed legislation on future climate phenomena are based upon Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, an extreme scenario of future atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases virtually impossible.
  • Because the proponents of the National Climate Bank have based their analytic arguments in substantial part upon the findings and policy proposals presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” they implicitly are endorsing a gasoline tax of $28 per gallon by 2030.
  • The obvious underlying purpose of the National Climate Bank is a shift of political responsibility for the inevitable financial losses to be incurred from the Congressional proponents of the legislation to the administrators of the National Climate Bank. Such a shift is inconsistent with the basic constitutional structure of American governance, and thus with essential accountability inherent in our political institutions.
  • The actual results of a National Climate Bank would be substantial resource waste, a less-productive capital stock, lower wages, and an increase in the politicization of economic activity.

Read  the full report  Zycher Statement Senate EPW climate bank

Climate Piggy Bank

Is Critical Race Theory Illegal?

notsoblindjustice

The issue is going to be adjudicated in various courtrooms in the coming months.  A post at Real Climate Investigations examines the cases for and against policies based on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Critical Race Theory Is About to Face Its Day(s) in Court by John Murawski.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

Critical race theory is about to face a major real-world test: a spate of lawsuits alleging that it encourages discrimination and other illegal policies targeting whites, males and Christians. But unlike Trump’s executive order, which ran into First Amendment problems by prohibiting controversial speech, the lawsuits name specific policies and practices that allegedly discriminate, harass, blame and humiliate people based on their race.

The common thread of these legal challenges is the inescapable logic that making accommodations for critical race theory will erode the nation’s anti-discrimination law as it has developed since the 1960s. This would mean replacing the colorblind ideal of treating all people equally, which has been widely viewed as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement, with a contrary strategy: implementing race-based policies, which can range from affirmative action to reparations for compensating African Americans for the injustices of the past and for producing equitable outcomes in the future.

“Critical race theory is a Trojan horse of sorts,” said David Pivtorak, a Los Angeles lawyer representing two white men who are suing two California state environment agencies. “It disguises itself as the gold standard of fairness and justice but, in fact, relies on vilification and the idea of permanent oppressor and oppressed races. Its goal is not ensuring that all people play by the same rules, regardless of race, but equity, which is a euphemism for race-based outcomes.”

About a dozen lawsuits and administrative complaints have been filed since 2018, with another wave planned this summer by conservative public interest law firms and private attorneys. Their goal is to draw attention to some of the more pronounced practices and win court judgments to slow down the spread of CRT in K-12 schools, government agencies other organizations.

mrz042721dapr20210427074503

Proponents of critical race theory say the lawsuits are a form of white denialism that confirms the pervasiveness of the problem that CRT exposes. Many critical race theorists believe that the United States has functioned as an elaborate affirmative action scheme to empower and enrich white males, a strategy that depends on a certain degree of coverup.

“I see these lawsuits as a last gasp attempt of those who benefit from the racial hierarchy to cling to the power and the privileges that have been associated with whiteness from the beginning of the country,” said andré douglas pond cummings (who writes his name in lowercase letters), a business law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock who has taught courses on corporate justice and “Hip Hop & the American Constitution.”

CRT rejects the foundational premises of classical liberalism – such as legal neutrality and individual rights – and from that perspective, colorblindness is not understood as a strategy to overcome racism but as a method to perpetuate it.

“It’s a white ideology,” Burnham said. “Colorblindness really comes into fashion as a means of denying the persistence of racial stratification in the United States.”

mrz042621dbp20210423034506

The lawsuits face a number of challenges, a point borne out by early setbacks some of the claims have experienced so far, including the defeat of Trump’s executive order on free-speech grounds. In another case, lawyers dropped the discrimination allegations in one of the first such lawsuits, filed in 2018 against the Santa Barbara Unified School District in California, because, they said, students and staff who supported the lawsuit were “deathly afraid” of repercussions if they spoke out and came forward publicly as plaintiffs.

Claimants generally have to prove the alleged discrimination is severe and pervasive. They also have to overcome the freedom-of-speech rights of those who are professing to be dismantling systemic racism. What’s more, lawyers on both sides say that courts traditionally defer to employers and educators to set policy on workplace training and classroom curricula, a built-in restraint on activist judges.

Perhaps the biggest wild card in these lawsuits is the staggering cultural shift of the past five years, during which many of the precepts of CRT have become widely accepted, especially among many in the nation’s intelligentsia and the professional managerial class.

President Biden has adopted the language and made equity part of his platform, including a proposal to establish an Equity Commission “to support the rights of Black, Brown and Native farmers.” Immediately upon taking office, he issued an “Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity” to address systemic racism and “affirmatively” promote equity and racial justice in the federal government.  “Our Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face,” the executive order states.

afb042621dapr20210426044504

The nation’s current anti-discrimination law does not make such a distinction, and would read Kendi’s proposal as absurd as claiming that there’s a meaningful difference between good theft and bad theft; instead, all discrimination is wrong in the existing legal framework, with the exception of limited, narrowly tailored exemptions that are subject to strict scrutiny by the courts.

In one of the more unusual cases, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights agreed in early January with an Illinois public school teacher that her school district violated anti-discrimination law when it implemented a discipline policy that explicitly directed staff to consider a student’s race when evaluating behavioral and disciplinary issues.

The case offers indications that different judges will likely reach opposite conclusions in such disputes: Just two weeks after ruling for the schoolteacher under the Trump administration, the Department of Education put the case on hold when President Biden took office and issued the “advancing racial equity” executive order.

Hovering in the background of these lawsuits is the unresolved question: To what extent does truth provide a defense against charges of discrimination? It will come as no surprise that to conservatives and other critics of CRT its fatal flaw is its factual wrongness.

“The ideology is so patently stupid and racist to the common person that the only way you can implement it or teach it is with an element of coercion, otherwise it would just be laughed at,” said Jonathan O’Brien, the lawyer representing the student and mother who filed the Nevada lawsuit. “That’s why the training sessions are like pressure cookers.”

But if critical race theory is true, as its adherents believe, then labeling the truth as discriminatory smacks of censorship.

2cc75-ruleoflaw

The stakes of this dispute couldn’t be higher, at least judging by the rhetoric expressed by both sides.

One of the conservative groups planning to file lawsuits, the Upper Midwest Law Center in Golden Valley, Mich., is in talks with prospective clients who include non-whites, said the center’s president, Douglas Seaton.

Seaton described the abandonment of the colorblind idea as giving up on the nation itself.

“You can’t have a country as diverse as ours without equality before the law,” Seaton said. “It’s a recipe for communal violence, tribalism. You can’t simply proceed that way. You’d be doomed to internecine battles between groups.”

kpiqt8-b78505866z120090511114605000ggghqh952lg

 

 

 

 

Growing Gap: Rhetoric vs. Reality

asylum-lunatics

From ancient days of village idiots, communities recognized that some people get caught up into thinking and talking crazy stuff detached from the real world.  And if the behavior resulting from being unhinged endangers other people, it becomes necessary to hold the crazies in an asylum apart from the general population.  So what to make of Biden’s first 100 days?  Systemic Delusion, full of sound and fury, in defiance of the real world.  Later on I will go into some depth on the climate fantasies, but the unhinged rhetoric is generalized and administration-wide.  No one knows whether the principals (Biden, Harris, etc.) actually understand what they are saying.  I am inclined to believe they are only posturing, since those in power behind the throne are emboldened by the advantage of escaping accountability for the results of bad rhetoric and policies.

Examples include calling illegal aliens, not simply “undocumented”, but according to Biden “already Americans.”  Legislation expanding voting access to documented citizens is called “voter suppression.”  Adding four more Supreme Justices is called “unpacking the court.”  A brave policeman who saves two black teenagers from being stabbed by a third is called a “racist.”  Biden and his appointees claim the nation is guilty of “systemic racism” without any apology for their own roles for decades in government.  But the grandest fantasy and hypocrisy are wrapped in the call for climate action.

Climate stool

Climate Rhetoric is a stool composed of three assertions, all of which must stand for the appeal to be compelling. Of course, the topic itself has been shifted from “global warming” (not scary enough) to “climate change” (not urgent enough) to “climate crisis, or chaos or emergency.”  The consensus label is not yet settled, with “global weirding” still in the running.  But we know the issue is the same one posted on Obama’s twitter account, back when POTUS was permitted to tweet: “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

mc_wh_gas_web20210423124932

The Science Leg:  Man Makes Earth Warmer.

Many people commenting both for and against reducing emissions from burning fossil fuels assume it has been proven that rising GHGs including CO2 cause higher atmospheric temperatures. That premise has been tested and found wanting, as this post describes:  Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails.  At least five rigorous analyses of relevant datasets failed to discern surface warming due to rising CO2 concentrations.  While it is true in the laboratory that CO2 is able to absorb and emit infrared radiation (IR), the effect upon the actual planetary climate system has not proven to be substantial rather than negligible.

The temperature records show warming from time to time, but do not distinguish between natural and man-made warming.  For example, consider that all the surface warming since the 1940s can be attributed to three oceanic events.

GMT warming events

The animation is an update of a previous analysis from Dr. Murry Salby. These graphs use Hadcrut4 and include the 2016 El Nino warming event. The exhibit shows since 1947 GMT warmed by 0.8 C, from 13.9 to 14.7, as estimated by Hadcrut4. This resulted from three natural warming events involving ocean cycles. The most recent rise 2013-16 lifted temperatures by 0.2C. Previously the 1997-98 El Nino produced a plateau increase of 0.4C. Before that, a rise from 1977-81 added 0.2C to start the warming since 1947. 

Importantly, the theory of human-caused global warming asserts that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere changes the baseline and causes systemic warming in our climate. On the contrary, all of the warming since 1947 was episodic, coming from three brief events associated with oceanic cycles. Moreover, the UAH record shows that the effects of the last one are now gone as of January 2021. Updated to March 2021 (UAH baseline is now 1990-2020)

uah-global-1995to202103-1

 Professor Richard Lindzen ended a recent lecture with these words:

I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meterDoubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.

The Impacts Leg: The Warming is Dangerous

The second leg consists of impact studies from billions of research dollars spent uncovering any and all possible negatives from warming, everything from risk of Acne to Zika Virus.  The delusion is double:  Natural fluctuations when increasing are presumed to be negative, and the positive benefits of CO2 concentrations are ignored. 

A recent Climate Report repeats the usual litany of calamities to be feared and avoided by submitting to IPCC demands. The evidence does not support these claims. An example:

It is scientifically established that human activities produce GHG emissions, which accumulate in the atmosphere and the oceans, resulting in warming of Earth’s surface and the oceans, acidification of the oceans, increased variability of climate, with a higher incidence of extreme weather events, and other changes in the climate.

Moreover, leading experts believe that there is already more than enough excess heat in the climate system to do severe damage and that 2C of warming would have very significant adverse effects, including resulting in multi-meter sea level rise.

Experts have observed an increased incidence of climate-related extreme weather events, including increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat and heavy precipitation events and more severe droughts and associated heatwaves. Experts have also observed an increased incidence of large forest fires; and reduced snowpack affecting water resources in the western U.S. The most recent National Climate Assessment projects these climate impacts will continue to worsen in the future as global temperatures increase.

But: Arctic Ice has not declined since 2007.

Arctic ice Sept Ave 2020

But: All of these are within the range of past variability.

us-wet-dry-co2rev-1

But: Weather is not more extreme.

But:Wildfires were worse in the past

us-acres-burned-1926-2017

But: Sea Level Rise is not accelerating.

post-glacial_sea_level

But: The planet is greener because of rising CO2.

high_resolution1

 

The Policy Leg:  Government Can Stop It.

Reality Check 30 yrs. of climate policy

And the third leg is climate initiatives (policies) showing how governments can “fight climate change.”  Some discussion on the wildly improbable notion of powering modern societies with so-called “renewable energy” is provided by Kent Lassman writing at the Washington Examiner Our conversation about the environment is broken. What is the way forward? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Our government relies on predictive scientific models that are periodically tweaked. With decades of actual data, it is clear the models have consistently over-predicted warming. Yet, these problems are rarely given any cautionary weight in policy deliberations.

We have a half-century of dire environmental predictions that are usually wrong in the same direction. That raises the question of how much science is being undermined by a political agenda. Is the problem models that do not perform or our attachment to the terror of environmental apocalypse?

This fear is the second major problem we must overcome to improve the quality of our policy debate. Fear of carbon dioxide obscures the near-term and very real consequences of radical climate policies that could have consequences worse than those of a warming atmosphere.

Consider the poorest among us. According to the International Energy Agency, Africa will be the most populous region on Earth by 2023. Today there are 600 million Africans without access to electricity and 900 million who lack clean water. Achieving a reliable electricity supply for this population will require a huge investment, about four times pre-pandemic trends, of $120 billion a year, every year through 2040.

That gargantuan figure assumes access to the most readily available forms of energy: fossil fuels. Without such access, lower-income nations will not enjoy improving standards of living, education, and health. Instead, disease and war are their future. Ironically, depriving these people of a carbon economy likely leads to the very apocalyptic conditions we all want to avoid.

Renewable energy can be a crucial piece of a greener energy future, but we need to be realistic about its limits, the costs of production and disposal, and the secondary effects for the communities producing the raw materials necessary, often with child labor.

Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’s renewable energy ambitions ALONE would consume a major share of global minerals. Considering that the U.S. consumes 30 times more energy than the Netherlands, the study concluded: “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production.” The report also determined that meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement would require the global production of some metals to grow at least 12-fold by 2050.

An effective climate strategy must be itself sustainable. That requires some measure of humility and an honest evaluation of real-world trade-offs, the linkage between energy use and human welfare, the technological vulnerabilities of alternatives to fossil fuels, and how little we know about the future of something as complex as climate.

That uncertainty demands honesty about the confidence we have, and ought to have, in what we know and can predict. It is a feature, not a bug, of sound climate policy. It should inform understanding of both benefits and costs that flow from any policy choice.

The lives and livelihoods of real people are at stake. We have a responsibility to be clear-eyed and humble about real-world consequences. That means admitting when we are wrong and, equally important, when someone with a different view has a valid point.

ineffective-fight-against-co2-emissions-2

 

California on the Road to Ruin

daalp6zvmaa7isf

The Golden State is a shining example of paradise lost by wrong policy choices pursuing a “woke” agenda.  Since the Biden-Harris regime intends to Californicate the entire nation, it is critical to understand and avoid the wrong road taken.  David L. Bahnsen writes at National Review The Great California Exodus.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds. 

A look at why droves are leaving the state

What caused and continues to cause the exodus out of California is not tax burden, or regulation, or cost of living, or housing prices. Rather, it is the burden, and regulation, and cost of living, and housing prices, and more.

There is no evidence that the declining appeal of staying in California is simply a tax protest. On top of being walloped by taxes, one takes fiscal hit after fiscal hit — property taxes that average $5,000 per year for a lower-end middle-class home with no frills and that can easily approach $10,000 per year for the most mundane of tract homes. Utili­ties, car registration, insurance, and education expenses are all in the top decile.

cls63stwwaayc9f

One is being asked to pay a lot more to live in California, and yet education results are abysmal, crime rates are unacceptable (the state has the 14th-worst rate of violent crimes per capita), the electricity grid is a debacle, and the job market has hollowed out. (The CEOs of great California companies have maintained homes in Menlo Park or Palos Verdes; recent factory or plant expansions of the companies have gone to Nevada, Arizona, and Texas.)

The value of living in California has declined but the cost has not been correspondingly reduced; in fact, it has exponentially increased. A business cannot survive when it raises prices while simultaneously making a worse product. Neither can a state.

California made a choice to adopt a cost structure perfectly tailored to the needs of its public-employee unions. (The same could be said of Greece.) Policy-makers have made a conscious decision to make no effort whatsoever to diversify the state’s revenue base. The extreme revenues that highly specialized companies in Silicon Valley have earned bought legislators time as they came out of the great financial crisis. But the dysfunctional dependency on a technology tax base in the go-go 1990s and the subsequent dot-com bust taught Sacramento nothing. Today, the state depends on a revenue base narrower than ever before, even as debt levels, pension-funding needs, and infrastructure needs are at code red. One need not ignore the blessing of high capital-gain revenue when Big Tech flourishes, but to assume that the gravy train will continue is perilous.

596ce5d9cc5dd.image_

For the leftist ideologues who have brought about the exodus, an unexpected turn of events is taking place. The Left underestimated the impact of the pre-pandemic outmigration. It was never good for the fiscal and cultural health of the state that so many, after weighing the pros and cons, voted with their feet. One can be forgiven, however, for thinking that the Left was not all that shaken up by 650,000 middle-class people per year realizing that, in Texas or Arizona, they could buy more house for less money, with a smaller tax burden and greater job prospects for their kids. The “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” mentality of so many lawmakers was hardly disguised, especially while another social-media company was making an IPO or a new venture-capital fund was ringing the cash register.

But the newest development in the Left’s fatal designs for this state is a game-changer. It is no longer just a family of four making $90,000 per year packing up the U-Haul and headed to Utah for a better life.  The leftists themselves have had enough. The tech wizards of Palo Alto realize they have artisanal coffee shops in Denver, too. The cultural appeal of California has spread outside its own borders. Middle-class traditional families had already made the cost–benefit analysis of leaving the state, but now the gravy train has caught on as well. The Hewlett-Packards and the Teslas and select Silicon Valley gurus capture headlines now as they pack their own version of a U-Haul. What lies ahead for the state is ten years of a slow build of this same dynamic — even the cool kids are getting out of Dodge.

Legislators make conscious decisions sometimes. So do middle-class families. And guess what? So do hip, tech-savvy Millennials.

5db36b3ee25b2.image_

 

 

Oceans SST Update April 2021

My preferred SST dataset is HadSST3, for reasons noted at the end.  However, no new data has been provided for either February or March, so I have been looking at alternatives.  HadSST4 shows February, but nothing since.  So this post will feature ERSST5, with some comparisons with HadSST3 and notes on the differences.  First the usual contextual introduction.

Overview

The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

The Current Context

The various ERSST sources and history are described at the home page NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST), Version 5.  A major distinction is the practice of interpolation, which involves infilling 2° by 2° grid cells missing sufficient observations in a month.  The values are anomalies from average anomalies for the period 1971 to 2000.  HadSST3 reports only on 5° by 5° grid cells observed in a month, and compares to a baseline 1961 to 1990. 

ERSST202103

ERSST5 reports only Global SSTs, unlike HadSST3 which also shows results for NH, SH and the Tropics (latitudes 20N to 20S).  The graph shows in green ERSST5 anomalies are much more volatile with both higher and lower extremes, compared to the blue HadSST3.  NH is added since it appears to vary similarly to ERSST, with the notable contradiction in 2016.  Also, the 2019 peak is much higher than 2015-16 in ERSST, whereas HADSST Global shows them comparable.  Both datasets show SSTs dropping sharply since summer 2020, and now below the mean anomaly for the period (only ERSST mean is shown).

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through January 2021. After three straight Spring 2020 months of cooling led by the tropics and SH, NH spiked in the summer, along with smaller bumps elsewhere.  Now temps everywhere are dropping the last six months, with all regions well below the Global Mean since 2015, matching the cold of 2018, and lower than January 2015. 

A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  In 2019 all regions had been converging to reach nearly the same value in April.

Then  NH rose exceptionally by almost 0.5C over the four summer months, in August 2019 exceeding previous summer peaks in NH since 2015.  In the 4 succeeding months, that warm NH pulse reversed sharply. Then again NH temps warmed to a 2020 summer peak, matching 2019.  This has now been reversed with all regions pulling the Global anomaly downward sharply.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  As noted above, a fifth peak in August 2019 and a sixth August 2020 exceeded the four previous upward bumps in NH.

And as before, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.  The major difference between now and 2015-2016 is the absence of Tropical warming driving the SSTs, along with SH anomalies reaching nearly the lowest in this period. Presently both SH and the Tropics are quite cool, with NH coming off its summer peak.  Note the tropical temps descending into La Nina levels.  At this point, the 2016 El Nino and its NH after effects have dissipated completely.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

ERSST95to0321

In the longer record the 1998 El Nino stands as one bookend and 2019 as the other.  Note that HadSST Global warming events appear more as extended periods of slightly higher anomalies, while ERSST events appear as sharp peaks and valleys.  Note also that present Global SSTs are matching the mean since 1995.

To enlarge image, single-click or open in new tab.

1995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peak came in 2019, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. Now September 2020 is dropping off last summer’s unusually high NH SSTs. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows August warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since, including 2020.  Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

AMO decade 022021

 

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The black line shows that 2020 began slightly warm, then set records for 3 months. then dropped below 2016 and 2017, peaked in August and is now below 2016. This year is starting out matching cooler analog years.

Summary

The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies may rise slightly in coming months, but once again, ENSO which has weakened will probably determine the outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.

uss-pearl-harbor-deploys-global-drifter-buoys-in-pacific-ocean

USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

 

Worst Threat: Greenhouse Gas or Quiet Sun?

Elite Consensus Opinion

Minority Contrary Opinion

Expect 1+C Warmer from now to 2050 Expect 1C Colder from now to 2050
Mitigate Warming by Stopping Fossil Fuels Adapt to Cooling from Quiet Sun
Goal is Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 Goal Robust Energy supply and Infrastructure Now

At the American Thinker, Anony mee writes The Coming Modern Grand Solar Minimum.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

solar_cycle_25_nasa_full

I wrote last week about the coming Grand Solar Minimum, something that will have much more impact on the environment than anything we puny humans can do. It generated a lot of interest from all sides, so it’s time to delve deeper into what we can expect.

Starting with the hype: During the last grand solar minimum (GSM), the Maunder Minimum of 1645 to 1715, glaciers advanced, rivers froze, sea ice expanded — in short, the Little Ice Age. Is another one is almost upon us?

Probably not. Maunder occurred at the tail end of a bi-millennial cycle. These cycles range between 2,000 and 2,600 years in length and see the Earth first warm, then cool. Gradual cooling had been going on for hundreds of years. Maunder just capped it off. Today we are a few hundred years into the warming phase of the subsequent bi-millennial cycle. Different starting conditions yield different paths.

The progressives say that we’re so deep into anthropogenically accelerated climate change (AACC) that there’s almost no time left to turn things around. If we don’t act now, it will be too late.

Nope, sorry squad members. What we can predict, instead, is an overall temperature reduction of 1 degree Centigrade by the end of the GSM. Afterward, natural warming at the rate of around 0.5 C. every hundred years will continue for the next 600 years or so.

That gives us a good 35 to 50 years to hone the science and come up with the best ways to mitigate the impact of unstoppable global warming on humankind; until, that is, it naturally reverses. See suggestions below for better uses of funding currently earmarked to address the “climate crisis.”

Reasonably speaking: We’ve been warming, so the cooling of the GSM will just even us out for a while. Therefore, nothing to worry about, right?

Well, not quite. There are a few worries. Plants grow in response to warmth, moisture, nutrients, and most importantly sunlight. Even if the temperature does not plunge to glacial depths, some cooling will take place and clouds are expected to grow denser and cover much of the earth’s surface as this GSM bottoms out. If normally-correlating volcanism takes place, the additional material in the atmosphere will further darken the globe and provide even more opportunity for condensation and cloud formation.

Last year, Dr. Valentina Zharkova wrote “This global cooling during the upcoming grand solar minimum…would require inter-government efforts to tackle problems with heat and food supplies for the whole population of the Earth” (not to mention their livestock).

The pessimists ask, what else can go wrong? Well, cooling will increase the demand for heat, darker days will increase the demand for light, and unfavorable outside conditions will increase the demand for power for enclosed food production. With more power needed, the amount we currently rely on from solar installations will decrease as cloud cover limits their efficacy.

A decrease in solar ultraviolet radiation can be expected to slow the formation of ozone in the atmosphere, a lack of which tends to destabilize the jet stream, causing wilder weather. Wind generators turn off when the wind is excessively strong. As we now know, they are not immune from freezing in place. In the face of a greater demand for power, we will generate less.

Even worse is this: Historically, GSMs have been associated with extreme weather events. Floods, droughts, heavy snowfall, late springs, and early autumns have all resulted in famine. Famine during GSMs has led to starvation and societal upheaval. No one wants the former, and I think we’ve seen enough of the latter this past year or so to do for our lifetimes.

We’re about 16 months into this GSM, with 32 more years to go. Already 2019 and 2020 saw record low numbers of sunspots. We’ve had lower than expected crop harvests due to unseasonable rains both years. The April 2021 USDA World Agricultural Product report has articles detailing Taiwan’s expected 20% decrease in rice production this year over last, Cuba’s rice production 15% below its five-year average, Argentina’s corn, Australia’s cotton, Malaysia’s palm oil — all down, all due primarily to the weather. There are some expected bumper crops, all based on expanded acreage.

We’ve got seven years until we hit the trough. There’s no time to lose. Fortunately, We the People are amazing. We’re strong, courageous, resilient, smart, well-educated, and clever. We are capable of coming together for a common cause and working well together regardless of politics and other differences. We must pull together to make sure we all survive the coming tumult. Here’s what we do.

On the federal level, take the brakes off energy production. No more talk of closing power plants, especially coal-fired ones, or of removing hydroelectric dams. Reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline; we’re going to need that fuel available to us when the predictable contraction of the global fuel market occurs. Extend the tax credits for those who install solar power. Production may not be optimal during the GSM, but as much as can occur will take a load off commercial energy.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield should prioritize preparations for the coming dark, cold years. It is in the world’s best interest that all nations cease aggressions, even if just for a decade or so, so that we all may turn our resources to securing the lives of our peoples.

The USDA should not just take the brakes off agricultural production; it should encourage all producers to ramp it up. We need to have enough on hand to address the expected shortfall between production and requirement for at least five years. All loans to all farmers should be forgiven if they will agree to get on board with maximizing production. Garden seed producers, along with all other producers and processors, should be given significant tax credits for ramping up their production too.

Commerce should support vastly expanded food processing for long-term storage. Congress should fund the acquisition and storage of surplus staples and other food commodities so that sufficient amounts are on hand to keep our markets, feeding programs, and food banks operating when crop after crop begins to fail. Stockpiling for our future should take precedence over exports.

The NSC should demand a reconstitution of our strategic grain reserve, and that we prepare not just for ourselves, but to be able to share with needy neighbors and allies to keep America secure.

State, local, and tribal governments should clear away barriers to gardening and small animal production, including not limiting water catchment for gardening. Everything folks can do for themselves will take pressure off public services and limited markets. Local Emergency Services operations should also look at acquiring stocks of staples to help support their residents, as was done in many places last year.

Individuals, as well as schools and other institutions, should begin to garden, even if it’s just pots in a window. It’s a skill that takes time to learn and practice. Everyone should begin to preserve food for the hard times coming – freezing, canning, drying, smoking, pickling. As much as we can do for ourselves, we won’t be looking for someone else to have done for us.

This is really most important. We need to act now while food production is still relatively normal. Later on, if there’s nothing to buy, it won’t matter how much money we have on hand, as individuals or as a nation.

228683_5_

Valentina Zharkova presents her analysis and findings in paper Modern Grand Solar Minimum will lead to terrestrial cooling.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

In this editorial I will demonstrate with newly discovered solar activity proxy-magnetic field that the Sun has entered into the modern Grand Solar Minimum (2020–2053) that will lead to a significant reduction of solar magnetic field and activity like during Maunder minimum leading to noticeable reduction of terrestrial temperature.

ktmp_a_1796243_f0001_oc

Figure 3 presents the summary curve calculated with the derived mathematical formulae forwards for 1200 years and backwards 800 years. This curve reveals appearance of Grand Solar Cycles of 350–400 years caused by the interference of two magnetic waves. These grand cycles are separated by the grand solar minima, or the periods of very low solar activity.

Currently, the Sun has completed solar cycle 24 – the weakest cycle of the past 100+ years – and in 2020, has started cycle 25. During the periods of low solar activity, such as the modern grand solar minimum, the Sun will often be devoid of sunspots. This is what is observed now at the start of this minimum, because in 2020 the Sun has seen, in total, 115 spotless days (or 78%), meaning 2020 is on track to surpass the space-age record of 281 spotless days (or 77%) observed in 2019. However, the cycle 25 start is still slow in firing active regions and flares, so with every extra day/week/month that passes, the null in solar activity is extended marking a start of grand solar minimum.

Similarly to the Maunder Minimum … the reduction of solar magnetic field will cause a decrease of solar irradiance by about 0.22% for a duration of three solar cycles (25-27).” Zharkova determines that this drop in TSI (in conjunction with the “often overlooked” role solar background magnetic field plays, as well as with cloud nucleating cosmic rays) will lead to “a drop of the terrestrial temperature by up to 1.0°C from the current temperature during the next three cycles (25-27) … to only 0.4°C higher than the temperature measured in 1710,” with the largest temperature drops arriving “during the local minima between cycles 25−26 and cycles 26-27.

The reduction of a terrestrial temperature during the next 30 years can have important implications for different parts of the planet on growing vegetation, agriculture, food supplies, and heating needs in both Northern and Southern hemispheres. This global cooling during the upcoming grand solar minimum (2020-2053) can offset for three decades any signs of global warming and would require inter-government efforts to tackle problems with heat and food supplies for the whole population of the Earth.

Cool 2021 Spring Continues

imagehy1p

Dr. Judah Cohen provides a weather outlook based upon his study of the Arctic Oscillation at his blog Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecast April 19, 2021.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The PV is in its waning days of the 2020/21 cold season and will likely be nearly or completely disappeared by the next blog update. This seems to me to be a clear dynamically assisted Final Warming as vertical Wave Activity Flux (WAFz and is proportional to poleward heat transport) has been active for at least a week now and is predicted to remain active for the next two weeks. A dynamic Final Warming can result in some cooler weather across the mid-latitudes; and in my opinion the snow and possibly record cold temperatures predicted for the Eastern US this week is related to the dynamic Final Warming. The PV is being stretched from Siberia to Canada that creates cross polar flow from Siberia to North America that drives cold air south across Canada and the US east of the Rockies. I do believe that this is a short-term impact only and will not have an influence on the summer weather across North America.

Europe has had an impressively cool April, relative to recent Aprils (probably the coolest April since 2013 and maybe even since 2003), which is directly attributable to Greenland blocking that has also extended into the North Atlantic for much of the month. There are no strong signs that the Greenland blocking will disappear any time soon, and as long as it persists, Europe can experience relatively cool temperatures. I see no obvious signs that the Greenland blocking is tied to PV variability and it is therefore more challenging for me to anticipate how long it will last. But it is likely that the streak of cool weather is dependent on the persistence of the Greenland blocking. If and when the Greenland blocking abates, European temperatures could start to climb.

As noted in previous posts, when cold Arctic air pushes south, it is replaced by warmer air contributing to ice melting.  To be clear, sea ice melts primarily because of sunshine directly, and indirectly by intruding sun-warmed water, mostly from the Atlantic by way of Barents Sea. The Arctic in summer daily receives more solar energy than does the equator.  Warmer air is a tertiary contributing factor.

ArcApril 099 to 110

The animation shows Okhotsk upper left lost ~250k km2 of ice extent over the last 10 days.  Bering Sea lower left waffled with little change until losing ~60k km2 the last two days.  On the Atlantic side, Barents Sea upper right gained ~100k km2 over a week, then lost most of it ending about the same.  Greenland Sea middle right lost ~100k km2m, while Baffin Bay lower right waffled and lost very little.

Arctic2021110

The overall impact on NH sea ice is shown in the graph above.  Firstly a drop starting April 10, then recovering April 14 and holding firm to draw near to average, before another drop the last two days.

Background Previous Post  Spring 2021: Warm is Cold, and Down is Up

The cold Spring this year is triggering responses turning natural factors upside down and backwards, confusing causes and effects.  For example, this article at Science Daily Snow chaos in Europe caused by melting sea-ice in the Arctic.  The simplistic appeal to “climate change” is typical: “It is the loss of the Arctic sea-ice due to climate warming that has, somewhat paradoxically, been implicated with severe cold and snowy mid-latitude winters.”  In fact, as we shall see below, it is the wavy Polar Vortex causing both cold mid-latitudes from descending Arctic air, and melting ice from intrusions of warmer southern air.  Importantly, global warming theory asserts that adding CO2 causes the troposphere to warm and the stratosphere to cool.  What we are experiencing this Spring is an unstable Polar vortex due to events of Sudden Stratospheric Warming  (SSWs), not cooling.

Seasoned meteorologist Judah Cohen of AER shows the mechanism this way:

My colleagues, at AER and at selected universities, and I have found a robust relationship between two October Eurasian snow indices and the large-scale winter hemispheric circulation pattern known as the North Atlantic or Arctic Oscillation pattern (N/AO).

The N/AO is more highly correlated with or explains the highest variance of winter temperatures in eastern North America, Europe and East Asia than any other single or combination of atmospheric or coupled ocean-atmosphere patterns that we know of. Therefore, if we can predict the winter N/AO (whether it will be negative or positive) that provides the best chance for a successful winter temperature forecast in North America but certainly does not guarantee it.

He goes on to say that precipitation is the key, not air temperatures, and ENSO is a driving force:

As long as I have been a seasonal forecaster, I have always considered El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as a better predictor of precipitation than temperature across the Eastern US. I think this is supported by the observational or statistical analysis as well as the skill or accuracy of the climate models.

There have been recent modeling studies that demonstrate that El Nino modulates the strength and position of the Aleutian Low that then favors stratospheric warmings and subsequently a negative winter N/AO that are consistent with our own research on the relationship between snow cover and stratospheric warmings. So the influence of ENSO on winter temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast may be greater than I acknowledge or that is represented in our seasonal forecast model.

Summary

As Cohen’s diagram shows, there is an effect from warming, but in the stratosphere. Global warming theory claims CO2 causes warming in the troposphere and cooling in the stratosphere. So whatever is going on, it is not due to CO2.

Cohen’s interview with the Washington Post.

its-easier-to-fool-people-than-to-convince-them-that-they-have-been-fooled

 

The current situation is described in Cohen’s most recent post at his Arctic Oscillation blog:

The stratospheric PV always disappear in the spring due to the increasing solar radiation in the polar stratosphere. However, during some springs in addition to the radiative warming of the polar stratosphere, there is also dynamic warming of the polar stratosphere due to the absorption of upwelling Wave Activity Flux (WAFz) from the troposphere. This occurred last spring, which did result in a cool May and even some rare snowfall in the Northeastern US. The predicted return of Ural blocking coupled with Northeast Asia/northern North Pacific troughing is conducive to more active WAFz. The latest PV animation (see Figure ii) shows the stratospheric PV filling (weakening) and meandering over the northern Asia in response to the more active WAFz. This could be the beginning of a dynamically assisted Final Warming that could result in a period of cooler temperatures in parts of the mid-latitudes.

imagesj5oh

Figure ii. Observed and predicted daily geopotential heights (dam; contours) and anomalies (shading) through April 21, 2021. The forecast is from the 00Z 5 April 2021 GFS ensemble.

Background is at post No, CO2 Doesn’t Drive the Polar Vortex 

graphic20-20polarvortex_explained_updated2001291920-204034x2912-1