Sunday, July 10, 2016
Spectacular 'forests of the sea' kelp fields which span thousands of kilometres and fund a $10 BILLION tourism and seafood industry wiped out by a marine heatwave
Greenies can't help themselves. They can't resist tying any natural disaster to global warming. The dieoff described below happened in 2011, in the middle of a global temperature stasis that had lasted 12 years at that point. Over that period, global temperatures had risen and fallen to the tune of only hundredths of one degree per annum. It was as clear an era of NON-warming as one would ever be likely to find. So global warming CANNOT be responsible for what happened to the kelp: There wasn't any such warming at that time
Hundreds of kilometres of a remarkable kelp forest off the western coast of Australia have been wiped out by marine heatwaves, a study has found.
These 'forests of the sea' make up 90 per cent of the north-western tip of the Great Southern Reef and underpin tourism and fishery industries that pump $10 billion into the Australian economy each year.
About 2,000 kilometres of the Western Australian coastline from Cape Leeuwin in the south to Ningaloo in the north of Western Australia was analysed in a study that spanned 14 years from 2001.
A heatwave in 2011 has been named the primary cause of loss, with 100 kilometres of kelp destroyed, which made up 43 per cent of the kelp in Western Australia. Above-average ocean temperatures in 2012 and 2013 were said to 'compound' these effects.
The demise of the kelp forests is likely permanent researchers have said in a study published in the journal of Science on Thursday.
The forests that covered 70 per cent of shallow rocky reefs in mid-Western Australia have now become 'barren', researcher Dr Scott Bennett told ABC.
Dr Bennett who helped in the survey said he thought his team had initially made an error when they dived into the reefs off Kalbarri.
'We jumped into these waters at sites we've been going to for the past 10 years expecting to see large kelp forests and it was just a desert,' he said.
'We thought we'd made a mistake and got the location wrong. It is just heartbreaking to see such a complex, beautiful, vibrant ecosystem decimated.'
Turf algae had multiplied and tropical fish communities had increased which were preventing the regrowth of the kelp because they were being eaten before they managed to re-establish.
The extensive loss of kelp forests in Western Australia provides a strong warning of what the future might be like for Australia's temperate marine environments.
Climate change was creating more frequent heatwaves helping the southward movement of warmer waters and tropical species to increase in the region.
The survey also revealed that 2.5 degrees Celsius is the 'tipping point' for kelp forests.
Associate Professor Thomas Wernberg, from the University of Western Australia worked alongside Dr Bennett and described the kelp forests as the 'biological engine' of the reef system.
'They are as critical to the Great Southern Reef as corals are to the Great Barrier Reef,' he said.
'They are up to 16 times more productive than our most productive wheat fields and provide the foundations for the ecosystem.'
Species such as abalone and rock lobster thrive in these environments which are some of the most valuable species of marine life for fisheries in Australia.
'The impact has been particularly prominent at northern reefs, where kelp forests have disappeared completely,' Professor Wernberg said.
'Recovery is unlikely because of the large grazing pressure, continued warming and the likelihood of more heatwaves in the future.'
Climate change is already killing people (?)
Amusing that the only evidence put forward for the claim in the headline above is something that happened in just two cities way back in 2003. Would the solution to this be to cut off their cheap power so that they cannot afford air conditioning? Or perhaps impoverish them so much that they can't afford to install air-conditioning in the first place?
As we constantly strive to reduce our fossil fuel emission and our impact on the world, climate change can sometimes seem like a problem that is still a few years away from impacting our daily lives.
But a new study has revealed the dangers of climate change are already affecting us in a and man-made climate change led to the death of hundreds of people across Europe sixteen years ago.
A heatwave in 2003 killed 506 people in Paris and 315 in London, experts have said in a new study.
The study led by University of Oxford scientists said there were 315 heat-related deaths as Europe experienced its hottest summer on record.
But a fifth of those can be blamed on man-made pollution.
It found human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths in central Paris by around 70 per cent and by 20 per cent in London.
No heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003.
A fifth of those deaths can be blamed on man-made pollution.
The study led by University of Oxford scientists said there were 315 heat-related deaths in London as Europe experienced its hottest summer on record, out of which 64 were caused by climate change.
The study was the first to calculate the number of premature deaths and it's link to air pollution and warned heatwaves will become more common and more severe in the future.
From June, apart from a brief respite, the UK languished under sustained above average temperatures until the end of August.
Several weather records were broken including the UK's highest recorded temperature 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) at Faversham in Kent on 10 August and Scotland's highest temperature record with 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) recorded a day earlier in Greycrook in the Scottish borders.
France was hardest hit and in Paris, the hottest city in Europe, 506 out of 735 summer deaths were due to a heatwave made worse by man-made climate change.
The results were based on climate modelling and should help officials prepare for future heatwaves and protect the elderly who are most at risk.
It found human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths in central Paris by around 70 per cent and by 20 per cent in London.
Researchers stressed the findings apply to just the two cities and the numbers affected by climate change across Europe will be higher.
'It is often difficult to understand the implications of a planet that is one degree warmer than preindustrial levels in the global average, but we are now at the stage where we can identify the cost to our health of man-made global warming,' Dr Daniel Mitchell, from Oxford's Environmental Change Institute said.
'This research reveals that in two cities alone hundreds of deaths can be attributed to much higher temperatures resulting from human-induced climate change.'
The study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters looked at the three months June to August.
It warned no heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003.
Previous studies have attributed changes in heatwave frequency and severity to human-caused climate change, or demonstrated the effect of extreme heat on human mortality.
But the study was the first to attribute the number of premature deaths to climate change during extreme heat waves.
Co-author Dr Chris Huntingford, of Oxford's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, added: 'Traditionally, climate research has linked increasing levels of greenhouses gases simply to trends in weather, such as generally higher day-to-day temperatures.
'However, linking the impact of burning of fossil fuels right through to health implications enables much better planning to prepare for any further climatic changes.'
'By starkly showing we can measure the toll in human lives that climate change is already taking through worsening extreme heat, this study shines a spotlight on our responsibilities as a society for limiting further damage,' said co-author Dr Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, US.
CLIMATE PLAN ENDANGERS GERMANY, RULING PARTY LEADERS WARN
The “Climate Protection Plan 2050″ is supposed to make Germany’s economy more environmentally friendly. But it is stirring resistance among Christian Democratic leaders who fear the plan endangers Germany’s prosperity and social peace.
There is great discontent among the parliamentary Christian Democratic Party (CDU) about the “Climate Protection Plan 2050″ presented by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD). With her draft, which is currently under review at the Federal Chancellery and which should be decided in the autumn by the Cabinet, Hendricks is essentially “proscribing a command economy.” According to a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the accusation is being made by four deputy parliamentary leaders of the CDU and CSU in a letter to Chancellery minister Peter Altmaier (CDU).
In their letter, the leaders call for early discussions about the basic thrust of the climate plan before the government takes any decisions. The CDU politicians Georg Nüßlein (CSU), Gitta Connemann (CDU), Michael Fuchs (CDU) and Arnold Vaatz (CDU) claim that the plan is “basically wrong”, that it would have “a massive impact on the future competitiveness of the business location Germany” and was likely to “jeopardise the economy, prosperity and social peace in our country.”
The Chancellery is currently examining Hendricks’ plan before it goes to further consultation in other ministries. The Cabinet is expected to decide the “plan” in the autumn. It is supposed to be a kind of road map for German climate policy in the coming decades and will be updated regularly.
According to the plan, Germany will essentially be completely decarbonised. It includes the progressive withdrew from coal, the full conversion of the transport system to electrical cars by 2030, the ban of central gas and oil heating systems for new buildings, the promotion of cycling and organic farming, the reducing of meat consumption by at least half by 2050 and a rise in taxes that take into consideration environmental issues.
Japan’s solar boom is beginning to falter
Until recently, the resource-poor nation has been one of the leading markets for photovoltaics, helping to prop up an industry hurt by falling prices for the technology and policy changes. But four years after the introduction of generous incentives to promote clean energy in the wake of the Fukushima atomic meltdown, data show the boom is losing steam.
The slowdown -- after several years of rapid growth -- threatens to undermine the government’s push to find a clean alternative to nuclear power and dims what has been a bright spot for the global photovoltaic industry.
“As the declining volume of PV module shipments shows, the market is shrinking,” said Takehiro Kawahara, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Repeated tariff cuts and difficulty securing land and grid connections are among some of the reasons that have led to a drop in new applications to develop solar, Kawahara said.
For Japanese panel makers such as Sharp Corp. and Kyocera Corp., “the shrinking domestic market forces them to lower costs to remain in competition with international players or consider exiting the segment,” he said.
Solar power-related bankruptcies are increasing, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd. The number of companies that went bust rose to 36 in 2015, from 17 in 2013 and 21 in 2014. Bankruptcies continue to accelerate, with 17 seen in just the first five months of 2016, Teikoku said.
Some question what has Japan got for all the money spent on promoting clean energy. While more solar energy is being produced, it still comprises a fraction of the nation’s power generation mix.
Solar has grabbed the lion’s share of what’s known as feed-in tariffs -- above market rates awarded to producers of clean energy. With available land for solar in short supply and some utilities saying they can’t accept more intermittent solar power, that’s a worry for some. Moreover, only about a third of the solar projects awarded the preferred rates have actually begun producing power.
“Feed-in tariffs have proved there’s potential for 80 gigawatts of solar in Japan,” said Masaaki Kameda, secretary-general at the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association, the country’s solar lobby. “But to bring online this potential, various policies need to be applied continuously,” he said.
The government has tightened rules for projects that have been delayed and plans to introduce an auction system for large-scale solar next year.
“Now that we know that solar power generation systems can certainly supply energy, it is important to find out how we can make the most of the generated power,” Kameda said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to play it both ways -- saying he’s a supporter of clean energy, while also backing a continued role for nuclear and a big role for coal.
Despite clouds over the nuclear industry and repeated failed attempts to get reactors back online, Japan’s latest policy pronouncements see nuclear accounting for as much as 22 percent of Japan’s power mix by 2030. Similarly, the government sees a bright future for coal at 26 percent.
‘Carbon markets in US, Europe & Asia are collapsing, with prices so low they’ve become virtually valueless’
Carbon markets, the free-enterprise solution to saving the world from global warming, are now in danger themselves.
The idea was simple enough: Set a cap on carbon emissions, issue enough permits to allow power plants, refineries and the like to stay within those limits and then shrink the cap over time to achieve reductions. The companies whose emissions fall fastest can sell their permits for a profit to slower responders — call it a reward for good behaviour.
The reality, though, is more complex. Undercut by a lack of political will on the size of caps and overtaken by costly new environmental mandates, carbon markets in the US, Europe and Asia are collapsing, with prices so low they’ve become virtually valueless. The credits auctioned in the US Northeast in June, for instance, sold for just US$4.53 (RM18.27) a short tonne, a 40 per cent drop from December.
“Climate policy has been muddled and messy,” said Michael Grubb, a professor at University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources who has advised the UK energy regulator. “Governments have set inadequate targets due to lobbying pressures and because they didn’t think carefully enough about overlapping efforts. That has destroyed investor confidence that carbon prices will rise.”
The idea of a carbon market originated 20 years ago with Richard Sandor, an economist who also pioneered interest-rate futures and derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade. Today, there are 38 countries, cities, states and provinces using pricing systems in an attempt to put a lid on greenhouse gases, according to the World Bank.
The problem is that the permits are selling at a slower and slower rate. The surplus of allowances is becoming so large in systems run by Europe, California and Quebec — which together account for more than 90 per cent of global trading — that by 2022 it could cover the emissions spewing from every car on Earth for a full year, according to estimates by the London environmental group Sandbag Climate Campaign CIC and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
In California’s market, all 23 million allowances sold in an auction in 2014. In May, 7.3 million permits found buyers, only 11 per cent of what was put up for sale.
The markets are crumbling just as the UK’s vote to leave the European Union throws into question the future of the world’s largest market by threatening to shrink demand. Nor does the collapse bode well for China, as the world’s top greenhouse-gas emitter prepares to start its own next year.
Alex Rau, a principal at the carbon-trading advisory group Climate Wedge Ltd, chalks up the downfall largely to “an extreme paranoia” that the price of carbon will rise too high. So instead of strengthening caps unpopular among some oil companies, polluting factories and consumers who ultimately shoulder costs, politicians around the world have stitched together a patchwork of overlapping measures that are less vulnerable to lobbyists.
Take the US, where states including California run carbon markets but have also imposed other regulations that require gasoline suppliers to cut the carbon intensity of their fuel and utilities to buy increasing volumes of solar and wind power.
“When you put in place all these other mandates, there is little work left for carbon markets,” said Meredith Fowlie, an economist and research associate at the University of California at Berkeley department of agriculture and resource economics.
In California, the state Air Resources Board still has the authority to pull excess permits from circulation to avoid a glut, said Dave Clegern, a spokesman for the agency. “One auction tells us very little,” he said. “We’re in the long game here.”
Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a spokeswoman for the European Commission in Brussels, noted that its emissions targets under a climate agreement hammered out by leaders in Paris last year were among the most ambitious in the world. EU carbon allowances fell as much as 3.1 per cent to €4.44 euros (RM19.81) a metric tonne on ICE Futures Europe in London today, the lowest since July 1. They’ve dropped 46 per cent in the year to date.
Germany, meanwhile, acknowledged that the system run by the EU is in need of an overhaul, especially in light of the Paris climate pact. “We will need to look at our ambition,” Michael Schroeren, a spokesman for Germany’s environment ministry, said in a statement. “After more than 10 years of emissions trading in Europe, we can look back on the lessons learned.”
China risks falling into the same trap as others. While regulators looking to establish a national market there appear to be trying to avoid an oversupply, prices are already plummeting in pilots they’re running, said Sophie Lu, an analyst in Beijing at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Just as carbon market history has repeated itself around the world, Lu said, China “may not be willing to pay the political and economic costs.” — Bloomberg
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 12:32 AM