Friday, November 01, 2013

Five Of The Six Snowiest Winters Have Occurred Since David Viner Declared The End Of Snow

Rutgers University Climate Lab :: Global Snow Lab

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past – Environment – The Independent


Wolf-protection cages for Kids at School Bus Stops Spark Outrage

Greenies are the enemies of civilization

Environmentalists have galvanized behind a movement to resurrect wolf populations in rural America. Public support, particularly from urban regions, appears to favor the idea of returning this iconic symbol of the wilderness to America’s rural landscapes. Unfortunately there is a lack of public awareness to the real life consequences for those living with wolves. The result is a misguided Federal wolf introduction program that disregards protests from states where wolves are forced on communities that don’t want them.

In Catron County, New Mexico, aggressive Mexican gray wolves are terrorizing residents. Here wolves are killing pets in front yards in broad daylight, and forcing parents to stand guard when children play outside. The threat has become so ominous the local school district has decided to place wolf shelters (kid cages) at school bus stops to protect school children from wolves while they wait for the bus or parents. These wolf proof cages, constructed from plywood and wire, are designed to prevent wolves from taking a child. The absurdity of this scenario is mind-numbing. What kind of society accepts the idea of children in cages while wolves are free to roam where they choose?

This situation exemplifies the problem with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It has drifted far from its original intent and become a useful tool for extreme environmentalists to push their agendas, often placing the interests of wild animals above the interests of real people.

The ESA allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release captive Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998 as a “nonessential experimental population.” The experiment isn’t going so well. 15 years after its inception the wolf population in these states is growing and so are conflicts between wolves, livestock, local residents, and federal government agencies in charge of the program. Now, despite growing resistance from local communities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed an expansion of the Mexican gray wolf program.

Those forced to live with wolves on a daily basis have found there is little they can do about the harmful consequences imposed on them by their government. They find themselves having to deal with two predators—one from the wild and the other from Washington, D.C.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, willfully harassing, harming, or killing a species listed on the ESA can lead to fines up to $100,000 and one year in jail.

The local sheriff in Truth or Consequences is Joe Baca, a no-nonsense law enforcement officer who doesn’t take kindly to outside influences dictating terms for how public safety matters are dealt with. I recently met with Sheriff Baca to learn the truth about wolf threats to humans and the consequences of government programs that force wolves on civilized areas.

“My number one priority is public safety,” Baca told me, “I don’t work for the Federal government. I work for the residents of this county. The truth is that one of these days we are going to have a wolf incident with a human tragedy. In my opinion our citizens are more important than any endangered species. There is no way I am going to allow any Federal agent to come into my county and arrest someone for protecting their livestock or their family by killing a wolf.”

Local resident Crystal Diamond has experienced several run-ins with wolves, including two close encounters when she was alone with her young children. She expressed her growing frustration with this government induced wolf problem — “As mothers raising our children in wolf country, we have the additional responsibility of protecting our children from a threat that is imposed by our own government and funded by our own tax dollars.”

Many rural communities in New Mexico and Arizona view the Federal government’s artificial wolf introduction program as a predatory action against state’s rights to manage wildlife, and local government authority to protect private property and public safety. When it comes to the ESA, the Federal government has often misused the law to usurp state’s authority and override local concerns by imposing restrictions on land use and wildlife stewardship.

Conflicts over the ESA primarily revolve around competing sets of values. Rarely is the debate over whether a species is threatened with extinction. The truth is that most of the species listed as endangered, including the gray wolf, are not in any danger of extinction. These so-called endangered species are simply not deemed at acceptable levels in a geographic location.

Those who believe ecosystems must to return to an original pre-human settled state, use the ESA to protect species from harm by forcing mankind to modify behaviors. The result is slowed and stalled infrastructure projects, higher costs of goods, restrictions on development, and limitations on private property rights. But the preeminent problem is contrasting values that juxtapose those who believe in mankind’s superiority to animals with those that place animals and humans on a level of equal value, or in some cases, give higher value to an animal, bird or fish.

There are around 1,500 species listed as endangered or threatened by the ESA. Only 27 have been deemed recovered and delisted. While the Mexican gray wolf program may be expanded, its more common cousin, the gray wolf, is now under consideration for delisting, in part because as the numbers grow, so does the difficulty of managing this predator.

Wolves are a unique predator. There were very valid reasons why they were driven from the lower 48 states through government wolf eradication projects in the early 1900‘s. There is no other apex, top-of-the-food-chain predator in North America so destructive to livestock, wildlife, pets, and ultimately economies, as the wolf. After a long absence of wolf populations in the lower 48 states, public opinion of the wolf changed. It has become a non-threatening symbol of environmental idealism. But with the return of the wolf, and their destructive behavior, rural America is quickly learning why wolves were removed from settled areas.

Wolves reintroduction programs began in earnest in the mid-1990‘s when Canadian wolves were planted in Yellowstone Park. Here their killing capability is on full display. As pack hunters, wolves have a huge advantage over their prey. The northern Yellowstone elk herd numbered around 20,000 in 1995 despite predators such grizzly bears and mountain lions. Today the same herd is less than 4,000 — an 80% reduction. Moose populations have also suffered enormous losses to wolves in the Yellowstone area.

States like Montana and Idaho have felt the economic impact of having large numbers of game animals killed by wolves. With fewer hunters and less permits issued, annual funding revenues for state Fish and Game departments have decreased. Less hunters mean less money, and taxes collected, in small communities that depend on this industry.

The problem with wolves is that there is no such thing as just a few wolves. Wolves breed at extraordinarily high rates and as their numbers grow, their territory naturally expands. One year three females in the Yellowstone Druid pack had a total litter of 21 pups – 20 of them survived. It doesn’t take long for the population to explode, and that is precisely what has happened. There are now hundreds of wolves roaming Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

The ESA brought wolves into Yellowstone, but didn’t consider the economic impact on neighboring states. Nor did it take into account the jeopardy to small business owners in the livestock industry who have been forced into the unfortunate reality of feeding wolves with their livestock.

Wolves are killing machines with a naturally ingrained instinct to chase. At times this inclination can lead to sport killing. Sheep are often the victims of these rampages and offer a convenient training opportunity for young wolves to learn the art of the kill. This past summer Montana rancher Bill Hoppe had 18 sheep killed by a collared wolf from Yellowstone Park — none of the dead sheep were eaten. The Siddoway Sheep Company in Eastern Idaho had 176 sheep killed in a wolf induced stampede. Only two sheep were partially eaten. Over the course of two month’s the Siddoways lost 250 sheep, several dogs, and a horse to wolf attacks.

Serious problems with wolves are not limited to their capacity to kill. They are known carriers of disease that can cause severe problems and even death in both animals and humans. In Alaska 300 people have contracted the deadly hydatid disease from encountering wolf scat and tracking it into homes. This disease has been identified in over 60% of wolves in Montana and Idaho. Wolves spread anthrax, brucellosis and other diseases throughout wildlife and livestock populations, causing infertility, miscarriage and death.

Some large predators, such as wolves, are simply incompatible with civilization. The grizzly bear is a case in point. California, where I currently live, has a grizzly bear on the state seal and flag. At one time as many as 10,000 grizzlies roamed the state. But grizzly bears have not been in California since 1922. There’s just no way to mix such an aggressive predator with populated areas. Wolves are an even more difficult predator to manage.

Gray wolf populations now far exceed the recovery goals established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With the gray wolf now under consideration for removal from the endangered list, wolf management would return to where it belongs — in the hands of states instead of the Federal government. Management of wildlife, including endangered species, should be the responsibility of states rather than bureaucrats in far-off places like Washington, D.C.

Since artificial wolf introduction programs began, wolf proponents have used every possible means at their disposal to keep wolves from being delisted from the endangered list. It took an act of Congress in 2011 to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho. Legislation was attached to a must-pass budget bill, resulting in legislation being used for the first time to remove ESA protection of a species.

Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced an extension for public comment on gray wolf delisting and expansion of the Mexican gray wolf program. The deadline for public comment submissions is December 17, 2013. Four public hearings will also take place; Denver, Colorado (Nov. 19), Albuquerque, New Mexico (Nov. 20), Sacramento, California (Nov. 22), and Pinetop, Arizona (Dec. 3).

The pro-wolf lobby is powerful and well-funded. Extreme environmentalists such as Defenders of Wildlife, Wild Earth Guardians, Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity are aggressively lobbying to keep wolves on the endangered list. Unfortunately, rural communities most impacted by wolves, don’t have such well-funded organizations fighting on their behalf.

The truth is wolves are not compatible with people living in populated areas including most of the settled territory of the lower 48 states. Wolves need to be managed in a way that does not subject children to cages at school bus stops, drive small business owners in the livestock industry to ruin, burden taxpayers with expensive wolf management programs and lost tax revenues, and force local communities to suffer consequences of Federal government actions.

Allowing the Endangered Species Act to place the interests of animals, birds, fish and plants above the interests of mankind is a recipe for disaster. We have a clear choice; either we control predators in the wild, and in government — or they will control us.


Emerging nations nearing half of global carbon dioxide emissions: study

Total greenhouse gas emissions by China and other emerging nations since 1850 will surpass those of rich nations this decade, a study has showed.

The announcement is likely to complicate upcoming UN talks about who is most to blame for global warming.

Developing nations accounted for 48 per cent of cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2010, according to the study by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, research group Ecofys and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

"Somewhere in the current decade the share of the cumulative historical emissions of developing countries will surpass that of developed countries," a statement said.

Developing nations' emissions are rising fast and the report predicted that their share of cumulative emissions would reach 51 per cent by 2020.

Almost 200 governments will meet in Warsaw, Poland, from November 11-22 to discuss plans for a new, global deal to fight climate change meant to be agreed in 2010 and to enter into force from 2020.

"Discussions at the UN climate negotiations tend to focus on which countries have contributed most to climate change," the study said.

The biggest emitters since 1850, taken as the start of widespread industrial use of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases when burnt, were the United States, China, the European Union and Russia, it said.

China, with 1.3 billion inhabitants, argues that its per capita emissions since 1850 are still far below those of developed nations, meaning it has less responsibility to rein in emissions than rich nations.


Obama will use executive powers to conserve lands: Interior secretary

US president Barack Obama will use his executive powers to protect more mountains, rivers and forests from development if Congress does not act to preserve such wild spaces, his interior secretary has said.

Portions of the Grand Canyon, Redwood forests in California and Caribbean seascapes have been protected under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president broad authority to put natural terrain and historic sites under federal protection.

Such preservation efforts can also come through Congress but presidents in a second term have typically felt freer to designate such spaces unilaterally.

On Thursday, interior secretary Sally Jewell said that the president was ready to move ahead.

"There's no question that if Congress doesn't act, we will act," Ms Jewell said at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington.

Lawmakers have proposed roughly two dozen sites for federal protection, but partisan divisions have helped stall many of those plans.

Ms Jewell said proposals that have backing in Congress - including planned designation of coastal regions of California and Maine, as well as a swath of the Arizona desert - are among the first that could be considered.

"I'll be understanding why these places are special before we go ahead with any action," Ms Jewell said of her plans to visit parts of the country in the coming weeks where there is a public groundswell for putting land under federal stewardship.

One of the projects thought to have public support is the Hermosa Creek Watershed in south-western Colorado, where more than 40,000 hectares of hilly, arid terrain is already popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

The proposed site abuts state and national parks.

Scott Tipton, a Republican congressman from western Colorado, this year joined with the state's Democratic senator Michael Bennet to push for designation.

Although the project has local support, Mr Tipton said the designation should come through congressional action and he discouraged the president from moving unilaterally.

"I'd be disappointed if they went ahead with this tactic," he said.

But Senator Bennet said some projects should not be held ransom to inaction in Congress.

"The Antiquities Act is an important conservation tool, particularly when a dysfunctional Congress can't even pass non-controversial and widely supported preservation proposals," he said in a statement.

Besides managing national parks, monuments and historic sites, the interior department oversees oil and gas drilling on federal land.

Jewell called for a "balanced approach to development" and said she would order future drilling proposals for federal land to include plans to mitigate surface disturbances and damage to the landscape.

Ellis Richard, the founder of Park Rangers for Our Lands, which is a voice for former National Park docents, said that he was impressed with secretary Jewell's conservation message.

"Her speech gives us hope that we will see progress in bringing balance between protecting national parks and energy development on public lands," he said.


James Cameron Gets Matt Damon, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Climate Hysteria Series

Showtime announced last year that it had commissioned Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron to produce an eight-part series for the network designed to scare the public into thinking the world is doomed as a result of global warming.

Coincidentally on Halloween, the cable network released a trailer for the April 2014 series entitled Years of Living Dangerously and credits that identify key Hollywood contributors such as Jessica Alba, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The website describes the series thusly:

"YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY is global warming like you’ve never seen it before. Coming to SHOWTIME in April, this multi-part television event tells the biggest story of our time: climate change and the impact it's having on people right now in the US and all over the world. Over the course of eight episodes, we’ll report on the crippling effects of climate change-related weather events and the ways individuals, communities, companies and governments are struggling to find solutions to the biggest threat our world has ever faced. An all-star cast of correspondents goes into the field—to Texas, Kansas, California, Colorado, New York, Maine, Montana, Washington, the Carolinas, Florida, the Middle East, Africa, the Andes, the North Pole, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the South Pacific—to meet the people and see the places affected by climate change."

Boo! Scary!

Now check out the stars involved in this nightmare:

Jessica Alba, Mark Bittman, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, America Ferrera, Harrison Ford, Thomas L. Friedman, Michael C. Hall, Chris Hayes, Olivia Munn, M. Sanjaya, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ian Somerhalder, and Lesley Stahl

Now take a look at the "Science Advisors" to the series:

Robert Corell, Heidi Cullen, Charles H. Greene, James Hansen, Katharine Hayhoe, Radley Horton, Michael Mann, Michael Oppenheimer, Joseph Romm

Think Cameron and Company will give any time to the thousands upon thousands of scientists that don't believe any of this nonsense?

Highly unlikely.

Consider that in August 2010, Cameron dropped out of a global warming debate THAT HE organized!

Earlier that year, he advocated shooting people that don't believe this theory.

So don't expect to hear the other side in this series.


Unprecedented (?) Arctic warming

Judith Curry makes essentially the same points that I made (on 27 Oct.) about the Baffin Island study -- that the Baffin Is. data is not representative of anything -- but she does so with more detail

A new paper by Miller et al. is getting a great deal of press:

Unprecedented recent warmth in Arctic Canada

Abstract.  Arctic air temperatures have increased in recent decades, along with documented reductions in sea ice, glacier size, and snowcover. However, the extent to which recent Arctic warming has been anomalous with respect to long-term natural climate variability remains uncertain. Here we use 145 radiocarbon dates on rooted tundra plants revealed by receding cold-based ice caps in the Eastern Canadian Arctic to show that 5000 years of regional summertime cooling has been reversed, with average summer temperatures of the last ~100 years now higher than during any century in more than 44,000 years, including peak warmth of the early Holocene when high latitude summer insolation was 9% greater than present. Reconstructed changes in snow line elevation suggest that summers cooled ~2.7 °C over the past 5000 years, approximately twice the response predicted by CMIP5 climate models. Our results indicate that anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases have led to unprecedented regional warmth.

Published by Geophysical Research Letters

The region of Northeast Canada (Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island) and west Greenland certainly seems to be a hotspot of recent warming.  The west Greenland warming was discussed in the recent post Chasing Ice.  I have personally been focussing on the collapse of the Ellesmere ice shelves, which has been quite dramatic in recent years, for a recent summary see this post at Dosbat.

Miller et al. assume that the Baffin Island melting is attributable to AGW.  Maybe it is.  In the Chasing Ice post, I noted that the peak glacier discharge from West Greenland occurred in the 1930′s. The Ellesmere ice shelves also saw a melt back earlier in the 20th century circa the 1930′s.  The Miller et al. paper does not remark on any evidence of warming in the 1930′s, or the LIA or MWP for that matter, but note only a cooling over the past 5000 years, with marked warming in the past 100 years.  The reasoning behind the Miller et al. conclusions is rather complex, with a number of assumptions, I’m not sure what to make of their arguments.

In any event, how representative of the Arctic is their findings from Baffin Island?  Well, it doesn’t even seem to be too representative even of Ellesmere Island and West Greenland.

There is another paper published almost concurrently, which hasn’t gotten any media attention as far as I can tell, but it does make one think twice about automatically attributing the Baffin warming to AGW:

Eurasian Arctic climate over the past millennium as recorded in the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya)

T. Opel, D. Friezsche, H. Meyer

Abstract. Understanding recent Arctic climate change requires detailed information on past changes, in particular on a regional scale. The extension of the depth–age relation of the Akademii Nauk (AN) ice core from Severnaya Zemlya (SZ) to the last 1100 yr provides new perspectives on past climate fluctuations in the Barents and Kara seas region. Here, we present the easternmost high-resolution ice-core climate proxy records (δ18O and sodium) from the Arctic. Multi-annual AN δ18O data as near-surface air-temperature proxies reveal major temperature changes over the last millennium, including the absolute minimum around 1800 and the unprecedented warming to a double-peak maximum in the early 20th century. The long-term cooling trend in δ18O is related to a decline in summer insolation but also to the growth of the AN ice cap as indicated by decreasing sodium concentrations. Neither a pronounced Medieval Climate Anomaly nor a Little Ice Age are detectable in the AN δ18O record. In contrast, there is evidence of several abrupt warming and cooling events, such as in the 15th and 16th centuries, partly accompanied by corresponding changes in sodium concentrations. These abrupt changes are assumed to be related to sea-ice cover variability in the Barents and Kara seas region, which might be caused by shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns. Our results indicate a significant impact of internal climate variability on Arctic climate change in the last millennium.

Published in Climate of the Past.

Severnaya Zemlya is in a very interesting location.  As per the Wikipedia, Svernaya Zemlya is an archipelago in the Russian high Arctic. It is located off mainland Siberia‘s Taymyr Peninsula across the Vilkitsky Strait. This archipelago separates two marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean, the Kara Sea in the west and the Laptev Sea in the east.

Recall that Kara/Laptev Seas  is in the heart of the lynch pin region for the Stadium Wave.  Note, Marcia Wyatt did not have any data sets from the Baffin/Ellesmere region of the Canadian Arctic to include in the stadium wave analysis.

Clearly, there is substantial spatial variability of climate variability in the Arctic, with Opel et al. noting a see-saw between the Eurasian vs North American Arctic and seasonal variations (annual vs summer).  Especially interesting is the absence of MWP and LIA in some of these high latitude data sets.

In any event, extrapolating from one location in the Arctic to inferring Arctic-wide change is clearly not supported.  It further seems that single locations don’t have a very large radius of influence, viz the differences between Baffin and Ellesmere.

The natural internal variability in the Arctic seems to be an exceedingly complex dance between atmospheric circulations, sea ice, ocean circulations and ice sheet dynamics, on a range of timescales.  We have some hints about how all this interacts, but much is unknown.  In light of this, simplistic inferences about global warming in the Arctic seem unjustified.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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