Saturday, February 9, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: World Cooling – But Rapid Warming Forecast

GWPF Readers Trounce Met Office In 2018 Temperature Prediction Competition

In this newsletter:

1) World Cooling – But Rapid Warming Forecast
GWPF Observatory, 7 February 2019

2) GWPF Readers Trounce Met Office In 2018 Temperature Prediction Competition
Global Warming Policy Forum, 8 February 2019

3) The GWPF 2019 Temperature Prediction Competition
Global Warming Policy Forum, 8 February 2019

4) Study Pours Cold Water On Sea-Rise Apocalypse
The Times, 8 February 2019

5) Green New Deal: The Secret Republican Weapon?
Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, 8 February 2019

6) Climate Bankruptcy: California’s Green Energy Company Goes Bust — More To Come
Peter Forster, Financial Post, 5 February 2019

7) And Finally: France Moves To Halt Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline
The Times, 8 February 2019

Full details:

1) World Cooling – But Rapid Warming Forecast
GWPF Observatory, 7 February 2019
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

Average global temperature has been falling for the last 3 years, despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

21st century average global surface temperature change and CO2 rise; graph GWPF

A big story at the beginning of each year is the release of the global surface temperature of the previous year. A big story certainly but not often a surprising one.

Since the beginning of the century it didn’t change much from year to year until the 2015/16 super El Nino came along. Then the temperature went up, as usual, and now it’s coming down again.

2018 was the fourth warmest year of the instrumental period (started 1850) having a temperature anomaly of 0.91 +/- 0.1 °C – cooler than 2017 and closer to the fifth warmest year than the third. But of course there are those that don’t like to say the global surface temperature has declined.

The UK Met Office released the 2018 global temperature data as part of a press release about its forecast for global temperatures for the next five years, basically saying that the high temperatures will continue, despite their elevation over previous years by the El Nino and their coming down afterwards! Their press release was entitled, “Forecast suggests Earth’s warmest period on record.”

It says: The forecast for the global average surface temperature for the five-year period to 2023 is predicted to be near or above 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, says the Met Office. If the observations for the next five years track the forecast that would make the decade from 2014 to 2023 the warmest run of years since records began.

No mention then of the events that elevated the global 2015 and subsequent years, the EL Nino and the Pacific marine heatwave.

As we all know, especially the Met Office, forecasting the future is fraught with difficulties, the main one is that you are forecasting the future! The Met Office does not have a very good track record in this regard.

More recent forecasts have not fared well either showing little skill. The Met Office has a tendency to forecast a world that is warmer than it actually is. Sometimes their climate forecast looks better than they were because an El Nino occurred that temporarily elevated global temperatures.

Fig 1 shows how off their forecast was. You can see that since 1997 they have always predicted way too high except when an El Nino helped them out in 1998 and 2015 -17. (click on image to enlarge)

Looking at the same graph published in 2017 for previous forecasts (Fig 2, click on image to enlarge) shows they failed in their 2016 – 2021 forecast.

The new forecast, according to the Met Office’s Professor Adam Scaife, may bring about “rapid warming globally” with a 0.55 °C warming by 2023. At least it’s a testable prediction, like the rapid warming forecast in 2007 that didn’t happen.

Perhaps a better headline would be Global CO2 increases, Global temperature declines.

In a recent press release the Met Office said that in 2019 they expect to see one of the largest rises in atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentration in 62 years of measurements.

It will be fascinating to see if this forecast in a large rise in CO2 will finally push global temperature up. Each year as CO2 increases, it is increasing its ability to force the global temperature upwards. El Ninos notwithstanding, it’s about time the global surface temperature started following the CO2. Expect interesting things in the next 1-5 years, one way or another.


2) GWPF Readers Trounce Met Office In 2018 Temperature Prediction Competition
Global Warming Policy Forum, 8 February 2019

The average prediction by GWPF readers was 0.59°C, and the median was 0.63°C. GWPF readers therefore did quite a lot better than the paid experts at the Met Office.

A year ago, we asked readers to predict how global temperatures would evolve over 2018, for a chance to win a bottle of House of Lords whisky and a copy of Bernie Lewin’s history of the IPCC. GWPF readers, no doubt attracted by the educational possibilities of the book rather than the more prosaic pleasures of the whisky, came in great numbers and we ended up with a large number of entries. To add a little spice to the recipe, the Met Office had issued their own prediction, so this was also a chance for readers to pit themselves against the professionals.

The Met Office had rather hedged their bets though, issuing a very wide range of predictions for the HadCRUT4 temperature anomaly, of 0.59–0.83°C. It was rather tougher for readers, who were asked to submit a single figure instead. And as I said at the time, the central point of the Met Office prediction, 0.71°C, did look rather hot.

By October, things were certainly not looking good for the big boys in Exeter, with the August anomaly, at 0.58°C, already outside their predicted range.

Meanwhile, no fewer than eight GWPF readers were quietly polishing the cut-glass tumblers in anticipation of glory.

So here we are in the New Year, and the results are out. And fortunately for the Met Office, a somewhat warmer autumn has allowed them to pull mild respectability out of the jaws of disaster: the official value of the HadCRUT4 average is 0.596°C, which we are rounding to 0.60°C for the purposes of the competition. This means the experts’ prediction range just takes in the outturn.

And that means we have a single winner.

Congratulations to Frank (for that is his name). We will be in touch soon to arrange delivery of his prizes.

It’s interesting to note that the average value entered by GWPF readers was 0.59°C, and the median was 0.63°C. GWPF readers therefore did quite a lot better than the paid experts. Shall we see if we can do a repeat performance for 2019? The competition is up and running here.

3) The GWPF 2019 Temperature Prediction Competition
Global Warming Policy Forum, 8 February 2019

With GWPF readers having trounced the Met Office at predicting temperatures for 2018, it will very interesting to see if you can do just as well for 2019.

So we hereby announce the 2019 HadCRUT temperature prediction competition. Once again, the opportunity is there to win some magnificent prizes: more whisky, and your choice of a book from the growing range of GWPF titles.

Of course the real prize on offer is to do better than the boys in Exeter. The Met Office are again being very aggressive on the warming front. They are predicting a 0.19°C warming next year (!), plus or minus 0.12°C. So their predicted range is 0.67-0.91°C.

So will carbon dioxide sweep all before it as they think? Will temperatures creep back further, shoot back up again, or will they keep sliding away? Will El Nino kick in, or will La Nina dominate?  Your guess is probably as good as mine, but – if experience is anything to go by – probably better than the Met Office’s.

To enter, simply fill in the form below. Please make sure to enter just a single number representing the HadCRUT4 global average for 2019, in anomaly format, to two decimal places. The current value is 0.60.

Good luck!

To enter competition click here or click on the image below

4) Study Pours Cold Water On Sea-Rise Apocalypse
The Times, 8 February 2019
Ben Webster

Scientists who made apocalyptic warnings that the sea level could rise more than two metres this century were probably wrong, according to a new assessment.

The collapse of Antarctic ice cliffs is most likely to add 15cm to sea levels by 2100, not the two metre forecast by US researchers MARK BRANDON

Researchers at King’s College London found that it would be closer to one metre by 2100 because Antarctica’s towering ice cliffs were less likely to collapse than had been claimed by US scientists.

The revised prediction challenges a study in 2016 by Penn State University claiming that Antarctic melting alone could contribute more than a metre to the rise in sea level.

The melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, plus thermal expansion of the oceans, are expected to add about another metre, meaning that the total rise would have been more than 2m had the US study been correct.

However, the King’s College London scientists studied sea level rises three million years ago, 125,000 years ago and over the past 25 years in more detail and found that they could be explained without assuming that the ice cliffs had collapsed.

Tamsin Edwards, lecturer in physical geography at King’s and lead author of the study published in Nature, said: “Unstable ice cliffs in Antarctica were proposed as a cause of unstoppable collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in the past. They were, therefore, also predicted to cause rapidly rising seas with global warming in our near future. But we’ve re-analysed the data and found this isn’t the case.”

Even if greenhouse gas emissions continued at a high rate, there was only a 5 per cent chance of Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 39cm by 2100. It was most likely to be 15cm, meaning that the total increase would be about 120cm — still higher than the 98cm forecast in 2013 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Full story

5) Green New Deal: The Secret Republican Weapon?
Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, 8 February 2019

Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s New Green Deal, the secret Republican weapon for 2020

The Republican Party has a secret weapon for 2020. It’s especially effective because it’s stealthy: The Democrats seem oblivious to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a finger for it to work. All Republicans have to do is sit back and watch 29-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez . . . exist.

AOC, as she’s better known, today exists largely in front of the cameras. In a few months she’s gone from an unknown New York bartender to the democratic socialist darling of the left and its media hordes. Her megaphone is so loud that she rivals Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the face of the Democratic Party. Republicans don’t know whether to applaud or laugh. Most do both.

For them, what’s not to love? She’s set off a fratricidal war on the left, with her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, this week slamming the “radical conservatives” among the Democrats holding the party “hostage.” She’s made friends with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, who has been accused of anti-Semitism. She’s called the American system of wealth creation “immoral” and believes government has a duty to provide “economic security” to people who are “unwilling to work.” As a representative of New York, she’s making California look sensible.

On Thursday Ms. Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her vaunted Green New Deal, complete with the details of how Democrats plan to reach climate nirvana in a mere 10 years. It came in the form of a resolution, sponsored in the Senate by Massachusetts’ Edward Markey, on which AOC is determined to force a full House vote. That means every Democrat in Washington will get to go on the record in favor of abolishing air travel, outlawing steaks, forcing all American homeowners to retrofit their houses, putting every miner, oil rigger, livestock rancher and gas-station attendant out of a job, and spending trillions and trillions more tax money. Oh, also for government-run health care, which is somehow a prerequisite for a clean economy.

It’s a GOP dream, especially because the media presented her plan with a straight face—as a legitimate proposal from a legitimate leader in the Democratic Party. Republicans are thrilled to treat it that way in the march to 2020, as their set-piece example of what Democrats would do to the economy and average Americans if given control. The Green New Deal encapsulates everything Americans fear from government, all in one bonkers resolution.

It is for starters, a massive plan for the government to take over and micromanage much the economy. Take the central plank, its diktat of producing 100% of U.S. electricity “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bailey at Reason has noted, a 2015 plan from Stanford envisioning the goal called for the installation of 154,000 offshore wind turbines, 335,000 onshore wind turbines, 75 million residential photovoltaic (solar) systems, 2.75 million commercial solar systems, and 46,000 utility-scale solar facilities. AOC has been clear it will be government building all this, not the private sector.

And that might be the easy part. According to an accompanying fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of combustion engines, “build charging stations everywhere,” “upgrade or replace every building in U.S.,” do the same with all “infrastructure,” and crisscross the nation with “high-speed rail.”

Buried in the details, the Green New Deal also promises government control of the most fundamental aspects of private life. The fact sheet explains why the resolution doesn’t call for “banning fossil fuels” or for “zero” emissions across the entire economy—at least at first. It’s because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast” (emphasis mine).

This is an acknowledgment that planes don’t run on anything but fossil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an acknowledgment that livestock produce methane, which has led climate alarmists to engage in “meatless Mondays.” AOC may not prove able to eradicate “fully” every family Christmas or strip of bacon in a decade, but that’s the goal. […]

At least some Democrats seem to be aware of what a danger this is, which is why Ms. Pelosi threw some cold water on the Green New Deal this week. They should be scared. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a freight train gaining speed by the day—and helping Republicans with every passing minute.

Full post & comments

6) Climate Bankruptcy: California’s Green Energy Company Goes Bust — More To Come
Peter Forster, Financial Post, 5 February 2019
If climate bankruptcies are taken to include those caused by climate activism or perverse climate policies, then there are many companies made bankrupt by the Climate Industry. PG&E is the latest example.

Last week, California utility PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of an estimated US$30 billion of possible liabilities related to the disastrous California wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

The climate crusaders of the mainstream media have been atwitter with claims that PG&E represents the “first climate bankruptcy.” That’s because PG&E’s power lines are believed to have sparked fires in dry vegetation, and that dryness was the result of an extreme drought due to climate change brought about by fossil-fuelled industrial society, and greedy, feckless oil companies. It’s a stretch.

That climate change is an existential threat to companies’ health has been a growing theme of the UN-based Climate Industry. The PG&E collapse will likely ramp up the already intense demands by climate activists for companies to confess that their business models fail adequately to reflect climate risk. Indeed PG&E has itself sought to blame climate change — that most nebulous and subversive of concepts —for its travails. But such a claim represents neither science nor policy guidance. It represents desperation.

One of the most prominent promoters of the disclosure of emissions and climate programmes is a London-based NGO named CDP (previously the Carbon Disclosure Project). But one problem for CDP’s credibility — and the whole notion that confessing to contrived carbon crimes is, as disclosure advocates claim, “just good business” — is that the now bankruptcy-threatened PG&E has been the very model of climate concern. CDP had dubbed it “one of the leading companies in the world when it comes to openly sharing public information on greenhouse gas emissions, emissions reduction targets, and the implications of climate change for its business.” Fat lot of good it seems to have done them.

CDP’s latest rankings note that PG&E’s climate score for 2018 is “forthcoming” (due to “methodological changes,” according to a CDP spokesperson), but the company’s filing is available online. “PG&E has a long history of taking action to combat climate change,” it declares. “Doing so is integral to our ongoing efforts to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to customers. We remain focused on reducing our carbon footprint, advancing low-carbon policies for California and the nation, helping customers reduce their energy use with industry-leading tools and incentives, and addressing the need to adapt to changing climate conditions.”

Perhaps they should have concentrated more on trimming dead trees near transmission lines.
CDP claims that “By scoring businesses from A to D–, we take organizations on a journey through disclosure to awareness, management, and finally to leadership.” Unfortunately, PG&E found itself leading the way into burning forests, personal tragedy and a potential conflagration of its balance sheet.

PG&E ranked an “A minus” in 2017. If this disclosure ritual was meant to assure investors that PG&E was a sound investment, they were misled. Indeed, one wonders if a good lawyer might look at whether CDP is itself subject to legal action on that count.

Meanwhile, the last thing that PG&E’s stumble justifies is any redoubling of international climate conferences to conjure up more fake commitments. It is bordering on insanity to suggest that the way to deal with California wildfires is to force more solar panels on Burundi, windmills on Spain, or electric cars on China.

One of the successes of the Climate Industry has been to conflate all natural disasters or extreme weather with climate change — which is now conventionally taken to mean “catastrophic man-made climate change.” However, the notion that PG&E represents some kind of corporate climate tipping point is absurd. Businesses without sufficient insurance have been driven into bankruptcy by natural disasters since the Great Flood.

If climate bankruptcies are taken to include those caused by climate activism or perverse climate policies, then there are many companies in Alberta made bankrupt by the Climate Industry’s campaign to close off their expansion. And what about those alternative energy companies that went under when their subsidies were withdrawn? If Tesla fails, will it become the world’s largest “climate change bankruptcy”?

California has faced energy crises in the past based on flawed regulation and deregulation, and the success of environmentalists in bringing power plant construction to a halt. The state’s climate policies are considered the most “advanced” — that is, draconian and costly — in the U.S. Meanwhile PG&E has sought bankruptcy protection before as a result of perverse policies.

Full post

7) And Finally: France Moves To Halt Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline
The Times, 8 February 2019

France has signalled its opposition to a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, raising the odds that Brussels will bring the project to a halt.

The €9.5 billion Nord Stream 2 scheme involves running two pipelines beneath the Baltic in addition to an existing pair, bypassing Ukraine and several other states in eastern Europe.

The project is staunchly opposed by the US and most of Germany’s regional allies, including Britain and Poland, on the grounds that it will tighten Moscow’s grip on Europe’s energy supply. The American ambassador to Germany recently threatened to push for sanctions on the companies involved.

France has now indicated that it will join efforts to stop Nord Stream 2 by rewriting the European Union’s gas regulations. Its apparent change of heart comes scarcely a fortnight after a Franco-German treaty that was supposed to meld the two countries’ foreign and economic policies.

Sources in President Macron’s government told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the heavy involvement of Gazprom raised “strategic problems” for Europe. The energy company, which is majority-owned by the Russian state, will operate the pipelines and supply the gas that flows through them. “We do not want to increase our reliance on Russia and so harm the interests of EU states such as Poland or Slovakia,” a French official 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

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