Friday, April 01, 2016

Warmists now predicting the future 500 years from now

Ludicrous.  They've yet to get a prophecy right. It's just fantasy

Predictions about rising sea levels were already pretty dire, but the situation may have just got worse thanks to a climatological calculation oversight.

Previous estimates of global sea level rises may have underestimated the problem by half because they failed to incorporate the full effects of factors including the break-up of ice sheets.

Scientists claim that earlier predictions about the next 100 years, made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), are wrong and the actual rise could be around 5ft (1.5 metres).

Experts are warning that the oversight could prove disastrous for low lying coastal cities, such as Miami in the US, or Guangzhou in China.

The stark warning comes from climate scientists Professor Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, and Dr David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, writing in the journal Nature.

Mechanisms that were previously known about, but never incorporated into a computer model, radically changed the outcome of their projections.

DeConto and Pollard's study was motivated by reconstructions of past sea level rises including the inter-glacial period around 125,000 years ago and warm intervals, such as the Pliocene, around 3 million years ago.

High sea levels then, they said, imply that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is highly sensitive to climate warming.

'In the past, when global average temperatures were only slightly warmer than today, sea levels were much higher.' explained DeConto.

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet can only explain a fraction of this, and the rest must have been caused by retreat on Antarctica.

The scientists developed a new ice sheet climate model that includes 'previously under-appreciated processes' which emphasise the importance of future atmospheric warming around Antarctica.

These include the effects of surface melt water on the break-up of ice shelves, and the collapse of vertical ice cliffs.

By focusing on the boundary between the ice and the seas - namely glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland - DeConto and Pollard showed that instability of ice sheets and ice cliffs could be an important contributor to past and future ice retreat, leading to creeping sea levels.

They predict that Antarctica alone could contribute more than one metre of sea-level rise by the year 2100, and greater than 50ft (15 metres) by 2500 if atmospheric emissions continue unabated.

In this scenario, atmospheric warming will become the dominant driver of ice loss, rather than ocean warming.

The new estimate includes the new processes in the 3D ice sheet model, and was made by testing these against records of past high sea levels.

Scientists warn that, if substantial amounts of ice are lost, the long 'thermal memory' of the ocean will be curtailed and this will, in turn, inhibit the ice sheet's recovery for thousands of years.

'Research has focused on the role of the ocean, melting floating ice shelves from below. It is often overlooked that the major ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas are also vulnerable to atmospheric warming,' the paper said.

'Today, summer temperatures are around 0˚C (32˚F) on many shelves, and due to their flat surfaces near sea level, little atmospheric warming would be needed to dramatically surface melting.'

If these protective ice shelves were suddenly lost, the researchers argue, exposed ice cliffs would quickly fail - exposing the huge ice sheet behind, with disastrous consequences.

[It's all just uncheckable theory]


Scientist was defunded for publishing inconvenient research results about CO2

Charles David Keeling (1928-2005) became famous for setting up a worldwide network of CO2 measurement stations that demonstrated annual increases of CO2 in the air.  The iconic Keeling curve, representing CO2 concentrations since 1958, is Exhibit One in every climate-related presentation, and one of the very few accurate and reliable datasets in climatology.  Ralph Keeling, his son, is continuing his work as CO2 Program Director in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.

In September 2011 Ralph Keeling and his co-authors published results of their research, showing that the biosphere absorbs carbon dioxide much faster than was assumed in the IPCC texts. The article was very technical and used non-confrontational language.  A direct quote:

"Our analysis shows a rapid recovery from El Niño events, implying a shorter cycling time of CO2 with respect to the terrestrial biosphere and oceans than previously estimated. Our analysis suggests that current estimates of global gross primary production, of 120 petagrams of carbon per year, may be too low, and that a best guess of 150–175 petagrams of carbon per year better reflects the observed rapid cycling of CO2. Although still tentative, such a revision would present a new benchmark by which to evaluate global biospheric carbon cycling models"

This was a very significant result, because higher gross primary production means higher net primary production and a higher CO2 sink rate.  What happened next was not surprising:  the Obama Administration defunded Keeling for these research results, because they contradicted the climate alarmism line.

More precisely, the NSF defunded Keeling’s oxygen measurements even before the publication, in 2009–2010, probably after learning about the preliminary results.  Other agencies joined the boycott later.

See Nature, November 2013, Budget crunch hits Keeling’s curves ∙ Scientist struggles to maintain long-standing carbon dioxide record and more recent atmospheric-oxygen monitor.  This “budget crunch” was a lie.  The budgets of every research or study supporting or appearing to support the alarm have been skyrocketing in the last 7 years.  From the Nature’s article:

Late last month, officials at California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography turned to Twitter seeking donations to maintain the iconic ‘Keeling curve’, a 55-year record of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. …

The complement to the Keeling curve is Ralph Keeling’s atmospheric-oxygen record, which NOAA does not replicate. …

Keeling says that he received around US $700,000 annually for the CO2 programme through paired support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) until three years ago, when the NSF halted funding. With staff cuts, he has been able to maintain operations with a budget of around $350,000.

The NSF claims that it could not find $700,000 in its nearly $7 Billion budget, a huge chunk of which was dedicated to climate studies. Their pants must be on fire.

The primary target of the defunding was the oxygen isotopes record, which allowed Keeling and colleagues to make those inconvenient conclusions about the increased primary production.  But CO2 measurements suffered as well.  In particular, at least some CO2 samples were collected but not analyzed.  Yes, the CO2 measurements reported in 2011-2014 might have been of inferior quality, because the scientific establishment was punishing Ralph Keeling for doing inconvenient scientific research.

In the end, the Schmidt Foundation threw Keeling a few crumbs to continue CO2 (but not O2) measurements, apparently on the condition that he repent and participate in the alarmist propaganda. As announced on the Scripps website, September 2014 (my emphasis):


Supports continued operation of the iconic measurement series

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego today announced that Wendy and Eric Schmidt have provided a grant that will support continued operation of the renowned Keeling Curve measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The grant provides $500,000 over five years to support the operations of the Scripps CO2 Group, which maintains the Keeling Curve.

CO2 Group Director Ralph Keeling said the grant will make it possible for his team to restore atmospheric measurements that had been discontinued because of a lack of funding, address a three-year backlog of samples that have been collected but not analyzed, and enhance outreach efforts that educate the public about the role carbon dioxide plays in climate.

A three-year backlog of samples!  E pur si muove.

Recently, independent research has confirmed increased activity of the biosphere as a carbon dioxide sink.  Further, it became known that IPCC has been intentionally misleading public about carbon cycle.


New York’s AG Suggest Jailing Global Warming Skeptics?

New York’s Democratic attorney general (AG) made a chilling suggestion at an event he co-hosted this week: harsher penalties beyond fines for groups allegedly misleading the public on global warming.

“Financial damages alone may be insufficient,” Eric Schneiderman said during the event in New York City Tuesday. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

It’s unclear if Schneiderman meant those “misleading” the public on global warming should be thrown in jail or maybe just do community service — though it’s doubtful community service would be more “sufficient” than financial damages.

Schneiderman was joined by more than a dozen attorneys general from Democratic states, some of whom promised to join New York in investigating ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading the public about global warming. Former Vice President Al Gore even showed up to apparently show how serious state prosecutors are about the issue.

Schneiderman’s conference comes after the liberal AG launched an investigation into whether or not Exxon was accurately portraying to shareholders the risks global warming poses to the company’s operations. The New York AG’s office recently settled a probe into Peabody Energy, a coal company, for the same thing.

The investigation was prompted by reports by InsideClimate News and Columbia University alleging Exxon was misleading the public about global warming. The stories claim to show how Exxon knew oil production would make global warming worse, but continued to conduct business and fund groups skeptical of global warming regulations.


Global warming makes  luxury cruise through the Northwest Passage possible (?)

It would be more accurate to say that having an icebreaker sail ahead makes the cruise possible.  And even with that they are scared stiff

This summer, the Crystal Cruises' Serenity — the largest passenger cruise ship ever to attempt to navigate through the treacherous waters of the famed Northwest Passage — will depart from Seward, Alaska on August 16, bound for New York City via the top of North America.

The voyage is sold out, according to Paul Garcia, the chief spokesman for the cruise line.

“In terms of guest capacity, we would be the most guests to go through the Arctic in one vessel,” Garcia told Mashable. He said there is already "strong interest" in the planned 2017 cruise.

The Serenity's planned voyage presents significant challenges for search and rescue agencies that would be tasked with responding to any incidents at sea, particularly since the ship will be operating in remote locations and in harsh weather conditions.

To make things more interesting, it will also be traversing relatively uncharted waters and ice-covered seas.

In terms of leisure travel, only small expeditions — like Quark Expeditions and Polar Cruises — have taken on the Northwest Passage.

Companies like Crystal Cruises are taking the opportunity to pioneer expeditions that would have been deemed impossible just a decade ago. Until 2007, the Northwest Passage had never been considered ice-free in all of human history.

On Monday, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced that sea ice reached a record low wintertime extent after a bizarrely mild winter affected nearly the entire Arctic. This could set up the sea ice for a record melt in the summer, though this is not a guarantee.

Although Crystal Cruises, along with other companies, are intent on navigating the passage for profit, it's not a given that the route will be open for business even in milder-than-average summers.

The passage is unlike other maritime choke points like the Suez Canal or Strait of Malacca. It is not a clearly marked channel, but rather a loosely defined waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean through North American Arctic waters. For example, the Passage includes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which contains 36,000 islands.

Even though sea ice cover across the Arctic Ocean is dwindling year-by-year, studies show there could still be enough sea ice present in the Northwest Passage to render the route infeasible for reliable navigation for another four decades.

A study published in 2015 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, for example, found considerable amounts of thick ice present in the Northwest Passage, with cooler-than-average air temperatures compared to other parts of the Arctic at that time.

As added insurance, the Serenity will be accompanied by an escort ship that will have a helicopter on board to look for ice ahead of the ship's course. This ship will also serve as an icebreaker.

Paul Garcia, director of public relations for Crystal Cruises, said the escort vessel will be capable of clearing the way for Serenity if it were to encounter significant ice floes.

“I can assure you it is a vessel that has the highest icebreaking capabilities,” Garcia said about the escort ship, noting that the contract for its use in 2016 has not yet been finalized.

“It is no stranger to the Arctic region," he said. “We’re taking all precautionary measures to make sure it is a safe voyage.”

There have already been several close calls involving passenger ships in the Arctic. In 1996, the cruise ship Hanseatic ran aground in the Simpson Strait, forcing an evacuation of 153 passengers.

In 2010, the vessel Clipper Adventurer ran aground in the Coronation Gulf of the Northwest Passage with 118 passengers and 69 crew aboard. It was rescued by a Canadian ice breaker which happened to be deployed relatively close to the vessel at the time.

The Northwest Passage offers few easy options for safe passage of a large ship like the Serenity. The so-called southern passage includes several narrow, shallow waterways that pose dangers for large cruise vessels, whereas the northern route, which tends to have more ice even at the end of the summer melt season, is more suitable for larger ships.

According to NASA, the northern route was considered mostly ice-filled for the sake of navigation during most of the 2015 melt season, despite the southern route's mostly ice-free status.

The Crystal Serenity weighs 68,870 tons and is 820 feet long, making it a challenge to navigate in the narrow, ice-choked waters that can be found even at the end of the summer melt season in the region.

And Crystal Cruises is requiring all passengers to purchase at least $50,000 in emergency evacuation repatriation insurance in order to participate in the cruise, due to the high cost of medical evacuations from Arctic waters.

The cruise company says it will be taking steps to minimize air and water pollution during the voyage, and enhanced safety measures including putting more trained personnel in ice avoidance techniques on the ship's bridge.

In addition, the cruise line says it is putting two ice searchlights, a high-resolution radar and other equipment on board the Serenity to search for underwater obstructions or uncharted rocks. Maritime charts in parts of the Arctic are considered to be unreliable because there have been so few ships transiting that area before.


17 State Attorneys General Form Coalition 'to Protect and Expand’ Climate Change Agenda

Seventeen attorney generals from around the United States have formed a coalition “to protect and expand progress the nation has made in combating climate change” in a first of its kind partnership of law enforcement officials.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he would be joining the coalition in a press release Tuesday.

“Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York and William Sorrell of Vermont co-sponsored the meeting, with attorneys general George Jepsen of Connecticut, Brian E. Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, and Claude Walker of the US Virgin Islands in attendance, along with former Vice President and leading climate activist Al Gore, and representatives from a total of 17 state attorneys general offices,” the release says.

"With gridlock and dysfunction gripping Washington on the generation-defining issue of climate change, it is up to the states to lead. We stand ready to defend the next president's climate change agenda and vow to fight any efforts to roll-back the meaningful progress we've made over the past eight years," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "And our offices will begin working together on important state-level initiatives, such as investigations into whether fossil fuel companies are misleading their investors about how climate change will impact their investments, fossil fuel companies, and our planet."

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said, "Climate changes poses an existential threat to Maryland and to (the) nation. I am proud to join with my colleagues across the country in this important collaboration, and am willing to use every tool at our collective disposal to protect our air, our water and our natural resources. The pledge we are making today can help insure a cleaner and safer future."

Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia filed a brief to the DC Circuit Court in support of the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda. It seeks a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector nationwide by 2030. The U.S. Supreme Court has delayed implementation while the D.C. Circuit court considers challenges.


Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work

As every 10-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “it’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.

The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity; they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)

Here’s the story so far. Ivanpah…

is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource, who have a market cap in excess of $500 billion.

received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy.

is paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural gas-powered plants.

is paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers.

has burned thousands of birds to death.

has delayed loan repayments.

is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans.

burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going.

Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those who don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output is the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine-percent drop in sunshine causes a 32-percent drop in production.

More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Sorry, let’s not be haters.

The problem for Ivanpah’s customers (California power utilities) is that they planned on all those solar watt-hours to meet California’s renewable power mandates, which require that renewables produce a large and rising fraction of California’s electricity. That is why they pay so much more for Ivanpah’s output than for conventionally powered electricity.

Breaching their contracts with these California utilities threatened to shut down Ivanpah. More likely than permanently shutting Ivanpah down would have been a change of ownership at a price that came closer to reflecting reality.

But this would have been bothersome for Ivanpah’s investors and the Department of Energy’s ridiculous Section 1703 Loan Program, so the California Public Utilities Commission saved the day (for the fat-cat owners, of course, not for actual the electricity consumers) by granting the company an extension to meet the production targets.

The best part of the ruling is the section on the cost—it’s pretty succinct.

Here it is in its entirety:


But hey, Ivanpah’s plant is a shiny new technological marvel. That’s what counts, right?



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