Sunday, September 01, 2019

Australia downgrades outlook for Great Barrier Reef to 'very poor'

OK.  I guess I should say something about this rubbish, as nobody else is stepping up to the plate so far.  For a start, note that this is prophecy, not a factual report.  They are prophesying that the reef will deteriorate.  Given the erratic influences on the reef (unpredictable cyclones, unpredictable starfish attacks, sea-level oscillations etc), this is simply a stab in the dark. Many things could happen and nobody knows which will.

Secondly this is not a report of any objective measurements. It is "based on a qualitative assessment of the available evidence."  Note: qualitative, not quantitative.  It is in short simply an expression of opinion from people with a vested interest in alarm

And pointing the skinger of forn at global warming is the silliest thing of all.  Where does the reef flourish best?  Where does it display the greatest biodiversity?  In the far tropics.  In the WARMEST parts of the reef waters. Corals LIKE warmth.  Global warming would be GOOD for the reef.  We live among madmen

Australia downgraded the Great Barrier Reef's long-term outlook to "very poor" for the first time on Friday, as the world heritage site struggles with "escalating" climate change.

In its latest five-yearly report on the health of the world's largest coral reef system, the government's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority singled out rising sea temperatures as the biggest threat to the giant organism.

"The significant and large-scale impacts from record-breaking sea surface temperatures have resulted in coral reef habitat transitioning from poor to very poor condition," the government agency said.

"Climate change is escalating and is the most significant threat to the Region's long-term outlook.

"Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing deterioration of the Reef's ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery," it said.

But the agency added that the threats to the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef were "multiple, cumulative and increasing" and, in addition to warming seas, included agricultural run-off and coral-eating crown of thorns starfish.

The agency said the outlook downgrade from "poor" in 2014 to "very poor" now reflected the greater expanse of coral deterioration across the massive reef, notably following back-to-back coral bleaching events caused by sea temperature spikes in 2016 and 2017.

"The window of opportunity to improve the reef's long-term future is now," it said.

The conservative Australian government has faced criticism from environmentalists for favouring an expansion of its massive coal mining and export industry over action to curb climate change.

The United Nations had asked to receive the latest update on the reef's health by December so that it can determine whether the site can retain its world heritage status when UNESCO next considers the issue in 2020.

The reef is estimated to be worth at least $4 billion (£3.3 bn) a year to the Australian economy - serving as a magnet for tourists and emblem of the country.


The Coming Climate Change Propaganda Tsunami

Batten down the hatches! Yet another tsunami of global warming and “clean energy” propaganda is approaching!

On September 23, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit at UN headquarters. Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York City with “concrete, realistic plans” to increase their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction pledges “in line with reducing GHG emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.”

The goal is to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C”, lessen sea level rise, reduce extreme weather, and other impossible objectives. The UN warns:

[T]he last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.”

This is all either nonsense or irrelevant (for example, sea level has been rising, at times much faster than today, for the past 15,000 years). But this won’t stop civil society, businesses, organizations, youth and other representatives from the public at large from joining heads of states and government from UN member states at the summit in demanding that we make “massive movements in the real economy in support of the [climate change] agenda,” to quote from the summit website. Currently sailing across the Atlantic on her way to address the conference is 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in what she erroneously dubs a "zero-carbon" yacht. Thunberg is being brought in to help the U.S. climate delusion movement and to recruit more well-meaning but naive children into its ranks.

AOC-Aligned Climate Group Demands Media Silence 'Climate Deniers'
To prime the public to be ready to accept their demands, we can expect increasingly dire announcements about the supposed climate catastrophe unfolding around us. Since, as Mark Twain is credited with saying, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes," let’s get a bit ahead of the game and start to debunk one of the claims that is almost certain to come out next week.

Just as at the end of July, we will likely soon hear that August temperatures either set a record or were close to it. But an examination of the problems with the July ‘record’ will help us defuse this claim even before it is made. For "global temperature" records are generally meaningless, and the one for last month is especially so.

Strictly speaking, it is no more meaningful to calculate the average temperature for the whole planet than it is to calculate the average telephone number in a phone book. Like viscosity and density, and of course phone numbers, temperature is not something that can be meaningfully averaged. “Global temperature” does not exist.

In their award-winning book, Taken by Storm (2007), Canadian researchers Dr. Christopher Essex and Dr. Ross McKitrick explain: “Temperature is not an amount of something [like height or weight]. It is a number that represents the condition of a physical system. In thermodynamics it is known as an intensive quantity, in contrast to quantities like energy, which have an additive property, which we call extensive in thermodynamics.”

Even if you could calculate some sort of meaningful global temperature statistic, and indeed, if you did, interpreting its significance would be difficult, the figure would be unimportant. No one and nothing would experience it directly since we all live in relatively small regions, not the globe. There is no superbeing straddling the planet, detecting global averages in temperature. Global warming does not matter.

And, of course, it was only 1978 when we launched satellites to determine the temperature distribution of our atmosphere. Up until then, and still mostly today, we collect temperatures around the globe in a rather spotty and often inaccurate manner. When meteorologist Anthony Watts went about obtaining photographs of 1200 temperature stations in the United States, the best-covered area in the world, he found that about 80% were near useless because of their proximity to objects that bias the readings, such as air conditioning units, highways, and operating equipment. They were likely not present when the stations were first established, but they rendered many of the readings to that point useless.

Reporting for RealClear Energy, James Taylor, senior fellow, Environment and Energy Policy, for the Arlington, Illinois-based Heartland Institute, describes the results of the new (since January 2005) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 well-located and maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. Taylor writes: "USCRN temperature stations show no warming since 2005 when the network went online. If anything, U.S. temperatures are now slightly cooler than they were 14 years ago [see graph below, where temperature is in degrees Fahrenheit on the left]."

Taylor concludes: “Climate crisis advocates attempt to dismiss the minor satellite-measured warming by utilizing ground temperature stations around the globe, which tend to have even more corrupting biases and problems than the old U.S. stations.”

There are, of course, huge regions of the Earth that have no land surface temperature data at all. There is very little data for the 70 percent of Earth’s surface that is ocean. There is also little data for mountainous and desert regions, not to mention the Antarctic. And, despite the fact that NOAA claimed that central, equatorial Africa was much hotter than usual in July (see first figure below), in reality they had practically no data for the region at all (see second figure below). The high central African temperatures were merely extrapolated from data measured hundreds of miles away.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts explained one of the problems with this approach:

When station data is used to extrapolate over distance, any errors in the source data will get magnified and spread over a large area.

For example, say the nearest station is 400 miles away, at an airport in a city, but they are trying to use that data to extrapolate for the African savannah. The are basically adding the Urban Heat Island of the city to a wide area of the Savanah.

As an illustration, Watts contrasts a July temperature map of 250 KM "smoothing radius" with one with 1200 KM "smoothing radius." The first (the first figure below) does not extrapolate temperature data over much of the African savannah (where little real data exists) and results in a global temperature anomaly of 0.88°C. The second (the second figure below), which extends over the Savanah, results in a global temperature anomaly of 0.92°C.

Watts concludes, “Statistically induced warming is not real.”

Regardless, the hot spot NOAA computed for central equatorial Africa is almost certainly imaginary since, as climate data analyst Tony Heller said, "NOAA shows July record heat in Central Africa, in regions which UAH [University of Alabama at Huntsville] satellite data showed close to or slightly above normal" (see figure below).

 As if that were not enough to dismiss the whole "warmest month ever" arguments, a quick look at the temperature data on the NOAA web site tells us that none of their grand announcements make any sense. Consider first that, according to NOAA, July 2019 set the record of the warmest month by0.03°C for combined global land and ocean surface temperature. But the uncertainty is listed as 0.17°C, or almost six times the amount by which the record was supposedly set. In fact, July 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 all fall within the 0.17°C error bar of July 2019. Therefore, we cannot know which year set the record.

We also sense something fishy is going on when we notice that the July 2019 temp anomaly at 0.95°C above the 20th-century average is exactly (to the second decimal place) the same as the year to date (YTD) temperature anomaly. Unbelievably, it is also exactly the same, 0.95°C, for June and the YTD for June. Four numbers all the same to the second decimal point. How is that possible? It is as if someone in the agency decided that it would be easier for media to get it right if all these numbers were exactly the same. And so, apparently, they made it so.

The public needs to take a highly skeptical view of the inevitable dire warnings that we will soon see in advance of the 2019 Climate Action Summit. The real goal has more to do with restricting our freedom, in particular, our access to inexpensive fossil fuels.

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)

NASA: Area burned by global wildfires dropped by 25% since 2003

Climate activists often warn that global warming is stoking forest fires, but it turns out the amount of land burned by wildfires worldwide has plummeted by 25% since 2003, according to NASA.

NASA’s Earth Observatory found that the number of total square kilometers burned globally each year has decreased steadily from 2003-19, based on data collected by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) on satellites.

NASA Goddard Space Flight scientist Niels Andela attributed the decline to increased farming in areas of the Global South and the use of machines instead of prescribed burns to clear crops.

“As populations have increased in fire-prone regions of Africa, South America, and Central Asia, grasslands and savannas have become more developed and converted into farmland,” the NASA post said. “As a result, longstanding habits of burning grasslands (to clear shrubs and land for cattle or other reasons) have decreased.”

Even as the acreage consumed by wildfires declined, James Randerson, University of California Irvine earth sciences professor, said climate change has played a role by making wildfires more intense.

“There are really two separate trends,” Mr. Randerson said. “Even as the global burned area number has declined because of what is happening in savannas, we are seeing a significant increase in the intensity and reach of fires in the western United States because of climate change.”

Despite the increase in farming, the amount of forest area worldwide grew by 2.24 million square kilometers from 1982-2016, as a net loss in the tropics was “outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics,” according to a November study in Nature.

“Forests are making a comeback!” said Bates College visiting assistant economics professor Vincent Geloso in a Monday post on the American Institute for Economic Research. “More precisely, the tree cover of the planet is increasing.”

A reminder that while some forests in the world are being destroyed, there is a global recovery of the tree cover because of tree farming and increased agricultural productivity (i.e. peak farmland) #amazon #econtwitter

— Vincent (Economic History) Geloso (@VincentGeloso) August 28, 2019
The Amazon fires, part of the annual dry-season burn-off by farmers clearing crop land, have stoked alarm about the loss of the rainforest and “the world’s lungs,” although scientists have debunked the oft-repeated claim that losing the Amazon would result in a 20% drop in global oxygen.

The number of Amazon fires is about 80% higher than at the same time last year, but 2018 was also a low fire year. This year’s fires are about 7% higher than the 10-year average, as reported by Forbes, based on data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.


The Ugly Side Of The Pursuit for ‘Sustainability’

Los Angeles County has adopted a “sustainability” program that officials expect “to enhance the well-being of every community in the county while reducing damage to the natural environment and adapting to the changing climate.” This is considered smart. By people who should know better.

Our smartest should know central planning has never worked and never will. Yet the project has been met with gushing approval. It’s “bold,” “ambitious,” “progressive,” “forward thinking,” and a “model” for other big cities.

The program, called “OurCounty,” has 12 goals, 37 strategies, and 159 “actions.” Among the dozen objectives, overflowing with green buzzwords, are a “fossil fuel-free L.A. County,” “resilient and healthy community environments,” “equitable and sustainable land use,” “thriving ecosystems, habitats, and biodiversity,” the “sustainable production and consumption of resources,” and, to advance the state’s road diet agenda, “a convenient, safe, clean, and affordable transportation system that enhances mobility and quality of life while reducing car dependency.”

The plan also includes, says Sean Hecht, co-executive director of UCLA’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, a plan consultant, “economic sustainability, with the broader goal of equity,” because no green deal, new or otherwise, would be complete without plans for the political management of the economy. Nor would it exclude the politics dictated by social justice organizations, such as the Liberty Hill Foundation, which believes “inequality is engineered, not inevitable” and calls Los Angeles the “the nation’s wage theft capital.” According to UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, that group played a “key” role in the OurCounty project.

For the county to achieve its goals, officials will have to take a deep dive into central planning. How else will they be able to organize a community in which, according to Curbed Los Angeles, “oil derricks and refineries would disappear from the region. Gas stations would become irrelevant,” and “streetscapes would be dominated by electric vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians”?

The planners themselves admit that OurCounty is a “comprehensive” endeavor on a “scale has never been tried.”

Well, maybe it’s never been tried if we leave out the many failed 20th century attempts to order entire nations in Eastern Europe around an “enlightened” ideology promising a prosperous and egalitarian utopia.

This is not to say the Los Angeles planners are socialists but is said merely to point out the defects, as well as the inherent coercion, in trying to use government as an organizing tool.
The attraction of central planning “seems, at first sight, so reasonable that it is hard to see why any intelligent person would oppose it,” the late theologian and author David Elton Trueblood once wrote, because “every intelligent person engages in planning. A thoughtful man plans his day, his week, his year, his life work.”

Yet, “planning for another involves factors which are totally absent in planning for one’s self.”


Obama Blows $15 Million on Mansion Doomed by Rising Tides He Failed to Slow

If you've ever been underwater on a car loan, you know what an uneasy feeling that can be. Barack and Michelle Obama are currently in escrow on a $15 million beachfront estate which itself may one day be completely underwater if climate research funded by his own administration is anything to go by.

How can they sleep at night?

Climate Central, backed by a Who's Who of climate alarmists (and sometimes your tax dollars), warned in 2017 that the part of Martha's Vineyard featuring the Obamas' new summer home could fall victim to rising seawaters under the group's "Extreme Scenario 2100" model. That's according to new research by the Daily Caller's Peter Hasson.

There's a fun little tool at the group's website, where you can use Google Maps to get a 3D view of what happens anywhere in the world under the Extreme Scenario. Living at 7,400 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I didn't bother to punch in my own address. I figure Monument Hill is pretty safe under any scenario except for Extreme Ice Age, which actually seems a lot worse, globally, than some coastal flooding. Curiously, Climate Central hasn't issued any dire warnings about another ice age, even though some geologists say we're overdue for one.

The Extreme Scenario tool's home page opens with a view of Manhattan fully flooded, which isn't alarmist at all, even though Climate Central admits that the scenario is, as the name suggests, extreme.

Still, $15 million for a summer home you might someday need scuba gear just to visit, does seem a bit extreme. But as "recovering investment banker" and author Carol Roth reports, the Obamas are "rolling in dough" since leaving office. That's thanks to "a joint book deal worth $65 million, high-priced speaking engagements and a deal with Netflix," Roth writes.

But it's different when the Lightbringer lives the lush life, because he worked so hard for eight years slowing the rise of the oceans and all that.

More seriously, what about the optics involved? It can't look very good, the Obamas spending eight figures on a summer home supposedly at risk of inundation. Or Al Gore's carbon footprint, which is one of the few things on Earth still larger than Al Gore. And all those celebrities and royalty flying off in private jets to tiny islands, to be whisked away from the airfield in high-performance cars, all to attend a conference on climate change. How do they think they look, emitting all that carbon and then telling us to jack up our thermostats to 82° on summer nights?

Actually, I think they love the optics.



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