Monday, January 25, 2016
Warmer Oceans Could Produce More Powerful Superstorms
That's not an unreasonable theory. More energy in the system must have some effect. But the study below is basically a failure. They had to postulate a CO2 level of 800ppm to get their model to do anything dramatic. With the current CO2 level being around 400 ppm that is a huge departure from the present and not a level that even the most enthusiastic Warmist usually postulates. The study is, in short, totally unrealistic -- which they actually admit
Hurricane Sandy became the second costliest hurricane to hit the United States when it blew ashore in October 2012, killing 159 people and inflicting $71 billion in damage. Informally known as a "superstorm" after it made landfall, Sandy was so destructive largely because of its unusual size and track. After moving north from the tropical waters where it spawned, Sandy turned out to sea before hooking back west, growing in size and crashing head-on into the East Coast, gaining strength when it merged with an eastbound mid-latitude storm.
A new study led by the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) suggests that a warmer Atlantic Ocean could substantially boost the destructive power of a future superstorm like Sandy. The researchers used a numerical model to simulate the weather patterns that created Sandy, with one key difference: a much warmer sea surface temperature, as would be expected in a world with twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This simulated warmer ocean generated storms that were 50 to 160 percent more destructive than Sandy. The results appear online January 19, 2016 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
"This kind of experiment is not necessarily a realistic simulation, but it is along a similar path that the future climate might expect to evolve," said William Lau, a research scientist at ESSIC and senior scientist emeritus at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Lau added that sea surface temperatures could reach such elevated levels within the next 50 to 100 years.
In the model scenarios, the pool of warm water (greater than 82 degrees Fahrenheit) in the tropical Atlantic grew to twice its actual size. The larger warm pool gave the simulated hurricanes more time to grow before they encountered colder water or land.
In the five simulations conducted by Lau and his colleagues at NASA Goddard, two hurricanes followed the same track as Sandy, hooking westward and merging with the mid-latitude storm as they hit the coast. Because of their longer exposure to the large warm pool, their winds had 50 to 80 percent more destructive power, and they brought 30 to 50 percent more heavy rain.
"We expected the storm would definitely get stronger because of much warmer sea surface temperature," Lau said.
Each of the other three hurricanes followed a surprising and even more destructive course. In these simulations, the hurricane grew so strong that it followed a different track and didn’t collide with the mid-latitude storm. Instead, the hurricane went farther east into the open ocean before turning westward. Next, the hurricane and the mid-latitude storm rotated counterclockwise around their combined center of mass—a phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara effect. As the mid-latitude storm rotated east, the Sandy-like storm gained strength from the Fujiwhara effect and swung westward, making landfall between Maine and Nova Scotia.
"These events are somewhat rare in occurrence, but they do exist in nature," Lau said. "While they’re turning about each other, they interact. One just took the energy from the other."
As a result, the three Fujiwhara-enhanced hurricanes’ destructive power peaked at 100 to 160 percent higher than Sandy, and brought as much as 180 percent more rain. And while they made landfall farther north, Lau said, their impacts could be farther-reaching and more devastating than Sandy.
"Because the size of the storm is so large, it could affect the entire Atlantic coast, not just where it makes landfall," he predicted. "The rainfall itself is probably way out in the ocean, but the storm surge would be catastrophic."
Base policies on reality, not deceit
Dr. Bob Carter understood that climate frequently changes, and we must prepare to adapt
Dangerous manmade global cooling, global warming, climate change and extreme weather claims continue to justify what has become a $1.5-trillion-per-year industry: tens of billions spent annually on one-sided research and hundreds of billions sent to crony corporatists to subsidize replacing dependable, affordable carbon-based fuels with unreliable, expensive "renewable" energy.
Some 50 million acres of US crop and habitat land (equal to Wyoming) have been turned into corn-for-ethanol farms, biofuel plantations, and wind and solar installations. American forests are being converted to fuel for British power plants. Towering turbines butcher birds and bats, while Big Wind is exempted from endangered species rules that would cost fossil fuel companies billions in fines and send their execs to jail for such carnage. (But if you're saving the planet, what’s a few million birds and bats a year?)
Climate chaos is likewise the foundation for endless, punitive government policies and regulations intended to keep oil, gas and coal "in the ground." Crony politicians pass laws and unelected bureaucrats impose rules that transfer taxpayer and consumer wealth, decide which companies, industries and workers win or lose, and control people’s lives, livelihoods, liberties and living standards.
Research and ruling classes benefit, while poor, minority and blue-collar families suffer – and Africans are told they must be content with wind and solar energy because, as President Obama put it, "if everybody has got a car" and air conditioning and a big house, "the planet will boil over."
Climate Crisis, Inc. jealously guards this power and money train. The IPCC, EPA and NOAA spend billions in tax dollars to publish horror stories about runaway temperatures and looming disasters. Mike Mann sues anyone who disparages him or his work. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jagedish Shukla demand that anyone who disputes manmade disaster claims be prosecuted for "climate denial."
Now a new Paris climate treaty says the "ultimate goal" is to stabilize atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that will "prevent dangerous [human] interference with the climate system" – under the assumption that CO2 now drives climate change and weather events.
The Paris accord stipulates that developed nations must reduce their emissions, regardless of impacts on economies, employment or families. This means they must de-carbonize, de-industrialize and de-develop – while they give trillions of dollars in cash and free technology to developing countries like Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, for climate "reparation" and "mitigation."
Developing countries need try to reach their voluntary goals only if now-wealthy nations make those wealth transfers – and if reducing their emissions will not interfere with their "first and overriding priorities" of eradicating poverty, malnutrition and disease, and improving living standards and life spans.
This means fossil fuel use and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will continue to climb – and US, EU, Canadian and Australian sacrifices will have no effect on stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels, much less controlling Earth’s ever-changing climate or weather, again assuming CO2 does determine climate.
But what if this dynasty is built on a foundation of errors, miscalculations and exaggerations – or worse: on manipulation, fabrication and fraud? The house of cards would tumble down, the catechism of climate cataclysm would go the way of other vanished religions, and the power and money train would derail.
Before his untimely death January 19, Dr. Robert M. Carter, former director of James Cook University’s Marine Geophysical Laboratory and expert on historic and prehistoric climate change, offered succinct analyses of climate forces, fears and realities, underscoring how fragile the climate chaos claims are.
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, he always emphasized. It is a plant-fertilizing trace gas (400 ppm or 0.04% of the atmosphere), essential for photosynthesis and life on Earth. Rising CO2 levels are increasing crop, forest and grassland growth, improving ecosystems and wildlife, and feeding more people. In fact, the 50 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1981 and 2010 fertilized an 11% boost in plant cover worldwide. Moreover, current carbon dioxide levels are quite low relative to their levels across geological time, meaning terrestrial, fresh water and oceanic plant life is currently starved for CO2 by comparison.
The real scientific debate, Professor Carter noted in his book Climate: the Counter Consensus and other works, is about the direction and magnitude of global human effects, and their likely significance in the context of natural climate change – which has been occurring ever since Earth developed its oceans, atmosphere and climate. Indeed, modern temperatures are not unusually warm, compared to many previous periods in the historic and geologic record. My friend’s other insights are equally important.
* The primary temperature records relied on by the IPCC and EPA are far too short to be a useful tool for policy making and are inadequately corrected for the urban heat island effect and other errors. One analysis of these records found errors of 1-5 degrees C (1.8-9.0 F) for 1969 data in certain regions, when the claimed warming for the entire twentieth century was only 0.7 deg C (1.3 F); errors for records in the early century are likely even greater. Reliance on these records is thus misplaced
* Recent warming trends in Greenland and the Arctic are not alarming in rate or magnitude compared to other similar and totally natural warming periods over the past 250 to 10,000 years, as recorded in explorers’ log books and geological evidence.
* When we consider those climate records, the positive feedback effects of rising carbon dioxide levels (such as enhanced water vapor in the atmosphere), negative feedback effects (more low level heat-reflecting clouds, for instance), significant natural sources of more atmospheric CO2, and the declining "greenhouse" effect of each additional CO2 molecule, it is unlikely that conceivable human carbon dioxide emissions will cause "dangerous" warming or other climate changes in the future.
* The rate and magnitude of the reported 1979-2000 warming are not outside normal natural variability, nor are they unusual compared to earlier periods in Earth and human history. There is likewise no unambiguous evidence that humans have caused adverse changes such as melting ice, rising sea levels, rainfall or droughts, or "extreme weather" over the past 50 years.
* Moderate warming will reduce human mortality, whereas colder weather will increase suffering and deaths, especially if energy and climate policies make heating homes less affordable.
* IPCC computer climate models have thus far not been able to predict warming or other climate changes accurately for even short 10-year periods. It is therefore highly unlikely that they can do so for 100 years in the future. Therefore, they should not be used as the basis for energy and economic policies.
* The IPCC does not even study climate change in its entirety, or all the complex, interrelated forces that cause periodic warming, cooling and other changes. It analyzes only variations allegedly caused by humans, and assumes that all recent and future changes are human-caused and dangerous. Its analyses, conclusions and recommendations therefore do not form a credible basis for public policies.
Carter’s ultimate policy recommendation was that climate hazards are overwhelmingly natural problems, and should be dealt with by preparing for them in advance, and adapting to them when they occur.
Whether the threats are short-term (hurricanes, floods and blizzards), intermediate (droughts) or long-term (warm or cool eras), preparation must be specific and regional in scale, for the perils vary widely by geographic location and a nation’s state of technological advancement. If governments prepare properly for natural hazards, their countries and communities will also be ready for human-caused climate disruptions, should they ever occur.
Professor Carter’s jovial Aussie persona will be sorely missed, but his insights and legacy will live on.
Another Government-Caused Water Crisis and Cover-Up
Flint, Mich., may be another case (similar to the Environmental Protection Agency Gold King Mine spill) of negligent government behavior that would raise criminal prosecution had it come from a private party.
Michigan officials are under scrutiny for potentially causing, and covering up, a series of decisions that resulted in Flint’s drinking water being contaminated with unsafe amounts of lead. Unsafe amounts of lead can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children and kidney ailments in adults.
Flint officials’ 2014 decision to draw water from an inadequately treated Flint River source reportedly started the now widespread contamination of some of Flint’s 99,000 residents’ drinking water. The untreated water caused lead to leak from old pipes throughout the city.
Flint, which previously used Detroit’s water system, switched back after a few individuals discovered elevated lead levels in children. But officials "remain concerned that damaged pipes could continue to leach lead."
So far the government has failed to remedy the situation. Four families with children suffering from elevated lead levels filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their children’s injuries were caused by officials’ negligence "in switching from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River."
Michael Pitt, an attorney in the lawsuit, said "failure to stop the use of the Flint River, despite knowledge it was toxic, made the danger far worse."
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder formed the Flint Water Advisory Task Force to study the water crisis. The group wrote a report that concludes that "the state Department of Environmental Quality ‘must be held accountable for that failure.’"
The task force report uncovers three general areas in which state officials may have misbehaved. First, state officials practiced a passive "technical compliance" with the law that led to failures to identify the contamination. Second, state officials responded to victim’s complaints of lead contamination with a "persistent tone of scorn and derision." Third, state officials may have failed to properly adhere to relevant federal regulations pertaining to lead and safe water supply.
Former prosecutor Keith Corbett said of any investigation into these behaviors that in "dealing with incompetence or malfeasance in office that’s just the result of people not doing their job, it becomes difficult to turn that into crime." Still, some individuals "in positions of authority made bad decisions," Corbett continued, "and those bad decisions have had horrible consequences for the city of Flint."
Now federal investigators have their hands full looking for signs of criminal conduct from negligent discharge to mail fraud.
Whether criminal charges will be brought against government officials for contaminating Flint’s drinking water is unclear—just as it was when the EPA discharged toxic water into the Animas River.
There has to be a full discovery of what caused the contamination. With clear signs of serious contamination that include locals reporting health effects, however, it is likely that the government would bring a criminal prosecution had a private party caused the spill.
As Heritage scholars have said before:
"There is no reason to let government officials slide when the government prosecutes private parties for the same conduct. It’s time for the government to choose: Either stop prosecuting private parties for negligence or make the [responsible Michigan] officials stand in the dock. Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander."
EPA regional chief resigns in connection with Flint crisis
A regional director of the US Environmental Protection Agency resigned Thursday in connection with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., and EPA chief Gina McCarthy issued an emergency order directing state and city officials to take actions to protect public health.
EPA said in a statement that Susan Hedman, head of the agency’s regional office in Chicago whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, was stepping down Feb. 1 so it could focus ‘‘solely on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water.’’
High levels of lead have been detected in the impoverished city’s water since officials switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River as a cost-saving measure in April 2014. Some children’s blood has tested positive for lead, a potent neurotoxin linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ, and behavioral problems.
While much of the blame has been directed at Governor Rick Snyder and state officials, particularly the Department of Environmental Quality, some have faulted the EPA for not acting more forcefully.
In the statement, the EPA said McCarthy had sent a memo to all staff members establishing a policy assessing and responding to ‘‘critical public health issues.’’
The agency also released a letter from McCarthy to Snyder outlining terms of her order.
Also Thursday, President Obama promised more money for Michigan’s water systems.
"Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities," said Obama, who met this week with Flint’s mayor, Karen Weaver. He said his administration would immediately give the state of Michigan access to $80 million in federal water infrastructure funding approved for the state last month as part of a 2016 spending bill.
The money is intended to allow states to make loans to municipalities for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure construction projects.
Obama Deploys the 'Great Green Fleet'
From December 1907 to February 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered America's steel-hulled, steam-powered battle fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Nicknamed the "Great White Fleet," the excursion showed that the United States' military was a technologically current global superpower. A hundred years later, Barack Obama is trying to demonstrate that the world's greatest superpower can operate within the constraints of his climate change agenda with a Navy, Mitt Romney noted in 2012, that is the smallest its ever been since 1917. We suppose that's one way to pay tribute to the past.
On Wednesday, the "Great Green Fleet" launched from San Diego to demonstrate that it can steam across the world's oceans using nothing but alternative fuel. The Department of Defense wanted the U.S. Navy to run on a 50/50 mix of traditional petroleum and biofuels by year 2020. It seemed to be making headway by using a plant-based jet fuel — for which it paid $29.30 a gallon. After Congress mandated that any alternative fuel had to be competitive with petroleum fuel, the military lowered its standards, as the fuel some ships in the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are burning is a blend of 10% biofuel and 90% petroleum. In other words, those green ships are running on a biofuel mix similar to the one found at the common gas station. At least the price is right — $2.05 per gallon — for a biofuel that's composed of beef fat. How American.
While the Obama administration might cite warm, fuzzy feelings for turning the U.S. Navy green, the move toward biofuels means an increase in cronyism, with the green industry positioning itself to make a killing. Meanwhile, the price of oil, thanks to OPEC holding steady on production and Iran entering the world market, is heading ever lower. It makes more sense for the U.S. military to develop nuclear power, but this is what we get from a commander in chief more concerned with fighting the temperature than terrorists.
Killing coal: The Obama administration’s intentional assault on an industry
By now, most people are aware of President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry — which he acknowledged would "necessarily" cause electricity to skyrocket. Seven years later, that is a campaign promise he is keeping.
Since moving into the White House, Obama has used bureaucratic weapons and administrative agencies to assault America’s coal industry. Between 2008 and 2012, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports 50,000 coal jobs were lost — that number would certainly be much greater today. West Virginia has been hit particularly hard with unemployment rates in double digits. Addressing the job losses, the Charleston Gazette-Mail blames the "liberal environmental policies that have accelerated coal’s decline" — which it says have left "hard working men and women" jobless.
In addition to the job losses, Obama’s policies — such as the Regional Haze rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, and the Clean Power Plan — have "helped spur the closing of dozens of coal plants across the country," according to Politico. The November 2015 report states: "More than one in five coal-related jobs have disappeared during Obama’s presidency, and several major U.S. coal mining companies have announced this year that they would or may soon seek bankruptcy protection."
On Monday, January 11, Arch Coal became the biggest domino to fall when it filed for bankruptcy. Arch follows Walter Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, and Patriot Coal Corp. — all of which filed for bankruptcy in 2015. James River Coal went bankrupt in 2014. The WSJ says: "Over a quarter of U.S. coal production is now in bankruptcy, trying to reorganize to cope with prices that have fallen 50 percent since 2011." As a result, a "record number of mines are for sale" and remaining workers are receiving lower wages. In hard-hit West Virginia, starting wages have been cut 50 percent in the past few years: from around $40 an hour to $20.
In 2008, Alpha Natural Resources, which filed for bankruptcy in August 2015, was offered a buy out at $128 a share. Today, Alpha, according to Fortune, has 8900 employees but its stock is worthless. CNN Money states: "Since Obama took office in January 2009, shares of many coal companies have plummeted more than 90 percent."
The Obama administration’s latest stab at killing coal is Friday’s, January 15, announcement of a federal-lands-leasing moratorium for coal mining. Bloomberg reports that "about 40 percent of U.S. coal now comes from federal land." The announcement came just days after Obama’s State of the Union Address pledge "to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." In short, the plan is to halt federal leasing while the Department of Interior completes a "Programmatic Environment Impact Statement" that the agency says it can complete in three years — though government projects are seldom completed on schedule. The years-long process will include public review and participation under the National Environmental Policy Review Act. As a result, it is expected that companies will have to pay more to mine coal on public lands.
"With this latest regulatory assault," Luke Popovich, Vice President of External Communications for the American Mining Association, told me, "Obama has ensured his legacy as the only President to destroy the industry that has done more than any other to keep American power costs the lowest in the industrialized world."
While mining can continue under existing leases, and the pause will likely have minimal impact as interest in leasing has declined with many government lease sales only having a single bidder, it sends a clear signal regarding administrative assassination. Addressing Friday’s announcement, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, declared: "If there were any lingering questions about whether the Obama administration is intent on decimating America’s coal industry, this should answer them."
Bloomberg points out that the Obama administration is "facing mounting calls from conservationists to thwart new fossil fuel development as part of the ‘keep it in the ground’ movement" — which Murkowski says is a "misguided" effort that "will harm local economies and threaten future energy supplies."
In Wyoming, which supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s coal, the response to Friday’s announcement was swift. Wyoming Mining Association executive director Jonathan Downing said: "This is yet another salvo in the president’s efforts to kill the coal industry. He and his allies in the extreme environmental movement know full well that this measure will make federal coal uneconomical to mine, thereby locking up America’s most abundant and reliable source of electricity generation."
Governor Matt Mead’s comments include this harsh indictment: "It could not be more plain — in fact, it is starkly apparent — this Administration is no friend to coal when it flatly says there will be no new coal leases until some indefinite point in time." His press release points out: "Wyoming coal producers pay: federal mineral royalty, Wyoming severance tax, Abandoned Mine Lands, Black Lung Tax, Ad Valorem Property, Ad Valorem Production, and Lease Bonus Application. The industry has an effective tax rate of 40 percent. All of these revenue streams go to the public in various ways."
Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released this statement: "When rural America says President Obama has contempt for their lives and livelihoods, they mean decisions like today’s announcement. A moratorium on federal coal leasing effectively hands a pink slip to the thousands of people in Wyoming and across the West employed in coal production."
Wyoming is not the only western state impacted. Following the DOI announcement — Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) released this statement: "These proposed rules are an attempt by this administration to shut down the industry as they pursue their War on Coal. There are North Dakota lease applications under review by the Bureau of Land Management and as a result of today’s announced pause of the leasing program they may not be approved. With approximately 15 percent of the coal in North Dakota classified as federal, making the federal coal program more restrictive will be very expensive and lead to job loss in coal country. To mine around federal coal is very expensive and could ultimately make a mine economically unfeasible."
While the moratorium gives "a powerful tailwind to the industry’s downward trajectory," as WyoFile’s editor-in-chief Dustin Bleizeffer calls it, the anti-fossil-fuel crowd — including billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — "cheered the move." Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has introduced legislation that would halt coal leasing on public lands altogether.
In the Administration’s multi-front assault, no skirmish is too small; no agency is too far removed from the front lines to be involved. Any conceivable attack can be engaged. For example, on Friday, January 22, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a briefing "to further its 2016 statutory report project on environmental justice." According to the press release, the 9:00 AM to 5:45 PM meeting, will "focus on the civil rights implications of the placement of coal ash disposal facilities near minority and low income communities." Commission Chairman Martin R. Castro explained: "We intend to shine a light on the civil rights implications of toxic coal ash, as well as other environmental conditions, on communities most in need of protection."
Coal ash is frequently recycled and is an important component in concrete, brick, and dry wall. Its use is encouraged by green building advocates. In fact, concrete containing coal ash was used in the construction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Panelists at the Civil Rights briefing include EPA’s Director of the office of Civil Rights, Velveta Golightly Howell and Associate Director of the Office of Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali. Additionally, representatives from Earth Justice, Waterkeepers Alliance, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will participate.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is reportedly an "independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on Civil rights matters."
While President Obama is currently calling the shots, if Hillary Clinton is elected the battle will intensify as her plans go further than his.
During her 2008 campaign, she tried to help coal companies by "throwing incentives at them to clean up production." But, the Huffington Post, addressing her $30 billion plan to aid communities where jobs have been destroyed by the intentional assault on the coal industry, clarifies her intent: "the new proposal heavily pushes coal communities away from the industry that has dominated their economy for roughly a century."
In exchange for the economic losses coal communities will suffer through the "green economy she envisions," WSJ says her "programs are a mix of federal support to rebuild coal communities and aid to workers affected by the shifting energy economy."
"Hard-working, able-bodied men and women who have lost their jobs," however, "don’t want a handout from the very government that put them out of work." The Gazette-Mail posits: "Surely most would rather return to the well-paying jobs they were forced out of."
Mining communities aren’t fooled by the plan and see it as "nothing more than welfare" — calling it an attempt to "buy their support." John Stilley, president of Amerikohl Mining in Butler, PA, quipped: "We do not want federal money to fund training for new jobs that pay half our current salaries." According to Ed Yankovich, the United Mine Workers vice president for the district covering Pennsylvania and the Northeast, "Obama’s actions have alienated those who work in the industry from Democrats in general." He told Politico: "People look at these folks and say, ‘they’ve completely abandoned us, it’s like we don’t live in America.’ There’s a bitterness about it."
The assault on the coal industry pleases affluent progressive funders and then taxes all Americans for the re-education aimed at buying the support of the workers who used to have well-paying jobs — all the while hitting the pocketbook of those same Americans as coal-fueled power plant closures and expensive renewables force electricity rates to skyrocket.
And this is how Obama is intentionally killing coal.
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.
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Posted by JR at 1:42 AM