Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sometimes you can't win

The food freaks tell food manufacturers that saturated fats and trans fats are harmful to health (both claims are a fantasy but tell a big enough lie often enough ....) so many manufacturers have moved to the next workable possibility -- which is palm oil. But now that's no good either! Using palm oil harms the environment, we hear. It probably does but it is the fanatics that have created the problem, not the food manufacturers. If Greenpeace were a serious organization (I will wait for the laughter at that idea to subside), it is the food freaks they should be attacking. But food freaks and Greenies seem to be largely the same people so there is not much hope of that

GREENPEACE has accused the world's leading food and drinks company, Nestlé, of having an ad featuring an office worker eating orang-utan fingers removed from YouTube. The video, which was launched overnight, parodies Nestle's KitKat ads and shows an unwitting office worker taking a break to enjoy a KitKat but instead bites into an orang-utan’s finger, causing blood to stream down his face. The video can be viewed at

“Nestlé today admitted that they have been using palm oil from the destroyed rainforest homes of the last orang-utans in some of their products, but having our video removed proves they are still trying to hide that fact," Greenpeace Head of Campaigns, Steve Campbell, said. "This is an apparent attempt to silence the truth that some of its most popular brands use palm oil from destroyed rainforests and peatlands. “We’ll continue to put the video up on other websites until Nestlé removes all rainforest destroying palm oil from its supply chain."

Protests took place overnight across Europe at Nestlé’s headquarters and factories in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands after the company's admission to using palm oil. They called on Nestlé staff to urge the company to stop using palm oil from the world’s worst suppliers in Indonesia.

Globally, Nestlé is a major consumer of palm oil. In the last three years, its annual use has almost doubled, with 320,000 tonnes of palm oil going into a range of products, including KitKat, according to Greenpeace.

SOURCE. (Reference on trans fats here. Reference on saturated fats here)

The real danger: Future low solar activity periods may cause extremely cold winters in North America, Europe and Russia

By Jarl R. Ahlbeck. (The writer is D.Sc. and lecturer at Abo Akademi University, Finland)

The observed winter temperatures for Turku, Finland (and also generally for North America, Europe and Russia) for the past 60 winters have been strongly dependent on the Arctic Oscillation index (AO). When the Arctic Oscillation index is in "positive phase", high atmospheric pressure persists south of the North Pole, and lower pressures on the North Pole. In the positive phase, very cold winter air does not extend as far south into the middle of North America as it would during the negative phase. The AO positive phase is often called the "Warm" phase in North America.

In this report I analyzed the statistical relation between the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation index (QBO is a measure of the direction and strength of the stratospheric wind in the Tropics), the solar activity, and the Arctic Oscillation index and obtained a statistically significant regression equation.

According to this equation, during negative (easterly) values of the QBO, low solar activity causes a negative Arctic Oscillation index and cold winters in North America, Europe and Russia, but during positive (westerly) values of the QBO the relation reverses. However, the influence of the combination of an easterly value of the QBO and low solar activity on the AO is stronger and this combination is much more probable than the opposite. Therefore, prolonged low solar activity periods in the future may cause the domination of a strongly negative AO and extremely cold winters in North America, Europe and Russia.

SOURCE. (Full article downloadable at source)

Rearguard action over the Amazonian rainforests

Warmists have been predicting drought that would kill off the Amazon rainforests. Recent data have however suggested the opposite: That the forests actually flourished during a dry period. Warmist scientists were horrified, of course and we now see a study designed to claw back that pesky finding. In the end, however, they still ended up with a pretty pesky conclusion: That drought has no overall effect on the forest: "There was no co-relation between drought severity and greenness". See the GRL abstract below:
Amazon forests did not green-up during the 2005 drought

By Arindam Samanta et al.

The sensitivity of Amazon rainforests to dry-season droughts is still poorly understood, with reports of enhanced tree mortality and forest fires on one hand, and excessive forest greening on the other. Here, we report that the previous results of large-scale greening of the Amazon, obtained from an earlier version of satellite-derived vegetation greenness data - Collection 4 (C4) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), are irreproducible, with both this earlier version as well as the improved, current version (C5), owing to inclusion of atmosphere-corrupted data in those results. We find no evidence of large-scale greening of intact Amazon forests during the 2005 drought - approximately 11%–12% of these drought-stricken forests display greening, while, 28%–29% show browning or no-change, and for the rest, the data are not of sufficient quality to characterize any changes. These changes are also not unique - approximately similar changes are observed in non-drought years as well. Changes in surface solar irradiance are contrary to the speculation in the previously published report of enhanced sunlight availability during the 2005 drought. There was no co-relation between drought severity and greenness changes, which is contrary to the idea of drought-induced greening. Thus, we conclude that Amazon forests did not green-up during the 2005 drought.


Simplistic Warmist assumptions about Siberian permafrost detonated

You’ve heard it a thousand times before – greenhouse gases are causing the Earth to warm, there is more warming in the Arctic than other parts of the planet, and the permafrost is melting away. Remind the world that permafrost holds carbon and methane that can be released into the atmosphere, throw in some pictures of a drunken forest, claim that the permafrost melting is some type of global warming time bomb, and you will be embraced by the global warming alarmists. Do a web search on the subject of global warming and permafrost melting for 1,000s of additional ideas.

We have covered the permafrost issue before, and over and over, this story seems to be far more complex than one might expect. A recent article in Global Change Biology is yet another addition to the complicated warming = melting of permafrost issue.

We have covered the permafrost issue before, and over and over, this story seems to be far more complex than one might expect. A recent article in Global Change Biology is yet another addition to the complicated warming = melting of permafrost issue. The article was produced by four scientists with Wageningen University in The Netherlands, the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Division in Yakutsk.

Blok et al. start off explaining “Climate change has caused rapid environmental changes at northern high latitudes. Atmospheric warming is expected to continue in the future, especially in the Arctic region. Climate models predict a mean annual temperature rise of 5°C in the Arctic by the end of this century. A rise in temperature may have important consequences for the stability of permafrost soils, which are thought to store twice as much carbon as is currently present in the atmosphere. Siberian permafrost soils in particular contain a significant reservoir of easily decomposable organic carbon. Given that the decomposition of organic matter is largely controlled by permafrost conditions, there are fears that if the permafrost thaws, much of the carbon stored will be released to the atmosphere. Thawing permafrost might thus trigger important feedback effects between further climate change and soil carbon release.”

We’ve heard this all before.

Blok et al. then start throwing some doubt into the picture as they note “It is unclear how permafrost will respond to a warmer climate: a recent discovery of ancient permafrost that survived several warm geological periods suggests that vegetation cover may help protect permafrost from climate warming.” Furthermore, they remind us “However, higher air temperature does not necessarily lead to higher soil temperature: it has been demonstrated that increases in air temperature sometimes lead to vegetation changes that offset the effect of air warming on soil temperature.”

One of the expected changes in the Arctic is an expansion of dwarf birch (a.k.a., Betula nana, or more simply, B. nana); the plant grows to about three to four feet tall with shiny red-copper colored bark and leaves than are rounded with a bluntly toothed margin. The plants shade the ground, alter snow cover, and ultimately change land-surface properties that might protect permafrost from higher summer temperatures.

Blok et al. headed to northeastern Siberia at a site where “Regional climate data (Chokurdakh airport weather station, 1999–2006) show mean annual air temperatures of -10.5°C and average July temperatures of 10.4°C.” In case you cannot think in degrees Celsius, -10.5°C for average annual temperature equates to 13°F – their study site is far from paradise! They explain “We selected circular plots of 10m diameter, located in the two different sites. In total, there were 20 plots: 10 plots per site. The two sites were chosen because of their difference in relative cover of plant functional types; together the two sites cover most of the terrain types in the area.”

To the bottom line we go! As seen in the figure below, they found that as the plots were covered by more and more dwarf birch, the active layer thickness decreased. The active layer is the not-frozen (in summer) soil layer above the permafrost, and as seen in a different light, the plot shows that the permafrost is thicker in plots with greater coverage of dwarf birch.

Blok et al. comment “However, under multiple scenarios of climate change it is expected that tundra biomass will increase, mainly because of B. nana and combined with the observed negative relationship in natural vegetation, our experimental results suggest that increased shrub biomass may slow down the expected future increase in permafrost thaw with climate warming.” Furthermore, “Similar findings were observed in a model study, where permafrost thaw was found to be less under a shrub canopy than under unvegetated ground.”

Next up, Blok et al. note “Global temperature data show that the mean annual air temperature in northeast Siberia increased by 1.5–2°C between 2001 and 2007, compared with the 1951–1980 average. This is much higher than the observed 0.5°C average global surface temperature rise during this period. Permafrost temperature records, however, do not show a general warming trend during the last decade, despite large increases in surface air temperature. Data from several Siberian Arctic permafrost stations do not show a discernible trend between 1991 and 2000. Our results suggest that an expansion of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic triggered by climate warming may buffer permafrost from warming resulting from higher air temperatures.”

Next, we learn “Failure to fully understand the effect of climate change and related vegetation shifts on permafrost thermodynamics is hampering predictions on future permafrost thaw. We have presented the first experimental evidence that the expansion of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic triggered by climate warming may reduce summer permafrost thaw. This vegetation change may partly offset the permafrost degradation expected to result from the air temperature rise predicted for the coming decades.”

Blok et al. conclude “These results suggest that the expected expansion of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic region, triggered by climate warming, may reduce summer permafrost thaw. Increased shrub growth may thus partially offset further permafrost degradation by future temperature increases. Permafrost models need to include a dynamic vegetation component to accurately predict future permafrost thaw.”

Enough said!

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Hilarious "Scientific" Support Of AGW In SF Chronicle Earns Beatdown

Here's one from a few days ago I ran across, which already has garnered over 840 comments, most of them seemingly taking the writer, Peter Gleick, to task for his climahysterical article. Let's see, shall we?
Here is the best argument against global warming:

. . . .

Oh, right. There isn't one.

There is no good argument against global warming. In all the brouhaha about tiny errors recently found in the massive IPCC report, the posturing by global climate deniers, including some elected officials, leaked emails, and media reports, here is one fact that seems to have been overlooked:

First, it is not an argument against global warming. It is against man caused (anthropogenic, man induced, whatever you want to term it) global warming, or, as you folks call it, climate change, since you, in such a self-described scientific manner, link everything into it. Hot, cold, wet, dry, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes or lack thereof, frogs dying, species being found, allergies, etc and so on. Second, it is not incumbent upon us "deniers" to prove our theory, based on 4 billion years of history. You have to prove yours.

Third, those "tiny" errors are not actually tiny. Many of them are primary points within the UN IPCC, used to "prove" their whole position.
Those who deny that humans are causing unprecedented climate change have never, ever produced an alternative scientific argument that comes close to explaining the evidence we see around the world that the climate is changing.

I'll leave that to the professionals at this moment, but, I did notice something, Pete. Do you mind if I call you Pete? Nowhere in you article do you provide a scientific argument that explains how the current warming period is caused "most likely," to us, in the IPCC vernacular, by Mankind. Sucks to be you. Oh, hey, can you explain the "no statistical warming over the last 15 years," or that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, as told by Phil Jones? How about all the "missing" data? Or that temperature upticks precede CO2? Or.....well, we all know the reality. Can we move Peter from stage 1 of the 5 stages of grief?
Here is the way scientists think science works: Ideas and theories are proposed to explain the scientific principles we understand, the evidence we see all around us, and the mathematical models we use to test theories. Alternative theories compete.

Uh huh
Gore, the self-anointed climate change alarmist-in-chief, told supporters on a March 15 conference call that severe weather in certain regions of the country could be attributed to carbon in the atmosphere – including the recent rash of rainy weather.

There's your "scientific" theory, Pete. If everything can be blamed on global warming, it is no longer science, it is tautology.
Scientists are used to debating facts with each other, with the best evidence and theory winning. Well, this is a bar fight, where the facts are irrelevant, and apparently, the rules and tools of science are too. But who wins bar fights? As the Simpsons cartoon so brilliantly showed, bullies. Not always the guy who is right.

Al Gore is not a scientist, Pete. Nor is Barack Obama, nor are the Democrats (and Lindsay Graham) who are pushing this. Nor are a good chunk of those who wrote the IPCC. Hmmph. Strange, huh?

Anyhow, check out the comments. Great stuff.

Recycled from Wm. Teach

Poll: Fewer Americans worry about global warming

Former Vice President Al Gore's insistence on Monday that global warming was behind a spate of bad weather could fall on some very deaf ears. American's concerns over environmental worries are at the lowest level in two decades, according to a new Gallup poll. "Many environmental issues are at a 20-year-low concern," the poll found.

It also found that public worries over eight green-related issues — from air pollution to the state of rain forests — have dropped by as much as nine percentage points in the last year alone. "Americans worry most about drinking-water pollution and least about global warming," said Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones.

Indeed, the poll found that half of the respondents worry "a great deal" about the safety and purity of their drinking water; 28 percent said they fretted about global warming. Between the two, 31 percent worry about the extinction of plant and animal species, one-third are concerned about the loss of tropical rain forests, 38 percent are troubled by air pollution and 44 percent fear the pollution of soil and water by toxic waste. Forty-five percent worry about the maintenance of fresh water for "household needs," while 46 percent are concerned about the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

The decline in concern is "rather dramatic" in some cases, Mr. Jones said, citing 1989 Gallup figures. At that time, 72 percent of Americans worried about river pollution, while 63 percent were troubled by air pollution. "One major reason Americans may be less worried about environmental problems is that they perceive environmental conditions in the United States to be improving," Mr. Jones said.

The poll found that 46 percent of the respondents now rate the overall quality of the environment in the country as "excellent" or "good," up from 39 percent a year ago. The public's concerns about the economy may have also trumped their environmental worries, the researchers found.

The survey of 1,014 adults was conducted March 4-7.



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