Category Archives: El Nino/La Nina

Martin Luther, Here I Come!

The “AGW is logically impossible” list (aka Global Warming Miracles) has suddenly jumped to 52 items, doubling in size in a little less than three weeks. As commented at the Italian version of the page, I am now only 43 items away from putting a poster at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Or perhaps I should find out where the bulletin boards are, at the University of East Anglia…

Microblogging of Roger Pielke Jr's London Debate With Benny Peiser

Roger Pielke Jr and Benny Peiser have been guests of London think-tank “Legatum” in the evening of Nov 16. This is my microblogging of the evening (I’ll edit it slightly when I have a few mins):

  1. Starts at Legatum Institute in London with around 40 in attendance
  2. There is a camera, and a lectern :-)
  3. Researcher from Legatum introduces mentioning Roger being victim of politicization of science
  4. Hubris of Kyoto process must be avoided
  5. Bob Ward wouldn’t be happy with Legatum’s approach to AGW
  6. Book available for 15gbp. Finally Roger’s turn. Laments how repetitive book tour is
  7. Book tour next at LSE on Friday night.
  8. Tonight’s talk about innovation policies for the energy sector
  9. Govts deeply involved in innovations. Makes example out of own trip
  10. Toll road =PPP. Airport. 757 Boeing American not British due to military investments. Etc
  11. Even shoes’ rubber tech due to military innovations ie government’s
  12. Govts invest in innovations already – question is how should do it
  13. Attitude to innovations depends on ideology
  14. China not USA recognizes international competition on innovation
  15. Free markets not always best, meddling Govts either
  16. Energy innovation seldom a priority
  17. Average 2. 5% reinvestment but only. 2% in energy
  18. Energy as something that pops out of the ground
  19. Six reasons to innovate in energy
  20. 1. Supply and demand 2. Security
  21. 3. Energy poverty 4. Existing subsidies 5. CO2 emissions 6. Mountaintop removal
  22. Also particulate emissions
  23. Germany: nuclear tax. India: coal tax. China: 700B$ in clean energy due to population
  24. Vast amounts of energy needed not a generic push to consume less
  25. Talks of possible future poverty in USA compared to China and India
  26. Peiser will talk about book. Disappointed that Roger did not.
  27. Govts see no prob with energy. India and China suffer from past mistakes
  28. Peiser again. Carbon tax is proposed as replacement to climate failures
  29. Euro Govts suggesting carbon tax but to raise money not energy r&d
  30. Billions in nuclear energy didn’t make it cheaper, actually dearer
  31. Every academic argues their sector needs more money to help growth but link is a myth
  32. Current green policies too unpopular, Govts under threat because of them
  33. No renewable energy company can stand on its own.
  34. Decarbonisation means switching to more expensive energy hindering growth as in Europe
  35. There is no Tea Party in Roger’s book
  36. Antigreen backlash is undergoing and will get worse
  37. Decarbonisation because of AGW? But it might be beneficial
  38. Perplexed Peiser: decarbonise to get cheaper energy? Makes no sense
  39. Not an easy night for Roger
  40. Climate agenda going down because economics don’t add up.
  41. Peiser makes example of useless r&d like fusion reactor
  42. Track record of Govts failure whilst shale gas is so low it makes no sense to find more
  43. Shale gas an example of private innovation
  44. Legatum researcher says book weakens case for govt involvement in energy r&d
  45. Legatum researcher unconvinced by book
  46. Roger replies. Climate not only point. Other reasons why innovation makes sense
  47. No global food crisis due to govt innovations. Health improvs too
  48. Innovation policy a spectrum not just r&d
  49. Importance of failures to find a success
  50. Roger talks about Germany and India again. Even tiny tax would generate billions
  51. Mentions long term
  52. My questions details later (*)
  53. Peiser: book doesn’t talk of economics. Germany example of middle classes paying the rich
  54. Roger: Germany as failure and success at same time. Peiser: no innovation in Germany
  55. Roger seems concerned about current USA politics
  56. Q: diversification but subsidies = huge overhead costs. How to get companies interested?
  57. Roger: companies won’t look out for national interests
  58. Peiser: companies already diversifying. Problem of protectionism.
  59. Roger: not in favor of protectionism – ends here
  60. Legatum researcher was Dalibor Rohac

Finally I have managed to get a copy of The Climate Fix, autographed by its author.

(*) I have congratulated Roger for disseminating the news about the $82B dodgy insurance deal, but then asked him and Benny why replace the humongous failed climate policy of old with some other humongous policy; why not concentrate efforts on small but significant issues like particulates; and what would prevent Governments from raising a carbon tax and spending money on something that has nothing to do with carbon.

Orders Countermanded, Comrades! Strong El Nino Is Good For You!

Thus spoke Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California on Sep 28. 2009:

A macho El Niño like that of 1997-1998 is off the board, but I’m hoping for a relaxation in the tropical trade winds and a surprise strengthening of El Niño that could result in a shift in winter storm patterns over the United States. If the trade winds decrease, the ocean waters will continue to warm and spread eastward, strengthening the El Niño. That scenario could bring atmospheric patterns that will deliver much-needed rainfall to the southwestern United States this winter. If not, the dice seem to be loaded for below-normal snowpacks and another drier-than-normal winter…Don’t give up on this El Niño. He might make a late break and put his spin on this fall and winter’s weather systems

Wait a moment…so now a non-weak El Niño is good? Is this the first time anybody has said anything positive about El Niño?

No, it isn’t. Still, the ENSO has often been described as some kind of scourge. For example, here’s an article from The Independent on Jan 1, 2007:

A combination of global warming and the El Niño weather system is set to make 2007 the warmest year on record with far-reaching consequences for the planet, one of Britain’s leading climate experts has warned.

Professor Jones said the long-term trend of global warming – already blamed for bringing drought to the Horn of Africa and melting the Arctic ice shelf – is set to be exacerbated by the arrival of El Niño, the phenomenon caused by above-average sea temperatures in the Pacific.

The WMO said its latest readings showed that a “moderate” El Niño, with sea temperatures 1.5C above average, was taking place which, in the worst case scenario, could develop into an extreme weather pattern lasting up to 18 months, as in 1997-98. The UN agency noted that the weather pattern was already having “early and intense” effects, including drought in Australia and dramatically warm seas in the Indian Ocean, which could affect the monsoons. It warned the El Niño could also bring extreme rainfall to parts of east Africa which were last year hit by a cycle of drought and floods

And from a brochure published the UK’s Met Office in Nov 2006:

Dry spells are not unusual in the Amazon, but normally occur in El Niño years.

[…] the large number of Indonesian fires and associated increase in carbon emissions during the 1997-1998 El Niño event

And the IPCC (TAR)? Here it is:

El Niño is associated with dry conditions in northeast Brazil, northern Amazonia, the Peruvian-Bolivian Altiplano, and the Pacific coast of Central America. The most severe droughts in Mexico in recent decades have occurred during El Niño years, whereas southern Brazil and northwestern Peru have exhibited anomalously wet conditions

More recently, from the IPCC’s AR4, WG2, chapter 1:

After the accelerated shrinkage of the glacier during the 1990s, enhanced by the warm 1997/98 El Niño, Bolivia lost its only ski area