Climate “Crisis” Update

The climatistas are urging President Biden to declare climate change to be a national emergency, thereby tripping enhanced presidential powers under the profligate National Emergencies Act. Trump employed the NEA to divert defense funds to build some of the border wall that Congress refused to fund, and Biden might well raid the defense budget for more windmills or something. My guess is Biden is holding back this step in case Congress doesn’t give him a big down payment on the “Green New Deal” in the stimulus bill—a down payment that Biden’s own people are apparently struggling to figure out how to spend. Politico:

People at the highest levels of the administration are huddling to try to meet the 120-day deadline Biden set out in his executive order on climate change to issue recommendations for spending that money. The administration will have to figure out the details while avoiding the blunders that could undermine confidence in the program — something former President Barack Obama struggled to do with his 2009 stimulus package.

Environmental organizers from low-income and communities of color across the U.S. are linking up with mainstream green groups to identify their needs — and the list goes far beyond traditional environmental concerns to include things like personal protective equipment, community health centers and affordable housing.

I’m betting the “blunders” line at the Vegas sportsbook.

Meanwhile, for a problem that the climatistas keep declaring is a clear and present crisis, it is notable how many recent findings in the mainstream science literature continue to unsettle the matter. I don’t bother much trying to keep up with the literature on a regular basis any more, but sometimes it lands on my desk willy-nilly.

Start with this story from the South China Morning Post: reporting on a new study in Quaternary Science:

Studies of coral reefs in the Paracel Islands suggest that the South China Sea started warming up in 1825, at the start of the industrial revolution, according to a study by Chinese scientists.

That was the year the world’s first railway began operating in England and most ocean-going ships still used wind power.

Man-made carbon dioxide emissions could not fully explain such an early rise in the warming trend, they said in a peer-reviewed paper published in Quaternary Sciences on Friday.

But but but—the ice is melting in Antarctica! Oh, wait—there’s this new study in Climate and Atmospheric Science, which labors mightily to couch its main finding inside the conventional climate narrative, which is probably necessary in scientific publishing these days:

Low Antarctic continental climate sensitivity due to high ice sheet orography


The Antarctic continent has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite a monotonic increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. In this paper, we investigate whether the high orography of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) has helped delay warming over the continent. To that end, we contrast the Antarctic climate response to CO2-doubling with present-day orography to the response with a flattened AIS. To corroborate our findings, we perform this exercise with two different climate models. We find that, with a flattened AIS, CO2-doubling induces more latent heat transport toward the Antarctic continent, greater moisture convergence over the continent and, as a result, more surface-amplified condensational heating. Greater moisture convergence over the continent is made possible by flattening of moist isentropic surfaces, which decreases humidity gradients along the trajectories on which extratropical poleward moisture transport predominantly occurs, thereby enabling more moisture to reach the pole. Furthermore, the polar meridional cell disappears when the AIS is flattened, permitting greater CO2-forced warm temperature advection toward the Antarctic continent. Our results suggest that the high elevation of the present AIS plays a significant role in decreasing the susceptibility of the Antarctic continent to CO2-forced warming.

Translation: the feedback effects to greenhouse gases in the continent of Antarctica may be negative (meaning cooling or at least offsetting warming) or neutral.

But but but—hurricanes and extreme weather! Oh, wait—there’s this preprint study in Nature Portfolio:

Changes in Atlantic Major Hurricane Frequency Since the Late-19th Century


Atlantic hurricanes are a major hazard to life and property, and a topic of intense scientific interest. Historical changes in observing practices limit the utility of century-scale records of Atlantic major hurricane frequency. To evaluate past changes in frequency, we have here developed a homogenization method for Atlantic hurricane and major hurricane frequency over 1851-2019. We find that recorded century-scale increases in Atlantic hurricane and major hurricane frequency, and associated decrease in USA hurricanes strike fraction, are consistent with changes in observing practices and not likely a true climate trend. After homogenization, increases in basin-wide hurricane and major hurricane activity since the 1970s are not part of a century-scale increase, but a recovery from a deep minimum in the 1960s-1980s. These results support the notion that internal climate variability and aerosol-induced mid-to-late-20th century major hurricane frequency reductions have probably masked century-scale greenhouse-gas warming contributions to North Atlantic major hurricane frequency.

Translation: Many of the claims of increasing hurricane strength and frequency are artifacts of our improving observational technology (especially satellites), and the main body of the study suggests we underestimated hurricane activity in the early and middle decades of the 20th century. The conclusion is worth noting:

Caution should be taken in connecting recent changes in Atlantic hurricane activity to the century-scale warming of our planet. . . . Given the uncertainties that presently exist in understanding multi-decadal climate variability, the climate response to aerosols and impact of greenhouse gas warming on NA [northern Atlantic] TC  [tropical cyclone] activity, care must be exercised in not over-interpreting the implications of, and causes behind, these recent NA MH increases.

But what’s the fun of not over-interpreting weather events?

But but but, Wall Street is telling us climate change is a financial risk we must incorporate into our financial planning now now now! Oh, wait: Nature Climate Change says not so fast:

Scientists warn over misuse of climate models in financial markets

LONDON (Reuters) – Misuse of climate models could pose a growing risk to financial markets by giving investors a false sense of certainty over how the physical impacts of climate change will play out, according to the authors of a paper published on Monday.

With heat waves, wildfires, massive storms and sea-level rises projected to intensify as the planet warms, companies are under growing pressure to disclose how the disruption could affect their businesses.

But the authors of a peer-reviewed article in Nature Climate Change warned that the drive to integrate global warming into financial decision-making had leap-frogged the models used to simulate the climate by “at least a decade”.

Let’s see if Wall Street climatistas like Larry Fink at Black Rock “follow this science” this time.