Wednesday, May 24, 2017



Even the Antarctic peninsula is cooling

The Antarctic peninsula is the most Northerly part of Antarctica so by reason of that alone is the warmest part of Antarctica. Additionally, it is known to have a degree of subsurface vulcanism, which warms bits of it even more, so it is the part of Antarctica that Greenies normally talk about.  A glacier breaking off or splitting there gives them erections.  But glacial ice is always splitting off somewhere so what they see proves nothing.  I put up something about peninsula glaciers yesterday.

Implicitly, they tend to generalize a slightly warmer area of the peninsula to Antarctica as a whole and regard what they observe as proof of global warming.  It has long been known however that Antarctica as a whole is cooling so that claim is just the usual Warmist dishonesty.

The article below, however, rubs salt into the wound.  Not only are a few bits of the Antarctic peninsula not typical of the Antarctic, they are not even typical of the Antarctic peninsula.  The peninsula overall is cooling too!


Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere

M. Oliva et al.

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.

Science of The Total Environment. Volume 580, 15 February 2017, Pages 210–223



Temperature hasn't risen in 20 years: latest data

Recently published data from independent meteorologists Dr Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL Analytics and Dr Roy Spencer show that global temperatures have fallen back to about the levels of 20 years ago.

The two scientists use different data sources – one terrestrial, the other from satellites – so the convergence of their findings is particularly significant.

WeatherBELL is a commercial forecaster using land-based climate data, and specialises in providing long and short-term forecasts for the agriculture, energy, hydrology, retail and aviation industries. It has its own computer models, but also accesses information from both the American NOAA and Britain’s Met Office.

According to Dr Maue, global temperatures dropped 0.5 degrees Celsius in April. In the northern hemisphere they plunged a massive one degree. The Global Warming Policy Foundation commented: “As the record 2015–16 El Niño levels off, the global-warming hiatus is back with a vengeance.”

Dr Maue said the fall in temperatures (in degrees Celsius) over the past year are seen in the following variations from the 1981–2010 average:

March 2016     +0.673
April 2016       +0.557
March 2017     +0.558
April 2017       +0.375

The explanation of the temperature pause since 1998 – which contradicts the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – has been the subject of widespread discussion in academic journals, including the American Geophysical Union journal, Geophysical Research Letters, as well as Climate Dynamics, and the Scientific Report of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. All agree that temperature rises have stalled, but there is no consensus on the cause.

Dr Roy Spencer publishes every month the average global temperature derived from satellite observations. Since 1979, satellites have been sending back to earth data on the temperature of the lower atmosphere, and this data is published by the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) and on Dr Spencer’s website.

The satellite data indicates that average temperatures in April 2017 were 0.27 degrees above the 30-year average from 1981–2010. In the previous month, the data showed that the temperature was just 0.19 degrees above the 30-year average. The IPCC had forecast temperature variations five to 10 times as large.

The UAH chart for the entire period shows that in the 1990s, temperatures remained relatively steady until the large El Niño of 1997–98, and then oscillated around a new higher level until the El Niño of 2015–06, when it rose again, before falling back towards the 30-year average.

Another recent source of climate alarm has been the appearance of a large crack on the Larsen C ice-shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches up towards the tip of South America (News Weekly, March 11, 2017).

The ice-shelf is fed by several glaciers, which flow into the sea.

The splitting off of ice-shelves is an entirely natural phenomenon, and is the cause of icebergs, which are common around Antarctica and, historically, have been observed as far north as New Zealand’s South Island. The most recent media report of icebergs being seen off the coast of New Zealand was in 2016. Previously, they had been reported in 2009 and 2006.

Calving of the Larsen C ice-shelf would be the largest recent iceberg to break off from Antarctica, prompting claims that it is caused by global warming or “climate change”.

However, the overall area of sea ice around Antarctica is close to normal for this time of year, and recent research indicates that temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have fallen slightly in recent decades.

Dr Marc Oliva from the Centre for Geographical Studies at the University of Lisbon, with others wrote a recent paper, “Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere”, which was published in last February’s issue of Science of the Total Environment.

They looked at the temperature record on the Antarctic Peninsula from 1951 to 2011, using data from 10 weather stations dotted around the peninsula.

Earlier conclusions of warming of Antarctica had been based on the recorded weather at just one station, the Faraday/Vernadsky station, where temperatures had risen by 0.54 degrees per decade, one of the largest warming trends on earth since the 1950s.

“Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the [Antarctic Peninsula] region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes.”

However, when data from all 10 stations is considered, a very different picture emerges.

It shows that a more moderate warming trend of 0.32 degrees per decade from 1979–97 was succeeded by a cooling trend of -0.47 degrees per decade in the period 1999–2014.

The figures also show that the most pronounced cooling occurred in the north and northeast of the peninsula, where it lies adjacent to Cape Horn and South America.

The new data contradicts the repeated claims of the IPCC that global warming is causing irrevocable damage to the Antarctic continent.

SOURCE




This green and poisoned land: British river is devastated by toxic tsunami of sludge from a 'green' energy plant receiving thousands in subsidies from the taxpayer

You would struggle to find a lovelier view anywhere than that from Pencefn, a hilltop farm near Tregaron in mid-Wales.

Lush meadows with sheep grazing peacefully roll down towards the valley of the Teifi, renowned for its salmon and sea trout. Close by are the Cambrian Mountains, where the river begins its journey at the limpid Teifi Pools.

But dwarfing the main farm are the towers and tanks of an anaerobic digester. The Government-subsidised 'green guzzler' turns animal excrement, human food waste and specially grown rye into methane gas, which is burnt in a generator to make supposedly environmentally friendly electricity for the National Grid.

Last December, just a few months after it was built, the digester triggered an ecological catastrophe. Unnoticed by the farm's owners, brothers Jim and William Lloyd, a pipe from a storage vat sprang a leak.

Thousands of gallons of black, toxic slime began sliding slowly downhill across those verdant meadows to a nearby stream – a tributary of the Teifi. The result was a poisonous 'tsunami', a flood of putrid sludge that flowed down the stream and into the river for hours. The consequences were devastating, and are likely to last many years.

This week, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed:

I According to local experts, the effects of the spill are so deadly, the river may take years to recover, so ruining the local economy;

l At least 1,000 mature trout and salmon were found dead immediately, but the full toll will be many times higher;

l Poison levels in an eight-mile stretch of the Teifi were so high almost no living things survived;

l The fly-fishing season should be in full swing this month but long stretches of the river are devoid of anglers;

l Lavish Government 'green' levies on fuel bills mean Pencefn's owners – despite being the source of the deadly leak – will continue to reap tens of thousands of pounds in subsidies, while also paying nothing for their own electricity;

l Despite this generous Government support, no official agency checked the plant's design or safety systems before it was built, or monitored its operation;

l The ultimate cause of the leak was shoddily installed plastic pipework – and both firms responsible have now gone into liquidation;

l Although the Pencefn leak is at least the 20th 'serious pollution incident' caused by an anaerobic digester since the beginning of 2015, scores of new ones are being planned across the country – some of the biggest by 'green' tycoon and former 'new age traveller' Dale Vince of Ecotricity, who advises Labour on its energy policy.

The impact of the Teifi spill soon became apparent. Late on Saturday, December 17, locals noticed the river was covered with a foul-smelling, bubbly slick below the town of Tregaron.

Because it was dark, it was not until the following morning that the source was located at the stream flowing down from Pencefn. Local fishing guide Steffan Jones walked the riverbank shortly after. Dead fish were everywhere.

At the confluence with the Pencefn stream he said he could 'clearly see the stain of the effluent about five feet above the river level. The stain had discoloured the bank all the way down to the water. I walked the whole stretch of the contamination – seven or eight miles – and the scale of this disaster was horrifying. It wiped out every living thing in the river for eight miles'.

The slick moved downstream at 5mph, contaminating everything in its path. Residents say that at Llandysul, the most popular angling centre on the Teifi, 30 miles below Tregaron, the river still stank.

Dr Ian Thomas, president of the Llandysul Angling Association, said the timing made matters worse. Mid-December is the peak of the winter spawning season, when salmon and sea trout swim from the ocean to lay eggs in the same pools and eddies where they were spawned. Both the fish and eggs they had laid were poisoned.

'The whole river has been affected, from the estuary to the headwaters,' said Dr Thomas.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which deals with pollution, said after the spill it had counted 1,000 mature dead fish. But Dr Thomas said there were many more.

Freshwater biologist Frank Jones said: 'There is still no final estimate from NRW of the total number of fish killed, but it will be a very big figure. Many of the sea trout had not yet spawned, and because they spawn several times in their lifespan this will have a big impact on future generations.

It could be years before they recover.' He said the fish population, especially salmon, had already been declining because of earlier slurry spills into the river. 'Slurry is stored in vast artificial lagoons, many of them well beyond their sell-by date. Sometimes they overflow and the slurry goes into the river.'

Other anaerobic digester leaks have been almost as damaging. In December, the MoS revealed the case of Crouchland Biogas in West Sussex, which has received millions in subsidy yet has operated without planning permission since 2013. It sprang two huge leaks within a year, wrecking the neighbouring farmer's rare-breed sheep and cattle business.

Yet Mr Vince and Ecotricity – who are not connected to Crouchland Biogas – are pressing ahead with the first of many huge anaerobic digesters it wants to build at Sparsholt Agricultural College in Hampshire.

NRW said that it could not comment because its investigation is continuing.

SOURCE





China Claims Methane Hydrates Breakthrough May Lead To Global Energy Revolution

China is talking up its achievement of mining flammable ice for the first time from underneath the South China Sea.

Estimates of the South China Sea’s methane hydrate potential now range as high as 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent. That’s sufficient to satisfy China’s entire equivalent oil consumption for 50 years.

The fuel-hungry country has been pursuing the energy source, located at the bottom of oceans and in polar regions, for nearly two decades. China’s minister of land and resources, Jiang Daming, said Thursday that the successful collection of the frozen fuel was “a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution,” according to state media.

Experts agree that flammable ice could be a game changer for the energy industry, similar to the U.S. shale boom. But they caution that big barriers — both technological and environmental — need to be cleared to build an industry around the frozen fuel, which is also known as gas hydrate.

China, the world’s largest energy consumer, isn’t the first country to make headway with flammable ice. Japan drilled into it in the Pacific and extracted gas in 2013 — and then did so again earlier this month. The U.S. government has its own long-running research program into the fuel.

The world’s resources of flammable ice — in which gas is stored in cages of water molecules — are vast. Gas hydrates are estimated to hold more carbon than all the world’s other fossil fuels combined, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

And it’s densely packed: one cubic foot of flammable ice holds 164 cubic feet of regular natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua says that makes the fuel a strong contender to replace regular oil and natural gas. But like any fossil fuel, flammable ice raises significant environmental concerns.

Experts worry about the release of methane, a superpotent greenhouse gas with 25 times as much global warming potential as carbon dioxide. And although burning natural gas is cleaner than coal, it still creates carbon emissions.
The fuel source has a lot of potential in China, analysts at Morgan Stanley said Thursday, citing the country’s successful trial and government support to develop the industry.

But commercial production is unlikely in the next three years due to high costs, potential environmental concerns and technological barriers, the analysts said in a research note.

“If there is a real breakthrough,” they wrote, “it could be as significant as the shale revolution in the United States. Under such a bull case scenario, we’d expect a significant increase in offshore exploration and production activities.”

SOURCE



Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear

Viscount Ridley

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

Such numbers are not hard to find, but they don’t figure prominently in reports on energy derived from the unreliables lobby (solar and wind). Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

Do not take refuge in the idea that wind turbines could become more efficient. There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

As machines, wind turbines are pretty good already; the problem is the wind resource itself, and we cannot change that. It’s a fluctuating stream of low–density energy. Mankind stopped using it for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

Forgive me if you have heard this before, but I have a commercial interest in coal. Now it appears that the black stuff also gives me a commercial interest in ‘clean’, green wind power.

The point of running through these numbers is to demonstrate that it is utterly futile, on a priori grounds, even to think that wind power can make any significant contribution to world energy supply, let alone to emissions reductions, without ruining the planet. As the late David MacKay pointed out years back, the arithmetic is against such unreliable renewables.

The truth is, if you want to power civilisation with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, then you should focus on shifting power generation, heat and transport to natural gas, the economically recoverable reserves of which — thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — are much more abundant than we dreamed they ever could be. It is also the lowest-emitting of the fossil fuels, so the emissions intensity of our wealth creation can actually fall while our wealth continues to increase. Good.

And let’s put some of that burgeoning wealth in nuclear, fission and fusion, so that it can take over from gas in the second half of this century. That is an engineerable, clean future. Everything else is a political displacement activity, one that is actually counterproductive as a climate policy and, worst of all, shamefully robs the poor to make the rich even richer

SOURCE

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017



Another Greenie false prophecy:  Cocoa

The price of chocolate was bound to soar as climate change reduced the cocoa crop, was the wisdom of a few years ago.  An example here. I   rubbished the scare at the time so I am pleased that the latest reports tell of a cocoa GLUT, not a shortage. It's so easy being right when you are contradicting Greenies.  They don't understand and don't care about how the real world works so are always getting it wrong


The supply of cocoa is extremely concentrated. According to data from Euromonitor International, Ivory Coast alone accounts for more than 40pc of global production, while a further 20pc comes from nearby Ghana, which said last month that it had lost out on almost $1bn (£768m) in export earnings due to the fall in prices.

Ivory Coast was named the fastest growing economy in Africa by the IMF in April 2016. How things change. Two weeks ago, the price of cocoa was $1,780 per tonne, its lowest in almost a decade and 45pc lower than in June last year.

Even now, after a minor rally due to political instability caused by last weekend’s mutiny, it is trading at around $2,058 per tonne, still down more than 36pc compared with the prices from less than a year ago.

A convergence of factors have combined to wreak havoc on these still-developing markets.

The first is demand. “For years we were working with a scenario of low supply and high and fast-growing demand, particularly in the new markets of China and India,” says Kristy Leissle, a cocoa marketer for the Twin and Twin trading company and a lecturer on the global chocolate industry at the University of Washington Bothell.

Now, however, that demand is failing to meet expectations. There are similar problems in the mature western markets, too, where a growing trend of health consciousness and anti-sugar lobbying means demand in the West is starting to plateau.

The situation is exacerbated by a more pressing issue, though: massive oversupply. Around 4 million tonnes of cocoa are produced each year, yet this year’s surplus is expected to come in at between 350,000 tonnes and 400,000 tonnes, around 10pc of production.

It marks a dramatic shift from recent years, where the price of cocoa shot up due to fears over the Ebola crisis and then the strongest El Niño, the weather phenomenon that takes place when ocean temperatures rise in the eastern Pacific, in almost two decades.

“El Niño weather tends to be detrimental to the production of cocoa so we had less cocoa produced than we might have done, leading to high prices” says Jonathan Parkman, co-head of agriculture at Marex Spectron, one of the world’s biggest brokers of cocoa.

“This year we have had much better weather, the crops have recovered, but demand has not yet recovered because the fall in prices is yet to feed through to the consumer.”

So what the farmers in West Africa are left with is essentially the worst-case scenario: abundant supply and poor demand.

SOURCE




Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than previously thought

Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.

An international team of researchers, led by the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, is the first to map the change in ice speed. The team collated measurements recorded by five different satellites to track changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers since 1992.

The findings, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, represent the first detailed assessment of changing glacier flow in Western Palmer Land — the southwestern corner of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The new Leeds-led research calls into question a recent study from the University of Bristol that reported a 45 cubic kilometres per year increase in ice loss from the sector. The Leeds research found the increase to be three times smaller.

Lead author Dr Anna Hogg, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, said: “Dramatic changes have been reported in this part of Antarctica, so we took a closer look at how its glaciers have evolved, using 25 years of satellite measurements dating back to the early 1990s.”

The researchers found that between 1992 and 2016, the flow of most of the region’s glaciers increased by between 20 and 30 centimetres per day, equating to an average 13% speedup across the glaciers of Western Palmer Land as a whole.

These measurements provide the first direct evidence that Western Palmer Land is losing ice due to increased glacier flow — a process known as dynamical imbalance.

The team also combined their satellite observations with an ice flow model using data assimilation to fill in gaps where the satellites were unable to produce measurements. This allowed the complete pattern of ice flow to be mapped, revealing that the regions glaciers are now pouring an additional 15 cubic kilometres of ice into the oceans each year compared to the 1990s.

The earlier study reported that the region was losing three times this amount of ice, based on measurements of glacier thinning and mass loss determined from other satellite measurements. The Leeds study casts doubt on that interpretation, because the degree of glacier speedup is far too small.

Study co-author Professor Andrew Shepherd, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, explained: “Although Western Palmer Land holds a lot of ice – enough to raise global sea levels by 20 centimetres – its glaciers can’t be dramatically out of balance, because their speed hasn't changed much over the past 25 years.

"It could have snowed less as well – that would also cause the glaciers to thin and lose mass."

The greatest speedup in flow was observed at glaciers that were grounded at depths more than 300m below the ocean surface.

Dr Hogg said: “We looked at water temperatures in front of the glaciers which have sped up the most, and we found that they flow through deep bedrock channels into the warmest layer of the ocean. This circumpolar deep water, which is relatively warm and salty compared to other parts of the Southern Ocean, has warmed and shoaled in recent decades, and can melt ice at the base of glaciers which reduces friction and allows them to flow more freely.

"With much of Western Palmer Land’s ice mass lying well below sea level, it is important to monitor how remote areas such as this are responding to climate change. Satellites are the perfect tool to do this."

Pierre Potin, ESA’s Manager of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 Mission, which was used in the study, said: “We will continue to use Sentinel-1’s all weather, day-night imaging capability to extend the long term climate data record from European satellites.”

SOURCE





OPEC crying about U.S. shale output

OPEC officials gathering in Vienna on Friday to prepare for next week’s ministerial meeting kept their focus on rising U.S. shale oil production, which has been diluting the price impact of their production cuts.

National representatives from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and officials from several non-members heard a presentation on the outlook for the U.S. industry from Roger Diwan, a Washington-based analyst at IHS Markit Ltd., according to delegates familiar with the matter. Mark Papa, a partner at private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC and former boss of shale pioneer EOG Resources Inc., also spoke to the group, delegates said.

Officials at the meeting were relieved that the two outside consultants had estimates for growth in average U.S. crude output of 450,000 to 500,000 barrels a day this year, lower than the 562,000 barrel-a-day forecast from OPEC’s own analysts, said two delegates.

The emphasis on U.S. production underscores the dilemma for OPEC and its allies as they consider whether to extend their cuts beyond June. The producers, who together account for about half the world’s oil supply, have seen the initial price boost from their historic agreement fade as shale companies deployed more rigs and raised the country’s output to the highest since 2015. That recovery could accelerate if they decide on May 25 to prolong the curbs.

IHS’s Diwan presented an estimate that U.S. output this year will be about 500,000 barrels a day higher on average than in 2016, the delegates said, asking not to be identified because the meeting was private. That still means that production at the end of 2017 will be 700,000 to 1 million barrels a day higher than at the start, the delegates said.

That compares with a supply reduction of 1.2 million barrels a day from October levels implemented by OPEC, plus a cut of less than 400,000 barrels a day from non-members.

Papa, who helped create the shale industry more than a decade ago, estimated that average U.S. output would be 450,000 barrels a day higher this year, the delegates said.

SOURCE





Industrial Energy Consumers to White House: "No Benefit" to Paris Agreement

There is “no benefit” to U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) argues in a letter sent yesterday to President Donald J. Trump. The IECA is a nonpartisan association of leading manufacturing companies with $1.0 trillion in annual sales, over 2,300 facilities nationwide, and with more than 1.6 million employees worldwide.

Alluding to a recent New York Times op-ed by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Ted Halstead, the IECA letter states: “We disagree with those who say that staying in the agreement will spur investment and American competitiveness, create jobs, and ensure access to global markets.”

The IECA is skeptical of climate agreements in general, which typically fail to “provide a level playing field” and actually “create greater uncertainty” for energy intensive, trade exposed (IETE) U.S. firms. IECA President Paul N. Cicio explains:

All costs of reducing GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, whether imposed on the electric generation sector or the oil and gas sectors, are eventually imposed upon us, the consumer. We are the ones who eventually bear the costs of government imposed GHG reduction schemes. At the same time, we are often already economically disadvantaged, as compared to global competitors who are subsidized or protected by their governments. . . .

IECA is wary of international climate agreements because the U.S. manufacturing sector competes globally, and because other countries do subsidize, and will continue to subsidize and provide advantages to their manufacturing sectors, regardless of any global climate agreements. And, importantly, because the U.S. government does not subsidize U.S. EITE industries, we can become non-competitive in the global marketplace. Global GHG reduction agreements may sound well-intentioned at the macro level, but at the micro level, where we reside, it can create significant uncertainty, risk, and job loss.

The Paris Agreement exemplifies such pitfalls. It will make U.S. manufacturers less competitive vis-à-vis their Chinese and Indian counterparts:

Furthermore, the U.S. commitment under the agreement is significantly more stringent than the commitments undertaken by some of our largest competitors in the global marketplace, many of whom, including China and India, essentially pledged to continue increasing their GHG emissions substantially for the foreseeable future. . . . China’s pledge under the Paris Climate Accord would allow it to actually increase GHG emissions by 117 percent by 2030 before they start reducing.

The IECA also objects to the mode by which President Obama purported to make the United States a party to the Agreement:

Any U.S. commitment to reduce GHG emissions under an international construct should only have been undertaken through the process prescribed in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. IECA believes that U.S. participation in any global agreement to reduce GHG emissions, whether such agreements are binding or not, should be submitted to the U.S. Senate for a vote of ratification. Our forefathers made it clear that the checks and balances between the Executive Branch and Congress are essential.

IECA member companies come from a diverse set of industries including chemical, plastics, steel, iron ore, aluminum, paper, food processing, fertilizer, insulation, glass, industrial gases, pharmaceutical, building products, automotive, brewing, independent oil refining, and cement. Lest anyone suppose IECA’s position on the Paris Agreement reflects a lack of commitment to energy efficiency, Mr. Cicio points out:

The manufacturing sector already has an incentive to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions, it is called global competition. Global competition is relentless and requires EITE industries to reduce energy consumption to be competitive. If we are not globally competitive, we cease to exist. . . .

For a variety of reasons, including a dedication to energy efficiency and energy cost reductions to improve global competitiveness, today’s U.S. manufacturing sector’s GHG emissions are 26 percent below 1973 levels. The industrial sector is the only U.S. sector whose GHG emissions are below 1973 levels.

SOURCE




Bill Nye, the people hater

To be fair, Bill Nye didn’t actually say people should be eliminated by their governments to save the environment and the planet. He did say that there are too many people and parents, at least in the developed world, should be punished for having "too many” children:

The season finale of pop scientist Bill Nye's new Netflix show "Bill Nye Saves the World" suggested that the government should punish people who have too many children, for the sake of the environment.

"The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually," noted Nye's guest, Dr. Travis Rieder. "How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons."

Rieder said Americans having an average of two children are "waaaay more problematic" than Nigerians having seven when it comes to preventing global warming.

"Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Nye asked.

“I do think we should at least consider it," Rieder said.

Nye pushed him even further.

"Well, ‘at least consider it' is like, ‘do it,'" he opined.

The other two guests pushed back, however, pointing out that what Nye and Rieder were proposing came dangerously close to the eugenics policies of America's past, which ending up disproportionately targeting poor women and minorities.

Yes, his remarks are perilously close to advocating eugenics. It is a short trip from deciding how many children people should be allowed to have to deciding who gets to have children at all. It bears a striking resemblance to China’s one-child policy, which included sterilization and forced abortion. China’s one-child policy, instituted by the Communist government in the late 1970s to stem rising population, compels couples in urban areas to have just one child and limits couples in rural areas to two children if the first child is a girl, as girls are seen as having lesser value than boys in some parts of the Asian nation. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized, John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, agreed with Bill Nye that too many people were a problem that needed to be dealt with:

This administration supports draconian actions to fight climate change. In 2007, at climate change talks in Vienna, Su Wei, a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official, boasted that China's one-child policy had reduced China's population at that point by some 300 million human beings, roughly equal to the U.S. population.

Avoiding those 300 million births "means we averted 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2005," based on average world per capital emissions of 4.2 tons, he said.

John Holdren, the president's top science adviser, has no quarrel with this barbarism, seeing it as necessary to fight global warming and resource depletion. Even the U.S. Constitution can't stand in his way.

In a previous book, "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," co-authored with Thomas Malthus fans Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Holdren writes that large families "contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children" and "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility."

On page 837, he writes, it has "been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

Hillary Clinton’s idol, and founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger, had her particular idea on which children should be allowed to be born. As J. Kenneth Blackwell, writing in the Washington Times, noted, those who chant “black lives matter” obviously exclude the abortion rate of black babies that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and the KKK could only dream of:

138,539 black babies, nearly one baby in three, were killed in the womb in 2010. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2010, innocent black babies were victimized in nearly 36 percent of the abortion deaths in the United States, though blacks represent only 12.8 percent of the population. Some say the abortion capital of America is New York City. According to LifeSiteNews, the city’s Department of Health reported that in 2012, more black babies were aborted (31,328) than born (24,758). That’s 55.9 percent of black babies killed before birth. Blacks represented 42.4 percent of all abortions.

This is a disturbing and tragic situation that continues unabated and is the fulfillment of Sanger’s dream. As Blackwell also noted:

According to Sanger, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” She opened her first abortion clinics in inner cities, and it’s no accident that even today, “79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in black or minority neighborhoods.”

Population control is the tool of tyrants. Whether it is to build a master race or lower carbon dioxide emissions, it is inherently evil in its methods and goals. Ironically, and contrary to Nye’s hypothesis, wealthier societies are healthier societies. Which is better for the environment -- to reduce emissions thanx to natural gas obtained by fracking, or to let families in underdeveloped countries burn animal dung to cook their food and heat their homes? Wealthier societies can afford the technology to clean the air and water without sacrificing human lives.

It is fracking that has produced a boom in the production of natural gas, a fossil fuel, that has produced a significant reduction in the U.S. of so-called “greenhouse gases”. As the Washington Times reported:

White House senior advisor Brian Deese cheered the falling carbon dioxide levels at a Monday press conference without mentioning the outsize role played by natural gas, as the cleaner-burning fuel increasingly overtakes coal in electricity generation.

“For those of you who are not breathlessly following the most recent data that has come out, I would note recent data that we’ve seen suggests or finds that for the first half of 2016, energy sector emissions in the United States are actually down 6 percent from last year, and 15 percent from 2005,” said Mr. Deese. “And they’re at their lowest level in nearly 20 years.”

He said nothing about the U.S. natural gas boom, an omission that critics say has become par for the course as the Obama administration highlights renewable energy and emissions restrictions without acknowledging the role of fracking in natural gas extraction.

“To add dishonesty to injury, his administration is bragging about the reduced CO2 emissions of [the] U.S. industry without crediting the fracking for natural gas, a fossil fuel, that largely caused it,” said Alex Epstein, author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”

Carbon dioxide is the basis for all plant and animal life on earth, whether it emanates from the nostrils of Bill Nye or from the children he wishes would not be born. He is lucky his parents didn’t come up with the idea first and eliminate a dangerous source of hot air.

Nightmare scenarios regarding overpopulation have made the rounds since Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 that overpopulation would outstrip England’s food supply and the British Empire would literally starve to death. Similar nonsense was express in Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968) which warned: “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famine -- hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now.” Today, a major problem America faces is not famine, but obesity.

Malthusian thinking fails to grasp that human beings are the ultimate resource, that with more bodies come more minds that create more ideas. Neither Malthus or Ehrlich could envision the advances in medicine, science, technology, and biotechnology that would tame disease, increase the food supply at exponential rates, find new resources, or create new substitutes.

The view that human beings are inexorably outstripping the globe´s capacity to sustain them is one of the most vivid, powerful, and enduring economic myths of the modern era because the chicken littles who argue it forget one simple fact -- with bodies come minds.

Bill Nye is wrong. We are not cattle that graze until there is no grass. Our species, unlike all others, can consciously apply problem-solving techniques to the project of expanding its resource base. Minds matter economically as much as hands and mouths. And minds arrive only in company with bodies. Be fruitful and multiply.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Monday, May 22, 2017



A perfect example of Green/Left argumentation

We see below a sustained example of "ad hominem" argument -- argument devoted entirely to discrediting an arguer rather than addressing his arguments.  There is not a single solitary fact or statistic given in support of his belief that the slight temperature rise of last century was due to CO2

Tim Mannello

A recent letter writer makes his case against the seriousness of the many threats of man-made climate change by providing extensive excerpts from a short blog, “Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong.” The author of that blog is Dr. Walter Williams, a proud libertarian economist with a Ph. D. in, yes, Economics, not in climate science.

Dr. Williams has never done any research in climate sciences; therefore he might be expected to have based his analysis on experts in the field. Yet all but one of his citations is to someone outside the field of climate studies. Dr. Williams published his article in LewRockwell.com, which identifies itself as an anti-state, anti-war, pro-market blog founded by two self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalists, Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert.

As Earth Day approached this year, the article was dutifully picked up by every fossil fuel-funded, man-made change denial site, network and megaphone you can shake a stick at.

The writer’s argument was based on cherry-picked, isolated, exaggerated predictions of a half-dozen scientists in fields almost exclusively unrelated to climate change. With one exception, citations from these sources are from popular magazines (one cited source is Mademoiselle).

They include Dr. George Wald, a biologist specializing in retinal pigmentation; Paul Erlich, a biologist expert on overpopulation; Kenneth Watt, an ecologist with a PhD. D. in Zoology; Gaylord Nelson, a Senator published in Look Magazine who quotes Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, who is an ornithologist; Harrison Brown, a nuclear scientist and geo-chemist predicting the disappearance of copper, lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver (this is called “throwing in the kitchen sink for good measure”); Nigel Calder, himself a critic of climate science and man-made global warming who predicts an impending ice age; David Viner, a climate scientist, (score one for you) whose predictions about the end of snow in Britain have proved to be ridiculous and ill-founded; plus totally irrelevant predictions made in the 1930’s and ’40’s by federal agencies that oil and gas supplies would peak.

Certainly, there must be better arguments against the preponderant conclusions of decades of climatological research affirming and confirming that: 1) “global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now 2) it is a growing threat to society,” 3) greenhouse gases from fossil fuels are isotopically identifiable and they, not any of the other factors that affect the earth’s climate, have had the greatest sustained positive forcing in increasing the average global temperature about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1880’s.” (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.).

With equal certitude, you’re not going to hear reasonable counter-arguments from deniers. They are interested only in conclusions that support their absolutely cocksure, pre-conceived, ideological anti-government beliefs regardless of the source. Their arguments should not be dignified with the label of pseudo-science; they are certifiable rank idiocy.

Mademoiselle Magazine died in 1991. Maybe we should look to future Glamour or Cosmopolitan features originally written in crayon for authoritative studies on the matter. Alas, deniers never die. They don’t even fade away.

SOURCE




Greenland's ice is at it's highest level on record, but the Fake News Media does not want to report it



SOURCE




A new future for corals

Are coral reefs condemned to disappear? During the first decade of the 21st century, the intensification of cyclones, the phenomenon of coral bleaching due to ocean warming, outbreaks of a coral-eating starfish and coral diseases left us with this fear. But today, scientists are revising their pessimistic forecasts from the previous decade. In fact, recent research works show that, while numerous coral species have indeed been declining for more than 30 years, other are holding firm or even increasing in abundance. Consequently, some reefs have recently managed to recover.

Expanding coral genera

During a vast international study over fifteen years, IRD researchers and their partners observed the ecological development of seven coral reefs throughout the world: two in the Caribbean, in Belize and in the American Virgin Islands, and five throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean in Kenya, Taiwan, Hawaii, Moorea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Consequently, the scientists have shown the increase of certain genera, like the Porites reef corals, real reef builders that can resist temperature rises well.

They have also put these recent changes into perspective with regard to past events recorded in fossil reefs, showing that the abundance and structure of coral populations have already varied greatly over the course of past millennia.

Towards new underwater landscapes

These new data have enabled them to refine their mathematical models and to revise their forecasts for the coming decades. As ocean temperatures continue to rise, a subset of “winning” species will thrive: those that have the greatest heat tolerance, the best population growth rates or the greatest longevity. These species should progressively populate the planet’s reefs, until they dominate them entirely.

Consequently, the underwater landscapes of the future will be very different to the ones that have been known for millennia. However, much remains to be discovered regarding this new coral fauna and its features. One question in particular remains: will these new eco-systems continue to meet the needs of the populations who depend on them?

SOURCE




British retirement fund is betting on "Green" power

I am glad they are not handling my retirement funds.  If asked they would undoubtedly have invested in Solyndra -- ending up losing the lot

Millennials aren’t thinking much about retirement, but climate change is something many of them care deeply about. That’s smart, because by the time they retire, climate change and whatever humans do in the next 30 years to mitigate its effects will almost certainly have transformed the way we live; a transformation that could also have a big impact on their prospects for retirement.

Donald Trump, the US president, signed an executive order in March rolling back his predecessor’s Clean Power Plan, rejecting with a stroke of the pen what one commentator called “the most important thing any nation had ever done to reduce carbon emissions”. Will that alter the long-term picture? We don’t think so. It is not clear what impact it may have, but we believe the long-term future of the global economy is green.

The reasons are political, technological and financial. The cost of generating solar and wind power is becoming cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of the world. Renewable capacity overtook coal-fired generation for the first time in 2016. China and India, respectively the world’s biggest and third-biggest polluters, have been investing heavily in green energy at home. China is planning to spend £292bn on its domestic green-energy market in the next three years and India’s Central Electricity Authority recently said that no coal-fired power stations will be built over the coming decade beyond those already in the pipeline. It is predicted that renewable-energy capacity in India will overtake that of new fossil fuel plants from 2018.

The energy infrastructure market appears to be heading in the same direction. Once again, where the US appears to be pulling back, China is stepping forward. Not only has it invested in more clean power at home, it is pouring money into developing economies’ energy infrastructure, spending $165bn since 2000. And the focus of that money, while fossil fuels still dominate, may be starting to shift to cleaner sources such as nuclear, hydropower and renewables. China outspent any other country in the world on overseas investments in green technology in 2016.

Closer to home, commitments made in Paris at the global climate talks in 2015 have spurred many businesses into action. Utility companies in almost every EU country pledged in March to phase out coal-fired plants from 2020. These companies are not waiting around for governments to shift the ground under their feet. Those that are not thinking about how to diversify away from heavily polluting fossil fuels will probably face future losses as markets leave them behind and policies penalise them.

For institutional investors with long-term horizons, the debate is not whether there will be a transition to a lower-carbon economy, it is about how quickly it occurs. Pension fund trustees in the UK have spent some time pondering the legalities of climate-related de-risking strategies, and some still are. Now these strategies are becoming an investment imperative. Short-term policy shifts may well have short-term effects. But for millennials saving into pensions for the next 40 to 50 years, the global transition to a low-carbon economy, which appears highly likely, is a more significant trend.

Among the world’s largest institutional investors, whose ranks "Nest" will join in the coming decade, that long-term picture is guiding our thinking. The smart money is being used to signal to businesses that a profound economic change in the way power is generated is happening. This is not about divestment. It is not in our members’ interests for companies to make losses or become unprofitable. But we do need to plan ahead and prepare their portfolios for the evident investment risks and opportunities that climate change and the transition to low carbon represent. That means finding scaleable, cost-effective ways to invest more in those companies that are well positioned for the low-carbon future, investing less in those that are not and engaging where progress can be encouraged.

Over the next 15 years or so, £1.7tn is due to flow into defined contribution pensions in the UK. We believe a significant proportion of those assets will be channelled towards a greener global economy. There may be mixed messages coming from the US at the moment, but the signals from the rest of the world, including the world of finance, are clear.

SOURCE






ENERGY STAR Repeal To Cause Global Depression For Progressive Media

President Trump recently announced the ‘close out‘ of the ENERGY STAR program, and has officially begun the deconstruction of one of the most corrupt federal programs in US history. This effectively ends the decades old mandate requiring that all government agencies purchase only the EPA’s brand of ‘certified’ energy efficiency products and services, opening our government contracting to honest competition for the first time in decades.

This is great news for most Americans, not so much for mainstream media outlets that helped market the EPA’s unique commodity for many years. EPA claims their brand has saved over $430 billion in utility bills since 1992, but can’t explain how the extraordinary energy saving occur or why electric bills would skyrocket from the use of ENERGY STAR products.

Mainstream media can’t report on the repeal of ENERGY STAR program which was the centerpiece of the Clean Energy Economy, because no one wants to talk about the evidence supporting those multi-billion dollar claims of the EPA anymore.

Now the media Resistance movement is anxious to end all dialog on the old Obama energy plan, and begin promoting China’s new action plan “One Belt, One Road” initiative as the path to prosperity.

Imagine the enormous challenge for bureaucrats trying to market this ‘socialist market economy’ program on behalf of the Global elites without the lucrative benefits of the ENERGY STAR brand to prop up your sales pitch.

Don’t be fooled by the current hysteria gripping the media, its only the first signs of severe depression about to set in as media foundations contemplate a future without any influence over the working class, a group they openly revile as deplorable. No amount of money will ever buy back the respect and trust of the American people for the corrupt media and their equally crooked Progressive business partners.

American businesses should stop listening to media moonbats, and start focusing on locating and competing for government contracts in every sub-division of government from the dog catcher to the largest GSA owned buildings in your area. The US government is the largest procurement agency in the world, and no longer under the monopoly control of EPA partnerships backing a European Socialist model of governance for America.

Did the media suddenly forget how China became a super power manufacturing ENERGY STAR brand products for the EPA, which are now mandated for use by government in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Switzerland and the European Community but not in the USA anymore. Thank you President Trump!

The EPA claims their ENERGY STAR brand saves 25-50% more electrical energy than identical products, but can provide no proof to support their claims. There is no National Standards for the measurement or verification of electrical energy savings in technologies, government bureaucrats are solely responsible for making those energy-saving claims and our intelligence community apparently provided the only verification on the performance of the EPA’s unique product.

Leading to the question, how was it possible that FBI, NSA and CIA operatives all failed to read the 2014 Senate Report “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA” and not find any legal issues involving conflicts of interest, self-dealing or fraud under color of authority?

Americans should disregard the media suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and start to research the millions of jobs and contracting opportunities coming available under President Trump’s Buy American-Hire American agenda. Congress will need time to write and pass new laws to replace decades worth of regulations, and the average citizen has no control over that portion of the process.

Relax! Understand that Progressives have no interest in competing for real jobs, have no skill-sets to create new businesses and they certainly don’t have any products or services of value to sell to our government that could ever compete against those provided by American small business. Now that’s what I call depressing!

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Sunday, May 21, 2017



How to lie with statistics: Climate change is turning Antarctica GREEN

Choosing your start and finishing points is a great trick when you want to use statistics misleadingly.  Below they have arbitrarily chosen the last 50 years for their calculations.  And their calculations may be correct.  What they don't say is that all the supposedly causative temperature rise happened in the first (approx.) 30 years of that period.

The most recent 20 years have seen no effect, no change -- the famous "hiatus" during which there has been no statistically significant net temperature rise globally.  So if the greening has continued into the last 20 years -- which they imply -- it is NOT due to global warming. Things that don't exist can't cause anything.  If it has NOT continued into the last 20 years it is a finished trend of no current interest.

I note also that their data was obtained from the extreme end of the Antarctic peninsula, and the peninsula as a whole is known to be anomalous to Antarctica as a whole. It shows occasional warming (probably due to subsurface vulcanism) when the great mass of Antarctica is cooling.  The study below is therefore from several viewpoints inadequate to sustain any generalization.  Putting it plainly, it is just another bit of  slippery Warmist propaganda


Few plants live on Antarctica but scientists studying moss have found a sharp increase in biological activity in the last 50 years.

Plant life exists on only 0.3 per cent of Antarctica. However moss is well preserved in chilly sediments.  This offers scientists a way of exploring how plants have responded to such changes.

Scientists gathered data from five ice cores drilled from three islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. They then looked at the top 20cm of each of the cores.

This allowed the scientists to look back over 150 years and explore changes over time. Changes included the amount of moss, and its rate of growth.

They also looked carbon in the plants that indicates how favourable conditions were for photosynthesis at a certain point in time.

The latest study claims the rate of moss growth is now four to five times higher than it was pre-1950.

A team including scientists from the University of Exeter used moss bank cores – which are well preserved in Antarctica's cold conditions – from an area spanning about 400 miles.

They tested five cores from three sites and found major biological changes had occurred over the past 50 years right across the Antarctic Peninsula.

'Temperature increases over roughly the past half century on the Antarctic Peninsula have had a dramatic effect on moss banks growing in the region,' said Dr Matt Amesbury, of the University of Exeter.

'If this continues, and with increasing amounts of ice-free land from continued glacier retreat, the Antarctic Peninsula will be a much greener place in the future.'

Recent climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula is well documented with warming and other changes such as increased precipitation and wind strength.

Weather records mostly began in the 1950s but biological records preserved in moss bank cores can provide a longer-term context about climate change.

The scientists analysed data for the last 150 years, and found clear evidence of 'changepoints' – points in time after which biological activity clearly increased – in the past 50 years.

'The sensitivity of moss growth to past temperature rises suggests that ecosystems will alter rapidly under future warming, leading to major changes in the biology and landscape of this iconic region,' said Professor Dan Charman, who led the research project in Exeter.

'In short, we could see Antarctic greening to parallel well-established observations in the Arctic. 'Although there was variability within our data, the consistency of what we found across different sites was striking.'

The research teams, which included scientists from the University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey, say their data indicates that plants and soils will change substantially even with only modest further warming.

The same group of researchers published a study focusing on one site in 2013 and the new research confirms that their unprecedented finding can be applied to a much larger region.

Plant life only exists on about 0.3 per cent of Antarctica, but the findings provide one way of measuring the extent and effects of warming on the continent.

The researchers now plan to examine core records dating back over thousands of years to test how much climate change affected ecosystems before human activity started causing global warming.

The paper, Widespread biological response to rapid warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, is published in the journal Current Biology.

SOURCE.  The academic journal article is "Widespread Biological Response to Rapid Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula"





Coral bleaching not a response to temperature changes

Regional coral responses to climate disturbances and warming is predicted by multivariate stress model and not temperature threshold metrics

Timothy R. McClanahan et al.

Abstract

Oceanic environmental variables derived from satellites are increasingly being used to predict ecosystem states and climate impacts. Despite the concerted efforts to develop metrics and the urgency to inform policy, management plans, and actions, few metrics have been empirically tested with field data for testing their predictive ability, refinement, and eventual implementation as predictive tools. In this study, the abilities of three variations of a thermal threshold index and a multivariate stress model (MSM) were used to predict coral cover and community susceptibility to bleaching based on a compilation of field data from Indian Ocean reefs across the strong thermal anomaly of 1998. Field data included the relative abundance of coral taxa 10 years before the large-scale temperature anomaly, 2 years after (1999–2000), and during the post-bleaching recovery period (2001–2005) were tested against 1) a multivariate model based on 11 environmental variables used to predict stress or environmental exposure (MSM), 2) estimates of the time until the current mean maximum temperature becomes the mean summer condition (TtT), 3) the Cumulative Thermal Stress (CTS) for the full satellite record, and 4) the 1998 Annual Thermal Stress (1998 ATS). The MSM showed significant fit with the post-1998 cover and susceptibility of the coral community taxa (r2 = 0.50 and 0.31, respectively). Temperature threshold indices were highly variable and had relatively weak or no significant relationships with coral cover and susceptibility. The ecosystem response of coral reefs to climatic and other disturbances is more complex than predicted by models based largely on temperature anomalies and thresholds only. This implies heterogeneous environmental causes and responses to climate disturbances and warming and predictive models should consider a more comprehensive multiple parameter approach.

McClanahan, T.R., Maina, J. & Ateweberhan, M. Climatic Change (2015) 131: 607. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1399-x





"Experts" warn rising sea levels will DOUBLE coastal flooding by 2050, and tropical regions will be hit worst

Just another prophecy derived from "models" that have no known predictive skill

Rising sea levels caused by global warming are set to dramatically boost the frequency of coastal flooding by 2050.

Tropical regions will be the worst hit, and researchers forecast a 10-to-20 centimeter (four-to-eight inch) jump in the global ocean watermark by mid-century.

Major cities along the North American seaboard such as Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the European Atlantic coast, would be highly exposed, the researchers say.

Up until now, global models of future coastal flooding haven't adequately taken into account the role of waves.

'Most of the data used in earlier studies comes from tidal gauge stations, which are in harbors and protected areas,' said Dr Vitousek, lead author of the study and a climate scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

'They record extreme tide and storm surges, but not waves.'

So to make up for the lack of wave data, Dr Vitousek and his colleagues used computer modelling and a statistical method called extreme value theory.

'We asked the question: with waves factored in, how much sea level rise will it take to double the frequency of flooding?' Said Dr Vitousek.

The researchers found that with waves factored in, it didn't take much sea level rise to double flooding frequency in the future

And, it would only take half as big a jump in ocean levels to double the number of serious flooding incidents in the tropics, including along highly populated river deltas in Asia and Africa.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago, even at the low end of sea rise spectrum, coastal cities such as Mumbai, Kochi in India and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire would be significantly affected.

'We are 95 percent confident that an added 5-to-10 centimetres will more than double the frequency of flooding in the tropics,' study lead author Dr Sean Vitousek, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told AFP.

He said that small island countries, which are already vulnerable to flooding, would fare far worse.

'An increase in flooding frequency with climate change will challenge the very existence and sustainability of these coastal communities across the globe,' said Dr Vitousek.

Coastal flooding is caused by severe storms, and it's made worse when conditions of large waves, storm surge and high tides come together.

For example, 2012's Hurricane Sandy in the US caused tens of billion of dollars worth of damage, and 2013's Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines left more than 7,000 people missing or dead - and both of these events saw extreme flooding.

But rising sea levels are also a contributing factor to coastal flooding.

Rising seas are caused by the expansion of warming ocean water and water runoff from melting ice sheets and glaciers.

However, up till now, global models of future coastal flooding haven't adequately taken into account the role of waves.

'Most of the data used in earlier studies comes from tidal gauge stations, which are in harbors and protected areas,' said Dr Vitousek. 'They record extreme tide and storm surges, but not waves.'

So to make up for the lack of wave data, Dr Vitousek and colleagues used computer modelling and a statistical method called extreme value theory.

'We asked the question: with waves factored in, how much sea level rise will it take to double the frequency of flooding?'

The researchers found that with waves factored in, it didn't take much sea level rise to double flooding frequency in the future.

Currently, sea levels are rising by three to four millimetres (0.10 to 0.15 inches) a year, but the rate has increased by about 30 percent over the last decade.

The rate could accelerate even more as continent-sized ice blocs near the North and South poles continue to shed, especially in Antarctica, which Dr Vitousek called the sea level 'wild card.'

If sea levels rise by 25 centimeters by 2050, 'flood levels that occur every 50 years in the tropics would be happening every year or more,' said Dr Vitousek.

But some estimates for sea level rise are even more extreme: The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts global average sea levels will rise by as much as 2.5 metres (98 inches) by 2100.

Global average temperatures have increased by one degree Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-19th century, with most of that happening in the last 70 years.

The 196-nation Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, calls for capping global warming at well under 2C (3.6F), a goal described by climate scientists as extremely daunting.

SOURCE




Electric vehicles to cost the same as conventional cars by 2018

A Swiss bank knows how to produce much cheaper electric cars?  Elon Musk eat your heart out!  But hey! If you're tired of your SUV and you want instead a compact car that is not practical in cold climates, maybe an electric car is for you.  You could probably tootle around Boca Raton pretty well in one

The cost of owning an electric car will fall to the same level as petrol-powered vehicles next year, according to bold new analysis from UBS which will send shockwaves through the automobile industry.

Experts from the investment bank’s “evidence lab” made the prediction after tearing apart one of the current generation of electric cars to examine the economics of electric vehicles (EVs).

They found that costs of producing EVs were far lower than previously thought but there is still great potential to make further savings, driving down the price of electric cars.

As a result, UBS forecasts that the “total cost of consumer ownership can reach parity with combustion engines from 2018”, with this likely to happen in Europe first.

“This will create an inflexion point for demand,” the analysts said. “We raise our 2025 forecast for EV sales by ~50pc to 14.2m -  14pc of global car sales.”

If the prediction comes to pass, traditional car industry giants could face ruin. Germany’s Volkswagen Group - the world’s biggest car company - is racing to catch up with rivals’ investment levels in electric drivetrains, the components which deliver the power into the wheels, having largely ignored the technology in the past.

UBS’s research was to help understand what it called the “most disruptive car category since the Model T Ford”. The findings are based on its deconstruction of a Chevy Bolt, which it considered to be “the world’s first mass-market EV, with a range of more than 200 miles”.

The 2017 car - which cost $37,000 - was taken apart piece by piece and the parts analysed. UBS said that the Bolt’s electric drive was $4,600 cheaper to produce than thought, “with much cost reduction potential left”.

“We estimate that GM (which produces the Bolt) loses $7,400 in earnings before interest, and tax on every Bolt sold today, mainly due to a lack of scale.”

Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 - another small electric vehicle - is expected to lose billionaire Elon Musk’s company $2,800 per car for the base version, according to UBS, but Tesla will break even at an average selling price of $41,000.

The bank predicts this will be achieved as customers opt for higher specification vehicles, making electric cars a viable business proposition, with upmarket EVs likely to be more profitable than mid-range versions.

“Once total cost of ownership parity is reached, mass-brand EVs should also turn profitable,” UBS said.

Although the costs of EVs and current cars will be the same for motorists by 2018, manufacturers will not reach parity until 2023, when they will make 5pc margins on EVs - about equal to the profit on current vehicles.

EVs matching the cost of conventionally fuelled cars sooner than expected will send a seismic shock throughout the sector, from manufacturers right down through their supply chains, with UBS warning “the 'time to get ready' and win in the space shrinks”.

It also warns that the aftermarket for replacement parts could be radically disrupted because electric drivetrains suffer less wear than traditional engines.

“Our detailed analysis of moving and wearing parts has shown that the highly lucrative spare parts business should shrink by ~60pc in the end-game of a 100pc EV world, which is decades away,” UBS said.

It also forecast tech companies grabbing a bigger slice of the industry, with the deconstruction of the Bolt revealing that its electronics content was $4,000 higher than in an internal combustion engines, excluding the battery.

Professor David Bailey, car industry expert at Aston University, said: “If this really is the moment that the car industry reaches parity then the inflexion point is far earlier than anyone was expecting.”

Ian Fletcher, principal automotive analyst at  IHS Markit, added: “We are not going to see the death of diesel or petrol anytime soon but manufacturers are weighing up the investment cost of traditional engines against electric, as well as the levies they face over the emissions of their fleets.”

SOURCE




Chemistry Expert: Carbon Dioxide Can’t Cause Global Warming

by Dr Mark Imisides (Industrial Chemist)

Scarcely a day goes by without us being warned of coastal inundation by rising seas due to global warming.

Why on earth do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.

Carbon dioxide, we are told, traps heat that has been irradiated by the oceans, and this warms the oceans and melts the polar ice caps. While this seems a plausible proposition at first glance, when one actually examines it closely a major flaw emerges.

In a nutshell, water takes a lot of energy to heat up, and air doesn’t contain much. In fact, on a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is about 3300 to 1. This means that to heat 1 litre of water by 1˚C it would take 3300 litres of air that was 2˚C hotter, or 1 litre of air that was about 3300˚C hotter!

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If you ran a cold bath and then tried to heat it by putting a dozen heaters in the room, does anyone believe that the water would ever get hot?

The problem gets even stickier when you consider the size of the ocean. Basically, there is too much water and not enough air.

The ocean contains a colossal 1,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres of water! To heat it, even by a small amount, takes a staggering amount of energy. To heat it by a mere 1˚C, for example, an astonishing 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules of energy are required.

Let’s put this amount of energy in perspective. If we all turned off all our appliances and went and lived in caves, and then devoted every coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, wind and solar power plant to just heating the ocean, it would take a breathtaking 32,000 years to heat the ocean by just this 1˚C!

In short, our influence on our climate, even if we really tried, is miniscule!

So it makes sense to ask the question – if the ocean were to be heated by ‘greenhouse warming’ of the atmosphere, how hot would the air have to get? If the entire ocean is heated by 1˚C, how much would the air have to be heated by to contain enough heat to do the job?

Well, unfortunately for every ton of water there is only a kilogram of air. Taking into account the relative heat capacities and absolute masses, we arrive at the astonishing figure of 4,000˚C.

That is, if we wanted to heat the entire ocean by 1˚C, and wanted to do it by heating the air above it, we’d have to heat the air to about 4,000˚C hotter than the water.

And another problem is that air sits on top of water – how would hot air heat deep into the ocean? Even if the surface warmed, the warm water would just sit on top of the cold water.

Thus, if the ocean were being heated by ‘greenhouse heating’ of the air, we would see a system with enormous thermal lag – for the ocean to be only slightly warmer, the land would have to be substantially warmer, and the air much, much warmer (to create the temperature gradient that would facilitate the transfer of heat from the air to the water).

Therefore any measurable warmth in the ocean would be accompanied by a huge and obvious anomaly in the air temperatures, and we would not have to bother looking at ocean temperatures at all.

So if the air doesn’t contain enough energy to heat the oceans or melt the ice caps, what does?

The earth is tilted on its axis, and this gives us our seasons. When the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, we have more direct sunlight and more of it (longer days). When it is tilted away from the sun, we have less direct sunlight and less of it (shorter days).

The direct result of this is that in summer it is hot and in winter it is cold. In winter we run the heaters in our cars, and in summer the air conditioners. In winter the polar caps freeze over and in summer 60-70% of them melt (about ten million square kilometres). In summer the water is warmer and winter it is cooler (ask any surfer).

All of these changes are directly determined by the amount of sunlight that we get. When the clouds clear and bathe us in sunlight, we don’t take off our jumper because of ‘greenhouse heating’ of the atmosphere, but because of the direct heat caused by the sunlight on our body. The sun’s influence is direct, obvious, and instantaneous.

If the enormous influence of the sun on our climate is so obvious, then, by what act of madness do we look at a variation of a fraction of a percent in any of these variables, and not look to the sun as the cause?

Why on earth (pun intended) do we attribute any heating of the oceans to carbon dioxide, when there is a far more obvious culprit, and when such a straightforward examination of the thermodynamics render it impossible.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Friday, May 19, 2017


Western Australia’s catastrophic forest collapse

A thoroughly lazy article below. It does seem to be true that West Australian forests are retreating but the galoots below have no idea why and don't try to find out. They just chant the tired old mantra of global warming. But global warming COULD NOT be the cause. As any number of studies show (e.g. here) increased CO2 in the atmosphere has a GREENING effect, not a browning effect. The writers below, George Matusick, Giles Hardy and Katinka Ruthrof, are all academics specializing in forest studies so they are quite simply a disgrace to their professions. It's just a bit of opportunistic Warmist propaganda below.

Even aside from its building block effects, elevated CO2 reduces transpiration time for plants and makes them less needful of water; Warming oceans give off more water vapor which comes down as rain.  So both CO2 rises and its allegedly associated temperature rises are good for plants.  They certainly don't dry anything out.  So what they say below flies in the face of all the facts.  They are just grant-hungry crooks


Recent, unprecedented, climate-driven forest collapses in Western Australia show us that ecosystem change can be sudden, dramatic and catastrophic. These collapses are a clear signal that we must develop new strategies to mitigate or prevent the future effects of climate change in Australian woodlands and forests. But society’s view of forests is ever-changing: are we willing to understand ecosystems and adapt to changing conditions?

The south west of Western Australia has experienced a long-term climate shift since the early 1970s, resulting in dryer and hotter than average conditions. This shifted baseline, or average, has also led to more frequent extreme events. In 2010, the region experienced the driest and second hottest year on record.

These climate changes have resulted in significant decreases in stream-flow and groundwater levels. For example, formerly permanent streams now stop flowing for considerable periods. Groundwater levels have fallen up to 11 meters in some forested areas, with larger decreases in populated areas. Clearly, soil water reserves have dried out substantially and will likely continue to do so; we are now starting to see the implications of this. Although most of the West Australian society, particularly those in urban environments, may be well-buffered from these changes, ecosystems are not.

The climatic changes occurring in the south west of Western Australia are contributing to deteriorating woodland and forest health. In the past 20 years, insect infestations and fungal diseases have plagued many iconic tree species, including tuart, wandoo, flooded gum, marri, and WA peppermint, increasing their mortality rates. Many of these disorders are likely triggered or incited by changing climate conditions.

In extreme climate conditions, woodland and forest health suffers most. For instance, during the record dry and hot period in 2010 and 2011, large patches of trees throughout the region suddenly collapsed, with little recovery in some areas. Along the coastal plain surrounding Perth, some areas of Banksia woodland suffered losses as high as 70-80%, while over 500 ha of tuart woodland collapsed and over 15,000 ha of exotic pine plantations (~70% north of Perth) were destroyed. In the northern jarrah forest, over 16,000 ha of forest suddenly collapsed, with mortality rates 10.5 times greater than normal.

In several ecosystems, species have died out and not been replaced, permanently shifting vegetation structure and ecosystem function. Some believe that species and ecosystems will transition slowly in response to climate change. But following the extreme conditions experienced in 2010-11, we now know the transition in many West Australian woodlands and forests will likely occur in sudden, catastrophic, step changes. Many species may not have time to adapt.

These often sudden and dramatic shifts in vegetation health, structure and function have profound consequences on associated flora and fauna, including many critically endangered species. The Mediterranean type-ecosystems of the south west were recently named among the top 10 ecosystems most vulnerable to climate-induced tipping points and degradation by a panel of 26 leading Australian ecologists. The region is one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots, harbouring approximately 1500 plant species, most of which aren’t found anywhere else.

SOURCE




Leftists get hysterical about exposure to even very low levels of ionizing radiation.  Are they right?

The example of Japan:

If you were expecting Hiroshima to be uninhabitable for thousands of years, you are (understandably, given the deplorable state of science education) making a whole bunch of errors in your understanding of radiation.

First of all, radiation isn’t magic death cooties. You are radioactive (traces of unstable potassium in your bones). My kitchen is radioactive (traces of unstable uranium in my granite countertop). If you have smoke detectors in your home (and you should) there’s a good chance they are radioactive (americium—quite, quite radioactive, but harmless unless you eat it or inhale it).

When it comes to radiation, the type, intensity, and duration of exposure mean everything.

The Little Boy bomb contained 64 kg (141 lbs) of highly-enriched uranium. What that means is that the government sorted through many, many, many trainloads of naturally occurring uranium ore to separate out the isotope needed for bomb-making. In nature (on Earth) uranium is mostly U238, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years. This extremely long half life means the energy it releases as radiation is spread out over far longer than the age of the universe, and is therefore harmless to life (it would be nearly harmless anyway, because it emits alpha particles that can be stopped by as little as the dead outer layer of your skin). U238 is too stable for use in making bombs. For bombs, you need uranium with much more U235, an isotope with a half life of a mere 700 million years. This means (roughly) that U235 is about 600 times more radioactive than U238, making it so intensely radioactive that…



… you can hold it in your hands with no ill effects at all (the gloves are to keep the metal clean and prevent any dust from making its way into the technician’s lungs or mouth—which would be dangerous).

Uranium is a naturally occurring ore that is more dangerous as a chemical toxin than for its weak radiation. When enriched to 80%, U-235 is weapons grade stuff—far more radioactive—but still not harmful unless ingested.

So, okay. What makes the stuff so dangerous? Well, when you put too much U235 in close proximity and under the right circumstances, you can create a chain reaction in which neutron release astronomically speeds up the decay of the atoms, making it astronomically more radioactive, making all that atomic energy come out astronomically faster. This can give you a lethal dose in a few seconds, or boil water to run a turbine, or go boom—all depending on how tightly and how quickly the atoms all come together.

The Little Boy bomb was little more than a lab experiment stuck in a cowling and hung under an airplane. Only about 1.5% of the uranium fissioned. The remaining 64 kg (141 lbs) went up in the mushroom cloud and spread across the Pacific ocean. Oh no! What have we done to mother Earth???

Not a lot, actually. The ocean already contains uranium. This is Earth, after all, and it’s a rocky planet, and the ocean contains the runoff from the mountains and the soup from hydrothermal vents. Every 20 cubic kilometers of unadulterated seawater already contains the same amount of uranium spilled by the bomb. The ocean contains roughly 1.332 billion cubic kilometers of water, so it already contains 66,600,000 times the amount of uranium released by the bomb. Put another way, the bomb had zero impact on the amount of uranium in the environment. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But what about the 1.5% that actually fissioned? That’s your nightmare poison, right? Well, yes. Much of it transmuted into a cocktail of highly radioactive scariness, however:

Not all isotopes are equal. After an atomic bomb goes off, the isotopes that hurt people are those with short half lives, not long ones. Isotopes like Niobium-95, Cerium-141, Barium-140 and in particular, Iodine-131 are extremely dangerous because they have half lives of only days. They release all their radiation quickly, so it can do a lot of damage—especially Iodine-131 which can be taken up by the body and transported to the thyroid gland, and Strontium-89 which can be taken up by bones. These fission products are truly monstrous—but they don’t last long. In weeks, they are no longer a reason not to enter the area unprotected. In a year, they are gone. That leaves longer-lived isotopes like Strontium-90 and Cesium-137, both with half-lives of about 30 years. These pose a long term cancer risk, but by now, they are basically gone too. The only effect they impose on today’s world is mucking up highly-precise scientific measurements.

So what’s this thousands of years business? Hysteria and misinformation, that’s what.

I do not, by this answer, mean to downplay the horrors inflicted by the bomb or to imply that radiation isn’t dangerous. It can be, but it can also be extremely helpful. Consider that Japan, first victim of nuclear warfare, entered World War II mostly over control of oil supplies in its South Pacific region of influence. After the war, nuclear power fueled a robust, peaceful economy. Now, Fukushima has the Japanese spooked. They are thinking of retreating from nuclear power. And if they do, it will be a mistake.

Even after Fukushima, the total number of members of the Japanese public killed by the peaceful application of nuclear energy remains 0. Meanwhile, 20,000 Americans die each year due to lung cancer caused by radioactive radon, most of which is dug up and spewed out the smoke stacks of coal-fired power plants. If Japan abandons nuclear instead of upgrading to the newer safer designs now available, they will have to get their power at least partly from coal or natural gas. If they do that, for the first time since the bomb, radiation will start killing large numbers of Japanese.*

The point is, we don’t need to blindly fear nuclear energy. We need to respect it, understand it, and hold those who wield it to a high standard of public scrutiny. Ignorance is what we need to fear.

SOURCE






Hiatus observed in Northern Asia

Does the recent warming hiatus exist over Northern Asia for winter wind chill temperature?

Ying Ma et al.

ABSTRACT

Wind chill temperature (WCT) describes the joint effect of wind velocity and air temperature on exposed body skin and could support policymakers in designing plans to reduce the risks of notably cold and windy weather. This study examined winter WCT over Northern Asia during 1973–2013 by analysing in situ station data. The winter WCT warming rate over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) slowed during 1999–2013 (−0.04 °C decade−1) compared with that of during 1973–1998 (0.67 °C decade−1). The winter WCT warming hiatus has also been observed in the remainder of Northern Asia with trends of 1.11 °C decade−1 during 1973–1998 but −1.02 °C decade−1 during 1999–2013, except for the Far East (FE) of Russia, where the winter WCT has continued to heat up during both the earlier period of 1973–1998 (0.54 °C decade−1) and the recent period of 1999–2013 (0.75 °C decade−1). The results indicate that the influence of temperature on winter WCT is greater than that of wind speed over Northern Asia. Atmospheric circulation changes associated with air temperature and wind speed were analysed to identify the causes for the warming hiatus of winter WCT over Northern Asia. The distributions of sea-level pressure and 500-hPa height anomalies during 1999–2013 transported cold air from the high latitudes to middle latitudes, resulting in low air temperature over Northern Asia except for the FE of Russia. Over the TP, the increase in wind speed offset the increase in air temperature during 1999–2013. For the FE, the southerly wind from the Western Pacific drove the temperature up during the 1999–2013 period through warm advection.

International Journal of Climatology





Reddit users brutally destroy Bill Nye’s new Netflix science show: ‘This is absolute dog s**t’

Reddit users destroyed Bill Nye’s new Netflix program Tuesday in a thread of a show review that became so popular that it found its way to Reddit’s front page and earned Reddit’s version of a “like” more than 60,000 times.

In recent years, Nye, who is known for his 1990s kids’ science show, has become one of the most outspoken critics of people who disagree that manmade climate change is a fact and “settled science.” He regularly appears on cable news shows to debate the topic of climate change and attempts to discredit and shut down anyone who don’t toe his progressive line.

And according to Reddit users, Nye uses the same tone and style in his newest show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which debuted on Netflix in April.

“In this show he simply brings up an issue, tells you which side you should be on, and then makes fun of people on the other side. To make things worst [sic] he does this in the most boring way possible,” Reddit user “Sloth859,” who described himself as a “huge fan” of Nye’s since the age of 10, wrote in a review of the new show.

“He doesn’t properly explain anything, and he misrepresents every opposing view,” the user explained.

Sloth859 went on to share in lengthy paragraphs three instances where Nye appeared mean-spirited and ignored other scientific theories and ideas in order to push a progressive agenda.

The user noted that in one episode on fad dieting, Nye misrepresented paleo dieting as “only eating meat.” In another episode, Nye “shuts down” nuclear energy as an alternate energy source to fossil fuel, arguing that “nobody wants it.”

In a third episode, “Sloth859” slammed Nye for dismissing vinegar as an alternative medicine source simply because it “doesn’t change the pH level of an acidic solution.” The user continued:

He dismiss [sic] the fact that vinegar has been used to treat upset stomach for a long time. How does vinegar treat an upset stomach? Does it actually work, or is it a placebo affect? Does it work in some cases, and not in others? If it does anything, does it just treat a symptom, or does it fix the root cause? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions because he just dismissed it as wrong and only showed me that it doesn’t change the pH level of an acidic solution. Also, there are many foods that are believed to help prevent diseases like fish (for heart health), high fiber breads (for colon cancer), and citrus fruits (for scurvy). A healthy diet and exercise will help prevent cardiovascular disease, and will help reduce your blood pressure among other benefits. So obviously there is some reasoning behind some alternative medicine and practices and to dismiss it all as a whole is stupid.
“I just don’t see the point of this show,” the user concluded the review. “It’s not going to convince anyone that they’re wrong, and it’s definitely not going to entertain anyone.”

Other Reddit users concurred with the sentiment of “Sloth859.”

“This show is everything wrong with the public perception of science. Science isn’t about dismissing critical views, and accepting everything you’re told at face value. It’s about critically analyzing the way the world works and challenging your own beliefs. This show is trash and deserves every piece of criticism it receives,” Reddit user “Daeysheperd” wrote in the top comment.

“It seems that most people, right or left, are in agreeance [sic] that this is absolute dog s**t,” user “zorkzamboni” quipped.

Reddit user “CMPluto” said: “This is my favorite Reddit thread of all time. Never have I seen, on Reddit, so many posters from seemingly many different walks of life, share such agreeement [sic]. Thanks Bill. You’ve become the idiot we don’t deserve, but we may need.”

According to movie and television review website Rotten Tomatoes, Nye’s new show has so far earned a 75 percent approval from professional movie and TV critics, but only a 29 percent approval from people who actually watched it. Rotten Tomatoes’ professional reviews, however, has so far been limited to only eight — six positive and two negative.

Meanwhile, the show has even poorer reviews on Mediacritic, which gave the show a 63 percent approval from professional critics. Audience members, on the other hand, give the show an average rating of 1.7 on a scale of 1-to-10. Among audience reviews, 146 were negative, 27 were positive, and three were mixed.

SOURCE




Deep-Sixing the Paris Agreement
 
You wouldn’t think Al Gore and Donald Trump would have much to talk about, given their political divisions. Yet that’s exactly why the former vice president recently got in touch with President Trump: to urge him not to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

“Paris Agreement” is shorthand for a United Nations pact that the Obama administration joined last year. The agreement requires the countries that join it to submit plans for how they’ll cut greenhouse gas emissions. Not surprisingly, Mr. Gore heavily favors what he calls “a bold and historic agreement.”

You might think Mr. Gore’s plea couldn’t possibly succeed, but Mr. Trump’s decision on this issue isn’t exactly a slam-dunk. It isn’t just Mr. Gore and other environmentalists who think the United States should stay in the agreement. Senior Adviser to the President Jared Kushner, for example, thinks the U.S. should stay. So does Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as multinational corporations such as Starbucks and Exxon Mobil.

Some Republican lawmakers also say the United States should remain a party to the deal (albeit with a weakened pledge to cut emissions). The emissions targets aren’t legally binding, after all, so why not keep a seat at the table? No point inflicting diplomatic damage unnecessarily, they argue.

With all due respect, they’re mistaken. Mr. Trump should withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Doing so would underscore a simple truth that needs to be said loud and clear: The agreement is a sham deal, and no amount of pretense or diplomatic wrangling will change that.

To understand why, set aside any preconceived positions, pro or con, on the issue of climate change and look at the deal itself. It’s an extremely costly and ineffective way to address the issue — as even some of its supporters seem to realize.

The stated goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The more than 170 countries that have signed on are supposed to do this by reducing their carbon dioxide emissions and relying more on renewable sources of energy.

The stated goals for the United States, as submitted by the Obama administration, aimed to cut greenhouse gases by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. That’s pretty ambitious. And it won’t be cheap.

As economist Nicolas Loris and UN expert Brett Schaefer recently noted, “The U.S. regulations alone would increase energy costs for U.S. families and businesses, causing an overall average shortfall of nearly 400,000 jobs and total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four by the year 2035.”

The cost to the global economy, of course, will be much worse: trillions of dollars over the next 80 years. And here’s the real kicker: Even if every country meets their stated goals (which is very unlikely), it will bring only the most minuscule reduction in warming — so little, quite frankly, that it will hardly be noticeable.

Don’t just take my word for it. Consider what former Secretary of State John Kerry has said: “The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what — that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.”

To call this a flawed deal is the understatement of the year. It’s all pain, no gain. No wonder President Obama didn’t submit the deal to the Senate for approval (as he should have). He must have known lawmakers would reject it.

We still can. If President Trump wants to deliver the kind of economic growth he promised on the campaign trail, it’s time to jettison this bad deal.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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