Friday, November 8, 2019

GWPF Newsletter - New Climate Models: Even More Wrong

Paris Agreement At Risk As Emissions Rise & Political Unrest Spirals

In this newsletter:

1) New Climate Models: Even More Wrong
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 5 November 2019
2) Critics Blast Proposal To Curb Climate Change By Halting Population Growth
MIT Technology Review, 5 November 2019 

3) Paris Agreement At Risk As Emissions Rise & Political Unrest Spirals
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 5 November 2019
4) Forget Paris: Europe Shifts To SUVs
Financial Times, 5 November 2019

5) James Delingpole: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Cock-up on ‘Walrusgate’ Tragedy Porn
Breitbart, 5 November 2019

Full details:

1) New Climate Models: Even More Wrong
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 5 November 2019

The IPCC AR5 Report included this diagram, showing that climate models exaggerate recent warming:

If you want to find it, it’s figure 11.25, also repeated in the Technical Summary as figure TS-14. The issue is also discussed in box TS3:

“However, an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations (augmented for the period 2006–2012 by RCP4.5 simulations) reveals that 111 out of 114 realizations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble (Box TS.3, Figure 1a; CMIP5 ensemble mean trend is 0.21°C per decade). This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect RF, and (c) model response error.”

Well, now there is a new generation of climate models, imaginatively known as CMIP6. By a remarkable coincidence, two new papers have just appeared, from independent teams, giving very similar results and published on the same day in the same journal. One is UKESM1: Description and evaluation of the UK Earth System Model, with a long list of authors, mostly from the Met Office, also announced as a “New flagship climate model” on the Met Office website.  The other is Structure and Performance of GFDL’s CM4.0 Climate Model, by a team from GFDL and Princeton. Both papers are open-access.

Now you might think that the new models would be better than the old ones. This is mathematical modelling 101: if a model doesn’t fit well with the data, you improve the model to make it fit better. But such elementary logic doesn’t apply in the field of climate science.

The main “feature” (bug?) of the new models is their high climate sensitivity. Recall that the IPCC says that equilibrium sensitivity is 1.5 – 4.5C, a range that hasn’t changed in 30 years.  The Met Office paper comes up with a figure of 5.4C, and the GFDL group say about 5C, so they are both way outside the IPCC range.  Of course, the useful idiots in the media are lapping this up and saying that the earth is warming more quickly than thought, which of course isn’t even what the papers are claiming.

Given that the previous models were running too hot, as shown in the IPCC graph above, and the new ones have a much higher sensitivity, the obvious question is how well do the new models do at reproducing the 20th century? Well, you have to wade through the UKESM1 paper to find the answer to the question, but eventually you get to this in figure 29, showing the new model compared with HadCRUT4 from 1850 – present:

(The GFDL paper has very similar graph in fig 12). The model shows recent warming that is vastly greater than the observations. Clearly the model is far too sensitive. So what do the authors of the paper say about this? Believe it or not, they claim this, right at the top of the paper in the “key points” section:

* UKESM1 performs well, having a stable pre-industrial state and showing good agreement with observations in a wide variety of contexts.

They then repeat this falsehood in the abstract, claiming good agreement exactly where the agreement is particularly bad.

Full post

2) Critics Blast Proposal To Curb Climate Change By Halting Population Growth
MIT Technology Review, 5 November 2019 

More than 11,000 scientists from a broad range of disciplines signed a new editorial declaring a “climate emergency,” but other researchers immediately criticized one of the proposed remedies: halting population growth.

“Still increasing by roughly 80 million people per year, or more than 200,000 per day, the world population must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced,” reads the piece published in BioScience on Tuesday.

The authors note that effective means of lowering fertility rates include making family-planning services more widely available, improving education for girls and young women, and increasing gender equality.

But rich nations generally already have flat or declining birth rates, so the proposal largely seems directed at fast-growing developing nations in Africa and Asia.

Specifically, the UN projects that nine countries will account for more than half of projected growth between now and 2050, including (in descending order) India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and the US (where migration is expected to be the main driver of growth).

“A bunch of white people in the developed world saying population should be reduced is the definition of an imperialist framing,” Arvind Ravikumar, an assistant professor of energy engineering at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, said on Twitter.

Joseph Majkut, a climate scientist and director of climate policy at the Niskanen Center, a think tank based in Washington, DC, says the suggestion is highly problematic from a political standpoint. It feeds directly into the perception among conservatives that “climate science and its conclusions are the product of an ideological movement,” one that prioritizes nature over humans.

A scientific rationale for a smaller world population could also be abused to justify more aggressive tactics of population control, or racist attitudes toward growing parts of the developing world. To some, the proposal drew to mind darker periods in the environmental movement, when various organizations and figures promoted pro-eugenics and anti-immigration views.

The UN projects that global population could grow from around 7.7 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, and peak around the end of the century at 11 billion.

Fewer people producing less in greenhouse-gas emissions could make some difference in the danger that climate change poses over time. But whether we end up with 9, 10, or 11 billion people in the coming decades, the world will still be pumping out increasingly risky amounts of climate pollution if we don’t fundamentally fix the underlying energy, transportation, and food systems.

Others note inconsistencies in the BioScience paper’s proposed remedies to climate change. Notably, the authors also say the world needs to shift economic priorities away from growth in gross domestic product, and toward meeting basic human needs and reducing inequality.

Full story

3) Paris Agreement At Risk As Emissions Rise & Political Unrest Spirals
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 5 November 2019

The White House was roundly decried on the left for moving to cement the U.S. exit from the Paris agreement, but the sputtering 2015 climate accord has bigger problems than President Trump.

Nearly four years after the advent of the international pact, only two of the 32 top-emitting countries — Morocco and the Gambia — have enacted policies consistent with holding global temperature rise from pre-industrial levels below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker.

Meanwhile, greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to spiral, driven by major polluters like China and India, while governments attempting to enact strict climate policies have often faced public backlash over higher energy prices, both at the ballot box and in the streets.

“To the extent that the accord is supposed to result in emissions going down, it’s flat failing,” said free-market Heartland Institute senior fellow H. Sterling Burnett. “It was signed in 2015. We’re now in 2019, and emissions have gone up for four straight years. So it’s not going in the direction it’s supposed to be going.”

A report released this week by former U.N. International Panel on Climate Change officials, “The Truth Behind the Climate Pledges,” found that of the 184 nations taking the Paris climate pledge, 65% were “insufficient” and only 19% were “sufficient.”

“When you see a country like Russia not even putting a pledge on the table, it is extremely disturbing,” former IPCC chair Sir Robert Watson told the [U.K.] Guardian.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia rely heavily on their fossil fuels, but that is no excuse. Those that have not effectively made any pledges yet really should be shamed into being part of the solution.”

With populist uprisings over energy hikes hitting countries like France and Chile, however, world leaders may be more concerned about keeping their jobs than receiving a U.N. scolding.

Benny Peiser, director of the skeptical Global Warming Policy Forum in London, said the blowback over climate-change policies shows that “the Paris agreement is likely to end in failure, just like the [1992] Kyoto Protocol did before.”

“It is becoming increasingly evident that most governments around the world are prioritizing energy security, affordability and industrial competitiveness over the Paris climate agreement,” said Mr. Peiser in an email. “Green lip-service is replacing radical decarbonization targets in most capitals as governments are facing popular revolts over rising energy prices.”

The Trump administration filed formal paperwork Monday to withdraw from the agreement, the first day it could legally do so, citing the “unfair economic burden” on U.S. workers, business and taxpayers. The exit will become official Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the presidential election.

Former President Barack Obama committed to reducing emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2030, and while that goal is likely out of reach, the United States still leads the world in cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, which fell 13% from 2005-17 in large part due to natural gas replacing coal in electricity generation.

Even with the Paris exit, the Climate Action Tracker projected U.S. emissions would be 2% lower than its initial post-Trump projections.

“Trump has not stopped the fast decline of coal-fired power and the rise of renewables,” said CAT in a statement. “Indeed, despite the weakening of the Clean Power Plan, the US power sector looks set to overachieve the CPP’s emissions reduction goals.”

The U.S. emissions projections come in stark contrast to those of China, the world’s largest carbon-dioxide emitter, which was hailed as a leader of the Paris accord but has since ramped up coal-fired generation in an effort to meet rising demand for inexpensive, reliable energy.

After leveling out between 2014-16, China’s emissions rose 2.3% in 2018, the second consecutive year of growth, the tracker reported, even though the communist nation is also the world’s largest producer of solar technology.

Mr. Burnett pointed out that neither China nor India agreed to cut emissions, but rather to have their greenhouse gases peak by 2030, in what has become a major criticism of the Paris accord.

“They don’t say where it will peak at,” Mr. Burnett said. “If they double their emissions between now and 2030, or even increase them by 25% or 30%, no matter what anybody else in the world does, it doesn’t matter, because their emissions alone will swamp any reductions elsewhere.”

Yellow vests and election upsets

Where climate-woke leaders have attempted to enact Paris-driven policies, social and political unrest has often followed.

The “yellow vest” riots in Paris prompted French president Emmanuel Macron last year to reverse his carbon tax, while deadly rioting in Chile last month was fueled by a metro fare increase and 10% hike in electricity prices as the country seeks to phase out coal-fired plants by 2040.

In May, Australia’s much-ballyhooed “climate-change election” veered off course when voters unexpectedly reelected the conservative coalition fighting proposals to reduce carbon emissions and coal usage.

Australia has also joined the Trump administration in cutting off contributions to the Green Climate Fund, a proposed $100 billion pool of cash intended to help poorer nations meet their pledges under the Paris agreement.

Full story

4) Forget Paris: Europe Shifts To SUVs
Financial Times, 5 November 2019

The continent faces a new emissions scandal as family vehicles grow bigger and heavier

© Ingram Pinn/Financial Times

The shift to SUVs, along with a revival of petrol engines after the 2015 Volkswagen diesel scandal, has caused a rise in carbon dioxide emissions in Europe over
the past two years. Carmakers are heading in the wrong direction. [...]

Rising carbon emissions due to people turning to driving SUVs is not solely a concern for Europe. SUV sales have also grown strongly in China and the International Energy Agency says the 200m SUVs driven in the world consume a quarter more energy on average than mediumsized cars. They are among the largest contributors to a rise in global emissions since 2010, it says.

But the European pivot from small cars to SUVs is in some ways encouraged by EU regulations. Carmakers are now required to cut CO2 emissions by an average of 19 per cent by 2021 but their individual targets vary by weight: those selling a higher proportion of SUVs have heavier fleets and can emit more.

Full story

5) James Delingpole: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Cock-up on ‘Walrusgate’ Tragedy Porn
Breitbart, 5 November 2019

It was one of the most heart-rending animal tragedy episodes ever shown on TV: hundreds of walruses shown plunging over a cliff to their deaths out of “desperation” caused by climate change.

Or so the story originally went when Sir David Attenborough first told it last year on his Netflix documentary Our Planet, causing much upset to impressionable viewers.

One problem: the story was absolute rubbish. It wasn’t diminishing sea ice reduced by “climate change” that caused those walruses to die. In reality, they were chased to their deaths by marauding polar bears — whose presence in the area the TV show’s producers initially denied.

Now, Attenborough has admitted to the cock-up — tacitly if not explicitly. On his new BBC documentary series Seven Worlds, One Planet, he uses the same footage but with a completely different explanation. Now, polar bears not “climate change” are blamed for walruses’ fate.

This is a vindication for the various internet sleuths who smelled a rat in Attenborough’s original story and called him out on his #FakeNews.

The sleuthing on this scandal was done by polar bear expert Susan Crockford (who spotted the polar bear connection); by Andrew Montford (who confirmed the geographical location and introduced the possibility that the Netflix crew may have contributed to the disaster); by ecologist Jim Steele, who has noted that walrus ‘haul-outs’ (ie retreats from the sea) are common and have nothing to do with ‘climate change’; and by the indefatigable Paul Homewood, who has pulled all the strands together in a series of damning posts herehere and here.

It’s also a victory of sorts for the Global Warming Policy Forum, which earlier this year called for an apology and a correction from Attenborough.

The GWPF’s Benny Peiser, who believes the cock-up was deliberate, said:

“We can only be pleased that Sir David has stepped back from the deceptive claims he made in his Netflix show. He and the producers should apologise for the trick they pulled and withdraw the Netflix film that has badly misled and unnecessarily traumatised millions of people and news media around the world”.

But a) of course this won’t happen.

And b) the damage has already been done. Those few aware of the cock-up will continue to be vastly outnumbered by the ones who will continue to believe, to their dying day, that climate change is massacring walruses — and that as a consequence all the crazy anti-market, anti-freedom, anti-science policies being proposed by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion and Boris Johnson are entirely justified.

Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media, and most especially the BBC, is totally in thrall to the climate change alarmists. Magic Great Grandpa — Sir David Attenborough — gets a free pass to spout whatever evidence-free enviro-loon drivel he likes, confident that almost no one is going to pick up on it anywhere in the MSM because the MSM’s science and environment coverage is handled by doctrinaire eco-nutjobs who transcribe their articles straight from Greenpeace press releases.

Full post

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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