Tuesday, 3 February 2015

2014 was NOT the hottest year on record (in Ireland)

Its easier for the world to accept a simple lie, rather than a complex truth
- Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th century French philosopher

Valentia Observatory in County Kerry provides temperature data not compromised by urban heat and for this reason is the most reliable source for temperature data in Ireland. With the media reporting on IPCC's claims for 2014 as "Hottest Year on Record" , did anybody think to check the records in Ireland themselves ? Well, Irish Energy Blog did. 30 year data for each observatory can be accessed from Met Eireann here :


The following graphs show mean maximum / minimum (Figure 1) and actual maximum /minimum (Figure 2) temperatures since 1985 :

Fig 1: Valentia Observatory, Mean Max and Min Temperatures 1985 - 2014

Fig 2: Valentia Observatory, Max and Min Temperatures 1985 - 2014
Figure 1 shows that 1994 was a much hotter year on average than 2014. 2013 and 1989 were also warmer. If we look at Figure 2, the actual max temperatures, we can see that 2014 was not a very warm year relative to preceding years. In fact, 17 out of the previous 30 years recorded higher temperatures.

As for winter temperatures, they were relatively normal when compared with most of the preceding years

So what do these graphs tell us - do you see a warm or even a cooling trend ? Well, I dont see any trend at all. The temperature has remained relatively consistent with a few exceptions as one would expect in a complex system like our climate. Oddly enough, this ties in with my memory of the Irish climate over the past 30 years - for example, 2013 was very warm and 2010 was indeed a very cold year.

So how rational is it for Ireland to be doing a solo run on "climate change" action ? Which, by the way, is not working, not reducing CO2 emissions (rather simply outsourcing them), leading to more inequality and helping to erode what is left of our competitiveness. Has mass hysteria and group think taken root once again in the land of Saints and Scholars ?

The Global Dimension

The following is an analysis of climate trends globally so as to put the current global warming mass hysteria into context.  

One has to ask the question as to whether calculating a "global" temperature for 2014 has any meaningful value in the first place. Consider the following :

  1. Where do you pick your temperature measurements? Clearly if we were relying on Dublin data rather than Valentia or Armagh Castle over the second half of the twentieth century, we would come to different conclusions. This is known 'cherry picking' and adjustment of the raw data. 
  2.  Can we measure a single global temperature of relevance anyhow, when there are known annual variations and cycles in different parts of the world, in particular the El Nino Southern Oscillation.
  3. How can IPCC claim that 2014 was the hottest, when their 'number' was 0.04C higher than previously. You couldn't read a thermometer to that level of precision so this is a major flaw as the UK Met Office explained later :“The HadCRUT4 dataset (compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit) shows last year was 0.56C (±0.1C) above the long-term (1961-1990) average. Nominally this ranks 2014 as the joint warmest year in the record, tied with 2010, but the uncertainty ranges mean it’s not possible to definitively say which of several recent years was the warmest.”
NOAA explain that warmer global oceans accounted for much of the increased warmth during 2014 :

Much of the record warmth for the globe can be attributed to record warmth in the global oceans 
(link http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/)

So what actually was going on ? Well, the reality was that there was a weak El Niño in the Pacific Ocean :

Tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperature anomalies exceeded the threshold for a weak El Niño during November, with values of 0.5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius above normal. Some atmospheric indicators have also become indicative of weak El Niño, while others have remained neutral throughout the recent several months;
(link: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcasp/enso_update_latest.html)

But while this warmth was going on in the Pacific, North America was finding it very very cold indeed :

 In contrast to all other land areas around the world, much of North America had below-average temperatures for much of the year, particularly during early 2014 due to a series of cold Arctic outbreaks and a persistent dip in the jet stream that moved warm air northward into Alaska and northern Europe and cold air southward into North America and central Russia. According to Environment Canada it was the coldest meteorological winter (December 2013–February 2014) for the country since 1996, but with cold settling in before this official start to winter and remaining after its official end, Canada observed its coldest November–March since national records began in 1948. Record snowfall in some regions also accompanied the cold. Saskatoon had snow on the ground for six straight months, the longest period with continuous snow cover since records began there in 1955. The United States had its 33rd coolest winter in the 120-year period of record, with many states east of the Rockies having their coldest winter since the 1970s. The ice cover over the Great Lakes was the second largest since records began in 1973 (link http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/).

The bottom line is, if there was any warming in the last 18 years, it was absolutely minuscule, despite the alarmist predictions of the IPCC's computer models. So we should just be sensible and forget about those models, as an increasing amount of people and countries are doing. At the end of the day, it is like saying alcohol causes babies, well it does, but that is missing the point, the overwhelming number of babies are natural and not influenced by alcohol - exclusively so in the Muslim world(?). So we are not entering a doomsday environmental overpopulation scenario as a result of alcohol. Similarly, the overwhelming driver of climate is natural, which these doomsday IPCC models fail to replicate, as they simply do not understand those complex and long term processes going on. 

 “Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event. … Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”David Viner, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, 20 March 2000
“The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s suface.”
The Washington Post: “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.” 2 Nov 1922.
In fact, there  is a sixty year cycle in the oceans, driven by the hot and cold phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) :
pacific decadal oscillation index
From : http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

So we are going back into the cold phase, which is why Artic sea ice is now starting to increase again.

When one actually reads the IPCC's own reports, rather than media articles, you will see that IPCC acknowledge these processes and complexities in the Earth's climate (link to report):

There are fundamental limits to just how precisely annual temperatures can be projected, because of the chaotic nature of the climate system. Furthermore, decadal-scale projections are sensitive to prevailing conditions—such as the temperature of the deep ocean—that are less well known. Some natural variability over decades arises from interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, land, biosphere and cryosphere, and is also linked to phenomena such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (see Box 2.5 for details on patterns and indices of climate variability).

So is it really worthwhile spending all this money on these energy projects because of a bogeyman, when in fact, these projects won't really have much of an impact on defeating the bogeyman even if he did exist anyway ? The current estimate for expenditure on Renewable Energy infrastructure in Europe is now at € 600 billion plus, around 1.5 times that of the total combined cost of Ireland's and Greece's bailout. Figures are provided below.
The 2013 Edition of the State of Renewable Energies in Europe [link]:

  • 106,757 MW of total wind energy in EU 28 by end of 2012
  • 5,022 MW of offshore wind energy installed by end of 2012
  • 68,906 MW of installed photovoltaic cells by end of 2012

Inline image 1

  • Cost of solar PV[link]:
  • Assume an average of $7.5 per W, €6.25 per W. €6.25 million per MW.
  • Total: (68,906 x 6.25) + (101,735 x 1.7) + (5,022 x 3.5) = €621,189 million.

So the total is  in excess of €600 billion, to which grid connections and upgrades have not been added.

1 comment:

  1. Certain allegations have been made against the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Mr Pachauri. If you read the article you will discover this quote ------- " But despite his clear commitment to tackling climate change, Dr Pachauri has proved a controversial character at times.

    In 2010, he admitted that an IPCC report from 2007, which claimed there was a “very high” chance of glaciers disappearing from the Himalayas by 2035, was way off the mark.

    The IPCC lost a lot of credibility over the incident, which climate sceptics used to try to discredit the entire organisation – a task made easier by Dr Pachauri’s refusal to issue a personal apology.

    “You can’t expect me to be personally responsible for every word in a 3,000-page report,” he said in a defiant interview in which he also rubbished newspaper stories saying he had a lavish lifestyle and wore $1,000 suits." ------ So his organisation issued a report containing a prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would melt, and he says he did not notice it. The glaciers are still there and so is Mr Pachauri's $1000 suits. It seems those pushing climate change make sure they themselves are not left out.