Scary Warming Everywhere Elsewhere

Recent posts here discussed how rapidly has cooling set in this year.  Of course that reality is inconvenient in the run up to Glasgow COP, so the scramble is on to claim that 2021 is hotter than ever.  A previous post Heat Records Silly Season Again provides background for understanding that there are literally millions of temperature records that can be packaged to support any desirable warming or cooling claim.

A current example of such packaging is found in a recent tweet thread from Zeke Hausfather, a climate analyst who helped build the BEST dataset and a supporter of the IPCC agenda.

A curious person would note that only summer and land is shown, and would wonder: What am I not seeing?  And then in the thread are various comments saying it was not at all warm where I live, this doesn’t add up.  And then someone shows another graph from BEST giving a different impression.

Climate reporting is confusing because the scope of temperature averaging gives very different impressions, and at the mega scale rarely corresponds to anyone’s particular experience.  So generalizations are claimed extrapolating from statistics, contradicted by many persons’ direct experience.

NOAA State of the Climate is another site advocating for the IPCC agenda and illustrates how this works.  First the Global Climate Report:

So there is the #1 warmest land summer, but we now can see the Ocean was 6th and combined Global is 4th, not 1st.  Now let’s look at the year to date (YTD):

Oh oh, that’s not as scary; the first two-thirds of 2021 are not #1, but #6, and with autumn coming on could go even lower. And to understand why most people will be put off by Hausfather’s claim, we go to the Regional Analysis in order to see what the year has been like in various continents (land by definition).

It becomes obvious that no matter where I live, don’t tell me this is the hottest year ever. OK some Africans may agree, but those in Oceania (mostly Australians) will boo you out of the room.  And as for tourist destinations,  forget about it:Footnote: Everyone has an agenda and packages data in support of their POV.  Those who joined the anti-fossil fuel crusade are bound to find and amplify any bit of global warming they can find.  My agenda is for people to consider the full amount of relevant data and facts, and to reason accordingly rather than go along with the crowd or their feelings.  My approach is best expressed in this essay:

I Want You Not to Panic

 

August 2021 Oceans Warmed Weakly


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.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The year end report below showed 2020 rapidly cooling in all regions.  The anomalies then continued to drop sharply well below the mean since 1995.  This Global Cooling was also evident in the UAH Land and Ocean air temperatures ( See Adios, Global Warming)

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through August 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.  Then temps everywhere dropped the last six months, hitting bottom in February 2021.  All regions were well below the Global Mean since 2015, matching the cold of 2018, and lower than January 2015. Then the spring brought more temperate waters and a return to the mean anomaly since 2015.  June Global SST anomaly cooled off back to April due to dropping temps in SH and the Tropics. Then July warming in all regions reversed the June cooling and along with August Tropical warming brought the Global temp anomaly slightly above the mean since 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.  

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.

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 in 2021 with all regions pulling the Global anomaly downward sharply, tempered by warming this year in March to May.  June dropped below the global mean anomaly since 2015, July and now August have pulled up the global temp slightly above the mean since 2015. 

Note that in previous years the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one. However, in 2021 the warming pattern appears in all regions, resulting in a return from cooling to the mean.  The typical NH summer pulse at this point resembles 2017 rather than the much warmer 2019 and 2020.

A longer view of SSTs

To enlarge, double-click on image.

The graph above 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.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 peaks came in 2019 and 2020, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)  Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. After September 2020 temps dropped off down until February 2021, then all regions rose to bring the global anomaly above the mean since 1995  June 2021 backed down before warming again slightly in July and August 2021.  The present level compares with 2017.

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, dropping down in 2021.  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.

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 ending below 2016. Now in 2021, AMO is tracking the coldest years, warming slightly June through August.

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

 

 

Arctic Ice In Perspective 2021

With Arctic ice melting season winding down, warmists will again stoke fears about ice disappearing in the North. In fact, the pattern of Arctic ice seen in historical perspective is not alarming. People are over-thinking and over-analyzing Arctic Ice extents, and getting wrapped around the axle (or should I say axis).  So let’s keep it simple and we can all readily understand what is happening up North.

I have noticed at some other blogs people complain about my monthly Arctic ice updates focusing on extents starting in 2007. This post will show why that time period is entirely reasonable as a subject for analysis. I will use the ever popular NOAA dataset derived from satellite passive microwave sensors.  It sometimes understates the ice extents, but everyone refers to it and it is complete from 1979 to present.  Here’s what NOAA reports (in M km2):

We are frequently told that only the March maximums and the September minimums matter, since the other months are only transitional between the two.  So the graph above shows the mean ice extent, averaging the two months March and September. We have 8 more days to go in September 2021, so that number is a low-ball estimate (4.9M km2) that will likely go higher.

If I were adding this to the Ice House of Mirrors, the name would be The X-Ray Ice Mirror, because it looks into the structure of the time series.   For even more clarity and simplicity, here is the table:

NOAA NH Annual Average Ice Extents (in M km2).  Sea Ice Index v3.0 (here)

Year Average Change Rate of Change
1979 11.697
1996 11.353 -0.344 -0.020 per year
2007 9.405 -1.949 -0.177 per year
2021 9.773  +0.368 +0.026 per year

The satellites involve rocket science, but this does not.  There was a small loss of ice extent over the first 17 years, then a dramatic downturn for 11 years, 9 times the rate as before. That was followed by the current 14-year plateau with a slight gain comparable to the beginning loss.  All the fuss is over that middle period, and we know what caused it.  A lot of multi-year ice was flushed out through the Fram Strait, leaving behind more easily melted younger ice. The effects from that natural occurrence bottomed out in 2007.

Kwok et al say this about the Variability of Fram Strait ice flux:

The average winter area flux over the 18-year record (1978–1996) is 670,000 km2, ;7% of the area of the Arctic Ocean. The winter area flux ranges from a minimum of 450,000 km2 in 1984 to a maximum of 906,000 km2 in 1995. . .The average winter volume flux over the winters of October 1990 through May 1995 is 1745 km3 ranging from a low of 1375 km3 in the 1990 flux to a high of 2791 km3 in 1994.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261010602/download

Conclusion:

Some complain it is too soon to say Arctic Ice is recovering, or that 2007 is a true change point.  The same people were quick to jump on a declining period after 1996 as evidence of a “Death Spiral.”

Footnote:

No one knows what will happen to Arctic ice.

Except maybe the polar bears.

And they are not talking.

Except, of course, to the admen from Coca-Cola

Climate Change is a Political Cop Out

Jonathan Lesser writes at Real Clear Energy Climate Change Ate My Homework: Politicians Blame Climate Change for Bureaucratic Failures.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Never let a crisis go to waste, said Rahm Emanuel. True to form, politicians, including New York City Mayor DeBlasio, are conveniently claiming that last week’s flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida is clear evidence of climate change. “Unfortunately,” said the Mayor, “extreme weather events are becoming the norm.”

The data suggest it’s more complicated. Hurricanes are actually slightly less frequent today than they were a century ago. The average number of wildfires has not increased over the last thirty years and, over the past century, the total number of acres burned is far lower.

It may be hard to believe, but hurricanes hit the east coast even before Thomas Edison opened his Pearl Street Generating Station in the financial district in 1882. For example, the Coastal Hurricane of 1749 was estimated to have been one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the eastern seaboard.[1] Twin hurricanes hit North Carolina in August 1795. And the New England Hurricane of 1815 devastated Providence, Rhode Island.

Figure 2a shows Integrated Storm Activity Annually over the Continental U.S. (ISAAC) from 1900 through 2017, with a 10 year centered average in red. Source: Truchelut and Staehling (2017) Overlaid is atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured at Moana Loa.

It’s true that damages caused by hurricanes and wildfires have increased. But the reasons are far from conclusive, and likely have far more to do with bureaucracy than with climate change.

Regardless, the rhetoric from our political class should be exposed for what it is: a thin attempt to shift blame away from their own bureaucratic failures.

Damages from hurricanes have increased because of far more development along the Gulf and east coasts. Furthermore, the federal government has subsidized flood insurance in these same areas and continues to do so. Not only have those subsidies encouraged coastal development, but also they provide an economic incentive for individuals, and state and local governments, to skimp on building more flood-resistant facilities. Vulnerable infrastructure—and more of it—will naturally yield greater infrastructural damage.

Similarly, damages from wildfires, especially in California, have resulted from a toxic combination of federal and state fire suppression policies, environmentalists’ demands that have prohibited removal of dead and diseased trees, restrictions on grazing that would remove dry grasses and, especially, poorly maintained power lines. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, for example, pleaded guilty to 85 counts of manslaughter because it failed to maintain power line equipment that caused the 2018 Camp Fire. To make matters worse, California’s restrictive development policies have forced homeowners to move farther away from cities and into mountainous areas where fire risk is greatest.

Climate change isn’t responsible for those policies.

Remember Superstorm Sandy? After it flooded New York City in October 2012, Governor Cuomo formed the “NYS 2100 Commission” to find ways to strengthen the state’s infrastructure. He also formed the “NYS Ready Commission,” which was to find ways to ensure that the state’s critical systems and services, including subways, are better prepared for disasters.

The 2100 Commission recommended hardening infrastructure, especially sewage treatment plants, strengthening dams and constructing levees, and even expanding wetlands protections in flood-prone areas.

Seven years later, in 2019, the City Council criticized the lack of preparation for the next storm because those preparations were mired in red tape and bureaucratic squabbling. [2] One notable project, for example, the $1.5 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project, finally started earlier this year. It won’t be finished until at least 2026. Most of the other recommendations haven’t been implemented, either.

Climate change didn’t cause those delays.

Part of that “preparation” includes more stringent mandates for green energy. But even if New York was powered solely by green energy tomorrow, it wouldn’t eliminate bureaucratic delays.

Instead, it would inflict its own damage on New York’s beleaguered economy, with higher costs and more blackouts. Last month, for example, the New York State Reliability Council, which is tasked with preserving the reliability of the state’s electric power grid, issued a report regarding how to maintain that reliability while meeting the green energy and electrification mandates of former Governor Cuomo’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.[3]

The Council concluded that, because of the inherent intermittency of wind and solar power, meeting those mandates will require “substantial clean energy and dispatchable resources, some with yet to be developed technology …” The Council estimated that, by 2040, New York will need 50,000 megawatts of generating capacity just in reserve – more than the state’s entire generating capacity today – and require generating technologies that don’t even exist.

Americans like to think they elect leaders who diligently prepare for the future. But if the preparation requires unknown technologies, and if concrete plans for resilience are going unfulfilled now, one man’s forward-thinking rhetoric can look an awful lot like another’s finger-pointing to eschew blame. It would be nice to think politicians would avoid using buzzwords and broad concepts to mask their own deficiencies. But the facts of bad incentives and poor planning are undeniable. When the lights go out, we can expect more of the same excuses.

 

How Medical Technocrats Subvert Medical Practice

Dr. Ted Noel explains the ways government institutional rot prevents doctors from caring for their patients. His article at American Thinker is Why Do Doctors Go Along with COVID Panic Porn and CDC Prescriptions? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

I recently had a conversation with a reasonably well informed writer who simply missed the real reasons why most practicing physicians go along with the Fauci Fraud. As a public service, I will attempt to fill in a few gaps. But first, I must define the fraud.

There are two basic legs to the fraud. First is the idea that the Centers for Disease Control is in any way concerned with a mission related to its name.

The failure of the CDC to endorse any treatment that did not emanate from its exalted halls should give us our first glint of clarity. There are literally millions of physicians around the world, and the great bulk of them truly wish to treat their patients well. Among those are thousands of researchers, a number far in excess of those at the CDC, the NIH, and other alphabet soup government agencies. The very idea that outside researchers are incapable of discovering anything useful without the help of the bureaucrats in D.C. is hubris of the highest order. And it prevents the CDC, the FDA, or any other such agency from considering the idea that maybe, just possibly, there might be intelligent life down here. Mount Olympus cannot be threatened.

The second leg of the fraud is less visible to the naked eye but much more powerful. If I wrote this before I retired, I would be called before the Board of my group and told in no uncertain terms to shut up.

I might even be assessed a financial penalty with several zeroes after the one. That’s a serious impairment of my pursuit of happiness. The reason for my group’s dislike is more than the fact that I might be an irritant. They may actually agree with what I have to say. But they simply cannot afford for me to say it. That’s right: as a practicing physician in a group, my freedom of speech can become very expensive…to the group.

My group cared for patients of all descriptions, with roughly half of them on Medicare and another batch on Medicaid. Both programs are ultimately managed by the feds, one of the most humorless groups on the planet. They write a whole bunch of rules on how you have to document everything you do. If you didn’t document it correctly, it didn’t happen, and you won’t get paid. But that’s not the half of it.

Suppose you have one of those patients brought in by the ambulance from under the bridge. His only clothes are the ones he’s wearing, and he doesn’t have two nickels to rub together. It’s more than obvious that this surgery for bowel obstruction will be a charity case. Before Medicare, you’d simply write it off as your good neighbor duty. Now you don’t get a choice. CMMS (the actual administrative agency) requires you to send a bill. Twice. Or maybe three times. Whatever it takes to turn the bill into bad debt. Then you have to send it to a collection agency. Your only alternative is for your group to bring it up in its Board meeting and declare it a write-off that gets noted in the minutes.

All this rigmarole serves no purpose, and you knew that before you got to this sentence. But CMMS has a sinister side. If you do the case for free (which you did before you spent that useless money on billing and collection), CMMS will define that as your “usual and customary” bill for an exploratory laparotomy. Since your U&C is now zero, you can’t ever bill more than that for an ex lap in the future.

But what does that have to do with ivermectin? I’m glad you asked.

U&C bills are just one of hundreds of rules that CMMS enforces. Another is “Pay for Performance.” Basically, P-f-P requires you to check a host of boxes when taking care of patients. If you didn’t get that IV antibiotic in 20 minutes before the incision, you failed P-f-P and may not get paid. The hospital won’t get paid to take care of the patient if there’s a complication.

So let us suppose that you use ivermectin to treat a COVID patient as he arrives in the hospital. Ivermectin isn’t on the Medicare/Medicaid approved list of medications for COVID. Your hospital pharmacy will call you up and give you grief. After wasting a lot of time getting them to finally let you have it, you’ve had to cancel half of your office day. The next day, you’ll get a visit from a coder, who will tell you that you didn’t use the approved treatment protocol and put the hospital in jeopardy because you flunked P-f-P. By the way, that “coder” is the person who “helps” you use the proper ICD (billing) code for whatever the patient has in order for the hospital to make the most money. But that’s not the worst of it.

Because you flunked P-f-P, that waves a red flag in front of the CMMS bulls, and you’re about to get gored. They will wonder what other bad things you’ve done. As soon as they find one, it gets flagged as “Medicare fraud,” and they will bill you for twice what you got paid as a penalty. Can you guess how many other instances of fraud they’ll find if they look hard? Do you have to ask why my partners would get upset if I published while I was still in practice? By the way, CMMS can go two years back as they look for your crimes. They can ultimately take your house, your car, and your wife’s poodle while they’re at it.

Let’s change the scene. Suppose you’re in private practice. You can’t give ivermectin because the feds will key in on it if your patient’s on Medicare or Medicaid. So you decide to take care of him off the books. He pays you cash, and all is well. Not! You now took a private payment for Medicare-covered service. That will get you barred from seeing another Medicare patient for two years.

Let’s forget all the regulatory traps. You’re conscientious and try to do the best for your patients. But you’re busy, and you can’t keep up with the flood of papers on all the various COVID bits. So you wear a mask, have your patients wear masks, and do a lot of telemedicine. You keep up on the latest through Medscape and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reporter. You should be good? Not! MMWR is put out by the CDC, and they won’t say the first good word about HCQ or ivermectin. Medscape is a little better, but not much.

And all the specialty societies are toeing the line. Can we guess why?

Any doctor who actually reads the studies, or follows any of the protocols published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, will see a lot of peer pressure to stop. The financial risks may be extreme. It takes a spine of steel to stand up to the authoritarian orthodoxy.

Ted Noel, M.D. is a retired anesthesiologist/intensivist who posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette.

For a deeper look into these issues, see:

Science Also a Pandemic Victim

Why Technocrats Deliver Catastrophes

 

CEOs Fear Their Woke Employees

An article at AMAC explains Chief Woke Officers Take Over Corporate America.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Mitch McConnell tried to warn them. He said that “If I were running a major corporation, I would stay out of politics” and stop “behaving like a woke parallel government.”

Yet corporations continue to preach endlessly about “systemic racism” and “equity,” and their actions are more indicative of left-wing activist groups than a legitimate business.

What gives? Why do Chief Executive Officers usually run their lives like sensible business people but run their companies like Chief Woke Officers?

It boils down to one simple truth: they’re afraid of the people they hire.

They look out at their company, and who holds the real power? Overeducated, Rachel Maddow-watching, walking HR departments—often actually working in HR.

Woke radicalism has gone mainstream by seizing the once bland world of Human Resources at the innermost layer inside organizations. Now, they’re subverting institutions from within.

As a result, even middle-of-the-road personnel policies today include statements on “equity,” “inclusion,” and even “anti-racism” as standard-issue boilerplate. Far from the traditional HR responsibilities of hiring, firing, and training personnel, today’s HR departments are the woke police of corporate America, enforcing rigid adherence to leftist ideology. Any dissent, even from corporate leadership, is not tolerated. Ever fearful of being tried in the court of public opinion, CEOs and other executives, ostensibly the most powerful people in the company and some of the most powerful people in the country, submit.

CEOs, always more concerned with investor-relations and long-term projects than HR policies, now face a choice.

Do they stand up for what they probably know is common-sense, and fire the mouth-breathers more suited to running a freshman seminar on protest art than running a company?

Or do they take the easier road—surrender to the enemy within, keep cashing their checks, and hope the woke mob cancels someone else?

We’ve seen their answer. Again and again and again. They cave.

Yet while purging companies of radical activists would likely lead to some short-term backlash on Twitter and in the media, it would undoubtedly lead to a healthier business environment in the long-term – and better the lives of employees who just want to earn a living without being unwillingly co-opted into progressive political activism. Unfortunately, thus far, executives have shown a complete unwillingness to do so, apparently content to cede their companies to leftists as long as they can continue collecting a large paycheck.

Woke liberals and the HR departments they run have taken over companies. Now, with CEOs in their grasp, they’re taking over America.

 

 

How Do We Know Humans Cause Climate Change?

Peter J. Wallison and Benjamin Zycher examine the evidence in their Law & Liberty article What We Really Know About Climate Change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The assumption that humans are the single most significant cause of climate change is unsupported by the available science.

The sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues a long history of alarmist predictions with the deeply dubious statement that human-caused climate change has now become “irreversible.” President Biden and many others have called climate change an “existential threat” to humanity; and Biden claimed in his inaugural address to have heard from the Earth itself “a cry for survival.”

Hurricane Ida also has brought new claims about the dangers of climate change, but those assertions are inconsistent with the satellite record on tropical cyclones, which shows no trend since the early 1970s.

Yet the headline on the front page of the New York Times of August 12, 2021 was: “Greek Island Burns in a Sign of Crises to Come.” The accompanying article, continuing the multi-year effort of that newspaper to spread fears about climate change unsupported by evidence, argued that this was “another inevitable episode of Europe’s extreme weather [caused] by the man-made climate change that scientists have now concluded is irreversible.”

Almost every word in that sentence is either false or seriously misleading, continuing a multi-decade campaign of apocalyptic warnings about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Data on centuries and millennia of climate phenomena, constructed by scientists over many years around the world, show that the severe weather that the Times attributes to “man-made climate change” is consistent with the normal weather patterns and variability displayed in both the formal records and such proxy data as ice cores. In fact, there is little evidence that “extreme weather” events have become more frequent since 1850, the approximate end of the little ice age.

Increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have yielded detectable effects, but “scientists” in general have not, as the Times falsely stated, concluded that “extreme weather” is now “irreversible.” The statement itself comes from the “Summary for Policymakers” published as part of the most recent IPCC study of climate change; it is deeply problematic given the analyses and data provided in the scientific chapter (“The Physical Science Basis”) of the report to which the Times referred. Scientists disagree sharply about the significance of climate change and the analytic tools used to evaluate it, let alone whether it is “irreversible.”

There has been no upward trend in the number of “hot” days between 1895 and 2017; 11 of the 12 years with the highest number of such days occurred before 1960. Since 2005, NOAA has maintained the U.S. Climate Reference Network, comprising 114 meticulously maintained temperature stations spaced more or less uniformly across the lower 48 states, along with 21 stations in Alaska and two stations in Hawaii. They are placed to avoid heat-island effects and other such distortions as much as possible. The reported data show no increase in average temperatures over the available 2005-2020 period. In addition, a recent reconstruction of global temperatures over the past 1 million years—created using data from ice-sheet formations—shows that there is nothing unusual about the current warm period.

These alarmist predictions almost always are based upon climate models that have proven poor at reconstructing the past and ongoing temperature record. For example, the Times article implies that wildfires will increase in the future as the earth grows hotter. But there has been no trend in the number of U.S. wildfires in the 35 years since 1985, and global acreage burned has declined over past decades.

Unable to demonstrate that observed climate trends are due to human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change—or even that these events are particularly unusual or concerning—climate catastrophists will often turn to dire predictions about prospective climate phenomena. The problem with such predictions is that they are almost always generated by climate models driven by highly complex sets of assumptions about which there is significant dispute. It goes without saying that the predictions of models that cannot reconstruct what has happened in the past should not be given heavy weight in terms of predictions about the future, but that is exactly what many analysts are doing.

Extreme weather occurrences are likewise used as evidence of an ongoing climate crisis, but again, a study of the available data undercuts that assessment. U.S. tornado activity shows either no increase or a downward trend since 1954. Data on tropical storms, hurricanes, and accumulated cyclone energy (a wind-speed index measuring the overall strength of a given hurricane season) reveal little change since satellite measurements of the phenomena began in the early 1970s. The Palmer Drought Severity Index shows no trend since 1895.

Rising sea levels are another frequently cited example of the impending climate crisis. And yet sea levels have been rising since at least the mid-19th century, a phenomenon unlikely to have been caused only by human activity. The earth has been warming due to both natural and anthropogenic causes, resulting in some melting of sea ice, and a thermal expansion of sea water; the degree to which rising sea level has been caused by man is unknown. And the current rate of sea-level rise as measured by the satellites is 3.3 millimeters per year, or about 13 inches over the course of a century. Will that yield a crisis?

The data reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that temperatures have risen and fallen since 1850, with an overall upward movement of about 1 degree C for 1850 through 2020. The 1910-1945 warming—which was very roughly the same magnitude as that observed from the mid-1970s through about 2000—is of particular interest in that it cannot be explained by higher greenhouse-gas concentrations, which increased from 300 parts per million to 310 parts per million over that period. This reinforces the commonsense observation that temperatures result from some combination of natural and anthropogenic influences, but alarmist reports seldom if ever suggest that there is any cause of warming other than the latter.

Changes in the extents of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice also raise questions about the importance of moderate warming. Since 1979, Arctic sea ice has declined relative to the 30-year average (again, the degree to which this is the result of anthropogenic factors is not known). Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice has been growing relative to the 30-year average, and the global sea-ice total has remained roughly constant since 1979.

It is important to recognize that the assumption of many politicians, environmental groups, media sources like the New York Times, and no small number of scientist-activists—that humans are the single most significant cause of climate change—is unsupported by the available science. Such an absence of evidence should produce humility among this group, but it seems to foster more alarmism. At the very least, it should make Americans think twice before embracing radical solutions to a supposed problem that may not be important.

Spatial pattern of trends in Gross Primary Production (1982- 2015). Source: Sun et al. 2018.

Much of the mainstream press has touted, loudly, the alarmist conclusions of the latest IPCC report—amusingly, the IPCC AR6 provides a “Headlines Statements” link to assist alarmist politicians and media—but that reporting has obscured its problems, very real and very large. The report concedes that the mainstream climate models on the whole overstate warming for any given set of parameters and assumptions, but it then relies on those models for predictions about the future.

Figure 8: Warming in the tropical troposphere according to the CMIP6 models. Trends 1979–2014 (except the rightmost model, which is to 2007), for 20°N–20°S, 300–200 hPa. John Christy (2019)

The report concedes as well that the most extreme among its alternative scenarios— “RCP8.5”—has a likelihood that “is considered low,” but then uses RCP8.5 more than any other scenario. The report pretends to measure separately the magnitudes of natural and anthropogenic warming, but in reality does not do so (see Figure SPM.2); instead, it assumes away natural influences, which are asserted to have an average effect of zero. The IPCC models in summary have only two important variables: greenhouse gases, which have a warming effect, and sulfate aerosols, which have a cooling effect. That is why the IPCC models cannot explain the warming observed from 1910-1945. IPCC assumes, but does not attempt to model, a zero effect of sunlight variation, volcanic eruptions, and other such natural phenomena.

The fact is that we don’t understand all the elements in the complex climate system—the effects of clouds alone are understood poorly—and it is beyond irresponsible to adopt policies on the basis of flawed model projections that would slow economic growth in the US and elsewhere. That is a senseless and dangerous policy, which will only hurt people around the world who are striving to create better lives for themselves and their families.

 

 

Steyn’s Situational Sensibility

Key points expressed by Mark Steyn in his address at Gatestone Institute A Hinge Moment of History.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  Complete text of address is at the link above.

I have lived in countries that have real domestic terrorism movements…. Any country blessed enough not to have a domestic terrorism movement should not be inventing one.

We are living in a blizzard of lies.

[W]e are more dependent on a handful of woke billionaires to tell us what reality is. They are far more open than ever that they get to determine what are the agreed facts. Google made an explicit announcement about this recently. They said that sometimes they would put warnings on things that are factually accurate because, even though they are true, they do not think it is in society’s interest for people to be seeing it.

[N]ow you will be banned or deleted or blocked or silenced simply for disagreeing with the official version of events. For example, the Great Barrington declaration, which was written by three of the most prominent epidemiologists in the world from Harvard, Oxford, and I think it was Stanford. That was basically deleted from YouTube, banned from Facebook, simply because it contradicted the WHO, CDC official version of events.

It is just groupthink enforced by a cabal of woke billionaires, who have more power than anyone else on the planet.

The other thing that emerged during this year very quickly is that we are at a hinge moment of history. We were told a generation or two back that, by doing trade with China, China would become more like us. Instead, on issues such as free speech, we are becoming more like China.

American companies are afraid of offending China. American officials are afraid of offending China. We are adopting Chinese norms on issues such as free speech and basic disagreements with the government of China.

We’re living in the early stages of a future that is the direct consequence of poor public policy over the last couple of generations. We are not even aware of that….

Right now, we are witnessing a non‑stop continuous transfer of power to a country that is serious about using that power. This is China’s moment. Take it as someone who grew up, in large part, in a great power in decline. There’s no real explicit handover day. People, in hindsight, expect to pinpoint the day that the baton was passed…. My great worry is that actually, the transfer to China has already happened. The baton has already been passed. We just haven’t formally acknowledged that yet.

I’ll say it straight out loud. I do not think that Joe Biden “won the election.” I don’t think it is a question of “widespread fraud.” I think the way the system works with the Electoral College, you only need actually to spread fraud in six key cities in six key states.

I would like some of these genius jurists, including [US Supreme Court Chief Justice] Mr. Roberts and his colleagues, to then give us a figure on what is the acceptable level of fraud in American elections. Denmark, in its history, has never actually had a plausible accusation of any kind of electoral fraud. As we know, in the United States, in cities like Philadelphia, this is a tradition that has long roots and goes back 150 years.

If you have no basic election integrity, essentially, all the other issues are irrelevant.

Big Tech has essentially wrecked the internet.

Now Facebook is working with state power. The first place these Big Tech guys learned to do this was with China…. I’m in favor of breaking these companies up as soon as we can.

Right now, in the United States we worry because Facebook is canceling some actress or pop star. In Australia right now, Facebook is trying to cancel an entire country. We have left it far too late to take serious moves against these people.

Standard Oil was broken up because of its control over the oil business. Facebook and Google and Apple have far more control over their business than Standard Oil did 110 years ago. The difference is that their business is knowledge and the access to knowledge, which is more important even than oil.

I take Iran seriously. Not so much because of the Iranians, but because of the promises and the expectations in places like Sudan that Iranian nuclear technology will basically be shared with some of the most lethal basket-case states on Earth. Iran is in some sense like Russia and China. These are all, in a certain sense, great civilizations that have become perversions of themselves in a relatively short time.

What we ought to be trying to do is connect the Iranian people with their great glorious past, which actually is a platform on which you can build a future.

At some point, if we’re not prepared to stand up… My whole thing, in all the years, is that Western civilization is sliding off a cliff and most citizens of most Western nations are not even aware of it.

There is a moral component that we are overlooking. We live in an insane world where moral narcissism attaches to whether or not you rampage around some statue of a Confederate general who died 150 years ago. The fact that you’re rampaging around the Confederate general while wearing shoes made by child labor somehow does not impact on your moral virtue at all.

We are the civilization that built the modern world. If you do not like us, we can go back to what it was 500 years ago. Basically, the world functions because of the world we built.

The war on the past is straight out in 1984, straight out of Orwell: Who controls the present, controls the past. Who controls the past, controls the future. If you blow up the past, you make social engineering so much easier because there is nothing to go back to.

I try to restrain myself from seeing obvious metaphorical geopolitical symbolism in trivial events, but that story the other day about how China was making US diplomats undergo COVID anal swabs had too much symbolic power for what China has basically done to the entire planet to let it go.

The big change over the last year is that these issues are no longer abstractions. Everyone in the Western world has had some familiarity with the core meaning of Western liberties, whether you are talking about freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of religion, they have all become very real, even for people living the most quiet and uncontroversial lives. We have states, a few weeks ago issuing orders on who you were allowed to spend Christmas or July 4th with.

Twin Failed Projects: Afghanistan and Climate Change

Rupert Darwall explains the similarity in his Spectator article Afghanistan and climate change: the West’s twin failures. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images.

Both have the same cause: a failure to accept reality

The West’s humiliation in Afghanistan has an older brother: climate change.

As siblings, the two share characteristics, most obviously an inability to confront unwelcome facts. In Afghanistan, there was a large constituency led by the Pentagon invested in the mantra of proclaiming progress in the fight against the Taliban. Climate has its own industrial complex of NGOs, climate scientists, renewable energy lobbyists profiting from the energy transition, eager helpers in the media, and politicians posing as world saviors.

Energy experts tell us renewable energy is cheaper than building new fossil fuel power stations. If they’re right, why did China build the equivalent of more than one large coal plant a week last year? Its slave labor camps help produce materials for Chinese solar panels, which make them the cheapest in the world. This led the Biden administration to ban their importation. In 10 years, India — a country more susceptible to Western fads — increased the amount of electricity it generated from coal nearly six times faster than from wind and solar. In 2020, fossil fuels accounted for almost 90 percent of India’s primary energy consumption.

These facts help explain the biggest fact of all. The first 20 years after the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change saw carbon dioxide emissions rise 60 percent. From 2012 to 2019, they rose a further 5.4 percent. However this is dressed up, it’s failure. Meanwhile, the West’s energy emissions have been more or less flat for nearly three decades and on a downward trend since 2007. Emissions from the Rest of the World account for all the growth in global emissions, suddenly accelerating in 2002 from an average of around 1 percent a year to nearly 5 percent a year in the 12 years until 2014.

As a matter of simple arithmetic, the West’s declining share of global emissions means that whatever it does or doesn’t do is of diminishing relevance to the future of climate change. The West’s solipsism of ‘we’ — as in ‘we must act’ — is a profound self-deception.

Foolishly, the West swallowed the claims of small island states that they would sink beneath the waves unless the rise in global temperature was kept below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This was how ‘pursuing efforts’ to meet the 1.5°C limit ended up in the Paris agreement. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) later confirmed, there was no scientific basis for this. ‘Observations, models and other evidence indicate that unconstrained Pacific atolls have kept pace with S[ea] L[evel] R[ise], with little reduction in size or net gain in land,’ the IPCC said. Instead, the IPCC argued that the 1.5°C target and net zero emissions by 2050 — a target set by the IPCC and not in the Paris agreement — provide the opportunity for ‘intentional societal transformation’.

Stamped all over the West’s two decades of failure in Afghanistan are the words ‘societal transformation’.

‘It has been the hubristic belief that Western values should be universally applied that has led to the folly of nation-building in Afghanistan,’ Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s former ambassador in Washington, has written. Climate involves a double dose of hubris. Western politicians expect other countries to turn their backs on the development paths that made the West wealthy. Yet the same politicians seek to transform their own societies in ways that will make many people — especially the middle class and working families — poorer without having won an honest, democratic mandate to do so. They will thereby invite a populist backlash.

Realism disappears on the shoreline of climate change on the presumption that other nations share the Western belief that climate transcends geopolitics.

It wasn’t a pretty sight when John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, met China’s gimlet-eyed realists earlier this month. In a blunt statement, they told Kerry that Washington should correct its ‘wrong policies’ on China if the US wanted a dialogue on climate. The requirement to appease China could not have been clearer.

In all likelihood, Kerry will probably get off more lightly than Boris Johnson and the British government, the hosts of this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow. They naively built up expectations that the talks would produce a deal to save the planet. It showed great ignorance of three decades of UN climate diplomacy: there was never going to be a deal to cut emissions at Glasgow. The last time that happened was at the Kyoto climate conference 24 years ago.

The UN climate convention was a product of a different era. Nato’s Afghanistan operation occurred at the apex of the America’s unipolar moment. The short era of George H.W. Bush’s new world order is over. We live in a time of renewed great power rivalry. China and Russia act in ways Otto von Bismarck would recognize. Of the great powers, they are the principal winners from the West’s humiliation in Afghanistan and they are the biggest winners from the Paris agreement. China keeps its coal-based economy while America runs down its oil and gas industries, only recently having become the world’s largest producer of hydrocarbons.

As Europe phases out coal, so too does it becomes more dependent on the Kremlin for natural gas. The lessons of Afghanistan and climate are the same: the West won’t be defeated by its enemies, but by its refusal to see the world as it is.

Arctic Ice Abounds at 2021 Minimum

 

The images above come from MASIE showing ice extents on day 260, the lowest daily extent on average the last 14 years.  Note that 2012 was the lowest in this period and 2021 is now the highest, surpassing 2014. The abundance of ice this year contrasts with both 2007 and 2020. Clearly, the location of remaining ice in September varies greatly from year to year.  The marginal seas are open water, including the Pacific basins, Canadian Bays (Hudson and Baffin), and the Atlantic basins for the most part.  As discussed later on, other regions retain considerable ice at the annual minimum, with differences year to year.

The annual competition between ice and water in the Arctic ocean is now at the maximum for water, which typically occurs mid September.  After that, diminishing energy from the slowly setting sun allows oceanic cooling causing ice to regenerate. Those interested in the dynamics of Arctic sea ice can read numerous posts here.  This post provides a look at September from 2007 to yesterday as a context for understanding this year’s annual minimum.  Note that for climate purposes the annual minimum is measured by the September monthly average ice extent, since the daily extents vary and will go briefly lowest on or about day 260. In a typical year the overall ice extent will end September slightly higher than at the beginning.

The melting season in September up to yesterday shows 2021 melted much less than average and so day 260 extents are much higher than average.

2021 ice extents begin September 800k km2 above the 14-year average and on day 260 remained 776k km2 higher.  SII was lower than MASIE by 427k km2.  The table for day 260 shows how large are the 2021 surpluses and how the ice is distributed across the various seas comprising the Arctic Ocean. The surplus this year over 2007 is more than 1 Wadham (1M km2).

Region 2021260 Day 260 Average 2021-Ave. 2007260 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 5168253 4392025 776228 4045776 1122477
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 715340 463613 251727 481384 233956
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 493208 132989 360219 22527 470681
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 338189 248694 89495 311 337878
 (4) Laptev_Sea 32974 114492 -81518 235869 -202895
 (5) Kara_Sea 95956 17336 78619 44067 51888
 (6) Barents_Sea 18 18201 -18183 7420 -7402
 (7) Greenland_Sea 50718 192388 -141670 333181 -282463
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 35493 28885 6609 26703 8791
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 452857 270948 181909 225526 227331
 (10) Hudson_Bay 4504 5318 -814 2270 2233
 (11) Central_Arctic 2948362 2898150 50213 2665244 283118

The main deficits to average are in Laptev and Greenland Seas, overwhelmed by surpluses almost everywhere, especially in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian seas), Kara and Canadian Archipelago.  And as discussed below, the marginal basins have little ice left to lose.

The Bigger Picture 

We are close to the annual Arctic ice extent minimum, which typically occurs on or about day 260 (mid September). Some take any year’s slightly lower minimum as proof that Arctic ice is dying, but the image above shows the Arctic heart is beating clear and strong.

Over this decade, the Arctic ice minimum has not declined, but since 2007 looks like fluctuations around a plateau. By mid-September, all the peripheral seas have turned to water, and the residual ice shows up in a few places. The table below indicates where ice is found in September. Numbers are area units of Mkm2 (millions of square kilometers).

Day 260 14 year
Arctic Regions 2007 2010 2012 2014 2015 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Average
Central Arctic Sea 2.67 3.16 2.64 2.98 2.93 3.07 2.91 2.97 2.50 2.95 2.90
BCE 0.50 1.08 0.31 1.38 0.89 0.84 1.16 0.46 0.65 1.55 0.89
LKB 0.29 0.24 0.02 0.19 0.05 0.26 0.02 0.11 0.01 0.13 0.16
Greenland & CAA 0.56 0.41 0.41 0.55 0.46 0.52 0.41 0.36 0.59 0.50 0.46
B&H Bays 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.10 0.07 0.05 0.01 0.02 0.04 0.04
NH Total 4.05 4.91 3.40 5.13 4.44 4.76 4.56 3.91 3.77 5.17 4.48

The table includes some early years of note along with the last 5 years compared to the 14 year average for five contiguous arctic regions. BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian) on the Asian side are quite variable as the largest source of ice other than the Central Arctic itself.   Greenland Sea and CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) together hold almost 0.5M km2 of ice at annual minimum, fairly consistently.  LKB are the European seas of Laptev, Kara and Barents, a smaller source of ice, but a difference maker some years, as Laptev was in 2016.  Baffin and Hudson Bays are inconsequential as of day 260.

2021 stands out from lower ice years by the higher extents in Central Arctic, BCE and LKB, especially Kara Sea this year.

Resources:  Climate Compilation II Arctic Sea Ice