Sunday, June 19, 2016

Global warming will make it too hot to work in the tropics

That's a reasonable summary of the long article below. It's complete nonsense.  And it's REALLY nonsense to pick 25°C as a cutoff point.  These guys know nothing of the tropics.

There are already highly productive agricultural industries in the tropics -- where I was born.  And we already cope with heat in the '30s (F '90s) with perfect ease.  And I can assure one and all that a couple of degrees hotter would make no difference.  We already have some super-hot days that we endure without blinking.  We are of course heat-adapted so what seems normal to us would seem stifling to people coming direct from a cool climate.

And, last I heard, a lot of our tractors still did not have air-conditioning!  And it's not just tractor drivers who work well in the conditions.  For years, my own father spent months cutting sugarcane every day -- just using a type of machete: Hard, dirty   outdoor manual labour under the bright tropical sun.

A sugarcane knife

LONDON—Climate change is likely to affect the global economy—and it may already have begun to affect raw material supplies from tropical regions, according to new research.

That is because, in a global economy, the flow of wealth depends on a secure supply chain, and productivity that depends on outdoor work in the tropics could become more precarious in a warming world.

Even in a temperate zone country such as Australia, researchers have linked heat extremes with economic losses. And climate-related disasters are on the increase, claiming not just lives but a growing economic toll.

Research has also indicated that, without drastic action, some regions may reach temperatures that could make them uninhabitable.

Heat exhaustion

But there is already evidence that at temperatures around or above 25°C, labour productivity declines. At significantly higher temperatures, heat exhaustion becomes a hazard. And if output falls at a source of materials, then workers far away who depend on those supplies will also see their productivity falter.

Two German scientists report in Science Advances journal that they tracked economic traffic from 26 industry sectors—including mining, quarrying, textiles, forestry and agriculture—all the way to final demand in 186 countries.

They matched temperature, population and global economic connections from 1991-2011, and then fed into their computer simulations the known consequences of heat stress on workers. Their finding was that interdependence had increased, and with this interdependence had come vulnerability.

“The structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere”

The implication is that what might be bad news for workers in one region subjected to extremes of heat would ripple through the global market.

“Our study shows that, since the beginning of the 21st century, the structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere,” says Leonie Wenz, a physics PhD student at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “What is self-evident for us today is really a phenomenon of the last two decades.”

Worldwide repercussions

Single events – such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which destroyed half the world’s production of coconut oil, a vegetable fat used in food production worldwide, and the 2011 Queensland flood in Australia that halted production at one of the world’s largest coal sites for weeks—have repercussions worldwide.

But smaller perturbations linked to heat stress for workers also impose costs far from the locale where the temperatures have soared.

“With unabated climate change, the rise in global mean temperature will have severe impacts on natural and societal systems,” says Anders Levermann, head of global adaptation strategies at PIK and adjunct senior research scientist Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the US.

“To estimate the costs of future climate change, we need to assess global economic impacts of more frequent heat extremes and meteorological impacts, such as floods and storms, and understand their relation to the economic network’s structure.

“In a warming world with more intense weather extremes, it is likely that society needs to become more resilient and more flexible.”


British beech tree could die out as global warming brings more extreme droughts (?)

This is just silly speculation. Given the constant flooding going on in Britain in recent months, the threat of drought is a bit of a hoot.  Britain is a basically a wet climate but does on some occasions have what they call a drought -- usually reduced rain in the South while the rain comes down steadily in the North.  And the "Great Drought of 1976" lasted only from late 1975 to mid 1976.  Australian farmers would wish they could be so lucky.

So it is true that in Britain trees are not well drought-adapted.  But postulating drought as an effect of global warming is absurd.  Warmer seas would evaporate off more water vapour, which produces MORE rain

A study of tree rings has found while elsewhere in Europe it is relatively resilient to droughts, the same is not true in the UK.

The beech is associated with femininity and is often referred to as the queen of British trees, while oak is the king.

It has flourished since the last ice age but warming temperatures means it is now facing its biggest threat.

The south of England is a stronghold of the beech. Since the last ice age it has been here that the tree, a latecomer from Europe, has found its strongest home.

This is the latest gloomy prediction over the threat to nature from global warming, which is thought to be behind extensive damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Professor Alistair Jump, of the University of Stirling , said: "As our climate continues to warm, droughts will become more frequent and more extreme.

GettyBeech treesThe beech tree is a British icon
"Beech forests across Europe will be hit increasingly hard, with a high risk of widespread mortality when the next big dry spell hits - particularly in southern parts of the UK.

Read more: Is this the first mammal to be made extinct by climate change?

"These trees at the centre of the region where the species grows are more vulnerable to our changing climate than we previously realised and as a result, I would expect to see long-lasting changes to the makeup of our woodlands."

The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, examined tree ring data from across Western Europe to help uncover the extent to which the growth of beech forests is being impacted by changes in climate.

Those located at the centre of the region where the species grows, in this case southern England, were least resistant to drought compared to forests located elsewhere in Europe.

Plant ecologist Prof Jump said: "Beech trees across Europe are extremely vulnerable to the effects of drought. These long dry spells cause sudden and widespread reduced growth within the species. "We might expect beech forests in hotter and drier regions of Europe, such as southern France and Spain, to be most at risk.

"However, we have found that the south of the UK - the very centre of the area where the species grows - is most badly affected."

The research also revealed that the damage inflicted on beech trees during the record breaking hot summer of 1976 has impacted forests throughout the UK.

Prof Jump said: "We previously found the so called Great Drought of 1976 continues to impact forest found in South Wales.

Read more: Carbon dioxide levels 'have broken a critical watershed'

"Many beech trees were killed, while survivors often experience reduced growth now 40 years on. We now understand this extreme event had a big effect on tree growth right across the country."

He added: "We know the effects of the 1976 drought have lasted to the present day and expect future changes to our forests may be sudden and put many of our most iconic beech woods at significant risk."


Mosquito Control Expert: Congress Should Ease Pesticide Regulation to Target Pesticide Resistant, Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes

The most effective chemical for killing mosquitoes is DDT

T. Wayne Gale, president-elect of the American Mosquito Control Association and executive director of the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Florida, told Congress Wednesday that there may be a pesticide resistance issue in Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

Gale told Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) in a Capitol Hill briefing that addressed the possible spread of the Zika virus in Florida that an adequate response to the threat of the Zika virus “amounts to having personnel, pesticides, and equipment.”

“Do we have that?” Hastings asked.

“No, not statewide,” Gale said, adding “that right now is the focus of the money that is being provided by the health department in Florida is for personnel, pesticides, and equipment.”

“These mosquitoes are very difficult to control, and we’re finding right now that we might have a resistance issue to the pesticides we use,” he later added. “There’s research going on right now to determine the extent of that.”

Gale told that any legislation to streamline the approval process for pesticides “and make it less expensive, or at least provide some funding to help move new public health pesticides through, would be an important step in trying to get new materials and deal with the resistance issue.” asked Gale what pesticides have proven effective in combatting the Aedes Aegypti and the Aedes Albopictus, Zika-carrying mosquitoes, and about Florida’s plan in dealing with pesticide resistance with the tools they have available.

“Right now, we have two basic classes of compounds. What we call OPs or Organophosphates, Naled and Malathion, are probably the two primary that are used in public health pest control, and then the rest, most of the rest of the adult control materials are Synthetic Pyrethroids,” Gale explained.  “That’s where we’re seeing - you know, spotty resistance, localized resistance in a lot of areas - and so there aren’t a whole lot of alternatives, so it’s a difficult problem.” asked Gale about the Zika Vector Control Act, formerly the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, which did not move forward when it was brought up for a vote in the House in May. The legislation was backed by the American Mosquito Control Association and aimed to ease regulation on pesticide development to combat Zika carrying mosquitoes.

“The development process and the registration process for pesticides is very expensive, and it’s the federal government’s process that makes it so,” Gale said, “and so any legislation to kind of streamline that process and make it less expensive or at least provide some funding to help move new public health pesticides through would be an important step in trying to get new materials and deal with the resistance issue.”

Gale also told that to his knowledge, Florida’s Department of Health only had about $400,000 to distribute to mosquito control efforts.

“There’s funding that’s coming to the states from CDC. It’s through what they call ELC grants, which is Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Grants, and that money comes to the state health department, and the state health department distributes that money,” he explained.


106-Year-Old Photo Makes Global Warming Alarmists Think Twice About Paris Floods

As parts of France are currently under 18 feet of water, some have taken to blaming global warming, but a photographer from France has a picture that seeks to silence alarmist fears.

A picture taken by French photographer Julien Knez juxtaposes two floods brilliantly, showing that high water levels have occurred in recent memory in France, which casts doubt on claims of global warming being responsible for the current flooding.

While some point to global warming as the culprit, an article published by Watts Up With That — a site run by Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and founder of the ‘Surface Stations project‘ — on Wednesday shows the ‘Great Flood Of Paris’ in 1910 saw water levels rise to over 20 feet above normal long before global warming was an issue.

“More than 100 years ago, the Seine River rose a record breaking 8.6 m (roughly 20 feet) above usual levels, causing the catastrophe known as the 1910 Great Flood of Paris.” Kristine Mitchell wrote in a piece for on June 6.

Taking into account both the 1910 flood and this latest flood, France has been victim of six large floods since 1892: 1892 Mont Blanc glacier flood, the Great Flood of 1968, the December 1981 windstorm, and the 2010 Var floods.

Some are still eager to pin this flood on global warming, “The climate science community is speeding up its efforts to draw the links – the attribution – between extreme weather events and climate change,” Adam Vaughan wrote in a piece for The Guardian on Friday, “while such events are fresh in the public and politician’s minds.”

The Dutch weather agency and the University of Oxford put together a report that says their team “found that an event like this [is] now expected to occur roughly 80 percent more often due to climate change than it was in the past for the Seine River Basin.”

Not everyone is so quick to blame global warming though. “This statement sums up everything that is so wrong about this flawed study. There is a rush to blame every bad weather event on global warming for political reasons, and science suffers as a result.” Paul Homewood of said in response to Vaughan’s statement in an article published on Saturday, “Once you set out with that objective, there is bound to be confirmation bias, along with a determination to ignore contradictory evidence.”

Homewood goes on to say how the studies linking the French flood to global warming were done using computer models — which have come under fire for reliability issues —  and says: “All you need to do is tell the model that global warming leads to heavy rainfall, and Bob’s your uncle!”


The Climate Police Blink

There are few more rewarding sights than a bully scorned, so let’s hear it for the recent laments of Attorneys General Claude Walker (Virgin Islands) and Eric Schneiderman (New York), two ringleaders of the harassment campaign against Exxon and free-market think tanks over climate change.

Consider Mr. Walker’s recent retreat in District of Columbia superior court. In April he issued a sweeping subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demanding a decade of emails, policy work and donor names. The goal is to intimidate anyone who raises doubts about climate science or the policy responses.

CEI fought back. It ran a full-page newspaper ad highlighting the Walker-Schneiderman effort to criminalize speech, and it counter-sued the Virgin Islands, demanding sanctions and attorneys fees.

The District of Columbia has a statute to deter what is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The law exists to curb malicious lawsuits that are designed solely to chill speech, and they put the burden on filers like Mr. Walker to show why their actions are likely to succeed.

Mr. Walker quietly withdrew his subpoena on May 20 (though retaining the right to reinstate it). CEI is pressing ahead with its suit anyway, and in an extraordinary filing on June 2 Mr. Walker essentially said “never mind.” He asked the court to dismiss CEI’s motion for sanctions and fees, writing that the think tank had “wasted enough of [his office’s] and the Court’s limited time and resources with its frivolous Anti-SLAPP motion.”

So having violated CEI’s First Amendment rights, subjected the group to public abuse and legal costs, and threatened its donors, Mr. Walker blames CEI for burdening the courts.

Mr. Schneiderman is also on defense for his subpoena barrage and claim that Exxon is guilty of fraud on grounds that it supposedly hid the truth about global warming from the public. The AG felt compelled to devote an entire speech at a legal conference to justify his actions. He accused Exxon and outside groups of engaging in “First Amendment opportunism,” which he said was a “dangerous new threat” to the state’s ability to protect its citizens. So exercising free speech to question government officials who threaten free speech is a threat to free speech.

He also cited a 1978 opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti by then Justice William Rehnquist that the AG said supported his action against Exxon. Mr. Schneiderman failed to note he was quoting a Rehnquist dissent, meaning the law is the opposite of what the AG suggests.

The left keeps losing the climate political debate, so it resorts to imposing its policies by regulatory diktat as President Obama has, and now it is trying to use government power to intimidate and silence opponents. Congrats to CEI and Exxon for insisting that these political prosecutors obey the law.


Eastern Australian flood events: a 'significant' rise in frequency, says study

The BOM is getting cautious.  They must have learnt from their very cautious junior researcher, Acacia Pepler.

Below they report an increase in floods but say only that it was "possibly" influenced by human-induced climate change.  Though Leftist readers will no doubt fail to to notice the "possibly".

But they are right to use "possibly".  They start their record from 1860 and a gentle sea-level rise has been going on since then, long before the alleged era of "human-induced climate change".  So more coastal flooding could be expected to show up over that long period.

Secondly, why don't we look at the period of alleged human influence, the post WWI era? Let's look from 1950 on.  Looking at their graph I can see NO trend in that period.  There is one anomalous spike around 1990 but the histogram overall looks pretty square starting in 1950. I haven't got the raw data to do a precise test but by eye there has been NO trend from 1950 on.  At most I see a downward trend.  How disappointing for them!

And finally, they got a lot of their data, not from official meteorology records but from "newspaper reports".  I hope I do not need to say why that is a very shaky data source.  Warmists can be amusing!

The academic journal article underlying the report below is "Major coastal flooding in southeastern Australia 1860–2012, associated deaths and weather systems". I note with amusement the second last sentence of the Abstract: "Some of the most extreme events identified occurred in the 19th century and early-to-mid 20th century". So their findings UNDERMINE global warming theory, if anything. Pesky of me to notice that, isn't it? You are not supposed to question the Gods

But this mob are not Gods. Racketeers and confidence men, more like it. And this article is a good example of their "modus operandi". They can't lie too much or they would risk getting caught with their pants down. So they just slant what they put out

The frequency of major flood events along Australia's eastern seaboard is increasing, with climate change one of the possible factors, senior Bureau of Meteorology researchers say.

The report, published in the bureau's inaugural edition of the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science, comes as eastern Australia braces for the second east coast low in as many weeks, with the potential for localised flooding including in the Sydney region.

Researchers, such as Acacia Pepler from the University of NSW, predict east coast lows may become less common during the winter months as the planet warms. However, those that form near the coast, which bring the most damage from heavy rain and coastal erosion, may increase in frequency.

The new research from Scott Power and Jeff Callaghan indicates that major flood events are already on the increase.

Taking a 1500-kilometre stretch of eastern Australia from Brisbane down to Bega on the south coast of NSW, the two bureau researchers examined all the major floods since 1860.

Major floods were defined as those events which caused extensive flooding within 50 kilometres of the coast, or inundation that extended 20 kilometres along the coast, with at least two catchment areas involved.

As the chart below shows, the frequency of such events has roughly doubled to two a year over the past 150 years, with about half the increase since the end of the 19th century.

"There is a statistically significant increasing trend in major flood frequency over the full period," the authors wrote in their paper.

The range was also widespread, with "the overwhelming majority of sites in the study region [showing] increasing trends", including all but one of the sites closest to the coast.

The majority of the sites also revealed that the largest amount of daily rain received each year was increasing.

The researchers relied on rainfall and stream-flow data and also local newspaper reports to compile what they said was the most complete record of the region over time.

They attributed the trend to natural climate variability and "possibly" from human-induced climate change, adding that the anthropogenic influence was expected to be greater on the more extreme events.

Further research, though, would be needed to determine the extent of the human influence, the paper noted.



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