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Environment

Official Temperature Data Aren’t ‘Data’ and Shouldn’t Be Used to Restrict Freedom

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From Heartland Daily News

H. Sterling Burnett H. Sterling Burnett

It is becoming increasingly clear that the temperature data the U.S. government and many other governments use to predict catastrophic climate change, the data from surface temperature stations, aren’t accurate.

To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43: How bad is the surface station record? Let me count the flaws.

Even its climate alarmist defenders acknowledge that surface station data runs too hot. To make matters worse for the alarmist cause, the overheated surface station data are still lower than what climate models say the temperatures should be based on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This fact strongly suggests the assumed climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide of pre-industrial levels built into models is also way too high.

Further evidence that the surface station data are flawed stems from the fact that the surface station readings do not match the temperatures recorded by global satellites and weather balloons, two alternative temperature sources whose data sets closely track each other.

The Heartland Institute has exposed instances in both the United States and abroad wherein official agencies tamper with past temperature data at pristine stations. Not only have these agencies been caught adjusting records to appear cooler than what was actually recorded, they have also manipulated temperatures upward, making the recent warming trend appear steeper and more severe than it actually is.

I’ve written extensively about the so-called adjustments made by corrupt NOAA scientists in 2015, just before the Paris climate treaty negotiations – mixing data from unbiased ocean buoys with heat-biased temperature measurements taken from ships’ engine water intake inlets, which made it appear as if the ocean was suddenly warming faster than before. More recent research claiming the oceans were heating up fast, seeming to confirm NOAA’s manipulated ocean claims, had to be corrected for overstating ocean warming or risk being withdrawn from publication.

My colleague, award-winning meteorologist Anthony Watts, working with a team of volunteers, independently documented serious problems with the official surface temperature record arising from the fact that the vast majority of temperature stations are poorly sited. In fact, these stations routinely fail to meet NOAA’s own standards for quality, which results in temperatures being skewed upward due to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.

In 2009, and again in 2022, Watts detailed with station location data and photographic evidence just how woefully ill-sited these surface stations truly are. Stations providing official data were frequently sited in locations where surrounding surfaces, structures, and equipment radiated stored heat or emitted heat directly biased and drove the recorded temperatures higher than were recorded at stations in the same region that were uncompromised by the well-known UHI effect that is widely ignored by alarmists and official government agencies. Watts’ 2009 paper determined that 89 percent of the stations failed to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements.

The media and government bureaucrats took notice of Watts’ findings, the latter producing official responses that admitted the problem, while declaring the temperature record, despite the gross violation of established rules for sound temperature data collection, was still valid and reliable.

Even while claiming “no harm, no foul,” the U.S. government shuttered some of the most egregiously sited stations highlighted in Watts’ report and established an alternative temperature network, the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), consisting of new stations with state-of-the-art equipment sited in locations unlikely to ever be impacted by the UHI effect. The temperature data set from the USCRN, for anyone who cares, displays about half the warming and a slower rate of warming than the broader U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) used by the government in its official reports claiming unprecedented warming. In fact, the data from the relatively few well-sited, unbiased USHCN stations, when compared to the network as a whole, also show half the warming reported by the government. The government has accurate data, it just doesn’t report or count it as official.

Simultaneously, the government added thousands of previously uncounted temperature stations maintained by various agencies and private parties to the official network – existing stations added without any quality control protocols.

The result of the latter effort was predictably disastrous from the perspective of producing a high quality, trustworthy record of surface temperatures uninfluenced by the UHI effect. Unfortunately, Watts’ 2022 report found that the situation has become even worse. Watts and his team of volunteers discovered that 96 percent of the stations surveyed in the NOAA’s expanded network failed its own quality control standards for siting, resulting in an UHI bias in the temperatures they report.

Now, an investigative report by Katie Spence, a journalist at The Epoch Times, exposes an additional problem with the U.S. surface temperature record – a failing arguably more egregious than the issues I’ve discussed so far: many “stations” allegedly “reporting” temperatures don’t actually exist anymore, and haven’t for years. The government is just making up the data reported from many locations based on an averaging of temperatures recorded at other locations in the area.

And it’s not just a few missing stations providing made-up numbers, pointed out Lt. Col. John Shewchuk, a certified consulting meteorologist, who was interviewed by Spence for the story.

“NOAA fabricates temperature data for more than 30 percent of the 1,218 USHCN reporting stations that no longer exist,” Shewchuk told Spence. “They are physically gone – but still report data – like magic.”

To this day, NOAA still relies upon temperature “data” from the ghost stations, with an “E” for estimate.

Watts was consulted for the story as well, explaining to The Epoch Times that, “[i]f this kind of process were used in a court of law, then the evidence would be thrown out as being polluted.”

While the surface data may be the best source we have, when it is as biased or even fabricated as it is increasingly found to be, there is no way it should be used to drive public policies limiting the freedom of billions of people in their personal and economic affairs, all in the vain hope of controlling the weather in the future.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Agriculture

Research Suggests Cattle Raising May Reduce Emissions

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From Heartland Daily News

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that livestock production causes 11.1 of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, recommending people eat less meat to fight climate change.

Yet recent research suggests that under some climatic conditions or ecosystems, at least, cattle raising may actually result in lower emissions.

Alltech and Archbold examined the emissions from cattle raising in wetlands and ground that is regularly water laden. They found that although cattle accounted for 19 percent to 30 percent of emissions, the vast majority of the methane produced there was from the soil itself and the decomposing plant and animal life. As a result, they found, removing the cows actually produced a net increase in methane emissions.

Vaughn Holder, Ph.D., research project manager for beef nutrition at Alltech, who with Betsey Boughton, Ph.D., director of agroecology at Archbold, studied the impacts that cattle production has on the ecosystem on a wetlands pasture at Buck Island Ranch, about 150 miles northwest of Miami, Florida, notes that the production of agricultural emissions is more complex than simply ruminant eats plants = more methane emissions.

“There is a far more complex process in agriculture than it is in fossil fuel systems,” Holder told Just the News, which wrote:

Cattle are part of a carbon cycle. So if you just model the emissions coming from the animal, you’re missing the rest of the ecosystem, Holder said, which is absorbing carbon as a result of the animal being on the land.

When cattle graze on land, the plants prioritize root growth over the plant matter above the surface. The deeper the roots, the more plants sequester carbon in the soil through the photosynthesis process.

Grazing also removes grasses from a pasture, which reduces the dead plant matter that falls to the soil and decomposes, which also produces greenhouse gasses.

At the Buck Island Ranch, Boughton and her team measured the amount of greenhouse gases emitted on a pasture that had no grazing and compared it to pasture that had grazing. The data suggested grazing livestock were a net carbon sink compared to no grazing.

Of course, what’s true of a wetland’s ecosystem may not translate into more arid lands were cattle are often grazed, so more research is needed in order to know how cattle impact emissions in other environments.

However, as Holder and Boughton point out, quite aside from reducing emissions from wetlands, cattle and other livestock also consume a lot of plants humans can’t eat, turning them into them into edible proteins humans can consume, increasing global food security while reducing the emissions from the decomposition of the plants when they otherwise naturally die. In addition, livestock also consume a lot of food byproducts that humans either can’t or prefer not to eat, like orange pulp used in orange juice production. Although such byproducts can be used in composting, Holder notes, “composting increases emissions five times more than feeding it to dairy cows and byproducts disposed of in landfills produced 50 times more emissions than if it is fed to dairy cows.”

The research suggests that when accounting for livestock emissions, one should do an all-things- considered comparison, accounting for not just the emissions from cattle and sheep, but also from the material they consume that otherwise would have produced emissions by other means.

Sources: Just the News;  Understanding the Carbon Cycle on a Cattle Ranch

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Business

Trudeau’s environment department admits carbon tax has only reduced emissions by 1%

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

The Trudeau Liberals had first seemed to claim that the unpopular carbon tax had cut emissions by 33%, only to explain that the figure is merely a projection for 2030 and the actual reduction thus far stands at 1%.

The Liberal government has admitted that the carbon tax has only reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent following claims that the unpopular surcharge had cut emissions by 33 percent.   

During a May 21 House of Commons environment committee meeting, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault testified that the carbon tax cut greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent, before his department backtracked to explain that the figure is a projection for the year 2030, and that the true figure sits at a mere 1 percent.

“I will be the first one to recognize it is complex,” said Guilbeault, according to information obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter 

“If you want simple answers, I am sorry. There is no simple answer when it comes to climate change or modeling,” he said, adding, “Carbon pricing works. This has never been clearer.”  

“Carbon pricing alone accounts for around a third of emission reductions expected in Canada,” said Guilbeault, explaining this number was based on “complex statistical calculations.”  

However, Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) pointed out that the numbers provided by Guilbeault’s department do not add up to a 33 percent decrease in emissions, as the department had characterized.  

“How many megatonnes of emissions have been directly reduced from your carbon tax since it was introduced?” Conservative MP Dan Mazier questioned.  

According to Guilbeault, after the introduction of the carbon tax, emissions reduced by five megatonnes in 2018, fourteen megatonnes in 2019, seventeen megatonnes in 2020, eighteen megatonnes in 2021, and nineteen megatonnes in 2022.  

According to Blacklock’s, Guilbeault failed to explain how the environment department calculated a 33 percent benefit.

Conservative MP Michael Kram pressed Guilbeault, saying, “I want to make sure I have the math correct.” 

“In 2022 emissions were at 708 megatonnes and the carbon tax was responsible for reducing 19 megatonnes,” he continued. “By my math that works out to a three percent reduction.” 

Associate deputy environment minister Lawrence Hanson explained that the department’s 33 percent emissions cut is a projection of the emissions cut by 2030, not a current statistic.   

“It’s the distinction between how much the carbon price might have affected emissions in one year versus how much in 2030,” said Hanson. “So when you heard us talking about its responsible for one third of reductions we were talking about the 2030 number.” 

This explanation was echoed by Derek Hermanutz, director general of the department’s economic analysis directorate, who said, “When we talk about one third, it’s one third of our expected reductions. That’s getting to 2030.” 

“Yes, but three percent of the total emissions have been reduced as a result of carbon pricing?” Kram pressed.   

“No, emissions have declined three percent in total,” assistant deputy minister John Moffet responded.  

“And so only one percent of that three percent is from the carbon tax?” Kram asked.  

“To date,” Moffet replied. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax, framed as a way to reduce carbon emissions, has cost Canadian households hundreds of dollars annually despite rebates. 

The increased costs are only expected to rise. A recent report revealed that a carbon tax of more than $350 per tonne is needed to reach Trudeau’s net-zero goals by 2050. 

Currently, Canadians living in provinces under the federal carbon pricing scheme pay $80 per tonne, but the Trudeau government has a goal of $170 per tonne by 2030. 

On April 1, Trudeau increased the carbon tax by 23 percent despite seven out of 10 provincial premiers and 70 percent of Canadians pleading with him to halt his plan. 

Despite appeals from politicians and Canadians alike, Trudeau remains determined to increase the carbon tax regardless of its effects on citizens’ lives. 

The Trudeau government’s current environmental goals – which are in lockstep with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades. 

The reduction and eventual elimination of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum, the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved. 

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