Friday, May 27, 2016

20th century global warming may have been due to decreasing aroma from trees

The finding below are particularly interesting in the aftermath of Munshi's demonstration that the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT of anthropogenic origin. So therefore anthropogenic CO2 emissions CANNOT explain the slight degree of global warming seen in C20. So what does explain it? The best explanation so far is Svensmark's theory that variations cosmic rays reaching earth affect cloud formation and that earth was substantially shielded from such rays by enhanced solar activity in C20.

The finding below builds on that and looks at another factor that could affect cloud formation.  It finds that aromatic output from trees can encourage clouds.  So the extensive deforestation that occurred during C20 could have reduced clouds and caused some warming.  Now that deforestation has on a global scale run most of its course, therefore, we should have a C21 temperature stasis -- which is exactly what we do have.  We may have seen the complete end of a warming period

What I say above is just an attempt to put in layman's terms what Lubos Motl says below.  My apologies to Lubos if he thinks he had already done that

CLOUD, the experiment that measures the birth of clouds at CERN, has released new papers:

CLOUD has done lots of measurements of the processes that are needed to create clouds which, as many kids have noticed, usually cool down the weather.

The experiment has been taking place at CERN because the cosmic rays (emulated by the CERN's sources of beams) are important for the creation of the cloud (condensation) nuclei. Even in the new papers, cosmic rays are found to increase the nucleation rate by 1-2 orders of magnitude.

Recall that the Sun's activity may influence the cosmic ray flux, and therefore its variations may be responsible for "climate change". Svensmark's theory generally argues that a stronger solar activity means a more perfect shielding of the cosmic rays, therefore less cloudiness, and therefore warmer weather.

However, the focus of the new papers is on something else than the cosmic rays: the molecules that should be present for the cloud nuclei to emerge and surpass the critical mass.

It's been generally thought that the sulfuric acid was almost necessary. Chimneys (or volcano eruptions etc.) should increase cloudiness. However, there have been inconclusive hints in some papers that some organic molecules are enough. You may have worried: How could have the clouds existed in the past, before the chimneys were built?

Jasper Kirkby and collaborators have found out that the molecules known as "aroma of the trees" may indeed do the same job and that is decisive in the pristine environments without chimneys.

More precisely, the molecules that can do the job are the "highly oxygenated molecules" (HOMs) which are produced by ozonolysis of α-pinene. The lesson for "global warming" seems clear: deforestation may decrease the amount of aroma from the trees, and therefore the amount of clouds, and it may therefore lead to global warming.

This may be the explanation of the changes in the 20th century and because the deforestation is over, so may be "global warming".


Season Approaches: U.S. Hits Record 127 Months Since Major Hurricane Strike

With hurricane season set to start next week, Tuesday marks a record 127 months since a major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division, which keeps data on all the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. since 1851.

The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the U.S. mainland was  Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

Although a major hurricane typically strikes the U.S. about once every two years, no major hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. for more than 10 and a half years.

The second longest stretch between major hurricane strikes was between the major hurricane that struck in August 1860 and the one that struck in September 1869, NOAA records show. The third longest stretch was between the major hurricane that struck in September 1900 and the one that struck in October 1906.

Wilma was one of four major hurricanes – including Hurricanes Dennis (July 10, 2005), Katrina (Aug. 29, 2005) and Rita (Sept. 24, 2005) - that came ashore in the U.S. during the 2005 hurricane season. (The season starts on June 1 and runs through November 30.)

Hurricanes Wilma, Rita and Katrina killed almost 4,000 people and caused an estimated $160 billion in damage that year, making it “one of the most active hurricane seasons in recorded history,” NOAA said in a statement marking the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 hurricane season.

Because of the massive death and destruction caused by Wilma, Rita, Katrina and Dennis, their names have been retired by the National Weather Service.

“On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season,” according to NOAA.

“Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater)” on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Such storms are capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

The current drought in major hurricane activity is a “rare event” that occurs only once every 177 years, according to a study published last year by researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) entitled The Frequency and Duration of U.S. Hurricane Droughts.

NOAA’s official “2016 hurricane season outlook will be issued on May 27th,” Dr. Gerry Bell, hurricane climate specialist at the agency’s Climate Prediction Center, told

However, there is a chance the 127-month record will be broken this year with the decline of the 2015-2016 El Nino, a warming of the ocean surface, that was one of the three strongest on record. There is a 75 percent chance of a transition to La Nina, a cooling of the ocean surface, by this fall, according to NOAA.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist and hurricane specialist at the University of Colorado, tweeted that based on data going back to 1878, major hurricane activity is more likely to happen during the La Ninas that follow El Ninos.

According to The Weather Channel, last winter’s El Nino “played a significant suppressing role in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season…. The odds may shift a bit toward a more active Atlantic hurricane season in 2016, but El Nino’s absence doesn’t guarantee that outcome.”

An analysis of five hurricane seasons following strong El Ninos found that the number of Category 3 or above hurricanes ranged from one (1973,1983) to five (1958).

In a statement on its website last year, NOAA expressed concern that the “unprecedented stretch” between major hurricanes could induce Americans living in coastal areas to suffer from “hurricane amnesia” and not be adequately prepared for the next hurricane strike.

“It only takes one storm to change your life and community,” warned a NOAA website for this month’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, which lists seven steps “to prepare for a potential landfalling tropical storm or hurricane” accompanied by storm surges and heavy rainfall.

“Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States,” according to NOAA. “Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities during landfalling tropical cyclones.”

President Obama, so far, is the only president since Benjamin Harrison not to have a major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. during his term. Harrison, whose term of office did not include a major hurricane strike, served from 1889 to 1893.


'Climate Change Inquisition' Backtracks, but Fight Isn't Over

Some good news, some not-so-good news. The witch hunt launched by “AGs United for Clean Power” against organizations espousing views incredulous toward man-made global warming suffered somewhat of a setback this week after the group rescinded a DC-based subpoena targeting the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, the original subpoena has not been dropped, which leaves the possibility of an unconstitutional prosecution of CEI and other like-minded associates still very much in play.

According to the CEI, “Following the pledge in a May 13 letter to CEI’s attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker (AG Walker) has withdrawn the District of Columbia subpoena action against the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), yet the original Virgin Islands subpoena remains, meaning AG Walker can move at any moment to continue his unconstitutional intimidation campaign against the free market group and others who oppose his view of climate change. CEI’s motion for sanctions against AG Walker is pending in court and the group continues its pushback against the AG’s wrongdoing.”

In April, Heritage Foundation fellows Hans von Spakovsky and Cole Wintheiser astutely branded the anti-free speech assault the “American Climate Change Inquisition” — a harrowing throwback to the Spanish Inquisition that “systematically silenced any citizen who held views that did not align with the king’s.” The rule of law will hopefully quash the modern day Climate Change Inquisition once and for all. But for now, groups like CEI and still being held hostage.


Obama Raided $500M for Zika to Finance UN’s Green Climate Fund

Last week, the Senate passed legislation to address and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. However, the Senate failed to pay for it, and instead approved a $1.1 billion “emergency” spending supplemental bill that is not subject to the budgetary caps that were agreed to last year.

While congressional inattention to the budget crisis is inexcusable, it is even more disturbing that the Obama administration already has the authority to pay for a Zika response from existing agency budgets, but chose not to.

I’ve said several times on the Senate floor, over the last two weeks, that the Zika virus is a serious threat and should be dealt with responsibly by funding immediate vaccine research and aggressive mosquito population control.

The threat to adults from Zika is relatively small, but the threat to pre-born children is very high. Our national priority rightly focuses on protecting the life of these young children in the womb, since each child has value, no matter their age or size.

But an international medical emergency has now become a U.S. budget emergency, a major debt crisis that will impact our children as well.

If there was a way to both respond to Zika and prevent new debt spending, wouldn’t it be reasonable to do that? The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and International Assistance Programs currently have about $80 billion in unobligated funds.

A small fraction of this could be reprogrammed and redirected to respond to the Zika emergency and not add any additional debt to our nation’s children. This is exactly the type of authority the Obama administration asked for in 2009 during the height of the H1N1 virus scare.

This is not a partisan idea, it is a reasonable one in light of the medical emergency and the financial reality of our nation.

In a floor speech last week, I also shed light on the fact that Congress last December provided the Obama administration with authority to pull money from bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries.

You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year? You guessed it… climate change.

They can use those funds to combat infectious diseases, if the administration believed there is an infectious disease emergency. In the middle of the Zika epidemic, the administration did use their authority to pull money from foreign aid and spend it, but they didn’t use it for Zika.

You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year?

You guessed it… climate change.

In March, President Obama gave the United Nations $500 million out of an account under bilateral economic assistance to fund the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund last year, so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority.

While I understand that intelligent people can disagree on the human effects on the global climate, it is hard to imagine a reason why the administration would prioritize the U.N. Green Climate Fund over protecting the American people, especially pregnant women, from the Zika virus.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

So, the administration found a way to offend our ally Israel, delay the Zika response and, if Congress allows him, add another billion dollars to our national debt.

The U.N. Green Climate Fund is connected to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an affiliated organization of the United Nations.

The UNFCCC recently accepted the “State of Palestine” as a signatory, which should trigger a U.S. funding prohibition. U.S. law forbids any taxpayer dollars to fund international organizations that recognize “Palestine” as a sovereign state.

So, the administration found a way to offend our ally Israel, delay the Zika response and, if Congress allows him, add another billion dollars to our national debt. That is a busy month.

The White House should not throw money at the U.N. while a vaccine for a virus known to cause severe, debilitating neurological birth defects is put on the back burner.

Zika is an important international crisis, but every crisis does not demand new “emergency funding” that is all debt. If there is a way to avoid more debt, we should take that option, it is what every family and every business does every day.


Canada:Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse

The climate activist group,, released a video on May 18 which starts:

“The Canadian government has announced it will work with provinces, territories, First Nations, and people across the country to develop a national climate strategy by the end of 2016 to determine how Canada will tackle climate change in the upcoming years.”

That sounds fine, as long as the “people across Canada” includes experts who actually understand the field, namely, scientists, economists, and engineers, regardless of whether they side with political correctness on the issue or not continues, “During May and June, the government has asked Members of Parliament to hold public consultations for this climate strategy with the constituents in their ridings.”

This is OK as well, as long as the consultations are done in such a way as to encourage a broad range of public input, not just what the government and climate activists find convenient. The recent climate consultation by the Government of Ontario was highly biased and a good example of what the federal government must avoid if their town hall consultations are to be seen as anything other than pep rallies.

“This process will offer a one in a generation opportunity for people to call for an ambitious national climate strategy,” continues

Well, yes, if people think Canada actually needs a national strategy. Since different regions may be affected by climate change in quite different ways, strategies specific to one region may make no sense in other regions. It is only if one accepts the need for national greenhouse gas emission reductions that a national strategy would seem to make sense, and, of course, such an idea is not shared by many Canadians. then says that they will be speaking out at the town halls in favour of the “People’s Climate Plan,” which aims to keep the majority of fossil fuel reserves in the ground and “builds a 21st century economy run 100% on renewable energy by 2050.”

Again, in a free society, is entitled to promote their viewpoints, regardless of whether it makes sense, or as many engineers and scientists maintain, is dangerously irrational. So, it is important that those of us who do not support the climate change plans of and their fellow climate activists attend and speak out at climate change public consultations.

In asking for public input on the government’s plans, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said, “The climate challenge cannot be resolved by government alone. That is why we need your help. We need your ideas and solutions. And we need everyone to be engaged in this national effort. Thank you for participating. I look forward to your ideas.”

This sounds encouraging. Indeed, even says in their video, “We’ll organize to demand that our MPs hold fair and inclusive consultations in our ridings.”

But then warns, “Next, we’ll fill up the room during government consultations with people from our local communities in support of the ‘People’s Climate Plan.’”

“And then, before the climate strategy is unveiled in the Fall, we’ll mobilize en-mass to hold the government accountable for taking bold, and ambitious, climate action.”

Many Canadians will find it intimidating to speak out in opposition to such organized and aggressive activism. Yet, the approach is still acceptable in a free society, provided the government controls the agenda and McKenna’s apparently welcoming approach is actually carried out in practice at public consultations.

But there’s the rub. Many of town halls appear unlikely to welcome anything aside from the point of view climate activists hold dear.

The list of climate change town halls across Canada shows that they fall into three categories.

I. Those organized and run by government alone

Provided meeting coordinators respect alternative perspectives and sanction activists who attempt to restrict free speech, these consultations can provide meaningful input to government climate plans.

The town hall to be held on July 5 in North Vancouver by MP John Wilkinson appears to fall into this category. As does the town hall being led by McKenna and MP for Winnipeg South Terry Duguid in Winnipeg tonight. In both cases, prospective attendees are directed to RSVP to government representatives.

II. Those organized and run by eco-activists alone

These should be allowed, of course, but the results of such town halls should not be considered representative of general public opinion since people who disagree with climate activists are unlikely to attend. Eco-activists can be highly abusive at times to anyone who does not agree with them.

The town hall meeting to be held this evening in Ottawa South falls into this category. To RSVP for the meeting, the public are directed to complete a online form, something few people will do if they do not agree with activists. MP David McGuinty stated in personal communications that his office is not organizing the event; he is simply a guest speaker. McGuinty said he does not foresee holding a public climate change town hall in his riding.

III. Those run by climate activists and government working together

These are inappropriate. MPs are elected to represent all of their constituents, and no group—not industry, not eco-activists and not even groups like ours, the International Climate Science Coalition—should have privileged access or control over public consultations.

The town hall being held tonight in Saskatoon is an example of this apparently unacceptable cooperation between government and eco-activists. On the Facebook page dedicated to the event, it could not be clearer: “The Saskatoon-West riding office in conjunction with Climate Justice Saskatoon has organized this event for the Saskatoon community at large.” Saskatoon West MP Sheri Benson should consider withdrawing from, or taking sole control of, the meeting.

Similarly, on the Facebook page for the “Climate Action Town Hall - Nelson,” (being held this evening in British Columbia), it is stated, “Conversation will be facilitated by community members representing the West Kootenay EcoSociety, Citizens Climate Lobby and the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative.” Imagine how receptive these groups will be to public input that does not conform to their views. Again, Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski should distance himself from the meeting, or take sole control of it and appoint neutral facilitators.

The goal of public consultations should be to help government determine real public opinion about issues of national importance. This cannot happen as long as parties with such clear agendas are organizers of the hearings. The fox must never be in charge of the henhouse.


Australia:  El Nino over, BoM says, so winter rain could be on the way

A miracle has occurred.  The BoM has not blamed anything below on global warming

The latest El Nino cycle is over, which could lead to a wet winter, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

The bureau's modelling shows ocean surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific have cooled to neutral levels over the past fortnight.  Waters beneath the surface have also cooled.

Forecaster Michael Knepp said conditions were back to neutral and the bureau was now on La Nina watch. During La Nina events, rainfall in winter and spring is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia.

"[There's] a greater than 50 per cent chance that we might be in La Nina conditions later in the year," Mr Knepp said. "That's not a certain thing, just something to keep an eye on over the next few months."

International climate models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool. Six of eight models suggest La Nina is likely to form during winter.

Mr Knepp said more rainfall could be expected across the region if predictions were correct, but the outlook accuracy at this time of year was low.

El Nino has contributed to drought conditions over the majority of Queensland. Currently, 85 per cent of Queensland is drought declared.

The bureau said almost the entire western half of Victoria was experiencing severe rainfall deficiency.  The rainfall deficiency in Tasmania covers much of the state.

Areas of serious to severe deficiency remain through inland Queensland and into northern New South Wales.

Large areas of South Australia and Western Australia are also experiencing serious rainfall deficiency.



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