Tuesday, February 02, 2016

As the ‘blue Arctic’ expands thanks to global warming, an icebreaker finds no ice to break (?)

A large excerpt below from an article by Tom Yulsman, an old Warmist from wayback.  The climategate emails shook him for a while but he soon got back on track. And as is often the case with  Greenies, what he does not say is what you need to know.  Let's start with this graph from Cryosphere Today, the Polar Research Group at the University of Illinois. It's too big to be put up legibly on this blog but you can click on the link to see it. It shows no trend in global sea ice area from 1979 to today.

But what about Tom's pretty graphs showing ice area today being much below average?  The graphs seem to be right but they are not graphs of anything remotely global.  And we are supposed to be talking about GLOBAL warming, are we not?  The graph I link to is a graph of global sea ice but Tom ignores that and puts up a graph of Arctic ice only.  Are we now expecting catastrophic warming in the Arctic only?  That seems to be where Tom is going.

Do I need to say anything more about Tom's BS?  Probably not but just one point.  Nobody seems to know why but there is substantial subsurface vulcanism at both poles.  The earth is flattened at the poles so that may be it.  The magma could well be closer to the surface there.

And the volcanoes underneath the Arctic sea ice are huge, particularly along the Gakkel ridge.   And you would melt if you had a volcano under you too.  So the melting in the Arctic is just what is to be expected from  known volcanic activity.  In the Antarctic only a small part of the area is affected by volcanoes so the Antarctic is in fact now gaining ice overall -- which balances out the loss in the Arctic.

Warmists are such crooks!

During a recent mission off the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker encountered unusual winter conditions for an area just 800 miles from the North Pole.

Open water.

At this time of year, sea ice usually closes in around Svalbard’s northern and eastern coasts. But not this year. The sturdy 340-foot-long, 6,375-ton KV Svalbard had no ice to break, reports Oddvar Larsen, the ship’s First Engineer.

I spoke with Larsen and other sailors on board the icebreaker during the kickoff event of the 10th Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway on Jan. 24, 2016. This is the first post of several I have planned based on reporting I did at the conference.

Larsen told me that he has observed “big changes” in the Arctic during his nearly 25 years at sea. In addition to shrinking in extent, “most of the ice we encounter now is young — just one year old.”

In the past, thicker, multi-year ice was dominant, including old ice greater than nine years of age. Today that oldest ice is almost gone.

The lack of sea ice that Oddvar Larsen and his crewmates experienced around Svalbard this winter wasn’t just a small geographical anomaly. At 301,000 square miles below the long-term average, Arctic sea ice extent in December was the fourth lowest for the month in the satellite record.

To give you a sense of just how much below average that extent was, consider that 301,000 square miles is almost the size of California, Oregon and Washington combined.

Since December, conditions have not improved. In fact, the extent of Arctic sea ice overall now is at record low levels for this time of year:

As Oddvar Larsen’s experience suggests, the lack of sea ice that his icebreaker recently encountered around Svalbard comprises just one data point in a broader, long-term trend. Since satellite monitoring began in 1979, Arctic sea ice extent in December has declined at a rate of 3.4 percent per decade.

That’s in winter, when the region is typically gripped by polar cold. In September, when Arctic sea ice reaches it’s lowest annual extent after the relatively warm months of summer, the decline has been much more rapid: 13.4% per decade.

The shrinking geographic extent of Arctic sea ice is just one measure of the impact of human activities on Earth’s climate. Its total volume is another — and that has been declining over the long run too.

If you pay too much attention to data cherrypickers looking to cast doubt on global warming, you’ll hear a different story. But the full data record, backed up by the personal experiences of sailors like Oddvar Larsen and others (keep reading; more to come below…), show conclusively that Arctic sea ice continues to decline.

Given the heat energy building up in Earth’s natural systems from greenhouse gas emissions, we shouldn’t expect anything different. In the end, it’s really just a matter of physics.

Moreover, fully 90 percent of the heat energy our activities are generating has been going into the oceans. How much energy are we talking about?

To help Arctic Frontiers’ conferees wrap their heads around that question, a geoscientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory offered a startling comparison. Citing recent research, Peter Schlosser noted that since 1997, the heat energy going into the oceans has been equivalent to “one Hiroshima-sized atom bomb being exploded every second for 75 years.”

The result: an increasingly “blue Arctic” whose relatively dark waters (compared to white sea ice) are helping to amplify warming in the high north even further. And this, in turn, is possibly contributing to extreme events like the brutal winter weather that parts of the United States have endured in recent years.

In her own talk at the conference, NASA’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, explained the process this way: “As we expose more ocean, the dark water absorbs more heat, and that heat is pumped back into the climate system as added energy.” This Arctic amplification process, she added, could be implicated in “a lot of the extreme weather events that have been occurring.”

A connection between shrinking Arctic sea ice, Arctic amplification, and extreme weather is supported by research conducted by Jennifer Francis at Rutgers University, including a paper published last June.  Here’s how the connection works, at least theoretically:

The disproportionate warming experienced in the Arctic has weakened the difference in temperature between the lower and higher latitudes, causing the jet stream to become wavier for longer periods of time. The result: deep meteorological ridges and troughs that tend to be more persistent.

“As emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, therefore, the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions,” Francis and her colleague concluded in their recent paper.

It’s an intriguing theory. But it’s also still the subject of a robust scientific debate.


Proof that the man-made global warming theory is false

There is scientific evidence that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is not a real phenomenon.  Ironically, this evidence is simple, easy to find, has nothing to do with temperature, and is from the United States government.  This proof is the proverbial elephant in the living room.

The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis originated from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  It is in two steps: "Increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air; and increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change."  Oil, natural gas and coal are called "fossil fuel" by the IPCC.

The first part of the hypothesis, that increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air, has generally been a "given" in the past.  Heretofore, it has received practically no scrutiny.  It is the second part of the hypothesis, that increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change, which has received many scientific arguments.  Predictions into the future require "models" which require assumptions.  It is said that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.  Testing of models by the reliable and venerable Scientific Method has been unable to obtain reproducible test results.  The second part of the hypothesis has never been proven.

After World War II, it was said that the Allies floated to victory on a sea of oil.  U.S. oil production increased by 3 billion barrels annually during the war.  A massive amount of fossil fuel was used in World War II.

The proof that the first part of the hypothesis, increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air, is not true can be found in this data from NASA.

The best scientific data available, which is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shows that carbon dioxide levels "flat-lined" during the decade of 1940 to 1950.  The carbon dioxide level in the air in 1941 was 311 parts per million.  The wobble was only down to 310.2 parts per million, only 0.8 parts per million less than the amount in 1941.

World War II's massive increase in the use of fossil fuel did not cause a corresponding increase in carbon dioxide in the air.  Increasing fossil fuel does not always cause increasing carbon dioxide.  Since the first part of the hypothesis is not true, the entire hypothesis is not true.  Arguments over the second part are moot. No one has evidence that carbon dioxide in the air increased during World War II.

The problem is that the IPCC's climate change hypothesis was adopted by President Carter, Vice President Gore, and President Obama as the Democratic climate policy.  Currently, the economy, jobs, income, grants, subsidies, taxes, favored industries, federal land leases, savings, investments -- even foreign oil imports -- are greatly dependent upon the invalid climate change hypothesis.


Here we go again: "Global warming means exotic fruits now being grown in Britain"

Since there has been no global warming for over 18 years, the attribution given for the events described below is demonstrably wrong.  There could have been some local warming but the breeding of horticultural varieties of food crops to be cold-tolerant is most probably what lies behind the events described.  The Japanese grow rice, a tropical crop, in cold Hokkaido so plant breeding can do amazing things

Britain’s first ever crop of sweet, seedless “table” grapes will hit Asda’s shelves this autumn, as global warming adds another exotic fruit to the nation’s tables. It’s the latest in a growing list of now regular crops that also includes tea, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, water melons and walnuts.

Existing crops, such as strawberries, raspberries, sugar beet and asparagus, have also flourished – and not just in the south – as global warming pushes up the temperature and extends the growing season. The trend is set to keep on improving yields across a wide variety of crops in the UK and much of Northern Europe in the coming decades.

But the improving prospects for British farming bring a huge responsibility to help feed those parts of the world where global warming will destroy agriculture, says Professor Ian Crute, one of the country’s leading crop experts.

“Since 2000 we’ve seen some very clear signs that climate change is already changing agriculture in this country. And it’s highly likely that this will be good for our arable crop production in the future,” said Professor Crute, a former director of Rothamsted Research, the world’s oldest agricultural research centre.

“We have an opportunity for ourselves in the temperate regions to grow more food. But we also have an obligation to grow even more, to help feed those parts of the world where it will become increasingly difficult to produce food reliably. If we don’t, then people are going to be marching north,” added Professor Crute, a board director of the farmer’s official research body, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

The southern hemisphere has traditionally fed the north. But in the future the north will need to feed the south, as large swathes of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, central and south America and Australia look set to be ruined, he says. The changes that climate change will inflict on farming all over the world this century will dramatically redraw the global agricultural map, says Professor Chris Elliott, a food expert who led the Government’s inquiry into the horsemeat crisis.


Mushrooms do it too

EVERYTHING causes global warming

 As global warming is increasing with each day that passes and the poles begin to thaw. There has been little research into the harm caused by fungi (mold that contribute to the production of greenhouse gases.
As determined by a study conducted at the University of California by the Mexican Adriana Romero, fungi from Alaska begin to adapt to and contribute to global warming by increasing the amount of (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Master in Molecular Ecology from the University of Baja California, Adriana explained that fungi are responsible for destroying the such as leaves that fall from the trees, and feed nutrients to plants.

"Because in Alaska, most of the time it's cold, fungi are asleep and do not contribute to global warming, but with high temperatures (10-30 °C), the organisms wake up and generate CO2."

The study was conducted by growing mushrooms in tubes 30 centimeters long and exposing them to temperatures above 25 °C.

"We chose the orange mold as a model because it is a species that commonly grows in the area, plus all its physiology, life cycle, genes and what do they code for are known," said Romero, a native of Sonora, northern state of Mexico.

When this mold grows, there is a cell division that is interpreted as a new generation. In the experiment, by cultivating 15 tubes for eight months 1,500 generations were achieved. After that, a physiological assay compared these tubes to fungi not exposed to high temperatures.

The results determined that the fungus shows a faster metabolism; it grows and reproduces more quickly, breathes more oxygen and exhales more carbon dioxide. With this information, it is possible to extrapolate for the whole community of fungi in the planet.

Romero's work is complemented by field studies in Alaska, where she observed in real time how climate change affects the community of forest mushrooms.

"Fungi breathe as humans; they inhale oxygen and exhale CO2 and although there are many of us, we are nothing compared with the amount of fungi," said the specialist.

She explained that Alaska is the region with the most fungi in the world. As summers have grown longer, up to five months, these organisms are more active for longer periods during the year.

Some scientific models determine that if fungi adapt to global warming, as Romero warns, they will not maintain a for a long time, which means that there will be a peak contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere, that will later drop and return to normal conditions; however, the climate damage will be irreversible.

"Although there are things we cannot control such as metabolism, evolution and adaptation of , we can make changes in our daily life that may contribute to curb and avoid drastic changes in temperature," concluded the researcher.


‘Cli-fi’ and the incorporation of climate change/global warming into college curricula

It’s not mandatory –yet — but the University of California-Irvine is offering faculty up to $1,200 in “incentives” to attend a workshop (and follow-up) on how to incorporate “climate change and/or sustainability concepts into their courses.”

“The overall goal of this curriculum program,” the UCI Sustainability website says, “is to boost climate change/sustainability education at UCI, especially targeting those students for whom climate and sustainability may not be a focus.”

The College Fix received a tip from a source at UC-Irvine which offered suggestions on how to do just that, in this case for an English-related course.

The ideas included making use of “appropriate” vocabulary and readings since, after all, the goal of the program is to make sure all students on campus are reached.

Naturally, I was left wondering: Would it be acceptable to utilize vocabulary and readings (and writing assignments) that are skeptical of the conventional climate wisdom? Skeptical of current methods of sustainability?

This comes at a time when the genre of climate fiction, or “cli-fi,” is becoming rather popular in pedagogy, despite it having been around for decades.

Blogger Daniel Bloom reports on a Vanderbilt professor who’s teaching two courses on cli-fi this coming spring semester.

Edward Rubin teaches law and political science at Vandy, and is offering a freshman course titled “Visions of the Future in Cli-Fi,” as well as one for the school’s lifelong learning program called “Climate Change Literature: A New Fictional Genre about a Real Problem.”

The latter has a more detailed description available:

In recent years a new genre of modern novels has emerged — climate change fiction, or “cli-fi.” It now includes dozens, maybe hundreds of books, some in the science fiction mode, others realistic works set in contemporary times, but with a climate change theme. These books are often entertaining in themselves, but also reflect our society’s effort to come to terms with an impending crisis. We’ll approach these books as literature, but we’ll also talk about the underlying issue of climate change, and what the novels say about it.

The reading list is pretty extensive, dealing with topics other than climate (but have some effect on it): plague, nuclear war, and genetic engineering.

I’ve read a few on the list: Earth Abides is a 1950s tale detailing how some of the planet’s few survivors of a plague make their way in a new world; The Postman (also a film starring Kevin Costner) examines the collapse of society following EMP and biological attacks; and lastly, the world of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the basis for the film Blade Runner) has been decimated by radiation poisoning.

Cli-fi disaster scenarios have been popular for decades, but the global warming aspect of the genre has taken precedence over the last 25 years or so.

One of the more popular stories of the last 10-15 years is The Day After Tomorrow, which features scientist Dennis Quaid attempting, futilely, to persuade an overt Dick Cheney stand-in to “do something” before it’s “too late.”

The film plays on predictable stereotypes — that we’re all doomed unless we act now, and the GOP is comprised of science-hating Luddites and anti-immigrant racists … all the while the “science” that serves as the film’s basis is beyond ridiculous.

Conservatives/Republicans actually aren’t anti-science when it comes to climate change; indeed, they “suffer” from “solution aversion” — when “proposed solutions are ‘more aversive and more threatening to individuals'” than the problem itself.

For example, researchers at Duke found that when free market solutions were proposed to address climate change instead of government regulatory measures, the percentage of conservatives agreeing with statements about global temperature increase more than doubled.

(Note: the same researchers found that progressives suffer from the same malady: they will “deny facts and science too, when the popular solutions and implications are undesirable to them.”)

And hey, isn’t a healthy degree of skepticism a good thing? After all, does anyone recall how pollution and overpopulation were going to be the end of us? A lot of cli-fi from the late 1960s and 1970s proclaimed just this.

The novel Make Room! Make Room!, the foundation for the classic film Soylent Green, portrayed a ridiculously overcrowded New York City of the year 1999 (over 40 million people in the film), and while the film doesn’t specifically mention greenhouse gasses being responsible for the constant heat (I can’t recall if the book does), it does talk about man’s irresponsible use of natural resources and general pollution of the planet.

But the overpopulation worry never materialized despite warnings by folks like Paul R. Ehrlich, and the environment has actually gotten cleaner (excluding the new “pollutant” CO2, of course).

Still, those questioning agendas are often referred to as “rightwing climate denialists,” like this gent who reviewed the global warming novel The Water Knife.

If you’re interested in reading a climate apocalypse story with a 180-degree twist on global warming, get a copy of 1991’s Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn.

The novel envisions a world in which technology-averse “green” parties have assumed power, and have established strict environmental standards. These measures serve to accelerate the next ice age in which runaway glaciers are rapidly advancing southward.

I wonder if UC-Irvine would approve of this book …


Congress Needs to Fix FDA Vapor Rule

After a lengthy and heavily contested regulatory process, a final rule deeming vapor products to be subject to pervasive FDA regulation is currently in the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final review before it is published and takes effect this year.  Leaks of the purported final rule suggest it remains deeply flawed and will impose a draconian, one-size-fits-all model that risks disrupting the fast-growing vapor industry and denying access to products that pose vastly less health danger than conventional tobacco cigarettes.  Unfortunately, in the final negotiations over last year’s omnibus bill a provision addressing this issue was dropped, but that should not be the last word on the issue from Congress.

Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s top tobacco regulator, told Congress “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.”

Indeed, vapor products are displacing regular cigarettes.  The most recent data from the CDC show the percentage of the adult population that smokes has dropped six consecutive years, from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 14.9 percent in the first half of 2015. An estimated two million ex-smokers are using vapor products.

So we’re on the right track, and Zeller warned: “Let’s not lose our focus on what the primary cause is for those 480,000 avoidable deaths each year—it’s primarily burning, combusting cigarettes.”

Unfortunately, his agency is poised to do precisely that with its deeming rule.

“This is not really regulation. It’s prohibition,” says Boston University community health sciences professor Dr. Michael Siegel.

He’s referring to a feature of the rule that sets a grandfather date of February 15, 2007 – effectively denying grandfather status to nearly every vapor product on the market and forcing each to go through a lengthy approval process or be pulled from the market within 24 months.

That date and timeline were established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed by Congress in 2009 – and it grandfathered all but the very newest cigarette products.  By now deeming vapor products subject to regulation seven years later, the FDA is subjecting these safer products to more draconian regulation.

Jan Verleur, co-founder and CEO of VMR Products, a major manufacturer of vapor devices, said: “It’s essentially a death sentence for industry. It could be held up in litigation for many years.”

That’s only slight hyperbole.

Once the rule is final, manufacturers would be required to submit to the FDA, for each product, a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) or a Substantial Equivalence (SE) report.  The PMTA process is complex and expensive and would be challenging for all but the largest manufacturers – the major tobacco companies – to navigate.  The SE choice depends upon showing that a predicate product is already approved, but vapor technology is new and rapidly evolving, ruling this option out. The investment driving that innovation would be chilled by time and expense of submitting every product for regulatory approval – and the agency already has a substantial backlog.

The solutions are simple but will require Congress to act quickly, because the rule currently sits at OMB and could be published any day.  On the next appropriate must pass vehicle Congress should include language that either delays the rule completely or fixes its most egregious flaws – the imposition of an inappropriate grandfather date and an insufficient approval period.  Failure to do so will result in regulating vapor more strictly than cigarettes, destroying thousands of small businesses, and, tragically, likely increasing tobacco-related sickness and death.


Australia: Changes to Victoria's bush will have to be accepted under global warming: scientists

This is on the whole broadly sensible but it will be used to justify bans on almost all logging. So timber and paper will have to be almost wholly imported and local livelihoods will be affected in many areas

There will be no choice but to accept permanent changes to Victoria's beloved bushland as climate change worsens, some of the state's leading environmental scientists say.

Accepting those changes could force a rethink of how some areas are protected and restored in order to give Victoria's threatened wildlife species the best chances of survival in warmer conditions.

The need to accept change is one of the main findings of a landmark symposium that drew together research on the pressures global warming is placing on Victoria's unique plants and animals, and what might be done to protect them.

The results of the symposium, held last year, have been turned into a series of 10 measures that scientists say should be taken to lessen the climate blow on nature, which will be released online on Monday under the title VicNature 2050.

They include ramping up many traditional conservation efforts, such as eradicating pest threats, stopping habitat clearing, and the protecting of reserves. But there are limits, and another recommendation says, "we will have no choice but to accept more changes in natural areas than we are accustomed to".

"There is no simple answer. But accepting that some things are going to change is something that has not quite got across to a lot of people yet," Professor Ary Hoffmann, from the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, told Fairfax Media,.

"There is a mindset that has to shift, that all of a sudden we're not trying to revert things back to a pristine position."

One example raised was whether alpine ash trees should be continued to be reseeded in the Alpine National Park after bushfires, which become more frequent and intense in Victoria under many future climate change scenarios.

To replace dead trees after recent fires, authorities sowed 1800 hectares of alpine ash seeds. But needing 20 years to be fully established, questions were raised at the symposium about whether the same species should be reseeded again if another bushfire wiped the seedlings out.

Professor Hoffmann said that in areas where the alpine ash could still survive it should be protected and restored. But in some places, more fire-resilient tree species might need to be considered in the face of a more frequent fire threat, to ensure continued species habitat.

"We may have to accept the fact there is not much point trying to recreate that environment, and have a debate about what this area should look like so you are still preserving the ecosystem function of those areas," he said.

Evidence presented to the the symposium last year found climate change would by 2050 increase the average temperature of Victoria by 1.5 to 2.5 degrees. This would create similar climate conditions to Wagga Wagga.

Professor Andrew Bennett, an ecologist from La Trobe University and the Arthur Rylah​ Institute, said it was still important to ensure existing natural systems were as robust as possible, such as protection of vegetation and eradicating feral pests, to give threatened species the best chance under climate change.

For instance, he said his group's research had shown Victorian bird species had recovered better from the record-breaking millenium drought in areas with well vegetated streams and riversides as opposed to those which were cleared.

Professor Bennett said he took a cautious approach to adopting new wildlife species to prepare for future climates, and the first step should be trials in already cleared areas.

The "managing Victoria's biodiversity under climate change" symposium was organised by the Victorian National Parks Association, the Royal Society of Victoria and the University of Melbourne.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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