Thursday, February 03, 2011

Fifty-year storm dumps snow from Texas to Maine

As I read the report below, I had a number of thoughts. Where I live in sub-tropical Australia, just stepping outside my front door feels like diving into a large bowl of warm soup. The air is steamy: very hot and very humid. Such a contrast with the USA at present! But not too different from NYC in midsummer.

Yet such a HUGE variation in climate is COMPLETELY NATURAL and normal. The huge temperature range concerned is one that people have coped with from time immemorial. Yet the Warmists try to tell us that a temperature difference of just a few degrees is going to send us all to perdition. I am sure that both Americans and Australians wish that their temperatures at the moment differed by such a small amount. As it is, the temperatures differ by as much as 100 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 30 degrees Celsius!

Australia also has a big storm raging at the moment, though big is not the word. Cyclone Yasi covers an area nearly as big as the continental United States. And the winds are blowing at around 200 miles an hour. It makes Hurricane Katrina look like a breeze. Fortunately, the place where I live these days is hundreds of miles South of the directly affected area.

Yet, amid such a huge weather event, no-one in the directly affected area has died as a result of it. Luck? In part, but not mainly. Australians are overwhelmingly of British and European descent and Australia has been an advanced Western society since not long after the first white settlement. So Australians prepare for foreseeable disasters. In North Queensland (where I come from and where the cyclones hit) houses have been constructed to cyclone resistant standards for a hundred years or more. So the buildings get damaged but the people survive. They have made their own luck. I am pleased and proud to be one of them

A paralysing, 3200-kilometre-wide storm has dumped snow and ice over most of the US, closing schools, roads and airports in more than 30 states.

Airlines cancelled thousands of flights. Governors called out the National Guard. Schools closed early, if they opened at all. Interstate highways became treacherous ribbons of black ice.

Emergency officials briefed President Barack Obama of their plans to battle the foul weather. By Tuesday evening, the storm had brought Tulsa, Oklahoma, to a virtual halt with more than 30 centimetres of snow. It had layered the roadways of St Louis with an icy sheen and draped Chicago with a swirling snowfall that merged the white-grey sky with the grey-white terrain.

As the storm moved inexorably from the Rockies to the north-east, many people watched the television weather reports of blinding snow and stranded cars and imagined what their Wednesday would bring.

Throughout the day the National Weather Service issuing warnings that read like snippets from a disaster-movie screenplay: "Dangerous multifaceted and life-threatening winter storm, before making decision to travel, consider if getting to your destination is worth putting your life at risk, do not travel! If you absolutely must travel, have a winter survival kit with you."

An interactive map on the service's website showed a pink-and-red band (denoting blizzard and winter-storm warnings) stretched from Dallas, Texas - where plans for Sunday's Super Bowl continued - to northern Maine.

"It's having a gigantic geographical impact," said Bob Oravec, a meteorologist for the service, explaining a cold air mass from Canada had become entrenched over the north-central part of the US while storms in the Mississippi Valley to the south were drawing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Cold air plus moisture equals snow and ice.

In Chicago, the city's emergency workers braced for a storm that might rival the blizzard of 1967, when nearly 60 centimetres of snow paralysed the city for days. Chicago and St Louis, Kansas City and Detroit and hundreds of other communities prepared for what they knew was coming, based on reports from Tulsa, where City Hall shut down, part of the roof of the Hard Rock Casino collapsed and firemen had to rescue people from stranded public buses. The fast-falling snow and the strong winds transformed parts of the city into a municipal parking lot.

By mid-afternoon the storm had made it to Chicago, a city that tends to regard snow storms as inadequate tests of its stoicism. In this case, at least, the city benefited from the timing and all the warnings.

Cab driver Mahrous El Gamal, whose windscreen wipers could not keep up with the falling, slushy snow, said the anxious chatter of passengers desperate to get home had convinced him to call it a day. "They're saying it's going to be remembered for the rest of our lives?" he said. "They scare the hell out of me with that. That's it. I'm done."


Leading German Warmist says Greenland Could Melt away soon

Not explained: How a few degrees of temperature rise could bring the average Greenland temperature of around minus 30 degrees Celsius down to the melting point of ice -- which is of course zero degreees. Even if the maximum 6 degrees of warming predicted by the IPCC were to occur, taking six degrees away from minus 30 degrees gives minus 24 degrees, not zero degrees. The Greenland temperature is of course not uniform and some melting could occur at the margins but the margins are mostly sea ice, and Archimedes showed long ago what happens when floating ice melts: The water level is unaltered. That "still unpublished research" must be a doozy!

The 5th Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromso, Norway recently took place with about 1000 scientists attending from all over the world (another big footprint). But except for a few fringe media outlets, no one listened. So I thought I'd lend these poor desperate alarmist scientists a favour and help them get their message out:

Scientists warn that the tipping point is rapidly approaching because a number of "tipping components" are already in action, namely the melting of sea ice, which reduces albedo and leads to warming of the ocean. There's also the thawing of the permafrost, which leads to the release of methane gas, which... and so on. And TAZ reminds us of the Greenland ice pack:

"If the ice on Greenland disappeared, oceans would rise seven meters globally - but that would take thousands of years, because the ice in the middle is 2 km thick."

I thought Greenland's ice was three km thick. Has 1 km already melted away? Oceanographer Carlos M. Duarte of the Spanish research centre Imedia says:

With a melting of Arctic sea ice, the `tipping point' would already be exceeded. Beginning in the year 2020, an Arctic in the summer months that is practically without ice most likely cannot be averted.

Perhaps Mr Duarte is not aware, but the Arctic core has gained 2000 CUBIC KILOMETERS of ice since 2007. That would be 4 million sq km of equivalent additional ice half a meter thick. Add that to the current sea ice area!

Wherever alarmism and end of the world scenarios are fantasised, one can expect to find Stefan Rahmstorf of Germany's alarmist Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research. TAZ quotes Rahmstorf:

"New research could yield that the targeted limitation of global warming to 2øC will not be enough, says oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research: It's possible that Greenland's ice already could melt irrevocably with a rise of 1.3 to 2.3øC, which is what still unpublished research indicates. In its 2007 report, the IPCC spoke of 1.9 to 4.6øC. Already now the global temperatures have risen on average 0.8 to 0.9øC .

More HERE (See the original for links)

Recent Snow Storms Are Caused by 'Global Warming'?

Al Gore now tells us that these winter storms are caused by 'global warming.' Two words: Not true.

While the proof that assertion is incorrect can be ascertained by scrolling down, I'll summarize it here.

Graph of lower atmospheric temperatures. Red is 2011 values and
orange is the long term average 1979-2010. Note it is more than one degree colder than at the same time last year

World temperatures over virtually the entire month of January were below average! The graph is above. If you wish to look at the data for yourself, it is here.

World temperatures have been cooling the last six months. Sea surface temperatures are also cooler than average and ocean heat content (the most important metric of the earth's 'temperature') is trending down.

Air molecules and molecules of water vapor do not have "memories" of past warmer temperatures, they react to current atmospheric conditions. So, it is impossible that these recent storms were caused by "global warming."

There has been a media blitz the past two weeks from both non-scientists and scientists with no background in atmospheric science to try to connect these storms to global warming. I have more about those recent interviews here.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

That characteristic Greenie wriggle again

EPA Administrator Won't Say If She Agrees With Climate Scientist Who Says There's Been No Statistically Significant Global Warming Since 1995

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson has again evaded answering a question about whether she agrees with one of the world's most prominent climate scientists that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.
On Capitol Hill today, asked Jackson, "Do you agree with Phil Jones of East Anglia University that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995?"

Jackson said, "I agree with the scientists who have reviewed and re-reviewed the e-mails and data and made a determination--several well-respected bodies, including the national academies, including independent groups--[and] put together that the information that came to be known as Climate Gate has not changed the fact that man-made emissions are changing and degrading our atmosphere, piling up carbon in our atmosphere, and if left unaddressed leaves us--endangers public health and welfare--and puts us, once again, behind the ball in trying to deal with, in trying to move into the clean energy economy."

When tried to tell Jackson that Jones was one of those scientists she claimed to support, her press attach‚ interjected, announcing that the impromptu appearance was over and asking if any other reporters had questions. "Last question, someone who hasn't asked a question," she said.

Phil Jones, who heads the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit and was one of the scientists at the center of the Climate Gate controversy, told the BBC in February 2010 that there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995. "Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?" the BBC asked Jones on Feb. 13, 2010.

"Yes, but only just," said Jones. "I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods."

This was not the first time Jackson has dodged the question. correspondent Karen Schuberg asked Jackson about Jones's statement to the BBC on Feb. 23, 2010. "Do you agree with Dr. Phil Jones, the former head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995?" asked Jackson.

"I believe all the new information we have doesn't lead to any different conclusion than what we reached in the Endangerment Finding," said Jackson. "And that is that climate is changing and that mankind is responsible in part for that change, and that we need to move aggressively." "We need to move clean energy legislation," Jackson added at the time. "We need to move to addressing carbon and putting a price on carbon emissions."

Statistical significance is the measurement scientists use to determine the likelihood that their findings could not have occurred at random. If a measurement, such as the change in global temperature, is found to be statistically significant, then scientists can say that it is unlikely to have been a random occurrence.

Administrator Jackson's office did not respond to requests to clarify her response at press time.


Orwellism of the Day: Bulb Ban Is Freedom

In a leap of Orwellian logic, USA Today - America's second-largest newspaper - argued in its lead editorial Tuesday that banning the incandescent light bulb is a victory for free markets.

"The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn't to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard - miles per gallon or light per watt, for example - and let the market sort it out," spins the editorial in support of picking winners and losers." That's what Congress did in 2007" in banning the bulb.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Banning is choice. Regulation is freedom.

One wonders if USA Today's editors would tolerate this doublethink if applied to their own industry. Were Congress to ban newspapers in order to force them onto the more "planet-friendly" Internet, would USA Today swallow this as free-market economics?

Michigan View contributor Ted Nugent quipped that "Obama slept through the election" after a State of the Union address that stubbornly plowed ahead with the hyper-regulation of carbon and Big Government spending. Obama's MSM allies were apparently snoozing on the couch next to him.

Or perhaps Obamedia is very awake. And they realize that - given the unpopularity of their radical green agenda - the only way to move if forward is with Newspeak that would make Big Brother blush.


Canadian Greenies tyrannize kindergarteners

Everything else aside, should a kindergarten be deliberately upsetting little children? Again it shows what misanthropes Greenies are

A couple in Laval, Que. has sparked a fierce debate over how far schools should go to teach children about environmental responsibility after their six-year-old son was shut out of a kindergarten draw to win a stuffed animal because he had an environmentally unfriendly sandwich bag in his lunchbox.

Marc-Andr‚ Lanciault said he hadn't heard of the school's draw or any environmental policy until his wife, Isabel Th‚orˆt, was making their son F‚lix a sandwich and he begged them not to put it in a plastic bag.

"He said, `No mommy, you can't do that. Not a Ziploc,' " Mr. Lanciault said.

Through tears, the boy told his parents that the school had held a draw to win a stuffed teddy bear and only children who didn't have any plastic sandwich bags could enter. The family normally uses Tupperware, but it was all in the dishwasher, and so they had packed their son's ham sandwich in a plastic bag.

When Mr. Lanciault questioned his son's teacher, she confirmed the school had staged the draw at a lunchtime daycare and that any student with a plastic sandwich bag was excluded. "You know Mr. Lanciault, it's not very good for the environment," the teacher told him. "We have to take care of the our planet and the bags do not decompose well."

Mr. Lanciault said he objects to the fact that a school would penalize a kindergartner for his parents' choice to use non-recyclable lunch containers and that his son hadn't learned any valuable environmental lessons, except to fear plastic bags.

"If we want to teach people about the environment, I can understand that," he said. "But surely there's a better way than to penalize kids. The goal wasn't achieved anyway. At the end of the day my son doesn't know why he shouldn't use a Ziploc bag. It's not only the bag, it's the whole idea that we're being brainwashed from everywhere. They told us Ziploc bags are bad, so we've stopped thinking about it and just started applying the rule."

The Laval school board didn't respond to repeated interview requests from the National Post.

The family detailed its experience on its private blog and was inundated with nearly 2,000 hits and a flood of comments, many from people who felt the school was right to exclude their son from the draw.

"Many people seem to share our vision that it was not acceptable," he said.

"But there's a lot of really pro-green people who don't see the problem behind this."

Programs like "litterless" and "boomerang" lunches -- where children have to bring home any garbage in the lunchbox instead of throwing it out at school -- are gaining in popularity, said Eve Duchesne, manager of EcoKids, a program run by Earth Day Canada to encourage kids to learn about the environment.

But while such contests can get kids engaged, they need to be part of a larger curriculum that teaches children about the environment in a positive way, she said. "It's not a good way to teach them to do something about the environment," Ms. Duchesne said. "Any draw, any contest, I think that's too radical."

Schools tread into dangerous territory when they start enforcing environmental messages without understanding the complex scientific arguments behind them, said Jane Shaw, president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in North Carolina, and co-author of Facts, Not Fear: Teaching Children about the Environment, which was adapted for Canadian audiences. For instance, she said, the debate still rages over whether reusable dishes are really more environmentally friendly than disposable ones, taking into account the water and energy used to wash them.

"In the background to this is the idea that somehow we -- meaning teachers and textbook writers -- know what the environmental impact of something really is," she said. "Studies have shown it's very difficult to know whether it's better to use a china cup or a disposable plastic cup."

Instead, she said, schools should focus on teaching kids the fundamentals of science so that they can explore environmental issues themselves and draw their own informed conclusions as they get older.

"They're getting a lot of pabulum about recycling and what is green and that kind of thing," she said. "They're not learning the basics of science, which in the long run is much more important."



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