Thursday, November 29, 2012

Now SNOW is set to fall as Britain faces coldest winter for 100 years

Definitely global cooling

Britain will shiver tonight as temperatures plummet in the first taste of what promises to be one of our coldest winters for a century.

The cold snap is expected to last until the end of the week, creating dangerous conditions on the roads and adding to the misery of those already battling floods.

Temperatures could fall to as low as minus 3c (27f) in some places, with snow already falling in the Pennines.

The torrential rain which has deluged the country for the last week is expected to ease at last but the clearer skies, coupled with northerly winds, will send the mercury plummeting.

Tonight’s cold snap heralds a freezing winter ahead with long-range forecasters warning that temperatures could fall to as low as minus 20c (4f) in some areas through December and January.

They fear snow blizzards could close roads and shut down rail networks across the country as winter takes hold.

The cold, drier spell that starts tonight could be only a brief respite from the rain. More heavy showers are expected to return early next week, causing more misery to those trying to combat flood damage.

‘The weather will be much colder and drier across most of the UK today,’ said Meteogroup forecaster John Lee.

‘Northerly winds and clearer skies will make it feel much colder and we can expect widespread frost overnight when temperatures drop below freezing.

‘Wintry showers will bring sleet, snow and hail to higher ground tomorrow and there’s a risk of heavy snow showers in northern Scotland on Friday.

Local authorities say they are prepared for a harsh winter and have taken steps to avoid a repeat of two years ago, when a lack of gritters and snowploughs caused roads and transport networks to grind to a halt.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, said councils had stockpiled 1.3million tons of road salt and had ‘hundreds’ of gritters on standby.

‘Keeping the country moving is a community effort,’ said Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and transport board.

‘Councils will be treating as  many roads as they can and have  also installed and filled thousands of extra grit bins for people living in  side streets, villages and housing estates.

‘They’ve given equipment to  parish councils, community groups and snow wardens who have volunteered to grit hard-to-reach areas, and farmers will be helping out on country lanes.

‘Highways, street-cleaning and park staff could also be drafted in to help clear snow and ice around places like shops, schools and sheltered accommodation.’

He said councils would be using  social media, including Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, to keep people up to date about how weather is affecting their area.


The WMO has its two cents worth at Doha

And two cents is its maximum value.  So what if a lot of ice at one pole only has melted?  There's clearly nothing global going on.  And there has been no global warming for 16 years so global warming cannot be the culprit anyhow.

And how come we hear nothing of subsea vulcanism?  There's heaps of it at the Gakkel ridge, which runs right under the Arctic sea ice.

There's NOTHING that they say below that proves ANYTHING!  It's a parade of illogic

AN area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the UN weather agency's annual climate report.

In a report released at UN climate talks in Doha, the World Meteorological Organisation said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012.

Droughts devastated nearly two-thirds of the United States as well western Russia and southern Europe. Floods swamped west Africa and heat waves left much of the Northern Hemisphere sweltering.

But it was the ice melt that seemed to dominate the annual report, with the UN concluding ice cover had reached "a new record low" in the area around the North Pole and that the loss from March to September was a staggering 11.83 million square kilometres - an area bigger than the United States.

"The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth's oceans and biosphere," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said.

"Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records."

The dire climate news - following on the heels of a report on Tuesday that found melting permafrost could significantly amplify global warming - comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled for a third day to lay the groundwork for a deal that would cut emissions in an attempt to ensure that temperatures don't rise more than 2C over what they were in preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen about 0.8C, according to the latest report by the IPCC.

Discord between rich and poor countries on who should do what has kept the two-decade-old UN talks from delivering on that goal, and global emissions are still going up.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former US Vice President Al Gore, urged delegates to heed the science and quickly take action.

"When I had the privilege in 2007 of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC, in my speech I asked the rhetorical question, 'Will those responsible for decisions in the field of climate change at the global level listen to the voice of science and knowledge, which is now loud and clear,' " he said.

"I am not sure our voice is louder today but it is certainly clearer on the basis of the new knowledge."

Delegates in Doha are bickering over money from rich countries to help poorer ones adapt to and combat the impacts of climate change, and whether developed countries will sign onto an extension of a legally binding emissions pact, the Kyoto Protocol, that would run until 2020.

A pact that once incorporated all industrialised countries except the US would now include only the European Union, Australia and several smaller countries which together account for less than 15 per cent of global emissions.

And the US is refusing to offer any bolder commitments to cut its emissions beyond a non-binding pledge to reduce emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

"For developed country parties like the United States and the European Union, the pledges and commitments ... put forward on the table are far below what is required by the science," Su Wei, a member of the Chinese delegation, told reporters.

"And far below what is required by their historical responsibility."

Developing countries have said they are willing to take steps to control emissions, but that they must be given space to build their economies. Although China is the largest carbon polluter and India is rapidly catching up, both countries lag far behind the industrial countries in emissions per person and still have huge populations mired in poverty.


The real cause of variations in oceanic Ph ("acidity")

Warmists talk as if there is one level of Ph for all the globe and that global warming is moving it towards an acidic balance.  None of that is true.  Ph varies greatly from place to place in the oceans  and the idea of getting a precise global average for it is a dream.  

This video shows one of the main NATURAL causes of Ph variation in different areas of the ocean:  Undersea volcanoes.  The video is of a volcano in the Pacific  around 4,000 feet down.  The water temperature rose to 2,200 degrees F. and the eruption turned the water more acidic than battery acid.  And this is just one volcano.  There are lots of them under the Arctic ocean and elsewhere -- JR.

World Bank turns up the heat on global warming debate

A recent report by the World Bank has found that the world will warm by 4 degrees Celsius this century, and that the negative impacts of climate change will disproportionately hurt developing, poorer regions.

The report, “Turn Down the Heat,” warns of rising sea levels, less arable land, droughts, water contamination, more storms at greater strength and more, saying it was “likely that the poor will suffer most and the global community could become more fractured, and unequal than today.”

“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently told reporters in a conference call highlighting the piece.

The report itself is light on details of how exactly the world’s temperature will be reduced, other than through amorphous “international and regional agreements” to substantially reduce carbon emissions, particularly in developed regions like the U.S. and Europe.

But even if the U.S. and other nations were to voluntarily restrict carbon emissions — a questionable proposition in itself — other nations like China and India would certainly fill in the gap to meet the needs of their own growing populations.

From that perspective, the World Bank’s report makes perfect sense. Perhaps the real agenda of those who cling to a belief in man-made climate change has little to do with alleviating global poverty or combating climate change.

The fact is, without enforcement of agreements restricting carbon emissions, which would require a near totalitarian control over the global economy and sovereignty by some internationalist body, agreements will simply fail to reduce carbon emissions. It is not a realistic policy objective.

So, maybe that is not the goal of such agreements. Examining their likely effects, however, reveals they will simply redirect the flow of the world’s energy trade, redistributing energy resources and wealth toward developing economies and away from the West.

That makes a whole lot more sense than these tortured “scientific” analyses amounting to little more than “the gods are angry”-type explanations for the state of the climate.

Besides, if the radical environmentalists ever did manage to substantially reduce carbon emissions and hence energy output all over the world, would we be able to produce enough food and water for 7 billion people? Or would conditions worsen?

Jim Yong Kim in the report’s foreword promises that “many opportunities exist to dramatically reduce the climate impact of development, without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth.” The report then subsequently fails to outline what those opportunities might be, of course.

Probably because they do not actually exist. Instead, it appears likely that a sudden, dramatic decline in energy output everywhere would wreck the global economy. Slower growth would lead to higher unemployment and less resources to go around. All of which would create more poverty, not less.

So let’s cut to the chase. This is about who controls the world’s energy supply. No more, no less. The questionable science of man-made climate change is merely the means to that redistributive end.


Can the EPA end logging? Supreme Court to decide

In June, when the U.S. Supreme Court came out with its ruling regarding the health care law, everyone sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation.  And for a good reason; this law impacts every American.

Likewise, the Supreme Court is hearing the case Georgia-Pacific West v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center that will greatly impact an entire sector of businesses and jobs across the nation.

This is one of the biggest environmental cases to come before the Supreme Court in years.  One that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said has the capacity to “shut down forestry on private, state, and tribal lands.”

Since the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 runoff on logging roads, the point of contention in this lawsuit, is not subject to the same reviews or permitting process as factories, mines or chemical plants, because forestry falls under the section governing agriculture.  At least until now.

In 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that these logging roads should have to comply with the same rules as those of factories and chemical plants.  The Supreme Court has taken up the case and oral arguments are expected to be heard on Dec. 3.

If the Supreme Court sides with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the entire logging industry in these northwestern states will be brought to its knees.

Though this battle is specific towards logging road, opposition towards this industry as a whole is not new.  In fact, even the federal government has taken a swing or two at the logging trade.

Some 20 years ago a 1-pound owl contributed to the demise of this very industry.  The northern spotted owl was once thought to only be able to survive in old forests, overgrown and unmaintained.  When it became an endangered special in 1990, and even before, great cutbacks were made in the logging industry throughout California, Oregon and Washington states.  Yet, despite massive growths in forest land, the owl’s population continues to decline.

Bob Mion, communications director at California Forestry Association, said that many sawmills in Washington State were forced to shut down because of the spotted owl.  Come to find out, he says, the owl thrives on managed lands, not the untouched, mismanaged federal lands.  The owl’s favorite food is a wood rat, Mion claims.  “If the forest is overgrown, it can’t see the rat.”

Furthermore, partly due to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and also for regulation purposes, the federal government now owns about 1 out of every 2 acres of land in western states like Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) told Americans for Limited Government (ALG) in a previous interview.

The more land the federal government snatches up, the more rules and restrictions come down on activities like logging.  The continuing heavy hand of government coupled with an ongoing recession stalling the need for new-built homes, deals a heavy blow to this industry.

To put it into perspective, in 1988, the booming timber industry in Oregon harvested 8,743 MMBF (million board feet) of wood.  In 2010, the amount harvested was less than half at only 3,227 MMBF.

For comparison, in 2009, Oregon Business cited Bob Ragon, executive director of Douglas Timber Operators, as saying that over the last two decades Oregon and Washington states have lost 35,000 jobs in the timber industry.

Despite the setbacks for this industry, its future and the thousands of jobs it provides very well may hang in the balance of this pending Supreme Court decision.  The Court could reverse the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and logging roads would not be subject to the Clean Water Act.  Or the Court could stand behind the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

If the latter takes place, all logging roads nationwide would require permits for each drainage point.

National Review explains why this change alone could effectively end this industry for good:

“Washington State, for example, has 57,000 miles of them [logging roads], with at least one drain point per mile. But now the Circuit Court panel has decreed that each flow-way must be permitted or shut down. By one estimate, processing a single Clean Water Act approval costs a state $2,800, meaning the decision could saddle Washington alone with a $159.6 million bill.”

What state can afford that high price—yet alone an already crippled industry?

Furthermore, that high price tag would only go up from there.  With as many drainage points as there are on each of these miles of logging roads, some, if not all of them, would get tied up in yet another environmental lawsuit.  This would not only prolong the arduous permitting process, but would cost more money.

A Court decision backing the Ninth Circuit’s ruling would not only end the logging trade on public and federal lands but also on private lands.  The repercussions would spread far and wide.  National Review further explains:

“Endangered, too, will be thousands of resorts, ranches, and communities scattered amid the circuit’s forestlands and dependent on the same roads loggers use. Controlling forest fires will become harder, posing even greater threats to everyone nearby as well as to firefighters. And regional sawmills, paper mills, and all who depend on western wood will suffer. By some estimates as many as a million jobs are in jeopardy.”

The question must be asked, how does this protect the environment?

Mark Pawlicki, director of corporate affairs and sustainability for Sierra Pacific Industries in California, told ALG in a past interview, “We are the only industry that helps air quality.”  He goes on to say that because timber harvesters must replant much more than they remove from forests, long term studies have shown a reduction of greenhouse gases because younger trees grow faster and absorb more carbon and other gases.

If the Supreme Court rules on the side of the Ninth Circuit and logging roads are forced comply with the Clean Water Act, true environmentalism would take a backseat to permitting processes and litigation battles.  Therefore, these roads and connecting waterways, which are now kept clean and healthy, would fall victim to overgrown forests, runoff and debris.

This begs the question, who are the true environmentalists: Those who care for the land and maintain it and its species, or those so hungry to destroy this one industry that any resulting environmental destruction is dismissed?


Washington state confronts ocean acidification

Gregoire as Canute

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) ordered state agencies on Tuesday to take steps to address the ocean’s increasing acidity, making it the first state to adopt a policy to take on what scientists describe as a growing environmental concern.

Ocean acidification poses a threat to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry, as well as to critical habitat off its shores.

The order signed by Gregoire, whose term will end in January, calls on the state to invest more money in scientific research, curb nutrient runoff from land, and push for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on a regional, national and global scale. It accepts the recommendations that a blue-ribbon panel issued Tuesday on how to assess and limit the effects of ocean acidification. The group was co-chaired by former Environmental Protection Agency administrator William D. Ruckelshaus and former Gregoire chief of staff Jay Manning...

The ocean is becoming more acidic worldwide, but certain regions are affected more than others because local factors such as ocean currents or farm runoff can intensify the impact. Washington state policymakers have focused on the problem for several years because increasingly corrosive waters off the state’s shores threaten oyster-farming operations.


Comment on the above

“Increasingly corrosive waters” affecting oyster farming? But the daily pH variation in tidal areas is naturally large.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute,

[Researcher Francisco] Chavez is measuring pH in the intertidal because, as he points out, “These organisms are seeing large swings of pH on a daily basis.” Daily variations of pH can occur from photosynthesis and from animals respiring and releasing carbon dioxide. The pH also fluctuates when upwelled water reaches the intertidal.

In other words, tidal biota don’t live at an average pH, but in a naturally fluctuating range of pH values. Moreover, to the extent pH affects survival, natural selection will enable pH-hardier biota to thrive.

The left apparently only embraces Darwin when it comes to beating up religious conservatives.




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


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