Science & Technology

Weekly Climate And Energy News Roundup #450 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-04-10 (April 10, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: Arrogance comes in a variety of forms. The arrogance of great wealth, the arrogance of great power, the arrogance of great beauty, and the arrogance of a great master are bearable because they rest on an acknowledged and measurable base. The arrogance of ignorance, however, is unbearable because it is rooted in smug satisfaction with being isolated from the facts of the case.” –Biologist W.V. Mayer [H/t Jim Buell]

Number of the Week: – One chance in one hundred thousand.


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

Russian Roulette Anyone? Last week TWTW discussed Richard Feynman’s book, What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character which described Feynman’s experience on the Rogers Commission investigating the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The book provides a description of the turmoil and difficulty in getting administrators in Washington to realize the importance of making necessary corrections in policies as evidence is compiled that the policy is headed in the wrong direction and may become disastrous. Engineers were crossing their fingers every time the Space Shuttle was launched. Meanwhile NASA administrators were assuring politicians that the Space Shuttle was safe. Feynman described the situation as administrators playing Russian Roulette with the lives of astronauts and civilians on the shuttle.

A similar situation exists today. Ken Haapala knows that senior administrators of NASA have been informed that carbon dioxide is not causing dangerous warming, a so-called “climate crisis.” Yet they took no steps to correct members of NASA from claiming such. The director of NASA-GISS, Gavin Schmidt, is a member of President Biden’s special Climate Team promoting fear of CO2-caused warming. The contrived fear has been promoted for about 25 years by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and various other government entities such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and modeling entities such as the US National Center on Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

As demonstrated in the work of William Happer, Richard Lindzen, Howard Hayden, and others, decades of experiments and observations show that CO2 is only a bit player in changing climate. As importantly, the experiments and observations show that the effectiveness of CO2 on increasing global temperatures is logarithmic, which means that by its nature it is self-limiting.  That is it takes an increasingly larger concentration to cause a given effect as the concentration increases. Even before the industrial revolution, or about 1850, which is the starting point for many studies claiming human-caused global warming, the effectiveness of additional CO2 on increasing temperatures was small. The generally accepted value for CO2 concentrations in 1850 is about 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv). As atmospheric CO2 increases, its effectiveness in increasing temperatures by delaying radiative cooling diminishes significantly. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now about 410 ppmv.

The fear of CO2 causing dangerous warming and the political movement supporting it is creating ever increasing absurd proposals for “controlling” climate change. The enormously wealthy Bill Gates has advanced a proposal for diminishing sunlight, and the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a book: Reflecting Sunlight: Recommendations for Solar Geoengineering Research and Research Governance. Apparently, it has never dawned on either Gates or the National Academies to search for the physical evidence demonstrating that CO2 is causing dangerous global warming. If they did, they would find the physical evidence weaker than the evidence used to claim the world is about to run out of oil and natural gas. Further, whatever evidence they may find is bound to be very weak, and strongly contradicted by compelling physical evidence.

Just as senior NASA administrators played Russian Roulette with the lives of those on the Space Shuttle, the Biden Climate Team and many in Washington are willing to play Russian Roulette with the lives of millions of people world-wide. They are unwilling to ask the needed question: What is your physical evidence? See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.


What Happened? The 1979 Charney Report speculated that a doubling of CO2 would cause global temperatures to increase by 3 °C +/- 1.5 °C (about 3 to 8 °F). There have been thousands of papers based on the high estimates, including many exaggerations. However, actual measurements of the atmospheric temperature trends show that even the low end of the estimated range may be too high. The Charney Report relied on claims by some numerical climate modelers that a small warming from CO2 would result in a far greater warming from increasing water vapor. This far greater warming is not being observed in the atmosphere where it should take place. The question is why are we not seeing it?

Ten years ago, Meteorologist Chuck Wiese posted on WUWT a criticism of claims by Al Gore:

“Gore claimed:

“’These warmer air masses (which Gore claims result from human carbon emissions that create atmospheric CO2) act like a sponge to moisture and soak it up until they hit a patch of cold air.’

“Gore then claims that this ‘extra moisture’ contained in the warmer air causes more intense precipitation and thus heavier snowfall and is all consistent with a warming earth.

“These statements by Gore are sheer nonsense. While it is true that warmer air can hold more moisture than cold air, the temperature of the air has nothing to do with how much water vapor will ultimately be evaporated (or as Gore puts it ‘soaked up’) into it. That is determined solely by what is called the vapor pressure gradient that exists between a sample of air that may overlay a plane of water. To examine this, we need to introduce the physical concept of vapor pressure.

“The equation that governs this is called the Clausius-Clapeyron equation for the vapor pressure of water and was named after the two chemists that derived it.”

Without TWTW going into the mathematics, Wiese explains that it is the difference in vapor pressure between the air mass immediately over the water and the large air mass passing over it that results in the absorption of water, not the temperature difference. If there is no big difference in vapor pressure, there is no significant increase in absorption of water, regardless of temperature differences. Wiese gives good illustrations of this phenomenon, and how big differences in vapor pressure result in what is commonly called “lake effect snow” that takes place each winter in areas bordering the Great Lakes, such as around Buffalo, New York.

The comments by Wiese led to a search of papers on the boundary conditions along the tropics where the Charney Report and climate modelers speculated significant absorption of water vapor would lead to the tropical “Hot Spot,” which has not been found even though it dominated the second IPCC assessment report (AR2, 1995). Wiese further commented on 1990s research called the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX). The abstract of one study on “Atmospheric boundary layer over the central and western equatorial Pacific Ocean observed during COARE and CEPEX” published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres states:

“The present study is based on aircraft data collected in the western and central equatorial Pacific as a part of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) and the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX). The purpose of this discussion is to provide some insight into the coupling of the atmosphere to the ocean in regions of light winds and high humidity, as well as near deep organized convection, and to compare and contrast these climatically important tropical regions. The results presented use both the aerial extent of cold cloud top temperatures and surface layer similarity to highlight the variation of the surface fluxes as a function of convective regimes. A wide range of convective conditions were encountered during the 5 months of COARE and CEPEX, ranging from deep, towering anvils to shallow trade cumuli. The variety of conditions sampled has provided a unique set of turbulence data over open ocean, which are compared to fundamental spectral forms. Results suggest that assumptions regarding surface layer processes based on a large-scale assessment of the convective conditions are likely to be inaccurate.” [Boldface added, the abstract gives examples.]

One of the purposes of the CEPEX experiment was to investigate what is called the thermostat hypothesis including a super-greenhouse effect. One can reasonably assume that if strong evidence for the super-greenhouse effect were found, it would have been widely announced. There appears to be no continuation of the experiment, perhaps due to satellite measurements.

Last week, TWTW discussed that since 1975 NOAA has been using satellites to measure Outgoing Longwave Radiation from the Equator, 160E to 160W. These 55 years of data show wide variations but no trend. Without changes in Outgoing Longwave Radiation from the Equator there is no evidence of a super-greenhouse effect over the tropics in the Pacific. See link under Measurement Issues – Tropics


More Blackouts? One way in which Washington may be playing Russian Roulette with the American public is by subsidizing unreliable wind and solar power. In Master Resource, Robert Bradley presents arguments about what went wrong in Texas. He presents his view which needs to be emphasized:

When the system loaded up on renewables, who would have known that low-to-negative marginal-cost pricing would have ruined the economics of baseload generators and natural gas peakers, existing and prospective. I was an adamant critic of wind power in the old days (1997) and just did not foresee this.

Reliable electricity did not arrive until many cities were built, but it is a critical part of urban living. Destroying reliable electricity by subsidizing unreliable electricity will make urban living more difficult and more dangerous. Many politicians and “experts” seem to be unaware of the importance of reliable electricity. Instead, they promote unproven devices to disguise the faults of wind and solar. See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.


Solar Caused ENSO? The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) results in El Niños (sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific warmer than normal) and La Niñas (sea surfaces in the central Pacific cooler than normal). The effects of El Niños were probably observed by natives along the coast of Peru before Europeans arrived. For some time, scientists have speculated that the variance is driven by the sun. Researchers with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found a correlation between the termination of solar cycles, every 22 years, and the largest swings in ENSO. The correlation is not as “tight” as desirable, moving in lockstep. But it is far better observed than the relationship between CO2 and surface temperature trends, or CO2 and atmospheric temperature trends.

If the finding holds, then it will provide a significant improvement in forecasting these events which change weather patterns throughout much of the world. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising? and Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?


14th ICCC Rescheduled: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute has been rescheduled to October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See




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, following these criteria:

  • The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
  • The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
  • The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, Michael Mann, Christiana Figueres, Jerry Brown, AOC, and Neil Ferguson are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 31. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Thank you. For a list of past recipients and their accomplishments in earning this honor see


Number of the Week: – One chance in one hundred thousand. In his book, Richard Feynman has a chapter titled “Fantastic Figures” in which he describes some of the estimates by NASA administrators that the Space Shuttle was safe to fly. NASA told the officer who decided whether to put destruction charges on the shuttle that the probability of failure was one in ten to the fifth power – 1 in 100,000. Feynman commented:

“That means you could fly the shuttle every day for an average 300 years between accidents—every day, one flight, for 300 years—which is obviously crazy!”

The response from the officer was:

“’Yes, I know, I moved my numbers to 1 in 1000 to answer all of NASA’s claims—that they were much more careful with manned flights, that the typical rocket isn’t a valid comparison, et cetera—and put the destruction charges on anyway.’”

Based on reviews of the climate modeling by NASA-GISS, 1 in 100,000 is the chance that NASA-GISS climate models are even remotely correct.

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

New study ties solar variability to the onset of decadal La Nina events

Authors apply a 22-year solar clock to find an elusive correlation

Press Release, National Center for Atmospheric Research / University Corporation for Atmosphere Research, Apr 5, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

Link to article: Termination of Solar Cycles and Correlated Tropospheric Variability

By Robert J. Leamon, Scott W. McIntosh, and Daniel R. Marsh, Earth and Space Science, Feb 24, 2021

The Sun’s climate role confirmed

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Apr 6, 2021

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Sunspots and El Nino Part Two

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Apr 7, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Questioning the findings stated above. Also see below]

The Sun Also Sets

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Apr 6, 2021]

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

The Happy Warrior Saves His Best Climate Writing for Last

By Patrick J. Michaels, Real Clear Energy, April 06, 2021

The Imaginary Climate Crisis: How can we Change the Message? A talk by Richard Lindzen

By Richard Lindzen, Clintel, Apr 5, 2021

48 Of 79 ‘Catastrophic Climate Change’ Predictions Have Failed…The Other 31 Just Haven’t Expired Yet

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 8, 2021

Link to: List of Climate-Related Apocalyptic Predictions

By David Rode, Paul Fischbeck, Aug 27, 2019

Link to paper: Title: Apocalypse now? Communicating extreme forecasts

By David C. Rode; Paul S. Fischbeck, International Journal of Global Warming, Jan 20, 2021

“Abstract: Apocalyptic forecasts are unique. They have, by definition, no prior history and are observed only in their failure. As a result, they fit poorly with our mental models for evaluating and using them. However, they are made with some frequency in the context of climate change.”

Dangerously Stupid Science: Solar Geoengineering

By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, Apr 5, 2021

Link to: Reflecting Sunlight: Recommendations for Solar Geoengineering Research and Research Governance

By Staff, National Academies Press, 2021

[SEPP Comment: See first link under Defending the Orthodoxy]

Opinion: Just When You Think It Cannot Get Any Worse

By Gordon Fulks, The Northwest Connection, Mar 31, 2021

“Real scientists bear some of the blame for failing to oppose mad scientists promoting nonsense.”

[SEPP Comment: Includes comments about an idea by Bill Gates to disrupt sunlight.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

A sun reflector for Earth? Scientists explore the potential risks and benefits

Press Release by Graduate Center, CUNY, Apr 5, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

Link to paper: Potential ecological impacts of climate intervention by reflecting sunlight to cool Earth

By Phoebe L. Zarnetske, et al. PNAS, Apr 13, 2021

From the press release: “Nine of the hottest years in human history have occurred in the last decade. Without a major shift in this climate trajectory, the future of life on Earth is in question. Should humans, whose fossil-fueled society is driving climate change, use technology to put the brakes on global warming?”

“The Climate Intervention Biology working group is funded by the National Science Foundation and will host sessions at two upcoming scientific conferences: “”Biosphere Responses to Geoengineering” at The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting this month, and at The Ecological Society of America in August, 2021.”

Reflections and projections on a decade of climate science

Various writers, Nature Climate Change, April 1, 2021

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

Marine species increasingly can’t live at equator due to global heating

Study suggests it is already too warm in tropics for some species to survive

By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian, Apr 7, 2021 [Bernie Kepshire]

Link to paper: Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator

By Chhaya Chaudhary, PNAS, Apr 13, 2021

The ‘Church of Climate’ Fights Back

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Apr 6, 2021

“Virtually impossible”: Australian scientists sound alarm over Paris climate goals

By Andrew Freedman, Axios, Apr 6, 2021

Link to report: The risks to Australia of a 3°C warmer world

By Staff, Australian Academy of Science. March 2021

[SEPP Comment: It appears that the staff of the Australian Academy of Science doesn’t understand the logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperatures.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Taking America Over The Cliff

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Apr 9, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Showing contradictions in past government claims and new government claims.]

“Protect Our Winters” (Snow a thing of the past?)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Apr 7, 2021

“Why just not say ‘we do not know’ about macro and micro weather–and put climate science in its place while doing so? False knowledge is worse than no knowledge when it comes to global warming, global climate change, or ‘global weirding.’”

An anti–global warming hysteria book is driving Norwegian warming hysterics nuts

By Gordon Tomb, American Thinker, Apr 9, 2021

“Mr. Wrightstone, recently named executive director of the Arlington, Virginia–based CO2 Coalition, responded with a letter of his own, noting that he has been accepted as an expert reviewer by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

After Paris!

Global Net Zero Climate Change Targets are ‘Pie in the Sky’

By Mike Shedlock, Mish Talk, Apr 5, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

India tells Kerry: We’re meeting Paris targets, but where are the $100 billion Obama promised?

By Staff, AP, Via GWPF, Apr 8, 2021

Change in US Administrations

If I had a trillion dollars…

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 7, 2021

Biden touts trains as fast as planes, supersonic jets in infrastructure push

By Steven Nelson, New York Post, April 7, 2021

[SEPP Comment: In the desert perhaps, or with totalitarian powers.]

Joe Biden wants to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure and jobs. These 4 charts show where the money would go.

The plan includes everything from road repairs and electric vehicle stations, to public school upgrades and training for the clean-energy workforce.

By Javier Zarracina, Joey Garrison and George Petras, USA Today, Apr 6, 2021

SEC chief grabs control

By Andrew Vollmer, The Hill, Mar 31, 2021

“Shortly after taking office in January 2021, the new acting chair began to divert the resources of the SEC to integrate climate, environmental, and social considerations, usually called ESG, into the agency’s broader regulatory framework. The acting chair directed the division responsible for corporate disclosures ‘to enhance its focus on climate-related disclosure in public company filings.’ Other divisions also shifted attention to climate and ESG-related areas.”

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

CO2 is Greening Planet Earth

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 6, 2021

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization and Biotech Crops Are the Keys to Ending Hunger

By H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute, Apr 8, 2021

Problems in the Orthodoxy

China’s carbon reduction target looks elusive as banks keep throwing cash at coal mines and power plants, undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels

By Eric Ng, South China Morning Post, Apr 3, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

China’s carbon reduction target looks elusive as banks keep throwing cash at coal mines and power plants, undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels

By Staff, South China Morning Post, Apr 3, 2021

China still weighs climate summit RSVP a week after Joe Biden’s invitation

Collaboration on environmental issues might help the China-US relationship but larger unrelated issues could hamper their ability to work together, say analysts

Beijing has declared it is willing to act, but the international community is watching to see how committed it is to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060

By Shi Jiangtao and Jacob Fromer in Washington, South China Morning Post, Apr 1, 2021

Daniel Yergin: China has strategic calculation on zero emissions

Beijing’s concerns are climate change, urban pollution and rising oil imports

By Hidemit Su Kibe and Nesreen Bakheit, Nikkei Asia, Mar 29, 2021

Seeking a Common Ground

Let Private Markets Assess the Financial Risks of Climate Change

By Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI, Apr 2, 2021

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Interactive Effects of Warming and Elevated CO2 on a Tropical Forage Species

Alzate-Marin, A.L., Rivas, P.M.S, Galaschi-Teixeira, J.S., Bonifácio-Anacleto, F., Silva, C.C., Schuster, I., Nazareno, A.G., Giuliatti, S., da Rocha Filho, L.C., Garófalo, C.A. and Martinez, C.A. 2021. Warming and elevated CO2 induces changes in the reproductive dynamics of a tropical plant species. Science of the Total Environment 768: 144899, Apr 9, 2021

CO2 Enrichment Effects on Chickpea Growth and Seed Quality

Lamichaney, A., Tewari, K., Basu, P.S., Katiyar, P.K., and Singh, N.P. 2021. Effect of elevated carbon-dioxide on plant growth, physiology, yield and seed quality of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) in Indo-Gangetic plains. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 27: 251-263. Apr 7, 2021

CO2 Impacts on the Rhizosphere Microbial Community of Korean Red Pine

Lee, H., Lee, W.Y. and Kang, J.W. 2021. Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on rhizosphere microbial community of Pinus densiflora (Korean red pin). Forest Science and Technology, Apr 5, 2021

Models v. Observations

New Study: Models Fitting Modern Period “Just An Illusion”… CO2 Role Much Less Than IPCC Claims

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 3, 2021

Link to paper: Reconstruction of the Interannual to Millennial Scale Patterns of the Global Surface Temperature

By Nicola Scafetta, Atmosphere, Jan 24, 2021

Measurement Issues — Surface

NASA GISS Keeps Warming The Data, And Mysteriously Comes Out With 104 New Stations Going Back To 1882

By Kirye and P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 6, 2021

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Global Temperature Report, March 2021 Maps and Graphs

By Staff, Earth System Science Center, UAH, Apr 1, 2021

Measurement Issues — Tropics

Regarding Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer (Why Al Gore’s Comments to Bill O’Reilly at Fox News Are Wrong)

By Chuck Wiese, WUWT, Feb 17, 2011

Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment

By Staff, CEPEX, Accessed Apr 9, 2021

Atmospheric boundary layer over the central and western equatorial Pacific Ocean observed during COARE and CEPEX

By Yolande Serra, et al. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, October 1997

Changing Weather

La Nina is Collapsing

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Apr 7, 2021

Australian Floods

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 6, 2021

Weekly Climate And Energy News Roundup #450 – Watts Up With That? Weekly Climate And Energy News Roundup #450 – Watts Up With That?

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