Friday, May 22, 2009

As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It’s Land That’s Rising

The story below reminds me of a study I saw a few years ago (too busy to track it down) which looked at what would happen if the Antarctic ice DID all melt. We would lose the margins of the existing continents but we would gain a whole new usable continent, Antarctica -- which is roughly the size of the continental USA. That plus the gains of habitability in Siberia, Greenland and Northern Canada could well mean no net loss of quality habitable area.

The much increased rainfall from a warmer climate would also mean no deserts. Deserts at the moment occupy a considerable proportion of the earth's land area. But could humans stand a hot climate of frequent heavy rains? I know they could. Where I grew up in tropical Australia, we averaged 7 yards of rain per year. Yet our lifestyle was little different from anyone else's. We just wore raincoats a lot.

Note below that there is no attempt to separate out tectonic and glacial effects. Could the whole of the rise be due to tectonic movements?

Global warming conjures images of rising seas that threaten coastal areas. But in Juneau, as almost nowhere else in the world, climate change is having the opposite effect: As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat. Morgan DeBoer, a property owner, opened a nine-hole golf course at the mouth of Glacier Bay in 1998, on land that was underwater when his family first settled here 50 years ago. “The highest tides of the year would come into what is now my driving range area,” Mr. DeBoer said.

Now, with the high-tide line receding even farther, he is contemplating adding another nine holes. “It just keeps rising,” he said.

The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch. The land is ascending so fast that the rising seas — a ubiquitous byproduct of global warming — cannot keep pace. As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate “among the highest ever recorded,” according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau.

Greenland and a few other places have experienced similar effects from widespread glacial melting that began more than 200 years ago, geologists say. But, they say, the effects are more noticeable in and near Juneau, where most glaciers are retreating 30 feet a year or more. As a result, the region faces unusual environmental challenges. As the sea level falls relative to the land, water tables fall, too, and streams and wetlands dry out. Land is emerging from the water to replace the lost wetlands, shifting property boundaries and causing people to argue about who owns the acreage and how it should be used. And meltwater carries the sediment scoured long ago by the glaciers to the coast, where it clouds the water and silts up once-navigable channels.

A few decades ago, large boats could sail regularly along Gastineau Channel between Downtown Juneau and Douglas Island, to Auke Bay, a port about 10 miles to the northwest. Today, much of the channel is exposed mudflat at low tide. “There is so much sediment coming in from the Mendenhall Glacier and the rivers — it has basically silted in,” said Bruce Molnia, a geologist at the United States Geological Survey who studies Alaskan glaciers. Already, people can wade across the channel at low tide — or race across it, as they do in the Mendenhall Mud Run. At low tide, the navigation buoys rest on mud.

Eventually, as the land rises and the channel silts up, Douglas Island will be linked to the mainland by dry land, said Eran Hood, a hydrologist at the University of Alaska Southeast and an author of the 2007 report, “Climate Change: Predicted Impacts on Juneau.” When that happens, Dr. Hood said, the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, 4,000 acres of boggy habitat, will be lost. “That wetland will have nowhere else to go,” he said.

In some places along the coast, the change has been so rapid that kayakers whose charts are not up-to-the-minute can find themselves carrying their boats over shoals that are now so high and dry they now support grass or even small trees. In and around Juneau, “you can walk around and see what was underwater is turning into grassland and eventually into forest,” Dr. Hood said.

The topographical changes have threatened crucial ecosystems and even locally vital species like salmon. “The lifeblood of our region has been salmon species and their return — and what is the impact when they return and the streams are dry?” said Mayor Botelho, who was born and raised in Juneau. “The salmon is bound to our identity as a region, who we are.” He said he did not think that any species were in imminent danger, but added, “Anyone who is following climate change has to see that there are risks, perhaps great ones.”

Dr. Hood said many people in Juneau had hoped to maintain a waterway called Duck Creek as a salmon stream. But small streams like that “appear to be drying out,” he said. “There are a lot of people in town saying, Let’s just let it return to a greenway.” Relative to the sea, land here has risen as much as 10 feet in little more than 200 years, according to the 2007 report. As global warming accelerates, the land will continue to rise, perhaps three more feet by 2100, scientists say.

The rise is further fueled by the movement of the tectonic plates that form the earth’s crust. As the Pacific plate pushes under the North American plate, Juneau and its hilly Tongass National Forest environs rise still more. “When you combine tectonics and glacial readjustment, you get rates that are incomprehensible,” Dr. Molnia said. In Gustavus, where Mr. DeBoer’s property is, the land is rising almost three inches a year, Dr. Molnia said, making it “the fastest-rising place in North America.”

In addition to expanding the golf course, Mr. DeBoer is negotiating with the Nature Conservancy to preserve some of the newly emergent land. He can do both, he said, because the high tide line has pushed almost a mile out to sea since his family first homesteaded on the property. Where the shoreline is relatively flat, “it doesn’t take much uplift to make quite a bit of difference,” Mr. DeBoer said.


Arctic Comedy: Global warming trek 'makes it less than half way' to North Pole due to temps dropping below -40C!

News summaries below:

Global warming trek 'makes it less than half way' to North Pole due to temps dropping below -40C! – UK Guardian – May 13, 2009

Excerpt: The team of four trekked more than 269 miles for 73 days but were unable to make it to the North Pole because of extreme weather, with temperatures dropping below -40 degrees Celsius. The Catlin Arctic Survey, the first Polar expedition to monitor the affects of climate change on sea ice, was also unable to measure the ice using state-of-the art equipment because of the freezing conditions.

Pysicist Dr. Lubos Motl: Warming explorers learned 'Nature is in charge of the atmosphere' – May 13, 2009

Excerpt: The three explorers have learned that the Arctic Ocean is pretty cold! They saw all their advanced scientific gadgets freeze and break. They have survived frozen-solid clothes, a frost-bitten and stinky toe, a needle in a buttock, and an anti-septic cream pretending to be a toothpaste. The expedition has showed that the Arctic Ocean is cool enough for the airplanes to safely land in the middle of May, much later than what used to be considered as the limit back in 2003 (April 30th). They learned that there are places without any multi-year ice and the new ice can still be very thick. Most importantly, they have learned that Nature, and not arrogant or other humans, is in charge of the atmosphere. When it comes to millions of squared kilometers of ice, the human civilization is pretty weak and impotent.

North Pole trek mapping Arctic sea ice ends early – AFP - May 13, 2009

Excerpt: There was also "a lot less open water" than expected, Hadow said, noting the team was prepared to swim in the frigid Arctic waters up to two hours each day, but only had to get wet once during the trip. [...] Hadow said a hot shower awaited them upon their arrival at Eureka station in Canada's far north. [...] Daniels said she looked forward to drinking a glass of "full-bodied red wine" in front of a roaring fire and sleeping in a bed with fresh sheets, after discarding her smelly sleeping bag.

Arctic global warming explorers 'battered by wind, bitten by frost, bruised from falls on the ice' – BBC – March 12, 2009

Excerpt: A team of polar explorers has travelled to the Arctic in a bid to discover how quickly the sea-ice is melting and how long it might take for the ocean to become ice-free in summers. Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley will be using a mobile radar unit to record an accurate measurement of ice thickness as they trek to the North Pole. The trio will be sending in regular diary entries, videos and photographs to BBC News throughout their expedition. The Catlin Arctic Survey team started its gruelling trek on 28 February.


Conditions have been hard. We have been battered by wind, bitten by frost and bruised from falls on the ice. Occasionally it's disheartening too when you've slogged for a day and then wake up the next morning having drifted back to where you started.

Ad for Arctic trek prompts meteorologist to declare: 'I weep for science' - April 23, 2009

Excerpt: Catlin Arctic Ice Survey: paid advertising of results before they are even off the ice! - Either they just don't care that they are running ads for “results” prior to any hard data being published or this is some sort of advertising scheduling slipup. Given how sloppy this laughable facade of a scientific expedition has been so far, publishing “live” biometric readings that were actually 30 days old, I'm guessing the latter.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Global Warming May Result In Some Periods Of Cooling In Southeastern United States

Homeostatic feedbacks beginning to be recognized but the explanation is twisted to suit Warmism. See the comment by long-range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn at the foot of the article

Global warming may include some periods of local cooling, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Results from satellite and ground-based sensor data show that sweltering summers can, paradoxically, lead to the temporary formation of a cooling haze in the southeastern United States.

The study, to be published the week of May 18 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that when manmade pollutants mix with the natural compounds emitted from forests and vegetation during the hot summer months, they form secondary aerosols that reflect light from the sun. Such aerosols may also contribute to the formation of clouds, which also reflect sunlight. The results of this study suggest that climate models need to better account for the effects of organic aerosols, the authors said. [That's a fact!]

The researchers conducted observations of aerosols throughout the earth's atmosphere using space-based satellites in combination with ground-based sunphotometers between March 2000 and February 2007. "This is the first time a study has shown that the aerosols formed from the combination of manmade and natural emissions observed from space are relevant for understanding earth's climate," said study lead author Allen Goldstein, UC Berkeley professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

The study began when former UC Berkeley Ph.D. student and study co-author Charles Koven showed Goldstein satellite data that indicated a summertime spike in aerosol haze in the southeastern United States. Goldstein noticed that the increased haziness, which could not be explained by human activities alone, coincided with the known regional pattern of biogenic volatile organic compounds. The emission of these compounds - natural hydrocarbons from plants and trees - increases exponentially when the temperature rises, said Goldstein.

"These natural emissions are highly volatile, and when they react with human sources of pollution in the atmosphere, aerosols are created," said Goldstein, who also holds a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "Nobody realized until now that enough of these aerosols were forming to influence cooling over an entire region."

The researchers estimated that the cooling effect from the aerosol haze over this region in summer is outpacing the warming effect from carbon dioxide emissions by 2-to-1 in a negative feedback system.

The results do not mean, however, that aerosols negate the effects of carbon dioxide emissions, emphasized atmospheric scientist Inez Fung, co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment and a co-author of the study. "The cooling effect of the organic aerosols we are reporting here are regional and temporal [I suppose she means "temporary"]; they are dwarfed by the changes in the climate we are witnessing globally," said Fung, a UC Berkeley professor with joint appointments in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. "Aerosols only remain in the atmosphere for five to 10 days, whereas carbon dioxide lingers for decades. To counter all the warming effects from greenhouse gases with aerosols, levels would have to be so high that we'd have trouble breathing, and the sky would no longer appear blue."


Comment by Piers Corbyn:

The title and the introduction are nothing to do with the actual findings of the research which they summarize as follows:
"..when manmade pollutants mix with the natural compounds emitted from forests and vegetation during the hot summer months, they form secondary aerosols that reflect light from the sun. Such aerosols may also contribute to the formation of clouds, which also reflect sunlight."

Nowhere do they identify the manmade pollutants/human sources of pollution in the atmosphere with CO2. Therefore this research has nothing to say about CO2 as a driver of anything.

The headline is a dishonest attempt to propagate the religion all 'bad' weather is caused by global warming and comes under my category of GW propaganda of the fourth kind. It is intended as a twisted explanation for any cold spells which might happen to come along. Perhaps ask them for an explanation of the cold and snowy weather in much of USA and Canada over the last few days"

Climate Depot Banned in Louisiana! State official sought to have climate skeptic's testimony 'shut down' at hearing

Commissioner Foster Campbell of the Louisiana Public Service Commission is demanding to know why a witness skeptical of man-made global warming was not "shut down" during a May 13, 2009 hearing in Baton Rouge.

According to an article in The Times-Picayune on May 19, 2009, Campbell was irate that Climate Depot's executive editor Marc Morano was invited to speak at the hearing by Commissioner Eric Skrmetta. The paper reported: "Campbell criticized [Chairman] Boissiere for not shutting down Morano's presentation."

Campbell attempted to verbally grill Morano during the hearing and has since publicly accused the Climate Depot editor of being a "phony" and a "hack" who is part of a "fringe group" and he accused Morano of "deception" and taking "quotes out of context." (See Times-Picayune article: Global warming presentation prompts Foster Campbell to ask for PSC testimony under oath )

Campbell, who engaged in a testy back and forth during the standing room only hearing with Morano, is now apparently demanding any future witnesses that challenge his scientific understanding of global warming be promptly “shut down.” [Morano note: Campbell's low-brow insults and impulse to cut off debate only serve to diminish his reputation.]

The Times-Picayune reported: “After a presenter at last week's Public Service Commission meeting asserted that global warming is a hoax, Commissioner Foster Campbell said Tuesday he plans to introduce a motion at the June meeting requiring most people testifying before the commission to do so under oath.” [Morano note: The paper is incorrect; I never testified that global warming is a “hoax.” ]

Campbell's call for future witnesses to be sworn-in is apparently his attempt to scare off any future skeptics of man-made global warming fears from testifying. Campbell implies "swearing" in witnesses would somehow force witnesses to change their dissenting views of climate change. [Morano note: Sadly, it seems as though Campbell actually believes that if you present scientific evidence refuting Gore's climate view, you must be a liar. I would be delighted to return to Baton Rouge to testify again under oath and allow Campbell all the time he would like to question my presentation.]

The paper reported that Morano's testimony “upstaged” Campbell's invited witness.

“Marc Morano, a former aide to Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma who now runs an anti-global-warming website called, said there's no proof that the planet is getting hotter and called the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a 'political gimmick.'” [Morano note: I merely quoted award-winning physicist Dr. Claude Allegre -- who reversed his view on warming to become a skeptic -- stating Gore's Nobel award was "a political gimmick.” ]

The paper continued: “Campbell maintains that [his witness] offered the commission an analysis of a proposed policy change while Morano, who once worked for Rush Limbaugh, delivered a political rant that was of no value to the commission. He criticized [Chairman] Boissiere for not shutting down Morano's presentation.”

[Morano note: A frustrated Campbell sat through my presentation which contained extensive analysis of cap-and-trade and I cited peer-reviewed scientific studies, prominent international scientists and the latest real world developments exposing the errors in man-made climate fears. My testimony even cited left wing environmentalists and promoters of global warming fears like the UK's James Lovelock, NASA's James Hansen and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader trashing the concept of cap-and-trade as “verging on a gigantic scam.” In addition, I presented the overwhelming polling data showing the public is rejecting climate fears. ]

During the question and answer portion of the testimony, Campbell accused Morano of representing "big business" and not being kind to former Vice President Al Gore. Campbell has been on a public relations war path since Morano's 35 minute testimony at the hearing. Last week, Campbell released a May 14, 2009 letter calling Morano a “political operator from Washington, D.C. and he accused him of giving a “far-right sermon on Global Warming straight out of Rush Limbaugh, complete with obscure references, quotes out of context and personal attacks on a former Vice President and winner of the Nobel Prize.” Campbell called Morano's testimony a “political circus.” He then went on to label him a “hack” who used “deception.”

[Morano note: In addition to providing comic relief, Campbell's angry rants are quite chilling. As the science behind man-made global warming fears utterly collapses, many of the biggest promoters of the theory are growing increasingly desperate. NASA's James Hansen has called for trials of climate skeptics in 2008 for "high crimes against humanity.” Environmentalists Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at skeptics of 2007 declaring “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors”

In 2006, the eco-magazine Grist called for Nuremberg-Style trials for skeptics. In 2008, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki called for government leaders skeptical of global warming to be thrown “into jail.” In 2007, The Weather Channel's climate expert called for withholding certification of skeptical meteorologists. A 2008 report found that 'Climate blasphemy' is replacing traditional religious blasphemy. See also: A July 2007 Senate report details how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation]

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Cap-and-trade delusions

Proponents need to stop pretending cap-and-trade will cost nothing and create tons of jobs

"The Waxman-Markey bill will create jobs by spurring investment in renewables and efficiency." So declared the liberal Center for American Progress as it announced support for the new cap-and-trade climate change bill introduced in Congress last week.

Clocking in at nearly 1000 pages, the American Clean Energy and Security Act—or Waxman-Markey after its sponsors Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)—proposes to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below their 2005 level by 2020, by 42 percent by 2030, and by 83 percent by 2050. In addition, the bill requires that electricity retailers meet 20 percent of their load by 2020 using either renewable sources of electricity or conservation. To achieve these goals, the U.S. will have to spend money on clean energy technologies which are far more expensive than conventional energy technologies.

All rhetoric aside, mandates cost money. Today, for example, President Barack Obama declared that new U.S. automobiles must get an average of 35 miles-per-gallon by the year 2016. Yet it is widely acknowledged that meeting this new standard will add $1,300 to the cost of each new car. In general, when prices go up, people buy less. So, all other things being equal, less demand for a product (like cars) means fewer jobs, not more. (Of course, there is one way to raise prices and create more jobs: reduce worker productivity. If policy makers deliberately encourage inefficiency in an industry, more jobs will likely follow. But that reduced productivity also means workers will receive lower wages.)

Producing low-carbon electricity will also cost more money. Currently, producing solar photovoltaic electricity costs about 33 cents per kilowatt hour; wind generated electricity is about 9 cents per kilowatt hour; and coal-fired production with carbon capture and sequestration is estimated to cost up to 10 cents per kilowatt hour. In contrast, producing electricity by means of conventional coal-fired plants now costs 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour and nuclear power comes to 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

Once again, all other things being equal, higher costs mean that the energy industry will raise the prices of its goods and services. Which means that consumers will buy less, thus leaving the industry with less to spend on producing goods and services or to pay its workers. Will there be more people specifically employed making and installing higher-cost, government subsidized wind turbines, photovoltaic arrays, batteries for plug-in hybrid automobiles, and weatherized houses? Sure. But on net, there will fewer new jobs thanks to rising low-carbon energy costs.

In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year, Peter Orszag, Obama's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, admitted that a 15 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions would reduce American incomes. According to Orszag, the lowest quintile of households would pay an average of $680 more each year for goods and services (3.3 percent of their incomes) and the highest quintile would pay $2,180 more (1.7 percent of their incomes) than they would have in the absence of carbon rationing.

Another way to look at the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade proposal is that it functions like a tax increase. Under the bill, about half of all revenues raised by the cap-and-trade system between 2012 and 2025 will be recycled to businesses and consumers, with the other half spent by federal government. While recycling revenues is better than nothing, it introduces inefficiencies because the process distorts how workers and businesses would have spent the money had it not been collected and redistributed by the government.

Finally, Christina Romer, the head of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, calculated last year that a 1 percent increase in taxes reduces economic output by 2 to 3 percent over the following three years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cap-and-trade scheme will collect about $80 billion per year in revenues, a figure that represents about 3 percent federal tax increase.

Man-made climate change may be a huge problem, but cap-and-trade proponents need to stop pretending that the solution will cost virtually nothing while producing more jobs than it destroys.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

“Clean Energy” is a Dirty Lie

By Alan Caruba

What does it take to be a dedicated environmentalist—a Green—these days?

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” An example would be a belief in “global warming” despite the fact that the planet has been cooling for a decade.

“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed.” This describes anyone who says that carbon dioxide, CO2, is responsible for a warming that is not occurring or that this gas could cause it.

“To deny objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.” This is how Congress can restrict access to national energy sources—oil, natural gas, and coal—while claiming it wants the USA to be “energy independent.”

The definition above comes from George Orwell’s “1984” and describes “double think” in his allegory of Communism.

President Obama’s environmental beliefs and policies are a composite of outright lies and high on the list is his promise of “Green jobs.” This is based on his intention to radically transform our society from one in which energy jobs in areas such as oil production and mining are replaced by those providing wind and solar energy.

The auto industry is getting a makeover as General Motors brands that sell well are forced by government fiat to be abandoned for those few that people want or can afford.

Regarding so-called Green jobs, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, recently pointed out that a study in Spain that was released in late March made clear that, “Spain has spent billions in taxpayer resources to subsidize renewable energy programs in an effort to jumpstart its ailing economy and what they have gotten in return are fewer jobs, skyrocketing debt and some of the highest and most regressive energy prices in the developed world.”

The lies Greens are telling, whether in Spain are here in the USA, always produce the same results. For every “Green job” created by the Spanish government over the past decade, 2.2 other jobs were destroyed as a result. To not expect the same result here is to be willfully ignorant.

All the talk of “clean energy”, wind and solar, is now shifting into high gear with the introduction of the Waxman-Markey legislation on March 31. It is touted as “a new direction for America’s clean energy future and fighting global warming.” At the risk of being repetitive, there is NO global warming. The Earth is now ten years into a cooling cycle.

This is possibly the most dreadful piece of legislation to be put before Congress in the history of the nation. It is the deliberate reordering of American society because without adequate energy, the economy will implode and the lifestyles that Americans take for granted, all based on affordable electricity and fuel for transportation will cease to exist.

It is based entirely on the “global warming” lie. It is based entirely on the lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the driving force behind “climate change.”

Clean jobs are just one more of the endless lies that Greens tell in order to put an end to America’s capacity to compete in the global marketplace.

Clean energy is the term applied to wind and solar energy, deemed “renewable”, amidst more lies about the oil and coal which most surely will neither be renewable nor even available if Congress and the White House continue to put the national lands under which they exist off limits to all exploration and extraction.

Totally supported by government subsidies and mandates for their use, wind and solar energy represents barely one percent of the electricity Americans use every day.

In countless ways, the Greens are working to destroy America’s ability to have the energy it needs to survive and grow. Our economy, already suffering from government mandates that destroyed the nation’s housing market, will utterly collapse when it can no longer access the energy required for the future. Clean energy is a dirty lie.



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1 comment:

John A said...

Land rising: ... widespread glacial melting that began more than 200 years ago

I thought warming really started around 1870 or later? Well, according to Mann et al.