Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The latest Greenie fad

All set out in gruesome detail below, complete with some familiar myths.  Not mentioned is that the ozone hole was at its biggest LAST YEAR, showing the the CFC  ban has had no effect and was therefore totally misconceived.  So what chance for the HFC scare?  Not much, one would think.

The whole story is one of exaggeration. We read: "carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for more than five centuries".  I suppose the let-out there is "can".  If they had said "does", they  would be plainly wrong. Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%.  And so we go on ...

IN 1985 a gaping hole was found in the ozone layer above Antarctica. Two years later leaders from around the world signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to phase out the substances causing it, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in refrigeration and as propellants in products such as hairsprays and deodorants. Scientists had discovered more than a decade earlier that CFCs release chlorine into the stratosphere as they decompose—depleting ozone—and are also powerful greenhouse gases. Thanks to the treaty, the equivalent of some 135 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions were avoided, saving the ozone layer from complete collapse by the middle of this century. This week officials from around the world, led by America and China, are meeting in Rwanda to make a deal that would extend the Montreal Protocol to cover hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were introduced to replace CFCs. Why?

HFCs don’t deplete the ozone layer but they still contribute hugely to global warming, as scientists discovered in the decades after their introduction. The average atmospheric lifetime for most commercially used HFCs is 15 years or less whereas carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for more than five centuries. But, like CFCs, HFCs cause a greenhouse effect between hundreds and thousands of times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Total emissions of HFCs are still relatively low. But they are rising by 7-15% a year as people in hot countries, such as Brazil and India, become richer and buy air-conditioning units.

Small island nations, which are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, have been discussing the need to control HFC emissions for a decade. China and America promised to do something about them in 2013. America wants action to be speedy enough for global emissions to reach their peak by 2021, then to start falling; China may be keener to postpone that point until 2023. Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia lean towards 2025. India has lobbied for an even later date, closer to 2030. But many African countries and low-lying island states, already concerned by global warming, are pushing for a tighter timetable. Whatever the deadline, and however steep the cuts, the plan is to require rich countries to act faster while allowing poorer ones more time to adjust.

A deal on HFCs would quickly benefit the climate—and not just by obliging countries to cut emissions of these powerful greenhouse gases. On its own this direct effect could make a real difference. An ambitious deal, for example one demanding that they start to be phased out by 2020, would cut the equivalent of between 100 billion and 200 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050, enough to chop 0.5°C from the rise in average global temperatures by 2100. But, as the history of CFCs suggests, extending the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs could also benefit the climate by boosting the efficiency of air-conditioning units. After the original deal some coolers were 60% more efficient than the ones they replaced. Similar adjustments to an expanded agreement could make such technologies more environmentally friendly overall. This is particularly important because they happen to be both a cause of global warming, and an important means of adapting to it.


Cold waves and the jump in European temperatures

An excerpt below of a study based on long records of temperature held in various European cities.  The analysis showed 8 "cold waves" from 1750 to 2000 and explained these as incursions of Arctic air.  So the record is one of alternating cooling and warming, not the climate stability preached by Warmists such as Michael Mann.  Climate change is natural and cyclic, in other words.

Another finding, however, was of a temperature "jump" of a full degree in one recent 3 year period.  There was however no corresponding jump in CO2 so once again we see a disjunction between CO2 and temperature. It is oscillations in Arctic air currents that cause European temperature change, not CO2

Much of European history has been marked by the effects of such irruptions of arctic air into a region that is habitually under the influence of warm Atlantic air – to which, consequently, European agriculture and economy has been adapted. But at the end of the 20th century, an anomalous and very rapid warm shift in surface temperatures occurred that has been described as a “jump” in the temperature record. Over just a 3-year period from 1987-1990, SAT anomalies inceased rapidly over about a full degree.

Regional SAT was maintained through to the end of the record in 2014 at a higher mean temperature than had been recorded during the previous century. One may choose to ignore it and simply draw a trend line from 1890 to 2015 – or one may choose to interpret the record differently, as here: both positions are valid and in the present state of climate science your choice will largely depend on your confidence in the reliability of simulation modelling of complex Earth systems.

The flowering dates of plant communities in Britan, analysed for their response to long-term change in the Central England surface air temperature record, responded closely to this regime shift.  The fit between ambient temperature and flowering dates (both at community level and for individual species) is excellent over each 25-year segment of the entire record back to the 1750s. The series terminates in a very clear 15-day advance in the dates of community flowering after 1985 that was maintained to the end of the record in 2008.

Such a rapid change in surface air temperature over this large region is compatible neither with anthropogenic nor with volcanic forcing, but is consistent with the expected result of an equally major and rapid change in the distribution of atmospheric pressure over the entire North Atlantic-Arctic region.

This is indicated by change in the values of both the wintertime NAO and the Arctic Oscillation (northern annular mode of Hurrell) which together describe the state of the polar vortex north of the mid-latitude jet stream; when polar surface pressure is low (positive AO index) this flows strongly and consistently, with relatively weak meanders, so that cold polar air tends not to intrude down into mid-latitude Europe. But when polar surface pressure is high (negative AO index) the jet stream weakens and meanders more strongly, so that cold polar air is routinely carried down into mid-latitudes. Because of the existence of the western mountain ranges in North America that perturb its flow, the jet stream has a preferred number and location of southerly waves appropriate to each state of the AO. Periods of strongly negative AO are, in western Europe, associated with irruptions of cold polar air, as occurred rather commonly in the period 1935-45, discussed above.

Major warm excursions in surface air temperatures on the Japanese islands have already been noted for these same years (see plots for two rural stations on p. NN) and although these excursions were brief and cooling set in after only a single peak warm year, they were peraps related to the same rapid change in the value of the Arctic Oscillation after 1985. Changes in the AO has consequences for the strength of the winter westerlies that bring cold air from central Asia down across the Japanese islands, affecting winter temperatures generally in East Asia; this effect is modified by the strength of western Pacific cyclonic activity, and the 1985-1990 warm event over Japan (see p. NN) appears to have been the result of complex interaction between these two processes.


Lies, Damn Lies, and Soda Taxes

“It’s not a grocery tax, it’s a soda tax,” say television ads promoting excise taxes whose fate Bay Area voters will decide next month. Proponents of two soda-tax initiatives—Measure V in San Francisco and Measure HH in Oakland—have claimed that their taxes would hit only sugary drinks. But as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan notes, the assertion is erroneous for reasons that every student of economics is taught.

From an economics perspective—and this is stressed in every basic microeconomics class—what matters is who ultimately pays the tax, not which party collects it. Beverage distributors required to pay a levy on soda pop may succeed in passing the tax to grocers who, in turn, may respond by raising the price of any of their products. Soda drinkers may not face higher prices after all, and soda consumption may not fall by a single drop.

Writes McQuillan. “The ad ends with: ‘Didn’t anyone tell big soda it’s not nice to lie?’ But it’s Michael Bloomberg and soda-tax proponents that are not telling the whole truth: grocery customers will face higher grocery bills as a result of the soda tax.”


Shameless Jim

In two quotes:

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.” – James Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet.” The New York Times Review of Books (2006).

“Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”  – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

Ten years ago, James Hansen predicted doom if mankind did not “fundamentally” reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. This ultimatum to the world came due this summer.

But far from raising the white flag, the father of the modern climate alarm now demands via legal action that CO2 and other GHG emissions go negative “if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions.”

He continues: “If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content.”


Greenie pride: Airlift of generators rejected by South Australia

The Leftist government refuses to believe that their reliance on windmills is misplaced.  And the thought of relying on DIESEL generators for anything is anathema to them.  Report below dated Oct. 11

The Turnbull government has prepared an emergency plan to fly generators into South Australia to help major employers keep operating after the statewide blackout, mapping out a back-up plan as key industries wait for full power to be restored.

The Royal Australian Air Force is ready to fly the generators into key industrial areas such as Port Augusta or to major manufacturers like troubled steel­maker Arrium.

The “standing offer” remains on the table after being drafted two days after the September 28 blackout, but the South Aus­tralian government has decided it can get its electricity grid up and running without federal help.

The federal authorities prepared the plan behind the scenes on the Friday following the Wednesday outage after officials identified four large generators in Tasmania that could be flown to Port Augusta by RAAF transport planes at short notice.

Amid a furious row over how the state grid went black, the federal proposal highlights the divide between Canberra and South Australia and raises questions about the judgments made on whether to use the back-up power at a time when the state grid is yet to return to full capacity.

Arrium administrator Mark Mentha confirmed to The Aus­tralian that the offer was put to the company more than a week ago as an emergency measure to prevent the company’s furnaces “going cold” and wrecking its steel.

The plan involves four mobile generators capable of supplying a combined 100 megawatts of electricity, enough to run all of Arrium’s steel and mining operations and provide power for others.

The generators were sent to Tasmania earlier this year to help Hydro Tasmania provide power after the failure of the Basslink connection to Victoria, but they had served their purpose and were available to be taken to South Australia.

Industry Minister Greg Hunt helped prepare the plan in talks with Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

Mr Mentha, whose firm Korda­Mentha is overseeing Arrium after the company went into administration in April, was interested in the proposal but BHP Billiton, which runs the Olympic Dam mine in the north of the state, was planning to bring in its own generators.

The proposal could not proceed without formal approval from the South Australian government, which had to request the assistance under standing agreements between Canberra and the states. South Australian Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said officials assured him there was no need for the federal help.

“We could get the grid up ­before the back-up generators were operational,” he said. “If we’d needed the generators, I would have done it but all the ­advice was that we would have the network up in time.”

Mr Mentha said he had been impressed with the help from governments and power suppliers in the wake of the storm.

“The South Australian government and Tom Koutsantonis and SA Power Networks and ElectraNet have done everything possible for us — I couldn’t fault them,” he said.

But power remains out in key areas, with SA Power Networks warning of shortages in the north of the state and ElectraNet still working to restore all the transmission lines.

ElectraNet said late yesterday that repairs to transmission lines in the state’s Mid North had got one of the damaged lines back up and energised. “Another circuit will follow in a few days, provided weather conditions remain stable,” it said.



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