Thursday, April 07, 2011

Arctic ozone levels in never-before-seen plunge

That doesn't say much for the effectiveness of the ban on CFCs, does it? But it's nonsense anyway. The "hole" varies wildly from year to year. And if the present hole is unprecdented, that only means that records don't go back far enough. And guess what they are blaming the hole on now? COOLING! Ya gotta laugh

Long a consideration in the Antarctic, ozone levels in the Arctic are now a cause for concern. The ozone layer has seen unprecedented damage in the Arctic this winter due to cold weather in the upper atmosphere. By the end of March, 40% of the ozone in the stratosphere had been destroyed, against a previous record of 30%.

The ozone layer protects against skin cancer, but the gas is destroyed by reactions with industrial chemicals. These chemicals are restricted by the UN's Montreal Protocol, but they last so long in the atmosphere that damage is expected to continue for decades.

"The Montreal Protocol actually works, and the amount of ozone-depleting gases is on the way down, but quite slowly," said Geir Braathen, a senior scientist with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which co-ordinates ozone data globally. "In the meantime, we have some winters that get much colder than before and also the cold periods last longer, into the spring," he told BBC News.

"So it's really a combination of the gases still there and low temperatures and then sunshine, and then you get ozone loss."

Dr Braathen was one of a number of scientists presenting the findings at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting in Vienna.

This winter, while the Arctic was unusually warm at ground level, temperatures 15-20km above the Earth's surface plummeted and stayed low. "The low temperatures were not that different from some other years, but extended much further into March and April - in fact it's still going on now," said Farahnaz Khosrawi, an ozone specialist at the Meteorological Institute at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Another, Dr Florence Goutail from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), put the 2010/11 winter in context. "Usually in cold winters we observe that about 25% of the ozone disappears, but this winter was really a record - 40% of the column has disappeared," she said.

The longer and colder Antarctic winters often see 55% of the ozone depleted. However, this has hardly any impact on human health, as the region is largely uninhabited - only the southern tip of South America sometimes comes under the ozone hole.

But in the Arctic, the situation is different. Over the last month, severe ozone depletion has been seen over Scandinavia, Greenland, and parts of Canada and Russia.

The WMO is advising people in Scandinavian countries and Greenland to look out for information on daily conditions in order to prevent any damage to their health.

Loss of ozone allows more of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet-B rays to penetrate through the atmosphere. This has been linked to increased rates of skin cancer, cataracts and immune system damage. "With no ozone layer, you would have 70 times more UV than we do now - so you can say the ozone layer is a sunscreen of factor 70," said Dr Braathen.

Ozone depletion is often viewed as an environmental problem that has been solved. The Montreal Protocol, established in 1987, and its successor agreements have phased out many ozone-depleting chemicals such as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that used to be in widespread use as refrigerants.


Did the ozone hole PRECEDE CFCs?

Brazilian geologist Geraldo Lino [] draws attention to two old papers that show that the hole goes back a long way. The papers are:

R. Penndorf, “The annual variation of the amount of ozone over northern Norway”, Annales de géophysique, tome 6, fasc. 1, 1950, pp. 4-9.

P. Rigaud and B. Leroy, “Presumptive evidence for a low value of the total ozone content above Antarctica in September, 1958”, Annales Geophysicae, 1990, 8(11), pp. 791-94.

Lino says:

Both papers, one from 1950 and the other from 1990, suggest that such extreme rarefactions of the stratospheric ozone concentrations (below 150 dobson units) that became later known as the "ozone hole" were quite common over Northern Norway and also Antarctica, even before the CFCs were largely used (or invented, in the Norwegian case, inasmuch as the measurements there started three years before the invention of the CFCs by Thomas Midgley in 1929).

One of the authors, American meteorologist Randolph Penndorf, even uses the term "holes" to explain such low ozone readings. For me it's enough evidence that this is another natural phenomenon

Received via email

The false prophecies keep coming

All-time record harvest in India - and a flashback to 2010

The Tribune in Chandigarh brings us this excellent news:

India expects to reap record harvest

India is estimated to harvest an all-time record output of 235.88 million tonne (MT) of foodgrains in the 2010-11 crop year (ending June), courtesy the highest-ever production of wheat and pulses.
Addressing the Kharif Conference here, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the third advance estimate figures available with him showed an all-time record production of foodgrains of 235.88 MT.

“Wheat at 84.27 MT and pulses at 17.29 MT are also the highest recorded production ever,” said Pawar. He indicated that record grain output during the period might prompt the government to lift the ban on the overseas sale of wheat by the world’s second-largest producer to ease pressure on limited storage capacity in its godowns [warehouses]. ---

Experts say higher grain output forecast will make the decision on wheat export a lot easier for the government.
More foodgrains, however, mean added storage issue, a fact conceded by Pawar who said that the government had to take a serious thought on storage and allocation to states. India’s foodgrain output comprises wheat, rice, pulses and coarse cereals.


Almost exactly a year ago Bloomberg Business Week brough us this, not quite as good news:

Global Warming Reduces Grain Output in Inflation-Ridden India
April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Rising temperatures and inadequate rainfall in India is stagnating grain output, threatening food security in the world’s second-most populous country, according to a weather scientist.

In the past decade, average temperatures have increased by 0.25 degree Celsius when the monsoon crops are sown in June, and by 0.6 degree Celsius when winter crops are planted in October, said Krishna Kumar, a senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, a state-owned researcher.

“Warmer nights affect rice output while day temperatures hurt wheat production,” Kumar said in an interview on April 16 in the western city of Pune. “Night temperatures are increasing more rapidly than day temperatures since the late 1980s” due to rising human greenhouse-gas emissions, he said. ---

“The projected warming over the water-limited tropics is likely to further depress yields and exacerbate water scarcity, constraining attempts to increase grain production,” Cristina Milesi, a scientist at the California State University and at NASA Ames Research Center, said in a report last month.
‘Leading Example’

India’s population and the largest water-limited tropics croplands, makes it a “leading example of the observed declines in food grain production,” she said.

Don´t expect Kumar or Milesi to retract. On the contrary, their "scientific" explanation will almost certainly be that the record harvest is just a temporary aberration because of climate change - but soon the harvests are really heading for a catastrophic decline, also due to global warming!

SOURCE (See the original for links)

And another one -- from 2007


The hysterical Suzuki

Salesmen do sometimes get to the point where they believe their own spiel

Dr. David Suzuki: I do despair. My wife and I huddle at night and weep for our helplessness. We are losing big-time and I’m enough of a scientist to see we are heading right down the tube. Judging by the past twenty years, we are going backward. I understand why people like Jim Lovelock and Clive Hamilton believe it’s too late. But, if one says it’s too late, then I tell them “Please shut up and go away” because it does no good to say it’s too late.

I think it’s too late to avoid catastrophic climate change, but must we continue to add to it?


Australia: Greens can't hide their hatred of Israel

No hiding the fact that they are watermelons

TWO Greens senators have publicly supported calls for Australian sanctions against Israel over the Middle East conflict, putting them at odds with party policy and their leader Bob Brown.

West Australian senator Scott Ludlam last year demanded an arms embargo on Israel, which he described as "a rogue state", while South Australian colleague Sarah Hanson-Young addressed a rally where protesters called on Australia to sever ties with the Jewish state.

The stance by the two senators conflicts with Senator Brown's assurance last week that his federal party was not anti-Israel and did not support the NSW branch of the party advocating sanctions against Israel.

The Coalition last night labelled the Greens "reds", while the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council called on Senator Hanson-Young to visit Israel before jumping to conclusions.

Senator Brown yesterday refused to comment on the activities of his senators and directed The Australian to his party's policy on Israel, which clearly advocated a peaceful two-state solution.

The Greens have been criticised for having an anti-Israel position since several of its candidates in the NSW election advocated a trade embargo on the Jewish nation.

Senator Brown last week distanced himself from the policy, saying the federal Greens opposed a trade embargo and favoured a peaceful two-state solution to the decades-old conflict.

Nationals senator Ron Boswell yesterday produced photographs of Senator Hanson-Young and Senator Ludlam addressing rallies organised by the Friends of Palestine organisation. According to its website, the organisation promotes the rights of Palestinians. The West Australian branch website also calls for "sanctions to be imposed on the state of Israel by the Australian government until the occupation of Palestinian territories is ended in accordance with UN resolutions".

In a YouTube recording of Senator Ludlam's speech to a West Australian rally last June, he called for an end to Australian sales of weapons to Israel, particularly a $41 million contract for the sale of body armour. "It's time for an arms embargo," Senator Ludlam said. "If Israel chooses to behave like a rogue state, then it's going to be treated as one."

An Australian Associated Press report of the rally said Senator Ludlam had called for an embargo on Israel as he addressed a group of protesters shouting anti-Israeli slogans and waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.

The photograph of Senator Hanson-Young at an Adelaide rally in 2009 shows her surrounded by placards demanding Australia "Cut ties with apartheid Israel".

Senator Boswell yesterday described the Greens, who will assume sole control of the balance of power in the Senate from July 1, as dangerous and extreme and demanded Julia Gillard condemn the party's policies.

"The Greens are setting a dangerous agenda for this country and (are) allowed free rein to do so by their Labor joint venture partners," he said. "The Greens have morphed back into reds. They sell themselves as environmentalists but are really just a rebranded socialist alliance party. There's nothing cuddly about them."

The Australian sent Senator Hanson-Young and Senator Ludlam questions about their involvement in the rallies.

Senator Hanson-Young reiterated through a spokesman her support for the Greens' federal policy for a peaceful two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. The spokesman said the senator had never visited Israel. Senator Ludlam did not respond to The Australian's questions.

Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein hit back at the Greens' involvement in the protests, saying they should visit Israel before making statements against it.

An organiser of the rally attended by Senator Hanson-Young, Jeanie Lucas, of the Australian Friends of Palestine group, said the Greens senator had been invited to attend. She said a number of people had spoken at the rally, which was a protest against the Israeli bombing of the Gaza strip at the time. "I can't recall her words exactly at the time . . . except to say that it was outrageous that Israel was perpetrating action on innocent people," she said.

The organisers of the protest attended by Senator Ludlam, Friends of Palestine WA, did not return The Australian's calls.



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