Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Are SQUID the big winners from climate change?

This is data-less speculation.  I have read the original article (Global proliferation of cephalopods) and confirm that the researchers had NO data on global warming or ocean temperature in their study.  What they examined was what fishermen have been catching and they found that catches have shown increasing percentages of cephalopoda as time has gone by.  That is all they found.  And ANY explanation of that is speculative.

The obvious explanation would seem to be that bony fish are a more attractive catch so fishermen go where bony fish are most found and deplete stocks of them.  But bony fish are predators of cephalopoda so cephalopoda thrive under reduced predation.

With the Green/Left it is always important to look at what they do NOT say -- and there is a prize example of that here.  If they really believed that cephalopoda stocks were increased by global warming, it would have been perfectly easy to examine that.  But they did not.

What they could have done is analyse their data separately for the grand temperature hiatus (1945 to 1975) and the recent hiatus (1999 to 2014) and assess whether catches remained static during those periods.  If so, that would prove their theory.  It would have been perfectly easy to divide up their data in that way so why did they present results for their study period (1953 to 2013) as a whole only?  Can I guess?  Because cephalopod numbers did NOT level off in those periods.

So I think we have here indirect evidence that climate change did NOT influence cephalopod numbers. The claim that it did is just more Warmist deceit

Although many fish species are in serious decline due to rising ocean temperatures and over fishing, it seems squid and octopuses are flourishing.

The cephalopods have increased in numbers over the past 60 years, according to new research.

Squid, octopuses and cuttlefish are known to be highly adaptable and grow rapidly, which may be giving them an advantage as ocean environments change.

An international team of biologists, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, compiled a database of global catch rates of cephalopod to investigate long-term trends in abundance.

They published their findings in the Cell Press journal, Current Biology.

Dr. Zoë Doubleday, lead author of the study at the University of Adelaide, said: 'Our analyses showed that cephalopod abundance has increased since the 1950s, a result that was remarkably consistent across three distinct groups.'


Fury as big British bird charity backs more wind turbines: Warnings of a bird 'massacre' after charity says thousands more could be built with little risk to the countryside

The RSPB has caused a flap by suggesting that thousands more wind turbines could be built – with minimal risk to birds and the countryside.

The charity, which has previously been accused of being more interested in political lobbying than protecting birds, says climate change is one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife.

And it warns that Britain must find ways of switching to green energy that are ‘in harmony with wildlife’.

However, the suggestion that building at least 25,000 onshore wind turbines – up from the current 5,000 – could help solve the problem has infuriated rural campaigners.

You Forgot the Birds, a group of landowners that includes former England cricketer Ian Botham, said the structures would blight the landscape and cause a bird ‘massacre’.

Ian Gregory, the group’s campaign director, accused the charity of ‘retreating into an ideological bunker’.

He said: ‘How are birds supposed to weave their way through thousands of wind turbines spinning at up to 180mph? It is difficult to think of a less bird-friendly way of dealing with climate change.’ Mr Gregory acknowledged that the RSPB report notes that turbines can pose a collision risk for birds but questioned whether its main concern was damage to the blades.

The row is the latest in a series of clashes between the RSPB and landowners, who accuse the charity of heavy-handed policing of the countryside.

The report details how on and off-shore windfarms, solar power, wave power and other forms of renewable energy could be harnessed to meet Britain’s electricity needs by 2050.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation, said: ‘Climate change is one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife. And, with rising sea levels, increased flooding and changes to our weather it is also affecting people and our economy. So, doing nothing is not an option.’

An RSPB spokesman said: ‘We support the principles of renewable energy using a common sense approach. In many cases a turbine can be located without a detrimental impact on wildlife. Over the years we have been involved in over 1,000 planning applications for wind turbines, and only maintained objections to around 5 per cent.’


Green light for fracking across rural England after council gives the go ahead for test drilling at North Yorkshire site

Fracking in one of the most beautiful parts of the British countryside received the go-ahead last night, opening the door for a dash for shale gas.

Green campaigners condemned the decision by North Yorkshire County Council, warning it could be a landmark ruling paving the way for drilling in rural areas across England.

The fracking operation at Kirby Misperton, near Malton, will be the first in Britain for five years. Full-scale production can begin if tests show gas could be extracted on a commercial scale.

Energy companies with licences to explore for hidden reserves are now likely to apply for consent for test drilling at dozens of rural sites across England.

Fracking, a highly controversial method of mining, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks deep underground to open up fractures in the rock to release trapped gas and oil.

Critics say the process causes noise and contamination – and small earthquakes were triggered near Blackpool in 2011 by a firm exploring for shale gas, leading to a temporary moratorium.

Adela Pickles, from the campaign group Frack Free Ryedale, said: ‘This is the starting gun for fracking in the UK.  ‘It has established a planning precedent in North Yorkshire which means that it is going to be a lot harder for planning committees to turn down future applications.’

Third Energy, the company behind the North Yorkshire scheme, has produced gas at the site for more than 20 years.

It has been granted consent to carry out test fracking and production from an existing well drilled three years ago. The process will target rocks nearly two miles below ground.

The test fracking is expected to take around six weeks and consent has been granted for nine years of production.

Gas from the well would be pumped to a nearby power station, generating electricity for local homes and businesses.

The planning authority received more than 4,000 objections, mainly on environmental grounds.

The well is less than four miles from the North York Moors National Park, where a £2.4billion potash mine was controversially given planning consent last year.

Locals fear the schemes will deal a devastating blow to the local tourist industry.

Third Energy said work at Kirby Misperton will not begin for many months, but there are fears of mass protests of the kind witnessed three years ago in the Sussex village of Balcombe, where test drilling for oil took place.

Third Energy chief executive Rasik Valand insisted fracking was safe while Ken Cronin, of the UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said the vote was ‘an important first step’.

He said the industry did not yet know ‘what we can get’ from fracking in the UK and whether ‘gas will come out of the ground’ in sufficient quantities to be profitable.

Local Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake said he broadly welcomed the decision but warned it had to be ‘regulated properly’ and done in a way that ‘protects the beauty of the countryside’.

He told the Mail: ‘This is a national policy, it was passed by a majority of 250 votes in 2015. It’s no good saying you’ll back it as long as it’s not in your area.’

Fracking licences were granted in 27 areas last August and in December MPs voted to allow it to take place below national parks and other protected sites.

David Cameron has said he wanted to go ‘all out’ for fracking, as a UK shale gas industry would provide greater energy security and keep prices down.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom said last night: ‘We’re very clear that fracking is a fantastic opportunity.

It’s good for jobs, the economy and strengthens our energy security. We already have tough regulation in place to ensure that fracking is safe.’


The Real Energy Deniers

By Viv Forbes

When man first appeared on Earth he had no implements, no clothes, no farms and no mineral fuels – his only tools were his brains, hands and muscles.

Everything that enables mankind to live comfortably in a world where nature is indifferent to our survival has been discovered, invented, mined or created by our inventive ancestors over thousands of years.

The history of civilisation is essentially the story of man’s progressive access to more efficient, more abundant and more reliable energy sources - from ancestral human muscles to modern nuclear power.

There are seven big steps on the human energy ladder – fire, farming, solar power, gunpowder, coal, the steam engine and nuclear power.

Man’s first and greatest energy step was discovering how to harness fire for warmth, cooking, hunting, metal working and warfare.

For centuries the main fire-energy fuels were organic natural resources such as wood, charcoal, peat, grass, animal dung and fats/oils extracted from animals and plants. As human population increased, these energy sources became scarce as the land and seas around towns and villages were stripped of their natural carbon fuels.

The second step on the energy ladder was built when some smart hunter/gatherers discovered how to access more reliable energy from domesticated animals and plants. Sheep, cattle, goats and pigs provided a steady supply of carbon-based food energy, and dogs, horses, donkeys and camels multiplied human energy for transport, hunting and warfare. Farmers also nurtured fruiting trees and grasses such as einkorn, wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn and sugar cane. These provided more dependable and abundant food energy for humans and their animals.

About this time humans ascended the third step on their energy ladder – the ability to harness wind/hydro/solar power for sailing ships, windmills, water-wheels, grain mills and drying food. The low energy density and unpredictability of these weather-dependent energy sources was obvious, even to our ancestors.

The fourth big step was the invention of gunpowder by the Chinese, which gave humans the first glimpse of the enormous power of concentrated chemical energy. This led to the widespread use of explosives for hunting, armaments, mining, civil engineering and entertainment.

The fifth energy step was a bigger one - the discovery of how to obtain and use coal, and centuries later, oil and gas. The energy density and abundance of these hydro-carbon fuels gave an enormous boost to human access to energy, and massively relieved the pressure on forest fuels and animal fats.

The sixth step on the energy ladder was truly gigantic - British inventors and engineers built the first practical steam engine. That invention transformed the world. Suddenly steam engines were moving trains and ships, pumping water, generating electricity and powering factories, traction engines and road vehicles. Most steam engines were driven by coal, but wood, other hydro-carbons, concentrated solar energy or nuclear power could be used.

Steam cars and electric cars got a good work-out over 100 years ago, but neither could compete with a new invention - the oil-powered internal combustion engine. This small but powerful engine resulted in the replacement of steam and electric motors for mobile engines but the mighty steam engine still dominates electricity generation.

These two engines, running on powerful hydrocarbon fuels, feed and mobilise our world. The transformation is remarkable. Just 3-4 generations ago, a team of up to twenty bullocks took days or weeks to haul a wagon-load of wool bales, forest logs or bagged wheat to markets, and the bullocks needed fresh supplies of feed and water every night. In 1896, Henry Lawson described it well in two stanzas from his great Australian poem “The Teams”:

A cloud of dust on the long white road,
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with the weary load;
And by the power of the green-hide goad
The distant goal is won.

But the rains are heavy on roads like these;
And, fronting his lonely home,
For weeks together the settler sees
The teams bogged down to the axle-trees,
Or ploughing the sodden loam.

Cattle and sheep to feed the cities were moved by drovers who spent weeks or even months on the road. Today one diesel-powered road train or semi-trailer can carry its own fuel and water plus a load of livestock to the distant cities in a day or so. Refrigerated trucks do even better – swiftly carrying dressed sides of meat from the abattoir direct to butcher shops.

The seventh step in the human quest for additional energy was the harnessing of atomic energy for generating electricity, fuelling naval vessels, in medical procedures and creating even more powerful explosive devices.

As mankind was ascending the seven steps of the energy ladder from the stone-age to the nuclear age, governments were also expanding their scope, power and cost.

Mankind has always had tribal leaders, but when farming developed, leaders or powerful land-owners discovered that other farmers and their fixed assets could easily be taxed to pay for their own “protection”. This encouraged the development of central governments with their officials, tax collectors, police and soldiers. To defend their generally increasing appetite for tax revenue, governments needed a continual supply of real or imagined dangers to justify their taxes. From this point on, government power has increased with each real or invented community crisis – from village control, to district, state, federal and continental governments. The latest such “crisis” concerns “global warming” or “the climate crisis”, which is being milked to promote global carbon taxes and global government.

Nothing stands still on planet Earth. Since the dawn of time, Earth has seen continual geological and climatic change – shifting continents, rising and falling sea levels, volcanos and tsunamis, droughts and floods, migrations and extinctions, hurricanes and heat waves, ice ages and warm eras.

Humans flourished in the warm eras and suffered in the cold dry eras. Access to abundant, reliable energy enables man to survive these and the future climate challenges which are sure to come.

Today’s massive global human population owes its existence, prosperity and comfort to our economical and reliable energy supplies, particularly the hydrocarbon fuels – oil, coal, and gas. The world supports more people with fewer famines; and those with access to abundant reliable energy supplies have stabilised their populations and contribute most to caring for nature, culture and the poor. And the carbon dioxide recycled by the usage of hydrocarbon fuels is greening the world and adding to food supplies as native and farmed plants flourish in the warm, moist, carbon-rich atmosphere.

This long history of energy progress is now under threat from strong forces using any environmental alarm to deny human access to efficient energy. Using every sensational scare that can be whipped up, they tax, oppose, hamper or restrict farming, forestry, fishing, grazing, mining, exploration, hydro-carbon fuels, steam engines, combustion engines and nuclear power. The “zero-emissions” zealots want us to step backwards down the energy ladder to the days of human, animal and solar power. They have yet to explain how our massive fleet of planes, trains, tractors, harvesters, trucks, road trains, container-ships and submarines will run on windmills, treadmills, windlasses, solar energy, and water wheels.

But their energy-destroying policies will reduce global prosperity and population back towards levels prevailing in those times. Some see that as a desirable goal.

These green zealots are the real deniers – the energy deniers.


US Activates First New Nuclear Reactor In 20 Years

America’s first new nuclear reactor in 20 years went online early Monday morning after 44 years of construction.

The reactor is now operating at low power levels and will soon begin producing and selling 1,150 megawatts of electricity to the Tennessee Valley, powering roughly 1.3 million homes when combined with the plant’s other reactor.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) started construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor 44 years ago. Work ended in 1985 after more than $1 billion was already spent, due to a construction scandal involving contractors paying off corrupt agency officials. The project was 80 percent complete before the scandal stopped construction. The TVA revived the project in 2007, at a time when nuclear power seemed poised to make a comeback.

Building the new reactor was initially projected to cost $2.2 billion, but costs increased to $4.7 billion due to overruns and new compliance standards implemented in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.

“This milestone is the result of the hard work by Watts Bar employees supported by the entire TVA nuclear team,” Joe Grimes, the plant’s chief nuclear officer, told a local news channel. “While this achievement is important, safety remains our top priority.”

America currently operates 99 nuclear reactors across 61 commercially operated nuclear power plants, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average nuclear plant employs between 400 and 700 highly-skilled workers, has a payroll of about $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. The Watts Bar plant will support an estimated 1,000 full-time jobs.

Of the 59 new nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, only four of them are being built in the U.S., just enough to compensate for shutting down older reactors. The average American nuclear reactor is 35-years-old, nearly obsolete by modern design standards and near the end of its operating license. Within the past two years, six states have shut down nuclear plants and many other reactors are risking premature retirement.

Instead of building more modern reactors, the government is planning to simply extend the operating licenses against the advice of its own technical staff. The country’s youngest nuclear plant, Tennessee’s Watts Bar 1, entered service in 1996. America’s oldest operating reactors — Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Nine Mile Point in upstate New York — entered service in 1969.

Nuclear energy provides 19 percent of the nation’s electricity, but struggles to compete against heavily subsidized solar and wind power or cheap natural gas.


Australia: How to become an honoured meteorologist

Tell lies.  He says below:  "I don’t know a meteorologist who doesn’t understand and accept that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will lead to warming of the surface of the earth. It’s meteorology 101. This is not 40 per cent or 70 per cent. It’s 100 per cent"

Yet we read elsewhere:  "Barely half of American Meteorological Society meteorologists believe global warming is occurring and humans are the primary cause, a newly released study reveals"

And has he heard of this guy?

Prof. Nicholls knows on which side his bread is buttered

Monash meteorologist honoured by prestigious fellowship. Emeritus Professor Neville Nicholls’s lifelong passion and commitment to science has been formally recognised with a prestigious Australian Academy of Science (AAS) fellowship.

Professor Nicholls, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment in the Faculty of Science, set his sights on science at the age of eight, when his aunt gave him a book on wildlife of the British Isles.

Professor Nicholls took his interest in science further by training as a meteorologist with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, after which he returned to research to further investigate how and why the climate is changing.

“Weather and climate variations affect almost everything we do, particularly the extremes like heatwaves, tropical cyclones, droughts and bushfires, which destroy lives and property. The better we can predict those phenomena, the more we can help improve the quality of life,” Professor Nicholls said.

Climate change is a particular area of interest to Professor Nicholls, who is surprised at the perception of a scientific divide on the issue.

“I don’t know a meteorologist who doesn’t understand and accept that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will lead to warming of the surface of the earth. It’s meteorology 101. This is not 40 per cent or 70 per cent. It’s 100 per cent. There is a perception that there is a big battle between scientists. There isn’t.”

Professor Nicholls has described himself as “doubly honoured” by the peer-nominated fellowship, both as an individual researcher and as a member of the meteorology community.

“I feel privileged to be only the third meteorologist ever to be elected to the Academy. From the operations to the research, meteorology is important because of the impact it has on people’s lives, so I am doubly honoured,” Professor Nicholls said.

Press release from Monash Media & Communications


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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