Saturday, January 02, 2016
More non-global warming in the Arctic
It always amuses me when Leftists seem to get erections over warming in the Arctic that is out of step with global temperatures. They seem to think that a non-global event is proof of a global event, even when there is demonstrably nothing global going on. It surely shows both a profound lack of logic and a need to believe. They mock Christians for their beliefs in the invisible but they too in fact believe in invisible events. They see warming that is not there. That graph again:
Some VERY out-of-step Arctic events are reported below. This time however, an explicit connection with global warming is not made, though all the excitement about it is presumably meant to make you think that something important is going on. Maybe logic eventually finds its way even into a Warmist skull. That the Arctic is anomalous because of the powerful volcanoes underneath much of it (e.g. along the Gakkel ridge) is not mentioned, of course.
The North Pole is experiencing a heatwave as temperatures came close to melting point yesterday, making the Arctic region warmer than some major cities in Europe and the US.
According to ocean measurements from the North Pole Environmental Observatory, the mercury tipped -1.9°C (28.6°F) on Wednesday as the Arctic bathed in an unseasonably warm spell.
The hike in temperature is reportedly due to the same low pressure system which has brought flood chaos to England and Scotland, and made areas of the Arctic up to 35˚C (63°F) warmer than the seasonal average.
Earlier this week, meteorologists tracking the path of a powerful North Atlantic storm over Iceland had forecast that the Arctic temperatures could peak above freezing, with the storm being one of the strongest on record and wind speeds of up to 230mph (370km/h).
Typically, the Arctic would be expected to be somewhere in the depths of up to -35°C (-31°F) in December, with 24 hour darkness.
ARCTIC HAS WARMEST YEAR IN HISTORY
Earlier this month, the average air temperature over Arctic land reached 2.3°F (1.3°C) above average for the year ending in September.
That's the highest since observations began in 1900.
The new mark was noted in the annual Arctic Report Card, released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Arctic centres on the North Pole and reaches into North America and Eurasia.
But while large fluctuations of up to 30°F in air temperature are fairly typical in the Arctic, this latest weather system was expected to push the variability to as high as 50°F or 60°F.
Although no instruments for measuring temperature are operating on the North Pole to provide precise reading for the temperature spike, experts indicate temperatures may have pushed past zero.
Data pulled from one ocean buoy in the Arctic reported a temperature spike of 0.7°C, but Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at US company Weather Bell said on Twitter this data may have a large range of uncertainty.
Meteorologist Bob Henson, from WeatherUnderground, added that the December temperatures at the North Pole have only reached or gone above freezing just three times since 1948, but none during between January and March.
By comparison, yesterday's lowest temperature in Vienna was -1°C (-30°F) while Chicago was -2°C (28°F).
The same low pressure system responsible for the Arctic warmth is responsible for Storm Frank, which hit the UK with winds of 85mph (137km/h).
BBC weatherman Simon King, tweeted: 'A bit warm at the North Pole! Thanks to Storm Frank the temp is a very rare +1°C compared to the average -28°C.'
More weather disruption is expected over the New Year.
A larger than expected El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean is disrupting air currents, which is having a knock on effect on weather patterns around the world, including the North Atlantic.
Monitoring the weather event from space, Nasa has warned that satellite data indicate that this year's El Nino could be as strong as that of 1997 and 1998 which was the strongest on record.
The phenomenon is the result of a shift in the distribution of warm water in the Pacific Ocean around the equator.
Usually the wind blows strongly from east to west, due to the rotation of the Earth, causing water to pile up in the western part of the Pacific. This pulls up colder water from the deep ocean in the eastern Pacific.
However, in an El Niño event, the winds weaken and the warmer water to shift back towards the east. This causes the eastern Pacific to get warmer.
As the ocean temperature is linked to the wind currents, this can cause the winds to grow weaker still and so the ocean grows warmer, meaning the El Niño grows.
The effects of this year's El Niño event could extend well into 2016, causing further weather chaos.
Study finds surprisingly high geothermal heating beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet
I have been pointing to polar vulcanism for years so I am pleased that it is now being cautiously recognized
UC Santa Cruz team reports first direct measurement of heat flow from deep within the Earth to the bottom of the West Antarctic ice sheet
The amount of heat flowing toward the base of the West Antarctic ice sheet from geothermal sources deep within the Earth is surprisingly high, according to a new study led by UC Santa Cruz researchers. The results, published July 10 in Science Advances, provide important data for researchers trying to predict the fate of the ice sheet, which has experienced rapid melting over the past decade.
Lead author Andrew Fisher, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, emphasized that the geothermal heating reported in this study does not explain the alarming loss of ice from West Antarctica that has been documented by other researchers. “The ice sheet developed and evolved with the geothermal heat flux coming up from below–it’s part of the system. But this could help explain why the ice sheet is so unstable. When you add the effects of global warming, things can start to change quickly,” he said.
High heat flow below the West Antarctic ice sheet may also help explain the presence of lakes beneath it and why parts of the ice sheet flow rapidly as ice streams. Water at the base of the ice streams is thought to provide the lubrication that speeds their motion, carrying large volumes of ice out onto the floating ice shelves at the edges of the ice sheet. Fisher noted that the geothermal measurement was from only one location, and heat flux is likely to vary from place to place beneath the ice sheet.
“This is the first geothermal heat flux measurement made below the West Antarctic ice sheet, so we don’t know how localized these warm geothermal conditions might be. This is a region where there is volcanic activity, so this measurement may be due to a local heat source in the crust,” Fisher said.
The study was part of a large Antarctic drilling project funded by the National Science Foundation called WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling), for which UC Santa Cruz is one of three lead institutions. The research team used a special thermal probe, designed and built at UC Santa Cruz, to measure temperatures in sediments below Subglacial Lake Whillans, which lies beneath half a mile of ice. After boring through the ice sheet with a special hot-water drill, researchers lowered the probe through the borehole until it buried itself in the sediments below the subglacial lake. The probe measured temperatures at different depths in the sediments, revealing a rate of change in temperature with depth about five times higher than that typically found on continents. The results indicate a relatively rapid flow of heat towards the bottom of the ice sheet.
This geothermal heating contributes to melting of basal ice, which supplies water to a network of subglacial lakes and wetlands that scientists have discovered underlies a large region of the ice sheet. In a separate study published last year in Nature, the WISSARD microbiology team reported an abundant and diverse microbial ecosystem in the same lake. Warm geothermal conditions may help to make subglacial habitats more supportive of microbial life, and could also drive fluid flow that delivers heat, carbon, and nutrients to these communities.
According to coauthor Slawek Tulaczyk, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz and one of the WISSARD project leaders, the geothermal heat flux is an important value for the computer models scientists are using to understand why and how quickly the West Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking.
“It is important that we get this number right if we are going to make accurate predictions of how the West Antarctic ice sheet will behave in the future, how much it is melting, how quickly ice streams flow, and what the impact might be on sea level rise,” Tulaczyk said. “I waited for many years to see a directly measured value of geothermal flux from beneath this ice sheet.”
Melting ice shelves
Antarctica’s huge ice sheets are fed by snow falling in the interior of the continent. The ice gradually flows out toward the edges. The West Antarctic ice sheet is considered less stable than the larger East Antarctic ice sheet because much of it rests on land that is below sea level, and the ice shelves at its outer edges are floating on the sea. Recent studies by other research teams have found that the ice shelves are melting due to warm ocean currents now circulating under the ice, and the rate at which the ice shelves are shrinking is accelerating. These findings have heightened concerns about the overall stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet.
The geothermal heat flux measured in the new study was about 285 milliwatts per square meter, which is like the heat from one small LED Christmas-tree light per square meter, Fisher said. The researchers also measured the upward heat flux through the ice sheet (about 105 milliwatts per square meter) using an instrument developed by coauthor Scott Tyler at the University of Nevada, Reno. That instrument was left behind in the WISSARD borehole as it refroze, and the measurements, based on laser light scattering in a fiber-optic cable, were taken a year later. Combining the measurements both below and within the ice enabled calculation of the rate at which melt water is produced at the base of the ice sheet at the drill site, yielding a rate of about half an inch per year.
Did the GOP Congress Change Energy Policy?
Last year, when Republicans gained a decisive edge in both houses of Congress, I made predictions as to the six energy-policy changes we could expect—as the two parties have very different views on energy issues.
Now, halfway through the “two years” for which I projected, here’s where American energy policy stands today.
As predicted, the GOP got right to work backing the Keystone pipeline. With strong bipartisan support, on February 11 Congress passed the bill approving construction. Though many Democrats crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act fell a handful of votes short of making it veto-proof. As expected, two weeks later, President Obama vetoed the bill.
I was optimistic that some late night arm twisting would bring the needed Democrats on board, but on March 4, the vote to override the veto failed.
While the bill ultimately failed, my projection was accurate: understanding the impact the Keystone pipeline would have had on job creation and energy security, Republicans made the Keystone pipeline a high priority.
A bill to lift the decades-old oil export ban was introduced in February and gained momentum throughout the year. On September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for final passage—which took place on October 9.
As with Keystone, the bill had bipartisan support, though many Democrats opposed it. Comments made in the House chambers before the vote reflected the partisan divide on energy issues. Opposing the bill, Democrats grandstanded saying it would put more money in the pockets of big oil. In contrast, Republicans understand that successful businesses hire people.
The White House threatened a veto.
Despite passing another committee vote in early October, the Senate didn’t take up the bill. Lifting the ban, however, was included in the omnibus-spending package that Obama quickly signed on December 18.
With the ban now officially overturned, the spread between the global benchmark price, known as Brent, and the U.S. benchmark, known as WTI (for West Texas Intermediate), has virtually disappeared. Within a matter of days, the first shipment of U.S. crude will be heading overseas—to Switzerland.
Last year, I wrote: “The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairmanship will change from one of the biggest supporters of Obama’s climate change agenda (Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA]) to the biggest opponent of his policies (Senator Jim Inhofe [R-OK]).” With that change, we’ve heard a different tune coming from The Hill.
Days before the U.N. conference on climate change took place in Paris, the Senate held a hearing and passed resolutions designed to let the world know that Obama did not have the support of the U.S. Senate—which would be needed for any legally binding treaty. The New York Times reported: “proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions.” In a statement following the vote, Senator Inhofe said: “The message could not be more clear that Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House do not support the president’s climate agenda and the international community should take note.”
The plan was successful; the “international community” took note. It is believed that the Republican drumbeat, prompted the European Union to back off of its insistence that any carbon goals in the final agreement need to be legally binding. The agreement that was ultimately reached in Paris is, according to the New York Times, “essentially voluntary.”
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
In the December 18 spending bill, the EPA didn’t get a budget increase while many other departments did. It is considered a “loser.” Funding levels for the EPA in 2016 are at a level lower than 2010, but on par with 2015.
Additionally, the agency has received several smack downs in 2015 from federal courts—including putting its onerous Waters of the U.S. Rule on hold. Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the focus of the Senate’s resolutions, is facing numerous lawsuits and may also be awarded a stay. This is surely an issue to watch in 2016.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)
One of the big concerns for anyone in the West who earns a living from the land—ranching, farming, mining and mineral extraction—has been the potential listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. While it did not get listed, and the omnibus deal blocks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from putting it on the Endangered Species list, the Bureau of Land Management has enacted land use plans that that will likely have many of the same effects of listing under the Act. It is time for ESA reform.
This final issue saw little action in 2015, but with the anti-fossil fuel movement’s aggressive plans to keep resources in the ground, especially on federal lands, this one is ripe for attention from the GOP-controlled Congress.
For 2016, Congress will need to stay on top of Obama’s rules, regulations and executive orders aimed at burnishing his legacy on climate change. It should also rein in the EPA, reform the ESA, and work to reduce the amount of land owned by the federal government.
Let’s hope for more positive movement in 2016—including a new resident in the White House, who understands the important role energy plays in making America great.
2015 Was One Of The Coolest Years On Record In The US
Government climate experts say that the US is getting much hotter, but the exact opposite is true. Both the number of hot days and the areal extent of heatwaves in the US is plummeting.
In 1936 nearly 80% of US stations reached 100 degrees, but the the past three years have been closer to 30%. A massive decline.
The frequency 100 degree days has plummeted from 5% in 1936 to about 1% in recent years.
The frequency of 90 degree days has also plummeted from 15% in 1936, down to 9% in 2015.
Most of the time when you hear a climate statistic from a government expert, it is pretty safe to assume that the exact opposite is true
Drowning In Red Tape During California’s Historic Drought
California is facing a years-long water crisis precipitated by intense bouts of drought. Mandatory water rationing, water fixture replacement, and irrigation restrictions are some of the emergency measures that Californians have had to bear. The solutions are drowning in red tape. Activists from across the political spectrum - from environmentalists to anti-density advocates to animal rights groups to federal bureaucrats - have pursued and supported policies that are making it worse, at the expense of Californian farmers, residents, and businesses.
The water crisis is driven by a years-long lack of rainfall, but there are solutions that governments are unfortunately ignoring and examples abound of technological and engineering projects that could have helped. A recently-opened desalination plant faced 15 years of bureaucratic holdups and environmentalist lawsuits, while another desalinization plant is in limbo due to environmental concerns of the California Coastal Commission. The Obama Administration's Department of the Interior has advocated destroying four dams on the Klamath River that have helped water conservation efforts in order to save the salmon population. Gov. Jerry Brown has drained precious reservoir water - enough for hundreds of thousands of California residents - for the purpose of fish preservation.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has proven to be anti-growth over the long haul, facilitating and enabling lawsuits that slow development and add enormous costs to new technological projects. CEQA requires all projects to assess long-term environmental impacts to things like air quality and carbon emissions and affected wildlife, among many others. Both Californian bureaucratic agencies and independent environmentalists are able to put water development projects on hold by using provisions of CEQA to tie them up with litigation.
Despite no mention of the problems with CEQA from Gov. Brown, efforts have been made in the California legislature to make incremental reforms to CEQA that would help government get out of the way of technological and environmental solutions to the Californian water crisis. Some of these solutions are piecemeal and insufficient, but step one is recognizing that a problem exists.
Presidential candidate and longtime California resident Carly Fiorina has attacked the environmental opposition to these projects, calling the drought “a man-made crisis” and saying “liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”
It’s not merely a California issue, either. The federal Endangered Species Act gives federal authorities purview over much of the waterways where a fish called the Delta Smelt lives. They’ve flushed trillions of gallons of water that could have sustained the lives of millions of Californians, and they’re planning on spending billions of dollars to come up with a tunnel system to protect the fish.
Republicans in Congress have proposed legislation that would alter the Endangered Species Act to give California more leeway around how they treat the waters where the smelt lives, but Democrats have consistently refused to consider the legislation and President Obama has promised to veto it.
These are all political and regulatory hurdles to solving the California drought crisis. From water storage to desalinization to natural dam projects, there are ways to solve the crisis – and some of these projects have been left in limbo since long before the drought. The technological solutions are there, but artificial scarcity created by environmental regulations at both the state and federal level have become counterproductive. A massive drought like the one California is currently experiencing is a challenge, to be sure. But what it has done is highlight how the environmental and regulatory framework currently in place do more to strangle solutions rather than enable them when crisis does strike.
What’s Really Behind The Left’s Climate Scheme…And What They’re DENYING
It looks like liberals at least in the eastern part of the United States are going to have one holly, jolly Christmas this year. Temperatures look to be well above normal and will give Climate Change disciples ample opportunity to crow over their Christmas turkeys that their deception for societal “reordering” is undoubtedly true.
Here in North Georgia, the temperature on Christmas looks to be twenty degrees or more above normal. This is fine with me since I’d rather smoke our Christmas turkey when it’s seventy degrees rather than forty degrees.
It’s funny though. At the beginning of this year, we had actual temperatures (not wind chill) of a few degrees below zero at my house. This was way below normal, but I didn’t hear anyone screaming for more carbon dioxide emissions to avert disastrous global cooling. I guess any drastically sharp cold spell is just an anomaly. A warm Christmas though and global devastation is imminent if we don’t send all of our wealth to the third world via the U.N.
I got an early Christmas present this year, an Apple iPhone 6S Plus. It is a marvelous device and as you Apple owners know, new iPhones now come with an Apple news consolidator app.
One of the news sources loaded on the app is New York magazine, a typical northeast liberal rag. I’ve been checking it out lately since everyone needs a few good laughs every now and then.
This week, of course, there is the obligatory pro-global warming article written by one Jonathan Chait. A well-credentialed liberal, Chait makes the point that because the evidence for global warming is so overwhelming, global warming deniers can no longer deny. So instead, they are making the case that none of the provisions recently reached in Paris will really have any affect on the coming drastic temperature rise.
Critics are basing this argument on a recent MIT study that concluded that even if the accords reached in Paris were followed to the letter by the governments of the world, the reduction in temperature would only be at most .2 degrees C. Many conservative outlets have expounded on this point.
Chait counters that the MIT study is just one of many and that there are others that show the Paris provisions will prevent much more than a .2 degree C temperature rise.
I believe Chait is wrong in assuming that because conservatives have cited the MIT study we are accepting the global warming premise. Far from it. The fact is that sacrificing trillions of dollars of economic benefit to humanity for a meaningless climatic effect is one more reason for rejecting the global warming scheme and does not imply acceptance of climate change orthodoxy.
Beyond all dispute, science agrees that there has been no global warming for the last twenty years. The temperature data is irrefutable. Both satellite and weather balloon data confirm this. The computer models that the global warming schemers rely on didn’t predict this, so why would we expect them to be reliable looking from this point forward?
Additionally, there is ample data showing that the rise of atmospheric temperature precedes the rise of carbon dioxide not the reverse. CO2 rise precipitating a temperature rise is the foundational claim of the global warming schemers. If temperature rises and THEN the carbon dioxide levels go up, there’s clearly another phenomenon causing the warming.
There is also very strong evidence that solar cycles are the big forcing function for global temperatures, far in excess of atmospheric CO2 levels. And the Sun appears to be entering a dimming phase that could cause significant COOLING over the next couple of decades.
I question all of the cataclysmic claims the schemers make about a warming earth, too. History tells us that mankind does better when the earth is warmer. Warm temperatures allow wider growing areas and longer growing seasons. Trees and plants become lusher and produce more fruit when there are higher levels of CO2. The claims of catastrophic flooding and desert spreading just don’t have a lot of scientific support.
There is another point that Chait makes that gives insight into the state of liberal thinking in general. He makes the claim that:
…data can change liberal economic thinking in a way it can’t change conservative economic thinking. Liberals would abandon, say, new environmental regulations if evidence persuaded them the program was not actually improving the environment, because bigger government is merely the means to an end.
Man, is it hard to type with a belly laugh! Can you cite any instance when liberals have cut the size of any part of government? Can you point to one government agency, committee, panel, bureau, or commission that liberals have ended without putting an even bigger drain on the economy in place? I dang sure can’t.
Liberals ARE the party of government. They believe they are the anointed ones, the gifted ones that can save humanity from itself. Therefore, they have a natural right to total power and control. Through their superior intellect they can perfect humanity, so just shut up and do what they tell you.
It’s not conservatives that want to repeal the First Amendment and prosecute climate change deniers. It’s not conservatives that are pushing for an end to carbon-based industry that will banish millions to crushing poverty. It’s your benevolent liberal overlords. Their pursuit of delusion will be our suffering.
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 1:23 AM