Friday, July 01, 2016

Is the march of the penguins over? Researchers warn climate change could kill off 60% of global Adélie populations by the end of the century

This is all reliant on the usual global warming models, that have never got anything right yet

Adélie penguins have roamed across Antarctica for millions of years. However, climate change has finally reached a 'tipping point' that could decimate their numbers, researchers have warned.

They says 30 per cent of current colonies may be in decline by 2060, and approximately 60 per cent may be in decline by 2099.

In a paper published today (June 29) in Scientific Reports, the researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060 and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099.

'It is only in recent decades that we know Adélie penguins population declines are associated with warming, which suggests that many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and that further warming is no longer positive for the species,' said the paper's lead author Megan Cimino.

The current work used satellite data and global climate model projections to understand current and future population trends on a continental scale.

'Our study used massive amounts of data to run habitat suitability models. 'From other studies that used actual ground counts--people going and physically counting penguins-- and from high resolution satellite imagery, we have global estimates of Adélie penguin breeding locations, meaning where they are present and where they are absent, throughout the entire Southern Ocean.

'We also have estimates of population size and how their populations have changed over last few decades,' explained Cimino, now a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

'When we combined this data with satellite information and future climate projections on sea surface temperature and sea ice, we can look at past and future changes in Adélie penguin habitat suitability,' Cimino said.

Funded through the NASA Biodiversity program, the study is based on satellite observations from 1981-2010 of sea surface temperature, sea ice and bare rock locations, and true presence-absence data of penguin population estimates from satellite imagery.

In particular, the researchers examined the number of years from 1981-2010 with novel or unusual climate during the Adélie penguin chick-rearing period from past satellite observations and used an ensemble of global climate models to make predictions about Adélie penguin habitat suitability from 2011-2099. The team validated the models with documented population trends.

The study results suggest that climate novelty, particularly warm sea surface temperature (SST), is detrimental to Adélie penguins.

While the specific mechanisms for this relationship remain unknown, the study focuses attention on areas where climate change is likely to create a high frequency of unsuitable conditions during the 21st century.

Lynch noted that 'One of the key advances over the last decade is our ability to find penguin colonies from space and, nearly as important, to determine which areas of Antarctica do not support penguin colonies.

'Having both true presence and absence across a species' global range is unique to this system, and opens up new avenues for modeling habitat suitability.'

According to Cimino, the southern WAP, associated islands and northern WAP regions, which are already experiencing population declines, are projected to experience the greatest frequency of novel climate this century due to warm SST.

This suggests that warm sea surface temperatures may cause a decrease in the suitability of chick-rearing habitats at northerly latitudes.

'Matt and I have worked extensively at Palmer Station and we know that penguin colonies near there have declined by at least 80 percent since the 1970s.'

By contrast, the study also suggests several refugia -- areas of relatively unaltered climate -- may exist in continental Antarctica beyond 2099, which would buffer a species-wide decline.

Understanding how these refugia operate is critical to understanding the future of this species.


Leaving EU will make it harder for UK to tackle climate change, says minister

Like how?  She doesn't say. This is just propaganda.  The British stockmarket is already back to where it was before the Brexit vote and most other things should soon be back to normal too.  Britain didn't need the EU to waste a fortune on windmills

Brexit will make it harder for Britain to play its role in tackling climate change, the UK energy and climate secretary has said.

But Amber Rudd said that the UK remained committed to action on global warming and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian that on Thursday she will approve a world-leading carbon target for 2032.

“While I think the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away,” Rudd told an audience in London.

“Securing our energy supply, keeping bills low and building a low carbon energy infrastructure: the challenges remain the same. Our commitment also remains the same. As I said, I think the decision last week risks making it a harder road.”

She said she agreed with chancellor, George Osborne, that the UK now faced a period of uncertainty. “The decision on Thursday raises a host of questions for the energy sector, of course it does. There have been significant advantages to us trading energy both within Europe and being an entry point into Europe from the rest of the world.”

She added that the UK remained committed to new nuclear, including the planned £23bn expansion of Hinkley Point in Somerset, which some observers have said is likely to become a casualty of last week’s leave vote.

Rudd’s comments on Brexit having significant ramifcations for the energy sector were at odds with her energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, a prominent Leave campaigner during the referendum.

“In my view, for energy policy I don’t believe anything will change,” she said on Wednesday when asked by MPs on the committee on energy and climate change what impact Brexit would have.

“The UK’s Climate Change Act is absolutely key to our climate change objectives, we continue to be absolutely committed to those.

“In terms of interconnectors, those are businesses, those are run on commercial terms and nothing will change. In terms of cooperation on climate change and decarbonisation our own commitment remains as strong, but we never only working with EU, we were working globally.”

Industry, experts and green groups broadly welcomed Rudd’s speech today.

Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group, which represents BT, Ikea, M&S and a group of businesses supporting sustainability, said: “Coming a few days after the outcome of the EU referendum, it is positive to hear Amber Rudd highlight the importance of continuing to tackle climate change.”

The leading economist Lord Stern said: “The secretary of state’s speech has provided reassurance that the long-term direction of UK climate change policy under the current government has not changed.”

Sam Barker, director of the Conservative Environment Network, said: “This is a welcome intervention from the energy and climate change secretary. Ministers across this Conservative government have delivered significant environmental improvements, from planning an ambitious coal phase-out to creating the world’s largest marine reserve.”

Greenpeace said that Rudd and Leadsom’s commitment to the Climate Change Act was good but action was needed. “Soothing words are not good enough. Green investor confidence in the UK was shaky before Brexit because of the government’s ever changing and incoherent policies, which neither minister seem willing to get to grips with even now,” said John Sauven, the group’s executive director.

On Wednesday, the wind power industry said that the uncertainty created by Brexit meant it was time the government reconsidered its stance on onshore wind power, for which Rudd cut subsidies last year.

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, said: “It is precisely now, at this moment which is so unpredictable and uncertain, that I believe we should reflect on what we can offer; cheap, homegrown electricity able to deliver hundreds of millions of pounds of capital investment for our economy over the next few years, helping companies all over Britain just at a time when we need it most.”

Separately, politicians expressed shock that Mark Reckless, a Ukip Welsh assembly member had been appointed chair of the Welsh assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Ukip has repeatedly cast doubt on climate change science and in the 2015 general election campaigned on a manifesto promise to repeal the Climate Change Act.


German climate alarmists are wavering

The solar slowdown has freaked them -- Schellnhuber, Rahmstorf et al.

The daily Berliner Kurier here writes today that solar physicists at the ultra-warmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are warning that Europe may be facing “a mini ice age” due to a possible protracted solar minimum.

The Berliner Kurier writes:

That’s the conclusion that solar physicists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reached when looking at solar activity.”

For an institute that over the past 20 years has steadfastly insisted that man has been almost the sole factor in climate change over the past century and that the sun no longer plays a role, this is quite remarkable.

The Berliner Kurier reports that the PIK scientists foresee a weakening of the sun’s activity over the coming years. “That means that conversely it is going to get colder. The scientists are speaking of a little ice age.”

According to the PIK scientists, the reduced solar activity will, however, not be able to stop the global warming and only brake the warming up to 2100 by 0.3°C.

Given the extreme warnings of warming and sea level rise put out by the Potsdam Institute in the past, this still represents an extraordinary admission, one that has us suspecting a major climate turnaround may be ahead – despite all the efforts by the Potsdam Institute to play it all down. Here we see them possibly setting up a global warming postponement of a couple of decades. The sun plays a role after all.

The source of the Berliner Kurier report is the Austrian weather site here. The site writes that some solar physicists suspect the current solar inactivity may be “the start of a new grand minimum” like the one the planet saw in the 17th century and left Europe in an ice box.

Though most scientists agree that the Little Ice Age took place, many dispute its extent. Some insist it was localized over the North Atlantic region. But now there are dozens of studies that show it was in fact a global event. That should make us worry.


The $108 Million Science Swindle

The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations shed light on more government-sanctioned junk science. Among the things covered in Thursday’s oversight hearing is a startling revelation concerning the Department of the Interior that gets to the crux of climate skeptics' dissent over the supposed effects of anthropogenic warming. According to the hearing memorandum:

    “[Office of Inspector General] found that the operator of a mass spectrometer device at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Programs Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado manipulated scientific results and data between 2008 and 2014. Committee staff later learned from the OIG that the individual was the second employee to do so, and that data manipulation in the lab began in the late 1990’s. Test results from the lab are used in the Energy Resource Program’s coal and water quality assessments. The OIG noted in its report transmittal letter that the full extent of the impacts of this manipulated data are not yet known, but that they will be serious and far ranging. According to the OIG audit, projects potentially affected by the falsified data between FY08 and FY16 had received $108 million in funding. USGS permanently closed the lab in February 2016 and the scientist in question resigned in the course of the investigation.”

On Thursday, Rep. Bruce Westerman said, “It’s astounding that we spend $108 million on manipulated research and then the far-reaching effects that that would have. We know how research multiplies and affects different parts of our society and our economy and … if you’re working off of flawed data it definitely could be in a bad way.”

What is it ecofascists are constantly crowing? Something about how the science of “climate change” is settled? It’s especially easy to make that argument — which is scientifically flawed in any case — when the evidence is rigged. And climate alarmists have been caught again doing just that. Last week’s hearing only affirms an inconvenient truth: In government, science is far likelier to be manipulated than it is truthful.


Ecofascists Target Differences of Opinion

Here in America, Land of the Free, it ought to take actual wrongdoing for government to act against individuals and organizations. And when those in positions of authority are properly serving the people, that’s the way it works.

Alas, that is not always so. It is growing more frequent to see malfeasance by public servants who, rather than seeking out criminal or civil misbehavior, use their offices for purposes outside their scope of responsibility. Apparently, the punishment for abdicating one’s sworn duty to honorably do his/her job is insufficient — or nonexistent — to discourage bad behavior.

Perhaps the best-known recent episode of such public dis-service was the IRS harassment of conservative organizations that filed for non-profit status, a function under the control of one Lois Lerner.

During a congressional hearing investigating the affair, Lerner refused to answer questions, hiding behind the Fifth Amendment’s protection from self-incrimination, later resigning her federal position and, having avoided criminal charges, lives peacefully on her government pension.

While Lerner used her IRS position against political adversaries, public servant misbehavior also creeps into the area of harassing ideological opponents. The environmental Left’s position that burning fossil fuels significantly harms the environment is based upon evidence so weak and heavily disputed that a substantial number of Americans — perhaps a majority — reject the idea. Unable to convince people through the strength of scientific evidence, leftists resort to using the power of government to force people into line.

This time the target is ExxonMobil and a dozen independent groups that are in the crosshairs of a state prosecutor because they do not accept the idea that fossil fuels significantly damage the environment, and have had the unmitigated gall to express their opinion publicly.

Earlier this month, ExxonMobil released a copy of an April 19 subpoena filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey demanding 40 years of communications regarding climate change from the company and the organizations. Exxon has filed a motion for injunction in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accusing Healey of waging a politically motivated fishing expedition aimed at silencing oppositional opinion on climate change.

Did Exxon engage in legally actionable fraud as Healy claims? “Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be held accountable,” she said. She also referred to what she called the “troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public.”

Healy’s statement suggests that someone can be held criminally liable for knowing the Left’s argument about climate change, and then failing to discard their own opinion in favor of that argument. Merely knowing that ecofascists think fossil fuel use is harming the environment makes you legally obligated to adopt that position, even if you do not agree and, more importantly, even if there is no actual proof that assumption is correct.

Healy and her fellow travelers seem to believe that their opinion becomes truth merely because they believe it — even if it has never been proven true or valid. And if you disagree you can face legal action. Free speech and the First Amendment apparently no longer apply where climate change is concerned.

Of this poorly thought through legal fiasco, Alex Epstein, whose Center for Industrial Progress is one of the dozen organizations targeted by Healy along with Exxon, had this to say: “What ExxonMobil is being prosecuted for is expressing an opinion about the evidence that the government disagrees with. … There is a fundamental distinction in civilized society between fraud and opinion.”

In his excellent book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” Epstein advances the position that fossil fuel use has provided millions and millions of people wonderful advantages in terms of higher living standards, increased life expectancy and decreased infant and child mortality. He also references the manic climate change narrative that produced repeated predictions of doom that did not materialize.

A fundamental truth in the United States is that one may hold and espouse any opinion he or she chooses, without regard to whether that opinion is true or false; it is not a crime to disagree, even if the subject is climate change.

This effort to force acceptance of the weak theory of fossil fuels damaging the environment is an initiative of “AGs United for Clean Power.” This perhaps signals a coming expanded effort to silence disagreement. But it has aroused the attention of 13 attorneys general, who signed a letter to their counterparts across the country that said: “We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake.”

Whether that letter will help redirect AGs tempted to the dark side or not is unknown. But it is a step in the right direction.


Greenie scare fails

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef named the best place in the world to visit.  Throughout the bleaching scare, tourism operators have never had any difficulty taking people to unspoiled areas of the reef

IN a much-needed boost for the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism has been voted the best place in the world to visit by an influential US travel site.

US News and World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 ranked the Reef No.1 ahead of Paris and Bora Bora in French Polynesia.  Sydney also made the list — at 13th.

The site described the Reef as “holding a spot on every travellers’ bucket list”.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said the description.  “Whether you’re gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless.”

It comes after a series of sinister reports about the Reef’s future following a major coral bleaching event found to have affected extensive areas.

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the Reef’s first placing on the list, was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland,” Ms Coddington said. “It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day.”

Other destinations to make the top ten included Florence in Italy; Tokyo, Japan; the archealogocial capital of the Americas — Cusco in Peru; London, Rome, New York and Maui.

Cape Town in South Africa and Barcelona in Spain finished ahead of Sydney, the only other Australian location on the list.

“Expert opinions, user votes and current trends” were used to compile this list.

Last year London was No.1, Bora Bora No.2 and Barcelona third — while Sydney was placed fifth.

Ms Coddington said this year’s result reaffirmed just how important the Reef was to Australia’s tourism economy.  “It’s ours to protect and share,” she said.  “Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth.”



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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