Thursday, May 10, 2012

New paper finds extreme floods and droughts occurred in China at a time when CO2 was "safe"

A paper published today in The Holocene finds "extraordinary droughts and floods were parts of the [entirely natural] climate variability" in Northwest China between 3200 and 3000 years ago during the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum.

The paper examines sedimentary records to document flooding 4.5 to 5 times the size of the largest measured flood since 1934. The paper adds to thousands of others documenting natural 'climate change' and extraordinary 'extreme weather' prior to any possible effect of man-made CO2.
Sedimentary records of extraordinary floods at the ending of the mid-Holocene climatic optimum along the Upper Weihe River, China

Chun Chang Huang et al.


Sedimentary records of the Holocene extraordinary floods were investigated in the upper reaches of the Weihe River, a major tributary in the middle Yellow River basin. Palaeoflood slackwater deposits (SWD) were identified at several sites on the riverbanks. These clayey silt beds are inserted into the Holocene aeolian loess-soil profiles and slope clastic deposits. They have recorded the extraordinary palaeoflood events which occurred between 3200 and 3000 yr BP [before the present] as dated by OSL method and checked by the archaeological remains of the Neolithic and Bronze Age retrieved from the profile.

The minimum flood peak discharges were estimated at between 22 560 and 25 960 m3/s by using palaeohydrological methods. It is 4.5–5.0 times the largest gauged flood (5030 m3/s) that has ever occurred since 1934.

The palaeoflood slackwater deposits were found inserted into the pedostratigraphic boundary between the late-Holocene loess (L0) and the mid-Holocene Luvisol (S0) in the riverbank profile. This indicates that the extraordinary flood events were synchronous with the pedogenic regression at the end of the mid-Holocene climatic optimum.

The climatic proxies from the studied profile and the correlative profiles in the river valley and the Loess Plateau show that the pedogenic regression was forced by climatic aridity and intensified dust storms and dust falls in connection with monsoonal shift over the Yellow River basin at about 3100 yr BP.

The extraordinary flood events were documented not only on the Weihe River, but also on the mainstream and other tributaries of the Yellow River. These suggest that both extraordinary floods and droughts were parts of the climatic variability during the monsoonal shift. These findings are of great importance in understanding the interactions between hydrological system and climatic change in the semi-arid and subhumid regions of the world.


Note that the Chinese findings above correspond fairly closely to a period when ice cores also indicate a much warmer temperature than today -- the Minoan Warm period. And we do have written historical records of the small but flourishing Minoan civilization of that time. So we know that they didn't drive SUVs or build power stations

Lying Climate Scientists Lie Again


There's a great scoop in The Australian today about more lying climate scientists making stuff up - about death threats this time.

CLAIMS that some of Australia's leading climate change scientists were subjected to death threats as part of a vicious and unrelenting email campaign have been debunked by the Privacy Commissioner.

Timothy Pilgrim was called in to adjudicate on a Freedom of Information application in relation to Fairfax and ABC reports last June alleging that Australian National University climate change researchers were facing the ongoing campaign and had been moved to "more secure buildings" following explicit threats.

Needless to say the University did everything it could to prevent the investigation, arguing that the release of the climate scientists' emails (why am I getting an eerie sense of deja vu here?) "would or could reasonably be expected to.endanger the life or physical safety of any person".

But doughty Sydney blogger Simon Turnill appealed against this stonewalling drivel and won. And here's what was revealed when the 11 relevant emails were eventually released.

Ten of the documents "did not contain threats to kill or threats of harm." Of the 11th, the Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said: "I consider the danger to life or physical safety in this case to be only a possibility, not a real chance."

No wonder the university was so keen to keep things quiet. Contrary to the claims of the "climate" "scientists" - widely reported, of course, in the left-wing media - there had been no death threats whatsoever. Yet their vice-chancellor at the time - now the Australian government's Chief Scientist - Professor Ian Chubb decided to move them to "more secure buildings" without, he now admits, having read the emails to see whether these threats actually existed.

Maybe it's time someone did an FOI to see whether the UEA's dodgy and discredited Phil Jones really did get any of those "death threats" he claims to have received after Climategate and which allegedly drove him to consider suicide. Speaking for myself, if Phil Jones released a report claiming that grass is green I'd feel compelled to go outside just to double check.

You'll remember that after Climategate, the University of Easy Access's main concern was not so much to investigate any potential malfeasance by its Climatic Research Unit gang of FOI-breaching, data-fudging, scientific-method-abusing, grant-troughing second-raters as to put the right spin on them.

That tame "woe is me" interview Jones gave to a compliant Sunday Times was part of a strategy arranged by the public relations company UEA had employed - no doubt at lavish taxpayer expense - to make the disgraced Jones and his department look more sinned against than sinning.

I've a strong suspicion that the emails I get in my inbox most days from the ecoloons who congregate at places like the Guardian's Komment Macht Frei are far more foul-mouthed, repellant and poisonous than anything these junk scientists have ever received.

The difference is, I do my damnedest to stick to the truth and I'm not being paid zillions of pounds or dollars at public expense to promote the most expensive and mendacious scam in the history of science. There's just no justice is there?


The Belief That CO2 Can Regulate Climate Is “Sheer Absurdity” Says Prominent German Meteorologist

Physicist and meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls was interviewed by Bettina Hahne-Waldscheck of the Swiss magazine “factum“.

I’ve translated and summarized the interview, paraphrasing for brevity.

factum: You’ve been criticising the theory of man-made global warming for years. How did you become skeptical?

Puls: Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it. The CO2-climate hysteria in Germany is propagated by people who are in it for lots of money, attention and power.

factum: Is there really climate change?

Puls: Climate change is normal. There have always been phases of climate warming, many that even far exceeded the extent we see today. But there hasn’t been any warming since 1998. In fact the IPCC suppliers of data even show a slight cooling.

factum: The IPCC is projecting 0.2°C warming per decade, i.e. 2 to 4°C by the year 2100. What’s your view?

Puls: These are speculative model projections, so-called scenarios – and not prognoses. Because of climate’s high complexity, reliable prognoses just aren’t possible. Nature does what it wants, and not what the models present as prophesy. The entire CO2-debate is nonsense. Even if CO2 were doubled, the temperature would rise only 1°C. The remainder of the IPCC’s assumed warming is based purely on speculative amplification mechanisms. Even though CO2 has risen, there has been no warming in 13 years.

factum: How does sea level rise look?

Puls: Sea level rise has slowed down. Moreover, it has dropped a half centimeter over the last 2 years. It’s important to remember that mean sea level is a calculated magnitude, and not a measured one. There are a great number of factors that influence sea level, e.g. tectonic processes, continental shifting, wind currents, passats, volcanoes. Climate change is only one of ten factors.

factum: What have we measured at the North Sea?

Puls: In the last 400 years, sea level at the North Sea coast has risen about 1.40 meters. That’s about 35 centimeters per century. In the last 100 years, the North Sea has risen only 25 centimeters.

factum: Does the sea level rise have anything to do with the melting North Pole?

Puls: That’s a misleading conclusion. Even if the entire North Pole melted, there would be no sea level rise because of the principles of buoyancy.

factum: Is the melting of the glaciers in the Alps caused by global warming?

Puls: There are many factors at play. As one climbs a mountain, the temperature drops about 0.65°C per 100 meters. Over the last 100 years it has gotten about 0.75°C warmer and so the temperature boundary has shifted up about 100 meters. But observations tell us that also ice 1000 meters up and higher has melted. Clearly there are other reasons for this, namely soot and dust. But soot and dust do not only have anthropogenic origins; they are also caused by nature via volcanoes, dust storms and wildfires. Advancing and retreating of glaciers have always taken place throughout the Earth’s history. Glaciology studies clearly show that glaciers over the last 10,0000 years were smaller on average than today.

factum: In your view, melting Antarctic sea ice and the fracture of a huge iceberg 3 years ago are nothing to worry about?

Puls: To the contrary, the Antarctic ice cap has grown both in area and volume over the last 30 years, and temperature has declined. This 30-year trend is clear to see. The Amundsen Scott Station of the USA shows that temperature has been declining there since 1957. 90% of the Earth’s ice is stored in Antarctica, which is one and half times larger than Europe.

factum: Then why do we always read it is getting warmer down there?

Puls: Here they are only talking about the West Antarctic peninsula, which is where the big chunk of ice broke off in 2008 – from the Wilkins-Shelf. This area is hardly 1% of the entire area of Antarctica, but it is exposed to Southern Hemisphere west wind drift and some of the strongest storms on the planet.

factum: What causes such massive chunks of ice to break off?

Puls: There are lots of factors, among them the intensity of the west wind fluctuations. These west winds have intensified over the last 20 years as part of natural ocean and atmospheric cycles, and so it has gotten warmer on the west coast of the Antarctic peninsula. A second factor are the larger waves associated with the stronger storms. The waves are more powerful and so they break off more ice. All these causes are meteorological and physical, and have nothing to do with a climate catastrophe.

factum: Then such ice breaks had to have occurred in the past too?

Puls: This has been going on for thousands of years, also in the 1970s, back when all the talk was about “global cooling”. Back then there were breaks with ice chunks hundreds of square kilometres in area. People were even discussing the possibilities of towing these huge ice chunks to dry countries like South Africa or Namibia in order to use them as a drinking water supply.

factum: What about all the media photos of polar bears losing their ice?

Puls: That is one of the worst myths used for generating climate hysteria. Polar bears don’t eat ice, they eat seals. Polar bears go hungry if we shoot their food supply of seals. The polar bear population has increased with moderately rising temperatures, from 5000 50 years ago to 25,000 today.

factum: But it is true that unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is melting?

Puls: It has been melting for 30 years. That also happened twice already in the last 150 years. The low point was reached in 2007 and the ice has since begun to recover. There have always been phases of Arctic melting. Between 900 and 1300 Greenland was green on the edges and the Vikings settled there.

factum: And what do you say about the alleged expanding deserts?

Puls: That doesn”t exist. For example the Sahara is shrinking and has lost in the north an area as large as Germany over the last 20 years. The same is true in the South Sahara. The famine that struck Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia was mainly caused by the leasing of large swaths of land to large international corporations so that they could grow crops for biofuels for Europe, and by war. But it is much easier for prosperous Europe to blame the world’s political failures on a fictional climate catastrophe instead.

factum: So we don’t need to do anything against climate change?

Puls: There’s nothing we can do to stop it. Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.


Biofuels On The Brink in Europe

Are biofuels about to become irrelevant in Europe? It is not just austerity on the decline throughout Europe with France’s Nicolas Sarkozy another leader down. While Europeans are rethinking their countries’ austere budgets, European Union officials in Brussels are also doubting the efficacy of biofuels.

Biofuels have become a lynchpin in the European Union’s long-term energy strategy. As Europe lurches towards a goal of 20 percent of its total energy requirements by 2020, biofuels are an important part of that goal. Another EU directive mandates that 10 percent of transport fuel comes from renewable energy sources. But “renewable” has become a loaded word when it comes to biofuels because of the effects they have on land where they are grown as well as their resulting emissions.

At issue is the concept of indirect land use change (ILUC). ILUC theory dictates that by converting farms for food into land grown for biofuel crops, such production increases an overall demand for additional land for farming. If farmers therefore cut down trees or drain wetlands, the results would be the release of millions of tons of carbon emissions that would otherwise be sequestered in peat bogs and forests.

Studies the EU commissioned suggest that the risk of ILUC is higher for biodiesel, often made from oilseeds, than for bioethanol, manufactured out of sugar or grain. Meanwhile there is talk in Brussels over whether biodiesel is really better for the environment than conventional diesel, though some experts argue that plants grown for biodiesel’s production offsets any carbon emissions from biofuels.

The result has been reported infighting between the EU’s Climate Commission, which supports the move to include ILUC emissions in the overall emissions count of crops used to produce biofuels. The Energy Department, however, opposes such a rule. Naturally the biofuels industry, worth approximately $17 billion in Europe, is against such a change because such a shift could drastically affect its business. Farmers, generally a powerful lobby throughout Europe, could see their bottom line take a hit as well.


Saving the Planet by Crucifying the Incompliant

What do Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico have in common?

They comprise the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region VI. They also constitute the core of America’s energy production, especially oil.

Thus, they needed to be taught a lesson. And who better for that than Alfredo J. Armendariz, the EPA’s administrator for Region VI, who served as an expert witness for environmental groups before joining the EPA in November 2009?

Mr. Armendariz is no longer with the EPA. He resigned on April 30 for committing the sin of clarity. He was a little too honest in conveying the Obama Administration’s way of doing business.

In a videotaped speech he made in Dish, Texas in May, 2010, and which was posted on the website of Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), he answered a question this way:

“I was in a meeting once, and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said. It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people, who are in this case, not compliant with the law….So, that is our general philosophy….”

Indeed, in slightly less colorful language, Steven Chu, who is now Energy Secretary, told the Wall Street Journal in September 2008 that he hoped Americans would pay as much for a gallon of gas as Europeans do. At the time, gas was more than $8 a gallon in Europe. The Obama Administration has been doing its manful best to get there, with a gallon rising from $1.78 in 2008 to around $4 a gallon now – halfway there!

Holding a few regulatory crucifixions would be a nifty way to discourage oil drilling and thereby jack up the price of gas even more. Then we could all be forced into Chevy Volts or rickshaws.

But it could take a long time. Democrats insisted in 2010 that more drilling wouldn’t help for at least 10 years. If that’s so, it’s kind of funny watching Mr. Obama pretend in his campaign speeches that his administration has increased the current supply of domestic oil. If it takes a decade to affect supply, well, you do the math.

Mr. Obama has, in fact, done everything possible to discourage more sources, from halting new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, stifling offshore drilling in Alaska, and stopping the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Meanwhile, billions of taxpayer dollars flow to solar and wind company owners, who gratefully donate to the president’s re-election campaign before declaring bankruptcy.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson distanced herself from Mr. Armendariz’s remarks, calling them “inflammatory but also wrong.” This tells us that “inflammatory” stuff can also be true and right as rain. Remember this the next time some Obama spokesman or media hack calls Tea Party people “extremists” for expecting lawmakers to abide by the Constitution.

Ms. Jackson herself is no shrinking violet when it comes to power. Despite Congress’s failure to enact “cap and trade” carbon trading legislation, the EPA went ahead and began issuing regulations as if the law had passed. Since Mr. Obama threatened in 2008 to “bankrupt” any new coal-fired energy plants “because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted,”you could argue that Ms. Jackson is just being a loyal soldier, albeit a particularly eager one.

We could have seen this coming back when she was New Jersey’s Environmental Protection Commissioner. In 2007, Ms. Jackson yanked the tax exemption from the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s seaside pavilion property in Neptune Township for not hosting two lesbian civil union ceremonies. The church said that to use its property to celebrate sin would violate its biblical beliefs regarding sexual morality. But two homosexual activist groups had written to Jackson on September 6, 2007, requesting the denial, as did the ACLU of New Jersey in a separate letter.

Here’s how the New York Times explained it: “Every three years since 1989, the association has applied for, and received, tax exemptions for its boardwalk, beach and the pavilion under the Green Acres Program, designed to encourage the use of privately owned lands for public recreation and conservation. This is the first time any part of its application has been turned down.”

What’s an environmental agency got to do with levying taxes on church property? Beats me, except that they do these sorts of things in New Jersey. If you’re a Garden Stater who doesn’t like it, you can move to Pennsylvania, where Keystone State environmental bureaucrats can abuse you in their own ingenious ways.

Ms. Jackson has now been loosed upon the whole nation, using her EPA platform to rail against fossil fuels, especially coal. Last year, she keynoted the conference, the radical environmental youth group that has as a goal the formation of a five million-strong Clean Energy Job Corps. Think of Mao’s Red Guards dressed in Jolly Green Giant outfits and you get the picture.

The point is that the green movement’s expanding tentacles are empowering government at all levels. As Nancy Pelosi once said, “I’m trying to save the planet! I’m trying to save the planet!”

Indeed. But who will save America from the “inflammatory but also wrong” environmental movement and their government enablers?

Mr. Armendariz is not the only bureaucrat who dreams of crucifying fossil fuel producers, just the one who got caught dreaming out loud.


A disgusting RINO

Robin Hayes, chairman of North Carolina's Republican Party, painted a target last month on Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine. In an open letter, he endorsed the Environmental Protection Agency's use of an unprecedented regulatory gimmick to veto the mine in advance, even before its plans are complete -- ostensibly to protect Bristol Bay salmon runs and fishermen.

That gush of Big Green rhetoric coming from Hayes is odd. During his five terms in Congress, he had racked up a League of Conservation Voters lifetime green voting score of only 11 percent.

His letter sent chills through the state's Republican leaders and outraged major state donors. It also infuriated his Republican National Committee colleague in Alaska, state Chairman Randy Ruedrich.

"What was he thinking?" an angry Ruedrich asked rhetorically. "A respected leader from North Carolina urges the Obama administration to deny Alaska its regulatory authority. The mine site is on Alaska state land, not federal land. Mr. Hayes has betrayed Alaska's sovereignty."

Ruedrich spoke in a firm, controlled voice. "Mr. Hayes has imposed his viewpoint on a trusting public, saying that federal regulations should be used to destroy our state's depressed economy, to wipe out our expectation of thousands of high-paying year-round jobs, and to condemn young Native Alaskans to a low-wage seasonal piece-work future. ...

Mr. Hayes' interference in this high-profile Alaska issue does not benefit the Republican Party or the state of Alaska. It only serves to advocate for federal intrusion outside of long-recognized permit methods and to deny the ability of Alaskans to consider for themselves the potential benefits of a project like Pebble."

Ruedrich continued: "Personally, I'd like for Mr. Hayes to consult with his North Carolina party leaders before using his title as a party official to work in direct opposition to the Alaska Republican Party platform and planks."

Many others feel the same way. Emails quietly flew among party leaders and activists across the nation who saw the real problem: The EPA was using a disputed clause in Section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act to conduct a "watershed assessment," whose purpose is to justify the killing of the mine project before anyone even applies for its first dredge-and-fill permit.

This would not just affect one mine in Alaska. It would also create a new and unlimited power for the EPA. If it can kill the Pebble Mine this way, it can kill any type of development in advance, and kill it anywhere. For businesses potentially facing the same treatment from the EPA in the future, this was a line-in-the-sand conflict.

So what is Hayes up to? It might have something to do with his favorite Bristol Bay fishing hole.

The Hill tacked a short profile of Hayes to his letter, saying, "He is a frequent visitor to Alaska's Bristol Bay, where he stays at Brian Kraft's Alaska Sportsman's Lodges."

The reference is to two luxury lodges, where the tab for one week is $8,675, or more than the per capita annual income in nearby Nondalton ($8,411), where 37 percent of families are below the poverty line. The lodge prices don't faze Hayes, who owns a hosiery mill in North Carolina. His grandfather was textile magnate Charles Cannon of Cannon towels and sheets fame.

Kraft has been fighting to preserve his lodges' privacy by stopping the Pebble Mine, whose site is about 65 miles from his nearest lodge. Kraft founded and funded the Bristol Bay Alliance in 2004 for this purpose. He also became a project director for Trout Unlimited's Alaska chapter in 2005. And David E. Sandlin, half-owner of the lodges with Kraft, is an old schoolmate of Hayes at North Carolina's Duke University -- they were two years apart.

If Obama's EPA kills Pebble this way, it will have grabbed the power to kill any American business. And it will have done so with Hayes' assistance.



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


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