Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New paper finds the oceans are a net SOURCE of CO2

In a desperate attempt to save their theory, Warmists claim that the oceans are a carbon SINK

A new paper published in Deep-Sea Research finds the ocean is a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere, the opposite of claims by climate alarmists that the ocean removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to the authors, "At the [research] site, the ocean is primarily a source of CO2 to the atmosphere, except during strong upwelling events." The paper also notes, "Astor et al.(2005) observed the interactions between physical and biochemical parameters that lead to temporal [over time] variations in fCO2 [CO2 flux from the] sea, finding that even during periods of high production, the CO2 flux between the ocean and the atmosphere decreased but remained positive, i.e. CO2 escaped from the ocean to the atmosphere."

The paper corroborates prior work by Salby, Humlum et al, Frölicher et al, Cho et al, Calder et al, Francey et al, Ahlbeck, Pettersson, and others demonstrating that man-made CO2 is not the driver of atmospheric CO2. This new work confirms the primary source of atmospheric CO2 is out-gassing from the oceans, which is due to decreased solubility with increased temperature.

Interannual variability in sea surface temperature and fCO2 changes in the Cariaco Basin

Y.M. Astor et al


We examined the variability of sea surface carbon dioxide fugacity (fCO2sea) and its relation to temperature at the Cariaco Basin ocean time-series location (10°30’N, 64°40’W) for the period from 1996 through 2008. Periods of warm (positive) and cold (negative) anomalies at the station were related to variability in coastal upwelling intensity. A positive temporal trend in monthly-deseasonalized sea surface temperatures (SST) was observed, leading to an overall increase of 1.13°C over 13 years. Surface fCO2 sea displayed significant short-term variation (month to month) with a range of 330 to 445µatm. In addition to a large seasonal range (58±17µatm), deseasonalized fCO2sea data showed an interannual positive trend of 1.77±0.43µatmyear−1. In the Cariaco Basin, positive and negative anomalies of temperature and fCO2sea are in phase. An increase/decrease of 1°C coincides with an increase/decrease of 16–20µatm of fCO2sea. Deseasonalized fCO2 seanormalized to 26.05°C, the mean Cariaco SST, shows a lower rate of increase (0.51±0.49µatmyear−1). Based on these observations, 72% of the increase in fCO2sea in Cariaco Basin between 1996 and 2008 can be attributed to an increasing temperature trend of surface waters, making this the primary factor controlling fugacity at this location. During this period, a decrease in upwelling intensity was also observed. The phytoplankton community changed from large diatom-dominated blooms during upwelling in the late 1990's to blooms dominated by smaller cells in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The average net sea [to] air CO2 flux over the study period is 2.0±2.6molCm−2 year−1 employing the Wanninkhof parameterization, and 2.1±2.5molCm−2 year−1 based on Nightingale's model. To further understand the connection between the changes observed in the Cariaco Basin, the relationships between interannual variability in the temperature anomaly with three modes of climate variability (AMO, NAO and ENSO) were examined.


"Drought" hits India

It must be drought.  The Warmists have been predicting drought for years.  With unusual floods in Europe and elsewhere as well, it sure is a wet drought, though

At least 23 people have died and 50 more remain missing after torrential downpours in northern India swept away roads, buildings and vehicles.

One building collapse today killed at least three people who were washed away when an entire apartment block toppled into a river, a government spokesman said.

Most of the destruction is concentrated in the state of Uttarakhand, where the Ganges river and its tributaries are flowing at dangerously high levels.

More than a dozen people have died in the state's Rudraprayag district alone, while another 50 people were missing, according to Amit Negi, an official in Uttarakhand.

Another landslide triggered by the monsoon rains buried a bus, killing three people in Almora district.

Adding to the crisis, many more people have been left totally stranded in their homes by collapsing roads and bridges.

Heavy rains in the foothills of the Himalayas mean many residents have abandoned their homes and possessions

More than 10,000 pilgrims on a mountain pass leading to a Hindu religious site had to be evacuated by helicopter after roads to the pilgrimage spot were unusable.

In response, army and paramilitary troops are leading efforts to rescue scores of people from the rooftops of their flooded homes.

The state government has prepared food parcels and drinking water pouches to be air dropped to villages cut off now that so many roads were washed away.

'The situation is very grim. The meteorological office has predicted that the rain will continue for another three days at least,' an official said today.

State authorities were also preparing to evacuate people from the worst-hit districts to relief camps, he said.

Flood warnings have been issued across Udhampur district and in the Hindu holy city of Haridwar as rivers breached their banks.

India's capital, Delhi, has also been hit by the heavy rains as many roads were flooded after recent blistering summer heat.


EPA Fantasies Dictating our Lives, Living Standards and Life Spans


Numerous articles document how European climate policies have been disastrous for affordable energy, economic growth, entire industries, people's jobs and welfare, wildlife habitats and human lives. Even the IPCC, BBC and Economist have finally recognized that average global temperatures have not budged since 1997. The EU economy is teetering at the precipice, people are outraged at the duplicity and the price they have been made to pay, the Euro Parliament has voted to end subsidies for its Emissions Trading Scheme, and the global warming and renewable energy false façade is slowly crumbling.

Ignoring this, alarmist scientists, eco activists and government bureaucrats are meeting yet again - first in Bonn, Germany June 3-14 for the 38th meeting of UN climate treaty promoters and wordsmiths, then in Warsaw, Poland November 11-22 for 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They are determined to hammer out a new treaty, demanding more restrictions on fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions, before the tide turns even more inexorably against them.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing more anti-hydrocarbon regulations and more statements detailing the coming horrors of "dangerous manmade climate change."

Two points must be kept uppermost: the global warming "disasters" exist only in computer models, Hollywood movies and alarmist assertions; and the "preventative measures" are worse than the disasters.

The issue is not whether greenhouse gases "contribute to" climate change. Scientists acknowledge that. The only relevant issues are: How big a contribution? Do these gases now dominate planetary climate variation, supplanting the solar, atmospheric, oceanic and other forces that have warmed and cooled our Earth throughout its history? And will human GHG/CO2 emissions cause dangerous climate changes that are unprecedented, worse than we have confronted since time immemorial and impossible for modern, technologically advanced societies to deal with?

No evidence supports EPA or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change positions on these issues.

Average planetary temperatures have not budged in 16 years, even as atmospheric levels of plant-fertilizing CO2 have climbed steadily. For many areas, the past winter was among the coldest in decades, and the US and UK just recorded one their coldest springs on record. The frequency and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are no different from observed trends and cycles over the last century. 2012 set records for the fewest strong tornadoes since 1954 and the number of years with no category 3 or higher hurricane making US landfall. Arctic climate and sea ice are within a few percentage points of their "normal" levels for the past fifty years. The rate of sea level rise is not accelerating.

These facts, and many others, completely contradict computer model predictions and alarmist claims. Moreover, as Climategate and numerous studies have shown, the "science" behind EPA's ruling that carbon dioxide "endangers" human health and welfare is conjectural, manufactured, manipulated, comical and even fraudulent. Here are just a few of numerous examples of dangerous "climatism" at work.


Mining Industry’s Fate to be Determined by Anti-Mining EPA

Empowered by a recent court ruling, the Environmental Protection Agency is coopting arcane laws to inhibit economic development and kill thousands of jobs. In order for a mining operating to begin production, developers must apply for and receive a handful of permits. One such mandatory permit is the Section 404 permit required under the Clean Water Act. Production cannot begin without the Section 404 permit, effectively giving the EPA veto authority over any proposed mining project.

A few weeks ago, a federal appeals court upheld the EPA’s decision to retroactively revoke a 2007 Section 404 mining permit issued for the Spruce Mine in West Virginia.

Granting the EPA sweeping authority, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote that the Clean Water Act “empowers him [EPA Administrator] to prohibit, restrict or withdraw the specification 'whenever' he makes a determination that the statutory 'unacceptable adverse effect' will result."

Judge Henderson’s ruling may have granted the now blatantly partisan EPA the ability to kill any mining project “whenever” it sees fit. Given the EPA’s job killing regulations and attempts to scuttle the Keystone XL pipeline, it is easy to predict how the EPA will use its newly codified authority.

It is not surprising that President Obama’s EPA is pushing legal barriers to shut down a coal mine in West Virginia. What is surprising is that a federal judge endorsed such a move, especially after a district court argued that the EPA "exceeded its authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act when it attempted to invalidate an existing permit by withdrawing the specification of certain areas as disposal sites."

Most mining projects require years of preparation. Before developers can even begin mining, they first must identify economically viable resources, either buy or lease land from the government or private individuals, and then apply for drilling permits from a handful of different agencies. Arch Coal received its first Spruce Mine permit in 1998 and received its Clean Water Act permit in 2007. All in all, this process requires millions of dollars, lawyers, and years of paperwork.

After the Spruce Mine ruling, job creators will have to go through this expensive, time-consuming process knowing that the EPA can pull the rug out from under them at any point during production.

Every mining investment just got a whole lot riskier.

But this is nothing new. With Congressional Republicans blocking Democrats’ anti-growth legislation, environmentalists have enlisted the EPA to inhibit domestic energy and mineral production.

Another example of the EPA’s abuse of the permitting process is evident in the agency’s consideration to preemptively kill the Pebble Mine project in Southwest Alaska. At the behest of many radical environmentalist organizations, the EPA has undertaken a “watershed assessment” of the Bristol Bay region. Unsurprisingly, the EPA’s watershed assessment warned against development of the region. This unprecedented action, which is an “extra regulatory” process, is especially odd given that the Pebble Partnership has yet to formally apply for any permits to construct a mine. Simply put, the EPA’s watershed assessment is an ecological risk analysis of a hypothetical mine that has no basis in reality.

Conservatives fear that the recent Spruce Mine decision will embolden the EPA to preemptively kill the Pebble Mine project before developers even apply for requisite permits. This exploitation of the permitting process would have real consequences. The Pebble Mine would be an economic boon for the region and:

* Create 16,175 high-paying jobs per year throughout construction process and an additional 14,715 high-paying jobs per year during production

* Contribute $1.6 billion to our nation’s GDP per year during the construction process and an additional $2.4 per year afterwards

The Pebble Partnership has invested over $150 million in developing a safe, environmentally responsible way to mine the enormous copper reserves in Southwest Alaska. Even if, and that’s a big if, construction of the Pebble Mine is allowed, the EPA can revoke the mine’s permit at any time.

Taken in combination with the Spruce Mine decision, it is impossible to see how the EPA’s new interpretation of old permitting laws will not chill investment. This is just once instance, of one agency, gunning for one industry. Extrapolated across every Obama-run agency, it is easy to understand why the U.S. unemployment rate remains stubbornly high.


EPA’s unethical human testing

By Richard Manning

“Informed consent is at the heart of ethically engaging in any kind of human testing.”

National outrage over the federal government’s abuse of power has seemingly hit critical mass over the past month as news about the Internal Revenue Service engaging in political targeting, government spying on AP reporters, the pending government prosecution of a Fox News reporter, and the revelation that the National Security Agency has likely been collecting data on every one of us has dominated the news.

Ignored in all the conversation about abuses is perhaps one of the most heinous of them all.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s continued practice of exposing human subjects to extreme levels of particulate matter and other toxins in tests designed to justify expanded air quality regulations.

Subjects in EPA studies conducted at the University of North Carolina were allegedly exposed to up to 21 times of the legally allowed fine particulate matter (microscopic soot particles) in tests that left at least one previously healthy man still wheezing for air two years later.

Shockingly, the EPA warns on their website that:

 “Particle pollution – especially fine particles – contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

        “premature death in people with heart or lung disease,

        “nonfatal heart attacks,

        “irregular heartbeat,

        “aggravated asthma,

        “decreased lung function, and

        “increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

“People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. However, even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution.”

In addition, the EPA has gone so far as to claim that particulate matter can kill within hours of exposure even at typical levels found outdoors.

These dire warnings have been used to justify an extremely aggressive regulatory regime , and stand in stark contrast to the consent forms that North Carolina test subjects signed where the description of the risks of inhaling this “deadly” particulate matter state, “During the exposure to the concentrated air pollution particles, you may experience some minor degree of airway irritation, rough, and shortness of breath or wheezing. These symptoms typically disappear 2 to 4 hours after exposure, but may last longer for particularly sensitive people.”

The consent form continues stating, “Air pollution particles may induce an inflammatory reaction that can last for 24 hours after exposure and may increase the chance of you catching a cold.”

Dr. William Hurlbut, a consulting professor on neuro-biology at Stanford University teaching courses on bio-ethics, and a past member of the President’s Council on Bio-Ethics expresses the importance of proper informed consent asserting, “Informed consent is at the heart of ethically engaging in any kind of human testing.”

Why is this important?

If the EPA has been conducting tests using substances they have determined to be potentially lethal, and they are not telling their human guinea pigs about the danger, they are breaching the fundamental underpinning of using human test subjects.

Attorney Steve Milloy, a fellow with the American Tradition Institute, has led the effort to expose the human testing scandal within the EPA.   After federal court recently found that ATI did not have standing to sue the EPA over the standards, Milloy has begun the process of filing a civil suit against the Agency on behalf of a test subject who became ill in the wake of testing.

Milloy makes the case that the EPA cannot have it both ways.

On one hand the EPA has written draconian regulations based upon the scientific claim that extreme harm and even almost immediate death may be caused by inhaling a small amount of particulate matter, while on the other hand, they are assuring human test subjects that the harm done to them will be virtually non-existent.

In fact Milloy takes it further asserting, “When you put all the pieces together at the end there are two outcomes, EPA scientists have either committed crimes or if they haven’t done that, all their regulatory programs have been based upon scientific fraud, and they ought to be done away with.”

Largely in response to Milloy’s work on this issue, the EPA’s Inspector General is auditing the human testing activities with results expected to be reported as early as December of this year.

Additionally, Milloy is aggressively seeking data from other research Universities around the country which have been conducting wide ranging human tests on behalf of the EPA involving exposure to chlorine gas (a chemical weapon from World War I), subjecting children to large doses of diesel exhaust, and exposing subjects to carcinogens, all seemingly without divulging the potentially life threatening consequences.

The results of Milloy’s inquiries and potential lawsuits will either show that the EPA’s regulatory regime is based upon fraudulent science, or  that the Agency has engaged in a massive unethical human testing program that willfully subjects it’s study participants to lethal substances on a wide scale, dwarfing anything encountered in our nation to date.

The EPA testing programs are just another example of the ends justify the means philosophy that permeates big government in 21st century America.


America should learn from Europe on wind power

As the Department of Energy considers a loan guarantee for the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts, it should learn from Europe's failed wind energy experiments – and from its own troubled experiences with renewable energy projects.

Germany and Spain are waking up to the inevitable truth about renewable energy, especially offshore wind. They are now realizing the projects cannot survive without subsidies and that they make energy much more expensive to households and businesses. In an age of austerity, they are a luxury even Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, cannot fully afford any more.

When Germany decided to close down its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the original plan was to replace most of the lost generating capacity with wind power. However, wind power is expensive, and the growing size of the industry has meant that subsidies – and energy bills – have surged. The German subsidy is paid for by a surcharge on household electricity bills. The growth in wind power meant that in January the surcharge increased to over 5 cents (euro) per kilowatt hour, representing 14% of all electricity bills.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, realizing that wind power is economically unsustainable, has proposed capping the subsidy until the end of 2014 and capping further rises to 2.5%, with the probability of further significant reform after the federal elections this year. It's a similar story in Spain, where subsidies have been cut so much that the chairman of the country´s Association of Renewable-Energy Producers said recently: "Spain's government is trying to smash the renewable-energy sector through legislative modifications."

President Obama has repeatedly said we should look to Spain and Germany for the lead on renewable energy policy. He is right, but not in the way he thinks.

Furthermore, he should look to the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound. The project will cost $2.6 billion, and it has secured funding for $2 billion of that from a Japanese bank. But this is believed to be subject to the project gaining a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. And there is every reason to believe that this would be as bad a bet as its loan guarantee to Solyndra.

The contracted cost of the wind farm's energy will be 23 cents a kilowatt hour (excluding tax credits, which are unlikely to last the length of the project), which is more than 50% higher than current average electricity prices in Massachusetts. The Bay State is already the 4th most expensive state for electricity in the nation. Even if the tax credits are preserved, $940 million of the $1.6 billion contract represents costs above projections for the likely market price of conventional power. Moreover, these costs are just the initial costs, and like in Germany, they are scheduled to rise by 3.5 percent annually for 15 years.

This massive increase in energy costs is bad news for Bay State businesses and may well drive some of them out of the state entirely. That's a disaster for jobs and for tax revenue.

The likelihood that businesses will not be willing to pay the bill means that the burden will fall increasingly on households. Yet, in all probability, this will be politically unsustainable, and the cost will therefore fall back on taxpayers across the nation, via the loan guarantee.

That's just the economic argument. When you consider the environmental arguments, the case becomes a no-brainer. As the Alliance to Protect Nantucket sound points out, "Cape Wind threatens the marine environment and would harm the productive, traditional fisheries of Nantucket Sound."

The Alliance also notes that, "Cape Wind would not make a significant contribution to the effort to reduce pollution emissions, and, in fact, could aggravate the problem by causing dirty power plants to run more often in order to be ready to generate power instantly when the wind stops blowing."

For the Department of Energy to grant the loan guarantee to Cape Wind would be a triumph of blinkered ideology over real economic and environmental concerns. The president, true to his word, should learn from Germany and turn down the loan guarantee to Cape Wind.




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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