The Yin and Yang of Holocene Polar Regions

Guest post by Renee Hannon

Introduction

The Arctic and Antarctic regions are different and yet similar in many ways. The Arctic has ocean surrounded by land and the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by water. Both are cold, glaciated and located at Earth’s poles some 11,000 miles apart. While sea ice has been retreating in the Arctic, it has been relatively stable in the Antarctic. This post examines surface temperature trends, solar insolation, and CO2 at the polar Arctic and Antarctic regions during the Holocene interglacial period.

Holocene Polar Temperature Trends are Out of Phase

The Holocene interglacial started about 11,000 years ago after termination of the previous glacial period. It is commonly described as consisting of an early Holocene climate optimum from approximately 10,000 to 6,000 years before present (BP, before 1950). This optimum is followed by a pronounced cooling in the mid-late Holocene referred to as the Neoglacial period which culminates in the Little Ice Age (LIA) around 1800 years AD (Lui, 2014).

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#average-global-temperature, #polar-temperatures

Global Mean Temperature Flattens the Past


Guest post by Renee Hannon

Introduction

There have been recent discussions about ‘flattening the curve’ and some curves are easier to flatten than others. The Pages 2K Consortium calculates global mean temperature in a manner that flattens the long-term trend and makes present day temperatures appear warmer relative to past temperatures. Across the globe, temperature reconstructions show cooling millennial temperature trends with one exception, the Pages 2K global mean.

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From Green Blindness to a New Reality

Guest opinion by Wim Röst

The Virus

Nature is beautiful, romantic and the best there is on Earth. But, nature is also fully unpredictable, dangerous and deadly. For example, by means of a virus.

Romantically, we want to live close to nature. But the closer we are to nature the more likely diseases will jump from animals to man.

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NIH payments to the Wuhan Institute of Virology

By Andy May

On April 17th, Newsmax reporter Emerald Robinson asked President Trump if the NIH (the United States National Institute of Health) gave a grant of $3.7 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2015 during the Obama administration. It turns out, the original grant was given to a non-profit called the EcoHealth Alliance in 2014. It was EcoHealth that gave some of the $3.7 million to the Wuhan Laboratory. EcoHealth is a global environmental organization that is “dedicated to a ‘One Health’ approach to protecting the health of people, animals and the environment from emerging infectious diseases,” according to their website.

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IPCC Politics and Solar Variability

By Andy May

This post is about an important new paper by Nicola Scafetta, Richard Willson, Jae Lee and Dong Wu (Scafetta, Willson and Lee, et al. 2019) on the ACRIM versus PMOD total solar irradiance (TSI) composite debate that has been raging for over 20 years. ACRIM stands for Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor, these instruments recorded solar irradiance from space for many years. Richard Willson is the principle investigator in the laboratory that studied the results, Nicola Scafetta worked in the laboratory, until he accepted a position as a professor at the University of Naples Federico II.

The paper casts a spotlight on the political problems at the IPCC. In order to properly put the ACRIM vs PMOD debate into context and to show why this obscure and complicated scientific and engineering debate is important, we need to also discuss the messy politics within and between the IPCC and the UNFCCC.

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#acrim, #pmod, #tsi

Dutch Cabinet Postpones New Climate Measures because of Virus

Guest opinion by Wim Röst

Introduction

The Dutch government has been in the forefront for ‘Climate Action’. But a remarkable switch in policy has been caused by the economic reality resulting from ‘the virus’.

Postponement of new climate measures

Autumn 2019 the Dutch Parliament asked the Dutch government to take extra climate measures. But in an announcement last Friday the Government stated that no new measures will be taken to diminish CO2 emissions because of the corona virus crisis.

“Many people now have other things to do. So do we.” said minister Wiebes from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

This fundamental switch by the Dutch government is quite logical given the recent developments in the economy caused by the corona virus. A real crises asks all energy and money to be directed to other goals than the virtual goal of ‘trying to avoid a possible danger for the year 2100’. Even the internationally well known ‘Urgenda Court Ruling’ does not have any priority. In the words of the Minister: “The court ruling is not off the table, but there are other priorities”.

Urgenda

According to the Urgenda Court Ruling the Dutch government is obliged to do more to achieve the present emission goals. This year many more measures should be taken to reach those goals. Economic reality however puts the climate goals aside. One of the groups that is putting pressure on governments to do so is Clintel which stands for ‘Climate Intelligence’.

Clintel’s letter to World Leaders

Last week a letter co-signed by Professor Richard Lindzen, by The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (and many others) asked world leaders to let the actual virus and economic crisis prevail over climate goals. In the words of Prof. Guus Berkhout, president of Clintel:

“Your Excellencies, compared to COVID-19 climate change is a non-problem! It is based on computer models and looks into the far future. In current health emergency, however, your attention to the peoples’ needs is today! Please, don’t continue pushing your zero carbon emission ambition in a time that the world is dealing with a deadly global crisis. Yes, there is an emergency, but it is NOT the climate.”

A translation of the open letter is available in many languages.

Conclusion

The decision of the Dutch government to postpone new climate measures signals a fundamental change in priorities by a country that has been one of the most committed to achieving climate goals.

Economic reality will urge many governments to follow.

With regards to commenting: please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal.


About the author: Wim Röst studied human geography in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The above is his personal view. He is not connected to firms or foundations nor is he funded by government(s).

Food Prices and Ethanol Mandates

By Andy May

This post is a follow up to my previous post on biofuels, here we discuss the impact of biofuels on food prices in more detail. Ethanol has been produced in large quantities in the United States for fuel since 1978. That was the year the Congress passed the Energy Tax Act (Tyner 2008) which provided for a 40 cent per ethanol gallon exemption to the gasoline excise tax. This tax exemption for ethanol was increased to fifty cents in 1982.

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#biofuels, #food-prices

Polar Push and Pull

Guest post by Renee Hannon


Introduction
This post examines regional temperature reconstructions during the past several thousand years relative to different baselines and the responses of end member deviants, the Arctic and Antarctic polar extremes. And it’s a quite interesting tug of war.

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Key documents in the Exxon-Mobil lawsuit by state Attorneys General

By Andy May

A reader has pointed out that many of the links in my 2016 post on the Exxon-Mobil Climate Papers are busted. This means that the documents have been removed from the internet or moved to another location. I had copies of many of the documents on my hard drive, so I’ve uploaded them and the links to them are below.

First some helpful links to my original posts:

ExxonMobil sues Massachusetts Attorney General

The Exxon Climate Papers

The supporting documents that I could find:

The court case articles

The Exxon Internal memos

The Exxon peer-reviewed papers

Exxon Mobil and Free Speech

Finally, another useful link to and article on ExxonMobil’s court win.

Steve Milloy wins against Exxon with SEC

By Andy May

h/t Willie Soon

Steve Milloy is the publisher of junkscience.com and trained as a lawyer and biostatistician. He was “lauded” as one of the top ten “climate deniers” by George Monbiot at the Guardian. Milloy has filed a shareholder proposal with Exxon-Mobil insisting that they account for their “greenwashing” activities that are not required by law. He defines greenwashing as expenditures that are supposed to be environment-related but are actually undertaken to improve the company’s public image. These insincere green activities waste shareholder money, deceive shareholders and the public.

Exxon Mobil submitted a request to the SEC to exclude Milloy’s proposal from the shareholder meeting, scheduled for May 27, 2020. The SEC ruled in Milloy’s favor as you can see in Figure 1.

Figure 1. SEC summary of their decision, they turned down Exxon Mobil’s request to exclude Milloy’s proposal. Source: SEC.

Exxon-Mobil management has long been divided on the risks of climate change, as I have written here. But, the risks of human-caused climate change have been investigated by thousands of researchers, worldwide, since 1979 and they have uncovered nothing significant. The only solid impacts of human-caused global warming or climate change uncovered are positive, as seen here.

Greenwashing by Exxon-Mobil, sends the wrong signal to the public and the environmentalists. They use it as a club to beat the fossil fuel industry, saying “See climate denier, even the largest private fossil-fuel producer agrees with us!” As a long-time Exxon-Mobil shareholder and a past Exxon employee, I will vote with Milloy and against Exxon-Mobil in May. Exxon-Mobil should stand up for itself and what is right.

#exxon-mobil, #steve-milloy