Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Is Antarctica melting?
The article below says it is but is surprisingly reticent about attributing it to global warming. Why? I think it's because the writer knows what is actually going on. There has indeed been some melting in Western Antarctica -- exactly where subsurface vulcanism is now known to be occurring. You would melt too if you had a volcano under you! There is extensive vulcanism around both the North and South poles. They appear to be earth's most active volcanic regions in fact. The Gakkel ridge in the Arctic is particularly active. The icecaps normally hide our view of such activity, however
“THIS IS really happening,” NASA’s Thomas P. Wagner told the New York Times in May, describing the collapse of ice formations in western Antarctica. Since then, the news has only gotten worse.
According to a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters, the ice loss in a particularly vulnerable Antarctic region has accelerated over the past two decades — to 18 billion tons a year, three times the 20-year average. A Mount Everest’s worth of ice has slipped away every couple of years, researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California at Irvine found, comparing data from four different sources.
A second paper elaborated on the culprit: Warm water from deep below the surface is lapping up higher than before, undermining a massive frozen shelf that traps ice on land. This effect could mean trouble elsewhere around Antarctica, undermining the huge glaciers covering the continent.
All of these findings are bad news for sea levels, which could rise on the high end of scientists’ estimates over the coming decades if Antarctica continues down the path it seems to be on. That would inundate coastal communities in the United States and elsewhere.
As with so many alarming natural hazards, directly attributing some or all of western Antarctica’s ice loss to climate change is still a difficult business. But that is not a reason for comfort. Even in the surprising circumstance that there is no connection in this particular case, humans have no interest in policies that risk raising sea levels further.
Negligible Climate Sensitivity to CO2
by Dr Vincent Gray
Most scientists would agree that carbon dioxide and other trace gases cause a warming of the global climate as a result of absorption of the infra red radiation from the earth by their spectral bands. spectrum
Weather forecasting meteorologists measure the many properties of the climate, and provide a daily presentation of their influence on the global climate. But they have never found evidence that trace gas concentrations are sufficiently important in forecasting even to require regular measurement.
Scientists involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argue that carbon dioxide and other trace gases are not only important, but even the only cause of climate warming since 1750 and responsible for further warming as the concentrations rise.
They characterise the extent of this warming by the Climate Sensitivity. which is essentially the additional temperature change, modified by feedbacks, of a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. It may be defined thus:
ΔTCS = ΔTT x ΔFCS /ΔFT
ΔTCS is the Climate Sensitivity
ΔTT is the temperature change since 1750
ΔFCS is the radiative forcing from doubling carbon dioxide
ΔFT is the radiative forcing since 1750.
The earth does not possess a temperature and there is no procedure whereby its average temperature could be measured.
As a substitute, the IPCC has promoted a global temperature anomaly based on weather station and sea surface measurements. This suffers from several violations of mathematical and physical principles, well exposed in the early paper by Hansen and Lebedeff (1997) who launched it.
They assumed that the unreliable mean of the maximum and minimum temperatures from a weather station applied over a circle of 1,200 km. The globe was divided into 5º x5º squares, the weather stations from each area averaged once more and subtracted from the average temperature for a reference period.
The measurements are not from representative samples and even this absence of representativity changes with time. The number of stations varies and the entire sequence lacks acceptable uniformity and estimates of accuracy and bias.
It is assumed that apart from solar change or effects of volcanoes, all other temperature change since 1750 was caused by changes in 'greenhouse gas' concentrations. This assumption derives from the Framework Convention on Climate Change which stated:
"Climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
This definition assumes that the natural climate properties measured by meteorologist are merely variable so that over a long period, such as that from 1750 to 2000, they could be assumed not to change at all but just vary.
Appendix II The IPCC 2013 Report lists figures for their temperature anomaly for every decade from 1750 to 2000. These are used with the table of figures for radiative forcing to calculate climate sensitivity.
The claimed temperature rise from 1750 to 2000 of 0.773ºC is below the accuracy of the daily weather forecast (±2.0ºC and ±1.0ºC bias) and well below any plausible estimate of accuracy or bias from the derivation of the record. The figure is simply without statistical significance.
Geologists know that there are changes of climate from natural reasons in every geological period, short or long, whether or not human influences existed. There have been several where carbon dioxide concentrations were not related to assumed temperatures.
The FCCC assumption that all natural climate properties are merely variable may not be true. Perhaps some or all of the claimed temperature change since 1750 had natural causes.
The First IPCC Report (1990) suggested that recent temperature increases could have been a recovery from the Little Ice Age (1550 -1850). Some increase was due to urban development and some to the persistent attempts to manipulate the record, as summarized by D’Aleo and Watts (2010).
The Mean Global Annual Surface Temperature Anomaly is now incompatible with all the current models, as shown by this diagram from Chapter 2 of IPCC 2013:
Comparison between the IPCC Mean Annual Global Surface Temperature Anomaly and the current IPCC climate models (IPCC 2012 Chapter 2).
Because of this failure and the fact that the IPCC Mean Annual Global Temperature anomaly has not changed for the past 17 years, they have decided to treat it on a decadal basis instead, as follows:
This irregularity is simply not compatible with a theory that it is caused by a steadily increasing concentration of 'greenhouse gases.'
There is a much more plausible temperature anomaly record from measurements in the lower atmosphere since 1978 by Microwave Sounder Units (MSU) on NASA satellites, measuring the microwave spectrum of oxygen. Their results are confirmed by weather balloons which have been providing a record since 1958. Since 2000 all of the records are beginning to resemble one another.
They provide further evidence that IPCC models are currently incapable of predicting climate properties. These results show that IPCC figures for climate sensitivity are far too high, and the opinion of the meteorologists that its value is negligible is confirmed.
SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)
Aren’t they supposed to be able to handle a bit of wind? 260ft turbine buckles and collapses in 15mph breeze
A large wind turbine worth £500,000 mysteriously collapsed on an Irish mountainside during light winds.
The 262ft tall structure was found buckled and destroyed at Screggagh wind farm on Murley Mountain in County Tyrone, Fintona.
An investigation has now been launched into what caused the huge structure to collapse amid the sound of grinding metal, which could be heard as far away as seven miles.
It remains unclear why the turbine fell on Friday, during a period of light winds which reached around 15mph - the equivalent of a breeze.
The wreckage of the turbine was a mass of twisted and buckled metal.
Debris from the large mechanical structure was scattered across the mountain in northern Ireland, where it stood with eight others.
It is understood the rotor blades spun out of control and the sound of the mechanical structure crashing to the ground was compared to an explosion.
Others said they heard grinding metal and a sound like thunder as the huge structure fell.
Doreen Walker, director of the wind farm, said: 'There were fortunately no injuries and no personnel on site at the time. We are currently investigating the circumstances that led to the collapse of the turbine at Screggagh wind farm.
'We are however satisfied that the site's precautionary health and safety alert processes worked well with local emergency services in attendance within minutes of the incident taking place.
Ms Walker said they were 'working closely' with Nordex UK, the supplier of the wind farm turbines, to ensure the site is safe. 'A further statement will be made once the investigation has been completed and the reasons for the failure confirmed,' she added.
In January last year a 115ft tall turbine was felled by gales in Bradworthy in Devon.
Months later three turbines - built to withstand winds of up to 115mph fell when speeds barely reached 50mph in Devon.
The Health and Safety Executive found the cause of the crashing turbines was due to faults in the way they had been put together, which could have affected hundreds of others
Weather Service: Fewest Tornadoes on Record in Oklahoma in 2014
Just 16 tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma in 2014, which the National Weather Service says is the fewest on record.
Oklahoma state climatologist Gary McManus says a combination of factors led to the relative lack of tornadoes, The Oklahoman reported,
The first five months of the year were among the driest on record, and tornado outbreaks are not common during dry conditions because there are few thunderstorms to produce them, McManus said. When rain did come, it tended to be from warm air masses that brought moisture but little severe weather.
“There really wasn’t a lot of severe weather at all in 2014,” McManus said.
The year’s strongest tornado was an EF2 on April 27 that cut an 11-mile path through Ottawa County and Cherokee County, Kansas. One person died in Quapaw, and at least five businesses and 15 homes were destroyed. Dozens more buildings, including the city’s fire station, sustained damage.
Meanwhile, rebuilding continued in areas affected by devastating tornadoes in 2013.
Moore’s Plaza Towers and Briarwood elementary schools, which were destroyed by the deadly EF5 tornado on May 20, 2013, reopened in August.
Construction began in June on Norman Regional Medical Center’s new location in Moore, on the site of the former Moore Medical Center, which was also destroyed by the tornado.
Canadian Valley Technology Center officials broke ground on the center’s El Reno campus in November, which will replace the previous one that was in ruins after the May 31, 2013, EF3 tornado.
Australia: Green-left ruining living standards
GINA Rinehart has hit out at “haters” and the left-wing “propaganda” she says will stop at nothing to “ruin” the mining operations that keep Australia wealthy.
The West Australian, our nation’s richest person with an estimated fortune of about $20 billion, has also criticised the “notoriously expensive” bureaucracy and “time consuming over-regulation” holding back crucial business opportunities.
And she said she doesn’t agree with a recent move by the Barnett Government to offer an assistance package to the state’s junior iron ore miners struggling because of the price crash.
“The haters are quite happy to take all the benefits of mining – and spend all the tax revenue from the industry, but in the next breath they want us closed down. It’s just plainly irrational,” Ms Rinehart told The Sunday Times.
“I cop a lot of the flak for being pro-mining and pro-free enterprise, both necessary to raise living standards in our country.
“When the green-left can’t win on facts, they get personal. “They will try at anything to ruin those people and companies they see as those who don’t support their propaganda.
“The mining and related industries need to speak up for themselves and that responsibility shouldn’t fall to just a few.”
She said mining created jobs for about 250,000 Australians “in places where there may otherwise not be work”.
Ms Rinehart spoke to The Sunday Times after her Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara was named the Asia-Pacific Deal of the Year by Project Finance International.
“Despite what many in the media seem to believe, getting a mega project like Roy Hill this far takes enormous risk, personal effort, and perseverance,” she said.
“Roy Hill is one of the largest mainland construction projects anywhere in Australia. “There’s been many years of work, studies and investment to get to here but some still think you just get a tenement and, presto, it all happens, and money starts to roll in. Nothing could be further from reality.”
Ms Rinehart said Roy Hill was the “last of the big projects in the immediate pipeline for WA”. She said it was on track to complete its first iron ore shipment in September, but the biggest problem would be the cyclone season.
“We are ahead of our already aggressive schedules,” she said. “Australian projects are not renowned for making their schedules so our achievements are sending a strong message to Asia that Aussies can do it.”
The falling iron ore price, which recently hit a five-year low of $US68 a tonne, doesn’t concern Ms Rinehart. But, she said Australia must act “urgently” to cut bureaucracy costs.
“Roy Hill is better placed than many with our low-cost business model,” she said. “We are a project for a generation as well, so we look to the long-term iron ore pricing.
“There will always be a market for iron ore but like everything – at a competitive price, and Australia needs to recognise this and act to lower its costs, starting with urgently and significantly cutting the costs of bureaucracy.
“Everyone talks about our declining productivity, but too few consider the time wasted and productivity loss caused by very costly and time consuming over-regulation.”
Ms Rinehart said all levels of government “must wake-up and give Australia a chance”.
“People are not going to buy our resources just because they love Aussies,” she said. “We face competition from emerging nations who can supply sometimes higher-grade ore at lower prices. “Common sense tells you what is going to happen unless governments wise up and act.
“Just to get to here today, my team at Roy Hill has had to navigate more than 3000 regulatory hurdles. Some of them require thousands of pages of paperwork taking months and years to comply.”
Ms Rinehart said governments “shouldn’t be bailing out businesses”; instead they “should be getting out of the way”.
The Barnett Government recently said it would provide a 50 per cent rebate on iron ore royalties for up to 12 months, subject to the iron ore price remaining below an average of $US73 a tonne over the period.
A sweeping triumph for Greenies in Australia -- with cyclist liberation in Queensland
This is dream legislation for Greenies. They hate cars (except their own, of course) and this facilitates an alternative to cars. But it goes way too far. Cyclists should always be obliged to use cycle lanes where they are available. I wouldn't be surprised if angry motorists knocked a few of them down over unnecessary but now legal obstruction. Whoever put this legislation through must have bypassed all consultation
Since January 1, cyclists have been allowed to ride in any lane on a multi-lane road, ride across pedestrian crossings without dismounting and are no longer required to ride inside designated cycle lanes.
Cyclist Stewart Moore of Tarragindi said riders and drivers needed to learn how to better share the road. “As soon as people start getting aware (of the rules) the whole road culture changes, and that has to happen over a period of time where we learn to better share the road,” Mr Moore said. “Cyclists have to understand their role, and it goes the same for cars.”
Mr Moore said many cyclists were not clear on the previous road rules, and the new changes have helped to formalise the situation.
Cyclist Tony O’Brien of Sunnybank Hills said the changes to cycling rules were “common sense”, including allowing cyclists to ride their bikes across pedestrian and children’s crossings.
“We don’t make people get out of their car and push it across the road,” he said.
However, RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth said the rules had cleared up common misunderstandings about what cyclists were allowed to do.
“The new rules have made it clearer to understand what cyclists can do,” Mr Roth said.
“But it’s important for the government to educate the public on the cycling rules.”
NEW RULES OF THE ROAD
* Cyclists are NOT obliged to ride in the bicycle lane, and can ride on the road instead.
* A cyclist is able to ride across a zebra or children’s crossing as long as they come to a complete stop before doing so.
* Cyclists can choose to take up the whole lane at a single-lane roundabout.
* Cars must give a minimum passing distance of at least 1m in a 60km/h zone, or 1.5m in a speed zone of above 60km/h.
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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
Posted by JR at 1:40 AM