Wednesday, September 09, 2015

More on the latest scare from NASA

Scientists from Australia's CSIRO have backed it. As a result, Geologist Geoff Derrick emailed  Dr Rintoul, a so-called scientist from CSIRO -- as below:

To Dr Steve Rintoul:

Dear Steve

The CSIRO was once a respected science organisation.

By putting your name to these rancid projections from NASA on Antarctic and Greenland ice and sea levels (see below) , you have as much scientific credibility as Obama, which is close to zero.

I hope Steyn's book is now in your library.  What is contained therein should be motivation enough to examine the integrity of the alarmist world you frequent, which clearly dances to the tune of pseudoscience and unwarranted projections and scaremongering.

I wish it were otherwise. If you disagree with the NASA rubbish, then you should say so.

Does not the following statement from the NASA item concern you as a supposed scientist?  Is it ignorance, bad expression, or a healthy combination of both??

"The (OMG) project will examine the role of ocean currents and ocean temperatures in melting Greenland's ice from below. . "

The last time I looked, the ice sheet of Greenland is largely contained in a massive crustal depression, with NO contact with any ocean along it's substrate.  In the case of your Antarctic scaremongering , you should also check out the high crustal heat flow  adjacent to the West Antarctic peninsula - that has more effect than any amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

NASA and the CSIRO obviously accept as gospel what is written in this article, such as breathless commentary that the Antarctica is "losing 118 gigatons of ice per annum over the past decade".  This equates to about 130 km3 pa, so given that there are 26 million km3 of ice around Antarctica, we could expect it to be ice free in about 200,000 years.  Be still my beating heart.

Note that the graph is calibrated in tenths of a degree and also note the clear flattening from 2000 on

Via email

IPCC is run by smallish old-boys network

That's what the article below tells us.  It also suggests that the result may be blinkered findings

Patterns of authorship in the IPCC Working Group III report

Esteve Corbera et al.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has completed its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Here, we explore the social scientific networks informing Working Group III (WGIII) assessment of mitigation for the AR5. Identifying authors’ institutional pathways, we highlight the persistence and extent of North–South inequalities in the authorship of the report, revealing the dominance of US and UK institutions as training sites for WGIII authors. Examining patterns of co-authorship between WGIII authors, we identify the unevenness in co-authoring relations, with a small number of authors co-writing regularly and indicative of an epistemic community’s influence over the IPCC’s definition of mitigation. These co-authoring networks follow regional patterns, with significant EU–BRICS collaboration and authors from the US relatively insular. From a disciplinary perspective, economists, engineers, physicists and natural scientists remain central to the process, with insignificant participation of scholars from the humanities. The shared training and career paths made apparent through our analysis suggest that the idea that broader geographic participation may lead to a wider range of viewpoints and cultural understandings of climate change mitigation may not be as sound as previously thought.


Wake up Obama, climate change has been happening forever

By Betsy McCaughey

President Obama hiked to Exit Glacier in Alaska last week, with photographers in tow, to send the world a message: The glacier is melting.

Obama blames it on the increasing use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which he wants to restrict not only in the United States but worldwide. The photo-op was designed to build support for an international climate agreement he’s pushing hard to sell, so far with little success.

Trouble is, the president needs to get his facts straight. Exit Glacier has been shrinking for 200 years — since 1815 — long before widespread industrialization and automobiles. As the president ended his trip, he sounded the alarm again: “This state’s climate is changing before our eyes.”

News flash, Mr. President: Alaska has been buffeted by cyclical swings in climate for thousands of years. That’s true for the rest of the world, too. There was a 300-year-long Medieval heat wave, followed by a Little Ice Age that began around 1300, and then the 300-year warming period we’re in now.

The Anchorage Daily Times ran a front-page story in 1922 recording the “unheard-of temperatures” in the Arctic and glaciers disappearing. “The Arctic Ocean is warming up and icebergs are growing scarcer.”

Oblivious to the history of constant climate change, Obama pointed to Exit Glacier and said: “We want to make sure our grandkids can see this.”

He may get his wish, but it won’t be because of anything he’s doing. The current warming trend appears to be over, speculates Roger Cohen, a fellow of the American Physical Society. The Alaska

Climate Research Center reports almost no evidence of warming trends in Alaska since 1977.

Many scientists are predicting the onset of two or three centuries of cooler weather — which would mean bigger glaciers. That’s despite the world’s growing use of fossil fuels. No matter what humans do, temperature trends go up, and then down; glaciers expand and then recede; sea levels rise and then fall, explains Will Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton.

That doesn’t mean pollution controls are futile. We all want to breathe clean air. But don’t blame climate change on humans. There are bigger forces at work here.

Scientists disagree about what these forces are, and are researching better ways of accurately measuring temperature trends via satellite. Amid all this controversy and uncertainty about global climate change, Obama blindly insists that his theory of global warming “is beyond dispute” and attacks his critics as “deniers.”

Sounding more like an Old Testament doomsayer than a president, Obama warned in his Alaska speech that unless carbon fuels are restricted, “we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair: Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields no longer growing.” Sounds scary, but he’s on thin ice backing up those predictions.

Despite Obama’s professed concern for the people of Alaska affected by climate change, his visit was more about theatrics than helping locals. Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) lambasted

Obama’s job-killing new restrictions on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Obama says the region’s “very fragile,” but Murkowski is more worried that the economy is fragile. “It’s clear this administration does not care about us and sees us as nothing but a territory,” she said.

It’s a demonstration of Obama’s appalling lack of priorities. The president told his Alaska audience that “few things will disrupt our lives as profoundly as climate change.” Really, Mr. President? How about the epidemic of cop shootings in the United States, or the drowned toddlers washing up on Mediterranean shores as families flee the Middle East, or ISIS beheading thousands of Christians?

Obama says that with climate change, more than any other issue, “there is such a thing as being too late.” Tell that to a cop’s widow or the father who watched his family drown.


Obama’s deceitful, unsustainable energy decrees

Wind and solar reap taxpayer loot, while hydrocarbon energy, industries and jobs get pummeled

Paul Driessen

“That’s not the American way. That’s not progress. That’s not innovation. That’s rent-seeking and trying to protect old ways of doing business, and standing in the way of the future.”

That wasn’t the Wall Street Journal lambasting the mandate- and subsidy-dependent renewable energy consortium. It was President Obama demonizing critics of his plans to replace carbon-based energy with wind, solar and biofuels, stymie the hydraulic fracturing revolution that’s given the United States another century of oil and gas – and “fundamentally transform” and downsize the US and global economies.

The president thinks this legacy will offset the Iran, Iraq, Islamic State and other policy debacles he will bequeath to his successors. His presidential library exhibits won’t likely mention those foreign policy fiascoes or the ways his energy policies mostly benefit the richest 1% of Americans, especially political cronies and campaign contributors – while crippling the economy and pummeling millions of families and businesses that depend on reliable, affordable oil, gas and coal energy for their income and welfare.

Mr. Obama and his regulators have already imposed enormous financial, labor, ozone, water, climate, power generation and other burdens on our economy – mostly with trifling benefits that exist only in computer models, White House press releases, and rosy reports from advocacy groups that receive billions of dollars from his Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and other agencies. On August 24, he announced another billion-dollar program to force America to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030: mostly wind and solar, plus a little more geothermal and biomass.

Those sources now provide less than 8% of all electricity, so this is a monumental increase. If the president wants to take credit for any alleged benefits, he must also accept blame for the abysmal failures.

One of the biggest is Solyndra, the solar company that got $535 million in taxpayer-guaranteed loans just before it went belly-up. A four-year investigation found that Solyndra falsified its financials, sales outlook and other business dealings and omitted material facts. However, the Department of Energy failed in its due diligence obligations and apparently buckled under White House pressure to approve the financing.

Par for the course, though, the Justice Department will not seek criminal indictments of any Solyndra officials, nor penalize any DOE apparatchiks for their willing incompetence. After all, a principal investor in the company (George Kaiser) was a major donor to Obama campaigns.

Of course, dozens of other companies also dined at the federal trough, before going under and costing us taxpayers many billions of dollars. But the administration wants more money and mandates – and more rules that destroy conventional energy competitors – to drive his climate and “transformation” agendas.

Meanwhile, he ignores the one truly and steadily innovative business that has generated real energy, jobs, wealth and tax revenues during his presidency – and largely kept the tepid Obama economy afloat: fracking. In fact, his bureaucrats are working to ban the technology on federal lands and regulate it into a marginal role elsewhere, even as the industry reduces its water use, keeps gasoline prices low, finds ways to produce oil at $45 per barrel, and proves its practices do not contaminate drinking water.

The president also ignores inconvenient facts about his “clean, eco-friendly” renewable energy utopia. For example, wind and solar facilities require vast land acreage and are increasingly moving into sensitive wildlife habitats, threatening protected and endangered birds, bats and other species.

The proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia shale gas fields across Virginia to southern North Carolina would impact about 4,600 acres (12% of the District of Columbia), and nearly all that land would be restored to croplands or grassy habitats as soon as the pipe is laid. The fuel is destined mostly for existing gas-fired electrical generating units on a few hundred total acres. If all that gas were used to generate electricity, it would produce 190,500 megawatt-hours of electricity per day.

In stark contrast, generating the same electricity with wind would require 46,000 400-foot turbines on some 475,000 acres of land – plus thousands of acres of towering transmission lines to urban centers hundreds of miles away. They would be permanent and highly visible eyesores and wildlife killers, crossing deforested mountain ridges and scenic areas, and generating electricity maybe 20% of the time. Building them would require millions of tons of concrete, iron, copper, rare earth metals from China’s ruined Baotou region, and petroleum for the monstrous bird- and bat-chopping turbine blades.

Energy analyst Robert Bryce says meeting the Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan emission goals would require blanketing 34 million acres (an area larger than New York State) with wind turbines.

A 2013 study estimates that US wind turbines already kill some 573,000 birds a year – 83,000 of them bald and golden eagles and other raptors. Far better data from Europe, however, suggests that the annual US death toll is closer to 13 million birds and bats. And our wildlife agencies exempt wind companies from endangered species and other environmental laws. More turbines will multiply the carnage.

Moreover, we would still need the gas-fired units, operating inefficiently on standby spinning reserve status and going to full power dozens of times daily, whenever the wind stops blowing. Ditto for solar.

Using solar panels to generate 190,500 MWH per day would require 1.7 million acres of land – akin to blanketing Delaware and Rhode Island with habitat-destroying panels – plus long transmission lines and gas-fired units.  Los Angeles recently refused to buy power from a much smaller 2,557-acre solar project proposed for the Mojave Desert, because of impacts on desert tortoises and bighorn sheep.

President Obama never mentions any of this – or the fact that greater natural gas use is reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which he claims have replaced the sun and other powerful natural forces in driving climate change. This April, US CO2 emissions fell to their lowest level for any month in 27 years. But now that he’s sent coal marching toward history’s ash heap, natural gas is next on his target list.

To top it off, all the billions of dollars, crony corporatism, campaign cash for helpful politicians, feed-in tariffs and Renewable Fuel Standards (mandates and diktats) – and all the habitat and wildlife impacts – will raise the wind, solar, geothermal and biomass share of the nation’s energy mix from 8% today to only 10% in 2040, to supply our growing population, Energy Information Administration analysts project.

Since 2006, US households received over $18 billion just in federal income tax credits for weatherizing homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. But the bottom 60% of families received only 10% of this loot; the top 10% got 60% of the total and 90% of the subsidies and tax credits for ultra-expensive electric vehicles, like the $132,000 Tesla Model S. Worse, that $18 billion could have drilled wells to provide safe drinking water for five billion people!

The United States depends on energy-rich fossil fuels, plus nuclear and hydroelectric power – not pie-in-the-sky ideas or smoke-and-mirrors solutions to imaginary climate catastrophes. So does the rest of the world. We cannot afford pseudo-environmental ideologies, climate fabrications and dictatorial decrees.

Germany’s Energiewende (mandated energy transformation) program also seeks to replace coal and nuclear energy with wind, solar and biofuels. It has made German electricity prices (including $31.5 billion in hidden annual subsidies) nearly ten times higher than in US states that still rely on coal for power generation. The program has already killed countless jobs and threatens to send still more energy-intensive companies overseas – to countries that justifiably refuse to slash their hydrocarbon use, CO2 emissions or economic growth in the name of controlling Earth’s eternally changing climate.

Every winter, German, British and other European policies literally kill thousands of poor and elderly people who can no longer afford to heat their homes properly. Where is that vaunted liberal compassion?

Why would the United States want to proceed lemming-like down a similarly delusional energy pathway to economic ruin and the needless deaths of birds, bats and our most vulnerable citizens? Other than reelecting Mr. Obama, what did we do to deserve this? And how can we undo the damage?

Via email

The Resilience of an American Pika Metapopulation to Global Warming


The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an insanely cute critter often found in above-timberline rock fields in the western U.S.

Because they often live near mountain peaks, there’s been concern that global warming could push them over the top, to extinction. Writing in the Journal of Mammalogy, Smith and Nagy (2015) state that American pikas (Ochotona princeps) “have been characterized as an indicator species for the effects of global warming on animal populations,” citing the works of Smith et al. (2004), Beever and Wilkening (2011) and Ray et al. (2012). Indeed, as they continue, “a consideration of the effects of climate, primarily recent warming trends due to climate change, has dominated much of the recent literature on American pikas and their persistence.” Hoping to provide some additional insight on the subject, the two Arizona State University researchers set out to investigate the resilience of a pika metapopulation residing near Bodie, California, USA, that was exposed to several decades of natural warming.

The investigation, which Smith and Nagy characterized as “the longest study of any pika species,” focused on the Bodie metapopulation for two primary reasons. First, it is “situated at the warmest locality of any longitudinal study of the American pika.” As such, its area of habitat is comparatively warm and fully capable of inducing warm temperature stress. Second, the population has been well-studied, having been censused (for patch occupancy data) several times since the early 1970s. Given these two characteristics of the Bodie metapopulation (location and well-studied) the two researchers were able to test for a relationship between pika extinctions/recolonizations and chronic/acute temperature warming. So what did their analysis reveal?

With respect to chronic temperature warming, Smith and Nagy report that despite a relatively high rate of patch (islands of pika-suitable habitat) turnover across the study location, there was “a near balance” of pika patch extinctions and recolonizations during the past four decades of intense data collection (see figure below). Furthermore, a series of statistical analyses that were performed on the patch turnover and historic temperature data revealed there was “no evidence that warming temperatures have directly and negatively affected pika persistence at Bodie.” In fact, the only significant correlation they found among these two parameters occurred between mean maximum August temperature and the number of pika recolonizations the following year, which correlation was positive, indicating that higher August temperatures lead to a greater rate of pika recolonization the next year, a result which the authors describe as “in the opposite direction of the expectation that climate stress inhibits recolonizations.”

With respect to acute temperature warming, defined as the number of hot summer days exceeding a temperature threshold of 25°C or 28°C, Smith and Nagy write that “neither warm chronic nor acute temperatures increased the frequency of extinctions of populations on patches, and relatively cooler chronic or acute temperatures did not lead to an increase in the frequency of recolonization events.”

Taken together, the above findings demonstrate that the Bodie metapopulation of American pikas is “resilient at the individual (Smith, 1974) and population scales” to both chronic and acute temperature warming, and has “been so for at least 60 years.” And, as an “indicator species” for the effects of global warming on animal populations, the future for American pikas and other animal species looks bright!


The Fall of Mann: "A Disgrace to the Profession": The World's Scientists on Michael E Mann, his Hockey Stick and their Damage to Science

by Mark Steyn

Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade - Michael E Mann's book, Dreary Predictions, is down to Number 20.

We're a few days away from the official launch of my new book, and it's already doing quite nicely at Amazon in print and Kindle - and not too shabby north of the border, too. And it's Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade. Keep an eye on our right-hand sidebar for news of any media appearances by yours truly when the book is officially released next week.

"A Disgrace to the Profession" is about the most famous science graph of the 21st century and its inventor - Michael E Mann, the Big Climate enforcer and self-conferred Nobel Laureate who decided to sue me three years ago. Usually in these situations, the defendant is supposed to fall silent for the half-decade or more it takes the dysfunctional court system to get around to hearing the case. But I decided to go a different route. I liked this line on the book from Laura Rosen Cohen in a post called "Fighting Back Works":

"It's probably the longest, funniest, most savvily organized and meticulous "screw you" in the history of Western literature. It's probably a new genre. I don't know of any precedent for a literary vehicle of this kind.

Instead of waiting for the opportunity to flush more of his hard-earned money down the toilet, waiting for the sclerotic US justice system and Michael Mann to crush him into pulp, using their process as punishment, Steyn has gone on the offensive.

And it's a delightfully offensive book."

But it's not just me being "delightfully offensive", but a gazillion scientists - as the Prussian notes, in a piece called "Fall of Mann":

"I've been following the Mann / Steyn war pretty much since it began. The most recent twist is that Steyn, proving that Mann should really have listened to me when he had the chance, has put out a new book, "A Disgrace To The Profession": The World's Scientists – in their own words – on Michael E. Mann.

I'm eagerly awaiting my copy. The book – which consists of comments by various leading climate scientists on what they think of Mann and his ludicrous stick – dovetails nicely with my own intellectual path on this subject.

I first got into the subject of Mann and the Stick when it was being loudly trumpeted that Mann's hockey stick had been proved by National Academy of Sciences. Looking at what the Academy actually reported, this turned out to be misleading. The Academy cleared Mann of deliberate falsification, but concluded the stick was a pretty shaky piece of science. Mann seemed to agree.

Then came the beginning of the Steyn lawsuit. I was torn. On the one hand, I have a lot of respect for Steyn; on the other hand, I hated – still hate – seeing accusations of scientific dishonesty made lightly. I was also utterly unimpressed by Mann lying about his Nobel prize.

Then I found out about his habit of bullying other researchers, and generally being a megalomaniacal windbag, and was serially dishonest about, e.g., whether he'd been exonerated by different groups. Even so, I was not willing to accuse Mann of scientific dishonesty.

Then I found out what some other scientists were saying..."

Do read the rest of what the Prussian has to say. Meanwhile, reader Kelly Haughton writes:

"Thank you for doing the public service of fighting back against the Mann lawsuit. It appears to me that you are doing a great job.

I view your new book as a way of starting the trial for the lawsuit before the judge is willing to go forward. I love the idea of doing that since Mann is primarily trying to silence you while the suit is tied up. I am assuming you will be entering this book in evidence when the trial begins. Ultimately, the book proves you believed what you wrote in the original blogpost and have good reasons to believe all of the points made.

So if Mann really believes in his suit, he should sue to prevent the publishing of your new book. If he does not sue about the new book, it will weaken his original suit.

It makes me wonder what, if any, reaction to the publishing of your book, Mann's lawyers will recommend. Not sure there is a good one.

If Mann were to sue to prevent the publishing of the new book, the whole freedom of speech argument becomes even stronger.

If they do nothing, they will need to plan a defense against the material in the book. That is quite a bit of work that they were not planning on doing. Not to mention it would be difficult.

They will probably continue to delay and delay. And hope you go away.

Assuming they go for delay, I hope you have enough material for Volume 2."

Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. I like the idea of the book as "a way of starting the trial ...before the judge is willing to go forward". But we may be looking at four or five volumes before His Honor starts catching up. As for Mann's lawyers, I wouldn't presume to speculate on what they would recommend. The two main ones are rather agreeable in person, which is more than I can say for their client on the one occasion he deigned to show his face in court.



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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