Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Arctic warming claim: An amusing combination of alarm and uncertainty
The article below starts out by making a big deal out of the fact that: "Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected". Which is roughly true as far as it goes. But like all Green/Left reporting, the important bits are what is left out. SEPP tells us what is left out:
"The current warmth in the Artic provides material for alarmists to predict drastic climate change. Many of the stories fail to mention that although the mean Arctic temperatures are as much as 15ºC, about 30ºF, above normal, with some day-time exceptions, the temperatures are still well below freezing. Further, the alarmist stories fail to mention that temperatures in Asia are drastically below normal for weeks --- as much as 60ºF below normal in Siberia. Long before appropriate instrumentation, the Arctic experienced warm periods, as seen in the Greenland ice cores and in warm periods such as the 1920s"
And then we come to bathos. After the shrill and unhesitating alarm of the first part of the article, we find out that they are actually very uncertain. They really don't understand what is going on very well at all: "very serious changes are happening, but they are still poorly understood. We need more research to understand them".
You couldn't make it up. Utter trash
Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.
The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.
Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as “off the charts”. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.
“The warning signals are getting louder,” said Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of the report. “[These developments] also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger.”
Climate tipping points occur when a natural system, such as the polar ice cap, undergoes sudden or overwhelming change that has a profound effect on surrounding ecosystems, often irreversible.
In the Arctic, the tipping points identified in the new report, published on Friday, include: growth in vegetation on tundra, which replaces reflective snow and ice with darker vegetation, thus absorbing more heat; higher releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the tundra as it warms; shifts in snow distribution that warm the ocean, resulting in altered climate patterns as far away as Asia, where the monsoon could be effected; and the collapse of some key Arctic fisheries, with knock-on effects on ocean ecosystems around the globe.
The research, compiled by 11 organisations including the Arctic Council and six universities, comes at a critical time, not only because of the current Arctic temperature rises but in political terms.
Aides to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, this week unveiled plans to remove the budget for climate change science currently used by Nasa and other US federal agencies for projects such as examining Arctic changes, and to spend it instead on space exploration.
“That would be a huge mistake,” said Carson, noting that much more research needs to be done on polar tipping points before we can understand the true dangers, let alone hope to tackle them. “It would be like ripping out the aeroplane’s cockpit instruments while you are in mid-flight.”
He added: “These are very serious problems, very serious changes are happening, but they are still poorly understood. We need more research to understand them. A lot of the major science is done by the US.”
'Remarkable year': What's behind the record low sea ice in Antarctica
Why should sea-ice levels suddenly change from high to low? The galoots below don't know but my guess is increased activity from Antarctica's sub-surface volcanoes. But you are not allowed to mention that. One thing that is not responsible is CO2. The latest findings show that CO2 levels were static for 2015 and 2016
It was in early August this year when Phil Reid, a climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, first noticed something odd happening to the ice around Antarctica.
An area of ice had started to melt in the eastern Weddell Sea even though the region was still in darkness and air temperatures below freezing.
Confirmed later as a rare sighting of the Weddell polynya – as such melts are known – abnormal sea ice activity began showing up in other regions off the southern continent.
Having set records for area covered by sea ice just over two years ago, the ice has rapidly retreated since late August to set new marks for record-low coverage for this time of year.
"It's been a pretty remarkable year," Dr Reid said, adding sea ice now totalled about 12.8 million square kilometres, or more than 2 million below average for November.
The Weddell polynya indicates there were unusually warm waters beneath, but researchers won't know for sure until they can retrieve and analyse data from floats, Dr Reid said.
Some extreme weather, which also brought in warmer air from the north, may have helped corral the thinning ice into smaller areas. "That atmospheric pattern exacerbated the regions of lower-than-normal sea ice," he said.
Mark Brandon, a polar oceanographer and blogger at the UK's Open University, said the ice was noticeably compacting in three areas – the Ross Sea, the Cosmonauts Sea, and in the Bellingshausen and Weddell seas.
Dr Brandon said that the increased mobility of the ice implies there is less of it, so volume has probably dropped too.
"We have no long-term wide geographical ranging measurements of sea ice thickness in the Antarctic that are comparable to what we have in the Arctic," he said. "For various technical reasons we don't have [satellite data] – yet – either.
"But with the evidence in the Weddell Sea I would be surprised if the volume is constant given the pack is not being compressed against the coast," he said.
Go global warming!
England will face its coldest November night for almost 25 years as temperatures plummet below freezing this week. People have been told to wrap up warm with overnight temperatures forecast to drop to -8C in southern England by Tuesday. The last time it was this cold was in Yorkshire, on November 22 1993.
It will be chilly this evening with temperatures dropping to -6C in the South of England and minus -5C in the West Midlands.
A band of cloud over the North of the country and towards Scotland will keep temperatures milder, reaching around 4C.
Into Monday and Tuesday it will remain dry with clear skies, but temperatures will drop overnight to -8C.
The brisk conditions are only expected to last until Wednesday, with warmer weather forecast later on in the week.
Met office meteorologist, Luke Miall said: 'We are set for a couple of cold nights but we won't see sub zero temperatures during the day. It's just a case of wrapping up warm if you go out.
Ladbrokes are offering odds of 2/1 that a new record is set for the coldest night of 2016 before next Sunday.
No, Donald Trump Hasn’t Suddenly Gone Soft on ‘Global Warming’
I gave my take on this on Sunday
“Trump now believes that man-made climate change is real” claims a headline in Mother Jones. (Top trolling, guys. Almost worthy of the Master, DJT himself.)
“In shift, Donald Trump says humans may be causing global warming,” says PBS.
According to The Washington Post, meanwhile:
President-elect Donald Trump appears to be softening his tone on whether climate change is real and on his stated plans to scrap the recent multinational agreement to limit carbon emissions.
The name for this nonsense is “fake news” – as becomes clear when you read the transcripts of what President-Elect Trump actually said at his meeting with The New York Times:
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, opinion columnist: But it’s really important to me, and I think to a lot of our readers, to know where you’re going to go with this. I don’t think anyone objects to, you know, doing all forms of energy. But are you going to take America out of the world’s lead of confronting climate change?
TRUMP: I’m looking at it very closely, Tom. I’ll tell you what. I have an open mind to it. We’re going to look very carefully. It’s one issue that’s interesting because there are few things where there’s more division than climate change. You don’t tend to hear this, but there are people on the other side of that issue who are, think, don’t even …
ARTHUR SULZBERGER Jr., publisher of The New York Times: We do hear it.
So at this point, Trump is gently introducing the NYT‘s liberals to the concept that not everyone thinks the same way on climate change as they do. Let’s carry on, shall we?
FRIEDMAN: I was on ‘Squawk Box’ with Joe Kernen this morning, so I got an earful of it. [laughter]
TRUMP: Joe is one of them. But a lot of smart people disagree with you. I have a very open mind. And I’m going to study a lot of the things that happened on it and we’re going to look at it very carefully. But I have an open mind.
SULZBERGER: Well, since we’re living on an island, sir, I want to thank you for having an open mind. We saw what these storms are now doing, right? We’ve seen it personally. Straight up.
FRIEDMAN: But you have an open mind on this?
TRUMP: I do have an open mind. And we’ve had storms always, Arthur.
SULZBERGER: Not like this.
TRUMP: "You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.
My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.
And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind"
Trump, it is obvious to anyone with half a brain, is taking the piss. He is telling the NYT‘s liberal assembly “I hear what you say” and then, ever so nicely, indicating that he doesn’t give a toss. The way he repeats that phrase “open mind”. He’s trolling them, basically. (Especially where he tells them he’s an “environmentalist”: classic Trump.)
JAMES BENNET, editorial page editor: When you say an open mind, you mean you’re just not sure whether human activity causes climate change? Do you think human activity is or isn’t connected?
TRUMP: I think right now … well, I think there is some connectivity. There is some, something. It depends on how much. It also depends on how much it’s going to cost our companies. You have to understand, our companies are noncompetitive right now.
They’re really largely noncompetitive. About four weeks ago, I started adding a certain little sentence into a lot of my speeches, that we’ve lost 70,000 factories since W. Bush. 70,000. When I first looked at the number, I said: ‘That must be a typo. It can’t be 70, you can’t have 70,000, you wouldn’t think you have 70,000 factories here.’ And it wasn’t a typo, it’s right. We’ve lost 70,000 factories.
We’re not a competitive nation with other nations anymore. We have to make ourselves competitive. We’re not competitive for a lot of reasons.
That’s becoming more and more of the reason. Because a lot of these countries that we do business with, they make deals with our president, or whoever, and then they don’t adhere to the deals, you know that. And it’s much less expensive for their companies to produce products. So I’m going to be studying that very hard, and I think I have a very big voice in it. And I think my voice is listened to, especially by people that don’t believe in it. And we’ll let you know.
“We’ll let you know.” In other words: “I’ll get back to you.” In other words: “Sorry. Not interested in your business. Got better things to do.”
Five stages of climate grief
Ever since the elections, our media, schools, workplaces and houses of worship have presented stories showcasing the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Liberal-progressive snowflakes are wallowing in denial, anger and depression. They cannot work, attend class or take exams. They need safe “healing” spaces, Play-Doh, comfort critters and counseling. Too many throw tirades equating Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler, while too few are actually moving to Canada, New Zeeland or Jupiter, after solemnly promising they would.
Nouveau grief is also characterized by the elimination of bargaining and acceptance – and their replacement by two new stages: intolerance for other views and defiance or even riots. Sadly, it appears these new stages have become a dominant, permanent, shameful feature of liberal policies and politics.
The Left has long been intolerant of alternative viewpoints. Refusing to engage or debate, banning or forcibly removing books and posters, threatening and silencing contrarians, disinviting or shouting down conservative speakers, denying tax exempt status to opposing political groups, even criminalizing and prosecuting climate change “deniers” – have all become trademark tactics. Defiance and riots were rare during the Obama years, simply because his government enforced lib-prog ideologies and policies.
Liberals view government as their domain, their reason for being, far too important to be left to “poorly educated” rural and small-town voters, blue-collar workers or other “deplorable” elements. Liberals may not care what we do in our bedrooms, but they intend to control everything outside those four walls.
They are aghast that over 90% of all US counties and county equivalents voted for Trump. They’re incensed that President Trump and Republicans in Congress, 33 governor’s offices and 69 of 99 state legislatures nationwide will likely review and reform policies, laws and regulations on a host of issues.
Above all, they are outraged over what might happen to their “dangerous manmade climate change” mantra. It was supposed to be their ticket to endless extravaganzas at 5-star venues in exotic locales – their trump card for controlling the world’s energy, economy, livelihoods and living standards.
That is why they demand that only their “facts” be heard on the “consensus science” supporting policies they say are essential to prevent a “disastrous” 2º C (3.6º F) rise from 1850 levels, when the Little Ice Age ended (and the modern industrial era began). It’s why the Paris climate agreement tells developed nations to keep fossil fuels in the ground, roll back their economies and reduce their living standards – while giving $100 billion per year to poor countries for climate mitigation and reparation.
That, in turn, is why developing countries eagerly signed the Paris accord, bringing it into force and effect just before this year’s climate confab in Marrakech. They would not be required to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. And they – or at least their governing classes – would receive trillions of dollars over the coming decades. Countless thousands were thus in jolly spirits as they flew giant fuel-guzzling, GHG-spewing jetliners into Morocco for the historic event.
But then, on the third day, news of the US elections brought misery and mayhem to Marrakech. Event organizers had tolerated credentialed Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow representatives handing out Climate Hustle DVDs and discussing Real World climate science and energy development. But when CFACT erected a Donald Trump cutout and shredded a copy of the Paris accord, they sent armed police to forcibly end the educational event and boot the impudent non-believers out of the hallowed conference.
Marrakech may have marked the zenith of the religious-political climate movement. President-Elect Trump has long held that there is likely “some connectivity” between human actions and the climate – but he has also said it is a “hoax” to say humans are now causing catastrophic global warming and climate change. He also says he has an “open mind” on the issue and will be studying it “very closely.”
Here are a few important facts and probing questions that he could raise, to get the ball rolling.
1) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed to detect and assess possible human influences on global climate systems, amid many natural forces. However, it soon began looking only at human influences. Now it claims warming, cooling and weather are driven only by human emissions. How and why did this happen? How can alarmists ignore the powerful natural forces, focus solely on air emissions associated with fossil fuel use – and call it solid, honest, empirical, consensus science?
2) Your “manmade climate chaos” thesis – and computer models that support it – implicitly assume that fossil fuel emissions and feedbacks they generate have replaced numerous powerful natural forces that have driven climate cycles and extreme weather events throughout Earth and human history. What caused the ice ages and interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Anasazi and Mayan droughts, and other major climate and weather events – before fossil fuel emissions took over?
Where did all those natural forces go? Why are they no longer functioning? Who stole them? When did they stop ruling the climate: in 1850, 1900, 1950 … or perhaps 1990, after the IPCC was established?
3) You claim climate and weather patterns are already “unprecedented” and increasingly cataclysmic. But even as plant-fertilizing CO2 levels continue to climb, average global temperatures have risen barely 0.1 degrees the past two decades, amid a major El Niño. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are growing at record rates. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century. It has now been a record eleven years since a category 3-5 hurricane struck the US mainland; the previous record was nine years, 1860 to 1869. The 2016 US tornado count was the lowest on record. Where are the unprecedented cataclysms?
4) Your computer models begin with the assumption or assertion that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will cause rapidly, dangerously rising global temperatures, and more extreme weather events. But if this assumption is wrong, so are your models, projections and scenarios. It’s garbage in / garbage out. And in fact your models have been wrong – dramatically and consistently, year after year. When will you fix them? When will they factor in data and analyses for solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces?
5) The manmade climate cataclysm community has refused to discuss or debate its data, methodologies, analyses and conclusions with those whom you call “skeptics” or “deniers.” 97% consensus, case closed, you say. What do you fear from open, robust debate? What manipulated data or other tricks are you trying to hide? Why are you afraid to put your cards on the table, lay out your supposed evidence – and duke it out? Do you really think taxpayers should give you one more dime under these circumstances?
6) The FDA and other federal agencies require that applications for drugs, medical devices and permits for projects include extensive raw data, lab and project methodologies, and other information. Your modeling and other work is largely paid for with taxpayer money, and used to determine public policies. Why should you be allowed to hide your data and methodologies, treat them as proprietary, refuse to share them with Congress or “realist” scientists, and refuse to engage in a full peer-review process?
7) EPA’s “social cost of carbon” scheme blames everything imaginable on fossil fuels – but totally ignores the huge benefits of using these fuels. Isn’t that misleading, disingenuous, even fraudulent?
8) America already produces more ethanol than it can use. Now EPA wants another 1.2 billion gallons blended into our gasoline. Why should we do this – considering the land, water, environmental, CO2, fuel efficiency and other costs, rampant fraud in the RIN program, and impacts on small refiners? If we replace all fossil fuels with biofuels, how much land, water, fertilizer and energy would that require?
9) Wind turbines are land intensive, heavily subsidized and exempted from most environmental rules. They kill millions of birds and bats. Their electricity is expensive and unreliable, and requires fossil fuel backup generators. Why should this industry be exempted from endangered species laws – and allowed to conduct bogus mortality studies, and prevent independent investigators from reviewing the work?
Mr. Trump, keep an open mind. But keep exercising due diligence. Trust, but verify. And fire anyone who lies or refuses to answer, or provides the climate equivalent of shoddy work and substandard concrete.
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Posted by JR at 1:24 AM