Artificial Paradise, Inc. (Agenda 21) (via Free Us Now Weblog)

Just a couple more laws and regulations… Do you want to to look the other way?

Artificial Paradise, Inc.  (Agenda 21) Introduction I have some good news for you.  You have a life plan!  Your idyllic paradise has been carefully conceived and is awaiting just a couple more laws and regulations to be hammered out before given to you.  The bad news is that your life plan is being planned by someone else. Your paradise is not of your conception, nor perhaps even to your liking.  It is artificial, imposed by the CEO's of AP, Inc. Although many years of planning have g … Read More

via Free Us Now Weblog

Southern Company Installed 1 Million Smart Meters

Google smart meter and United Nations.  I don’t have time to discuss now why Smart Meters are not good for America’s freedom, quality of life, and privacy but this will not save you money.  Texans are surprised to find much higher rates associated with the Smart Grid.  It is a method where we will be controlled.  You better resist this as much as you can.   More later

American electricity group, Southern Company, announced that it has reached one million installed Smart Meters across its operating region in the Southeast United States. Smart Meter deployment started in January 2008.

Southern Company is installing the Smart Meters across its regional electrical utility subsidiaries. These utilities include Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power. Southern Company reached an installation rate of about 4,500 Smart Meters a day. The total amount of Smart Meters to be deployed is 4.4 million for all its customers across the Southeast states.

The program integrates advanced metering, communications, and other technologies to provide increased customer service, reduce total operating cost, and reduce energy usage per customer. The company is hoping that this will mean reduced electricity rates per consumer. Operational savings include programs, such as reducing its vehicle fleet used for meter reading by 500 vehicles, saving 12.5 million miles of driving annually while eliminating the corresponding vehicle emissions. The Smart Meters will allow customers to manage their energy consumption better, such as programming the running of appliances during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. Integration with modern communications systems and next-generation appliances will allow off-peak utilization to be done remotely. Prepaid power option may also be introduced, which is an entirely new concept to electrical utilities.

Southern Company’s Smart Meter program will be based on Sensus’ FlexNet® Advanced Metering Infrastructure network, which monitors energy use through Internet Protocol, wireless and fixed line communications, Smart Meters, and data storage sites. The system can be applied to electrical energy use as well as other utilities like gas and water. The system can offer real-time Smart Grid feedback from daily, hourly, 15-minute, or 5-minute data intervals. The program can disconnect and reconnect part of the grid or generation plants remotely, saving in total energy-generation costs. This also maximizes available power during peak periods, and shuts down excess power generation during off-peak times.

Southern Company serves 4.4 million customers across four US states with more than 42,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity-generating capability. Aside from owning electrical utilities, it is a growing service provider in fixed-line fiber-optic and wireless telecommunications. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Southern Company reaches one million installed Smart Meters – Smart Grid – Ecoseed Information Network.

Liberal Democrats Have This Right!

Power’s High Cost Will Cost Coast Jobs

Power’s High Cost Will Cost Coast Jobs

The FACT is, higher energy prices will cost jobs in Mississippi.   Mississippi power and Southern Company often state how many jobs are being brought due to the construction of the Kemper county demonstration CO2 capturing experiment.  Construction jobs are temporary, right?  Oh, but Mississippi Power Co does promise to bring over 200 permanent jobs.  Well, La-dee-da.  Tell that to the thousands losing their jobs and businesses.  This plant is going to HURT Mississippi and America.  I am surprised we don’t hear more from those who are about to lose their jobs starting 2012.  Perhaps they think it won’t happen to them or that they will live on unemployment?  Perhaps they will lose their homes and commit crimes to make ends meet?  Or perhaps the flooding of desperate men seeking work will bring salaries down as cheaper workers replace the established ones.  I hope these scenarios are incorrect but it does seem probable.

(Source: The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.))trackingBy Mary Perez, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Feb. 8–The Public Service Commission knows this week he has to sign off on a fuel-cost adjustment requested by Mississippi Power and he knows it will mean job losses in South Mississippi.

“I believe I’ve had every single casino call me,” said Bentz, chairman of the Mississippi Public Service Commission. He said they’ve told him, “The fuel-price increase is going to make us have to lay people off.”

Mississippi Power has requested a 9.2 percent increase for residential customers. The increase is higher for commercial and industrial customers because fuel costs make up a larger portion of their bills.

For Northrop Grumman it could mean an increase of $2 million this year. Beau Rivage Resort and Casino faces a $700,000 to $800,000 increase and Island View Casino around $300,000.

“Those are just some of the numbers we are hearing,” said Bentz.

He tells everyone who calls him about the increase, “If you have an idea, please give it to me.”

Bentz said, “I should have signed that order two months ago. I’ve not allowed them to put the new fuel prices in place yet.”

Business owners knew the increase was coming. In July and August representatives from Mississippi Power gave all major business customers an estimate of the increase, said company spokeswoman Cindy Webb. In November, when the utility filed for the fuel-cost adjustment, representatives went back and gave the businesses specific costs.

“It’s our annual true-up on fuel,” said Webb. It’s not the largest annual fuel adjustment. That was 10 percent in 2006. In 2008 Mississippi Power customers paid a 4 percent fuel-adjustment increase, and Webb said there were decreases in 2002 and 2003.

“It depends on the fuel markets,” she said.

Mississippi Power Company hasn’t had public hearings on fuel increases, but Bentz scheduled one for Dec. 29 in Gulfport. Only a handful of residents and business owners attended.

“It was not the best time in the world to have a hearing,” Bentz said, “but I wanted to have a public hearing anyway.” He said at the meeting the dollar-for-dollar “pass-through,” in a regulated market such as Mississippi’s, allows the utility to pass on the cost of doing business to the customer. If the company spends $100 million on fuel and is allowed a rate of return of 10 percent, the company can bill the customers for the additional $10 million.

“Mississippi Power Company can only earn what the state regulators allow them to earn,” Bentz said.

Mississippi Power uses coal and gas to operate its power plants.

Although prices are dropping now, “coal prices are still up and transportation prices are still high,” said Webb.

Mississippi Power CEO Anthony Topazi said gas was up 100 percent in 2008 and coal was at an all-time high.

“I’m spending more to provide the same amount of energy,” he said.

When the prices were steadily climbing last year, the company negotiated multi-year contracts on the futures market to lock in the cost and be assured a supply of coal and gas.

“It’s a great deal when you lock that contract price in and the prices skyrocket,” said Bentz.” It’s a horrible deal when you lock that price in and the prices go down,” as they did in this case.

Bentz said he doesn’t have the staff or the $1 million it would take to do an audit to see if the utility paid the lowest price possible for fuel.

“There needs to be a disincentive, or some type of incentive to the power company for purchasing fuel the cheapest they possibly can do it,” he said.

It won’t be just the customers who feel the pinch. Bentz said, “I told Anthony (Topazi) the other day, ‘Y’all need to put these planes on the ground,'” referring to corporate aircraft.

Bentz added, “Profit margins are not going to be what they were in the good years,” and he said, “I don’t believe bonuses are going to be paid to the amount that they’ve been paid.”

Webb said Mississippi Power has a hiring freeze and, “we are doing everything we can to control costs. We’re looking at the things we can do that won’t impact customer service.”

If Bentz doesn’t sign the increase, he said, the Mississippi Supreme Court would most likely overturn that decision and grant it anyway, as the court has done in the past.

He can amortize the increase over 12 months or possibly two years. “When you do that, it’s just like putting it on a credit card,” he said, with the customers paying the carrying costs.

“It’s a crap shoot,” he said. “If prices keep going down it’s a great thing. But if they keep going up, you’re just compounding costs on top of each other.”

—–

To see more of The Sun Herald, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.sunherald.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

Southern Co Lands Unsecured Notes Thanks to the Ratepayers

Money out of our pockets is going to pay for “Construction Work In Progress” and that reliable income from ratepayers help Southern Co land generous notes.

press release

Aug. 17, 2011, 10:35 a.m. EDT

Fitch Rates Southern Co.’s $500MM 1.95% 5 Year Notes ‘A’; Outlook Stable

 

NEW YORK, Aug 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fitch Ratings assigns a rating of ‘A’ to the $500 million of notes issued by Southern Company (Southern, IDR ‘A’). The new notes will mature on Sept. 1, 2016. The notes are unsecured and rank equally with other unsecured debt. Proceeds from the new notes will be used to reduce short-term debt and for other general corporate purposes. Fitch expects some of the proceeds will be used for pre-funding a portion of upcoming parent debt maturities. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

 

Fitch’s ratings of Southern recognize the financial support provided by operating subsidiaries in the form of dividends for the payment of corporate expenses, debt-service, and for other business matters and relatively modest parent debt leverage. The utility subsidiaries derive predictable cash flows from regulated businesses and have limited commodity price risks due to the ability to recover fuel and purchased power through a separate cost tracker. There are also periodic cost adjustment mechanisms for other costs such as environmental spending and construction work in process financing costs that limit regulatory lag. Southern’s ratings also reflect strong liquidity, financial flexibility, and ready access to the capital markets. Southern’s ratios of funds from operations (FFO) interest coverage and FFO to debt were 5.7 times (x) and 21.9%, respectively for the 12 months ended June 30, 2011.

 

Fitch’s key rating concerns include the construction risk associated with two baseload projects: the Plant Vogtle nuclear units 3 and 4 and the Kemper IGCC unit, abating but still present economic weakness, and increasingly stringent environmental rules on coal-fired plants that weigh on Southern’s utilities because of the predominance of coal in their generation mix. Rating stability depends on continued regulatory support and successful execution of the construction projects.

 

Additional information available at ‘ http://www.fitchratings.com ‘.

 

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

 

–‘Corporate Rating Methodology’, Aug. 12, 2011;

 

–‘Utilities Sector Notching and Recovery Ratings’, Aug. 12, 2011.

 

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

 

Corporate Rating Methodology

 

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=647229

 

Recovery Ratings and Notching Criteria for Utilities

 

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=648449

 

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS . IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘ WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM ‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE.

 

SOURCE: Fitch Ratings

 

        
        Fitch, Inc. 
        Primary Analyst 
        Sharon Bonelli, +1-212-908-0581 
        Managing Director 
        One State Street Plaza, 
        New York, NY 10004 
        or 
        Secondary Analyst 
        Shalini Mahajan, +1-212-908-0351 
        Director 
        or 
        Committee Chairperson 
        Glen Grabelsky, +1-212-908-0577 
        Managing Director 
        or 
        Media Relations 
        Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549 
        brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com

Fitch Rates Southern Co.’s $500MM 1.95% 5 Year Notes ‘A’; Outlook Stable – MarketWatch.

Attack On Coal Plants To Save Mother Earth

EnviroKnow

Energy policy, climate change and the decline of the American coal industry.

8.11 Morning Coal Links

Two important new websites have launched in the past few days: Greenpeace’s QuitCoal.org and a coalition effort, CoalTrainFacts.org.

Duke Energy has announced plans to close one of three units at its Miami Fort coal plant in North Bend, Ohio by 2015.

Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, claims that the Sierra Club’s efforts to move the United States beyond coal will actually move the country beyond jobs and economic growth.

United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts says that people who are unemployed should look for jobs in West Virginia’s coal mines.

A tree-sitter in West Virginia has entered her fourth week of blocking mountaintop removal mining at the Bee Tree mine.

Two groups of concerned citizens have filed a lawsuit against Millenium Bulk Terminals, one of the companies that hopes to build coal export terminals on the west coast, for violating federal clean water laws.

A group of 160 doctors have issued a stark warning about the potential health impacts of a proposed coal export terminal at Washington’s Cherry Point.

A third proposed coal export terminal has been floated in Washington State, this time at the Port of Grays Harbor.

Two Montana counties are locked in a legal battle over tax revenues from coal mining operations.

The American Clean Skies Association has released a $450 million plan to retire the Potomac coal plant and clean up Alexandria, Virginia’s waterfront.

Kemper County Plant is a FALSE Sense of Security

The pain is yet to be felt in our economy. Most power rates in MS will skyrocket starting in Jan, 2012 and when other power plants close. Bentz was warned, by many businesses,  of the pending lay-offs if rates increase. So this article is an attempt to give you a false sense of security, to keep opposition at a minimum. Obama is proud of Mississippi for paving the way for Cap and Trade compliance and this is paid publicity to deceive the public from what is really going on.

Miss. Power’s Kemper County Plant Showing Economic Impact

kemper1

$2.4 Billion Electrical Generation Plant
to Use Stable Fuel Source – Lignite Coal  

Construction is on schedule for the Mississippi Power Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant in Kemper County. The generating plant will use a Mississippi resource – locally mined lignite coal – as fuel to generate electricity to serve an ever-growing customer demand.

The state-of-the-art technology provides a stable clean-energy source. The 582-megawatt electric generating plant represents an investment of about $2.4 billion in the state of Mississippi. The plant is scheduled to be operational in 2014 and will have 300 permanent jobs.

kemper2Work is under way at the Mississippi Power IGCC plant in Kemper County BY THE NUMBERS

$270 Million 

Contracts that have been award to Mississippi firms total  approximately $270 million

290 Jobs

Mississippi’s workforce contributed 290 construction jobs in June

111 Mississippi Firms

A total of 111 Mississippi companies have provided construction, equipment, materials or professional services

http://www.mec.ms/index.php/featured-news/3/369

Southern Co. regulators fret over EPA rules

Coal Trader (11-Aug-11)

By Mark Watson

State regulators in Southern Company’s footprint are working to mitigate the cost and reliability effects of what one Georgia Public Service Commission member calls a “train wreck” of new federal environmental rules.

The way Southern Co mitigated it was by volunteering to be the first in America to comply to the non-existent Cap and Trade?  No, they put the burden to pay for the Kemper Plant upon the people of Mississippi.

Last week, Southern, the nation’s second-largest coal-fired electricity generator, filed at the Environmental Protection Agency an estimate that its subsidiaries would have to pay $13 billion to $18 billion to comply by 2020 with the so-called maximum achievable control technology rule to cut mercury and other toxic emissions.

The parent company of utilities in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi estimates that the new rules could result in about 40% of its 26,199 MW of installed coal-fired capacity either being retired or transitioned to natural gas.

On Monday, a Southern spokeswoman said any of this coal-fired generation that is not highly controlled – defined as lacking both sulfur dioxide scrubbers and devices to control the emission of nitrogen oxide – is “on the table” for possible retirement.

What Kemper is all about is capturing 60% carbon dioxide let’s not misguide the public.  We are all about minimizing pollution but Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant.

More than half of Southern’s coal-fired generation – 14,267 MW, to be exact – lacks one or both types of air emissions control equipment. Here are the numbers, broken out by state:

**Alabama – 8,729 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 4,410 MW is not highly controlled, with the highest concentration of highly controlled capacity in northern Alabama;

**Florida – 1,573 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 438 is not highly controlled, with all of the highly controlled capacity in the western Panhandle;

**Georgia -14,301 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 7,823 MW is not highly controlled, with the highly controlled capacity in northern Georgia; and

**Mississippi -1,596 MW of coal-fired generation, none of which is highly controlled, with all of it concentrated along the Gulf Coast.

Also last week, Southern’s Georgia Power subsidiary asked the Public Service Commission to retire the Mitchell Plant’s unit 4C, with 33 MW of capacity, in March 2012, and to retire the Branch Plant’s Units 1 and 2, totaling 569 MW, effective at the end of 2013. The Mitchell Plant is in southern Georgia, and the Branch Plant is in central Georgia.

Mississippi will be retiring plants as well.  This is being kept confidential until after the elections. But jobs will be lost.

Georgia Power also seeks certification of four power purchase agreements totaling 1,562 MW of capacity found through a request for proposals for periods that begin in 2015 and extend 12 to 15 years thereafter.

“I believe that through our [integrated resource plan] process … we’ll continue to see Georgia without a reliability issue, but at what cost remains to be seen,” said Stan Wise, Georgia PSC chairman, on Tuesday. “It’s something my colleagues and I are very concerned about. Clearly, it’s an exceptionally tight time line for what has been a 50% coal generating state. We’re going to see a dramatic change in the way we’ve done business in this state.”

In an email, Georgia PSC member Tim Echols said, “Georgia Power has a great record of reliability. That will not be an issue, regardless of fuel.”

Wise said he has discussed what he called “the train wreck we’re facing in the next decade” with Georgia’s senators. While the commission has ordered the installation of air scrubbers, these processes take time, and the short deadlines in the EPA rules may leave Georgia regulators with “the only avenue we have in this state … to shutter a plant or transfer it to another fuel source.”

We should be joining forces with Texas to fight overbearing irrational regulations the Obama administration is laying out to destroy our economy.  The timeline should be delayed!

In contrast with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Georgia lacks a large amount of underutilized gas-fired generation capacity controlled by independent power producers, Wise said.

But an industry observer who works with independent power producers in the region said the Southeast may, in fact, have underutilized gas generation that would be available to fill in the gap from Southern’s retired coal-fired generation.

“There are many, many less independent power producers there than in the past, but I wouldn’t make a blanket statement that the generation’s not there,” said the observer, who asked that his name not be used. “Historically, they haven’t been run very much.”

Replacing coal-fired generation with new gas-fired generation, which would be funded by ratepayers, could mean a big blow to Georgia consumers. “You can be sure that when the costs of these rules are passed on to the ratepayers, it will get their attention,” Wise said.

But Echols said he has “no worries as long as natural gas prices stay down.”

In Mississippi, Leonard Bentz, the PSC member who represents the Gulf Coast region served by Southern’s Mississippi Power subsidiary, said it would be “irresponsible” for utilities to switch much of its generation to natural gas.

What is irresponsible is to force the people of MS to buy an experimental Lignite Coal plant in compliance to Obama’s Green agenda. And even worse, was to do it secretly.

“Do you think for one second that gas prices are going to stay low?” Bentz said Tuesday. “I don’t. … I’m not going to be a part of getting gas-heavy on generation. You need a good, diversified fuel mix.”

This is all about deception folks.  Steven Chu  expressed his goal to “bankrupt” every coal plant in America through regulations.  Bentz said, Let Mississippi be first.  And make the ratepayer buy the plant but not to increase the rates until after his re-election. 

It would be equally irresponsible to shut down Mississippi Power’s coal-fired generation when the utility regularly hits records for summer demand, as it has done in the past two years, Bentz said.

It is criminal to force one of the poorest states to buy a risky coal plant scam causing the poorest to suffer to their deaths in the heat. Say it will bring jobs as businesses close and lay-off.   But Bentz did just what Obama wanted.

“Reliability is probably one of the biggest determining factors in my decision-making process, a fraction above cost,” Bentz said. “When people’s bills get high, the phone rings off the wall, but when the lights go out, the phones blow up from all of the calling.”

Following the political agenda seems like the determining factor.  It took only 72 hours to change the minds of the Bentz and Posey after recieving the persuasive letter from Haley Barbour who was hoping for a presidential run at the time and kissing up-to liberals. 

In a joint e-mail, the Alabama PSC said it learned from Alabama Power that “under the currently proposed implementation schedules, reliability will be jeopardized.”

“For that not to occur, the EPA must extend its stringent compliance periods and adopt a more flexible approach,” states the e-mail. “Otherwise, customers could potentially suffer reliability impacts and incur unnecessary costs due to compliance penalties, inflationary pressures, material supply and labor shortages, as well as the potential for multiple outages occurring at one time.”

The Alabama commissioners’ email said they “plan to maintain an open dialogue … concerning these issues” with their congressional delegation and other government officials.

Bentz said he has been discussing the new EPA rules with Mississippi’s congressional delegation.

But not discussing it with the people of Mississippi.  Again I want to see a fight against Cap and Trade not a volunteer to be the first to comply mentality.  Bentz keeps saying, “We will be the first in energy.”  But what he means is, we will be the first fools to be involved in the “train wreck.”

But Echols said he expects that Congress will not forestall the EPA rules unless Obama loses the 2012 presidential election.

“The EPA is a powerful agency,” Echols said.

Mark Watson

The red italics is inserted opinions and is not part of the original Coal Trader article in black. Brandon Presley voted against the Kemper County Lignite coal plant and has been an advocate for the people of Mississippi on this topic.

NASA Assisted Study: Global Warming Alarmists Wrong

NASA Study: Global Warming Alarmists Wrong.

New study that may proves global-warming alarmists have been wrong all along.

Data from NASA’s Terra satellite covering the period 2000 through 2011 shows that when the earth’s climate heats up, the atmosphere appears to be better able to channel the heat to outer space.

The satellite data call into question the computer models favored by global warming believers and may put to rest controversy over the discrepancy between the computer models and actual meteorological readings.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama’s Earth System Science Center, said in a press release, “The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show. There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In an Op-Ed in Forbes, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute James M. Taylor, said, “In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth’s atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space.

“Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space that the alarmist computer models predict.”

The new research further shows that not only is more energy released to space than had been theorized, but also that the energy is released at an earlier point in a cycle of warming than previously documented.

In fact, the new data reveal, energy is discharged beginning at a point about three months before a cycle peaks. “At the peak,” Spencer said, “satellites show energy being lost while climate models show energy still being gained.”

The research was published in the journal Remote Sensing.

Irrefutable Evidence – University of Alabama in Huntsville

Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 26, 2011) — Data from NASA’s Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

The result is climate forecasts that are warming substantially faster than the atmosphere, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

 

 

Roy Spencer

The previously unexplained differences between model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming have been the source of often contentious debate and controversy for more than two decades.

In research published this week in the journal “Remote Sensing,” Spencer and UAHuntsville’s Dr. Danny Braswell compared what a half dozen climate models say the atmosphere should do to satellite data showing what the atmosphere actually did during the 18 months before and after warming events between 2000 and 2011.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

Not only does the atmosphere release more energy than previously thought, it starts releasing it earlier in a warming cycle. The models forecast that the climate should continue to absorb solar energy until a warming event peaks.

Instead, the satellite data shows the climate system starting to shed energy more than three months before the typical warming event reaches its peak.

“At the peak, satellites show energy being lost while climate models show energy still being gained,” Spencer said.

This is the first time scientists have looked at radiative balances during the months before and after these transient temperature peaks.

Applied to long-term climate change, the research might indicate that the climate is less sensitive to warming due to increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere than climate modelers have theorized. A major underpinning of global warming theory is that the slight warming caused by enhanced greenhouse gases should change cloud cover in ways that cause additional warming, which would be a positive feedback cycle.

Instead, the natural ebb and flow of clouds, solar radiation, heat rising from the oceans and a myriad of other factors added to the different time lags in which they impact the atmosphere might make it impossible to isolate or accurately identify which piece of Earth’s changing climate is feedback from manmade greenhouse gases.

“There are simply too many variables to reliably gauge the right number for that,” Spencer said. “The main finding from this research is that there is no solution to the problem of measuring atmospheric feedback, due mostly to our inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in our observations.”

For this experiment, the UAHuntsville team used surface temperature data gathered by the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Great Britain. The radiant energy data was collected by the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments aboard NASA’s Terra satellite.

The six climate models were chosen from those used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The UAHuntsville team used the three models programmed using the greatest sensitivity to radiative forcing and the three that programmed in the least sensitivity.

 

For more information:

Dr. Roy Spencer, (256) 961-7960 

   roy.spencer@nsstc.uah.edu

Phillip Gentry, (256) 961-7618

    gentry@nsstc.uah.edu

                                                                                                                                                                                                        www.nsstc.uah.edu/essc/

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