Daily Archives: August 30, 2016

Environmentalism Gone Mad: How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy

“This is his account of his personal journey of discovery that concluded that the claims are based on invalid science and are being pushed by a far left wing conspiracy that tolerates no skepticism, that their “solution” will result in disastrous price increases and reduced reliability for electricity in the US, as it already has in Western Europe, and reductions in economic growth and living standards around the world, particularly for the less affluent.” click here


Can a Colder Object Make a Warmer Object Even Warmer?

There’s an ongoing dispute on this question. The post here by Dr. Roy Spencer is the most recent in this discussion. I very much appreciate Dr. Spencer’s work on global temperatures (though I’ve never met him in person).

I’ve read Dr. Spencer’s explanation before and did not find it very persuasive.  The experimental evidence is new to me. However, I’m still puzzled by this explanation and interpretation of the experimental data presented by Dr. Spencer.  (There are other factors beyond the second law of thermodynamics at work here.)

I decided to ask a heat transfer expert (an experienced PhD mechanical engineer) with no dog in this fight to review these explanations and comments and give me an informal reaction. The response back to me was the following:

“I scanned quickly through the link. Any system has to follow the conservation of mass and energy (can be combined as in nuclear engineering).  He is relying on some correct radiation principles.  But he is clueless about the effects of reflectivity and that thermal imaging does not give accurate temperatures. “

 I’ll be meeting with this expert to discuss the issue further and perhaps collaborate on a future experiment of our own. Dr. Spencer’s experiment is interesting but does not resolve the difficulties I had initially with the  explanation provided.

Though I disagree with him on this matter I wish Dr. Spencer well in his future work. 

No Evidence of Extreme Precipitation Attributable to Climate Change

Karin van der Wiel, Sarah B. Kapnick, Gabriel A. Vecchi, William F Cooke, Thomas L Delworth, Liwei Jia, Hiroyuki Murakami, Seth Underwood, Fanrong Zeng. 2016. The resolution dependence of contiguous US precipitation extremes in response to CO forcing. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0307.1

Precipitation extremes have a widespread impact on societies and ecosystems; it is therefore important to understand current and future patterns of extreme precipitation. Here, a set of new global coupled climate models with varying atmospheric resolution has been used to investigate the ability of these models to reproduce observed patterns of precipitation extremes and to investigate changes in these extremes in response to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The atmospheric resolution was increased from 2°×2° grid cells (typical resolution in the CMIP5 archive) to 0.25°×.25° (tropical cyclone-permitting). Analysis has been confined to the contiguous United States (CONUS). It is shown that, for these models, integrating at higher atmospheric resolution improves all aspects of simulated extreme precipitation: spatial patterns, intensities and seasonal timing. In response to 2×CO2concentrations, all models show a mean intensification of precipitation rates during extreme events of approximately 3-4% K−1. However, projected regional patterns of changes in extremes are dependent on model resolution. For example, the highest-resolution models show increased precipitation rates during extreme events in the hurricane season in the CONUS southeast, this increase is not found in the low-resolution model. These results emphasize that, for the study of extreme precipitation there is a minimum model resolution that is needed to capture the weather phenomena generating the extremes. Finally, the observed record and historical model experiments were used to investigate changes in the recent past. In part because of large intrinsic variability, no evidence was found for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record.