Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010 Sea Level: Largest drop ever recorded?

Based on the most current data it appears that 2010 is going to show the largest drop in global sea level ever recorded in the modern era. Since many followers of global warming believe that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, a significant drop in the global sea level highlights serious flaws in the IPCC projections. The oceans are truly the best indicator of climate. The oceans drive the world’s weather patterns. A drop in the ocean levels in a year that is being cited as proof that the global warming has arrived shows that there is still much to learned. If the ocean levels dropped in 2010, then there is something very wrong with the IPCC projections.

The best source of sea level data is The University of Colorado. Only government bureaucracy could put the sea level data in one of the places farthest from the ocean, but that is where it is. I use both data sets that includes the seasonal signal. So with and without the inverted barometer applied. This is the source of the data that is used to show that the oceans are rising. Of course the rate of rise is greatly exaggerated and if the rate from 1993-2010 is used there will be a 1m rise in the year 2361.

Of course the rate is not constant. The rate of rise over the past 5 years has been half the overall rate. At the rate of the past 5 years it will be the year 2774 before the oceans rise a single meter. Of course a decrease in the rate is technically an negative acceleration in the rate of rise, so technically the rate of rise is accelerating, but in a negative direction. That statement is misleading though as most people consider acceleration to be a positive effect.

Even more interesting is the fact that from 1992-2005 there was an increase each year. 2006 was the first year to show a drop in the global sea level. 2010 will be the 2nd year to show a decrease in sea level. That is correct, 2 of the past 5 years are going to show a decrease in sea level. 2010 could likely show a significant drop global sea level. By significant I mean it is possible that it will likely drop between 2-3 mm from 2009. Since the data has not been updated since August it is difficult to guess more precisely, but the data ends at the time of year that the seasonal drop begins to show up. If the drop does show up as expected it is possible that 2010 will show the largest drop in sea level ever recorded.

Of course what will happen won’t be known until the data for the past 5 months is made available. I have been patiently waiting for the data to be updated for several months now, but I got tired of waiting and decided to put the information I have out there.

One fact is certain. A drop in sea level for 2 of the past 5 years is a strong indicator that a changing sea level is not a great concern. In order for the IPCC prediction to be correct of a 1m increase in sea level by 2100, the rate must be almost 11 mm/yr every year for the next 89 years. Since the rate is dropping, it makes the prediction increasingly unlikely. Not even once in the past 20 years has that rate ever been achieved. The average rate of 2.7 mm/yr is only 25% of the rate needed for the IPCC prediction to be correct.

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century. The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.


The latest lucubration from former green jobs czar Van Jones

Mr. Jones has a serious case of schizophrenia, by the sound of it

"You can't drill holes and pull out death from the ground -- burn death in your engines, burn death in your power plants -- and then be shocked when you get death from the skies in the form of global warming and death from the oceans in the form of oil spills," [Van Jones] said.


Carbon Dioxide Accused of Harming Life Under the Sea

This claim has really got hammered home in Australia, because of Australia's huge coral reef. But Hoagy, the chief proponent of the claim, has gone strangely quiet in the last year or so. Maybe this is why

The environmentalists have been having a heyday with carbon dioxide lately.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled it a pollutant, thus leading it to change the way the Clean Air Act applied to CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide was blamed for global warming, now, climate change. And now this basic element of life is being blamed for disrupting life under the sea.

The term is “ocean acidification” and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) environmentalists say the increased levels of carbon dioxide will start to kill off coral reef and fish, thus destroying the underwater ecosystem.

These environmentalists blame the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, released from vehicle emissions, power plants and other fossil fuels, for causing changes in the acidity levels in the ocean. Groups like NRDC claim that changes in pH levels in the ocean mean grave consequences for coral reefs, fish and other sea life.

More specifically, a Washington Post article states, “Scientists expect ocean pH levels to drop by another 0.3 units by 2100, which could seriously damage marine creatures that need calcium carbonate to build their shells and skeletons. Once absorbed in seawater, carbon dioxide forms carbonic acid and lowers ocean pH, making it harder for corals, plankton and tiny marine snails (called pteropods) to form their body parts.”

But not everyone is buying into this research. David Middleton, a geoscientist, explains in his article, “Ocean Acidification: Chicken Little of the Sea Strikes Again,” that he has found no correlation between pH and reef calcification rates. In fact, he found solid evidence that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels have actually caused carbonate deposition to increase over the last 220 years. Meaning that sea life, including coral reef, are able to adapt to changes in CO2 levels without succumbing to any dire consequences.

Despite the controversies within ocean acidification and questions as to whether it is detrimental to sea life or not, isn’t stopping some from calling for stricter regulations of C02 emissions.

An article in the Washington Examiner states, “According to a 2009 statement by Britain’s Royal Society, co-signed by Dr. James Hansen, of NASA’s Goddard Center, and Dr. Mark Spalding of The Nature Conservancy: ‘Proposals to limit CO2 levels to 450ppm will not prevent the catastrophic loss of coral reefs from the combined effects of global warming and ocean acidification. To ensure the long‐term viability of coral reefs the atmospheric CO2 level must be reduced significantly below 350ppm.’ ”

The EPA has already agreed to explore tightening regulations dealing with ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act. But any meaningful regulations may still be a ways off.

A lack of baseline information on the pH of coastal waters is one stumbling block, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The article goes on to state, “that only three sites currently have data on ocean pH that span a sufficient amount of time to be useful to regulators and at a minimum, regulators would need at least a decade’s worth of data at each of dozens of sites along a coastline to be able to confidently detect trends.”

This is good news for Middleton, who says in his article regarding the claims of ocean acidification killing off marine life that, “Once again, we have an environmental catastrophe that is entirely supported by predictive computer models and totally unsupported by correlative and empirical scientific data.”

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), thinks this is just another path where the EPA can gain a foothold into further regulating America’s basic energy creators, like the coal industry and other fossil fuels.

“Environmentalists are looking for any way they can to stifle America’s energy base in an effort to drive their own agenda,” he says. “There is clearly not enough evidence to support their claims that too much CO2 damages marine life. This is just another scare tactic they’ve found useful, much like the debunked global warming threat.”

As environmentalists fight on to limit carbon dioxide emissions, now in an effort to save coral reef, Americans have a right to be skeptical of their science. After all, most noticed the quick name change from global warming to climate change after ideas of global warming went awry.

It makes you wonder what or who carbon dioxide will strike next. But with a FY 2011 budget request of $437 million for climate research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is likely they’ll find the next victim.


A Responsible Adult ,and Hugely Distinguished Atmospheric Scientist, Speaks On Climate

The irresponsible hysteria (what other word would do?) of a handful of climate scientists and computer modellers, amplified ten-thousand fold by the slick PR of the IPCC, has been a degrading spectacle over the past 30 years or so. Their panic, whether it be real or pretended, has even penetrated into our schools, despite the duty of responsible adults to protect the young from such ugly, ignorant, and destructive scaremongering.

Yet there are many real scientists, real men, real women - people accustomed to thinking for themselves and seeking truth, not public acclaim, nor the safety and the luxury of the mass-bandwagon, who have been speaking out against the case for panic. One of the most distinguished of these is Professor Lindzen of MIT. He has just published a short piece on the GWPF website which deserves to be printed and displayed for discussion in every classroom, and in every staffroom, in the land. Here is an extract:
'The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.

Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well.

Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now.

More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.

For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.'


Greenies oppose Green Jobs

There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

A costly proposed solar power plant in Ivanpah, California, touted by President Obama as a "green jobs" initiative, is being sued by environmentalists. Nichola Groom of Reuters reports:
According to court papers, the non-profit Western Watersheds Project alleged U.S. regulators approved Brightsource Energy's 370-megawatt Ivanpah solar energy plant without conducting adequate environmental reviews, and asked the court to order the defendants to withdraw their approvals.

The complaint names the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the agencies' heads and other staffers, as defendants. None was immediately available for comment.

"In an ill-conceived rush to accommodate massive renewable energy projects ... the federal defendants precipitously approved unnecessarily destructive energy development of the California Desert Conservation Area without first conducting adequate environmental reviews."

The complaint said the project's approval process failed to analyze and mitigate the Ivanpah plant's impact on migratory birds, the desert tortoise, which is a threatened species under federal law, desert bighorn sheep, groundwater resources and rare plants.

As Peter Wilson reported to AT readers last October, President Obama claimed that Ivanpah "is going to put about a thousand people to work," a very misleading figure. There will be an average of 650 people working to construct the plant, but once it is completed, there will be only 86 permanent workers, mostly performing maintenance. The cost to taxpayers: a $1.37 billion loan guarantee for Ivanpah. There have been a series of bankruptcies and closures of green power schemes lavishly subsidized with public funds. Wilson wrote then:
Brightsource investors include Google.org (a member of Van Jones's Apollo Alliance) and the California State Teachers Retirement System. Billions in federal financing, billions every year for the next thirty years in taxpayer subsidies for above-market priced electricity, with profits going to Obama insiders like the Apollo Alliance and a teachers' union? Should we really call this "clean" energy?

If the Western Watersheds Project derails this poorly conceived, rushed-through scheme, for whatever reason, they will save American taxpayers and California electricity consumers a pile of money.


Gresham's law of green energy: high-cost subsidized renewable resources destroy jobs and hurt consumers

While the U. S. economy continues to struggle, politicians, green energy advocates, and energy regulators have adopted a "green jobs" mantra. They espouse the view that policies mandating renewable resources will provide not only environmental benefits, but economic salvation as well.

The most recent example of this phenomenon is in California where, last September, the California Air Resources Board adopted a requirement that the state obtain one-third of its electricity supplies from renewable energy resources by the year 2020. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger noted approvingly in a press release, "There is a multi-trillion dollar global market for clean energy, and I look forward to seeing even more investment and job creation happen throughout our state with today's commitment."

Schwarzenegger is the latest politician to fall under the spell of "green" jobs. Even New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who promised to reverse decades of growth in the burden that state's government has heaped upon its citizens, signed the Offshore Wind Development Act in August 2010. He praised the act, which calls for at least 1,100 megawatts of wind generation to be developed off the New Jersey coast, saying it will "provide New Jersey with an opportunity to leverage our vast resources and innovative technologies to allow businesses to engage in new and emerging sectors of the energy industry."

Economists point out that there is no such thing as a free lunch, green or otherwise. Politicians, perhaps because their lunch tabs are always paid by someone else, blithely ignore economists and continue to promote a mythical "green" economy that will soon emerge. They carry on much like the Spanish conquistadors who searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola, convinced the buildings really were made of gold.

While ignoring economists may be considered a civic virtue, doing so does not invalidate basic economic principles. Forcing consumers to buy high-cost electricity from subsidized renewable energy producers will not and cannot improve overall economic well-being.

Renewable energy might reduce air pollution (although no actual evidence of this exists). It will certainly create a few construction jobs. And you can bet that government mandates and subsidies for renewable energy will benefit renewable energy developers. But when the entire economic ledger is tallied, the net impact of renewable energy subsidies will be reduced economic growth and fewer jobs overall. In effect, "green" energy mandates like those of California and New Jersey are a new version of "Gresham's Law," in which subsidized renewable resources will drive out competitive generators, lead to higher electricity prices, and reduce economic growth.

One of the most egregious examples of the green energy fallacy is the proposed Cape Wind project, which is to be built off the coast of Nantucket Island. Cape Wind, which is ardently supported by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and state attorney general Martha Coakley, is expensive--more expensive, in fact, than onshore wind resources, which themselves require government subsidies. Even Cape Wind's proponents admit to this. So, to sidestep the high-cost problem, Cape Wind's advocates have cobbled together all manner of arguments to justify its development, most notably how it will spur a new offshore wind industry in Massachusetts.

Several economic fallacies underlie green energy and green jobs policies. For example, some renewable energy proponents and green jobs advocates fundamentally misrepresent wealth transfers as wealth benefits. Stealing money from Peter and giving it to Paul may benefit Paul, but it hardly creates wealth. Moreover, a number of "green jobs" studies have touted renewables development as a source of unbridled economic growth. These studies all contain one striking omission: they ignore the adverse economic effects of the resulting higher electricity prices that high-cost renewable generation brings. They are cost-benefit analyses that ignore the "cost" part. No wonder the results are so encouraging.

In this article, I begin by explaining the welfare economics of subsidized green energy. For most economists, this is a standard, no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch analysis. However, it also highlights the problems caused by one of the supposed benefits that renewable energy proponents flog: that renewable energy will help "suppress" electricity prices, thereby creating huge benefits for consumers. I then examine the Cape Wind project, which I consider to be the current poster child for green energy's excesses, and I discuss why the billions of additional dollars that Massachusetts ratepayers will be forced to pay for the electricity it generates will not provide economic salvation but will simply hasten the exodus of business, industry, and jobs from the state.

Much more HERE (See the original for graphics)

The Queensland floods are not related to anthropogenic global warming

By Cliff Ollier (Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier is a geologist and geomorphologist)

The Queensland floods are a disaster that demands our sympathy and earnest attempts to prevent similar damage in future. But to do this properly we need to see the floods in the perspective of time, and see the history of flooding. This is best done by concentrating on the Brisbane region simply because it has the longest historical record.

This record has been admirably collated by the Bureau of Meteorology, and the details can be seen at this site, which gives a blow-by-blow summary of the floods.

Below are shown the records for Brisbane and the Bremer River at Ipswich. The variation between the two is itself of interest, showing how different records can be at relatively close locations. This history is a necessary background to the following discussion.

One of the sidelines of disasters like the Queensland floods is that the leaders of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Campaign will try to relate the disaster to Global Warming, caused by increasing man-made carbon dioxide. This has been done for the Queensland floods by, for example, David Karoly who for some reason gets a lot of coverage in the press and Television in Australia (though he has no expertise in this area), and Michael Steketee, the resident AGW specialist in The Australian.

There are at least three arguments against relating the Queensland floods to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

1. Even other people in the Global Warming game realize there is no relationship between broad disasters and carbon dioxide. The leading AGW institution is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Christopher Monckton wrote of an article in The Australian in January 2011:

“Mr. Steketee’s short article makes two dozen questionable assertions, [I refer only to point 18] which either require heavy qualification or are downright false. His assertions will be printed in bold face: the truth will appear in Roman face.


Cautious scientists say no such thing. Even the excitable and exaggeration-prone IPCC has repeatedly stated that individual extreme-weather events cannot be attributed to manmade “global warming; it would be particularly incautious of any scientist to blame the blocking highs that caused nearly all of the weather-related damage in 2010 on us when these are long-established, naturally-occurring phenomena.”

2. The second problem is that this is not an isolated event. There was another flood of about the same dimensions in 1974. There was no peak of CO2 at that time. It was not an especially warm year, so Global Warming cannot be invoked (1998 was a hotter year, but no flood).

But there were even greater floods in 1841 and 1893. This is well before any possible Anthropogenic Global Warming, which began, according to its adherents, in 1945.

And there were many other floods of lower magnitude, long before the supposed advent of Anthropogenic Global Warming as shown in the BoM graphs.

3. A third problem is that just a few years ago, global warming was blamed for causing droughts. This opinion was extolled during the last drought especially by Tim Flannery, another non-expert.

In 2003 Professor Karoly published, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund, a report that claimed that elevated air temperatures, due to CO2, exacerbated the drought.

“...the higher temperatures caused a marked increase in evaporation rates, which sped up the loss of soil moisture and the drying of vegetation and watercourses. This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed...”


“This drought has had a more severe impact than any other drought since at least 1950.... This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed.”

So Anthropogenic Global Warming can apparently be used to explain any current disaster. Any hypothesis (like AGW) that uses the same mechanism to explain opposite effects is untestable, and therefore not science. Its models are totally useless for prediction.

In brief, there is no reason whatever to associate the Queensland floods with global warming (if it is occurring at all). It is even more ridiculous to blame it on a trivial increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Unfortunately the floods will come again. You might like to look at the data on the BoM website and try to determine the return interval for yourself. It is really a bit of a guess.

But the citizens of Queensland would be well advised to implement adaptation policies that have a more realistic impact than trying to reduce CO2 production in the vain hope that it will, like repeating some magic spell, make the nasty problem go away.



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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