Friday, March 30, 2012

Acclimation to Ocean Acidification: Give It Some Time

In the absence of any real-world effect, Warmists have turned to experiments in which they artificially raise CO2 levels in fishtanks. But even their experimental results are pesky for them -- pesky enough for them to report statistically insignificant results as significant! That is a major breach of scientific canons and shows what a desperate bunch of crooks they are

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lead to an increasing amount of CO2 being dissolved in the oceans which drives down the oceans’ pH level. This is often referred to as “ocean acidification” and included among the list of ills that energy production from fossil fuels imparts to the environment. Type “ocean acidification” into your Google search and you’ll quickly be confronted with a litany of potential impacts—all bad. The Center for Biological Diversity refers to it as global warming’s “evil twin.”

“We mean it this time” our greener friends are saying about this current apocalypse. But is ocean acidification any different than the population bomb, global starvation, acid rain, ozone depletion, global cooling, and global warming—all forecast to cause the end of the world as we know it, and all falling a bit short?

It’s beginning to look like the same old same old. In what will come as no surprise to World Climate Report regulars, alarmists are overdoing things just a little. Their biggest mistake comes in assuming that the oceans’ denizens cannot deal either with the pace or the magnitude of the projected changes to the oceans’ chemistry.

The more researchers look into this, the more they report findings to the contrary.

A large and continually updated annotated and summarized collection of findings which report acclimation and adaptation to “ocean acidification” is maintained at the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Spend a little time there and you will come away with a completely different view of the subject than was returned to you in your Google search above. The Center also maintains a digital archive of citations to the relevant primary scientific literature, so you can see for yourself.

A new paper just published in the journal Global Change Biology titled “Acclimation to ocean acidification during long-term CO2 exposure in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa “ is surely soon to be an inductee in the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change database.

The authors, Armin U. Form (no relation to the conservative blogger Charles U. Farley) and Ulf Riebesell, are from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany. They introduce the problem:

"Ocean acidification, often termed ‘the evil twin of global warming’, is caused when the CO2 emitted by human activity dissolves into the oceans. Presently, the ocean takes up about 25% of man-made CO2, which has led to a decrease in seawater pH of 0.1 units since 1800. By 2100, surface ocean pH values can easily drop by another 0.3–0.4 units. Although there is reasonable certainty about the chemical changes related to ocean acidification, the impacts it may have on marine organisms and ecosystems are still poorly understood. A major gap in our understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification on life in the sea is the potential of marine organisms to acclimate and adapt to increasing seawater acidity. Most of our present understanding on the biological impacts of ocean acidification is based on short-term perturbation studies."

The last sentence nicely sums up the problem underlying the proclamations of impending catastrophe from “ocean acidification”—that is, there are very few long-term studies of the response of organisms to changing conditions, instead, the vast majority of results come from studies which scoop things up out of the ocean, plop them into an aquarium, jack up the acidity of the water, and watch what for a few days to see what happens. That’s about as far from the real world as you can get, and it’s little wonder that the organisms don’t tend to fare particularly well.

Basically, Form and Riebesell follow this same procedure, but in addition to watching what happens over a few days, they maintain vigilance, and follow the response for about 6 months. The organism they are studying is a cold-water coral species, Lophelia pertusa, which they describe as “the most common reef framework-forming and ecosystem engineering cold-water coral with a cosmopolitan distribution.” One reason they chose to look at a cold-water coral is that “cold-water coral reefs are considered the ecosystem most vulnerable to ocean acidification.”

What they found was that in an experiment that lasted only 8 days, that the growth rate of the coral was slowed down by the dissolution of extra CO2 into the aquarium water—the more the researchers added CO2 (increasing the acidity and lowering the pH) the worse the corals fared (Figure 1).

In a second experiment in which the coral specimens were exposed to lower pH levels for 178 days, the growth rate did not decline, and in fact, even appeared to increase under the lower pH (more acid) conditions (Figure 2).

Form and Riebesell describe their findings:

"Growth rates in the long-term experiment (LTE) did not follow the negative trend with increasing pCO2 [decreasing pH] observed in the short-term incubation. Instead, growth rate, which was comparable to that of the control treatment in the short-term experiment, stayed high at elevated CO2 levels… Although not statistically significant, a linear regression analysis reveals an increasing trend of coral growth with rising pCO2 concentration [decreasing pH]." *

They comment on the importance of longer-term experiments:

"It is surprising that the ability to tolerate sub-saturated conditions in terms of maintaining calcification rates is not manifested in short-term high CO2 experiments. This could indicate (i) that it takes several days to weeks for Lophelia to activate the metabolic pathways needed to calcify when subjected to sub-saturated waters, or (ii) that triggering the activation of these pathways requires longer-term high CO2/low pH exposure. …The differences in observed responses between short- and long-term exposure experiments highlight the importance of long-term incubation studies allowing for complete acclimation of the test organisms."

And they have this to say as to the significance of their findings:

"This is the first study showing a positive response in calcification to increasing pCO2 for the predominant reef-forming cold-water coral L. pertusa and, to our knowledge, for scleractinian corals in general." **

Now, Form and Riebesell are quick to point out that laboratory conditions do not necessarily mimic the real world environment and that therefore their results are only the first steps in an extended series of observations and experiments that would be required to establish the in situ response of the corals in their ocean environment and its changing conditions. And we are sure that they are right about this.

But the larger lesson is this: Don’t jump to conclusions based on an inadequate analysis of complex systems. If everyone followed this advice, our future would certainly appear much less “alarming.”

* What has happened to rigorous peer-review? A “trend” that is not statistically significant means it cannot be statistically discriminated from zero, i.e. no trend. This sentence should have said “A linear regression reveals no significant relationship between coral growth and rising pCO2 concentration.”

** Same here; should simply read, “This study shows no negative relationship between coral growth and ocean acidity.”

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

New paper confirms 2010 Russian heat wave was result of natural variability

A paper published today in the journal Monthly Weather Review confirms (along with several other studies) "that the anomalous long-lasting Russian heat wave in summer 2010, linked to a long-persistent blocking high, appears as a result of natural atmospheric variability."

Natural climate change denier Kevin "missing heat" Trenberth, however, continues to cry wolf insisting that the Russian heat wave and every other 'extreme' weather event of 2010 "would not have happened without global warming."
Large scale flow and the long-lasting blocking high over Russia: Summer 2010

By Andrea Schneidereit et al.


Several studies show that the anomalous long-lasting Russian heat wave in summer 2010, linked to a long-persistent blocking high, appears as a result of natural atmospheric variability.

This study analyzes the large scale flow structure based on ERA-Interim data (1989 to 2010). The anomalous long-lasting blocking high over Western Russia including the heat wave occurs as an overlay of a set of anticyclonic contributions on different time scales: (i) A regime change in ENSO towards La Niña modulates the quasi-stationary wave structure in the boreal summer hemisphere supporting the eastern European blocking. The polar Arctic dipole mode is enhanced and shows a projection on the mean blocking high. (ii) Together with the quasi-stationary wave anomaly the transient eddies maintain the long-lasting blocking. (iii) Three different pathways of wave action are identified on the intermediate time scale (~ 10-60 days). One pathway commences over the eastern North Pacific and includes the polar Arctic region; another one runs more southward and crossing the North Atlantic, continues to eastern Europe; a third pathway southeast of the blocking high describes the downstream development over South Asia.


Obama's Plan B For Saving The Climate Is In Effect

A Warmist below cheerily admits that the EPA is trying to do and end-run around Congress

Yesterday the EPA released a new rule setting greenhouse gas emission limits on new power plants, which are strict enough to effectively ban new coal plants that lack the ability to capture and sequester carbon.

This is a major step in the Obama administration's "Plan B" to save the climate and create clean energy jobs, embarked upon after the Senate failed in 2010 to take up comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation from the House.
As I wrote two years ago:
It is against the law under the Clean Air Act, the Supreme Court has ruled, for the Environmental Protection Agency to ignore greenhouse gas pollution. And a congressional attempt to gut the Clean Air Act and block the EPA from acting was defeated this year.

That fact has always been part of the argument to press Senators from coal, oil, manufacturing and agribusiness states to accept climate compromises: if Congress doesn't do it, the EPA will.
And that same fact has always the Obama administration's Plan B.
The EPA is not going to announce an economy-wide carbon cap overnight. But it has been and will continue to announce a rule here and a rule there, continually ramping up pressure on Congress to pass legislation that will cap carbon emissions in a way that businesses will find more flexible than what the EPA is able to do.

And here we are.

So Time's Bryan Walsh is right to observe that a regulation on new plants alone isn't enough to save the climate, only to accelerate the ongoing market shift from coal to natural gas.

But this rule is not the end, only the beginning. As Grist's David Roberts notes, under current law EPA has to eventually establish greenhouse gas rules for existing plants.

And the power plant lobby is right to complain that: "By effectively forcing utilities to forgo any new coal generation in favor of natural gas, without commensurate policies to develop commercially acceptable [carbon capture and storage] technologies, EPA’s proposal threatens the viability of coal..."

But the EPA can't issue "policies to develop commercially acceptable technologies." It can't make legislation. Only Congress can.

Only through Congress can we enact a comprehensive strategy to smoothly shift to a clean energy economy, in which we put a price on carbon pollution and raise money to help businesses and consumers make the transition.


Professionally Correct Speech

Why most scientists do not challenge global warming

Recently, while driving, I listened to a satellite radio program called "Doctor Radio," talk radio by doctors.

In the course of the program, the question of alcohol and health came up. All of the participants agreed that evidence showed that a moderate level of alcohol consumption, something like one beer a day for a woman, one or two for a man, or the equivalent in other drinks, was good for you, better than no alcohol at all. All of them also agreed that they would not advise their patients to act on that evidence.

They did not offer an adequate explanation for the apparent inconsistency. There was mention of the fact that a higher level of consumption was dangerous, in particular likely to lead to auto accidents, and that there were problems with prescribing something that depended on the exact dosage—but distinguishing one beer a day from three is not a difficult problem, even for those who are not doctors.

My conjecture was that the real explanation was the reluctance of doctors to appear to be on the wrong side. Everyone knew that alcohol was a bad thing, a source of auto accidents and various medical (and other) problems. By giving a truthful account of the medical evidence, the doctors on the program might appear to be pro-alcohol, when all good people were anti. Hence they had to qualify their conclusion as a purely theoretical matter, not something that would actually affect what they told their patients. Think of it as a different version of PC—Professionally Correct speech.

It reminded me of a similar pattern in a different context. From time to time, I see a news story on some piece of scientific research that somewhat weakens the case for taking strong action against global warming—for instance, work suggesting that, while the IPCC projections were correct about the expected magnitude of warming, they overstated its uncertainty, and hence the risk of some outcome much above the center of the reported distribution of results.

I believe that every time I have seen such a report, it was accompanied by a quote from the researchers to the effect that global warming was a serious problem and their work should not be taken as a reason to be less worried about it. They almost certainly believed the first half of that. On the other hand, their work was a reason to be less worried, if not a reason to stop worrying.

Good people are on the side that believes that warming is happening, is anthropogenic, and is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Bad people deny one or more of those claims. If that is what all the people who matter to you, in particular the fellow members of your profession, believe, and you are so unfortunate as to produce results that strengthen the bad people's case, it is prudent to make it clear that you are still on the side of the angels. Just as, if you are so unfortunate as to be an honest doctor aware of the evidence in favor of alcohol, it is prudent to make it clear that have not transferred your allegiance to demon rum.


Fracking: An Existential Threat to Green Dogma

The Sierra Club and other environmental pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to “stop fracking in its tracks.” No wonder. The technology is an existential threat to fundamental “green” dogmas.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is a true “game changer.” In less than two years, this proven but still rapidly advancing technology has obliterated longstanding claims that we are running out of petroleum. Instead, the USA now finds itself blessed with centuries of oil and gas.

Poland and Estonia are using it, China has invited companies to the Middle Kingdom, Britain, Israel and Jordan are evaluating their shale deposits, and other nations are following suit – coaxing oil and natural gas from shale and other rock formations that previously had refused to yield their hydrocarbon riches.

By making more natural gas available, fracking has reduced the US price for this clean-burning fuel to under $3 per thousand cubic feet (or million Btu), compared to a peak of $8 a few years ago.

Natural gas is also supplanting coal for electricity generation. Due to excessive, mostly unnecessary new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, many US coal-fired power plants are shutting down. Replacement plants are far more likely to be gas-powered than nuclear, especially in the near term.

Natural gas makes heating and electricity more affordable for families, hospitals, government buildings and businesses; feed stocks less expensive for makers of plastics, paints, fabrics and other petrochemical products; and the prospect of natural gas-power vehicles more enticing, without mandates or subsidies. That translates into thousands of jobs created or saved.

Companies are keeping chemical plants open that were slated to close, due to soaring prices for oil that they now can readily replace with cheap natural gas. Shell plans to build a $2-biillion ethane “cracking” plant near Pittsburgh – creating 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs – thanks to abundant gas from Marcellus Shale. Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and other states are reporting subsidy-free employment and revenue gains from shale gas development. More are likely to follow, as companies seek new ways to capitalize on access to abundant, inexpensive, reliable gas.

Natural gas also provides essential backup power for wind turbines. Without such backup, electricity generation from these projects would plummet to zero 70-80% of the time, affecting assembly lines, computers, televisions, air conditioners and other electrical equipment dozens of times every day.

Even harder for environmentalists to accept, cheap natural gas also makes it harder to justify building redundant wind turbines that require large subsidies to generate far more expensive electricity only 5-8 hours a day, on average, while killing large numbers of raptors, migratory birds and bats. It makes more sense to simply build the gas turbines, and forget about the mostly useless wind turbines.

Fracking is also unlocking oil in the vast Bakken Shale formations beneath Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Oil production there has shot from 3,000 barrels a day in 2006 to nearly 500,000 today – creating thousands of jobs … and a growing need for the Keystone XL pipeline to Texas.

In response, eco-activists are spreading unfounded fears about this proven technology. Using words like “reckless,” “dangerous” and “poisonous,” they say unregulated fracking companies are operating with little concern for ecological values and causing cancer, earthquakes and groundwater contamination.

The claims have fanned borderline hysteria in some quarters and prompted Maryland, New York and other states to launch drawn-out studies or impose moratoria that will postpone drilling and the benefits it would bring.

Facts are sorely needed.

Drilling and fracking have been carefully and effectively regulated by states for decades. As studies by the University of Texas and various state agencies have documented, there has never been a confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to fracking. Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged that to a congressional panel.

These analysts, drilling companies and even an Environmental Defense expert now say fracking has not played a role in any of the rare cases where methane has gotten into drinking water.

Instead, the cause has generally been a failure of “well integrity” – the result of improper cementing between the well borehole and the steel “casing” and pipes that go down through aquifers and thousands of feet deeper into gas-laden shale formations. Similar failures occur in water wells drilled through rock formations containing methane (natural gas).

The solution is straightforward: better standards and procedures for cementing vertical pipes in place, and testing them initially and periodically to ensure there are no leaks.

Similarly, fracking fluids fail to match the “toxic” and “cancerous” opprobrium alleged by anti-drilling campaigns. Over 99.5% of the fluids is water and sand. The other 0.5% is chemicals to keep sand particles suspended in the liquid, fight bacterial growth and improve gas production.

Although industrial chemicals were once used, almost all of today’s are vegetable oil and chemicals used in cheese, beer, canned fish, dairy desserts, shampoo, and other food and cosmetic products.

As to “earthquakes,” barely detectable “tremors” have occasionally been measured near fracking operations and wastewater disposal injection wells. However, calling these snap, crackle and pop noises and movements “earthquakes” is akin to giving that label to rumblings from trains and cement trucks.

Despite these facts, EPA is nevertheless trying to invent problems and inject itself into already vigilant and responsive state regulatory efforts. The agency has conducted a roundly criticized study in Wyoming and is conducting water tests in Pennsylvania, where state officials view its activities as unnecessary meddling.

Additional over-reach and over-regulation would be hugely detrimental to US and global well-being. Fracking could help create numerous jobs and provide a far more secure, affordable, dependable and lower-pollution future than would ever be possible with wind or solar power.

By expanding oil and gas development, it could make North America the world’s new energy hub. Middle East sheiks, mullahs and OPEC ministers would lose economic, political and strategic power. Threats of Russian pipeline closures would no longer intimidate Eastern European countries. Politicians everywhere would waste less money on “renewable” energy T-Boonedoggles.

Unfortunately, though, fear campaigns are preventing some of America’s poorest counties and families from enjoying the economic benefits of Marcellus Shale development.

Baltimore’s Sage Policy Group calculated that fracking in western Maryland could reduce energy costs, create thousands of jobs, and generate millions of dollars annually in revenue for the state and Allegany and Garrett Counties. Similar studies in New York and elsewhere have reached similar conclusions.

Hydraulic fracturing technologies are proven. Regulations to protect drinking water are in place and improving steadily, as cementing and other legitimate concerns are recognized and addressed.

North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Poland and Israel are showing the way forward.

Communities that have not yet opened their doors to responsible drilling, fracking and production need to replace anti-hydrocarbon agendas and fears with facts, optimism and science-based regulations.



Four current articles below

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson flays green `guerillas'

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has hit out at tactics used by -"guerilla" environmental groups, warning a decline in productivity could mean Australia misses out on new resources projects.

His comments came as major investors Rio Tinto, Shell and ConocoPhillips warned that coal and coal seam gas projects could be marginalised and investment pushed overseas as Australia became an expensive place to do business.

Mr Ferguson told The Australian Financial Review's National Energy Conference in Brisbane yesterday that green groups were wrong to think there was a fossil fuel conspiracy "which starts in my office" and attacked them for trying to stifle investment. "We must also recognise there are some who seek to manipulate those concerns, and use guerilla tactics through regulatory processes to frustrate economic development and job creation," he said.

Mr Ferguson's defence of the industry came as he weathered a storm from big investors who told the conference that red tape and high costs were a handbrake on the industry.

"Five years ago, Australia was the cheapest place for Rio Tinto to do business, now it is the most expensive," said Bill Champion, Rio Tinto Coal Australia managing director.

Mr Champion argued that a rise in costs and lower productivity had hit the global miner's coal business.

Two of Australia's largest energy investors, Shell and ConocoPhillips, flagged similar worries for the country's $220 billion-strong liquefied natural gas industry.

The president of Conoco's Australian operations, Todd Creeger, warned of the risks of local ventures losing out to rivals in lower cost locations overseas. Separately, Shell's Australian head, Ann Pickard, said there were challenges for Australia as a high-cost gas supply location.

Mr Creeger said: "Australia needs to work on its cost structure. I don't think the supply-demand situation will have a material impact unless Australia blows out on costs. When you sort the projects around the globe, Australia tends to be on the high side."

Tactics used by environmental groups have been an issue for industry figures. Earlier this month, a Greenpeace plan to raise $6 million to disrupt and delay new coalmines sparked widespread concern from resources executives.

The draft proposal, titled "Stopping the coal export boom", aimed to make some projects unviable. It said 2012-13 would be critical years in stopping "tens of billions of dollars in investment being locked in".

Mr Ferguson said yesterday that instead of focusing on balanced solutions and constructive outcomes, "many of these groups are fundamentally anti-growth and refuse to address the realities and complexities of our modern economy".


Victoria's carbon target scrapped

A PLAN to cut Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over the next decade is set to be dumped by the Baillieu government on the basis that it would merely lighten the load imposed on other states.

An independent review of the state's key climate change laws, to be released today, has found "no compelling case" to keep the target following the introduction of the Commonwealth's minimum target to cut emissions by 5 per cent, to be mainly achieved through Labor's carbon tax.

It said keeping the larger state target operating with a smaller national target would put a disproportionately large burden on Victoria, with no benefit to the environment because other states would do less.

It also concludes that keeping the state scheme in place would distort the national scheme as Victoria did more than its share.

The former Brumby government introduced legislation to cut emissions 20 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 after the failure of the Rudd government's carbon trading scheme to pass Parliament.

In opposition, the state Coalition said it supported the 20 per cent target. After taking power in 2010, senior ministers started describing it as "aspirational".

Premier Ted Baillieu has previously backed the concept of a carbon price as the cheapest way to cut emissions. Despite this, his government is opposed to the carbon tax, claiming it will hit Victoria harder than other states because of its reliance of brown coal.

State Environment Minister Ryan Smith said there was "bipartisan support" for the 5per cent national target. But the government's position on how it should be achieved in the absence of a carbon tax remains unclear, given its earlier support for so-called market-based mechanisms.

Mr Smith said Victoria would do its fair share on cutting emissions. "We will look to support practical areas such as improving energy efficiency," he said.

The review referred to research concluding that even with a Commonwealth carbon tax, meeting the 20 per cent target would have required Victoria to spend an additional $2.2 billion buying permits internationally to offset state emissions.

The government also points to the 2009 climate green paper released by the Brumby government, which said: "The government does not see any benefit in legislating for a state-based emissions reduction target that is inconsistent with a national target." A later Brumby government climate white paper does not contain a similar statement.

The government says it will retain other climate change initiatives, including a four-year climate change adaptation plan and supporting Victorians offsetting their emissions and participating in the national Carbon Farming Initiative.

Labor climate spokeswoman Lisa Neville said dumping the target would "hurt investment, jobs and the environment. It betrays the trust of Victorians who care about reducing the state's carbon footprint".

Environment Victoria chief Kelly O'Shanassy said the target had been about cutting pollution from the economy and attracting clean energy investment. "Either the Baillieu government doesn't understand the threat climate change presents, or they are ignoring it," she said.

"Either way it's an irresponsible decision environmentally and economically ... Premier Baillieu has caved in to the demands of a handful of polluters instead of acting to protect the environment and the public interest."

Australian Industry Group Victorian director Tim Piper welcomed the decision, saying it was important for business to have consistency across the country. "You simply can't have a different requirement in one part of the country, different emissions targets in different states, for industry working across state lines," he said.

A spokesman for federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said: "While a carbon price is the most cost-effective way for Australia to cut our pollution there is still a role for cost-effective state and local initiatives that complement the carbon price."

"We encourage the Victorian government to support carbon pricing as the most economically-efficient way of tackling climate change."

Former federal government climate adviser Ross Garnaut said: "I see no need for separate state emissions targets if there is an appropriate national target and policies to make sure we meet the national target."

The Baillieu government's move has been mirrored by the incoming government in Queensland, which is planning to save $661 million over three years by dumping a range of state-based climate change initiatives.


Gillard Government 'way out of step' on carbon tax says Reserve Bank board member

THE Gillard Government is "way out of step" with what most Australians and Australian businesses think about the carbon tax, according to the head of a leading employer association and Reserve Bank board member, Heather Ridout.

Ms Ridout, who is also the chief executive of Ai Group, the outgoing chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, urged the government to take another look at the $23 a tonne tax which takes effect from July 1.

She said she was "concerned" about the impact the Australian price - which is at least double some international carbon prices - would have on the economy.

"I don't know how much more pressure can be brought to bear on the government and on the Greens on this issue because they are way out of step with what most Australians and Australian business think," Ms Ridout told ABC Radio this morning.

"And the Queensland election result, I'm not sure how much carbon played in it, but there's this feeling that people aren't listening."

The EU emissions trading price recently collapsed to about $10, while one forecaster recently predicted the international carbon price could tank to $5 by 2020.

Ms Ridout's plea to the government came as the federal opposition's climate action spokesman Greg Hunt demanded that Prime Minister Julia Gillard insist that electricity and gas companies include details of the carbon tax in their bills to Australian households.

The coalition has written to Ms Gillard asking her to ensure electricity and gas retailers insert a line item in bills to households and businesses post 1 July, which specifies the cost of the tax.

"The Prime Minister has claimed that the electricity prices will go up 10 per cent and gas charges 9 per cent under the carbon tax," Mr Hunt said.

"The Australian people deserve to know if that promise is kept. That can only be achieved by power and gas bills detailing how much the carbon tax has added to their overall charge. Anything less, will be a cover-up."

Mr Hunt said if Ms Gillard failed to act and provide the necessary transparency, the coalition would introduce a private members bill when parliament resumes in May.

"If the Prime Minister is confident that prices will not be higher than the Treasury figures, then she should have nothing to hide and insist that the details are on the bills and easy to read," Mr Hunt said.


Sea level hoax hits Northern NSW coastal properties

By Cliff Ollier, a geologist, geomorphologist, emeritus professor at the University of Western Australia

THE Weekend Australian reported on March 24 that Port Macquarie Hastings Council was recommending the enforcement of a "planned retreat" because of an alleged danger from sea-level rise in the (distant) future.

The controversy has two main aspects: is the alarming rise in sea level projected by CSIRO reliable? And is moving people from near-shore sites the correct response?

The CSIRO projection is extreme, but before explaining why, I would note that the world's main source of alarmism is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is not really a scientific body but one that adjusts data and subjects it to mathematical modelling before passing its "projections" on to politicians.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, then further adjust data and produce models with even more extreme scenarios.

In The Weekend Australian on November 7, 2009, the director of the National Tidal Centre of the BOM, Bill Mitchell, reported an Australian average sea-level rise of 1.7mm a year. This is a reasonable level accepted by most sea-level watchers outside the IPCC and CSIRO and gives a sea-level rise of about 15cm by 2100. He said the "upper end was 3mm a year", which gives a 27cm rise by 2100.

At 8.30am on November 18, 2009, ABC Radio National had a program on sea-level changes. National Sea Change Taskforce executive director Alan Stokes said: "The IPCC estimate of rise to 2100 was up to 80cm." No new data was provided to explain the leap and, in fact, the worst estimate by IPCC in its last report was 59cm.

Note that the IPCC estimates have been falling with each report. In its second assessment report the high-end projection of sea-level rise to 2100 was 92cm, in the third assessment report 88cm, and the fourth 59cm. It is good for the reader to look at sea-level measurements. You can see the sea-level data for the US and a few other countries here. Most stations show a rise of sea level of about 2mm a year, but note the considerable variations even within a single state, though these are no cause for alarm.

The CSIRO uses figures far in excess of even the IPCC, which until now were the greatest alarmists. In its 2012 report, State of the Climate, the CSIRO says that since 1993 sea levels have risen up to 10mm a year in the north and west. That means that somewhere has had a 19cm-rise in sea level since 1993. Where is this place? The European satellite says that sea levels have been constant for the past eight years.

How does the CSIRO arrive at its figures? Not from new data but by modelling. Models depend on what is put into them. For example a 2009 report, The Effect of Climate Change on Extreme Sea Levels in Port Phillip Bay, by the CSIRO for the Victorian government's Future Coasts Program, based its model on temperature projections to 2100 of up to 6.4C. That compares with the most extreme, fuel-intensive scenario of the IPCC and implies unbelievable CO2 concentration levels in 2100 of about 1550 parts per million.



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


No comments: