Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is Australia drying out because of global warming?

The usual Warmist dishonesty.  They carefully note that it is Southern Australia that has been experiencing lower rainfall but then fail to say what is going on in Northern Australia!  All that has happened is a normal oscillation whereby the rain has moved North.  It is raining outside as I write this (in the North),  during what is normally the driest month  of the year.  The rain will move South again in its own good time

And note that The Australian bureau of statistics says:  "Australia's most severe drought periods since the beginning of European settlement appear to have been those of 1895-1903 and 1958-68".  So the claims below are garbage to the core

The devastating droughts that are plaguing southern Australia are caused by greenhouse gases and ozone depletion - and they will only get worse.

This is according to a new high-resolution climate model by a U.S. government-based organisation which warns the cause was not due to natural events but man made.

Southern Australia has seen a decline in the amount of autumn and winter rain since the 1970s with the decline increasing in pace over the last four decades.

Climatologists claim droughts are predicted to get much worse with a further 40 per cent decrease in rainfall in the southwest around Australia's fourth city Perth by the end of the century.

'This new high-resolution climate model is able to simulate regional-scale precipitation with considerably improved accuracy compared to previous generation models,' said Tom Delworth of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

'This model is a major step forward in our effort to improve the prediction of regional climate change, particularly involving water resources.'

The study by the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted several climate simulations using the global climate model to study long-term changes in rainfall in various regions across the globe.

Simulating natural and man made climate drivers, scientists showed that the decline in rainfall is largely a response to man-made increases in greenhouse gases as well as a thinning of the ozone caused by man made aerosol emissions.

Several natural causes were tested with the model, including volcano eruptions and changes in the sun's radiation.

But none of these natural climate drivers reproduced the long-term observed drying, indicating this trend is due to human activity.

The model predicts a continued decline in winter rainfall throughout the rest of the 21st century, with significant implications for regional water resources.

The drying is most severe over southwest Australia where the model forecasts a 40 per cent decline in average rainfall by the late 21st century.  [S.W. Australia has always had water shortages]

Mr Delworth said: 'Predicting potential future changes in water resources, including drought, are an immense societal challenge.

'This new climate model will help us more accurately and quickly provide resource planners with environmental intelligence at the regional level.

'The study of Australian drought helps to validate this new model, and thus builds confidence in this model for ongoing studies of North American drought.'

Parts of Australia have been gripped by devastating drought and heatwaves in recent years.

In March, the World Meteorological Organisation said record high temperatures in 2013 would have been 'virtually impossible' without human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

The 2013-2014 summer saw sweltering temperatures in Perth, in the southwest, and Adelaide, in the south, while Sydney went through its driest summer in 27 years, an independent watchdog, the Climate Council, said.  [There was a similar heatwave in 1790!  Yes. 1790, not 1970]


BBC Wobbles On Ban For Sceptics

Climate change sceptics 'must be heard on the BBC'
BBC shouldn't "squeeze out" climate change sceptics just because scientists say they're wrong, says editor of Today programme

The BBC must air the views of climate change sceptics even though they are in the minority, the editor of Radio 4’s Today programme has said after he was criticised for allowing Nigel Lawson to feature in a debate.

Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, now heads a think tank casting doubt on the science of global warming.

Appearing on the programme in February, Lord Lawson questioned whether extreme weather events - including flooding in the UK - had any link to climate change. Some listeners complained, and the BBC's editorial complaints unit ruled tha his views had been given undue prominence in the debate.

Lord Lawson claims the "Stalinist" BBC has now banned him from appearing on the programme because his views clash with the corporation’s “own party line”.

But Jamie Angus, editor of Today, said Lord Lawson deserved to be heard despite holding a minority view.

“The BBC can’t say, ‘We aren’t going to put that point of view on air because scientists tell us it’s not right’,” Angus said.

“People always raise flat earth at this point, but if you go into a pub on Oxford Street you won’t find anyone who says the earth is flat, but you will probably find a couple of people who are unconvinced by the science of climate change.

“Clearly the BBC has to reflect what is a relatively settled view of the majority of scientists… but absolutely should not squeeze out alternative points of view, and we haven’t.”

A BBC spokesman insisted Lord Lawson had not been banned, but said implying that his views were on “the same footing” as those of the climate scientist who featured in the debate had created "a false balance".


The BBC sings a very different tune when Al Gore is speaking

Paul Homewood points us to this incredibly soft BBC interview with Al Gore, who is in Australia promoting his pet climate project. The powers that be at the corporation seem to have decided that they want to put their considerable weight behind Mr Gore's campaign and interviewer Paul Donnison is right on message, apparently viewing his role as providing the maximum PR opportunity for Mr Gore:  most questions are along the lines of "are your opponents dishonest or irresponsible" and there is litte by way of challenge to the great man.

Not that there weren't opportunities to do so. When An Inconvenient Truth was mentioned, it would have been a great opportunity to question Mr Gore about the UK judicial ruling on the film's "errors", something I don't think Mr Gore has ever discussed. However, a BBC interviewer is never going to tread on the toes of a prominent environmentalist and Gore was left free to propagate some wholly new errors, declaring that we have seen nothing like recent Australian droughts before. This position is, I think, probably without any scientific support whatsoever.

We can now begin to see how the BBC's editorial policy is going to pan out. Sceptics are wrong even when they are right; politicians who question alarmism will therefore be introduced as being "wrong" and will be challenged on everything they say. Greens are right even when they are lying; they will be given a free pass and no challenge of their views is to be permitted.


The key to that 97% consensus:  Scientific publishing is a licence to print money, not the truth

Publicity-hungry journals have created a climate in which dishonest scientists can thrive

Earlier this year, newspapers reported on the discovery of a simple protocol that could turn any kind of cell into a super-pluripotent stem cell – referred to as a Stap cell. The discovery, published in two articles in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, held out the promise that scientists could develop simple procedures to create patient-matched stem cells. These stem cells would then be used to repair damaged or diseased organs.

The story was too good to be true. The Stap phenomenon pushed the envelope of biological plausibility a bit too far, yet its appearance in Nature granted a hefty advance of credibility. Immediately, numerous labs all over the world set out to reproduce the amazing technique and failed, without exception. As the evidence for insidious data manipulation and falsification grew, it was believed that Stap cells never existed in the first place.

Misconduct and even data falsification are much more common in science than one would hope. It's likely that the banal motivation behind this is money, in this case (Stap) public funding. Though it is hardly ever pocketed (there are cases), a scientist is always as big as his funding is.

What turns scientists into money-magnet bigwigs? It's all about where they publish their work. In life sciences, it is the big three: Nature, Science, and Cell, followed by several other, slightly smaller journals, often from the same publisher. The pledge these journals claim to sustain their influence and the tremendous cashflow is that they select only the most relevant and top-quality research.

A licence to print money

For scientists, a publication in the big three is basically a licence to print money. Easily impressed by journals' respectability, the funding bodies throw cash after the big name authors, mistaking their talent for storytelling for great science. In the end, science publishers, combined with eminence- and applicability-obsessed funding agencies, have created a rather unhelpful climate for dishonest and greedy scientists to thrive in.

The scientific quality of a publication is supposed to be ensured by the peer review, where equally-qualified colleagues anonymously examine the research results submitted to the journal by the authors. However, the final decision lies with the journal's editors, who sometimes drop even the basic scientific and editorials standards. Occasionally, such stories are reported to be false or even fake, such as Hwang's never-cloned human embryos.

However, when confronting misconduct, journals tend to lose all enthusiasm. Retractions, which permanently remove an unreliable or fraudulent study from the annals of science, are prestige-damaging and something journals tend to avoid at all costs.

Beginners' blunder

Just as a bad film can boost its audience with a famous actor, so can a scientifically weak study from a bigwig attract attention from big journals. After the Stap crash, these scientists look like gullible dupes. Yet the authors committed a huge beginners' blunder by portraying their Stap method as simple. It took just some days in the lab for people to start getting suspicious.

That is why many studies refer to complicated, time-consuming and knowhow-demanding methods when their reproducibility in other labs is questioned. Now, even Nature sees no way to avoid retracting Stap.

From talking to other scientists I learned the stem cell community has hardly ever really believed the Stap story. However, even now they do not show any anger or indignation.

Researchers have become accustomed and indifferent to results in top-tier journals that can't be reproduced. The only thing that counts is to have published. In this respect, Stap was almost a success for its authors. If they could have resisted retraction for a couple of years, the storm would have blown over.

In one sense, the closed system of research works quite well for the purpose of enabling those who publish in prestigious journals to get funded.

Getting caught on suspicious data or retraction is bad, but there are enough examples that even this is not the career death one might expect.


Boat-owners fight ethanol increases that could damage boat motors

BoatUS is opposing increases in ethanol blends in gasoline, claiming they are damaging outboard motors.

"Ever since 10 percent ethanol gas has been on the market, boaters have experienced problems with engine and fuel systems," said David Kennedy of BoatUS, the Alexandria, Va.-based boating group with more than a half million members. "Now, with higher blends like 15 percent ethanol (E15) coming to the pump, consumers need to be really careful about misfueling."

Gas stations are required to post on the pump that a gasoline contains ethanol, and the list the percentages. Some gas stations in boating areas, such as the Mickey Mart station in Marblehead, Ohio, now advertise non-ethanol fuel being sold at its station.

The BoatUS announcement was made last month after the Missouri Corn Growers Association blaming volatile markets for high gasoline prices. The MCGA called for more corn-based ethanol at the gas pump to lower gas prices.

"On a boat, bad fuel can escalate quickly to a stopped engine, placing those aboard and the boat itself in jeopardy," said Kennedy. "Boaters know higher ethanol blends, such as E15, will only cause more damage to outboard boat engines. The EPA has specifically prohibited the use of E15 in marine engines."


Excellent, so that’s climate change entirely sorted then

Tim Worstall applies some badly needed logic to Warmism

I take this to be exceedingly good news. Our struggles to contain climate change are entirely over and we can all go back to sleep:

Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn’t compete

As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it’s used. Centralised, coal-fired power is over.
It’s true that we don’t normally believe The Guardian on matters environmental. But let us just take them seriously here.

As we all know the predictions of future climate change are based upon economic predictions of the future. How many people will there be, how rich will they be and what technologies will they be using to generate the power to create that wealth for that many people. And of the models that are used the one that tells us that we’ve a serious problem with climate change insists that we’ll still be using coal for 50% of our power needs in 2080 or so.

We don’t actually have to believe that in order to be able to observe that that is the central point of the alarmist case.

Excellent, so, if no one is going to be using coal in the future then we’ve not got a problem with climate change, do we?

Do note that this is not to take as being true, nor even seriously, any of the predictions that are being made by anyone. It is, rather, just to point out an important piece of logic. If solar is now, or will be imminently, cheaper than coal so that we all start to use it purely on economic grounds then the problems with climate change are over. For all of the models and predictions insist that we only get major problems if we don’t stop using coal.

It cannot be true that solar is wholly (and unsubsidised) competitive, or cheaper, than coal and we still have a problem. Alternatively, it cannot be true that we still have a problem in hte future if we believe what we are being told about the imminent cost competitiveness of solar.

It’s an either or thing.

Looking at the true numbers, rather than those provided by the boosters of solar power, it’s probably a little early, 2018, to be saying that solar will be truly competitive. But by 2025 (as Bjorn Lomborg has long been saying) it almost certainly will be. Meaning that we don’t actually have a problem and that we can indeed all go back to sleep.

The only way that this cannot be true is if solar doesn’t become so competitive. In which case we shouldn’t be working so hard to install it either, should we?



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