It is not surprising there are floods all over the East coast at the moment
September brought 500% of normal rain to 2 million square kilometers of Eastern and Northern Australia. There are floods across the South East. There are flood alerts in South Australia, floods have been washing through NSW (and some of those floods were caused by a dam release). There are floods in Tasmania. Flood watches are active in Victoria. Spare a thought for farmers who are taking big losses from both frost and flood in Australia. (So much for endless droughts, and early springs. Hello, Tim Flannery.) Heavy snow has also fallen — 25cm in Threadbo (it so late in the season, some ski lifts have stopped operating). Right now, thousands of people still don’t have power in South Australia, while others are being rescued from floods across SA and NSW. Floods have stranded 181 families for month on islands in the middle of NSW.
h/t to Warwick Hughes, and Lance Pidgeon
A large part of the scary purple area got only 100-200mm of rain in a month (4-8 inches). It’s just very usual in these dry areas.
To give you some idea, it has been the wettest September on record for Eastern Australia, coming on top of a one of our wettest two winters. Variability is the norm.
Flood news — The Australian
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In the last 120 years in Perth there has never been a September as cold as this one. We know that thanks to Chris Gillham, who has been tracking Western Australian weather in detail for years at WAClimate.net.
The headline in The West Australian today was Perth shivers through it’s coldest ever September. For some reason (I can’t think why) the extreme weather journalists did not mention climate change (has that ever happened on a hottest ever record story?). It’s so unusually cold here that wheat farmers, only weeks away from harvest*, are struggling with frost damage on crops. They are making snowmen from the frosts. It is supposed to be rapidly heating up but it is three degrees below normal.
Given the freak weather, Will Steffen immediately announced that “This is a prelude to a disturbing future. And it’s only going to get worse if we don’t address climate change.” No. Wait. Scratch that. That was South Australia, where one bad storm was caused by coal fired electrons. A record cold month is just weather.
Curiously, The Bureau of Meteorology(BOM) announced it was the coldest ever September for Perth since 1994 when records started at Mt Lawley, and the coldest at Perth Airport since records started there in 1944. But it took an unpaid data-aficionado to discover that it was actually the coldest since 1897 at the Perth Regional Office (see the “grains of salt” about this at the end of the post). And that applies to the super-spiffy-adjusted ACORN dataset which goes back to 1910. A coldest “ever” record.
Chris Gillham writes that “This September wasn’t just a bit cold in Perth. It was very cold compared to almost all Septembers ever recorded in Stevensons.” The mean was a record because of the unusually cool minima, not the maxima. Perth Airport’s coldest September since 1944 smashed the previous mean temp record of 1968 by 0.73C and, even with cooling adjustments since 1910, this September in ACORN was 0.48C colder than the previous homogenised record in 1919.
By the way, I note tomorrow there is a severe weather warning in SW WA with gusts of up to 125 km per hour.
This is a Category 4 Grid Destroying Gust. Hope and pray that we still have electricity tomorrow.
A million square kilometers of cooler ocean
Chris Gillham points out there’s a big cold blob in the ocean around South and West Australia that just might have something to do with the cold weather. (See the sea-surface temperature maps below).
The Great Southern Cold blob may also have something to do with those South Australian storms.
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Australians are going to be talking about this for weeks. Indeed, the SA Blackout is the stuff of legend.
The Greens are blaming coal (what else?) for causing bad storms and blackouts. Forget that Queensland gets hit with cyclones all the time and the whole state grid doesn’t break. Some greenies are also raging against “the politicization” of the storms. Yes, Indeedy. Go tell that to Will Steffen.
We are not being told the whole story. We do know that South Australia has the highest emphasis on renewables in the world. It also has a fragile electricity network, and wild price spikes to boot. (Coincidence?) The death of a few transmission towers should not knock out a whole state, nor should it take so long to recover from. The storm struck worst north of Adelaide near Port Augusta but the juicy interconnector from Victoria runs in from the south, and goes right up past Adelaide and most of the population. Why couldn’t the broken parts of the system be isolated?
Digging around I find ominous warnings that while the lightning and winds probably caused the blackout, the state of the South Australian grid appeared to be teetering on the brink, without enough reserve, or without well planned protection mechanisms to cope with an inherently unstable system. The excess of wind power made the system more fragile, and also made it harder to restore. There appear to be three reasons (at least) that excessive wind power is less fun, more costly, and golly, but if windmills don’t stop storms, why buy those expensive electrons?
1. Wind power adds instability of the system – not only does it ramp up and down frequently on an hourly scale, but it’s harder to mesh at the cycles per second scale too. This is about maintaining the “frequency” of the system (in Australia’s case thats 50Hz). Windpower is a type of energy that doesn’t easily synchronize with the 50Hz frequency (or any stable frequency). Other generators that have turbines that spin at regular speeds do (coal, gas, biomass, and hydro). They are easy to synchronize.
The frequency thing is critical — think of AC — Alternating Current — as being a push-pull of electrons 50 times a second. If any source of electricity joins the grid out of phase or at any other frequency, like say 49*, the waves of electrons are going to get out of synch fairly quickly. And we’d get horrible interference patterns of spikes and dips. This is a point where systems have to shut down (in seconds) to protect everything. This is an intrinsic design vulnerability in a system which prioritizes renewables over “thermal” energy.
*UPDATE: Thanks to Tomomason and Analytik and some great comments below, I now know that the frequency varies a little as load and supply ebb from 49.85 – 50.15 (See also the subthread by co2isnotevil at #5). These tiny variations are used as feedback for plant operators to adjust their operation. Read both subthreads for more information. This is why the whole grid is so much more stable with a dominant supply from synchronous turbines (ie thermal, biomass or hydro).
2. Wind power can’t be used to reboot the system and SA was getting warnings about that too.
Commenter Andrew W at WattClarity:
“ the ElectraNet boss on radio this morning mentioned that wind generated electricity cannot be used for ‘black start’ processes, that they need to get full control of load and frequency before introducing wind..“
To do a Black Start (cranking up the whole grid from nothing) we need hydro, or thermal, but wind power is not much use. InDaily reports that not only is wind not much use, but that SA electricity wasn’t prepared with extra fuel at the gas generators. (It’s amazing they got things running again at all really!)
[InDaily] A report on South Australia’s electricity system, published by AEMO last month, warned that there was a limited capacity to reboot the state’s electricity system in the event of a total blackout.
“There is a limited pool of strategically-located SRAS (system restart ancillary services) in South Australia to meet the current standard,” the report says.
“This indicates reliance on a single fuel source for all generation involved in the system restoration process in South Australia.
“Many of these gas-powered generating units do not have dedicated fuel storage facilities, exposing South Australia to further risk if there was a gas supply interruption during system restoration.”
3. Wind Turbines shut suddenly at high speeds. There is a possibility that a sudden shut down can happen when turbines are going full tilt in storm force winds hit “danger limits”:
This is speculative – There are suggestions that a lot of wind turbines were powered up at “high-wind, storm-velocity” levels and were generating high wattages when they reached their shut down limits and suddenly switched off. That would cause a major drop in the system. This type of failure would belong in the “census” night silly management category. Surely it could not be so? Surely, also, this could be overcome if wind turbines were shut in a staged sequence when known high wind incidents were coming. I want more data.
StopTheseThings explains both the first and third problems: Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues. The post on WattClarity supports the first one with a lot of detail. No hint of the third though. Both sites were very useful. The commenters too.
What wind-turbines poorly produce,
Is unstable, unsound and diffuse,
As they can’t meet demand,
Or high winds withstand,
They’re pointless, defunct and no use.
An Unstable System
StopThese Things tells us that they hear that SA grid managers are running the system at 220V, not 230V (like the rest of Australia) in order to cope with the fluxes from wind power. It would be good to get confirmation of that. In November 2015 after a large blackout in South Australia, StopTheseThings predicted that after the coal plant was shut in April 2016, there would be statewide blackouts:
It’s also to be borne in mind that these 110,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness at a time when SA’s Northern and Playford coal-fired plants at Port Augusta (with a combined capacity of 784 MW) were still happily chugging away.
The owner of Port Augusta’s plants, Alinta has already signalled that it will close them in April 2016, due to the market distortions caused by the massive subsidies to wind power set up under the Large-Scale RET. If it does, South Australians can expect statewide blackouts with the kind of regularity that you’d be hard pressed to find outside of sub-Saharan Africa.
There was an August warning from AEMO that SA can’t cope with “contingencies”:
An ominous hint here on August 10th from the AEMO, reported on a dedicated electricity blog WattClarity. At the time SA faced a different threat (a planned outage in a Victorian supply). The AEMO was warning that SA doesn’t have enough local supplies to cope with any interruption:
“Another day where LOR2 notice issued for SA – what does it mean?”
[Paul McArdle August 10th] In shorthand, this means that if something happens (like the critical imports from Victoria tripping – a low probability event, but still a credible one, and so one AEMO needs to plan for) then South Australia would not have enough local supplies that could be dispatched in time to keep the SA system stable, so portion of SA load would be turned off (i.e. some lights would go out) to keep the broader system in South Australia online.
To sum up my understanding of some of the factors:
1) Plenty of wind in South Australia currently, making it uneconomic to run much thermal plant currently (especially with today’s gas price still $7.89/GJ at the Adelaide hub);
2) This is especially the case as the Heywood link constrained to flow west currently (i.e. South Australia can’t export its “economically surplus” wind), driving prices in South Australia lower;
3) Not much thermal plant running, so not as much capability to ramp up production in South Australia if needed, hence the LOR2 notice.
Paul McArdle goes on to point out (or quote someone, it’s not clear) that the AEMO arranged to pay some providers to carry spare capacity in case of a contingency:
My layman’s explanation of “Raise Regulation” FCAS is that it has to do with some generators agreeing with AEMO (in return for some small compensation) to keep a bit of “spare” capacity in reserve (i.e. not have it dispatched in the energy market), ready to give the system a (very quick) extra kick should the system suddenly slow below 3000rpm. This (frequency drop) would be what would happen in South Australia at these points in time shown if:
(a) the interconnector was to trip or
(b) some generator (wind, or gas) in SA was to trip.
Looks like we got (a) and (b).
So South Australia was already running a riskier system, with warnings that an incident could push the system over.
From WattClarity – a video on the complex South Australian situation unfolding on Wednesday.
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South Australia, population 1.7 million, has no electricity
A storm hit, possibly the worst for 50 years. Winds of 90km/hr gusting to 140km/hr. Reports are that everyone is being told to use their radio’s and stay off the streets. The blackout struck at 4.30pm AEST. UPDATE: Power is coming back to some, but questions are being asked about the state which has more renewable energy than any other in the world. See updates below. It sure looks like a management disaster. Want to build subs by torchlight?
How long before someone blames climate change?
9:55pm “Storms like the one which knocked out the entire South Australian electricity network are occurring in a warmer and wetter atmosphere, the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said. “These conditions, driven by climate change, are likely increasing the intensity of storms like the one in South Australia,” he said. “Australians are being affected right now by climate change. “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago… This is a prelude to a disturbing future.
Nevermind that there was a worse storm 50 years ago. What was that a prelude too, Will? Fifty years of better weather.
Witchdoctors have no shame.
UPDATE #2: Is it due to the high reliance on renewables
The premier says “No” (not surprisingly)
But others say the reliance on renewables has made the network more complex and less reliable: h/t GWPF:
South Australia pays the price for heavy reliance on renewable energy
Wednesday’s event will trigger renewed debate over the state’s heavy reliance on renewable energy which has forced the closure of uncompetitive power stations, putting the electricity network in South Australia under stress.
Earlier this week, the Grattan Institute warned that South Australia’s high reliance on renewable energy sources left it exposed to disruptions. It pointed to the fact that while the renewable energy target had encouraged the development of wind and solar generation, it had the potential to undermine supply security at a reasonable price, because it forced the closure of inefficient power stations without encouraging the construction of the necessary new generation supply sources.
These issues are different to those South Australia is battling at the moment. But the increasing complexity of electricity networks, which are dealing with a more diverse location of power generators such as wind farms in remote locations rather than a small number of big power stations, means that at times of stress such as extreme storms which occurred in the state on Wednesday, outages can take longer to resolve .
South Australia relies more heavily on renewable power than any other region in the developed world.
It wouldn’t have helped that wind turbines are usually turned off during high winds.
More UPDATES posted below.
Power is out across the entire state of South Australia after fierce storms triggered widespread blackouts.
It is believed lightning bolt struck a transmitter around 3.50pm ACST, which caused the entire network to crash.
Watch a special bulletin…(at the link above. Flights full of passengers arriving were stuck at the airport unable to desembark. People caught in lifts. All trains stopped.)
A spokesperson for SA Power Networks says the interconnector did not cause the power outage rather the system has shut down as a response to protect customer safety.
The good news is that when SA blew they didn’t have to shut down the rest of the Eastern States. I guess no one was worried about customer safety in the rest of the national grid.
The best stories about this will come out tomorrow when the people who are off line now get hooked in. We just hope their day is not to bad.
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Lordy. Lordy. How did Snyder 2016 get past rigorous peer review and into a supposed “top” journal like Nature?
Carolyn Snyder did a 2 million year temperature reconstruction then assumed that all the warming in the whole record was caused by CO2, she then carried that correlation right through to reach the absurd conclusion that climate sensitivity is not 2 – 4C, but 7 to 13 freaking degrees. (Did she study climate science by watching Al Gore?)
Normally we’d expect a climate expert to know that orbital mechanics drive most of the changes.
Don’t look now, but Gavin Schmidt has done the right thing and pointed out a very silly conclusion that Nature and all their reviewers missed. (If only Nature had asked bloggers to review it …)
This obvious mistake has caught out a lot of the press. It was also missed by The ABC, The Conversation, Andrew Glikson etc etc. The Daily Mail (UK) published a version by Associated Press, and they at least asked Michael Mann who said he “remains skeptical until more research confirms it” (as if!), and Jeremy Shakun, who said it “seems too high”. Though AP buried those weak warnings and still went with the apocalyptic headline: Earth is warmer that it has been in 120,000 years – and is ‘locked in’ to hit its hottest mark in more than 2 million years, study claims. (Who forgot the Holocene? )
Andrew Glikson is an Earth and paleo-climate scientist at Australian National University, but he’s not expert enough to spot this gaping flaw. (Which is probably why he did so badly against a mere blogger in an epic five-round debate.).
As Gavin Schmidt says:
The paper claims that ESS is ~9ºC and that this implies that the long term committed warming from today’s CO2 levels is a further 3-7ºC. This is simply wrong.
The original study estimated a climate sensitivity of 7 – 13C:
Two million years of records show emissions could already warm world to dangerous levels
More sensitive than we thought
The new paper recalculates this sensitivity again — and unfortunately the results aren’t in our favour. The study suggests that stabilisation of today’s CO2 levels would still result in 3-7C warming, whereas doubling of CO2 will lead to 7-13C warming over millennia.
The research uses proxy measurements for temperature (such as oxygen isotopes and magnesium-calcium ratios from plankton) and for CO₂ levels, calculated for every 1,000 years back to 2 million years ago.
Climate change study accused of erring on rising temperature predictions
Prominent climate scientists have issued a warning that a paper published in the influential journal Nature sensationalised climate change predictions and used an “incorrect calculation”.
“The ratio that gave that, which was the very high sensitivity that she calculates, comes from a correlation between temperature and the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the ice cores, but as we all know, correlation does not equal causation.
“And in this case, the causation is the orbital wobbles of the Earth’s climate that are controlling both the temperature and the carbon dioxide at the same time and so that’s giving you an exaggerated view of how carbon dioxide affects temperature directly.”
Dear Dr Glikson — you asked to write part 6 in our debate – you’re still welcome. :- )
h/t Colin, David B, Original Steve, Analitik
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After the hottest ever El Nino year with relentless propaganda on Australian media, even a loaded survey finds that only 39% of Australians agree that humans are the major drivers of the climate. The survey is being painted as a success by obedient “journalists”. But this is not skyrocketing support, it’s more likely last gasp noise. The results will be down again next year (with the weather).
It is yet another meaningless motherhood survey that avoids asking real questions, offers unbalanced answers, and uses the same ambiguous language as most of these pointless surveys do. Would you like apple-pie?
Who doesn’t want nicer weather — and for free?
The questions climate fans are too scared to ask
Obviously The Climate Institute don’t want real answers, which they must know would be devastating. They won’t ask how much people want to pay out their own pocket to fix the climate. They won’t ask people to rank “climate change” against all the other issues they care about. They won’t ask people if Climate Change is a scam, a con, or a scheme to make the green industry rich (a year ago a US poll showed 31% were happy to call climate change a “total hoax“). Things don’t get more skeptical than that, but if surveyors don’t ask, they’ll never know.
These surveys never ask if the public thinks windmills will slow storms or make floods less likely. There is a good reason for that…
The ugly truth — for the public it’s not important, and they don’t want to pay
Real surveys show that only 3% of US people think climate is most important issue. When it comes to funding, almost half, 42%, of US adults don’t even want to pay a paltry, pathetic, $12 a year to stop climate change. Likewise 80% of Australians don’t donate to environmental causes or vote for it, only12% of Australians want to pay two dollars to offset their Jetstar flight (and it’s less for Qantas). The truth is the public can recite the permitted lines, but any survey that digs below the superficial “bumper sticker” level finds the public are jaded, don’t want to cough up anything themselves and rank everything else as more important.
The results are the same all over the western world. Even after a heavy loaded survey lists climate disasters, half of Brits don’t want to pay a cent. When asked almost the same question, (is it mostly human driven?) 56% of Canadians are skeptics. When the Swiss were asked if they should change their VAT to a carbon tax 92% of the Swiss said “No Thanks“. It was sold to them as “paying less tax” overall and saving the world, but almost everyone in Switzerland thought it was a dumb idea. That wasn’t a poll, it was a referendum.
Gullible journalists and poorly trained science communicators
The unequivocal acceptance of loaded weak surveys says a lot about journalistic and academic standards. The Climate Institute is a group whose whole existence depends convincing people that we should be alarmed about the climate. Poor Fergus Hunter of the SMH is supposedly “a breaking news reporter for Fairfax Media in the federal press gallery at Parliament House”. But he swallows the press release entirely, asking no hard questions and doing no research. Likewise The Conversation runs with the agitprop — James Whitmore, Editor at The Conversation does no analysis and provides no balance. Pravda would be proud. In an academic wasteland, Will Grant is paid at the ANU to lecture in the public awareness of science but apparently hasn’t done so much as a 2 second google search on climate surveys, nor has he been taught how to write surveys. Shame, but that’s what government funding gets you. Parrots.
Climate change is a dead issue for voters
Both sides of politics know that climate change is a dead dog electorally. Tom Steyer threw $74 million into a campaign to convince voters to be very afraid in the 2014 midterm elections. Nearly all of Steyers favourite climate candidates failed. Hillary Clinton only talks climate when she wants to appeal to the Bernie Sanders set. With Trumps outrageous “climate denial”, she has the perfect opportunity to appeal to the supposed skyrocking masses of “concerned voters” but she couldn’t even be bothered trying it on with the Millennial voters.
For the mainstream voters, climate issues get hidden so the electorate won’t cane them. The only passion in the electorate is for blood oaths to get rid of carbon taxes.
How loaded are these questions?
“I think that climate change is occurring” — even skeptics like me would say “yes” to this – yet 23% of Australians didn’t agree.
In a landscape of trite questions, 75% of Australians might think that governments in Australia “need to implement a plan to ensure the orderly closure of old coal plants and replace them with clean energy.” But what’s the alternative, that governments shouldn’t plan? Making plans with someone else’s money is a tooth fairy kind of commitment. It’s amazing that a quarter of Australians don’t even think the Government should implement a plan.
And glory be, only 3% of people say “coal is their preferred energy source” but for virtually every Australian 73% of their electricity is created with coal. They are all free to go off-grid and be totally renewable. Almost no one does it. Why not ask Australian’s if they’d like to pay 10c a KWhr for electricity from coal (which wholesales at 3 or 4 c).
God forbid, 90% would suddenly have a different preference.
The Report “Climate of the Nation 2016″.
h/t David B.
This week XKCD (a popular Geek comic site) posted an epic cartoon called “A Timeline Of Earth’s Average Temperature”. It was a cutesy long godzilla hockey-stick — “scary” to the unwary.
It’s easy to make a scary historical-looking temperature graph — so easy that the artist probably didn’t even know how. (Thank Shakun, Marcott, Annan, Hadcrut and the IPCC for doing the tricky part.) First, guesstimate temperatures over last 20,000 years with anything at hand: tree-rings, ice bubbles, coral, fossilized tea leaves, whatever. Blend. Then stop the proxies, tack on thermometer data that was recorded in a different way with different errors and a very different response to faster temperature changes. Finally, launch that line into the future with unvalidated, skillless multivariate models that predict a fingerprint which 28 million weather balloons can’t find. Then take the models that didn’t work for the last twenty years, and run with the errors to the next century… Voila!
I took the 14,000 pixel cartoon and squeezed it to one shot that shows the curve that matters. See the error bars? Me neither.
(But who needs an uncertainty range when you have faith?)
Click to enlarge.
The secret to a good hockey-stick graph is to never use the same type of data from start to end. If things like tree rings and ice bubbles were so good at measuring the temperature circa 5,015 BC, why don’t we use them in 2015?
Could it be that thermometers will measure every hot day, but corals don’t?
Matt Briggs takes on the graph Stream: xkcd’s Global Warming Time Series Mistakes
Adding together lots of errors and uncertainties will make a nice smooth line. Any noise can be averaged to one note. This gives the illusion that the climate was once stable.
The Medieval Warm Period was recorded in hundreds of studies. Temperatures a thousand years ago were not so different to today. In the XKCD graph, that bump’s gone, blended to nothing. xkcd calls it “regional” but 6,000 boreholes drilled all over the world suggest otherwise, so do warm Indonesian waters, receding glaciers in New Zealand and melting ice in Antarctica. (See NIPCC.) How many other bumps in the last 20,000 years disappeared like this too? About 20,000 years worth. It’s like a thousand year smoother was run over the graph up until the last 100 years.
What happened to those error-bars?
As the Great Matt Briggs says:
The picture xkcd presents is lacking any indication of uncertainty, which is the major flaw. We should not be looking at lines, which imply perfect certainty, but blurry swaths that indicate uncertainty. Too many people are too certain of too many things, meaning the debate is far from “settled.”
Global temperatures vary less than polar ones. So I took data from Vostok and Greenland and shrunk to half its actual variation and slapped it over the xkcd line. See it below. This is just an indication of the variability missing from the “smoothed” proxies. The invisible error bars on the original XKCD graph would be wide.
Click to enlarge.
Apparently the data for the XKCD graph comes from Marcott (ha ha, UPDATE See Climate Audit: The Marcott Filibuster, and others on Marcott. My post on Marcott: “Ponder how researchers can find 5,000 year old Foraminifera deposits, but not ones from 1940?”
Another good quote so relevant to the graph: That’s 300 year smoothing. We should average the climate from 1700 to now. How scary would that look?
“Marcott et al clearly say there is “…essentially no variability preserved at periods shorter than 300 years…” So if there were, say, occurrences of a warming rise exactly like the last century, this graph won’t show them.”.
You want noise? This is noise:
Anyone who has looked at proxies, knows that they don’t make long smooth lines. This is just the last 2,000 years of variability in the Northern Hemisphere. There are a lot of not-hockey-sticks.
Click to enlarge
Things we know for sure: The Earth was warmer for thousands of years than it is now during In The Holocene peak. Corals and polar bears survived. CO2 was not to blame for the heat that didn’t kill corals or bears.
h/t To Todd, Dennis.
Psst: Matt Briggs explains why BCE is a spelling mistake:
The plot purportedly shows the average global temperature, presumably measured right above the surface, beginning in 20,000 BC and ending in the future at 2100 AD. Mr Munroe misspells “BC” as “BCE” throughout the cartoon, incidentally, and leaves out “AD”.
No, I’m kidding. “BC” means “Before Christ”, which some academics, sensitive creatures that they are, find offensive on behalf of people they haven’t met, and so they change it to “Before the Common Era”. And how do they demarcate the “Common Era”? By the birth of Christ, a.k.a. BC. The same people who gave us “BCE” gave us “safe spaces”. Skip it. — W. M Briggs.
Update: :- )
It’s no wonder that skeptics deride,
What hockey-stick warmists decide,
When some smooth operator,
Can make warming come later,
To be man-made, extreme and worldwide.
We are ramping up the end of this series because we’ve been informed that both of David’s papers will be published in October — one on the error in the climate models and one on the notch delay solar theory.
There are emphatic (and ignorant) claims that David’s predictions have failed, and a flaw was found — both are wrong. After all that fuss and pointless flamewars, his prediction remains almost exactly the same as it was in 2014. It is still untested. It is a strange coincidence of timing that the theory is up for a critical trial so definitively, so soon, but there it is. The fall in solar radiation that happened in 2004 is one of the three largest in 400 years. We are waiting to see if that will have an effect, after the expected delay of one sunspot cycle. For a real scientist there is no shame in putting an idea up on the chopping block. Hypothesize, test, and observe. As David says: “If the predicted cooling does not eventuate then the notch-delay hypothesis is false.” Without real predictions, it’s not real science.
But prediction is a risky business. There are so many ways things can go wrong, and we’ve had pleas from wise souls warning David not to put out an exact number and date. But he has always gone with the numbers, unemotionally shifting gears as the data swung. (I’ve seen him once coolly drop 18 months of work entirely when new information came in.) From the start, he has said that if the cooling doesn’t happen by 2022 then something is very wrong with the hypothesis. If the delay between solar TSI (as measured by PMOD) is really a half solar cycle, then some cooling effect should be visible soon — it will most likely start in 2017, but it may take ’til 2022 (it’s a technical thing — depending on whether the step function was “causal” as opposed to “non-causal”, see below). Of course, El Ninos or other natural variations may cloud the signal. If a volcano erupts, or a La Nina kicks in, it will take longer to filter the noise.
For the sake of the public “debate” notice that the fall in solar radiation (TSI) is a fall in smoothed data — averaged over 11 years. We expect Leif Svalgaard to continue to deny there was a fall. He’s talking about his data, and ignoring the smoothing. David discusses the different datasets below.
David’s overarching prediction is that the 2020s will be no warmer than the 1980s, which should kill off the carbon dioxide theory of global warming.
In the end, we’re only talking of ~0.3 °C of cooling, which is significant on a global scale, but not something you’ll notice in the garden at home.
I am perhaps even more jaded than David — with homogenization and adjustment of data, I am not convinced that 0.3°C changes will show up amongst the man-made noise in some datasets. The past keeps shifting. But that, as we all know, is another story. — Jo
26. A Prediction
Dr David Evans, 22 September 2016, Project home, Intro, Previous.
This post predicts an upcoming global cooling, based on the large fall in underlying total solar irradiation (TSI) in 2004 and either of the notch-delay hypotheses (Force X, or Force ND). If the hypothesis is right, sustained and significant cooling of about 0.3 °C will begin in around 2017, one sunspot cycle after the 11-year smoothed fall around 2004 (=2004+13), or for various technical reasons, possibly up to five years after that.
Some caveats: there is no satisfactory instrument for measuring TSI even today; much TSI “data” and all TSI before 1979 is based on reconstruction via questionable models; it is not known which solar parameter is best for predicting force X/D in ~11 years and it might not be TSI; the observations of a delay in post 22 are based on a variety of TSI measures; and of course Yogi Berra’s oldie-but-goodie “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
The Recent Fall in TSI
A composite TSI was constructed by combining all of the sources of TSI mentioned in post 21, so it relies mainly on PMOD and Lean’s reconstruction with the background correction of Wang, Lean, and Sheeley. It is shown in Fig. 1 to give historical perspective: the recent fall in TSI starting around 2004 is one of the three largest falls in TSI ever recorded, with records from 1610. It is almost the same magnitude as the fall from 1610 to 1645 that led to the Maunder Minimum and the depth of the Little Ice Age, or the fall from 1795 to 1810 that led to the Dalton Minimum.
Figure 1: Composite TSI and composite temperature since 1610. The recent fall in TSI is the one of the three largest and steepest on record.
Here is a closer view of the recent fall, with sunspots and several measures of TSI, including PMOD/Lean’s reconstruction, our composite TSI, and recent reconstructions:
Figure 2: Various measures of sunspots or TSI, all 11 year-smoothed (averaged over a centered 11-year window, to eliminate the effect of an 11-year cycle). The TIM is the latest instrument for measuring TSI, but only started in Jan. 2003, too late to cast smoothed light on 2004. The SORCE/TIM reconstruction by Kirvova is preferred by the IPCC in AR5, and the reconstruction from Leif Svalgaard in mid 2014 is similar.
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It’s another Green market wonder story:
The government announced last year that it would extend grants for electric cars for a further two years but halved the payments to £2,500. Around 17,500 cars were registered in the first three months of the year as motorists took advantage of the grants before they were cut.
… According to Department for Transport statistics, between April and June 4,200 plug-in cars were sold – the lowest for two years.
Environmental reporters seem a bit flummoxed as to how markets work. When times are booming it’s because of “demand”. (Don’t say the word subsidy)
Green vehicle demand revs up as UK electric car sales quadruple
2014 saw a surge in UK green car sales due to increased choice and a demand for lower costs and higher efficiency, reports Edie.net
When the sales disappear, so do mentions of buyers who want “higher efficiency”. Parliament gets the blame, though it never seemed to get the credit.
Spot the economic genius in 2015:
[Nick] Clegg said: “The extremely low running costs of these cars help drivers save money. Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries…”
Sounds pretty dire for the rest of the Green world then.
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