Sunday, November 14, 2010

World's forests can adapt to climate change, study says

Even under the absurd assumptions of the Warmists. A warmer ocean would INCREASE rainfall overall, not reduce it. Ever watched a kettle boil? That's what happens as water warms. It gives off vapour. It doesn't suck it up!

It is generally acknowledged that a warming world will harm the world's forests. Higher temperatures mean water becomes more scarce, spelling death for plants - or perhaps not always.

According to a study of ancient rainforests, trees may be hardier than previously thought. Carlos Jaramillo, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), examined pollen from ancient plants trapped in rocks in Colombia and Venezuela. "There are many climactic models today suggesting that . if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct," he said. "What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn't find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn't find that the precipitation decreased."

In a study published todayin Science, Jaramillo and his team studied pollen grains and other biological indicators of plant life embedded in rocks formed around 56m years ago, during an abrupt period of warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. CO2 levels had doubled in 10,000 years and the world was warmer by 3C-5C for 200,000 years.

Contrary to expectations, he found that forests bloomed with diversity. New species of plants, including those from the passionflower and chocolate families, evolved quicker as others became extinct. The study also shows moisture levels did not decrease significantly during the warm period. "It was totally unexpected," Jaramillo said of the findings.

Klaus Winter of the STRI added: "It is remarkable that there is so much concern about the effects of greenhouse conditions on tropical forests. However, these horror scenarios probably have some validity if increased temperatures lead to more frequent or severe drought as some of the current predictions suggest."

Last year, researchers at the Met Office Hadley Centre reported that a 2C rise above pre-industrial levels, widely considered the best-case scenario, would still see 20-40% of the Amazon die off within 100 years. A 3C rise would see 75% of the forest destroyed by drought in the next century, while a 4C rise would kill 85%.

Jaramillo found that the plants he studied seemed to become more efficient with their water use when it became more scarce. But he also cautioned that future risks for the world's plant species did not end with climate change. Human action would continue to determine the fate of the world's forests, he said.

"What the fossil record is showing is that plants have already the genetic variability to cope with high temperature and high levels of CO2.

"Rather than global warming, the [trouble] for tropical plants is deforestation. The fossil record shows that, when you don't have humans around, the plants can deal with high temperatures and CO2."


Noah is back -- This time as a Greenie

The suggestion at the end of this article would undoubtedly induce some badly needed sobriety in the modern-day prophets of doom

Scientists continue to scare the world population with imminent disasters. This time, the role of the force of nature that will destroy the planet was given to the Global Flood. Spanish hydrologists believe that it can occur in the beginning of this century due to the melting of the glaciers. Will their predictions come true?

Modeling of changes in the Atlantic currents that took place in the past allowed the international team of scientists to calculate the speed at which the level of the World Ocean is rising. Hydrologists believe that in this century the water can claim the territory of the largest sea powers. Traditionally, scientists blame this on the notorious global warming, whose existence has not been proved.

The researchers from Seville University believe that as the global warming progresses, the underwater currents in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans grow stronger. Yet, they cannot answer the question why this happens (logically, the effect should be the opposite because warming reduces the difference between the temperature of water at the equator and the poles that creates global oceanic currents similar to the Gulf Stream).

Hydrologists think that additional redistribution of water that occurs due to these phenomena speeds up the approaching of the ocean. This statement seems doubtful because it violates the law of mass preservation, because stronger currents cannot create additional volume of water out of nothing. Yet, according to the forecast of the Spanish specialists, this will happen in the middle of the 21 century. As a result, the larger part of Island, nearly entire Scotland and many northern islands will be covered with water. Denmark and Netherlands are also threatened with floods.

Besides, the authors of this forecast are convinced that melting of the arctic ice will cause cooling of the Gulf Stream. It is not very clear how this is connected to the global warming that is to cause the rise of the water temperature in the tropics where the Gulf Stream starts. In addition, it seems that two mutually exclusive processes will occur on Earth simultaneously - rising of the temperature and glaciers melting, and cooling of the Gulf Stream.

But back to our climate-related horror story invented by the Spanish hydrologists. The cooling of the Gulf Stream will destroy the temperature balance in the north. The world population will not be able to live on the remaining territories of Great Britain, Ireland and partially Canada. The melting of the southern glaciers threatens nearly all the rest of island countries in the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as Australia and South America.

What is the conclusion of the story? It looks like there will be simultaneous global warming and new ice age. However, this idea is so absurd that even school kids are not scared by it. Yet, the researchers might have meant something else.

It looks like they suggested the following scheme of the catastrophe. First, global warming will cause mass melting of the glaciers, which will result in a temporary rise of the level of the world ocean and some inhibited territories will be flooded. Significant masses of cold water that formed as a result of glaciers melting will cause the Gulf Stream to stop, and the climate in the Northern hemisphere will get colder. It will stop the glaciers melting and a part of water that caused the Global Flood will freeze again.

The level of the world ocean will drop again, the flooded lands will be out of the water, but will be so cold that life on them will be impossible. This theory looks most logical since in this interpretation it, at the very least, does not contradict itself.

But how realistic is it? Mostly likely, not at all, and here is why. Even if we imagine that all ice of Arctic and Antarctic melt for a short period of time, not all the water will get to the ocean. The rise of average temperature on the planet will cause the water to evaporate faster. As a result, rain clouds will form which do not always pour their water on the ocean. A large part of rains will get to the land.

These rains may "soak" the territories of huge deserts like Sahara, Gobi, Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum. The freed-up water will form new rivers and lakes on their territories. Of course, it will eventually make its way to the ocean, but this process will be lengthy and will not cause an immediate change in the level of the ocean.

Additionally, enhanced snow precipitation on the poles will cause formation of new ice. The summer on the poles is short and not very hot, so all the snow that falls in the winter will not melt. It will be accumulating and will eventually turn into ice.

This means that our planet is capable of regulating the level of the ocean on its own. Possibly, the process described above will take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years, and during these regulations transgression may occur, however, it is hardly likely that it will be catastrophic. It should be remembered that any transgression causes flooding of some territories and "rising" of other ones from the water (the law of preservation still works here).

As for the "stop" of the Gulf Stream, according to the studies of Russian paleoscientists conducted back in the 20th century, it was to cause global warming, not global cooling of the area near the poles. What are the sources of the "raw material" for the polar ice? They are snow precipitation brought by this warm current. If the Gulf Stream does not supply snow to the north, then the ice will not be able to recreate and will eventually melt.

The situation with the South Pole and Antarctic is even more interesting. The masses of water that formed due to the melting of the glaciers cannot depart from the continent because they will not be stopped by cold currents "covering" the ice continent. Accumulation of cold water around Antarctic will cause a local drop of temperature and formation of new masses of ice. This means that Australians, New Zealanders and residents of Oceania do not have reasons to worry.

As you can see, the prediction of Spanish hydrologists will hardly come true. Most likely, the scientists understand it themselves. Perhaps, the model was meant to scare the taxpayers and pump out more money for research.

Unfortunately, this method to get new grants is becoming increasingly more popular because people are ready to pay to avoid catastrophic events. If the catastrophe does not happen (which is most likely), the researchers will not have to account for the money they have spent.

These apocalyptic events are so tiring that there is a great temptation to adopt the method of an ancient Chinese Emperor who would generously pay for predictions, but if they would not come true, would have the "fortune tellers" and their families executed.


CA: Green jobs cut despite government subsidy

Listening to outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and incoming Gov. Jerry Brown, Californians might think the California economy's salvation lies in so-called "green jobs," which now account for about 3 percent of the state's workforce.

What boosters of green jobs don't usually mention is most of these jobs require substantial taxpayer subsidies and other special government treatment even to exist in a competitive market. It appears now that even a half-billion dollars in government aid is no guarantee of success.

Despite a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, Solyndra, a maker of solar panels in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont, will close one of its manufacturing plants, lay off 40 permanent and 150 contract workers, delay expansion plans of a new plant largely financed with the government-guaranteed loan and scale back production capacity more than 50 percent.

Despite the hype and tax money, Solyndra seems unable to compete with Chinese manufacturers, whose prices are lower. This is the latest bad news for the company touted by Mr. Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama as one of the green industry's supposed shining lights. President Obama visited Solyndra in May, calling the operation "a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism."

But, truth be told, Solyndra is more of a testament to taxpayers' hard-earned money pledged to guarantee 73 percent of the cost of building its new facility. Closure of its older plant, located nearby, is a testament to the reality that, even if massively underwritten by taxpayers, renewable energy operations aren't certain to find a profitable niche in the open market.

Shortly after the president's visit, the company announced in June that weak demand in capital markets, high costs and "a prodigious cash burn," as put it, forced withdrawal of plans for an initial public stock offering. In July, its CEO was replaced. The company found itself "struggling to justify the early hype by bringing down costs from $3 per watt to $2 per watt by 2013," reported.

"The company is the most prominent of a wave of Silicon Valley solar start-ups that hoped to transform the economics of the industry," commented But the market is oblivious to hype and government edicts. Solar module prices declined dramatically as low-cost Chinese manufacturers churned out a more conventional product at lower cost. Consequently, Solyndra has scaled back projected production capacity of 610 megawatts by 2013 to between 285 and 300 megawatts.

At the online blog GlobalEnergyMagazine, correspondent Dolores Fernandez wrote that Solyndra's announced closure "was delayed until after polls closed on congressional elections."

Many alternative-energy interests that stand to gain from taxpayers artificially propping up their industry and subsidizing their businesses campaigned aggressively to defeat Proposition 23 on last week's ballot because they said it would prevent expansion of green jobs. The proposition, which was voted down, would have delayed California's global warming regulations that promote renewable energy and penalize fossil fuel-based energy manufacturers.


Why The Global Cooling Scare Is So Important In The Anthropogenic Global Warming Debate

On the face of it, the whole debate about "global cooling in the 1970?s" is a matter of despair. If we can't agree on what has happened less than 40 years ago, and is still remembered by many people, despite the avalanche of available snippets of information, a great deal of them accessible to all via the Internet.then what can we agree on? And what is the meaning of "history" at all??

So the only way to rescue our knowledge of the Renaissance, Ancient Rome or the Pharaohs is by establishing that there is something special about the "global cooling the 1970?s debate", something the unfortunately gets in the way and prevents people from recognizing what has happened within living memory. What is it?

The story so far: Did the scientists believe in the 1970s that there was global cooling? Yes. A paper by Mitchell in 1972 consolidated the idea. The Peterson, Connolley and Fleck article usually paraded around says just as much. Here I quote them again, with some added emphasis for those hard of seeing:
By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972),


,albeit poorly understood

In fact, we now know that "the world" was not cooling at the time, but "the Northern Hemisphere" was. Only thing, the scientists in 1972 had no way to know it was just a Northern Hemisphere thing. All of this is actually quite inconsequential to the original question (once again: "Did the scientists believe in the 1970s that there was global cooling?").

Anyway: in the published scientific literature, the global cooling idea started in fact evaporating in 1975, and had been replaced by global warming at full speed from 1979 or so (curiously, in sync with the PDO.). The same happened but much more slowly outside the world of research, so most people have been exposed to "global cooling" (actually, to global cooling consensus) well into the 1980s.

I am not saying I have found the last word on this, but the story above makes much more sense than the usual worldwide newsmedia sensationalism conspiracy as suggested by those adamantly opposed to any memory of the global cooling scare. What is it, that they can't digest, to the point of denying recent history even if it stares at them from the ink of their own writing?

If one believes in contemporary global warming, the most obvious and logical reply to anybody saying "there was a global cooling consensus in the 1970s" should be "Yes, but." followed by a long explanation on why the consensus is right this time and was wrong at the time. After all some consensuses have been right in the past, and some wrong.

This would cut off all sorts of sterile polemics and actually contribute to an increase in reputation of the average warmist daring to launch into such an argument, facing reality rather than fudging it. But nobody goes in that direction. Why?

As far as I can understand it to date, there are two main reasons for such a peculiar behavior: the AGWers' unhealthy attachment to catastrophism (that forces them into defending absurdist ocean-boiling claims), and their single-minded determination not to allow the mere possibility of anybody uttering any suggestion that anything about AGW could be wrong, unless "it's worse than we thought!" (that forces them into trying to rewrite history, personally attack any disbeliever, blowing up schoolchildren in comedy videos, and all sorts of nasty stuff).

In the AGWer world it is worse than blasphemous even to try to remember that, not so many years ago, there was indeed a climate worry, only it was a worry about the world getting cooler, rather than warmer. With so many easy-to-spot mirror claims (eg Pakistan floods because of cooling then, Pakistan floods because of warming now) logic dictates that the wall of evidence needed to convince people to really care about AGW becomes taller by the minute. And the one needed to acquire the political will to work against catastrophic climate change, it becomes impassable.

This explains why the discussion about global cooling in the 1970s often degenerates with people stupidly claiming "there was no consensus in the 1970s about an ice age". Yes, there wasn't. But who cares? Even a cooling of a few degrees, not exactly an ice age, was presented as very worrying, and potentially as harbinger of catastrophes. Hence, the "ice age" mention is pointless.

Like the "AGW is a logical impossibility" page, the discussion about the global cooling consensus in the 1970s on this blog by itself will never be enough to put the antiscientific claims about upcoming catastrophic AGW to rest. At the end of the day, those pages are "just" reminders that we should avoid leaps in the dark, and always be very aware of our hubris.


Prisoners in Scotland to be given flat screen televisions to meet green targets

I may well be wrong but I had the idea that the old cathode ray tubes used the least power

Inmates are to be given hundreds flat screen televisions in an attempt by prison bosses to meet energy efficiency targets. The Scottish Prison Service has ordered 1,600 of the 19-inch flat screen television sets to allow prisoners to watch programmes in their cells.

Opposition politicians criticised the move, but the prison service insisted that the televisions will not cost the taxpayer any money.

Among the prisons where the TVs will be distributed is the maximum security Shotts prison, which houses some of Scotland's most dangerous criminals.

Richard Baker, Labour's justice spokesman in the Scottish Parliament, said: "Many of my constituents can't afford new televisions, and particularly not swanky 19-inch flat-screen affairs. What sort of message does this send?"

The SPS said TVs have been "a feature" of prisons since 1999 when Labour began eight years in administration at Holyrood. A spokesman for the service said: "SPS are seeking a future supply of in-cell televisions which are energy efficient to meet SPS green targets. "It will require that the supplier holds stock that prisons will draw down as required."

The spokesman added: "Prisoners are charged œ1 per week for televisions and we have around 7,800 prisoners at the moment. There is, therefore, no cost to the taxpayer. "Televisions are not a right but a privilege, and prisoners have them at the discretion of the governor."


Australian psychologists are deep Greens

See an except from an official Australian Psychological Society emission below. That they are so clueless about climate science is entirely to be expected from their cluelessness about psychological science -- which I have often set out at psychology conferences and in the academic journals -- including Australian psychology journals and conferences. See here. Note that there is not a shadow of scientific caution expressed below. Green/Left faith is all that they have

Climate change and other environmental problems are fast becoming daily news items in the media. As our awareness of environmental problems increases, many strong emotions can surface. But climate change doesn't need to be faced with dread. It also needn't require missing out on things, or living a less pleasurable life. There is a lot of information available about what we need to do to combat environmental problems, and many changes are very easy to make. Change can also mean we end up living better.

This information booklet is aimed at helping people cope with the many environmental threats facing us. It offers suggestions for dealing with distressing feelings when learning about environmental problems. It also provides tips for people who want to do something about environmental problems, but may be having difficulty getting started. Finally, the booklet aims to help people work out how to talk with others about these issues, and how to encourage others to join in making positive changes.

* Common reactions to learning about environmental problems

* Managing the feelings climate change can generate

* How to change your own behaviour

* Encouraging others to change

Common reactions to learning about environmental problems

It is common for people to experience a range of emotions and psychological reactions when faced with information about environmental threats and predictions of an uncertain future. People may feel anxious, scared, sad, depressed, numb, helpless and hopeless, frustrated or angry.

Sometimes, if the information is too unsettling and the solutions seem too difficult, people can cope by minimising or denying that there is a problem, or avoiding thinking about the problems.

Being sceptical about the problems is another way that people may react. The caution expressed by climate change sceptics could be a form of denial, where it involves minimising the weight of scientific evidence/consensus on the subject. Or it could indicate that they perceive the risks of change to be greater than the risks of not changing, for themselves or their interests.

Another common reaction is to become desensitised to information about environmental problems. Stories and images relating to climate change flood our daily news. People can become desensitised to the stories, and mentally switch off when the next one comes. The fact that these problems are not easily fixed, and seem to go on and on without resolution, increases the chances that we will tune out, thus minimising our stress and continuing with business as usual.

Once people believe that they cannot do anything to change a situation, they tend to react in all sorts of unhelpful ways. They may become dependent on others (i.e., by believing that the government or corporations will fix things, or that technology has all the answers), resigned ("if it happens, it happens"), cynical ("there's no way you can stop people from driving their cars everywhere - convenience is more important to most people than looking after the environment"), or fed up with the topic.

Managing the feelings climate change can generate

Although environmental threats are real and can be frightening, remaining in a state of heightened distress is not helpful for ourselves or for others. We generally cope better, and are more effective at making changes, when we are calm and rational.
Be optimistic about the future

It can help to remind ourselves that the future is not all bleak. There are millions of people all over the world who share our concerns and are working on protecting the environment, helping others to change their behaviour, and finding other solutions. We already have a lot of information about what we need to do (like reducing greenhouse gas emissions), and what we need to stop doing (like wasting water), and there are tremendous advances in technology being developed every day to help us live sustainably and well.

The power of the individual - taking action

The other good news is that a lot of desirable goals are easily achievable by people simply making changes to their personal life. These changes don't need to be difficult, nor do they need to involve giving up a lifestyle that we enjoy. When everyone makes a commitment to purchasing green energy from renewable sources, reducing petrol use, and making sustainable choices as consumers, then whole communities and nations can drastically reduce their emissions, reduce the pollution of air and water, and develop sustainable ways of living.

Reminding ourselves that there is a lot that we can personally do, and starting to take action to manage the environment better, can help us move from despair and hopelessness to a sense of empowerment.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: