August 3rd, 2021
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Weather hiccups - tipping points for climate change?
Next Public WEBINAR - Entrepreneurship
Friday, August 20th 4PM
Former recorded webinars are accessible
Send comments to Perry@PerryKinkaide.com
Friday's webinar continued to surface diverse perspectives on the relationship between the weather and the climate AND whether the situation is dire. When the masses believe then the market follows and the dollars flow that's democracy. That's the power of marketing and the beauty of capitalism. So...hang on the internet has woven us tightly together exposing us to marketing and increasing the speed and impact of emerging technologies such as:
I'm off for a week - holidaying in British Columbia ... to relax and cool off. - Perry
Last week's newsletter cited 3 questions about climate change. The replies are reproduced at the end of this newsletter and reflect the opposing beliefs:
Believers - questioned the questioning of global warming, the science, and that climate change is an existential crisis warranting extreme measures to reduce manmade CO2 emissions. Canada's actions to achieve NetZero by 2050 are celebrated as leading the world even though Canada is only a 1.5% global emitter. In the news - during the week, three reports supporting the urgency for action:
The crisis serves to justify support for autocratic/ extreme/ urgent measures regardless of cost (economic and/or political) by all levels of government. The crisis also counters measures that would serve to sustain the oil and gas industry such as the sequestration of CO2:
Non-believers - cited specific phenomena as contrary to global warming and climate change. Note. Science cannot support that something does NOT exist. They also challenge the situation as a "crisis" warranting extreme socio-economic measures and view climate change research and reporting media as biased by special interests.
Moderates - tempered the opposing positions by arguing for increased "environmental respect" and cautioned against extreme socio-economic measures to combat and/or incentivize change. Of growing interest is increased interest in non-emitting nuclear for energy including Small Modular Reactors and promising projects to employ fusion for energy.
During Friday's webinar we discussed the Canadian federal government's commitment to achieve NetZero by 2050 including abolishing the internal combustion engine, growing 2-billion trees, supporting transitions to decarbonize energy including the need to retrofit housing with huge $ implications for homeowners - voters!
We have a season of elections coming - a time for revelations and testing tipping points.
WEBINARS and SEANCES
The next webinar - Friday August 20th 4pm MT, is to feature a discussion about Entrepreneurship - pitfalls and keys to success.
No webinar until then though you are welcome to join us Friday 4pm at the Chateau Louis lounge on Kingsway in Edmonton as we resume the siping of "spirits" - a post-Covid seance.
Rethinking Climate Change and Land-based Weather Hiccups
Looking for evidence - science-based, of climate change/ global warming? Something more than a report of what we are experiencing as weather hiccups? The following article by David Siegel is sobering and worthy of comment - minimizing the impact of man-made CO2 emissions and maximizing the roles of the sun and the oceans. https://medium.com/science-and-philosophy/ninety-nine-percent-of-all-conversations-about-climate-are-wrong-fa56d3f4f828
1. What is the basis and rationale for the “Corrected” Land Temperature profile?
2. What is the rationale for stating that 99.9% of the sun’s heat is stored in the oceans; 0.1% in the atmosphere; and (Net?) 0% in the land?
3. If man-made CO2 is not the main driver, the world is poised to come up with very ill conceived and costly climate policies. What would be the benefit of such policies and public misinformation?
The 3 questions are pretty fundamental and challenge the almost religious belief that the main cause of global warming is anthropogenic CO2. If this is true, the scientists should easily be able to explain firstly, why/how the atmospheric temperature profile was modified versus the actual data that apparently shows “global cooling” (not “global warming”) since the early century through the 1930’s and secondly, explain or refute the dominant role the oceans play in climate change over the medium to longer term. The latter issue should include explaining how 800,000 years of ice core data from Antarctica and Greenland shows atmospheric temperature increases leading (not lagging as per anthropogenic CO2 theory) increases in atmospheric CO2. I don‘t think those that are asking these questions should be ignored simply as “climate change deniers”. They are obvious and reasonable questions that deserve considered, science-based answers.
That believers view that global warming is an existential crisis so we must take urgent, extreme, autocratic action regardless of the costs (economic or political) is the major point. I think at COP26 in Glasgow this November, several Western democracies (including Canada, US, UK and several European countries) will try to make this the major theme with strong commitments to urgent action. It will be very telling to see the response from China. The CBC news video from the attached link fosters this view that we are at a tipping point, but again they are basing conclusions on unfounded climate myths — e.g. CO2 and other GHG levels at “record” levels this past year; devastation to coral reefs in warm waters like the Barrier Reef; the imminent melting of the Greenland and Antarctica ice caps, etc.
I have always felt that “facts are friendly”; it is much more constructive to be discussing and setting policies using the agreed upon data. If this principle were followed I doubt that it would support the “climate crisis” alarmism that could lead to poor climate policies. You raise the high cost in the Canadian government plans for Net Zero Emissions by 2050 including for residential voters. In the UK, for example, they are eliminating gas boilers and driving residential owners to install geothermal heat pumps at an average cost per residence of £9,000. (See UK’s Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) weekly digest published by Paul Homewood).
– Thank you Eric
What is the basis and rationale for the “Corrected” Land Temperature profile?
That is a very good question, for which the only answer I can give descends into what is now termed “conspiracy theory,” by those who do not want the discomfort of rational debate, or to be constrained by real world data and empiricism, and have an uncomfortable truth revealed. As Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes put it, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” I also like to quote a line from the great Russian poet, Alexandr Pushkin, in an early recognition of how people deal with cognitive dissonances, "Тьмы низких истин нам дороже нас возвышающий обман.” From his poem Герой. Very loosely translated from the Russian poetic metaphors, which do not translate well into English idiom, it states that people prefer to stick with a falsehood with which they are comfortable, rather than reflecting on a lot of discomforting contradictory facts.
We have so many “celebrity scientists,” whose predictions are not supported by subsequent real world data, yet they continue to be idolised and consulted by governments. The term that Lenin used to describe "fellow travellers” in the west, namely “useful idiots,” comes to mind. With respect to anthropogenic global warning, the prediction of an indefinite release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning is impossible, because we are approaching the thermodynamic end of the hydrocarbon age. 30 to 40 years ago, conventional oil was produced at an energy cost of one barrel of oil equivalent to produce 100 barrels of oil. That is down to 30 barrels per barrel consumed in production. Mined oil sands bitumen takes one barrel for 5 produced. In situ steam production provides less than 3 barrels for one consumed.
Governments have to be aware of this, especially given the way that China and Russia are tying up reserves all over the world, and that China has embarked on a massive, nuclear-power-plant, construction program using Russian fourth- or fifth-generation, low-waste-generating technology, along with electrifying its transportation network as much as possible. China builds far more Tesla vehicles than anywhere else. So, how do governments tell people? “Sorry, guys, but you are soon all going to freeze in the dark, because we can’t do what China and Russia are doing, and we’ve lost control of the reserves in the Middle East.” Easier to sell a fairy tale that we should be afraid of global warming and be responsible, because it is an environmental threat, we are led to believe, that we can control, if we are not selfish. So, put our hopes in solar and wind power, both of which just happen to consume huge quantities of hydrocarbon energy and rare minerals in their manufacture and installation. Think of the amount of diesel fuel expended in rare earth mining. Mining also is suffering from depletion, as ores are high-graded. A 50% reduction in ore concentration doubles the amount of diesel required for the extraction of the same quantity of the mineral. It may be that we can develop fusion power, as you hope, Perry, in time to keep some remnants of civilization, but it will be touch and go, and it will take large amounts of hydrocarbon energy to build the first facilities.
You may have noticed that those most vociferous in pushing the climate change agenda are those which will suffer most greatly from the depletion of hydrocarbon resources, namely the northern hemisphere nations of western Europe and North America. Russia and China give lip service to climate change, in one sense, because they are preparing for the end of the hydrocarbon age anyway. Russia prepares for either cooling or warming. On the one hand, it is about to build a new class of super, nuclear-powered icebreakers, with twice the power of the largest it currently has. The new super icebreakers are designed to cruise through 3-metre-thick ice at 12 knots, which is the cruising speed of most large commercial ships, tankers or container ships, expected to follow in their wake. The current largest icebreakers can cut through 3-metre ice slowly, but can only maintain cruising speed through 2-metre ice. Time is money! This last winter, there were significant stretches of 3-metre ice along the Siberian coastline, aka the Northern Sea Route, as Russia calls it. There is substantial LNG tanker traffic (with ice-breaking tankers built in South Korea) on the route year around, from the Yamal peninsula to the east Asia markets. On the other hand, Russia is rejoicing, or trolling, about the potential vast expansion of its agricultural capacity, in the case of global warming.
Then, there is the issue of mathematical incompetence, which bedevils “medical science” as well as “climate science.” Now, it's nearly half a century since I studied mathematical statistics, including time-series analysis, to a fairly high level, sufficient for me to have proceeded to training in “acturial science,” but that didn't interest me as a career. The thing about acturial science, and also veterinary medicine, is that it has to pay off. An insurance company will fail, if its actuaries are incompetent. Large animal husbandry will not seek veterinary support, if it doesn’t enhance the value of the livestock at auction. "Climate science," as distinct from climatology based on physics and physical chemistry, is about fiddling with algorithms and data to produce sensational results, and gain publicity for the author. It violates the very principles of rigorous, time-series analysis, but it is typical of non-mathematicians wishing for nice smooth curves to show impressive results.
I was first exposed to this thinking, some six decades ago, when I was attempting a research masters program in liquid waste treatment. My supervisor requested that I dismiss outlying results, meaning those beyond two standard deviations. I was not comfortable, but knew virtually nothing about statistical applications, other than being vaguely aware of possible probability distributions other than the standard normal, such as Poisson, binomial, Bernoulli, log normal, even Pareto’s 80/20 rule. A decade later, a lecturer in Finance exhibited almost orgasma excitement as he described a fantastic new method for calculating the pricing of options, the Black-Scholes Formula, for which the devisers received the Nobel Prize for economics. It did turn out to be fantasy, after the hedge fund, Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), created to profit from the formula, quickly went bankrupt. The fallacy was to assume that financial returns and data formed a nice normal distribution. The noted statistician, Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a book, The Black Swan, in which he explained the fallacy, and the nature of “fat-tailed distributions.” So far, Taleb’s hedge fund is thriving.
This article describes the what and how of the ongoing manipulation of global temperature data, but not the why. https://realclimatescience.com/2017/01/systematic-destruction-of-the-temperature-record-since-2000/
What is the rationale for stating that 99.9% of the sun’s heat is stored in the oceans; 0.1% in the atmosphere; and (Net?) 0% in the land?
The one word answer is “physics,” but, being of a rather pedantic and didactic nature, I will elaborate. Materials, solid, liquid and gaseous, have a property, among many others, known as specific heat or heat capacity. The SI definition of specific heat is the amount of thermal energy in Joules (J) required to raise one kilogram of a material by one degree Kelvin (K) (J/kgK). Since a degree Kelvin is the same size interval as a degree Celsius, it is sometimes convenient for us to use Celsius. For example, consider the thermal energy required to raise the temperature of one litre of water from 20° C to the boiling point. The density of water is one kilogram per one litre. Water has a specific heat of 4148 J per 1 K per 1 kg. So, 1kg x 80° C x 4148 J = 331840 J. By comparison, if one applies 331840 J to 1 kg of iron which has a specific heat of 440 J per 1 K per 1 kg, we get a temperature rise of 331840/440 = 754 K. In other words from a room temperature of 20° C, the iron will rise to 774° C and be red hot. Water has almost ten times the heat capacity of iron, and since materials at the same temperature and unit surface area radiate the same amount of heat according to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, a cubic metre of iron will cool down much faster than a cubic metre of water. Likewise, a cubic metre of air will cool down much, much faster than a cubic metre of water.
The total thermal energy in any material is calculated from absolute zero K. The total mass of water on the earth is estimated at 1.4 x 10e21 kg, and its average temperature at about 278 K (between 4° and 5° C) for a total thermal energy of 1.6 x 10e27 J. The total mass of the atmosphere is estimated at 5.1 x 10e18 kg, average temperature 288 K, and specific heat 700 J, for a total thermal energy of 10e24 J. That gives you the ratio of about 99.9% to 0.1% heat energy stored in the oceans versus that in the atmosphere, but what about the land. Here we must consider another property of materials, namely thermal conductivity.
Within the oceans and the atmosphere, heat transfer, other than by radiation, is primarily by convection and mixing. In solid materials, heat transfer, other than by radiation, is by conductivity. Thermal conductivity is defined as Watts per metre per degree Kelvin (W/mK). A Watt is a Joule per second. Iron has a thermal conductivity of 80.2 W/mK. Heat rapidly transfers through iron from the point of heating. The most common rocks have have thermal conductivities in the range of 2 - 4 W/mK. Dry sand averages 2.44 W/mK. The lower the thermal conductivity, the greater the insulating power. So, although the average heat capacity of rock is about 2000 J/kgK, the sun's radiant energy doesn’t transfer rapidly, and the rock surface will reach a high temperature, but if given time to heat through, rocks will lose heat slowly, if not as slowly as water, which makes them useful for heating up by fire and then cooking pigs in the ground at Hawaiian luaus.
Dry sand and vegetated land have a heat capacity of about 830 J/kgK. Moisture raises the heat capacity, but if the water is effectively constrained from convection and mixing, its thermal conductivity of 0.6 W/mK does not allow much depth of penetration of the sun’s radiant energy. At our latitude, the soil undergoes a decreasing-with-depth, sinusoidal variation through the year, with maximum temperature in midsummer and minimum in midwinter, down to about 3 metres for relative equilibrium. We bury water mains and sewers at least two metres to prevent freezing problems. So, it seems that the land surface does not provide a significant heat sink. The phenomenon of desert sand being too hot for bare feet in the daytime, but the air and ground temperatures dropping below the freezing point at night time under clear skies, is well known.
This is still probably an over simplification. Below a certain depth, called the thermocline, the pressure in deep lakes and oceans maintains an equilibrium temperature of 4° - 5° C (278 K). On the Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, there is liquid water under a thick crust of ice. So, it is only the relatively thin upper layer of the oceans, where the temperature varies and influences the atmosphere. Those influences include multiple, negative-feedback regulators of energy gain from the sun. When the surface water is warming, more vapour is produced to form clouds, which block the sun’s radiation. Also the vapour formation extracts substantial thermal energy from the water volume for the latent heat of evaporation, which lowers the water temperature. Forest fires have their own regulator, smoke, which also blocks the sun’s radiation. Every once in a while, a super volcano erupts, causes mass famine, and almost destroys civilization. Google the year 536 AD.
If man-made CO2 is not the main driver, the world is poised to come up with very ill conceived and costly climate policies. What would be the benefit of such policies and public misinformation?
I addressed some of the latter aspects of this question above, and in my previous emails. Ever since the Club of Rome nearly half a century ago, there has been a very vocal, and active, Malthusian lobby. Given the depletion of soil nutrients, and of hydrocarbon and mineral resources, that lobby may have a point. It is good when somebody, such as Dr. Moore, awakes from intense indoctrination, a process of de-programming, as it were. As discussed in 2 above, the atmosphere’s influence on the temperature of the oceans is in either blocking the sun’s radiation or allowing it to pass unimpeded to the surface. The atmosphere’s own temperature has no significant effect on that of the ocean, but is dependent on oceanic mechanisms. The two temperatures may move in tandem but as co-variables. Correlation is no proof of causation, nor even an indication of which factor is the cause. Then, there is the corollary, that no correlation means absolutely no causation. I am not convinced that the estimated variations in CO2 with ocean temperature over eons is necessarily cause and effect, as conjectured. Only a relatively thin upper layer of water, compared to overall ocean depth, is affected by temperature changes, as noted above. That surface layer can change temperature quite rapidly, lower the solubility of atmospheric gases, and in the case of oxygen, reduce the solubility enough to cause fish kills. It is mixed by wind and currents. The temperature of the water below the thermocline is governed by pressure, and possibly by geothermal activity.
The current most stable coastline tectonically is at about the midpoint in Oregon, surprisingly. The tidal gauge there shows no significant change in sea level for over a century. If the ocean was warming, it would expand causing a rise in sea level. Likewise, if the ocean was cooling, the sea level would fall, but only the surface layer can cause these effects. The volume below the thermocline is at equilibrium. The sea level appears to rise, where the land is sinking tectonically, for example London, England. The sea level appears to be falling, where the land is rising, for example the northwest coast of England. The northwest of England had the heaviest glaciation. It is still rebounding from the isostatic depression of being under deep ice, and so England is tilting from northwest to southeast, noticeably even in my lifetime.
The earth’s cool and warm times do correlate well with the sun’s activity, which is indicative of a changing balance between the earth’s radiation out and the suns’ radiation coming in. Earth’s apparent warming peaked in 2016, and has been declining since then, as the sun has quieted. When the earth seemed o be warming, so was the temperature apparently rising on the planet Mars, and its ice caps seemed to be shrinking too. There is no doubt that CO2 solubility declines rapidly as water temperature rises. Google it, but is there enough outgassing from the ocean surface layer to produce the CO2 rises estimated?
A last note on the ocean effect on surface air temperature. When water freezes, it releases the latent heat of freezing, some to the water below and some to the air above, thus raising the surface air temperature. So, an apparent higher temperature anomaly in the arctic could be just more water freezing. Likewise, a lower air temperature anomaly in the arctic could be a sign of ice melting, and drawing the latent heat for melting back from the air above. Nothing is ever quite as it seems.
- Thank you John
I don’t think climate change is a matter of opinion. Nor do I think scientific consensus is akin to ‘religion’. It is an existential threat to much of the life on this planet and that understanding has been embraced by governments and corporations around the world. The world is changing crazily fast around us and yet we cling to to what we are comfortable and familiar with even when it’s killing us like a bunch of Appalachia coal miners.
The cascade of events to reduce the use of fossil fuels has already commenced. Automakers have (as a matter of survival) already begun to retool and shift their businesses to an electric future. They’ve realized that the electric platform is actually simpler and more efficient to build; huge upfront costs but massive longer term profitability. And anyway, Governments are legislating an end to production of internal combustion engines. Once individuals see and begin to experience the superiority of electric vehicles that transition will accelerate. Cities are retooling for reduced dependence on commuters. And Covid has proven that working from home works.
The opportunity for all of us comes in embracing the future. As we say in investing ‘the trend is your friend’. The wave is building and it’s a monster. We’ve gotta find a way to ride it or we will get crushed. Change is hard and we don’t tend to change as individuals when we want to. We change when we realize there is no other way. We are apprehending a loss and clinging when we should be letting go and surfing the wave.
- Thank you Jeff
During our July 23rd webinar Stephen introduced the following observations and subsequent support:
- Thank you Stephen
There are several "scientific" reports that all glaciers on not receding, that the Arctic is not shrinking, that polar bears are thriving. Now we learn that the Gulf Stream is slowing...fact or fiction, relevant or incidental? https://www.livescience.com/climate-change-worsening-2020.html
Just because a scientist offers an opinion doesn’t make that opinion science without compelling evidence of cause and effect. The military have a term for intuitive conjecture by experts without enough evidence to be conclusive. That is the acronym SWAG for Scientific Wild-Assed Guess. Scientists, being human, are subject to the powerful herd instinct of humans to conform in groups. The University of Leeds has been conducting research on human herding behaviour. Preliminary findings suggest that it takes a determined 5% to change a human herd's direction. As Christopher Hitchens put it, “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” Without clear evidence of causality, most of the so-called evidence for global warming may be dismissed as mere coincidence, or non-sequitors.
The polar bear issue is an example of scientific arrogance toward anecdotal evidence from ordinary people, and even more so from people considered primitive and uncivilized. The eastern Inuit have been asking for an increased hunting quota for polar bears for decades, because the increasing population is becoming more of a threat to humans. A photo of a starving bear with a clearly broken leg was passed off as evidence of starvation from climate change, not impaired hunting ability. A crowd of bears feeding at a dump in Siberia was likewise attributed to climate change, notwithstanding that bears are well understood to be opportunistic omnivores, regardless of their primary diet. The Siberian polar bears were obviously fat and healthy. The increase in polar bear population relates possibly to the abandonment of commercial, seal hunting, and thus a greater food supply.
Navigation experts involved in the search for the Franklin expedition refused for a century and a half to accept the western Inuit oral tradition of their ancestors’ eye witness of the ships sinking, because their SWAGs were that Franklin would never have taken the route that he did, maybe because he was already dead. That oral tradition also records that the members of the expedition refused the advice of the Inuit about “country food,” including the eating of “muktuk" to prevent scurvy, and also the advice to travel northwest to reach a whaling station on the Beaufort Sea, where food and other supplies were cached for the summer whaling season.
My childhood experience of taking cod liver oil every day, especially in winter, was reinforced in the 60s by learning that the Inuit and Dene fished for ling cod (burbot) in the winter, and considered the livers an important delicacy. In the open water season, the Inuit fish for arctic char, the Dene for whitefish and lake trout (also a char). Unfortunately, we have seduced these people into the market-economy, fast foods that we eat, and inflicted epidemics of obesity, diabetes and dental caries on them. Eleven years ago, the CBC warned people of colour of the need to supplement with vitamin D, given Canada’s latitude. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/dark-skinned-immigrants-urged-to-take-vitamin-d-1.945614
No similar warning was given, even when it became known by March last year that severe Vitamin D deficiency, especially found in three cohorts, according to the USNIH (Fauci’s employer), elderly shut-ins, people of colour, and the obese, was a primary risk factor for severe Covid outcomes.
The Gulf Stream has slowed, which would suggest ocean cooling rather than warming. The UK is having quite a cool summer. You can see why here. https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=-43.24,-2.23,511 and https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-38.54,1.76,511 with the NW winds flowing down from Greenland to the UK, and still no hurricane activity.
The world is currently 0.2°C warmer than average for 1979 - 2000. So much for Mann’s “hockey stick” model. The excess heat is in the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere is colder at -0.2°C, and the Antarctic colder by -1.2°C. The lack of excess heat in the Atlantic hurricane zone is very apparent. https://climatereanalyzer.org/wx/DailySummary/#t2anom
- Thank you John
The reports you cited and many others about climate change make interesting reading. I am not an expert in this area and my focus is on the development of fusion energy and its applications. This focus holds for me (and likely the FECC) irrespective of what is being said about the drivers and complexities of climate change.
We (the world’s citizens) need multiple sources of energy to sustain our economies and healthy life for humans and the environment. Fusion is one of those energy sources. It has a clear benefit in being largely GHG-free. This is a “benefit” because basic physics clearly shows that GHGs in the atmosphere impact atmospheric and other temperatures. The average residence time of CO2 (the principal GHG) in the atmosphere (regardless of its source) is in the range of 100 years. This is about as far as I want to go with this subject here. Going further would require time that I do not have. However, if you wish to share your thoughts with me and others in the FECC, please do so.
What I also found useful in the past was to understand the basic physics of solar insolation and reflection/absorption of radiation at different wavelengths. It seems possible to construct some basic conceptual models that lead to approximate quantitative results. I never had time to complete this work to my satisfaction and it remains on my to do list. Until that is done, I see it as another reason to refrain from entering the GHG-climate change debate.
- Thank you Axel