Sunday, September 14, 2014
The Greenie solution to traffic jams
The usual authoritarianism
Owning a car should be `outlawed' to force people on to public transport, a senior Labour MP has suggested. Motorists who want to drive should instead be forced to join communal `car clubs' where the cars are shared by drivers and used only when needed.
Dr Alan Whitehead, a Labour MP for Southampton Test and a member of the Energy and Climate Change select committee, said the increase in car ownership would lead to `something approaching a national traffic jam before 2040'.
He claimed that radical action would be needed to avoid national gridlock.
In an article in the Guardian, Dr Whitehead wrote: `We need to consider doing something serious. What we need is a considerable expansion of public transport over the next period and a shift from car to bus, train, bike or even feet. The big problem is how to do it.'
He went on to suggest that `outlawing' car ownership was better than banning car use altogether, preferring `regulation rather than prohibition'.
Dr Whitehead added: `What if the Government simply regulated for cars to be sold and used just as they are at present (hopefully with an increasing presence of electric and hybrid vehicles) but outlawed individual ownership?
`People would then lease cars individually or as part of a club and the running costs would be included in the lease arrangements. No one would be prohibited from using a car, but the playing field of choice would instantly be levelled.'
But his suggestions were last night described as `bonkers' by transport minister Robert Goodwill, who said Labour had waged a `13-year war' against motorists.
Pesky! Replacing forest with cropland reduces greenhouse gases, study claims
At the current rate of deforestation, the world's rainforests could completely disappear in 100 years.
Most scientists suggests fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and an increase in global warming.
But a new study argues that relationship isn't as straightforward and that deforestation could in fact be cooling the planet.
Researchers at Yale University claim the process is being driven by the transformation of forests into cropland causing a net cooling effect on global temperatures.
Deforestation over the last 150 years has reduced global emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs).
BVOCs increase the atmospheric distribution of short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane, which have a warming influence on climate.
'Land cover changes caused by humans since the industrial and agricultural revolutions have removed natural forests and grasslands and replaced them with croplands,' said Nadine Unger, one of the researchers.
'And croplands are not strong emitters of these BVOCs-often they don't emit any BVOCs.'
The researchers used computer modelling to calculate BVOC declines and found that there has been a 30 per cent decline between 1850 and 2000, largely through the conversion of forests to cropland.
This same conversion produced an overall global cooling of about 0.1°C.
However, the overall global climate still warmed by about 0.6°C, mostly due to increases in fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions.
Professor Unger said the findings do not suggest that increased forest loss provides climate change benefits.
Instead she claims it underscores the complexity of climate change and the importance of better assessing which parts of the world would benefit from greater forest conservation.
Since the mid-19th century, the percentage of the planet covered by cropland has more than doubled, from 14 per cent to 37 per cent.
Since forests are far greater contributors of BVOC emissions than crops and grasslands, this shift in land use has removed about 30 per cent of Earth's BVOC sources.
Not all of these compounds affect atmospheric chemistry in the same way. Aerosols, for instance, contribute to global 'cooling' since they generally reflect solar radiation back into space.
That means a 50 per cent reduction in forest aerosols has actually spurred greater warming since the pre-industrial era.
However, reductions in the potent greenhouse gases methane and ozone — which contribute to global warming - have helped deliver a net cooling effect.
These emissions are often ignored in climate modelling because they are perceived as a 'natural' part of the earth system, explained Professor Unger.
'So they don't get as much attention as human-generated emissions, such as fossil fuel VOCs,' she said. 'But if we change how much forest cover exists, then there is a human influence on these emissions.'
Cut the Costly Climate Chatter
Twenty-two years ago a bunch of green activists calling themselves “The Earth Summit” met in Rio and invented a way to tour the world at tax-payers’ expense – never-ending conferences on environmental alarms.
Like any good bureaucratic committee, they soon established sub-committees on sustainability, pollution, development, energy, forestry, water, biodiversity, endangered species, poverty, health, population and Agenda 21 (this item alone had 40 chapters each with its own sub-committee). Environmental conferences became the greatest multi-national growth industry in the world financed mainly by tax-payers via participating public servants, climate academics, employees of nationalised industries and tax-sheltered green “charities” such as Greenpeace and WWF.
They really hit the Mother Lode with their creation of the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” which, in good bureaucratic tradition, duplicated the work of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC). These then created their own brand-names called “Global Warming”, and its proxies “Climate Change” and “Extreme Weather”.
These “noble causes” generated a hierarchy of steering committees, reference committees, political committees, science sub-groups, working committees, reviewers and peak bodies and could muster meetings with 20,000 attendees from 178 countries at hardship locations such as Rio, Berlin, Geneva, Kyoto, Buenos Aires, Bonn, The Hague, Marrakesh, New Delhi, Milan, Montreal, Nairobi, Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Qatar, Doha, Warsaw, Stockholm, Lima, Abu Dhabi and New York.
The 21st Climate Change birthday party will be held at the Conference of the Parties in Paris in December 2015, while the Small Islands Developing States will tour to Samoa, but any important decisions will be taken behind closed doors by the canny BRICS Nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The Climate Conference Circuit became a bigger boost to airlines, hotels and fine dining than the Olympic Games and G20. Australia alone sent the PM plus a team of 114 to the failed Copenhagen Conference. Rich and poor all over the world have endured over 20 years of wasteful spending that could have built flood-proof infrastructure, drought-proof water supplies, erosion-proof beach fronts and pollution-free waterways. It has gone down the global warming gurgler without a single visible benefit for suffering tax payers.
With most western governments running desperate financial deficits, it is time to cut the costs of this climate chatter. Australia should burn no more jet fuel sending people to any climate conference anywhere. If they want one, they should use bicycles, tele-conferencing or the postal service.
Declining Humidity Is Defying Global Warming Models
Atmospheric relative humidity has substantially declined in recent decades, defying global warming computer models predicting higher amounts of atmospheric water vapor that will exacerbate global warming. The decline in relative humidity indicates global warming will be much more moderate than global warming activists claim.
CO2 Has Minimal Impact
Carbon dioxide’s impact on global temperatures is not in dispute. As a matter of physics, doubling atmospheric water vapor from pre-Industrial Age levels will directly cause approximately 1 degree Celsius of warming. From the dawn of the Industrial Revolution until today, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by merely 40 percent. Accordingly, carbon dioxide has directly caused approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius of warming (actually a little more, as the earlier increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide will trap more long wave radiation than later increases). If global carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace, we can expect human-caused carbon dioxide emissions will directly cause at most another 0.6 degrees Celsius this century.
Humidity Predictions More Important
United Nations computer models, however, predict approximately 2.4 degrees Celsius of 21st century warming. The discrepancy arises because the computer models are programmed to assume that whenever temperatures warm—due to increasing carbon dioxide emissions or other reasons—a small amount of initial warming creates a cascade effect of other factors that induce even more warming.
The most important of these assumptions is that a little bit of carbon dioxide-induced warming will create a substantial increase in atmospheric water vapor. Water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so substantial increases in atmospheric water vapor can certainly cause significant warming. United Nations computer models are programmed to assume absolute humidity (the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere) will rise so much that even relative humidity (the percent of water vapor in the atmosphere) will at least keep pace and perhaps even increase. Warmer air is able to hold more water than cooler air, so absolute water vapor would have to increase quite substantially for relative humidity to remain constant or increase in a warming world.
Relative Humidity Is Declining
Scientists, however, have been measuring relative humidity for many decades. Rather than keeping pace with modestly warming temperatures, relative humidity is declining. This decline has been ongoing, without interruption, for more than 60 years. After more than six decades of consistent data, we can say with strong confidence that absolute humidity is not rising rapidly enough for relative humidity to keep pace with warming temperatures.
The failure of relative humidity to hold constant or rise during recent decades is a lethal dagger in the heart of alarmist global warming claims. According to the UN computer models, rising humidity will cause substantially more global warming than the modest warming directly caused by rising carbon dioxide levels. Given the potency of water vapor, even a small overstatement of atmospheric humidity levels in UN computer models will cause a very significant overstatement of future warming. And the data show UN computer models assume too much atmospheric humidity.
Models’ Predictions Were Wrong
The effects of this overstatement are apparent in real-world temperature data this century. Precise atmospheric temperature measurements compiled by NASA and NOAA satellite instruments show there has been no global warming since late in the 20th century. Some global warming activists claim some of the data indicate there may still have been a small amount of warming in recent years, but even a minor warming contradicts UN computer models claiming we should be experiencing rapid warming. If the Earth were truly going to warm 2.4 degrees Celsius this century, we should have already experienced approximately 0.35 degrees Celsius warming. The difference between no warming and 0.35 degrees Celsius warming may not sound like much of a discrepancy at first blush, but the Earth only warmed approximately 0.60 degrees Celsius during the entirety of the 20th century. As United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author Hans von Storch observed in June 2013 in der Spiegel, “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”
The UN can go a long way toward correcting its climate models if by simply admitting it has overstated the impact of modest carbon dioxide-created global warming on atmospheric humidity. More accurate climate models will allow for a better informed discussion on global warming, and will go a long way toward bridging the divide in an increasingly volatile scientific and political debate.
Shortest Summer On Record In Fort Collins, Colorado
The snow-free season in Fort Collins was less than four months this year, with the last spring snow day being May 12, and the first autumn snow day being September 11. The second shortest summer occurred five years ago, and the length of summer has declined more than 10% since the 1890’s.
Urban heat island effect has massively corrupted temperatures in Fort Collins, Colorado
Climate experts tell us that UHI has almost no effect on the temperature record, and USHCN only corrects by 0.1 F The real world tells us something completely different.
The weather station at Fort Collins, Colorado is considered a good station because it has not moved, and has used the same equipment for its entire history. But something else has changed – the environment around the weather station. It used to be in the middle of a farm – now it is in the middle of a parking lot.
Over the past 80 years, Fort Collins appears to have warmed at a rate of 1.1ºC/century, while Colorado has not warmed at all. Note the big spike after 1990 in Fort Collins
In 1937, the station was located in the middle of a farm,
By 1950, the area was starting to get built up.
By 1969, the city had surrounded the weather station.
Now it is in the middle of a parking lot, which was built around the time of the post 1990 spike.
When I was in Fort Collins riding my bike last week, I noticed at least 5-10 degrees F difference between open space temperatures and downtown, where CSU is located. One evening was beautiful downtown, and frigid along the Spring Creek trail.
People who claim that UHI doesn’t matter – have no idea what they are talking about. The presence of any asphalt (even a single road) in an area makes a huge difference in temperature – as any cyclist can tell you.
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Posted by JR at 12:35 AM