Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Kilimanjaro's glaciers shrinking? Alarmists warn Africa's highest mountain may soon be ice free
Here we go again. The snow on Kilimanjaro waxes and wanes according to the amount of PRECIPITATION. As recently as 8 months ago, there were reports of snow INCREASING there. See also here
The peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain, may soon be ice free, scientists warn. Between 1912 and 2011, the mass of ice on the summit of the 19,341ft dormant stratovolcano in Tanzania decreased by more than 85 per cent, say researchers with Nasa's Earth Observatory.
Kimberly Casey, a glaciologist based at the U.S. space agency's Goddard Space Flight Centre, who visited the mountain earlier this year, also noticed Kilimanjaro's north ice field had separated.
The glacier had been developing a hole since the Seventies, but this is the first year in which it had been seen to divide in two. 'We were able to walk on land — or we could have even ridden a bicycle — directly through the rift,' Dr Casey said.
Scientists now warn it’s no longer a question of whether Kilimanjaro's ice will disappear, but when. Estimates vary, but several scientists predict it will be gone by 2060.
The views from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro are as surreal as they are spectacular.
After ascending through multiple ecosystems — including cropland, lush rainforest, alpine desert, and a virtual dead zone near the summit — climbers can find themselves peering down on a thick blanket of clouds below that seems to stretch endlessly in the distance.
But in the immediate foreground, ice dominates the view. Looking north, a shelf-like block of ice with a sharp vertical cliff sits on an otherwise featureless, sand-covered plateau.
In the other direction, a second ice field spills off the edge of the plateau, down the mountain’s southern face.
Despite Mount Kilimanjaro’s location in the tropics, the dry and cold air at the top of the mountain has sustained large quantities of ice for more than 10,000 years.
At points, ice has completely surrounded the crater. Studies of ice core samples show that Kilimanjaro’s ice has persisted through multiple warm spells, droughts, and periods of abrupt climate change.
Rising air temperatures due to global warming could be contributing to the ice loss, researchers say, but a number of other factors are just as important, if not more so.
An increasingly dry regional atmosphere, for example, is starving the mountain of the fresh snow needed to sustain the ice fields. Drier air is also reducing cloud cover and allowing more solar energy to warm the ice surfaces.
Dr Casey visited Kilimanjaro as part of a research expedition in September this year.
Mega-pesky! New paper finds clouds COOL the climate
A new paper published in Environmental Research Letters examines satellite data over Eurasia to find that total cloud cover acts as a net negative feedback to cool the climate. The finding contradicts the assumptions programmed into climate models that clouds act as a net positive feedback to cause warming.
Environmental Research Letters Volume 7 Number 1, 2012:
By Qiuhong Tang and Guoyong Leng
The relationship between summer temperature, total cloud cover and precipitation over Eurasia was investigated using observation-based products of temperature and precipitation, and satellite-derived cloud cover and radiation products. We used a partial least squares regression approach to separate the local influences of cloud cover and precipitation on temperature variations. Our results suggest that the variance of summer temperature is partly explained by changes in summer cloudiness. The summer temperature dependence on cloud cover is strong at the high latitudes and in the middle latitude semi-humid area, while the dependence on precipitation is strong in the Central Asia arid area and the southern Asia humid area. During the period 1982–2009, the damped warming in extended West Siberia was accompanied with increases in cloud cover, and the pronounced warming in Europe and Mongolia was associated with a decrease in cloud cover and precipitation. Our results suggest that cloud cover may be the important local factor influencing the summer temperature variation in Eurasia
It was the sun wot did it!
Warming did accelerate a bit in the late 20th century and now we seem to have the culprit
A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines ice core and tree ring radionuclides and finds solar activity at the end of the 20th century was at the highest levels of the record spanning the past 9,400 years.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 April 17; 109(16): 5967-5971. Published online 2012
9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings
Friedhelm Steinhilber et al.
Understanding the temporal variation of cosmic radiation and solar activity during the Holocene is essential for studies of the solar-terrestrial relationship. Cosmic-ray produced radionuclides, such as 10Be and 14C which are stored in polar ice cores and tree rings, offer the unique opportunity to reconstruct the history of cosmic radiation and solar activity over many millennia. Although records from different archives basically agree, they also show some deviations during certain periods. So far most reconstructions were based on only one single radionuclide record, which makes detection and correction of these deviations impossible. Here we combine different 10Be ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica with the global 14C tree ring record using principal component analysis. This approach is only possible due to a new high-resolution 10Be record from Dronning Maud Land obtained within the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in Antarctica. The new cosmic radiation record enables us to derive total solar irradiance, which is then used as a proxy of solar activity to identify the solar imprint in an Asian climate record. Though generally the agreement between solar forcing and Asian climate is good, there are also periods without any coherence, pointing to other forcings like volcanoes and greenhouse gases and their corresponding feedbacks. The newly derived records have the potential to improve our understanding of the solar dynamics and to quantify the solar influence on climate.
Sometimes environmentalists and their policies don’t get along
As green energy technologies continue to spread throughout all areas of the U.S. it has angered a peculiar new bully:
Environmentalists. Yes. Sometimes green energy and environmentalists don’t get along. In fact, these conflicts are becoming more common.
A New York Post article highlighting the environmentalist’s attack on green energy states, “Nationally, environmental activists push the expansion of renewable energy — solar, wind, etc. But when industries work to implement those initiatives at the community level, local greens scream at the impact on their community; they’d rather keep the land as it is.”
How is green energy supposed to replace our current energy supplies if those who want it most keep fighting against it?
Some examples of this conflict cited in the New York Post article: Environmentalists trying to stop a cable that would bring affordable hydropower electricity from Canada to New York City out of fear it might somehow damage the Hudson River. Another example: Wind energy developers evaluating sites in the New York Harbor and Hudson River for a future project are being stalled by environmentalists concerned about the impact these turbines will have on the American Eel.
This plays out across the country too. In Southern California, environmentalists are hoping a court will curb the area’s growing wind energy industry, which is believed to pose a threat to the endangered condor. The backers of this lawsuit: The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club. These groups “said in the filing that a neighboring wind farm, Pine Tree, has killed at least eight golden eagles and that California condors could be at risk from the blades of turbines as well.”
These lawsuits even extend from green energy to green living. In San Francisco, the city planned to paint bicycle lanes on their streets, a big win for environmentalists, however a resident said no with the thinking that the lanes may cause additional pollution.
Maybe green energy and green living are necessary requirements as long as they don’t appear in the backyards of their strongest advocates.
Unless environmentalists are willing to take some hits, green energy will never become the energy of the future.
But environmentalists aren’t the only obstacle standing in the way. The more prolific green energy becomes the more local communities and cities see it as something to be taxed or further regulated by their rules — often making the already high-priced technology even more expensive to consumers.
Furthermore, a proposed green project may cause others to worry about the impact it will have in their personal lives. You might have a great view out in front of your house now, but how will it look with a wind farm in the foreground?
Given that green energy is struggling to break through the strongholds of its environmental champions, saying that it faces incredible obstacles in its bid to become America’s main energy source is a bit of an understatement.
If green energy is causing alarm among environmentalists, it makes sense to hold onto the productive, affordable and reliable energy sources currently available in America.
£12m wind farm with nine giant turbines will blight Britain's Bronte country despite pleas not to ruin landscape
A wind farm of nine giant turbines will be built on the bleak moors which inspired Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights.
The £12million scheme was approved yesterday despite impassioned pleas not to ruin the character of the iconic landscape.
At 377ft (115 metres) high, the turbines will be more than twice the 169ft height of Nelson's Column. Each giant blade will measure 131ft (40 metres).
The local planning committee's unanimous decision will allow energy giant E.ON to build the controversial wind farm at Ovendon Moor, West Yorkshire.
Campaigners are also furious that building the foundations involves injecting 35,000 tonnes of concrete into the moorland.
The giant turbines will replace a wind farm of 23 turbines, less than half the size, built in 1993.
Objectors said the huge new structures will cause far greater visual damage and hit the area's vital tourist industry hard.
High moorland overlooking the Bronte parsonage at Haworth could also marred by plans for another £12million wind farm.
Four turbines soaring to 328ft could be built on pristine open moorland. Consent for a test mast has already been given.
Campaigners fear the battle against this project, just four miles from the Ovendon Moor wind farm, could be doomed after yesterday's decision by Calderdale Council.
Bronte Society chairman Sally McDonald said last night that she was 'gutted' by the ruling. 'These turbines will loom over the whole landscape and visitors will be disappointed because the feeling of isolation will be gone,' she warned.
'Who knows what the next planning application will be? Haworth could be increasingly surrounded by such structures. There has been a lack of sensitivity to the value of this unique and iconic landscape. It is hugely disappointing. We were not objecting to wind farms, just the visibility of the turbines.
'What visitors expect to see was “the high waving heather” described by Emily Bronte, not high spinning turbines.'
Miss McDonald told councillors the upgraded wind farm would be 'wholly inappropriate'. She said: 'This landscape is part of our national heritage. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.'
Friends of the Earth put in one of the eight submissions in favour of the scheme.
The new wind farm will more than double the energy-generating capacity of the site.
The Hope-a-Nomics Disaster: One Company's Horror Story
President Obama promises to move the country forward with his recycled pledge of five million green jobs. But in the real world, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as they deal with the fiscal wreckage of this administration's disastrous venture socialism. Here's the tale of just one Colorado company victimized by the Obama Department of Energy (DOE).
Colorado Distribution Group is a privately held storage and shipping company based in Denver. Thanks to hope-a-nomics, its warehouse is saddled with nearly 7,000 pallets of federally subsidized solar panels (one-third of which are completely spoiled and unsalable), along with related detritus such as broken glass and stray module parts.
While $22,000/month in storage costs go unpaid, the panels consume up to a third of the company's warehouse space. Legal costs have forced CDG to slash payroll and lay off at least three employees. A source with knowledge of CDG's woes told me this week the company is facing pressure by the Department of Energy to drop its petition to recoup those costs. The feds want CDG to swallow a $1.4 million tab to dispose of the bum solar panels.
In July, according to Dow Jones, CDG asked a Delaware bankruptcy court "for permission either to sell or collect rent on the property Abound Solar Inc. has at its facility, saying the situation is threatening its ability to stay in business." Like many private enterprises in the Age of Obama's Brass-Knuckled Politics of Revenge, fear of retribution holds back many from coming forward publicly about such attempted shakedowns.
CDG serves industries ranging from automotive to food and beverage, electronic, medical, furniture, clothing, sporting goods and telecommunications. Founded in 2005, CDG handles distribution, fulfillment, transportation, logistics and inventory management using a high-tech data system. For the past three years, the company warehoused solar panels manufactured by Fort Collins-based Abound Solar.
Yes, Abound Solar. Also known as: Colorado's own Solyndra.
In June, less than a year after fellow Obama green boondoggle Solyndra went belly up, Abound filed for bankruptcy. As I reported in March, the financial outlook of the $400 million DOE loan guarantee recipient was based on false hope and imaginary change. Obama's envirocrats ignored bright red flags from Fitch Ratings about Abound's substandard technology and failures to meet basic efficiency targets.
Abound borrowed $70 million against its $400 million Obama DOE loan guarantee; taxpayers will lose up to $60 million on the loan after the bankruptcy proceedings are complete. Nearly 125 Abound Solar employees lost their jobs. Screwed-over companies like CDG that did business with Abound are not alone. At least one other warehouse in Colorado is storing the costly panels. And an untold number of related contractors and businesses have been stiffed. "I did a lot of machining for Abound," one business owner told me this summer, "and they went under owing me a fair amount."
Recently released internal documents show that customers demanded replacements for the panels after experiencing "low performance," "under performance" and "catastrophic failures." Credit and technical advisers at DOE complained about having "major issues" with the Abound Solar deal and expressed concern over the "transaction pressure under which we are all now operating." The documents fly in the face of Obama's denial -- just days before Election Day -- that his White House played any role in this fiscal disaster.
The investigative work of Colorado's Todd Shepherd at CompleteColorado.com, Amy Oliver at the Independence Institute and Michael Sandoval now of the Heritage Foundation exposed Abound's crony ties to the Obama administration. Like Solyndra, Abound had a deep-pocketed bundler with ties to the White House. Progressive activist and billionaire heiress Pat Stryker, a repeat visitor to the Obama White House, owns an investment firm that invested considerably in Abound and donated nearly $500 million to the Democrats between 2008 and 2012.
Criminal and civil probes into Abound Solar's alleged malfeasance -- there are reports that the firm knowingly sold faulty goods -- have been launched in both Colorado and on Capitol Hill. The stench of pay-for-play abounds. While Obama giddily promises his cronies and sycophants that "the best is yet to come," small-business owners are fighting for their lives. Where's their "fair share"?
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Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here
Posted by JR at 6:15 PM