Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A curious claim from the Warsaw climate conference

"There is no doubt that now another climate change takes place - during the last hundred years the average global temperature rose by 0.74°C[1], the sea level increased for the first time since the last ice age (over 20cm since 1870, and the pace of the increase is getting faster), glaciers melt and the snow cap of the Northern hemisphere decreases."


There has been a HUGE sea level rise since the last ice-age, most of it in prehistory

Antarctica, a land of ice and FIRE: Active volcano is discovered under continent  - and it could speed up melting

Subsurface vulcanism has long been known in the Arctic so finding something similar in the Antarctic is no surprise.  The surprise is how thoroughly Warmists manage to ignore it.  It does of course make nonsense of their claims that melting ice CAN ONLY be caused by CO2 increase.  The Gakkel ridge in the Arctic is big and quite active.  It is the most likely source of Arctic ice variability.  It would be interesting to put a volcano under the bottom of some Warmists and see how long they managed to say it did nothing

Forget global warming, the ice sheets of Antarctica face a different and a potentially more imminent threat in the form an active volcano buried deep beneath.

Researchers from Washington University discovered the volcano - which is yet to be named - by accident in the Marie Byrd Land region of West Antarctica.

Swarms of tremors were detected in January 2010 and February 2011 and ash found trapped in the ice suggest it has been active for around 8,000 years.

In January 2010, a team of scientists from the St. Louis-based university set up two crossing lines of seismographs across Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica.

Doug Wiens, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University, and his team wanted to weigh the ice sheet to help create a picture of Antarctica's climate history.

Like a giant CT machine, the seismograph array used disturbances created by distant earthquakes to make images of the ice and rock deep within the region.

The technology found two bursts of seismic events between January 2010 and March 2011, which Wiens' PhD student Amanda Lough believed were caused by a previously unseen volcano buried over half a mile (1 kilometre) beneath the ice sheet.

‘I started seeing events that kept occurring at the same location, which was odd,’ Lough said.  ‘Then I realised they were close to some mountains - but not right on top of them.

‘My first thought was, "Okay, maybe it’s just coincidence." But then I looked more closely and realised that the mountains were actually volcanoes and there was an age progression to the range.

'The volcanoes closest to the seismic events were the youngest ones.’

The tremors were weak and very low frequency, which Lough said suggested they weren't caused by movements in tectonic plates, associated with earthquakes.

For example, low-magnitude seismic tremors caused by tectonic movement typically have frequencies of 10 to 20 cycles per second, continued Lough.  The shaking she discovered was in frequencies of 2 to 4 cycles per second.

Lough then used a global computer model of seismic speeds to find exactly where the seismic events were taking place.

It is thought that the newly discovered volcano is near the Executive Committee Range of extinct volcanoes.

The researchers also found that almost all of the events happened between 25 to 40 kilometres below the surface.

Lough said this is ‘extraordinarily deep - deep enough to be near the boundary between the Earth's crust and mantle, called the Moho.’ This suggested to Lough that the tremors weren’t caused by shifting ice or glacial movement. It also further ruled out the tectonic theory.  ‘A tectonic event might have a hypocentre 10 to 15 kilometres deep, but at 25 to 40 kilometres, these were way too deep,’ Lough said.

This led Lough and her colleague to conclude the tremors and the waveforms they created looked like Deep Long Period earthquakes, or DPLs, which occur in volcanic areas.

The seismologists also talked to Antarctica experts Duncan Young and Don Blankenship from the University of Texas.

‘Their best guess is that it came from Mount Waesche, an existing volcano near Mount Sidley. But that is also interesting because scientists had no idea when Mount Waesche was last active, and the ash layer sets the age of the eruption at 8,000 years ago.‘

‘Most mountains in Antarctica are not volcanic,’ Wiens said. ‘But most in this area are. Is it because East and West Antarctica are slowly drifting apart? We don't know exactly. But we think there is probably a hot spot in the mantle here producing magma far beneath the surface.’

‘People aren't really sure what causes DPLs,' Lough continued. ‘It seems to vary by volcanic complex, but most people think it's the movement of magma and other fluids that leads to pressure-induced vibrations in cracks within volcanic and hydrothermal systems.’

Lough added that the volcano will ‘definitely’ erupt in the future but can’t be sure when. Such a subglacial eruption would cause enough heat flow to melt a substantial part of ice sheet.

‘The volcano will create millions of gallons of water beneath the ice - many lakes full,’ said Wiens.
This water will cause surrounding streams and sea levels to rise.

Lough added, though, that only an enormous eruption - one that released a thousand times more energy than a typical eruption - would be strong enough to breach the ice above the volcano.

The findings are published in the Nature Geoscience journal.


Canadian govt. scientists censored

A large survey of science professionals in the federal public service has found that almost 25 per cent of respondents say they have been directly asked to exclude or alter information for "non-scientific reasons."

Some 71 per cent of those surveyed said political interference is compromising policy development based on scientific evidence, and almost half of those who took part said they were aware of cases in which their department or agency suppressed information.scientists protest

The study, entitled "The Big Chill," was commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, and paints a disturbing picture of government scientists who feel they are being muzzled.

More than 4,000 federal scientists -- out of more than 15,000 who were invited --responded to the union-commissioned, online survey handled by the polling firm Environics.

"A chill has settled on federal government science that is even greater than that suggested by the cases so far reported by the media," Gary Corbett, the president of PIPSC, said Monday.

Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault is already conducting a study of how communications policy changes under the Harper government have clamped down on the sharing of government science with the public.

Legault was spurred to investigate the issue by a lengthy report from the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and the ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch, which included a score of anecdotes from six different government departments or agencies.

The PIPSC survey, which was conducted June 5-19 and surveyed 4,069 of the union's 15,398 members, adds statistical heft to that anecdotal evidence.

The responses came from across more than 40 government departments and agencies and included 670 Environment Canada scientists, 651 from Health Canada, 427 Defence department employees, 343 from Fisheries and Oceans, 335 from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and almost 300 each from Agriculture Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

Greg Rickford, the Conservative minister of state for science and technology, said in an email that the Conservatives have made "record investments in science."

"Science can power commerce, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for all Canadians," said the junior minister's email.

Through his office, however, Rickford did not respond to questions about the issue at hand: the alleged muzzling of scientists and the suppression of science in policy development.

A government official, speaking on background, said Environment Canada scientists alone attended 300 conferences in 2011, published 600 articles and participated in some 1,200 interviews.

The exchange with Rickford's office may help to illustrate the vast chasm between the perspective of elected officials and public servants.

The Conservative government, it appears, believes communication needs are easily met with carefully scripted and vetted talking points, even if off topic. Federal scientists, on the other hand, may feel differently.

Fully 90 per cent of respondents, however, said they don't feel they're allowed to speak freely about their work in the media, and 86 per cent believe they would face retaliation if they went public with information about harm to public health, safety or the environment.

Corbett noted the 2006 Government of Canada communications policy states it must provide the public with "timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information" about its policies, services and programs.

"Whether by implicit policy or explicit action, there has been silencing and it continues," Corbett said.

But the survey was equally damning in its assessment of the government's use of scientific research.


Salby in Edinburgh, Nov. 7

On a windswept evening in the heart of Scotland's capital an eager audience was left in no doubt about Salby's message. The Australian climate professor, fired by his university for daring to speak the unspeakable truth, admitted that the peer-reviewed historical data proves that global temperatures conclusively drive carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, not the reverse.

In short, the message from this principled researcher stands loud and clear for policymakers: the CO2-forcing 'greenhouse gas' hypothesis has 'cause and effect' back to front. But before we go deeper into Salby's presentation we can't overlook a most bizarre appearance (enter stage door left!) from the indefatigable (Lord) Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

Obviously it was quite a surprise to all present when the self-styled former "science adviser" to Margaret Thatcher popped up out of the blue. Judging by the facial expression of Mike Haseler (the scottish sceptic who organised this event) it surprised Mike as much as the rest of us. That said, his lordship was quickly allowed a small speaking slot before Salby. Salby did look a little none plussed, but leaned in the doorway and warmed to the speech as Monckton did his usual excellent job (more on that later below).

Salby was able to demonstrate, by reference to such official data, that recent and short term CO2 levels do not directly follow temperature swings, but are induced by and dependent upon the time integration of the temperature changes. If Salby's analysis is correct, then all those expensive government computer models programmed to show CO2 and temperature correlation are completely wrong and the ‘decarbonisation’ crusade is all based on junk science.

Salby's assessment is in line with that of Principia Scientific International (PSI); there appears to be broad agreement that both the UN IPCC and its latest AR5 report are rendered increasingly irrelevant, while all government subsidies for renewables now look to be pointless, too, for having no credible scientific basis.

Moreover, green taxes, carbon trading, carbon capture and sequetration and all related legislation are likewise redundant. But even better for populations crying out for cheaper energy is the clear implication that we need not close any coal fired powered stations or restrict shale gas exploration. So perhaps cheaper energy for all?

But let's just pause for a moment and give thanks to Hassler - he deserves much praise for his organisational efforts. Feedback to Mike may be posted here at scottishsceptic.wordpress.com. However, an even bigger thanks should go to Principia Scientific International (PSI), who via the generous four-figure sum donated by Ken Coffman (Stairway Press), helped cover Salby's expenses.

Professor Salby’s presentation was especially interesting in regards to the C12 and C13 ratio, which is an often overlooked aspect of climate attribution, as addressed so eloquently by 'The Chiefio' in 'The Trouble with C12 C13 Ratios' (February, 2009).

Salby accepts the consensus figures, he displayed them to his audience, and then questioned them, using the consensus’s own logic. By this means he found the accepted interpretations are wrong, or at least not supported by the consensus’s own figures. The Aussie climatologist used the same method with the global energy budgets and showed the intrigued ensemble they only allow CO2 to change temperature, which he also showed to be not the case, again using the consensus’s own figures.

Neat, Simple, Understandable, Logical and Questioning

However, we know the consensus figures for the modern global CO2 atmospheric concentration (ie, MLO) are questionable, if not completely wrong, as per Beck (see: 'Ernst Georg Beck: A Major Contributor to Climate Science Effectively Sidelined by Climate Deceivers').

We know the proxy record for CO2 atmospheric concentration (ice cores in this case) are questionable, if not completely wrong, as per Drake. We know the method by which they were spliced together is also questionable. Indeed, temperature reconstructions from ice cores are questionable (for the same reasons as CO2 reconstructions), ocean temperatures are questionable, if not just wrong, etc.

Is there a single reliable, unquestionable global metric in climate science? Almost certainly not. Yet, Professor Salby produces plots with a scale of 0.1 parts per million for global CO2 atmospheric concentration, without error bars. I would suggest that the noise is far, far larger than the signal. So, although excellent, it probably proves nothing, except the consensus does not have any reliable figures.

Professor Salby's questioning of the global energy budgets does stand up though, in my opinion. He showed they must be wrong, and at a very basic level, again, only by using the consensus’s own logic and figures.

But towards a new theory of climate though? NOT without including realistic thermodynamics, and that Professor Salby did not need to cover, because the consensus does not, and neither do most others. Mores the pity. All in all, his presentation was brilliant and a correct way to go about matters. I take my hat off to the good climate professor. Thank you Murry Salby.


The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green energy push

 The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America's push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country "stronger, cleaner and more secure."

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation - more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined - have vanished on Obama's watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.

Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, and the effects are visible in places like south central Iowa.

The hilly, once-grassy landscape is made up of fragile soil that, unlike the earth in the rest of the state, is poorly suited for corn. Nevertheless, it has yielded to America's demand for it.

"They're raping the land," said Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, which now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy.

All energy comes at a cost. The environmental consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas are well documented and severe. But in the president's push to reduce greenhouse gases and curtail global warming, his administration has allowed so-called green energy to do not-so-green things.

In some cases, such as its decision to allow wind farms to kill eagles, the administration accepts environmental costs because they pale in comparison to the havoc it believes global warming could ultimately cause.

Ethanol is different.

The government's predictions of the benefits have proven so inaccurate that independent scientists question whether it will ever achieve its central environmental goal: reducing greenhouse gases. That makes the hidden costs even more significant.

"This is an ecological disaster," said Craig Cox with the Environmental Working Group, a natural ally of the president that, like others, now finds itself at odds with the White House.

But it's a cost the administration is willing to accept. It believes supporting corn ethanol is the best way to encourage the development of biofuels that will someday be cleaner and greener than today's. Pulling the plug on corn ethanol, officials fear, might mean killing any hope of these next-generation fuels.

"That is what you give up if you don't recognize that renewable fuels have some place here," EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said in a recent interview with AP. "All renewable fuels are not corn ethanol."

Still, corn supplies the overwhelming majority of ethanol in the United States, and the administration is loath to discuss the environmental consequences.

"It just caught us completely off guard," said Doug Davenport, a Department of Agriculture official who encourages southern Iowa farmers to use conservation practices on their land. Despite those efforts, Davenport said he was surprised at how much fragile, erodible land was turned into corn fields.

Shortly after Davenport spoke to The Associated Press, he got an email ordering him to stop talking.

"We just want to have a consistent message on the topic," an Agriculture Department spokesman in Iowa said.

That consistent message was laid out by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who spoke to ethanol lobbyists on Capitol Hill recently and said ethanol was good for business.

"We are committed to this industry because we understand its benefits," he said. "We understand it's about farm income. It's about stabilizing and maintaining farm income which is at record levels."

The numbers behind the ethanol mandate have become so unworkable that, for the first time, the EPA is soon expected to reduce the amount of ethanol required to be added to the gasoline supply. An unusual coalition of big oil companies, environmental groups and food companies is pushing the government to go even further and reconsider the entire ethanol program.

The ethanol industry is fighting hard against that effort. Industry spokesman Brooke Coleman dismissed this story as "propaganda on a page." An industry blog in Minnesota said the AP had succumbed "to Big Oil's deep pockets and powerful influence."

Much more HERE

Australian PM  rejects climate change fund proposal

Canada too

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a proposal from the 53-nation Commonwealth to establish a new fund to help poor and island countries to combat climate change.

As an extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting concluded in Colombo, Mr Abbott joined with Canada in rejecting a decision by the summit to push for a Green Capital Fund to help vulnerable island states and poor African countries address the effects of rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, or catastrophic weather incidents, caused by climate change.

The proposal is for Commonwealth countries to work within the UN climate change network to build the fund for small and poor countries to access.

But the final agreement from the 53 members of the Anglosphere Commonwealth noted that “Australia and Canada… indicated they could not support a Green Capital Fund at this time”.

One of the key themes of the summit was the plight of low-lying, and poor states who are especially vulnerable to climate change, but don't have the money for adaptation.

Malta will host the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, offering to stage the event after Mauritius withdrew in protest over Sri Lanka hosting this year's forum.

Prime Minister of Mauritius Navin Ramgoolam did not attend the Colombo meeting in protest at Sri Lanka's human rights record, and said his country would not be prepared to present the next one.

The issue of human rights violations dominated the final day of CHOGM 2013. Under questioning from foreign journalists, and in response to spirited defences from local reporters, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse asked the international community to give his country time to reconcile after 30 years of civil war.

“This is not something you can do overnight. You must also respect our own views without trying to push us into a corner, so please be fair.”

Four years since the war's end, relations between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim communities remain strained. But Mr Rajapakse said he felt responsible for the welfare of all citizens of the island nation.

“They are all my people, my citizens, I will look after them, it is my responsibility… I will do it.”



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