Climate change not so global
This pesky story for Greenies is from last year. It may have been contradicted by now. Limited sampling gives unstable results in glaciology
Scientists are calling for a better understanding of regional climates, after research into New Zealand's glaciers has revealed climate change in the Northern Hemisphere does not directly affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.
The University of Queensland study showed that future climate changes may impact differently in the two hemispheres, meaning a generalised global approach isn't the solution to climate issues.
UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Head Professor Jamie Shulmeister said the study provided evidence for the late survival of significant glaciers in the mountains of New Zealand at the end of the last ice age – a time when other ice areas were retreating.
"This study reverses previous findings which suggested that New Zealand's glaciers disappeared at the same time as ice in the Northern Hemisphere," he said.
"We showed that when the Northern Hemisphere started to warm at the end of the last ice age, New Zealand glaciers were unaffected.
"These glaciers began to retreat several thousand years later, when changes in the Southern Ocean led to increased carbon dioxide emissions and warming.
"This indicates that future climate change may impact differently in the two hemispheres and that changes in the Southern Ocean are likely to be critical for Australia and New Zealand."
The study used exposure dating of moraines - mounds of rocks formed by glaciers - to reconstruct the rate of ice retreat in New Zealand's Ashburton Valley after the last glacial maximum – the time when the ice sheets were at their largest.
The researchers found that the period from the last glacial maximum to the end of the ice age was longer in New Zealand than in the Northern Hemisphere.
They also found that the maximum glacier extent in New Zealand occurred several thousand years before the maximum in the Northern Hemisphere, demonstrating that growth of the northern ice sheets did not cause expansion of New Zealand glaciers.
"New Zealand glaciers responded largely to local changes in the Southern Ocean, rather than changes in the Northern Hemisphere as was previously believed," Professor Shulmeister said. "This study highlights the need to understand regional climate rather than a global one-size-fits-all."
The early rise and late demise of New Zealand’s last glacial maximum
By Henrik Rother et al.
We present here a comprehensive record of glaciation from a New Zealand valley glacier system covering the critical 15,000-y period from the local last glacial maximum (LGM) to near the end of the last ice age. This record from a key site in the midlatitude Southern Hemisphere shows that the largest glacial advance did not coincide with the coldest temperatures during this phase. We also show that the regional post-LGM ice retreat was very gradual, contrary to the rapid ice collapse widely inferred. This demonstrates that glacial records from New Zealand are neither synchronous with nor simply lag or lead Northern Hemisphere ice sheet records, which has important implications for the reconstruction of past interhemispheric climate linkages and mechanisms.
Recent debate on records of southern midlatitude glaciation has focused on reconstructing glacier dynamics during the last glacial termination, with different results supporting both in-phase and out-of-phase correlations with Northern Hemisphere glacial signals. A continuing major weakness in this debate is the lack of robust data, particularly from the early and maximum phase of southern midlatitude glaciation (∼30–20 ka), to verify the competing models. Here we present a suite of 58 cosmogenic exposure ages from 17 last-glacial ice limits in the Rangitata Valley of New Zealand, capturing an extensive record of glacial oscillations between 28–16 ka. The sequence shows that the local last glacial maximum in this region occurred shortly before 28 ka, followed by several successively less extensive ice readvances between 26–19 ka. The onset of Termination 1 and the ensuing glacial retreat is preserved in exceptional detail through numerous recessional moraines, indicating that ice retreat between 19–16 ka was very gradual. Extensive valley glaciers survived in the Rangitata catchment until at least 15.8 ka. These findings preclude the previously inferred rapid climate-driven ice retreat in the Southern Alps after the onset of Termination 1. Our record documents an early last glacial maximum, an overall trend of diminishing ice volume in New Zealand between 28–20 ka, and gradual deglaciation until at least 15 ka.
One man responsible for billions of deaths: Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Napoleon? Genghis Khan?
No. It's a certain cheery American journalist: Marc Morano
There's a new film you should see about the industry of Climate Change Denial: Merchants of Doubt. It will be shown in only a limited release, but you can also stream it on Hulu. Here's the trailer:
And one of the featured "stars" of the film is the Marc Morano, who runs the climate denial blog Climate Depot (link deliberately not provided), a former staffer of Senator James Inhofe (R - Big Oil). He openly admits in Merchants of Doubt that "I'm not a scientist, although I do I play one on TV occasionally. Okay, hell, maybe more than occasionally. [Laughs]" That's one of his many jobs - debating real climate scientists on news outlets, among them Fox News and CNN. You can see him in the the trailer of the documentary also saying the following:
"Communication is about sales. Keep it simple. People will fill in the blanks with their own - I hate to say biases - but with their own perspectives in many cases. [...]
We go up against a scientist, most of them are very hard to understand and very BORING"
But Morano is much more than merely a shill for hire. He is one nasty piece of work. A former producer of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, he also helped jump start the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry with his May 3, 2004 CNS article “Kerry ‘Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,’ Say Former Military Colleagues" which CNS has conveniently scrubbed from its website, but which you can read in it entirety here. Morano was also instrumental in casting aspersions on Rep. John Murtha's military record and the medals and citations Murtha was awarded, after Murtha came out in 2005 against any further deployment of troops to Iraq.
Now the Cybercast News Service, a supposedly independent organization with deep ties to the Republican Party, has dusted off the Swift Boat Veterans playbook, questioning whether Mr. Murtha deserved his two Purple Hearts. The article also implied that Mr. Murtha did not deserve the Bronze Star he received, and that the combat-distinguishing "V" on it was questionable. It then called on Mr. Murtha to open up his military records.
Cybercast News Service is run by David Thibault, who formerly worked as the senior producer for "Rising Tide," the televised weekly news magazine produced by the Republican National Committee. One of the authors of the Murtha article was Marc Morano, a long-time writer and producer for Rush Limbaugh.
However, the most despicable thing he does now is post lies about, and misleading quotes (conveniently taken out of context) by, climate scientists on his website. Then he publishes their email addresses. In short he's a serial harasser of scientists who publish peer reviewed scientific research linking climate change to the burning of carbon based fuels. You can imagine the result.
Climate ethicist Donald Brown, who has been the focus of Morano’s “reprehensible” tactics four times, called it “sheer intimidation.” In 2012, highly-regarded MIT climatologist (and Republican) Kerry Emanuel — another Morano target — wrote me, “I had heard about the hate mail and threats received by others, but am surprised at how little it takes these days to trigger hysterical and hateful responses from the ideologues out there.” Emanuel explained that some emails contained “veiled threats against my wife,” and other “tangible threats.”
Morano himself seems to think this is all just fun and games. Or so he has claimed, when he says in Merchants of Doubt how much he enjoyed coming up with new ways to "mock and ridicule" scientists when he worked for Inhofe. The truth is, there is nothing funny about what he does, as his own rhetoric is often tinged with the language of violence and hate, such as this example from an article in the March 2010 issue of Scientific Americanwhich he was quoted as saying climate scientists are perpetrating a "con job."
"You have every aspect of our lives subject to regulatory control - down to the light bulbs we can put in - based on climate science," Morano said. The researchers "never wanted to debate and they kept trying to demand the debate was over."
"Whenever you have someone ginning up a crisis and wanting to take power, you're going to have anger," he added. "When you've been conned at a used car dealer, you don't go back cheerily and politely to talk to them." [...]
"I seriously believe we should kick them while they're down" ... "They deserve to be publicly flogged."
So, what possible reason could Morano have for prominently displaying these email addresses – as he does for many other stories that involve climate scientists he evidently despises – other than to encourage his readers who lap up his warped world vision to "get in touch"? I'll let you fill in the gaps.
What exactly are Morano's credentials as a climate expert - other than working for Rush Limbaugh and James Inhofe, and as a journalist for the right wing media outlet, Cybercast News Service? Desmogblog has the details on his "credentials" such as they are.
Marc Morano is the executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot.com, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano is also the Communications Director at CFACT, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. According to 2011 IRS Forms (PDF), Morano was the highest paid staff member with a salary of $150,000 per year. Morano's blog Climate Depot regularly publishes articles questioning man-made global warming.
Although he has no scientific expertise in the area, Morano has become a prominent climate change denier. He has been called “the Matt Drudge of climate denial”, the “King of the skeptics,” and a “central cell of the climate-denial machine.” He was also listed as one of 17 top “climate killers” by Rolling Stone Magazine. He has accused climate scientists of “fear mongering,” and has claimed that proponents of man-made global warming are “funded to the tune of $50 billion.”
When Morano was asked about his qualifications for speaking about an issue such as climate science, he responded by saying, “I have a background in political science, which is the perfect qualification to examine global warming.”
I suppose his background in political science and "smear campaigns" helps him keep his communications to his audience simple, so they can provide the proper "perspectives" to the "information" he "sells" regarding climate change. Simple enough to ratchet up unreasonable hate and threats toward real scientists earning far less than Mr. Morano does.
Sure hope Morano doesn't decide to "release the dogs" by posting personal information about the scientists of the ICECAP team who so recently revealed the dangers of thinning ice from warming ocean current in both West and East Antarctica. But maybe he'll be too busy enjoying his status as the "star" of the documentary about his deceitful and unethical tactics to smear bigger fish in the climate science community, to bother with the folks of ICECAP.
Kenner, 65, does admire people such as Marc Morano, a professional climate-change denier and founder of the Climate Depot Web site who is, arguably, the star of Kenner’s film [Merchants of Doubt]. [...]
In “Doubt,” Morano recounts with glee how he has published the e-mail addresses of climate scientists, subjecting them to intimidation and flaming attacks from anonymous critics. (Several of the abusive e-mails are read aloud in the film by their recipients, in an evocation of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segments.) It makes for a semi-serious tone that masks Kenner’s more sobering message: We’re routinely being lied to, by people who are darn good at it.
Unfortunately, the efforts of people like Morano, who by any definition is a thug and character assassin, have had a lasting effect already on our ability to limit the effects of man-made climate change, as Harvard Professor, Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt, on which the film of the same name is based, points out.
“Scientists are worried. We’ve lost 20 years. If this keeps up as we’re going, we’re looking at a 6- to 10-foot rise in the sea level by 2100.” The film brings that point home graphically, showing a map of Boston and nearly all major coastal cities underwater. Reiterating the pandemic fear sweeping through the scientific community, Oreskes points to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recommendation of a significant (some say 80 percent) reduction in emissions by 2050 as a necessary course of action. “The really crucial thing,” Oreskes says, “is to get started on emissions reduction, because once we do, technology and momentum will kick in. The hardest thing is to start.”
Yes, twenty critical years wasted thanks to hacks and mercenaries like Marc Morano. Years that we could have turned the tide to limit our exorbitant emissions of greenhouse gases. Years that we will never recover. And Morano is still out there right now, working hard to delay action on climate change for another twenty years, while being well paid to destroy the lives of hundreds of millions in the short term, and quite possibly by the end of the century, billions of human beings (not to mention all the other species going extinct because of global warming). Is it any wonder I labeled Morano "Evil" in my title? Trust me, it isn't hyperbole.
Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic
By Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace
I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”
My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.
In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.
The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.
Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced for the umpteenth time we are doomed unless we reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to zero. Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is far worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it actually comes about.
IPCC Conflict of Interest
By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. If the IPCC did not find humans were the cause of warming, or if it found warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse.
The IPCC should either have its mandate expanded to include all causes of climate change, or it should be dismantled.
Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren, and we feel guilty for doing it.
Third, there is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.” Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.
So we are told carbon dioxide is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed, when in fact it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas and the most important food for life on earth. Without carbon dioxide above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.
Human Emissions Saved Planet
Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.
At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.
We have no proof increased carbon dioxide is responsible for the earth’s slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide ever emitted. Carbon dioxide is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasize to our children?
Celebrate Carbon Dioxide
The IPCC’s followers have given us a vision of a world dying because of carbon-dioxide emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no carbon dioxide, and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate carbon dioxide.
You Will Never Guess What The EPA Might Regulate Next
It’s obvious the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has way too much money to play with.
Following yesterday’s news that the EPA was funding research to reduce air pollution emissions from cooking on propane fired barbecue grills, the latest research grant is aimed at hotel showers.
Researchers at the University of Tulsa were awarded $15,000 to develop a wireless device that will allow water use from showers to be measured and reported to both the hotel guest via a smartphone and to hotel management. According to the grant, hotel guests waste millions of gallons of water each year and it’s hoped that guests will reduce their water use when they realize the amount of water they are using.
The research on propane gas grills involves modifying the barbecue grill design to reduce particulate matter that’s emitted during cooking especially when the fire hits the grease from the food.
The Chemical and Environmental Engineering department at the University of California, Riverside, received $15,000 to develop a two-step process to reduce particulate matter during barbecuing. The fist step involves reducing the amount of grease that hits the cooking flame by temporarily inserting a tray between the meat and grill just before flipping. Since the tray is cooler than the grill surface it will minimize the amount of grease emitted from the meat, resulting in less smoke and particulates released into the air and inhaled by the cook. The tray is removed immediately after the meat is flipped.
The second step involves an air filtration system.
Only the EPA could devise projects that are so detached from reality.
Hotel guests pay a premium for lodging and will resist being spied on by hotel management for water use. In many hotels, a small card is displayed in the bathroom to remind the guests that water conservation is important. Some hotels go a step further and suggest that guests can opt out of having the towels and sheets replaced daily.
Addressing emissions from propane barbecues is even more ridiculous. Backyard cooks are not going to go through an extra step before flipping the meat. Not only does that step increase the possibility of getting burned but the tray also becomes an additional item that needs to be cleaned.
Finally, the elaborate filtration system would add to the cost and maintenance of the grill.
Funding make-work research projects exposes the incompetence and waste at the EPA.
MD: Senators hotly debate language in fracking bill
Legislators from western Maryland oppose a bill that would hold fracking companies accountable for any damage done during the process, saying it would kill any chances of cashing in on natural gas deposits in the state.
Spirited debate came to an abrupt halt when the Senate decided to seek the state attorney general's opinion on disputed language in the bill.
Fracking extracts natural gas from Marcellus shale, which can be found underneath of nearly all of Garrett County and parts of Allegany County. A Towson University study finds tapping into Marcellus shale could infuse billions into the western Maryland economy.
"I think the bottom line is this bill bans fracking, period, with this language in there, the way it is now," Senate President Mike Miller said.
A Senate committee struck strict liability language that fracking supporters argue would have completely deterred interest in drilling. They inserted a description of the process as an ultra-hazardous and abnormally-dangerous activity.
Sen. George Edwards, R-Western Maryland, said he asked the state attorney general's office for a legal opinion and plans to get what he was told on the phone in writing.
"Simply put, this is just another way of saying strict liability," Edwards said.
"This 'ultra-hazardous' is a legal term of argument. What we've done in the bill is to leave it up to our courts to determine the parameters of liability based on the contamination of fracking," said Baltimore County Democratic Sen. Bobby Zirkin, the bill's sponsor.
Edwards wants to strike those words. "This guts the bill and what we are trying to do is protect our citizens," Zirkin said.
Edwards served on a state committee charged with coming up with recommending regulations that would help safeguard the practice.
"To pass something like this before you haven't even ruled on the regulations, I believe, is putting the cart before the horse," Edwards said.
"The better course of action was to define it in a way that would allow our courts to determine the parameters of strict liability or their liability standards," Zirkin said.
"For five years, this has been looked at," Edwards said.
"The bill simply says if we do it and if somebody gets hurt or if our water is contaminated, then we are going to hold the right people responsible," Zirkin said.
The attorney general's office released its advisory late Wednesday afternoon, saying that describing the fracking process as an ultra-hazardous and abnormally dangerous activity is strict liability language.
Australia: New Leftist government of Victoria throws "Climate variability" out, brings "climate change" back in
Climate change is back on the political agenda in Victoria, with the Andrews Government considering going it alone with a state-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
In a symbolic but significant gesture, Environment Minister Lisa Neville has ordered bureaucrats in her department to "call it what it is - climate change", banning the phrase "climate variability" preferred by the former Napthine government.
In a speech to the Australian Coastal Councils Conference last week, Ms Neville declared "we are putting climate change back on the agenda in Victoria", promising to make the state a national and international leader on the issue.
"In the absence of national leadership on this critical issue, we understand as a State Government we must take the lead on climate change and are committed to reinvigorating climate action within our state, and restoring Victoria's status as a leader in Australia and internationally," Ms Neville said.
Although the environment barely featured in the recent election campaign, the comments suggest the Andrews government wants to make it a central political issue. It is believed a push by the former Bracks Labor government to introduce a state-based emissions trading scheme could potentially be reinvigorated, with Victoria in discussions with both South Australian and New South Wales.
Asked about such a possibility, Ms Neville told Fairfax Media it was too early to make any commitments, suggesting the outcome of global climate talks in Paris later this year would shape the state's policy.
As a first step, the state government is considering whether a Victorian emissions reduction target might be introduced.
"We are currently reviewing legislation and programs and whether a state carbon emissions reduction target would be effective," Ms Neville told the conference. "We're also refocusing the role of Sustainability Victoria to assist communities to take practical action locally and assessing the need for additional policies and programs."
Ms Neville has been picked to lead the national "climate adaptation working group" of environment ministers. She said support for action on climate change had slipped by 20 per cent in the last four years, suggesting people have a hard time accepting solutions to a problem that is essentially long term.
"We must recognise that we have been here before," she said. "We tried to create that bigger picture federally and it fell over."
Given the global nature of the problem, business groups have expressed alarm about the possibility of unilateral action.
Australian Industry Group Victorian director Tim Piper said he had no problem with Victoria taking on a leadership role. "But we also know that unilateral regulations which don't bring the rest of the country with us disadvantage Victorian companies and consumers and are bound to fail," Mr Piper said.
Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said he was optimistic Labor was genuinely committed to "decarbonising" the economy.
"Labor's commitment to reintroducing an emissions reduction target for the state, and its appetite for working with other states like SA and NSW to increase and lead national efforts on decarbonisation is an extremely positive development in the lead up to international climate negotiations in Paris," Mr Wakeham said.
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