Wednesday, May 25, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: El Niño Ends - Pacific Ocean Temps Dropping Fast

In this newsletter:

1) Strongest El Niño In Nearly 20 Years Ends
Reuters, 24 May 2016

2) El Niño Ends: Pacific Ocean Temps Dropping Fast
Watts Up With That, 23 May 2016

3) After El Nino, Will the Global Warming Pause Continue?
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 3 March 2016

4) UK Breakthrough: Landmark Ruling Gives Green Light To Fracking
The Times, 24 May 2016

5) GWPF Welcomes Green Light For Fracking
Global Warming Policy Forum, 24 May 2016

6) Britain Considers Cut In Carbon Tax Burden To Save Steel Industry
Mail On Sunday, 22 May 2016

7) VI Attorney General Revokes Climate-Change Subpoena Against Sceptical Think Tank
The Washington Times, 23 May 2016


Full details:

1) Strongest El Nino In Nearly 20 Years Ends
Reuters, 24 May 2016
Colin Packham

The strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years, which damaged crop production in Asia and caused food shortages, has ended, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday.

source: NOAA/Climate Prediction Center

Climate indicators associated with El Nino, which emerged in 2015, have now returned to neutral levels, the BOM said.
 El Nino sees in a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific which can lead to scorching weather across Asia and east Africa, but heavy rains and floods in South America.
 The latest El Nino resulted in sea temperatures rising to the highest levels in 19 years, causing drier than average weather which resulted in a fall in production of wheat, palm oil and rice in Asia.
 The end of El Nino was not unexpected with climate indicators cooling in recent months, but Australia's BOM is the first major meteorology agency to declare the end of El Nino.

2) El Niño Ends: Pacific Ocean Temps Dropping Fast
Bob Tisdale

The sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific are bordered by the coordinates of 5S-5N, 170W-120W.  They are used by NOAA and other meteorological agencies to define when an El Niño event is taking place.

According to the most-recent weekly satellite-enhanced data, the temperature anomalies for that region have dropped below the +0.5 deg C threshold between El Niño and ENSO-neutral phases, the latter of which is the “normal” phase of the tropical Pacific when neither El Niño or La Niña are taking place.

The weekly NINO3.4 region sea surface temperature anomaly data for Figures 1 and 2 are from the NOAA/CPC Monthly Atmospheric & SST Indices webpage, specifically the data here.  The base years for anomalies for the NOAA/CPC data are referenced to the WMO-preferred 30-year period of 1981-2010.

Figure 1 includes the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region. They start in January 1991. The weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies for the week of May 18 were +0.2 Deg C.

Figure 1

And for Figure 2, the evolutions of the NINO3.4-region sea surface temperature anomalies in 2015/16 are compared to 1997/98, another very strong El Niño.  Recall that 2015 started the year at or near El Niño conditions, where that was not the case in 1997.

Figure 2

Full post

3) After El Nino, Will the Global Warming Pause Continue?
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 3 March 2016

Is the global warming pause over for good -- or will it continue once the current El Nino dies down?

That is the key question raised by Dr David Whitehouse, the GWPF's science editor, in this video.

4) UK Breakthrough: Landmark Ruling Gives Green Light To Fracking
The Times, 24 May 2016
Robin Pagnamenta and Ben Webster

Scores of fracking projects across England were given a boost last night as councillors in Yorkshire approved the first scheme in five years.

Third Energy is expected to become the first British company to frack legally since 2011 after it won the right to press ahead with extracting shale gas near the North York Moors national park despite protests from local residents and campaigners.

North Yorkshire councillors voted seven to four in favour of the scheme after a marathon debate at a two-day meeting of the planning committee.

Fracking, which involves pumping liquid deep underground at high pressure to fracture rocks and release trapped gas, is a controversial technique that critics claim has caused earthquakes and polluted water courses. Supporters say that the practice will improve domestic energy supplies and create jobs and investment.

The landmark decision is a victory for Britain’s shale gas industry, with a string of other planning decisions due to be considered in the months ahead.

Cuadrilla Resources is seeking approval for fracking at two other sites in Lancashire, with decisions expected from the planning inspector by July 4. Two applications, from iGas and Dart Energy, are being considered in north Nottinghamshire. Other proposals involving companies such as Ineos and Total are at an earlier stage.

No fracking has taken place in Britain since 2011, when an operation by Cuadrilla on the Fylde coast in Lancashire triggered two small tremors. A moratorium was imposed, which was lifted in 2012. The government has called for an expansion of fracking plans in the UK to help to boost Britain’s struggling manufacturing industry, create jobs and tap domestic resources to reduce the dependency on imported gas.

Industry insiders expect fracking at the Third Energy site, at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, to begin this winter, probably in November or December when cold weather is expected to deter large outdoor protests.

Full story

5) GWPF Welcomes Green Light For Fracking
Global Warming Policy Forum, 24 May 2016

The Global Warming Policy Forum welcomes the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to allow hydraulic fracturing to take place at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site.

The decision will allow the development of shale gas exploration to take place for the first time since 2011, helping to kick-start an industry that can bring much needed jobs and investment to Yorkshire and the North of England.

The council’s decision is based on the expert evidence; it is in line with the planning inspector’s formal recommendation and with the Environment Agency, who have awarded Third Energy multiple environmental permits.

The GWPF hopes that the decision will set an example for other councils to follow.

“Shale exploration is clearly in the national interest. A thriving shale industry can provide Britain with an efficient energy source, cheaper energy bills and much enhanced energy security,” said GWPF director Benny Peiser.

see also — GWPF Welcomes UK Cabinet Ministers’ Shale Exploration Plans

6) Britain Considers Cut In Carbon Tax Burden To Save Steel Industry
Mail On Sunday, 22 May 2016
Jon Rees And Alex Hawkes

Bidders for Tata Steel’s beleaguered UK business believe the Government is ready to change its much criticised carbon tax to cut energy costs, while Tata is expected to contribute to a clean-up bill of up to £1 billion in the event of closure.

The sweeteners could be critical to lure bidders ahead of a looming deadline for offers for the ailing business, which includes the giant Port Talbot works in South Wales.

Potential buyers must submit bids before a board meeting of the company’s Indian-based parent in Mumbai on Wednesday.

On the same day hundreds of steelworkers are set to march through London to demand the Government ensures a responsible sale of Tata UK and draws up an industrial strategy. More than 15,000 jobs are at risk if Tata’s UK steel operations cannot be kept open.

The Government has been criticised for failing to respond soon enough to the crisis caused by cheap Chinese imports and longstanding, high energy costs, with green taxes cited as a key reason for Tata’s decision to sell its UK division.

The ‘carbon price floor’ introduced by Chancellor George Osborne in 2013 taxes CO2 emissions and makes up more than half the UK power bills for industry. Prices in France and Germany are half those here.

The tax is £18 per tonne of carbon dioxide and is due to rise to £70 per tonne of CO2 by 2030. British carbon emitters pay the tax on top of levies imposed by the European Union’s carbon emissions trading scheme.

One potential Tata UK bidder, which said it had been in regular discussions with the Government, said it was ‘increasingly optimistic’ that the Government was prepared to modify the carbon tax regime ‘because of the competitive disadvantage it causes’.

Full story

see also -- UK Steel Crisis: GWPF Calls On Government To Scrap Carbon Floor Price

7) VI Attorney General Revokes Climate-Change Subpoena Against Sceptical Think Tank
The Washington Times, 23 May 2016
 Valerie Richardson

Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker has withdrawn his subpoena of the Competitive Enterprise Institute after a rash of criticism over his investigation into climate-change dissenters.

Still, CEI general counsel Sam Kazman said Monday that the free-market think-tank would still push the court for sanctions against Mr. Walker, one of an 17-member coalition of attorneys general pursuing fraud allegations against climate skeptics.

“We are doing so because Walker’s underlying Virgin Islands subpoena remains in effect and, as his local counsel expressly stated, Walker can reinstate the DC [District of Columbia] subpoena whenever he wants,” Mr. Kazman said in a statement.

“More importantly, his withdrawal only strengthens our claim that this subpoena was a constitutional outrage from the very beginning, violating our right to free speech and our donors’ right to confidentiality, and threatening the right of all Americans to express views that go against some party line,” Mr. Kazman said.

“This was an abuse of process, plain and simple, and we’re determined to see that Walker faces sanctions for an action whose illegality he refuses to recognize.”

The CEI took out a full-page ad in The New York Times last week decrying the AGs United for Clean Power’s pursuit of climate skeptics. Signers of the ad included former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray and MIT professor emeritus of atmospheric sciences Richard Lindzen.

The ad was titled, “Abuse of Power: All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in.”

An attorney for Mr. Walker had informed the think-tank last week that he would revoke the subpoena, but insisted the investigation did not violate the organization’s free-speech rights.

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

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