Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Greenhouse gas levels hit record high: CO2 levels surged at fastest rate since records began in 2013, study claims

And we're STILL not warming!

Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2013 driven by a surge in the level of carbon dioxide, a study claims.

Experts say carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations grew at the fastest rate since reliable global records began and have called for international action to combat climate change.

The rise in CO2 levels is outpacing fossil fuel use, suggesting that the planet's natural ability to soak up emissions of the gas may be slowing down.

‘We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,’ said Michel Jarraud, the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

‘It may be due to the reduced uptake of CO2 by the biosphere,' Mr Jarraud told a news conference, but said more research is needed. ‘If that is confirmed, it is of significant concern.’

The biosphere - which includes plants and soil - and the oceans, each absorb around a quarter of man-made CO2 emissions.

If that ratio falls, more of the planet-warming gas will remain in the atmosphere, where it can stay for hundreds of years.
CO2 surge drove greenhouse gas levels to new high in 2013

The WMO said that the ocean is getting rapidly more acidic, impairing its ability to absorb carbon dioxide and the rate of ocean acidification is unprecedented at least over the past 300 million years.

WMO scientific officer Oksana Tarasova, said: ‘The total change of ocean acidity since pre-industrial (times)... is 25 percent, and six percent was done within the last 10 years.’

The volume of carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas emitted by human activities - was 396 parts per million (ppm) in 2013 - 2.9 ppm higher than in 2012.

This was the largest year-to-year increase since 1984, when reliable global records began.

Methane, the second most important greenhouse gas, reached a global average of 1824 parts per billion (ppb), increasing at a similar rate as the last five years.

The other main contributor, nitrous oxide, reached 325.9 ppb, growing at a rate comparable to the average over the past decade.

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising mainly due to industrial growth in China, India and other emerging economy nations, according to the WMO.

Experts aim to keep global warming within 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times – goals that were set by the UN in 2010.


Winter weather is growing more extreme, say scientists

That's a Warmist way of spinning the fact that Britain has had a lot of very cold winters lately.  A discussion of global cooling would be more reasonable.  Amusing that they now admit that the sun could have a role

British winters are becoming more extreme as the weather fluctuates between very cold, snowy years and mild, stormy ones, scientists have warned.

Weather patterns over the North Atlantic have become increasingly volatile during the winter months, resulting in more extreme variations in conditions in Britain.

Five out of the ten most extreme North Atlantic winter weather patterns since 1899 have all occurred within the last decade, the scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Sheffield and the Met Office found.

Professor Phil Jones, from UEA's climatic research unit, said: "This indicates that British winters have become increasingly unsettled.

"If this trend continues, we can expect more volatile UK winter weather in decades to come."

The scientists say it is not clear whether global warming is causing the increasing extremes.

Changing weather systems over the Arctic, especially Greenland, and changes in energy coming from the sun could also have had an effect, they said.


Our relentlessly warming world brings a very early ski season to the Rockies - while Arctic ice rebounds

Forecast of 9th

The first general frost and snowfall of the year will spread southward over the northern Plains and northern Rockies of the United States through Wednesday.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "Snow fell in parts of the Canada Rockies and Prairies Monday into Tuesday as the cold air pushed southward."

Several inches of snow fell on Calgary, Alberta into Tuesday. Another dose of snow will hit the area on Wednesday.

The rounds of snow will spread southeastward across a large part of Montana and into northern and western Wyoming, the Black Hills of South Dakota and part of the Nebraska Panhandle through Thursday.

Some of the eastern slopes of the mountain ranges in the region will pick up as much as 6 inches of snow.

Accumulating snow is likely to stop short of reaching Denver with this outbreak of cold air. However, it is not out of the question some snowflakes are seen in northeastern Colorado Thursday night.

"The chilliest air since last spring will push southward from Canada and across the northern and central Plains, Midwest and the eastern slopes of the Rockies, prior to the middle of September," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski last week about the upcoming weather.

This chilly air mass will continue to expand south and east throughout the rest of the week, but the coldest air will remain locked up over the Canadian Prairies and northern Plains.

Frost will be a major concern for those with outdoor plants that are sensitive to freezing temperatures such as flowers and garden plants. This includes plants such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and watermelons.

Frost may form several nights in a row across the northern Plains with frost also possible over parts the Upper Midwest during the second half of the week.

SOURCE  (See here for Arctic ice)

Hurricane Activity Remains At Historic Low

In a May speech during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, President Obama warned the nation that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions was increasing the frequency and power of major hurricanes.

But even though carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise, hurricane activity in the U.S. remains at an historic low, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division, which maintains a list of all major hurricanes that have made landfall since 1851.

“The changes we’re seeing in our climate means that, unfortunately, storms like Sandy could end up being more common and more devastating,” Obama said at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington.

“And that’s why we’re also going to be doing more to deal with the dangers of carbon pollution that help to cause this climate change and global warming,” the president added.

But after peaking during the 1950s, the number of hurricanes battering the U.S. mainland has dropped precipitously. It’s been nine years since Wilma, the last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S., struck South Florida, killing 25 people.

And according to NOAA, “the outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.”

Colorado State University climatologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray also predicted “a below-average Atlantic hurricane season," which began June 1.

They calculated that there is only a 38 percent chance that at least one major hurricane (Category 3-4-5) will strike the U.S. coast this year, compared to the 52 percent average probability throughout the 20th century.

“Conditions in the tropical Atlantic are quite unfavorable at the present time…The Main Development Region (10-20°N, 60-20°W) (MDR) is approximately 0.5°C cooler than normal. SSTs [Sea Surface Temperatures] in the MDR are the coldest that they have been during July since 2002 (another relatively quiet Atlantic hurricane season),” they noted.

Since 1851, three catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes – defined as having a maximum sustained wind speed of over 157 miles per hour – have made landfall in the U.S.: the 1935 Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys, Camille in 1969, and Andrew in 1992.

However, the Category 4 hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas in 1900 was by far the deadliest, with at least 8,000 – and possibly as many as 12,000 people– killed when a 15-foot storm surge inundated the low-lying city. It remains the worst weather-related disaster in U.S. history.


Is the polar bear a political weapon? Arctic creatures are NOT threatened by climate change, says scientist

Solitary polar bears have become the poster boys of global warming.  Standing on melting glaciers, their saddened faces are often plastered over posters, adverts and brochures warning of the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions.

But some scientists say polar bears, are far from endangered. Instead, they claim, the creatures are being used as political weapons in the heated debate on climate change.

'Canadian Inuit say that now is the "time with the most bears",' Mitchell Taylor, a biologist who has been researching polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, told MailOnline.

'In spite of claims to the contrary, there is no reliable scientific evidence that polar bear numbers have declined in any subpopulation so far.'

There are an estimated 25,000 bears in the whole of the Arctic and around 60 per cent of those are in Canada, according to the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG).

The PBSG estimates that we could lose two-thirds of the world's polar bears by the middle of the century unless the world takes action on climate change.

But the same group earlier this year admitted to polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate was 'simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.'

Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta and past PBSG chair, has spent 30 years studying polar bears.

Despite the controversy over numbers, he is adamant that polar bear groups will start going extinct by mid-century as a direct result of climate change.

'It is an international standard to consider conservation of a species using the "three generation rule" looking forward in time,' he told MailOnline.

'For polar bears, three generations is somewhere in the 36 to 45 year timeframe. In this timeframe, sea ice scientists, predict significant changes in the amount of the Arctic covered in sea ice.'

According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ice levels are 'likely' to fall below one million square kilometres by 2050 due to man-made global warming.

'Polar bears are a habitat specialist: they are not found anywhere that sea ice does not persist. If the sea ice disappears, the bears will too.'

But Dr Taylor takes issue with both Dr Derocher's and the IPCC's predictions on climate change.

'Climate models have actually done a poor job of predicting climate warming and sea ice decline,' he said.


Luxury cruise liner to become the first to traverse Arctic's notorious Northwest Passage

The headline above (borrowed from the original) is total rubbish.  Not only has the passage been transited many times but the cruise liner is not even the biggest ship to transit it.  In 1969, the supertanker SS Manhattan (105,000 dwt) transited it BOTH WAYS and it was much bigger than the Crystal Serenity (68,000 GT)

They're the toughest Arctic waters in the world -  almost mythical in their ability to frustrate sailors, with extreme icy conditions rendering them largely off limits.

But now a cruise line is offering intrepid travellers the chance to face the Northwest passage - the route through northern coast of North America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

In 2016, The Crystal Serenity will take 900 passengers on the largest expedition through the Northwest Passage ever made, setting passengers back between £12,500 and £93,000.

Thomas Mazloum, executive vice president of Crystal Cruises explained: 'A lot of small expedition ships have now gone through the Northwest Passage and even some commercial ships.'

'But we don't have 100 guests on board; we have 800 or 900. To do it with a ship like ours, we need to do it differently.'

The ‘once-in-a-lifetime expeditionary voyage’ is being offered by Crystal Cruises is set to appeal to wildlife lovers and those curious about our changing world.

Departing from the Gulf of Alaska, the 32-day journey will navigate the Northwest Passage, around Alaska and into the Beaufort Sea, through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and on to Greenland, before docking in New York City.

Holidaymakers will get the chance to see amazing arctic wildlife in its natural habitat, such as humpback and beluga whales, seals and walruses, oxen, kittiwakes and murres in flight.

Only around 200 ships have ever sailed the whole length of the Northwest Passage since Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (who later became the first man to reach the South pole) made history by crossing it in 1906. Only in 1942 did a second ship manage to replicate his journey.

But more recently, Arctic sea ice conditions have shifted, making it possible for a wider range of vessels to sail the passage.

It is not without its risks though. In 2010, an expedition ship named the MV Clipper Adventurer ran aground there. The crew and 118 passengers were rescued by a Canadian icebreaker.

The area is served by seven icebreakers, operated by Canada's coast guard, but rescues can be lengthy due to the sheer scale and remoteness of it.

So Crystal Serenity will be prepared for all eventualities, travelling with a support vessel, which can break channels through the ice, a helicopter pad and facilities for towing and evacuations.



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1 comment:

Sheri said...

How great that a blogger in Australia picked up the snowfall predicted for Wyoming! Most broadcasters can barely bring themselves to admit that the state exists! We actually had snowfall at Wind River Lake in the Bridger/Teton National Forest on August 31st. This not actually new. When I moved to Wyoming in the early 80's, it snowed by mid-September most of the time. While climate scientists may disagree, this is just nature doing what it always does. Cycles and changes. Nothing new here.