Sunday, May 29, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: New Discovery May Scale Back Climate Alarm








In this newsletter:

1) New Discovery May Scale Back Climate Alarm
Associated Press, 27 May 2016

2) CERN Research Shows Pre-Industrial Skies Were Cloudier Than Thought
CERN, 25 May 2016


3) Climate Sensitivity Paper Hints Models Overestimate Warming
Reporting Climate Science, 16 May 2016

4) New Paper: Much Of The Effort To Combat Global Warming Is Actually Making It Worse
Cambridge University Press, 23 May 2016

5) Russia Throws A Wrench in Paris Climate Ratification
The American Interest, 26 May 2016

6) Trump Pledges To Withdraw From Paris Agreement, Roll Back Obama’s Green Agenda
Reuters, 27 May 2016
  

Full details:

1) New Discovery May Scale Back Climate Alarm

Associated Press, 27 May 2016

WASHINGTON — A new discovery about how clouds form may scale back some of the more dire predictions about temperature increases caused by man-made global warming.

That's because it implies that a key assumption for making such predictions is a bit off.

"What this will do is slightly reduce and sharpen the projections for temperature during the 21st century," said researcher Jasper Kirkby.

Nonetheless, he added, "We are definitely warming the planet."

Kirkby works at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, near Geneva. He is the lead author of one of three studies on the topic released Wednesday by the journals Nature and Science.

Essentially, the work reveals a previously unknown natural process that in a complex way creates atmospheric particles around which clouds form. The most common source of particles is air pollution, usually sulfuric acid from the burning of fossil fuels. There are also natural sources, but they have been considered far less important for cloud formation.

The new work shows that a combination of cosmic rays from space and gases emitted by trees also creates particles, and then clouds, without man-made pollution. The scientists witnessed this in a cloud simulation chamber and from a Swiss mountaintop observatory more than two miles high (3.5 kilometers).

"This process is only effective in pristine environments and there are very, very few pristine environments left on Earth," Kirkby said. Nowadays, the process is overwhelmed by pollution particles.

To a layman, the significance of this for predictions of global warming may appear a bit, um, cloudy. But here's how it works:

The computer models used to make those predictions require making assumptions about what conditions were like before industrialization, when the widespread burning of coal, oil and gas began pumping greenhouse gases into the air. Clouds are an important factor in this because they cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight back to space.

Nobody knows just how cloudy skies were in the old days. Scientists have figured there were far fewer clouds than now, Kirkby said. But the discovery of a new natural route to cloud formation suggests that cloud cover was in fact greater than scientists had assumed.

If so, the way these simulations work, it would mean that greenhouse gases haven't been quite as potent in producing warming so far as scientists thought. So, ton for ton, they may not be quite as potent in producing future warming either.

Full story

2) CERN Research Shows Pre-Industrial Skies Were Cloudier Than Thought
CERN, 25 May 2016

Our planet’s pre-industrial climate may have been cloudier than presently thought, shows CERN’s CLOUD experiment in two papers published today in Nature (link is external). 

The CLOUD experiment at CERN has shown that before the industrial revolution the atmosphere was much cloudier than scientists had previously thought (Image: Maximillien Brice/CERN)

CLOUD shows that organic vapours emitted by trees produce lots of aerosol particles in the atmosphere when there’s no sulphuric acid – a main product of burning fossil fuels.

Previously, it was thought that sulphuric acid was essential to initiate the formation of these aerosol particles but the new research shows that these so-called biogenic vapours are also key to their growth, and can help them grow up to sizes where they can seed clouds.

“These results are the most important so far by the CLOUD experiment at CERN,” said CLOUD spokesperson, Jasper Kirkby. “When the nucleation and growth of pure biogenic aerosol particles is included in climate models, it should sharpen our understanding of the impact of human activities on clouds and climate.”



The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that the increase in aerosols and clouds since pre-industrial times represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate change. The CLOUD experiment is designed to better understand such processes.

CLOUD has also found (link is external) that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere.

For more information visit our press site

3) Climate Sensitivity Paper Hints Models Overestimate Warming
Reporting Climate Science, 16 May 2016

Computer climate models relied on by scientists and governments to forecast the impact of climate change may be running too hot, according to the conclusions of a new paper, which says models may overestimate so called climate sensitivity.

This may mean that forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the amount of global warming that we can expect may be overestimated by between a half and four times if the conclusions of this research are confirmed.

Climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide is a key factor in the computer models of the climate that are used to forecast future climate change and form the basis for climate policy by governments around the world. Climate scientists’ views on the rate of global warming due to carbon dioxide – the so called sensitivity of the climate – forecast by computer climate models need to be “reconsidered”, according to the conclusions of the new study published this month in Earth and Space Science.

The sensitivity values that computer models use “do not agree” with those lower values of climate sensitivity given by observations, according to study author, professor J. Ray Bates, from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin, Ireland. The paper suggests that the reason this occurs is because computer models systematically underestimate the amount of heat that is radiated into space from the tropics.

Full story

4) New Paper: Much Of The Effort To Combat Global Warming Is Actually Making It Worse
Cambridge University Press, 23 May 2016

As part of an open discussion on the critical issue of energy, sustainability and climate change, MRS Energy & Sustainability—A Review Journal (MRS E&S) has published a paper in which Cambridge (UK) engineering professor M.J. Kelly argues that it is time to review the current efforts to reduce carbon emissions, some of which “represent total madness.”



This paper is one of a series of articles in MRS E&S that, with varying opinions, address this controversial topic.

In his peer-reviewed article, Lessons from technology development for energy and sustainability, Kelly considers the lessons from global decarbonization projects, and concludes that all combined actions to reduce carbon emissions so far will not achieve a serious reduction. In some cases, these efforts will actually make matters worse.

Central to his thesis, which is supported by examples, is that rapid decarbonization will simply not be possible without a significant reduction in standards of living. The growing call to decarbonize the global economy by 80% by 2050 could only foreseeably happen alongside large parts of the population plunging into poverty, destitution or starvation, as low-carbon energy sources do not produce enough energy to sustain society. According to Kelly, “It is clear to me that every further step along the current pathway of deploying first-generation renewable energy is locking in immature and uneconomic systems at net loss to the world standard of living.”

Full post

5) Russia Throws A Wrench in Paris Climate Ratification
The American Interest, 26 May 2016

Russia set itself at odds with a drive by China and the United States for rapid ratification of a global agreement to slow climate change when a senior official said on Wednesday that Moscow first wanted a clear set of rules.

The Paris climate summit last December produced a draft treaty (as watered down and unenforceable as it was), but the job isn’t done yet. The agreement—which will require countries to submit and periodically update national plans for reducing emissions—will only take effect if 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions sign onto it. The U.S. and China have both said they plan to sign the deal, and as the world’s top two emitters they account for 38 percent of global greenhouse gases, but a number of smaller developing countries have expressed hesitance on quickly joining in, lest they squander what little leverage they have in these international negotiations.

Now, as Reuters reports, a much bigger country is threatening to drag its feet in the ratification process—Russia:

Russia set itself at odds with a drive by China and the United States for rapid ratification of a global agreement to slow climate change when a senior official said on Wednesday that Moscow first wanted a clear set of rules. […]

Russia, the number three greenhouse gas emitter, questioned the plan in a rare sign of disagreement about implementation…[Russia] accounts for 7.5 percent [of global emissions]. Negotiating a detailed rule book for the 2015 Paris Agreement for shifting the world economy from fossil fuels could take years, in the worst case, delegates said at May 16-26 U.N. talks in Bonn on implementing the pact.

 “The core issue to create the landscape conducive to joining is the development of the book of rules,” Oleg Shamanov, Russia’s chief climate negotiator, told Reuters. He said it took almost five years to produce rules for the U.N.’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which obliged about 40 industrialized nations to cut emissions. “We are hoping that it can be much faster this time,” he said.

Greens celebrated at the conclusion of the Paris climate summit as if their fight to create a robust Global Climate Treaty was over, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. For one, the document that conference produced looked nothing like the one they were pushing for in the months leading up to the event and, lacking any workable enforcement mechanisms, isn’t going to be worth much more than the paper its printed on—a kind of eco-version of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

But now the delegates that negotiated well into those December nights in Paris have to return home and convince their national governments that the treaty is in their best interest. Leaders then have to negotiate domestic politics (we need look no further than our own country, where Donald Trump has already promised to renegotiate the treaty if elected) and a potentially skeptical public.

Full story

6) Trump Pledges To Withdraw From Paris Agreement, Roll Back Obama’s Green Agenda
Reuters, 27 May 2016

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security.

Among the proposals, Trump said he would pull the United States out of the U.N. global climate accord, approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and rescind measures by President Barack Obama to cut U.S. emissions and protect waterways from industrial pollution.

“Any regulation that’s outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely,” Trump told about 7,700 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, the capital of oil-rich North Dakota. “We’re going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns.”

It was Trump’s first speech detailing the energy policies he would advance if elected president. He received loud applause from the crowd of oil executives.
The comments painted a stark contrast between the New York billionaire and his Democratic rivals for the White House, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who advocate a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy technologies to combat climate change.

Trump slammed both rivals in his speech, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the United States “to be begging for oil again” from Middle East producers.
“It’s not going to happen. Not with me,” he said.

Trump’s comments drew quick criticism from environmental advocates, who called his proposals “frightening.” [...]

Earlier this month, he told Reuters in an interview that he would renegotiate “at a minimum” the U.N. global climate accord agreed by 195 countries in Paris last December, saying he viewed the deal as bad for U.S. business.

He took that a step further in North Dakota. “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” he said.

Full story 


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.
  

1 comment:

Charles Russell said...

First global warming, now climate change. what catch phrase will this new religion morph into a couple of years from now when all of the predictions do not meet expectations? How much money will be removed from the lucrative contracts manipulating the figures? Scientists who challenge the new paradigm are ridiculed and ostracized while the bankers and bureaucrats who stand to gather incredible financial windfalls from the credits rort do whatever it takes to keep the gravy train on the tracks.Theories are thrust forward like confetti at a shot gun wedding, each being knocked back by the actual data. A fundamental point about co2 and the environment has been largely ignored. Temperature goes up and if this occurs over a significant period of time, carbon dioxide follows around 600 years, I understand, later. The cart is before the horse at present. Our sun is the main culprit in our weather as are volcanoes. Our lives are too short to understand the variations in decades long time spans. We also forget that this planet is not stationary in space but spiraling along behind the sun at thousands of miles an hour into what we now realise is not the vacuum of space but a void filled with magnetic energy of truly heroic proportions. The science is as yet flawed and the predictions issued from defective and massaged information. Our scientists are not immune to the lure of generous funding and peer applause. There is no substitute at present with the same colorific values and ease of collection and use as oil. To consider other alternatives presently available is not realistic if we are to resist a return to the stone age. Over 55 years ago I recoiled in horror against the zealots advocating nuclear power as being the saviour of us all. I have not changed my opinion since then. We need some honesty in the debate and a more refined predictive analysis based on every variable possible. And that I suggest, is not possible.