We have been told ad nauseam by the alarmists that global warming will kill all the coral reefs so I wonder how we account for the story below? Could warming be GOOD for coral? Seeing coral is most abundant in the tropics, it takes a Greenie to get the wrong answer to that
The polar snap enveloping much of the United States in record cold has been killing off coral reefs and causing iguanas to drop out of trees in the normally balmy warm waters off the Florida Keys, experts said today. The unusually chilly weather so far this year has seen sea temperatures plummet in southern Florida - a fatal development for the coral, which dies when exposed for an extended time to temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius. Especially in the lower Keys, "temperatures have been lower ... there is higher mortality", Diego Lirman, a University of Miami expert on coral, said.
Florida's usually mild and sunny winter weather has given way to record low temperatures during the historic cold snap in recent weeks. In Miami, the thermometer in January and February regularly dropped below 1.6 Celsius, the coldest temperatures since 1970. The cold snap also has led to "bleaching", in which the coral loses pigmentation and ultimately dies. [Hey! Alarmists like Hoagy claim that bleaching is caused by WARMING. And Hoagy is an "expert"]
Destruction of coral having a negative effect on delicate tropical ecosystems in the region, Mr Lirman said, with micro-algae living within the coral forced to leave their habitat for lack of a food source. Some of the worst affected species are the large brain and star coral, which can take several hundreds of years to grow into the vibrant underwater colonies. "The Keys have not seen a cold-water bleaching event like this since the winter of 1977-78, when acres of staghorn coral perished," said Billy Causey, southeast regional director of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Florida's coral reefs are considered a unique natural heritage area in the United States for their proximity to the coast and their expansiveness, running from north of Miami in the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
The state's myriad of tropical animals also have been impacted by the cold snap so far this year, with iguanas dropping from trees and manatees huddling around waters warmed by power plants. The cold-blooded iguanas' comfort level begins at 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) and they positively thrive at 95 degree Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). But when temperatures drop below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), they become immobile, and below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius), they become completely immobile due to a lack of blood flow.
Unable to hold on, the helpless mohawked lizards that shelter in tree branches have been seen falling to the ground, and wildlife officials have offered guidelines to revive them.
The Train Wreck Continues: Now UN IPCC hurricane data is questioned
More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.
Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He's a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community - his studies include critical systems analysis.
Hatton has released what he describes as an 'A-level' statistical analysis, which tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration. He's published all the raw data and invites criticism, but warns he is neither "a warmist nor a denialist", but a scientist.
Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.
"When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances." This isn't indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.
Even the North Atlantic increase should be treated with caution, Hatton concludes, since the period contains one anomalous year of unusually high hurricane activity - 2005 - the year Al Gore used the Katrina tragedy to advance the case for the manmade global warming theory.
The IPCC does indeed conclude that "there is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones." If only the IPCC had stopped there. Yet it goes on to make more claims, and draw conclusions that the data doesn't support.
Claims and data
The IPCC's WG1 paper states: "There are also suggestions of increased intense tropical cyclone activity in some other regions where concerns over data quality are greater." Hatton points out the data quality is similar in each area.
The IPCC continues: "It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity." But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.
"The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review," Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. "This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it's due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other - then that's interesting to me."
Hatton has thirty years of experience of getting scientific papers published, but describes this one, available on his personal website, as "unpublishable".
"It's an open invitation to tell me I'm wrong," he says. He was prompted to look more closely by the Climategate emails, and by his years of experience with computer modelling. All code and data on which policy conclusions are made should be open and freely downloadable, he says - preferably with open tools.
The IPCC's AR4 chapter lead was Kevin Trenberth, who features prominently in the Climategate emails. In 2005, the National Hurricane Center's chief scientist Chris Landsea resigned his post in protest at the treatment of the subject by Trenberth.
"I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth’s actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4."
Critics point out that an increase in low-intensity storms being recorded is due to better instrumentation. Most are at sea, and thanks to radar and satellites, more are now observed.
Hitler on global warming
A blizzard of global warming hype
It had to happen. In the midst of the record snowfall in the East, some mainstream media outlet had to try to link this season's unusual weather events to global warming. Time was the first news organization to take the plunge. It published such an article on February 10 — and that very day, Washington, D.C., broke its 1899 seasonal snow record of 54.5 inches with its third official blizzard of the winter. Today, the New York Times joined the party.
Like 2010, winter 1899 was characterized by multiple heavy snowstorms, especially in February. Sometimes the jet stream locks into a position where it is capable of creating such a string. As has been painfully obvious, this is one of those years.
Before 1942, D.C.'s official snow totals were taken downtown. The record since the measurement started being recorded at Reagan National Airport, set in 1996, has been eclipsed by ten inches this year.
The big January 1996 storm put down 17.1 inches at Reagan. The January 22, 1996, Newsweek cover featured a man disappearing in a whiteout with the headline "Blizzards, Floods, and Hurricanes: Blame Global Warming." The cover story, written by the voluble science populist Sharon Begley, claimed that global warming allows more moisture into the air so that snowstorms can become bigger. Her go-to scientist was NASA's James Hansen — who more recently became famous for calling coal drags to your local power plant "death trains" and advocating war-crime trials for the executives who daily force you to put gasoline in your car. (So clearly we should expect no hyperbole from that camp.)
This winter, D.C. has placed two storms in the top ten: The 18.0 inches that fell on February 5–6 ranks number four, and the 16.4 on December 18–19 is number eight. Time's Bryan Walsh, who has a difficult time with the concept that improbable events are not impossible, thought this sufficiently bizarre to root online for any source that could be used to blame it on dreaded greenhouse gases. (Walsh found it in a semi-obscure 2003 study in the Journal of Climate, though he did not actually link to it in his article.)
And so the argument was trotted out again that mid-Atlantic storms can hold more moisture in a warmer world, and therefore can produce more snow. Anyone who would claim this surely does not understand the climatology of snow in Washington, D.C.
There are plenty of storms, usually up to 20 per winter, that are moist enough to produce snow but instead drop rain, or the unaesthetic combination of sleet and freezing rain that I call "sleeze." Why no snow? Because there is simply not enough cold air available. Why so many near-snow events, like sleeze storms? Because there's often almost enough cold air for snow.
To simplify things somewhat, snow requires that the temperature at 5,000 feet be at freezing or below. When a low-pressure system moves up the Atlantic seaboard, warm winds ride on top of it, raising the temperature to the point that it cannot support snow. In order to counter this, there usually has to be a replenishing supply of cold air from New England, which comes in the form of the high-pressure systems that often form ahead of the storm.
Scientists have known for a long time that the modest greenhouse effect we have experienced will have a disproportionate effect on these cold-air masses. So, thanks to climate change, the cold air that's needed for Washington snow is increasingly hard to come by. Moisture is not the problem: Snowflakes fear warm air.
The fact of the matter is that global warming simply hasn't done a darned thing to Washington's snow. The planet was nearly a degree (Celsius) cooler in 1899, when the previous record was set. If you plot out year-to-year snow around here, you'll see no trend whatsoever through the entire history.
But of course, there are those who insist that it snowed more when they were little. That's partially a matter of physical perspective, as 20 inches of snow on the ground looks a lot bigger to a three-foot child than to a six-foot adult. It's also a matter of lack of historical perspective. The three winters from 1977 through 1979 are the coldest in the entire U.S. record, and 1979 included the third-ranking snowstorm, the so-called President's Day Mess.
Did I mention that the popular press back then, including Time and Newsweek, did not hesitate to blame the winters on the climatic bogeyman of that era — global cooling?
But I thought the “science was settled”?
About one third of the way into his State of the Union speech on Jan. 27, President Barack Obama said an astonishing thing. He said: "I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future. ..."
I know my head snapped upright. I can only imagine the kind of head-scratching and quizzical scowling at their neighbors that must have occurred among those who have been lining up at the trough, planning to make millions off government boondoggles justified by the "man-made global warming" scam.
"What the heck did he just say? First they dump 'global warming' for 'climate change,' which can mean anything. Now he claims it's all about 'clean energy' and that you should agree even if you don't buy into 'man-made climate change'?"
What happened? Only a year ago, falling back to such a "last line of defense" would have been unthinkable for a global warming true believer like Mr. Obama. Aren't we taught that "the science is settled; there's no more room for debate"? That to be a global warming denier is little better than a Holocaust denier? That those who refuse to believe our consumption of fossil fuels plays a major role in an ongoing, desperately destructive global warming trend are the equivalent of "flat-earthers"?
Imagine if the president had said, " I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is flat. But even if you doubt the evidence ..." Wouldn't that have been weird? What's going on?
I believe what's going on is that, in this age of the Internet, the full-court press of the global collectivist lapdog media -- I'm referring to The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN -- is failing in its assigned task to keep the lid on the scandal broadly known as "Climategate."
The president is no fool. He also has the benefit of the most thorough available briefings on just what the vast info dump from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia really contains, and -- unfiltered through the Green Religion belief system of The Washington Post et al. -- what it's going to do to the future of all the lying, manipulative, grant-hungry buffoons who spent the past decade feeding the politicians "man-made global warming" hysteria on demand to push through their vast new anti-capitalist, anti-industrial carbon taxes, designed to reduce us all to a state of subservient serfdom, limiting our energy consumption to Third World standards.
Don't take my word for it. Visit here. Visit here and here Or John Lott's latest, here
Need more detail from sober, "mainstream" sources? Try here, here and here.
Of course, "providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy" -- which is Washingtonspeak for huge tax handouts to political favorites to fund boondoggles that would never pencil out in the free market -- is another piece of economic idiocy. The "incentive" for efficient, economical energy is that people will happily buy your more efficient, more economical energy as soon as you offer to sell it to them for less. You don't need any big government programs to make that work.
What's the most economical source of energy available? Either coal or nuclear, or both. (Nuclear becomes more affordable only when the government grants the industry what amounts to an exemption from liability insurance premiums at market rates -- which government has been doing for, like, 60 years. If you want to end nuclear energy, just repeal that liability exemption. If you want cheap energy to drive economic growth, don't -- and build a whole bunch of coal plants and new oil refineries, in the meantime.)
Mr. Obama, shockingly enough, did call on Jan. 27 for building new nuclear power plants. Frankly, I don't believe him. I think he had his fingers crossed behind his back, assuming his partners in the Green Extreme will file the lawsuits necessary to keep that from becoming a reality any time in the next 20 years. I certainly don't see any big fanfare for an initiative to slice through the red tape and untie the hands of industry, something destined to get a push equivalent to John F. Kennedy's "race to the moon."
But that doesn't mean Congress shouldn't take Mr. Obama at his word. As soon as possible, Congress should pass a law exempting from the standard "endangered species/environmental review" rigmarole any firm with a reasonable safety record that can set forth a plan to build and bring on line 10 new nuclear reactors in the next decade. And/or 10 new coal-fired power plants.
What's that? I've forgotten the president included the word "clean"? Fine: Keep fighting sulfur dioxide by all means -- though emission levels, compared to 50 years ago, are almost absurdly low already. But (unlike solar power, which can require hugely toxic battery production) what does limiting carbon dioxide emissions have to do with "clean"? Carbon dioxide is as clean as you can get. It's necessary for life on earth. Except when it displaces oxygen entirely, carbon dioxide is not now nor has it ever been a "pollutant."
What we have to worry about is falling carbon dioxide levels, and falling temperatures. That's what starved the Norse out of Greenland, 500 years ago. (Well, that and the fact they refused to eat fish; go figure.) Before that, the ice ages were the biggest challenge our species ever faced. And they are coming back. The only thing we can't be sure of, is when. So maybe we shouldn't build any of those nuclear plants north of the 40th parallel.
Otherwise, the best thing government can do is close down the EPA, not give anybody a dime, slash taxes, and get out of the way.
U.S. city considers surrender to 'green police'
Mayor's panel pushes carbon taxes, subsidies, 'meatless Mondays'
What would life in an American city look like if it required its residents go green to combat climate change? Would it be all trees and gardens and bicycles, or would it look more like oppression under Big Brother's green thumb? Cambridge, Mass., home of Harvard University, may be giving the country a glimpse of the answer.
Last May, the city officially adopted an order recognizing that there is a climate emergency; but after nearly a year, officials discovered the city's carbon footprint was nonetheless growing worse. Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, therefore, brought together nearly 100 activists and concerned citizens under the endorsement of the city council to convene a "Climate Congress" to make recommendations on how Cambridge can meet its green goals.
The official report of the Climate Congress provides a sneak peek at how life in Cambridge may be about to dramatically change. "This emergency is created by the growth of local greenhouse gas emissions despite the urgent warnings of climate scientists that substantial reductions are needed in order to reduce the risk of disastrous changes to our climate," the Climate Congress reports. "This proposal is made in the belief that an effective local response is, if anything, made more urgent by so far inadequate global agreements and federal policies for emissions reductions. It is made in the belief that our City should lead by example."
Leading by example comes with many suggestions, including dozens of incentives and subsidies for "going green," along with dozens of taxes and penalties for parking, driving SUVs and even using paper and plastic bags at retailers. It also includes several ideas for new restrictions and ratings systems, including posting street signs that advertise a residence's utility bills, banning cars from shopping areas and even requiring restaurants and schools to observe "Meatless or Vegan Mondays."
"It has become clear to me that Cambridge needs to do more," Mayor Simmons told the Cambridge Chronicle. "We can and should be a leader in regional and national efforts to protect the climate. The City Council has already taken some important first steps to recognize the great urgency of this situation."
In September the City Council held a meeting to hear from four scientists about "climate change" and were convinced the city needed to get proactive. "Their testimony made a compelling case for action at all levels to respond to the climate emergency," Simmons said. The Climate Congress proposed many environmentally-friendly programs and changes, including the following:
* Building infrastructure for recharging electric cars
* Providing citizens and businesses with 100-percent renewable energy within 20 years
* Tax breaks for landlords to make efficiency upgrades
* Contests between neighborhoods for climate prizes
* Dozens of workshops, training seminars and even potlucks to teach citizens how to "go green"
* New bike paths, gardens, parks and protected urban forests
* A "solar census" to alert property owners of opportunities to capture sun power
* Subsidies, grants, no-interest loans, internships and incentives in several proposed environmental programs.
To make those changes a reality, the Congress also suggested a number of new taxes and fee increases:
* A carbon tax, perhaps in the form of a supplementary property tax
* Taxing paper and plastic bags at retailers
* Taxing car owners through "congestion pricing" on heavily trafficked roads
* Higher parking meter rates, fines on parking tickets, residential parking permit fees and an extra tax on "SUVs and other gas-guzzling vehicles."
Finally, the Congress proposed a number of new regulations and restrictions, including the following:
* Encouraging building owners to turn off the heat or cooling in the spring and fall
* Rating rental units, allowing greener apartments to rent for more
* Street signs posting residents' yearly energy bills, so more efficient homeowners can publicly boast of their savings
* New mandates for efficiency in building codes on individual units and developments
* Reducing or eliminating curbside parking to compel people to walk or bicycle
* Banning cars from shopping centers
* Zoning ordinances protecting trees from being cut down, whether on public or private property
* Mandates requiring grocers to carry locally grown or produced food options
* "Environmental disincentives" against eating meat
* Mandating restaurants and schools have "Meatless or Vegan Mondays"
* Banning meat from meals provided to the City Council and limiting the amounts of dairy served.
How Cambridge residents will receive this redefinition of life in their city remains to be seen, and none of the proposals have yet been approved by the City Council itself, but opinions on the Climate Congress are already divided.
Richard Rood, a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the University of Michigan, told Fox News he supports several of the measures, such as turning off heat and cooling in the spring and fall, advocating vegetarianism and taking the initiative on a carbon tax, especially if the idea spreads.
"In general, if you look at how policy develops, it often starts on regional and local scales and then advances forward," he said. "Cambridge is full of really smart people, so you know, it has the potential."
Dr. Ken Green, a resident scholar on environment and energy at the American Enterprise Institute, however, told Fox News the multitude of taxes and fees would hit residents from too many directions at once. "That's just a revenue-raiser for the city," said Green. "There's an overall incoherence of having a carbon tax and three or four indirect taxes." He continued, "If they do the [carbon] tax, they should get rid of almost all of the other things. … If you had your carbon tax, you don't need your congestion pricing because people are already paying the tax in their gasoline." Green also said some of the new regulations were as "heavy-handed as government can get."
The Climate Congress, which has met twice already, is planning yet a third summit to finalize its recommendations to city officials.
City Councilor Sam Seidel told Fox News it will take a joint effort of city government and individuals taking ownership to make any of the changes a reality. "The challenge in broadest terms is to figure out what makes sense, what's doable, but all of that in the context of how much ground we have to cover," he said. "We have to be realistic on what we're going to be able to accomplish."
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here