Friday, March 25, 2016

Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (‏@sarahinscience) makes a brave attempt to prove that  February heat was caused by CO2

There she is.  Isn't she gorgeous?  She looks fairly young -- which may be why she has stepped in where wiser heads have not.  She works in the climate change department of an Australian university.  There's good gravy in global warming for some.

Old campaigners like James Hansen and Michael Mann have claimed the February temperature uptick as a sign of anthropogenic global warming.  They admit that El Nino had something to do with it but just dismiss the El Nino contribution as "minimal" with a wave of the hand.  They don't argue for a particular number, as a real scientist would.

But Sarah has risen to the challenge.  She has attempted to give a figure for the El Nino influence!  And the way she does that is fine in principle.  She takes the rise due to El Nino in 1998 and uses that to reduce the 2016 figure.  So she gives a quarter of one degree as the El Nino contribution -- which still leaves a fair bit of warming available for explanation as caused by a CO2 rise.

Just how your derive the 1998 figure for the influence of El Nino is not totally clearcut.  It depends on what you compare the 1998 figure with.  But I will not cavil about that.  I just want to point out the observed warming COULD NOT have been caused by a CO2 rise.  Why?  Because CO2 did not rise in the relevant period.  Cape Grim shows CO2 levels stuck on 398 ppm for the whole period of late 2015 and early 2016.  Sorry, Sarah!  You should have looked that up.

Now it may not be El Nino only that caused the temperature rise.  There are other possible natural factors that could have had an effect. And Sarah points to one:  The Arctic.  She is enough of a scientist to know that melting sea ice does not raise the water level but she points out that less ice may lead to more heat absorption from the sun.  Fair enough.

But what caused the Arctic melt?  In the absence of a CO2 rise we know it cannot be that.  It was partly El Nino and partly subsurface vulcanism, probably.  A few years back it was  discovered that there was furious underwater volcanic activity in the Arctic, particularly along the Gakkel ridge.  But volcanoes are uneven in their eruptions so they should give rise in random ways to melting in the ice above them.  And that accounts for the uneven pattern of Arctic melting and its lack of synchrony with temperatures elsewhere.  But Warmists act as if the volcanoes cause NO melting.  They need to be that crooked.

And here's some other pesky news 2015 was only the SECOND hottest year on record for Europe.  They must not have got much effect from El Nino -- which is as you expect.  Europe is a long way from the Pacific, where El Nino reigns.  Give up, Sarah!  What you have been taught is WRONG.  You are living off a lie!

Most people know by now that last month was the hottest February since modern records began. It was also the hottest overall month on record, and by the largest margin.

The global average temperature anomaly was 1.35ºC above the 1951–80 average and 1.21ºC above the entire twentieth-century average. For temperatures over land, the deviation almost doubles to a whopping 2.31ºC above the twentieth-century average. Other records broken by February 2016 include the fact that it was the tenth consecutive month in which the global average monthly record was broken and that it completed the hottest three-month period on record (December 2015 to February 2016).

Normally, climate scientists don’t get too anxious over a single month; our blood pressure tends to rise a bit more when record-breaking temperature anomalies are consistently smashed. But February is a special case – not only did it set a new record in an increasingly concerning upwards trend, but the magnitude of the record is terrifying.

So what led to this monster of a month?

First, let’s take a look at the possible influence of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. The 2015–16 El Niño was one of the earliest and strongest on record, easily comparable to its brother in 1997–98. At the global level, El Niños can cause measurable increases in temperature. We saw this in 1998, in our hottest year on record at the time: thanks to climate change, 1998 would have been a warm year without the El Niño, but the record set would have been smaller.

While the latest El Niño is weakening, its legacy is likely to have had a similar effect on our most recent hottest year on record (2015) and the monster February – increasing the anomaly by just a little bit more than what climate change could achieve on its on. But there is no possible way that an observed El Niño, however strong, could solely explain such a huge monthly temperature deviation. Past El Niños have only intensified global average temperatures by up to 0.25ºC, though the measured influence is usually smaller.

The second factor is the state of the Arctic, where the sea ice extent was more than 7 per cent below the 1981–2010 average, and the ice coverage the smallest since records began in 1979. Over relatively short timescales (monthly-seasonal) a lack of sea ice drives up temperatures. Ocean water is much darker than ice, so radiation from the sun that is normally reflected by the sea ice is absorbed, thus increasing temperatures.

Over longer timescales (years and decades), this sea ice/temperature interaction drives itself – increasing temperatures melt more ice, driving further increases in temperature – through a process known as a positive feedback. Record-low Arctic sea ice during February 2016 and the associated extreme temperatures are consistent with the positive feedback interaction triggered by anthropogenic climate change.

This basic physical interaction drove regional temperatures to well over 11.5ºC warmer than the 1951–80 average. These alarmingly warm conditions were not just confined to the Arctic waters. Because of the influence of sea ice (or the lack of it) on atmospheric circulation, similar temperature extremes were measured well south of the Arctic Circle – over Northern Europe, Russia, Alaska and western Canada.


Arctic ice variations in February

Warmists have made much of the low levels of Arctic ice last February. And within the years examined, it WAS low.  But HOW low was it?  Not much lower than several previous years.  The graph below helps to show how close the various years have been to one another

Bigger graph here

The extent seen in February 2016 was 14.22 million sq km. This is definitely below the 1981- 2010 average by 1.16 million sq km, but only 200,000 sq km below the previous low for that month which was set in 2005.

This means that another headline for the same story could have been that this February’s ice extent is essentially the same as it was a decade ago!


Analysis Finds No Correlation Between Glacier Melt And CO2, Melting Much Slower Today Than 1930s!

According to the below graph (Fig. 2 a) found in Gregory et al., 2013 in Journal of Climate (“Twentieth-Century Global-Mean Sea Level Rise: Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of the Parts?”), there was a very substantial increase in the glacier and ice sheet melt contribution to sea level rise in the early 20th century, reaching up to 2 mm/year sea level rise equivalent.

In recent years, the documented rise in sea levels contributed from glacier and ice sheet melt has not come close to reaching the high levels attained during the 1920s and 1930s period as documented by Gregory et al., 2013.

For example according to Shepherd et al., 2012 (see below), the total ice sheet melt contribution from the Antarctic (AIS) and Greenland (GIS) ice sheets combined was 0.59 mm/year (~2.3 inches per century) during the 1992-2011 period and the total ice sheet or glacier melt from all other land sources (not the AIS or GIS) was 0.41 mm/year (~1.6 inches per century) for 2003 to 2010 according to Jacob et al., 2012 (see below).

Together, the total melt contribution from global land ice was about 1 mm/year (~4 inches per century) through the first decade of the 21st century, which is still well below the melt rates achieved during the 1920s and 1930s.

Interestingly, during the 1920s to 1930s period of very high glacier melt rate contributions to sea level rise, human CO2 emissions were flat and only averaged about 1 GtC/year (see graph below).

In contrast, during the 1990s to 2010/2011 period, CO2 emissions rates reached 6 to 9 GtC/year.

Unanswered question

If anthropogenic CO2 emissions are truly driving ice sheet and glacier melt contributions to sea level rise, why was the melt contribution significantly higher during the 1920s and 1930s when CO2 emissions rates were flat and about 1/6th to 1/9th of what they’ve been in recent years?

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Ozone hole a non-existent problem

That's what the academic journal article below implies

Latitudinally Weighted Mean Global Ozone 1979-2015

Jamal Munshi

Mean global total ozone is estimated as the latitudinally weighed average of total ozone measured by the TOMS and OMI satellite mounted ozone measurement devices for the periods 1979-1992 and 2005-2015 respectively. The TOMS dataset shows ozone depletion at a rate of 0.62 DU per year on average from 1979 to 1992. The OMI dataset shows ozone accretion at a rate of 0.48 DU per year on average from 2005 to 2015. The conflicting and inconsequential OLS trends may be explained in terms of the random variability of nature and the Hurst phenomenon. These findings are inconsistent with the Rowland-Molina theory of ozone destruction by anthropogenic chemical agents because the theory implies continued and dangerous depletion of total ozone on a global scale until the year 2040.


How Global Water Shortages Threaten Jobs and Growth

Ho Hum!  This old chestnut again.  Israel has basically a desert climate but it is now a water superpower.  It has ample water. And no miracle about it.  They just used existing technology intelligently.  The whole world could do the same.

And the galoots below are overlooking the obvious.  Global warming would evaporate more water off the oceans, which would come down as increased rainfall.  Do they believe in global warming or not?

An estimated three out of four jobs globally are dependent on water, meaning that shortages and lack of access are likely to limit economic growth in the coming decades, the United Nations said.

"There is a direct effect on jobs worldwide if there are disruptions in water supply through natural causes, such as droughts, or if water doesn't get to communities because of infrastructure problems," said Richard Connor, the report's editor-in-chief.

Demand for water is expected to increase by 2050 as the world's population is forecast to grow by one-third to more than 9 billion, according to the United Nations.

This in turn will lead to a 70 percent increase in demand for food, putting more pressure on water through farming, which is already the biggest consumer of water.

As climate change contributes to rising sea levels and extreme weather, at least one in four people will live in a country with chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water by 2050, the United Nations estimates, making it more important to focus on expanding rainwater harvesting and recycling wastewater.

Connor said funding for projects was still often based on "investment in pumps and pipes" rather than a more holistic view, taking into account water's key role in building a sustainable economy as part of the new global development goals.

More investment in renewable energy such as solar and wind, which use very little water, is also crucial in reducing demand for water, Connor said.


BLM Cancels Long-Standing Oil and Gas Leases in Montana; ‘Every Lease At Risk,’ Critics Say

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced last week the cancellation of a long-standing oil and gas exploration lease on federal land in Montana.

Louisiana-based Solenex LLC has held the lease since the early 1980s in a remote area of Montana’s Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, where oil and gas leasing has since been banned by the federal government.

The Department of the Interior (DOI), of which BLM is a part, said in a March 17 press release that it has the authority to cancel leases.

“In 1982, absent of tribal consultation and a thorough review of environmental and cultural studies, the U.S Forest Service granted 47 oil and gas permit leases in and around the Badger-Two Medicine area,” a press release issued on March 17 stated.

“For over two decades the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and many non-Native conservation and historical preservation groups have sought the cancellation of these permit leases,” it stated.

“While a number of these leases were subsequently cancelled through Congressional action and other measures, the Blackfeet Tribe has sought the cancellation of the remaining leases that would cause irreparable damage to Badger-Two Medicine,” BLM added.

But critics of the cancellation said the unilateral move by a federal agency puts all such leases at risk.

"It's a sad day in the United States when a government agency can unilaterally cancel a paid mineral lease especially after numerous approved exploration permits had previously been issued,” Alan Olson, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association, said in a March 17 statement. “The current federal administration is going out of their way to decimate the natural resource industries in this state as well as the nation.”

“They just put every oil and gas lease at risk,” Steve Lecher, attorney for Solenex LLC, told the Great Falls Tribune. “If you can cancel one oil and gas lease after 32 years what makes any lease safe?”

The Solenex lease cancellation is the culmination of a longstanding effort by the Blackfeet Tribe and environmental groups to cease exploration in the Badger-Two Medicine area, which was once part of the Blackfeet reservation until it was ceded to the federal government in 1896, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

“To the Blackfeet, [the land is] the ‘Backbone of the World’ where they were created, and associated with culturally important spirits, heroes and historic figures central to Blackfeet religion and traditional practices,” the Great Falls Tribune story stated. “Today, it’s part of a designated Traditional Cultural District.”

“Today’s cancellation of the lease held by Solonex LLC signifies a major victory in the tribe’s 34-year struggle to protect this sacred place from development that would have caused irreparable damage to the Badger-Two Medicine,” Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), said in the DOI press release.

NCAI began working with the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana in early 2016 and wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging the cancellation of any oil and gas leases, the press release stated.

The Great Falls Tribune reported that Solenex is deciding whether to challenge the decision.



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