Scientists Refute Obama Administration’s National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment – 2014 (NCA) is a masterpiece of marketing that shows for the first time the full capabilities of the Obama Administration to spin a scientific topic as they see fit, without regard to the underlying facts. With hundreds of pages written by hundreds of captive scientists and marketing specialists, the administration presents their case for extreme climate alarm.

“As independent scientists, we know that apparent evidence of “Climate Change,”

however scary, is not proof of anything. Science derives its objectivity from robust logic and honest evidence repeatedly tested by all knowledgeable scientists, not just those paid to support the administration’s version of “Global Warming,” “Climate Change,” “Climate Disruption,” or whatever their marketing specialists call it today.

We are asked to believe that humans are drastically changing the earth’s climate by burning fossil fuels. The problem with their theory is very simple: It is NOT true. Here we address the administration’s basic thesis and the essential evidence that they claim support extreme concern.

The theory of ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (CAGW) is based on a string of inferences that begins with the assumptions that carbon dioxide is a ‘greenhouse gas’ and that we are slowly driving up the atmospheric concentration by burning fossil fuels.

It is therefore claimed as self-evident that the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) has already risen significantly and will continue to do so. Higher GAST is then presumed to lead to all sorts of negative consequences, especially Extreme Weather. They promote their ‘Climate Models’ as a reliable way to predict the future climate. But these models dramatically fail basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.

This document is structured around a “fact-check,” where we quote a number of the government’s key claims in the NCA and show each to be invalid. The first three claims involve their three crucial scientific arguments (Three Lines of Evidence or 3 LoE), which, if valid, would satisfy a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for making their case. But each is easily shown to be false; and because each is crucial, their entire theory collapses. That means that all of  the overblown “Climate Disruption” evidence  that they mention, whether true or not,  cannot  be tied back to man’s burning of fossil fuels. Hence, efforts to reduce or eliminate Extreme Weather by reducing the burning of fossil fuels are completely nonsensical.

NCA CLAIM #1: “First ‘Line of Evidence’ (LoE) – Fundamental Understanding of GH Gases

“The conclusion that human influences are the primary driver of recent climate change is based on multiple lines of independent evidence. The first line of evidence is our fundamental understanding of how certain gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to increases in these gases, and how other human and natural factors influence climate.”

(NCA, Page 23)

RESPONSE:

Many scientists have provided ample evidence that the government’s finding, used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is grossly flawed. In its Endangerment Finding, EPA claimed with 90-99% certainty that observed warming in the latter half of the twentieth century resulted from human activity. Using the most credible empirical data available, it is relatively straightforward to soundly reject each of  EPA’s Three LoE.

This U.S. Supreme Court Amicus brief contains the details: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GW-Amicus-2013-05-23-Br-of-Amici-Curiae-Scientists-ISO-Petitions-fo…2.pdf  

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas ‘Hot Spot’ theory is that in the tropics, the mid-troposphere must warm faster than the lower troposphere, and the lower troposphere must warm faster than the surface, all due to rising CO2 concentrations. However, this is totally at odds with multiple robust, consistent, independently-derived empirical datasets, all showing no statistically significant positive (or negative) trend in temperature and thus, no difference in trend slope by altitude. Therefore, EPA’s theory as to how CO2 impacts GAST must be rejected. Below is a graphical comparison of their Hot Spot theory versus reality, where reds denote warming and blues, cooling. Clearly, the government’s understanding of how CO2 gas traps heat is fundamentally flawed.

Models (top) vs. Measured Temperatures Changes (bottom) Latitude

NCA CLAIM #2:

“Second LoE – Unusual Warming in recent decades”

“The second line of evidence is from reconstructions of past climates using evidence such as tree rings, ice cores, and corals. These show that global surface temperatures over the last several decades are clearly unusual, with the last decade (2000-2009) warmer than any time in at least the last 1,300 years and perhaps much longer.”

(NCA, Page 23)

RESPONSE:

“Global Warming” has not been global and has not set regional records where warming has occurred. For example, over the last fifty years, while the Arctic has warmed, the tropical oceans had a flat trend (see e.g.  NOAA Buoy Data: NINO 3.4, Degrees C, available at http://www.cpc.ncep. noaa.gov/data/indices/ersst3b.nino.mth.81-10.ascii,) and the Antarctic cooled slightly. The most significant warming during this period occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, north of the tropics but that ceased over the last 15 years or more. Also, as the figure below shows, over the last 130 years the decade of the 1930’s still has the most U.S. State High Temperatures records. And, over the past 50 years, there were more new State Record Lows set than Record Highs. In fact, roughly 70% of the current State Record Highs were set prior to 1940.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=66585975-a507-4d81-b750-def3ec74913d 

See NOAA NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CTR ., State Climate Extremes Committee, Records, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/records (last visited 12/15/ 2013)

If the observed warming over the last half century can anywhere be claimed to be unusual, it would have to be where it was greatest  –  in the Arctic. Both satellite and surface station data show a warming of about two degrees Celsius since the 1970’s. But the surface station data (see the Figure below) show that warming in context. Recent warming was very similar to the previous warming from 1900 to 1940, reaching virtually the same peak. This refutes the government claim that recent warming (which occurred when man-made CO2 was rising) was notably different from an era when man-made CO2 was not claimed to be a factor. It also points out an essential feature of most credible thermometer records that cover many decades.

Our climate is highly cyclical, driven in fact by ocean and  solar cycles, not carbon dioxide.  Using only the upward trend of the most recent half cycle to suggest relentless warming is very deceptive.

NCA CLAIM #3: Thir LoE – “The Climate Models”

The third line of evidence comes from using climate models to simulate the climate of the past century, separating the human and natural factors that influence climate.

(NCA, Page 24)

RESPONSE:

The Administration relied upon Climate Models, all predicated on the GHG Hot Spot Theory, that all fail standard model validation and forecast reliability tests. These

Climate Models are simulations of reality and far from exact solutions of the fundamental physics.

The models all forecast rising temperatures beyond 2000 although the GAST trend has recently been flat. See the figure below. This is not surprising because EPA never carried out any published forecast reliability tests. The government’s hugely expensive climate models are monumental failures.

Model Lower Tropospheric Temperature forecasts versus actual

NCA CLAIM #4:

“Extreme Weather – Temperatures” “global temperatures are still on the rise and are expected to rise further.”

(NCA, Page 8)

“The most recent decade was the nation’s and the world’s hottest on record, and 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States. All U.S. regions have experienced warming in recent decades, but the extent of warming has not been uniform. (NCA, Page 8)

RESPONSE: As mentioned in the response to CLAIM #2, most of the warming in the second half of the 20th century occurred north of the tropics. But this warming stopped over 17 years ago. Furthermore, the Hadley Centre (upon which the government and the UN IPCC heavily relied) recently announced a forecast that the GAST trend line will likely remain flat for another five years. See Decadal forecast, METOFFICE, http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

As for claims about record setting U.S. temperatures, please see our response to CLAIM #2 above.

See National Space Sci. & Tech.Ctr., North of 20 North Temperature Anomalies UAH Satellite Data: Lower Troposphere Degrees C, available at http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/ t2lt/uahncdc.lt (last visited May 17, 2013).

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was critical of the draft National Climate

Assessment, saying that “An overly narrow focus can encourage one-sided solutions, for instance by giving an impression that reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone will solve all of the major environmental concerns discussed in this report.”  The NAS has also criticized “the lack of explicit discussion about the uncertainties associated with the regional model projections,” saying that “Decision makers need a clear understanding of these uncertainties in order to fairly evaluate the actual utility of using these projections as a basis for planning decisions.”

NCA CLAIM #5 “Extreme Weather – Hurricanes”

“The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.”

(NCA, Page 20)

“Extreme Weather – “Droughts and Floods” “both extreme wetness and extreme dryness are projected to increase in many areas.”

(NCA, Page 33)

RESPONSE:

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC,) there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not attributable to our use of fossil fuels.

Hurricanes have not increased in the United States in frequency, intensity, or normalized damage since at least 1900. Currently, the U.S. is enjoying a period of over eight years without a Category 3 or stronger hurricane making landfall. Government data also indicate no association between use of fossil fuels and tornado activity. The data on droughts paint a similar picture.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that “Climate change was not a significant part” of the recent drought in Texas. And the IPCC found that “in some regions , droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America ….”

The IPCC also states there is “low confidence” in any climate-related trends for flood magnitude or frequency on a global scale.

Still More NCA CLAIMS

RESPONSE:

All of the other government claims worth discussing have been answered effectively in other commentaries. These include those related to ocean and lake ice levels, sea levels, and ocean alkalinity. Detailed rebuttals of such government claims can be found in reports available from CATO, CEI, Climate Depot, Heritage, ICECAP, TWTW, and WUWT.

SUMMARY

The Obama Administration’s National Climate Assessment begins with probably their most preposterous claims:

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.”

(NCA, Page 1)

“Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”

(NCA, Page 7)

“There is still time to act to limit the amount of change and the extent of damaging impacts”

(NCA, Page 2)

RESPONSE:

This is pure rhetorical nonsense born of a cynical attempt to exploit short-term memories and/or little knowledge of the Earth’s climate history and climate processes.

Our climate is constantly changing for perfectly natural reasons that have nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

With the Earth’s vast oceans and atmosphere never in complete equilibrium, our climate will always be changing on time scales from weeks to months to years to decades to centuries and beyond. With a star varying cyclically as our heat source and with an enormous planet like Jupiter tugging on our orbit around the Sun, dramatic climate changes are expected to occur. (See pages 39-50 in USCA, Case #09-1322, Document #1312291, Filed: 06/08/2011.)

However, none of these dramatic climate changes have any connection to our use of fossil fuels. Yet the Obama Administration insists on building a House of Cards predicated on their Three Lines of Evidence as discussed in CLAIMS 1, 2, and 3 above. With all three of their Lines of Evidence shown to be invalid, their entire House of Cards collapses. For example, if increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations do not yield higher GAST, the claimed CO2 connection to higher sea levels is lost. What about their frequent claims that nearly all scientists agree with their analysis findings? By ignoring and even denouncing growing criticism, they have lost the benefit of crucial scientific debates which are critical to keeping their analyses honest and objective. In fact, as documented above in response to Claims 4 and 5, they are even disregarding their usual allies, the UN IPCC and US National Academy of Sciences, both of whom have been dialing back apocalyptic claims, not amplifying them due at least in part to such critical feedback.

Bottom-Line: This NCA is so grossly flawed it should play no role in U.S. Energy Policy Analyses and CO2 regulatory processes. As this rebuttal makes clear, the NCA provides no scientific basis whatsoever for regulating CO2 emissions.  

Signed by:

Dr. Thomas P. Sheahen Ph.D., Physics, M.I.T. B.S., Physics, M.I.T.

Dr. S. Fred Singer Fellow AAAS, APS, AGU Prof Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, U of VA Ph. D., Physics, Princeton University BEE, Ohio State University

Dr. Anthony R. Lupo IPCC Expert Reviewer Professor, Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Purdue University M.S., Atmospheric Science, Purdue University

Dr. Madhav Khandekar Retired Scientist, Environment Canada Expert Reviewer IPCC 2007 Climate Change Documents

George Taylor Certified Consulting Meteorologist President Applied Climate Services Two time President of the American Association of State Climatologists B.A. Mathematics, University of California M.S. Meteorology University of Utah

Dr. James P. Wallace III Jim Wallace & Associates, LLC Ph.D., Economics, Minor in Engineering, Brown University M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Brown University B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, Brown University

Dr. George T. Wolff Former Chair EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University M.S., Meteorology, New York University B.S., Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Ferguson Looting Said to Be Fitting Tribute to Michael Brown

By John Semmens – Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Folder2 104The emergence of a convenience store security video tape of Michael Brown roughing up the shopkeeper and stealing boxes of cigars was said to vindicate the looting rampage that followed his being shot by police.

All those stuffed shirts saying that our robbing stores was an inappropriate expression of our anger and grief were dead wrong,” asserted a self-identified looter who says her name is Jihadena. “One of the last things Michael did before he was gunned down was rob a store. We’re just doing the work he no longer can do. What could be a more fitting tribute to his memory?”

Jihadena challenged the characterization of Brown as a common thug, insisting that “he was a guerrilla for social justice. President Obama promised transformation, but where are our reparations for slavery? Where is the equal distribution of wealth? That convenience store had plenty of cigars. What’s wrong with Michael taking the initiative to redistribute a few of them?”

The image of Michael Brown as the liberator of cigars from the clutches of an Asian profiteer clashes with Al Sharpton’s allegation of “a massive conspiracy to assassinate this young man’s character. That video could’ve been photo-shopped. The witnesses to the robbery could’ve been coached. Michael’s criminal history could be fabricated. Besides, even if he did rob that store since when do we have the death penalty for stealing cigars?”

In related news, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled that Maryland may ban assault rifles. “These weapons are inappropriate for hunting and they are too cumbersome for personal self defense,” Blake asserted. “Their chief selling point seems to be that they would enable a citizen to resist government authority. As such, these weapons do not qualify for protection under the ‘right to bear arms’ clause of the Constitution.”

Kerry Makes Case for Global Warming as Mankind’s Greatest Threat

US Secretary of State John Kerry continues to baffle observers by insisting that “global warming is, by far, the greatest threat mankind faces in the 21st century.”

The reason should be obvious from the term ‘global’ warming,” Kerry said. “This means that it affects everyone. This has to put it ahead of dangers that afflict necessarily narrower categories of victims. The beheading of innocent children by ISIS in Iraq, for example, only affects thousands of people.”

The threat to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate the Jews, at worst, would entail the deaths of only a few million,” Kerry continued. “Juxtaposed to this limited atrocity, the ecological damage from global warming is vaster by an order of magnitude. Billions will be faced with excruciatingly relentless rises in temperature. Trying to stay cool will be an endless task. The cost and discomfort of attempting to cope will easily outweigh the momentary pain of being blown apart by a suicide bomber or having your throat slit by a jihadi.”

In a way it could be said that massacres serve to ameliorate the impact of global warming,” Kerry pointed out. “The fewer humans there are, the less pressure they will put on the ecosystem’s carrying power. So, while it is not their intent to fight global warming groups like ISIS and Hamas are inadvertently contributing toward a brighter future for the planet. We should not overlook this mitigating factor.”

While Kerry appears to imagine himself a great thinker able to see past the “minor skirmishes” that most see as the main concern of the nation’s chief diplomat, a recent editorial in Investors Business Daily characterized his contention that global warming is the more serious threat as “dangerously moronic.”

Kerry does appear to be at some risk of getting out of step with his boss, though. Just this week President Obama declared “conservative maximalists” to be the biggest threat. “The essence of a successful community is universal cooperation for the collective benefit of all,” the President said. “This requires compromise. Yet, there is a contingent within that continues to take the extreme position that certain so-called fundamental rights are immutable. This contingent of conservative maximalists is more dangerous than any other enemy we face.”

Hamas Extends “Gift of Martyrdom” to Tunnel Diggers

Concerned that dozens of low-wage workers who built the maze of tunnels from the Gaza strip into Israel might reveal the locations to enemy forces, the Hamas leadership ordered their execution.

Hamas spokesman Khaled Mashal justified this seemingly ungrateful reward as “a necessary precaution. There are those who would say that the measures we took to prevent these diggers’ knowledge of the tunnels’ locations ought to be sufficient. Yes, the workers were blindfolded before being led to and from where they were told to dig making it exceedingly improbable that any of them could lead an Israeli to a tunnel location. But their death makes it impossible for them to reveal any location.”

Only infidels would consider our action in this matter cruel,” Mashal maintained. “We have released these men from a harsh life of poverty—they did this backbreaking work at a wage of $1 per hour—and given them the gift of martyrdom. As we speak they are all enjoying the pleasures of copulating with virgins that Allah promised.”

Mashal did permit himself a mild chuckle as he described the miners’ last moments: “As we blindfolded them to lead them away to execution many talked excitedly of what they would buy with the wages they expected for more digging. Not one suspected the surprise we had in store. It was most amusing.”

Dems Push for Federal Funding of Abortions

Representatives Mike Honda (D-Calif), Barbara Lee (D-Calif), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Jackie Speier (D-Calif) are going on a 10,000 mile bus tour to drum up support for repealing the current ban on federation money being spent for abortions.

The issue is one of simple justice,” Lee argued. “Why should the option of escaping an unwanted pregnancy be denied to women who can’t afford to pay for it? Human rights shouldn’t come with a price tag. Criminals who can’t afford a lawyer get one at taxpayer expense. Why shouldn’t innocent women be treated as well?”

We should fund every abortion we can afford,” was Slaughter’s take. “Every child born is another mouth to feed. Would-be mothers who can’t afford abortions will end up giving birth to children they can’t afford. The cost of rearing a child to adulthood dwarfs the cost of an abortion. I challenge my GOP colleagues to do the math and support federal aid for abortion as the fiscally responsible thing to do.”

A “more civilized society” was Rep. Schakowsky’s goal. “Unwanted pregnancies destroy lives,” she contended. “The first victim is the mother who is burdened by a child she does not want. The second victim is the unwanted child who grows up in poverty. The third victim is the innocent bystander who is a casualty of the violent underclass peppered with individuals who would’ve been aborted if the funding had been available.”

The bus tour of these luminaries of contemporary moral philosophy began in Los Angeles, California August 9 and is expected to arrive in Washington, DC in mid September after stops in 12 cities along the way.

Hillary and Barack Hug Away Kerfuffle

This week former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stirred up a kerfuffle in an interview published in The Atlantic magazine by implying that the Obama Administration’s foreign policy was “a directionless mess.” President Obama angrily rebuffed Clinton’s remarks as “horse shit.”

However, the soothing ambiance of a gathering at a posh Martha’s Vineyard resort has dampened down combative tempers on both sides. As a spokesman for Hillary explained, “it was a case of public perception vs. core reality. Given the President’s abysmal voter approval ratings it is imperative that any Democrat who hopes to win an upcoming distance herself from the President’s negative public image.”

There is no fundamental difference between the policies that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have pursued and the policies that a future President Hillary Clinton will pursue,” the spokesman said. “But the only chance of continuing those policies is for Hillary to prevail in the 2016 election. Once President Obama was reassured on this he acquiesced to the strategy.”

President Laments “Balkanization” of Media

The low cost of communication over the Internet has led to “a dangerous proliferation of voices” according to President Obama. “It used to be that everyone got their view of the news from major media outlets,” Obama recounted. “There was more unanimity of message. This helped bring the country together.”

Now, though, any nobody with a little free time can get a website and pontificate for all the world to see,” the President complained. “We have no way to control what is said and we lack the time and energy to refute every erroneous idea or contention that is made.”

The President’s lamentation may be answered, though. The Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire November 1. This law blocks states from assessing taxes on Internet use. The House of Representatives has dealt with this issue by passing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA). PITFA is currently one of 300 House-passed bills being blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).

The President isn’t the only one suffering a barrage of criticisms from pipsqueak yahoos on the web, I’ve had my share of abuse too,” Read grumbled. “We’ll see how outspoken these guys are once the states start hitting them with a couple hundred dollars a year in Internet access taxes.”

While Reid was pessimistic about ever “restoring total order to the information arena” he evinced a degree of confidence that “between state taxes and an Executive cut-off switch we can winnow out a significant number of unwelcome participants in public policy debates.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

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