Wednesday, November 28, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: The Coldest Thanksgiving In Over A Century

Met Office Hotheads Predict Incredible Hothouse

In this newsletter:

1) The Coldest Thanksgiving In Over A Century
Newsweek, 22 November 2018
2) Record Cold Hits North America As Solar Activity Reaches Near 200-Year Low
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 24 November 2018

3) Met Office Hotheads: If At First You Don’t Succeed … Double Down
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 26 November 2018
4) ‘Embarrassing’: Climate Expert Explains What’s Wrong With New U.S. Climate Report
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 24 November 2018
5) Carbon Taxes Will Destroy Ireland’s Rural Economy, Farmers Warn
The Irish Independent, 23 November 2018
6) French Protesters Burn Champs-Élysées Over Carbon Tax
The Daily Wire, 25 November 2018 
7) Green Energy Fiasco: UK Homeowners Trapped By 25-Year Solar Panel Contracts 
The Observer, 25 November 2018 

Full details:

1) The Coldest Thanksgiving In Over A Century
Newsweek, 22 November 2018

Talk about cold turkey! The coldest Thanksgiving in 100 years, and quite possibly the coldest Thanksgiving ever, has hit the Northeast United States today.

The unprecedented cold snap comes courtesy of a large Canadian chill working its way across the country on its way to the Atlantic. According to the Weather Network, the deep freeze is the result of a large, low pressure system moving south from the Arctic across the Great Lakes. Combine that with a wicked wind chill, and many Americans are looking at the coldest Thanksgiving in a century.

It’s an especially bitter twist for fans of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to the New York Weather Service, the anticipated high temperature will be 27 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low will be 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on record-keeping that goes back to the 1870s, those forecasts would make today the third-coldest Thanksgiving in modern history. The all-time coldest Thanksgiving occurred in 1871, with a high of 21 degrees and a low of 15 degrees.

Full story

2) Record Cold Hits North America As Solar Activity Reaches Near 200-Year Low
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 24 November 2018

Winter has arrived much earlier than normal this year, particularly across North America, where cold records have been shattered. This Thanksgiving is in fact going down as one of the coldest ever on record across the Northeast.

The Washington Post here, for example, reports that “Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 will be remembered for a record-shattering cold snap across the Northeast United States.”

Also WeatherNation tweeted some impressive record low temperatures being set:

Records for November 22 were set in Canada across Ontario as well. […]

Solar activity lowest level in near 200 years

So what could be behind all the surprising record-setting cold and early wintry weather?

huge volume of scientific literature suggests that low solar activity is playing a major role. The 20th century saw especially strong solar activity, but it has quieted down substantially since the mid 2000s.

The last solar cycle (no. 24) is now all but officially the weakest in close to 200 years, since Solar Cycle 6.

The plot of Solar Cycle 24, red curve, compared to the mean of the previous 23 solar cycles (blue curve) and the similar Solar Cycle 5, which occurred around the year 1800. Chart: Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt.

Full post

3) Met Office Hotheads: If At First You Don’t Succeed … Double Down
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 26 November 2018

The Met Office’s previous climate predictions have been running far too hot. The latest ones are even more incredible.

The Met Office has today released the latest iteration of the official climate predictions that it periodically issues to the country. The last iteration, UKCP09, provided considerable entertainment to climate watchers, after Nic Lewis discovered a major error in the underlying mathematical model, essentially making the entire exercise worthless.

The chief scientist at the Met Office at the time, Julia Slingo, actually admitted Lewis’s central point, but unfortunately the country continued to use UKCP09 as if everything was fine and dandy. Letters from GWPF to the government chief scientist Patrick Vallance, and to the CSO at Defra, Ian Boyd, pointing out that it might not be very clever to use a set of predictions that were known to have a fatal flaw brought back responses along the lines of (on the one hand) “the guys are doing a great job” and (on the other) “UKCP18 is coming anyway”. Bureaucracies cannot ever lose face.

Anyway, rather than trawl through UKCP18 today, I thought it might be amusing to look at the first iteration of the UK’s climate predictions, which was called UKCIP02, in order to see how the predictions are getting on now 16 years have elapsed from its publication in 2002. Unfortunately, the relevant web pages are no longer available, but I found a report on the subject from the BBC, which gives me enough to work on.

So apparently, UKCIP02 reckoned that UK temperatures would be rising pretty fast (grocer’s apostrophe in original):

"Annual average temperatures look set to rise by between 2C and 3.5C by the 2080’s."

We are now 20% of the way between 2002 and 2080, so you might expect something approaching 20% of that warming to have taken place – in other words between 0.4 and 0.7°C. In fact warming trends are meant to gradually increase, so something just shy of 0.4°C would still represent a good performance by the Met Office predictions.

So how have UK temperatures evolved since 2002? I’ve updated one of the graphs we used for Paul Homewood’s GWPF paper on the state of the UK climate, highlighting 2002 (pink circle) and the 0.4-0.7°C range (pink rectangle). It’s not looking good, is it?

As Homewood points out in his report, UK temperatures have actually been falling slightly since the millennium.

At this point, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly the temperature in 2001, which was presumably when the UKCIP02 predictions were finalised, was considerably lower than in 2002, so my choice of a 2002 baseline was perhaps a little unfair. Secondly though, thoughts about baselining issues reminded me that it’s far better to look at trends, so that the baseline is not an issue.

The next graph therefore shows the trend since 2001 and the range of the UKCIP02 projections (still with the caveat about whether a straight line warming expectation is strictly correct).

It’s still not looking good, is it?

There is, of course, a great deal on interannual variability in the data, so I guess they might argue that all is not lost, but nevertheless, you might think that the latest set of predictions, UKCP18, might be quite cautious on temperature predictions.

And you’d be wrong. In fact, the Met Office seems entirely undeterred by this evidence that they might be overstating warming. In UKCP18, they are making the following prediction:

"Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 °C hotter by 2070, while winters could be up to 4.2 °C warmer."

They give an even higher figure for summer temperatures in Wales. That means that summer temperatures are going to increase by over 0.1 °C per year, up to four times faster than the rates they predicted in UKCIP02 and which already look to be overstated.
4) ‘Embarrassing’: Climate Expert Explains What’s Wrong With New U.S. Climate Report
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 24 November 2018

A climate change report published Friday contains cherry-picked data that appear designed to warn of the consequences if steps are not taken to mitigate global warming, according to one climate expert.

The scientists who wrote the National Climate Assessment (NCA) used unreliable information that exaggerates the risks global warming poses, University of Colorado Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. noted in a series of tweets. He fears the report will make it easier for critics to dismiss future climate studies.

“By presenting cherrypicked science, at odds w/ NCA Vol,1 & IPCC AR5, the authors of NCA Vol.2 have given a big fat gift to anyone who wants to dismiss climate science and policy,” Pielke Jr. wrote in a tweet Friday shortly after the White House released the report.


“People are not dumb. Clim chg is real & deserves policy response, but not like this,” he said, referring to volume two of the NCA, a federal report the administration is required by law to submit. Volume one was published in 2017 and “played things straight on the science of extremes,” added Pielke Jr., who has criticized media’ reporting on similar reports in the past.

Continued use of coal and other fossil fuels will eliminate 10 percent of the GDP by the end of the century, according to the report. The country will also be 3 to 12 degrees hotter depending on the level of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, the report warns. Wildfires and hurricanes will increase as a result if the risk is left unchecked, the report notes.

The report came from a team of 13 federal agencies and was cobbled together with the help of 1,000 people, including 300 scientists. They used a Representative Concentration Pathway adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to make their conclusions. The so-called RCP creates a trajectory for future damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

A White House statement Friday said the report was “largely based on the most extreme scenario” of global warming and that the next assessment would likely be more balanced. Pielke agrees.

He says the NCA’s second volume relies on the RCP8.5, one of the four possible pathways in the trajectory. This particular pathway is slowly being phased out of the IPCC’s modeling because scientists believe the model likely overestimates future supply of fossil fuels.

Researchers used the most extreme example possible to sell the narrative that wildfires will get worse, he noted.

Results from the first NCA report in 2014 helped the Obama administration decide on a set of regulations that conservatives claimed were too unfriendly to businesses. Former President Barack Obama created the Clean Power Plan the following year. It aimed to dramatically reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants. Obama also helped broker the Paris climate agreement in 2015.

Scientists who are sympathetic to the report’s findings believe it will place more pressure on President Donald Trump to beef up regulations. “This report will weaken the Trump administration’s legal case for undoing climate change regulations, and it strengthens the hands of those who go to court to fight them,” Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, told The New York Times.

Full story

5) Carbon Taxes Will Destroy Ireland’s Rural Economy, Farmers Warn
The Irish Independent, 23 November 2018

The Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Supplier Association (ICMSA) have hit out at the possibility of carbon taxes being introduced to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The farm organisations’ comments follow warnings from Richard Bruton, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, that Ireland is “far off course” in achieving its CO2 reduction targets.

Ireland is facing massive fines because of its failure to meet strict EU targets, and Minister Bruton said that imposing carbon taxes will be among a suite of measures aimed at controlling emissions.

However, ICMSA president Pat McCormack said the reality of farming’s importance to the rural economy must be given equal consideration to the “scientific and environmental reality” of climate change.

“Farming and food production is not just a part of the rural economy; to a huge degree it is the total of our rural economy, and undermining it through fuel tax hikes will simply destroy the only meaningful economy in whole swathes of the state outside the cities and larger towns,” said Mr McCormack.

IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney said farmers were totally opposed to carbon taxes on the sector, which he said would directly impact on “farming’s competitiveness without reducing climate emissions”.

Full story

6) French Protesters Burn Champs-Élysées Over Carbon Tax
The Daily Wire, 25 November 2018 

Law enforcement and fire patrol are struggling to keep the peace (and keep the Champs-Élysées from burning) in Paris as riotous protests enter their eighth day.

Although the most violent — and deadliest — demonstrations have taken place in Paris, protests are being held country-wide over a proposed increase in France's "fuel tax" designed to curb fuel usage and cut down on carbon emissions to prevent "climate change."

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing the tax to help cut down on the country's dependence on fossil fuels and to "fund renewable energy projects," according to the Associated Press.

"The anger is mainly over a hike in the diesel fuel tax, which has gone up seven euro cents per liter (nearly 30 U.S. cents per gallon) and will keep climbing in coming years, according to Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne. The tax on gasoline is also to increase four euro cents.

Gasoline currently costs about 1.64 euros a liter in Paris ($7.06 a gallon), slightly more than diesel," the AP says.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters, clad in the bright green safety vests all Parisians are required to keep in their car for emergencies, set fire to barricades in a massive bonfire near the famous Arc de Triomphe, and waged a campaign of destruction along Paris's main shopping and dining thoroughfare, the Champs-Élysées.

More than a dozen people — including one police officer — have been hurt in the melee, and one person has been seriously injured. More than 3,000 law enforcement officers have been deployed to contain the situation and enforce "no-go" zones around government buildings and in heavily trafficked tourist areas.

Full story

7) Green Energy Fiasco: UK Homeowners Trapped By 25-Year Solar Panel Contracts 
The Observer, 25 November 2018 

Householders who lease their roofs to power firms find it hard or costly to move home

Julie Griffiths* bought her wanted to reduce her carbon footprint by installing solar panels. The cost would have been a prohibitive £12,000, so she signed a deal to lease part of her roof to a solar power company, which would fit the panels for free. It would pocket the newly introduced feed-in tariffs (FITs) – subsidies paid by the government for the electricity generated. She, meanwhile, would have lower energy bills. At the end of the 25 years, the panels and the tariffs would be hers.

It seemed a win-win situation until recently, when she needed to sell the house. Her buyer’s mortgage application was refused because of the lease agreement, which had effectively signed over a large part of the roof to the solar company.

“A clause in the lease allowed us to buy out the panels for a fee to compensate the company for the loss of their FITs,” she says. “We were prepared to do it to be able to sell our house and move on with our lives, but the company had passed the management of the panels on to an agent, who seemed reluctant to let us proceed.”

Eventually, after the Observer intervened, Griffiths was allowed to buy the panels for £20,500, an uncosted sum that she was told was non-negotiable. Not only was this nearly double the price she’d have paid to install the system herself, but she had also missed out on nearly eight years of FITs worth, around £7,300. All in all, the “free” system has left her around £16,000 out of pocket. […]

Many are discovering the high price of their “free” deal as they try to sell. The 25-year leases apply to the property regardless of who owns it, and they have to find a buyer willing to take on the remaining years. And even if a buyer is happy, mortgage lenders may not be. The deal is treated as a leasehold, and contracts skewed in favour of the company are deemed risky by banks and building societies. […]

Government subsidies on solar panels will cease at the end of next March. Miss the deadline and it would take a working household up to 70 years instead of the current 20 to recoup the average £6,500 cost.

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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