Monday, September 14, 2009

Mustn't laugh! Sailing through the Arctic is nothing new

And, contrary to all the claims, it is nothing to do with global warming. The report below notes both that transit through the Northwest passage happened 40 years ago and that there were five prior transits. It kinda puts into perspective the erections that the Warmists have been getting about a recent transit through the Northeast passage by two German freighters. The two passages are different but are at similar latitudes and both are normally iced up. The Northwest passage is actually the more difficult one.

And I suppose it is evil of me to note that Finno-Swedish explorer Nordenskiƶld made the first complete transit though the Northeast Passage way back in 1878! Global warming has been around for a long time, apparently. Perhaps the final humiliation for the Warmists, however -- and one not mentioned in most reports -- is that the two freighters were led by a nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker! Nordenskiƶld didn't need that! Was it warmer in his day?

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the departure of one of the last of the great globe-spanning multidisciplinary oceanographic expeditions, a tradition that included the epic voyages of Challenger, Meteor, and Albatross.

During an expedition lasting 11 months, the Canadian oceanographic ship CSS Hudson of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, accomplished the first, and still the only, circumnavigation of the Americas.

The vessel worked in the South Atlantic, Antarctic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans and was only the sixth ship to transit the Northwest Passage.

On November 17, 2009, CCGS Hudson, still an operational research ship of the Canadian Coast Guard, will host a party at BIO to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the expedition, and a special exhibition is being mounted at BIO featuring films and photographs of the voyage.


More oxygen -- colder climate

This sounds like a cyclic process. More CO2 in water promotes plant life, which in turn gives off more oxygen and leads to cooling

Everybody talks about CO2 and other greenhouse gases as causes of global warming and the large climate changes we are currently experiencing. But what about the atmospheric and oceanic oxygen content? Which role does oxygen content play in global warming?

This question has become extremely relevant now that Professor Robert Frei from the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with colleagues from Uruguay, England and the University of Southern Denmark, has established that there is a historical correlation between oxygen and temperature fluctuations towards global cooling.

The team of researchers reached their conclusions via analyses of iron-rich stones, so called banded iron formations, from different locations around the globe and covering a time span of more than 3,000 million years. Their discovery was made possible by a new analytical method which the research team developed. This method is based on analysis of chrome isotopes - different chemical variants of the element chrome. It turned out that the chrome isotopes in the iron rich stones reflect the oxygen content of the atmosphere. The method is a unique tool, which makes it possible to examine historical changes in the atmospheric oxygen content and thereby possible climate changes.

"But we can simply conclude that high oxygen content in seawater enables a lot of life in the oceans "consuming" the greenhouse gas CO2, and which subsequently leads to a cooling of the earth's surface. Throughout history our climate has been dependent on balance between CO2 and atmospheric oxygen. The more CO2 and other greenhouse gases, the warmer the climate has been. But we still don't know much about the process which drives the earth from a period with a warmer climate towards an "ice age" with colder temperatures - other than that oxygen content plays an important role. It would therefore be interesting to consider atmospheric and oceanic oxygen contents much more in research aiming at understanding and tackling the causes of the current climate change," says Professor Robert Frei.

The results Professor Frei and his international research team have obtained indicate that there have been two periods in the earth's 4.5 billion year history where a significant change in the atmospheric and oceanic oxygen content has occurred. The first large increase took place in between 2.45 billion years and 2.2 billion years ago. The second "boost" occurred for only 800 to 542 million years ago and lead to an oxidisation of the deep oceans and thereby the possibility for life to exist at those depths.

"To understand the future, we have to understand the past. The two large increases in the oxygen content show, at the very least, that the temperature decreased. We hope that these results can contribute to our understanding of the complexity of climate change. I don't believe that humans have a lot of influence on the major process of oxygen formation on a large scale or on the inevitable ice ages or variations in temperature that the Earth's history is full of.


A paper from the days before Warmism became politically correct

The article pooh-poohs the effect of CO2 and says that the big danger is that increases in aerosols could lead to a new ice age. That makes the paper strangely up to date as the cooling effect of aerosols is once again receiving some attention

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate

By S. I. Rasool 1 and S. H. Schneider 1

1 Institute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New York 10025

Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ° K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

Science 9 July 1971: Vol. 173. no. 3992, pp. 138 - 141

Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug has died -- 'saved more human lives than any other' -- was a climate skeptic

Greenies hated Borlaug anyhow -- because his work led to big population increases in the Third World

Renowned agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug has died at the age of 95. Borlaug, known as the father of the "Green Revolution" for saving over a billion people from starvation by utilizing pioneering high yield farming techniques, is one of only five people in history who has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom ,and the Congressional Gold Medal.

For more details on Borlaug's life and accomplishments see CNN's report here. Also here is a Gregg Easterbrook article on Borlaug's life and career.

Borlaug was also a man-made global warming skeptic who was featured in the U.S. Senate Report of more than 700 dissenting scientists. Borlaug is featured on page 116 of March 2009 U.S. Senate Report of More Than 700 Dissenting Scientists on Man-Made Global Warming. Dr. Borlaug's entry in the U.S. Senate report is reproduced below:

Renowned agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug, known as the father of the "Green Revolution" for saving over a billion people from starvation by utilizing pioneering high yield farming techniques, is one of only five people in history who has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom ,and the Congressional Gold Medal. Borlaug also declared himself skeptical of man-made climate fears in 2007. "I do believe we are in a period where, no question, the temperatures are going up. But is this a part of another one of those (natural) cycles that have brought on glaciers and caused melting of glaciers?" Borlaug asked, according to a September 21, 2007 article in Saint Paul Pioneer Press. The article reported that Borlaug is "not sure, and he doesn't think the science is, either." Borlaug added, "How much would we have to cut back to take the increasing carbon dioxide and methane production to a level so that it's not a driving force?" We don't even know how much."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Brainless EU now attacking old-style TVs

Even though they use LESS electricity! Logic and Greenies just don't get on

AFTER more than 70 years as a fixture in Britain’s living rooms, the cathode ray television is to face the final fade-out, as part of the European Union’s battle against climate change. The European commission is demanding that manufacturers cut the energy consumption of televisions by a fifth. Both officials and manufacturers say cathode ray televisions will fall short of the new targets and be consigned to history. The move, which follows the banning of the 100-watt incandescent lightbulb, is part of an EU directive intended to curb the growth in household electricity consumption.

Other measures, which come into force next year, include banning washing machines without a cold-wash setting. Cheap but inefficient fridges, freezers and dishwashers will also be banned. Even the kettle is under intense scrutiny, with plans for a study into improving its energy efficiency. It is thought that researchers will look at kettles that heat a set number of cups....

In Britain, electricity consumption has doubled since 1970, driven in part by a huge increase in the number of electric appliances and gadgets. Televisions are among the worst offenders. Britain has 60m sets, which consume an average of 500kWh per household a year, producing 5m tonnes of CO2. Just over half of them are cathode ray, or tube televisions.

The televisions are one of the most enduring technologies. Invented by John Logie Baird in 1926, [Rubbish! The Baird contraption was NOT the forerunner of today's cathode-ray TV. That was invented by Vladimir Zworykin] the first commercial sets were sold in Britain a decade later. The rise of flat-screen plasma and LCD models, however, has led to a decline in their popularity. According to GFK, a market analyst, 259,000 tube televisions were sold last year compared with 8.6m LCD and plasma sets.

The commission is to demand that from August 2010 manufacturers cut sets’ energy consumption by 20% over two years. Manufacturers confirmed last week that tube sets would not be upgraded.

Ironically, tube sets are actually more energy efficient than their flat-screen rivals. A 42in plasma television may use 822kWh a year, compared with 350kWh for an LCD flat screen of the same size. A 32in tube television, the biggest available, would use 322kWh.

Andre Brisaer, the commission’s head of energy efficiency, said: “They [cathode ray televisions] will most likely be taken off the market. Manufacturers will most likely be unwilling to invest in upgrading them given the lack of interest from consumers.”

The commission is also demanding that all washing machines are capable of running cold-wash cycles below 30C. Improved detergents mean clothes can be cleaned at lower temperatures.

The new regulations will potentially see the cost of fridges, televisions and washing machines rise by £100 or more. Under current EU benchmarks, kitchen appliances are graded from A++ to G for their energy efficiency. From July next year, the commission will ban manufacturers from producing goods assessed as having a rating below the A grade.

Officials from the energy and transport group are now studying kettles, coffee machines, mixers and vacuum cleaners with a view to making them more efficient. Manufacturers are concerned. Paolo Falcioni, of the European Committee of Domestic Appliance Manufacturers, which lobbies for the industry, said: “Kettles are already as efficient as possible. The only improvement would be not to have them at all.”

A spokesman for the commission said: “Our aim is not to take products off the market. We want to push an upgrade of technology that will, in turn, cut energy consumption.”


Australia: Green jobs dopey, says labor union leader

ONE of Australia's most powerful union leaders has lashed out at the push for green jobs, labelling it a "dopey term", and has dismissed environmental campaigns against some of the nation's major export industries as "judgmental nonsense". The president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, Tony Maher, said existing industries such as coal and steelmaking would have an important place in the nation's future economic prospects and in producing a lower carbon future.

He said carbon capture and storage and other hopes for cutting emissions such as solar and thermal, would require massive amounts of steel that should be made by Australian steel workers.

Mr Maher said much of the opposition to major industries - particularly the coal industry - was "well-intentioned naivete". "By mid-century we'll be using twice as much coal and a lot more steel and plastic and concrete that aren't the flavour of the month with environmentalists and green groups," he said.

His rhetoric is at odds with ACTU president Sharan Burrow, who has embarked on a campaign to argue the benefits of green jobs, including joining the Southern Cross Climate Coalition, a joint group of welfare, union, research and environmental organisations that have been lobbying the government to do more to create green jobs. In March Ms Burrow said Australia had to position itself to ensure it had the knowledge and skills to capture at least a quarter of what would be a global green products market worth more than three trillion dollars.

"The challenge is to reskill workers in existing blue-collar jobs to ensure they can manufacture, install and operate new technologies and to educate generations of students and young workers to take up new green jobs," she said.

Mr Maher played down any suggestion of a split with Ms Burrow, saying he chaired the ACTU's climate change group. and that there was merely a "difference in emphasis". But while white-collar workers were more comfortable with talking about green jobs, Mr Maher said he was concerned for his blue-collar constituency, keeping existing industries and fitting them into a restructured low-carbon economy. "A lot of the new jobs will be the old jobs," he said.

There would be a lot of new jobs created such as in recycling and harvesting stormwater run-off, but these would be bolt-on skills to existing trades to cope with new developments. "It's no different when plumbers had to adapt to using plastic pipes after years of using clay pipes," Mr Maher said. "Coalmines aren't going anywhere. Power stations aren't going anywhere."

Mr Maher told a trade publication last week the challenge for business leaders in the emerging green industries would be in attracting staff from other sectors who already had good pay and conditions. "A coalminer or a power station worker isn't going to leave their job on $120,000-plus with well-regulated shift arrangements and decent conditions to install low-wattage light bulbs or insulation," he said.

He dismissed the protest at the Hazelwood power station yesterday as "just silly". Hundreds of protesters gathered at Hazelwood in Victoria's La Trobe Valley to protest against the plant's emissions.

Police arrested 22 protesters after the "Switch Off Hazelwood" protest, which started about 11am with organisers planning a "mass civil disobedience action". Police said protesters became gradually more aggressive, and some wanted to jump over the plant's fences. The protesters were arrested for trespassing, and one person was arrested for assaulting a police officer at the Latrobe Valley station, which activists describe as one of Australia's dirtiest plants.

But Mr Maher said Australia produced the best-quality coking coal in the world, and this was used to make steel. He said it was silly to protest against an industry that produced a substantial proportion of the nation's exports.



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