Sunday, October 27, 2013

Arctic temperatures are at a 44,000-year high - and greenhouse gases are to blame, claim scientists

Anthony Watts has made some reasonable criticisms of the report below but seems to have missed a feat of illogic that stands out like dog's balls to me.  As the article itself mentions, temperatures on Baffin Island have a life of their own.  They do not even match temperature changes in adjoining Greenland.  But if Baffin Island is so out of line with the rest of the world, how can we made deductions about the rest of the world from it?  Only a Warmist would think you could.

The Arctic generally is a patchwork of quite widely varying temperatures to this day.  There appear to be several culprits for that, including variations in wind currents, variations in ocean currents and subsea vulcanism

Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher now than during any century in the past 44,000 years, scientists warned.

The study said that temperatures in the region could even be hotter than as long as 120,000 years ago.

The U.S. researchers believe the 'unprecedented warming' of Arctic Canada is due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
A couple of walruses are pictured

Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher now than during any century in the past 44,000 years, scientists warned.

Gifford Miller, study leader and geological sciences professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, said: 'This study really says the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.'

Scientists at the university believe their study is the first direct evidence that the present warmth in the Eastern Canadian Arctic exceeds the peak warmth there in the Early Holocene, when the amount of the sun’s energy reaching the Northern Hemisphere in summer was roughly nine per cent greater than today.

The Holocene is a geological epoch that began after Earth’s last glacial period ended roughly 11,700 years ago and continues today.

Professor Miller and his colleagues used dead moss clumps emerging from receding ice caps on Baffin Island as tiny clocks.

According to their paper, published in journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists compared 145 radiocarbon-dated plants with gas bubbles trapped in ice cores from the region, which show layers of snow over time and enable researchers to reconstruct past temperatures.

The plants were collected in the highlands of Baffin Island, which is located east of Greenland is the fifth largest island in the world and lies mostly inside the Arctic Circle.

The results showed the plants had been trapped in the ice for at least 44,000 years but could have been entombed for up to 120,000 years - suggesting that the temperatures in the area have not been so high for as long as 120,000 years.

'The key piece [of information] here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is,' said Professor Miller, who is also a fellow at the university's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

The scientists examined 145 radiocarbon-dated plants in the highlands of Baffin Island, which is located east of Greenland is the fifth largest island in the world, lying predominately inside the Arctic Circle

'Although the Arctic has been warming since about 1900, the most significant warming in the Baffin Island region didn’t really start until the 1970s,' said Professor Miller.

'It is really in the past 20 years that the warming signal from that region has been just stunning. All of Baffin Island is melting, and we expect all of the ice caps to eventually disappear, even if there is no additional warming,' he added.

The scientists said temperatures across the Arctic have been rising substantially in recent decades as a result of the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.

Studies in Greenland by other researchers at the university  indicate temperatures on the ice sheet have climbed 7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1991.


USA Today Serves Fruits and Nuts on Global Warming

On October 10, USA Today did its readers a grave disservice by running an op-ed full of smears and false statements by two of the fruitier nutcakes of the environmental movement, Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang.

They disparage Dr. Fred Singer and Dr. Robert Carter, two of the three lead authors of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, the latest report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). They also quote me, as head of The Heartland Institute, the organization that published CCR II. And for that, we thank them.

But the rest of their article is pure propaganda sludge.

They quote Dr. Carter, a paelaeontologist and marine geologist and former head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University (Australia), as saying “Currently the planet is cooling.” “Wrong,” they say. “The last decade (2000-2009) was the hottest on record; 2010 was the hottest year recorded.” Their claim is trivially true based on a heavily revised and controversial database that goes back only to about 1850. More reliable satellite data show no warming trend for nearly 17 years and a cooling trend in the last decade. Proxy data show the planet has been cooling since 2,000 years ago and 8,000 years ago.

Becker and Gerstenzang quote Dr. Fred Singer, saying “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.” “Nope,” they say. “Acting under U.S. Supreme Court direction, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that CO2 is a pollutant because of the harm it causes.” Gee, who should we believe here, lawyers and bureaucrats or one of the world’s most distinguished astrophysicists? It shouldn’t be a close call.

Some 97% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources and only about 3% from human activities. We exhale carbon dioxide. The Supreme Court and EPA can twist the meaning of “pollutant” to extend it to anything added to the air, including our breath, but that semantic trick has no scientific relevance. Dr. Singer is absolutely right: carbon dioxide is plant food, a net benefit to plant and animal life, and not a pollutant.

Becker and Gerstenzang then quote me: “Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth’s climate.” “Misleading, to say the least,” they write. “97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.” This is such a cheap parlor trick that one wonders if alarmists realize how foolish it makes them look whenever they use it.

Skeptics don’t say humans are not “causing global warming,” because we acknowledge that agriculture, building roads and airports and water treatment plants, and emissions of various kinds (including carbon dioxide) may indeed affect regional climates and may even be enough to have a discernable impact globally. But is it enough to “disrupt the Earth’s climate”? There is no evidence that it is.

Surveys that supposedly show a consensus in favor of they hypothesis of man-made dangerous global warming invariably ask meaningless questions, such as “is climate change real?” that any skeptic would answer “yes” to. A close look at the latest “study” used by alarmists to back their claim actually found that barely 1% of published scientific articles support the claim of dangerous man-made global warming. (See D. Legates et al., “Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation,’” Science & Education, DOI 10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9.)

When asked about climate models, the source of most of the alarmists’ claims and predictions, most scientists say they are too crude and unreliable to be useful for policymaking. And think about this: If there were really a “consensus” among scientists about climate change, why are there 78 different climate models that vary widely in their “parameters” (assumptions) and outcomes?

Becker and Gerstenzang make the familiar argument that the media shouldn’t allow global warming skeptics to air their views on their pages or as part of their broadcasts because doing so “equates serious climate science and evaluation of peer-reviewed reports with the declarations of individuals, most lacking academic degrees in climate research, who are often funded by those standing to profit if the United States fails to curb carbon dioxide emissions.”

I count four falsehoods in that one sentence, not counting the authors’ hubris in assuming that they are on the right side of this complex scientific debate. Can you find them?

The reports of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are not “serious climate science.” They are political documents produced to advance the political goals of the governments that created the IPCC, fund it, staff it, select the scientists who get to participate, and revise and rewrite the reports before their public release. Critics all around the world have pointed out how the IPCC’s reports are not reliable, not peer reviewed, and certainly not unbiased.

NIPCC, in contrast, is a group of some 50 skeptical scientists, all of them highly qualified to speak to the issues they address, with no financial stake in the outcome of the global warming debate. Many of them, such as Singer, are emeritus professors, meaning they are no longer competing for grant dollars. No corporate or government funding at all was used to support NIPCC or the publication of its Climate Change Reconsidered series of reports.

In the global warming debate there are two primary sources of reviews of the peer-reviewed science: the IPCC and NIPCC. The first is politicized, unreliable, and largely discredited. NIPCC is the new kid on the block, nonpolitical, and endorsed by many leading climate scientists. NIPCC now best represents the views of independent scientists.

It’s time to stop attacking the messenger and start listening to the message. It is very clear: The human impact on climate is small, future climate change attributable to human activities is likely to be too small to discern from natural variability, and efforts to reduce human carbon dioxide emissions are unnecessary.


Thank Global Warming for Fewer Hurricane Sandy Events

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which will launch a plethora of alarmist media stories about global warming. We will be told global warming is responsible for creating Sandy. We will be told global warming is responsible for making Sandy stronger than would otherwise have been the case. We will be told global warming is responsible for Sandy striking so far north, in the U.S. Northeast. We will be told global warming is responsible for the extra storm surge when Sandy came ashore. All of these assertions are myths contradicted by objective science.

Global hurricane numbers have been declining for decades as our planet continues its modest warming. Common sense tells us if hurricanes are becoming rarer as the planet warms, a warming planet is not creating more hurricanes.

The decline in hurricanes is even more pronounced in the context of major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) striking the United States. If major hurricanes are undergoing the greatest decline, common sense [and logic] tells us global warming is not making hurricanes stronger.

The U.S. Northeast experienced only a single major hurricane strike during the past 50 years, versus six major hurricane strikes in the preceding 30 years. Hurricane Sandy (technically an extra-tropical storm with Category 1-equivalent winds when it came ashore) was quite minor compared with the major hurricanes that frequently struck the U.S. Northeast when our planet was cooler. As our planet warms, the U.S. Northeast is finding welcome relief from catastrophic hurricanes.

Finally, even if global sea level has risen by seven inches during the past century, Sandy’s 14-foot storm surge still would have been 13 feet, 5 inches without the sea-level rise. More importantly, without global warming there would likely be stronger, more frequent hurricane strikes along the U.S. Northeast bringing much higher storm surges than 14 feet. Also, without the increased atmospheric wind shear associated with global warming, Hurricane Sandy may have developed into a stronger hurricane with a deadlier storm surge.

The media will drum up all sorts of alarm about Hurricane Sandy and global warming next week, but sound science reveals we should thank global warming for fewer Hurricane Sandy events.


Ocean "acidification" is no threat to one lot of shell-dwelling creatures

Despite simplistic Greenie logic that says otherwise

Discussing:  Ginger, K.W.K., Vera, C.B.S., Dineshram, R., Dennis, C.K.S., Adela, L.J., Yu, Z. and Thiyagarajan, V. 2013. "Larval and post-larval stages of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) are resistant to elevated CO2." PLoS ONE 8: e64147.

In the words of Ginger et al. (2013), it is widely believed that" human-caused pH change is posing serious threats and challenges to the pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), especially to their larval states." However, they note that "our knowledge of the effect of reduced pH on C. gigas larvae presently relies presumptively on four short-term (< 4 days) survival and growth studies." And they clearly feel that this paucity of experimental data is insufficient to draw such strong conclusions.

Against this backdrop, and based on multiple physiological measurements made during various life stages of the oysters, Ginger et al. studied "the effects of long-term (40 days) exposure to pH 8.1, 7.7 and 7.4 on larval shell growth, metamorphosis, respiration and filtration rates at the time of metamorphosis, as well as the juvenile shell growth and structure of C. gigas.

In doing so the seven scientists discovered that (1) "mean survival and growth rates were not affected by pH," that (2) "the metabolic, feeding and metamorphosis rates of pediveliger larvae were similar, between pH 8.1 and 7.7," that (3) "the pediveligers at pH 7.4 showed reduced weight-specific metabolic and filtration rates, yet were able to sustain a more rapid post-settlement growth rate," and that (4) "no evidence suggested that low pH treatments resulted in alterations to the shell ultra-structures or elemental compositions (i.e., Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios)."

In light of these several positive findings, Ginger et al. concluded that "larval and post-larval forms of the C. gigas in the Yellow Sea are probably resistant to elevated CO2 and decreased near-future pH scenarios." In fact, they opine that "the pre-adapted ability to resist a wide range of decreased pH may provide C. gigas with the necessary tolerance to withstand rapid pH changes over the coming century."


Mann Attacks Fellow Warmist for Questioning Hockey Stick

Prominent global warming alarmist Michael Mann venomously attacked fellow warmist Rob Wilson after Wilson pointed out flaws in Mann’s “hockey stick” reconstruction of historic temperatures.

Wilson, a paleoclimatologist who is a post-doctoral research fellow at Scotland’s prestigious University of Edinburgh and an adjunct research fellow at Columbia University in the United States, delivered a two-hour lecture on climatology last week at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. While discussing historical climate, Wilson documented several major procedural and substantive flaws in Mann’s hockey stick. Taking care to reassure people he is not part of the “skeptic” camp, Wilson nevertheless emphasized the importance of sound, unbiased science. Wilson concluded Mann’s hockey stick was “ultimately a flawed study.”

The thin-skinned and vitriolic Mann quickly took to his Twitter account to lash out at Wilson. When a Twitter follower asked Mann if he was really calling such a respected paleoclimate expert a “denier,” Mann replied, “Not for criticizing my work, but for apparently regurgitating #denialist drivel by the likes of McIntyre etc.”

Mann’s attack on a fellow warmist follows on the heels of Center for American Progress climate front man Joe Romm attacking fellow warmist Naomi Klein after Klein pointed out how the renewable energy industry is harming the warmist cause by gaming the system to its enhance its profits. The Center for American Progress is funded by the renewable fuel industry, and Romm pulled no punches attacking Klein for her point of view.

“Klein is the queen of conflation and revisionism,” Romm wrote about his fellow warmist on the Center for American Progress website.

Klein responded by saying Romm is motivated by prejudice and does not fact-check his assertions.


Texas Smart Meters become money meters

Monday electric customers received letters from Oncor telling them they're asking the Texas Public Utility Commission for the power to extract money from people for not installing Smart Meters.

It was Oncor's response to PUC's decision last December to develop a set of opt-out rules for people who wanted to keep their analog units.

The decision followed long-running battles between grassroots protestors and giant corporate power providers like Oncor in North Texas over installation of Smart Meters.

Dallas Libertarian Examiner has been reporting on this "power struggle" since 2010 through the eyes of "Mr. Smoot," an acronym for "Smart Meter Opt Out Texan," a Ft. Worth resident wishing to remain anonymous.

Here's a portion of the letter that Smoot sent via certified mail to the PUC:

"I just received my first official notice today (October 22, 2013) that Oncor filed with the PUC on September 30 that they want official state permission to rip off their customers who still have "non-standard" (meaning "standard analog") meters by looting them with a "one-time up-front fee" of up to $489.20 and an ongoing monthly charge maxing out at $28.45.

"And if the customer caves in and asks for the installation of the same Smart Meter that everyone else had installed at no cost they'll be robbed of a maximum of $769.20.

"This isn't an Opt Out plan; this is a severe punishment for not knuckling under and kissing Oncor's work boots from their first demand to impose their digital devices on everyone.

"It is outrageous for Oncor to charge me a fee for simply keeping a meter I already have and which therefore costs Oncor absolutely nothing.

"Charging me an extra monthly fee for sending a person to my home to read the meter is equally outrageous since Oncor has always done this as part of its service without charging an extra fee.

"Other places in the United States such as Vermont; Kaui, Hawaii; Ashland, Oregon among others, have FREE opt out programs while others have VERY low charges. Why is Oncor trying to gouge us?

"I am retired and living on a fixed income. This treatment is truly a grotesque outrage!

"I urge the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to disapprove all of these utterly unnecessary money-grabs and to do what the Commission is supposed to do: Protect the public!"



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