The Old Farmer’s Almanac Seasonal Forecasts

By Andy May

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been making yearly long-term weather forecasts for 230 years. We pay attention to them because they are normally 80% accurate. They did not do as well last winter but were 72% in predicting the direction of temperature change, and 78% accurate in the change in precipitation. This is pretty remarkable because while the U.S. weather forecasts are 90% accurate five days in advance, they are only 80% accurate seven days out. The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecasts are far less specific, they only predict the direction of change, but their forecasts are for twelve months in the future, quite impressive. Figure 1 is their forecast for the lower 48 United States, for this winter.

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The Greenhouse Effect, A Summary of Wijngaarden and Happer

By Andy May

This post was updated 9/24/2021 to reflect reader comments.

The phrase “greenhouse effect,” often abbreviated as “GHE,” is very ambiguous. It applies to Earth’s surface temperature, and has never been observed or measured, only modeled. To make matters worse, it has numerous possible components, and the relative contributions of the possible components are unknown. Basic physics suggests that Earth’s surface is warmer than it would be with a transparent atmosphere, that is no greenhouse gases (GHGs), clouds, or oceans. If we assume Earth is a blackbody, then subtract the solar energy reflected, from the hypothetically non-existent clouds, atmosphere, land, ice, and oceans; we can calculate a surface temperature of 254K or -19°C. The actual average temperature today is about 288.7K or roughly 15.5°C. This modeled difference of 35°C is often called the overall greenhouse effect.

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European Energy Prices set Records

By Andy May

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, due to a rare lack of North Sea wind, already high European energy prices are climbing higher.

“Gas and coal-fired electricity plants were called in to make up the shortfall from wind.

Natural-gas prices, already boosted by the pandemic recovery and a lack of fuel in storage caverns and tanks, hit all-time highs. Thermal coal, long shunned for its carbon emissions, has emerged from a long price slump as utilities are forced to turn on backup power sources.”

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False and misleading “fact check” about Connolly, et al., 2021

By Andy May

Dr. Ronan Connolly and his co-authors respond to obvious false claims, in a supposed “fact check” about their latest paper on how solar variability may be affecting the climate. We applaud Dr. Ronan Connolly, Dr. Willie Soon, and Dr. Michael Connolly for rapidly and publicly calling out this fraudulent fact check. Misinformation and opinion articles disguised as fact checks are all too common and when they receive support in the left-wing social media, the situation just gets worse.

Their response follows:

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Nature promotes frivolous lawsuits

By Andy May

A Dutch joke*:

“The Judge asks an attorney pleading his case: ‘Am I ever to hear the truth?’

The attorney responds: ‘No, my Lord, only the evidence.'”

It is safe to say that no evidence exists that man-made climate change has harmed anyone. Further man-made climate or climate change has never been observed or measured. Climate-related and extreme-weather-related deaths, whether natural or man-made, have declined 93% since their peak in the 1920s and 1930s. Extreme weather events have declined and their impact on humans has declined even faster. Deaths due to climate change (man-made or natural) reached their lowest point in recorded history in 2019.

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The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM

By Andy May

The PETM or Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was a warm period that began between 56.3 and 55.9 Ma (million years ago). The IPCC AR6 report (actually a draft, not a final edited report), released to the public on August 9, 2021, suggests that this warm period is similar to what is happening today and they expect to happen in the future (IPCC, 2021, pp. 2-82 & 5-14). During the PETM, it was very warm and average global surface temperatures probably peaked between 25.5°C and 26°C briefly, compared to a global surface temperature average of about 14.5°C today, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The estimated global average surface temperature for the past 150 million years. Modified from: Christopher Scotese, the Paleomap Project, link.
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Holocene Antarctic CO2 Variability or Lack Of

Guest Post by Renee Hannon

Introduction

This post examines CO2 ice core measurements from Antarctica during the Holocene Epoch. The key CO2 dataset for paleoclimate studies is the EPICA Dome C (EDC) data also known as Dome Charlie or Dome Concordia. Dome C is located on the eastern Antarctic Plateau, one of the coldest places on Earth and our planet’s largest frozen desert. The average air temperature is -54.5 degrees C with little to no precipitation throughout the year. CO2 measurements from the unique conditions at Dome C are compared to other Antarctic ice cores.

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Can we predict long-term solar variability?

By Andy May

This post is a result of an online conversation with Dr. Leif Svalgaard, a research physicist at Stanford University. Leif knows a great deal about the Sun and solar variability and can explain it clearly. Our disagreement is over whether long-term solar variations could be large enough to affect Earth’s climate more than changes due to humans – or not. Thus, we are arguing about the relative magnitudes of two sources of radiative forcing (RF) that are not known accurately. The IPCC estimates that the total RF, due to humans, since 1750, is 2.3 W/m2 (IPCC, 2013, p. 696). This number is unverifiable and likely exaggerated, but we can accept it for the sake of this argument.

I’ve written on this topic before here. This post is an update and will not cover the same ground. Some readers will want to read the first post before this one.

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Sea Level Model Fail

From a post by Arnout Jaspers at clintel.org.

In 2016, a headline grabbing study said that the Antarctic ice sheet is much more unstable than [previously] estimated.  As a consequence, projected sea level rise in 2100 would double. Computer modelers from Deltares and KNMI scrambled back to their drawing boards to upgrade their prognoses for the Dutch coastline. Have these prognoses survived the climate news cycle?

Rarely has a scientific publication, whose authors said that the results ‘should not be considered actual predictions’, had such a profound impact outside science.

The model was unrealistic and made little sense but was none-the-less splattered across the media in The Netherlands and elsewhere and the Dutch were told their children would not even have a country when they grew up due to sea level rise.

It was refuted by a 2018 paper in Science, that showed the base of the Antarctic ice sheet was much more durable than assumed in the earlier paper. Even in the unrealistic RCP8.5 IPCC scenario, the sea level rise due to melting Antarctic ice, was modest. Of course, this later paper was ignored in most of the media. As noted in the clintel.org post:

Nevertheless, the extreme two to three metres of sea level rise in 2100 from the Deltares report is still reigning free in the public debate. This is a recurrent phenomenon in climate reporting: the most extreme prediction is readily accepted and promoted as the new normal, which can no longer be falsified by later research. And then, it is a matter of waiting for the next level extreme prediction that the media will promote to being the new normal.

As usual, the media makes wild extremes seem real and ignores reality. The full post can be seen here.

Climate Sensitivity to CO2, what do we know? Part 2.

By Andy May

In Part 1, we introduced the concepts of climate sensitivity to CO2, often called ECS or TCR. The IPCC prefers a TCR of about 1.8°C/2xCO2 (IPCC, 2013, p. 818). TCR is the short-term, century scale, response of surface temperature to a doubling of CO2, we abbreviate the units as “°C/2xCO2.” In these posts we review lower estimates of climate sensitivity, estimates below 1°C/2xCO2. In parallel, we also review estimates of the surface air temperature sensitivity (SATS) to radiative forcing (RF, the units are °C per W/m2 or Watts per square meter). The IPCC estimates this value to be ~0.49°C per W/m2.

The previous post discussed two modern climate sensitivity estimates, by Richard Lindzen and Willie Soon, that range below 1°C/2xCO2. Next, we review climate sensitivity estimates by Sherwood Idso, Reginald Newell and their colleagues.

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