Friday, September 16, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Nicolas Sarkozy Turns Climate Sceptic In Battle For Élysée

La Nina Is Dividing World Weather Forecasters

In this newsletter:

1) Nicolas Sarkozy Turns Climate Sceptic In Battle For Élysée
The Local, 15 September 2016

2) Andrew Bolt: Floods Sink Climate Change Hysteria
Herald Sun, 14 September 2016

3) La Nina Is Dividing World Weather Forecasters
Bloomberg, 14 September 2016

4) David Whitehouse: Has The Pacific Blob Delayed La Niña?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 September 2016

5) Americans’ Trust In Mass Media Skinks To New Low
Gallup, 14 September 2016 

Full details:

1) Nicolas Sarkozy Turns Climate Sceptic In Battle For Élysée
The Local, 15 September 2016

Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy reckons that climate change is not caused by man [alone] and that the world has far bigger problems on its hands than global warming.

Sarkozy comes out of the closet as a climate skepticSarkozy comes out of the closet as a climate skeptic

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is fighting to regain the presidency that he lost to François Hollande in 2012, has finally come out of the closet as a climate skeptic.

Speaking in front of business leaders Sarkozy, a candidate for Les Republicains party primary in November, told them that man alone was not to blame for climate change.

“Climate has been changing for four billion years,” the former president said according to AFP. “Sahara has become a desert, it isn’t because of industry. You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.”

Sarkozy has minimized the climate change in the past, but up until now he has never openly suggested that man was not to blame.

It appears the ex-president has an all round grudge against climate change.

The former president believes the world should be concentrating on the rise in the population and movement of people rather than worrying so much about global warming.

“Never has the earth experienced such a demographic shock as it is about to, because in a few years there will be 11 billion of us. And man is directly responsible in this case but nobody talks about it,” Sarkozy said.

Full story

2) Andrew Bolt: Floods Sink Climate Change Hysteria
Herald Sun, 14 September 2016

Australia had just had its second-wettest winter on record

In 2008 — at the height of the global warming scare — our Bureau of Meteorology warned of endless drought.

“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said its head of climate analysis, David Jones.

“There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent.”

So I was surprised this week to hear again from Jones, now the bureau’s head of climate predictions, as record rains again drowned our paddocks, flooded our rivers and filled our dams.

A farmer drives through flooded roads in Serpentine, Victoria. Picture: Ian Currie 
Without a single “whoops” or “sorry”, Jones announced Australia had just had its second-wettest winter on record — just missing out top spot by a couple of millimetres.

But Jones had plenty of company back when global warming was the hysterical faith of scientists, politicians and journalists. Professional warming alarmist Tim Flannery, appointed chief climate commissioner by the Gillard government, famously said much the same in 2007: “Even that rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems.”

Greens leader Bob Brown in 2008 claimed drought “is the new norm across Australia’s greatest food bowl” in southern Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald in 2008 agreed “the drought may never break”, and The Age in 2009 reported the “Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (have) confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change”.

It quoted another bureau official, Bertrand Timbal: ‘’In the minds of a lot of people, the rainfall we had in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was a benchmark … But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.’’

Melbourne Water disastrously agreed: “Unfortunately, we cannot rely on this kind of rainfall like we used to.” So it backed the then Victorian Labor government’s construction of a mega-expensive desalination plant instead of a much cheaper dam.

Reality check. The droughts are long gone. Floods have since drowned parts of Brisbane and filled dams to overflowing in Sydney as well.

Today again, Sydney’s main Warragamba Dam is 98 per cent full, and Brisbane’s dams 81 per cent. Melbourne’s are 67 per cent full and filling. Rivers are flooding.

Could the global warming experts explain how they got this so wrong?

3) La Nina Is Dividing World Weather Forecasters
Bloomberg, 14 September 2016
Brian K Sullivan

A meteorological clash of nations is confounding the world’s commodity markets. Global weather agencies can’t agree on whether to expect a La Nina event in coming months. The U.S. has backed off its prediction, Australia remains watchful, while Japan has decided La Nina is already here. Disagreements arise because each nation has different standards for measuring the weather.

The ocean-cooling phenomenon — a shift from last year’s warming El Nino — can roil commodities markets with dramatic shifts in weather that wreak havoc on demand and supplies. The yes-no-maybe confusion is giving heartburn to natural gas, coal and agricultural traders who depend on forecasts to place bets on whether prices will rise or fall.

“There are billions of dollars of capital at stake,” said Teri Viswanath, managing director of natural gas at PIRA Energy Group in New York.

Gas traders are already banking on a La Nina to help deliver the frostiest U.S. winter since the “polar vortex,” a chill that sent prices surging across the U.S. in 2014. And Australia’s coal is headed for the first annual gain in six years, in part on speculation that a La Nina will curb supplies. The last La Nina flooded coal mines in Indonesia and Australia, the world’s two largest exporters of the fuel.

ENSO Phases
La Nina is just one phase in a larger three-part cycle known as the El Nino Southern Oscillation, or ENSO for short. La Nina represents the cool phase, El Nino is when the equatorial Pacific warms, and ENSO Neutral is in-between.

After 2015’s strong El Nino, the Pacific has been cooling, nudging the ocean toward borderline La Nina conditions, said Mike McPhaden, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. The weak trend leaves plenty of room for interpretation.

“Different groups of experts are reading the tea leaves slightly differently and coming up with different evaluations of where we are headed,” McPhaden said.

“It’s not like last year’s strong El Nino that rang all the bells and that had everyone in the scientific community on the same page about what was happening.”

Gas prices are so dependent on weather conditions, the market is craving some consistency among the forecasts, Viswanath said. So far, the Pacific isn’t cooperating. For a La Nina to form, the cooling ocean has to also trigger changes in the atmosphere.

Uncertainty Prevails
“ENSO is not an off-on switch,” said Michelle L’Heureux, a meteorologist with Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “It is not like when you walk outside and it is raining on you and you can say ‘It is raining.’ It is an incredibly sprawling, complex phenomenon.”

While weather experts agree on what a La Nina is — a cooling ocean pattern that affects the atmosphere — where to set the boundaries for measuring the event is where disagreement lies, said Andrew Watkins, supervisor of climate prediction services for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne. “The differences in the operational definitions revolve around the variables and the thresholds we examine to make a declaration.”

Full story

4) David Whitehouse: Has The Pacific Blob Delayed La Niña?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 13 September 2016

The Pacific Blob’s contribution to the record global temperatures is significant. Is it also delaying the La Niña?

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 10.49.49
Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 10.49.49
In most of the discussions about the factors behind the record-breaking global temperature of 2015 and probably 2016, the crucial contribution made by an intense El Niño is often mentioned, though not as often as it should be. Mentioned even less is the so-called Pacific “blob.” According to researchers writing in the journal Nature, “Between the winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15 during the strong North American drought, the northeast Pacific experienced the largest maritime heatwave ever recorded.” The blob’s contribution to the record global temperatures is significant.

It formed in the Gulf of Alaska during the autumn of 2013. The following year it had spread across the North Pacific to the Oyashio, Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, and to the waters offshore of the California Current. In February and June of 2014, the Gulf of Alaska had temperature anomalies of +2 to +4°C to depths of 100 m; the western North Pacific warmed an equal amount during the summer of 2014. During that summer its effects began to diminish, but it remained a prominent feature in the Northeast Pacific. In mid-September northerly winds ceased and the blob moved into the shelf waters off southern British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, raising coastal sea surface temperatures by 6°C. In November of 2014, it was entrenched in coastal waters off Oregon. The blob continued throughout the summer and autumn of 2015.

By December of 2015 many considered the blob had dissipated; By then the El Niño was intense. But the latest measurements indicate that the blob has not gone away and is currently resting several hundred metres below the ocean’s surface. The new data indicates that the region’s upper waters are being mixed by the wind again and coming back to normal temperatures, but the residual effect of the blob is still there at about 150 to 200 metres below the surface.

The reason why the blob was declared dead at the end of 2015 was that satellite thermal images no longer detected abnormally warm waters on the surface of the Pacific Coast. However, the imaging only reached up to 40 metres below the surface. The most recent vertical measurements suggest that the blob might be starting to weaken at the new depth.

Delayed La Niña
Many scientists expected that in the next few months a La Niña – an ocean-atmospheric system that has a cooling effect on surface temperatures – would bring temperatures back to normal. When the expected region of cold water started to breach the surface last May, ending the El Niño’s reign, climatologists forecasted a 75 percent chance La Niña would be here by the end of the year. But recently NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center changed its mind and is now predicting neutral conditions persisting through the forthcoming winter. The probability of a La Niña has been downgraded significantly to about 40 percent.

The delayed La Niña will obviously affect global temperatures keeping the globe warmer for longer. Despite the ending of the El Niño and subsequent cooling 2016 was already on course to be a record because of the strength of the El Niño’s contribution.

NOAA’s next updated long range 30- and 90-day forecasts, are due out on September 22nd. It will be fascinating to see if the blob is a factor in predictions and its interaction with the missing La Niña.


5) Americans’ Trust In Mass Media Sinks To New Low
Gallup, 14 September 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.

Americans' Trust in the Mass MediaAmericans' Trust in the Mass Media

Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.

Republicans Fuel Drop in Media Trust
While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press.

Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.

Trust in Mass Media, by PartyTrust in Mass Media, by Party

Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally, with 51% of Democrats (compared with 55% last year) and 30% of independents (versus 33% last year) expressing trust. Over the past 20 years, Democrats have generally expressed more trust than Republicans in the media, although in 2000, the two parties were most closely aligned, with 53% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans professing trust.

Trust in Mass Media Falls Across Age Groups
Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to say they trust the media, but trust has declined among both age groups this year. Currently, 26% of those aged 18 to 49 (down from 36% last year) and 38% of those aged 50 and older (down from 45%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.
Trust in Mass Media, by Age
Trust in Mass Media, by Age
In 2001, younger Americans (55%) were more likely than older Americans (50%) to express trust and confidence in mass media. This gap emerged again in 2005 when 53% of 18- to 49-year-olds had trust and 45% of those 50 and older expressed the same sentiment. Yet in the past decade, older Americans have mostly had more confidence than younger Americans, and this year, the gap between these age groups is 12 points. And 2016 marks the first time that confidence among older Americans has dropped below 40% in polling since 2001.

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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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