Sunday, March 19, 2017

Natural factors shown as a big influence on Arctic warming

The Arctic is the only place where there seems to have been some warming in recent times. So Warmists are constantly cheering it. But is the warming there part of anthropogenic global warming?  Hard to see how when the globe overall is not warming.  So what IS causing Arctic warming? The authors below have traced a lot of it to natural factors.  The balance of the warming may be due to subsurface vulcanism.  There are some huge undersea volcanoes in the Arctic, particularly along the Gakkel ridge

Influence of high-latitude atmospheric circulation changes on summertime Arctic sea ice

Qinghua Ding et al.


The Arctic has seen rapid sea-ice decline in the past three decades, whilst warming at about twice the global average rate. Yet the relationship between Arctic warming and sea-ice loss is not well understood. Here, we present evidence that trends in summertime atmospheric circulation may have contributed as much as 60% to the September sea-ice extent decline since 1979. A tendency towards a stronger anticyclonic circulation over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean with a barotropic structure in the troposphere increased the downwelling longwave radiation above the ice by warming and moistening the lower troposphere. Model experiments, with reanalysis data constraining atmospheric circulation, replicate the observed thermodynamic response and indicate that the near-surface changes are dominated by circulation changes rather than feedbacks from the changing sea-ice cover. Internal variability dominates the Arctic summer circulation trend and may be responsible for about 30–50% of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979.

Nature Climate Change (2017) doi:10.1038/nclimate3241

Skeptics are cheering: White House says Climate funding is ‘a waste of your money’

The White House on Thursday defended a proposal to slash federal funding for climate change programs, calling it “a waste of your money.”

“I think the president was fairly straightforward on that: We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said at a White House briefing on Thursday.

“We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. We consider that a basic tie to his campaign.”

The Trump administration released a budget blueprint on Thursday that proposes a 31 percent cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including a $100 million cut to climate change programs under its purview.

The budget proposal takes aim at climate change programming throughout the budget. It zeros out funding for State Department climate change programs, including American contributions to international climate change accounts, and the budget also reduces funding for advanced energy and renewable power research.

Environmentalists and greens have slammed the budget, saying lawmakers should not cut funding for climate change during a period of increasing global temperatures and the greenhouse gas emissions that cause that.

Congress will ultimately write the appropriations bills that fund the government. Members of both parties have raised concerns about the level of EPA spending cuts in President Trump’s proposal, though many in the GOP support reducing funding for the agency’s regulatory effort on climate change.

Trump — who doubts the scientific consensus on climate change — often said in his presidential campaign that he would roll back much of the climate work advanced by President Obama. Beyond its budget request, the White House is still working on an executive order to undo several key climate rules from the previous administration.


Warmer Winters REDUCE Mortality in Europe
Paper Reviewed: Ballester, J., Rodó, X., Robine, J.-M. and Herrmann, F.R. 2016. European seasonal mortality and influenza incidence due to winter temperature variability. Nature Climate Change 6: 927-931.

Seeking to add understanding to the impact of temperature on human mortality, Ballester et al. (2016) analyzed a host of climate variables against daily regional counts of mortality from 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) over the period 1998-2005.

In discussing their findings, the four European researchers report that their analyses "highlight the strong association between year-to-year fluctuations in winter mean temperature and mortality, with higher seasonal cases during harsh winters." Exceptions, however, were noted for the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands, which lack of correlation was likely explained by socioeconomic factors (e.g., higher housing efficiency, better healthcare, reduced economic and fuel poverty, etc.).

Nevertheless, upon further analysis, Ballester et al. say that, despite the lack of mortality association in these three countries, "it can be concluded that warmer winters will contribute to the decrease in winter mortality everywhere in Europe." And that is great news for citizens of these countries with a combined population of over 400 million persons.


Financial Stability Board climate deceit

FSB, Climate Cabal expand power and wealth, by targeting financial and insurance industries

Paul Driessen

The $1.5-trillion Climate Crisis industry is not about to go quiet into that dark night, or to strut but an hour upon the stage, to then be heard no more. In these desperate times, it is unleashing even more sound and fury, and assaulting new targets, in a frantic effort to expand its heavily subsidized global empire.

The Donald Trump Administration and Scott Pruitt EPA continue to emphasize fossil fuels, job creation and economic growth, and deemphasize the Obama obsession with climate change. News headlines hail the shale revolution’s new world order, a huge oil discovery in Alaska and declining OPEC clout. As German industries head to foreign shores and 330,000 Deutsch households cannot afford electricity due to soaring prices, its Chancellery Minister announced to thundering applause that Germany would no longer pursue its unilateral climate, CO2-reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy policies.

Britain and Australia are also second-guessing their wind, solar, biofuel and climate commitments. China, India and a hundred other emerging economies continue to build more coal-fueled power plants, expand vehicle fleets, and import more oil and gas, to modernize and improve living standards. The future of the Paris climate semi-treaty and Global Climate Fund wealth redistribution scheme are increasingly in doubt.

That’s why, as the July 2017 G20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany draws near, the Climate Cabal is in overdrive. Alarmist scientists, politicians, activists, industrialists and financiers are ramping up their rhetoric about the massive, imminent climate crisis allegedly facing our planet, unless we slash our carbon dioxide emissions, by keeping centuries of oil, gas and coal reserves locked up in the ground.

That means companies that own those reserves, finance or insure fossil fuel projects, or hold investment interests in those reserves or projects will end up with trillions of dollars in “stranded assets” – energy that will be made permanently off limits, once the world has shifted to a totally “decarbonized” global economy. In fact, selling off holdings in fossil fuel enterprises will not be nearly enough. “The freed-up assets must be redirected to more sustainable businesses.”

At least that is the view of AXA Insurance climate and sustainability director Christian Thimann – who also serves as vice-chair of the international Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. He intends to harness the FSB’s significant power and influence to advance his ideologies and investments – doing so in league with an unbelievable army of like-minded interests, all of whom have enormous political and financial stakes in the outcome of this global policy battle.

Among them are UBS Financial Services and the $5-trillion BlackRock global financial management firm, which now has an index fund for people and organizations that want to divest from companies that BlackRock, AXA and the Cabal have targeted with their anti-carbon campaigns. The tax-exempt anti-carbon pressure group Natural Resources Defense Council has put $70 million into the fund.

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg – having given millions to tax-exempt anti-fossil fuel agitator groups – is now chairman of the FSB’s Climate Financial Disclosure Task Force. Not surprisingly, it is allied with the state attorneys general who spearheaded the nasty campaign to silence and punish energy companies and think tanks that dared to question the “97% consensus” on manmade climate chaos.

Also onboard are state and city comptroller and treasurer offices (CA, CT, NY, PA, RI, VT), various state and city employee pension funds, the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk, and numerous radical environmentalist groups like the Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, notes E&E Legal senior fellow Chris Horner.

They will all “profit off environmental policies that they advocate with very close friends in government,” while “amassing wealth in large part through government contracts,” Horner observes – adding that his organization will “work aggressively to reveal the unethical actions” of every party involved.

The unethical behavior begins with claims about climate cataclysms that are not happening in the real world. Dangerous, unprecedented, runaway warming is not occurring. Seas are rising at seven inches a century, not 20 feet. Hurricanes and tornadoes, floods and droughts have not increased in frequency or intensity. There is no proof that manmade CO2 drives climate change or that it will be catastrophic.

Equally deceptive are claims that the technologies and business interests advocated by the FSB, Climate Cabal and their political comrades are in any way “sustainable.” As any rational analysis demonstrates, the metals and other raw materials required, human rights affected, cropland, habitat, wildlife and human health impacts involved, and massive taxpayer and consumer subsidies needed for wind and solar power, ethanol, biodiesel, wood pellets, anaerobic digesters and other “renewable” energy schemes make one thing absolutely clear: the entire sustainability concept is politicized, agenda-driven and unsustainable.

All these inconvenient truths notwithstanding, the FSB has announced that it is going to establish protocols that will supposedly improve the financial sector’s ability to “incorporate climate-related issues in financial reporting” and “enable stakeholders to understand concentrations of carbon-related assets in the financial sector and the financial system’s exposures to climate-related risks.”

Translated into plain English, this means the FSB will help pressure groups with a political/financial stake in the outcome to identify, target, stigmatize, harass and intimidate any entities that they deem are too involved in fossil fuels or insufficiently invested in renewable energy and sustainable businesses. It plans to work with the above-identified activists to secure “voluntary disclosures” and other compliance.

In practice, this means relying less on the federal government and more on friendly international, state and local governing bodies, agitator groups, organizations like the Climate Accountability Scorecard, and the so-called “Equator Principles” that financial institutions “should follow” in energy investing. Their primary targets for these “name and shame” campaigns will likely include the World Bank, private banks, insurance providers, institutional investors and their advisors, pension funds and universities.

The California Insurance Commission has helpfully launched a Climate Risk Carbon Initiative, a searchable database that will make it easy for attack groups to develop target hit lists. A primary tactic will be accusing targets of having inadequate “plans on climate change preparedness and sustainability,” to justify efforts to damage stock portfolio values and demand defunding or divestment.

Meanwhile, major financial and debt issues are growing for numerous nations, states and cities. The FSB and Climate Cabal want us to ignore them, focus on climate change – and have the G20 do likewise.

Even though it is already overly complex, the current financial reporting system works. It deals with real, measurable, familiar risks, and helps countries address and overcome those risks. Politicizing the system, and forcing it to refocus on conjectural, exaggerated and fabricated climate and sustainability risks would upend the entire international energy, insurance and financial system. It would bring disastrous results for jobs and families – but no climate, environmental or sustainability benefits. And it would do absolutely nothing about the unreliable energy, health risks, environmental impacts, child labor and other problems embedded in the renewable and sustainable schemes the Cabal promotes so passionately, and deceitfully.

But the rewards of this FSB/Climate Cabal deceit are enormous – incomprehensible to normal people. Says Thimann: “Over the next 15 years, an estimated $93 trillion will be needed for investments in low-carbon infrastructure.” That’s five times the size of the entire 2015 US economy!

Perhaps worst of all, these FSB and other government officials, unelected bureaucrats, industrialists, and tax-exempt pressure groups are colluding to enrich and empower themselves … and fundamentally transform the global economy – to our detriment, and especially the detriment of the world’s poorest families – using our taxpayer, consumer, and investment, retirement, insurance and pension fund money!

Congress, the Trump Administration and responsible state officials need to investigate, terminate and punish this deception, self-dealing, extortion, and incalculable harm to businesses, workers and families that rely on reliable, affordable carbon-based energy (and will for decades to come).

Via email

The only way to save coral reefs: A war on global warming (?)

This utter BS first came out in Australian newspapers and I commented on it then. I found the article below in the Boston Globe, however, so the nonsense has spread. In the circumstances, I think I should repeat and amplify my earlier comments.

Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (Southern midwinter)  So anything that has happened in the Southern summer just ended is NOT due to a rise in CO2.

And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016.  So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway.

The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons. The data could not be clearer on that. The seas around Northeast Australia may or may not be unusually warm at the moment but if they are it is some local effect of air and ocean currents etc. The warming in NOT a part of global warming

Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won't prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world's coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place.

"We don't have any tools to climate-proof corals," said Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia and lead author of the study being published on Thursday in the journal Nature. "That's a bit sobering. We can't stop bleaching locally. We actually have to do something about climate change."

Across the world, scores of brilliantly colored coral reefs once teeming with life have in recent years become desolate, white graveyards. Their deaths due to coral bleaching have grown more frequent as ocean temperatures rise, mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The hot water stresses corals, forcing them to expel the colorful algae living inside them, which leaves the corals vulnerable to disease and death. Given enough time, bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if the temperature stays too high for too long, the coral will die.

Preserving coral reefs is crucial, given we depend on them for everything from food to medical research to protection from damaging coastal storms. Scientists and policymakers have thus been scrambling to find ways to prevent bleaching. Last year, for example, Hawaiian officials proposed several measures they hoped would fight bleaching on the state's reefs, such as limiting fishing, establishing new marine protected areas, and controlling polluted runoff from land. The question was whether such efforts could provide the corals any resistance to bleaching, or just help them recover.

The researchers conducted aerial and underwater surveys of the Great Barrier Reef, which has experienced three major bleaching events, the worst of which occurred last year. The scientists found that the severity of bleaching was tightly linked to how warm the water was. In the north, which experienced the hottest temperatures, hundreds of individual reefs suffered severe bleaching in 2016, regardless of whether the water quality was good or bad, or whether fishing had been banned. That means even the most pristine parts of the reef are just as prone to heat stress as those that are less protected.

Prior exposure to bleaching also did not appear to provide any protective benefit to the coral. The scientists found that the reefs that were highly bleached during the first two events, in 1998 and 2002, did not experience less severe bleaching last year.

Ultimately, the study concluded, saving reefs from the ravages of bleaching requires urgent action to reduce global warming.

"I think it's a wake-up call," Hughes said. "We've been hoping that local interventions with water quality and fishing would improve the resistance of the corals to bleaching. We found no evidence that that's actually true, at least during a very severe event."

The study shows that older ways of thinking about reef management, such as reducing river runoff, are now moot points when it comes to preventing bleaching, said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist and coral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

"It all seems so quaint now, really," said Cobb, who wasn't part of the study. "A future that we thought was decades coming is basically here."

The research also illustrated the gravity of the situation facing the 1,400-mile Great Barrier Reef. The team found 91 percent of the reef has been bleached at least once during the three bleaching events. Even more alarming, Hughes said, is that a fourth bleaching event is already underway. Corals need years to recover from bleaching, so back-to-back events increase the possibility that the bleached coral will die.

The study shows that very intense coral bleaching events are no longer isolated and are happening more regularly, said coral reef scientist Julia Baum of Canada's University of Victoria. That assertion has been further bolstered by the Great Barrier Reef's latest bleaching event, which began a few weeks ago and which Baum says has stunned scientists.

"None of us were expecting the water to be heating up again right now," Baum said. "I think it's beyond what any of us could have imagined. It's our worst nightmare."



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


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