Obama and Justin Trudeau Save the Arctic From Jobs

While the President clearly enjoys the weather and waters of Hawaii this time of year, one wonders whether next Christmas he’ll be seen ski-dooing with his fellow Castro-eulogizing Prime Minister of America’s northern neighbor. Having saved the Arctic from evil energy companies who provide jobs and wealth to Alaskans (and more than a few Canadians) and having left President-Elect Trump a political and legal hand grenade by using 1953’s Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Obama can now do celebrity-guided Northern Lights tours next year for German tourists desperate to find somewhere in the world safe from terrorism.

Section 12)a of the OCSLA has the apparently key wording (no I haven't read the whole act, thank you for asking).

The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the Outer Continental Shelf.

The pin in the hand grenade is the question of how you place any unleased lands of the Outer Continental Shelf back into disposition, if you will. Because the issue has not been tested in the courts, no can really say for sure, but environmental groups are gleefully asserting that it would take an Act of Congress to accomplish this. And that means overcoming filibustering in the Senate. You can be sure that stakeholder groups are ramping their campaigns to target both Senators and their constituents. Especially on the Atlantic seaboard, where the ban on offshore drilling will continue to be upheld.

Remember Jeb Bush with his tight lipped grin, shaking his head in a big NO, while his older brother, standing in front at the podium, tried to convince the good citizens of Florida on the benefits of off-shore drilling in their waters?

In other words, governors of Atlantic states will also be targeted by environmental groups. As well, those indigenous groups in Alaska who are opposed to Arctic drilling will be given priority in the media over any Alaskans who actually approve of drilling and the jobs it would create in their state.

Yes, the amount of oil compared to total domestic production is quite a small percentage. But this is a symbolic final push by Obama to try and keep in place his disastrous green energy program, which has enriched Silicon Valley insiders at the expense of taxpayers, and achieved little meaningful progress in terms of affordable, clean energy.

As a side note, it appears the Obama administration fired a Department of Energy scientist, a Dr. Metting, for not sticking to talking points about a program - the Low Dose Radiation Research Program - that tests low-level radiation's effects on people as a way to move forward on cleaning up nuclear waste sites. This firing happened because Dr. Metting was an obstacle to shutting down that program and focusing money on Obama's cherished Climate Action Plan.

The people in the Department of Energy who did the firing are still at their desks. It is their reports to Congress that Trump will have to manage as he attempts to reverse Obama's latest law-making by decree. The good news is he'll have Rick Perry at Energy to help him deal with the Obama bureaucracy and their policy agenda.

Posted by Keeley at December 21, 2016 11:27 PM
Comments
Comment #411514

The employees and political appointees of the DoE and other departments are about to see their jobs on the chopping block. They will soon learn that it’s not their job to create policy; it’s their job to promote the presidents policies.

The goal of Obama is to create chaos before Trump takes over. This country runs of fossil fuel and as much as the left dreams of a fossil fuel free society, it’s not going to happen in our lifetimes. GW is the new religion of the left. They try to force this religion down the throats of Americans based on blind faith. Anyone who disagrees with them is fired.

Posted by: RL at December 22, 2016 9:45 AM
Comment #411515

A conservative claiming the left is forcing their “GW” religion (proven science) down the throats of americans on blind faith, meanwhile conservative christians are cramming actual religion (nonsense fairy tales) down the throats of anyone who isn’t of their religion. Don’t worry about the melting polar caps or the damage fossil fuel pollution does to your lungs people, its all God’s will.

Posted by: Paul at December 22, 2016 11:36 AM
Comment #411517

“Proven Science”??? Why don’t you give us some facts that don’t involve hockey sticks or computer models.

“Christians cramming religion down your throats”??? When did this happen to you Paul?

“Melting polar caps”??? When did this happen?

Posted by: RL at December 22, 2016 12:38 PM
Comment #411520

Show me yours and i’ll show you mine. I could post links until the cows come home and it would likely never change your mind anyway so i won’t waste my time. “Climate change” as its more accurately referred to is well established. I do agree that there is excessive amounts of “fake” climate change data out there but hardly a fake problem. As for Christians imposing their views, where do i start, how about the “pro-life” debate and a women’s right to choose? Contraception? Marriage equality?
Immigrants don’t share “our values”, lets ban Muslims?
How many right wing/conservative/republicans Christians in positions of authority are trying to impose values/pass laws based on Christians beliefs, far too many.

Posted by: Paul at December 22, 2016 2:57 PM
Comment #411522

Well, the Global Warming deniers will be glad to know the Trump administration is contemplating stopping collection of data by NASA and NOAA. The new nominee for the budget is going even further, and contemplating whether we should just stop all scientific research by the government.

The climate warms. The scientists said it would warm. That is just wild coincidence! Climate changes, right? And no one can ever know the cause and effect. It is all just one big, unknowable mystery. Kinda medieval.

Stopping all science research by the government would be a good idea, because evidence for Global Warming comes from virtually every scientific discipline- chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, physics, oceanography, you name it- they all contribute to the body of evidence, so those scientists, ya know, they gotta be stopped.

While we’re at it, we should stop educating scientists. Maybe we could shut down all the universities and colleges. Everyone knows they are just breeding grounds for liberal elitist experts.

Posted by: phx8 at December 22, 2016 3:37 PM
Comment #411525

Normally people provide facts to back up their claims. That’s not the policy of Watchblog???

Posted by: RL at December 22, 2016 4:17 PM
Comment #411527

Where are your facts/sources RL? i don’t recall seeing any in your comments? Are tyou making an factual statement that climate change does not exist and that no American Christian politician has ever wanted to impose their christian values on other Americans?

Posted by: Paul at December 22, 2016 4:25 PM
Comment #411530

RL, please understand that our Leftie Pals, phx8 and Paul, are not interested in facts, just their opinion.

I am a climate realist. I accept scientific fact. But, that’s not good enough for my Buddies. Their kind of science allows no disagreement, no contrary opinions, and no wavering from the “Truth”.

Paul provides a good example of their stinking thinking with his sentence…”As for Christians imposing their views, where do i start, how about the “pro-life” debate and a women’s right to choose?”

Note that he uses both the word “impose…” and “debate” in the same sentence. Stupidity on steroids.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2016 4:40 PM
Comment #411531

Some time ago when this same subject came up I googled “Graphs of climate change” and I went to the image site and over 1000 graphs showed up some pro climate change some con climate change. I also stated that scientist who are funded by the government will probably go with the thinking of the party who has control. IMO scientist who DO NOT receive funds from any government source would be the most believable ones. I to am a realist and accept FACT not paid for by the government.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 22, 2016 4:50 PM
Comment #411534

RL,
http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

American Association for the Advancement of Science

“The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.” (2006)3

American Chemical Society

“Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)4

American Geophysical Union

“Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes.” (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)5

American Medical Association

“Our AMA … supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.” (2013)6

American Meteorological Society

“It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)7

American Physical Society

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)8

The Geological Society of America

“The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)9


SCIENCE ACADEMIES


International academies: Joint statement

“Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).” (2005, 11 international science academies)10

U.S. National Academy of Sciences

“The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” (2005)11


U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

U.S. Global Change Research Program

“The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human ‘fingerprints’ also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.” (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)12


INTERGOVERNMENTAL BODIES

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”13

“Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”14

OTHER RESOURCES

List of worldwide scientific organizations

The following page lists the nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action.
http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php

List of Worldwide Scientific Organizations
(Scientific Organizations That Hold the Position That Climate Change Has Been Caused by Human Action)

1.Academia Chilena de Ciencias, Chile
2.Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, Portugal
3.Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana
4.Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
5.Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala
6.Academia Mexicana de Ciencias,Mexico
7.Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia
8.Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
9.Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
10.Académie des Sciences, France
11.Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
12.Academy of Athens
13.Academy of Science of Mozambique
14.Academy of Science of South Africa
15.Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
16.Academy of Sciences Malaysia
17.Academy of Sciences of Moldova
18.Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
19.Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
20.Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
21.Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
22.Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
23.Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science
24.African Academy of Sciences
25.Albanian Academy of Sciences
26.Amazon Environmental Research Institute
27.American Academy of Pediatrics
28.American Anthropological Association
29.American Association for the Advancement of Science
30.American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)
31.American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
32.American Astronomical Society
33.American Chemical Society
34.American College of Preventive Medicine
35.American Fisheries Society
36.American Geophysical Union
37.American Institute of Biological Sciences
38.American Institute of Physics
39.American Meteorological Society
40.American Physical Society
41.American Public Health Association
42.American Quaternary Association
43.American Society for Microbiology
44.American Society of Agronomy
45.American Society of Civil Engineers
46.American Society of Plant Biologists
47.American Statistical Association
48.Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
49.Australian Academy of Science
50.Australian Bureau of Meteorology
51.Australian Coral Reef Society
52.Australian Institute of Marine Science
53.Australian Institute of Physics
54.Australian Marine Sciences Association
55.Australian Medical Association
56.Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
57.Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
58.Botanical Society of America
59.Brazilian Academy of Sciences
60.British Antarctic Survey
61.Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
62.California Academy of Sciences
63.Cameroon Academy of Sciences
64.Canadian Association of Physicists
65.Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
66.Canadian Geophysical Union
67.Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
68.Canadian Society of Soil Science
69.Canadian Society of Zoologists
70.Caribbean Academy of Sciences views
71.Center for International Forestry Research
72.Chinese Academy of Sciences
73.Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
74.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) (Australia)
75.Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
76.Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
77.Crop Science Society of America
78.Cuban Academy of Sciences
79.Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters
80.Ecological Society of America
81.Ecological Society of Australia
82.Environmental Protection Agency
83.European Academy of Sciences and Arts
84.European Federation of Geologists
85.European Geosciences Union
86.European Physical Society
87.European Science Foundation
88.Federation of American Scientists
89.French Academy of Sciences
90.Geological Society of America
91.Geological Society of Australia
92.Geological Society of London
93.Georgian Academy of Sciences
94.German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
95.Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
96.Indian National Science Academy
97.Indonesian Academy of Sciences
98.Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
99.Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
100.Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand
101.Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK
102.InterAcademy Council
103.International Alliance of Research Universities
104.International Arctic Science Committee
105.International Association for Great Lakes Research
106.International Council for Science
107.International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
108.International Research Institute for Climate and Society
109.International Union for Quaternary Research
110.International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
111.International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
112.Islamic World Academy of Sciences
113.Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
114.Kenya National Academy of Sciences
115.Korean Academy of Science and Technology
116.Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts
117.l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
118.Latin American Academy of Sciences
119.Latvian Academy of Sciences
120.Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
121.Madagascar National Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
122.Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology
123.Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
124.National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina
125.National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
126.National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
127.National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
128.National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
129.National Aeronautics and Space Administration
130.National Association of Geoscience Teachers
131.National Association of State Foresters
132.National Center for Atmospheric Research
133.National Council of Engineers Australia
134.National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
135.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
136.National Research Council
137.National Science Foundation
138.Natural England
139.Natural Environment Research Council, UK
140.Natural Science Collections Alliance
141.Network of African Science Academies
142.New York Academy of Sciences
143.Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences
144.Nigerian Academy of Sciences
145.Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters
146.Oklahoma Climatological Survey
147.Organization of Biological Field Stations
148.Pakistan Academy of Sciences
149.Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
150.Pew Center on Global Climate Change
151.Polish Academy of Sciences
152.Romanian Academy
153.Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
154.Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain
155.Royal Astronomical Society, UK
156.Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
157.Royal Irish Academy
158.Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
159.Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
160.Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
161.Royal Scientific Society of Jordan
162.Royal Society of Canada
163.Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
164.Royal Society of the United Kingdom
165.Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
166.Russian Academy of Sciences
167.Science and Technology, Australia
168.Science Council of Japan
169.Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
170.Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics
171.Scripps Institution of Oceanography
172.Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
173.Slovak Academy of Sciences
174.Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
175.Society for Ecological Restoration International
176.Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
177.Society of American Foresters
178.Society of Biology (UK)
179.Society of Systematic Biologists
180.Soil Science Society of America
181.Sudan Academy of Sciences
182.Sudanese National Academy of Science
183.Tanzania Academy of Sciences
184.The Wildlife Society (international)
185.Turkish Academy of Sciences
186.Uganda National Academy of Sciences
187.Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
188.United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
189.University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
190.Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
191.Woods Hole Research Center
192.World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
193.World Federation of Public Health Associations
194.World Forestry Congress
195.World Health Organization
196.World Meteorological Organization
197.Zambia Academy of Sciences
198.Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences



Posted by: phx8 at December 22, 2016 7:38 PM
Comment #411536

Thanks phx8 for all the info, but the very first paragraph says it is “likely that GW is caused by humans”. There is a difference between “likely” and “absolutely”.

Furthermore, every single bit of evidence you have provided is based upon computer models. Computer models can only put out information based upon the data fed into them.

Sorry, but the father of GW (none other than Al Gore himself) predicted the destruction of the earth years ago; that was just before he climbed aboard his CO2 spewing jet and flew into the sunset.

Let’s just hope that Trump can bring some sanity back into the world of the “sky is falling “.

Posted by: RL at December 22, 2016 8:33 PM
Comment #411540

Well, if the conclusions of every major credible scientific institution is not good enough, how about the exhaustive IPCC report, which includes inputs from thousands of scientists from almost every country in the world?

“Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven
largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric
concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in
at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers,
have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been
the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

“Extremely Likely.” That means 95% - 100% certainty.

You write: “… every single bit of evidence you have provided is based upon computer models.”

No. That is wrong. The evidence comes from measurements, both historical and current.

The father of GW, Al Gore? No.

“Svante August Arrhenius (19 February 1859 – 2 October 1927) was a Nobel-Prize winning Swedish scientist, originally a physicist, but often referred to as a chemist, and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903… He was the first to use basic principles of physical chemistry to calculate estimates of the extent to which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide increase Earth’s surface temperature through the greenhouse effect, leading him to conclude that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are large enough to cause global warming.”
Wikipedia

You should not listen to people like Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2016 12:04 AM
Comment #411545

phx8, the IPCC data is based on the same false computer models. You keep offering the same flawed data as proof. I include the websites simply to show you the IPCC material is based on computer models:

https://skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/10310712/Top-climate-scientists-admit-global-warming-forecasts-were-wrong.html

“A leaked draft of a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is understood to concede that the computer predictions for global warming and the effects of carbon emissions have been proved to be inaccurate.

The report, to be published later this month, is a six year assessment which is seen as the gospel of climate science and is cited to justify fuel taxes and subsidies for renewable energy.

The “summary for policymakers” of the report, seen by the Mail on Sunday, states that the world is warming at a rate of 0.12C per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13C per decade in their last assessment published in 2007.

Other admission in the latest document include that forecast computers may not have taken enough notice of natural variability in the climate, therefore exaggerating the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures.

The governments which fund the IPCC have tabled 1,800 questions in relation to the report.

One of the central issues is believed to be why the IPCC failed to account for the “pause” in global warming, which they admit that they did not predict in their computer models. Since 1997, world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase.

The summary also shows that scientist have now discovered that between 950 and 1250 AD, before the Industrial Revolution, parts of the world were as warm for decades at a time as they are now.

Despite a 2012 draft stating that the world is at it’s warmest for 1,300 years, the latest document states: “’Surface temperature reconstructions show multi-decadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950-1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th Century.”

The 2007 report included predictions of a decline in Antarctic sea ice, but the latest document does not explain why this year it is at a record high.

The 2013 report states: “’Most models simulate a small decreasing trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, in contrast to the small increasing trend in observations …”

Posted by: RL at December 23, 2016 8:56 AM
Comment #411552

phx8

Of the 198 agencies listed by you how many have produced papers on said subject and how many have you read. So those that have not produce papers on said subject are agencies that should not be on your list. That is not credibility. That is propaganda of material produced by computers that spew forth the old saying of “garbage in-garbage out”.

And since you have not read 198 documents from your garbage list then which ones have you read if any? I’m going to guess the amount. Very few if any.

Posted by: tom humes at December 23, 2016 1:31 PM
Comment #411555

There’s that bothersome word again…”likely”.

phx8, When did likely become scientific fact? Is gravity just “likely”?

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2016 2:03 PM
Comment #411557

Obama once again showed his nasty and belligerent attitude towards our great ally Israel. This president is simply disgraceful and his leaving office will be celebrated around the world by liberty loving nations.

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 23 (Reuters) - After the United States abstained from voting, the U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, a reversal of U.S. practice to protect Israel from United Nations action.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2016 3:11 PM
Comment #411559

Obama is trying his best to screw up the world before he gets out of office. He has had the worst relationship with Israel of any president since 1948, so why would he do such a thing? Could he actually be a closet Muslim? It’s for certain he can’t use the term “Islamic terrorist”. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the democrats are doing. They have alienated blue collar union workers, they have alienated Christians and gun owners, and now they are alienating the Jewish vote. It’s a fact that Americans are tending toward right to life, and yet they push abortion, even in the third trimester. There is no longer any such critter as a moderate democrat. They are gone.

Posted by: Blaine at December 23, 2016 4:03 PM
Comment #411560

Harry Reid called the DNC “worthless”.

http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/12/23/sen-harry-reid-blasts-democratic-national-committee-as-worthless/21641023/

Show of hands…who agrees?

MY hand is up.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2016 4:20 PM
Comment #411561

Blaine, it will be interesting to watch and listen to Obama after he leaves power. Even though he says and does outrageous things as president, I believe he will become really radical when there are no longer any constraints of office.

I fully expect Obama to do a world tour of blaming and shaming America.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2016 4:28 PM
Comment #411565

Sure he will. He’s gonna stay new a tv camera where he can slam Trump every time Trump goes after his legacy. Which is no legacy. Bush and every other president left office, kept their mouths shut, and let the incoming administration do their thing. But no Obama, he has no class; he will be running his mouth and the classless lefties on WB will be peeing their pants with excitement.

Obama has been an embarrassment to the country and it will take someone like Trump to put him in his place. Americans wish that Hillary and Bill Clinton would just disappear and it will be the same with Obama.

Posted by: Blaine at December 23, 2016 5:39 PM
Comment #411615

RL,

Hi, Welcome to Watchblog! I hope you stick around long enough to engage in fruitful conversation. My experience is that as long as one keeps an open mind, there is a lot that can be learned here.

Now, you seem to be particularly excited to discuss climate science and I want to let you know that I probably know a bit more about the topic than most people. I graduated in 2013 with a double major in applied math & statistics as well as atmospheric & oceanic sciences. After graduating, I spent some time working for a company that sells its meteorological expertise to customers in the insurance industry helping them understand the impact global warming has on the property they insure. Now, I am back in school to earn a PhD in Atmospheric Science.

Let me discuss a few things that have come up:

Is gravity just “likely”?
Yes. In science, nothing is known with absolute certainty. There is only a series of empirical observations and a theory that best fits those observations. Einstein’s theory of relativity does a fine job explaining most phenomena involving gravity, but there is some behavior it is unable to explain. A future physicist will have to reconcile those discrepancies sometime in the future just as Einstein was able to reconcile some of the discrepancies between Newton’s theory of gravity and empirical observations.
Some time ago when this same subject came up I googled “Graphs of climate change” and I went to the image site and over 1000 graphs showed up some pro climate change some con climate change. I also stated that scientist who are funded by the government will probably go with the thinking of the party who has control. IMO scientist who DO NOT receive funds from any government source would be the most believable ones. I to am a realist and accept FACT not paid for by the government.
Firstly, I would not judge every single image that pops up on Google equally. Generally, I am skeptical of images if they do not appear in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Within the scientific community, there are ethical standards that ensure that the source data is always available for people to scrutinize. Contra climate change websites generally do not follow those standards and are apt to manipulate or misconstrue data to make a point. If you want a good honest depiction of the Earth’s climate over the last half million years, I suggest you read the papers published by Dr. Michael Mann. He’s a bit of a dick in real life, but his research is impeccable.

Regarding funding, while there are fair criticisms to be made about the manner by which scientists receive research funds from the government, it is by far a better system than the alternatives. Scientists who refuse government funds generally must get money from political activists or private corporations. This sets up a conflict of interest which clouds over their work. For instance, I do not trust Willie Soon to reliably and honestly communicate the results of his experiments because any result he got that supported the theory of anthropogenic global warming would greatly anger his benefactors. If Dr. Soon stuck with just government research grants, he would have a lot more flexibility to speak his own mind and follow what the data tells him than he does now.

the IPCC data is based on the same false computer models.

The conclusions of the IPCC are based on far more than computer models, but computer models remain an important tool for understanding the Earth’s climate provided that they are used and interpreted correctly. As phx8 already pointed out, the theory of anthropogenic global warming was first conceived in the 19th century. Svante Arrhenius was the first person to estimate the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to CO2, but men going all the way back Charles Fourier have speculated on the role CO2 plays within the climate system.

Abundant geologic evidence demonstrates that the Earth’s climate has undergone profound changes over the eons. In the last billion years, Earth has experienced everything from ice-free poles being a total snowball. This is a testament to the fact that the Earth has no “true” temperature. There’s nothing special about the climate of the late holocene and most importantly, there is no known mechanisms for the climate to resist strong perturbations or forgings.

Ultimately, the factors that control the temperature come down to how much of the sun’s radiation does the Earth absorb and how efficiently the Earth is able to return that radiation to space. When the continents were in different places, it impacted the amount of solar radiation that was absorbed and led to snowball earth. More recently (geologically speaking), orbital fluctuations, known as the Milankovitch cycles, have influenced the amount of solar radiation absorbed (and its geographical distribution). This has led to the recent cycle of ice ages that has dominated the Pleistocene.

Alongside those natural changes in climate, greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CO2 played important roles. It can be easily observed in a laboratory that GHGs absorb and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The most important GHGs (water vapor, CO2, ozone, methane, etc) absorb IR radiation at the same wavelengths at which the Earth typical emits it (as per Planck’s law). This means that these gases retard the Earth’s ability to return the sun’s radiation back to space. As a consequence, the Earth must emit more radiation to make up for the shortfall. The means by which the Earth increases the IR radiation that it emits is by warming up. This is the essence of the greenhouse effect, which has played an important role in Earth’s climate for billions of years. For instance, if we estimate Earth’s temperature based solely upon the amount of radiation it receives from the sun, we calculate that the mean temperature would be 255 Kelvin, which is about zero degrees Fahrenheit. The Earth would be a very cold place if it weren’t for the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

In the Pleistocene, CO2 has traditionally served as a feedback mechanism within the Earth’s climate. Because the ocean’s ability to dissolve CO2 is a function of temperature (as per Henry’s law), whenever the Earth cooled slightly as a result of the Milankovitch cyle, the oceans ended up absorbing more CO2, which reduced the greenhouse effect. With a reduced greenhouse effect, the Earth cooled even more allowing even more CO2 to be absorbed by the ocean. This pattern whereby a slight change is amplified by a wholly separate process is known as a feedback mechanism and as we will discuss later, most of Earth’s feedback mechanisms are positive, which means that any small perturbation will get multiplied may times over. The discovery of a major heretofore unknown negative feedback would severely cripple the consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change. However, despite many millions of dollars spent by the fossil fuel industry and their friends, no such feedback has ever been identified apart from Richard Lindzen’s long ago debunked iris hypothesis.

Now, in the last few centuries, humans have increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere by roughly 40% (from 0.028% to 0.040%). Annual human CO2 emissions today are roughly 9 gigatonnes of carbon. For comparison, the net contribution of natural sinks and sources is roughly -5 gigatonnes (approximately half of human emissions fuel increased plant growth or are absorbed by the ocean). Isotopic analysis confirms that mankind is 100% responsible for the increase in CO2 concentration over the last 150 years.

Fortunately, the greenhouse warming potential from CO2 is not linear. In fact, the relationship is logarithmic. So, every time we raise the CO2 concentration by 1 ppm, the effect on temperature is less than it was for the previous ppm. This means that the impact of increasing CO2 by 40% is that our temperatures do not increase by 40%. Instead, we have observed temperatures increase by a bit less than one degree Celsius. This represents a 0.3% increase in the Earth’s global average temperature. For comparison, the difference between the average temperature between an interglacial period and the deepest throes of an ice age is roughly five degrees Celsius, which is a 1.7% fluctuation of global mean surface temperature.

The narrative above represents simple facts that are difficult to dispute. If you need extra clarification regarding the above, let me know and I can gladly provided citations to numerous scientific studies to demonstrate. What follows is information we have learned from running global circulation models on massive supercomputers in order to simulate how the climate system responds to the forcing provided by anthropogenic CO2. This is where we have to make estimates and assumptions. For instance, it has been estimated that unbridled economic activity and robust population growth would increase the CO2 concentration to over 800ppm and perhaps reach 1000ppm. However, this estimate is beholden to the accuracy of other estimates (such as estimates of future population growth and future growth in standard of living). Likewise, simulations of the Earth’s atmosphere provide us with a framework for estimating the climate’s sensitivity to changes in CO2 concentration. There is less uncertainty here because we can also estimate the climate sensitivity from the paleoclimate record. Lastly, there are climate simulations that estimate regional climate impacts and these have the most uncertainty.

Because the atmosphere is a chaotic system, climate models are not able to predict interannual variability in Earth’s climate. The inner workings of phenomena such as ENSO, PDO, AO, NAO and other phenomena are simply not known well enough for any of these oscillations to be predicted years in advance. Thus, it is not realistic to expect a climate model run in 2007 to predict the temperature in 2016. However, once you increase the time horizon sufficiently, the models ought to have some predictive power. For instance, it is reasonable to expect a climate model run in 2007 to be able to predict the mean temperature from 2020 to 2050. Looking at three decades at once means short term oscillations like ENSO, PDO, AO, NAO and others can be ignored. However, the predictive power of the model is contingent on getting the assumptions right before it is run. For instance, overestimating mankind’s carbon emissions from 2020 to 2050 will undoubtedly cause the model to erroneously forecast warmer temperatures than those actually observed, but that is the fault of the fossil fuel emission estimate and not the fault of the model or its physics. Generally speaking, models’ failure to predict short-term climate is testament to our inability to predict changes in ENSO, PDO, AO, NAO and other phenomena, but it is not necessary to predict these short term fluctuations to understand the long-term picture.

Thus, I would caution against taking any particular model’s forecast for temperature too seriously. Instead, I would focus on efforts to determine Earth’s climate sensitivity. Sensitivity is usually reported as the warming we should expect as a result of doubling CO2. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report summarized climate sensitivity as “likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.”

RL, I wrote a lot for you, but hopefully you learned something. Feel free to ask me any questions provided that they directly relate to what I wrote. I am not going to chase after comparisons between Dr. Christy’s satellite data set and model predictions for the reasons that I have already stated. Likewise, I am not going to defend computer models as Oracles of our age. Computers are computers. They are useful tools for doing complex math that cannot fit on the back of envelope, but they are neither magical nor mystical. A computer model is only as useful as the ideas that go into it. I’d rather spend my time talking about those ideas than the models themselves.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 26, 2016 12:04 AM
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