Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #462 – Watts Up With That?

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #462 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-07-10 (July 10, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.”  – Attributed to Mark Twain

Number of the Week: 1,000 Times


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Heatwave: The extreme heatwave of the US northwest and Canadian southwest is over. Carbon dioxide levels remain about the same, the greenhouse effect remains about the same, but the temperatures are back to normal with cooling sea breezes returning along the coast. So, what was the cause?

US northwest veteran meteorologists Chuck Wiese and Cliff Mass address the issue differently but similarly. Any influence from greenhouse gases was too small to be significant and the heatwave was similar to heatwaves of the past under the intense June sun. The natural flow of a high-pressure system slows when the jet stream moves in north-south directions rather than the usual west to east direction. As stated in last week’s TWTW, the jet stream is guided by naturally occurring Rossby Waves. Journalist Stu Cyrk published the technical explanation by Chuck Wiese which includes calculations.

Wiese recognized past heatwave records in the Portland area and was initially skeptical of forecasts of the records being broken by numerical weather models because the models are frequently wrong.

“These only became believable as the model output became repetitious in several runs as we got within 2 days of the expected extreme temperatures. This is common practice in operational meteorology to become suspicious of model output extremes especially since we have seen many occasions where extremes in temperature or precipitation given by models back off from those predictions and self-correct within a couple of days of an extreme event. But it turns out the numerical model output in this situation was correct several days in advance.”

Weise then looked at greenhouse gases.

“The water vapor optical depths of the 1981 heat wave and today’s extremes were nearly identical as taken off the atmospheric soundings from Salem, OR. Therefore, that wasn’t the reason. What about atmospheric CO2? In 1981, the Mauna Loa CO2 level was given as 341 ppmv (parts per million volume) whereas today it is 416 ppmv. In calculating the change in radiative forcing from CO2 as a stand-alone constituent, the difference from 1981 to now is only 1.07 Wm-2. (Watts per square meter).”

He then goes through his calculations in degrees Kelvin. Using the correct scale for such calculations is important. Weise calculated that the CO2 effect was

“…0.15 degrees Centigrade [Celsius] (deg C) or a possible contribution of +.27 deg F to the heating total. “Therefore, CO2’s contribution to this heat wave is far too small to even move the thermometer upwards from the 107 deg F old records to a measurable whole degree F. And this is not even measurable with many of the degree of accuracy specifications of many thermometers.” [Underline and boldface in original.”

Weise goes through a lengthy discussion of other natural influences on weather including Rossby Waves. He then states:

“It is also worth noting that these pressure patterns are created through chaotic and random variation within the atmospheric system and are not predictable in general terms more than about a week ahead of time with any reliability. It is unlikely we will see any repeat pattern of this within the next week to 10 days and no assurance that this warm and hot weather pattern will even persist for the latter part of the summer. Sometimes the summers can end cooler and wetter and other times hot and dry like now. There is simply no predictability to this except in very general terms as related to the ocean cycles, and they are not even correct at all times. But from this data, a later summer heat wave will never reach the records we just set.” [Boldface added.]

Weise then exposes some of the false claims being spread by scientists who do not understand the weather, politicians using fear for their benefit, and journalists spreading “climate hysteria.”

The journalist recaps:

“Conclusion. Yes, there is real science behind the Pacific Northwest heatwave, but not that put forth by the climate alarmists who are hell-bent on pulling the wool over Americans’ eyes and rushing to wreak the economic havoc associated with their Green New Deal. Chuck Wiese just took the alarmists to task and exposed their Al Gore-like deceitfulness. Will any of them provide counterarguments on a par with Wiese’s scientific explanation for the heat wave? Will they deign to answer his six questions with scientific proof? One thing for sure: their usual alarmist hysterics, emotions, and hyperbole won’t help their case with thinking Americans.”

Presenting his information as a television weatherman, Cliff Mass gives his explanation in a more customary manner. However, the conclusions are similar, greenhouse gases had little effect on this highly unusual event. Mass summarizes his comments:


Society needs accurate information in order to make crucial environmental decisions. Unfortunately, there has been a substantial amount of miscommunication and unscientific handwaving about the recent Northwest heatwave, and this blog post uses rigorous science to set the record straight. First, the specific ingredients that led to the heatwave are discussed, including a high-amplitude ridge of high pressure and an approaching low-pressure area that “supercharged” the warming. Second, it is shown that global warming only contributed a small about (1-2F) of the 30-40F heatwave and that proposed global warming amplification mechanisms (e.g., droughts, enhanced ridging/high pressure) cannot explain the severe heat event. It is shown that high-resolution climate models do not produce more extreme high temperatures under the modest global warming of the past several decades and that global warming may even work against extreme warming in our region. Importantly, this blog demonstrates that there is no trend towards more high-temperature records. Finally, the communication of exaggerated and unfounded claims by the media, some politicians, and several activists are discussed.

Apparently, there is another heatwave forming in the Great Basin region of the Western States, between the Rocky and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This may be a topic for next week. For the discussion by Chuck Weise and Cliff Mass see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – Heatwave


Coldwave and Heatwave: Last week Roy Spencer reported that the June 2021 global lower atmosphere temperatures were slightly below the thirty-year average despite the US and Canada being above normal. The temperatures of much of the Southern Hemisphere at a latitude greater than 60°S were below normal. One can see the cooling on the maps that are now available. Interestingly, the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula outside the Antarctic Circle is warmer than normal. In 2020, the Argentine Esperanza Research Station set the record for high temperatures. The station is at 63°24’S, well outside the Antarctic Circle at 66°30’S.

Also, interestingly, the text of the UAH Global temperature Report for June 2021 states:

“The warmest region, in terms of the monthly departure from average, was in association with the record heat in the US’s Pacific NW.  The hottest grid cell was near Hamilton Montana at +4.3 °C (+7.7 °F).  This warmth was part of an almost global band of above average temperatures in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere and included peaks in Scandinavia/Western Russia and over the Caspian Sea.  Northeastern Russia and a few areas in the Southern Hemisphere were also warm.”

According to an article in The Hill from Associated Press, the Finnish Meteorological institute reported the second highest temperature recorded in Lapland of 33.6 degrees Celsius (92.5 Fahrenheit) at the Utsjoki-Kevo weather station. “The institute said there was only one higher historical measurement reported in Lapland — 34.7 C [94.5 F] in the Inari Thule area, in July 1914.” The precision of the measurements is questionable. However, both measurements are well above normal. Utsjoki is at 69°54’N and Inari is 68°54’N, both well above the Arctic Circle of 66°30’N. The high temperature of 1914 could not be from CO2 caused global warming. Measurement Issues – Surface, Measurement Issues – Atmosphere, and Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice.


Cool Periods: Kenneth Richards links to a March paper in Quaternary Science Reviews, “Quantification of temperature and precipitation changes in northern China during the ‘5000-year’ Chinese History.” The abstract states:

“High-quality paleoclimate reconstructions can provide crucial climate context to test the hypothesis of climatic impact on historical culture changes. Here we report high-resolution and quantitative temperature and precipitation records covering the entire ‘5000-year’ Chinese history in northern China. Our temperature record shows a slight decrease before 1800 cal yr BP and a ∼4 °C rapid cooling afterwards, superimposed with four major ∼2–3 °C centennial-scale cold events, potentially corresponding to the widespread North Atlantic ice-rafted debris Bond events. While precipitation record shows high value before 3000 cal yr BP, and a gradual decrease of ∼250 mm with two distinct ∼100 mm centennial-scale dry intervals after 1100 cal yr BP. Our data not only provide a more complete climate background for Chinese dynasties but show the coincidence in the timing between abrupt cold and/or dry events and large-scale social unrests and southern migration of nomads. This finding reveals climate fluctuations, in particular variations in temperature, played an important role in affecting Chinese historical cultural changes.”

Based on this analysis by Chinese scientists, for northern China at least, cooling events have led to large-scale social unrests and southern migration of nomads, invasions from Mongolia. See links under Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?


Attribution Research: An article in The Daily Beast stated:

“According to legendary Princeton geoscientist Michael Oppenheimer, scientists are no longer guessing when it comes to tying extreme events like this to climate change, because a whole new field now exists that aims to tie a nice, neat bow around these very questions.

“‘There is now a well-developed science of ‘event attribution’ which deals with uncertainty,’ Oppenheimer told The Daily Beast. (His own research over the years has focused on what the specific hazards of climate change will be, not necessarily event attribution.)

“Here’s Oppenheimer’s explanation of how event attribution scientists do their jobs: They use Fractional Attribution of Risk (FAR), which he said is ‘the fraction of the intensity of an event (like a heatwave) that can be attributed to human-made greenhouse gases.’ For example, event attribution scientists calculated the FAR on 2017’s Hurricane Harvey—after the fact—and it had, Oppenheimer explained, about two times what would have been the case without the greenhouse gases at 2017 levels. That gave Harvey a FAR score of 0.5.”

In short, rather than testing the global climate models against the most appropriate evidence of the influence of greenhouse gases–atmospheric temperature trends–dangerous global warming advocates are assigning a portion of any extreme weather event to greenhouse gas warming, whether warranted or not. Calling this procedure, a “well developed science” is twisting beyond measure the concept of using the scientific method to eliminate error. See link under Defending the Orthodoxy.


The Trap of Exaggeration: Thirty-three years ago, Jim Hansen gave his performance to a committee of the US Senate asserting claims that could not be validated with physical evidence. Contrary to Hansen’s predictions, Manhattan’s FDR Drive is still well above the East River, and New Yorkers do not need scuba gear to take the subway. However, climate scientists continue to exaggerate what can be forecasted with some reliability and they refuse to validate their global climate models against the most appropriate physical evidence available. Now, cracks are appearing in this façade of credible science. Susan Crockford of “Polar Bear Science” brings up an interview in Icepeople.net, “The world’s northernmost alternative newspaper, published in Svalbard, Norway, “The Northernmost Town on Earth” (population 2667, 2016).

Last year, the Norwegian Polar Institute issued a dire warning that the Svalbard polar bears may go extinct in the next 50 years, though they are thriving now. When questioned about this warning, the outgoing Chairman of the Polar Bear Specialist Group blamed Crockford and other skeptics for effectively using their own data in questioning their predictions, calling her a denialist. [According to the outgoing Chairman, the polar bears may survive in Greenland and northern Canada.]

In short, an organization makes predictions without any supporting physical evidence, and when a skeptic calls the prediction into question, the wild prediction is the fault of the skeptic?

An article in Science Magazine shows that the estimates of oceanic plastic have been highly exaggerated. Part of the abstract states:

“On the basis of an in-depth statistical reanalysis of updated data on microplastics—a size fraction for which both ocean and river sampling rely on equal techniques—we demonstrate that current river flux assessments are overestimated by two to three orders of magnitude.” [Boldface added]

“We consequently identify three main methodological biases that magnified errors in the process leading from the quantification of plastic debris in individual rivers to the calculation of global river budgets. Correcting these errors leads to flux estimates that are orders of magnitude (OMs) smaller than previous values. The quest for a major missing plastic sink in the ocean then becomes needless.”

Plastic discharge is overestimated by 100 to 1,000 times that which is actually occurring? AAAS Science sees nothing wrong with these overestimates? But how can one think that such reports or the journals that see nothing wrong with massive overestimates are credible?

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science


Pogo Stick Power: In the US, much of the capital cost of wind power is subsidized by production tax credits which have been around since 1992, when there was real fear of the world running out of oil. These are transferable to “eligible project partners.”

Donn Dears provides an easy-to-follow analysis of how unreliable wind power is affecting the capacity factors of reliable types of electricity generation by undercutting their prices when wind power is available. Of course, when wind is not available, the owners of the wind turbines are indifferent to the plights of the consumer.

In analyzing wind power, a big problem is reporting the actual costs. Even the Energy Information Administration’s estimates are questionable. Also, a major issue for both wind and solar power is the costs of backup or storage which is needed for extended periods. These are not even considered but will be needed on a massive scale if “Green Energy” mandates are implemented as politicians have declared.

For the past two weeks, TWTW reported on the changes in wind power generation as reported by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which includes the Columbia River Gorge “where the wind always blows.” The total nameplate generation is 27,879 MW of which 79.5% is hydro and 10.5% (2930 MW) is wind.

This week wind power hit bottom twice. On July 6, total generation was zero at noon, then it shot up to almost maximum of about 2700 MW before noon on July 7. Then it dropped back down to below 500 MW by noon on July 8, went back up again to over 2000 MW at midnight and hit bottom at near zero by noon on July 9, where it stayed until midnight. A child on a pogo stick.

Please note that TWTW is just following the graphs and does not know how BPA is balancing the load. Reader Paul Kenyon, a mechanical engineer, writes:

How does hydro “back up” (i.e., compensate for [erratic generation] on its grid) wind? Every design I have examined so far must lose energy in order to make up for the pogo stick nature of the wind resource. Water must be allowed to flow past the turbine to allow the over production of wind with large hydro schemes or that energy is shunted away from and then back to generator blades to act as a rapid follower.

A scheme that might work would be one where electrical generation is provided by many small generators that can each have its water feed flow diverted from the generator quickly enough to ‘follow’ the wind’s rise in generation and then back to its turbine when the wind’s generation falls again, the pogo stick up and down.

Water is massive. It can’t be started up or slowed quickly. There are also elastic (sonic) effects (pulses) which degrade turbine components. A combination of these aspects of water led to the 2009 Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station [accident] in Russia.

Just how does hydro make up for the rapid fluctuations in electrical generation from wind turbines without experiencing degradation of the hydro portion of this system and without costing the hydro portion energy, i.e., costing the system efficiency? I think that backing up wind power with hydro comes at a number of costs to the overall system physically and to system efficiency. If not, how is this magic trick done?

According to a report in Popular Mechanics, 75 people lost their lives at Sayano-Shushenskaya when:

No doubt, BPA is aware of what occurred in Russia, even if those who politically control it do not listen. TWTW thanks readers such as Paul Kenyon who provide such valuable information. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Energy Issues—US, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46576, and https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a5346/4344681/


14th ICCC: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute will be October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See https://climateconference.heartland.org/




SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

The past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, Michael Mann, Christiana Figueres, Jerry Brown, AOC, and Neil Ferguson are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 31. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to [email protected] Thank you. For a list of past recipients and their accomplishments in earning this honor see http://www.sepp.org/april-fools-award.cfm


Number of the Week: – 1,000 Times?  Temporarily accept that the high estimate in new report in Science Magazine is accurate. This would mean that prior studies overestimated the flow of plastics into the oceans by 1000 times the actual.

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Strong Link Between Solar Activity And Rapid Cooling (2-3°C/Century) In China During The Last 5000 Years

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 5, 2021

Link to paper: Quantification of temperature and precipitation changes in northern China during the “5000-year” Chinese History

By Can Zhang, et al. Quaternary Science Reviews, March 2021


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019


Download with no charge:


Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015


Download with no charge:


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Objective Analysis of Wind Energy

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, July 9, 2021

Off By More Than 99%? It Changes Nothing!

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, July 3, 2021

Link to press release: The missing ocean plastic sink: Gone with the rivers

The mysterious ocean plastic sink

By University of Barcelona, July 2, 2021


Link to paper: The missing ocean plastic sink: Gone with the rivers

By Lisa Weiss, et al. AAAS Science, July 2, 2021


Did Manmade Climate Change Cause the Surfside Condo Collapse?

By Anthony Lupo, WUWT, July 7, 2021

How to constrain unconstrained global-warming predictions

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, July 8, 2021

Norway Carbon Offset Deal Blows Up Rationale for Biden’s Trillions to Fight Climate Change

By Steve Milloy, Real Clear Energy, July 01, 2021


REAL threats to planet and people

Totalitarian actions in the name of ‘climate change’ threaten wildlife, people and freedoms

By Paul Driessen, CFACT, Via GWPF, July 5, 2021

Challenging the Orthodoxy – Heatwave

Is Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Really, Really the Cause of the Great Pacific Northwest Heat Wave?

By Stu Cvrk, Red State, July 7, 2021


Was Global Warming The Cause of the Great Northwest Heatwave? Science Says No.

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, July 5, 2021


Defending the Orthodoxy

How Scientists Are So Confident They Know What’s Causing This Insane Weather

The doubters have run out of room—events have overtaken any shred of sane skepticism

By Mike Pearl, Daily Beast, July 5, 2021


Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

Constant dire predictions have been an attempt to counter effective criticism of polar bears as AGW icon, says outgoing PGSG chair

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, July 3, 2021

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