First, this week’s news from SEPP, you will find the information regarding the new report on global warming further down the page, with the press conference information details..
IPCC: On September 27, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is scheduled to release the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), including the politically negotiated Summary for Policymakers (SPM), and the Working Group I section that contains the science supporting the SPM. This is a departure from prior releases when the SPM came out long before the scientific section was ready for release.
Much has happened since the last major report, AR4, was released in 2007. Numerous scientists exposed glaring IPCC mistakes, Climategate exposed game playing of many of the participants, etc. Probably most importantly, nature has undermined the credibility of the IPCC and the entire climate establishment and their models by refusing to allow the globe to warm, over 15 years on the surface and about a decade in the atmosphere. This failure to warm is in spite of human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) continuing to increase, directly contradicting the prior claims of the IPCC and its followers that CO2 is the control knob of climate. Of the industrial countries, only the United States has significantly reduced CO2 emissions – without any governmental mandates to do so.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal and on the web site of Anthony Watts, Matt Ridley reports he has seen a key prediction in the new documents – the IPCC will reduce the most extreme projection of warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide somewhat, 30%, as compared with its 2007 projections.
Writing on his web site, The Reference Frame, Lubos Motl is far from impressed. Motl thinks that based on the scientific [physical] evidence the warming from a doubling of CO2 would about 0.5 to 1.5 deg C. This is different than the values obtained by using computer models that have not been validated. Also, Motl is disturbed by the IPCC’s continued use of unsubstantiated probabilities in making its projections.
We shall have to wait to see what the final documents actually contain. Please see Article # 1 and links under Problems in the Orthodoxy.
SCC: Monday marks the last day for public comment to the Department of Energy on the Social Costs or Carbon (SCC) as recalculated by US government agencies, without legislative authority. The specific issue seems trivial – the electricity use by microwave ovens. But this is how some agencies now operate. Establish regulations on a trivial issue, then slowly expand such regulations to other non-trivial areas until no one dare question the authority of the agencies for asserting such questionable power. One can label it as industrial policy by bureaucracy. The strategy was successfully employed by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers in regulating privately owned properties, labeled wetlands, even though many of the labeled wetlands had no water.
Several Washington think-tanks are submitting comments, including the Heritage Foundation, CATO, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. One issue is sea level rise. Is it proper for the government agencies to apply future sea level rise from projected global warming from CO2 emissions to US industries when US emissions are falling and countries such as China are the principal sources of increasing emissions?
Another main issues is the appropriate discount rate, how to value the possible future harm in today’s economy? The lower the discount rate the higher possible future harm is valued in today’s economy. The New York Times carried an interesting article presenting the issue as being a moral vs. business issue. The moral standpoint will be a low discount rate, thus a high present value assigned to future warming. The business standpoint is a high discount rate with a low present value.
This is the logical fallacy of a false dilemma. The real moral issue is what right do government agencies have for imposing costs on industry and the public for emitting CO2 when the government agencies have failed to produce a valid climate model that has been shown to successfully predict future global warming? At this point, it has not been scientifically established if CO2 emissions are a net cost or a net benefit. The NIPCC reports have reviewed thousands of studies showing increased atmospheric CO2 is a benefit. SEPP is submitting its comments on SCC, which will probably differ from most. Please see links under Social Cost of Carbon.
Supreme Court: The US Supreme Court begins its fall session on October 7. It may announce its decision of whether or not to hear the challenges to the EPA Endangerment Finding at that time, or sometime afterwards.
Australia’s Election: The coalition that opposed Australia’s carbon tax has announced the dismantling of significant climate change programs. But it does not have clear control of the Senate. Thus, the status of the carbon tax is not yet clear. Please see links under Questioning Green Elsewhere and Cap and Trade and Carbon Taxes.
Benefits of Smart Drilling: The Wall Street Journal has two articles on the great benefits to the poor from the US oil and gas revolution. The revolution can be described as obtaining oil and gas from dense shale, deep underground by applying precision directional drilling, multi-port hydraulic fracturing, insertion of sand or small ceramics to keep fractures open, and use of selected chemicals to promote continued oil gas flow.
Many politicians oppose the revolution, preferring to believe the false claims of the Sierra Club and other extreme environmental groups. The actions of these politicians and environmental groups demonstrates how insensitive they are to the plight of less fortunate humans. Please see Articles # 2 and #3.
Demolishing Icons? On his web site, Bernard Lewin has begun a series to investigate the various depictions of temperatures over the past 1000 years, and longer, that have appeared in IPCC publications. The first of the series centers on the writings of H.H. Lamb, particularly the Medieval Warm Period. Lewin’s analysis may prove to be illuminating and controversial. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground.
Global Cooling? Several articles and web posts have appeared proclaiming global cooling. The authors doing so are using the same logical fallacy as many global warming advocates – the hasty generalizations. Very simply, the existing data has too short a term to declare a trend. Warming has stopped, we do not know if the warming will resume, or if temperatures will remain roughly steady, or if there will be definitive cooling. Certainly, the failure of the Arctic Ice to melt to the extent that it did last year is not a trend. That said, solar scientists may have theoretical reasons for stating the earth will cool. Please see links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice.
Responsibility: Judith Curry has two posts on responsible conduct in research enterprises and developing a standard for policy relevant science. In the latter post she quotes extensively from Ian Boyd, who is science advisor for the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. Boyd points out how bias often enters into government sponsored research, no matter how unintentional. Curry concludes her post with: JC request of the IPCC: Please replace Rachendra Pachauri with Ian Boyd.
Additions and Corrections: Last week, TWTW carried an article by Fred Singer in the American Thinker on data trends. Unfortunately, Singer omitted the clause that the spike in temperatures in 1998 should be discounted because it is widely accepted that it was the result of a strong El Nino. Otherwise, his argument stands, that surface temperature trends prior to around 2000 may be over-estimated.
Vincent Gray continued the discussion on hypothesis testing as stated by Feynman, which was challenged by Professor Cramer, who stated that the null (no association between two phenomena) must be tested. Gray writes:
“I object to the reformulation of Feynman’s argument on statistics by Professor Cramer
He does not explain how it is possible to test for a “level of confidence”.
If a scientific theory is successful in predicting all possible future behaviour you are justified in rejecting the null hypothesis and to have confidence in it
Sometimes a theory is only successful in a limited range of circumstances. You may have confidence within this range but not outside it where the null hypothesis is accepted.
The IPCC claims “levels of confidence” in its theories which are no more than the personal opinions of “experts” who usually have a conflict of interest. None of the models has been shown capable of successful prediction of future climate behaviour. The null hypothesis still stands.
Until the theories have been shown to successfully predict a range of future climate behaviour over all the circumstances for which they are claimed to be valid they need to be rejected and the null hypothesis accepted.”
[Behaviour is spelled the New Zealand way.]
Number of the Week: 90% According to energy economist Mark Perry, data from the Energy Information Administration shows that in May the total energy produced in the US is was 90% of total consumption. The last time the percentage was that high was in September 1987. The change is dramatic from about 70% in 2006-7, when Washington refused to expand production in the Federal government controlled lands of Alaska, falsely claiming it would not help the US. Although the difference between production and consumption swings widely during the year, Perry’s five graphs illustrate the US oil and gas revolution – which many politicians and environmentalists desire to stop.
Major New Report on Climate Science Says Global Warming Is Not a Crisis
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) will release a major new report on climate-change science produced by an international team of 40 scientists at a press conference on September 17 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.
The new report, titled Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, challenges what its authors say are the overly alarmist reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose next report is due out later this month.
The Press conference announcing release of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 17, at the James R. Thompson Center , 100 West Randolph Street, Press Room (15th Floor) Chicago, Illinois USA
Lead author S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, Chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project
Lead author Craig Idso, Ph.D., Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Co-author Willie Soon, Ph.D., Chief Science Advisor, Science and Public Policy Institute
Media: Open to all credentialed press
Copies of a Summary for Policymakers, an executive summary, and the entire book (unbound) will be available to reporters at the news conference. All three documents will be available for free online following the news conference.