HomeWeather NewsWeekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #535

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #535

The Week That Was: 2023-01-07 (January 7, 2023)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week:The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” — Albert Einstein.

Number of the Week: 5% Increase


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Scope: Among the issues that are discussed are: Kenneth Richard of No Tricks Zone brings attention to a paper written by Wallace Manheimer in the Journal of Sustainable Development, “an international, double-blind peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education.” The retired physicist from the US Naval Research Laboratory discusses climate over a Geological Time Scale pointing out that there is a poor correlation between carbon dioxide concentrations and temperatures.

John Christy along with Roy Spencer developed the method of comprehensively measuring global temperature trends of the lower troposphere (and other atmospheric layers) from an isotope of oxygen using microwave sounding units on satellites. Christy consented to an interview by BizNews TV in which he describes himself as being a climate nerd since he was ten years old.

Based on reviewers’ comments on a paper Roy Spencer and Christy submitted on the impact of El Niño and La Niña on climate sensitivity estimates, Spencer has re-cast the paper. It now addresses the larger question:

“If we take all of the various surface and sub-surface temperature datasets and their differing estimates of warming over the last 50 years, what does it imply for climate sensitivity?”

In A Walk On The Natural Side, ecologist Jim Steele begins by discussing that salt laden Solar Ponds can develop layers of salt density and store solar heat to temperatures up to about 90°C (190°F). Up to 10.5 feet deep (3.2 meters) layers of water develop, depending on density, with the more salty and therefore highest density layers on the bottom. These dense layers suppress convection (mixing) from the bottom, resulting in high temperatures at the bottom, rather than at the usually experienced top. Steele extends this concept to discuss the western Pacific Warm Pool and its influence on climate.

Writing in Climate Etc. Planning Engineer Russell Schussler discusses how simplistically politicians and academicians discuss the complex, dynamic electronic machine known as The Grid which must be balanced within tight tolerances twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year (24/7/365). Averages are meaningless when lives depend on the grid working all the time, and when it does not work the results can be disastrous.

The “great” California drought appears to be ending. Meteorologist Cliff Mass explains why. Further, the Buffalo Blizzard brought into question New York State’s plan to make western New York a Solar Center.

Several commentators state that once-reliable government entities that could be depended upon accurately to report the results of their research and assembly of data are falsifying reports to a political agenda, much to the harm of the public.

The Heartland Climate Conference offers an alternative to groupthink so prevalent today.


Poor Relationship: Physicist Wallace Manheimer has extensively reviewed published material on climate and found there is very little evidence on which to abandon fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar. The abstract of his paper states:

“Over the period of human civilization, the temperature has oscillated between quite a few warm and cold periods, with many of the warm periods being warmer than today. During geological times, it and the carbon dioxide level have been all over the place with no correlation between them.”

To support his claims, he provides evidence from numerous sources including a graph of relationship between temperature proxies and CO2 proxies that go back about 425 million years. Some critics of Manheimer may claim that things may have changed in the past 50 years or since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But unless they can show that the molecular structure of carbon dioxide has changed, they have no basis for claiming the influence of CO2 is greater now than it was millions of years ago. Manheimer concludes his review with:

“As a final indication of the lack of confidence that the threat of a climate crisis is real, there was a large international meeting to discuss the climate dilemma in Scotland in November 2021. World leaders, including President Biden and many European leaders, attended. However, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, China, and Turkey voted with their feet, and did not attend. The leader of India attended but announced that India would not be reducing its CO2 emission until 2070, an absolutely meaningless commitment. These are large, important, technically advanced countries, containing ~ 40% of the world’s population. Actually, the western democracies are not all that different. Typically, some bureaucrat orders that we have to stop or reduce the use of fossil fuel in this way and that. Occasionally the new rule is put to a vote, and the new rule is almost always rejected by the voters. As Yogi Berra put it ‘If people don’t want to come to the ballpark, you can’t stop ‘em’.

“Unlike the claims of believers that there is nearly universal (i.e. 97%) agreement on the scientific basis for CO2 levels being a crucial dial which controls the earth’s temperature, this author finds that there is a vast literature, and vast amounts of data from extremely qualified scientists disputing this. If in fact ‘the science is settled’, it seems to be much more settled in the fact that there is no particular correlation between CO2 level and the earth’s temperature.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and


Show Me The Evidence: In a low-keyed interview Alabama State Climatologist John Christy describes the advantages of the satellite dataset over surface temperature measurements: surface measurements are scattered, not rigorous, and not robust. Satellite trends are true global measurements, taken with 14 orbits per day, measure deep layers of the atmosphere, and are not affected by spurious changes in local land use.

In testing various theories and claims about the human causes of climate change Christy’s attitude is to build the datasets first, and then test the claims. He finds that 100% of the global climate models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers [which are built on surface temperature measurements], show more warming of the atmosphere than what is actually occurring. Roy Spencer and he have been publishing papers on this since 1994. Yet, despite this fact even the latest IPCC models show twice as much atmospheric warming as what is occurring.

Christy finds that the Earth can survive CO2 warming and that increasing CO2 has great benefits for the environment and agriculture. As to the claimed Climate Crisis, in Washington the more dramatic your story, the greater is the possible funding. Politicians wish to claim there is a problem and that they can solve it. Christy has testified these facts before Congress some 20 times, and it makes no difference.

A major problem with the models is that they ignore the increase radiation emitted by a warming surface of the earth. As Howard Hayden has written, the Stefan-Boltzmann law must always be applied to model-generated surface temperatures. The radiative forcing caused by increased CO2 and other GHGs is always incapable of retaining the increased surface emission from putative warming.

Christy has written a book, A Practical Guide to Climate Change in Alabama, that can be downloaded for free as a PDF file. Although its emphasis is on the state of Alabama, the book has a lot of data for not only the US but for the entire world.  This book shows that in the past 140 years there are no real trends in extreme weather using all the stations that cover the entire trend.

Christy admits that he cannot reliably state the warming due to carbon dioxide emitted by human activity but estimates it is about 0.1°C per decade. He states that the global average temperature can change by 0.2°C per month. He estimates that a doubling of CO2 from about 1850 levels may change temperatures by 1.3°C. [According to Howard Hayden, 1.3°C may be too large an estimate.] During the past forty years agriculture has boomed and Americans have moved south. [People voted with their feet.] See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy,, and


Bottom End: Roy Spencer develops a one-dimensional (1D) model estimate of what all the current ground and subsurface datasets indicate temperatures will increase with a doubling of CO2. This is all based on a critical assumption:

“But for the purpose of demonstration, let’s assume it’s true in today’s climate system, and that the only thing causing recent warming is anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission (mainly CO2). Does the current rate of warming suggest (as we are told) that a global warming disaster is upon us? I think this is an important question to address, separate from the question of whether some of the recent warming is natural (which would make AGW even less of a problem).”

Spencer states:

“Our approach is somewhat different from Lewis & Curry (2018). First, we use only data from the most recent 50 years (1970-2021), which is the period of most rapid growth in CO2-caused forcing, the period of most rapid temperature rise, and about as far back as one can go and talk with any confidence about ocean heat content (a very important variable in climate sensitivity estimates).

“Secondly, our model is time-dependent, with monthly time resolution, allowing us to examine (for instance) the recent acceleration in deep ocean temperature (ocean heat content) rise.

“In contrast to Lewis & Curry and differencing two time periods’ averages separated by 100+ years, our approach is to use a time-dependent model of vertical energy flows, which I have blogged on before. It is run at monthly time resolution, so allows examination of such issues as the recent acceleration of the increase in oceanic heat content (OHC).

“In response to reviewers’ comments, I extended the domain from non-ice covered (60N-60S) oceans to global coverage (including land), as well as borehole-based estimates of deep-land warming trends (I believe a first for this kind of work). The model remains a 1D model of temperature departures from assumed energy equilibrium, within three layers, shown schematically in Fig. 1.” [Not shown here]

After going through various steps for calculating equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), Spencer concludes:

“I’ve used a 1D time-dependent model of temperature departures from assumed energy equilibrium to address the question: Given the various estimates of surface and sub-surface warming over the last 50 years, what do they suggest for the sensitivity of the climate system to a doubling of atmospheric CO2? [Emphasis in original]

“Using the most recent estimates of effective radiative forcing from Annex III in the latest IPCC report (AR6), the observational data suggest lower climate sensitivities (ECS) than promoted by the IPCC with a central estimate of +2.09 deg C. for the global average. This is at the bottom end of the latest IPCC (AR6) likely range of 2.0 to 4.5 deg. C.

“I believe this is still likely an upper bound for ECS, for the following reasons. [Boldface added]

  1. Borehole temperatures suggest there has been a long-term warming trend, at least up into the early 20th Century. Ignoring this (whatever its cause) will lead to inflated estimates of ECS.
  • I still believe that some portion of the land temperature datasets has been contaminated by long-term increases in Urban Heat Island effects, which are indistinguishable from climatic warming in homogenization schemes.

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Warm Pool Issues: In his usual low-keyed style, ecologist Jim Steele introduces readers (or viewers of the video) to salt laden, solar ponds, to illustrate the difference between Radiative heating and Dynamical heating, stating that the dynamical heating even occurs in Antarctica where the bottom of Lake Vanda is about 70°F (20°C). He goes into the importance of mixing in ocean layers before contrasting solar heating with greenhouse gas heating. He writes:

“In contrast to deep solar heating, longwave greenhouse energy behaves very differently. Although greenhouse energy supplies nearly twice the energy to the skin layer, that energy does not penetrate any deeper than a few microns. Thus, unlike the delayed cooling of deeper layers, absorbed greenhouse heat can be radiated back to space immediately.

“A 2018 ocean study measured 410 W/m2 of greenhouse longwave energy entering the ocean’s skin surface, while simultaneously the skin surface radiated away 470 W/m2. The skin layer almost immediately radiated the 410 W/m2 of greenhouse heat back to space [the energy was not absorbed] plus an additional 60 W/m2 of radiation from the rising solar-heated layers. In addition, the skin surface lost latent heat (LH) via evaporation and sensible heat (SH) via contact with the atmosphere.”

Steele carries the analogy to the western Pacific Warm Pool, and the differences between El Niño and La Niña phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The sharp increases in the UAH Satellite-Based temperature record over the past 40 some years have been in El Niño phases.

Steele then goes into the changing climate over the past 90 million years, then concludes:

“Likewise, before believing we are plunging into a human-caused climate crisis, please ask:

“How does radiative and dynamical heating increase warm pool temperatures?

“How does greenhouse energy possibly heat below the skin surface? [of oceans]

“How does exported heat from warm pools affect our climate and what are the contributions of natural La Nina and El Nino-like conditions.” [Boldface added]

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Don’t Mess It Up: Planning Engineer Russell Schussler has numerous warnings to academics, including research organizations and politicians, who wish to “improve” The Grid – be very careful. In the first part of a series, he demonstrates his admiration for what we have. He writes:

“As I like to say, the electric grid is the largest, most wonderful, most complex machine ever. Meeting the electric needs of our nation depends on many specialists and experts in far ranging efforts including generation, transmission, distribution, maintenance, and operations as well as within the many subfields encompassing these broad areas. The grid must operate seamlessly across a variety of conditions without pause. Recognizing the difference between what theory suggests and practical knowledge demonstrates is critical.”

He emphasizes that focusing on one portion of this complex machine usually ignores its complexity and causes harm. He adds:

The grid and power supply arrangements are an extremely complex system. The interplay and interactions among the components are extensive and complicated. Change a puzzle piece and the entire puzzle changes. Actions taken to address one problem will typically create new problems and also aggravate other problems. The negative effects of such system ‘fixes’ may or may not be visible for some time. It’s a rare academic who can successfully grapple with the great complexities of the power system. Specialization is an easier approach. While findings from academics and specialists can have great value, their findings should not be taken to extremes. The typical course for successful ‘revolutionary’ ideas is that after some struggles to implement working applications they eventually make a modest improvement within some niche of the industry.

Big changes need to be developed slowly, such as power electronics, the application of electronics to the control and conversion of electric power. This was far more costly than originally thought.

“Years later I found it was worth tens of millions to install a large power electronic device called a Static Var Compensator (SVC) to have on standby to prevent a potential voltage collapse problem that had emerged on the grid. Today power electronics play many important roles in the grid. They are a major part of what makes a grid ‘smart’. They enable asynchronous wind and solar generation to be converted to alternating current on the grid. Power electronics support voltages and help keep the system stable in many ways in varying situations. But they did not take the industry by storm in a short time frame as envisioned by the early reports. They were first employed in niches where they provided particular benefits. As experience was gained and improvements made, they grew to become more and more important. They key to adoption was that installations were built on successive successes. I suspect top-down mandates to broadly use such devices might have actually hindered development and adoption.”

Schussler concludes this warning with:

“Academic research that promotes improvements to the power grid need to be evaluated carefully with the understanding that the grid is a complex system full of interactions. Changes to the grid involve numerous hurdles. Language is often imprecise. For instance, when readers see a statement stating, ‘Solar and wind could attain penetration levels of X’. What the statement really means is ‘Based on the factors I looked at and ignoring a vast number of critical requirements I have not looked at, solar and wind may be able to replace fossil resources at a level of X. But probably not.’ Unfortunately, the statement is often interpreted as ‘Solar and wind can attain penetration levels of X with no significant concerns.’

Similarly, when a study quotes a cost, it should be understood that unless specified differently, the cost is for the specific problem at hand, invariably there will be many other costs added to implement this approach often dwarfing the provided number. If a study quotes a figure in the billions to provide connections for infrastructure to connect distant wind and solar to load centers and/or allow for diversity, you can be fairly certain that additional improvements to the underlying systems will rival or exceed the reported cost.

For those without a strong technical background, it’s hard sometimes to tell what is meant by various terms. There are many definitions of capacity factor. The difference between power and energy is critical though not always grasped. It’s understandable that individuals might be confused by academic studies and articles concerning the grid. Media reporters should do better. The results may be tragic when exaggerated and misunderstood findings influence policy makers and impact policy.

Look for a follow up piece titled, Academics and the Grid: Part 2 Are they Studying the Right Things? It will provide additional context and support for the central ideas here. [Boldface added]

See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy for this and the announcement of Donn Dears new book with emphasis on “The Challenge of Replacing Fossil Fuels”, an impossible task?


Changing Weather: Meteorologist Cliff Mass discussing what may be the ending of the California Drought. In the past, such storms were called “The Pineapple Express” and this one originated near Hawaii. In February 2017, heavy rainfall damaged the main and emergency spillways of the Oroville Dam prompting the evacuation of more than 180,000 people from the Feather River basin, a tributary to the Sacramento River. The heavy rains were quickly forgotten in the drought that followed.

Similarly, The State of New York is subsidizing the establishment of a solar center in and around Buffalo. How quickly will it forget the recent storm? See links under Changing Weather and


No More: John Hinderaker of Power Line brings up the disappointing news that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job creation of over one million in the second quarter of 2022, before the election. According to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, this job creation was largely fictitious. In the 1970s the Bureau of Labor Statistics was trustworthy by bravely standing up to President Nixon and would not manipulate employment data – that integrity is no more! See links under Lowering Standards”


Beyond Groupthink: The 15th Climate Change Conference by The Heartland Institute will be held from February 23 to 25, 2023, at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida. It will feature over 40 speakers, including members of the SEPP Board of Directors, Willie Soon and David Legates. Tom Sheahen, Howard “Cork” Hayden, and Ken Haapala will address the question: “Is Climate Science Scientific?” See


Number of the Week: 5% Increase: In a video, the Computational Research Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced that climate change is causing the current Pineapple Express (atmospheric river) to increase by 5%.

What caused the extreme flooding in the winter of 1861-62? This was the worst flooding of the Sacramento River since the US seized control of California. Is this another data-challenged computer “expert” claiming an increase of 5% in extreme weather events from added CO2? Based on contemporary observations of their behavior before the 1861-62 floods, native Americans probably better understood the signs of atmospheric rivers than these experts. (The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is separate from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which announced the successful brief, nuclear fusion experiment.)


YouTube Pulls Down Heartland Institute’s Channel Just Before Live-stream with Climate Scientist Judith Curry

By Jim Lakely, The Heartland Institute, Jan 6, 2022

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Scientist: ‘There Is No Climate Crisis’ And ‘No Particular Correlation Between CO2 And Temperature’

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 2, 2023

Link to paper: While the Climate Always Has and Always Will Change, There Is no Climate Crisis

By Wallace Manheimer, Journal of Sustainable Development, Sep 8, 2022

Data shows there’s no climate catastrophe looming – climatologist Dr J Christy debunks the narrative

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Dec 18, 2022


Climate Sensitivity from 1970-2021 Warming Estimates

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 19, 2022

The Science of Solar Ponds Challenges the Climate Crisis

By Jim Steele, A Walk On The Natural Side, Jan 5, 2022


Low atmospheric CO2 levels before the rise of forested ecosystems

By Tais W. Dahl, et al., Nature Communications, Dec 20, 2022 [H/t WUWT]

From the Abstract: “We find that the atmosphere contained ~525–715 ppm CO2 before continents were afforested, and that Earth was partially glaciated according to a palaeoclimate model.”

“A process-driven biogeochemical model (COPSE) shows the appearance of trees with deep roots did not dramatically enhance atmospheric CO2 removal. Rather, shallow-rooted vascular ecosystems could have simultaneously caused abrupt atmospheric oxygenation and climatic cooling long before the rise of forests, although earlier CO2 levels are still unknown.”

It is Time to Talk About “Capacity Factors”

By Dr. Lars Schernikau, energy economist and commodity trader, Switzerland/Singapore, Via WUWT, Dec 27, 2022

“#Germany is a good example: Total installed power capacity more than doubled in the past 20 years, essentially all consisting of wind and solar (see figure below)

“Wind and solar installed capacity is now above 125GW, more than 150% higher than peak power demand in Germany of around 80GW

“Germany’ conventional installed power capacity consisting of coal, gas, and nuclear still barely matches peak power demand

“With all this capacity addition in Germany, wind and solar made up less than 30% of total electricity generation in 2021 and about 5% of total energy consumption”

The faux urgency of the climate crisis is giving us no time or space to build a secure energy future

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 27, 2022

My Energy Story

How I became the world’s leading champion of fossil fuels

By Alex Epstein, His Blog, Dec 30, 2022

[SEPP Comment: A self-promotion piece; however, as Richard Courtney writes: “I commend everybody to read it because Epstein seems to be capturing attention with all the arguments about fossil fuel usage that I have been failing in my attempts to successfully promote for decades.”]

Challenging the Orthodoxy – Walter Cunningham – RIP

Astronaut Col. Walt Cunningham, a Great American Legacy

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Jan 6, 2022

Defending the Orthodoxy

Global climate goal ‘gasping for breath,’ UN chief says

By Juliea Mueller, The Hill, Dec 20, 2022

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

By James Temple, MIT Technology Review, Dec 24, 2022 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

Claim: Aussie Renewables Could Have Prevented Higher Bills and Blackouts

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 26, 2022

Yet Another “Plastic Kills” Story

By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Dec 23, 2022

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Academics and the grid Part I: I don’t think that study means what you think it means

By Planning Engineer (Russell Schussler), Climate Etc. Jan 4, 2023

“Academics can approach the grid with some detachment while practicing engineers must keep it running 24/7/365.”

Clean Energy Crisis

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 3, 2023

The World is Not Ending | Bjørn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson

Video by Jordan Peterson, WUWT, Dec 22, 2022

What If Real-World Physics Do Not Support The Claim Top-Of-Atmosphere CO2 Forcing Exists?

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 22, 2022

Link to paper: Solar geoengineering may not prevent strong warming from direct effects of CO2 on stratocumulus cloud cover

By Tapio Schneider, et al. PNAS, Nov16, 2020

From NASA article on Top of the Atmosphere: “Because snow and ice are so reflective, scientists have long expected that melting of snow and ice in the polar regions will accelerate climate warming by reducing the Earth’ albedo. Atmospheric scientist Seiji Kato of NASA’s Langley Research Center and several teammates have used a suite of NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellite observations to investigate whether this feedback is already underway. The team compared reflected sunlight, clouds, and sea ice and snow cover at polar latitudes from 2000-2004. What they found was a bit of a surprise: while snow and ice in the Arctic declined, the albedo didn’t change.”

Nature Controls CO2 – Not Man: Op-Ed

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 4, 2023

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