Thursday, April 18, 2013

NPR visits a Warmist experiment in Australia

And the experiment makes it look like coral reefs will be in trouble if the much-foretold global warming ever arrives. Would Warmists ever get any other result?

In real-life, however, corals survive well in a whole range of temperatures.  Australia's Great Barrier reef stretches over 1600 miles roughly North to South, including temperate zones and near-equatorial zones.  It is one vast natural experiment on the effect of temperature variation on coral growth.  And guess where in those 1600 miles corals grow best?  The warmest part!

So the Warmists on the reef fiddle around with fishtanks and ignore the reality just out the window.  What a joke!  But reality never has suited the Green/Left.  It's a sad commentary on a lot of people but, basically, you have to be a crook to be a Warmist
Scientists have been worried about coral reefs for years, since realizing that rising temperatures and rising ocean acidity are hard on organisms that build their skeletons from calcium carbonate. Researchers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are conducting an experiment that demonstrates just how much corals could suffer in the coming decades.

As we burn fossil fuels - we're talking about oil, gas and coal - carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere. Now, there are debates about how quickly that is changing the global climate, but there is no question that billions of tons of carbon dioxide have soaked into the ocean. That's making waters more acidic, which puts some ocean ecosystems at risk, particularly coral reefs. We sent NPR science correspondent Richard Harris to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to look into these consequences. His first stop was a research station on Heron Island.

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: Heron Island is surrounded by a reef that is home to sea turtles, sharks, rays, brilliantly colored fish, and hundreds of other species. The spectacular scenery draws snorkelers from around the world. The island also hosts one of the world's major coral reef labs, run by the University of Queensland, and research there shows that the reefs are in trouble. Scientist Sophie Dove plunges her arms into a tank the size of a kettle drum.

SOPHIE DOVE: OK. We'll start with the plates. Uh-huh.

HARRIS: She and research assistant Annamieke van den Heuvel are weighing chunks of coral.

ANNAMIEKE VAN DEN HEUVEL: Two hundred and forty-six point nine.

DOVE: Do you want to just check the zero when I take this away?

HARRIS: Dove has recreated a simplified version of the coral ecosystem in a dozen large tanks.

DOVE: And so in each tank here we basically - I can lift up the lid - this is one of our - this is our present-day tank, if you like.

HARRIS: The water temperature and the carbon dioxide levels match the conditions on the present-day reef.

DOVE: We've got little mushroom corals, fungia, brain corals, stylophera pistolata there. It's a very common coral around the world. We've got these corals that look like bunches of flowers. They're called lobophelia.

HARRIS: The corals in this tank look healthy. And as she weighs them, she seems that they've been growing since she transplanted them here nearly a year ago. Then she opens the next tank.

DOVE: We'll hop from present day, and the next one along here is the worst of the future with a thing we call business as usual or do nothing tank.

HARRIS: Dove is pumping much warmer water with lots of added carbon dioxide into this tank. This is what the world's oceans are likely to look like later in this century when the schoolchildren visiting this island today reach middle age.

DOVE: And as you look into here, it looks quite different, as you will see.

HARRIS: Oh yeah.

DOVE: OK. So there's lot of this slimy, yucky mess(ph) of cynobacteria.

HARRIS: Clumps of black gunk swirl along the surface of the tank.

DOVE: We find that cynobacterial (unintelligible) tend to do really well in the future. The slippery slope to slime seems to be the way to go.

HARRIS: Not so for the coral. Most of it has either died or turned white, which means the organisms that live inside the coral have moved out.

DOVE: So as you see, the future is not a great place. Here's - the needle(ph) coral is underneath here. It's gone. And there's really not very much left alive.

HARRIS: In all there are four sets of tanks here: the healthiest coral are in a tank that simulates pre-industrial conditions. The present day tank looks almost as good, but the coral looks progressively worse in tanks with increasing carbon dioxide and temperature.

DOVE: We can make this a little bit (unintelligible)...

HARRIS: Now, plenty of small-scale experiments in the lab have shown that corals suffer in hotter waters and in more acidic conditions. This experiment puts those two threats together, since that's what the reefs of the future will face. Dove tries to be dispassionate about her findings, but the site touches the human chord.

DOVE: I feel pretty sad when I look into this. You know, I look at the others, the control tank, and I think, well, that would be nice if we could at least stay like that.

HARRIS: But doing so would mean civilization would have to stop burning fossil fuels immediately. That's not going to happen. Instead, once the carbon dioxide concentrations get high enough in the ocean, the stony structure of the reef actually starts to dissolve. That's bad news for the vibrant life that lives on the reef.

DOVE: There's no reef building going on here. It's reef dismantling that's going on here. Maybe some fish can survive in this type of environment, but I think we're going to lose a lot of the fish capabilities, you know, for fishing and everything. So people who are trying to live off what the reef offers them, this is going to be much harder. From a tourist's point of view, I don't imagine this is something that tourists would feel that attracted to come and see.

HARRIS: And as the reefs erode, they will offer less protection from the storm surges generated by the typhoons that sweep ashore here in Australia and throughout the South Pacific.

ANDREAS ANDERSON: Millions of humans are dependent on the reefs today.

HARRIS: Andreas Anderson is a reef scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. He says increasing ocean acidity is a big threat to the millions of people who depend on the fish that in turn depend on the reef. He says experiments like the one on Heron Island suggest the reefs face bad times ahead later in this century, but the weakness of studies like this is that they change conditions for the corals in one sudden shock.

ANDERSON: So what we don't really understand is, you know, how quickly will this happen, to what extent will it happen. Will organisms be able to acclimatize or adapt to this over a longer time scale?

HARRIS: The best case is that the change will be slow.

ANDERSON: If it breaks down very rapidly, we are definitely in big problems. But if it takes thousands of years, then, you know, perhaps it's not so bad.

HARRIS: Sophie Dove knows no experiment is perfect, but hers is designed to look for hints that corals can adapt to their new circumstances, and she doesn't see any sign of that. We will have more definitive answers soon enough because this experiment isn't simply confined to tanks at research stations - it's playing out on every coral reef in the world.


This post also up on Coral reef compendium

How a Warmist lied with statistics

James Lawrence Powell did a Google-type search of a scientific database in an attempt to find how many scientific papers support or reject global warming.  Like the slippery Naomi Oreskes, he found overwhelming support for warming:  13,950 results "For" and 24 results "Against" -- a result very reminiscent of election results proclaimed by dictators  -- and as believable. But Warmists and tyrants appear to need such dubious props. A comment on the rather hilarious methodology used below

In the never ending quest for alarmists to one up their incompetent friends they continue to seek out new ways to demonstrate their own computer illiteracy. Enter James Powell who in a meaningless analysis is apparently ignorant that the 'Web of Science' database does not have a "peer-reviewed" only filter and the existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine it's context. Thus, all that can be claimed is there were 13,950 meaningless search results not "peer-reviewed scientific articles" for a query of the 'Web of Science' database - with 24 chosen by strawman argument.

1. The context of how the "search phrases" were used in the results was never determined.

2. The results are padded by not using the search qualifier "anthropogenic".

3. The 13,950 results cannot be claimed to be peer-reviewed as the Web of Science does not have a peer-reviewed only filter.

4. It is a strawman argument that skeptics deny or reject there has been a global temperature increase of a fraction of a degree since the end of the little ice age.

1. Context matters

The existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine its context. So making any arguments for or against an implied position relating to the use of a phrase by simply looking at numerical result totals is impossible.

Thus, Powell's 13,950 meaningless search results include ones irrelevant to the global warming debate such as:

"Case study of visualizing global user download patterns using Google Earth and NASA World Wind (Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, Volume 6, Issue 1, October 2012) - Ziliang Zong et al."

2. Padding the Results

Powell padded his search results total by using the phrases; "global warming" and/or "global climate change" instead of "anthropogenic global warming" [man-made global warming], which would have significantly reduced the number of returned results. Without the qualifier "anthropogenic", results are included where no claim of explicit endorsement or rejection of AGW can be made.

Others alarmists have been challenged to search for the phrase, "anthropogenic climate change" using Oreskes (2004) methods and they only got 108 returned results. These low number of results are not useful to sell the type of propaganda alarmists like Powell are looking for.

Much more HERE  (See the original for links)

Not even a tenth of one degree:  Our "warming" oceans

We discussed Dr. Roy Spencer’s post More on Trenberth’s Missing Heat in my recent post and in the cross post at WattsUpWithThat.

One of the points Roy made:  a change in ocean heat content is presented in terms that look impressive:  Joules times 10^22 or Joules with oodles of trailing zeroes. However, in terms that most people are familiar with, temperature, the warming of the global oceans since 1955 was a minute change.  Roy wrote:

    "Because of the immense heat capacity of the deep ocean, the magnitude of deep warming in Scenario 3 might only be thousandths of a degree. Whether we can measure such tiny levels of warming on the time scales of decades or longer is very questionable, and the new study co-authored by Trenberth is not entirely based upon observations, anyway."

The NODC presents their ocean heat content data through their webpage here. There, they also include a link to the 2012 paper by Levitus et al that introduced their dataset for depths of 0 to 2000 meters World Ocean Heat Content and Thermosteric Sea Level change (0-2000 m),1955-2010. In the abstract, Levitus et al identify the change in temperature of the volume of water that makes up the global oceans to depths of 2000 meters, or about 6560 feet:

    "We provide updated estimates of the change of ocean heat content and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0–700 and 0–2000 m layers of the World Ocean for 1955–2010. Our estimates are based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, and bathythermograph data corrected for instrumental biases. We have also used Argo data corrected by the Argo DAC if available and used uncorrected Argo data if no corrections were available at the time we downloaded the Argo data. The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 ± 1.9 × 1022 J (±2S.E.) corresponding to a rate of 0.39 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09°C."

That’s right.  According to Levitus et al 2012, the average temperature of the global oceans to depths of 2000 meters warmed a miniscule 0.09 deg C (or 0.16 deg F) from 1955 to 2010.  Granted, the heat capacity of the ocean is much greater than the atmosphere, but that warming of 0.09 deg C strains believability.  Are we able to sense such a small change?

Some might think Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson is correct with what he wrote in a June 2012 The Sunday Times article titled Kaboom! It’s my turn to play fantasy climate change: "Science fiction is thriving; only today it’s all being written by global warming enthusiasts."


Carbon not Culprit in Global Warming, Science Is Say Scientists

A new paper that recently replaced the old paper that settled the science of global warming is now out - and not a moment too soon, either.

Because the new paper essentially says: “Um, guys? Never mind.”.   Ok, they don't really say that, but actually they really do.

“Sea level rise is one of the big issues of global warming. It could potentially swamp coastal cities or make them far more vulnerable to storms, such as Hurricane Katrina,” says Science World Report, apparently a wholly owned division of Wayne’s World Publishing, operating under the motto “It Certainly Does Suck.”

“Now, though, a study has revealed that it's possible to greatly slow the rate of sea level rise by cutting ‘short-lived climate pollutants,’” continues Science World,  “as opposed to more long-lived greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.”

If you’re like me you are wondering how they greatly slow the rate of sea level rise by cutting these short-lived climate pollutants.   The answer: The short-lived climate pollutants seem to have an outsized influence on global warming when compared to carbon.

Oh my.  I’m glad that they finally, absolutely, 100-percent and finally- did I say finally?- understand ALL the mechanisms behind global warming.

To think all this time they were blaming carbon when it was actually these Johnny-come-lately short-lived-climate pollutants, that we’ll now call Teenage Mutant Short-Term Pollutants for marketing and branding purposes.

If I were carbon, I’d be pissed.  Or at least half pissed.

“Mitigation of the four short-lived climate pollutants (Teenage Mutant Short-Term Pollutants),” writes Nature Climate Change, “methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon, has been shown to reduce the warming trend by about 50% by 2050.”

Carbon alone isn’t responsible for so-called global warming, say these federally funded international scientists.  They don’t say it, but really, that’s what they are saying.

For federal funding purposes, however, the scientists say that we must act now against these new threats or risk…you know it’s coming… even bigger temperature increases later that could possible result in even more federal funding!

“If the [Teenage Mutant Short-Term Pollutants] mitigation is delayed by 25 years,” says Nature, “the warming from pre-industrial temperature exceeds 2 °C by 2050,” exceeding current estimates…somehow.

But that’s not the only settled science that has been revised by the April edition of Nature Climate Change.

In the April edition, Nature acknowledges that global warming has been paused, at least between the period from 2000 to 2010. This time the culprit is much more insidious- and wet.

It seem the “ocean”- that is the body of water that makes up 70 percent of the globe and acts as an ideal energy absorption mechanism- has been slowing down the increase in temperatures. Its almost as if nature designed it that way.

To think! The largest energy absorption mechanism in the world is responsible for sucking up excess energy?

No way!

Quick: Ban all high-capacity bodies of water over 16 oz.

And we all thought Mayor Bloomberg was an idiot for trying to ban Big Gulps. Ok, he is an idiot, but he’s also a scientific trendsetter.


No, as we will see shortly, being an idiot and a scientific trendsetter isn’t mutually exclusive.  

“Despite a sustained production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases,” writes Virginie Guemas, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Isabel Andreu-Burill, and Muhammad Asif, in Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade, “the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period. To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer has been proposed to overcompensate for the Earth’s heat storage. …Here we show successful retrospective predictions of this warming slowdown up to 5 years ahead, the analysis of which allows us to attribute the onset of this slowdown to an increase in ocean heat uptake.”

To those of us who lack both the federal training and the federal funding that these scientists have, it might seem like this study “proves” that previous global warming models, which failed to predict this pause in warming, could be flawed in their ability to predict the future.

But that’s where federal scientists come in and deploy massive funding that you and I frankly just won’t ever have access to.

Because with that funding they find: “Our results hence point at the key role of the ocean heat uptake in the recent warming slowdown. The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”

See? Nothing to worry about.  Being wrong, in retrospect, just proves how right they were all along.

Glad they settled that bit of science for us.  Otherwise us non-scientists might get the impression that they were, well, wrong.

And just think of all the federal funding that would go to waste, retrospectively.


Europe’s New Anti-Green Majority Scores Huge Victory

EU Parliament Refuses To Save Its Dying Carbon Market

    The European Union’s flagship program to fight global warming suffered a major blow Tuesday when lawmakers rejected a proposal aimed at shoring up the region’s carbon-emissions trading system, putting its survival in doubt.

    After the European Parliament’s surprise afternoon vote, spooked investors drove the price of emissions permits down by nearly half. Benchmark electricity prices also fell.

    The legislature derailed—at least temporarily—a plan to push up permit prices by postponing issuance of new permits for between five and seven years. Electricity generators and others must buy the permits in order to emit carbon dioxide.

    Europe’s so-called Emissions Trading System, first launched in 2008, was designed to raise the cost of polluting and discourage the production of greenhouse gases to protect the environment.

    But lately, politicians’ focus on generating jobs and sparking growth in a region struggling to recover from recession is relegating green concerns to second place behind economics.

    “It was a vote of reason,” said Poland’s environment minister, Marcin Korolec. Poland, one of the EU’s less-affluent members, has been outspoken in its opposition to the measure, which it said could hamper development.

    The parliament’s Environment Committee after the vote said that some lawmakers felt that “a rise in the carbon price would erode the competitiveness of European industry and be passed on in household energy bills.”

    Germany’s Minister of Economic and Technology Philipp Rösler welcomed the rejection of the backloading plans as an “excellent signal” for an continuing economic recovery. “Reducing supply CO2 allowances would equate to an intervention into a functioning market system,” and further burden industry, he said.

    The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, which devised the so-called backloading plan, said it regretted parliament’s move. And the EU’s Council of Environment Ministers said it would try to draw up an alternate plan.

    “Today’s vote is a historic failure,” said Joris den Blanken, EU climate policy director at environmental advocacy group Greenpeace. Without action to deal with an oversupply of permits, the trading system won’t “dissuade polluters and promote investments in cleaner production.”

    Slack demand for electricity and an abundance of permits in the market helped push the price of emitting a ton of carbon below 5 euros earlier this year, down from nearly €30 in 2008. After the vote, the price dropped to €2.55 before recovering partially to €3.2.

    Without the backloading plan to increase scarcity on the emissions permit market, “the ETS will almost certainly collapse,” said Kash Burchett, a London-based analyst at consulting company IHS Energy.

    “Prices will likely sink below €1 per ton as participants recognize that there is no political will at present to restore the market mechanism to functioning order,” he said.

    That, in turn, would severely undercut the credibility of Europe’s carbon market as a key element of the bloc’s goal to reduce emissions 20% from 1990 levels by 2020.

    Rob Elsworth, Brussels based campaigner for Sandbag, a U.K. nonprofit organization campaigning for effective carbon markets, said the vote sent the wrong message to companies, the public and the international community.

    “It’s now incumbent on those MEPs who said they support the long-term success of the EU ETS to act to prevent the EU’s climate policy from drifting dangerously off course.”

    The backloading proposal put forth by the Commission called for delaying the auction of 900 million permits by five to seven years. Analysts said it could take time for the Commission to come up with a new plan.

    Late in the day Tuesday, contracts for 2014 German baseload power fell, to €39.55 per megawatt hour from €41 per megawatt before the vote.

    Investors, watching falling electricity prices and worried that utilities will have to write down the value of permits they now hold, drove down power company shares.


EU Carbon Collapse Deals Blow To Australian Climate Policy

[Australia's Labor Government] will revise down its carbon tax revenue estimates following a crash in the European carbon market, at a likely multi-billion dollar cost to the federal budget.

The EU’s carbon price sank to 2.55 euros ($A3.24) in trading overnight, as legislators rejected a proposal to save the market from collapse.

The federal budget currently assumes a $29 carbon price in 2015, when Australia’s carbon trading scheme is linked to the EU carbon market.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet told the ABC: “We will continue with our plans to link with the European emissions trading scheme from 1 July 2015, which is still over two years away.

“But this year’s budget, as is usual practice by Treasury, will include a revised forecast for a carbon price in 2015-16 in Australia.”

He said the carbon revenue slump “is another way the global financial crisis has hit the budget”.

Much of the revenue from the carbon tax is pumped out into the economy in the form of household compensation.

The EU carbon price peaked at nearly 30 euros in 2008, but an abundance of permits and weak demand for electricity as a result of the European recession has pushed down the price down.
Yesterday, the price dropped below 3 euros before recovering partially to 3.20 euros.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the fluctuating carbon price in Europe showed Australia would be linking its scheme to a “deeply unstable” system.

Australia’s carbon tax was five and a half times higher than the European tax, and completely out of step with the rest of the world, he 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


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