Wednesday, December 02, 2015

NASA says Antarctic has been COOLING for past SIX years

This adds to the Zwally findings of a month ago to similar effect.  Much to amuse here, though.  The NASA report is very cagey, as you would expect. For a start, they put a very boring headline on it:  "NASA’s Operation IceBridge Completes Twin Polar Campaigns", then they flood their report with no doubt worthy technical details and even hark back to a 2012 study in an endeavour to blunt the impact of their findings.  So it seems that only the Daily Express writer excerpted below read the report carefully enough to sift the wheat from the chaff. All subsequent media reports of the matter go back to the DE article.

ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA.

An intensive scientific study of both Earth's poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.

In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.

Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global temperature as often is claimed.

Christopher Shuman, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County glaciologist working at Goddard, said: "Field data suggests that there’s been a modest cooling in the area over the 2009–2015 time period, and images collected during that time by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra and Aqua satellites show more persistent fast ice (sea ice that is attached to the shore) in the Larsen A and Larsen B embayments”

However, Mr Shuman warned that in some areas of the Antarctic, glaciers continued to melt at significant levels, despite  the slight temperature drop.

During one flight in the Peninsula that mapped the drainage area of several glaciers, a drop of more than 490 feet (150 meters) in the height of two glaciers since IceBridge last plotted them, in 2009, was measured.

Both glaciers, called Green and Hektoria, were tributaries to the Larsen B ice shelf, which disintegrated in 2002.

After the ice shelf collapsed, it stopped buttressing the glaciers that fed it, and glacier elevations have fallen dramatically since then.

A study published in 2012 showed average elevation losses of up to 82 feet (25 meters) per year for the lower Green and Hektoria glaciers from 2006 to 2011.

A NASA spokesman said: "So IceBridge’s discovery that both are still losing ice fast many years after the loss of the adjacent ice shelf is “not all that surprising given what we have observed with other sensors,” said Mr Shuman.


China talks the talk but will it walk the walk?

As noted below China this year to date has recently approved the construction of 155 new coal powered plants. It is true that China leads in many areas, e.g. solar hot water heating, but it has not yet begun to reduce net emissions. China's urgent need is to reduce REAL pollution, particulate pollution, and they will no doubt get somewhere with that.  And it is cleaning up coal-fired power station emissions that is needed for that.  But cleaning up particulate pollution should also reduce CO2 emissions as a byproduct of that.  So they are getting some propaganda leverage out of that.  The Warmists desperately want to believe that China is on their side but China is only on China's side

Back in 2009, China was a reluctant partner during major climate negotiations in Copenhagen that eventually collapsed amid recriminations between rich and poor nations. This time around the world’s biggest polluter is regarded as a driving force behind what could be a comprehensive deal at a world climate summit in Paris.

The change in stance has a lot to do with the record levels of foul air that often hang over China’s major industrialized urban centers, undermining public health. The resulting backlash over the smog has made President Xi Jinping’s government far more serious about combating climate change and investing in cleaner forms of energy.

China’s resolve will be tested along with other countries as world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s Xi, gather in the French capital on Monday. The talks organized by the United Nations are scheduled to run for two weeks and include the biggest ever gathering of leaders on a single day.

“Nowhere has our coordination been more necessary or more fruitful” than on climate, Obama told reporters as he met Xi Monday morning in Paris. “As the two largest economies in the world and the two largest carbon emitters, we have both determined it is our responsibility to take action.”

The road to Paris for China and others has been in the works for some time.  In March 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution, telling the National People’s Congress that his government would accelerate efforts to tackle environmental problems.

At the same time, China has embarked on a makeover designed to shift its $10 trillion-plus economy away from reliance on big, energy-consuming heavy industries and toward services and consumer spending. For climate deal warriors, both moves have added up to a big and welcome policy shift.

“The fact that you’ve got some countries like China and Russia actively talking about their role is a complete change, so we’ve made tremendous progress,” U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said in an Oct. 15 interview in London.

The nascent alliance between the world’s two biggest polluters stands in stark contrast to Copenhagen in 2009 where China’s premier at the time, Wen Jiabao, missed a scheduled meeting with Barack Obama, and the U.S. president later forced himself into a meeting of the Chinese with Brazil, South Africa and India in order to get face time with the leaders he felt necessary to forge a lasting deal.

China’s Xi, building on the November 2014 accord with Obama, promised in September that China will start a national pollution-trading system to cut global-warming emissions in 2017. China will also partner with the U.S. on other ways to cut emissions, has pledged $3.1 billion to help developing countries combat climate change and also promised to cut carbon dioxide emitted per dollar of economic output by 60 percent to 65 percent from 2005 levels.

“The fact that the United States and China at the presidential level joined arms and stepped forward in November of last year in the ramp up to 2015 and put forward strong targets together, these two historic antagonists at the presidential level, was a big shot in the arm to the negotiations,” Todd Stern, U.S. special envoy on climate change, told reporters Oct. 23 during a conference call.

China’s pollution scourge is a public health crisis. Air pollution is killing 4,000 people a day in the country, according to a recent study by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group funded largely by educational grants. The researchers cited coal burning used to produce electricity and heat homes and offices as the likely principal cause.

Much of the drive to do something about emissions in China is borne by the need for action on pollution.

China was the biggest renewables market in the world with 433 gigawatts of generating capacity at the end of 2014, more than double the second place U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

The Asian nation added more than four times as much clean energy capacity as the U.S. in 2014. Moreover, solar installations have gone from about 300 megawatts in 2009 at the time of Copenhagen to almost 33 gigawatts at the end of 2014 -- a 110-fold increase. China accounts for almost one of every three wind turbines in the world at the moment.

“Peak demand for coal will happen at some point for China in the future and if anything this year has brought a number of surprises and indicators, whether it’s economic growth or electricity demand consumption,” said Justin Wu, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Hong Kong. “Everything is pointing to the (coal) peaking happening earlier or sooner than even previous estimates.”

China remains a voracious consumer of coal regardless of the boom in clean energy. The most polluting fossil fuel still accounts for more than 60 percent of the nation’s total power installations. Some 155 coal-fired power plants, or four per week, have received environmental permits in the first nine months of this year, according to Greenpeace East Asia.

As long as coal is seen as the cheapest form of energy, the fossil fuel may still remain an attractive option for regional governments eager to promote economic development.


Causes of climate change?

The rather childish presentation below was apparently written by Mohamed Alhwaity and appeared in "The Conversation", a webzine that claims to offer "Academic rigour, journalistic flair". If only it did!  What I have excerpted below is the core of an article titled: "How scientists know climate change is happening".  I have added a few basic notes below to show that they DON'T know that

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents six main lines of evidence for climate change.

* We have tracked the unprecedented recent increase in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Big deal.  That only matters if we know the sensitivity of climate to CO2.  It looks like zero or not much more

* We know from laboratory and atmospheric measurements that such greenhouse gases do indeed absorb heat when they are present in the atmosphere. Aren't they supposed to REFLECT heat?  Mohamed hasn't even got his Warmism straight.

* We have tracked significant increase in global temperatures of at least 0.85°C and a sea level rise of 20cm over the past century. And why is such a trivial temperature rise a problem?

* We have analysed the effects of natural events such as sunspots and volcanic eruptions on the climate, and though these are essential to understand the pattern of temperature changes over the past 150 years, they cannot explain the overall warming trend. Svensmark has shown a strong solar effect.  Now confirmed by experiments at CERN

* We have observed significant changes in the Earth’s climate system including reduced snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere, retreat of sea ice in the Arctic, retreating glaciers on all continents, and shrinking of the area covered by permafrost and the increasing depth of its active layer. All of which are consistent with a warming global climate. But the Antarctic is what matters and it has been COOLING

* We continually track global weather and have seen significant shifts in weather patterns and an increase in extreme events all around the world. Patterns of precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) have changed, with parts of North and South America, Europe and northern and central Asia becoming wetter, while the Sahel region of central Africa, southern Africa, the Mediterranean and southern Asia have become drier. Intense rainfall has become more frequent, along with major flooding. We’re also seeing more heat waves. The statistics indicate FEWER extreme weather events

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) between 1880 and the beginning of 2014, the 19 warmest years on record have all occurred within the past 20 years; and 2015 is set to be the warmest year ever recorded. And those "warm" years have differed from one-another by only hundredths of a degree, which is not statistically significant.  The figures in fact show a plateau, not a rise


Clean Nuclear Power versus Regulatory Excess

Twenty years in the making, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s “new” nuclear reactor will soon go online. It will also be technologically behind the times: it’s only a Generation II reactor, rather than the Generation III type used in Canada, France, and Japan.

Climate policymakers gathering in Paris this week should lament the regulatory chicanery responsible for the delays. After all, “nuclear power is a carbon-footprint-free technology,” writes Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II. In a recent op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily, Shughart explains that excessive government regulation has been a great hindrance to nuclear power in the United States—much to the detriment of humanity and to the cause of a cleaner environment.

“U.S. politicians who are legitimately concerned about the impact of fossil fuel combustion on the world's climate should be among the strongest advocates of nuclear energy,” Shughart writes. “It is clean, safe and reliable (much more reliable than solar and wind power).”

The Obama administration says very little about nuclear power in its recent “Clean Energy Plan.” So perhaps we should just be thankful that it did not further delay the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor. “The NRC’s decision to license the operation of another nuclear reactor in the Tennessee Valley deserves one-and-a-half cheers,” Shughart continues. “Were it not for the time and money the government unnecessarily squandered on the project they might get three cheers.”


Paris climate summit: US hard line opens split on carbon

Summary from Australia

Deep divisions resurfaced ahead of last night’s opening of the Paris climate talks, with the US and Australia digging in to insist that developed nations’ historical responsibilities for carbon dioxide emissions be scrapped.

The issue has been a “red line” for developing nations led by India, which is pushing ahead with economic development to bring millions of people out of poverty.

A change to how historical carbon emissions are treated would require India and other nations to contribute more to future emissions cuts and climate finance.

A confidential “non-paper” discussion document issued by the US sets out the hard line that the US and Australia intend to take in the Paris talks.

Together with more than 100 world leaders, Malcolm Turnbull was due to address the Paris conference to outline Australia’s position early today.

Australia has pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions by ­between 26 and 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Prime Minister has said tougher cuts may be possible in future and has supported a UN process under which country pledges are reviewed every five years and progressively tougher measures agreed.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said he believes a deal is possible in Paris. “It won’t be a perfect outcome but I think it will be a critical outcome and it will be a success,” Mr Hunt said.

Big differences remain over whether a Paris agreement should be legally binding and how it will deal with the issues of historical ­responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions and who should fund and administer a $100 billion-a-year fund.

Underlining one of the major challenges to reaching a universal deal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned last night that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies.

Chinese intransigence on the issue of historical responsibility was largely blamed for the breakdown of the 2009 UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.

The US discussion paper brought the most contentious ­issues to the surface on day one.

At the previous round of ­climate talks in Bonn, Germany, last month, negotiators representing 80 per cent of the world’s population walked out when references to historical responsibilities were left out of the negotiating text.

They were subsequently ­reinstated, more than doubling the size of the text that has now made its way to Paris.

Leaking of the confidential US discussion paper has caused a ­furore in India, which has made keeping the issue of historical ­responsibility on global carbon ­dioxide emissions a condition of its agreement at the Paris talks.

US President Barack Obama and Mr Modi were due to share the stage at the opening ceremony of the Paris conference to announce new measures on ­research and development.

Behind the scenes, negotiators face significant hurdles in finalising a Paris text. A report in India’s Business Standard said that in the US discussion paper, the US said it wanted each country’s greenhouse gas reduction pled­ges determined independently by each nation rather than through a process of international negotiation.

The report said any move to remove the wall of differentiation between developed and developing countries would end any ­notion of historical responsibility.

The US position paper also wants developing countries to contribute to the climate funds in future and not just the developed countries as is required under ­existing UN arrangements.

Mr Modi issued his challenge as the 12-day conference opened.  “Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow,” he wrote in the Financial Times. “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”

A spokesman for the ­Department of Foreign Affairs said Australia was aware of the US discussion paper.

“Like the US, we want a common platform for all countries to take action from 2020, moving past binary differentiation between developed and developing countries, and allowing for continuous improvement over time.”

In India, the US and Australian position is considered against the spirit of the UN negotiations. The existing UN convention distributes the burden of emissions reduction and other actions based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and national circumstances”.

Maintaining this position was fundamental to India agreeing to the Paris round talks. India claims it is not responsible for historical emissions and therefore should not be penalised in efforts to develop and alleviate poverty.

The US and Australia now wants the Paris agreement to focus only on existing economic capabilities of countries and their existing circumstances.


Paris, Reeling From Terrorism, Blames Global Warming

The UN’s much-anticipated COP21 — a 12-day climate summit that promises to reduce chronic health issues, quash terrorist groups, usher in social justice and all-around save the planet — gets underway today in Paris. Did we mention it’s the key to stopping the raucous bloodshed from groups like the Islamic State? “I will be joining President Hollande and other world leaders in Paris for the Global Climate Conference,” Barack Obama proclaimed last week from the White House before burning through an ungodly amount of fossil fuels on his way to France. “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”

Actually, they couldn’t care less, because it’s blood and dominion they’re after, not a stable climate that’s never existed. It’s incredible the things Democrats purport will be solved by the summit. They’d say the snowstorm blanketing the Midwest this week is actually CO2 falling from the sky if it makes reaching an agreement more attainable.

But we digress. What, exactly, will the conference accomplish, assuming a deal is even reached? Even regulatory advocates aren’t entirely sure. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The single most important benchmark underpinning this week’s talks in Paris on climate change — two degrees Celsius — has guided climate-treaty discussions for decades, but scientists are at odds on the relevance of that target. …

Policy makers tend to assume the two-degree target expresses a solid scientific view, but it doesn’t.” In fact, the IPCC’s own studies say nothing about this supposed benchmark. And here we thought the science was settled! “Still,” adds the Journal, “many scientists back the goal because they see it as giving policy makers a clear-cut target to shoot at in the fight against global warming.” Translation: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Delegates have a lot going for them — perhaps not-so-coincidentally. Last year was (wrongly) declared the warmest on record, and a powerful El Niño virtually guarantees this year will be even hotter (based on NOAA’s methodology; again, satellite data suggests otherwise). You could easily argue that things line up a little too well.

As we reported earlier this year, the government is fudging global temperature data to fit the narrative, which London Telegraph writer Christopher Booker rightly says “is the biggest science scandal ever.” And as Investor’s Business Daily editorializes, “No one knows, nor will ever know, if man-made climate change even exists outside of imaginative thinking and flawed computer models. So no one can ever know if it’s defeated or not.” What a powerful message it would send to jihadis if world leaders would use all that energy in Paris to annihilate the real enemy — radical Islamic terrorism.



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