Sunday, September 11, 2011

Arctic sea ice cover lowest since 1972

Ya gotta laugh! Compare my more objective headline above with the "spinning like a top" original headline: "Arctic ice cover hits historic low, due to global warming says scientists".

Aside from the grammatical solecism, the omission of mention that only sea-ice is involved and the tendentious "explanation" might be noted.

And the "explanation" CANNOT be true as there has been NO global warming for over 10 years now. What a crock!

It's getting a bit tedious but I suppose I should also mention that melting sea ice does NOT raise the water level. Warmists seem not even up-to-date with Archimedes on that!

Finally, the 1972 starting point for the comparison is not exactly ancient history. There were disappearances of sea ice in the early 20th century too -- but we must not mention that, apparently

It all sounds so scientific below but as any logician will tell you, just one false premise can enable you to draw the most amazing conclusions with perfect logic

THE area covered by Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point this week since the start of satellite observations in 1972, German researchers announced.

"On September 8, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 4.240 million square kilometres. This is a new historic minimum," said Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen's Institute of Environmental Physics.

The new mark is about half-a-per cent under his team's measurements of the previous record, which occurred on September 16, 2007, he said.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the record set on that date was 4.1 million sq km. The discrepancy, Heygster explained by phone, was due to slightly different data sets and algorithms. "But the results are internally consistent in both cases," he said.

Arctic ice cover plays a critical role in regulating Earth's climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool.

Retreating summer sea ice - 50 per cent smaller in area than four decades ago - is described by scientists as both a measure and a driver of global warming, with negative impacts on a local and planetary scale.

It is also further evidence of a strong human imprint on climate patterns in recent decades, the researchers said.

"The sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused by weather influence," Heygster said in an statement released by the university.

"Climate models show, rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the albedo effect, is particularly pronounced in the Arctic."

Albedo increases when an area once covered by reflective snow or ice - which bounces 80 per cent of the Sun's radiative force back into space - is replaced by deep blue sea, which absorbs the heat instead.

Temperatures in the Arctic region have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the last half century.

The Arctic ice cover has also become significantly thinner in recent decades, though it is not possible to measure the shrinkage in thickness as precisely as for surface area, the statement said.

Satellite tracking since 1972 shows that the extent of Arctic sea ice is dropping at about 11 per cent per decade.

NSIDC director Mark Serreze has said that summer ice cover could disappear entirely by 2030, leaving nothing but heat-trapping "blue ocean."

The NSIDC likewise monitors Arctic ice cover on a daily basis, but has not announced record-low ice cover. Data posted on its website as of Saturday only covered the period through September 6.

By last week, it said, sea ice is almost completely gone from the channels of the Northwest Passage. The southern route - also known as Amunden's Route - was also ice free, as was the Northern Sea Route along Siberia.

But even as the thaw opens shipping lanes, it disrupts the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, and poses a severe threat to fauna, including polar bears, ice seals and walruses, conservation groups say.

"This stunning loss of Arctic sea ice is yet another wake-up call that climate change is here now and is having devastating effects around the world," said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco.

The last time the Arctic was incontestably free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian.

Air temperatures in the Arctic were warmer than today, and sea level was also four to six metres higher because the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets had partly melted.

Global average temperatures today are close to the maximum warmth seen during the Eemian.


Another iteration of some old nonsense
Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century'. They will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist...

Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.

In fact, the scleractinian corals, which are the major builders of the reefs of today, have been around some 200 million years, during most of which time both the atmosphere's CO2 concentration and its temperature were much greater than they are today, which should immediately raise a red flag about the proffered cause of the recent decline in reef growth.

As Australia has by far the largest coral reef, The Great Barrier Reef, Australians are well used to these sensationalist cries. But Hoagy, the chief Australian crier of recent years has gone silent for a while now. Why? Because some of his own research showed that coral is very resilient to any setbacks. See here, here, here and here for the evidence against Hoagy and his ilk.

It is a testimony to Hoagy's sheer mental constipation that he needed research to find that out, however. The Great Barrier Reef extends for 1,600 miles in a roughly North to South direction and as the waters it occupies become warmer, so does its diversity and extent grow. That simple fact should have told him that warming would be a BENEFIT rather than a hindrance to coral growth.

It's truly amazing that anybody still has the brass to trot out this old scare. It's yet more evidence that Warmists are only pseudo-scientists.

It is interesting how the same people who claim evolution as their most cherished belief, have zero understanding of the principles behind it - environmental stress, natural selection, adaption and migration.

See Tom Nelson for links

350: The most brain-dead campaign of your life

The stupidity in the campaign mentioned here is absolutely breathtaking. Excerpt:
The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.

Black line shows a notable long-term decline in CO2 while the blue line shows a virtually trend-free temperature. Note the hugely high levels of CO2 in the Cambrian era

Take a careful look at the black line in this graph. If you see any reason to panic when CO2 is over 350 ppm, please let me know immediately...


New research supports Svensmark explanation of temperature variability

The paper uses daily temperature range as an index of cloudiness and finds that it is in fact related to cosmic ray input. Some excerpts below. For more on temperature range and clouds, see here.
Forbush decreases - clouds relation in the neutron monitor era

By A. Dragic et al.


The proposed influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation is tested for the effect of sudden intensity changes of CR (Forbush decreases) on cloudiness. An attempt is made to widen the investigated period covered by satellite observation of cloudiness. As an indicator of cloud cover, the diurnal temperature range (DTR - a quantity anticorrelated with cloudiness) is used. The superposed epoch analysis on a set of isolated Forbush decreases is conducted and the results for a region of Europe are presented. The effect of Forbush decrease on DTR is statistically significant only if the analysis is restricted to high amplitude FDs (above the threshold value of 7% with the respect to undisturbed CR intensity). The magnitude of the effect on DTR is estimated to be (0.38ñ0.06)


If CR influence cloud cover, changes in CR intensity should reflect on cloudiness. One remarkable change in CR intensity is the Forbush decrease (FD), a sudden drop of CR intensity with slow recovery lasting typically several days. We conducted the superposed epoch analysis of DTR deviation vs. epochs around FD. The analysis is restricted to the region of Europe. Only FDs with amplitudes higher than some predefined level are taken into account.


The superposed epoch analysis confirmed the statistically significant influence of CR intensity decrease on the state of the atmosphere. The effect is visible only if FDs exceeding the threshold (7% amplitude with the Mt. Washington data) are considered. The result strongly supports the idea that cosmic rays influence the atmospheric processes and climate. The natural variability of atmospheric parameters makes the CR contribution difficult to detect. The DTR appears to be a useful quantity to consider in connection with CR intensity, avoiding some of the difficulties associated with satellite measurements of cloudiness. The present study should be considered as a preliminary one.


Labor complains to Obama about job-killing EPA

As 9 percent unemployment plagues America this Labor Day, major unions are clashing with a Democratic administration with which they normally would march in lock step. Echoing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at least seven unions are begging the Obama administration to abandon regulations, statements and procedures that prevent jobs from being created or saved.

Several labor unions decry the Environmental Protection Agency's existing and prospective rules, mainly designed to reduce coal emissions. These stalwarts of the liberal Left resemble capitalists who now call the EPA the Employment Prevention Agency.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Texas unit wrote the EPA June 16 on behalf of its 23,000 members. IBEW executive Jonathan Gardner warned that EPA red tape “directly would jeopardize the jobs of approximately 1,500 IBEW members working at six different power plants across the state of Texas.” Gardner argued, “The shutdown of coal-fired units without any meaningful benefit to the environment is not justified.”

This catastrophe unfolds well beyond the Lone Star state.

The 76,000-member United Mine Workers estimates that EPA-fueled power-plant closures directly could kill 54,151 jobs and indirectly destroy 197,140 others.

In an Aug. 1 letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Commissioners John Norris and Cheryl LaFleur wrote that FERC examined “how coal-fired generating units could be impacted (sic) by EPA rules.” FERC explained that this, “informal, preliminary assessment showed 40 GW of coal-fired generating capacity ‘likely' to retire, with another 41 GW ‘very likely' to retire.”

If the EPA unplugs 81 gigawatts, it would dim America's electrical capacity 8.1 percent. American Electric Power, Duke Energy and the Southern Co. – among other utilities – said these rules would force them to close coal-fired generating stations. Padlocked power plants and scarcer electricity would debilitate America's feeble economy and further imperil workers.

R. Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the 720,000-member International Association of Machinists, penned a June 29 letter with Peter J. Bunce, CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, pleading with President Obama to stop slamming corporate jets.

“During the severe economic downturn in 2008, ill-informed criticism of corporate jets and business aviation exacerbated the challenges facing our industry, which led to depressed new aircraft sales and jeopardized very good, high-paying jobs throughout the United States. More than 20,000 highly skilled IAM members were laid off in this industry.”

Buffenbarger and Bunce continued: “We are very concerned that the rhetoric coming from some in your administration will lead to similar economic difficulties.”

The Obama administration has not opposed the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would transport petroleum from Canada's oil sands to Texas' refineries. Instead, it has studied this project into paralysis. The State Department favors it, while the EPA frowns – “a process that has gone on for more than two years,” the presidents of the Plumbing and Pipefitters, Operating Engineers, Laborers International and Teamsters unions (with 2.6 million members among all four) complained last October. These labor leaders denounce this “lost ground for thousands of workers who are sitting on the sidelines of our ailing national economy.”

Do these deregulatory rumblings foreshadow the AFL-CIO's endorsement of Rick Perry for president? Unlikely. Union officials will stick overwhelmingly with the incumbent.

Still, while 14 million Americans wish they were workers, some in Big Labor now cry “Uncle!” at Big Government.


Australia: Fallout from Greenie dam-hatred is expensive

Desalination is the crazy alternative that Greenies have forced on governments around Australia, even though there is plenty of potential for more dams to serve the growing population

Fifteen months ago workers at a dam 200 kilometres south of Sydney switched off a set of high-pressure pumps that have played a critical role in safeguarding Sydney's precarious water supply.

Transfers from Tallowa Dam, on the upper Shoalhaven River, had added more than a trillion litres to Warragamba Dam over the past decade before the taps were turned off.

The absence of that extra water, which fell from 152 billion litres in 2008 to zero this year, has been crucial to Warragamba remaining below 80 per cent full - the trigger point at which the Kurnell desalination plant must be shut down.

Had those Sydney Catchment Authority engineers - acting on the instruction of the state government - kept the pumps running, Sydney's water supply would today stand at 94.6 per cent, according to expert projections supplied to The Sun-Herald.

With the Warragamba catchment at 78.9 per cent in reality, experts say the government is clinging to a reason to push ahead with the $1.5 billion sale of the desalination plant. While it is running, the cost of the electricity-guzzling plant adds $96 a year to Sydney water bills.

"The state government has an incentive to keep the Warragamba Dam below full," says Professor Stuart White, of the University of Technology, Sydney, who helped write the current Metropolitan Water Plan.

"When we're paying 70¢ per cubic metre of desalinated water, it would not be a good look to have it spilling over the top of Warragamba for free."

It is also arguably not in the government's interests for consumers to be aware of pure water flushing out to sea from Tallowa while they are paying for seawater to be transformed into drinking water.

White is one of a number of experts who believe the O'Farrell government will go through with the privatisation against the best interests of the populace.

"The government has the opportunity to pursue a sale for a one-off capital win or take a one-off hit - but do the right thing by the consumer and shut the plant down. It's a radical step to shut it down but that's what should be contemplated to save this needless waste of energy."

White describes the planned sale as a "win, win, lose" situation in which consumers are the losers. "The state government wins with a capital windfall and an investor locks in to a long-term, guaranteed return," he says.

For the past two years Tallowa Dam has been full and is currently allowing excess "environmental flows" to flush through the Shoalhaven and out to sea.

The Greens, who support environmental flows for the Shoalhaven, nonetheless believe the switch-off at Tallowa is part a strategy to justify the existence of the desalination plant. They have accused the government of scrapping a range of water recycling schemes for the same reason.

"Tallowa has been ramped back to make the desalination plant look like a much more attractive investment when it is privatised," the Greens MP Dr John Kaye says. "It's a much cleaner deal if there looks like there is at least a need for the desalination plant. It's all about appearances."

The government recently appointed the investment bank Goldman Sachs to run the sale.

Bankers familiar with the tender process told The Sun-Herald that investors, probably from overseas, would line up to buy the plant because the contract would stipulate a return whether it was operational or not.

The government has established a taskforce consisting of representatives of Sydney Water, Treasury and the Finance and Premier and Cabinet departments to establish the guidelines for privatisation.

A spokeswoman for Sydney Water, Emma Whale, confirmed the 80 per cent threshold for switching off the plant remained under the O'Farrell government. "The dam levels should not have bearing on the sale or the contract. IPART is currently determining both a water usage and availability charge," she said.



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