Tuesday, January 15, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Heaviest Snowfalls In 100 Years Bring Chaos To Alpine Ski Resorts








Search Starts For New World Bank President

In this newsletter:

1) Heaviest Snowfalls In 100 Years Bring Chaos To Alpine Ski Resorts
The Times, 12 January 2019 
 
2) Snowfall Hasn’t Changed In Nearly 50 Years
Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 11 January 2019 


 
3) Search Starts For New World Bank President
Ghana News Agency, 12 January 2019
 
4) US Threatens Sanctions On German Firms Building Russian Gas Pipeline
Reuters, 14 January 2019 
 
5) Germany Struggles To Phase Out Coal
Financial Times, 14 January 2019 
 
6) Hurricanes: It’s Better Than We Thought
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 13 January 2019

7) Warmer Than Thought? GWPF Science Editor Sceptical About New Ocean-Warming Paper
Radio France Internationale (RFI), 12 January 2019 


Full details:

1) Heaviest Snowfalls In 100 Years Bring Chaos To Alpine Ski Resorts
The Times, 12 January 2019 

Thousands of British holidaymakers face travel chaos in Austria today after the country experienced the heaviest snowfalls in a century and was bracing for another round of storms.

Three metres of snow fell in the space of 48 hours in some parts of the country and more than a metre is forecast to fall today and tomorrow. Yesterday the army was drafted in to help with the clear-up and to deliver supplies to towns and villages that were cut off.

Skiers arriving in — or trying to leave — the Alps were warned to expect delays and impassable roads. Scores of ski resorts across Austria and Switzerland were either closed, unreachable, or had very limited slopes open. Southern and eastern Germany also suffered heavy snowfalls.


A 300m-wide avalanche swept into the Santis hotel in Schwagalp, Switzerland, engulfing its dining room
GIAN EHRENZELLER/KEYSTONE/AP
 

Authorities were also warning of avalanches after “once in a century” snowfalls that covered vast areas of the country. At least 19 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in Europe this week, many of them by avalanches. Max Meyer, a 16-year-old Australian, became the latest victim of the extreme weather when he was caught in an avalanche and killed in front of his parents in St Anton.
















Full story
 
2) Snowfall Hasn’t Changed In Nearly 50 Years
Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 11 January 2019 
 
From the “alarmists and their cats are grumpy over this” department.
 


There’s been some recent hubbub over decreasing snowfall in the northern hemisphere by the usual suspects, who claim that AGW is reducing snow cover.
 
And then of course, there’s Dr. David Viner of CRU, who famously said in a story in the UK Independent titled: Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past:
 
However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

 
It got disappeared from the Internet, but I saved a copy here: One of the longest running climate prediction blunders has disappeared from the Internet

That’s opinion, then there’s data, such as this data from the highly respected Rutgers Snow Lab, as plotted by climate scientists Ole Humlum.
 
No trend, period.



 

 









Northern hemisphere weekly snow cover since January 1972 according to Rutgers University Global Snow Laboratory. The thin blue line is the weekly data, and the thick blue line is the running 53 week average (approximately 1 year). The horizontal red line is the 1972-2017 average. Last week shown: week 52 in 2018. Last figure update 11 January 2019. Graph by Ole Humlum
 
Full post
 
3) Search Starts For New World Bank President
Ghana News Agency, 12 January 2019
 
The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) said it welcomed Dr Kim’s departure, accusing him of turning “the World Bank into a green think tank, betraying its core mission of lifting the world’s most disadvantaged populations out of poverty.”



 










London, Jan. 11, GNA – The search is on for the next President of the World Bank following the sudden resignation of the incumbent, Dr Jim Yong Kim, on January 7. He will leave his position on February 1.
 
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva will step in as interim President until a permanent appointment is made, according to a statement from the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
 
The Board has announced a nomination period from February 7 to March 14 for candidates interested in replacing Dr Kim, who was first elected in 2012 and secured a second five-year term in 2017.
 
He is leaving the role with three years left to serve.

At the end of the nomination period, the Executive Directors would decide on a shortlist of up to three candidates and publish the names of the shortlisted candidates with their consent.
 
Formal interviews would be conducted with the expectation of selecting the new President before the Spring Meetings of 2019.
 
Although the US, has traditionally had its choice of candidate appointed, in 2012, Dr Kim, who was proposed by former US President Barack Obama, was strongly challenged by developing countries.

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then the country’s Finance Minister, presented a strong challenge to Dr Kim.
 
Under Dr Kim, the Bank became embroiled in a number of controversial issues – climate change and funding for development.
 
However, Dr Kim said in a statement that he was stepping down voluntarily, adding that he was leaving to join an investment firm with a “focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries”.
 
“The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.”
 
There have been mixed reactions to the departure of Dr Kim who, in 2013, stopped the Bank from funding the production of fossil fuels, such as coal.
 
In London, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) said it welcomed his departure, accusing him of turning “the World Bank into a green think tank, betraying its core mission of lifting the world’s most disadvantaged populations out of poverty”.
 
The GWPF said in statement: “Under Dr Kim, the World Bank imposed an almost total ban on the financing of coal-fired power stations, despite coal being one of the most cost-effective means of generating low cost, reliable electricity.
 
“Subsequently the financing ban was extended to the upstream oil and gas industries.”
 
Rupert Darwall, author of the 2017 GWPF report, The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank’s regressive energy policies, said: “Access to low cost, reliable electricity is critical to transforming the lives of those in poverty.
 
“During Dr Kim’s tenure, the World Bank lost its way and sacrificed the interests of the poor to green ideology.
 
“It is essential Dr Kim’s successor restores the World Bank to its former role as the world’s premier development bank and ceases to pander to the green lobby.”
 
The GWPF paper said cost-effective policies were no longer adhered to by Dr Kim.
 
“He has overruled the cost–benefit estimates of the superiority of coal-based over solar- and wind-based power generation produced by his own economic staff, justifying this by reference to a wish to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Prof Deepak Lal, former Research Administrator at the World Bank and a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.
 
“In 2013 the Bank adopted anti-coal funding policies, which, as the paper shows, prioritises the green environmental agenda over its core developmental mission of poverty reduction.
 
“I commend this paper to all those who are sincerely concerned with alleviating poverty – particularly in Africa, since China and India no longer need World Bank money or advice – and who are not seduced by the siren voices of the eco-fundamentalists,” he added.
 
Full story
 
4) US Threatens Sanctions On German Firms Building Russian Gas Pipeline
Reuters, 14 January 2019 
 
U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Germany of being a “captive” of Moscow because of its reliance on Russian energy and urged it to halt work on the $11 billion gas pipeline.
 
The pipeline, which would carry gas straight to Germany under the Baltic Sea, has also been criticized in some quarters because it would deprive Ukraine of lucrative gas transit fees, potentially making Kiev more vulnerable in the future.
 
U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell addressed the issue in a letter sent to several companies, the U.S. Embassy said on Sunday.
 
“The letter reminds that any company operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector is in danger under CAATSA of U.S. sanctions,” the embassy spokesman said, adding that other European states also opposed the planned pipeline.
 
Germany and European allies accuse Washington of using its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to meddle in their foreign and energy policies.
 
Russian gas giant Gazprom is implementing the project jointly with Western partners Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, and Shell.
 
The letter raised eyebrows within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
 
One German diplomat said the ambassador’s approach did not follow common diplomatic practice and that Berlin would address the issue in direct talks with officials in Washington.
 
Full story
 
see also: Germany’s Green Energy Fiasco Leads To Dependence On Russian Gas
 
5) Germany Struggles To Phase Out Coal
Financial Times, 14 January 2019 
 
Plan to end use of brown coal raises fears over costs and job losses
 
Germany has mined and burnt lignite for hundreds of years and has the physical scars to show for it. From the Rhineland in the west to the Lausitz in the east, the landscape is pockmarked by vast open-pit mines, empty save for colossal excavators burrowing ever deeper into the ground.
 
But a government-appointed task force is set on February 1 to release a plan on ending the use of lignite, or brown coal, in a crucial decision for Germany’s energy industry and its standing in the fight against climate change.
 
Lignite — one of the dirtiest sources of energy — accounts for almost a quarter of electricity generated in Europe’s largest economy and 20,000 jobs. But Germany’s reliance on the cheap fuel is seen as a key reason why it has fallen behind its climate change goals.
 
Environmental campaigners want Berlin to show it is serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions by closing lignite-fired power plants sooner rather than later. But just how soon has been the subject of an intense political debate.
 
The task force — convened by Chancellor Angela Merkel last year — is made up of representatives of industry, politics and environmental groups. Its overarching mandate is to ensure Germany’s energy sector meets its 2030 climate targets, which means cutting greenhouse gas emissions by just over 60 per cent from a 1990 baseline.
 
But the group must also work out how to compensate affected companies and regions, some of which depend heavily on lignite mining. The Lausitz, for example, which sits south-east of Berlin, has few other industries and none are large enough to absorb thousands of job losses.
 
One of the few certainties, according to people involved in the talks, is that the final compromise will be expensive for German taxpayers — possibly costing several billion euros a year over the next two decades.
 
“Everyone has something to lose: industry, the regions, workers and the electricity producers themselves,” said Holger Lösch, deputy director-general of Germany’s BDI industry federation. “If they are not compensated adequately, then there might be no deal. And that is what the government has only now started to calculate. The question is: who is going to pay for all this?”
 
Full post
 
6) Hurricanes: It’s Better Than We Thought
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 13 January 2019

 “Simply no increase” in hurricane activity around the world



new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) reveals that there has been no increase in global hurricane activity, despite frequent claims that global warming is making hurricanes more of a problem.
 
As the report’s author, Paul Homewood, explains:
 
“The theory is that rising sea-surface temperatures should make hurricanes more frequent or more intense or both. But observational data shows that there is no empirical evidence to support the theory.”
 
This is because most records of hurricane activity show no long-term increases, either in total numbers of hurricanes or of the most intense ones.
 
Says Homewood:
 
“The best records we have are of US landfalling hurricanes. Based on this dataset, we’d expect two hurricanes each year, or occasionally three. But since 2000, the series average is just 1.5. It’s the same if you look at the Atlantic hurricane records or the shorter global record: there is simply no increase in activity.”
 
Paul Homewood: Tropical Hurricanes in the Age of Global Warming (PDF)
 
Contact
 
Paul Homewood
e: phomewooduk1951@outlook.com
 
7) Warmer Than Thought? GWPF Science Editor Sceptical About New Ocean-Warming Paper
Radio France Internationale (RFI), 12 January 2019 
 

A new report published in the US journal Science, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggests the world’s oceans are warming 40 percent faster than what a UN panel predicted five years ago. Although data collection is more accurate than in the past, some experts advise against jumping to hasty conclusions.

About 93 percent of excess heat trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels accumulates in the world’s oceans.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says ocean warming has led to rising sea levels and contributes to increases in rainfall intensity, more violent storms and the destruction of coral reefs.

It is also a threat to biodiversity and one of the earth’s major food supplies.

“Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought,” said co-author Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Their report relied on four studies, published between 2014 and 2017 whose conclusions are based on measurements recorded by a fleet of some 4,000 floating robot monitors called Argo.

The robots drift throughout the world’s oceans, every few days diving to a depth of 2,000 meters and measuring the ocean’s temperature, pH, salinity and other information.

Argo “has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s,” the report said.

The new analysis shows warming in the oceans is on pace with measurements of rising air temperature.

And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, “models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of the world’s oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” it said.

Caution needed when interpreting results

David Whitehouse, the science editor for the Global Warming Policy Forum, based in the UK says we must very careful when drawing conclusions.

Oceans warming – Interview with Dr David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum Listen

“I think you’ve got to be very careful when splicing together two sets of data from two sets of instruments and trying to compare them”, he told RFI, referring to the fact that the study in question pulled together measurements from before the Argo system was up and running.

“The past is full of people trying to do this and have had to be re-evaluated years later because we found out something else about the measurements made in the past and the measurements made today.”

“They can make a case that the oceans are warming this way, provided you accept that they understand what’s going on and I wouldn’t say that we understand completely about the past instruments.”

“The most sensible thing to do would be to stick to the data since 2006 which is quite good enough to give us a baseline with a coherent data set.”

“If you just look at the Argo array itself, you cannot see this catastrophic, runaway ocean warming in just that data. So I know all scientists will say this, but I’d really like another 15 years of data in order to convince me.”

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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