Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Will global warming kill off our pine trees?

The modelling crap below claims it will but is most implausible. Pine trees are very widely distributed -- from the near-Arctic to the tropics. As I look down at the floor of the room where I am writing this, I see polished floorboards made of slash-pine, once super-abundant but now mostly cut out, in sub-tropical Queensland where I live. That such a versatile and hardly genus could be disturbed by a few degrees of climate change is absurd. The distribution of species might alter a little but that's it.

They have been around for at least 300 million years so they have survived huge climate changes in the past -- so it is unlikely that any piddly Warmist scenario will bother them. And note that some species -- such as the Bristlecone pine -- are amazingly hardy and survive in very unpromising situations to this day.

I like this humble sentence below however: "Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain"

UPDATE:  Here's some info from the FAO on how pines fail to thrive  in warm climates:

Tropical pine species play an especially important role in modern plantation forestry. Several species, mostly originating from the American or Asian tropics and subtropics are now widely cultivated.  Pines enjoy such great popularity because:

the large number of species allow choice for widely varying environmental conditions;

many thrive on a wide range of sites;

many flourish in dry, nutrient-poor soils or degraded sites;

the volume production of some species can be high to very high, even under unfavourable site conditions;

being robust pioneer species, pines are well suited for reforestation and for simple silviculture (monocultures and clear-felling);

wood qualities that are otherwise in limited supplies in the tropics - of uniform coniferous wood valued for production of lumber, chemical pulp, paper, particleboard, etc
Tragic, isn't it? [/sarcasm]

Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortality due to chronic temperature rise

N. G. McDowell net al


Global temperature rise and extremes accompanying drought threaten forests1, 2 and their associated climatic feedbacks3, 4. Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain5, 6 in part owing to our failure to integrate physiological measurements, regional-scale models, and dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here we show consistent predictions of widespread mortality of needleleaf evergreen trees (NET) within Southwest USA by 2100 using state-of-the-art models evaluated against empirical data sets. Experimentally, dominant Southwest USA NET species died when they fell below predawn water potential (Ψpd) thresholds (April–August mean) beyond which photosynthesis, hydraulic and stomatal conductance, and carbohydrate availability approached zero. The evaluated regional models accurately predicted NET Ψpd, and 91% of predictions (10 out of 11) exceeded mortality thresholds within the twenty-first century due to temperature rise. The independent DGVMs predicted ≥50% loss of Northern Hemisphere NET by 2100, consistent with the NET findings for Southwest USA. Notably, the global models underestimated future mortality within Southwest USA, highlighting that predictions of future mortality within global models may be underestimates. Taken together, the validated regional predictions and the global simulations predict widespread conifer loss in coming decades under projected global warming.

Nature Climate Change (2015) doi:10.1038/nclimate2873

Obama Vetoes Bill To Dismantle EPA Global Warming Rules

President Barack Obama has vetoed legislation to repeal Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plants that are a key part of the administration’s global warming agenda.

Obama announced Sunday morning he would not be considering bills to repeal the EPA’s power plant rules, meaning the bills are subject to a “pocket veto.”

“The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change,” Obama said in a statement. “[T]he resolution would overturn the Clean Power Plan, which is critical to protecting against climate change and ensuring the health and well-being of our nation, I cannot support it.”

Obama’s veto stops the last chance a Republican-controlled Congress has this year of derailing EPA rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Congress passed bills in November that would have repealed these regulations under the Congressional Review Act.

“The president’s veto of legislation that would have halted his EPA’s regulatory overreach ignores reality in favor of politics, and leaves the legal system as the best remaining course for those of us who are seeking to protect consumers and businesses, at least during the remainder of this administration,” Karen Harbert, who heads up energy policy at the Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

The Chamber has joined dozens of business and union groups challenging the EPA’s power plant rules. Twenty-seven states have also sued the EPA, arguing its CO2 regulations violate the Clean Air Act and infringe on state powers to set their own energy policy.

“The EPA’s carbon regulations will irreversibly harm America’s power sector and raise the costs for every business and every American that uses electricity,” Harbert said. “These rules will negatively impact every industry and damage the economy without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to our day in court.”

Obama’s veto will likely be welcomed by environmentalists, who along with the administration, argue EPA rules are necessary to prove to the world the U.S. is taking global warming seriously. Obama and his allies say the U.S. needs to commit to emissions cuts if it wants other major countries, like China, to also fight warming.

Obama got his wish earlier this month when nearly 200 countries approved a United Nations treaty to cut global emissions levels, but the agreement is not legally binding — an international strategy used by the White House to keep any agreement from having to go before a Republican-controlled Senate.

Republican lawmakers have vowed to derail Obama’s global warming agenda, but the recent $1.1 trillion budget bill did little to keep the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions or keep the president from funding the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

The budget bill does, however, impose a little more oversight over EPA and holds the agency’s budget to $8.1 billion — that’s lower than the agency’s 2010 funding levels.


Scientist: Global Warming Won’t Be Dangerous

Global warming won’t raise global temperatures enough to be dangerous, according to an analysis of satellite data released over the weekend by University of Alabama scientists.

The analysis of satellite data stretches back 37 years and estimates that the temperature increase will be only 1.15° Celsius over the century. Keeping global warming below 2° Celsius by 2100 is the widely accepted goal promoted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations COP 21 Paris summit. Such a low rate of temperature increase would prevent what global warming alarmists say are the most hazardous impacts of global warming.

The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has warmed just over four tenths of a degree Celsius (almost three fourths of a degree Fahrenheit) during the past 37 years, with the greatest warming over the Arctic Ocean and Australia,” Dr. John Christy, director of the University of Alabama’s Earth System Science Center who preformed the analysis, told the global warming blog Watts Up With That. “That would put the average global temperature change over 100 years well under the 2.0 C (3.6 degrees F) goal set recently at the climate change summit in Paris.”

Christy is best known for being the first person to successfully develop a satellite temperature record.


Global Warming Is Now A ‘Women’s Issue’ Due To ‘Ecofeminism’

More evidence that most feminism is just a subset of Leftism, with the best interests of women  just a front

Environmentalists are increasingly claiming that global warming is a “women’s issue” and that the world needs “eco-feminism” as a path forward.

“We know that the world’s poor feel the effects of climate change most acutely, but it turns out there is an even more vulnerable subset to that population: women” reads the article The Sierra Club tweeted Monday.

The author worries about a “agricultural resource gap for women farmers” and that global warming could increase the risk of sexual assault. The author even notes that “women are too often portrayed only as victims of climate change who must learn to adapt, rather than potential leaders and decision-makers.”


The socialist connection again

Bernie Sanders: ‘I'm Running Because We Need to Address the Planetary Crisis of Climate Change’

In his opening statement at the third Democratic presidential debate hosted by ABC News at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on Saturday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he is running because America needs to address “the planetary crisis” caused by climate change.

Sanders also said he is running because “our economy is rigged” and the campaign finance system is one where “billionaires are spending hundreds of millionaires of dollars to buy candidates," and because he wants a new foreign policy "that destroys ISIS, but...does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East."

Here is Sen. Sanders' opening statement:

I am running for president of the United States because it is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.

I'm running for president because our economy is rigged, because working people are working longer hours for lower wages and almost all of new wealth and income being created is going to the top one percent. I'm running for president because I'm going to create an economy that works for working families not just billionaires.
I'm running for president because we have a campaign finance system which is corrupt, where billionaires are spending hundreds of millionaires of dollars to buy candidates who will represent their interests rather than the middle class and working families.

I'm running because we need to address the planetary crisis of climate change and take on the fossil fuel industry and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

I'm running for president because I want a new foreign policy--one that takes on Isis, one that destroys ISIS, but one that does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East but rather works around a major coalition of wealthy and powerful nations supporting Muslim troops on the ground. That's the kind of coalition we need--and that's the kind of coalition I will put together.


Groundwater depletion adding to global sea-level rise

Increasing amounts of water are being depleted from the world’s aquifers, and scientists have estimated that a large portion of the water ends up flowing into the oceans.

So much groundwater is being pumped from wells that researchers say it is contributing significantly to global sea-level rise.

Hydrologists Yoshihide Wada and Marc Bierkens have calculated estimates of the amounts of groundwater depleted annually since 1900, and their findings are striking. When plotted on a chart, their figures show depletion occurring at an accelerating pace – which in turn is pushing the levels of the oceans higher.

The quickening rate of global depletion adds an alarming dimension to scientists' findings, based on satellite measurements, which reveal widespread declines in aquifers around the world. And as that water flows off the continents, it is adding to the problem of rising seas as glaciers and ice sheets melt due to global warming.

“If we want to understand current sea-level rise, which we need to understand to better predict future sea-level rise, we have to take account of this groundwater contribution,” said Bierkens, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who is also affiliated with the institute Deltares.

Wada, a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said the world’s demand for water has grown significantly in the past 15 years as the global population has swelled. More water is being used to produce food, and much of that water is being pumped from aquifers.

Climate has also played a role in places like California, where drought has led farmers to pump groundwater more heavily to make up for the lack of surface water.

As water is pumped from wells, some of it is taken up by crops or piped to cities. Some evaporates and ends up in the clouds. In places, some of the water soaks back into the ground and replenishes aquifers. But scientists have calculated that much of the groundwater winds up in rivers and ultimately in the oceans.

Bierkens and Wada have estimated that in 1960, the amounts of groundwater depleted each year contributed between 0.09 and 0.27 millimeters to sea-level rise. By 1990, that had grown to 0.25-0.54 millimeters per year. And in 2014, they estimated groundwater depletion was causing between 0.41 millimeters and 0.89 millimeters of sea-level rise each year.

Researcher have produced varying estimates, with groundwater depletion accounting for between 10 percent and 30 percent of annual sea-level rise in recent years. Bierkens and Wada came down in the middle at roughly 20 percent in a 2012 research paper.

That makes groundwater a small yet significant chunk of the projected rise in the world's oceans, which threatens to swamp many low-lying islands and inundate coastal cities in places from the United States to China to Brazil.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has projected using a range of scenarios that the seas could rise by between 1 foot and slightly more than 3 feet by 2100. Other researchers have warned that the oceans could rise faster.

Because groundwater pumping isn't well monitored or measured in most places, scientific estimates of depletion are calculated based on limited available data. That includes recorded declines in groundwater levels when that information is available. In many places, though, measurements of changes in water levels aren't publicly shared or are only partially released, complicating the work of researchers.

In a 2011 study, Leonard Konikow of the U.S. Geological Survey calculated that groundwater depletion accounted for about 6 percent of sea-level rise during the 20th century. But he estimated that share grew to 13 percent between 2000 and 2008.

Konikow said even though the rate of sea-level rise has increased, the rate at which the world’s aquifers are being depleted "has increased proportionately more.”

Special Report – Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

Wada said more studies of this groundwater contribution will be vital in planning mitigation measures to adapt to rising seas.

The trends also point to a need to increase the efficiency of irrigation and take other steps to lessen overpumping, Bierkens said.

Groundwater has been called a "hidden resource" because in many areas people have long been largely oblivious as aquifers have receded. But Bierkens said that doesn't lessen the urgency of doing something about the world's growing depletion problem.

“Per person on this Earth, we should try to decrease water demand,” Bierkens said Thursday in an interview by Skype from San Francisco, where he and Wada were attending a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Bierkens likened overpumping to living on borrowed money.

“You’re basically depleting your savings to feed yourself, and that is actually not a good idea,” Bierkens said. “Everybody who runs a household knows that this is not sustainable in the end.”

In a 2014 article in the journal Nature Geoscience, Wada and other scientists analyzed several strategies for lessening “water stress” around the world in the coming decades. The strategies ranged from moving toward more efficient irrigation systems and improving crop yields to increasing the amounts of water stored in reservoirs and building more desalination plants.

They concluded that with a variety of strategies, it would be possible to hold steady the number of people living in water-stressed areas – now about one-third of the world’s population – or even reduce that number.



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