Friday, June 1, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Extreme Flood Events Decreasing In Europe Despite Global Warming, Scientists Find








Flooding really was worse in the old days

In this newsletter:

1) Extreme Flood Events Decreasing In Europe Despite Global Warming, Scientists Find
The Times, 30 May 2018
 
2) Emails Show Climate Skeptics Tout ‘Winning’ Under Trump
The Hill, 29 May 2018


 
3) Sacked Professor Peter Ridd Steps Up Push For Reef Science Scrutiny
The Australian, 26 May 2018
 
4) China’s CO2 Emissions Set For Fastest Growth In 7 Years
Financial Times, 29 May 2018
 
5) Electric Vehicles Could Increase Net CO2 Emissions In India And China: IEA
Business Standard, 30 May 2018
 
6) China Considers More U.S. Coal Imports To Cut Deficit
Bloomberg, 29 May 2018


Full details:

1) Extreme Flood Events Decreasing In Europe Despite Global Warming, Scientists Find
The Times, 30 May 2018
Oliver Moody

The frequency of “extreme hydrological events” actually declined during the 20th century, despite global warming.

Monty Python’s four Yorkshiremen, who bragged of spending their childhoods in septic tanks or at the bottom of a lake, would be delighted to discover that floods really were worse when they were lads.

Since the 1950s the number of lives and the amount of money lost to floods have declined, despite little change to the frequency of catastrophic floods, according to the first comprehensive study of European historical records.

Academics at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands found that the number of flood deaths across Europe has been falling by about 5 per cent a year for the past six decades. Financial losses to flooding have declined by 2 per cent a year, according to their paper in Nature Communications.
 



Global warming means that there is less risk of sudden thaw, which means flooding is less likely
KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO VIA GETTY IMAGES

Dominik Paprotny, who led the study, said that this was probably because people had migrated out of the countryside into cities, which tended to be better protected, while houses now tended to be more soundly built and flood defences were stronger. The internal combustion engine and the invention of the helicopter have also made evacuating people a much easier prospect than in the Victorian era.

Working from more than 300 sources including old books and newspaper clippings, the team created a list of 1,564 “damaging” floods that occurred between 1870 and 2016. They then made a map of how riches and the population had been distributed across 37 European nations over the same period. The model was detailed enough to be broken up into 100m squares.

The number of bad floods per year did increase from about three in the late 19th century to more than 20 in the early 21st. However, records are heavily skewed as most of the middling-sized floods that happened before 1950 have simply passed out of memory.

When the academics tweaked the data to take this into account, they found that the upward trend vanished: if anything, the frequency of “extreme hydrological events” went down during the 20th century, despite global warming. Mr Paprotny said that climate change had reduced some flood risk factors, such as sudden thaws, but had made others worse.

2) Emails Show Climate Skeptics Tout ‘Winning’ Under Trump
The Hill, 29 May 2018
John Bowden

A conservative think tank that seeks to battle global warming “alarmism” celebrated during President Trump‘s first year in office, according to correspondence obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request.

Joe Bast, the co-founder of the Illinois-based Heartland Institute, wrote to allies in January that 2017 had been “a great year for climate realists” due to policies pursued by the Trump administration. The email referred to the White House’s efforts to direct federal agencies to remove references to climate change from official documents.

“This is what victory looks like,” he wrote in October when noting that “global warming” wasn’t mentioned in the EPA’s strategic plan for upcoming years.

“More winning, this time at FEMA,” he added in March when the Federal Emergency Management Agency cut references to climate change from its plans.

According to the released emails released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday and first reported on by the trade publication E&E News, EPA coordinated with Heartland to include climate change doubters in meetings about accuracy and scientific integrity and is asking Trump officials to appoint a committee designed to combat “the bias that infected climate science and policymaking” under the Obama administration.

EPA released the emails following a lawsuit by The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and Environmental Defense Fund in March.

“EPA’s efforts to promote climate change deniers and undermine peer-reviewed science behind closed doors is not only a failure of its mission, it is illegal,” said Kym Hunter, Attorney for SELC at the time. “The public has a clear and protected right to know what the EPA is doing and with whom they are communicating, including those pushing a climate-denier agenda.”

Former Texas Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), who now leads the group, told The Associated Press that the EPA recognizes his group as a “pre-eminent organization opposing the radical climate alarmism agenda.”

An EPA spokesperson told the AP that the agency works with the Heartland Institute, among other organizations, “to ensure the public is informed.”

Full story

3) Sacked Professor Peter Ridd Steps Up Push For Reef Science Scrutiny
The Australian, 26 May 2018
Graham Lloyd

Marine science whistleblower Peter Ridd has stepped up his campaign for a new body to check the quality of Great Barrier Reef science to ensure that billions of dollars of public funding are well spent.



Marine science whistleblower Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird

Professor Ridd said a quality assurance panel to audit research findings would cost a small fraction of the money already earmarked and would quickly achieve results.

Professor Ridd was sacked last month by James Cook University for breaking confidentiality agreements to disclose that disciplinary action was being taken against him following his public calls for better quality assurance.

JCU said Professor Ridd had engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the university and its employees.

He has raised $260,000 in public donations to challenge JCU in the Federal Court and has received wide support, including from federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, who said academic freedom and the right to challenge what might be perceived as accepted wisdoms were essential in any free society.

Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian he did not want to be involved directly in the quality assurance panel, which should truly be independent. “It has to be the right people,” he said.

He said the panel would operate like an audit body or formal peer review where independent scientists not employed directly by the group were paid to analyse the findings of keystone research papers.

“We are talking a few million dollars a year to get an awful long way,” he said. “In a few years you could have the bulk of the Great Barrier Reef science checked and it would tighten up everything that was coming out in the future.”

Professor Ridd said his motivation for better quality assurance was the so-called “replication crisis”, which was an open secret in the science community internationally. A series of major campaigns to replicate and check recent scientific results had shown consistently that about half were wrong.

Full story

4) China’s CO2 Emissions Set For Fastest Growth In 7 Years
Financial Times, 29 May 2018

China’s carbon emissions are on track to rise at their fastest pace in more than seven years during 2018, casting further doubt on the ability of the Paris climate change agreement to curb dangerous greenhouse gas increases, according to a Greenpeace analysis based on Beijing’s own data.



Carbon emissions in the country, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, rose 4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to calculations by the environmental group based on Chinese government statistics covering coal, cement, oil and gas. If that pace continues it would be the fastest increase since 2011.

The latest finding comes as climate researchers express concern over rising emissions in China, which accounts for more than a quarter of global carbon dioxide output. […]

Although China has invested heavily in renewable energy such as wind and solar, a key reason for its emissions growth is rising demand for oil and gas due to increased car ownership and electricity demand.

Full story (subscription required)

5) Electric Vehicles Could Increase Net CO2 Emissions In India And China: IEA
Business Standard, 30 May 2018


The International Energy Agency has said there will be a net increase in carbon emissions due to electric vehicles when considering life-cycle emissions in countries, like India and China, which have a carbon-intensive power generation mix.



In its report on electric vehicle, IEA says under the New Policies Scenario, India will reach an 11 per cent EV market share by 2030 (for all modes combined, excluding two- and three-wheelers where the share will be 70 per cent). Under the EV30@30 Scenario outlook, India’s electric mobility transition could develop a favourable policy environment and achieve a 25 per cent EV market share by 2030 across all modes, except two and three-wheelers where over 70 per cent of sales will be electric by the same year….

“EVs offer only limited advantages with respect to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in terms of WTW (well-to-wheel) CO2 emissions, and they may even result in net increases when considering life-cycle emissions in countries with a carbon-intensive power generation mix (e.g. India and China),” says the report.
Full story

6) China Considers More U.S. Coal Imports To Cut Deficit
Bloomberg, 29 May 2018

China is considering a plan to buy more American coal as part of an effort to narrow its trade deficit with the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Chinese officials are currently looking at boosting purchases from West Virginia in particular, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. They didn’t say whether Beijing is looking at buying more supplies from other states. A final decision hasn’t been made, they said.

The country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, referred questions to the National Energy Administration; officials there didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.

China this month pledged to increase purchases of U.S. energy and agricultural goods as a way to reduce its $375 billion merchandise trade deficit and diffuse an escalating trade war between the world’s biggest economies. More imports by the Asian nation would be a boon for American coal-producing states — including West Virginia — that supported Donald Trump’s presidency on the back of his pledge to revive the ailing industry.

While China pursues a long-term goal of lowering coal’s share of its energy mix, the country still produces, consumes and imports more of the fuel than any other nation. It purchased 271 million metric tons from overseas last year, according to customs data. The U.S. exported about 3.2 million short tons to China, data from the Energy Information Administration show.

The total value of U.S. coal exported to China last year was about $395 million, based on an average price of $122 per ton, Andrew Cosgrove, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst said in an email. About 90 percent was metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, 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.

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