Thursday, May 07, 2015

New paper on Antarctic sea ice melt misses the mark

I have been pointing to subsurface polar vulcanism for years -- nice to see others taking it up lately -- JR

According to a new paper in the journal 'Science Magazine,' the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting at an accelerated rate, which the authors attribute to a warming climate. There's only one problem: According to the National Space Science & Technology Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), atmospheric temperatures across Antarctica haven't moved up or down since 1979 (See graph 1). uah temp anomaly

Paul Homewood, of the popular site Not A Lot Of People Know That, writes that "the [temperature] trend is a statistically insignificant 0.02°C/decade." He also notes that "sea surface temperatures have been plunging in the last decade," and not rising. According to this paper, the sea ice that is supposedly melting sits on this ocean water, ruling that out as a factor. (See graph 2)

"Even if we only look at summer temperatures, when logically most of the ice melt would occur, there is very little trend. Six of the last summers have actually been below average," Homewood writes. "The only notable summer was 2012/13, when December and January were 1.29 and 1.27C warmer than average. Although unusually warm, such weather was not unprecedented in summer, as December 1989 was 1.36C warmer than average." (See graph 3)

Since 1980, sea ice concentration has also increased considerably around Antarctica according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report also focuses on the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea regions (See map), which are part of West Antarctica, saying they have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades. Homewood doesn't believe we have "the accuracy of measurements, particularly back in the 1990s, to come to any statistically significant conclusions about sea ice volumes over such a short period of time."

As previously reported here, it is common knowledge among geologists that West Antarctica is heavily influenced by underground volcanic activity and is one of the "largest zones of continental extension on Earth." Hidden beneath West Antarctica's thick glacial ice cover is a myriad of currently active volcanoes and dormant but not extinct volcanoes which are all located along an active Rift Systems. (See map)

After contacting geologist James Kamis about this study, he notes this active rift system directly affects Antarctica’s thick glacial ice cover by emitting very hot chemically charged fluid beneath the ice. This acts to melt the ice in localized areas close to the rift system. "Where the rift system cuts across Antarctica’s land mass," he said, "the hot, chemically charged fluids are in direct contact with the base of the ice sheet. Where the rift system extends into the ocean and Antarctica’s ice sheet is floating on seawater, the hot chemically charged fluids heat the overlying ocean, which then melts the base of the ice sheet."

This rift system ice melting process would account for what the authors claim is a 70 percent loss in the past decade in West Antarctica sea ice, and has entirely nothing to do with non-existent atmospheric warming. As is often the case in climate science, factors completely unrelated to man are often the cause of any observed changes to our planet.


UK: Greenpeace fracking advert that claimed drilling for shale gas 'won't cut energy bills' is banned by watchdog

Lies are not protected speech.  Shale has already slashed American oil and gas prices dramatically

A Greenpeace advert claiming that allowing fracking in UK ‘won’t cut energy bills’ has been banned in a victory for David Cameron and other supporters of the technology.

The campaigning group argued fracking for gas under Britain would threaten the climate, the countryside and the water supply.

Significantly, it attempted to appeal to the nation’s purses and wallets by stressing: ‘Experts agree – it won’t cut our energy bills.’

However, a complaint from the pro-fracking Labour peer Lord Lipsey said it was wrong and misleading to state that access to a new source of gas from shale rocks will not cut prices.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has agreed and banned Greenpeace from making the claim in its anti-fracking advertising campaigns.

The promise that fracking will provide cheaper gas to heat the nation’s homes and fuel electricity power stations could well win over consumers sceptical about the impact of fracking.

David Cameron has said he is ‘going all out’ for the rapid development of shale gas on the basis it can increase energy security, help reduce carbon emissions if gas replaces coal and boost the economy.

In 2013, the Prime Minister, said: ‘If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills … fracking has real potential to drive energy bills down.’

This is rejected by Greenpeace which produced quotes from 22 energy experts, including academics, to support its case that bills will not fall.

The group cited comments from the Lib-Dem energy secretary, Ed Davey, who in March described the idea that fracking would massively reduce prices and transform the economy as ‘ridiculous’.

However, the ASA rules today that given the disagreements, Greenpeace was wrong to state as fact that the introduction of fracking in this country will not cut energy bills.

The watchdog pointed to the comments made by Mr Cameron as evidence there is no consensus on the impact on bills.

It said: ‘While we acknowledged that Greenpeace had provided quotes from 22 people, groups or organisations, demonstrating support for the view that fracking would not reduce energy prices, we understood that there was a significant division of informed opinion on the issue.

‘While we understood the claim was made in the context of a public debate on fracking, we considered the claim was absolute in nature and, therefore, implied the statement was accepted among informed opinion, which we understood was not the case. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was misleading.’

Greenpeace dismissed the decision and questioned the impartiality of the ASA.

It said the ASA chairman is the former Labour Environment Secretary, Chris Smith, who has a second job as head of the Shale Task Force, a group funded by fracking firms including Cuadrilla, Centrica and Total.

At the same time, the complainant, Lord Lipsey, is a former member of the ASA council and sits on the House of Lords economic affairs committee, which published a report last year calling for fracking to be made a national priority.

Greenpeace’s UK energy and climate campaigner, Louise Hutchins, said: ‘An authority led by a fracking advocate has ruled in favour of a pro-fracking Lord merely on the basis of the opinion of an avowedly pro-fracking prime minister.

‘This decision is baseless, biased, and frankly bonkers. We quoted 22 different expert opinions to back up our statement that fracking won’t bring down bills. The ASA could only find shale enthusiast David Cameron to defend the opposite view.

‘This ruling also sets a very dangerous precedent. The same perverse logic could be used to ban statements about evolution or climate change on the basis that someone somewhere disagrees with the mainstream view. We can’t allow the ASA to be used as a kangaroo court to muzzle dissenting voices on controversial issues like fracking.’


Historical record of CO2 levels ignored

The historical record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, claimed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the justification for greenhouse gas reduction, is a fraud. atmospheric co2 Research by a Freiburg, Germany professor, Ernst-Georg Beck of the Merian-Schule, shows that the IPCC construed and concocted the pre-1957 CO2 record from measurements on recently drilled ice cores, ignoring more than 90,000 direct measurements by chemical methods from 1857 to 1957. [fn. 1]

The IPCC’s hoked-up record attempts to prove that CO2 concentrations have been steadily increasing with the progress of human industrial civilization. Beck’s work confirms a wealth of previous investigations which demonstrate that the IPCC cherrypicked its data in an attempt to prove that we must stop industrial development and return to the horse-and-buggy age, or face oppressive heat and melting of the polar ice caps.

It shows that the Kyoto Treaty on reduction of greenhouse gases was based on a scientific fraud which violates the laws of the universe, denying the well-established determination of climate by cyclical variations in the EarthSun orbital relationship and in the Sun’s heat output.

In a thorough review of 175 scientific papers, Professor Beck found that the founders of modern greenhouse theory, Guy Stewart Callendar and Charles David Keeling (a special idol of Al Gore’s), had completely ignored careful and systematic measurements by some of the most famous names of physical chemistry, among them several Nobel prize winners.

Measurements by these chemists showed that today’s atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 380 parts per million (ppm) have been exceeded in the past, including a period from 1936 to 1944, when the CO2 levels varied from 393.0 to 454.7 ppm.

There were also measurements, accurate to within 3%, of 375.00 ppm in 1885 (Hempel in Dresden), 390.0 in 1866 (Gorup, Erlangen), and 416.0 in 1857 and 1858 (von Gilm, Innsbruck). Ironically, although the 1940s increase correlated with a period of average atmospheric warming, Beck and others have shown that the warming preceded the increase in CO2 concentrations.

The data reviewed by Beck came mainly from the northern hemisphere, geographically spread from Alaska over Europe to Poona, India, nearly all taken from rural areas or the periphery of towns without contamination by industry, at a measuring height of approximately 2 meters above ground. Evaluation of chemical methods revealed a maximum error of 3% down to 1% in the best cases.

By contrast, the measurements hoked up from ice cores, show a rather steady increase in CO2 levels, conveniently corresponding to the preconceived idea that increasing industrial activity has produced a steady CO2 increase. As Beck’s collaborator, Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, former senior adviser to the Polish radiation monitoring service and a veteran mountaineer who has excavated ice from 17 glaciers on six continents, has shown, the gaseous inclusions in ice cores have no validity as historical proxies for atmospheric concentrations.

The continual freezing, refreezing, and pressurization of ice columns drastically alters the original atmospheric concentrations of the gas bubbles. [fn. 2]

According to the greenhouse warming theory, the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration caused by human activity, such as burning of fossil fuels, acts like the glass in a greenhouse to prevent the re-radiation of solar heat from near the Earth’s surface. Although such an effect exists, carbon dioxide is low on the list of greenhouse gases, accounting for at most 2 or 3 percent of the greenhouse effect. By far the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor. However, water in the form of clouds can reflect back solar radiation, causing temperature reduction.

There are so many interrelated effects, that correlating global temperature to CO2 concentration is like attempting to predict the value of a hedge fund by the phases of the Moon.

To concoct a convincing case of such correlation requires ample, sophisticated lying, and the greenhouse theorists have been caught at it. By a delightful historical irony, it could be said that it is the founder of modern science, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), who has caught them. Our modern understanding of photosynthesis began when the Flemish researcher Jan Baptist van Helmont took up Cusa’s challenge (stated in the “De Staticis” section of his Idiota de mente, The Layman: About Mind) to weigh a plant and its soil before and after growth.

Van Helmont discovered (circa 1620) that the soil supporting a willow tree, which had grown to 169 pounds in five years, had changed weight by less than a few ounces. Whence did the solid mass of the tree derive?

Ironically, Van Helmont, who had introduced the word “gas” to science, mistakenly concluded that the plant’s mass had come solely from the water applied.

It took almost two more centuries to uncover the astounding fact that much of the mass of the plant, and all of its structural backbone, derives from the invisible and apparently weightless air, most especially the carbon dioxide component of it.

That was the achievement of the revolution in chemistry launched by Lavoisier, and pushed forward by Gay-Lussac, Avogadro, Gerhardt, and others at the beginning of the 19th Century. The ability to place two invisible gases in a balance and compare their weights, proved to be the secret to the determination of atomic weights, and from that the unlocking of the secrets of both the atom and the cell.

Unfortunately for the liars at the IPCC, the measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentration had been a special focus of chemists since that early 19th Century elaboration of the process of photosynthesis, and their carefully recorded measurements remain with us.


Heat Resistance in Reef-Building Corals

Discussing:  Bay, R.A. and Palumbi, S.R. 2014. "Multi-locus adaptation associated with heat resistance in reef-building corals". Current Biology 24: 252-2956.

Introducing their informative study, Bay and Palumbi (2014) write that "physiology and gene expression patterns have shown that corals living in naturally high-temperature microclimates are more resistant to bleaching because of both acclimation and fixed effects, including adaptation," citing in this regard the slightly earlier work of Palumbi et al. (2014). And in further searching for potential genetic correlates of these fixed effects, they go on to describe how they "genotyped 15,399 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 23 individual table top corals, Acropora hyacinthus, within a natural temperature mosaic in backreef lagoons on Ofu Island, American Samoa."

This effort led to the two researchers identifying 114 highly divergent SNPs that appeared to be good candidates for environmental selection, as a result of multiple stringent outlier tests they conducted, as well as the corals' evident correlations with temperature. More specifically, they report that "corals from the warmest reef location had higher minor allele frequencies across these candidate SNPs, a pattern not seen for non-candidate loci." In addition, they discovered that "within backreef pools, colonies in the warmest microclimates had a higher number and frequency of alternative alleles at candidate loci."

In discussing the significance of their findings, Bay and Palumbi say they imply a "mild selection for alternate alleles at many loci in these corals during high heat episodes and possible maintenance of extensive polymorphism through multi-locus balancing selection in a heterogeneous environment," which leads them to their ultimate conclusion that a natural population of these corals "harbors a reservoir of alleles preadapted to high temperatures, suggesting potential for future evolutionary response to climate change."


4000 Years of Climate Change Based on Taiwan Bog and Lake Data

Discussing:  Liew, P.-M., Wu, M.-H., Lee, C.-Y., Chang, C.-L. and Lee, T.-Q. 2014. "Recent 4000 years of climatic trends based on pollen records from lakes and a bog in Taiwan". Quaternary International 349: 105-112.

Very briefly, Liew et al. (2014) begin their recent report on the climatic history of Taiwan by describing how high-resolution pollen records from four lakes and a bog - which they recovered from both high and low altitudes in northern and southern Taiwan - were used together with radiocarbon dating to develop a 4000-year temperature history of the subtropical mountain island.

The result of this effort was a temperature history that compares well with trends that previously had been developed for China and Europe. And again, very briefly, it revealed the occurrence of a relatively long cold period from approximately 1920 BC to 30 AD, which was followed by the Roman Warm Period (about 30-360 AD), which was followed by the Dark Ages Cold Period (about 360-760 AD), which was followed by the Medieval Warm Period (about 760-1300 AD), which was followed by the Little Ice Age (about 1300-1850 AD). Then, last of all, the record depicts the gradual development of the Current Warm Period, which at this point in time appears to be at its peak, having not risen further than where it is now over the past couple of decades.

Therefore, in light of these and other well-documented findings that are reported and analyzed in the Medieval Warm Period Project portion of the Data section of our website ( - which can readily be accessed here - it can clearly be seen that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the current state of earth's warmth, which was clearly eclipsed by the Medieval Warm Period at various locations around the globe.


Britain's Green party -- in its Brighton stronghold

The writer Keith Waterhouse famously said, “Brighton looks like a town that is helping the police with their enquiries.”

Actually, it’s better understood as a town populated by people looking the other way. After living here on and off for about five years, I’d say that you can probably do anything, be anything, sleep with anything and smoke anything here and no one will judge you for it. Yet despite that reputation for left-wing libertinism, the three seats that comprise the area are more hotly contested than you might imagine.

This stretch of the Sussex coast used to be solid blue. The seats of Hove and Brighton Pavilion voted Tory in every election from their creation in 1950 until 1997; Kempton returned a Labour member from 1964 to 1970 but was otherwise equally conservative. In 1997, all three seats embraced New Labour with gusto – but rejected the party across the board in 2010. Today, Hove and Kemptown are narrowly Conservative, while Pavilion is Green. The current prediction is Pavilion to stay Green, while Hove and Kemptown will go red. The national significance of which I’ll come on to later.

I suspect that the key to understanding the Green Party’s success in Brighton Pavilion is the area’s growing affluence. Incumbent MP Caroline Lucas ought to be on the way out. “The Green council is dreadful,” said a woman with a pram. “That’s all anyone says about them.” Their record certainly is divisive: a bin strike that led to rubbish piling up in the streets, a controversial redevelopment on the seafront, an attempt to pass a massive tax hike and – irony of ironies for an eco-council – a terrible recycling programme that has actually seen recycling get worse.

And yet, says the lady with the pram, “Lucas isn’t bad as an MP.” On the contrary, I sense some pride at having an independent-minded woman who in some way captures the individualist spirit of the seat.

Moreover, Pavilion has changed a lot since I first came here to teach at the university a few years ago. As in a lot of university seats (Cambridge, Oxford East), it’s become the fashion for the students to stay living here after they finish their studies – adding to the left-wing vote. Also, Brighton has blossomed into a satellite town for London, bringing to our shores lots of TV execs, lawyers, doctors and other representatives of the metropolitan elite.

The northern, working-class council estates are probably still solidly Labour. But down by the wealthier seaside, where house prices and rents are ticking upwards, Green signs are everywhere. Eventually, poorer Labour voters will be priced out altogether as gentrification marches on. The kind of socialism that Lucas pushes is most appealing to those that can afford it.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


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