Monthly Archives: June 2014

Shutting Down U.S. Coal Based Power Plants Will Not Lower Global Temperatures

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a new set of proposed regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing U. S. power plants. The premise for this EPA action is that unless CO2 emissions are reduce global temperatures would rise by the end of this century to levels that would cause catastrophic climate change damage. But the basis for such action is not science but rather politics. In our previous posting, it was shown that climate models that predict global temperature are not skilled and have not predicted actual measured global temperatures. Using these models to base legislation is playing Russian Roulette with the US economy.

Knappenberger and Michaels (K&M) posted on 12 June in WUWT “EPA leaves out the most vital number in their fact sheet”. They show that this initiative will not have any measureable effect on global temperatures. K&M summarize the “regulation”:

“The EPA’s regulations seek to limit carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production in the year 2030 to a level 30 percent below what they were in 2005. It is worth noting that power plant CO2 emissions already dropped by about 15% from 2005 to2012, largely, because of market forces which favor less-CO2-emitting natural gas over coal as the fuel of choice for producing electricity.”


“For some reason, they left off their Fact Sheet how much climate change would be averted by the plan. Seems like a strange omission since, after all, without the threat of climate change, there would be no one thinking about the forced abridgement of our primary source of power production in the first place, and the Administration’s new emissions restriction scheme wouldn’t even be a gleam in this or any other president’s eye.”

“But no worries.  What the EPA left out, we’ll fill in.

“Using a simple, publically-available, climate model emulator called MAGICC that was in part developed through support of the EPA, we ran the numbers as to how much future temperature rise would be averted by a complete adoption and adherence to the EPA’s new carbon dioxide restrictions*.”

The answer? Less than two one-hundredths of a degree Celsius by the year 2100.   0.018°C to be exact. 

Well how did they come up with that number?

  • They used the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC)— to examine the climate impact of proposed regulations.They used the three IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP). RCP4.5=low-end emissions, RCP6.0=middle of the road and RCP8.5=high emissions.
  • They estimated the US power plant CO2 emissions.

KMcarbonemissionscenariosgsr_061114_fig1Figure 1. Carbon dioxide emissions pathways defined in, or derived from, the original set of Representative Concentration pathways (RCPs), for the global total carbon dioxide emissions as well as for the carbon dioxide emissions attributable to U.S. electricity production.

“We then used MAGICC to calculate the rise in global temperature projected to occur between now and the year 2100 when with the original RCPs as well as with the RCPs modified to reflect the EPA proposed regulations (we used the MAGICC default value for the earth’s equilibrium climate sensitivity (3.0°C)).”

KMglobalavgsurfacetempgsr_061114_fig2Figure 2. Global average surface temperature anomalies, 2000-2100, as projected by MAGICC run with the original RCPs as well as with the set of RCPs modified to reflect the EPA 30% emissions reductions from U.S power plants.

Because the difference between lines is so small, the authors added two tables for the data illustrated in figure 2.



Yes,  this posting says that the computer models are not suitable to make policy decisions and yet the K & M posting is predicated on a computer model. Two things here. First, in the course of making this new policy the EPA climate model must have been run by the EPA. They did not list a drop in global temperatures so they know it is devastating.   Second, the EPA is not likely to claim the K & M work is invalid because EPA must use this model in their other pronouncements about climate .


The K& M posting should be read in its entirety.


















Obama Shutting Down Coal Based Power Plant Based Upon Computer Model Predictions.

Climate models have not demonstrated skill at making climate predictions. Yet, the proponents of man-made global warming cite the model outputs when telling us what the global temperature will be in 2100!!!!

From the Patriot Post, Joe Bastardi’s July 16 2013 posting “Evidence That Demands a Verdict:

Assumed validity of climate models

‘This is almost laughable. Anyone who works in the field every day – as we do in the private sector – knows how bad models can be.”

“But the point is that the models are a mathematical representation of a chaotic field and I can not even fathom that this could be one of their reasons. It shows the ignorance as to the nature of the climate. It also shows the willingness of those that truly don’t understand weather and climate to place trust in a model. It’s flabbergasting.

One picture destroys the whole premise. Dr. John Christy, who testified before congress on this matter, has put this graph together:”


The chart shows how far off the climate models are from the actual global temperature measurements (Real World).

“The following graph from Dr. Roy Spencer is even more dramatic. While Dr. Christy shows the average, Dr. Spencer shows how the individual predictions of 19 US models are all well above actual observations. And the EPA is trying to base policy on this?”

spencer19usclimatemodelsCMIP5-19-USA-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MTThis shotgun approach (19 models) points out that the alarmists modelers don’t have a clue. In MHO, if the climate model program was worth anything, you would only need one.

“Why anyone would think they could justify EPA’s regulatory plans or suggest a carbon tax as an alternative given the facts presented above is beyond me.

The facts clearly reveal that the EPA and the president do not have a leg to stand on as their policies assault the very energy lifeline of our economy at this critical time in our nation’s history. The EPA’s decisions are based on erroneous ideas.”

The politicians that want to manage our use of fossil fuels are ignoring the facts.   Why wont they look at actual data instead of relying on models that have no skill? Politics, of course, but what are the underlying motives?

The next posting will discuss the cost/benefit for the Obama plan to put coal out of business.