Climate Change Weekly #201
Approximately 300 scientists, engineers, economists, and other climate experts sent a letter to U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in support of his ongoing investigation of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In June 2015, NOAA issued a report purporting to find Earth had continued to warm during a nearly two-decades-long period when every other data set found a pause or hiatus in rising temperatures.
Many scientists have expressed doubts about the quality and objectivity of NOAA’s findings since their publication in Science. The letter’s signers included 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists (including a Nobel laureate), and 12 economists.
The letter said NOAA’s research failed to comply with Data Quality Act (DQA) guidelines established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget requiring agencies to “ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information.” DQA notes it is especially important for data to be accurate and of the best quality when it involves “highly influential scientific assessments” used to inform the public and shape public policy.
The researchers who signed the letter noted this was not the first time the government failed to comply with DQA in order to produce results supporting the Obama administration’s preference for regulatory action to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, despite limited evidence carbon dioxide is causing climate harm. They wrote, “We remind you that controversy previously arose over EPA’s apparent failure to comply with these [DQA] guidelines in connection with its Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding, which was the subject of a report by the EPA Office of the Inspector General in 2011. In that case, EPA failed to comply with peer review requirements for a ‘highly influential scientific assessment.'”
NOAA’s adjustments to ocean temperature data between 1998 and 2012 made recent global temperature changes appear two times warmer than original data recorded. Scientists questioned why ocean temperatures from buoy-based monitors were adjusted upward to more closely correspond to readings taken from the cooling-water intake-tubes of ships, which are biased by heat absorbed and reflected from ship’s hulls and pouring off engines. For instance, Patrick Michaels, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, Paul Knappenberger, the center’s assistant director, and MIT Professor Emeritus of Meteorology Richard Lindzen, a distinguished senior fellow of the center, wrote, “As has been acknowledged by numerous scientists, the engine intake data are clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the structure, and as such, never intended for scientific use. … Adjusting good data upward to match bad data seems questionable.”
In addition, NOAA’s adjusted temperature record ignored global satellite sea surface measurements – the best data available – and NOAA revised earlier raw data in a way to consistently make past temperatures cooler. Each step taken by NOAA biased current temperature records upward, making the more-than-18-years pause in rising temperatures recorded in other data sets disappear.
Interestingly, even under NOAA’s reconstructed data set, its reported warming trend is still significantly lower than the trend projected by climate models cited by the most recent report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Smith expressed concerns about the soundness of NOAA’s research nearly immediately after its publication. He sent a letter to NOAA requesting the agency provide the methodologies used, data produced, and e-mail exchanges between scientists in relation to the Science study. NOAA initially refused to supply much of the requested material, citing confidentiality concerns. After a congressional subpoena was issued for the material, NOAA grudgingly complied – or at least appeared to comply, since it remains unclear whether everything requested was turned over.
The scientists’ letter encouraged Smith to stay vigilant and pursue every means at his disposal to ensure all relevant information pertaining to NOAA’s study is available for public examination and peer review.
— H. Sterling Burnett
IN THIS ISSUE …
Good news: Fossil fuel use delayed the next ice age … Washington state bill would block governor’s carbon restrictions … Climate scientist arrested for fraud … Activists argue crime justified to fight climate change … Abject failure of climate alarmists’ predictions
A study published in the journal Nature says human-caused global warming has produced a positive result: Human fossil fuel use may delay the next ice age by 100,000 years. Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin used computer models to replicate the past eight glacial cycles and predict when the next might occur. The scientists found the greenhouse gases humans have added to the atmosphere thus far have likely delayed the next ice age by 50,000 years. According to the lead author, Andrey Ganopolski, additional greenhouse gas emissions could delay the next ice age by up to 100,000 years. Ganopolski said, “The bottom line is that we are basically skipping a whole glacial cycle, which is unprecedented.” Ice ages last approximately 100,000 years with interglacial periods lasting between 10,000 and 20,000 years on average. The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago, at which time ice sheets stretched as far south as the United Kingdom and Germany and covered most of Canada and the northern United States. If this research proves correct, human fossil fuel use has truly benefitted humanity.
A bill sponsored by Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) would limit Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) carbon restrictions by prohibiting state regulators from adopting rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions without legislative consent.
After failing to cajole the legislature into passing a cap-and-trade plan in 2015, Inslee directed the Department of Ecology to impose carbon dioxide emission cuts using existing authority. In early January, the department proposed a draft rule requiring any company emitting 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year to reduce its carbon emissions by 5 percent every three years. Initially the rule would apply to about two dozen manufacturing plants, refineries, power plants, and natural gas distributors. The list of facilities facing carbon limits would grow over time as the threshold is lowered.
Ericksen’s bill, Senate Bill 6137, would block the department’s proposed rule. Explaining the need for his bill at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment & Telecommunications, Ericksen said lawmakers rather than regulatory agencies should make any rules limiting carbon emissions. Ericksen also said the department’s proposed carbon rule would dissuade companies from expanding in or moving to the state. The Association of Washington Business, the statewide representative of local chambers of commerce, supports Ericksen’s bill.
SOURCE: Seattle Times
Another prominent climate scientist has been accused of breaking the law. Following on the heels of the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri as head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change under a cloud of sexual abuse charges, Dr. Daniel Michael Alongi, senior principal research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, was arrested, accused of fraudulently diverting more than half-a-million dollars in government funds intended for climate research into his own pockets during the past seven years. If convicted of all charges, Alongi faces up to 30 years in prison. The Townsville Bulletin reports Alongi has already admitted to police he made false invoices and credit card statements and created fake email trails to claim expenses over seven years. During the period of Alongi’s alleged fraud, his research focusing on the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, coastal mangroves, and coastal ecosystems was published in national and international journals.
A trial has begun for five climate activists with Rising Tide Seattle arrested in 2014 for criminal trespass and blocking the passage of a train carrying crude oil from the Bakken Formation in Montana and North Dakota to oil terminals in the Pacific Northwest.
A spokesperson for Rising Tide said the activists “will be the first ever to argue that [otherwise criminal] actions were justified because of the threat of climate change, using the ‘necessity defense.’ The outcome of [the] trial could set a national precedent for climate related civil disobedience. …” Washington state agencies are considering adding six new oil-by-rail facilities in the state; a report commissioned by the Sightline Institute said those facilities could allow as much as 114,000 barrels per day to be produced beyond what would be produced without the terminals. Responding to the supposed threat, Patrick Mazza, one of the activists arrested for blocking the train, said, “There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act. I had to put my body on the line to demand not talk, but action on a massive scale to rapidly replace fossil fuels.”
SOURCE: Mother Jones
In a new paper, Lord Christopher Monckton notes since the IPCC published its First Assessment Report in 1990, more than enough time has passed to show it has abjectly failed to accurately predict the rate of temperature change or that climate change is related to greenhouse gas emissions. Monckton points out all observational temperature measurements fall well below IPCC’s lowest temperature projections from 1990, being between one-half and one-third of the IPCC’s then-central estimate. Reported temperatures from surface- and sea-based measuring locations, even after being manipulated by governments and agencies wedded to the idea humans are causing dangerous climate change, remain below IPCC’s most recent temperature projections based upon the amount of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere. The measured warming rate has declined since 1990 even as carbon dioxide levels have increased. In addition, the gap between projected temperature levels and measured temperatures is growing.
SOURCE: Watts Up With That
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