Monday, July 11, 2016

Now it's mangroves (persongroves?)

All bad things are caused by global warming.  That seems to be the orthodoxy. Evidence be damned. Warmists are like the people who see UFO's ..... every light in the sky is a UFO.  So coral bleaching in 2015 was due to global warming; kelp dieback was due to global warming and now dieback among some mangroves in Northern Australia is due to global warming.  And, as we all surely know, global warming is caused by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  As CO2 increases, so we get hotter.  So if all these diebacks were caused by a warming globe, CO2 levels should have been shooting up, right?

Fortunately the guy below can pinpoint the time when the mangroves died off.  He says it happened "in September-October 2015".  So CO2 levels should have shot up around that time, right?  In fact, 2015 was the one year in which CO2 levels stagnated. 2015 CO2 levels at Mauna Loa just fluctuated up and down from month to month around the 400ppm mark.  See the record below, a screen grab from Mauna Loa.

The 4th column is the actual average CO2 level in ppm. So, far from shooting up, CO2 was in stasis.  So any warming CANNOT be attributed to a CO2 rise. Dr Norm Duke is talking through his anus.  There WAS warming in 2015 but that was due to El Nino. It cannot have been due to a CO2 rise, because there wasn't any

Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.

International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change.

"It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died," he told the ABC.

Dr Duke flew 200 kilometres between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers in the Northern Territory last month to survey the extent of the dieback.

He described the scene as the most "dramatic, pronounced extreme level of dieback that I've ever observed".

Dr Duke is a world expert in mangrove classification and ecosystems, based at James Cook University, and in May received photographs showing vast areas of dead mangroves in the Northern Territory section of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Until that time he and other scientists had been focused on mangrove dieback around Karmuba, Queensland, at the opposite end of the Gulf.

"The images were compelling. They were really dramatic, showing severe dieback of mangrove shoreline fringing — areas just extending off into infinity," Dr Duke said.

"Certainly nothing in my experience had prepared me to see images like that."

Dr Duke said he wanted to discover if the dieback in the two states was related. "We're talking about 700 kilometres of distance between incidences at that early time," he said.

The area the Northern Territory photos were taken in was so remote the only way to confirm the extent and timing of the mangrove dieback was with specialist satellite imagery.

With careful analysis the imagery confirmed the mangrove dieback in both states had happened in the space of a month late last year, coincident with coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We're talking about 10,000 hectares of mangroves were lost across this whole 700 kilometre span," Dr Duke said.     "It's not only unprecedented, it's extensive, it's severe and it's noticeable.

"I have not seen such imagery anywhere before, from all over the world. I work in many places around the world and I look at damaged mangroves as part of my work all the time. These are the most shocking images of dieback I've ever seen."

Dr Duke flew to the Northern Territory in June to judge the physical extent of the mangroves' damage. With the support of the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission he flew in a helicopter between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers.
What is causing the 'dieback'?

Dr Duke said the cause of such extensive damage was not immediately evident.

"Like a large oil spill, like a cyclone or severe storm — none of those things had occurred in the region in recent times," he said.

"But in that mix of things that were going on at the same time we're starting to hear about coral bleaching ... [and] hot water on the east coast."

The coincident timing of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and the dieback of mangroves in the north led Dr Duke to look at climatic factors.

"I started hearing that the wet season was missing from the Northern Territory over that time period," he said. "The wet season was only one-month-long in the year before. Usually the wet season in the Northern Territory in that area is three or four months long," Dr Duke said.

He said he was convinced unusually low rainfall in the 2014 wet season and elevated temperatures led to the massive mangrove dieback. He said a deadly lack of fresh water and increased water and atmospheric temperatures stressed the plants beyond their tolerance.

Satellite imagery pinpoints the damage to a period of around four weeks in September-October 2015.


Highland bog reveals global warming threat to peatlands

The article below is just another Greenie fraud.  As you will see from the appended journal abstract, the research neither used nor had any data on global warming.  All they showed is that sea-level rise exposes peat to more salt, which is bad for it.  Sea levels have of course been rising ever since the end of the little ice-age

Rising sea levels and increased pollution linked to global warming are posing a huge threat to the future of the world’s peatland areas, new research has concluded.

Geologists based their findings on a major study of Kentra Moss, in Lochaber, a blanket bog deemed a special conservation area. They found climate change is increasing salt levels in peatlands which makes it less able to store carbon.

Peat bogs cover 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface and play a crucial role in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

Experts say that natural ecosystems are now under “considerable threat” around the world – and significantly in Scotland, where 20 per cent of the land is covered in peat, storing 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon.

Peatlands are also vital for providing natural filters for clean water, sustaining plants and wildlife, and providing some rural areas with fuel as well as the water used to give whisky its distinctive taste and colour.

Study leader Dr Angela Gallego-Salas, senior lecturer in physical geography at Exeter University, said: “The results were startling. Peatland areas are vital for our ecosystems. We need to act now to protect our peatlands. The effects of global warming are already being observed, but the longer we wait to act, the quicker changes to our environment, which would have a devastating impact on many regions around the world, will take place.”

Her team examined the impact salt found in seawater has on how successfully peatland ecosystems accumulate carbon from the atmosphere. They discovered that the rate at which peatland areas accumulated carbon was significantly impacted as the concentration of salt rose.

The results – which appeared in the scientific journal Scientific Reports – highlighted how sea levels linked to predicted climate change pose a serious threat to the future security of peatlands.


Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

Alex Whittle & Angela V. Gallego-Sala


Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them.

Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions.

Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline.

For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr−1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 28758 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep28758

Fuel me or fool me

America has centuries of fossil fuels, but hydrocarbon deniers want to strangle our future

Paul Driessen

Fool me once, the adage says, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The reality-based fossil fuel version states: Fuel me for 150 years, fuel me forever – or at least until creative, entrepreneurial spirits can devise reliable, affordable alternatives. The 2016 Democratic Party would change this adage to read: Fuel me for 150 years, fuel me never again.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want to regulate drilling and fracking into oblivion, or ban them outright. Clinton also says she is “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

The draft Democratic Party platform supports a “phase down” of fossil fuel production on public lands, turning those lands into “engines of the clean energy economy,” getting 50% of US electricity from “clean sources” by 2027, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

This Big Green, Bigger Government, Democratic ideology represents destructive madness.

1) Oil, natural gas and coal replaced human and animal muscle, wood, waterwheels and whale oil. They provided the energy that lifted billions from abject poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death, to the amazing living standards and longevity we enjoy today. They still provide over 80% of America’s and the world’s energy, and the vast majority of nations are burning them in ever-increasing amounts to power their own health and economic transformations. Even wealthy developed countries are reexamining punitive climate and “renewable” energy policies, to embrace fossil fuels anew.

2) Fears that we will run out of oil and gas are unfounded. In 1945, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) reports, the USA had 20 billion barrels of oil reserves. Between 1945 and 2014 we consumed 177 billion barrels – and still had 40 billion barrels of proven reserves left in the ground. It’s the same story with iron, copper, aluminum, titanium and other vital raw materials. The more we use, the more we have – thanks to constantly improving exploration, production and other technologies, driven by rising demand and prices, conceived and built by mankind’s increasingly creative genius, our Ultimate Resource.

3) In fact, we are still blessed with centuries of fossil fuels. Oslo-based Rystad Energy consulting calculates that the United States has 264 billion barrels of technologically and economically recoverable oil: 8 billion more than Russia and 52 billion more than Saudi Arabia.

Based on current consumption rates, IER and EIA (Energy Information Administration) data show that US “proven reserves” (recoverable at today’s prices) total 5 years of oil, 13 years of natural gas and 319 years of coal. As prices rise and technologies improve, “technically recoverable” figures soar to 206 years for oil, 83 years for gas and 597 years for coal. “In-place total resource” estimates send these calculations to an astronomical 536, 510 and 12,849 years respectively!

4) According to the IER and economist Steve Moore, this amazing abundance could translate into 6 million new jobs and $1 trillion a year in energy exports. America’s non-environmentally sensitive western public lands could hold $50 trillion in energy resources – which new pipelines, refineries and liquefied natural gas terminals could bring to the world, unleashing incredible job and economic growth. However, Mrs. Clinton and Democrats oppose these facilities and want the resources locked up.

Those policies would be disastrous, especially for western states that would be turned into playgrounds for rich and famous elites, and for our manufacturing heartland. A University of Colorado Leeds School of Business study projects that eliminating 75-80% of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in the Centennial State would cost it $11 billion per year and 62,000 jobs by 2030.

5) In the absence of government diktats, we will gradually and voluntarily make a transition to new energy sources that we cannot even imagine today, long before we run out of these fossil fuel bounties. We would do it without destroying jobs and economies – just as we did over these past 150 years. Who among us, just 100 years ago, could have predicted the coal, gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants that generate 93% of today’s electricity … or the cell phone, internet, medical, entertainment, manufacturing and other incredible technologies that are made possible by electricity?

Any coerced transition will destroy millions of jobs and send families, communities, states and nations into social and economic chaos – for no environmental or climate benefit.

6) Widespread wind and solar facilities would have monumental impacts. Industry data reveal that getting 50% of US electricity from wind would require some 465,000 turbines and 48,000 miles of new transmission lines, across croplands and wildlife habitats equal to North Dakota (45,000,000 acres) – and 675,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth metals. They would impair human health and kill millions of birds and bats annually. This is unconscionable and unsustainable.

And to top it off, we would still need backup coal or gas generators – unless we are willing to have to only minimal, expensive, constantly interrupted electricity, when it is available, rather than sufficient, affordable, dependable power, when we need it for modern lives, livelihoods and living standards.

Ruling elites may be happy to impose that on “commoners.” They will never tolerate it for themselves.

7) Every one of these “clean,” “green,” “sustainable,” “renewable” energy edicts and fantasies is based on assertions that fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases that are causing “dangerous manmade climate change.”

However, as my Climate Hype Exposed book, my numerous articles, and studies and books by hundreds of climate scientists reveal, there is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions have replaced the powerful, interconnected natural forces that have always driven climate change. Climate alarmists cannot show that recent or ongoing climate and weather fluctuations, cycles and events are significantly different from those of the last 50, 150 or 1,500 years.

Climate alarmists cannot separate human influences from natural causes for any recent changes. They do not know how much Earth will warm by 2100. They cannot say at what point further warming will be “dangerous” – or for which plant, wildlife or human populations. They admit that slashing America’s fossil fuel use will reduce global warming by only a few hundredths of one degree (assuming CO2 drives climate change), especially if most countries continue burning coal, oil and natural gas.

8) If we truly want to Make America great again, Help working class Americans, and Care about the poor – we will not “Keep it in the ground.” We will not squander our bounteous fossil fuel inheritance on the pagan altar of climate chaos. We will not sacrifice our children’s future for illusory ecological benefits.

The draft Democratic Party platform essentially says we must safeguard the assumed needs of future generations, even if it means ignoring or compromising the real needs of current generations – including the needs, aspirations and welfare of America’s and the world’s poorest people.

It says we must protect poor and working classes from alleged, exaggerated and imagined climate disasters decades from now – by imposing very real energy policy disasters that will adversely affect their jobs, living standards, health, wellbeing and life spans today.

That’s why the Obama EPA alone has issued more than 3,900 new tiny-print rules and regulations, totaling nearly 76,000 pages in the Federal Register, and costing us tens of billions of dollars a year.

Big Green Democrats think they can fool Americans again and again, and continue asserting their moral superiority, condescension and contempt for anyone who does not accept their ideologies and agendas. They believe it’s good policy to send America deeper into energy and economic decline.

Are they right? Or are voters finally waking up? The coming months will tell.

Via email

Lake Poopo again

The NYT has a podcast on this unpleasant-sounding lake.  Below is the promotional screed for the podcast.  I first commented on the lake last February. I might as well repeat what I said then:

What a lot of Poopo! Since there was no statistically significant terrestrial warming for over 18 years the lake was not affected by it. There may have been some local warming due to last year's El Nino but but diversion of water flowing into it will be the big culprit. And it is shallow so does dry out periodically anyway

There used to be a lake in Bolivia. Lake Poopó. Then it disappeared — along with most of the villagers who depended on the lake, for generations.

The Andes bureau chief, Nicholas Casey, went with the Times photographer Josh Haner to Llapallapani, Bolivia, and wrote what is a cautionary tale about climate change and its consequences.

In this podcast, Mr. Casey and Mr. Haner talk about a world of pink flamingos and fish-rich seas that is no more. Mr. Casey describes the difficulty involved in explaining “flying cameras” — drone cameras — to village leaders. And Mr. Haner talks about the special challenges presented when he is tasked with documenting something — like Lake Poopó — that is no longer there.


MIT Study: No Scientific Consensus On Global Warming Crop Impact

Scientists disagree on the effects of global warming on American agriculture, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published Friday.

The research used climate and agricultural computer models to conclude that global warming would have numerous positive impacts on US farming, including fewer frosts, a longer growing season and an earlier start of field operations by the end of the century. However, the study also found that plants could potentially suffer from more heat stress and more dry days.

The study’s one firm conclusion was that farmers would likely be able to adapt to the potential challenges caused by global warming.

“The new study, and its approach to trying to better identify the type and character of future climate changes that may be best related to future agricultural productivity is useful, primarily, as the authors point out, in helping to drive adaptive strategies,” Chip Knappenberger, climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is silly to think that U.S. farmers will not adapt to climate change—after all adaptive measures are at the heart of agriculture, as different crop varieties, different farming techniques, different technologies, etc., are what drives crop yields ever higher, even in the face climate change. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen in the future.”

The study rebukes previous claims that global warming could cause the total collapse of American and global agriculture.

“Projections of agricultural collapse (in the U.S. or abroad) as a result of human-caused global warming are naive at best, intentionally misleading at worst,” Knappenberger continued. “The new paper largely avoids such pitfalls as it recognizes that a) all climate change is not bad for U.S. agriculture, and b) more importantly, that the future of agricultural productivity depends on continuing adaptation—something that the authors of the new paper hope that their results aid in.”

The study was authored by a research team from MIT and the University of California at Davis and was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research Letters. The new research is an enormous boost for scientists skeptical of global warming, as it indicates they were correct about a long running positive effect of rising CO2 emissions.

Previous studies have estimated that global warming is causing roughly half of Earth’s land-mass to demonstrate “significant greening” and that only 4 percent of the world saw a decrease in plant life. The increased vegetation growth caused by warmer temperatures is likely slowing global warming as well, since more trees and plants equates to more sequestered CO2.

Other research suggests that increasing global temperatures means the air has more capacity to hold moisture from the oceans, leading to more rains in arid regions of the world. This is even true in the Earth’s driest regions, such as the Sahara desert. The research concludes that arid areas and deserts in Australia, California, Central Asia, Sinai and Southwestern Africa can all expect more rain.

This is the latest scientific study to show that nature is considerably more resilient to global warming than scientists suspected and even United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now believes that the evidence linking global warming to extinctions is sparse.

Global warming will likely have many positive environmental impacts such as helping Canadian trees recover from a devastating insect infestation, creating more food for fish in the ocean, making life easier for Canadian moose, improving the environment better for bees and literally causing deserts to bloom with foliage.

Despite this growing consensus, environmental groups still believe that plants and animals aren’t capable of adapting to changing temperatures, leading to mass extinctions and agricultural disruptions caused by global warming.

“One-fourth of the Earth’s species could be headed for extinction by 2050 due to climate change,” The Nature Conservancy claims. “Rising temperatures are changing weather and vegetation patterns across the globe, forcing animal species to migrate to new, cooler areas in order to survive.”


The Climate Police Crack-Up

Those Exxon Mobil subpoenas? Never mind

Free-speech advocates have reason to cheer as two state attorneys general have walked back their subpoenas against Exxon Mobil Corp., tacitly admitting that their climate-change harassment lacks a legal basis.

Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker recently withdrew his subpoena of Exxon Mobil. He was a leader among the 17 AGs charging that the oil giant defrauded shareholders by hiding the truth about global warming. That’s hard to prove when the company’s climate-change research was published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mr. Walker also targeted some 90 think tanks and other groups in an attempt to punish climate dissent. These groups and others, including these columns, pushed back on First Amendment grounds, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute counter-sued Mr. Walker and demanded sanctions. He pulled his subpoena against CEI last month.

Mr. Walker claimed he is dropping his Exxon subpoena so the U.S. Justice Department can more easily pursue its racketeering charges against the company. But that’s glitter on a surrender document. The reason the state AGs chose to pursue Exxon for shareholder fraud is because anyone with legal knowledge knows how difficult it would be for the feds to bring a successful RICO case. To our knowledge, Justice doesn’t even have such an investigation underway.

Meantime, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed court documents declaring she won’t enforce her subpoena against Exxon until the oil giant’s countersuits against the AGs are settled. Exxon has sued Ms. Healey in Texas federal court to quash her subpoena as a violation of its First and Fourth Amendment rights. Mrs. Healey clearly sensed the political dangers of dragging her office on a long, anti-free-speech march and is putting the investigation to the side.

That leaves California’s Kamala Harris and New York’s Eric Schneiderman as the two remaining AGs with outstanding Exxon subpoenas. Mrs. Harris joined this escapade to burnish her progressive bone fides as she runs to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, and her office has done little investigating. Mr. Schneiderman has the most prosecutorial leeway under his state’s egregious Martin Act, which doesn’t require proof of intent in civil cases. But he has also been on the political defensive for trying to punish policy disagreements.

The climate police would do more for their cause if they spent more time persuading the public on the merits of climate risks and policy. Their resort to abusive government power suggests that they think they have a weak case.



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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