Skip to content

NASA’s Josh Willis Destroys Whatever Credibility He Had Left

May 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood



Dave Burton has written a very good retort to a rather ridiculous new video by NASA’s Josh Willis:



Notice that “catastrophic” is apparently not scary enough, these days. Global warming is now “the Apocalypse.”

The video starts out with two guys crawling along the parched ground under the blazing desert sun. One of them says to the other, “We’re gonna die out here, man. If only society had done more to fight climate change.” And it goes downhill from there.

There’s really nothing new in his video, nor in this article debunking it. So if you’re a “regular” at WUWT, and you’re hoping to learn something new, you needn’t bother reading the rest.

I counted eight claims in Josh Willis’s video. Let’s look at them, one by one:

Claim #1. “Record high global temperatures may have exacerbated our current situation.”

Wrong. “Global warming” mostly just warms higher latitudes. It makes harsh, cold climates milder. The warming effect at low latitudes is slight, and mostly increases nighttime lows, not daytime highs.

If those fellows are dying in the hot desert, they obviously are not at higher latitudes. Where they are, global warming is slight.
In fact, higher CO2 levels make plants more drought-resistant. So, thanks to anthropogenic CO2, deserts and near-deserts are shrinking and greening, most strikingly in the Sahel & Sahara. Even the severely politicized National Geographic admits that it is happening, though they don’t mention CO2:




The full essay is worth reading here.

But Josh Willis has form, which Greg commented over at WUWT:





What Greg is referring to is the ARGO data.

NASA take up the story:



On a Thursday evening in February 2007, Josh Willis stood in front of his laptop, his wife cajoling him to get ready to go out to dinner. He looked with a sinking feeling at the map he had just made. Willis, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, specializes in making estimates of how much heat the ocean stores from year to year.

Photograph of Josh Willis

Josh Willis is an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who specializes in sea level trends and the response of the oceans to global warming. (Photograph courtesy Josh Willis.)

“The oceans are absorbing more than 80 percent of the heat from global warming,” he says. “If you aren’t measuring heat content in the upper ocean, you aren’t measuring global warming.”

In 2004, Willis published a time series of ocean heat content showing that the temperature of the upper layers of ocean increased between 1993-2003. In 2006, he co-piloted a follow-up study led by John Lyman at Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle that updated the time series for 2003-2005. Surprisingly, the ocean seemed to have cooled.

Not surprisingly, says Willis wryly, that paper got a lot of attention, not all of it the kind a scientist would appreciate. In speaking to reporters and the public, Willis described the results as a “speed bump” on the way to global warming, evidence that even as the climate warmed due to greenhouse gases, it would still have variation. The message didn’t get through to everyone, though. On blogs and radio talk shows, global warming deniers cited the results as proof that global warming wasn’t real and that climate scientists didn’t know what they were doing.


What follows is a quite shameless account of how the ARGO data was tampered with.

Greg is spot on with his criticism.

China Claims Methane Hydrates Breakthrough May Lead To Global Energy Revolution

May 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood



China is talking up its achievement of mining flammable ice for the first time from underneath the South China Sea.

The fuel-hungry country has been pursuing the energy source, located at the bottom of oceans and in polar regions, for nearly two decades. China’s minister of land and resources, Jiang Daming, said Thursday that the successful collection of the frozen fuel was "a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution," according to state media.

Experts agree that flammable ice could be a game changer for the energy industry, similar to the U.S. shale boom. But they caution that big barriers — both technological and environmental — need to be cleared to build an industry around the frozen fuel, which is also known as gas hydrate.


China, the world’s largest energy consumer, isn’t the first country to make headway with flammable ice. Japan drilled into it in the Pacific and extracted gas in 2013 — and then did so again earlier this month. The U.S. government has its own long-running research program into the fuel.

The world’s resources of flammable ice — in which gas is stored in cages of water molecules — are vast. Gas hydrates are estimated to hold more carbon than all the world’s other fossil fuels combined, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


The South China Sea has been the subject of a territorial dispute between China and its neighbours for the last few years. In particular, China has been building air strips and reclaiming land on the Spratly Islands, which are strategically located there.

With a wealth of hydrocarbon reserves there, it is little wonder that China are so keen to lay claim.

It should now be abundantly clear that China has no intention whatsoever to move away from fossil fuels, despite what deluded Westerners may think.

Another Telegraph Advert For Offshore Wind

May 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood



Jillian Ambrose writes up another glowing advertising piece for the offshore wind industry:



The sound made by 100 tonnes of steel and carbon fibre rotating 400 feet overhead is surprisingly understated. Each whoosh of the 260 foot blades spans an area the size of the London Eye and generates enough electricity to power the average British home for 24 hours.    

Read more…

Guardian’s Seed Nonsense

May 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Latest doommongering from the Guardian:



It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.


The temperature record at Svalbard Airport only goes back to 1977, but the nearest long running station is at Tromo on the north coast of Norway.

Annual temperatures there were just as high in the 1930s.




In particular, winter temperatures have been as high, and even higher, many times since 1921.




At Svalbard itself, the winter of 1985 was actually milder than this year’s.

But facts never bother the Guardian or its readers.

Why Solar Power Is So Cheap!

May 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


We keep hearing how cheap solar power is becoming. I’ve found out why!




They must have got Diane Abbott to work out the costings.

Latest Telegraph Puff For Electric Cars

May 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Patsy Lacey


The Telegraph seem to be running puff pieces for electric cars nearly everyday now:



The cost of owning an electric car will fall to the same level as petrol-powered vehicles next year, according to bold new analysis from UBS which will send shockwaves through the automobile industry.

Experts from the investment bank’s “evidence lab” made the prediction after tearing apart one of the current generation of electric cars to examine the economics of electric vehicles (EVs).

They found that costs of producing EVs were far lower than previously thought but there is still great potential to make further savings, driving down the price of electric cars.


Needless to say, these conclusions arise from a theoretical study by UBS, who probably have a vested interest somewhere along the line in all of this.


Read more…

Are Driverless Cars The Future Of Motoring?

May 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood





I have been working around to doing a post on driverless cars for a while now.

It is certainly something that the UK Government is pushing hard for, for whatever reason.

On Sunday, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard ran this piece:



No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.

This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University economist Tony Seba. His report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.

Prof Seba’s premise is that people will stop driving altogether. They will switch en  masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1m miles.

Only nostalgics will cling to the old habit of car ownership. The rest will adapt to vehicles on demand. It will become harder to find a petrol station, spares, or anybody to fix the 2,000 moving parts that bedevil the internal combustion engine. Dealers will disappear by 2024.

Cities will ban human drivers once the data confirms how dangerous they can be behind a wheel. This will spread to suburbs, and then beyond. There will be a “mass stranding of existing vehicles”. The value of second-hard cars will plunge. You will have to pay to dispose of your old vehicle.


The article received a pretty scathing response from many commenters, like:






Seba himself is apparently an instructor in Entrepreneurship, Disruption and Clean Energy at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, in other words, a bit of a fruit loop.


We can safely dismiss the possibility of electric cars making any real inroads in the foreseeable future, despite AEP’s fake graph (note the misleading y-axis!). As we know, there is very little consumer interest in them, and this is unlikely to change soon.




But what about driverless cars?

What follows is a bit of blue sky thinking. I do not claim to know all of the technical ins and outs, nor any of the answers.

But I want to throw up some of the potential obstacles and challenges for debate.

Much of this is subjective, and cannot be measured in pounds, shillings and pence, or for that matter computer modelling. The bottom line is, why would people want to give up their cars to be driven around by a robot?


Read more…

Theresa Wants To Lead The Fight Against Climate Change–But Won’t Tell Us How!

May 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood




The Tory manifesto also contains the above statement.

On the face of it, if we have got half way in 27 years, it should not be hard to get the rest of the way in the next 33. But, unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as that!


Read more…

Tories’ Energy Dilemma

May 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public




We looked at the Labour manifesto pledge on climate policy the other day.

Above is the key section from the Tory one.

One does not have to be a genius to point out that ensuring UK energy costs are as low as possible is not compatible with meeting our 2050 carbon reduction objective!


As for having the lowest energy costs in Europe, good luck with that one:




The Emissions Intensity Con

May 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood




Jo Nova contrasted some apparently contradictory headlines the other day:


In the last day in the media, India is going to use coal as its backbone energy for the next thirty years, is buying coal mines all around the world, and will double production by 2020 to a massive 1,500 million tons per annum. At the same time India is meetings its climate goals early, and is likely to reduce emissions by 2 – 3 billion tons by 2030.

They can’t all be true:

Coal to be India’s energy mainstay for next 30 years: policy paper

–Economic Times, May 16th

China, India dominate coal ownership as some shun climate risks: report

– Reuters, May 15th

Coal Decline In China & India Likely To Reduce Emissions Growth By 2-3 Billion Tonnes By 2030

– Cleantechnica, May 16th

China, India to Reach Climate Goals Years Early, as U.S. Likely to Fall Far Short

-InsideClimateNews, May 16th

The top two headlines are backed by big numbers: India is the worlds third largest coal producer, and coal powers 60% of India’s energy needs. But the poor investors or readers of industry rags might think India’s coal use is falling. Read the fine print.

Lessons in spin:

It’s all in how an issue is framed. The third headline talks about “reductions” from forecast values, meaning theoretical savings of emissions “that might have been, but weren’t”.

The fourth headline tells us that the two massive coal producing nations are “meeting climate targets early” which just shows how pathetic the climate targets are.

If these countries are a “success” what does failure look like?

We have to teach children (adults) how to filter these contradictions.



The key clause in India’s climate pledge, the INDC submitted for Paris, is this:




And as their plan also stated, emissions intensity has had already dropped by 17% from 2005 levels, when it was written.

As I pointed out at the time, such promises of reducing emissions intensity are meaningless, since that is what naturally happens anyway as economies mature.

And it was not only India which made such commitments. Many other developing countries, not least China, also did the same, rather than agreeing to actual cuts in CO2 emissions.


To see just how far emissions intensity can fall, we only have to look at the UK.


Read more…