SH and Tropics Keep Mild Ocean Temps August 2022

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. Previously I used HadSST3 for these reports, but Hadley Centre has made HadSST4 the priority, and v.3 will no longer be updated.  HadSST4 is the same as v.3, except that the older data from ship water intake was re-estimated to be generally lower temperatures than shown in v.3.  The effect is that v.4 has lower average anomalies for the baseline period 1961-1990, thereby showing higher current anomalies than v.3. This analysis concerns more recent time periods and depends on very similar differentials as those from v.3 despite higher absolute anomaly values in v.4.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 and 4 from other SST products at the end. The user guide for HadSST4 is here.

The Current Context

The 2021 year end report included below showed rapid cooling in all regions.  The anomalies then continued in 2022 to remain near the mean since 2015.  This Global Cooling was also evident in the UAH Land and Ocean air temperature (Cooler Air over Land and Ocean August 2022 )

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST4 starting in 2015 through July 2022.  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. A smaller NH rise in 2021 peaked in September of that year.


Note that in 2015-2016 the Tropics peaked with an upward SH bump along with two summer NH spikes.  That pattern repeated in 2019-2020 with a lesser Tropics peak and SH bump, but with higher NH spikes.  Now in 2021-2022  the last two summer NH summer spikes are not joined by warming in the Tropics or in SH, which in August resulted in a Global anomaly close to the mean for this period.

A longer view of SSTs

To enlarge image open in new tab.


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 0.5C 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 0.5C.  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 0.5C, 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, then cooling slightly in September.  The present 2022 level compares with 2014 and also 2018.

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 heavy blue line shows that 2022 started warm, dropped to the bottom and stayed near the lower tracks, before reaching one of the highest peaks in August.


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 HadSST4

HadSST 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.

HadSST4 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

Footnote Rare Triple Dip La Nina Likely This Winter

Here’s Where a Rare “Triple Dip La Niña” Might Drop the Most Snow This Winter Ski Mag

The unusual weather phenomenon might result in the snowiest season in years for some parts of the country.

The long-range winter forecast could be good news for skiers living in the certain parts of the U.S. and Canada. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that the chance of a La Niña occurring this fall and early winter is 86 percent, and the main beneficiary is expected to be mountains in the Northwest and Northern Rockies.

If NOAA’s predictions pan out, this will be the third La Niña in a row—a rare phenomenon called a “Triple Dip La Niña.” Between now and 1950, only two Triple Dips have occurred.

Smith also notes that winters on the East Coast are similarly tricky to predict during La Niña years. “In the West, you’re simply looking for above-average precipitation, which typically translates to above-average snowfall, but in the East, you have temperature to worry about as well … that adds another complication.” In other words, increased precip could lead to more rain if the temperatures aren’t cooperative.

The presence of a La Niña doesn’t always translate to higher snowfall in the North, either, as evidenced by last ski season, which saw few powder days.

However, in consecutive La Niña triplets, one winter usually involves above-average snowfall. While this historical pattern isn’t tied to any documented meteorological function, it could mean that the odds of a snowy 2022’-’23 season are higher, given the previous two La Niñas didn’t deliver the goods.



Cooler Air over Land and Ocean August 2022

The post below updates the UAH record of air temperatures over land and ocean.  But as an overview consider how recent rapid cooling  completely overcame the warming from the last 3 El Ninos (1998, 2010 and 2016).  The UAH record shows that the effects of the last one were gone as of April 2021, again in November 2021, and in February and June 2022  (UAH baseline is now 1991-2020).

For reference I added an overlay of CO2 annual concentrations as measured at Mauna Loa.  While temperatures fluctuated up and down ending flat, CO2 went up steadily by ~55 ppm, a 15% increase.

Furthermore, going back to previous warmings prior to the satellite record shows that the entire rise of 0.8C since 1947 is due to oceanic, not human activity.


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. 

Update August 3, 2021

Chris Schoeneveld has produced a similar graph to the animation above, with a temperature series combining HadCRUT4 and UAH6. H/T WUWT




See Also Worst Threat: Greenhouse Gas or Quiet Sun?

August Update Cooler Air over Land and Sea 


With apologies to Paul Revere, this post is on the lookout for cooler weather with an eye on both the Land and the Sea.  While you will hear a lot about 2020-21 temperatures matching 2016 as the highest ever, that spin ignores how fast the cooling set in.  The UAH data analyzed below shows that warming from the last El Nino was fully dissipated with chilly temperatures in all regions. May NH land and SH ocean showed temps matching March, reversing an upward blip in April, and then June was virtually the mean since 1995.

UAH has updated their tlt (temperatures in lower troposphere) dataset for August 2022.  Previously I have done posts on their reading of ocean air temps as a prelude to updated records from HadSST3 (which is now discontinued). So I have separately posted on SSTs using HadSST4 SH and Tropics Lead Ocean Cooling July 2022.   This month also has a separate graph of land air temps because the comparisons and contrasts are interesting as we contemplate possible cooling in coming months and years. Sometimes air temps over land diverge from ocean air changes.  However, July showed air temps over all ocean regions warmed sharply, lifting up Global ocean temps. Now in August air over both land and ocean cooled off again.

Note:  UAH has shifted their baseline from 1981-2010 to 1991-2020 beginning with January 2021.  In the charts below, the trends and fluctuations remain the same but the anomaly values change with the baseline reference shift.

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

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

After a change in priorities, updates are now exclusive to HadSST4.  For comparison we can also look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6 which are now posted for August.  The temperature record is derived from microwave sounding units (MSU) on board satellites like the one pictured above. Recently there was a change in UAH processing of satellite drift corrections, including dropping one platform which can no longer be corrected. The graphs below are taken from the revised and current dataset.

The UAH dataset includes temperature results for air above the oceans, and thus should be most comparable to the SSTs. There is the additional feature that ocean air temps avoid Urban Heat Islands (UHI).  The graph below shows monthly anomalies for ocean air temps since January 2015.


Note 2020 was warmed mainly by a spike in February in all regions, and secondarily by an October spike in NH alone. In 2021, SH and the Tropics both pulled the Global anomaly down to a new low in April. Then SH and Tropics upward spikes, along with NH warming brought Global temps to a peak in October.  That warmth was gone as November 2021 ocean temps plummeted everywhere. After an upward bump 01/2022 temps reversed and plunged downward in June.  After an upward spike in July, ocean air everywhere cooled in August.

Land Air Temperatures Tracking Downward in Seesaw Pattern

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


Here we have fresh evidence of the greater volatility of the Land temperatures, along with extraordinary departures by SH land.  Land temps are dominated by NH with a 2021 spike in January,  then dropping before rising in the summer to peak in October 2021. As with the ocean air temps, all that was erased in November with a sharp cooling everywhere. Land temps dropped sharply for four months, even more than did the Oceans. March and April saw some warming, reversed In May when all land regions cooled pulling down the global anomaly. Then in June Tropics land dropped sharply while SH land rose, NH cooled slightly leaving the Global land anomaly little changed. In July, Tropics and SH land rose sharply, NH slightly, pulling up the Global land anomaly. In August that was reversed downward.

The Bigger Picture UAH Global Since 1980


The chart shows monthly Global anomalies starting 01/1980 to present.  The average monthly anomaly is -0.06, for this period of more than four decades.  The graph shows the 1998 El Nino after which the mean resumed, and again after the smaller 2010 event. The 2016 El Nino matched 1998 peak and in addition NH after effects lasted longer, followed by the NH warming 2019-20.   A small upward bump in 2021 has been reversed with temps having returned close to the mean as of 2/2022.  March and April brought warmer Global temps, reversed in May and the June anomaly was almost zero. The upward spike in July was almost 0.3C, now lower in August.

TLTs include mixing above the oceans and probably some influence from nearby more volatile land temps.  Clearly NH and Global land temps have been dropping in a seesaw pattern, nearly 1C lower than the 2016 peak.  Since the ocean has 1000 times the heat capacity as the atmosphere, that cooling is a significant driving force.  TLT measures started the recent cooling later than SSTs from HadSST3, but are now showing the same pattern.  It seems obvious that despite the three El Ninos, their warming has not persisted, and without them it would probably have cooled since 1995.  Of course, the future has not yet been written.


About Meridional Cooling and Climate Change

Fig. 7.1. Changes in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and solar activity are consistent with temperature changes. Top, above average solar activity reduces poleward transport causing warming. Bottom, the ascending half-period of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation causes an even bigger reduction in transport and has a bigger temperature effect. Middle, temperature evolution for the past 120 years is consistent with the effect of these two factors on transport. Data from SILSO sunspots (top), HadCRUT4 deseasonalized temperature (middle), and AMO deseasonalized (bottom), have been smoothed with a gaussian filter.

A recent post was Seven Theories of Climate Change, summarizing an array of explanations for fluctuations in temperatures and precipitation over Earth’s surface. Now, thanks to Javier Vinós & Andy May, we have a new hypothesis combining solar variability with oceanic/atmospheric oscillations to explain the climate record. An introduction to their findings is published at Climate Etc. The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (VII). A summary plus Q&A. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images. My first exposure to meridional cooling was provided by Clive Best, and later on is a repost of that understanding consistent with Vinós & May.

Update September 24, 2022 at end Richard Lindzen Weighs In

A synopsis of the Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis

The IPCC assessment reports published since 1990, reflect a scientific consensus that natural forces, including solar activity and ocean-atmosphere oscillations, like the Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations, had a net zero effect on the observed global average surface temperature changes since 1951. The IPCC consensus does not allow for changes in the poleward (meridional) transport of energy to have significantly affected this average temperature over the past 75 years.

The Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis proposes that changes in the meridional transport of energy and moisture are the main way the climate changes now and in the past.

Meridional transport variability has many causes and forces that act simultaneously and in different time frames on the climate system. They integrate into a very complex poleward energy transportation system. Among these are multidecadal ocean-atmosphere oscillations, solar variability, ozone, stratospheric-reaching tropical volcanic eruptions, orbital changes, and changing luni-solar gravitational pull. Meridional transport is therefore an integrator of internal and external signals.

It is not the only way the climate changes, but evidence suggests it is the main one.

The Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis does not disprove greenhouse gas effect induced climate change—manmade or otherwise—in fact, it acts through it. But it does not require changes in the atmospheric content of non-condensing greenhouse gases to cause significant climate change. Therefore, it does refute the hypothesis that CO2 is the main climate change control knob.

Meridional transport moves energy that is already in the climate system toward its exit point at the top of the atmosphere at a higher latitude. It is carried out mainly by the atmosphere, in both the stratosphere and troposphere, with an important oceanic contribution. The greenhouse effect is not homogeneous over the planet due to the unequal distribution of water vapor, and it is stronger in the wet tropics, weaker over deserts, and much weaker at the poles in winter. When meridional transport is stronger, more energy reaches the poles. There it can more efficiently exit the climate system, particularly during the winter, when there is no Sun in the sky. Most polar imported moisture in winter freezes, emitting its latent heat. Additional CO2 molecules increase outward radiation, as they are warmer than the surface. The net result is that all imported energy into the polar regions in winter exits the climate system at the top of the atmosphere (Peixoto & Oort, 1992, p. 363), and increasing the energy transported there at that time can only increase the loss.

When meridional transport is stronger, the planet loses more energy and cools down (or warms less) in a non-homogeneous way, because the net energy loss is greater in the polar regions. However, as more energy is directed toward the poles, the Arctic region warms, even as the rest of the world cools or warms more slowly. When meridional transport is weaker, less energy reaches the poles and exits the climate system. Then the planet loses less energy and warms, while the Arctic cools, because it receives less energy from the lower latitudes.

Figure 12: The effect of strong and weak Atlantic THC. Idealized portrayal of the primary Atlantic Ocean upper ocean currents during strong and weak phases of the thermohaline circulation (THC) Source: Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2

Most of the energy is transported through the lower troposphere and ocean track. As a result, changes in multidecadal ocean oscillations produce a greater effect on climate in the multidecadal timeframe than changes in solar activity. Solar changes have a stronger effect on stratospheric energy transport. Even so, there is a non-well defined link between changes in solar activity and changes in the multidecadal oscillations that result in major multidecadal climate shifts right after 11-year solar cycle minima (see Part IV). Nevertheless, modern global warming started c. 1850, when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation increased its amplitude and period (Moore et al. 2017). The overall multidecadal oscillation (aka the stadium wave) currently has a period of c. 65 years, and the 20th century included two rising phases of the oscillation, explaining its two warming phases (1915-1945, and 1976-1997; Fig. 7.1).

Meridional transport was further reduced during the 20th century by the coincidence of the Modern Solar Maximum (Fig. 7.1 at top): A long period of above average solar activity between 1935 and 2004. It is the longest such period in at least 600 years. Solar activity acts mainly on stratospheric energy transport, but since it affects the strength of the polar vortex and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (see Part II), it also influences tropospheric transport.

As it can be seen in Fig. 7.1, most of the warming during the 20th century can be explained by the combined effect of the ocean multidecadal oscillations and the Modern Solar Maximum on meridional transport. No other proposed factor can satisfactorily explain the early 20th century warming period, the mid-20th century shallow cooling, and the late 20th century strong warming period, without resorting to ad-hoc explanations. In a single century two periods of reduced transport (warming), coincided with the ascent of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the effect of the modern solar maximum.

This resulted in 80 years of diminished transport that contributed to the greatest warming in 600 years, triggering political and scientific alarm.

Background Post Arctic “Amplification” Not What You Think

HT to Dr. David Whitehouse writing at GWPF regarding a recent study claiming Arctic Amplification is causing a wavey polar vortex, resulting in winter warming and cooling extremes.  His critique is Extreme cold snaps and global warming: A speculative explanation.

This post is challenging the notion of Arctic Amplification itself.  The term is bandied about with the connotation that man-made global warming is multiplied in the Arctic and responsible for weather extremes.

As the animation above shows, there have been in recent years alternating patterns of unusually cold or warm weather in the Northern Hemisphere.  There are several problems in the attempt to link these events to global warming/climate change, i.e. claiming causation from a slow increase in baseline global average temperatures.

  1. Arctic Amplification is an artifact of Temperature Anomalies
  2. Arctic Surface Stations Records Show Ordinary Warming
  3. Arctic Warmth Comes from Meridional Heat Transport, not CO2

Clive Best provides this animation of recent monthly temperature anomalies which demonstrates how most variability in anomalies occur over northern continents.

1. Arctic Amplification is an artifact of Temperature Anomalies

Beyond the issues with the measurements and the questionable adjustments, there is a more fundamental misconception about air temperatures in relation to “climate change.” Clive Best does a fine job explaining why Global Mean Temperature anomalies do not mean what people think. Below is my synopsis of his recent essay entitled Do Global Temperatures make sense? (link)

Background: Earth’s Heat Imbalance

ERBE measurements of radiative imbalance.

The earth’s temperature at any location is never in equilibrium. It changes daily, seasonally and annually. Incoming solar radiation varies enormously especially near the poles which receive more energy per day in summer than the equator.

The earth cools primarily by moving heat from hot tropical regions towards high latitudes where net IR radiation loss cools the planet, thus maintaining a certain temperature profile.

Key Point: GMT Anomalies Are Dominated by the Highest Latitudes

The main problem with all the existing observational datasets is that they don’t actually measure the global temperature at all. Instead they measure the global average temperature ‘anomaly’. . .The use of anomalies introduces a new bias because they are now dominated by the larger ‘anomalies’ occurring at cold places in high latitudes. The reason for this is obvious, because all extreme seasonal variations in temperature occur in northern continents, with the exception of Antarctica. Increases in anomalies are mainly due to an increase in the minimum winter temperatures, especially near the arctic circle. 

To take an extreme example here is the monthly temperature data and calculated anomalies for Verkoyhansk in Siberia. Annual temperatures vary from -50C in winter to +20C in summer. That is a seasonal range of 70C each year, and a year to year anomaly variation of ~8C is normal. The only global warming effect evident is a slight increase in the minimum winter temperatures since 1900. That is not due to any localised enhanced greenhouse effect but rather to an enhanced meridional heat transport. Temperatures in equatorial regions meanwhile have only ~4C seasonal variations, and show essentially no warming trend.

2. Arctic Surface Stations Records Show Ordinary Warming

Locations of 118 arctic stations examined in this study and compared to observations at 50 European stations whose records averaged 200 years and in a few cases extend to the early 1700s

A recent extensive analysis of Northern surface temperature records gives no support for Arctic “amplification” fears.

The Arctic has warmed at the same rate as Europe over the past two centuries. Heretofore, it has been supposed that any global warming would be amplified in the Arctic. This may still be true if urban heat island effects are responsible for part of the observed temperature increase at European stations. However, European and Arctic temperatures have remained closely synchronized for over 200 years during the rapid growth of urban centres.

And the warming pattern in Europe and the Arctic is familiar and unalarming.

Arctic temperatures have increased during the period 1820– 2014. The warming has been larger in January than in July. Siberia, Alaska and Western Canada appear to have warmed slightly more than Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Northern Europe. The warming has not occurred at a steady rate. Much of the warming trends found during 1820 to 2014 occurred in the late 1990s, and the data show temperatures levelled off after 2000. The July temperature trend is even slightly negative for the period 1820–1990. The time series exhibit multidecadal temperature fluctuations which have also been found by other temperature reconstructions.

The paper is: Arctic temperature trends from the early nineteenth century to the present W. A. van Wijngaarden, Theoretical & Applied Climatology (2015).  My synopsis: Arctic Warming Unalarming

3. Arctic Warmth Comes from Meridional Heat Transport, not CO2

Key Point: Heat Distribution Changes, not Global Temperatures

Rising CO2 levels modify that radiation imbalance profile slightly. Surface temperatures in the tropics are not really warming at all. Any excess heat induces more clouds and more convection while surface temperatures remain constant. What really happens is that the meridional radiation profile changes. Slightly more heat is transported polewards so that hot places are shifting more heat to cold places which are doing the warming. If CO2 levels stop rising then a new temperature and radiation profile would rather quickly be reached. This is then called ‘climate change’ but any such changes are concentrated in colder regions of the world. The global ‘temperature’ itself is not changing, but instead the global distribution of temperature is changing.

Key Point: More Atmospheric Heat means Warming in the Coldest Places

Temperatures at the poles during 6 months of darkness would fall well below -150C if there was no atmosphere, similar to the moon. Instead heat is constantly being transported from lower latitudes by the atmosphere and ocean and so that temperatures never fall much below -43C. If more heat is transported northwards than previously, then minimum temperatures must rise, and this is what we observe in individual measurements.

Long term changes in temperature anomalies occur mainly in northern continents in winter months. This is not because the earth as a whole is warming up but rather that meridional heat transport from the equator to the poles has increased and the largest effect on ‘anomalies occurs in winter. The average absolute temperature of the earth’s surface is unknown. Basing the evidence for climate change on the 150 year trend in global averaged temperature anomalies still biases the result towards higher latitudes where most of the stations are located.


When heat is released into the atmosphere from the oceans, it is transported toward the poles to dissipate into space. Places in higher latitudes are warmed, not by radiative effects of greenhouse gases in those locales, but by the incursion of warmer air from the equator.

What happens if more CO2 is added into the atmosphere? No one knows, but there are many opinions, a popular one being that more heat is retained in the atmosphere. But in that case, that additional heat will be shed by the planet in exactly the same manner: transport to the poles with slightly less extremely cold air at the higher latitudes.

Why in the world would we pay anything to prevent a little bit of warming in the world’s coldest places?

Clive Best takes the analysis further and relates to work by Christopher Scotese in a later post Fact: Future Climate Will Be Flatter, not HotterMore explanation at The Climate Water Wheel

Resources:  Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2

No, CO2 Doesn’t Drive the Polar Vortex (Updated)

Quantifying Natural Climate Change

Update September 24, 2022 Richard Lindzen Weighs In

H/T Not A Lot of People Know That

London, 23 September – A prominent climate scientist has warned that the picture of climate change presented in the IPCC’s narrative is simplistic, ill-conceived, and undermined by observational evidence.
In a new 
discussion paper, Professor Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) points out that the official picture, focusing narrowly on carbon dioxide as a warming agent, becomes implausible when applied to the details of the climate system.  According to Lindzen,

“If you are going to blame everything on carbon dioxide, you have to explain why, on all timescales, temperatures in the tropics are extremely stable while those in high latitudes are much more variable. The IPCC’s story is that small amounts of greenhouse warming near the equator are ‘amplified’ at high latitudes. But neither theory nor data support the idea of amplification.”

Instead, says Lindzen, this pattern – of stable tropical temperatures and fluctuating ones in high latitudes – is mostly a function of natural processes in the atmosphere and oceans; in other words, changes in oceanic and atmospheric currents that transport heat poleward while drawing varying amounts of heat out of the tropics.  These changes in transport affect the tropics, but they are not determined by the tropics.

“The changes in the earth’s so-called temperature are mainly due to changes in the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles – at least for major changes.  The changes in tropical temperature, which are influenced by greenhouse processes, are a minor contribution.”

Richard Lindzen: An assessment of the conventional global warming narrative (pdf)


Seven Theories of Climate change

Excerpts from the Introduction in italics with my bolds.

In the past few years, confidence in the AGW theory has declined dramatically. New research points to natural causes of the modern warming, and stabilizing (by some measures, falling) global temperatures have called attention to long-recognized shortcomings of the AGW theory. Tens of thousands of scientists have signed petitions expressing their dissent from the so-called “consensus” in favor of AGW. Opinion polls show a majority of the public in the U.S. and in other countries no longer believes human activity is causing global warming. Evidence of the decline of the AGW theory is presented in the postscript to this booklet.

The demise of the AGW theory makes this a good time to look at other theories of climate change put forward by prominent scientists but overlooked in the rush to judgment. This booklet identifies seven theories – AGW plus six others that do not claim man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change.

Each theory is plausible and sheds light on some aspects of climate change that were hidden or obscured by too great a focus on the AGW theory.

In some respects these theories are not mutually exclusive: solar variability could be the sustaining force behind what I have called the “cloud formation and albedo” and “ocean currents” theories as well as being its own theory, though the mechanisms in each case differ slightly. Most physicists don’t study biology or chemistry and so don’t pay much attention to biological and chemical feedbacks. If they did, they would probably recognize that such processes play a bigger role in controlling climate than previously believed.

Deeper analysis also reveals that these theories are not all trying to answer the same questions or necessarily achieve predictive power. Trying to discern a human effect on climate is not the primary objective of biologists studying the effect of higher levels of CO2 on plants or of physicists measuring the amount of energy leaving Earth’s atmosphere. While they are “experts” on climate change, they are not part of the search for a “human fingerprint” on Earth’s climate. Nor are they qualified to make predictions based on their narrow expertise, as Kesten Green at the University of South Australia and J. Scott Armstrong at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have tried to explain.

The six theories of climate change that do not involve man-made greenhouse gas emissions
are incompatible, though, with the AGW theory.

If evidence exists that negative feedbacks offset whatever warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gases, then the warming during the past 50 years could not be due to the burning of fossil fuels. Similarly, if solar variability explains most or all of the variation in temperatures in prehistoric as well as modern times, then there is no room for speculation about a large role for man-made CO2 .

Over time, the science of climatology will become somewhat more exact, based on examination of the historical record and newly assessed empirical evidence. It probably will not be illuminated much by mathematical models that cannot generate reliable forecasts of a system that even proponents of the anthropogenic global warming theory admit is naturally chaotic. We cannot adequately measure the enormous quantity of data necessary to feed the models, and we are not even sure which variables should be included.

The uncertainty that pervades climate science today, as climate scientist Mike Hulme has written,
is a function of the limits of science itself.

The object of this essay is not to say which of these seven theories is right or “best,” but only to present them to the reader in a format that allows reflection and balanced consideration. Such dispassionate interest in the subject has been lacking in recent years, and the scientific debate has suffered for it.

PDF of the publication is available from Heartland Institute:  7 Theories of Climate Change


Sea Change Against Leftist Politics

We have evidence of a sea change against leftist politics, recently in Sweden ousting the long incumbent left wing parties. Boom! Leftists Ousted in Sweden  Next up this month is Italy where a similar change is expected. Italy’s right heads for clear election victory, final polls indicate.

Closer to home, in Canada keen observer Rex Murphy reports in Epoch Times  Poilievre’s Star Rises as the Liberals Fumble and Falter.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

There wasn’t much drama to the event.  Ever since the Conservative leadership race was announced, it was clear from the crowds that showed up at Pierre Poilievre’s rallies that he was the enthusiastic favourite, and by a long shot. He did not merely win. He was a rocket. The rest were Volkswagens.

Secondly, he also demonstrated from the first he was serious, by which I mean the tone and substance of his speeches gave indication this was a guy ready and eager to take on the current leader. He found both a theme and manner that kept the crowds swelling till the very end. Turnout had the excitement level of a general election, and there is no reason whenever the next election occurs—if and when Jagmeet Singh uncouples his diminished NDP from the Liberals—that excitement will abate. In fact, it will be greater.

Justin Trudeau, should he hang on, will go into it as the underdog, and should he drop out before the challenge, Chrystia Freeland will not be the challenger so many in the media have been pretending or building her up to be. Ms. Freeland will be carrying Mr. Trudeau’s baggage, and the only good thing about that is that it won’t be at Pearson Airport.

The Liberals, after their long and dreary tenure, are at present a roaring catastrophe.

They are stumbling in every conceivable direction. They cannot maintain even the most basic and routine of government functions. They have made a mess of issuing Canadian passports—the passport being the most significant and symbolical instruments of citizenship. At the same time, their precious monomania about “systemically racist” Canada has Heritage Canada and the CRTC blindly doling out over half a million dollars to a certified antisemite (not even resident in Canada) to teach “anti-racism”!

They were a mess at the beginning of COVID, maintaining—as always with the Liberals—that it would be “racist” to ban flights. Now at its end or expiry they impose the wantonly useless arriveCAN app and are still uselessly forcing passengers on flights to mask up (between meals) to add two more miseries to the nightmare that is getting in or out of major Canadian airports.

A great country in Europe, under an energy siege from Vladimir Putin, comes to Canada to see if our country can help with its extensive supplies of oil and gas, and is turned away empty handed.

Because Canada under Green Justin has done everything but declare the the oil and gas industry a criminal activity. Instead, that German chancellor is given the promise of a “hydrogen facility” in Stephenville, Newfoundland, which if it ever should develop, which if it ever should develop will come at least a decade past the current crisis.

Trudeau gave Greta Thunberg, the teen scold, a better welcome.

We haven’t had a real Parliament in nearly three years, and the promise is that when it resumes fairly soon, this too will be a “Zoom” production. Every other public event, from concerts to sports shows to conferences, are back to normal, but the Liberal-NDP absentee parliamentarians insist face-to-face House of Commons sittings are a health hazard. No one believes this, but the NDP and the Liberals shamelessly insist on it anyway.

Still, full cabinets can fly to B.C. for special meetings. Do you think that when the PM and the cabinet fly they are wearing masks? Were they wearing masks when they convened for lunch and dinner in B.C.? Does Trudeau wear masks on his many foreign jaunts? Parliament is not functioning as it should and must when members are virtual ghosts, when the whole of Parliament, physically, does not meet. This “health-risk” is just opposition avoidance. The Ottawa press gallery should be pushing this point with force and relentlessly, but alas, no.

Finally, the whole style of this government—apart from its incompetence, its aimlessness, its evolution into nasty and divisive rhetoric, and its resort to “wedge” issues (Trudeau’s cant against the unvaccinated in last summer’s election)—has an even bigger problem.

It has become annoying.

The virtue-speak, the always cloying telling Canadians what they are thinking, the endless moralizing homilies always reflecting self-congratulatory lights back on the speaker, whether the PM, the environment minister, or heritage or diversity. A little smug glow on first entering office is a forgivable folly. But it wears thin in seven years after a trail of ethics breaches, grossly gaudy foreign adventures (the Great Costume Tour of India), numerous still-unfinished inquiries, and above all the Liberals’ manic absorption with global warming.

The government is tired. And it is annoying. It would not take a campaigner of Pierre Poilievre’s now-proven skills to take it down.

It is an old and true maxim in politics that opposition parties do not win, governments defeat themselves. And this one over the last year in particular has an unwonted keenness in preparing for its own departure.

Poilievre will be attacked remorselessly. The larger part of the media will not make it easy for him. But his leadership campaign displayed both focus and energy. Whenever the contest comes he will enter it with eagerness, facing a defensive and exhausted opponent.



Goalless Solutions Make Things Worse

Thorsteinn Siglaugsson wrote at Brownstone Institute The Chief Cause of Problems Is Bad Solutions.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

When H. William Dettmer started working with Dr. Eli Goldratt’s Thinking Process framework for solving profound problems in the 1990s, he soon realised how very often people focused on the wrong problems, and then spent their time and effort on figuring out root causes behind often trivial issues.

Dettmer’s solution to this was based on a simple, yet profound insight: A problem is not really a problem unless it prevents us from reaching our goal. The first step in problem-solving should therefore be to define the goal, and in Dettmer’s amended framework not only a goal but also the factors critical to achieve it. This way, focus on what actually mattered would be ensured; the problem solver could rest assured he was not wasting his time on trivialities.

Source: Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning

What we perceive as important problems are often things that annoy us, but which really do not matter in the bigger context. I might perceive a cluttered inbox or a broken coffee machine in the office as a major problem, while those are totally unimportant to the long-term success of the company.

As long as I realise such issues are important only to me personally, no harm is done. But as soon as my focus shifts to the trivial problems and I become obsessed with them, I may be headed for wrong decisions, a situation exemplified by Eric Sevareid’s insight:

Eli Goldratt’s book, The Goal, is one of the most influential management books of all time and his ideas have had a profound impact, especially in production and project management. Goldratt’s first axiom is that every decision must aim at furthering the company’s overall goal. Self-evident as it may sound, all senior managers know the constant effort it takes to maintain this focus.

What happens if we have no clear goal? In that case any undesired change may come to be perceived as an important problem. The more sudden or unexpected the change, the more likely this is.

If there is no goal, we have no way to judge the importance.

Source: Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning

What Goals Directed Covid Responses? 

In the summer of 2020 I had a long discussion with a consultant friend in Paris, another of Goldratt’s disciples, on the situation and outlook after the Covid-19 crisis struck. Our first instinct was of course to try and define a goal. We agreed that when it comes to public health the goal should always be to minimise the loss of life-years, or rather quality-adjusted life-years, both now and in the future.

This was shortly after the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo had claimed that any severity of measures against the coronavirus was worth it, if they saved just one life. Across the world, national leaders constantly repeated the mantra of “following the science,” meaning the whole of society should be managed based on the advice of experts in a narrow field of medical science, focusing on suppressing or even eradicating a single disease. An ethics professor I interviewed in late 2020 said it was morally right to brush aside all concerns of collateral damage because we were “in a pandemic.”

Maximising the number of life-years might well be a proper goal for healthcare. It calls for both short and long-term strategies, including prevention, treatment, even nutritional policies and many other strategies. But when we look at society as a whole, the maximum number of life-years, even when “quality-adjusted,” is hardly a proper overall goal; it focuses on physical existence only, ignoring all the other complex factors which make life worth living.

What then about the goal of “following the science” or of preventing even just one death from a coronavirus at all costs? It should be obvious how absurd it is to view those as true goals when it comes to governing a society. But for some reason, over the past 30 months, those and other similar extremely narrow objectives became the chief goals of public health authorities and governments in almost the whole world.

There is little doubt that the phenomenon of mass formation described by Mattias Desmet has played a role here. I clearly remember how many people had convinced themselves that nothing mattered except to stop the virus in its tracks, to delay infections. And when I say nothing I mean nothing. “The only thing that matters is preventing infections,” someone told me back in 2020. And when I pressed him, asking if he meant the only thing that mattered in the whole wide world was slowing the spread of the virus, if everything else was really of no consequence, education, the economy, poverty, mental health; everything else, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Escaping the Problem Obsession Trap

What those cases have in common is how, in the absence of a goal, our focus is diverted towards a problem, otherwise insignificant, or at least not the only problem in the world, and eliminating the problem becomes the goal.

This is why the key to successful problem-solving is to first agree on a common goal, otherwise we may end up solving the wrong problems.

The loss of focus we have experienced during the past 30 months rests on two pillars. One is the power of mass formation. But the other one, no less important, is the loss of leadership. In both Sweden and the Faroe Islands the leadership, epidemiologist Anders Tegnell in the case of Sweden, and the government in the case of the Faroe Islands, never succumbed to irrational fear. If they had, it would surely have taken over in both countries.

The chief reason it didn’t was the stance taken by the leaders who, guided by common sense. never lost sight of the goal of government; ensuring the well-being of society as a whole, or, at the individual level, ensuring man’s possibility to live a full life, as Eli Goldratt once put it. Neither is clear-cut of course, but however fuzzy and imperfect the goal statement may be, once we lose sight of it, we are in grave danger of succumbing to mass formation. It only takes a sudden change or an unforeseen threat, blown out of proportion, unrestrained by the common goal.

When almost the whole world loses sight of the common goal of human society, and the elimination of a single problem, in the end a rather unimportant one, takes precedence over everything else, thus becoming the goal – a distorted and absurd one, a disastrous and ruinous one for sure – this is an indication of a fundamental loss of common sense.

A healthy society does not succumb to mass formation. The reason this can happen is that we have no common goal any more, no common sense. To get out of this situation and to avoid it in the future, we must find our goal again, we must reestablish our focus, we must regain our common sense.

Footnote:  Preface to The Goal by Eli Goldratt

I  view science as nothing more than an understanding of the way the world is and why it is that way. At any given time our scientific knowledge is simply the current state of the art of our understanding. I do not believe in absolute truths. I fear such beliefs because they block the search for better understanding. Whenever we think we have final answers progress, science, and better understanding ceases. Understanding of our world is not something to be pursued for its own sake, however. Knowledge should be pursued, I believe, to make our world better—to make life more fulfilling.

There are several reasons I chose a novel to explain my understanding of manufacturing—how it works (reality) and why it works that way. First, I want to make these principles more understandable and show how they can bring order to the chaos that so often exists in our plants. Second, I wanted to illustrate the power of this understanding and the benefits it can bring. The results achieved are not fantasy; they have been, and are being, achieved in real plants. The western world does not have to become a second or third rate manufacturing power. If we just understand and apply the correct principles, we can compete with anyone. I also hope that readers would see the validity and value of these principles in other organizations such as banks, hospitals, insurance companies and our families. Maybe the same potential for growth and improvement exists in all organizations.

Finally, and most importantly, I wanted to show that we can all be outstanding scientists. The secret of being a good scientist, I believe, lies not in our brain power. We have enough. We simply need to look at reality and think logically and precisely about what we see. The key ingredient is to have the courage to face inconsistencies between what we see and deduce and the way things are done. This challenging of basic assumptions is essential to breakthroughs. Almost everyone who has worked in a plant is at least uneasy about the use of cost accounting efficiencies to control our actions. Yet few have challenged this sacred cow directly. Progress in understanding requires that we challenge basic assumptions about how the world is  and why it is that way. If we can better understand our world and the principles that govern it, I suspect all our lives will be better.

Good luck in your search for these principles and for your own understanding of “The Goal.”

Link to The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eli Goldratt

Trudeau Faces Real Opponent At Last

Newly elected Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greet each other as they gather in the House of Commons to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 15, 2022. PHOTO BY SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

John Iverson reports at National Post Canada Scaremongering about Poilievre could be the only move Trudeau has left.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Trudeau set the tone for the fall parliamentary session
when he ‘congratulated’ Poilievre on his victory last week

Pierre Poilievre and his team will be gratified by the first public opinion poll since he was elected Conservative leader, which gives his party a healthy five-point lead over Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.  While there was no sign of a surge in support from voters — Abacus Data has the Conservatives at 35 per cent support, up one point from its last survey — neither was there a drop in approval from Canadians queasy at some of the new leader’s more controversial rhetorical flourishes.

(The poll puts the Liberals at 30 per cent; the NDP at 17; the BQ at nine and the People’s Party at four).

Trudeau set the tone for the fall parliamentary session when he “congratulated” Poilievre on his victory last week. He said Canadians need “responsible leadership,” a quality he said was lacking in a campaign that attacked “institutions that make our society fair, safe and free”; which said people could opt out of inflation by investing in cryptocurrencies; and that demeaned the vaccines “that saved millions of lives.”  Even in his address on the Queen’s death, the prime minister took a barely disguised dig at Poilievre, when he said global democratic institutions are being challenged by unnamed politicians.

It is a strategy that makes sense for a government that has little to boast about.

David Coletto at Abacus has previously divided the Canadian electorate into four segments

♦   progressive professionals (about 13 per cent of voters);
♦   the secure middle (roughly 40 per cent);
♦   anxious progressives (27 per cent), and
♦   anxious conservatives (20 per cent).

The first two groups are doing well and are happy with the status quo; the latter two feel the system is rigged against them and that they are unrepresented in power.

Poilievre has positioned himself as a disruptor who wants to overturn the status quo when it comes to climate change, pandemic politics and institutions like the Bank of Canada.  He has had huge success appealing to anxious conservatives, and apparently, some anxious progressives.

Coletto says that since he did his research more than a year ago, it is likely the number of anxious voters has grown, as inflation and interest rates have risen. Poilievre’s mission is to corral the votes of those “falling behind…who are hanging by a thread” — people who feel the future holds more threats than opportunity.

Faced with an NDP that seems more focused on identity politics than the fate of working Canadians, Poilievre may be kicking in a rotting door, particularly if he turns down the volume on less mainstream ideas like support for the trucker’s convoy.

Trudeau’s mission is to unite the majority of Canadians behind the idea that the new Conservative leader is a risk to their personal and financial security.   His problem is his own popularity deficit.
The Abacus poll shows Trudeau at near record-low approval ratings. Attacks on another politician generally only work when you are more credible than they are. If negative ads move into questionable territory, they can rebound, as happened when former prime minister Paul Martin’s team alleged that Stephen Harper wanted to increase the military’s presence in cities in 2005.
The Liberals have been in power for nearly seven years.  Trudeau’s success has been built on his own variation of populism — appealing to people’s hope and optimism by promising to provide the help and relief they need.   But it’s hard to be optimistic when the price of eggs is rising by 16 per cent a year.
Trudeau’s government is on the ropes and scaremongering about Poilievre will only work if it can address some of the economic and basic competency problems that have been plaguing it of late.

The new Conservative leader will reflect happily that if he can add a couple of points of support from Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party, he will be in majority government territory.


Court Again Refuses to Legislate Climate Policy

Climatists again fail to get a judge to order their program and thus bypass lawmaking by elected representatives. Denise Lavoie reports at The Virginian-Pilot Virginia judge dismisses youth climate change lawsuit.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

RICHMOND — A Virginia judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of 13 young people who claim that the state’s permitting of fossil fuel projects is exacerbating climate change and violating their constitutional rights.

The lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit public interest law firm, asked the court to declare portions of the Virginia Gas and Oil Act unconstitutional. It also seeks to find the state’s reliance on and promotion of fossil fuels violates the rights of the plaintiffs, who range in age from 10 to 19.

But Richmond Circuit Court Judge Clarence Jenkins Jr. granted the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, finding that the complaint is barred by sovereign immunity.

That’s a legal doctrine that says a state cannot be sued without its consent. The state argued that sovereign immunity prohibited the plaintiffs’ claims because they sought to restrain the state from issuing permits for fossil fuel infrastructure and to interfere with governmental functions. The judge did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ constitutional claims.

The lawsuit is one of five filed by Our Children’s Trust in states around the country. Lawsuits in Hawaii and Utah are in the early stages, while a lawsuit it Montana is expected to go to trial next year. A federal lawsuit filed in Oregon in 2015 remains in litigation after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs last year. They have since asked to file a more narrow amended complaint and are awaiting a decision.

Jenkins ruled from the bench and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled again in the same court. Their attorney, Nathan Bellinger, said they will promptly appeal the ruling to the state Court of Appeals.

Ten of the plaintiffs — accompanied by their parents — listened in court as Bellinger said the state is knowingly contributing to the climate crisis by continuing to rely on fossil fuels as its main energy sources and polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gas emissions. He asked the judge to allow the case to proceed to trial.

The lawsuit alleges that climate change has contributed to health problems experienced by the plaintiffs, including asthma and heat exhaustion. Four of the plaintiffs have become ill after being bitten by ticks, a population that has increased due to climate change, Bellinger said.

It also claims that Virginia has violated the public trust doctrine, which says that the state has a duty to hold certain natural resources in trust.

“These courageous Virginia youths … are turning to the judiciary to protect their fundamental rights,” Bellinger argued in court.

Bellinger said the Virginia lawsuit is the first to leave out a request for an injunction to require the state to take certain actions or to submit a remedial plan. Instead, it asked only for a declaration that the continued permitting of fossil fuel projects violated the plaintiffs’ rights.

But attorneys for the state argued that the plaintiffs are attempting to usurp the role of the state legislature and impose their preferred energy and environmental policies on the state.

“Simply put, this action belongs two blocks over at the General Assembly and not before this court,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Sanford.

After the court hearing, several of the plaintiffs spoke during a news conference where they held a large banner proclaiming, “Climate Justice in our Courts NOW!”


Footnote:  The thing about ticks was creative, and reminded me of this:

Alarmists: Global Warming Destroys Good Bugs and Multiplies Bad Bugs



2022 Arctic Ice Abounds at Average Daily Minimum

The annual competition between ice and water in the Arctic ocean has reached 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 mid September from 2007 to yesterday as a context for understanding this year’s annual minimum.

The image above shows Arctic ice extents on day 260 (lowest annual daily extent on average) from 2007 to 2022 yesterday.  Obviously, the regions vary as locations for ice, discussed in more detail later on. The animation shows the ice deficits in years 2007, 2012, 2016 and 2020, as well as surplus years like 2010, 2014 and the last two years, 2021-2022.

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. Remarkably 2022 September ice extent averaged 5.1M over the first 17 days, and is likely to end the month with at least that amount for the entire month. For comparison, the 15 year average for Sept. 1-17 is 4.7M.

The melting season mid August to mid September shows 2022 melted slower than average and ended the period above the average.

Firstly note that on average this period shows ice declining 1.24 M km2 down to 4.52M km2, the minimum average daily extent for the year.  But 2022 started 230k km2 higher, and on day 244 was 606k km2 above average, before ending on day 260 with a surplus of 212k km2   The extents in Sea Ice Index in orange  were mostly lower during the period. The table for day 260 shows how large are the 2022 surpluses and how the ice is distributed across the various seas comprising the Arctic Ocean.   The surplus this year over 2007 is nearly 0.7 of a Wadham (1M km2 ice extent). The surplus is ~5% above average.

Region 2022260 Day 260 Average 2022-Ave. 2007260 2022-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 4735485 4523606 211878 4045776 689709
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 551558 498415 53142 481384 70174
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 135794 171467 -35673 22527 113267
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 305100 263291 41809 311 304789
 (4) Laptev_Sea 182035 119373 62662 235869 -53834
 (5) Kara_Sea 20413 31966 -11553 44067 -23654
 (6) Barents_Sea 326 16326 -15999 7420 -7094
 (7) Greenland_Sea 249159 184219 64940 333181 -84022
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 24537 29138 -4601 26703 -2165
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 185541 285070 -99529 225526 -39984
 (10) Hudson_Bay 0 5149 -5149 2270 -2270
 (11) Central_Arctic 3080350 2918177 162173 2665244 415107

The main deficit to average is in CAA with a smaller loss in Chukchi, overcome by surpluses almost everywhere, especially in Central Arctic along with Laptev and Greenland seas. 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 we can expect to find ice this September. Numbers are area units of Mkm2 (millions of square kilometers).

Day 260 15 year
Arctic Regions 2007 2010 2012 2014 2017 2019 2020 2021 Average 2022
Central Arctic Sea 2.67 3.16 2.64 2.98 3.07 2.97 2.50 2.95 2.90 3.08
BCE 0.50 1.08 0.31 1.38 0.84 0.46 0.65 1.55 0.89 0.99
LKB 0.29 0.24 0.02 0.19 0.26 0.11 0.01 0.13 0.16 0.20
Greenland & CAA 0.56 0.41 0.41 0.55 0.52 0.36 0.59 0.50 0.46 0.43
B&H Bays 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.07 0.01 0.02 0.04 0.04 0.02
NH Total 4.05 4.91 3.40 5.13 4.76 3.91 3.77 5.17 4.48 4.73

The table includes some early years of note along with the last 4 years compared to the 15 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.

2022 extent of 4.73 is 5% over average, mainly due to surpluses in Central Arctic and BCE

For context, note that the average maximum has been 15M, so on average the extent shrinks to 30% of the March high (31% in 2022) before growing back the following winter.  In this context, it is foolhardy to project any summer minimum forward to proclaim the end of Arctic ice.

Resources:  Climate Compilation II Arctic Sea Ice

SEC Not Climate Change Enforcer

It should junk its proposed disclosure rule, which is clearly unconstitutional
as per West Virginia v. EPA.

The Supreme Court’s June decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency was a shot across the bow of the administrative state. The decision implicates many executive and independent agencies’ rulemakings, but perhaps none more so than the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate-disclosure rule. The proposal would convert the federal securities regulator into a greenhouse-gas enforcer looking over the shoulders of exchange-listed companies’ directors. Much like the EPA regulation the justices struck down, the new SEC proposal would exceed the authority Congress granted to the agency. If the SEC were wise, it would rethink its rule, lest it face a similar fate in court and see its rulemaking effort thrown into the regulatory waste bin.

Writing for a 6-3 majority in West Virginia, Chief Justice John Roberts invalidated the EPA’s Clean Power Plan under the “major questions” doctrine, which limits an agency’s power to act on issues of “economic and political significance” without clear authorization from Congress.

The court’s doctrine is a species of the separation of powers—specifically the nondelegation principle, which bars the legislature from giving lawmaking power to the executive branch. James Madison argued the point forcefully in the Federalist Papers and in the First Congress. The early Supreme Court let Congress allow the executive to “fill up the details” of “general provisions” of legislation but emphasized that “important subjects . . . must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself.”

In keeping with this principle, the modern Supreme Court has refused to allow administrative agencies “to ‘work around’ the legislative process” to resolve questions “of great political significance,” as Justice Neil Gorsuch noted in his West Virginia concurrence. Court decisions over the past three decades have blocked agencies’ efforts to resolve policy disputes without clear congressional authorization. Those cases range from regulating tobacco to changing telecommunications rate regulation—and, during the Covid pandemic forestalling tenant evictions and broadly mandating vaccines.

The SEC’s regulation is of a piece with those the court has struck down. We warned in a June 16 comment letter to the agency that Congress never assigned the SEC the task of overseeing environmental concerns.

Yet that’s exactly what it sets out to do in its climate rule.

As GOP-appointed SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce noted in a March dissent, the agency is attempting to mandate that companies disclose a host of “climate-related risks; climate-related effects on strategy, business model, and outlook; board and management oversight of climate-related issues; processes for identifying, assessing, and managing climate risks; plans for [climate change] transition; financial statement metrics related to climate; greenhouse gas emissions; and climate targets and goals.”

By sweeping upstream and downstream contractors into its proposed rule, the SEC seeks to regulate companies that aren’t traded on public stock exchanges and therefore should be wholly outside the commission’s regulatory reach. The proposed rule would casually toss aside the “materiality” standard, which limits mandated disclosures to financially material information.

The proposed rule would also implicitly reallocate power from corporate boards and order them to bring climate-related risks to the fore of company priorities—in direct conflict with longstanding state corporate law. Though Congress could pre-empt state law concerning corporate governance, an agency on its own has no such power.

In other words, the SEC’s proposal contravenes foundational principles of separation of powers and federalism. As Justice Gorsuch observed in West Virginia, the major-questions doctrine comes into play “when an agency seeks to intrude into an area that is the particular domain of state law.” The Supreme Court made clear 45 years ago in Santa Fe Industries v. Green (1977) that “absent a clear indication of federal intent, the Court should be reluctant to federalize the substantial portion of the law of corporations that deals with transactions in securities, particularly where established state policies of corporate regulation would be overridden.”

The SEC didn’t acknowledge or seriously engage any of these issues in its 490-page proposal. Though the agency lacks environmental expertise, it employs talented legal minds who understand these legal constraints and could have counseled against venturing beyond delegated authority. If such advice was given, it evidently wasn’t heeded.

But perhaps that will soon change. West Virginia v. EPA provides the SEC with the incentive to revise its approach and focus on the parameters of its authority before finalizing its proposed climate rule, which the agency initially suggested would be released in October. It may well be that the SEC needs to update the guidance on climate-change disclosures it issued over a decade ago. But in doing so, it needs to follow the law—and leave the big issues to the legislative branch, as the Constitution requires.

Mr. Sharfman is a senior corporate governance fellow with the RealClearFoundation. Mr. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The Unelected: How an Unaccountable Elite Is Governing America.”