Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thirty-One Top Scientific Societies Speak with One Voice on Global Climate Change

I like the word "non-partisan" below.  Academe is notoriously Left-leaning so the claim is nonsense even on that ground.  Where scientists are undoubtedly and fiercely partisan, however, is about research grants.  No scientist ever says: "I don't deserve a research grant this year.  They are absolutely partisan about the importance of research grants and the need to keep them flowing.  So all that the article below shows is that learned societies believe passionately in keeping up the flow of research grants to their members.  The global warming scare has unleashed a golden shower of research grants onto anybody who can drag global warming into their research.  And we all now know not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Global warming is a scam dreamed up by a small number of unscrupulous scientists for the benefit of scientists -- and most other scientists just say "Thank you very much".  Anybody who challenged the myth would be seen as letting the side down -- thus endangering his position

In a consensus letter to U.S. policymakers, a partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies today reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions “must be substantially reduced” to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver,” the collaborative said in its 28 June letter to Members of Congress. “This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

Climate-change impacts in the United States have already included increased threats of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and disturbances to ecosystems and animals, the intersociety group reported. “The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades,” the letter added. It cited the scientific consensus of the vast majority of individual climate scientists and virtually every leading scientific organization in the world, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the U.S. National Academies, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the American Statistical Association, the Ecological Society of America, and the Geological Society of America.

“To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced,” the group said, adding that adaptation is also necessary to “address unavoidable consequences for human health and safety, food security, water availability, and national security, among others.”

The 28 June letter, representing a broad range of scientific disciplines, reaffirmed the key climate-change messages in a 2009 letter signed by 18 leading scientific organizations. The letter is being released again, by a larger consortium of 31 scientific organizations, to reassert the scientific consensus on climate change, and to provide objective, authoritative information to policymakers who must work toward solutions.

“Climate change is real and happening now, and the United States urgently needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said AAAS Chief Executive Officer Rush Holt, executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We must not delay, ignore the evidence, or be fearful of the challenge. America has provided global leadership to successfully confront many environmental problems, from acid rain to the ozone hole, and we can do it again. We owe no less to future generations.”

The 28 June letter was signed by leaders of the following organizations: AAAS; American Chemical Society; American Geophysical Union; American Institute of Biological Sciences; American Meteorological Society; American Public Health Association; American Society of Agronomy; American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; American Society of Naturalists; American Society of Plant Biologists; American Statistical Association; Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography; Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; Association of Ecosystem Research Centers; BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium; Botanical Society of America; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Crop Science Society of America; Ecological Society of America; Entomological Society of America; Geological Society of America; National Association of Marine Laboratories; Natural Science Collections Alliance; Organization of Biological Field Stations; Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; Society for Mathematical Biology; Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; Society of Nematologists; Society of Systematic Biologists; Soil Science Society of America; University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.


New paleoclimatology paper shows that CO2 is only a bit-player in the drama of world climate, while the main characters are ice, dust and albedo

Modulation of ice ages via precession and dust-albedo feedbacks

Ralph Ellis & Michael Palmer


We present here a simple and novel proposal for the modulation and rhythm of ice-ages and interglacials during the late Pleistocene. While the standard Milankovitch-precession theory fails to explain the long intervals between interglacials, these can be accounted for by a novel forcing and feedback system involving CO2, dust and albedo. During the glacial period, the high albedo of the northern ice sheets drives down global temperatures and CO2 concentrations, despite subsequent precessional forcing maxima. Over the following millennia more CO2 is sequestered in the oceans and atmospheric concentrations eventually reach a critical minima of about 200 ppm, which combined with arid conditions, causes a die-back of temperate and boreal forests and grasslands, especially at high altitude. The ensuing soil erosion generates dust storms, resulting in increased dust deposition and lower albedo on the northern ice sheets. As northern hemisphere insolation increases during the next Milankovitch cycle, the dust-laden ice-sheets absorb considerably more insolation and undergo rapid melting, which forces the climate into an interglacial period. The proposed mechanism is simple, robust, and comprehensive in its scope, and its key elements are well supported by empirical evidence.


The sun has 'gone blank' and there could be another ice age on the way

The sun has gone "completely blank" for the second time this month suggesting that Earth could be heading for a mini ICE AGE.

Earlier this month, there were no sunspots on the massive star's surface for four days - something which hadn't happened since 2011. This has since happened again.

A lack of sun spots is totally normal, but it does hint that the sun is heading for its next "solar minimum phase".

The next solar minimum phase is expected to take place in 2019 or 2020, says meteorologist Paul Dorian of Vencore Weather , who expects to see an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years.

The last time the sun saw a such a long phase with no sunspots, it ushered in what scientists refer to as a the 'Maunder Minimum' back in 1645.

This caused temperatures to plunge dramatically, and even resulted in the Thames freezing over.

Some experts think that a similar mini ice age could be coming again soon.

The solar phenomenon could even prove dangerous for astronauts, says Paul Dorian.

During these spotless phases of the sun, extreme ultraviolet radiation drops, resulting in lower aerodynamic drag as the Earth's atmosphere cools and contracts.

The lower drag can cause space junk to accumulate in orbit, which could result in a collision with the International Space Station or other spacecraft.


97% global warming consensus paper surpasses half a million downloads

I think this proves that Warmists can't read.  Right there in the Abstract of the paper it says that two thirds of climate scientists take no position on global warming

Cook et al. (2013) has remained the most-read paper in Environmental Research Letters for most of the past 3 years

In 2013, a team of citizen science volunteers who collaborate on the climate myth debunking website published a paper finding a 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming in peer-reviewed research. Over the past 3 years, that paper has been downloaded more than 500,000 times. For perspective, that’s 4 times more than the second-most downloaded paper in the Institute of Physics journals (which includes Environmental Research Letters, where the 97% consensus paper was published).

The statistic reveals a remarkable level of interest for a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Over a three-year period, the study has been downloaded an average of 440 times per day, and the pace has hardly slowed. Over the past year, the download rate has remained high, at 415 per day.

SOURCE. See also here

Trader Joe’s Is Being Fined for Contributing to Global Warming

Do you buy organic sweet potato chips and reasonably priced imported cheeses at Trader Joe’s, the alt grocery chain that radiates good vibes with frozen mini wontons, Hawaiian shirt uniforms, and two-dollar wine? That’s awesome, and here’s good news to keep the chill times rolling: Today, Trader Joe’s has agreed to spend $2 million to fix up its refrigerators to settle a federal suit that claimed TJ’s refrigerator leaks have been contributing to the depletion of the ozone.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department claimed that Trader Joe’s refrigerators leaked R-22, a refrigerator coolant that burns through the ozone and contributes to global warming at a rate 1,800 times that of carbon dioxide. According to Reuters, the feds said that Trader Joe’s didn’t fix leaks quickly enough and didn’t keep adequate service records—a big-time freezer foul. Trader Joe’s will have to pay a $500,000 fine on top of the $2 million in repairs as part of a settlement, which did not require Trader Joe’s to admit liability.

But when everything’s said and done, Trader Joe’s will have some shiny, efficient refrigerators. The company has committed to cutting its “average leak rate” to less than half the industry standard at its 461 stores in the next three years, and eventually the cuts would be the equivalent of taking more than 6,500 cars off the road every year.

Though Costco and Safeway have both settled cases related to the efficiency of their refrigerators before, Trader Joe’s case is the first time the EPA has required a company to repair its leaks for reasons relating to global warming.

The new limits “set a high bar for the grocery industry for detecting and fixing coolant leaks,” an EPA official, Cynthia Giles, said.

One thing not refrigerated at TJ’s is two-buck Chuck, but maybe when you get your $24 case of wine home you should change that by dumping it in a slushie machine. Just make sure your machine isn’t leaking any weird coolants—that stuff is probably poison.



Three current articles below

Greens self-serving Trots: ex-PM Keating

Keating is right about that. The Greens are full of ex-Trotskyites

Former prime minister Paul Keating has used a Labor rally to turn his caustic wit on the Greens Party, labelling it "a bunch of opportunists and Trots" splitting the progressive vote.

In his first public address of the 2016 election campaign, Mr Keating told the Sydney crowd the Greens were reducing Labor's ability to form government.

"They're a protest party, not a party of government, but their game is to nobble the party of government that can actually make changes," Mr Keating said.

"You can't be a government when you've got a bunch tearing away at you, trying to pinch a seat here and there, all to make themselves look important."

Mr Keating addressed the rally in aid of fellow Labor stalwart Anthony Albanese, who is under pressure in his inner-western Sydney seat of Grayndler.

The seat has come under sustained Greens attack after AEC redistributions cut the traditional working-class stronghold of Marrickville, as well as Mr Albanese's home and office, from the electorate.

He is facing Greens candidate Jim Casey, a former firefighter and Fire Brigade Employees' Union secretary.

Mr Albanese, who labelled Mr Keating "Australia's greatest treasurer", said the Greens were taking the public funding from every NSW seat solely to attack him.

"They're outspending us two to one in this seat. There's billboards everywhere," Mr Albanese said.

Mr Keating castigated the Greens for positioning themselves as the true Australian progressive party, saying it was Labor who introduced legislation to protect the Daintree, Jervis Bay and Antarctica.

The Greens had also failed the environment by blocking Labor's emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2009.

"They purloined the name Greens. We're more green than they are," he said. "Ratting on Rudd with the ETS scheme and walking away from the Malaysia Solution, things that required a bit of courage ... they could've been the Yellows."

Turning to the economy, Mr Keating said leaving the economic lifting to central banks through monetary policy had become increasingly ineffective.

He said the onus now fell on governments to intervene with infrastructure spending and public service provision.

"Governments have tucked themselves away and let central banks lower interest rates in the hope, like lighting a match, if you strike it enough there might be a flame," Mr Keating said.

"The market system which I participated in as treasurer, where we opened the economy up, we basically reduced the size of government to let all these forces go.

"We're now at a point in economic history in Australia and around the world where that system is going nowhere."

Mr Keating's appearance comes just a day after criticising the government's proposed company tax cuts in a letter to the Australian Financial Review.


Greenies determined to hamstring Northern development

The opportunities for viable development in Australia's "empty North" are few but Greenies still want to block them all.  They will find some frog or insect that would be inconvenienced by development projects and thus stop everything

Ahead of the election, the major parties have released different visions for developing northern Australia. The Coalition has committed to dam projects across Queensland; Labor has pledged to support the tourism industry.

These pledges build on the Coalition’s A$5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, a fund to support large projects, starting on July 1.

The Coalition has pledged A$20 million to support 14 new or existing dams across Queensland should the government be returned to power, as part of a A$2.5 billion plan for dams across northern Australia.

Labor, meanwhile, will redirect A$1 billion from the fund towards tourism, including eco-tourism, indigenous tourism ventures and transport infrastructure (airports, trains, and ports).

It is well recognised that the development of northern Australia will depend on harnessing the north’s abundant water resources. However, it’s also well recognised that the ongoing use of water resources to support industry and agriculture hinges on the health and sustainability of those water resources.

Northern Australia is home to diverse ecosystems, which support a range of ecosystem services and cultural values, and these must be adequately considered in the planning stages.
Sustainability comes second

The white paper for northern Australia focuses almost solely on driving growth and development. Current water resource management policy in Australia, however, emphasises integrated water resource planning and sustainable water use that protects key ecosystem functions.

Our concern is that the commitment to sustainability embedded in the National Water Initiative (NWI), as well as Queensland’s water policies, may become secondary in the rush to "fast track" these water infrastructure projects.

Lessons from the past show that the long-term success of large water infrastructure projects requires due process, including time for consultation, environmental assessments and investigation of alternative solutions.
What is on the table?

The Coalition proposes providing funds to investigate the feasibility of a range of projects, including upgrading existing dams and investigating new dams. The majority of these appear to be focused on increasing the reliability of water supplies in regional urban centres. Few target improved agricultural productivity.

These commitments add to the already proposed feasibility study (A$10 million) of the Ord irrigation scheme in the Northern Territory and the construction of the Nullinga Dam in Queensland. And the A$15 million northern Australia water resources assessment being undertaken by CSIRO, which is focused on the Fitzroy river basin in Western Australia, the Darwin river basins in Northern Territory and the Mitchell river basin in Queensland.

Rethinking dams

New water infrastructure in the north should be part of an integrated investment program to limit overall environmental impacts. Focusing on new dams applies 19th-century thinking to a 21st-century problem, and we have three major concerns about the rush to build dams in northern Australia.

First, the process to establish infrastructure priorities for federal investment is unclear. For instance, it’s uncertain how the projects are connected to Queensland’s State Infrastructure Plan.

Investment in new water infrastructure across northern Australia needs to be part of a long-term water resource plan. This requires clearly articulated objectives for the development of northern Australia, along with assessment criteria that relate to economic, social and environmental outcomes, such as those used in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Second, the federal government emphasises on-stream dams. Dams built across the main river in this way have many well-recognised problems, including:

*    lack of environmental flows (insufficient water at the appropriate frequency and duration to support ecosystems)

*    flow inversion (higher flows may occur in the dry season than in the wet, when the bulk of rainfall occurs)

*    barriers to fish movement and loss of connectivity to wetlands

*    water quality and temperature impacts (unless there is a multi-level off-take).

As a minimum, new dams should be built away from major waterways (such as on small, tributary streams) and designed to minimise environmental impacts. This requires planning in the early stages, as such alternatives are extremely difficult to retrofit to an existing system.

Finally, the federal government proposals make no mention of climate change impacts. Irrigation and intensive manufacturing industries demand highly reliable water supplies.

While high-value use of water should be encouraged, new industries need to be able to adapt for the increased frequency of low flows; as well as increased intensity of flood events. Government investment needs to build resilience as well as high-value use.

Detailed planning, not press releases

In place of the rather ad hoc approach to improvements in water infrastructure, such as the projects announced by the federal government in advance of the election, we need a more holistic and considered approach.

The A$20 million investment for 14 feasibility studies and business cases in Queensland represents a relatively small amount of money for each project, and runs the risk of having them undertaken in isolation. The feasibility studies should be part of the entirety of the government’s plan for A$2.5 billion in new dams for northern Australia.

Water resource planning is too important and too expensive to cut corners on planning. Investment proposals for Queensland need to be integrated with water resource planning across the state, and across northern Australia, and with appropriate consideration of climate change impacts.

Fast tracking dams without considering ecosystem impacts, future variability in water supplies, and resilience in local communities merely sets the scene for future problems that will likely demand another round of intervention and reform.


Global cooling hits Sydney

Sydneysiders felt the chill on Monday as temperatures plummeted to their coolest in two decades as New South Wales experiences the most powerful cold front in three years.

The maximum temperature reached was just 11.7 degrees but remained mostly in the single digit range all day.

The cold temperatures make it the coolest day for any month in 20 years, said Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald that temperatures have averaged just 10.4 degrees over the past three days, the coldest June period in six years.

An overnight low of eight degrees was met with rain in Sydney on Monday morning with a top of just 13 degrees expected throughout the day.

Peter Zmijewski, a senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology said: 'The temperature is a bit colder than it normally is at this time of year.'

'There's a lot of cloud moving through the east coast. We do expect rainfall to continue throughout Monday,' he told Daily mail Australia.

After experiencing the coldest morning of the year on Sunday there will be no let up for Sydneysiders during the week, with damp and chilly weather forecast for the early part of the seven day period.

Over the weekend, temperatures dropped to just above five degrees in the CBD on Sunday and although Monday will not be as chilly, rain is forecast to set in.



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