Easing tensions sees equities rise; China steel surge unsustainable; Philippine volcano a regional risk; Aussies react to climate risks; UST 10yr yield at 1.84%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 66.3 USc; TWI-5 = 71.5

Easing tensions sees equities rise; China steel surge unsustainable; Philippine volcano a regional risk; Aussies react to climate risks; UST 10yr yield at 1.84%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 66.3 USc; TWI-5 = 71.5

Good morning, wherever you are. Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of a respite in global tensions.

Wall Street is +½% higher today on the general news that trade tensions seem to be easing, and Middle East political tensions are as well. Overnight, European equities slipped on most exchanges, except London - a rare reversal.

Yesterday, Asian equity markets were quite bullish. Shanghai was up +0.8%, Hong Kong was up +1.1% and Tokyo was up +0.5%. The Aussie equity market slipped -0.4% while the NZX50 was virtually unchanged.

In Canada, businesses there are slightly more optimistic heading into 2020. Like consumers, they expect inflation will remain low. And they still expect to invest and hire at a similar rate to 2019.

In China, even though it is the largest car market in the world selling more than 26 mln vehicles per year, they expect sales will decline -2% in 2020. Generous state subsidies for non-petrol/diesel vehicles will continue.

This is having a flow-on impact as China's steel manufacturers continue output at record levels even as key customers are buying less. Beijing is alarmed at the rising losses. A big shakeout is coming. Australia is unlikely to ship as much iron ore in 2020 as it did in 2019.

In the Philippines, the Mt Taal volcanic eruption, while initially dramatic, is now expected to burst into a huge event soon. Large numbers of people are being evacuated. The fear is that it could have wide regional climate impacts.

In Australia, the bush fire emergencies have changed the political views on climate change, and they are likely to get embedded following their Royal Commission inquiry into the disaster. Fossil-fuel-energy jobs will become the flash-point.

And the wider financial markets are likely to be impacted, according to Standard & Poors. They said, "The recent bush fires will have a flow-on effect on local employment in industries such as tourism and agriculture, which could lead to debt-serviceability pressures for affected borrowers."

The UST 10yr yield is now up to 1.84% and a rise of +2 bps overnight. But their 2-10 curve is little-changed at +26 bps. Their 1-5 curve is still at +12 bps. And their 3m-10yr curve hasn't moved much either at +31 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 1.24% and very similar to where it was yesterday. The China Govt 10yr is also similar at 3.15%. And the NZ Govt 10 yr is in the same groove at 1.48%.

Gold will start today down -US$11 at US$1,551/oz.

US oil prices are lower again today now just over US$58.50/bbl and the Brent benchmark is down too at US$64.50/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is unchanged at 66.3 USc. On the cross rates we are slightly softer at 96 AUc. Against the euro we are at 59.6 euro cents. That puts our TWI-5 at 71.5. Beijing is still letting the yuan strengthen deliberately against the US dollar and its now back to levels we last saw in August 2019. It seems to be part of the Phase One trade deal.

Bitcoin is also unchanged since this time yesterday at US$8,096. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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Could it be that Brexit, under Boris, is now finally accepted, the hyperbole and doomsayers fading, and both sides are, psychologically at least, getting on with the reality of it. Pity it took so long for a democratic will to prevail.

Brexit is just the end of the beginning. The fun and games start now. Negotiating a deal with the EU likely to be ineffective given Bojo's red lines. A free trade deal with the US? Don't make me laugh. Rottweiler meet chihuahua. Let's judge Brexit in ten years time shall we? That's after Irish unification, Scottish independence and when our friends in't North of England realise they've been well and truly shafted.

Those NIWA soil moisture charts. So much red!!

Shhh. You'll upset the snowflake Greta haters. 2019 was only NZ's 4th warmest year on record. Even Slomo in Canberra is getting the message. It must've been very painful for him.

ScoMo (sounds like a disease, SloMo is highly descriptive) is making noise, but it is a long way from action. $2 billion towards recovery but the people will see very little of that. they need to spend on prevention and protection.

prevention is the answer!

Since i was a child Australian bushfires have been in the news, almost inevitable that eventually there would be some that burn completely out of control.

Unfortunately they will need to clear a lot of land to avoid the same thing happening in future

"Unfortunately they will need to clear a lot of land to avoid the same thing happening in future"

I guess coast to coast desert is one solution.. not sure it'll be very popular tho.

Very red. And not a lot of rain forecast in the North either over the coming week. This has been an ongoing story for the last couple of weeks. At the end of 2018 we saw massive thunder and electrical storms throughout summer. This time around there has been almost no storms and whatever rain has been fleeting at most.


(in Boomer voice)

"What'd'ya expect! It's summer for Pete's sake. It snowed in Siberia in winter so all this climate mulachy is China pulling a fast one on ya. Wise up whipper snapper and buy yourself a hummer to celebrate!".

We're in that green patch farthest to the east and are not to bad yet. Most of all the temperatures are substantially down on last year, our evapotranspiration would be less half last year. So we'll see how it goes from here.
There were some pictures of a couple of Northland landscapes in other media with the blurb proclaiming how terribly dry it was. Was funny cause I've farmed droughts in Northland and those pictures were damned green.
Long way to go.

Hawkes bay got an inch last night and I think it rained over all the Nth Island east coast

Good to read some sense now being spoken across the ditch. The data keeps on giving the real story

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet.


Ocean warming is miniscule: From Argo data the global ocean (averaging about 4000m deep) is only warming at about 0.1°C per century https://www.use-due-diligence-on-climate.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/... Ultimately the oceans limit the rate that the atmosphere can warm at - the ocean sucks out more heat if the temp difference between ocean and atmosphere grows.

... oh no , don't do that Mr F ... you're guilty of using good science , and rational thinking ... SHUT UP !!! ...

We must be led by dogma , ideology , bad science ... yes , that is the way forward ...


There is (almost) universal consensus on climate change among scientists.
My philosophy - I know nothing about climate science, I will go with the mass of informed opinion...

You need to read stuff from both sides for yourself, because while the earth is warming the evidence for catastrophic warming is at best weak. Another paper just published: https://judithcurry.com/2020/01/10/climate-sensitivity-in-light-of-the-l... using climate data from last 20 years has only 1.72°C temp increase per CO2 doubling. Given that we are unlikely to ever see even one CO2 doubling (280-560ppm CO2, we are at 410ppm now but changing to EV's in next decade will slow it dramatically) it is yet another nail in Catastrophist thesis. Climate models can't model dominant effects of ocean circulation, cloud reflection and convection or ocean evaporative convection and so are utterly useless - political props only.

In any given field there will be some dissent.
It's important to look at the credibility of a researcher and their background.

Jud Curry: She runs a climate blog and has been invited by Republicans on several occasions to testify at climate hearings about uncertainties in climate understanding and predictions. Climate scientists criticize her uncertainty-focused spiel for containing elementary mistakes and inflammatory assertions unsupported by evidence. Curry is a regular at Anthony Watts' denier blog, as well as Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit, another denier site. She has further embarrassed herself (and her university) by using refuted denier talking points and defending the Wegman Report, eventually admitting she hadn't even read it in the first place.[1] Curry has agreed with Trump's description of climate change as a "hoax", writing in 2016 that the UN's definition of manmade climate change "qualifies as a hoax".[

Note that the above paper is not by Curry - she is just commenting on it, so attacking her credibility is really beside the point, even if ad hom is the preferred means of rebutting unwanted data in our enlightened times. You should look at opinions and papers on both sides and form your own opinions, don't take other's word for it as interpretation of equivocal evidence is skewed by agendas. My take is that there is now a lot of evidence using measured temperature data pointing to low ECS (warming effects from CO2), and that evidence is growing harder for catastropists to deny with every passing year as Argo data set - only started around year 2000 - increases in length and shrinks the range of statistically possible trends.

Chart of shrinking published climate sensitivty estimates over time. A lot of scientists to smear there.

That is very telling graph, and perhaps informs as to why political will to act is collapsing and why propagandizing has become so shrill in recent times - a whole lot of people who have built careers on the scare are seeing their professional raison d'etre evaporate.

I agree with you Foyle

While almost all scientists agree with the irrefutable facts that the earth is warming and that CO2 is a green house gas, that is pretty much where consensus ends.

Richard Lindzen is probably the foremost expert in the world of atmospheric physics and formally part of the IPCC, and his thoughts on CO2 concentrations and the part that clouds play in warming and cooling is quite insightful

This video is worth a watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2q9BT2LIUA&list=LL0cxp29U1fv7fgaSfqp-Er...

The media is very alarmist of climate change without truely understanding it.

Based on current trend, we will hit 560ppm by 2050.

Transport accounts for about 23% of C02 emissions. If 100% of vehicles changed to EVs by 2030 (hint: not going to happen), you would push it back to 2055.

That extrapolation is ridiculous. CO2 currently increasing at 2ppm/year and they extrapolate to 10ppm using a naive polynomial fit. Where is 5x increase going to magically appear from? What about all the cheaper new energy tech that is clearly going to replace current fossil fuel use. Battery tech is going to start cutting into fossil fuel use in a massive way over next decade - enabling evs and cheap home pv. Linear extrapolation from last 5 years gets us to 470ppm in 2030 but with rapid changes underway we might not even get that high.

Rise in 10 years prior:
1990 - 15
2000 - 16
2010 - 19
2020 - 24

This is not a linear progression

but reality; demographics, technology,politics and economics are the determining factors, not unthinking numerical extrapolations that are plainly unrealistic.

Indeed, and while the ideologically motivated folk rush to grasp anything to suggest no action is needed, a recent study suggests that climate modeling has actually been more accurate than detractors screech:

There’s a favorite argument among doubters of mainstream climate science: Climate models overestimate the rate at which the Earth is warming.

That claim surfaces time and again and is frequently based on single examples of uncertainty or cherry-picked data. Various studies have gone back and closely examined individual climate models in recent years and have generally found that they’re working pretty well.

Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-models-got-it-right-o...

Help us here, seems that going back to old models, changing the variables (and assumptions?) And now they conform to recorded data.

Is this the "if we knew then what we know now". Thing.

At best this is saying, with the benefit of hindsight, the model is half right.

At the time, no one knew, no one said, all good its half right, without saying what half.

Maybe there is more than 17 models, who knows.
Models can be difficult to pin down.

The 'models' are crude beyond belief, wholly inadequate. They are trying to accurately predict ~0.1% change in heat fluxes, but can't model oceanic circulation, ocean turbulent overturning, evaporation driven convection (tropical thunderstorms that wick away heat from tropics where about half of sun energy falls), cloud condensation/reflection and convection, wave mixing .... They just don't 'do' water physics. Add to which they are hopelessly low resolution - modelling cells 100km on a side. Their results are little better than augery, and will never be realistic even if computers trillions of times faster are built.

The point was the models actually worked reasonably well when using real data. However, of course models also improve over time. That's science.

It's called calibrating.
Happy to have you believe models are science.

The problem is that they really don't work - they are tweaked and tuned using an array of fiddle factors to provide a veneer of sciencey sounding justification for exhortations of impending doom. But when you look closely at the predictions they make, both qualitative (what parts of earth and atmosphere are heating/cooling getting wetter/drier and quantitative - rates of change they are very wide of the mark, even when the fiddle factors are used to put them near reality on global averages. Oh, and 95% of them are running too hot (sexing up the scare): https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/modsvsobs.png

Plenty do not agree but MSM seem to ignore them.

Updated – Climate Scientists Write To UN: There Is No Climate Emergency

A group of 500 esteemed scientists and professionals in climate science have officially notified the United Nations that there is no climate crisis and that spending trillions on a non-problem is ‘cruel and imprudent’.

Click to Download the Full List of 500 Signatories

I did exactly that, working my way through the list, the very first one Professor Guus Berkhout, an engineer who worked for the oil and gas industry. You may also have over-egged their qualifications "esteemed scientists and professionals in climate science" turns out to be "500 scientists and professionals" no mention of climate science. In the interests of fairness here's the rebuttal of that letter https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/letter-signed-by-500-scientists-r...

Quick update, I'm working my way through and have found a Professor of Philosophy, my favourite one so far is this guy "THE VISCOUNT MONCKTON OF BRENCHLEY" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckto...
The proud owner of a Classics and Journalism degree.

Slight correction: "A group of 500 esteemed scientists and professionals in climate science"

Except, most of them aren't climate scientists, I only bothered reading the first couple of countries of entries, and the list is mostly a bunch of people with non-relevant qualifications like:
professor of economics,
retired civil engineer,
Senior Development Engineer (semiconductor MEMs).
PhD in Law, author of several books

yeah, these aren't 500 Climate or related scientists, this is just the usual collection of climate change deniers with anything passing as a professional title. There are some in the list with relevant qualifications/careers, but mostly not.

This climate change denialism is laughable, isn't it.
I'm not going to waste any more time on it!

Well that puts a couple of rats amongst the chickens. Will brace my IPad for the outcry sure to follow.

Doesn't much depend on the rate that ocean water circulates? I can remember the experiment at school where an ice cube was held underwater by wire at the bottom of a test tube while the top was heated with a bunsen burner - steam bubbles at the top and ice at the bottom.
Does anyone have the ratio of the thermal capacity of our atmosphere compared to our oceans?

... I remember the experiment where you drop two ice cubes into a glass of water ... mark the water level ... then , at the end of the period , when the ice has melted ... VOILA ! ... no change in the water level ...

Ice floats cos it's less dense than liquid water . . as it melts , it becomes denser... hence zero rise in the water level ....

... science ... ain't it naughty ... it dispels do many myths ... the ultimate myth buster ...

Good try but the purposely-written flaw is a tad obvious. You should have marked the water-level BEFORE you dropped the ice-cubes in.

But you were well aware of that, weren't you?

... yes , ... I was well aware of that ... cos ice bergs enter the Antarctic oceans by being dropped in from giant helicopters .... silly scientists ... why do they do that .. tisk !

Nature has its own version of giant helicopters


And I bet you were one of those wayward students who would belt the bunsen burner tube up and down when the poor ol teacher wasn’t looking.

Gummy left school in 1914 and was captured by the Germans - who then promptly released him as would not stop babbling on.

Are you published GBH? If so send through some of your scientific articles.

While you do that you may want to see this:


and, consider this:


The difference between you and I is I do not claim to be a science expert but have an open mind and consider what the experts have to say. You on the other hand have a position (climate change is BS) and no amount of science will convince you otherwise. "You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into".

HG, how can you read GBH's mind?.

His posts show he is a poster child for the Dunning-Kruger Effect:


With ease.

Believe that , so far year to date, is the most loaded question asked on this good site.

Well, if I was feeling uncharitable, I might suggest there isn't much to read.
Empty can rattles the most etc..

Average depth of ocean ? Approximately 3700 metres. Depth of atmosphere if it was liquified across surface of earth? 10 metres. Oceanic coverage. Is 71 %...so about 260 x volume of seawater to liquified atmosphere..and water has a very high specific heat capacity compared to atmosphere. Thats year ten science from the kids.of course climate physicists can do better.guestumate is ocean can hold 300 times more heat than the atmosphere.

left out the factor of 4 difference in specific heat (1005J/kg/K for air, 4180 for water, so about 1200:1

Thanks for the info - I've been lazy, should have done it myself. I've been fascinated by climate change for over 50 years (influence of the raised beaches you can see in Inverness Scotland). It has meant I avoided buying property within 10m of sea level (maybe more scared of not being able to insure therefore sell than scared of actual flooding). So I've been mildly surprised by the very small changes in sea-level. Eventually I realised our oceans are buffering the problem by which I mean things are getting bad more slowly than expected but on the other hand putting everything back to normal will be very very difficult - it will take more than EVs and of that I'm certain.


Those of us who are cruising yachties, discuss ocean temperatures a lot. The anomalies are stark, the potential to created storms is increasing, and the once-reliable cyclone seasons are no longer reliable. This is very real to us.

Air at 290K (17C) has a density of 1.22 kg/m^3, and a heat capacity of 1007 J/kg.K. So a cubic meter of air can be heated 1C for a mere 1.23 kJ. The equivalent for water (not sea water) takes 4181 kJ. So heating the same volume of water by 1C takes 3400 times more energy. Of course the atmospheric properties change with altitude and the much lower pressure and density but this is just a quick set of calculations for energy.

The volume of the atmosphere is approximately 4.2 billion km^3 and the oceans are only 1.34 billion km^3. To heat the oceans 1C still takes 1000 times more energy than the atmosphere despite having a smaller volume.

It's easy for humans to interfere with the atmosphere. Even the fires in Australia are creating their own weather.

We need to grow gills and move down there to live. You lead the way Foyle and let me know what it's like.

Careful, he might turn out to be a groper

Volcanic eruptions and the solar minimum? Cyclical processes at work? Surely, not? Well, hopefully not, we don't want another Dalton minimum, thank you very much.

.. south of Manila in Bicol province the Mayan volcano is starting to gurgle and rumble .. eruption alert raised to 2 ... Taal still at 4 ...

Oh Noes...another 15-year Pause in the offing?

Therein lies a hard earned problem concerning earthquakes, volcanoes, avalanches et al. Every expert knows all about it after it happens.

Aussie may even see the light and instead of exporting all of its uranium, use some of it locally to supply the baseload (around 18 gigawatts) which solar and wind are inherently incapable of sustaining....zero carbon achieved, tick, next problem?

Nuclear waste-disposal, using the currently-availavble energy to do it, in such a way that future generations don't have to expend THEIR energy on mitigating OUR energy-use.

Fat chance, on current form. We can't even mitigate the exhaust-gases of our burning the one-off global store of fossilised sunlight. To sequester the CO2 would take so much of the currently-available energy that our society would be in trouble - probably to the point of collapse, certainly to the point of gross triage. That is why we haven't. And why the current short-term beneficiaries argue that we shouldn't - commonly doing so via denial.

It's easy if we want to fix the problem in a rational way. Bore a 5km deep hole in deep ocean abyssal plane using standard oil-drilling tech. Drop waste in it. Cap with 1000m of concrete. A few holes could hold all worlds waste safe for at least millions of years, you could never find it or detect it again even if you wanted to, no water flow through it, gas decay products sealed in the same as gases and petroleum products are.

I have a rule of thumb; if you search for something and it's nobbut artist's impressions, it probably isn't happening. Carbon sequestration is a classic. Nuclear waste disposal is another. If it was that easy, we'd have done it already already.

Meat market into China still Volatile

From Alliance
'The four key factors behind the volatility are:

Weak demand for finished protein products from consumers, driven by a reluctance to pay high price points. This has slowed consumption considerably. Typically, there is always a seasonal adjustment post Chinese New Year, where consumption drops as the weather warms.
‘Grey channel’ protein flows into market. Our intelligence suggests beef imports from Hong Kong reached their peak in November over the last 10 months and buffalo meat exports from India and Vietnam have increased, also peaking in November.
The Chinese Government releasing protein reserves to combat food inflation. In September and December this year, central reserved meat was released seven times and this has continued into 2020. The volume of reserve protein being dispatched to the market in such a short time frame is unprecedented.
Large inventory levels at ports and within distributors’ warehouses as a result of the continued record levels of imports of beef and sheepmeat across October-December against slowing demand and a decline in market prices.'

Circa 1970’s the word “diversification “ was the big requisite. Diversify from the UK that was, in terms of sheepmeat. Of course then there was a national flock of 75mill or so. One would expect the big processors, at the least, today have not put all their eggs in the one big basket? Certainly hope so!

China's CNPC sells first gasoline to Americas as fuel stocks hit record'


'Agree. I've referred to China as oil buyer of last resort since January 2017. Now it seems market power is shifting downstream from oil producers to China (probably soon in association with friends) courtesy of big reserves & ability to dump products refined from gouged oil' Chris Cook