Saturday, May 6, 2017

New Study Confirms: Global Warming Pause Is Real

Arctic Defies Alarmist Hype

In this newsletter:

1) New Study Confirms: The Warming ‘Pause’ Is Real And Revealing
GWPF Observatory, 4 May 2017
2) Arctic Defies Alarmist Hype
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 May 2017
3) Activist ‘Science’ And Polar Bear Numbers
Polar Bear Science, 1 May 2017
4) New Study: Some Coral Reefs Are Adapting To Warming Oceans Just Fine
Wildlife Conservation Society, 2 May 2017
5) White House Warms To Red Team Proposal For Climate Science
Axios, 4 April 2017
6) Critics Increase Pressure On Paris Climate Deal As Trump Mulls Exit
Washington Examiner, 3 May 2017

Full details:

1) New Study Confirms: The Warming Pause Is Real And Revealing
GWPF Observatory, 4 May 2017
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor
A new paper has been published in the Analysis section of Nature called Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus.' It confirms that the ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ is real. It is also rather revealing.
It attempts to explain the ‘Pause’ by looking into what is known about climate variability. They say that four years after the release of the IPCC AR5 report, which contained much about the ‘hiatus’ it is time to see what can be learned.

One could be a little sarcastic in saying why would Nature devote seven of its desirable pages to an event that some vehemently say never existed and maintain its existence has been disproved long ago. Now, however, as the El Nino spike of the past few years levels off, analysing the ‘pause’ seems to be coming back into fashion.
The authors of this recent paper delicately tread a line between the two opposing camps saying, on the one hand, that both sides have a point and their particular methods of analysis are understandable. But on the other hand they make it clear that there is a real event that needs studying.
As someone who has paid close attention to the ‘pause’ for almost a decade I am perhaps more attentive than most when it comes to a retelling of the history of the idea and the observations.
The authors say the ‘pause’ started with claims from outside the scientific community. Well, yes and no. It was tentatively suggested in 2006 and 2007 by climate sceptics many of whom were experienced scientists and quite capable of reading a graph and calculating statistics. A decade after it was raised, every time the ‘pause’ is debated it is a tribute to those who first noticed it and faced harsh criticism. It was the sceptics who noticed the ‘pause,’ and in doing so made a valuable contribution to science. For years it was only analysed and discussed on the blogosphere before journals took notice.
There is nothing new in their recent paper or that hasn’t been discussed by the GWPF. Perhaps that will give pause for thought for some who see battle lines drawn between pause supporters (sceptics) and pause busters (scientists).
What the authors miss, with their three definitions of the pause, is a simple fact we have often pointed out. Look at HadCRUT4 from 2001 (after the 1999-2000 El Nino/La Nina event) until 2014 (before the start of the recent El Nino event) and you will see the temperature is flat. Apart from the recent El Nino there has been no global increase since 2001, even though there have been El Ninos and La Ninas in that period. Now that’s what I call a pause.
I will leave it to the reader to calculate the trend, and the error of the trend for the same period using other global surface temperature data sets. The duration of the pause is about half of the nominal 30-year basic climate assessment period, so if it resumes in the next few years it may become the dominant climate event of recent times. The pause ended not because of gradual global warming but because of a natural weather event whose temporary increased rate of global warming was far too large to be anthropomorphic. This didn’t stop some from claiming we had entered a period of catastrophic global warming.
Look at their Fig 1 showing trends in global temperature data sets. It shows that since about 2000 the trend in all data sets has been decreasing. This was only halted by the recent El Nino. Note that all the variations on the graph are said to be within the bounds of natural variability according to the authors, indicating that nothing unusual has happened over the duration of the graph.
Consider also their figure 2b and c. It shows HadCRUT3 from 1980 -2008 and points out the recent pause period. It then shows five global temperature data sets from 1980 – 2015 showing that the pause has gone away. Never mind that the reason why the pause has stopped is not a climatic one, but due to the short-term El Nino.
Look also at their Fig 5 which is said to reconcile observations and computer models showing that there is no discrepancy. Again it is the recent El Nino that brings models and data together. Without the introduction of this short-lived weather event the climate models would obviously be running too warm.
All this negates the paper’s aim to explain the pause in terms of what is known about climate variability.
There is also a commentary on the paper published in Nature’s news and views section by Risbey and Lewandowsky which is absurd. They are wrong in their views about HadCRUT4 and flat periods, see above. They point out that the data sets continue to show significant warming trends when the trend length exceeds 16 years. This is an obvious point when looking at the rise in global temperature seen in the years prior to the 1998 El Nino event. They should also look at Fig 1 again and bear in mind what I say about El Ninos.
The pause has been extremely valuable and illuminating for climate science. A decade ago it was held that the anthropogenic signal of global warming was strong. Only when surface temperatures did not increase by the 0.3°C per decade most climate models had predicted that qualifications were made. Natural decadal variability was used to explain the lack of temperature rise and it resulted in a gradual change of view.
Now it was claimed that the anthropogenic signal was being obscured by decadal climatic variability and it would be several decades before it emerged and exceeded it, as Meehl et al said in Nature Climate Change, “Longer-term externally forced trends in global mean surface temperatures are embedded in the background noise of internally generated multidecadal variability.”
Whether the pause will return after the recent El Nino and its aftermath settles down remains to be seen. From its sceptical beginnings the pause has become the major controversy and debating point in climate science. Despite ongoing attempts to either deny it altogether or to find new reasons for its existence, nobody really knows what caused it or whether it will be re-established.
2) Arctic Defies Alarmist Hype
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 May 2017
Paul Homewood
We have had countless news stories over the winter about heatwaves in the Arctic and record ice melt. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Arctic sea ice is just where it has been for the last few years.
 Average April ice extent has now been stable since 2004. 

Most of the Arctic basin is covered by ice at least two meters thick or more.  [...]
Arctic temperatures have been 20C or more below zero all year so far, and are currently below average.
 And the Greenland ice sheet continue to grow at record rates.

Full post
3) Activist ‘Science’ And Polar Bear Numbers
Polar Bear Science, 1 May 2017
Susan Crockford
Is there a mutiny in the works between the IUCN Red List and the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) over polar bear population estimates or has there simply been a breach of ethics?
What else explains the fact that some of the subpopulation estimates used by the PBSG to support the status of ‘vulnerable’ for the IUCN Red List in 2015 are unacceptable to them in 2017? And why are the PBSG refusing to embrace the Red List global estimate of 22,000-31,000?

The latest version of the IUCN PBSG status table was posted online 30 March 2017 without fanfare or even a note on their home page. It seems the result came from much discussion at their official meeting last summer (June 2016) that they say continued into early March 2017.

PBGS members voted to reject four subpopulation estimates used in the 2015 Red List polar bear status review  — even though the inclusion of those numbers was required in order for the Red List status of ‘vulnerable’ to be upheld. The group has also chosen not to update their global population page with the Red List estimate of 22,000-31,000.
And surprise, surprise — now that only one subpopulation out of nineteen worldwide has shown a recent decline, the PBSG have removed the “trend” columns from their summary table for subpopulations.
Welcome to conservation ‘science’ practiced by IUCN polar bear specialists.

Regular readers may recall that the quality control folks at the Red List insisted in 2014 that a status assessment of ‘vulnerable’ based on future risks generated by predictive computer models could only be used if estimates were provided for all subpopulations (as was stated clearly in the minutes of one of the PBSG meetings posted online, read marked excerpt here).
Full post
4) New Study: Some Coral Reefs Are Adapting To Warming Oceans Just Fine
Wildlife Conservation Society, 2 May 2017
A new WCS study reveals evidence that some corals are adapting to warming ocean waters – potentially good news in the face of recent reports of global coral die offs due to extreme warm temperatures in 2016. The study appears in the latest issue of Marine Ecology Progress Series.
The study looked at responses to extreme temperature exposures in the same reefs over time, and found less coral bleaching in 11 of the 21 coral species studied. WCS Senior Conservation Zoologist Tim McClanahan, who has been studying coral responses to climate change since the extreme temperatures of the1998 El Nino, authored the study.
The study took place in two marine national parks of Kenya. Looking at two similarly severe warming events in 1998 and 2016, McClanahan found that the number of pale and bleached coral colonies declined from 73 to 27 percent, and 96 to 60 percent in the two parks with different background temperatures. Most of this change was due to about half of the most common species that did not bleach strongly in 2016.  One rare species was, however, more sensitive than in 1998.
Full post
5) White House Warms To Red Team Proposal For Climate Science
Axios, 4 April 2017
The Trump administration has reportedly expressed interest in a proposal for a public forum on climate change science that a former top official in President Obama's administration has suggested.
The details: Steven Koonin, who served as the Energy Department's under secretary for science during two years of Obama's first term, suggests a format from the national-security realm where experts take turns critiquing each other's work on climate science in a competitive and public way.
For the record: "I can tell you that's found some resonance within the administration," Koonin tells Axios. "I'm just going to say people seem to be interested."
The other side: Environmental groups are not on board, not surprisingly. Kelly Levin, a senior associate at the World Resources Institute, said such a format is an unnecessary distraction because the "validity of climate science has been confirmed and reconfirmed countless times."
See also GWPF paper: Red Teams Can Save Climate Science From Itself
6) Critics Increase Pressure On Paris Climate Deal As Trump Mulls Exit
Washington Examiner, 3 May 2017
John Siciliano
Critics of the Paris climate change deal stepped up their offensive Wednesday to pressure President Trump to keep his campaign promise and withdraw from the international pact on global warming.
The free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington is leading the charge to ensure Trump leaves the deal, releasing an exhaustive analysis on why staying in the deal would harm the U.S. economy.
The cost of meeting the climate change agreement will dwarf that of meeting just the climate regulations established under former President Barack Obama’s climate change plan. Obama’s regulations make up the U.S.’s preliminary commitment toward meeting the goals of the Paris deal. But as the agreement progresseses new, much more strict rules will be required, with added costs.
“Obama pledged to reduce U.S. emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, with deeper cuts every five years thereafter. That is already significant, but he went much further,” the report said. “He also committed the United States to rapidly phase out fossil fuels over 35 years.”
The cost risk would rise through 2050, as the deal would require an increase in the U.S.’s commitments every five years. “Just the first U.S. … emission reduction pledge … outstrips the achievable emission reductions of all adopted and proposed Obama climate policies, including the Clean Power Plan and other regulations Trump is rescinding, by about 49 percent,” it read.
The Clean Power Plan has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy $39 billion each year if implemented. An often-cited report by NERA Economic Consulting showed that the cost of meeting the plan could total as much as $300 billion between 2022 to 2033.
On top of that, new legislation would be required to meet the initial commitment and future “more ambitious” commitments under the agreement, the CEI report said, including a $10-per-barrel carbon fee on oil that Obama proposed in his fiscal 2017 budget.
“In addition, the agreement falls apart unless Congress ponies up billions for the Green Climate Fund,” it added. The fund is meant to be authorized at $100 billion per year by 2020, but countries want that amount to be increased. The money would be used to assist smaller countries to cope with the effects of global warming such as sea-level rise.
The study comes as new reports suggested Trump is leaning toward withdrawing from the agreement, after finding out that the U.S.’s commitments under the deal would be impossible to reverse. […]
The new CEI study said the State Department’s suggestions on how to remain a party to the agreement, without abiding by the commitments made under former President Barack Obama, present a “false choice.”
“The argument that we can simply renegotiate the Paris Climate Treaty is false; that’s not an option under the deal,” said Chris Horner, co-author of the study and senior fellow at CEI. “The agreement’s language in Article 4 is clear and deliberate. According to this treaty, any revision must be more stringent — we cannot revise downward, and we are required to make it worse, every five years, forever. This is a truly terrible deal for U.S. consumers and the economy.”
CEI argues that the climate agreement acts as a treaty, even though it’s non-binding, because it has real domestic consequences for the nation’s energy policy that can be upheld by federal courts.
Horner said remaining a party to the deal gives Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and other supporters room to maneuver in the courts to use Paris to uphold strict climate regulations. Those regulations would have real economic impact on the nation’s economy, according to CEI.
Myron Ebell, CEI’s environmental program director, has been leading the group’s campaign to pressure Trump to leave the Paris agreement. Ebell is the former head of the Trump transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We are hopeful that President Trump will keep his campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty, but we aren’t taking that for granted,” Ebell said in an email.
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

No comments: