Poll: 91% Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming

GWPF | 3 Feb 2016

U.S. Scientist Ruthlessly Debunks One Of NOAA’s Central Climate Claims

A new poll has surfaced showing once again the vast majority of Americans don’t rank global warming as the most serious issue facing the country. A YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. Only Saudi Arabians were less concerned about global warming at 5.7 percent. Despite a big PR push by President Barack Obama to tout his administration’s global warming agenda, most Americans have been unconvinced it’s the country’s most pressing issue. A Fox News poll from November found only 3 percent of Americans list global warming as their top concern. –Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller News Foundation, 1 February 2016

1) Poll: 91% Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming
Daily Caller News Foundation, 1 February 2016

2) Obama’s Hidden Climate Leverage
Politico, 1 February 2016

3) US Chief Justice To Decide On Whether To Freeze Obama’s Climate Rules
Washington Examiner, 31 January 2016

4) U.S. Scientist Ruthlessly Debunks One Of NOAA’s Central Climate Claims
Daily Caller News Foundation, 2 February 2016

5) Testimony of John R. Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville
U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology 2 Feb 2016

6) David Whitehouse: Met Office Predicts Resurgence In Surface Global Warming
Global Warming Policy Forum, 3 February 2016

Over the past six months, President Barack Obama has cemented his climate legacy with the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the execution of the Paris climate agreement. But, as even he admits, neither of those policies will be enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. Fortunately for the president, there’s a new way for him to right the U.S.’ greenhouse gas trajectory before leaving office: Buried in the Clean Air Act is an extremely powerful mechanism that effectively gives EPA carte blanche to tell states to make drastic cuts to their emissions. –Brian Potts, Politico, 1 February 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts could decide on a motion to halt the Obama administration’s far-reaching climate rules as soon as this week, say lawyers familiar with the litigation. Two motions to stay Obama’s climate rules were sent to the Supreme Court last week, one from 29 states and another by dozens of utilities, large manufacturers and oil companies. The request to halt the rules came less than a week after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a stay request by the states and industry. Yet the court did expedite oral arguments on the merits of the plaintiffs’ separate lawsuits against the plan, which will move forward in June. –John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, 31 January 2016

In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers. “That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere,” Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee. “When a theory contradicts the facts” you need to change the theory, Christy said. “The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board.” –Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller News Foundation, 2 February 2016

This simple chart tells the story that the average model projection, on which their fears (or hopes?) are based, does poorly for the fundamental temperature metric that is allegedly the most responsive to extra greenhouse gases – the bulk atmospheric temperature of the layer from the surface to 50,000ft. The chart indicates that the theory of how climate changes occur, and the associated impact of extra greenhouse gases, is not understood well enough to even reproduce the past climate. Indeed, the models clearly overcook the atmosphere. The issue for congress here is that such demonstrably deficient model projections are being used to make policy. –John R. Christy, U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology 2 Feb 2016

The Met Office says that “ten year global average warming rates are likely to return to late 20th century levels within the next two years.” I seriously doubt that. It would be unwise to use an El Nino-enhanced year as an end-point in temperature trend analysis. The Met Office also said there was a “pause”, but that it’s not a big deal in the long-term. The problem is that the “long-term” isn’t here yet. As I have said these are valuable predictions, but nature has a way of humbling even the best “state-of-the-art” predictions as the Met Office’s Vicky Pope discovered after her 2007 forecast for the next seven years. It was wrong by a country mile. –David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum, 3 February 2016

1) Poll: 91% Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming
Daily Caller News Foundation, 1 February 2016

Michael Bastasch

As Iowans prepare to vote for presidential candidates, a new poll has surfaced showing once again the vast majority of Americans don’t rank global warming as the most serious issue facing the country.

A YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. Only Saudi Arabians were less concerned about global warming at 5.7 percent. The biggest concern for Americans was global terrorism — 28 percent of Americans polled listed this as their top issue.

Despite a big PR push by President Barack Obama to tout his administration’s global warming agenda, most Americans have been unconvinced it’s the country’s most pressing issue. A Fox News poll from November found only 3 percent of Americans list global warming as their top concern. […]

Polls have consistently shown global warming never ranks high on the American public’s radar. A CNN poll from January 2015 found that 57 percent of Americans did not expect global warming to threaten their way of life.

“Meanwhile, only 50 percent of Americans believe global warming is caused by man-made emissions, while 23 percent say it’s caused by natural changes and 26 percent say it isn’t a proven fact,” CNN reported.

A Gallup poll from March 2015 found Americans’ concern about global warming fell to the same level it was in 1989. Global warming ranked at the bottom of a list of Americans’ environmental concerns — only 32 percent said they worried about it a “great deal.”

Full story

2) Obama’s Hidden Climate Leverage
Politico, 1 February 2016

Brian Potts

Over the past six months, President Barack Obama has cemented his climate legacy with the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the execution of the Paris climate agreement. But, as even he admits, neither of those policies will be enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. In fact, the laws on the books today aren’t even enough for the United States to meet its Paris obligations. The U.S. — and the rest of the world — must do much more.

Fortunately for the president, there’s a new way for him to right the U.S.’ greenhouse gas trajectory before leaving office: Buried in the Clean Air Act is an extremely powerful mechanism that effectively gives EPA carte blanche to tell states to make drastic cuts to their emissions.

This provision, which can now be used thanks to the completion of the Paris climate deal, raises important questions about national sovereignty and states’ rights — questions that Republicans would undoubtedly use to try and kill such a proposal. But the benefits of using this mechanism dwarf those concerns.

A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states — not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, “It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States.”

Here’s how it works: A rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act — Section 115 — gives EPA the authority to mandate that every U.S. state cut its emissions by whatever amount the agency determines is necessary to protect public health and welfare if two things happen. […]

Critics of this proposal will undoubtedly argue that the Paris agreement does not fulfill this reciprocity requirement because the deal is not legally binding. But nothing in Section 115 requires such enforceability, and in any event, even if just one of the 190 countries enacts laws implementing the agreement, that should be enough to satisfy the requirement.

With both boxes in Section 115 checked, EPA now has free rein to use the section to require blanket greenhouse gas reductions from the states. The agency could leave all of its prior greenhouse gas rules — for cars, power plants, landfills, transportation fuels, and oil and gas wells — in place, for example, and issue a new rule ordering every state to cut its pollution by 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, which is what the U.S. has promised to do under the Paris agreement. Or it could go much bigger than that and replace this patchwork of regulations with a more economically efficient and effective blanket rule requiring states to achieve whatever reductions EPA believes are necessary. Each state would then have complete flexibility to decide which types of sources to regulate and by how much.

How would Republicans react to such a proposal? […] If the Republican reaction to Obama’s other environmental regulations is any indication, they would freak out. Even some Democrats would likely be concerned at the federal government’s intrusion into powers traditionally reserved for the states. Through the completion of an international climate deal, this plan would effectively allow the president to sidestep Congress and take full control over each states’ energy sector. It would give the White House enormous power. States’ rights activists would rightly scream bloody murder.

Full story

3) US Chief Justice To Decide On Whether To Freeze Obama’s Climate Rules
Washington Examiner, 31 January 2016

John Siciliano

Chief Justice John Roberts could decide on a motion to halt the Obama administration’s far-reaching climate rules as soon as this week, say lawyers familiar with the litigation.

The quickest scenario involves Roberts issuing the decision “right away by himself,” in which case the petitioners “could get a decision as early as next Friday.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Two motions to stay Obama’s climate rules were sent to the Supreme Court last week, one from 29 states and another by dozens of utilities, large manufacturers and oil companies.

The climate plan, called the Clean Power Plan, is unprecedented in scope, which is why so many groups and states oppose it. The plan directs states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a third by 2030, as part of a broader administration effort to combat manmade climate change. Many scientists say the emissions, primarily carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the Earth’s climate to warm, resulting in more severe weather, longer droughts and more flooding.

The request to halt the rules came less than a week after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a stay request by the states and industry. Yet the court did expedite oral arguments on the merits of the plaintiffs’ separate lawsuits against the plan, which will move forward in June.

But that wasn’t enough for the opponents of the landmark regulation, and they almost immediately asked the high court to consider staying the rule ahead of lower court’s decision.

Such motions usually go directly to the chief justice, lawyers say. Roberts promptly responded by ordering the Environmental Protection Agency, the respondent in the case, to reply to the motions by Thursday.

Full story

4) U.S. Scientist Ruthlessly Debunks One Of NOAA’s Central Climate Claims
Daily Caller News Foundation, 2 February 2016

Michael Bastasch

In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers.

Dr John Christy gives evidence to the U.S. House Science Committee.

“That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere,” Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee.

“When a theory contradicts the facts” you need to change the theory, Christy said. “The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board.”

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, convened a hearing on the implications of President Barack Obama’s recent United Nations deal in Paris, which agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Christy doesn’t think signing onto a U.N. deal is good for Americans, and challenges the very data politicians and environmentalists rely on to push green energy policies.

“One of my many climate interests is the way surface temperatures are measured and how surface temperatures, especially over land, are affected by their surroundings,” Christy wrote in his prepared testimony.

Christy recently co-authored a study with veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts that found the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was basing its temperature adjustments on “compromised” temperature data.

The study found most of NOAA’s 1,218 thermometers were sited near artificial surfaces and heat sources like concrete, asphalt, and air conditioner exhausts that were causing more warming to show in the U.S. temperature record than was present at weather stations that were well-sited.

Christy and Watts surmised NOAA was basing its temperature adjustments (efforts made to get “biases” out of the temperature record) on bad data.

“I closely examined individual stations in different regions and have come to the conclusion that the magnitude of the relatively small signal we seek in human-induced climate change is easily convoluted by the growth of infrastructure around the thermometer stations and the variety of changes these stations undergo through time, as well as the variability of the natural ups and downs of climate,” Christy noted in his testimony.

“It is difficult to adjust for these contaminating factors to extract a pure dataset for greenhouse detection because often the non-climatic influence comes along very gradually just as is expected of the response to the enhanced greenhouse effect,” Christy added.

But that’s why Christy argues satellite-derived temperatures are a better way to look at how greenhouse gases are impacting the Earth’s climate.

Full story

5) Testimony of John R. Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville
U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology 2 Feb 2016

I am John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Alabama’s State Climatologist and Director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. I have served as Lead Author, Contributing Author and Reviewer of United Nations IPCC assessments, have been awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

It is a privilege for me to offer my analysis of the current situation regarding (1) the temperature datasets used to study climate, (2) our basic understanding of climate change and (3) the effect that regulations, such as the Paris agreement, might have on climate. I have also attached an extract from my Senate Testimony last December in which I address (1) the popular notion that extreme climate events are increasing due to humaninduced climate change (they are not), and (2) the unfortunate direction research in this area has taken.

My research area might be best described as building datasets from scratch to advance our understanding of what the climate is doing and why – an activity I began as a teenager over 50 years ago. I have used traditional surface observations as well as measurements from balloons and satellites to document the climate story. Many of our UAH datasets are used to test hypotheses of climate variability and change.

(1.1) Upper air temperature data from satellites and balloons

I shall begin with a discussion that was precipitated by an increasingly active campaign of negative assertions made against the observations, i.e. the data, of upper air temperatures.

Figure 1 in particular has drawn considerable attention from those who view the climate system as undergoing a rapid, human-caused transformation into a climate to which people would have great difficulty adapting. This simple chart tells the story that the average model projection, on which their fears (or hopes?) are based, does poorly for the fundamental temperature metric that is allegedly the most responsive to extra greenhouse gases – the bulk atmospheric temperature of the layer from the surface to 50,000ft. [The layer shown is known as the mid-troposphere or MT and is used because it overlaps with the region of the tropical atmosphere that has the largest anticipated signature of the greenhouse response by bulk mass – between 20,000 and 50,000 feet.]

The chart indicates that the theory of how climate changes occur, and the associated impact of extra greenhouse gases, is not understood well enough to even reproduce the past climate [much more in section (2)]. Indeed, the models clearly overcook the atmosphere. The issue for congress here is that such demonstrably deficient model projections are being used to make policy.

Fig. 1: Five-year averaged values of annual mean (1979-2015) global bulk (termed “midtropospheric” or “MT”) temperature as depicted by the average of 102 IPCC CMIP5 climate models (red), the average of 3 satellite datasets (green – UAH, RSS, NOAA) and 4 balloon datasets (blue, NOAA, UKMet, RICH, RAOBCORE).

Because this result challenges the current theory of greenhouse warming in relatively straightforward fashion, there have been several well-funded attacks on those of us who build and use such datasets and on the datasets themselves. As a climate scientist I’ve found myself, along with fellow like-minded colleagues, tossed into a world more closely associated with character assassination and misdirection, found in Washington politics for example, rather than objective, dispassionate discourse commonly assumed for the scientific endeavor.

Full testimony

6) David Whitehouse: Met Office Predicts Resurgence In Surface Global Warming
Global Warming Policy Forum, 3 February 2016

Predictions are the essence of science. For a theory or a model to remain credible it has to predict something and that prediction must be compared to reality. Every scientist knows the remark that ‘many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.’ A particular theory can make a prediction about something that has already happened, or it can “hindcast” to see if it agrees with a preexisting dataset. To my mind though the most powerful and convincing proof of a theory or model is what it says about the future.

That is why it is good to have predictions about how the world’s various climate parameters might behave in the next few years. The UK Met Office has just released a 5-year forecast that is particularly interesting. The Met Office describes these 5-years as “near-term” climate predictions. Technically climate is a 30-year average, but if 5 years is useful period then there can be no more criticism that those who look at the period of the so-called warming pause – the last 15 years or so – are using too short a period to discern anything meaningful. Previously forecasts have been decadal, but the reduction to five years was, it seems, due to computational expense.

The Met Office predictions rest on the extraordinary year 2015 which was the warmest on record by a statistically significant margin, as opposed to changes seen in previous years which were not. As an aside I find it interesting that the year which is said to have the greatest anthropogenic contribution to warming is the same year that witnessed a record-breaking El Nino and an unprecedented “Pacific Blob.” It would be fair to say that some in the scientific community have gotten themselves in a bit of a mess about the contribution of El Nino and the “Pacific Blob” to the global annual temperature of 2015.

The Met Office says that 2016 will be warmer than 2015 because of the El Nino. 2017 will be cooler because of the La Nina and 2018-20 will see three years of warming. But there are the usual caveats, some of which dent considerably the value of such a prediction. For example Met Office scientist Doug Smith said, “We cannot say exactly how warm it will get but there is no doubt the overall upward trend of temperatures will continue.” This sounds contradictory to me. He adds: “Whether one of these years – 2018,2019 2020 – overtakes 2016 in terms of temperature is very hard to predict at this stage, we are looking quite far into the future, after all.”

Looking back at the 1998 El Nino, the subsequent La Nina resulted in 1999 and 2000 being significantly cooler so cooling for 2017 and 2018 cannot be ruled out. 2019 and 2020 may be warmer but two annual datapoints will not in themselves establish a warming trend. If the 2015 El Nino turns out to be like the 1998 one then the Met Office predictions will fail.

The Met Office’s forecast says that each year should fall (95% confidence) between 0.28°C – 0.77°C (above 1981-2010 average.) That is a very wide margin – 0.49°C – a little larger than any increase seen during any five year period in the instrumental record. It’s a rather large net.

fig3_dp2015_fcst_global_t

The forecast is shown on Fig 1 (click on image to enlarge.) There are several points to note. The red are predictions and it can be seen that they have limited skill. In the 1980s the predictions were too cold and in the 2000s they were too hot. The blue section is the predicted course of the temperature trajectory, which is essentially the same shape as the period 2010 – 2015. I must point out the absence of errors for the temperature – a serious omission.

The Met Office says that “ten year global average warming rates are likely to return to late 20th century levels within the next two years.” I seriously doubt that. It would be unwise to use an El Nino-enhanced year as an end-point in temperature trend analysis. The Met Office also said there was a “pause”, but that it’s not a big deal in the long-term. The problem is that the “long-term” isn’t here yet.

As I have said these are valuable predictions, but nature has a way of humbling even the best “state-of-the-art” predictions as the Met Office’s Vicky Pope discovered after her 2007 forecast for the next seven years. It was wrong by a country mile.

Feedback: david.whitehouse@thegwpf.com

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