Thursday, June 12, 2014

Volcanoes behind West Antarctic glacial melting

I can't resist saying:  "I told you so".  The climate scientists got it wrong when they attributed the ice-loss to global warming.  I am not a climate scientist but got it right.  How come?  It is because they were working from a false theory  -- that global warming is happening  -- whereas I was working from a true theory -- that global warming is NOT happening. The Warmists below try to save their bacon by saying that global warming is partly responsible but they have no proof of that  -- whereas the vulcanism is well proven

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have determined that subglacial volcanic activity, along with climate change, is contributing to the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

“It’s the most complex thermal environment you might imagine,” said co-author Don Blankenship, a senior research scientist at UTIG and Schroeder’s Ph.D. adviser. “And then you plop the most critical dynamically unstable ice sheet on planet Earth in the middle of this thing, and then you try to model it. It’s virtually impossible.”

For the Thwaites Glacier in particular, collapse has gone from “probable” to “inevitable.” Scientists are now more interested in how fast the glacier is melting, and what impact it will have on sea levels when it eventually collapses. Though scientists were aware of subglacial geothermal activity to some degree, lead author Dusty Schroeder and his colleagues used radar techniques to show that the community had previously underestimated the degree of influence geothermal activity was having.

Rather than low, even heat distribution across the bottom, the researchers liken it more to a multi-burner stove, with “hotspots” distributed below the glacier. Not only is it contributing to the melting of Thwaites Glacier, but it also explains why the ice sheet seems to be sliding at such an accelerated rate. The faster it slides into the ocean, the less stable it becomes.

“The combination of variable subglacial geothermal heat flow and the interacting subglacial water system could threaten the stability of Thwaites Glacier in ways that we never before imagined,” Schroeder said.

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase of global sea level of between 1 and 2 meters, with the potential for more than twice that from the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


Miners unions Against Job-Killing EPA Rule

Officials of three labor unions are standing with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in opposition to a proposed new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power plant rule that UMWA says will cost hundreds of thousands of union workers their jobs.

But five other unions contacted by either did not respond or refused to comment when asked whether they shared UMWA’s concerns.

“The proposed rule...will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,” UMWA president Cecil E. Roberts said in a June 2 statement.

The new rule could ultimately cause the loss of 485,000 permanent union jobs and put “hundreds of thousands more - mostly senior citizens living on already-low fixed incomes - squarely in the crosshairs,” he stated, without any corresponding benefit for the environment.

.“Global emissions will actually rise as more industrial jobs are moved out of the United States to countries which do not and will not have any kind of emissions rules,” Roberts continued.

“Why on earth should we be willing to sacrifice the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens on the naive bet that economic competitors like China, India, Brazil, Russia and others will follow our lead?”

“The UMWA has not and does not dispute the science regarding climate change,” he added. “Our dispute is with how our government is going about addressing it, and on whom the administration is placing the greatest burden in dealing with this challenge.”

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) also expressed dissatisfaction with the direction the Obama administration is taking, especially since UMWA maintains that the proposed rule will do “nothing to address climate change” and that the jobs lost will be “among the best paying blue-collar jobs in America.”

Under the proposed rule, which aims to cut 30 percent of carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030, states must submit plans by June 30, 2016 explaining how they will cut emissions. EPA recommendations include “cofiring or switching to natural gas, retirements of plants, expanding renewables like wind and solar and expanding nuclear,” all of which move away from coal.

A more effective strategy to reduce carbon emissions, says IBB president Newton B. Jones, lies in the development of affordable carbon capture and storage technology, rather than what he called the “enormous devastation” the proposed rule will cause.

Cecil Roberts
United Mine Workers of America president Cecil E. Roberts (UMWA)

“We can still forge a path towards a world energy mix that includes ‘efficient’ renewable energy systems,” Jones said in a statement, “not just the mega-expensive feel-good ones we have been subsidizing with taxpayer resources.”

Noting that “European nations that have shut down much of their coal-fired generation capacity and subsidized a wave of renewable systems are now facing energy shortages,” Jones added that “the administration’s current energy policy is taking us down a similar path.”

Other union leaders said they fear that maintaining a dependable supply of electricity will be difficult once the new rule is in force. IBEW notes that 56 gigawatts currently generated by coal-fired power plants will be lost by 2016.

Calling the EPA rule a “sea change in national energy policy,” the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) also said that it threatens the reliability of the nation’s electrical grid.

“As last winter’s polar vortex proved, the only way to ensure there is enough reliable power to fuel the nation is cost-effective, environmentally efficient and much needed coal-fired facilities to play a key role in keeping the lights on,” the union warned in a June 2 press release.

“Approximately 90 percent of the plants scheduled to close were required to run during last winter’s polar vortex to prevent grid disruption,” the IBEW agreed.  “It will do our nation little achieve [cleaner air] at the expense of a balanced energy portfolio capable of meeting the demands of modern society."

IBEW officials say they recognize that coal-fired plants may become less competitive as the energy market changes.  “But how many are gonna be shut down prematurely and are not going be able to be there when the country needs them for energy?” asked Jim Spellane, IBEW’s media advisor.

But when asked five other unions whether they stood with the miners against the loss of union jobs and power-generating capacity, they either did not respond or refused to comment.

“Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t have a comment,” the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) told The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen refused to comment as well.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union - which are part of the same AFL-CIO trade federation as UMWA – also did not respond to’s inquiries.

However, LIUNA officials have been outspoken about their support for building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create an estimated 42,000 jobs, many of them unionized, according to the State Department.

In a Google hangout on May 21, the legislative director of LIUNA, David Mallino, said that “for many of our members this isn't just a pipeline but it’s actually a lifeline to be able to sustain their middle-class lives.”

The IBEW’s Spellane also spoke favorably about Keystone: “Opponents say this is just one more thing to increase reliance on fossil fuels, but that’s not gonna go away even if you don't build the pipeline, which is potentially worse for the environment.”


Antarctic Sea Ice Continues To Blow Away Records

Antarctic sea ice has set a new record for May, with extent at the highest level since measurements began in 1979. At the end of the month, it expanded to 12.965 million sq km, beating the previous record of 12.722 million sq km set in 2010. This year’s figure is 10.3% above the 1981-2010 climatological average of 11.749 million sq km.

The lowest extent on record was 10.208 million sq km in 1986.

It is a similar story for the average monthly extent, below.

Ice extent has been consistently and continuously well above climatological norms for the last 12 months.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Activists pressure tactics to force Canada to list polar bears as ‘threatened’ have failed

The CBC reported on June 6, 2014 (“NAFTA panel won’t review Canada’s polar bear policy“):

“Vote rejects request for investigation into why Canada won’t designate bears threatened, endangered.”

“An international trade panel has decided not to review whether Canada is enforcing its own environmental legislation to protect its polar bear population.

The Commission for Environmental Co-operation voted 2-1 to reject a request for an investigation into why Canada has chosen not to designate the bears as threatened or endangered. A U.S. environmental group had filed a submission claiming that decision leaves the bears without protection, despite the ongoing loss of their sea-ice habitat and resulting projections of declining numbers.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Sarah Uhleman, lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the complaint.”

Since the argument that polar bears may be threatened with extinction sometime in the future is based not on their current status but on perceived future threats that may occur if future predictions of global warming also occur, I see this as good news indeed.


Scientists Admit Polar Bear Numbers Were Made Up To ‘Satisfy Public Demand’

This may come as a shocker to some, but scientists are not always right — especially when under intense public pressure for answers.

Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

Crockford has been critical of official polar bear population estimates because they fail to include five large subpopulations of polar bears. Due to the uncertainty of the populations in these areas, PBSG did not include them in their official estimate — but the polar bear group did include other subpopulation estimates.

PBSG has for years said that global polar bear populations were between 20,000 and 25,000, but these estimates are likely much lower than how many polar bears are actually living in the world.

“Based on previous PBSG estimates and other research reports, it appears there are probably at least another 6,000 or so bears living in these regions and perhaps as many as 9,000 (or more) that are not included in any PBSG ‘global population estimate,’” Crockford wrote on her blog.

“These are guesses, to be sure, but they at least give a potential size,” Crockford added.

PBSG disclosed this information to Crockford ahead of the release of their Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan in which they intend to put a footnote explaining why their global population estimate is flawed.

“As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic,” PBSG says in its proposed footnote. “Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

“It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated,” PBSG continues. “Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations.”

“Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy,” says PBSG. “Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.”

PBSG’s admission also comes after academics and government regulators have touted their polar bear population estimates to show that polar bear numbers have grown since the 1960s. PBSG estimates have also been used to show that polar bear populations have stabilized over the last 30 years.

Polar bear populations became the centerpiece of the effort to fight global warming due to claims that melting polar ice caps would cause the bears to become endangered in the near future. Years ago, some scientists predicted the Arctic would be virtually ice free by now.

Polar bears became the first species listed under the Endangered Species Act because they could potentially be harmed by global warming. But some recent studies have found that some polar bear subpopulations have actually flourished in recent years.

“So, the global estimates were… ‘simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand’ and according to this statement, were never meant to be considered scientific estimates, despite what they were called, the scientific group that issued them, and how they were used,” Crockford said.

“All this glosses over what I think is a critical point: none of these ‘global population estimates’ (from 2001 onward) came anywhere close to being estimates of the actual world population size of polar bears (regardless of how scientifically inaccurate they might have been) — rather, they were estimates of only the subpopulations that Arctic biologists have tried to count,” she added.



[Yesterday] morning, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the country was going to limit its carbon dioxide emissions. Now he has backed down and says: “That was just my personal opinion. What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government.”

Was this really just a gaffe? Earlier in the day, He Jiankun, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the People’s Republic of China would cap its carbon emissions. That was a powerful statement, at least it was perceived as such – not least because the American president also announced that he was more determined than ever to mobilise against carbon dioxide emissions.

But China is already backing down. “What I have said today was my personal opinion,” He told the Reuters news agency in Beijing. His statements from the morning session were intended only for “academic studies”. “What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government or of any organisation,” he clarified .

At a [green energy] conference He had earlier said the world’s largest CO2 producer would, for the first time, cap its greenhouse gas emissions to a specified upper limit. This, he claimed, would be firmly anchored in China’s upcoming five-year plan that will come into force in 2016. Coming soon after the announcement of new measures by the U.S. government the day before, this announcement had raised hopes of an international breakthrough in the fight against global climate change. What now?



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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