We have been in Central Otago, and the snow is on the hills, increasing by the day , in Aucutum I read yesterday that the winter in Russia was brutal. Unusually so. The Russians and the Canadians are used to cold weather, butthis winter just past was unusally cold. Looking at the summe we have had, it was not that warm. No +30 days in a row this year. The larea never started imiating a dry, bronw destert, which is what should happen in Jnauralry anf February.
Of course, this is not what the press is talking about or governemtn policy. The policy is that we are alal going to fry.
Climate and energy are now dominant forces in national and international politics. Within days of his inauguration, President Biden reversed course on the policies adopted by Trump: the US rejoined the Paris Agreement, and increased Trump’s notional 26 per cent emission reduction goal with a firm 50 per cent by 2030 pledge.
In addition, he has rescinded approval for a major north south pipeline, and reintroduced regulations designed to reduce emissions. Appointments of people with outspoken views on curtailing carbon dioxide emissions were made to key portfolios of Treasury, the Interior, Energy and Environment. John Kerry was sent around the world as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate to urge other nations to adopt stronger emission controls and Obama’s former head of environment, Gina McCarthy became the White House National Climate Advisor with oversight over many agencies, including the crucial Office of Management and Budget.
The Administration now proposes to spend 2.9 trillion on” infrastructure”, most of which is climate related – this is almost as much as total annual revenue and comes on top of a deficit which is already $2 trillion.
There are problems with the model. Briggs has written a paper on this (1), which can be summarized this way: the model of the “natural climate is a fiction”. Man has been around and altering the enviroment ever since Aborigines burned down the forests in Australia so they could grow stuff and not be burned up in bushfires. Anyway, to the Briggs blog, where he summarizes the paper.
A bad—never good!—weather event is identified, usually because it has just occurred, introducing two observation biases into climate-attribution studies: one because only bad events are examined, and the second because it uses what was just observed.
A so-called climate change model (i.e. of the current climate) is run to say the probability of the bad weather event is P_1. A second model, but this one of the “natural” climate, is run, and it says the probability of the bad weather event is P_0. The “natural” climate is, they say, that which is untainted by man.
If P_1 > P_0, the bad event is said to be caused, at least in part, by man.
Quite obviously, if the climate change model is imperfect—I mean this word strictly—it’s estimate of P_1 is useless or highly suspect. Are climate change models perfect? No, sir, they are not. They do a poor job, especially at modeling local extremes. The estimates P_1 therefore don’t have much to do with real life.
Maybe not as obviously, the natural climate model also has to be perfect. Are they? Alas, we shall never know. There is no way to check, no way at all. Ever. It is a model of what the atmosphere would look like if man never touched it. It can therefore not be checked, because man has touched the atmosphere. The estimates P_0 therefore are unknowns.
Comparing two numbers which have too much certainty does not grant certainty, it increases uncertainty.
Add to all this the very real possibility of tuning the models so juice the results in one’s favor, as I suspect some (cited in the paper) have done, and a host of other problems—like how to go about calculating P_i—we conclude climate attribution studies should not be used for any decision making.
Though it is an easy prediction to say they will be used to generate fear.
The other prediction is that a decarbonized energy system will be unsustainable and costly.
Now onto something that I first considered reading science fiction. John Ringo, to be precise: that we would be entering a period of global cooling and that the faux consensus about global warming that is driving current policies. From What’s up with That.
Both Dr Soon (in 2004) and Dr Velasco Herrera (in 2008) had previously published papers speculating that the first half of the 21st century would be a period of unusually few sunspots, potentially slowing the rate of global warming
Sunspots matter. When there are many sunspots and the Sun is active, there is a danger that a strong solar ejection directed towards the Earth could damage or even destroy the thousands of satellites on which the world depends for everything from radio, telephone, television and internet communications to monitoring the climate and observing the farthest reaches of the universe.
Worse, a really strong solar storm could damage the largely unshielded terrestrial electricity grid. Most power lines and transformers are above ground and thus acutely vulnerable. Solar panels, too, could have their lives shortened by intense solar radiation.
The three scientists taught a machine-learning algorithm how to recognize underlying patterns and cycles in the past 320 years’ sunspot record. The algorithm then discovered a hitherto-unnoticed interaction between the 5.5-year solar half-cycles (blue) and the 120-year Gleissberg double cycles (red dotted lines) which allowed it to confirm the earlier predictions of a quiet half-century to come – predictions which are now shared by solar physicists.
That interaction between the two periodicities led the algorithm to indicate that from the 1730s to the 1760s, early in the modern sunspot record (the gray band below), sunspots appear to have been under-recorded: as the 120-year cycle approached its maximum amplitude, sunspots should have been more numerous than reported at the time.
The algorithm then predicted the sunspots from 2021 to 2100. It suggests that the current low solar activity is likely to continue until 2050
Dr Velasco Herrera said: “Not everyone agrees with our expectation that solar activity will continue to be low for another three solar cycles. A paper in Solar Physics by Dr Scott McIntosh of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, says the coming solar cycle will be unusually active, with a peak sunspot number of 233, compared with our estimate of less than 100. Place your bets in the Battle of the Solar Cycles!”
Dr Soon said, “The machine-learning algorithm, with its interesting interplay between the very short 5.5-year cycle and the long 120-year cycle, confirms our results of 10-15 years ago suggesting that the next three or four solar cycles will be comparatively inactive. This is the first time that the twin problems of hindcasting incomplete past records and forecasting the future have been combined in a single analysis.”
Dr Legates said: “President Trump realized the importance of space weather, and particularly of the Sun, in influencing global climate. It was he who signed the October 2020 ProSwift Act into law to assist in studying and forecasting space weather. Given the history of previous periods of comparative solar activity, the weather may get a little cooler between now and 2050. If we are right, our electricity grids and our satellites should be safe until then.”
Mentioning Trump, is of course, verboten to the woke, except as an insult. But the question is if this model is correct. What it does is give a hypothesis.
- The cyclic nature of sunspots is a reliable rule.
- Therefore, the next sunspot cycle will have low numbers.
If the sunspot cycle has high numbers, then this model is wrong. This is a good, thing, because a true understanding should be able to make precise predictions, and not be left in lost in a cloud of confidence intervals or, worse, qualitative analysis.
So: the current fictional models around carbon may not work, and sunspots matter. How is this affecting what I’m doing? It is. In the last few months.
- We have added a LPG fueled fire to Casa Kea, replacing the open hearth.
- We have had to replace Bruce the Subaru with Helmut the VeeDub. Helmut is a V6 petrol car. It is not a hybrid.
- We are keeping our wood fired range.
- The only electric transport we have are e-bikes: German ones. Which are kept indoors, because cold temperatures are bad for electric batteries.
We are ignoring the pressure to get e vehicles, to remove fossil fuels from our lives, and decarbonize. If we continue to have green governments, we will find, as is the case in South Australia, that we will have power cuts.
Which will be another reason to ensure the blog is hosted somewhere well away from the Antipodes.
- The pdf of Briggs paper is very pretty. I’m used to seeing stats papers that have merely been processed in LaTeX.