Friday, October 07, 2016

The bits of Greenland that melted 20,000 years ago are the same bits that are melting today

My rather unsurprising heading above summarizes the findings reported in confusing detail below.  So the effort below to make the findings alarming falls rather flat.  It in fact draws attention to the lively possibility that present changes are as natural as the changes of 20,000 years ago.

I also append the Abstract of the underlying academic journal article, which is rather fun in its own way. I quote: "We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast"

In other words, they estimate that Greenland melting made sea levels rise by 1.5 meters over the last 20,000 years.  That amounts to less than one ten thousandth of a meter per year.  How worrying is that?  You would need a microscope to see anything that small

The latest observations, reported in the journal Science Advances today, reveal that the entirety of Greenland is rising in response to a combination of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (that is the rise of land due to ice mass loss over the last ~23 thousands years) and the Earth’s immediate elastic response to present-day ice-mass loss.

Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world’s second largest ice sheet, has increased dramatically over the last two decades, due to accelerated glacier flow and enhanced surface melting.

Scientists have historically found it hard to provide precise measurements of exactly how much the ice sheet has melted over a millennial time scale, and therefore how much it was contributing to global sea level rise over those time scales.

Earlier studies suggest that the basins of the southeast, east and northwest of the ice sheet have undergone profound change, contributing more than 77 per cent of the total ice loss to the ocean over the last century, specifically between 1900 and 1981.

Using data from the Greenland GPS Network, a team of researchers including scientists from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of Bristol, recently found that these regions actually contributed about 40 per cent to ice mass loss over thousands of years.

Lead author Professor Shfaqat Abbas Khan from DTU, and colleagues, measured the rise of land masses that were once weighed down by ice sheets, known as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA).  They found large GIA uplift rates of over 12 millimeters per year in southeast Greenland.

The results indicate that these basins alone have contributed to an ice mass loss corresponding to global sea level rise of 1.5 m.

Co-author Professor Jonathan Bamber from the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences, said: “It’s notoriously difficult to estimate the long term past contribution of Greenland to sea level rise. Our new results provide a unique insight into the millennial timescale contribution of the ice sheet. We find a remarkable similarity between how the ice sheet behaved in the past and what it is doing now, with potential implications for future mass loss trends.”

Professor Khan added: “It seems likely, therefore, that further destabilization of these ice sheet regions will continue to be the source of Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise in the future.”


Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet

Shfaqat A. Khan


Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice and ocean load changes occurring since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~21 thousand years ago) and may be used to constrain the GrIS deglaciation history. We use data from the Greenland Global Positioning System network to directly measure GIA and estimate basin-wide mass changes since the LGM. Unpredicted, large GIA uplift rates of +12 mm/year are found in southeast Greenland. These rates are due to low upper mantle viscosity in the region, from when Greenland passed over the Iceland hot spot about 40 million years ago. This region of concentrated soft rheology has a profound influence on reconstructing the deglaciation history of Greenland. We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast. These same sectors are dominating modern mass loss. We suggest that the present destabilization of these marine-based sectors may increase sea level for centuries to come. Our new deglaciation history and GIA uplift estimates suggest that studies that use the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite mission to infer present-day changes in the GrIS may have erroneously corrected for GIA and underestimated the mass loss by about 20 gigatons/year.

Science Advances  21 Sep 2016: Vol. 2, no. 9, e1600931. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600931

Pew: Most Americans Don’t Believe in ‘Scientific Consensus’ on Climate Change

Nearly three-quarters of Americans don’t trust that there is a large “scientific consensus” amongst climate scientists on human behavior being the cause of climate change, according to an in-depth survey on “the politics of climate” released Tuesday by Pew Research Center.

According to the survey, only 27 percent of Americans agree that “almost all” climate scientists say that human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change, while 35 percent say that “more than half” of climate scientists agree on this. An additional 35 percent of those surveyed say that fewer than half (20%) or almost no (15%) climate scientists believe that human behavior is the main contributing factor in climate change.

Pew contrasted this to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which “stated in the forward to its 2013 report, ‘the science now shows with 95 percent certainty that human activity is the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.’”

Additionally, Americans were skeptical about the expertise of climate scientists.

Just 33 percent of those surveyed said that climate scientists understand “very well” whether global climate change is happening, another 39 percent said climate scientists understand this “fairly well.” Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed say climate scientists don’t understand this “too well” or don’t understand it at all.

When it comes to the causes of global climate change only 28 percent say climate scientists understand them “very well” while 31 percent say the scientists understand them “not too well” or “not at all.”

Additionally, Americans seemed to lack trust in climate scientists’ solutions to climate change. Only 19 percent say climate scientists understand very well the best ways to address climate change, and 35 percent say the scientists understand this not too well or not at all.

Americans also don’t trust the news media’s coverage of climate change. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed say the media does a “good job” covering global climate change, while 51% say they do a “bad job.”

Thirty-five percent of Americans say the media “exaggerate the threat of climate change,” and 42 percent say the media “don’t take the threat of climate change seriously enough.” Just 20 percent say the media are “about right in their reporting.”

Overall, Pew noted that few Americans - only 11 percent - follow news about climate change “very closely.”

The findings in the Pew report are “based on a nationally representative survey of 1,534 U.S. adults conducted May 10 - June 6, 2016.”


U.S. Intel Alert: Climate Change Aids Terrorists, Destabilizes Entire World, Stresses Military

Climate change poses significant national security challenges for the United States and will create large-scale political instability, social disruption and food shortages, according to the nation's intelligence agency. It marks the latest of many dire government warnings under President Obama about the ills of global warming and this one comes from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), though the agency concedes it's based on information provided by the famously corrupt United Nations (UN).

That the nation's intelligence agency has blindly adopted the information as fact is almost more alarming than the warnings outlined in its 13-page report. The ODNI is the broad agency that serves as an umbrella for the intelligence community and advises the president so its assessments carry a lot of weight. The ODNI is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the CIA and FBI. This gives it tremendous credibility, which is probably why the UN-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is having the ODNI promote its seemingly outlandish findings. Like a good lapdog the ODNI obliged, promoting the questionable information of radical leftwing groups in the process.

The report even suggests that climate change can fuel terrorism by including these nuggets: "In 2015, insurgent groups in northern Mali exploited deepening desertification, worsened by persistent drought, to enlist locals in a "food for jihad" arrangement." Here's another example that illustrates how terrorists benefit from climate change, according to the new intel report. "The terrorist group Al-Shabaab exploited the 2011-13 famine in Somalia to coerce and tax international aid agencies, and it withheld food from those it deemed uncooperative, according to Human Rights Watch." For the record, Human Rights Watch is a leftist group with questionable credibility when it comes to security matters so citing it as a source tying terrorism to global warming is almost comical.

As if the assertion that climate change enables terrorists wasn't far-fetched enough, the ODNI also claims it will destabilize the entire world by risking human health, putting stress on military operations and negatively impacting investments and economic competitiveness. Meat and dairy lovers beware; "Heatwaves threaten livestock directly and also reduce fertility, decrease milk production, and make them more vulnerable to disease," the ODNI writes, citing UN science. "Droughts, wildfires, and extended periods of reduced precipitation threaten pasture and food supplies, indirectly threatening livestock."

As for health, extreme heat will contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease across the globe, particularly among the elderly, the report states. Military operations worldwide will be negatively impacted because more frequent and intense natural disasters will strain the capacity of U.S. and allied armed forces to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, according to the ODNI. As is the case in all global matters, the U.S. will carry most of the burden. "The US military may be called upon more frequently to respond to foreign crises if its counterparts in affected countries are overstretched, unable to handle their own crises or those in their neighborhood," the report says.

Investments will be affected because "extreme weather events" will discourage investment in regions deemed vulnerable. "Infrastructure will be increasingly threatened by more extreme conditions in the near future, and freshwater from aquifers will be increasingly jeopardized by saltwater intrusion," the ODNI writes. "Expectations of future losses will almost certainly increase insurance premiums and payouts, and insurance rates may increase well before real effects are felt in regions deemed vulnerable." Additionally, the financial burden of responding to emergent climate trends and severe weather events, including the cost of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, will reduce financing available for other investments. "Increasing heat stress is likely to adversely affect agriculture, manufacturing, and other sectors requiring physical labor and could significantly contribute to GDP loss." The Grim Reaper has come to town!

In the last few years President Obama has committed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to combat climate change-especially in developing countries-through programs operated by the World Bank, the UN and a global initiative called Green Growth Action Alliance headed by a former Mexican president. To justify the investment, the administration has created hysteria with a number of government-funded studies warning about the dangers of climate change. Among them are reports claiming that global warming will make food and water dangerous, cause mental illness, cancer and threaten national security. In fact, a consortium of Obama administration scientists from several government agencies-including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department and National Institute of Environmental Health Science-have confirmed that global warming is one of the "most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century." One publicly-funded study claimed that the Washington D.C. area and surrounding government infrastructure will be virtually destroyed by global warming over the next century.


Warmists scared of Trump

A picture of five prominent people looking pleased with themselves for just having done something stupid.  It will embarrass their grandchildren

The U.N.-sponsored climate pact to limit greenhouse gases crossed a critical threshold far ahead of schedule Tuesday with the approval of the European Union, as world leaders raced to cement the deal amid fears that Donald Trump would make good on his vow to end U.S. participation if elected president.

With the addition of the 28 European Union nations, the agreement cleared the hurdle of 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions required for the accord to enter into effect — less than a year after being negotiated by the Obama administration and more than 190 countries in December.

With the approval by the EU parliament needing a month to officially take effect, the accord could start to come into force on Nov. 7 — one day before the presidential election in the U.S.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest praised the speed at which the deal was ratified even as critics attributed the flurry of approvals to the possibility of a November victory by Mr. Trump, who vowed in May to “cancel” the accord.

Mr. Earnest said that multilateral, U.N.-backed agreements “typically take multiple years, if not decades, to enter into force.”

“And the fact that this agreement will take effect in less than a year is not just a historic accomplishment, it’s a historic commitment to fulfilling the terms of the deal in a way that will have enormous positive benefits for the planet,” he said.

“The entry into force of the Paris agreement less than one year after its signature is a massive achievement, given that it took eight years for the [Kyoto climate agreement],” European Parliament President Martin Schulz noted in a statement.

Given that Mr. Obama entered into the agreement by executive action, critics have argued a future president could take the U.S. out of the agreement with the stroke of a pen. Even so, supporters have pushed for quick approval on the theory that withdrawing from the pact would become trickier once ratification is in place.

Negotiated at the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, the nonbinding accord appeared to stall until U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged countries in July to accelerate their ratification process.

President Obama heeded the call by entering into the accord a month ago at a joint ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping, despite objections from congressional Republicans, who have insisted that the agreement is a treaty and therefore must be ratified by the Senate. China and the U.S. are the world’s two biggest producers of greenhouse gases.

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano compared the push to the sudden release of U.S. hostages by Iran in 1981 shortly after Republican Ronald Reagan was elected president.

“The international climate community is terrified of the prospect of a Trump presidency, and with good reason,” said Mr. Morano. “Trump has pledged to do a full ‘Clexit’ and pull out of the U.N.Paris Agreement, overturn the EPA executive orders on climate and defund” the U.N. expert panel that has strongly pressed the case for man-made global warming.

The European Parliament vote on ratification, which passed overwhelmingly with 610 in favor, 38 against and 31 abstaining, came two days after India, one of the world’s leading carbon emitters, submitted its ratification document to the U.N.

That still left the accord about 3 percentage points shy of the 55 percent emissions goal until the EU weighed in with its Tuesday vote. The Canadian House of Commons is expected to ratify the agreement Wednesday, adding another 2 percent to the emissions percentage.

The accord is scheduled to enter into force 30 days after the EU ratification is delivered Friday to the U.N., coinciding with the next major international climate change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.

The debate goes on

But the rush of national endorsements is hardly expected to end the debate over the accord, which calls for a cooperative global effort to hold global temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Congressional Republicans have challenged President Obama’s decision to enter into the agreement without Senate ratification, while the White House has said that the nonbinding pact is not a treaty and may be ratified by executive action.

“The Paris climate deal is a legally non-binding deal that the president forced on taxpayers,” said the GOP majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in a Monday post on Twitter. “It is all pain & no gain.”

Critics have also blasted the agreement as political theater that will place Western nations at a competitive disadvantage with countries such as China and India, both of which are expected to increase their carbon dioxide emissions in the short term.

“The Paris agreement is a grand theater designed to convince Western taxpayers to cough up more money,” said Australian climate skeptic Joanne Nova. “China and India are part of the show, putting on their best environmental faces while they do nothing green — or even less.”

Meanwhile, climate change activists wasted no time cheering the EU’s milestone vote.

“Today is a historic day, and we applaud the international community for setting the foundation for global action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said BlueGreen Alliance executive director Kim Glas.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that although the vote is “certainly a cause for celebration — perhaps with a glass or two of French wine — much hard work lies ahead.”

“Countries must now move aggressively to implement and strengthen their emissions reduction commitments under the agreement if we are to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change,” Mr. Meyer said.

Mixed reception

Even within the climate change movement, however, opinions on the Paris accord are mixed. Climatologist James Hansen, a former NASA director and a leading critic of global warming, described the agreement as too little too late.

“There’s a misconception that we’ve begun to address the climate problem,” Mr. Hansen told reporters Monday. “The misapprehension is based on the Paris climate summit, where all the government leaders clapped each other on the back as if some great progress has been made, but you look at the science and it doesn’t compute. We are not doing what is needed.”

After the vote, the European Commission announced that it had already brought forward legislative proposals “to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40 percent by 2030.”

“Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action,” European Parliament President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Brussels. “The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind, and it would not have been possible were it not for the European Union.”

Mr. Morano described the EU’s action as lip service, saying that “the climate campaigners can now declare victory and herald this climatically meaningless U.N. agreement as some kind of milestone.”

“But the reality is, this treaty is about forcing the U.S. and Europe to redistribute wealth, and it’s about enriching the U.N.,” he said. “You may as well believe in witchcraft if you actually believe that the U.N. can control the Earth’s temperature and manage storminess.”


A dramatic, sudden loss of wind power generation was the root cause of South Australia’s state wide blackout last week

And no mystery about why the windmills failed.  They HAD to be shut down in high winds or they would have flown apart.  The report below corresponds exactly with my earlier diagnosis of the problem.  It was precisely the heavy reliance on unstable wind power that blacked out the entire state -- with many grievous consequences

And the bulk of damage to high voltage transmission lines that was caused by high winds and paraded as evidence to defend renewables most likely took place after the power had been lost.

These are the major facts contained in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) preliminary report:

Preliminary Report – Black System Event In South Australia On 28 September 2016 — Australian Energy Market Operator

More work is needed to flesh out the forensic, time sequenced analysis that has already been conducted.

But there is enough in the interim report to make the rush to defence of renewables mounted by special interest groups and conflicted state governments since the lights went look foolish.

Certainly, the power would not have been lost were it not for the big storm.

And seven big towers were damaged in the lead up to the blackout.

But AEMO said data currently available indicates that the damage to the Davenport to Brinkworth 275 kV line on which 14 towers were damaged “occurred following the SA Black System”.

The big event was a 123 MW reduction in output from North Brown Hill Wind Farm, Bluff Wind Farm, Hallett Wind Farm and Hallett Hill Wind Farm at 16.18.09.

Seconds later there was an 86 MW reduction in output from Hornsdale wind farm and a 106 MW reduction in output from Snowtown Two wind farm.

No explanation was given for the reduction in wind farm output.

But the loss of wind farm production put too much pressure on the electricity interconnector with Victoria which cut off supply.

This in turn led to a shut down at the Torrens Island power station, Ladbroke Grove power station, all remaining wind farms and the Murraylink interconnector.

AEMO says a lot of work is needed to fully explore what happened.



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