Friday, September 11, 2015
Here come the Climate Police: Carbon Footprints must be monitored by Big Brother on every building & street
Fascism, Communism, Environmentalism: Three peas in a pod
Cities are taking steps to combat climate change, given the scant progress made by international treaty negotiations. Los Angeles, California, home to around 4 million people, has one of the most ambitious targets: to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. The city has calculated its carbon 'footprint' and found that road vehicles constitute 47% of total carbon dioxide emissions, and that electricity consumption constitutes 32%1. So how should Los Angeles target its policies?
Knowing that certain roads, types of vehicle or parts of a city dominate road emissions and why people drive at specific times would tell city planners where and how to lower emissions efficiently. Improvements in traffic congestion, air quality, pedestrian conditions, and noise pollution could be aligned. But tracking emissions road by road and building by building is beyond the capacity of most cities.
Luckily, scientists are gathering the data that city managers need — in studies that match sources of CO2 and methane with atmospheric concentrations. Now the research community needs to translate this information into a form that city managers can use. Emissions data need to be merged with socio-economic information such as income, property ownership or travel habits, and placed in software tools that can query policy options and weigh up costs and benefits. And scientists should help municipalities to raise awareness of the power of detailed emissions data in tailoring climate and development policies.
Cities account for more than 70% of global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, the main driver of climate change. If the top 50 emitting cities were counted as one country, that 'nation' would rank third in emissions behind China and the United States2. Urban areas are set to triple globally by 2030 (ref. 3).
Much of this emitting landscape falls within the control of mayors, city planners, businesses and community groups that have responsibility for residents' health and well-being. A 2014 survey lists 228 global cities — representing nearly half a billion people — that have pledged reductions equivalent to 454 megatonnes of CO2 per year by 2020 (see go.nature.com/inaxr4). Shenzhen in China, for example, aims to put an extra 35,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2015. The German city of Munich aims to produce enough green electricity by 2025 to meet all its power requirements.
Yet such pledges account for only about 3% of global urban emissions and less than 1% of total global emissions projected for 2020 (ref. 4). Rich cities dominate these pledges, yet low- and middle-income countries are experiencing the greatest urban growth.
Slashing emissions requires mapping them on finer scales of space and time that reflect the human dimensions at which carbon is emitted: by individual buildings, vehicles, parks, factories and power plants. These should be tracked at least yearly. Such granular estimates are needed for several reasons: to verify emissions rates; to confirm progress towards reduction and support carbon trading, permits or taxation5; to enable more-targeted and financially efficient decisions about mitigation options6; and to identify and fix unintentional releases from, for example, leaking gas pipes or malfunctioning methane-capture equipment in landfills.
Cities already approach air-quality improvement, regional development, transport planning and waste disposal on a house or road scale. Adding low-carbon policies to these efforts could benefit them all. For example, reducing traffic congestion would lower air pollution and traffic accidents and improve commutes. And targeting residents' immediate needs widens public acceptance.
Although methods to account for community-scale emissions have been designed by non-profit organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute (see go.nature.com/q7wjeb), most cities lack independent, comprehensive and comparable sources of data. The expertise and staff required to build this information are costly. Transparency of data and methods is also crucial to enable verification by third parties and to build trust.
Scientists are starting to meet these challenges. In the past five years, 'bottom-up' estimations of carbon emissions from fuel reporting, traffic data, building information and human activity are being merged with 'top-down' atmospheric measurements over cities of CO2, methane and 14CO2 — an isotope of CO2 that reflects fuel combustion7. Such efforts began in the late 2000s in Paris and in the US cities of Indianapolis, Boston, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles; more are planned for São Paulo, Brazil, and cities in Australia, China, the United Kingdom and Canada. These studies cost millions of dollars, and involve at least a dozen monitoring sites and analysis of remotely sensed data and modelling efforts. Many of these data sets are now publicly available.
Links between ground-based and satellite remote sensing are improving. For example, Japan's Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) has shown8 that spaceborne CO2 measurements can constrain the 'domes' of the gas that lie above cities. This work will continue with NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2), which launched in July 2014.
Future space missions (such as OCO-3, planned for 2018) will have a 'city mode' that will monitor urban areas and power plants monthly. The European Space Agency's Sentinel-5 mission (to launch in 2016) should provide near-global measurements of large methane emitters on the urban scale every few days or weeks. Work is also under way to characterize infrastructure in high-resolution images. Complemented by ground-based information such as traffic data from mobile phones, this could reveal, for example, which types of building or location account for disproportionate urban emissions and why.
Much needs to be known to make the science suitable for policymakers and planners. For example, what level of granularity and accuracy is most useful? How many atmospheric monitoring stations are sufficient to calibrate or anchor emissions inventories? How does this scale with city size or types of emission (road versus industrial, say)?
Existing information systems are cumbersome, and although good at quantifying emissions, they are unable to explain the roots and controls of carbon flows. Researchers need to understand the relationships between urban carbon fluxes and the social norms, technology, economics and institutional constraints that drive emissions. This is especially important in low- and middle-income countries.
More collaboration among disciplines is needed. For example, engineers have modelled how emissions change when transit systems or compact urban development strategies are introduced. But technological and infrastructure changes are rarely modelled within socio-ecological systems9. Social scientists are examining the connections between wealth, population size or density and carbon emissions10, but not within realistic, economically constrained, engineered landscapes.
Translating urban carbon science into solutions requires two key steps. First, it must become 'operational'. Like weather stations, data and forecasting, the measurement, monitoring and modelling of urban carbon flows is a global need that is best accomplished collectively. This requires long-term collaborative funding and institutional support beyond the typical three-year research-grant cycle.
Second, an independent intergovernmental centre (with regional representation) is needed to ensure standardization and priority. This could be funded jointly by governments, foundations and intergovernmental institutions. Such an 'urban carbon solutions centre' must generate practical results, tools and carbon-mitigation options with the involvement of community groups, mayoral staff and energy providers. Cities could pay the solutions centre to provide information tailored to their locale. Some work could be undertaken by the private sector.
With detailed knowledge of carbon flows, cities might succeed in reducing global emissions where nations have failed.
Nature 525, 179–181 (10 September 2015) doi:10.1038/525179a
Conclusions divorced from Reality!
By Rich Kozlovich
Maury Siskel is a retired scientist in Texas who sends me stuff every day. Mostly serious stuff, but occasionally he’ll send a joke, a humorous story, or some cartoons - some funny and some political. The interesting thing about humorous stories is they so often reflect how we humans live our lives. Maury and Dog sent this story last night, and I think it’s reflective of why people fall for so much clabber from the world’s activists.
"On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. "One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.
Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me ...."He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.
"Come here quick!" said the boy, "You won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!" The man said, "Beat it kid! Can't you see it's hard for me to walk?" When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me." The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord!" Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done...."They say the old man had the lead for a good half-mile before the kid on the bike passed him."
So, what’s the moral of this story? What message could I possibly take away from this? How about this - people will fall for anything if they start out with the wrong conclusion already in their heads!
This tale has a young boy hearing an ambiguous and incomprehensible conversation and quickly arriving at a conclusion. If we conclude from this story he came from a Christian ethic we can understand his conclusion, but it was a conclusion he didn't bother to investigate. He panics and then runs off in an emotional state and involves another party, an old man. But he was just a kid you might say. True, but what really makes this story work is bringing in an old man. Someone who should have known better, and then having him fall for the same fallacious conclusion as the young boy, both becoming embued with an irrational panic!
But what's the big deal - after all, this was just a story! It’s not real! No, but the theme is very real! Unfortunately for humanity much of what poses as science in the real world follow the concept of this story - fallacious conclusions! Conclusions charged with emotion and filled with logical fallacies, such as the “Anecdotal fallacy - using a personal experience or an isolated example instead of sound reasoning or compelling evidence, the Appeal to probability – is a statement that takes something for granted because it would probably be the case (or might be the case), the Base rate fallacy – making a probability judgment based on conditional probabilities, without taking into account the effect of prior probabilities, and then there’s the Unwarranted assumption fallacy - The fallacy of unwarranted assumption is committed when the conclusion of an argument is based on a premise (implicit or explicit) that is false or unwarranted. An assumption is unwarranted when it is false.” Much of what impacts us from scientistst involved in the world of activism ends up being conclusions in search of data to promote some cause or other."
Rachel Carson promoted the idea DDT was destroying the world’s bird population in her book Silent Spring. That was a lie and she had to know it. Rachel Carson is touted as a great scientist. She wasn’t a scientist at all. She did no research. Carson was a writer with a science degree writing for the Fish and Wildlife Service writing about the research done by others. As a result we know she had to have access to the actual bird counts performed by the Audubon Society. She had to know the bird population of North American increased dramatically during the DDT years, including the Bald Eagle. And the robin was the most populous bird in North America. In short– she deliberately lied – and the world accepted it, as did most in the scientific community. People who had to know better!
Now we've "returned to the future", with the cycle of lies constantly being repeated by activists. They claim neonicotinoid pesticides cause Colony Collapse Disorder - that's a lie. As that lie finally unfolds they shift back to the Carson premise claiming neonicotinoids are killing birds - that's a lie too. They report "declines in certain groups and species of birds" but fail to report those declines preceded the introduction of neonics by decades. They also fail to report “other birds that rely on wetlands, such as waterfowl, have been increasing over the same period.” Clearly they should know better, but academics willingly jump on board with that same pattern of lies they accepted about DDT. It would appear fifty plus years of fact based reality haven't made a dent in their willingness to draw preconceived unfounded conclusions.
Let's try and get this once and for all - the greenies lie - lies of commission and lies of omission! That's why logical fallacies play such a large role in their pronouncements. In his book, Economic Facts and Fallacies Thomas Sowell said logical fallacies,
"are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment."
This is true of virtually every issue promoted by the anti–everything activists, along with their myrmidons in government and science. The universities are now so addicted to government grant money they can no longer to be trusted regarding anything they promote or publish.
Dr. Jay Lehr, one of the original founders of the USEPA, says:
"....science is following the government money, and it’s a problem in all industries. We’ve totally distorted science, not all of it, but certainly at the university level. They know they have to say what the government wants to hear in the grant proposal process in order to get their money.
"U.S. EPA rules the roost, and if they’re not out to prove or say bad things about chemicals of all kinds, they won’t likely get the money. This is all driven by the environmental advocacy groups that control U.S. EPA today. It’s a horrible thing, and what it has done to science mostly at the academic level is bad. But U.S. EPA’s goal is to remove every useful chemical from the environment."
Every year Retraction Watch lists hundreds of papers that have to be retracted, and many of them due to fraud. In one period in 2012 two hundred and thirty papers were retracted out of about fifteen hundred. And those were the ones caught. It's my belief there are far more that should be retracted and aren't because of the collusion among "scientists" of like persuasion. Government grant money has made science rich. When science becomes rich it becomes politics. When politics dominates science the term scientific integrity becomes an oxymoron.
De Omnibus Dubitandum – Question Everything. That's my personal motto, and is supposed to be the personal motto of every scientist in the world. Well, truth is no longer the Holy Grail of science, it's grant money. So what's to be done? Society must take oversight of science into its own hands, and that oversight should include serious penalties for fraud. When fraud is exposed, as was done in the now infamous Tulane endocrine disruption study, someone should be charged criminally. In the Tulane study not one person was charged with a crime. And as far as I can tell - that never happens in science - making science a Sacred Cow! That needs to be changed!
The term "citizen scientist" came into existence in 2014 and includes anyone “whose work is characterized by a sense of responsibility to serve the best interests of the wider community" or "'a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions'" an amateur scientist.” That’s who we all have to become, but without allowing ourselves to be enfolded into the scientific community and used as "helpers", as is the current defining trend. If citizen science is to be effective it should be a movement of heterodoxy - having the courage to stand up to the conventional wisdom and tell the world -"you're wrong, and I'm going to tell you why!"
We cannot entrust policy promoted by “scientists”, because we know the scientific community isn't trustworthy. If we don’t stand up to be counted we will all end up like the old man and the young boy, panic stricken and running like chickens with their heads cut off, which is just what the activists want. A society that's panic stricken, ignorant and compliant to a movement that's irrational, misanthropic and morally defective.
Green Gurus Caught in Dirty Ponzi Scheme
We’re not sure what’s less surprising: That a renewable energy endeavor turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, or that it has ties to the Clintons. The Associated Press reports, “Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and ‘carbon-negative’ housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, federal prosecutors said. …
Prosecutors said the trio lied to investors that their ‘biochar’ technology and ‘carbon-negative’ housing in Tennessee made millions, but they had almost no earnings and used the money to repay earlier investors and for themselves.”
According to U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, “The scheme alleged in this indictment offered investors the best of both worlds — investing in sustainable and clean energy products while also making a profit. Unfortunately for the investors, it was all a hoax and they lost precious savings. These defendants preyed on the emotions of their victims and sold them a scam.”
Sounds like the entire Obama climate change charade. The criminal charges come years after a separate civil lawsuit. “The scam allegedly ran from 2005 until 2009, even after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Wragg and Knorr’s Mantria Corp. They were ordered in 2012 to pay $37 million each,” the AP adds.
The kicker? “Two months before the SEC civil lawsuit, the company was publicly recognized for its stated commitment to ‘help mitigate global warming’ by former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative.
The company was cited for its plans to develop the biochar technology that it said would sequester carbon dioxide and reduce emissions in developing countries. Wragg appeared on stage with Clinton at the event in September 2009.”
Envirofascists slam Big Oil for ostensibly putting profits before principle, yet that’s exactly what happened in this case. And wouldn’t you know it? The defendants are in good company with the Clintons.
When will EPA tell the truth about Colorado's Animas River spill?
Will the public ever know why a government agency charged with protecting the environment instead dumped deadly chemicals into one of the largest sources of drinking water in the West?
The answer is: No. Not as long as Barack Obama’s rogue bureaucracies are permitted to operate as though they are above the law. And not as long as the U.S. Congress refuses to assert its rightful powers under Article I of the Constitution.
Having a representative government means government is supposed to be subservient to the people’s elected representatives. It does not mean allowing unelected mega-bureaucrats to continue acting with impunity – increasingly in direct contravention of the law.
On August 5, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unleashed one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Ignoring specific warnings, one of the agency’s cleanup crews destroyed a dam near the long-abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. This so-called accident sent more than three million gallons of toxic wastewater – containing cadmium, lead, arsenic and other pollutants – pouring into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.
The pollution turned the Animas a bright yellowish-orange color -- impacting water supplies in three different states.
Compounding the crisis, EPA officials waited more than twenty-four hours to notify the public of this toxic spill. And when EPA administrator Gina McCarthy finally got around to visiting the area (a week later) – she refused to visit Silverton.
After the initial spill, things went from bad to worse for those relying on the river. For example Navajo farmers – unable to use water from the river – were provided with emergency water reserves from the EPA. Unfortunately this water was contaminated, too – prompting another attempted EPA cover-up.
According to The Guardian, EPA officials originally told Navajo leaders the individual reporting the contamination was “unstable” and deliberating “agitating” in an attempt to undermine the agency. The Navajo leader, Russell Begaye, took the EPA at its word – at least until he observed the pollution for himself.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Begaye told the paper after inspecting the water and finding oily streaks in it. “I couldn’t believe the EPA’s higher-ups basically told me a lie.”
Such dishonesty from the agency has been epidemic in the aftermath of this spill. No wonder many in the affected areas think this disaster was no accident – but rather part of an EPA conspiracy to secure additional environmental “cleanup” funding for the area.
“I don’t put anything past the EPA,” Utah state lawmaker Mike Noel recently told Newsweek. “I’ve seen the way they use their regulating powers to shut down projects, harm mining, harm farmers.”
So what did the EPA know? And when? After weeks of prodding from multiple media outlets, the agency finally released heavily redacted documents on August 22 revealing its advance knowledge of the elevated risks associated with the Gold King Mine project.
“Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals,” one of the documents dated June 2014 noted.
Unfortunately, an “unresponsive, secretive and unsympathetic” EPA is blocking the release of additional, un-redacted documents being sought by a congressional committee investigating the disaster. According to the U.S. House Science Committee, the EPA is refusing to provide “documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill” sought in connection with an upcoming hearing.
Congress must act now to assert its constitutional authority. For starters, McCarthy and other EPA officials must deliver these documents and provide truthful testimony regarding how they turned the Animas River into a new Crayola color -- or be found in contempt.
Meanwhile lawmakers must zero in on the EPA’s multi-billion budget like never before – starting with legislation introduced earlier this year by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson specifically targeting its wasteful programs.
If House leadership is willing to shut down debate over appropriations bills (including the EPA’s budget) over an arcane Confederate flag, surely this merits an even bolder response.
The EPA is not above the law. It must be held accountable -- not only for this spill, but the broader damage it is doing to the U.S. economy.
UK: Greenie has a spasm of realism about fracking
Environmentalists should keep cool heads over fracking, says Friends of the Earth's former climate campaigner. Bryony Worthington - now Labour shadow energy minister - says fracking will create less CO2 than compressing gas in Qatar and shipping it to Britain.
But she insists shale gas should only be developed if its emissions are captured and stored underground.
The current FoE position is that more fossil fuel exploitation will further destabilise the climate.
Nonetheless, Baroness Worthington's intervention may prove significant. She is a professional climate and energy analyst, and one of the architects of the UK's radical Climate Change Act.
"We have to be realistic," she told BBC News. "We are going to be using gas for a long time because of the huge role it plays for heating homes and for industry.
"The important thing is to minimize the carbon emissions from gas. That means if we can get our own fracked gas, it's better to use that than importing gas that's been compressed at great energy cost somewhere else."
She believes NGOs (green groups) have been opportunistic in gathering support for green causes by taking an absolute position on shale gas.
"We have the mother of all challenges getting emissions of greenhouse gases out of our energy system - environmentalists should not be adopting a priori objections to technologies but appraising them with a cool head," she argued.
Her former colleague, Friends of the Earth's director Craig Bennett, replied: "Fracking won't help us tackle climate change. Even people in the industry agree that shale gas wouldn't make any big difference to our energy sector until the mid-to-late 2020s, which is exactly when the UK needs to start getting out of gas, wherever it comes from.
"Building a whole new gas infrastructure will keep us addicted to expensive fossil fuels for decades to come, just when other European countries will be benefiting from much cheaper renewables."
Both Baroness Worthington and Mr Bennett agreed on the need to speed the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), the process in which CO2 emissions are stripped out of power station exhausts and forced into rocks underground.
The Labour peer is urging the government to consider whether firms bringing fossil fuels into the UK should be obliged to take responsibility for capturing the resulting CO2 emissions and burying them.
This would re-frame the CO2 issue by treating CO2 as a waste product like any other, to be disposed of by the firm that used the fossil fuel.
North Sea future
She concedes that emissions from mobile sources like transport cannot be captured, but says oil importers could pay for the storage of equivalent amounts of carbon emissions in developing countries.
She said: "The UK has great potential to lead Europe on the development of CCS. But we need to consider how best to fund and incentivise it.
"The idea of requiring oil and gas extractors and importers to play their part is certainly worthy of exploration, especially done in a way that helps harness market forces to find the least cost solutions."
The Conservative peer Matt Ridley is offering his qualified support, as injecting CO2 into North Sea oil fields would enhance recovery of hard-to-get oil. He told the BBC: "A mechanism for supporting CCS without hitting electricity prices further is worth considering to give the North Sea a new lease of life.
"Given that fossil fuels are being hit with ever higher taxes, such as the UK's unilateral carbon price floor, perhaps it makes sense to replace that with a requirement that fossil fuel producers and importers divert funds to CCS projects."
However, Craig Bennett said: "Betting everything on carbon capture and storage is highly risky. There has been a billion-quid taxpayer subsidy on the table for CCS for a decade and yet it's still not happening. It's increasingly looking like a pipe dream."
The government strongly supports fracking. The Green Party opposes it. The Lib Dems support the technology, with tight environmental conditions. They also support CCS.
Labour has been cautiously in favour of fracking, although the front-runner for the leadership, Jeremy Corbyn, is anti-fracking.
THE PACIFIC “BLOB” AND THE PAUSE
Is there a connection between 2014 (the “world’s warmest year”), the even warmer 2015 and dying fish in the north Pacific? The thing that connects them is, as you may have guessed, warm water, or more specifically warm water where it should not be.
Something strange is happening to the north Pacific. It is setting sea temperature records, scrambling weather patterns, damaging ecosystems, and nudging up the global temperature. The scientists who have observed it call it after what it looks like on temperature maps of the Pacific – behold the “blob.”
“We knew almost two years ago that there was something strange happening in the north Pacific,” says Dr Bill Peterson, of NOAA’s Northwest Fish Science Center in Newport, Washington. It seems that the Summer warmth of 2014 was not dissipated later in the year. He told the GWPF, “Usually in the Gulf of Alaska huge storms in the wintertime mixes the water down super deep and cools the ocean quite a lot…but we didn’t have those storms in the Winter of 2014-15.”
The lack of storms has been linked to a persistent high-pressure ridge in the north Pacific. Some believe this was a consequence of unusual atmospheric circulation over the North Pacific and the North Atlantic. But whatever the cause, during the winter of 2013-14 a large region of the north Pacific became much warmer than normal. Dr Peterson: “So the water stayed warm all Winter, and when Spring came the water was already warm by several degrees than normal, and then of course it got warmer because of the Sun.” It was totally unprecedented. Scientists have looked back at data as far as 1905 and nothing like the “blob” has ever happened before. “These temperatures are above anything we have seen before,” adds Dr Peterson.
The abnormally warm water of the “blob” influenced global surface temperatures adding more than enough to elevate 2014 into the world’s warmest year by the two hundredths of a degree it needed to “beat” 2010. Such a small increase is not statistically significant given errors of +/- 0.1°C, but it emphasises the point that without the Pacific “blob” 2014 would have been somewhat cooler than 2010, and probably cooler than other years as well.
Another reason why 2014 was so warm was also because of an El Nino that seemed to start and then decline. Nobody understands why the event fizzled out; perhaps it was because of the influence of the “blob.”
This year has been the warmest on record which makes it almost certain it will be warmer than 2014. This is due to the blob and the resurgence of the El Nino in recent months, which many are predicting will be as strong as the 1998 event. See NOAA and the WMO.
The warmth of 2015 so far and the expectation that it will get even warmer has already given rise to headlines that the “pause” has ended and that global warming has resumed. However one does not follow from the other.
The “blob” and the El Nino are weather events not climate, natural fluctuations and not long-term trends. Seen in relation to the much discussed “pause” in global annual average surface temperatures since the late 90s, their contribution to world temperature does not represent a resumption of long term anthropogenic warming in the same way that the cool year of 2007 did not represent the onset of a rapid decline in global temperature. Both warm and cool natural fluctuations are to be expected, and it takes more than one, or even two years of higher temperature to rule out normal statistical variations and declare the “pause” has ended. Also, El Ninos are followed by La Ninas, so while 2016 is expected to be warm, subsequent years may be somewhat cooler, just as 1999 and 2000 were considerably cooler than 1998.
Dr Nick Bond of the University of Washington was the first to identify the Pacific “blob.” Asked about what would happen to it now he told the GWPF, “It should last into 2016, based on the projections from climate models used for seasonal prediction.” He added, “The winds and weather expected this winter due to El Nino should cool off the western portion of the blob, but maintain the warm waters along the west coast of North America.”
It would be fair to say that no one really knows how the “blob” and the El Nino will interact. There are many contradictory views, here, here and here.
But could there be a connection between the “blob,” the forthcoming very strong El Nino and anthropogenic climate change? Bill Peterson stresses that what is currently happening is, “certainly weather – natural variability.” But of course unusual events are looked at in a new light in these days of global warming and climate projections. What in the past would have been attributed to a once in a century event is now suspected of complicity with increasing CO2. Some scientists are certainly thinking this but no one will say that right now. It will not be possible to prove such a link for a decade at least.
The “blob” and the El Nino are developing and will make 2015 the warmest year of the instrumental era by a significant margin. It will be interesting to see how some protagonists try to wring out a resumption of long-term climatic change due to anthropogenic global warming out of two extreme weather events.
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
Posted by JR at 12:36 AM