HomeWeather NewsWeekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #552 – Watts Up With That?

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #552 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2023-05-13 (May 13, 2023)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” W. Edwards Deming [H/t Ron Clutz]

Number of the Week: 6% per degree Celsius.


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

Scope: Following are some of the topics discussed below. Using the HITRAN spectroscopy database William van Wijngaarden and William Happer have presented outstanding calculations of the temperature influence of adding specific greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The database is derived from decades of laboratory experiments modified by over 40 years of weather balloon data on temperature, pressure, and relative humidity. It is the best database for understanding the greenhouse effect existing. As a professor at the York University in Toronto, Canada, van Wijngaarden posted a paper “Impact of Changing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations on Ontario’s Climate.” This paper focuses on the greenhouse effect as separate from other causes of climate change such as natural variation and change in land use. Similar calculations can be made for any jurisdiction.

In discussion of the greenhouse effect and radiative transfers, questions have arisen regarding the nature of a photon, conservation of energy and similar issues. It is useful to remember Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physics involves shifting from traditional physics to quantum mechanics. A few of the “shocking” changes are discussed.

As articulated previously by William Happer and Richard Lindzen, among others, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) distorts the physical science regarding climate, particularly attributing natural variation to human emitted greenhouse gases. As additional reports are developed from the core, scientific report, the distortions increase. Particularly outrageous is the claim in the Summary for Policymakers that climate has been stable for almost 2000 years until about 1850 when human civilization began on a large-scale replacing wood with coal as a major source of heat needed for industrialization. On May 9, the independent, international group founded in 2019 by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok, Climate Intelligence (CLINTEL) released a 180-page report detailing deficiencies in the UN IPCC “science.” Already, several good summaries of the report have appeared. TWTW will discuss the one by Judith Curry.

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has a post in American Thinker stating, “3 Damning Equations to Defeat Global Warming Zealots.” It highlights significant deficiencies in the IPCC reports that are continued by its followers including the US National Science Foundation.

Australian Jennifer Marohasy continues her efforts to expose huge deficiencies in temperature reports by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), deficiencies which the Australian government ignores or supports, regardless of political party. The Australian press is complicit in this cover-up.

Former NASA scientist Roy Spencer reports that Americans are voting for warmer weather with their feet, particularly retirees. They continue to move south, despite claims by Washington that warmer weather is causing a climate crisis or emergency.

The EPA and other US government agencies continue in their false claims in an effort to destroy the US oil, gas, and related industries, including transportation. “Build back better” has become a slogan for “to save the world, it will be necessary to destroy civilization.”

The group headed by Canadian John Robson posted a video describing a new form of colonialism – Eco-Colonialism. Though not violent or physically abusive as imperial colonialism, it can be economically destructive to populations in subject countries.


Insignificant: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physicists William A. van Wijngaarden and William Happer have produced significant work on greenhouse gases such as “Atmosphere and Greenhouse Gas Primer,” “Relative Potency of Greenhouse Molecules,” and with C. A. de Lange and J. D. Ferguson, “Nitrous Oxide and Climate.” On May 10, Van Wijngaarden posted a paper describing how trivial the influence the emissions of the Province of Ontario, Canada, are. Similar analyses can be made for other political jurisdictions. The abstract of the paper states: [Boldface added]

“The effect of changing greenhouse gas concentrations, most notably carbon dioxide, CO2, on climate was examined. In particular, calculations of climate sensitivity, the warming of the Earth due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, are discussed.  Greenhouse gas concentrations, as determined from air bubbles trapped in ice as well as at Mauna Loa, Hawaii are presented. The greenhouse gas amounts generated by Canada and Ontario were used to estimate their respective contributions to global warming. Ontario was responsible for only 0.35% of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2019 and this amount was 20% lower than in 2005. The predictions of Global Climate Models (GCMs) regarding temperature, polar ice caps, oceans, precipitation, and extreme events were compared to observations. Records since 1880 show an overall warming of about 1 ° However, the GCMs do not account for observed decadal temperature fluctuations and consistently overestimate the warming. Ontario’s contribution to global warming is only 9.2 x 10-5 °C /year using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended climate sensitivity value. Measurements of the polar ice caps reveal a decrease in the minimum September Arctic sea ice extent during 1979-2022 but the trend levelled off after 2007, while the average Antarctic sea ice extent slightly increased. Sea level increased slightly throughout the 20th century. Ontario’s contribution to anthropogenic sea level rise is about 0.005 mm/year. Sea level along Ontario’s Hudson Bay coast is decreasing due to isostatic rebound of the land following the last Ice Age. The change to ocean acidity due to CO2 absorption from the atmosphere is negligible compared to that due to tides, ocean depth and seasonal effects. Ontario’s contribution to ocean acidification is estimated to be 6 x 10-6 pH /year. No changes in precipitation in North America over the 19th and 20th centuries, nor in Toronto since 1843, were found. The Great Lake levels are remarkably constant over the past century showing no evidence of a change in the incidence of flooding. No evidence was found that the frequency of extreme events such as hurricanes or tornadoes increased during recent decades. The number of forest fires in Canada and Ontario decreased during 1990 to 2020.”

Van Wijngaarden gives a careful presentation on major issues such as Climate, including the Greenhouse Effect, Climate Sensitivity, Water Feedback, Global Warming due to Other Greenhouse Gases such as CH4 and N2O, Global Climate Models, Beneficial Impacts of  Carbon Dioxide, and Are Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Increasing? Of particular note is Water Feedback.

According to ensemble climate modeling pioneer, Tim Palmer in The Primacy of Doubt, in general, global climate models calculate that a warming of about 1°C from CO2 will cause an increase in water vapor doubling the CO2 warming and together they will cause a melting of the Arctic resulting in another 0.5°C warming totaling a 2.5°C increase. Van Wijngaarden writes:

“A warming of only 1 °C is not a threat to the planet. However, the maximum amount of water vapor that can be contained in a given volume of air increases at a rate of 6% per degree Celsius. Therefore, the water vapor concentration would go up in a warming atmosphere if the relative humidity remained unchanged. This so-called water feedback effect would amplify the small warming due to increasing carbon dioxide. Observations are inconclusive that water vapor has increased at the maximum theoretical rate. A study that examined 1/4 billion hourly values of temperature and relative humidity at 309 stations located throughout North America during 1948-2010 found relative humidity decreased at many inland stations.

A more sophisticated analysis of surface warming must take into account that the troposphere warms more than the higher atmosphere. S. Manabe, who received the Nobel prize in 2021, originally estimated a climate sensitivity of 1.4 C for the case of constant water vapor concentration. This has been independently confirmed by several subsequent groups including our own calculations. The climate sensitivity increases to about 2.3 C if one considers maximum possible water feedback such that relative humidity remains constant.” [Citations omitted; boldface added.]

Van Wijngaarden analyzes numerous other issues such as Comparison of Observations to Global Climate Model Predictions, especially atmospheric temperature trends where the greenhouse effect occurs, Oceans, sea level rise, Extreme Weather Events, etc. Van Wijngaarden finds Ontario’s contribution to climate change trivial and concludes:

“In conclusion, the author wishes to emphasize that application of well tested physics shows an increase of greenhouse gases will cause some global warming. However, contrary to the United Nations claim, there will not be catastrophic climate change within 10 years, nor should one overlook the beneficial aspects of increased carbon dioxide for promoting plant growth. The impact of Ontario’s anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases on global climate is minuscule.”

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Photons and Other Strange Concepts: Physics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries underwent a major upheaval in thinking about electromagnetic radiation (electromagnetic energy, light) and matter – quantum mechanics. The opening paragraphs of the entry on quantum mechanics in Britannica states: [Boldface added]

Quantum mechanics, science dealing with the behavior of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. It attempts to describe and account for the properties of molecules and atoms and their constituents—electrons, protons, neutrons, and other more esoteric particles such as quarks and gluons. These properties include the interactions of the particles with one another and with electromagnetic radiation (i.e., light, X-rays, and gamma rays).

The behavior of matter and radiation on the atomic scale often seems peculiar, and the consequences of quantum theory are accordingly difficult to understand and to believe. Its concepts frequently conflict with common-sense notions derived from observations of the everyday world. There is no reason, however, why the behavior of the atomic world should conform to that of the familiar, large-scale world. It is important to realize that quantum mechanics is a branch of physics, and that the business of physics is to describe and account for the way the world—on both the large and the small scale—actually is and not how one imagines it or would like it to be.

“The study of quantum mechanics is rewarding for several reasons. First, it illustrates the essential methodology of physics. Second, it has been enormously successful in giving correct results in practically every situation to which it has been applied. There is, however, an intriguing paradox [seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense statement and yet perhaps true]. In spite of the overwhelming practical success of quantum mechanics, the foundations of the subject contain unresolved problems—in particular, problems concerning the nature of measurement. An essential feature of quantum mechanics is that it is generally impossible, even in principle, to measure a system without disturbing it; the detailed nature of this disturbance and the exact point at which it occurs are obscure and controversial. Thus, quantum mechanics attracted some of the ablest scientists of the 20th century, and they erected what is perhaps the finest intellectual edifice of the period.”

The papers by William van Wijngaarden and William Happer and the essays on Basic Climate Physics by AMO physicist Howard Hayden on the SEPP website discuss the greenhouse effect, which requires a shift from traditional physics to quantum mechanics. This shift may confuse some readers of TWTW. In discussing the Early developments of quantum mechanics, the Britannica entry states:

“Planck’s radiation law

“By the end of the 19th century, physicists almost universally accepted the wave theory of light. However, though the ideas of classical physics explain interference and diffraction phenomena relating to the propagation of light, they do not account for the absorption and emission of light. All bodies radiate electromagnetic energy as heat; in fact, a body emits radiation at all wavelengths. The energy radiated at different wavelengths is a maximum at a wavelength that depends on the temperature of the body, the hotter the body, the shorter the wavelength for maximum radiation. Attempts to calculate the energy distribution for the radiation from a blackbody using classical ideas were unsuccessful. (A blackbody is a hypothetical ideal body or surface that absorbs and remits all radiant energy falling on it.) One formula, proposed by Wilhelm Wien of Germany, did not agree with observations at long wavelengths, and another, proposed by Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt) of England, disagreed with those at short wavelengths.

“In 1900 the German theoretical physicist Max Planck made a bold suggestion. He assumed that the radiation energy is emitted, not continuously, but rather in discrete packets called quanta. The energy E of the quantum is related to the frequency ν by E = hν. The quantity h, now known as Planck’s constant, is a universal constant with the approximate value of 6.62607 × 10−34 joule second. Planck showed that the calculated energy spectrum then agreed with observation over the entire wavelength range.”

In brief many physicists initially disagreed with quantum mechanics, but it worked. In the essays by van Wijngaarden and Happer as well as Hayden’s Basic Climate Physics, the greenhouse effect is the difference between the Planck curve for blackbody radiation at a particular temperature in absolute terms. (Kelvin) and the jagged Schwarzschild line that can only be calculated from measured optical properties of water vapor, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas molecules in the atmosphere. [See Figures 3 and 4 in the van Wijngaarden paper discussed above.]

In quantum mechanics the concept of a photon or a minute energy packet of electromagnetic radiation is used. These concepts are ideas of how energy is transferred, but it does not mean that photons exist in the traditional sense. That is, when a photon is absorbed, it gives its energy to the molecule, but it ceases to exist.

In summary, ensembles of weather models, global climate models, cannot uniquely capture the greenhouse effect. The models do not calculate a Schwarzschild line from measured optical properties of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Also, they falsely attribute temperature changes from other human activity and natural effects to the greenhouse effect. In the paper discussed above van Wijngaarden demonstrates how poorly the global climate models perform when tested against actual atmospheric temperature trends, for example in Figure 15: “Comparison of Climate Model Simulated and Observed Temperatures at altitude of 10 – 13 km.”

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy,, and for Basic Climate Physics.


Deficiencies in UN IPCC Reports: The independent group, Climate Intelligence (CLINTEL), detailed the deficiencies in the UN IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6, 2021, 2022 and 2023). Judith Curry gives an excellent summary of the CLINTEL report. The report brings up the revival of the 2000-year hockey stick that has been the subject of a number of posts by Steve McIntyre and discussed in previous issues of TWTW. Quoted by Curry the report concludes its discussion of the hockey stick with:

“’Conclusion: The resurrected hockey stick of AR6 shows how vulnerable the IPCC process is to scientific bias. Cherry picking, misuse of the peer review process, lack of transparency, and likely political interference have led to a gross misrepresentation of the pre-industrial temperature evolution.’”

To TWTW, the insertion of the new hockey-stick in the Summary for Policymakers of AR6 destroys any shred of scientific integrity in the entire IPCC process. It demonstrates the UN IPCC’s contempt for physical science in its pursuit of political influence. Curry is more kind, she concludes: [Boldface added]

“The CLINTEL Report provides a much-needed evaluation and intellectual counterpoint to the IPCC AR6.

“There is a lot of good material in the AR6 WG1 [Working Group 1] Report, but there is also a lot of cherry picking and flat-out errors in the Report (the AR6 WG2 Report is just flat out bad). With any kind of serious review, or if the author teams have been sufficiently diverse, we would not see so many of these kinds of errors. Unfortunately, the IPCC defines “diversity” in terms of gender, race and developed versus underdeveloped countries; actual diversity of thought and perspective is dismissed in favor of promoting the politically mandated narrative from the UN.

“The consensus disease that that was caught by the IPCC following publication of the First Assessment Report in 1990, combined with pressures from policy makers, is resulting in documents that don’t reflect the broad disagreement and uncertainties on these complex topics. The IPCC’s mandated narrative has become very stale. Worse yet, it is becoming increasingly irrelevant to policy making by continuing to focus on extreme emissions scenarios and the embarrassing cherry picking that is required to support the “climate crisis” narrative that is so beloved by UN officials.

“In any event, UN-driven climate policy has moved well past any moorings in climate science, even the relatively alarming version reported by the IPCC.  The insane policies and deadlines tied to greenhouse gas emissions are simply at odds with the reality of our understanding of climate change and the uncertainties, and with broader considerations of human well-being.

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy,, and for PAGES 2k (PAst Global ChangES with 2k referring to the past two thousand years).


Using Wrong Scales: Christopher Monckton of  Brenchleyhas a post in American Thinker pointing out a few errors in the reports of the UN IPCC and its followers. One error is using the wrong scales. For calculating the greenhouse effect Kelvin is necessary, not degrees Celsius. Using the wrong scale results in wrong conclusions. A second error is using nameplate capacity as an estimate for generation capacity of wind and solar. These methods of generation produce well less than 50% of the time, and even if the capacities are doubled, they still fail.

The third error is not properly calculating the warming prevented by spending hundreds of billions if not trillions of US dollars on alternative sources of electricity. It is miniscule. With the emissions of China far exceeding the emissions of Europe and North America, the government policies in these continents are set by politicians oblivious to the real world. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Killing Dissent: Jennifer Marohasy continues to expose the unsavory practices of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. While the Australian press ignores the loss of scientific integrity by the Bureau:

“Meanwhile the Bureau has been working towards faster and faster resistance probes, designed to be ever thinner and thinner, thus even more responsive to fluctuations in air temperature – and political pressures for ever more hot days. Without the inertia of market forces, or a mercury thermometer, which will take a minute or two to adjust to a change in air temperature depending on the wind speed, the probes can record higher daily temperatures for the same weather.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Lowering Standards.


Voting With Their Feet: Using two scales one for average temperatures weighted by area and the second for temperatures weighted by population, Roy Spencer shows that, in general, Americans are moving to warmer areas of the country. Spencer concludes:

“Some might claim that the migration to states with warmer temperatures has more to do with economic opportunity than with temperature. But who creates economic opportunity? People. And where do people choose to live? Where the weather is warmer.

“There’s a reason why people are flocking to Texas and Florida, and not to the Dakotas or Maine. Ultimately, it’s due to the climate. So, while some of us like to think we are Saving the Earth by buying a Tesla, our migration habits are telling a different story.”

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Eco-Colonialism: The word “colonialism” describes a movement from the 1400s to the mid-20th century in which much of Africa, Asia, and the Americas came under the control of powerful empires centered in Europe, especially the British Empire on which, famously, “the sun never set”. And while some former colonies, like the U.S., Canada, and Australia, developed into modern, independent, and prosperous nations, many others, especially in Africa and South Asia, have been mired in poverty since the end of the colonial period. This pattern has led many historians to view colonialism, aka “imperialism”, as a disaster for most of the world and an indictment of the inherently domineering, exploitative nature of Western civilization.

A decade ago, the World Bank and other international entities designed to promote prosperity in poor countries lost their way and refused to fund needed projects for reasons based on false predictions. A solid video, John Robson discusses these and other actions in the context of Eco-Colonialism. See link under Questioning Green Elsewhere.


Failure in Washington: As shown above, Federal agencies and other followers of the UN IPCC do not understand the physics of the greenhouse effect. EPA’s declaration that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant is fiction. The EPA and other agencies are diligently forming new regulations to destroy the fossil fuel industry without a suitable replacement. Many of these new regulations rely on health claims that cannot be substantiated by evidence and do not stand up to careful analysis of results. See Article # 1 and links under EPA and other Regulators on the March, Energy Issues – US, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles



SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving. Senators Schumer and Manchin won in 2022.

The voting will close on June 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness on July 7 to 9.


Number of the Week: 6% per degree Celsius. As stated above by van Wijngaarden, the Global Climate Models assume that water vapor will increase by 6% per degree Celsius for an increase in temperatures, particularly from CO2. One of the issues is that the tropics are not warming significantly, and the tropical atmosphere is saturated. As van Wijngaarden writes:

“A more sophisticated analysis of surface warming must take into account that the troposphere warms more than the higher atmosphere. S. Manabe, who received the Nobel prize in 2021, originally estimated a climate sensitivity of 1.4 C for the case of constant water vapor concentration. This has been independently confirmed by several subsequent groups including our own calculations.”


Facebook Censoring The Inconvenient Truth About Antarctic Temperatures

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 7, 2023

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