By Paul Homewood
A thoughtful piece from the New York Times:
Germany, Europe’s champion for renewable energy, seems to be having second thoughts about its ambitious push to ramp up its use of renewable fuels for power generation.
Hoping to slow the burst of new renewable energy on its grid, the country eliminated an open-ended subsidy for solar and wind power and put a ceiling on additional renewable capacity.
Germany may also drop a timetable to end coal-fired generation, which still accounts for over 40 percent of its electricity, according to a report leaked from the country’s environment ministry. Instead, the government will pay billions to keep coal generators in reserve, to provide emergency power at times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.
Renewables have hit a snag beyond Germany, too. Renewable sources are producing temporary power gluts from Australia to California, driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power.
In Southern Australia, where wind supplies more than a quarter of the region’s power, the spiking prices of electricity when the wind wasn’t blowing full-bore pushed the state government to ask the power company Engie to switch back on a gas-fired plant that had been shut down.
But in what may be the most worrisome development in the combat against climate change, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-carbon electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.
By Paul Homewood
Pronouncements of its death were premature – the pause has never gone away!
By Paul Homewood
From the Daily Caller:
A former NASA climate scientist has put out a new report criticizing the argument that global warming is settled science.
“It should be clear that the science of global warming is far from settled,” said Dr. Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist who now co-runs a major satellite temperature dataset at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
“Uncertainties in the adjustments to our global temperature datasets, the small amount of warming those datasets have measured compared to what climate models expect, and uncertainties over the possible role of Mother Nature in recent warming, all combine to make climate change beliefs as much faith-based as science-based,” Spencer wrote in a report published by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“Until climate science is funded independent of desired energy policy outcomes, we can continue to expect climate research results to be heavily biased in the direction of catastrophic outcomes,” Spencer wrote.
Spencer’s report covers a wide swath of climate science topics from the factors behind global warming, to how scientists make adjustments to climate data, to the “97 percent” consensus figure often cited by politicians and environmentalists.
“Besides, if global warming is settled science, like gravity or the Earth not being flat, why isn’t the agreement 100 percent?” Spencer asked. “And since when is science settled by a survey or a poll? The hallmark of a good scientific theory is its ability to make good predictions.”
“From what we’ve seen, global warming theory is definitely lacking in this regard,” Spencer wrote.
Spencer also explained why climate models tend to over-predict how much warming will occur as greenhouse gas emissions rise. Spencer argues a warming bias is built into the models themselves.
“Since climate models can be ‘tuned’ to produce a rather arbitrary amount of warming, they were tuned to be ‘sensitive’ enough so increasing carbon dioxide alone was sufficient to cause the observed warming,” he wrote.
“It was assumed that there was no natural component of the warming, since we really don’t know the causes of natural climate variations,” he wrote. “As a result, none of the models were prepared for the global warming “hiatus” we have experienced since about 1997, because their climate sensitivity was set too high. The models continued to warm after 2000, while the real climate system essentially stopped warming.”
Indeed, Spencer’s satellite data, which measures the average temperature of the lowest few miles of the atmosphere, showed no significant global warming trend for more than 21 years before an incredibly powerful El Nino warming event hit late last year.
El Nino is a naturally occurring warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean and tends to warm the planet. Satellite temperatures are extremely sensitive to El Ninos (and La Nina cooling events), so mid-tropospheric readings spiked in early 2016.
But temperatures have come down after El Nino faded, and now it looks like a La Nina is setting in. Some even expect the so-called “hiatus” in global warming to return after this year’s La Nina ends.
Roy Spencer’s full report, “A Guide to Understanding Global Temperature Data” can be seen here:
By Paul Homewood
From the “When it warms, it’s climate change; but when it cools, it’s natural variability” Dept:
One of the big climate lies is that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth. (The key word here is “IS”)
This naturally leads on to propagation of the melting glaciers scare.
As I have shown before, for instance here, temperatures rose there from the time when we started measuring temperatures in the 1950s till the 1980s. However, since then temperatures have stopped rising.
Now, a new study by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey confirm that temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have actually been falling since the late 1990s.
This is the press release from Science Daily:
By Paul Homewood
This news seems to have slipped out under the radar. At least I don’t recall the BBC or Telegraph picking up on it.
Breitbart however report:
(AFP) – The EU unveiled national targets Wednesday for cutting greenhouse gases by 2030, insisting Britain is still legally required to help the bloc meet its UN goal despite being set to leave.
Wealthy northern European countries including Britain bear the brunt of the EU’s plans to meet the commitment it made at the Paris climate summit in December to cut emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels.
Despite Britain’s shock referendum vote last month for Brexit, the European Commission included it on its list of proposed binding emissions targets for all 28 EU countries.
“These targets are realistic, fair and flexible,” EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told a press conference, adding that the targets would become legally binding if and when approved by member states.
Under the targets, which are based on economic growth, Sweden and tiny Luxembourg must cut emissions by 40 percent over 2005 levels, while Finland and Denmark must cut emissions by 39 percent and powerhouse Germany by 38 percent.
Britain and France are asked to cut emissions by 37 percent while Netherlands and Austria should cut by 36 percent.
“Let’s be very clear: from a legal point of view the outcome of the referendum has not changed anything,” Spain’s Canete said when asked whether the proposed targets would have to be readjusted following Britain’s exit.
“The UK (United Kingdom) remains a member state with all the rights and obligations for member states and EU law continues to apply in full to the UK,” he said.
New British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has yet to initiate the exit negotiations but has promised to follow through with the process that could take several years.
– ‘Astoundingly out-of-synch’ –
In contrast, poorer eastern and southern EU countries are asked to contribute far less to the targets, despite the fact that they often rely more heavily on dirtier fossil fuels.
Bulgaria, the poorest state in the bloc, was given an emissions reductions target of zero percent, while Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania are all set below 10 percent.
Poland in particular gets off lightly given its reliance on coal-fired power stations.
Canete added that the targets offer incentives for investment in sectors like transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management.
The system allows for flexibility. Member states can reduce emissions jointly across a range of sectors and over time.
Despite it being denounced as a loophole by environmentalists, they can also transfer cheap carbon credits from the Emissions Trading System, the world’s largest, and use forests, which absorb carbon, to count towards their emissions reduction goal.
The ETS puts a cap on carbon dioxide emitted by large factories and other companies, which can trade in quotas of these emissions.
The non-government organisation World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said the proposals fall short of the ambitions Brussels set at the Paris summit, which calls for holding global warming to well under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
“Not only is the Commission astoundingly out-of-synch with international climate commitments, but it has also included ‘loopholes’ in this proposal which will allow countries to cheat their way out of real climate action,” said Imke Luebbeke, head of climate and energy at the WWF European Policy Office.
The proposals will be debated by the member states and the European Parliament.
The 2030 target of a 37% from 2005 levels for the UK equates to 54% from 1990, according to latest emissions data from DECC. This is broadly in line with the Fifth Carbon Budget, now legislated, which demands a cut of 57% for the period 2028-32.
As I have pointed out previously, the EU target is only a 40% from 1990. The EU have squared this circle by allowing for much smaller reductions, well below 40%, from the poorer eastern and southern countries.
This is, of course, a typical EU fudge, as countries such as Poland had already made it clear that they would not accept a cut of 40%.
By Paul Homewood
Britain’s energy strategy was in a big enough mess already!
From the BBC:
A former energy minister has claimed "offshore wind in Scotland is pretty much dead" after a legal challenge against four major projects.
A judge upheld RSPB Scotland’s challenge to consent for turbines in the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay.
Brian Wilson said the charity now "hold all the cards" over the schemes, which were to include hundreds of turbines.
The Scottish government said it remained "committed" to renewable energy but wanted to study the ruling.
And Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said Mr Wilson’s comments were "irresponsible, incorrect and ill-informed".
The four projects – Inch Cape, Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo – were approved by Scottish ministers in October 2014, and could power more than 1.4 million homes.
RSPB Scotland lodged a legal challenge, saying the turbines could have "serious implications" for wildlife, and argued that the government had breached legal requirements when making the original decision by not giving proper consideration to this.
Judge Lord Stewart ruled in favour of the charity, calling the consents "defective", meaning ministers will have to reconsider the planning decisions and address the points put forward by the RSPB’s lawyers.
Former Labour MP and UK energy minister Mr Wilson, a longtime critic of the SNP’s energy policy, said the legal challenge was an "extremely serious setback".
He said: "On the face of it, offshore wind in Scotland is pretty much dead. The RSPB now hold all the cards.
"They were forced into this comprehensive action because the Scottish government delayed consent and then clustered these four wind farms together, so the RSPB went to court on the basis of cumulative impact.
"What they have to decide is if they want to kill all four schemes or prepare to take a more balanced view, but the ball is in the RSPB’s court without a doubt."
Mr Wilson said only the Neart na Gaoithe project had access to subsidies, and as such had been the only one likely to go ahead in the near future, and blamed the Scottish government for not dealing with the case more quickly.
He said: "They took five years to determine that application. They then delayed it further until after the independence referendum to avoid any controversy, and by that time three other applications had stacked up, and they consented all four together.
"If Neart na Gaoithe had been consented separately, then the RSPB probably would not have taken action against it. They could have lived with one, with a kind of balanced policy.
"But understandably once they were faced with four they were dealing with something entirely different, with a very large capacity."
Mr Wilson also said it was difficult to see how the "damning" ruling could be appealed, as it was "so comprehensively critical".
The Scottish government said ministers needed time to study Lord Stewart’s extremely detailed ruling before commenting further.
Minister for business, innovation and energy Mr Wheelhouse said the government remained "strongly committed" to offshore wind energy in Scotland.
He added: "Brian Wilson’s comments about the future of offshore wind are, in my view, irresponsible, incorrect and ill-informed. The offshore wind energy sector has a very bright future in Scotland – not least in terms of existing and new projects; most notably with the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm which has reached financial close and is now being constructed using significant input from the Scottish supply chain.
"The Scottish government, the RSPB and renewables developers all recognise the importance of decarbonising our electricity supply and have all made very clear, following Lord Stewart’s judgement, that we will work together to ensure delivery of more offshore wind energy projects."
RSPB Scotland has insisted that it is "very much supportive" of renewable energy projects in principle, but only in the right form and place.
Lloyd Austin, the society’s head of conservation policy, told Good Morning Scotland that the group would expect "more effective environmental assessment to be done" if the government moves again for consent.
He said: "Renewable energy projects are absolutely needed to address climate change, and the key issue is to get them in the right place, of the right type, and managed in the right way, and to ensure that you have rigorous environmental assessment process to make sure that you do get them in the right place.
"It may be that some development in this area is possible, it may be that they need to be in other areas. The question is that the process of determining where developments take place needs to be rigorous and take into account the impact on wildlife."
Green MSP Andy Wightman said it was "so frustrating" that ministers had not made the decision in line with the rules.
He said: "The framework is in place to make these decisions, and they’ve failed to make the decision properly.
"The burden is on ministers to make these decisions appropriately and follow due process. Had they done so, the RSPB would not have been in a position to take judicial review – or if they had, they would have lost.
"It’s important that ministers pay close attention to this document, identify where they have failed in their decision-making process and are absolutely clear that they’re going to improve that process, and make sure that when they come to a judgement on whether to go ahead with these things that it’s a competent one that can stand up in court."
By Paul Homewood
It was certainly hot yesterday, but how did the weather compare with earlier years.
It is significant that the Met Office report the RAF airfield at Brize Norton as the hottest place. Readers will recall how Heathrow supposedly set a record a year ago, which was a full degree higher than anywhere else.
Brize Norton is only a few miles down the road from the well maintained, good quality weather station at Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford. I have checked with Radcliffe, and they tell me the temperature there peaked yesterday at 32.3C.
There is no geographic reason why temperatures at Brize Norton should be so much higher, but the Met Office still continue to deny that temperature sensors next to tarmac runways give unreliable readings.
By Paul Homewood
h/t Philip Bratby
Roger Harrabin has been up to his tricks again, with another idle piece of desperately one sided propaganda:
Last month was the hottest June ever recorded worldwide, and the 14th straight month that global heat records were broken, scientists say.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says global sea temperatures were fractionally higher than for June last year while land temperatures tied.
Its global temperature records date back 137 years, to 1880.
Most scientists attribute the increases to greenhouse gas emissions.
They also say climate change is at least partially to blame for a number of environmental disasters around the world.
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June was 0.9C above the 20th Century average of 15.5C, the NOAA said in its monthly report.
Last year was the hottest on record, beating 2014, which had previously held the title.
The poor chap must be suffering from the heat, as he could not get beyond seven sentences!