Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hurricanes slowing down in just about every ocean on Earth

Just a 10 percent slowdown doubles volume of local rainfall, a study shows

We have been told by Greenies for years now that global warming causes or magnifies hurricanes and other big wind events.  But the research below says that tropical cyclones are slowing down.  So that must indicate global cooling! Can you have your cake and eat it too? Greenies can!

A new study shows tropical cyclones are slowing down, a development that could carry huge implications for future flooding.

That research was presented for the first time Wednesday at the 33rd annual Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology held in Ponte Vedra.

Research shows slower storms in recent years have produced heavier rainfall, according to the presentation by James Kossin of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Hurricane Harvey, for instance, dumped record rain in Texas and underscores why speed matters when tropical systems see their pace slow to a crawl.

In fact, just a 10 percent slowdown results in double the local rain impacts. That could make flooding potentially catastrophic since storms typically slow by 20 percent over land.

Even though Harvey occurred after the study was completed, Dr. Kossin said the hurricane falls in line with the study's trend. Over 67 years of research, there was a clear slowing trend.

That trend coincides with the planet warming nearly 1 degree, and it supports growing evidence that a warming planet triggered the slowdown.

Climate change is weakening the planet's atmospheric circulation pattern, which is the mechanism that guides storm systems across oceans.

The pattern is also modifying hurricanes rain distribution. Observations indicate the heaviest rain no longer centers around the eyewall, but rather it is spread throughout the storm structure.

Slower storms have turned up in every ocean basin, except the North Indian Ocean. North of Australia has seen the greatest decrease in storm speed slowing 30%.

The implications this trend holds for future tropical rainfall are staggering. According to Dr. Kossin's calculations, rainfall becomes 20 percent heavier for nearly each degree Fahrenheit the planet warms.

As hurricanes get wetter and the overall tracks migrate poleward, hurricane flood exposure could expand to areas outside of traditionally hurricane-prone regions.


The Truth Behind Frack Off

I was at the Mall last weekend and came across this local anti-fracking group holding some sort of a workshop.

One wonders if they realize where the energy they use every day comes from?

I am pretty sure the residents of Eckington would not want a nuclear plant built next door, nor have their local forests chopped down for pellets.

And regardless of the hype and wishful thinking, there is simply no way that renewable energy will substantially change the picture in the foreseeable future.

Of course, they may be quite happy to rely on imported oil and gas from the Middle East and Russia, to keep them in their comfortable lifestyles. If so, they might get a shock to learn about the Frack Off Extreme Energy Action Network, of which they appear to be a part.

Frack Off is the UK wide group set up in 2011 to campaign against fracking, including demonstrations, blockades, and trespass. The Telegraph reported in 2013 how it was set up by Dr. Edward Lloyd-Davies, an astrophysicist who became a full-time protester after his academic funding ran out, and how the group tries to keep secret the identities of its leaders.

Frack Off’s website still refuses to publish any details about its leaders or funding. But they do not attempt to hide their worldview.

As would be expected, they believe that there is already a climate crisis, and their battle against fracking is merely a side issue as far as they are concerned.

But what are their proposals?

While they want to immediately cut back the use of fossil fuels worldwide, they are not keen on some of the alternatives:

According to their website, for instance, they are none too keen on bio-energy:

"Bio-Energy is a broad category which includes all energy generated from burning materials produced (recently) by the biosphere. While humans have obtained energy from such sources throughout their history, the amounts of energy that industrial society now demands cannot possibly be sourced in a sustainable way. Every year we burn a number of fossil fuels which it would take the biosphere 400 years to produce. Bio-Energy includes liquid biofuels (or agrofuels) such as palm oil as well as biomass such as wood pellets. The growth in Bio-Energy is devastating large areas of the globe and leading to hunger and poverty for many. Bio-Energy requires a colossal quantity of feedstock and huge areas of growing land. This land must either be land that was previously used to grow food or land that was previously forests etc. Either way, the results are not good."

They also regard nuclear power as part of the extreme energy sector, which they claim is destroying the world.

Even CCS does not meet their objectives:

"Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology aimed at reducing the climate-destabilizing impact of burning fossil fuels by capturing the carbon dioxide (a ‘greenhouse gas‘) and storing it somewhere, usually underground. Despite CCS being an unproven technology, it is used worldwide by energy companies and governments to justify new fossil fuel projects.

There’s no time to wait for a technology that may or may not work. The Department of Energy and Climate Change say that CSS will not be ready to deploy commercially until at least the early 2020’s. We need to stop using fossil fuels now. Cuts of 6% a year in emissions are needed to have a chance of not destabilising the climate, starting now and resulting in over a 90% cut over the next few decades."

Indeed, Frack Off’s revealed their true beliefs in this blog in 2012:

"Despite this, there is a massive push to make CCS the alternative to having to worry about the actual cutting of emissions. At both the EU and UK government levels, CCS trials are being encouraged with the offer of large grants to energy companies. A government funding competition initiated four years ago to fund a large-scale trial of CCS ended in a shambles in October after a consortium led by ScottishPower pulled out of plans to build facilities to capture a sixth of the carbon dioxide emitted by Longannet, the UK’s second-largest coal power station.

The reason given was that the £1 billion grant on offer was insufficient to ensure that the project would be economically viable. This has added to a string of recent cancellations of CCS projects worldwide, including the recent cancellation of a $1.4 billion pilot project in Canada because it was not economically viable. In the UK the government’s response has been to announce a new competition to try to resurrect CCS trials. Whether this one will have any more success than the last remains to be seen.

However to see CCS in these terms is to miss the whole point. Whether it ever gets off the ground or not is irrelevant. CCS is about psychology, not engineering. As long as there is the promise of CCS dangled before them it will allow those people who cannot face abandoning the current system an excuse for not facing up to the change that needs to happen. CCS could be considered as part of a category of “Extreme Greenwash” along with similar ideas like geoengineering.

Put simply, Frack Off are virulently anti-fossil fuels, for all sorts of reasons. Emissions of CO2 are only part of the problem, as far as they are concerned.

"Introducing CCS will not only allow fossil fuels to continue to be extracted but, as it is an energy-intensive process, will actually serve to increase demand for them."

For them, fossil fuels are not only destroying the climate, they are also destroying the environment, the economy, and global well-being.

So, given all of this, you would think that Frack Off would be determined to push renewable energy as hard as possible. Yet I cannot find one single mention of wind and solar power on their website.

So, what is their solution? Simple – we are all using far too much energy. Again, this is what their website says:

"The Massive Increase In Global Human Energy Consumption By Source Over The Last 200 Years

The most obvious insight that can be gained from viewing extreme energy as a process is that the dominant factor driving that process is energy consumption. Extreme energy has always existed but due to the huge amounts of energy used by the present system, it is proceeding at a much faster rate. The higher the rate of energy consumption, the faster that resources are depleted and the more rapidly the process of energy extraction becomes more extreme. The insistence that present levels of energy consumption must be maintained, and even increased, makes this process inevitable.

On the other hand, reducing energy consumption would slow this progression towards more extreme extraction techniques. The present system seems unlikely to adopt such a course, however. The intensity of extraction effort needed translate pretty directly into the fraction of the world economy that must be devoted to energy extraction and therefore dictates the fraction that is left over for the rest of society. If allowed to continue unchecked extreme energy will result in massive, though very poorly understood, changes in the world we live in.

To summarise the process definition is: Extreme Energy is the process whereby energy extraction methods grow more intense over time, as easier to extract resources are depleted. The process is driven by unsustainable energy consumption and is important because extraction effort is strongly correlated with damage to both society and the environment."

I doubt whether the mixture of NIMBYs and gullible do-gooders who are fighting fracking in Eckington will be happy cutting their energy consumption to the bone, along with their standard of living.

Indeed it might just occur to them that the massive increase in energy consumption in the last 200 years correlates pretty closely with a similar increase in living standards, quality of life, standards of health and so on.

Frack Off’s role is to encourage and assist the formation of local groups, and provide support with materials, advice, information and advertising.

As far as those local groups are concerned, it’s a bit like inviting the devil into your parlour for a game of cards!


Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming

He's still governor moonbeam

California Gov. Jerry Brown predicted that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced, billions of people will die from “heat events,” and one billion will be subjected to vector diseases.

“When you pick up the paper or turn on cable news, you’d think it’s another planet. It’s all about the nonsense of Washington, and carbon emissions are growing, and we’ve got to radically turn that around, or the migrations you’re seeing now are going to be child’s play,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they’re not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”

Brown was among a number of governors who established an alliance to reduce climate change in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

When asked what states can reasonably do about climate change, Brown said, “California has adopted an extension of this cap and trade program, which will give us 20 percent of our greenhouse gas reduction. That’s a very important measure that would have gone out of existence in 2020, and that measure was voted by Republicans. It wouldn’t have passed without Republican support.”

“So we’ve done that. We’re revising our building standards. We have a scoping plan for our entire greenhouse gas emission strategy that’s going forward. Other states, I think New Jersey is considering significant changes, so there’s a lot of possibilities going on in different states and different provinces around the world,” he said.

“We have an Under Two Coalition – keep the temperature under two degrees Centigrade from growing, and we have over 200 signatories that represent more than a third of the world’s wealth. Is it enough? No. Is the world on the right track? No. Does disaster loom? Yes, and I’m doing what I can to motivate people. People are asleep,” Brown said.

“This is a horror, and that’s why I spend so much time working on climate change even though it is not a big, hot political issue – not in California, certainly not in Washington, and unfortunately, not in a number of other countries, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big problem. It’s a huge problem, and there’s just two big topics,” the governor said.

“I don’t see any evidence in the paper. One is the risk of nuclear destruction or incident. William Perry wrote a book, ‘My Journey at the Nuclear Brink,’ which I reviewed. He said we’re more in danger now than we were at the height of the Cold War. That’s been repeated by other people. That’s a serious matter, and yet we have very little discussion going on with Russia with climate change – a serious matter, what’s going on,” he said.


Scott Pruitt’s ‘Time 100’ Profile Written By Ex-EPA Chief Who Hates Him

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s TIME 100 profile is very different from most featured on the website. Not only is it negative, it was written by a vocal critic.

Pruitt’s profile was written by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Whitman wrote that “under the administration of Scott Pruitt, the agency is experiencing a new wave of policymaking—or rather, policy dismantling.”

“If his actions continue in the same direction, during Pruitt’s term at the EPA the environment will be threatened instead of protected, and human health endangered instead of preserved, all with no long-term benefit to the economy,” Whitman wrote.

Whitman served as EPA administrator in the Bush administration and as New Jersey’s governor before that. She’s a vocal opponent of the Trump administration and even endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Whitman opposed Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA back in late 2016, chiding his “seeming disdain for the people at the agency, for science.”

“He is very definitely a denier of climate change, something that scientists, by and large, overwhelmingly, say is occurring and that humans have a role to play in that,” Whitman told NPR in December 2016.

“He also seems to be someone who doesn’t believe in regulation. And that’s a time where you want to say regulations are prevention. They’re trying to protect us,” she said.

Whitman made similar remarks in an interview with TIME given a few weeks later, saying she was “nervous” about Pruitt taking the reins at EPA.

What made Pruitt’s TIME 100 profile interesting is that other prominent Republicans, including President Donald Trump himself, had theirs written by friends or allies. Pruitt’s was written by a vocal critic.

For example, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote Trump’s TIME 100 profile, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ profile. Fox News host Sean Hannity’s profile was written by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a regular guest on his show.

On the other side of the aisle, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote a glowing TIME 100 profile for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

Richards wrote that Pelosi is “a voice for the people who are counting on government to be there for them.” Planned Parenthood has donated to Pelosi’s congressional campaigns.




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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