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Peter Ridd: Crying Wolf Over The Great Barrier Reef

December 12, 2018

By Paul Homewood


From GWPF:


Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures. It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking. To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks like carelessness, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

It is a well-known phenomenon that corals can adapt very rapidly to high temperatures and that if you heat corals in one year, they tend to be less susceptible in future years to overheating. It is the reason why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or from human influence.

Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants called zooxanthellae give the coral energy from the sun by photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. But when the water gets hot, these little plants become effectively poisonous to the coral and the coral throws out the plants turning the coral white – it bleaches. But most of the time the coral will recover from the bleaching. And here’s their trick- they take in new zooxanthellae, that floats around in the water quite naturally, and can select different species of zooxanthellae to be better suited to hot weather. Most other organisms have to change their genetic makeup to deal with temperature changes, something that can take many generations. But corals can do it in a few weeks by just changing the plants that live inside them. They have learnt a thing or two in a couple of hundred years of evolution.

The problem here is that the world has been completely mislead by scientists about the affect of bleaching and rarely mention the spectacular regrowth that occurs. For example, the 2016 bleaching event supposedly killed either 95%, 50% or 30% of the reef depending upon which headline and scientist you want to believe. But the scientists only looked at very shallow water coral – less than 2 meters below the surface which is only a small fraction of all the coral, but by far the most susceptible to getting hot in the tropical sun. A recent study found that the deep water coral (down to over 40 m) got far less bleaching as one would expect. I estimate that less than 8% of the GBR coral actually died. That might still sound like a lot, but considering that there was a 250% INCREASE in coral between 2011 and 2016 for the entire Southern Zone of the GBR, an 8% decrease is nothing to worry about. Coral recovers fast.

But this is just the tip of the exaggeration iceberg. Some very eminent scientists claim that bleaching never happened before the 1980’s and is entirely a man-made phenomenon. This was always a ridiculous proposition. A recent study of 400-year-old corals has found that bleaching has always occurred and is no more common now than in the past. Scientist have also claimed that there has been a 15% reduction in the growth rate of corals. However, some colleagues and I demonstrated that there were serious errors in their work and that if anything there has been a slight increase in coral growth rate over the last 100 years. This is what one would expect in a gently warming climate. Corals grow up to twice as fast in the hotter water of Papua New Guinea and the northern GBR than in the southern GBR. I could go on with many more examples.

This unreliability of the science is now a widely accepted scandal in many other areas of study and now has a name. “The Replication Crisis”. When checks are made to replicate or confirm scientific results, it is regularly found that around half has flaws. This is an incredible and scandalous situation and it is not just me saying this – it is the editors of eminent journals and many science institutions.  A great deal of effort is now going into fixing this problem especially in the Biomedical Sciences where the problem was first recognised.

But not for GBR science. The science institutions deny there is a problem and fail to correct erroneous work. When Piers Larcombe and I wrote an article to a scientific journal suggesting we needed a little extra checking of GBR science, the response from many very eminent scientists was that there was no need. Everything is fine. I am not sure if this is blind optimism or wilful negligence, but why would anybody object to a little more checking? It would only cost a few million dollars, just a tiny fraction of what the governments will be spending on the reef.

But the truth will out eventually. The scare stories about the GBR started in the 1960’s when scientist first started work on the reef. They have been crying wolf ever since. But the data keeps coming in and, yes, sometimes a great deal of coral dies in a spectacular manner with accompanying media fanfare. It is like a bushfire on land, it looks terrible at first, but it quietly and rapidly grows back ready for the scientists to peddle their story all over again.

Dr Peter Ridd

Dr Ridd was, until fired this year, a Physicist at the James Cook University Marine Geophysical Laboratory.


Coal Power Capacity Update

December 11, 2018

By Paul Homewood


I noted last week that the National Grid was desperate for coal power to keep the lights from going out last Monday:



Last week, coal power peaked at 5.7 GW, and it has already gone higher this week, reaching 6.4 GW yesterday. It has certainly not been particularly cold today, or windless.

In addition CCGT is running at close to capacity.



It is worth looking at the current position regarding the amount of coal power capacity we have.

Read more…

Writing About Climate Change Makes Journalists Tired And Stupid

December 10, 2018

By Paul Homewood

There was a time when the Mail published serious articles on climate change by the likes of David Rose.

Now we get idiotic pieces like this one from Sophie Law:


Surging levels of greenhouse gases could make people tired, forgetful and stupid, scientists claim.

Afternoon fatigue, the slump that office workers often experience, could become a worldwide problem due to surging levels in carbon dioxide.

A factor in sick building syndrome is higher carbon dioxide levels in poorly ventilated workplaces which can make workers feel lethargic, low in energy and slow, The Sunday Times reported.

But increased levels of carbon dioxide could not just affect office workers but the entire population by the end of the century, according to scientists at University College London.

A factor in sick building syndrome is higher carbon dioxide levels in poorly ventilated workplaces which can make workers feel lethargic, low in energy and slow. Stock image

A factor in sick building syndrome is higher carbon dioxide levels in poorly ventilated workplaces which can make workers feel lethargic, low in energy and slow. Stock image

It is the first research by scientists to warn about the toxic effect that raised greenhouses gases can have on humans.

The raised levels of carbon dioxide would be driven by the burning of fossil fuels.

Burning oil, coal, and natural gas are the leading causes of the carbon dioxide emissions driving climate change.

‘Human cognitive performance declines with an increase in CO2’, the researchers wrote in the paper.

‘Direct impacts of CO2 emissions on human cognitive performance may be unavoidable’.

The raised levels of carbon dioxide would be driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Stock image

The raised levels of carbon dioxide would be driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Stock image

And the paper also warns that the natural level of carbon dioxide in the air would be four or five times higher by 2100.

Researchers warn that a surge in levels could affect memory, concentration and making decisions.

The only people who seem to be getting stupider because of climate change are the journalists who write articles like this.

Climate change: COP24 fails to adopt key scientific report

December 9, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public

Hardly an auspicious start!



Attempts to incorporate a key scientific study into global climate talks in Poland have failed.

The IPCC report on the impacts of a temperature rise of 1.5C, had a significant impact when it was launched last October.

Scientists and many delegates in Poland were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to this meeting "welcoming" the report.

It was the 2015 climate conference that had commissioned the landmark study.

The report said that the world is now completely off track, heading more towards 3C this century rather than 1.5C.

Keeping to the preferred target would need "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". If warming was to be kept to 1.5C this century, then emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by 45% by 2030.

The report, launched in Incheon in South Korea, had an immediate impact winning praise from politicians all over the world.

But negotiators here ran into serious trouble when Saudi Arabia, the US, Russia and Kuwait objected to the conference "welcoming" the document.

Instead they wanted to support a much more lukewarm phrase, that the conference would "take note" of the report.

Saudi Arabia had fought until the last minute in Korea to limit the conclusions of the document. Eventually they gave in. But it now seems that they have brought their objections to Poland.

The dispute dragged on as huddles of negotiators met in corners of the plenary session here, trying to agree a compromise wording.

None was forthcoming.

With no consensus, under UN rules the passage of text had to be dropped.

Many countries expressed frustration and disappointment at the outcome.

"It’s not about one word or another, it is us being in a position to welcome a report we commissioned in the first place," said Ruenna Haynes from St Kitts and Nevis.

"If there is anything ludicrous about the discussion it’s that we can’t welcome the report," she said to spontaneous applause.

Scientists and campaigners were also extremely disappointed by the outcome.

"We are really angry and find it atrocious that some countries dismiss the messages and the consequences that we are facing, by not accepting what is unequivocal and not acting upon it," said Yamide Dagnet from the World Resources Institute, and a former climate negotiator for the UK.

Others noted that Saudi Arabia and the US had supported the report when it was launched in October. It appears that the Saudis and the US baulked at the political implications of the UN body putting the IPCC report at its heart.

"Climate science is not a political football," said Camilla Born, from climate think tank E3G.

"All the world’s governments – Saudi included – agreed the 1.5C report and we deserve the truth. Saudi can’t argue with physics, the climate will keep on changing."

Many delegates are now hoping that ministers, who arrive on Monday, will try and revive efforts to put this key report at the heart of the conference.

"We hope that the rest of the world will rally and we get a decisive response to the report," said Yamide Dagnet.

"I sincerely hope that all countries will fight that we don’t leave COP24 having missed a moment of history."

The most significant sentence is :

The report, launched in Incheon in South Korea, had an immediate impact winning praise from politicians all over the world.

Precisely! It was never anything other than a report cranked out to satisfy a political agenda, as every other IPCC report has been.

Let’s now hope that the US, Russia, Saudi, Kuwait, and hopefully a few others back up this stance with positive to stop Katowice in its tracks. And send a message to the UN and its paid for cronies that the world is no longer falling for its shoddy science and impoverishing policies.

Climate Change: Why Does Matt McGrath Still Not Get It?

December 9, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier


The BBC have given great prominence to this absurd video from Matt McGrath, who has spent the last decade spouting global warming propaganda without ever giving even a thought to a bit of objectivity:




This is the BBC blurb for the video:

Climate change: Why are governments taking so long to take action?

A UN conference is being held in Poland to discuss how the world is going to stop climate change.

Last month a report by leading climate scientists found progress is way off track, and the world is heading towards 3C of warming this century rather than 1.5C.

With the impacts of climate change already being felt in severe weather events like floods and wildfires, why is it taking so long to take action?

The BBC’s Matt McGrath explains what needs to happen to speed things up.


Poor Matt McGrath looks genuinely puzzled and can’t understand why governments are not doing anything “to save the planet”.

He still seems to think that this was all sorted out at Paris. This was what he wrote at the time:

Read more…

Atlantic Hurricane Season – 2018

December 8, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Now that the Atlantic hurricane season has officially finished, it’s time to round up the data.

Despite a lot of media hype, the season has actually been pretty ordinary:





There were eight Atlantic hurricanes, of which only two were major, Florence and Michael. As both of these hit the US, there was inevitably more media coverage.

ACE was also at unremarkable levels, given the current warm phase of the AMO, when hurricanes tend to be stronger.


Globally, data for the 12 months up to the end of September shows 48 hurricanes, including 27 major.



ACE data is up to the end of October:



Neither metric shows anything out of the ordinary this year. Both indicate that hurricane activity peaked in the 1990s, and that over the last decade it has been at similar levels to the 1970s and 80s.

BBC’s Latest Heatwave Lies

December 7, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Philip Bratby



The BBC are happy to trumpet the latest misleading propaganda from the Met Office:



Climate change has significantly boosted the chances of having summer heatwaves in the UK.

A Met Office study says that the record-breaking heat seen in 2018 was made about 30 times more likely because of emissions from human activity.

Without warming the odds of a UK heatwave in any given year were less than half a percent.

But a changing climate means this has risen to 12%, or about once every eight years.

The blazing summer of 2018 was the joint warmest for the UK.

It tied with 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.

The steep temperatures that sustained across most parts of the UK, peaked on July 27 when 35.6C was recorded at Felsham in Suffolk.

Now researchers have analysed the observed data using climate models that can simulate the world with or without the impact of fossil fuel emissions.

Announcing their findings at global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, UK Met Office researchers said that the impact of global warming on the hot summer were significant.

"Climate change has made the heatwave we had this summer much more likely, about 30 times more likely than it would have been had we not changed our climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases," said Prof Peter Stott, from the Met Office who carried out the analysis.

"If we look back over many centuries, we can see that the summer like 2018 was a very rare event before the industrial revolution when we started pumping out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

The researchers say that in a world without warming the chances of having a heatwave are around 0.4% every year. Climate change has tipped the odds significantly to around 12% every year. The historical record, they argue, strengthens their case.

"We have observational information in England going right back to 1659 and if you look at the period before we really started to affect our climate there was only one summer in 1826 that was warmer than 2018, in that whole 200 years of data there was only one year as warm as this, so that really bears out what we are saying.

A previous analysis carried out earlier this year by the World Weather Attribution group estimated that climate change had made the chances of a scorching summer twice as likely. So why does the Met Office study say that the impact of rising temperatures on the chances of such a warm event happening are far higher?

"Our study looked at the chances of having such high temperatures throughout the summer in the UK," said Prof Stott.

"If you focus on a particular few days at the peak of the heatwave over a broader area, as the other study did, then the chances are lower.

"But whichever way you look at it, there’s a very clear fingerprint of human activity on the atmosphere."

A number of recent studies have underlined the scale of the impacts that the burning of fossil fuels are having on the climate. Concentrations of carbon emissions reached a new record high this year according to a study from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Just yesterday, the Global Carbon Project showed that CO2 emissions in 2018 were projected to rise almost 3%, much to the concern of researchers.

While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to." 



Stott wrongly conflates (deliberately?) “average summer temperatures” with “heatwaves”.

If we look at the former, we see that average summer temperatures have risen in the last few decades, and that the summers of 1976, 2003, 2006 and 2018 were hotter than previous summers since 1910.

Read more…

Hitachi Struggling To Find Investors For Wylfa

December 6, 2018

By Paul Homewood

While researching the post on coal power today, I came across this new piece of news. It is translated from Japanese, so excuse the English!



On April 4, it was learned that Hitachi’s nuclear power plant construction project in the UK was on the sunk. Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the company, said in an interview in this interview, “We are recruiting investors but few companies respond,” he said. The plan is carried out by Hitachi’s subsidiary, Horizon Nuclear Power, and it collects the construction cost of the power plant etc. by selling revenue income. However, due to nuclear safety measures, the total project cost has expanded, and the purchase price of electricity generated is likely to be kept low, so there is a question mark on the profitability of the project. Hitachi negotiates with Japanese and English governments and companies seeking support from loans and investment to reduce risk. Of the total project cost 3 trillion yen, the UK has set a promise to finance 2 trillion yen, but it is extremely difficult to procure the remaining one trillion yen covered by capital. In an interview, Nakanishi said in an interview “It is difficult if all of the investment is not in place.


Wylfa was the government’s banker card, as far as new nuclear goes, particularly after Toshiba pulled the plug on Moorside.

A Final Investment Decision for Wylfa was expected next year, but this latest news casts grave doubts.

At a rate of 143 Yen to a Pound, the cost of 3 trillion yen works out at £21 bn, for a 2.9 GW plant that is smaller than Hinkley Point (3.2 GW). Hinkley’s cost is similar to Wylfa.

I cannot therefore see how the cost of power from Wylfa can come out any less than Hinkley, unless UK Government guarantees all of the debt, thus cutting the cost of capital. If it does that, of course, it might just as well finance the whole lot up front.

This, however, would be a huge risk, given all of the things that could go wrong. It would also raise the very pertinent question of why the taxpayer should take all the risk, when Hitachi make the profit.

Britain’s oldest coal plants called on to avoid running out of power as cold sets in

December 6, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Gerry, England


The Telegraph has the story about how the National Grid has had to pay idling coal power plants to fire up this week:


Britain’s oldest coal-fired power plants prepared to fire up their hoppers for a price of almost £1,000 per megawatt-hour on Tuesday to avert a power shortfall as temperatures across the country plunge and wind power wanes.

The cold snap ignited the winter’s first warning that Britain would run out of electricity unless idling coal plants ramp up to help meet demand for power.

National Grid said on Monday evening that there was a 100pc probability that the lights would go out within 24 hours unless an extra 2GW of power capacity agreed to help meet demand.

The first negative supply forecast of the season spurred the operators of Britain’s oldest plants to offer their power at prices well above the prevailing market rates to fill the gap.

The Aberthaw coal plant in South Wales offered the energy system operator a price of £240 per megawatt hour to turn on its two power units.

Meanwhile, the Fiddlers Ferry plant warmed its coal-fired units in case its bid to produce power for a price of £995/MWh was accepted.

The market price for power during the peak demand hours of the day climbed to around £140/MWh as demand for electric heating climbed and wind power output fell to a fraction of its potential on a windy day.

Read more here.


It’s behind a paywall,  so I’m not allowed to show it all.

However, it makes the point that the latest ECJ ruling to suspend capacity market payments could hamstring vital standby cover.


It was not particularly cold or windless on Tuesday,when coal power peaked in early evening at 5.7 GW.


Gas too was running effectively flat out at the time at 25 GW, along with the inter-connectors and biomass.


We still nominally have 13 GW of coal fired capacity, but most of this is not viable without the capacity market payments, as plants are compelled to idle for most of the year.

Which raises the question, how many coal plants will shutdown earlier than planned, and leave us short or power in future winters?

Climate Hypocrite Sanders Spent $300K On Private Jets In One Month

December 5, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s re-election campaign spent just under $300,000 on private jet use in October, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

The Sanders campaign, which is funded primarily by small-dollar donors, paid Apollo Jets $297,685.50 on Oct. 10, FEC records reveal. The payment was marked for “transportation.”

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a news conference on climate change, on Capitol Hill April 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senators introduce “The 100 by ’50 Act” climate legislation that would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels in the United States by 2050. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


“This expense was for transportation for the senator’s 9-day, 9-state tour to support Democratic candidates up and down the ballot ahead of Election Day,” campaign spokeswoman Arianna Jones told local website, which first reported on the jet expenses.

“This cost covered the entirety of the tour from Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California, and back to Vermont,” Jones said.

Sanders’s private jet use comes despite the senator’s hard-line stance on climate change, which he has consistently called “the single greatest threat facing our planet.”


Because flying generates significantly more greenhouse gases than driving, climate hawks generally advocate against taking unnecessary flights.

“The campaign purchased carbon offsets from NativeEnergy to support renewable energy projects and invest in carbon reduction projects to balance out the emissions produced on the trip,” Jones told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Carbon offsets in theory allow polluters to cancel out their emissions by funding projects aimed at reducing emissions.

The same day his campaign cut a check to the private jet company, Sanders called climate change a “planetary crisis.”

“Climate change is a planetary crisis. Our task is clear. We must take on the fossil fuel industry that’s largely responsible for global emissions and accelerate our transition toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources,” Sanders wrote in an Oct. 10 tweet.


Jones said the payment of $4,980 to NativeEnergy will be reflected in the campaign’s Dec. 6 filing, which covers activities after Oct. 17.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in Congress, is widely expected to run for president as a Democrat in 2020.


His campaign make the usual feeble defence that they have bought carbon credits. But if they genuinely believe climate change is a threat, they should be buying carbon credits AND avoid using private jets.