Sunday, July 01, 2018

Barents Sea seems to have crossed a climate tipping point: This is probably what a climate tipping point looks like—and we're past it

There's lots to amuse in this article. One of those dread  tipping points happened and nobody noticed!  What if all future tipping points are like that?  Does it matter if nobody notices? Al Gore tried to frighten us with tales of sea levels rising by 20 feet -- or was it 100 feet?  You would certainly notice that happening but this is laughably insignificant by comparison.  Will future sea level rises also be not noticeable?

And then we are told that this tragic event happened only after 2011.  But Warmists say that global warming started from 1945 on.  So can this be a global warming effect when for most of the alleged warm period nothing of this frightening process happened?  The authors just explain the lateness of the change as a "tipping point" but that is just glib.  There is no known process leading up to it nor was it predicted. It is just being wise after the event.  Nobody in fact knows what caused the change.  Best guess is that it has to do with changes in ocean currents -- which do change a lot in the North Atlantic region.  Currents are at least an explanation.  A tipping point is just a description masquerading as an explanation.

And it appears that what has actually occurred is some melting of sea ice. But melting sea ice will not raise the sea level by one iota. Al Gore will not be happy! And what caused the melting of the sea ice at this late juncture?  Crickets! Could it have been an upsurge in the well-known subsurface vulcanism in the Arctic?  Along the Gakkel ridge, for instance?

I like the last two paragraphs below.  We learn that the change is not a bad thing as it will lead to better fishing.  We also read: "The future will be the sum of these events and their interactions, making it a bit harder to predict which changes we should be planning for".  So the future is hard to predict!  If only more Warmists saw that!

Many of the threats we know are associated with climate change are slow moving. Gradually rising seas, a steady uptick in extreme weather events, and more all mean that change will come gradually to much of the globe. But we also recognize that there can be tipping points, where certain aspects of our climate system shift suddenly to new behaviors.

The challenge with tipping points is that they're often easiest to identify in retrospect. We have some indications that our climate has experienced them in the past, but reconstructing how quickly a system tipped over or the forces that drove the change can be difficult. Now, a team of Norwegian scientists is suggesting it has watched the climate reach a tipping point: the loss of Arctic sea ice has flipped the Barents Sea from acting as a buffer between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to something closer to an arm of the Atlantic.

Decades of data

The Norwegian work doesn't rely on any new breakthrough in technology. Instead, it's built on the longterm collection of data. The Barents Sea has been monitored for things like temperature, ice cover, and salinity, in some cases extending back over 50 years. This provides a good baseline to pick up longterm changes. And, in the case of the Barents Sea in particular, it's meant we've happened to have been watching as a major change took place.

The Barents Sea lies north of Norway and Russia, bounded by Arctic islands like Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. To its west is the North Atlantic, and the Arctic Ocean is to its north. And data from prior to the year 2000 indicates that the Barents acted as a buffer between the two oceans.

To the north, the Arctic Ocean has been dominated by sea ice, which spreads into the Barents during the winter. The ice acts as a barrier to exchanging heat with the atmosphere and blocks sunlight from reaching the ocean water, helping keep the Arctic colder in the summer. As it melts, the Barents also creates a layer of fresh water that doesn't mix well with the salt water below it, and it is light enough to remain at the surface. The water of the Atlantic is warmer but saltier and better mixed across its depths.

In between, in the Barents, the two influences create a layer of intermediate water. The Arctic surface water and sea ice helps keep the Barents fresher and cool. And while the Barents is warmed from below by the dense, salty Atlantic water, it's not enough to allow the two layers to mix thoroughly. This helps keep the Barents Sea's surface water cold and fresh, encouraging it to freeze over during the winter.

The researchers behind the new work say that this layered structure was "remarkably stable" from 1970 all the way through 2011. But change started coming to the area even as the layers persisted. The atmosphere over the Arctic has warmed faster than any other region on the planet. In part because of that, the amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean began to decline dramatically. It reached what were then record lows in 2007 and 2008. As a result, the Barents Sea was relatively ice-free in the Arctic summer, decreasing the fresh water present in the surface layer.

Sea-ice drift into the Barents sea dropped enough so that the 2010-2015 average was 40 percent lower than the 1979-2009 mean. The researchers checked precipitation at some islands on the edge of the Barents Sea, and they confirmed that the loss of fresh water at the surface was due to the loss of ice rather than a change in weather patterns.

(For context, the Barents Sea is essentially ice-free at the moment, even though the melt season typically extends through September.).......

Tip of the ice

From a strictly human-centric position, the changes aren't necessarily a terrible thing. In terms of ecosystems, the authors describe the Barents as "divided into two regions with distinct climate regimes—the north having a cold and harsh Arctic climate and ice-associated ecosystem, while the south has a favorable Atlantic climate with a rich ecosystem and lucrative fisheries." The expansion of these fisheries, while coming at the cost of the native ecosystem, could prove a boon for the countries bordering the region.

But the general gist of the study is considerably more ominous: not only have we discovered a climate tipping point, but we've spotted it after the system has probably already flipped into a new regime. It also provides some sense of what to expect from the future. Rather than seeing the entire planet experience a few dramatic changes, we're likely to see lots of regional tipping points that have more of a local effect. The future will be the sum of these events and their interactions, making it a bit harder to predict which changes we should be planning for.


Thirty Years of 'Global Warming' Panic

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the “global warming” (now known as “climate change”) panic.

As noted by The Wall Street Journal, it was on June 23, 1988, that NASA scientist James E. Hansen testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and asserted a “high degree of confidence” in “a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.”

Predictions, especially those of global significance, should be rigorously examined to see if they have come true. In the case of Mr. Hansen, it’s apparent they have not.

Hansen offered three possible scenarios. One would see the earth’s temperature rising 1°C by this year; the second would see a 0.7% temperature increase; and the third would see a smaller increase that would flatten out by 2000.

The third scenario was the most accurate. Hansen made many other predictions, including stronger hurricanes related to global surface temperatures. “The list of what didn’t happen,” notes the Journal, “is long and tedious,” adding, “… it’s time to acknowledge that the rapid warming he predicted isn’t happening. Climate researchers and policymakers should adopt the more modest forecasts that are consistent with observed temperatures.”

That isn’t about to happen, because, as with immigration reform, most politicians prefer the issue to any solution.

Richard Siegmund Lindzen is an American atmospheric physicist known for his work in the dynamics of the atmosphere, atmospheric tides and ozone photochemistry. In an interview posted on, the global warming and climate change website, Lindzen says:

“The mostly non-scientist proponents of climate hysteria realize that distant forecasts of remote problems by inadequate models are unlikely to motivate people to shut down modern industrial society. They, therefore, attempt to claim that we are seeing the problems right now. Of course, the warming that has occurred over the past 200 years or so, has been too small to have been a major factor. However, objective reality matters little when it comes to propaganda — where repetition can effectively counter reality.”

Repetition is precisely what we are experiencing in the major media, which have selectively interviewed people who promote the climate change myth. These include some politicians, who see it as another way to regulate and dominate our lives.

As if to confirm this, notes: “NBC News is hyping a report that claims meteorologists are supporting the George Mason and Climate Central effort to promote climate change fears on your nightly weather forecast.

"The climate information being promoted by the activist meteorologists is highly suspect and the groups behind the effort have supported shutting down any scientific debate by supporting RICO statutes against skeptics and they have benefited greatly from federal funding of their efforts.”

When the hype subsides the facts catch up. In 2015, the UK Daily Telegraph reported: “Two events last week brought yet further twists to one of the longest-running farces of our modern world. One was the revelation by the European Space Agency that in 2013 and 2014, after years when the volume of Arctic ice had been diminishing, it increased again by as much as 33 per cent. The other was that Canadian scientists studying the effect of climate change on Arctic ice from an icebreaker had to suspend their research, when their vessel was called to the aid of other ships trapped in the thickest summer ice seen in Hudson Bay for 20 years.”

Numerous apocalyptic predictions of an imminent end of the world because of “climate change” have proved wrong. Their objective of big government robbing us of more of our freedoms and spending trillions of dollars on a made-up problem has been exposed.

We can and should recycle and not pollute the atmosphere, water or land, but not because it will lower the earth’s temperature.


Rick Perry Hints Government May Take Action To Stop Andrew Cuomo From Blocking Pipelines

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry sent a not-so-subtle signal to New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the federal government may intervene to keep New York officials from blocking natural gas pipelines.

“The citizens of New York are paying more for energy,” Perry said at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

“Their health and well-being are being put in jeopardy,” Perry said. “If a polar vortex comes into the northeast part of the country or a cyber attack, and people literally have to start making decisions on how to keep their family warm or keep the lights on, at that time, the leadership of that state will have a real reckoning.”

Although Perry did not mention Cuomo by name, the former Texas governor criticized the Cuomo administration’s efforts to keep new pipelines from being built, which were a major factor behind high energy prices during winter 2017-2018.

When temperatures in the eastern U.S. plummeted earlier in 2018, “pipeline constraints” and power plant closures caused natural gas prices to skyrocket and power plants to burn oil to keep the lights on.

The U.S. Northeast was so desperate for gas that residents were forced to import liquefied natural gas from Russia. The Cuomo administration is responsible for blocking pipelines, possibly relegating the northeast to a future of “rolling blackouts,” according to grid operators.

“I wouldn’t want to be the governor of that state facing that situation,” Perry said. “We have to have a conversation as a country. Is that a national security issue that outweighs the political concerns in Albany, N.Y.?”

Perry has longed criticized Cuomo’s policies, but Perry’s recent comments came amid a discussion about the Trump administration’s plan to keep nuclear and coal plants from closing. Perry said plant closures are a serious national security risk.

“And people literally have to start making the decision about ‘Do I keep my family warm? Do I keep the lights on?’” he said. “Does the financial center of New York go dark? Do the hospitals shut down?”

Cuomo’s opposition to pipelines has appeased environmental activists who want to keep natural gas from flowing through New York to New England.

“What New York has shown is a model for examining the potential impacts to clean water of pipelines,” Amy Mall, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Politico. “They’ve done it in a way that is methodical and comprehensive and sufficiently rigorous to understand what the risks are.”


Ontario’s New Premier Must Save The Province

On March 8, 2018, former US Vice President Al Gore visited Ontario, Canada in an attempt to help then-Premier Kathleen Wynne win the June 7 provincial election.

Gore said, “I travel all over the world, and I cite Ontario as an example of a provincial government that is doing it right: creating jobs, building the base for economic progress, while also staving off the severe danger that the climate crisis poses to all of us.”

In reality, Ontario’s approach to climate change and so-called green energy has been a disaster – an extreme example of what governments around the world should not do. That may be part of the reason Ms. Wynne lost to Doug Ford.

Ontario’s situation is dire. In “Ontario MPP ‘proud’ of province’s debt and ‘would do it again’” (April 1, 2018), National Post writer Triston Hopper explained:

“Ontario’s debt, which currently stands at $311.7 billion, is the most held by any sub-sovereign government in the world. It has also grown precipitously under the current Liberal government, who first took government when Ontario’s debt stood at $138.8 billion.”

To fix the province’s woes, new Conservative Premier Doug Ford must first understand the causes of the problems. A major issue has been crippling energy and environmental policies.

The real rot in Ontario began in 1992 when then-premier Bob Rae appointed businessman and former UN Under-Secretary-General Maurice Strong to be the Chairman of Ontario Hydro, the province’s publicly owned electricity utility.

At the time, Ontario was an economically sound, prosperous province. All this started to change when Strong applied the energy and environmental policies he proposed for the entire world through his creation of the United Nations Environmental Program and his chairmanship of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit (officially, the UN Conference on Environment and Development, UNCED).

At UNCED, Strong introduced Agenda 21, a global energy and environment policy of world-shattering implications, and got it ratified. It was also at the Earth Summit that world leaders signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UNFCCC’s primary objective was defined as achieving “stabilization of greenhouse gas [GHG] concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [human-caused] interference with the climate system.”

Under this scheme, the fact that in 1992 (and even today) we had no idea what concentration of GHGs would lead to “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” was immaterial. The die was cast. The worldwide climate alarm had begun.

The UNFCCC even redefined the basic guidelines for the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The guidelines now restrict “climate change” to include only variations due to human activity. Specifically, Article 1 of the UNFCCC treaty states:

“‘Climate change’ means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.”

The definition predetermines the outcome of the IPCC’s work. In particular, since the IPCC is required to support the Framework Convention, it had to change its mandate from its original purpose of studying all causes of climate change to the UNFCCC’s political definition of manmade climate change.

So the IPCC’s mandate was changed to assessing “the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change.…”

The problem is, you cannot determine the human effects unless you first know the extent and cause of natural climate change. The fact that we cannot meaningfully forecast the weather beyond 72 hours in advance demonstrates how little we understand about natural climate change and its causes.

But the new IPCC mandate worked perfectly to support Strong’s anti-development agenda. He needed “science” to prove that increasing GHG emissions from industrial activities (especially carbon dioxide or CO2) would cause dangerous global warming.

Since rising emissions are a natural outcome of increasing global production, energy use and prosperity, linking emissions to alleged climate changes and extreme weather events allowed Strong to target the world’s major energy source: fossil fuels.

Once the science was determined, the bureaucracies of national offices such as Environment Canada could push policies to cripple energy production, industry, and development.

Other countries and regions were slow to adopt these principles, but in Ontario Strong was able to use his position at Ontario Hydro with impunity, to implement the crippling policies he orchestrated in Rio.

In so doing, he stopped nuclear programs, closed coal plants, and diverted funds to alternate energies that were already shown not to work. As one report summarized:

“The electrical scam in Ont. started with the Bob Rae NDP government when Maurice Strong, Rae’s godfather, broke up Ontario Hydro. The electricity scam continued through the Harris and McGuinty Governments. Today Premier Kathleen Wynne and the liberal party administer the Enron-styled electrical rate manipulation scam.”

Other premiers since, right through to Wynne, tried to privatize Ontario Hydro. But all failed to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, the cost of energy became an increasing drag on the economy and cost of living.

When Strong started as Ontario Hydro Chairman, the province had one of the most powerful provincial economies. It was consistently classified as a “have” province in the federal government equalization program, which begun in 1957 and designated provinces as “have” or “have not” based primarily on their ability to generate tax revenue.

In the ensuing grand socialist scheme, between 2012 through 2018, nearly C$121 billion was transferred from the “have” provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan to the “have not” provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec – and Ontario.

From Strong’s tenure onward, Ontario energy costs continued to sap the vigor of its economy. Once an industrial powerhouse and the home of hundreds of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs, Ontario lost many of these jobs when companies either left the province or went bankrupt. Contributing to the downward spiral were skyrocketing electricity prices.

For consumers and small businesses, electricity prices have increased from 4.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for all times of the day in 2002 to 13.2 cents per kWh in 2018 during peak usage times – a 200% rise. Electricity rates for larger businesses follow the market rate and so vary widely throughout the day. For example, at 5 pm on June 26, 2018, the rate was 22.14 cents per kWh!

Independent energy researcher and former Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator board member Tom Adams concludes, “The root cause of Ontario’s power rate cancer started with the coal phase-out” – which went from 7,587 megawatts of coal-based electricity in 2003 to zero by 2014!

To supposedly “lead the world” in “stopping global warming,” the provincial government closed all of Ontario’s coal-fired electricity stations, which provided about 25% of the province’s then-inexpensive electricity in 2002. And yet, even in 2003, Ontario accounted for a measly 0.5% of global CO2emissions.

So regardless of what one believes about the causes of climate change, the sacrifice was worthless.

Making matters even worse, the Ontario government spent billions of dollars erecting about 8,000 industrial wind turbines. In a report co-authored by University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick, Mr. Adams noted: “Solar and wind systems provide just under 4 percent of Ontario’s power but account for about 20 percent of the average commodity cost.”

Electricity market expert and University of Montreal professor Pierre-Olivier Pineau has observed, today “Ontario is probably the worst electricity market in the world.”

And so, Ontario went from being an economic powerhouse to joining the ranks of “have not” provinces that receive payments from Canada’s equalization program.

Not surprisingly, access to abundant, reliable, inexpensive energy has been a major factor differentiating the “have” and “have not” provinces. Mostly because of Hibernia oil, Newfoundland and Labrador became a “have” province. The other “have” provinces are also energy-rich: Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

So, the question now is: Can premier-elect Doug Ford get Ontario back on track with a sound energy policy? There is no better place for him to start than by publicly opposing the myth that human CO2emissions are causing dangerous global warming.

There is plenty of scientific evidence to support this. Ford need only consult the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, which summarize thousands of studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that either refute or cast serious doubt on the climate scare.

Let’s hope Ford uses this important tool – and that the next example Ontario sets for the world is how to rebound from a green energy disaster.


Melbourne has its coldest day in 25 YEARS as wintry conditions show no signs of warming up with a bleak weekend in store across Australia

Global cooling!

Melbourne has experienced its coldest day in more than two decades - with the chilly conditions set to continue over the weekend.

A high of just 9.8C recorded on Thursday was the coldest maximum temperature during a day in the city since June 12, 1993 according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

There will be no respite from the bitter cold across most of the country this weekend as frosty mornings are predicted for both Saturday and Sunday.

Weatherzone meteorologist Graeme Brittain said Sydney will be 'pleasant but cold'. 'It will be dry and sunny during the day but there will be a couple of cold morning, with Sunday being the coldest'.

A low of 9C is expected on Saturday before reaching a high of 19C, with light winds predicted for the evening.

Sunday will be mostly sunny with fog in the outer west part of the city and some frost, with a low of 7C and a high of 16C predicted.

Melbourne will likely have rainfall on Saturday morning with possible hail in the southeast.

Sunday will be even colder, with a low of 5C and a high of 15C. There is a slight chance of rain for Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

Brisbane will have fog and possibly showers on Saturday morning, with a low of 14 and a high of 24.




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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