Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another shriek about bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

This is just a repetition of a story that has been going on for a year or more.  Previous claims of this nature have been shown to be highly exaggereated so a repetition of the claims from the same people as before has no credibility.

I was born and bred in an area close to the reef and have been hearing cries of alarm about the reef for 50 years.  But somehow the reef still seems to be there.  It has always had episodes of retreat but coral is highly resilient and bounces back quite rapidly.

One thing we can be sure of is that the problems were not caused by anthropogenic global warming.  Why?  Because that theory says that warming is caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But the latest readings show NO increase in CO2 during 2015 and 2016

There WAS warming up until recently but that was caused by the El Nino weather cycle, not CO2. Once again we had the chronic Warmist problem that CO2 levels and temperatures do not correlate.  Below is a picture of the El Nino effect on global temperatures.  You see it peaked late last year and has been falling ever since.  So if warmth was the cause of the reef problems, the reef should soon start to recover

Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to our latest underwater surveys.

On some reefs in the north, nearly all the corals have died. However the impact of bleaching eases as we move south, and reefs in the central and southern regions (around Cairns and Townsville and southwards) were much less affected, and are now recovering.

In 2015 and 2016, the hottest years on record, we have witnessed at first hand the threat posed by human-caused climate change to the world’s coral reefs.

Heat stress from record high summer temperatures damages the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in the tissues of corals, turning them white.

After they bleach, these stressed corals either slowly regain their zooxanthellae and colour as temperatures cool off, or else they die.

The Great Barrier Reef bleached severely for the first time in 1998, then in 2002, and now again in 2016. This year’s event was more extreme than the two previous mass bleachings.
Surveying the damage

We undertook extensive underwater surveys at the peak of bleaching in March and April, and again at the same sites in October and November. In the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, we recorded an average (median) loss of 67% of coral cover on a large sample of 60 reefs.

The dieback of corals due to bleaching in just 8-9 months is the largest loss ever recorded for the Great Barrier Reef.

To put these losses in context, over the 27 years from 1985 to 2012, scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science measured the gradual loss of 51% of corals on the central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

They reported no change over this extended period in the amount of corals in the remote, northern region. Unfortunately, most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in this northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.

The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy. Our map shows clearly that coral death varies enormously from north to south along the 2,300km length of the Reef.

The southern third of the Reef did not experience severe heat stress in February and March. Consequently, only minor bleaching occurred, and we found no significant mortality in the south since then.

In the central section of the Reef, we measured widespread but moderate bleaching, which was comparably severe to the 1998 and 2002 events. On average, only 6% of coral cover was lost in the central region in 2016.

The remaining corals have now regained their vibrant colour. Many central reefs are in good condition, and they continue to recover from Severe Tropical Cyclones Hamish (in 2009) and Yasi (2011).

In the eastern Torres Strait and outermost ribbon reefs in the northernmost part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, we found a large swathe of reefs that escaped the most severe bleaching and mortality, compared to elsewhere in the north. Nonetheless, 26% of the shallow-water corals died.

We suspect that these reefs were partially protected from heat stress by strong currents and upwelling of cooler water across the edge of the continental shelf that slopes steeply into the Coral Sea.

For visitors, these surveys show there are still many reefs throughout the Marine Park that have abundant living coral, particularly in popular tourism locations in the central and southern regions, such as the Whitsundays and Cairns.


The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, extending 700km from Port Douglas to Papua New Guinea, experienced the most severe bleaching and subsequent loss of corals.

On 25% of the worst affected reefs (the top quartile), losses of corals ranged from 83-99%. When mortality is this high, it affects even tougher species that normally survive bleaching.

However, even in this region, there are some silver linings. Bleaching and mortality decline with depth, and some sites and reefs had much better than average survival. A few corals are still bleached or mottled, particularly in the north, but the vast majority of survivors have regained their colour.

What will happen next?

The reef science and management community will continue to gather data on the bleaching event as it slowly unfolds. The initial stage focused on mapping the footprint of the event, and now we are analysing how many bleached corals died or recovered over the past 8-9 months.

Over the coming months and for the next year or two we expect to see longer-term impacts on northern corals, including higher levels of disease, slower growth rates and lower rates of reproduction. The process of recovery in the north – the replacement of dead corals by new ones – will be slow, at least 10-15 years, as long as local conditions such as water quality remain conducive to recovery.

As global temperatures continue to climb, time will tell how much recovery in the north is possible before a fourth mass bleaching event occurs.


Swiss reject plan to speed up exit from nuclear energy

Swiss voters have rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy.

A majority of cantons voted against the plan in Sunday’s referendum. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both the states and overall votes to pass.

The plan promoted by the Green Party would have meant closing three of Switzerland’s five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029. A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55 percent to 45.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government adopted a gradualist approach toward transitioning the country to renewable energy by 2050.

The five Swiss nuclear power plants now generate 40 percent of the country’s electricity.

A similar movement is underway in neighboring Germany, where officials are stepping up transition to renewables like solar energy in time to be done with nuclear energy by 2022, a deadline also set after the Japanese tsunami.

As part of an energy plan that runs through 2050, the Swiss government has already agreed not to replace its existing nuclear plants, which can operate as long as they’re deemed safe. The plants are to be closed progressively as their life spans expire, and the government says it needs time to switch to other sources such as wind, solar, and biomass energy.

Switzerland regularly holds referendums as part of its particular form of direct democracy, which allows voters in the country of about 8.2 million to set policy on major issues — at times causing hassles for officials to carry out the public’s will.

The two chambers of the Swiss legislature and the executive Federal Council have variously argued that the earlier shutdown of the nuclear energy program would have forced Switzerland to import more electricity, such as from carbon-spewing coal-fired plants in Germany.

Plus, early shutdowns could make the government — and thus taxpayers — liable to pay penalties to the nuclear plant operators.

‘‘The initiative will compromise the security of our energy supply,’’ Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter warned in a government video.

But Ilias Panchard, secretary general of a group whose French name translates as ‘‘Get Out of Nuclear,’’ said Switzerland’s nuclear power complex is dangerous, aging, and beset by problems — with two of the five Swiss plants not operating at the moment for safety or technical reasons.

His group insisted that now is the time to set a fixed timetable, before it’s too late to move to a proper replacement.

‘‘If we just wait until an accident or a problem with the plants, then we do not have the time, the energy to replace it. So the idea of the initiative, the referendum, is to say: In 2029 we will have no more nuclear energy in Switzerland,’’ he said in an interview in Geneva.

The initiative would have limited the life span of nuclear plants to 45 years, and force the closure next year of three of the plants, Beznau 1 — which Panchard called the world’s oldest operating nuclear plant, built in 1969 — as well as Beznau 2 and Muhleberg.

‘‘Concretely, that means that in 2017, about one-third of the electricity generated by nuclear energy will be lacking. That amounts to the average annual electricity consumption of close to half of Swiss households,’’ Burkhalter said, adding that renewables won’t be able to make up the difference right away.

Two other plants would shut over the next 13 years: Goesgen would close in 2024 and Leibstadt in 2029.


Solar, wind industries hope years courting Republicans pays off under Trump

U.S. wind and solar companies for the first time gave more money to Republicans than Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, according to federal campaign disclosures, part of a years-long effort to expand renewable energy’s appeal beyond liberal environmentalists.

The industry is now hoping its strategy of reaching across the political divide will pay off in the form of Congressional support as Republican Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic who has expressed doubts about the role of clean energy, takes the White House in January.

"We're not starting from ground zero," said Isaac Brown, a principal at 38 North Solutions, which lobbies on behalf of clean energy clients.

The U.S. wind and solar industries employ over 300,000 people, making clean energy an important political constituency that is about five times bigger than the coal sector for jobs, thanks to years of rapid growth fueled by government incentives and declines in the cost of their technologies.

They have also fought to win over a new breed of backer: conservatives skeptical of climate change but interested in supporting homegrown energy alternatives that increase national security, boost competition, and create well-paying blue collar jobs.

But Trump’s upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election has cast doubt on the future of a federal tax break for renewable energy seen critical to the industry’s continued growth.

Trump has never specifically called for those credits to end, but has expressed skepticism about the role of solar and wind in the U.S. energy landscape, calling both "so expensive" and blaming wind turbines for killing birds and ruining picturesque landscapes.

During his campaign, Trump also called global warming a hoax and promised to quit a global accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions, though he has since softened his stance and said he is keeping an "open mind" about the deal.

The renewable energy industry got a boost last year when Congress approved a five-year extension of tax credits for new power projects fueled by solar panels and wind turbines, and the industry's main concern in Washington is to ensure they are not withdrawn in Trump's first term, or allowed to expire should he win a second.

A Trump official did not respond to a request for comment about how he will approach renewables as president. But one of Trump's potential picks for Energy Secretary, Oklahoma oil and gas drilling mogul Harold Hamm, has been a vocal opponent of subsidies for renewable energy.

Renewable stocks took a beating immediately after Trump’s election but have since mostly recovered.

During the 2016 cycle, the wind and solar industry's political action committees contributed more than $225,000 to Republican candidates for office, compared with $185,000 for Democrats. The numbers are not large by the standards of political donations but they mark the first time the industry has tilted its contributions toward Republicans, according to federal records.

In 2012, Democrats got about two-thirds of the industry’s contributions.

Though Democrats have historically been viewed as the strongest supporters of renewable energy, utility-scale wind farms and solar installations are found throughout the nation - including in Republican-leaning states like Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and North Dakota - and enjoy bipartisan support among Americans.

A Pew Research Center poll from October found 83 percent of conservative Republicans favor more solar installations, and 75 percent favor more wind farms. Those figures were 97 percent and 93 percent for liberal Democrats.

The expansion of solar beyond liberal strongholds like California and the Northeast has been critical to garnering Republican support over the last few years. The wind industry has been established in red states for far longer than solar and has a longer track record of support from Republican lawmakers in those states.


The Growth Of Global Warming Nonsense: Surely We've Reached Peak Madness

Time magazine said Donald Trump's election has climate change negotiators down, but not out, and has "cast a long shadow over progress made at" the United Nations climate conference held earlier this month in Morocco. Seems the alarmist community is still stuck in the denial phase of the five stages of grief.

The negotiators' denial is not their attempt to pretend that Trump didn't win, a road that some on the left have taken. It is more deeply rooted in the fact that their predictions of disaster have not materialized.

They have tried for decades to frighten everyone on the planet and all this time later, few are scared because they see the gaping holes in the narrative, the miserably failed forecasts, the glaring lack of evidence and the garbage dump of lies.

Yet the activists continue to behave and screech as if the world is on the brink and there are only days left to save it.

Average Westerners simply trying to live their lives honestly and work hard for their families aren't moved by the braying. They see insane proposals, such as the one from Oxford University that suggests foods should be priced according to their climate impacts, and shake their heads as if their loony uncle living in the room over the garage is talking to Moses again.

But it's more than that, isn't it? It seems we are watching the psychological breakdown of a segment of the Western population that is desperately trying control other people and greedily snatch the world's economic levers, and employing harsh scare tactics in its effort to achieve these goals.

Let's not even pretend that this group cares about the environment. The international Paris agreement that President Obama unilaterally signed on to without input from Congress, the agreement that the alarmist community has declared to be absolutely vital to putting off climate change, would do little to stop projected warming into the next century.

Researcher Bjorn Lomborg, who believes that man's carbon dioxide emissions are having some impact on the planet, says that if every nation fulfilled its promise to cut emissions by 2030, "the total temperature reduction will be 0.048" degrees Celsius by 2100.

In other words, Paris won't change a thing.

Despite the fact that the Paris accord will produce no climate benefit, the political left, which includes the agenda-driven media, continues its deranged behavior over the election of Trump because he has indicated that he will pull the U.S. from Obama's unethical deal.

This lunacy, consciously chosen, is possibly best illustrated by the Democratic National Committee staffer who whined that Clinton's loss means that he's "going to die from climate change," and marched out of a meeting in which the Democrats were trying to rally from their election defeat.

The unfortunate dupe, who must be a recent campus emission, as he acted like one of higher education's delicate snowflakes, is the product of the hysteria his own party has whipped up.

Global warming raving has also affected a group of eight kids from Washington, who are suing their state over climate change. The Associated Press says they are "part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming."

They've been incited, no doubt, by the Democrats' unrelenting fanaticism about the subject.

But isn't the Democratic Party the party of science? That's the label its members have awarded it. Aren't the kids and the Democratic staffer simply reacting to the party's rational position on global warming? Journalist John Tierney probably wouldn't agree.

"The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left," Tierney, a New York Times reporter, wrote in the Autumn 2016 City Journal.

He acknowledges that "there's plenty of ignorance all around," but also reports that "some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats."

Remember this the next time outgoing (thankfully) Secretary of State John Kerry says anything about global warming. He might be one of the many members of his party who doesn't know that astrology isn't a science and that it takes a year for Earth to revolve around the sun.


Army Corps to close Dakota pipeline protesters’ camp

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to close off a swath of North Dakota land that for months has housed a campsite for anti-pipeline protesters.

The Army Corps sent a letter to the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Friday that said all lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed on Dec. 5, the Associated Press reported.

“To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protesters, can be on these Corps lands,” the letter from Col. John Henderson reads.

Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault told the AP that the land to be closed includes the Oceti Sakowin camp on Army Corps land where many protesters have set up.

Another camp, Sacred Stone, sits on the opposite of the river and will not be affected by the Army Corps decision.

Henderson said that the decision “is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions."

He said that necessary services, including emergency and medical resources, can not be properly provided to protesters there.

“I do not take this action lightly, but have decided that it is required due to the concern for public safety and the fact that much of this land is leased to private persons for grazing and/or haying purposes as part of the Corps' land management practices,” he wrote.

The letter goes on to say that a “free speech zone” will be set up on the south side of the Cannonball River for peaceful protests.

“In these areas, jurisdiction for police, fire, and medical response is better defined making it a more sustainable area for visitors to endure the harsh North Dakota winter.”

The Army Corps warned that anyone on the lands north of the river after Dec. 5 will be considered trespassing and could face prosecution. They added that anyone who stays there does so at their own risk and liability.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, joined by a flood of other tribe members and supporters, are fighting the final stretch of the 1,200-mile pipeline, that they say could threaten drinking water and cultural sites. Tensions between protesters and police have escalated in recent weeks, with law enforcement using water cannons and allegedly concussion grenades.


Britain’s Stupid Climate Policy Needs the Donald Trump Treatment

by James Delingpole

Britain has now officially ratified the COP21 Paris climate agreement.

The good news is that this will make no difference to anyone or anything because the agreement is toothless and non-binding. The bad news – as you can tell from some of the ministerial comments – is that it serves to remind us that Britain’s climate and energy policy is still in thrall to the environmentalist lunacy which wiser heads like Donald Trump are trying to write out of history.

Wiser heads? Donald Trump?? Yes, I can almost hear the sneering and the jeering from the usual suspects.

But even if you disagree with Trump’s environmental and energy policy – which I don’t – it remains an unarguable fact that the world’s most powerful nation is heading in a very clear direction for at least the next four years: pro-fossil-fuels, anti-renewables. This is going to have a massive, largely positive impact on the U.S. economy because by bringing down the cost of energy, it will give consumers more disposable income and enable businesses – especially in energy-intensive heavy industry – to increase their profit margins or cut costs to the benefit of their bottom line.

At this point, America’s global economic competitors have one of two options: either they wake up and smell the coffee and move in America’s direction; or they bury their heads in the sand, pretend we’re still living in the status quo ante and sit, helpless, while America’s new higher-carbon economy steals half of their business.

Judging by the comments of the Minister for Climate Change and Industry – about as fatuous a title as being Minister for Veganism and Meat – Britain has already made up her mind:

    “The UK is ratifying the historic Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all,” Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said.

    “We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low-carbon sector, which is already worth over 46 billion pounds, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses,” he said."

Nick Hurd, it should be noted, had the best education money can buy at Eton. Clearly, it was utterly wasted if this is the sort of bilge he comes up with.

What can government-imposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions (which inevitably lead malinvestment, cronyism, tariffs and subsidies) possibly have to do with prosperity? Or indeed safety?

It is weapons-grade bollocks and inspires very little faith that Theresa May, despite her axing of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has any real grasp of the rapidly changing nature of the climate debate. We got a depressing taste of this when she gave the monstrously expensive, outdated, and generally rubbish Hinkley Point C power station the go-ahead.

If the even crazier exercise in green virtue-signalling and crony capitalism the Swansea Bay Tidal Project gets approved, we shall know that the government has lost the plot completely.

Perhaps had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election, this would make a sort of sense. Britain would be merely going with the flow of international policy.

But Trump won and now Britain faces a stark choice, described here by Rupert Darwall who has been in Marrakech at the COP22 conference.

    "Although Britain is formally leaving the EU, its climate and energy policies look set to remain exactly the same. Indeed, when it comes to climate and energy, Britain is being more Catholic than the Pope.

    The German government has stated its intention to keep burning coal for at least the next two decades; Greg Clark’s business department has just launched a consultation on phasing it out by 2025.

    That is unlikely to play well in Washington, to say the least. Coal is important to Republicans. Over the last two years, Britain imported 16.5 million tonnes of coal from America, worth $1.4 billion.

    Four of the top five coal-producing states voted Republican – including Pennsylvania, which switched from the Democrats. Of the top 10 coal-burning states, seven voted Republican last week, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Indiana and swing state Ohio.

    An iron rule of American politics is that domestic politics trump international considerations. As Henry Kissinger told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg after the election, Trump’s victory “could enable us to establish coherence between our foreign policy and our domestic situation”.

    And it is very hard to envisage the Trump Administration looking kindly on a potential trade deal with a partner that is in the process of banning imports of American coal – and putting American miners out of work"

So far it looks like Britain is hell bent on taking the wrong decision. Business Secretary Greg Clark looks to be clueless and it seems depressingly likely that all the green activists who infested the defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change have simply been dispersed within other ministries, spreading their environmentalist crony capitalist poison.

Here is John Constable’s depressing take:

    "The UK’s new secretary of state for Business, Greg Clark, has just given his first public speech on energy. It suggests, unfortunately, that he is not yet sufficiently confident of his brief to resist the views of his civil servants. Indeed, this speech could easily have been written for Ed Miliband, or Chris Huhne, or Ed Davey, and suggests that the rent-seeking green interests in the electricity sector are re-injecting themselves into the national bloodstream through an interventionist industrial strategy. This will result in overcapitalisation and reductions in productivity"

We have scotched the Green Blob but not killed it. A long hard battle lies ahead of us.



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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.

Via email


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


Monday, November 28, 2016

National Geographic asked photographers to show the impact of climate change

The idea that you could photograph climate change is a considerable absurdity so it should be no great surprise that the results embodied much absurdity.

And equally absurd is the idea that you can support a generalization --  which global warming is -- by selected cases of something. I used to be something of a photographer in my youth and I am quite confident that I could produce a series of shots to "illustrate" just about anything.

For instance, just about everyone seems to have heard that Australia is a "dry" continent.  It is.  Most of it is deserts. But just by wandering around the tropical areas where I was born and bred, I could produce photos of things in Australia that "prove" the opposite: Photos of lush greenery, big rivers, scenic waterfalls and images of dairy cows grazing lush green fields of long grass.  Thus I could "prove" that Australia is NOT a dry country.  In fact, however, such a procedure would in fact give precisely wrong results.

Given the feebleness of the presentation, I am not going to attempt to critique it all so I will advert briefly to the text underneath a picture of animals grazing at dusk.

Underneath the picture, the following text occurs:

"These animals have found the secret stash of the orange farmer who dumps the oranges that have fallen from his trees at least seven kilometers away from the orchards to control the breeding of the fruit fly. It is the end of a winter exacerbated by global warming, which makes the season longer and drier and the summer hotter with less rain in an already dry climate"

Which is complete nonsense.  The scene is apparently from somewhere in South Africa and it may be that there was unusually low rainfall there recently. Rainfall varies.  But the low rainfall was NOT due to global warming.  Due to El Nino, there was indeed an unusually warm period globally in late 2015 and early 2016 but why should that cause less rain?  Hot weather evaporates more water off the oceans and that comes down again as rain. Which is why the tropics are wetter than elsewhere. El Nino should have caused MORE rain, not less.  Even the most basic physics seems to be unknown to most Warmists -- JR.

Stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.

Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming.

Others have argued that the records were caused by El Nino, a complex natural phenomenon that takes place every few years, and has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions by humans.

The new fall in temperatures suggests they were right.

Big El Ninos always have an immense impact on world weather, triggering higher than normal temperatures over huge swathes of the world. The 2015-16 El Nino was probably the strongest since accurate measurements began, with the water up to 3C warmer than usual.

It has now been replaced by a La Nina event – when the water in the same Pacific region turns colder than normal. This also has worldwide impacts, driving temperatures down rather than up.

The satellite measurements over land respond quickly to El Nino and La Nina. Temperatures over the sea are also falling, but not as fast, because the sea retains heat for longer.

This means it is possible that by some yardsticks, 2016 will be declared as hot as 2015 or even slightly hotter – because El Nino did not vanish until the middle of the year.

But it is almost certain that next year, large falls will also be measured over the oceans, and by weather station thermometers on the surface of the planet – exactly as happened after the end of the last very strong El Nino in 1998. If so, some experts will be forced to eat their words.

Last year, Dr Schmidt said 2015 would have been a record hot year even without El Nino.

‘The reason why this is such a warm record year is because of the long-term underlying trend, the cumulative effect of the long-term warming trend of our Earth,’ he said. This was ‘mainly caused’ by the emission of greenhouse gases by humans.

Dr Schmidt also denied that there was any ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming between the 1998 and 2015 El Ninos.

But on its website home page yesterday, Nasa featured a new study which said there was a hiatus in global warming before the recent El Nino, and discussed why this was so. Last night Dr Schmidt had not returned a request for comment.

However, both his own position, and his Nasa division, may be in jeopardy. US President-elect Donald Trump is an avowed climate change sceptic, who once claimed it was a hoax invented by China.

Last week, Mr Trump’s science adviser Bob Walker said he was likely to axe Nasa’s $1.9 billion (about £1.4 billion) climate research budget.

Other experts have also disputed Dr Schmidt’s claims. Professor Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said yesterday: ‘I disagree with Gavin. The record warm years of 2015 and 2016 were primarily caused by the super El Nino.’

The slowdown in warming was, she added, real, and all the evidence suggested that since 1998, the rate of global warming has been much slower than predicted by computer models – about 1C per century.

David Whitehouse, a scientist who works with Lord Lawson’s sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the massive fall in temperatures following the end of El Nino meant the warming hiatus or slowdown may be coming back.

‘According to the satellites, the late 2016 temperatures are returning to the levels they were at after the 1998 El Nino.

The data clearly shows El Nino for what it was – a short-term weather event,’ he said.


Captain Cook's detailed 1778 records confirm global warming today in the Arctic (?)

The Warmists really are incredible.  Here they are generalizing from ONE YEAR!  We know that Actic ice waxes and wanes so how are we to know that 1778 was typical of anything?  It could have been an unusually hot or an unusually cold year.  We have no way of knowing. This is faith, not science

Passengers simmered in Jacuzzis and feasted on gourmet cuisine this summer as the 850-foot cruise ship Crystal Serenity moved through the Northwest Passage. [Led by two icebreakers!]

But in the summer of 1778, when Capt. James Cook tried to find a Western entrance to the route, his men toiled on frost-slicked decks and complained about having to supplement dwindling rations with walrus meat.

The British expedition was halted north of the Bering Strait by "ice which was as compact as a wall and seemed to be 10 or 12 feet high at least," according to the captain's journal. Cook's ships followed the ice edge all the way to Siberia in their futile search for an opening, sometimes guided through fog by the braying of the unpalatable creatures the crew called Sea Horses.

More than two centuries later, scientists are mining meticulous records kept by Cook and his crew for a new perspective on the warming that has opened the Arctic in a way the 18th century explorer could never have imagined.

Working with maps and logs from Cook's voyage and other historical records and satellite imagery, University of Washington mathematician Harry Stern has tracked changes in ice cover in the Chukchi Sea, between Alaska and Russia, over nearly 240 years.

The results, published this month in the journal Polar Geography, confirm the significant shrinkage of the summer ice cap and shed new light on the timing of the transformation. The analysis also extends the historical picture back nearly 75 years, building on previous work with ships' records from the 1850s.

"This old data helps us look at what conditions were like before we started global warming, and what the natural variability was," said Jim Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in Stern's project.

Though earlier explorers ventured into the frigid waters off Alaska, Cook was the first to map the ice edge, Stern said. Cook undertook the voyage, which also covered the Northwest coast, on orders from King George III to seek a shorter trading route between Europe and the Far East across the top of the world.

Stymied by the ice, Cook headed for the winter to Hawaii, where he was killed by native people.

Stern's analysis found that for more than 200 years after Cook's visit the summer ice cover in the Chukchi Sea fluctuated, but generally extended south to near where Cook encountered it.


Another Blow To CO2…French Scientist’s Research Attributes Most Global Warming To Solar Activity

More fresh climate science just out showing that the sun is the main driver of our climate.

The Dutch-British publishing company Elsevier B.V. has put online a paper entitled “Earth Climate Identification vs. Detection and Attribution”. This publication, referenced on the ScienceDirect website, was revised in the due rules by a peer committee in Annual Reviews in Control (ARC), one of the seven scientific journals of IFAC, federating thousands of international experts in automatic control and modelisation of complex systems.

The paper’s author, Professor Philippe de Larminat, applied the proven techniques of dynamical systems identification to the Earth climate, using paleoclimatic databases available from the major institutes and international organizations. It follows that “with a 90% probability level, one cannot reject the hypothesis of a zero anthropogenic contribution”. While “the hypothesis of a low sensitivity to solar activity must be rejected with a probability level greater than 90%.”

Conversely, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the middle of the 20th century”, this on the basis of the “Detection and Attribution”, a theory explicitly dedicated to anthropogenic attribution of recent climate change.

The paper presents and clarifies the causes of this contradiction:

* The main one is due to the durations used for climate observations: a thousand years for identification, at most one hundred and fifty years for the Detection-Attribution, thereby eliminating the millennia events of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, notoriously correlated to solar activity. “It has the effect of minimizing the contribution of solar activity,” says the author.

* The second contradiction is due to a confusion between cause and effect, about the El Niño events. The author examines the reasons for this “heavy methodological error, which is obvious to any expert in systems science”.

Could the Philippe de Larminat publication challenge the prevailing consensus on anthropogenic climate change, consensus which is turning the world economic issues (COP 21, 22) as far as the moral issues (Laudato si)? Questioned on the eventuality that a new consensus can emerge, that of a preponderant influence of solar activity on the climate, the author only recalls:

Neither the consensus nor the votes have any place in science; only the evidence matter. To the argument of authority, French philosopher Descartes opposed the authority of the argument. But the consensus is only a submission to the argument of authority, the lowest ever.”

This publication, whose part is accessible even to the non-experts, confirms the conclusions already advanced by the author in his previous work “Climate change – identification and projections” (ISTE/Wiley, 2014).


Australian anti-immigration politician slips into wetsuit for barrier reef trip -- and finds that all is well with the reef

Most of the media have been amusing about this.  They say that she has embarrassed herself by not going to the "right" part of the reef.  But that claim is itself a message that only part of the reef is affected by bleaching.  We can perhaps be thankful to them for getting that message out to a wider audience.

There are many possible causes of bleaching but the  loons of the Green/Left are sure it is caused by global warming.  And that might pass muster when we note that the bleaching has occurred in the most Northerly (and hence warmer) one-third of the reef.  Problem:  Coral LIKES warmth, which is why the Northern part of the reef normally has the greatest biological diversity.  Normally, the further North you go (i.e. the warmer you get), the greater the diversity.  So the cause of the bleaching is unknown.

As a fallback position, the Greenies say that the bleaching is caused by agricultural runoff.  Problem: The Northern part of the reef runs along an area of the Cape York Peninsula where there is virtually NO agriculture.  The soils there are too poor for it to be economically feasible.  So no runoff.  "Facts be damned" seems to be the Greenie motto

Pauline Hanson has slipped into a wetsuit and made a splash on the Great Barrier Reef to show the world the natural wonder is worth visiting amid claims it is dying.

The senator, who once cooked fish for a living, went swimming off Great Keppel Island today and expressed concerns about reports on the reef's health.

Ms Hanson says agenda-driven groups are telling "untruths" about the state of the reef that are harming the tourism industry and businesses.  "When we have these agendas that are actually destroying our tourism industry and businesses ... we need to ask the questions and we want answers," she said. "The Greens have no concern about people and jobs that we need here in Queensland, and the escalating costs that we are feeling from the effects of this."

One Nation senators Malcolm Roberts, who has long argued the case that global warming doesn't stack up, and Brian Burston were also on the reef trip.

Mr Roberts said people had stopped coming to the reef because they were being told it was dead and that Australia should not be reporting on its health to the UN agency UNESCO.

Conservationists are concerned climate change is putting severe stress on the reef, which experienced a massive coral bleaching event this year, and some have declared it's dying at an unprecedented rate.

They say Ms Hanson and her senators visited the wrong part of the reef as the southern sections had been least affected by the worst bleaching event in the icon's history.

The World Wildlife Fund said One Nation should have visited Lizard Island where bleaching, caused by high water temperatures, has killed much of the coral.



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


Sunday, November 27, 2016

More Orwellian thinking from the Green/Left

Press "freedom" = restricting the voice of global warming skepticism

Amazing to see what Christiane Amanpour had to say about global warming and "press freedom" -- starting at 4:35 here

The transcript on the link (slightly different from what she actually says in the video) includes the following:

"It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth.

We cannot continue the old paradigm--let's say like over global warming, where 99.9 percent of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.

I learned long ago, covering the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia, never to equate victim with aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then you are an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences. (my emphasis)

Wikipedia states that "The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment."

Isn't it ironic that an award for press freedom is going to an individual who feels that defending press freedom means that journalists must self-censor and RESTRICT their readers' access to countering and opposing views. And she equates reporting of skeptics' views with "ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia" and "unspeakable crimes".

And note that the 97% consensus has now become, according to Amanpour, 99.9%.  She is obviously not much interested the actual facts.

Sweden's Royal Academy of Science highly critical of wind power

Translation of the main points by EPAW's spokesman in Scandinavia, Peter Skeel Hjorth:

Multi-billion-dollar subsidies for wind power are wasteful
Wind power production is negligible

10 TWh of wind power would require costly expansions to the distribution network

Expansion of wind power will harm Swedish competitiveness

Expansion of wind power will cost dearly to electricity customers

Expansion of wind power will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions

The subsidies could be better spent on other things

Thirteen of Sweden's most eminent scientists within climate and energy explain that the current Swedish wind power investment is a huge mistake that will cost the Swedish people billions of dollars without providing any benefits to the country.

It is also stated that wind production is minuscule, but was it to increase significantly then it would entail additional costs to electricity consumers in the form of demands for increased network expansion and back up power generation.

All in all this means that the expansion of wind power as a whole is negative for the electricity consumers and for Sweden's competitiveness. There are no environmental benefits either because wind power is not able to reduce carbon emissions.


Antarctic ice has hardly melted in 100 years, log books from Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole confirm

Which rather contradicts this dramatic report:  "In 2014, researchers claimed the melting of glaciers in West Antarctica may be irreversible. A study by Nasa and the University of California, Irvine revealed the barren region was haemorrhaging ice at a rate triple that of a decade before. The team found the rate by taking radar, laser and satellite measurements of the glaciers' mass between 1992 and 2013. 'The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate,' said scientist Isabella Velicogna, jointly of the University of California, Irvine and Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory"

A century after their deaths, Antarctic explorers Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton are helping further our knowledge of the frozen continent. Log books recovered from their doomed expeditions show the amount of sea ice there has barely changed in 100 years.

Only one region, the Wendell Sea, has seen a significant reduction – 14 per cent – scientists from the University of Reading found.

Scott died with four of his men in 1912 during their ill-fated quest to become the first to the South Pole.

The team reached their goal only to find their rival, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, had beaten them by five weeks. They perished on the return journey.

Shackleton, who had explored Antarctica with Scott a decade before, led an expedition to trek across the continent between 1914 and 1917. He had to be rescued when his ship sank. He died in 1922.

Log books detailing the extent of the sea ice in Antarctica were recovered from both expeditions.

These have been used to help fill gaps in the data – complete records of ice cover exist only for the period since scientists began to use satellites to survey the planet.

Researchers looked through the logbooks of early Antarctic explorers from the 'Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917)' and compared the recorded observations of Antarctic ice from the time with satellite images from today.

Jonathan Day, who led the University of Reading study, said: 'The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice.

'We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began.

'Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these findings suggest it may not be new.'

It is not known why Antarctic ice has grown since the 1970s.

Some scientists believe the widening hole in the atmosphere's ozone layer has caused stronger surface winds over Antarctica and more frequent storms in the Southern Ocean.

But the results from the 'heroic age' of polar exploration suggest this also happened earlier in the 20th century.

The log books give details of ice cover, the state of the sea, the weather and wildlife spotted from the deck.

The study implies Antarctic sea ice levels in the early 1900s were similar to today, at between 2 million and 2.8 million square miles (5.3 million and 7.4 million square kilometres).

Estimates suggest levels were significantly higher in the 1950s.

The research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere, suggests the Antarctic is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change than the Arctic, which has seen a dramatic decline in sea ice.

Mr Day said: 'The Southern Ocean is largely a 'black hole' as far as historical climate change data is concerned, but future activities planned to recover data from naval and whaling ships will help us to understand past climate variations and what to expect in the future.'


All power to energy security: Australia could learn from Trump

When US president-elect Donald Trump listed his six top priorities for executive action this week on “day one” of becoming the most powerful man in the world, naturally most attention was grabbed by his very first decision: withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Yet in global terms, and in Australia’s interest, his second priority was just as important.

This was Trump’s pledge to “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American ­energy including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs”.

Energy security was placed above national security.

The jobs of coalminers, the use of low-cost shale deposits for ­energy and the creation of manufacturing jobs were placed ahead of national security, and the withdrawal from the Obama administration’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change didn’t even rate a mention.

There is global agitation about the pragmatism of protecting jobs through energy security, providing energy at a low enough price so people can afford to use it and producing energy when ­people need it, as well as an ­imperative to lower carbon emissions. The hidden cost of “intermittency” — the hallmark of wind and solar production — and the danger of blackouts are being recognised.

Australia is fortunate in that, historically, it has had low-cost ­energy, enormous natural res­ources, a pristine environment and the benefit of seeing how policy parameters such as the European emissions trading system and subsidised ­renewable energy programs work in practice.

Trump’s priorities and actions on energy are vital to Australia’s own energy future, economic growth, job creation and climate change actions as precipitous political decisions around the world are distorting energy markets, pushing up costs for ­industry, driving jobs across borders, exporting manufacturing ­opportunities and perversely ­affecting markets and carbon emissions.

There is also a political neces­sity to continue to get public support for climate change initiatives, although Trump has demonstrated there can be a white-hot anger about ideological climate change policies that don’t recognise the hurt to workers.

In recent weeks in Australia the closure of the Victorian Hazelwood coal-fired power station has been announced with the loss of 750 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, in part because of French government climate change policy; ­export coal prices have soared; coalmines have reopened; and AGL, one of the biggest domestic gas suppliers, has set aside $17 million for a feasibility study for Australia, the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to import lower-cost LNG from suppliers in the Middle East.

As well, South Australia experi­enced catastrophic power blackouts, Victoria became a net electricity importer, with the ­potential for dire shortages or blackouts at times of extreme ­demand, and the Victorian Labor government introduced a bill this week to extend its existing moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration to 2020.

The Greens, environmental ­activists and the ALP are simultaneously building a public campaign for the transition from coal and gas to a mainly renew­able ­energy future that is putting cutting carbon emissions ahead of ­energy and job security.

It is a challenge for all sides of politics in form and substance.

According to Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt, the Victorian government’s decision to continue to ban onshore natural gas exploration is the final act in laying the foundation for a “manufacturing crisis” with a looming shortfall in natural gas supply ­because Australia is locked into long-term LNG exports, and Victoria and NSW are banning or ­effectively banning gas exploration and production.

“It is absolutely clear there is no shortage of gas resources in the ground but there is a shortage of gas supply to homes and industry,” Hunt tells ­Inquirer. “We have to be honest that the effective closure of new supplies will risk jobs, will risk prices and will risk economic activity.

“The sad part, over and above that, is that potentially we choose higher emissions sources of ­energy for electricity.”

Whereas Australia is aiming to reform its energy market, upgrade its electricity interchange, boost renewable energy, keep coal and gas as integral parts of energy generation and job creation for decades to come, and meet its international agreements to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, Trump is happy to shed global ­obligations to provide cheap power for the US economy.

He campaigned successfully on creating American jobs and specifically on returning the manufacturing and mining jobs lost in states such as Pennsylvania, which he snatched from Hillary Clinton, sensing the blue-collar fear and reality of job losses because of climate change policies closing mines and raising costs to support renewable energy.

As for Australia, seen as one of the world’s great carbon demons because of its coal production, it does not have the option of dumping carbon polices as Trump ­intends to do, but neither should Australian governments, state and federal, adopt distorting policies that push costs to domestic and ­industry users to levels that are punitive, unsustainable and a threat to a cohesive energy supply and security.

Without commenting on any US administration’s domestic policy, Hunt makes the point: “American manufacturing in ­recent years has become more competitive in significant measure because they have had access to lower-cost gas; it actually brought gas on board. As a matter of economics, if there is more natural gas available in the US, then their manufacturing will be even more competitive.”

In the past 10 years in the US, electricity generation from gas has risen from 18.7 per cent to 32.5 per cent while coal has fallen from 49.5 per cent to 33 per cent. Coal and natural gas are now almost equal as the producers of American electricity. During the same period, renew­able electricity energy has grown from 8.8 per cent to 13.8 per cent and nuclear has ­remained steady at 19.4 per cent.

The real lesson for Australia in the US experience of the role of gas, coal and renewables in this energy-climate change mix is not the increased potential economic threat from Trump’s low-cost powered US industrial base but from Europe.

Although Trump’s first priority involved ensuring the US created American jobs by producing steel and “making cars”, the threat to Australia’s coal exports — which even Bill Shorten admits must go on for decades — is the framing of public opinion and policy development that puts energy security at risk.

Ideologically driven energy ­decisions in Europe taken years ago provide the example of how Australia should not proceed: ­unrealistic renewable energy targets, unsustainable renewable ­energy subsidies, rising electricity prices, precipitously doing away with fossil fuels, politically driven decisions to close nuclear power plants, the export of jobs and, ironically, the start of the failure of carbon emission reduction policies.

In the past two years Germany’s renowned world leader status on renewable energy has started to be tarnished as political decisions to subsidise renewables and to close nuclear power plants, coalmines and coal-fired power plants have ­resulted in price rises and ­environmental anomalies.

Rising costs for industry’s power have forced companies to relocate, the government has told renewable energy producers they have to manage without subsidies, coal-fired power stations are being commissioned, brown coal — lignite — mines are being opened and brown “dirty” coal is still a large part of baseload electricity generation.

Paradoxically, as Germany tries to become nuclear free, it is buying nuclear-generated electricity from France and the French are importing cheap lignite-powered electricity from Germany. This makes a mockery of carbon emission and nuclear energy ­reductions.

France introduced a carbon tax on coal-fired electricity and cut subsidies to coal — in part affecting the Latrobe Valley — as a climate change policy, but higher costs forced the government to cancel the tax within a few months.

As Europe heads into winter, there are predictions of greater ­demand from Britain and The Netherlands from electricity suppliers, and some of that will be coming from Germany’s “dirty ­secret” of lignite. Germany is being attacked by industry for higher prices creating job losses and by environmentalists for dropping its specific carbon emission reduction targets for 2050.

Australia has the opportunity to bring a sober, pragmatic but ­environmentally responsible ener­gy security to bear in the ­national interest, but at the ­moment the approach is fractured, ideologically driven and not receiving the priority Trump is prepared to give energy security.


CLEXIT: Harmful, Costly, Unscientific Climate Treaties should be torn up

A new international organization aims to prevent ratification of the costly and dangerous Paris global warming treaty which is being promoted by the EU and the present US administration.
“CLEXIT” (CLimate Exit) was inspired by the Brexit decision of the British people to withdraw from the increasingly dictatorial grasp of the EU bureaucracy.

Without any publicity or serious recruiting, Clexit has attracted over 60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders from 16 countries.

The secretary of Clexit, Mr Viv Forbes from Australia, said that widespread enforcement of the Paris climate treaty would be a global tragedy.

“For the EU and the rest of the Western world, ratification and enforcement of the Paris Treaty (and all the other associated decrees and Agendas) would herald the end of low-cost hydrocarbon transport and electricity, and the exit of their manufacturing, processing and refining industries to countries with low-cost energy.

“For developing countries, the Paris Treaty would deny them the benefits of reliable low-cost hydrocarbon energy, compelling them to rely on biomass heating and costly weather-dependent and unreliable power supplies, thus prolonging and increasing their dependency on international handouts. They will soon resent being told to remain forever in an energy-deprived wind/solar/wood/bicycle economy.

“Perhaps the most insidious feature of the UN climate plan is the “Green Climate Fund”. Under this scheme, selected nations (“The rich”) are marked to pour billions of dollars into a green slush fund. The funds will then be used to bribe other countries (“developing and emerging nations”) into adopting silly green energy policies.

“Naturally some smart politicians and speculators in the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in the small island nations, understand that they can profit from the Paris Treaty by gaming the rules on things like carbon credits, or milking the green fund for “climate compensation” or “green energy technology”. This will only work for a while, and when the handouts stop, the re-adjustment to reality will be very painful.

“This UN-driven war on carbon energy has already caused massive losses and dislocation of western industry. If allowed to continue as envisaged by the Paris Treaty, this economic recession will become a world-wide depression, and all nations will suffer.

“We must stop this futile waste of community savings; cease the destruction and dislocation of human industry; stop killing rare bats and birds with wind turbine blades and solar/thermal sizzlers; stop pelletising trees and shipping them across the world to feed power stations designed to burn coal; stop converting food to motor vehicle fuel; and stop the clearing of bush and forests for biofuel cultivation and plantations.”

“Carbon dioxide does not control the climate. It is an essential plant food and more carbon dioxide will produce more plant growth and a greener globe.”



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Friday, November 25, 2016

Some matters arising from Trump's NYT interview

The Donald's Scottish golf course has been widely praised and Trump himself seems to feel a strong connection to it.  But in his NYT interview Friedman hinted that sea-level rises might flood it.  Would he want his golf cause to be flooded?  From what I can see the course is well and truly above sea level so that claim would probably not fly but in case parts of it are a bit low, it would be nice if someone was on hand to draw Trump's attention to the official sea level information for Aberdeen.  The Trump International Golf Links are just 10 miles North of Aberdeen.

The NOAA chart for Aberdeen is here.  You will see from it that the sea level rise there averages out to about 3 inches per century and from about 1985 on there appears to be no trend at all.  That should immunize Trump against the usual leftist lies about the oceans rising.

In the same interview "Pinch" Sulzberger claimed that America has never had storms as bad as ones that hit recently.  So perhaps the story below could be mentioned:

The Great New England Hurricane of 1938

On September 21, 1938, one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes in recorded history struck Long Island and Southern New England. The storm developed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, tracking across the Atlantic and up the Eastern Seaboard. The storm hit Long Island and Southern Connecticut on September 21, moving at a forward speed of 47 mph! Sustained hurricane force winds were felt across central and eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut. The hurricane produced a destructive storm surge flooding coastal communities as well as producing three to seven inches of rainfall.


Max Recorded Sustained Wind: 121 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA

Max Recorded Wind Gust: 186 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA

Highest Sustained Wind Measurement not Influenced by Terrain: 109 mph at Fishers Island, NY (Landsea et al 2013)

Lowest Observed Pressure: 27.94 in (946.2 mb) at Bellport, NY

Estimated Lowest Pressure: 27.79 in (941 mb) near Brentwood, NY as the wind and pressure centers were slightly displaced due to its fast speed and extra-tropical transition (Landsea et al. 2013, National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division Re-Analysis Project)

Speed at landfall: 47 mph (Landsea et al. 2013, National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division Re-Analysis Project)

Peak Storm Surge: 17 ft. above normal high tide (Rhode Island)

Peak Wave Height: 50 ft. at Gloucester, MA

Deaths: 700

Homeless: Approx. 63,000

Homes/Buildings Destroyed: Approx. 8,900

Trees Destroyed: Approx. 2 Billion

Boats Lost or Destroyed: Approx. 3,300

Cost: $620 million (1938 Dollars); Equivalent to approx. $41 billion using 2005 inflation, wealth, and population normalization then estimated to 2010 Dollars (Blake and Gibney 2011).