My new Kindle book: Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People

September 12th, 2018

I sometimes get asked for a concise and accessible summary of my skeptical views on global warming. After a year or more of thinking and writing, my new Kindle book Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People is meant to fill that need.

As a bonus, I guarantee it will be easier to understand than Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

At nearly 32,000 words with 40 high-res illustrations it’s more comprehensive than my previous Kindle books, but still readable in about 2-3 hours. The book is not meant to cover all of the skeptical views out there, but rather everything that I believe is most important to the global warming and energy policy debate. (If people convince me I’ve missed a couple of subjects that need to be addressed, it is easy and fast to update Kindle books.)

Maybe the best way to summarize what is in the book is to list the chapter titles:

Preface
1. Overview of the Reasons for Skepticism
2. The Five Big Questions
3. Skepticism versus Alarmism
4. The Unholy Alliance: Politics and Science
5. How Could 97% of Scientists Be Wrong?
6. What is the Greenhouse Effect?
7. What Causes Temperature Change?
8. The Good News about Increasing CO2
9. The U.N. IPCC Consensus: Government-Funded Biased Science
10. Climate Models Exaggerate Recent Warming
11. Warming since the 1800s Suggests Climate Models are Too Sensitive
12. How the Reliance on IPCC Climate Models Affects You
13. Why is Warming Not Progressing as Predicted?
14. Refuting Common Climate Delusions
Conclusions

That last chapter is where I refute the frequent media claims about worsening heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, weather-related disaster losses, sea level rise, sea ice melt, ice sheet collapse, and ocean acidification.

I consider this my most complete treatment of the subject in one place, with my latest position on a variety of subjects. I have references to some of the latest findings and events of interest — as recent as September 3, 2018. I’ve included hyperlinks where appropriate so that readers can easily investigate my claims for themselves.

I hope you find it entertaining and informative. And, again, I am open to suggestions for material I might have missed… keeping in mind I am not aiming for the most exhaustive treatment of global warming skepticism, but the most effective one.
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ALSO: I have updated and expanded my Kindle book Inevitable Disaster: Why Hurricanes Can’t be Blamed on Global Warming, with new information and inclusion of Hurricane Florence. This 2nd Edition should go live tonight.

Hurricane Florence: Nature’s Business as Usual, Not Climate Change

September 10th, 2018

A potential new poster child for global warming ignores the lack of trend in major hurricane landfalls in the Carolinas.

GOES-East image of rapidly-strengthening Hurricane Florence, forecast to arrive on the coast of the Carolinas as a Cat 4 storm on Thursday night, Sept. 13, 2018.

Although it is still 3-4 days away, rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence is increasing the threat of a major hurricane landfall somewhere within 120 miles or so of Wilmington, NC. If it reaches that area as a Cat 4 storm, the damage produced will be extensive, likely amounting to tens of billions of dollars.

By coincidence, the hurricane disaster (if it unfolds) will occur during this year’s Global Climate Action Summit (Sept. 12-14) in San Francisco, possibly the most star-studded climate alarmist extravaganza in existence, with climate experts such as Al Gore, Alec Baldwin, Andrea Mitchell, Catherine McKenna, Dave Matthews, Jane Goodall, John Kerry, and Tom Steyer.

As we all know, these are people who lead by example in their efforts to reduce their so-called carbon footprints.

Attendees of the conference are almost guaranteed to point to Florence as an example of what we can expect more of with global warming. But it’s curious how there hasn’t been a statistically significant increase in major hurricane strikes in the Carolinas (based upon NHC data), even assuming Florence hits as a Cat3+:

(The same is true in Florida.)

The 1950s was the stand-out decade for major hurricane strikes in the Carolinas, with Hurricane Hazel in 1954 doing major damage, even as far north as Toronto. Hazel’s destruction of Myrtle Beach, SC led to a massive rebuilding effort that transformed that community forever.

For sure, there has been an increase in hurricane damages over time, as infrastructure along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts has increased dramatically. There is simply more stuff for Mother Nature to destroy. But I doubt that the luminaries attending the Global Climate Action Summit this week can understand that increasing damages would occur even without any climate change.

Major hurricanes are business as usual for nature, just uncommon.

For now, let’s hope Florence weakens or stays offshore. But as the above chart shows, the Carolinas should not be surprised if a disaster occurs, at least based upon the history of major hurricane strikes.

East Coast Nervous About Major Hurricane Florence

September 7th, 2018

We are now at the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and Mother Nature is revving into high gear. We could have up to three hurricanes in the Atlantic in the coming days, as strong easterly waves continue to emerge from the west coast of Africa:

GOES-16 view of the North Atlantic, midday September 7, 2018.

Florence is of the most immediate concern. While still about 6 days away, a variety of weather forecast models are beginning to converge in their forecasts for Hurricane Florence to make landfall somewhere between the Carolinas and Delaware. The latest “spaghetti” plot compiled by the South Florida Water Management District shows the model forecast tracks to be clustering along the mid-Atlantic, with the latest (11 a.m. EDT) official NHC forecast represented by the heavy red line:

(The westward and northward tracks in the above plot can be ignored.) Florence has temporarily weakened to a strong tropical storm, but should become a hurricane again this weekend, and then a major hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph) on Monday or Tuesday.

The two most-watched forecast models are the European ECMWF and the NOAA GFS. Even though it is still too early to place much confidence in their forecasts 6 days out, to give some idea of how those models are treating Florence, here’s this morning’s GFS model bringing Florence inland in North Carolina Thursday morning with wind gusts to 120 mph (graphic courtesy of WeatherBell.com):

GFS model forecast of Hurricane Florence landfall on the North Carolina coast on Thursday, September 13. This forecast time is still 6 days away, and so likely has a substantial forecast errors.

The GFS then takes Florence up into central Virgina, with 6 to 12 inches of total rainfall mostly east of the track.

The most recent ECMWF model run from last night takes Florence well inland after making landfall near the border of North and South Carolina.

Consistent with the GFS model, Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell.com earlier today predicted the hurricane might track up the Shenandoah Valley, centered on a region already waterlogged from a wet summer, and produce large amounts of additional rainfall the area does not need.

What we know for sure is that large waves and strong rip currents will be a threat along the eastern seaboard this weekend.

Again, it is still too early to place much confidence in any specific forecast. But the trend toward an East Coast landfall is becoming worrisome, and so residents in hurricane-prone areas, especially in the mid-Atlantic states, should be watching the official forecasts from the National Hurricane Center over the next few days in case serious preparations become necessary.

UAH Global Temperature Update for August 2018: +0.19 deg. C

September 1st, 2018

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for August, 2018 was +0.19 deg. C, down from the July value of +0.32 deg. C:

Global area-averaged lower tropospheric temperature anomalies (departures from 30-year calendar monthly means, 1981-2010). The 13-month centered average is meant to give an indication of the lower frequency variations in the data; the choice of 13 months is somewhat arbitrary… an odd number of months allows centered plotting on months with no time lag between the two plotted time series. The inclusion of two of the same calendar months on the ends of the 13 month averaging period causes no issues with interpretation because the seasonal temperature cycle has been removed, and so has the distinction between calendar months.

Some regional LT departures from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 20 months are:

YEAR MO GLOBE NHEM. SHEM. TROPIC USA48 ARCTIC AUST
2017 01 +0.33 +0.32 +0.34 +0.10 +0.27 +0.95 +1.22
2017 02 +0.39 +0.58 +0.20 +0.08 +2.16 +1.33 +0.21
2017 03 +0.23 +0.37 +0.09 +0.06 +1.21 +1.24 +0.98
2017 04 +0.28 +0.29 +0.26 +0.21 +0.89 +0.23 +0.40
2017 05 +0.45 +0.40 +0.49 +0.41 +0.11 +0.21 +0.06
2017 06 +0.22 +0.33 +0.10 +0.39 +0.51 +0.10 +0.34
2017 07 +0.29 +0.30 +0.28 +0.51 +0.61 -0.27 +1.03
2017 08 +0.41 +0.40 +0.42 +0.46 -0.54 +0.49 +0.77
2017 09 +0.54 +0.51 +0.57 +0.54 +0.29 +1.06 +0.60
2017 10 +0.63 +0.67 +0.59 +0.47 +1.21 +0.83 +0.86
2017 11 +0.36 +0.34 +0.38 +0.27 +1.35 +0.68 -0.12
2017 12 +0.41 +0.50 +0.33 +0.26 +0.44 +1.37 +0.36
2018 01 +0.26 +0.46 +0.06 -0.11 +0.58 +1.36 +0.42
2018 02 +0.20 +0.25 +0.16 +0.03 +0.92 +1.19 +0.18
2018 03 +0.25 +0.40 +0.10 +0.07 -0.32 -0.33 +0.59
2018 04 +0.21 +0.31 +0.10 -0.12 -0.01 +1.02 +0.68
2018 05 +0.18 +0.41 -0.05 +0.03 +1.93 +0.18 -0.40
2018 06 +0.21 +0.38 +0.04 +0.12 +1.19 +0.83 -0.55
2018 07 +0.32 +0.42 +0.21 +0.29 +0.50 +0.29 +1.37
2018 08 +0.19 +0.21 +0.16 +0.12 +0.06 +0.09 +0.25

The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through August 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

The UAH LT global anomaly image for August, 2018 should be available after Labor Day here.

The new Version 6 files should also be updated at that time, and are located here:

Lower Troposphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt
Mid-Troposphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tmt/uahncdc_mt_6.0.txt
Tropopause: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/ttp/uahncdc_tp_6.0.txt
Lower Stratosphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

Green Energy Scam #167: Traffic-Driven Wind Turbines

August 21st, 2018

A YouTube video making the rounds on social media (with over 27 million views!) describes a system of small wind turbines placed in the median between two lanes of traffic. The wind generated by the traffic spins the turbine blades and generates (a very small amount of) electricity:

https://www.facebook.com/InTheKnowWanderlustByAOL/videos/463043554144777/

The question is, does such a system recapture energy that would have been lost anyway?

The answer is NO.

When the blades turn to generate electricity, they are slowing the wind generated by the moving traffic. That creates additional wind resistance, which increases aerodynamic drag on the cars, and reduces their gas mileage. In effect, the turbines are stealing energy from the cars and converting it to electricity.

No, it’s not like regenerative breaking in hybrid cars, nor is it like turbochargers. It’s forcing the car to do more work than it would have otherwise done… and inefficiently converting that extra work into another form of energy. Wouldn’t the cars have lost energy through aerodynamic drag anyway? Yes! But this system INCREASES the drag on the cars. It would be like putting a little wind turbine on the roof of the car and generating electricity that way. The electrical energy created would not be worth the gas you wasted to do it (unless you really needed the electricity…but that’s what car alternators are for, and they don’t run all the time anyway).

I’m pretty sure the system would waste energy, not save energy. That’s why I’m calling it a “scam”.

Here’s a short discussion by some engineers who come to the same conclusion.

Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight

August 12th, 2018

Update: The NASA Fireball Network, monitoring only a few U.S. locations, logged 56 Perseid fireballs last night.

The best meteor shower of the year — the Perseids — peaks tonight. In preparation for a planned outing to a dark sky site, I ran my camera from our roof last night for 8 hours. Despite significant light pollution, I made the following captures. The first was only 1 hour after sunset, and is an “Earthgrazer”, when the radiant is still below the horizon and meteors skim the upper atmosphere with long tails:

Perseid “Earthgrazer”, taken with Canon 6D, 15 sec exp., 20mm f/2.8, ISO3200. No cropping.

While one might suspect this was a satellite, the angular extent of the path is 60 deg., and in only 15 sec satellites cover only a small fraction of that distance; plus, the green color indicates a meteor. Also, the NASA fireball network picked this one up (one of the sensors is close to my house).

The second photo is after the radiant is well above the horizon, so the meteors have shorter paths directly into the upper atmosphere:

As in the previous photo, but with 100% crop, and taken about 2 a.m.

Given that the NASA Fireball Network logged 56 fireballs last night, I’m hopeful for tonight’s display, which should be approximately twice as productive. You can watch in any part of the sky starting after dark. The long trail meteors will be earlier in the evening, then increase in number through the night but have shorter tails. If you have a choice of directions to look, I would suggest directly overhead (use a reclining lawn chair to save your neck), or generally north-eastward as a second choice. But meteors can occur in any part of the sky.

Hoping for mostly clear skies tonight.

Make Agriculture Great Again: Record corn yield and soybean production predicted for 2018

August 10th, 2018


Today the USDA released its forecast for corn and soybean yields and production for the 2018 growing season. It is expected that corn yields (bushels per acre) in the U.S. will experience their third consecutive record year, with an average of 178.4 bu/ac:

The last time there were three consecutive record high yield years was over 30 years ago: 1985-86-87.

Soybean production is expected to be at a record high, and with a near-record in yield:

Clearly, the widely expected decline in U.S. agricultural production due to global warming has yet to materialize, as improved varieties and farming practices continue to push yields ever higher. Not only are the trends upward (as seen in the above charts), it appears both corn and soybean yields will have actually experienced 5 consecutive years over and above those upward trends.

Make Agriculture Great Again.

Fake Climate News from Reuters

August 10th, 2018

Will Google down-rank Reuters for spreading fake climate news?

I spoke at Heartland’s America First Energy Conference, held in New Orleans on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. A young Reuters reporter was there, who asked me before I spoke to tell him what I was going to say.

I simply replied, why don’t you come and listen to my talk to find out?

The result was a news story with this headline: Sea level rise ‘overblown,’ solar energy ‘dumb,’ climate change deniers tell forum

Climate change deniers“? Really? This is what passes for responsible journalism today?

As readers here know, I don’t deny climate change. I doubt any in attendance deny climate change.

I don’t even deny recent warming could be mostly human-caused.

The following photo of me speaking had the caption (emphasis added):

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, said the presence of Trump administration officials at the conference gave a boost to climate change deniers. (Edmund D. Fountain/Reuters)

I have no idea what I said that led the reporter to write: “Spencer said…the presence of Trump administration officials at the conference gave a boost to climate change deniers”. Where did that come from?

The mainstream news media (MSM) is treading on dangerous ground as Google is now deciding what web content is climate-denying and what isn’t. They don’t even understand the arguments. There are crappy science arguments being routinely published on the web on both sides of the debate.

About the only climate-related statements I might characterize as unsupported scientific claims would be, “the climate has cooled in recent decades”, or “there is no such thing as a greenhouse effect”.

But even though I consider those to be demonstrably wrong, I would not support censoring or putting disclaimers on such content. Even the most ridiculous claims (the Earth is flat, the Moon landings were a hoax) should be allowed to be heard and subjected to questioning, and maybe even ridicule.

If such censorship and search engine down-ranking is implemented, will they do the same for the recent “hothouse Earth” claims, which are little more than speculative sci-fi climate porn, with no new science, and totally ignore the most recent evidence that global warming of the oceans and atmosphere over the last century indicate the climate system is twice as resistant to warming as the IPCC claims?

Such hypocrisy is part of the reason why Americans (Canadians, Australians, et al.) are increasingly distrustful of the MSM.

UAH Global Temperature Update for July, 2018: +0.32 deg. C

August 1st, 2018

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for July, 2018 was +0.32 deg. C, up from the June value of +0.21 deg. C:

Global area-averaged lower tropospheric temperature anomalies (departures from 30-year calendar monthly means, 1981-2010). The 13-month centered average is meant to give an indication of the lower frequency variations in the data; the choice of 13 months is somewhat arbitrary… an odd number of months allows centered plotting on months with no time lag between the two plotted time series. The inclusion of two of the same calendar months on the ends of the 13 month averaging period causes no issues with interpretation because the seasonal temperature cycle has been removed, and so has the distinction between calendar months.

Some regional LT departures from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 19 months are:

YEAR MO GLOBE NHEM. SHEM. TROPIC USA48 ARCTIC AUST
2017 01 +0.33 +0.31 +0.34 +0.10 +0.27 +0.95 +1.22
2017 02 +0.38 +0.57 +0.20 +0.08 +2.16 +1.33 +0.21
2017 03 +0.23 +0.36 +0.09 +0.06 +1.21 +1.24 +0.98
2017 04 +0.27 +0.29 +0.26 +0.21 +0.89 +0.23 +0.40
2017 05 +0.44 +0.39 +0.49 +0.41 +0.10 +0.21 +0.06
2017 06 +0.22 +0.33 +0.10 +0.39 +0.51 +0.10 +0.34
2017 07 +0.29 +0.30 +0.27 +0.51 +0.61 -0.27 +1.03
2017 08 +0.41 +0.40 +0.42 +0.46 -0.54 +0.49 +0.77
2017 09 +0.54 +0.51 +0.57 +0.54 +0.29 +1.06 +0.60
2017 10 +0.63 +0.67 +0.59 +0.47 +1.21 +0.83 +0.86
2017 11 +0.36 +0.33 +0.38 +0.27 +1.35 +0.68 -0.12
2017 12 +0.41 +0.50 +0.33 +0.26 +0.44 +1.37 +0.36
2018 01 +0.26 +0.46 +0.06 -0.11 +0.58 +1.36 +0.42
2018 02 +0.20 +0.24 +0.16 +0.03 +0.92 +1.19 +0.18
2018 03 +0.25 +0.40 +0.10 +0.07 -0.32 -0.33 +0.59
2018 04 +0.21 +0.31 +0.10 -0.13 -0.01 +1.02 +0.68
2018 05 +0.18 +0.41 -0.05 +0.03 +1.93 +0.18 -0.40
2018 06 +0.21 +0.38 +0.04 +0.12 +1.19 +0.83 -0.55
2018 07 +0.32 +0.42 +0.21 +0.29 +0.50 +0.29 +1.37

The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through July 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

The UAH LT global anomaly image for July, 2018 should be available in the next few days here.

The new Version 6 files should also be updated in the coming days, and are located here:

Lower Troposphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt
Mid-Troposphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tmt/uahncdc_mt_6.0.txt
Tropopause: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/ttp/uahncdc_tp_6.0.txt
Lower Stratosphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

Sexy “Miss Climate” Competition to Combat Climate Change Apathy

July 27th, 2018

I’m not making this up.

The president of our university forwarded some flashy brochures he received from Virendra Rawat, Indian founder and director of the global “Green Schools” concept. They are auditioning for young females to compete to become “Miss Climate – 2018”.

As the letter states, “winners of this beauty pageant will serve as Global Ambassador of Climate Change”:

Hmm. There is so much to say, and the letter raises so many questions, one hardly knows where to begin…

First, the overt sexism: A “beauty pageant”? Has Mr. Rawat not heard that even the future Miss America will not be judged on physical appearance?

The letter is addressed to “Dear Sir” (I suspect many universities are run by females);

The qualifications are young females 18-25 years old, with a minimum height of 5′ 5″, unmarried.

QUESTIONS:

1) Can contestants self-identify as female, 18-25, and of minimum height 5’5″ tall?

2) Is the former IPCC director Rajendra Pachauri involved in this in any way? It sounds like something he’d have some interest in.

3) Will the contestants’ knowledge of global environmental concerns be up to the standards of, say, the world peace concerns of the Miss America contestants?

4) Given the global warming theme, will there be a — ahem — heat level requirement of some type for contestants?

5) Will Anthony Watts enter his dog Kenji in the competition? (At least Kenji is a card-carrying member of the Union of Concerned Scientists).

I’m sure others can think of additional questions which naturally arise from this announced beauty pageant. For now, my jaw is still rising up from the floor.