Science Under President Trump: End the Bias in Government-Funded Research
December 21st, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
You might expect that my background in climate research would mean my suggestions to a Trump Administration would be all climate-related. And there’s no question that climate would be a primary focus, especially neutering the Endangerment Finding by the EPA which, if left unchecked, will weaken our economy and destroy jobs, with no measurable benefit to the climate system.
But there’s a bigger problem in U.S. government funded research of which the climate issue is just one example. It involves bias in the way that government agencies fund science.
Government funds science to support pre-determined policy objectives
So, you thought government-funded science is objective?
Oh, that’s adorable.
Since politicians are ultimately in charge of deciding how much money agencies receive to dole out to the research community, it is inevitable that politics and desired outcomes influence the science the public pays for.
Using climate as an example, around thirty years ago various agencies started issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) for scientists to research the ways in which humans are affecting climate. Climate research up until that time was mostly looking into natural climate fluctuations, since the ocean-atmosphere is a coupled nonlinear dynamical system, capable of producing climate change without any external forcing whatsoever.
Giddy from the regulatory success to limit the production of ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere with the 1973 Montreal Protocol, the government turned its sights on carbon dioxide and global warming.
While ozone was a relatively minor issue with minor regulatory impact, CO2 is the Big Kahuna. Everything humans do requires energy, and for decades to come that energy will mostly come from fossil fuels, the burning of which produces CO2.
The National Academies, which are supposed to provide independent advice to the nation on new directions in science, were asked by the government to tell the government to study human causes of climate change. (See how that works?)
Research RFPs were worded in such a way that researchers could blame virtually any change they saw on humans, not Mother Nature. And as I like to say, if you offer scientists billions of dollars to find something… they will do their best to find it. As a result, every change researchers saw in nature was suddenly mankind’s fault.
The problem with attribution in global warming research
The New York Times believes Arctic-dwelling polar bears are “climate refugees,” fleeing for their lives from melting sea ice caused by man-made global warming.
Polar bears are migrating away from their traditional hunting grounds and toward areas in Canada, Russia, and Alaska, The NYT wrote Sunday, because sea ice is melting at a record pace.
Polar bears may seem healthy and at ease in their environments, the paper noted, but those that travel inland “are climate refugees, on land because the sea ice they rely on for hunting seals is receding.”
Their extinction does not appear to be as eminent as The NYT implies
Environmentalists have worked for years to place polar bears on the CITES’ “Appendix I” list, which includes animals considered threatened by immediate extinction.
But regulators have continued to balk at the campaign earlier this year, when they announced polar bears would remain on “Appendix II”– a list declaring a species to be endangered but otherwise fine for the time being.
[dcquiz] Polar bears are protected by the Endangered Species Act because they could potentially be harmed by global warming.
The NYT even admits that the species may not be that close to extinction, as only three groups of the 19 polar bear populations in the Arctic are considered at risk.
The Obama administration added another layer of anti-coal mining regulations to the books Monday, just before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
The new regulations require coal companies which have finished mining in an area to restore the land to the same condition that existed before digging began. Obama’s Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell called the new regulations “a balanced approach to meeting the nation’s energy needs.”
Companies are currently obligated to rehabilitate the areas they mine, but the new regulations are much more strict and largely focused on groundwater protection. The regulations replaced by the rule had been in force for 33 years — a rule under development since 2009.…
Gallup Poll: Environment Is Least Important Issue To Americans – Only 3% cite as most important issue
Only 3 percent of Americans listed “environment/pollution” as their most important issue in 2016, according to a new Gallup poll.
The poll is part of Gallup’s annual survey, which ranks the issues Americans say are the most important to them each month throughout the year. While public opinion on the 25 issues listed on the poll varied from month to month, “the environment” ranked consistently as the lowest in national importance for most Americans throughout the entire year, tied with “guns.”
Gallup’s results found that “the economy” was the most important issue to Americans, with 16 percent of those polled saying it was their top concern. “The government” came in second at 13 percent, while “unemployment/jobs” came in third at 9 percent. Race relations and immigration competed for the fourth spot with about 7 percent of respondents considering both as the top issue.
Gallup’s poll was based on telephone interviews conducted with a random sample of 1,000 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. The poll has a margin of error of 1 percent.
New paper: ‘Cold Little Ice Age period agrees with timing of Maunder sunspot minimum of low solar activity’
For the global oceans, the characteristics of high-resolution climate changes during the last millennium remain uncertain because of the limited availability of proxy data. This study reconstructs climate conditions using annually resolved coral records from the South China Sea (SCS) to provide new insights into climate change over the last millennium. The results indicate that the climate of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, AD 900–1300) was similar to that of the Current Warm Period (CWP, AD 1850–present), which contradicts previous studies. The similar warmth levels for the MCA and CWP have also been recorded in the Makassar Strait of Indonesia, which suggests that the MCA was not warmer than the CWP in the western Pacific and that this may not have been a globally uniform change. Hydrological conditions were drier/saltier during the MCA and similar to those of the CWP. The drier/saltier MCA and CWP in the western Pacific may be associated with the reduced precipitation caused by variations in the Pacific Walker Circulation. As for the Little Ice Age (LIA, AD 1550–1850), the results from this study, together with previous data from the Makassar Strait, indicate a cold and wet period compared with the CWP and the MCA in the western Pacific. The cold LIA period agrees with the timing of the Maunder sunspot minimum and is therefore associated with low solar activity. The fresher/wetter LIA in the western Pacific may have been caused by the synchronized retreat of both the East Asian Summer Monsoon and the Australian Monsoon. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The Washington Post is misleading their frozen US readers once again about the Arctic, telling them the Arctic has temperatures 50 degrees above normal and record low sea ice. They say this is not normal.
Temperatures in Greenland are incredibly cold. The reason the North Pole is not as cold as normal is because deep waves in the jet stream have brought the cold air south, and milder air north.
It has snowed in the Sahara Desert for the first time in 40 years.
Arctic sea ice extent is higher than 2012 and 2013, and about the same as last year. There is no “record low sea ice” as the Washington Post fraudsters claim.
What is going on in the Arctic with meridional circulation was explained by Science News during the 1970s ice age scare. There is nothing unusual going on in the Arctic.
The December 1977 issue of National Geographic showed exactly what was going on.
Deep dips in the jet stream brought warm air towards the pole, and cold air to the Midwest and East.
Florida was frozen during January, 1977. California was warm and had record drought.
Alaska was 50 degrees in January 1997, and the bears refused to hibernate. Note the same 50 degree number used in the Washington Post article.
This is just one more fake news attempt by the Washington Post to derail President Trump’s efforts to end junk climate science. Warm air in one place normally means cold air somewhere else. This is perfectly normal weather and has nothing to do with fake news global warming.…