Unbelievable: New $500 million Oroville dam spillway already has cracks

Watts Up With That?

CA Department of of Water Resources says: “don’t worry”, it’s “robust”.

Readers may recall that in February 2017, the spillway at Oroville dam eroded and collapsed due to the massive amount of water from El Nino weather pattern induced storms eroding concrete that had cracks in it that had not been properly maintained. The state DWR agency spent an estimated $500 million to rush a new spillway replacement into service by November 1st. Now it appears this rush job has cracks in the steel reinforced concrete, repeating the same start of the scenario that caused the collapse in the first place.

Feb 9th 2017 – concrete collapse at Oroville spillway

From ChicoER: Small cracks have appeared in the new concrete in the main spillway at Oroville Dam, but the state says they were expected and nothing to worry about.

An explanation of the “hairline cracks” was called for in a…

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Trump Administration Approves Climate Friendly Flammable Refrigerants

Watts Up With That?

Abandoned Building on Fire in Quebec, Canada. Abandoned Building on Fire in Quebec, Canada. By Sylvain Pedneault (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsGuest essay by Eric Worrall

Greens are celebrating that the US EPA has raised the quantity of cheap highly flammable climate friendly refrigerants which can be used in home appliances.

Trump’s EPA Backs a Climate Change Tweak Environmentalists Like

By Eric Roston
29 November 2017, 04:14 GMT+10

The Trump administration took a small step toward addressing climate change last week — it just didn’t put it quite in those words.

Without fanfare — or even a public announcement — the Environmental Protection Agencyissued an arcane rule that allows refrigerator and air-conditioner manufacturers to increase the amount of three cooling chemicals they can use safely. In a twist, the change was welcomed by manufacturers that want to adapt and use chemicals that would cause less global warming.

Home refrigerator makers in…

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Does Air Pollution Really Shorten Life Spans?

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Dr. Indur M. Goklany

Periodically we are flooded with reports of air pollution episodes in various developing countries, and claims of their staggering death toll, and consequent reductions in life spans. The Economic Times (India), for example, recently claimed:

If you are in NCR [National Capital Region, i.e. Delhi] right now, you may have a shorter lifespan

Nov 09, 2017, 05.11 PM IST

Can’t breathe

With pollution levels in NCR 40 times the World Health Organization’s safe limit, your life expectancy could be cut short…

Killing you softly

The US embassy website said levels of the fine pollutants known as PM2.5 that are most harmful to health reached 703 — well over double the threshold of 300 that authorities class as hazardous. PM2.5 are particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less and a study recently found that a 10 µg/m3 (per cubic meter of air)…

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Reconciling Model-Observation Reconciliations

Climate Audit

Two very different representations of consistency between models and observations are popularly circulated. On the one hand, John Christy and Roy Spencer have frequently shown a graphic which purports to show a marked discrepancy between models and observations in tropical mid-troposphere, while, on the other hand, Zeke Hausfather, among others, have shown graphics which purport to show no discrepancy whatever between models and observations.  I’ve commented on this topic on a number of occasions over the years, including two posts discussing AR5 graphics (here, here) with an update comparison in 2016 (here) and in 2017 (tweet).

There are several moving parts in such comparisons: troposphere or surface, tropical or global. Choice of reference period affects the rhetorical impression of time series plots.  Boxplot comparisons of trends avoids this problem. I’ve presented such boxplots in the past and update for today’s post.

I’ll also…

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Is Climate Chaotic or Cyclical? The Transition from Uniformitarianism to Catastrophism.

Watts Up With That?

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

In the 1990s a clear divide existed between the east (the Soviet Union and China) who said climate change is cyclical and the west (the US and Europe) who believed it was chaotic. The former argued that all we need to do is determine the major cycles and how they interact to start understanding and to predict. The latter that climate was chaotic as expressed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report and predictions were not possible.

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

Chaos theory was the source of the Lorenz based story prevalent at the time that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan it arrives as a storm in California many days later.

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After the “catastrophe signal’ – When science entered the policy greenhouse

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Bernie Lewin

A new book on the origins of the global warming movement tells how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was first pressed into policy based evidence making.

It was a single line in one report that read:

The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.

These words in the second assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can now be seen as pivotal in the history of global warming science.

However tentative the wording, this was the first time that an official assessment had made a positive ‘detection’ claim.

The breakthrough was widely celebrated and then used to justify a change of US policy, towards support for binding greenhouse gas emissions targets.

But this came only after protests over what had been done to the IPCC report to make way for this statement. Just days before the US policy change…

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Google Truth Algorithm: Users are Part of the Problem

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Google’s efforts to filter out positions which they think are fake news, like climate skeptic posts, have hit an unexpected snag: Google have just noticed large groups of people across the world hold views which differ from the views championed by the Silicon Valley monoculture.

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt: It can be ‘very difficult’ for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth

Catherine Clifford
2:38 PM ET Tue, 21 Nov 2017

In the United States’ current polarized political environment, the constant publishing of articles with vehemently opposing arguments has made it almost impossible for Google to rank information properly.

So says billionaire Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday.

“Let’s say that this group believes Fact A and this group believes Fact B and you passionately disagree with each other and you are all publishing…

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Roger Pielke Jr. describes the politics of unlikely climate scenarios

Watts Up With That?

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: The public policy choices we make about climate policy depend on the future that we expect. Here Roger Pielke Jr. describes an example of how climate scenarios too often misrepresent what we know about our world and its likely futures.

Pielke on Climate” – part 3 of 3.

The Politics of Inconceivable Scenarios.

By Roger Pielke Jr. at The Climate Fix.

Posted with his generous permission.

Lightly edited.


Welcome to issue #7 of my occasional newsletter on climate and energy issues. As a reminder, my day-to-day research or writing is focused on sports governance and various issues of science policy. But I’ve written a fair bit on the topics of climate and energy over the past 25 years, including two recent books and a boatload of academic papers, and I’m paying attention. So caveat lector {reader beware}!…

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Virginia goes Don Quixote

Watts Up With That?

State will defy Trump, double down on renewables and CO2 reductions – and hurt poor families

Guest essay by Paul Driessen

Democrat Ralph Northam had barely won the Virginia governor’s race when his party announced it would impose a price on greenhouse gases emissions, require a 3% per year reduction in GHG emissions, and develop a cap-and-trade scheme requiring polluters to buy credits for emitting carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, liberal governors from California, Oregon and Washington showed up at the COP23 climate confab in Bonn, Germany to pledge that their states will remain obligated to the Paris climate treaty, and push ahead with even more stringent emission, electric vehicle, wind, solar and other programs.

Leaving aside the unconstitutional character of states signing onto an international agreement that has been repudiated by President Trump (and the absurdity of trying to blame every slight temperature change and extreme weather event on fossil fuels)…

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