Sunday, May 08, 2016
New analyses reveal that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would have only a tiny effect on temperature
Will Coal save Japan and the World?
The central dogma is critically evaluated in the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory of the IPCC, claiming the Planck response is 1.2K when CO2 is doubled. The first basis of it is one dimensional model studies with the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5K/km. It is failed from the lack of the parameter sensitivity analysis of the lapse rate for CO2 doubling. The second basis is the Planck response calculation by Cess in 1976 having a mathematical error. Therefore, the AGW theory is collapsed along with the canonical climate sensitivity of 3 K utilizing the radiative forcing of 3.7W/m2 for CO2 doubling. The surface climate sensitivity is 0.14–0.17K in this study with the surface radiative forcing of l.lW/m2. Since the CO2 issue is removed, coal will be the energy for the future of many nations in terms of the amount of resource and production cost.
Global warming is pushing high altitude clouds towards the poles, Nasa study finds
The article below is a combination of fact and theory. The factual finding is that high altitude clouds have moved polewards over the last 30 years -- something that would help explain why Arctic temperatures are so erratic and often out of step with the rest of the world. But WHY the clouds have moved poleward nobody knows. They speculate, predictably, that it is due to global warming -- but since we have had so little warming for most of the period concerned, that is just a statement of faith. Models don't tell you anything about the world. All they tell you about is the assumptions of the modeller. I like the model below a lot better
And I don't even know her name
A new Nasa analysis of 30-years of satellite data has revealed high altitude clouds shifting toward the poles are being moved by the expansion of the tropics.
The changes could dramatically affect the planet's climate, expert warn.
Where clouds are absent, darker surfaces like the ocean or vegetated land absorb heat, but where clouds occur their white tops reflect incoming sunlight away, which can cause a cooling effect on Earth's surface.
Understanding the underlying causes of cloud migration will allow researchers to better predict how they may affect Earth's climate in the future, the researchers say.
They say the changes are driven by the tropics effectively becoming larger as the planet warms.
George Tselioudis, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University in New York City, was interested in which air currents were shifting clouds at high altitude - between about three and a half and six miles high - toward the poles.
The previous suggested reason was that climate change was shifting storms and the powerful air currents known as the jet streams - including the one that traverses the United States - toward the poles, which in turn were driving the movement of the clouds.
Researchers analysed the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data set, which combines cloud data from operational weather satellites, including those run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to provide a 30-year record of detailed cloud observations.
They combined the cloud data with a computer re-creation of Earth's air currents for the same period driven by multiple surface observations and satellite data sets.
What they discovered was that the poleward shift of the clouds, which occurs in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, connected more strongly with the expansion of the tropics, defined by the general circulation Hadley cell, than with the movement of the jets.
'What we find, and other people have found it as well, is that the sinking branch of the Hadley cell, as the climate warms, tends to be moving poleward,' said Tselioudis.
'It's like you're making the tropical region bigger.'
That expansion causes the tropical air currents to blow into the high altitude clouds, pushing them toward the poles, he said.
The results were published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Scientists are working to understand exactly why the tropics are expanding, which they believe is related to a warming climate.
The poleward shift of high altitude clouds affects how much sunlight reaches Earth's surface because when they move, they reveal what's below.
'It's like pulling a curtain,' said Tselioudis. And what tends to be revealed depends on location - which in turn affects whether the surface below warms or not.
'Sometimes when that curtain is pulled, as in the case over the North Atlantic ocean in the winter months, this reduces the overall cloud cover' in the lower mid-latitudes, the temperate regions outside of the tropics, Tselioudis said.
The high altitude clouds clear to reveal dark ocean below - which absorbs incoming sunlight and causes a warming effect.
However, in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, the high altitude clouds usually clear out of the way to reveal lower altitude clouds below - which continue to reflect sunlight from their white tops, causing little effect on the solar radiation reaching the surface.
That information is a new insight that will likely be used by the climate modeling community, including the scientists who contribute modeling expertise to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said Lazaros Oreopoulos, a cloud and radiation budget researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who was not involved in the study.
We don’t need billion$ to prevent Zika
Controlling mosquitoes and preventing diseases requires smarter policies, not more billions
Paul Driessen and Robert Novak
The Zika virus is increasingly linked to serious neurological complications for pregnant women and microcephaly in newborns: smaller than normal heads and brains. It also affects areas of fetal brains that control basic muscular, motor, speech and other functions, leading to severe debilities that require expensive care throughout a person’s life.
The disease is becoming a crisis in Brazil, site of this year’s Summer Olympic Games. But cases continue to be reported in the United States, primarily among women who have traveled abroad, and Zika is reaching serious levels in Puerto Rico, other US territories, and many parts of Central and South America.
Stopping its spread is an urgent public health matter. President Obama has asked Congress for $1.9 billion in new funding, to find better diagnostic tests to detect Zika, develop a vaccine against the virus, and control the mosquitoes that are the primary vector for the vicious virus.
Not surprisingly, the request has spawned new budget battles in Washington. The White House and congressional Democrats want to spend new money, while Republicans insist there is already plenty of money in the budget, plenty wasted that could be better allocated, and plenty being spent on climate change and other programs that have a far lower priority than this public health menace.
Other observers say Zika is being used as another opportunity for government agencies to expand their budgets, personnel and empires. Certain agencies, they note, are blaming “mosquitoes” in general and even climate change, or promoting high-tech “solutions” that may never work and will take years to develop, test and employ on national or global scales.
Meanwhile, much can be done right now, to reduce mosquito populations and slash the incidence and spread of this disease, for far less than $2 billion. It requires smarter policies, more focused efforts.
Zika is not spread by generic “mosquitoes.” Its primary carrier is a very particular blood-sucker with unusual habits and habitats. Aedes aegypti is known as the yellow fever mosquito, because it is the principal avenue for spreading that nasty disease, which causes fevers, chills, nausea, muscle pains, and liver and kidney damage. A vaccine exists, but yellow fever still kills up to 30,000 people annually.
Ae. aegypti also spread dengue fever, another painful, debilitating disease that can recur for years; there is no vaccine, and it sickens nearly 100 million people a year, killing some 25,000. The flying killers also infect people with chikungunya, which often causes severe fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, rashes and other non-lethal problems.
These mosquitoes were nearly eradicated, especially in Brazil, during the 1960s. Unfortunately, control bred complacency, and Ae. aegypti is again a dangerous scourge in Brazil, other South and Central American countries, Puerto Rico, Caribbean islands, Africa and Asia.
Their potential range includes the southeastern United States and southern Europe, they are actually found in some of these southern US states and Hawaii, and some do carry Zika and other diseases. All these diseases can infect blood supplies, making transfusions risky and necessitating that blood be imported from safe locales that may not have sufficient supplies themselves.
Summer Olympics fans and athletes could get infected and carry these diseases from Brazil back to their home countries. Thousands of other travelers could also spread all these diseases. The prospect has health officials worried. However, Ae. aegypti’s habits offer opportunities for controlling them.
They live close to houses, rarely fly more than 80 feet from where they hatch, bite during the day, and hatch from eggs laid in tires, cans, jars, flower pots, vases, bromeliads, holes in trees, and almost any other containers that hold water, indoors and outdoors, in backyards and junkyards.
That means national and international health ministries, neighborhoods and individual families can undertake simple, low-cost actions that will bring rapid, significant returns with limited time, money and resources – by eliminating mosquitoes and keeping them away from people. They should start now.
1) Educate politicians, local leaders, teachers, neighborhood organizations and citizens about the dangers posed by mosquitoes and the diseases they carry – and about what they can do to help. Launch and coordinate home and neighborhood programs, and stress why they must continue well into the future.
2) Destroy Aedes aegypti reproduction habitats. Remove trash, especially containers. Punch holes in tires and cans, so they cannot collect water. Fill in other standing water areas with dirt. Augment these actions with larvacides and insecticides.
Used properly, today’s larvae and adult mosquito killing chemicals are safe – especially compared to the misery, death and long-term care that Ae. aegypti and other mosquitoes spread. Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and other studies have determined that the most commonly used larvicides (BTI and Temephos, aka Abate) are safe for humans and mammals, even in drinking water.
3) Prevent mosquito bites, to break the disease transmission cycle. This is especially important for people attending the Olympics or vacationing where problems exist. You don’t want to take diseases home.
Use personal insect repellants, preferably those containing DEET, even while indoors, and keep skin covered with clothing. To keep mosquitoes out of homes, make sure doors and windows have screens. For homes without screens, spatial repellents like DDT can be sprayed on walls and doorways.
4) Employ cell phone GPS systems to locate and monitor mosquito populations, and significant biting and disease outbreaks. Every citizen can help with this. Tie these efforts into local or national databases – and into monitoring and surveillance programs that can dispatch rapid response teams.
5) Test people for antibodies, especially pregnant women, to determine whether they have Zika or other mosquito-transmitted diseases. The RT-PCR test can find Zika proteins and genetic material in people, and in the brains and placentas of infants and miscarried fetuses. It can also rule out dengue, yellow and chikungunya fever viruses. Developing better, more rapid detection tests will be money well spent.
This multi-pronged approach is true “integrated vector and disease control.” It will bring rapid returns.
Nonetheless, at least two high-tech, non-chemical “solutions” have been proposed. They involve releasing male mosquitoes that have been sterilized by radiation, so they cannot mate successfully – or genetically modified so their progeny die before reaching maturity.
At least one experimental GMO effort has been field-tested, somewhat successfully, with gradual but noticeable reductions in mosquito populations in test areas. Since male mosquitoes don’t bite, releasing them into urban areas should pose few health risks. The concepts have researchers, technocrats and bureaucrats salivating over potential budgets and personnel increases.
However, field tests are just that: tests. The experimental programs must still survive long US Food and Drug Administration and Agriculture Department approval processes, budgetary constraints, anti-biotechnology and anti-radiation activism, and similar delays at the international level.
Neither approach can help in the near term, across the sprawling Rio de Janeiro Olympics venues, urban areas and shantytowns – or across millions of square miles in Latin America, Africa, Asia and beyond.
We cannot afford to deemphasize or shortchange the less sexy, but proven, highly effective, truly integrated vector and disease control programs described above. These strategies can and must be employed now, to eliminate Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and the horrible diseases they spread.
They will save lives now – in time for the Olympics, before these bugs and diseases claim more victims.
Dr. Fauci: Brazil Eliminated Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Historically--Using DDT
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said on Tuesday that Brazil was able to eliminate the Zika-virus-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito when, in the 1950s and 1960s, it made "a very aggressive attempt" to do so that included "very heavy use of DDT."
He cautioned that the means used to eradicate the mosquito then "might not be acceptable now."
“Now, years ago in the fifties and the sixties,” Fauci said, “Brazil itself made a very aggressive attempt to eliminate the Aedes aegypti mosquito. They did it successfully but they did it in a way that would be almost non-feasible today—very heavy use of DDT, very aggressive use going into homes, essentially, spraying in homes, cleaning up areas, things that I think the general public would not be amenable to accepting.
“So, it can be done," Fauci said. "But historically it was done in a way that might not be acceptable now."
Currently, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is spreading in South America and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that the mosquitoes which carry Zika will populate much of the United States this summer.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Dr. Fauci said, “The mosquito that is the predominant mosquito that spreads Zika is called Aedes aegypti. Aedes aegypti is a very difficult mosquito to control and eliminate.”
“It will require a very aggressive, concerted effort,” Fauci cautioned of attempts to eliminate the mosquitoes. “Their ability to exist and stay in places that are difficult to eliminate; mosquitoes, for example, they like to stay indoors as well as outdoors, which make the spraying, the outdoor spraying, ineffective for those mosquitoes.”
“What one would have to do is raise public awareness,” he said, “have cooperation at the community level to get people as best as they possibly can where they can to eliminate and diminish standing water of any type, as well as to push and to try to utilize environmentally friendly larvicides and insecticides.”
“Having said all of that,” he continued, “it’s still going to be very, very difficult to do.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released maps of the estimated range of the Aedes aegypti in the United States last month, as well as the Aedes albopictus, another mosquito that is capable of transmitting Zika. The CDC verified to CNSNews.com that the map of potential exposure includes all but 10 states in the United States.
Fauci emphasized that while Aedes albopictus has a greater estimated range in the United States than the aegypti mosquito, “overwhelmingly the dominant mosquito that spreads it is Aedes aegypti and there’s a number of reasons for that.”
“Aedes aegypti is a much different mosquito: it bites in the day, at night, it goes indoors, outdoors, it’s very difficult to eliminate, only likes to bite humans,” he explained. “The albopictus and other mosquitoes they get distracted, they bite animals, they bite a variety of other species. So when you have Zika and you have Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the chances are overwhelming that Aedes aegypti is going to be the major factor.”
Fauci also stressed that the real concern over the Zika virus “is the association of Zika infection in a pregnant woman with congenital abnormalities, predominantly microcephaly in a variable percentage of babies born of Zika infected mothers.”
Fauci cited a small cohort study from Brazil that found that 29 percent of Zika-infected mothers had abnormalities in sonograms of their unborn children. Fauci also cited a study that found that 1 percent of Zika-infected mothers had children with birth defects.
Fauci said another cohort study, “The Zika in Pregnancy Study,” is underway and will enroll thousands of pregnant women in South America, predominantly Brazil.
“When we get the data from that study we’ll be able to answer the question of precisely what that percentage (of Zika-infected women with birth defects) is,” he said, “but today in May of 2016 we don’t know the answer.”
Another failure of a scientific consensus
A new study has challenged the scientific consensus that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid (omega-6) reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease.
Every five years, the federal government publishes nutritional guidelines that “reflect the current body of nutrition science” and “serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programs across the United States.”
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines’ recommendation to “limit intake of calories from saturated fats to less than 10 percent per day is a target based on evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “diets high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol have been linked to heart disease and related conditions, such as atherosclerosis.”
But the study, which was published April 12 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found that “replacement of saturated fat in the diet with linoleic acid effectively lowers serum cholesterol, but does not support the hypothesis that this translates to a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease or all causes.”
“As expected, the diet enriched with linoleic acid lowered cholesterol levels, but this did not translate to improved survival,” according to a BMJ press release. “In fact, participants who had greater reduction in blood cholesterol had higher, rather than lower, risk of death.”
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the U.S. and Australia led by Christopher Ramsden, a medical investigator at the National Institutes of Health, who reexamined raw data and unpublished autopsy reports from the federally funded Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE).
The MCE was “a randomized controlled trial conducted in 1968-73” of 9,423 individuals between the ages of 20 and 97 who were living in six state mental hospitals and a nursing home in Minnesota.
Study participants who were assigned to the control diet for more than a year had a high intake of saturated fats from milk, cheese and beef.
However, the diet of the “intervention group” replaced about 50 percent of the saturated fat in the control diet with a 280 percent increase in polyunsaturated vegetable fat, mostly in the form of corn oil and corn oil margarine.
“Though the MCE intervention effectively lowered serum cholesterol in all pre-specified subgroups, there was no clinical benefit in any group. Paradoxically, MCE participants who had greater reduction in serum cholesterol had a higher rather than a lower risk of death,” the study found.
“In addition, the MCE intervention group did not have less atherosclerosis or fewer infarcts at autopsy.”
Autopsy results showed that “41% (31/76) of participants in the intervention group had at least one myocardial infarct, whereas only 22% (16/73) of participants in the control group did,” according to the research team.
“There was a robust association between decreasing serum cholesterol and increased risk of death, and this association did not differ between the intervention and control group,” the study noted.
“This finding that greater lowering of serum cholesterol was associated with a higher rather than a lower risk of death in the MCE does not provide support for the traditional diet-heart hypothesis,” the researchers concluded.
Inspector General Thinks Obama's Coal Program a Waste
The Department of Energy inspector general leveled criticism against a program to capture emissions from coal plants that has wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and has yet to materialize. For the administration, however, the stakes are higher than simply running another failed program. The Texas Clean Energy Project was needed if coal plants around the country were going to comply with the Obama administration’s tough, tough rules on the industry. Without the program that is attempting to commercialize trapping emissions leaving coal plants and disposing of them underground, Obama’s regulations mandating the practice of carbon capture and sequestration would become illegal. Even though the project was started in 2010, it has not caught the eye of private investors. Furthermore, it’s still in development, with the project to go live in 2019. “The Project’s inability to obtain required commercial debt and equity financing and the adverse effect of changing energy markets on the demand for coal-based power plants raise serious doubts about the continuing viability of the Project,” the IG’s report read.
Existence of the program just proves the lengths to which the Obama administration will go to institute climate change regulation. It decreed regulation so strict there was no commercial solution coal companies could turn to. So it started a program, supposedly, to provide some farce of a free-market solution. And everyone wonders at the fact coal companies are going out of business. Remember: Hillary Clinton said she’d put coal miners and their companies out of business, only continuing what this administration has started.
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
Posted by JR at 12:34 AM