Friday, July 22, 2016
The Antarctic peninsula is COOLING
Laughs all round with this one. They want to say that this finding has no implications for the globe as a whole. Since Antarctica has 96% of the world's glacial ice, it surely has BIG implications for the scare about rising sea levels. Zwally has shown that Antractica as a whole is gaining mass so put the two findings together and it undermines the very thing that Warmists have made central to their cries of doom! Unless there is significant warming and melting in Antarctica, there is no doom! The way it's going, we are headed for a sea-level FALL!
And their explanation for the cooling is pathetic. They say it's caused by the ozone hole shrinking. But it isn't. The hole was at its largest in October. Not October 10 years ago or even October 5 years ago. It was October LAST YEAR. The ban on our best refrigerant gases has clearly had no effect whatever.
Their other explanation is: "Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds". But why? Why did these winds spring up promptly at the beginning of the 21st century. If they have been going for around 20 years now, why did they not spring up earlier? What has changed? It's essentially a non-explanation, which is why they have defaulted to "natural variability" as an explanation. But in that case why is the slight warming of the 20th century not natural variability too? They're getting into some very deep water there.
When big icebergs break off Arctica or Antarctica that is regularly said to be evidence of global warming. I wonder why "natural variability" is not invoked on those occasions? It seems to be a case of Warmists trying to have their cake and eat it too.
But whatever the cause, we have in the work below yet another example of global warming prophecy failing. I append the extract from the underlying journal article
The Antarctic is one part of the world you might have thought would be affected by global warming. But for the last two decades, the Antarctic peninsula – the tip of the continent nearest to South America - has not got any warmer, scientists have found.
Research stations on the peninsula show that a while temperatures rose rapidly since the 1950s, the temperature has stayed steady and even declined since the late 1990s.
A new study has recorded an ozone increase in the icy region, suggesting the agreement signed nearly three decades ago to limit the use of substances responsible for ozone depletion, is having a positive effect.
As well as creating an identifying ozone increase, it’s slowing the rate of ozone depletion in the stratosphere - Earth's second major atmospheric layer.
Part of the answer why the Antarctic peninsula has not got any warmer in the past two to three decades is because more cold south-easterly and easterly winds are blowing towards the area from the Weddell Sea.
A further reason is because the hole in the ozone layer – caused by gases in aerosols called CFCs – is beginning to heal up – helping to shield Antarctica from solar radiation.
The hole has started to close since the polluting CFCs have been banned.
The scientists behind the finding are keen to stress that the ‘pause’ in Antarctic warming does not mean that global warming worldwide has come to a stop.
They say the six research stations on the peninsula cover only 1 per cent of the total continent of Antarctica.
Glaciers are still retreating – and ice shelves are still collapsing in the region.
They also note that temperatures are still warmer than at the beginning of the century.
Reporting this week in the journal Nature researchers from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said changing wind patterns may also be ‘temporarily masking’ the warming influence of greenhouse gases.
The authors also note that the ‘pause’ in warming coincides with the controversial ‘global warming hiatus’ or slowdown, which claims that global temperatures started to slowdown from 1996 from rising 0.14°C per decade up to 1996 and rising to 0.07°C per decade afterwards.
But the authors argue that the pause in the Antarctic is ‘independent of the global warming hiatus’.
Lead author, Professor John Turner of British Antarctic Survey says: ‘The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging places on Earth on which to identify the causes of decade-to-decade temperature changes.’
They said that the peninsula ‘shows large natural variations which can overwhelm the signals of human-induced global warming’.
He added: ‘The ozone hole, sea-ice and westerly winds have been significant in influencing regional climate change in recent years.
‘Even in a generally warming world, over the next couple of decades, temperatures in this region may go up or down, but our models predict that in the longer term greenhouse gases will lead to an increase in temperatures by the end of the 21st Century.’
Antarctic Peninsula temperatures increased by up to 0.5°C per decade until the 1950s when they stopped rising, the researchers said.
The research team analysed ice cores taken from drilling into the soil – which allow scientists to calculate the temperature at the time the ice was laid down.
They found that the warming of the peninsula ‘was not unprecedented’ over the past 2,000 years.
Recently, they found that warming started in the 1920s, and revealed ‘periods of warming and cooling over the last several centuries that were comparable to those observed in the post-1950s instrumental record.’
The authors said the findings ‘highlights the large natural variability of temperatures in this region of Antarctica that has influenced more recent climate changes.’
Dr Robert Mulvaney, is a leading ice core researcher at British Antarctic Survey, said: ‘Meteorological observations from the Antarctic Peninsula research stations only cover the last 60 years or so. If we are to get a better idea of the long-term trend we need to look back in time.
‘The ice core record helps us see how the climate evolves over the longer term. We can also look at the levels of carbon dioxide and other chemicals that were in the atmosphere and compare them with observations from today.’
‘Climate model simulations predict that if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase at currently projected rates their warming effect will dominate over natural variability (and the cooling effect associated with recovering ozone levels) and there will be a warming of several degrees across the region by the end of this century.’
Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability
John Turner et al.
Since the 1950s, research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula have recorded some of the largest increases in near-surface air temperature in the Southern Hemisphere1. This warming has contributed to the regional retreat of glaciers2, disintegration of floating ice shelves3 and a ‘greening’ through the expansion in range of various flora4. Several interlinked processes have been suggested as contributing to the warming, including stratospheric ozone depletion5, local sea-ice loss6, an increase in westerly winds5, 7, and changes in the strength and location of low–high-latitude atmospheric teleconnections8, 9. Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet. These circulation changes have also increased the advection of sea ice towards the east coast of the peninsula, amplifying their effects. Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation.
Nature 535, 411–415 (21 July 2016) doi:10.1038/nature18645
Global Warming Expedition Stopped In Its Tracks By Arctic Sea Ice
A group of adventurers, sailors, pilots and climate scientists that recently started a journey around the North Pole in an effort to show the lack of ice, has been blocked from further travels by ice.
The Polar Ocean Challenge is taking a two month journey that will see them go from Bristol, Alaska, to Norway, then to Russia through the North East passage, back to Alaska through the North West passage, to Greenland and then ultimately back to Bristol. Their objective, as laid out by their website, was to demonstrate “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through.”
There has been one small hiccup thus-far though: they are currently stuck in Murmansk, Russia because there is too much ice blocking the North East passage the team said didn’t exist in summer months, according to Real Climate Science.
Real Climate Science also provides a graph showing that current Arctic temperatures — despite alarmist claims of the Arctic being hotter than ever — is actually below normal.
The Polar Ocean Challenge team is not the first global warming expedition to be faced with icy troubles. In 2013, an Antarctic research vessel named Akademik Shokalskiy became trapped in the ice, the problem was so severe that they actually had to rescue the 52 crew members.
In 2015 a Canadian ice breaking ship, the CCGS Amundsen, was forced to reroute and help a number of supply ships that had become trapped by ice.
The icy blockade comes just over a month after an Oxford climate scientist, Peter Wadhams, said the Arctic would be ‘completely ice-free’ by September of this year. While it obviously isn’t September yet, he did reference the fact that there would be very little ice to contend with this summer.
“Even if the ice doesn’t completely disappear, it is very likely that this will be a record low year,” Wadhams told The Independent in June.
Wahdams says he expects less than one million square kilometers by summers end, but the current amount of Arctic sea ice is 10.6 million square kilometers, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
GET CRACKING ON FRACKING, BRITAIN
BY JAMES DELINGPOLE
IMAGINE if our new Prime Minister Theresa May could wave her wand and achieve the following miracles within five years.
Create 500,000 new jobs, slash our electricity bills, restore British manufacturing, boost our economy, make us richer and stop our energy supplies being held to ransom by Putin, the Arabs, the French and other foreign regimes.
Well, the good news is she can, right now, and doesn’t need magic to do it. All she needs to do is get fracking — the marvellous technology that extracts shale gas and oil from the ground. Fracking has worked wonders for the US economy and could do the same for ours.
Shale gas is just as valuable and useful as the natural gas we’ve been harvesting from the North Sea for decades. The only difference is that, because it’s mixed up with rock sediment, it used to be impossible to recover.
Then along came fracking. Suddenly the world had a new energy source just waiting to be harvested by those countries lucky enough to have shale gas and oil deposits. Britain is one of them. We’ve got loads of the stuff.
Beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire alone, in the Bowland Shale, there are reserves so vast — around 1,300 trillion cubic feet — that even if we could extract just a tenth of them it would be enough to supply our gas needs for 50 years. There may be similar energy gold mines everywhere, from the Sussex Weald to the north of Scotland.
Under the North Sea, the British Geological Survey estimates there may be ten times as much still. This would make the UK one of the world’s top gas producers, with enough cheap, clean, homegrown energy to last us for well over a century.
But our progress in tapping this has been painfully slow, with the green lobby and councils strangling the process.
For example, Cuadrilla was granted a licence to explore for shale in Lancashire in 2007. A decade on, not one single cubic foot of shale gas has yet been extracted in Lancashire or anywhere else in Britain.
And it’s still waiting, as Lancashire County Council has rejected Cuadrilla’s planning applications to develop two sites to explore for shale gas, due to noise and transport complaints.
So, though the Government last December sold licences for 159 new gas and oil exploration blocks — including 21 to the Anglo-Swiss chemicals giant Ineos — it could be years before any come on stream.
In Texas it takes seven days to get permission to frack a site. In Britain, it can take ten years or more to clear the regulatory hurdles.
Across the Pond, they have been fracking for more than a decade. It is so advanced it is known as the shale gas “miracle”. The shale oil and gas industry in the US is now worth in excess of 200billion dollars and is expected to get much bigger.
In 2015 a BP Energy Outlook report predicted that within 20 years the US could become self-sufficient in oil and will hold 75 per cent of the world’s shale gas market.
As a result, America now has the world’s lowest electricity prices and cheapest gas (half what it costs in Europe).
It now exports more petroleum products than it imports (so is no longer reliant on the Middle East) and its heavy manufacturing industries are enjoying a huge renaissance.
Lower energy costs mean higher productivity, so that suddenly US manufacturers can compete on equal terms with countries like China.
Contracts previously outsourced abroad are now increasingly being done at home (“reshoring”), which has meant a rise in jobs (more than 800,000 since 2011) for US blue-collar workers.
Could the same happen here? Most definitely, but for one problem.
For many people fracking is a dirty word. Not only does it sound rude, it has been the victim of a prolonged smear campaign by various green lobby groups such as Greenpeace which see it as a threat to their beloved renewable energy.
And they’re right. It is a threat. Unlike solar or wind turbines (a.k.a. bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco- crucifixes), shale gas is cheap, reliable and does not need any taxpayer subsidies. Nor does it kill wildlife or ruin the landscape for years on end.
The gas goes into a contraption, much smaller than a turbine, called a “Christmas tree”, which only stays up for a few months then disappears forever once the gas has been harvested. It’s also clean and safe.
The horror stories you hear put out by green activists — gas leaks, contaminated water, dodgy chemicals, “earthquakes” — have been investigated and exposed as lies, propaganda and nonsense.
Real climate denial
Potential Democratic VP nominee misrepresents Cornwall Alliance on Senate floor
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) is a potential running-mate choice for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Yet he recently joined other Democratic Senators on the Senate floor to attack the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and other Virginia-based organizations, in an attempt to defend climate alarmism against its critics.
As has been the case with other attempts to vilify, intimidate and silence experts who disagree with alarmist views on global warming and climate change, Kaine presented an argument rife with logical fallacies – appeals to emotion, straw men, ridicule, oversimplification and misrepresentation.
The one thing the good Senator forgot to include in his speech was any sound science and ethics!
According to Kaine, the Cornwall Alliance is part of a “web of denial,” a “shadow organization,” “bizzaro,” and “greedy.”
Senator Kaine read just a tiny piece of our Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change, in which we quoted Psalm 19. He then said, “So somebody is really using Scripture to argue that making our energy production cleaner, safer, cheaper, violates the Christian tenet of caring for the poor?”
No, Senator Kaine, if you read the full Open Letter, you would discover that it addresses both science and economics. More important, it explains that pushing wind, solar, biofuel and other technologies that are not currently cheaper or better for the environment also hurts those in poverty. You would also have seen that it was signed by hundreds of scientists, including over 20 climate scientists. But you didn’t mention any of that.
Senators Kaine, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and others have banded together to attack the alleged “web of denial” that appears to be made up only of conservative organizations that they claim are funded by ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel corporations that they consider immoral – even though the energy they provide has been indispensable to lifting and keeping billions of people out of poverty, and even though ExxonMobil has not given any of these groups a dime for a decade or more.
Moreover, there is another “web of denial,” the one created by climate alarmist organizations that are funded by renewable energy corporations, wealthy liberal foundations and government agencies that stand to gain money, prestige and power from promoting scares about climate change. As Kathleen Hartnett White brilliantly demonstrates in her booklet Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case, they have been caught exaggerating, fabricating and falsifying data to support their views, suppressing contrary data, intimidating scientists who disagree, and corrupting the scientific peer-review process.
Senator Kaine claims that 70% of Virginians agree with the “scientific consensus” that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is real and that “it is urgent that we do something about it.”
There is no evidence that 70% of Virginians (or Americans) agree with this. They may agree that global warming and climate change are “real” and that humans today are contributing somewhat to these cycles and fluctuations, which have been ongoing for millennia. But to convert that into saying a huge majority believe humans are causing catastrophic changes is disingenuous. To say they want to spend trillions of dollars to try controlling Earth’s climate has no basis in fact.
And what “scientific consensus” is he talking about? The “97% of scientists” that is the go-to statistic for alarmists has been debunked so thoroughly that it takes serious chutzpah to use it.
Then there is the fact (observable fact, mind you, not computer models) that shows there has been no statistically significant long-term global warming for nearly all of the last 19 years.
Yet they deny this too.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased quite significantly during this time, as developing countries built coal-fired power plants, created jobs, lifted people out of abject poverty, dramatically improved the living standards for billions, built roads and highways, and put millions of cars and trucks on them. So where is the correlation between increased temperature and rising CO2 levels?
There is none.
No one argues that humans have absolutely no effect on the environment or on potential warming.
What is in question is whether human CO2 emissions will create temperature increases and other planetary changes so dramatic that they will cause catastrophes that justify spending trillions of dollars in vain efforts to stabilize climates and temperatures that have never been stable. What is also in question is whether we can ethically do so by restricting or eliminating the fuels that countries all over the world depend on for 80% of the energy that makes economic growth, jobs, poverty reduction, health and welfare possible.
Those trillions of dollars should instead be spent to lift billions more people out of poverty, and reduce the high rates of disease, malnutrition and premature death that invariably accompany that poverty.
Right now, the only “proof” alarmists have is computer model projections that are wildly inaccurate, and a “hockey stick” graph that is utterly worthless and has been derided by the scientific community for the ability of that computer model to create suddenly rising global temperatures when it is fed random numbers from a phone book.
That’s some serious denial – of the uselessness of climate models, of what is actually happening in the real world, and of the fundamental human right of people everywhere to use fossil fuels to improve their living standards, health and well-being.
Court gives EPA huge victory over coal mining
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency and environmentalists Tuesday by upholding the agency's decision on the harm caused by a coal mining operation in West Virginia.
The court ruled that the EPA reasonably and lawfully decided that a huge mountaintop removal mine in the state would cause an unacceptable level of environmental harm if allowed to continue operating.
The Mingo Logan coal firm, a subsidiary of mining giant Arch Coal, said the EPA did not adequately assess cost in withdrawing the permit for its Spruce No. 1 strip-mining operation, nor did it explain the environmental harm it posed.
But the court did not buy into any of the coal company's arguments.
The EPA's "withdrawal" of the permit "is a product of its broad veto authority under the [Clean Water Act], not a procedural defect," the court's majority ruling read.
The EPA's resistance to the mine permit has come to the court before, and this is the second time the court has ruled in the agency's favor. Republicans have argued that the agency does not possess the authority to reject the permits under the Clean Water Act.
Environmentalists felt vindicated by the decision.
"Today, EPA and Appalachian communities won again in the long legal battle over the Spruce No. 1 mine," said a statement from environmentalists with Earthjustice. "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the 2011 decision by the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to block a permit for the mine issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers due to unacceptable environmental harm it would cause."
The decision upholds the EPA's "broad authority to protect water quality from extreme practices like mountaintop removal coal mining," said Ben Luckett, attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates. "Going forward, we urge EPA to use its power to protect the people of Appalachia and beyond from having their water supplies further degraded by irresponsible extractive industries."
EPA enters into memoranda of understanding with UN and foreign governments
Under President Obama, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has entered into a series of “memoranda of understanding” (MOU) with the United Nations and various foreign governments. As so many other things this administration has done, the public likely has little awareness that this has occurred.
Suppose you are an Obama Administration official seeking to influence international affairs. You know Congress is unlikely to go along with your ideas. What do you do? You put it in a MOU, have it signed by your agency head, and by the head of the international body or foreign government that is your target. You phrase the MOU in such a manner as to not actually create any legal obligations. You do this at the same time making clear what the Administration’s preferences are, pledging support for the signatory’s operations, with the implication that such support requires backing the Administration’s preferences.
This is an easy way to influence while largely escaping scrutiny. Consider the following sampling of MOUs that the EPA has with various foreign entities and governments.
The EPA’s MOU with the United Nations states: “Cooperation pursuant to this Memorandum may take the following forms, consistent with each Participant’s mandate: information exchange… temporary assignments of personnel from one Participant to another.”
The MOU further states: “Some of the activities under the Memorandum may, through appropriate funding mechanisms, involve a transfer of funds by or through one or both of the Participants or the use of funds from other organizations.”
I doubt this means that the United Nations will be sending money to us. The reverse is significantly more likely.
The EPA has a MOU with Indonesia, and apparently we’re paying to train their officials. “In December 2014, EPA provided environmental enforcement training to over fifty Indonesian officials. In 2013, MOE [Ministry of Environment] participated in environment inspections training courses led by EPA in Singapore, Taiwan, and Bangkok.”
The EPA has a MOU with the Chinese government. This one, like those discussed above, provides for among other things “exchanges, and temporary assignments from one Party to the other.” Why an agency that was created to deal with domestic issues in the U.S. needs to be involved in these types of international affairs is a question worth asking. Maybe they have too much money and are looking for additional uses for it.
Based on EPA travel records we know they are not afraid to spend heavily on premium travel to Asian countries. Some officials have bought premium tickets to China costing as much as $15,319, when coach fare would have been $1,156.
Also, considering how aggressive the Chinese have been in using coal to produce energy, is it really likely that they will listen to what people sitting in a Pennsylvania Avenue conference room have to say?
Some MOU provisions are inane. Representative of these is the following provision from the MOU the EPA has with the Ministry of the Environment of the Federative Republic of Brazil:
“The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to strengthen and coordinate the efforts of the Participants to effectively protect the environment while promoting economic growth and social development; promoting the role of the private sector in development; and encouraging social inclusion, women’s advancement, and environmental justice [emphasis added].”
This is an attempt at social engineering gone wild, one requiring further explanation. Exactly how is dealing with international environmental issues even remotely related to “women’s advancement”? Even if this was the case, how are these activities within the scope of the Congressional authorization for the agency?
If the EPA has the ability to fly its personnel around the world to negotiate and sign these MOUs it clearly has too many personnel and too much money at its disposal.
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Posted by JR at 12:25 AM