Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alaska out of step?

We read:
“Since the mid-1970s, Alaska has warmed at three times the rate of the Lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And with nearly two-thirds of U.S. national parkland located in Alaska, the issue of climate change is especially pressing there, officials say.

In some far northern parks such as Gates of the Arctic, average temperatures are expected to shift in coming years from below freezing to above freezing, crossing a crucial threshold, said Bob Winfree, Alaska science adviser for the Park Service.

“The effects of melting ice and thawing permafrost, I think, will be major,” Winfree said.

In the business world, this would be known as “fraud.” At the EPA, it is known as business as usual. All of the warming occurred in 1977, with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation shift.

Source of graph

Considering just a linear trend can mask some important variability characteristics in the time series. The figure at right shows clearly that this trend is non-linear: a linear trend might have been expected from the fairly steady observed increase of CO2 during this time period. The figure shows the temperature departure from the long-term mean (1949-2009) for all stations. It can be seen that there are large variations from year to year and the 5-year moving average demonstrates large increase in 1976. The period 1949 to 1975 was substantially colder than the period from 1977 to 2009, however since 1977 little additional warming has occurred in Alaska with the exception of Barrow and a few other locations


Cold Winter Explained

The world’s leading climate scientists explain that the cold winter in 2011 is due to missing ice in the Arctic. The image above shows the difference between the warm winter of 2006 and the cold winter of 2011. Areas marked in green have more ice than 2006, and areas marked in red have less ice than 2006.

Apparently a thin sliver of missing ice west of Greenland is causing record cold across much of the planet, and making all the Polar Bears starve to death.


GISS (USA) Diverging From HadCRUT (UK) At A Rate Of 1C Per Century

Hansen claimed last year was the “hottest year ever” by one hundredth of a degree. Over the last decade he has diverged from HadCRUT by an order of magnitude more than his claimed record.

A good scientist would acknowledge that his error bar was much greater than his claim. In fact, he wouldn’t even make the claim.


The BBC compares climate skeptics to pedophiles

They are a little Kremlin of fanatics posing as reasonable men. And one moderate blogger (below) is upset. I have fixed some spelling and grammar in his upset post

I am both angered and saddened. It was no doubt just a throwaway comment, with little thought behind it.

When Michael Buerk the presenter of the BBC radio program the ‘Moral Maze’ said in his intro to a debate about Multiculturalism in the UK: BBC iPlayer link (20 seconds in) “not long ago to question multiculturalism…. ….risked being branded racists and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers“

Am I being too sensitive? I presume that they mean ‘man made climate change deniers’, as I know of no-one that denies natural climate change, yet the words are used interchangeably.

To many people this would be a ‘climate change denier’ blog, what ever that may mean, should I be concerned for my personal safety?

I’m just sceptical of the catastrophic, End of the World’ cult like, gloom and doom version of Anthroprogenic Global Warming. (10:10, Greenpeace, Gore, WWF, Transition Towns, etc)

In fact I might be considered part of the IPCC AGW consensus. Although, someone that thinks the lower or lowest end of the IPCC projections for temperatures are the most likely in the next 100 years based on observable evidence. But of the opinion that natural climate variability may swamp any AGW signal in the earth’s climate.

I don’t think I am being too sensitive… …this casual use of a phrase, in the context of a manstream program, associating ideas with paedophiles, is guaranteed to make people think at least twice about being called a ‘climate change deniar’.

The fact that it is in a program not about climate change just makes it worse, it was just a comment in the introduction of a program about another taboo subject in the UK, criticising multiculturalism.

The irony is apparently lost on the presenter of the MORAL MAZE, when in the very next 30 seconds, Michael Buerke goes on to say when describing David Camerons criticism of government handling of multiculturism: “his was not an argument against the basic idea of tolerance towards those amongst us with different cultures, IDEAS and lifestyles.”

Why single out people that have the idea that ‘climate science’ is uncertain and politicised. Recently many scientists have said that over-hyping of doom and gloom and unrealistic scenarios by lobby groups has not helped.

People can believe in any religion they like in this country, with some very strange ideas (to my mind) yet they are respected. Even a creationist (of the Earth was created 6,000 years ago kind). Whilst many might think them ‘anti-science’, they would never be associated or labelled as in the same loathsome corner as paedophiles, and racists.

Not even Gordon Brown’s ‘flat earther’ ‘anti-science’ description of the denial of climate sceptics, or Ed Milliband’s ‘climate saboteurs’ went as far as putting people into the same category as paedophiles and racists.

Even IF anyone could find a TRUE climate Change deniar, – ie ‘the climate does not change for any reason it is static’, would they be that loathsome?

What is a ‘climate change deniar’ anyway?

* Someone who denys that the planet has a climate that changes in the Earth’s history?

* Someone who denies that the world has wammed since the last ice age?

* Someone who denies that the world has warmed since the end of the little ice age?

* Someone who denies that in the last 2 hundred years that there has been a rising trend in temperature, with 20-30 year periods of high rates of warming and cooling?

* Someone who questions that the late 20th century warming is definetly due to humans producing CO2? (the IPCC only say likely due)

* Someone who questions catstrophic predictions of 20 foot sea level rises, tipping points, global climate disruption, etc,etc

Or is it just a phrase, that can be used to mean whatever the person saying it chooses it to mean, to shut down any debate at any particular moment in time?

I am very upset by this but there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it. The BBC has one huge galloping cultural blindspot and would not even comprehend my sadness.

The fact that it was just a casual throwaway comment, just a few seconds worth, just makes it worse. No one in the program seemed to notice this and they were talking about tolerance.

At what point will someone point me out to my children as a ‘climate change denier’. Should I fear that label?

Apparently many people think that Michael Buerk was being ironic, and in the nature of the program that is possible, yet it is far too ambiguous. As they do not touch on the matter again, it is not commented on and just accepted?

Yet, even if intended as irony, it may be lost on many people that would be nodding along in agreement. Thus, this is a dangerous word game for the BBC to be playing.

I would like to know exactly what was intended by the BBC in this introduction.

What might be more enlightening of the BBC culture, is to ask the BBC, what is the definition of a ‘climate change denier’.

I have questioned the use of wind farms as a big problem for this country, that may result in an energy gap in the future, fuel poverty and potentially blackouts. And, have publically been called a climate denier, by activists in my town for just questioning energy policy/solutions, let alone AGW theory..

This statement, only a few seconds, even IF ironic, does not exactly help, as many will just accept it and the casual use of the phrase become common parlance.


Even Mexico is freezing

Mexico loses 80-100% of crops to freeze, US prices to skyrocket

The cold weather experienced across much of the US in early February made its way deep into Mexico and early reports estimate 80-100 percent crop losses which are having an immediate impact on prices at US grocery stores with more volatility to come.

Wholesale food suppliers have already sent notices to supermarket retailers describing the produce losses in Mexico and the impact shoppers can expect. Sysco sent out a release(pdf) this week stating the early February freeze reached as far south as Los Mochis and south of Culiacan, both located in the state of Sinaloa, along the Gulf of California. The freezing temperatures were the worst the region has seen since 1957.

According to Sysco’s notice sent out this week: “The early reports are still coming in but most are showing losses of crops in the range of 80 to 100%. Even shade house product was hit by the extremely cold temps. It will take 7-10 days to have a clearer picture from growers and field supervisors, but these growing regions haven’t had cold like this in over half a century.”

At this time of year, Mexico is a major supplier to the US and Canada for green beans, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, asparagus, peppers and round and Roma tomatoes. Compounding the problem is the freezing cold that hit Florida in December and January.

Sysco continued with its dire report: “Florida normally is a major supplier for these items as well but they have already been struck with severe freeze damage in December and January and up until now have had to purchase product out of Mexico to fill their commitments, that is no longer an option.”

Validating that statement, The Packer released a statement at the end of December stating: “Freeze damage to Florida crops could increase demand for Mexican vegetables for the rest of winter, grower-shippers say.”

That December report noted Florida’s cold temperatures and crop loss but was optimistic over Mexico’s produce, even if prices were climbing. “My gut feeling tells me the Mexican deal is going to be very active,” said Ken Maples, sales manager for Plantation Produce in Mission, Texas, according to The Packer.

“Green beans in Florida were seriously hurt. Romas that are $10 or $10.95 today in 25-pound bulk, I look for it to be in the mid-teens,” Maples added.

But that was December. On Wednesday, The Packer reported that: “Supplies of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables from Mexico will be severely limited until at least March following an early February freeze.”

Wholesale prices for many crops have already begun climbing, doubling and almost tripling what they were at the beginning of February....

Sysco called the Mexico freeze an “unprecedented disaster” and noted the volatility of the matter in its release: “With the series of weather disasters that has occurred in both of these major growing areas we will experience immediate volatile prices, expected limited availability, and mediocre quality at best.”


Doubts growing in New Hampshire

A legislative bid for New Hampshire to pull out of a 10-state, regional greenhouse gas initiative turned into an ideological war Thursday over the credibility of the science of climate change.
But Gov. John Lynch tried to steer the debate to one of dollars and cents, warning that repeal of the 3-year-old law would hit businesses and consumers in the wallet.

“Withdrawing from RGGI would be a blow to our economy and to our state’s efforts to become more energy efficient and energy independent,” Lynch wrote to the House Science Technology and Energy Committee, which hosted an all-day hearing on the repeal bill (HB 519) in Representatives Hall.

New Hampshire became the last of the states in the region to sign onto RGGI, which makes polluters buy allowances for carbon dioxide emissions that studies show contribute to greenhouse gases.

Jessica O’Hare, program associated at Environment New Hampshire, said this form of cap-and-trade encourages businesses to change New Hampshire’s status as one of the top five states in consumption of oil per capita. “It helps New Hampshire reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels,” O’Heare said. “This will make the state more economically secure and reduce pollution.”

Joseph D’Aleo, a Hudson meterologist and climatologist said CO2 is not a pollutant but a beneficial gas and these programs have no measurable effect on climate. “RGGI represents the epitome of all-pain-and-no-gain scenario,” D’Aleo said.

Eric Wurme, a Boscawen software engineer and climate enthusiast, agreed and said ocean currents have had much more to do with affecting climate and warming of the planet than any man-made program to encourage reduction of emissions. “I consider it premature for government to try and influence any restriction on CO2 emissions at this point,” Wurme said.

But Kenneth Colburn of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt in Londonderry, said the program has already led to $21 million worth of energy efficiencies and 1,130 jobs. Repeal of the program would hurt the state economically, he warned. “This will increase costs on New Hampshire businesses and citizens and provide them with no accompanying benefit whatsoever,” said Colburn, a former state director of air resources. “This is hardly the New Hampshire way, and would detract from rather than contribute to the New Hampshire advantage.”

Lynch maintained since RGGI began, it has cost consumers $11 million and delivered $28 million in benefits.

Current Air Resources Director David Scott said RGGI is a modest program that encourages and does not punish businesses regarding their emissions. “RGGI was never meant to solve the climate change issue; it was meant to be a modest, unique program and it has been,” Scott added.



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