Sunday, April 9, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: New Study Reveals the Atmospheric Footprint of the Global Warming Hiatus








New Lawsuit: Did The Obama White House Collude With A Politically Motivated Scientist?

In this newsletter:

1) New Study Reveals the Atmospheric Footprint of the Global Warming Hiatus
Chinese Academy of Science, March 2017
 
2) New Lawsuit: Did The Obama White House Collude With A Politically Motivated Scientist?
National Review, 6 April 2017
 
3) The Southern Hemisphere Sees Its ‘Quietest’ Hurricane Season On Record
The Daily Caller, 4 April 2017
 
4) Poland Rejects EU Climate Targets, Prime Minister Warns
The Global Times, 6 April 2017
 
5) UK Looking To Renege On Climate Goals Post-Brexit – Reports
PV Magazine, 6 April 2017
 
6) Terence Mordaunt Joins GWPF Board Of Directors
Global Warming Policy Forum, 7 April 2017
 
7) David Whitehouse: Standing Up For Free Speech In Science
GWPF Observatory, 31 March 2017

Full details:

1) New Study Reveals the Atmospheric Footprint of the Global Warming Hiatus
Chinese Academy of Science, March 2017

The increasing rate of the global mean surface temperature was reduced from 1998 to 2013, known as the global warming hiatus or pause. Great efforts have been devoted to the understanding of the cause. The proposed mechanisms include the internal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, the ocean heat uptake and redistribution, among many others. However, the atmospheric footprint of the recent warming hiatus has been less concerned. Both the dynamical and physical processes remain unclear.

In a recent paper published in Scientific Report, LIU Bo and ZHOU Tianjun from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences have investigated the atmospheric anomalous features during the global warming hiatus period (1998-2013). They show evidences that the global mean tropospheric temperature also experienced a hiatus or pause (Fig. 1). To understand the physical processes that dominate the warming hiatus, they decomposed the total temperature trends into components due to processes related to surface albedo, water vapor, cloud, surface turbulent fluxes and atmospheric dynamics. The results demonstrated that the hiatus of near surface temperature warming trend is dominated by the decreasing surface latent heat flux compared with the preceding warming period, while the hiatus of upper tropospheric temperature is dominated by the cloud-related processes. Further analysis indicated that atmospheric dynamics are coupled with surface turbulent heat fluxes over lower troposphere and coupled with cloud processes over upper troposphere. 
  



Figure 1. (a) Global mean temperature anomalies from 1950 to 2015 and (b) linear trends of global mean temperature for near surface (i.e. the lowest atmospheric layer), and the vertical average of the whole (surface to 100hPa), lower (surface to 500hPa), and upper troposphere (500hPa to 100hPa). Red (black) bars are for the warming period. Blue(white) bars are for the hiatus period. (Liu and Zhou, 2017)

As to why the surface latent heat flux, atmospheric dynamics and cloud-related processes showed such large differences between 1983-1998 and 1998-2013, LIU, the first author of the paper, explained, “They are dominated by the Hadley Circulation and Walker Circulation changes associated with the phase transition of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO).” According to LIU, the IPO is a robust, recurring pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies at decadal time scale. During a positive phase of IPO, the west Pacific and the mid-latitude North Pacific becomes cooler and the tropical eastern ocean warms, while during a negative phase, the opposite pattern occurs. The IPO has shifted from the positive phase to negative phase since 1998/1999, and this transition has led to the weakening of both Hadley Circulation and Walker Circulation, which served as a hub linking the three processes mentioned above.

 “Though the heat capacity of the atmosphere is nearly negligible compared with the ocean”, said ZHOU, the corresponding author of the paper, “understanding the atmospheric footprint is essential to gain a full picture of how internal climate variability such as IPO affects the global climate from the surface to the troposphere. The new findings also provide useful observational metrics for gauging climate model experiments that are designed to understand the mechanism of global warming hiatus”.  

Citation: Liu, B. & Zhou, T. Atmospheric footprint of the recent warming slowdown. Sci. Rep. 7, 40947 (2017). http://www.nature.com/articles/srep40947 

Contact : ZHOU Tianjun, zhoutj@lasg.iap.ac.cn

2) New Lawsuit: Did The Obama White House Collude With A Politically Motivated Scientist?
National Review, 6 April 2017
Julie Kelly

A former scientist at the NOAA has exposed a shoddy report on global warming.


Holdren

Judicial Watch is suing to learn more. Following allegations of impropriety over the handling of a controversial climate change report, a government watchdog group now wants to know whether there was any collaboration between the report’s lead author and a key Obama adviser.  On March 27, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit seeking “all records of communications between a pair of federal scientists who heavily influenced the Obama administration’s climate change policy and its backing of the Paris Agreement.”

The FOIA specifically requests correspondence between Tom Karl, the former head of the climate-data program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and John Holdren, the director of Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren is from that species of Baby Boomer global catastrophists who make changing predictions each decade about how we will all die. He also happens to be the science guy who had the president’s ear for eight years.

Holdren’s buddy, Tom Karl, authored a report in 2015 attempting to disprove the hiatus in global warming that had been widely acknowledged by many scientific groups, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The warming pause threatened to undermine the justification for a costly climate-change pact that was being negotiated at the time: How could world leaders commit trillions in tax dollars to stop global warming if it wasn’t actually happening?

Karl’s report came to the rescue just months before the Paris Climate Conference. In announcing his findings, Karl said the “new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitations in past datasets, and that the rate of warming over the first 15 years of this century has, in fact, been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century.” How convenient. His analysis was eagerly accepted by the international science community, but others were leery about its timing; the House Science Committee has been leading an inquiry into the report for nearly two years.

But a retired top official at NOAA has now confirmed suspicions about the veracity of Karl’s research and about whether politics — not science — were at play. In February, John Bates, the former head of NOAA’s climate-data archive, wrote a lengthy exposé detailing misconduct at NOAA related to the report. The allegations included using inappropriately “corrected” datasets, violating agency protocol on data review, and failing to archive the data. In the most damning allegation, Bates said: “In every aspect of the preparation and release of the datasets . . . we find Tom Karl’s thumb on the scale pushing for, and often insisting on, decisions that maximize warming and minimize documentation.”

“It was more of a political document than a scientific document,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told me. “People need to know how the [climate] alarmists have taken over agencies like NOAA and NASA. This is about trying to get the truth out.” Judicial Watch also filed a separate lawsuit against NOAA in 2015 attempting to get the datasets used in Karl’s paper.

There’s plenty of reason to suspect collaboration between Karl and Holdren. Both are professionally invested in anthropogenic global warming and have advanced their careers promoting a catastrophic view of humanity’s fate due to our carbon-fueled rape of Mother Nature. In 2010, Holdren appointed Karl to serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, which oversees how 13 federal agencies “advance climate science and improve the understanding of how global change is impacting society, both today and into the future.” In a review for Karl’s 2009 book, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Holdren says he hopes the book will “make people think about specific legislative proposals, and the need to move ahead, after many years of dithering and delay.” (In his book, Karl states: “Observations show the warming of the planet is unequivocal. . . . Warming over this century is projected to be considerably greater than the last century.”)

Both Karl and Holdren understood the stakes of the Paris climate conference, a last-ditch effort to force world leaders to impose drastic measures that would allegedly ease climate change. In an interview with National Geographic while attending the event, Holdren said the climate pact was needed because “it is urgent that the nations of the world act now, both to reduce their emissions and to increase their preparedness and resilience against ongoing climate change.”

Full post

3) The Southern Hemisphere Sees Its ‘Quietest’ Hurricane Season On Record
The Daily Caller, 4 April 2017
Michael Bastasch

As we head into April, the Southern Hemisphere is in the midst of the “quietest” hurricane season on record.


Screenshot 2017-04-03 15.32.29

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of Weatherbell Analytics noted tropical cyclone activity in the Southern Hemisphere for the 2016-2017 season is the “quietest on record, by far” based on records going back nearly five decades.

So far, the Southern Hemisphere has seen 13 named storms, including four hurricane-strength storms. Only two of those storms became major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher, according to data compiled by Colorado State University.

Most recently, Tropical Cyclone Debbie struck Australia’s northeastern coast in late March, forcing 25,000 people to be evacuated from low-lying areas. Debbie brought 161-mile-per-hour winds and cut power to thousands of residents. At least four deaths have been blamed on the storm.

The Southern Hemisphere’s quiet hurricane season comes after the most active season in the North Atlantic since 2010. The 2016 Atlantic season saw 16 named storms, including seven hurricanes.

Just three of those hurricanes were Category 3 or higher, and none made landfall this years. A major hurricane has not made landfall in the U.S. for more than a decade.

Full post
 
4) Poland Rejects EU Climate Targets, Prime Minister Warns
The Global Times, 6 April 2017

Poland doesn’t agree with the introduced European Union (EU) climate policy norms, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo announced Wednesday.


Image result for Beata Szydlo EU climate directive

“As for climate policy, our position is clear: we do not agree with the norms that have been introduced. We will be consistent in protesting and looking for new solutions,” Szydlo said.

She made the remarks at a press conference when asked about Poland’s strategy towards the EU climate directive, considering that the country’s power industry is based mainly on coal.

Szydlo referred to an amendment to the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC) that aimed at reducing emissions from industry, traffic, power plants and agriculture. National emission commitments concern the period after 2020, but targets after year 2030 are also set.

The prime minister added that the EU climate norms were not only problem to Polish economy but to the other central European countries as well. “We will protect our economy,” Szydlo said.

Full story

5) UK Looking To Renege On Climate Goals Post-Brexit – Reports
PV Magazine, 6 April 2017

The British government is assessing ways to scrap pledges made to hit 2020 clean energy targets without incurring any penalties, reports Bloomberg, in a first sign of the country reneging on mandatory environmental action made under EU membership.
 

British PM Theresa May signed Article 50 on March 29, thereby formally beginning the process of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
British PM Theresa May signed Article 50 on March 29, thereby formally beginning the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. photo: Number 10/Flickr 

The U.K.’s treasury and business department is seeking ways to scrap the country’s binding EU target of sourcing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, reports Bloomberg.

Citing an anonymous individual with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg says that officials are hopeful that a post-Brexit Britain can avoid the fines and penalties associated with missing its EU target if they can find ways to abandon the goal – a goal that the country is unlikely to hit either way.

Fines could run into the tens of millions, and officials believe that rather than fall short and face the penalty, the far easier option for Brexit Britain is to take its foot off the clean energy accelerator, rather than press ahead with scaling up investment in wind and solar power.

If the U.K. is successful in wriggling out of its obligations, it would be another tangible sign that the country is increasingly out of step with the majority of mainland Europe.

Full story

6) Terence Mordaunt Joins GWPF Board Of Directors
Global Warming Policy Forum, 7 April 2017

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is pleased to announce that Terence Mordaunt has joined its board of directors.

Mr Mordaunt is the co-owner of Bristol Port Company and serves as its Chairman.
He will be joining Lord Lawson (chairman of the board) and British businessmen Edward Atkin CBE and Neil Record.

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is a London-based think tank which campaigns for more balanced and more transparent assessments of climate science and climate policy.

Its aim is to reduce energy poverty, to promote cost-effective climate policies and to make our societies more resilient and competitive.

In recent years, the GWPF’s influence has grown rapidly, among both UK and international policy makers and the news media. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading think tanks on global warming policy issues.

Mr Mordaunt said: “I am delighted to continue my support for the GWPF which has brought much needed rigour into the climate debate.”

7) David Whitehouse: Standing Up For Free Speech In Science
GWPF Observatory, 31 March 2017
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

There have been a few comments about my submission to the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology report on communicating science. A submission sent personally reflecting my 35 years plus in science communication. They are along the lines of “GWPF Science Editor promotes freedom to spread inaccuracies.” It has been retweeted a handful of times mostly by those who appear to promote the end of free speech or who have not bothered to read my actual submission to the committee that has been online for nine months.

A free society allows people free speech within the law. Allowing people to lie or write inaccurate articles is the bedrock of a free society. So is the freedom of others to challenge them. People have died for this freedom, and still do in many countries. This is deadly serious stuff as people in China, North Korea and many other countries know. So the irony is that those who cherry pick and deliberately misinterpret my comments have a perfect right to do so, even though they imply such a right should not exist for others. Hypocritical or ignorant, take your pick.

The just published House of Commons report on science communication is a disappointment. It has sections on false balance, and embargoes, though it quotes no practising journalist’s views on these issues. Indeed in the whole report there is only one working journalist mentioned – the BBC’s Science Editor.

There are a few points that worry me. They stem from a lack of appreciation of journalism itself, and a belief that there is something special about science journalism. My submission to the enquiry concerned the state of science journalism. I have several concerns about its reliance on embargoes and press releases. I am also worried about the use of ‘false balance’ as well as its subservience to, and lack of independence from, the scientific establishment.

Once again there is a suggestion that in cases of journalists misrepresenting science there should be a government body able to “put things right.” This suggestion has been made many times in the past few decades, most notably after the Channel 4 programme, “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” in 2007. Then a group of self-appointed activists and scientists suggested that they form a committee (hopefully with government backing) to judge future science programmes on climate change.

I and a few other journalists were horrified that the freedom of the press should be subject to the views of an unelected committee. I remembered the words of Tony Benn concerning democratic freedom, “Who are you, who elected you, and how do we get rid of you?”

As I say in my submission, criticism and dissent, the views of minorities and the controversies they encourage, play a special and integral role in science. Science has a particular disdain for authority, as does journalism. It’s a real thing not to be paid lip-service too by a committee as they hand down judgement. We are not talking about journalists questioning if carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, but about views on climate trends, frequency of extreme events, climate sensitivity.

Views on these are varied, each justifiable, yet are often subject to complaints to press regulators. The fact that so many complaints fail shows how many do not understand journalism.

Motivated people can establish websites to criticise, rank, judge and condemn articles they read. That’s OK. Good luck to them. But if it’s an arm of the government or self-selected censors controlling the press then it is not.

What is Journalism?

Journalism is not just about relaying information, scientific or otherwise, and it is far more than relaying authority. Science journalism is also about “shaking the tree,” about asking awkward questions, about standing in the place of those who can’t ask such questions, and being persistent and unpopular. It is a vital aspect of democracy. In far too many countries journalists are told what to say, and told what not to say.

The history of scientific research shows that scepticism is essential for the progress of science. Without constant criticism no flaws would ever been detected and no dominant paradigm ever overthrown. The history of science has shown time and time again that widely held consensus views often turned out to be wrong. Why should this suddenly be different today? Actually it is different today.

Science has never been in the hands of so many people and scientific information and data has never been so attainable. The world is full of clever people, experts with time to analyse. This is good for science as looking for problems and flaws is not confined to a few.

Being able to speak freely without censorship is fundamental to modern liberal democracies and is guaranteed under national and international law. The important point is that the freedom of speech principle does not mean that you have to be factually accurate. Sure, one should never lie and always strive to be accurate. But what looks right today can turn out to be wrong tomorrow, especially in science. It is freedom, not accuracy that is supreme.

If someone says something others deem to be inaccurate, or even a lie, then demand a say, not their silence. Attack the inaccuracy or the lie, not their civil rights. Defend their right to be wrong by pointing out why they are wrong. People have a right to believe, and talk about, the things they believe, even if they are wrong and even if they are stupid. I don’t believe the world is flat and I wouldn’t lobby the government to believe it, but I would lobby the government for freedom if the right of others to hold that incorrect view is taken away. If you live in a society where you haven’t got the right to free speech, to be wrong, to disagree with any authority, or in the case of others, lie, then you live in a society where what you write or say can easily lead to a knock on your door in the small hours. I know journalists who have suffered that way and even been killed.

You have a right to talk nonsense, and we and others have a right to challenge it. We at the GWPF frequently challenge others we disagree with. You can do the same. That’s why we stand up for this freedom.

Feedback: david.whitehouse@thegwpf.com 

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.

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