Thursday, April 13, 2017

Study offers a dire warning on climate change (!)

They're getting cautious:  New prophecy tells of the 23rd century, so is unfalsifiable to us.

There is much to amuse in it in addition to the postponed disaster date.  For many years, Warmists claimed that it would be the clap of doom when we reached 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere  We have now arrived there and nothing has happened.  Thor/Zeus/Jehovah seems to have put away his thunderbolts.  So now 900ppm is the new arbitrarily chosen level of doom.

And the whole article depends for its estimates of the levels of CO2 and the effect of CO2 on what other Warmists have written.  The authors get their estimate of climate sensitivity by using  that given in previous studies.  So there is no new data in the paper at all.  It is just an exercise in climate theology

But they makes some pesky admissions along the way.  They say that the historical trend is for CO2 levels to FALL.  See their graph below.  So if CO2 is a danger, we have got history on our side

I add the journal abstract to the summary article below

Continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate could bring atmospheric carbon dioxide to its highest concentration in 50 million years, jumping from about 400 parts per million now to more than 900 parts per million by the end of this century, a study warns.

And if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated beyond that point, the climate could reach a warming state that hasn’t been seen in the past 420 million years.

Some research suggests that, if humans burned through all fossil fuels on Earth, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations could hit 5,000 parts per million by the year 2400.

The new study speaks to the power of human influence over the climate. It suggests that after millions of years of relative stability in the absence of human activity, just a few hundred years of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are on track to cause unprecedented warming.

To come to these grim conclusions, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers constructed a continuous record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations spanning the last 420 million years. They created the record by compiling more than 1,500 estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations drawn from 112 published studies.

According to lead author Gavin Foster, a geochemistry professor at the University of Southampton, those estimates were constructed mainly using the carbon isotope composition of ancient soil samples or examining the abundance of pores on the leaves of fossilized plants, an indicator of how much carbon dioxide was available for them to draw from the air while they were alive.

The findings suggest that, until humans started rapidly burning fossil fuels with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate had been relatively stable for millions of years, and carbon dioxide concentrations were declining. Thanks to the human emission of greenhouse gases, though, that’s all changing at a record-breaking pace.

Current concentrations of CO2 emissions are at their highest in human history, hovering around 400 parts per million and continuing to rise. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide concentrations had settled into an average of about 280 parts per million.

On a business-as-usual pathway — in which greenhouse gas emissions would continue at their current rate — carbon dioxide concentrations would hit a level that hasn’t been seen in 50 million years, according to the research.

The warming that will be brought on by the continued emission of greenhouse gases will only be compounded by an increase in solar radiation as the sun continues to grow brighter, the researchers said.

A business-as-usual trajectory suggests that carbon dioxide levels could exceed 2,000 parts per million by the year 2250, concentrations that were last seen about 200 million years ago. But thanks to the combined influence of a hotter future sun, the planet’s resulting warming will probably be greater than at almost any point in the past 420 million years.

Additionally, at least one study has suggested that concentrations could be as high as 5,000 parts per million by 2400 if humans were to burn through all the fossil fuels on Earth, and that would result in both the highest carbon dioxide levels and the highest temperatures seen in the study period.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has presented estimates of how much the Earth might warm under a business-as-usual trajectory over certain time periods. It suggests that by 2300, the Earth could warm by nearly 48 degrees Fahrenheit. But there are many factors that could affect temperature trends in the long-term that remain uncertain, Foster suggested, such as changes in terrestrial vegetation or the amount of carbon dioxide the ocean has room to absorb in the coming centuries.

As a result, he said, long-term warming could end up being even more intense than we estimate now.

The study helps address a kind of paradox in the Earth’s climate history. Based on our knowledge of the way stars generate energy, scientists know that our solar system’s young sun would have been much dimmer millions of years ago. Over time, its intensity has increased, and is likely to continue doing so for millions or even billions of years.

If the sun has been getting hotter for millions of years, though, then one would expect the planet’s climate to have steadily warmed during that time, as well, Foster noted. But there is ample evidence from the fossil record to suggest the planet’s climate actually remained mostly stable for millions of years before humans began burning fossil fuels. Scientists have hypothesized that this stability came from a long-term reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which offset the warming caused by a brightening sun.

The new study supports this idea. The researchers’ record suggests that, while there have been fluctuations throughout history, the long-term average carbon dioxide concentration generally declined until the Industrial Revolution as a result of natural processes related to the formation of Earth. Thanks to human activity, carbon dioxide levels are rising again, on track to break millennial-scale records if mitigation efforts aren’t undertaken, the study says.

Foster emphasizes the new historical record is not perfect. But as far as we know, future warming “is going to be unprecedented.’’


Future climate forcing potentially without precedent in the last 420 million years

Gavin L. Foster et al.


The evolution of Earth’s climate on geological timescales is largely driven by variations in the magnitude of total solar irradiance (TSI) and changes in the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere. Here we show that the slow ?50?Wm?2 increase in TSI over the last ?420 million years (an increase of ?9?Wm?2 of radiative forcing) was almost completely negated by a long-term decline in atmospheric CO2. This was likely due to the silicate weathering-negative feedback and the expansion of land plants that together ensured Earth’s long-term habitability. Humanity’s fossil-fuel use, if unabated, risks taking us, by the middle of the twenty-first century, to values of CO2 not seen since the early Eocene (50 million years ago). If CO2 continues to rise further into the twenty-third century, then the associated large increase in radiative forcing, and how the Earth system would respond, would likely be without geological precedent in the last half a billion years.

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14845 (2017)doi:10.1038/ncomms14845

Paris Climate Treaty Garners Unlikely Supporters

The White House announced on March 30th that it would decide whether and how the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty before the G-7 begins to meet on May 26th. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, published an op-ed in the Washington Times on March 29th urging the President to withdraw from Paris. My CEI colleague Chris Horner also published an op-ed on getting out of Paris earlier in March.

On the other hand, considerable support for staying in Paris has emerged in recent days from unlikely places. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign, has circulated a draft letter to President Trump for signature by his House colleagues that begins, “As you contemplate your actions related to the Paris Agreement, we would like to share with you the following conditions we believe should be met if the United States of America is to remain a party to the Agreement.”

The conditions set down in Cramer’s letter include: replacing the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% below the 2005 baseline by 2025 with a more modest target; ending funding of the Green Climate Fund while remaining a member of it in order to veto projects we don’t like; and using our “seat at the Paris table” to promote technologies such as carbon capture and storage that will ensure a future for coal.

Rep. Cramer has not yet released his final letter, so we don’t know how many House Members have signed it. Another letter to President Trump was released this week. The president and CEO of Cloud Peak Energy (a Rocky Mountain coal company), Colin Marshall, urges the President to stay in the Paris Climate Treaty in order to “use U.S. influence to ensure that fossil energy remains a driver of global prosperity while addressing climate concerns.”

Although Marshall quotes economist Richard Tol on the fact that climate policies have been more about rewarding allies with subsidies than with reducing emissions, his letter then goes on to request subsidies for the coal industry, including funding for carbon capture and storage technology. My comments on the Cloud Peak letter can be found in Michael Bastasch’s article for the Daily Caller News Foundation. To summarize, I think the reasons given in the letter for staying in Paris are unbelievably stupid. It has been reported that Peabody Energy and Arch Coal have also told the White House that they do not object to staying in Paris if the administration can secure more funding for carbon capture and storage.


Unknown Climate Cause and Effect

Climate curmudgeons claim there exists a near-perfect CO2-temperature relationship. They lecture that “the science is settled.” But it’s impossible to honestly say that the science is settled when absolute proof regarding carbon dioxide’s effects on temperature doesn’t exist. In a new paper published at the Hoover Institution, “Flawed Climate Models,” David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper explain in detail the widening divide regarding scientific proof.

As Henderson and Hooper point out, “[A] hypothesis is just that. We have virtually no ability to run controlled experiments, such as raising and lowering CO2 levels in the atmosphere and measuring the resulting change in temperatures.” In the field of science, that’s a critical problem. And what scientists are left with instead are extrapolations that are interpreted through the lens of computer models. “The problem,” the authors contend, “is that these models have serious limitations that drastically limit their value in making predictions and in guiding policy.” They narrow these flaws down to three primary obstacles: measurement error, solar energy and cloud imprecisions.

Concerning the first issue, they quote Stanford scientist Patrick Frank, who in 2011, according to Henderson and Hooper, revealed that “temperatures recorded by weather stations have been incorrectly handled. Temperature readings, he finds, have errors over twice as large as generally recognized. … The error bars are wider than the measured increase. It looks as if there’s an upward temperature trend, but we can’t tell definitively.”

On solar energy, they continue, “The sun’s energy that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere provides 342 Wm–2 — an average of day and night, poles and equator — keeping it warm enough for us to thrive. The estimated extra energy from excess CO2 — the annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution — is far smaller, according to Frank, at 0.036 Wm–2, or 0.01 percent of the sun’s energy. If our estimate of the sun’s energy were off by more than 0.01 percent, that error would swamp the estimated extra energy from excess CO2.”

Then there are clouds. Write Henderson and Hooper: “Why are clouds hard to model? They are amorphous; they reside at different altitudes and are layered on top of each other, making them hard to discern; they aren’t solid; they come in many different types; and scientists don’t fully understand how they form. As a result, clouds are modeled poorly. … If our climate model’s calculation of clouds were off by just 0.9 percent … that error would swamp the estimated extra energy from excess CO2. The total combined errors in our climate model are estimated be about 150 Wm–2, which is over 4,000 times as large as the estimated annual extra energy from higher CO2 concentrations.”

The full article goes into even more detail on the unknown climate cause and effect and is well worth your time. But the bottom line is that global warming, though real, has not matched the modeled projections. Not even close. And the consequences of blindly making policy decisions does a great disservice to society.


Small-Engines vs. Ethanol Regs

As spring begins to spur lawns and trees into full grow mode, many folks find themselves heading into the garage or shed to crank up the old mower and weed whacker that have been sitting dormant since last fall. After the seemingly hundredth pull on the starter cord with not even the slightest sputter of engine life, a frustrated individual may wonder if the culprit is ethanol.

Ethanol has been around for quite some time. But especially since the passage of the Renewable Fuel Standards in 2007, the debate over the benefits or drawbacks of ethanol-infused gasoline continues, and nowhere does it rage more than within the world of small-engine equipment. Kris Kiser, the president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, is no fan of the supposed enviro-friendly regulation. Kiser says, “You’re putting alcohol into the fuel. They’re different atoms. They don’t like to stay married.” He continues, “This is a big deal, and everybody wants to downplay it. But we’re pretty sensitive to it.”

And while proponents of the ethanol blends point to the fact that manufactures are developing engines better suited to handle the higher percentages of ethanol, the truth remains that ethanol negatively impacts gasoline engines. Anyone who has recently bought a small engine can attest to the fact that most warranties are voided if a higher-than-10% ethanol blend of gasoline is used.

The ethanol fuel standards are a classic example of government-forced industry adjustment aimed at artificially propping up an industry that would otherwise cease to exist if not for the mandate. Not only are ethanol blends consistently less fuel efficient, they also heavily impact other aspects of the economy, such as food prices.

When the government attempts to pick winners and losers, the result is more losers. Let’s revoke the ethanol regulations and allow the free market to determine if the industry thrives or dies.


Australia: Greenie policy puts people in danger of crocodile attack

There are 100s of thousands of crocs in Qld. but Greenies don't want crocs disturbed, and certainly not shot.  And Qld. has a Green/Left government

IN THE latest instalment of sometimes-offbeat Queensland politics, the state’s upcoming May budget is being held hostage by two men from the outback.  And they are refusing to release it until the Premier agrees to start killing crocodiles.

The Sunshine State’s two cross bench Katter’s Australia Party MPs, Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth, helped Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk form a minority government in the state’s hung parliament in 2015.

The pair has largely supported the Labor Party in the ensuing two years, but over the issue of crocodile culling, they have put their collective feet down.

Mount Isa MP Mr Katter and Dalrymple’s Mr Knuth say they will not let Ms Palaszczuk’s May budget pass, unless she agrees to crocodile population control measures in the state’s north.

Among the measure the pair want the Premier to agree to are crocodile hunting safaris, similar to African big game hunts that attract tourists from across the globe.  “People think it’s unreasonable making threats on the budget, well how else do you get people to listen?” Mr Katter told reporters in Cairns.

“Our obligation is to go down there and vote for the interests of north Queensland, and if people are dying and you can’t get them to listen, what are you supposed to do?”

Queensland’s Labor government relies on the crossbench in the hung parliament, in particular the KAP, for support to pass supply bills.

The unusual ransom follows a number of crocodile attacks in north Queensland recently.

Cairns spearfisherman Warren Hughes, 35, was killed by a crocodile in shallow tropical waters near Innisfail last month, just hours before a teenager was mauled in the same area.

Wildlife authorities killed a four-metre crocodile believed responsible for Mr Hughes’ death.

Mr Knuth also released an image last week of the remains of a pet dog being consumed by one of the massive reptiles on a farm near Innisfail.

The KAP’s proposal includes managed culls, egg collection and movement strategies.

In particular, they are calling for local indigenous groups to run safaris for tourists, as a way of generating income while keeping crocodile populations in check.

They said they had the support of fellow northern Queensland crossbencher, Cook MP Billy Gordon.

“Attacks are on the rise, the crocs we’re seeing are big, aggressive and territorial, and crocs are surfacing in places they’ve never been before,” Mr Katter told the Cairns Post.

“People are petrified to get out and enjoy the waterways, even in safe areas, with membership dropping in water sport clubs and iconic events cancelled due to croc sightings.”

The issue of crocodile culling arises frequently in Queensland, however, Ms Palaszczuk has previously ruled adoption of the measure out.



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