Thursday, January 24, 2013

Greenland ice didn't melt away during the last warming

There have been previous findings that Greenland ice did not melt away in prehistoric warm periods so this is not surprising.  The actual figures are interesting though.  The temperature during the last warming was 8 degrees higher than now (far higher than anything the Warmists project) but less than 25% of the Greenland icecap melted. The implication is that the warmist projections are  hugely out of line with the facts

As a general methodological note, making generalizations from a sample of one is nonsense -- so drawing conclusions about the whole of Greenland from this one drillsite is rather extraordinary. It suggests that glaciology is at a very primitive state of development  -- far too primitive to make any "consensus" reasonable.  And the Arctic is in fact known for considerable local variations in temperature so sampling considerations are more than theoretical

Scientists say an ice core taken from almost three kilometres down in the Greenland ice sheet has given them an extraordinary vision of what the planet could look like as it heats up.

The ice core dates from the last warming period around 120,000 years ago, and it identifies temperatures which are about four degrees Celsius higher than now.

Surprisingly, it revealed that the Greenland ice sheet was more resilient than previously thought.

By understanding this natural warming event, scientists say they can get a better idea of where the planet is heading in the face of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Fourteen countries are taking part in the ice core expedition.

The CSIRO's Dr Mauro Rubino, a member of the team, says the first challenge was to find a suitable site to extract ice.

"The idea was to have an ice core that could go back 130,000 years - enough to cover [the Eemian] period, which was the last interglacial warm period before the current one."

By analysing the ice, the team, led by the University of Copenhagen, hoped to get an insight into how hot it was during the Eemian period, and how the planet coped.

Drilling through almost 3,000 metres of ice layers, they measured temperatures, greenhouse gas concentrations using air samples trapped in the ice, and took a closer look at how sea levels rose when the planet was warming.

Dr Rubino says the team found that the last interglacial period "was eight degrees warmer than today."

"Eight degrees warmer is a big difference and it's actually bigger than it was previously thought to be," he said.

He says the sea level at the time was four to eight metres higher than it is today, and the sample gives an insight into "a number of environmental climatic conditions that could possibly be reproduced in the future."

Until now efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the last warming period have proven too difficult.

Scientists say the new findings mean they can use the past as the best analogue to model for the future to see how the planet will cope as it warms due to increasing greenhouse gases.

David Etheridge, who is also from the CSIRO and part of the ice core expedition, says there was some good news.

He says the research team found that Greenland was not as sensitive as previously thought to temperature increases.

"The Greenland ice sheet was perhaps a little bit more robust to warming than some of the ice sheet models were predicting - which is actually a good news story," he said.

"It means that for the future we can expect Greenland to not reduce as much and as quickly as some of the models were saying."

But the flipside of that is that the sea level increase that occurred at the time has to be found from somewhere, and that is most likely now to be the Antarctic ice sheet.

Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core


Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (‘NEEM’) ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation. Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400 ± 250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130 ± 300 metres lower than the present. Extensive surface melt occurred at the NEEM site during the Eemian, a phenomenon witnessed when melt layers formed again at NEEM during the exceptional heat of July 2012. With additional warming, surface melt might become more common in the future.

Nature 493, 489–494 (24 January 2013)

New paper predicts CO2 fertilization will greatly improve plant productivity -- by 40-60%

A paper published today in Biogeosciences finds that the increase in CO2 levels since 1850 has greatly enhanced plant fertilization and that a doubling of CO2 levels would be predicted to increase plant productivity by 40 - 60%. The study derives "a probabilistic prediction for the globally averaged strength of CO2 fertilization in nature, for the period 1850 to 2000 AD, implicitly net of other limiting factors such as nutrient availability" and predicts, "the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%."

Related: Greenhouse operators increase CO2 levels by 3-4 times to enhance plant productivity by up to 50%
A model-based constraint on CO2 fertilisation

P. B. Holden et al.


We derive a constraint on the strength of CO2 fertilisation of the terrestrial biosphere through a "top-down" approach, calibrating Earth system model parameters constrained by the post-industrial increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration. We derive a probabilistic prediction for the globally averaged strength of CO2 fertilisation in nature, for the period 1850 to 2000 AD, implicitly net of other limiting factors such as nutrient availability. The approach yields an estimate that is independent of CO2 enrichment experiments. To achieve this, an essential requirement was the incorporation of a land use change (LUC) scheme into the GENIE Earth system model. Using output from a 671-member ensemble of transient GENIE simulations, we build an emulator of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration change since the preindustrial period. We use this emulator to sample the 28-dimensional input parameter space. A Bayesian calibration of the emulator output suggests that the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%. It is important to note that we do not represent all of the possible contributing mechanisms to the terrestrial sink. The missing processes are subsumed into our calibration of CO2 fertilisation, which therefore represents the combined effect of CO2 fertilisation and additional missing processes. If the missing processes are a net sink then our estimate represents an upper bound. We derive calibrated estimates of carbon fluxes that are consistent with existing estimates. The present-day land–atmosphere flux (1990–2000) is estimated at −0.7 GTC yr−1 (likely, 66% confidence, in the range 0.4 to −1.7 GTC yr−1). The present-day ocean–atmosphere flux (1990–2000) is estimated to be −2.3 GTC yr−1 (likely in the range −1.8 to −2.7 GTC yr−1). We estimate cumulative net land emissions over the post-industrial period (land use change emissions net of the CO2 fertilisation and climate sinks) to be 66 GTC, likely to lie in the range 0 to 128 GTC.


What happens when you lift pressure to go along with the dominant paradigm

A group of Apollo Era NASA Retirees have published new report which says that the science is not settled!!  Below is their  summary

1. The science that predicts the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming is not settled science.

2. There is no convincing physical evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Most of the alarm regarding AGW results from output of unvalidated computer models. We understand scientific arguments regarding how doubling CO2 in the atmosphere over a hundred years or more (if possible) can have a small direct warming effect, but we question the accuracy of feedback simulations in current models computing climate system responses that amplify CO2 effects. Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity to CO2 based solely on physical data have large uncertainties because many factors affect global temperatures, and CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere after the earth warms due to other factors. While paleoclimate data clearly show CO2 levels rise and fall in the atmosphere hundreds of years after temperature rises and falls due to other causes, the evidence is very weak to support claims of a catastrophic rise in global temperatures caused by CO2 emissions related to human activity.

3. Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making. Our manned aerospace backgrounds in dealing with models of complex phenomena have convinced us that this rule must be followed to avoid decisions with serious unintended consequences.

4. Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy. While there are many benefits due to some global warming, the major threats appear to be associated with a net loss of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheet mass that would contribute to a gradual sea-level rise. The history, current trends, and specific causes of ice sheet melting and ice accumulation by precipitation must be better understood before determining how best to respond to threats of accelerated sea-level rise.

5. Our US government is over-reacting to concerns about Anthropogenic Global Warming. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be beneficial for forest and crop growth to support the earth's growing population, so control of CO2 emissions is not an obvious best solution to hyped-up concerns regarding AGW. Eventually the earth will run out of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources will be required. Market forces will (and should) play a big role in this transition to alternative energy sources. Government funding of promising research and development objectives for alternative fuels appears to be a better option at this time than expenditures of enormous resources to limit CO2 emissions.

6. A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause. CO2 effectiveness in controlling global average temperatures or sea levels has not been established. More reliable and greater control authority may be available from engineering solutions that would accommodate the beneficial aspects of more CO2 in the atmosphere.


“Climate Crimes”:  Green Policies That Are Killing Nature

These days, much is spoken and written about the destruction of our planet as a result of climate change. In his evocative film “Climate Crimes”, the Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Eichelmann who was an active member of WWF for 17 years and worked in conservation for decades, now documents that it is rather the reverse: he shows how many ecosystems, species, habitats and the cultural heritage too are threatened – but, as he sums up, “not by climate change, but by climate protection and the things done in its name.” It is predominantly hydropower and bioenergy projects that threaten to destroy precious areas of our planet’s nature.

That current climate policies harm conservation in many ways is nothing new, even if many do not want to admit it. However, no one so far has compiled the evidence as strongly and on a global scale as Eichelmann. His one-hour film, which is shown in several cinemas in Germany these days and also on Austrian television, is the result of two years of work that led his team to Brazil, Turkey, Iraq and to Indonesia, but also to the model country of climate protection, Germany, where crimes against nature are especially evident.

Eichelmann feels particularly affected by what he has found out in the course of his research; that’s because, as he says, he has been deeply involved in the fight against climate change – until he discovered some time ago “that something went wrong here “.

The individual stages of the film:

Brazil: The huge dams of the South American country, each of which put dozens of square miles of rainforest under water for the generation of electricity, have always been a problem for the Amazon basin. But now, as the momentum of climate policy is added, all laborious progress in terms of environmental sustainability, which has been be built up in recent decades, and even all moratoria, have gone overnight. 60 mega dams of several kilometres in length and several hundreds of medium size are planned in the Amazon basin in coming years. One of them alone, the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River, will flood a forested area larger than the Lake of Constance; it threatens 200 fish species and will force 20,000 people to relocate. One of the very few large nesting sites of Amazon turtles will fall victim to the dam. The Catholic Bishop Erwin Kräutler, who works there, calls Brazil’s current energy policies of Brazil the “death knell” for the Amazon rainforest.

Turkey: One of the oldest cities in Anatolia, Hasankeyf, renowned for its extensive cave dwellings and other buildings dating from the fourth century, built on the border between the Eastern Roman and the Sassanid Empire, will simply disappear from the map. The reason: the Ilisu dam, which is built there to produce “clean energy”, will ensure that the Tigris will swallow the city. With luck, the upper tips of the ancient minarets could still poke out of the reservoir.
By the way: Do you remember the worldwide outrage over the Taliban, when they destroyed the giant statue of Buddha of Bamiyan? These barbarians, it was said at that time! The loss of Hasankeyf would be vastly greater, yet outrage outside Turkey did not happen – in the name of climate protection people keep quite.

Iraq: There was also great indignation worldwide when the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the mid 1990s dried up the vast Mesopotamian marshes near Basra, out of revenge for what he deemed as the missing fighting spirit of its inhabitants during the first Gulf War. The wetlands, where many species live and people have their agricultural livelihoods, have since been partially restored laboriously. Now, they will finally disappear because dams further upstream will deny them enough water.

Germany: It is hardly possible to describe in words the damage done to German nature, as Eichelmann describes it in his film. The country side is made desolate by monoculture of corn fields stretching to the horizon, and biosphere reserves are not spared. Everything is done just to ensure enough biofuels are produced to meet Germany’s climate targets – all in the name of a supposedly clean energy. Many bird species have already disappeared completely, others will follow. Hares and other soil dwellers will not be seen again. The largest biogas plant in the country needs 1,000 tons of corn per day. 7,000 plants have already been built, about 1,000 on average will be added each year. Due to generous subsidies, the corn farmers can pay any rent, so the rents have more than doubled and farms are going bankrupt. By the way: in 2011 Germany could not cover its cereal needs for the first time.

Indonesia: Even greater is the sprawl of monocultures in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, where palm oil plantations – not least for the production of biodiesel – have destroyed the rainforest almost completely. The last orang-utans are losing their habitat.

Eichelmann presents calculations in his film which show that almost every single project he presents, e.g.  each “Climate Crime”, is responsible for emitting more carbon dioxide or methane instead of reducing emissions. Although he has changed from being a climate change campaigner into a fighter against this kind of climate protection, Eichelmann still assumes that greenhouse gases pose a risk to the global climate. He thinks the only chance to counter the risk is to question the idea of global economic growth. Only in this way, he argues, the world could prevent the “Climate Crimes”, which his film documents.

You do not have to share – like this writer – the growth denial strategy in order to be impressed by the movie which is extremely well and comprehensively researched. The development of the global climate, the warming pause in the last decade and a half, and the climate forecasts for the next few years could indicate that it might be useful to transform our energy supply in the long run; but there is no reason today to throw out “the baby with the bathwater”, as economist Niko Paech says in the film – or to accept that “climate protection is used as a cover for environmental crimes.”

My fear is, however, that a growth denial strategy would be nothing else than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The fact is: only growth-oriented economies can afford to protect the environment. To crack this historic challenge is not impossible theoretically, but it could lead to similar questionable experiments as documented in “Climate Crimes”.

We must take the time to plan sensibly and not to rush into “head-over-heels” measures. Let us beware of exaggerated doomsday prophecies and instead protect nature. Either way, growth or denial, greenhouse hysteria or cool head: “Climate Crimes” is one of the most interesting and daring films on the subject.

By email from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Paper finds solar activity at end of 20th century was at highest levels of past 9,000 years

The slight warming of the late 20th century explained

A 2012 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reconstructs solar activity from isotopes in ice cores and tree rings, and finds solar activity at the end of the 20th century was at the highest levels of the past 9,000 years. The paper confirms other peer-reviewed publications indicating that the Sun was particularly active during the 20th century in comparison to the past several millenia  In addition, the authors find good agreement between solar activity and the Asian climate as determined from stalagmites in the Dongge cave, China.
9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings

Friedhelm Steinhilbera 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.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Greenpeace warns against expanding coal exports

The facts have never mattered to Greenpeace

A new report has warned Australia to stop expanding coal exports or risk inflicting "catastrophic" effects of climate change on the world.

The Greenpeace-commissioned study identifies the expansion of Australian coal exports as one of 14 proposed coal, oil and gas projects around the world that will raise greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

The study predicts Australia will increase coal exports to 408 million tonnes a year, producing an estimated 1,200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Greenpeace's Georgina Woods says if the projects go ahead, they will warm the globe more than two degrees Celsius.

That is considered the temperature limit to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Our coal exports are already our biggest single contribution to climate change, and part of a global fossil fuel expansion enterprise that will push us beyond the point of no return in climate change," she said.




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


1 comment:

NickSJ said...

As a longtime reader, I wanted to say how much I appreciate the tremendous effort you put into this blog and the quality of the result. I also read Watts Up With That, which is generally thought to be the top skeptical environmental blog, but I think yours is better overall. I recommend it to everyone I know.

Thanks again for your efforts, and keep up the good work.

Nick Johnson
Orcas, Washington USA