Sunday, August 23, 2009


An email from Riley Still []

The gigantic Pine Island Glacier is apparently "melting" faster than it did before. By my sophisticated mathematical computations, the PIG drainage area contains significantly less than one percent (1%) of the ice in Antarctica. According to Wikipedia, the PIG's AREA is 10% of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet (WAIS) which has 10% of the ice in Antarctica. The PIG is not nearly as thick as the ice sheet on East Antarctica.

According to the BBC article: "the new data points to a lifespan for the vast ice stream of only another 100 years." [...] "One of the authors, Professor Andrew Shepherd of Leeds University, said that the melting from the centre of the glacier would add about 3cm to global sea level."

Three cm in 100 years! Hardly noticeable in one year much less 100.

Meanwhile, with the exception of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, also relatively small, and other smaller WAIS glaciers, overall ice mass in Antarctica is holding steady.

Hijackers of the "Arctic Sea" ship now in Russian hands claim to be conservationists

Below is a VERY rough translation from the original Finnish. The Arctic Sea is a Finnish ship

Arctic Sea: The men suspected of hijacking the ship belong to environmental groups, maintains a Russian news channel in a Vesti-TV interview. According to them, they were not violent. The crew in turn maintain the opposite. One of the detainees said in Cape Verde, in an interview that they did not use violence or the threat of the gun to anyone.

"So you claim to be environmentalists. What organization you represent," the interviewer asked. "I do not know if it was a private office", arrested in reply.

"We only wanted protection from the storm. We entered the ship on July 25. Then we were left on board, but for some reason, the captain refused to refuel our boat"

Interviewed were of the man that they had not been involved in arms and relationships with the crew were "good" and "friendly". Instead, the crew gives a different version of it. In the same news story crew members showed their hands and feet on which are traces of handcuffs and ropes. "Look, here is the overall dimension of plastic tracks. They tied us in, one crew member said to the TV camera.



The amount of carbon emissions caused by world forest destruction is likely far less than the 20 percent figure being widely used before global climate talks in December, said the head of the Brazilian institute that measures Amazon deforestation. Gilberto Camara, the director of Brazil's respected National Institute for Space Research, said the 20 percent tally was based on poor science but that rich countries had no interest in questioning it because the number put more pressure on developing countries to stem greenhouse gases.

"I'm not in favor of conspiracy theories," Camara told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday. "But I should only state that the two people who like these figures are developed nations, who would like to overstress the contribution of developing nations to global carbon, and of course environmentalists."

A lower estimate for carbon emissions from deforestation would have an impact on the Copenhagen talks, where preserving forests is a top item on the agenda. The summit will negotiate a follow-up to the Kyoto climate change treaty that could introduce forest credit trade to cut developing nation deforestation.

Camara, who stressed that he thought Brazil's deforestation rates remain too high, said recent calculations by his institute using detailed satellite data showed clearing of the world's biggest forest accounted for about 2.5 percent of annual global carbon emissions.

Given that the Amazon accounts for about a quarter of deforestation globally, a figure of about 10 percent for total emissions caused by forest destruction is likely to be more accurate, Camara said. The 20 percent figure used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was based on calculations from sampling of forests by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), he said. The FAO method came up with an average annual figure of 31,000 sq km (12,000 sq miles) deforested in the Amazon from 2000-2005. But Brazil's method of using satellite images to measure deforestation "pixel by pixel" was far more accurate and showed a figure of 21,500 sq km for the period, Camara said.



The United States approved Enbridge Inc's $3.3 billion Alberta Clipper pipeline project on Thursday, granting the project, which will deliver Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, a presidential permit, and raising the ire of some environmental groups.

The U.S. State Department said that allowing construction of the 450,000 barrel per day line serves U.S. interests by adding secure oil supplies from outside the OPEC nations at a time when political tensions in some producing regions threaten to interfere with oil shipments.

"The department found that the addition of crude oil pipeline capacity between Canada and the United States will advance a number of strategic interests of the United States," it said in a statement. The department also said construction of the line would create jobs for U.S. workers in what it called a difficult economic period.



What's the climate change scare really about? Not what the alarmists want the public to think. Just ask the retiring head of Greenpeace. In an unguarded moment, he might spill the secret again.

During an Aug. 5 interview with the BBC, Gerd Leipold, outgoing executive director of Greenpeace, admitted that his organization emotionalizes issues to influence the public. At the time, he was admitting his group had made an error in its July 15 news release that claimed "we are looking at ice-free summers in the Arctic as early as 2030." "I don't think (the Greenland ice sheet) will be melting by 2030," he said. "That may have been a mistake."

Or maybe it was one of those examples that Greenpeace embellished to stir fear in the public? If so, it wouldn't be an isolated case. Others have admitted they're willing to bend the truth in order to draw attention to the cause.

Twenty years ago, Stanford University environmentalist Stephen Schneider told Discover magazine that it's perfectly fine "to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have. . . . Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."

Al Gore noted the power of propaganda when he once told Grist, a magazine for environmentalists, that "it is appropriate to have an overrepresentation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience."

So why all the distortions about global warming? To save the planet, to save us from ourselves? No. To choke economies in developed nations, particularly the U.S. "We will definitely have to move to a different concept of growth," Leipold told the BBC's Stephen Sackur in the same interview in which he acknowledged Greenpeace's mistake. "The lifestyle of the rich in the world is not a sustainable model."

This same thinking is found in the minds of so many of the global warming alarmists. They say they can make the trouble go away if they can just force the U.S. and other developed nations to cut their levels of consumption.

When all the pretense about science is stripped away, it becomes clear that the global warming scare is not about the planet, but about establishing egalitarianism across the world. It's about making everyone more equal by slowing growth in rich nations rather than increasing growth in poor and developing countries.

The mind-set can be found in campaigns such as Climate Justice, which "is not only the right tool for climate stabilization," says Jin-woo Lee, a policy analyst for the Energy & Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition, but also "the underlying principle for global equity."

Greenpeace's Leipold said he believes the world is finally beginning to take global warming seriously. But that seems wildly optimistic. The movement looks to be losing momentum. Already 20,000 overnight hotel stays that had been reserved for the December United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen have been cancelled. Either a lot of people are losing interest — or they're thinking it will just be too cold.


Cut the carbon later on

Like the junior Pielke, Bjorn Lomborg (below) does not challenge the Warmists head-on. He just tries to get them to think logically about their own aims and assumptions. He might do some good but all signs are that the Warmist religion is not responsive to facts or logic. They just trust their High Priests implicitly

At its heart, much of the debate over climate change deals with just one divisive and vexing question: How big should cuts in carbon emissions be? This narrow focus makes the debate unconstructive. Everybody wants to prevent global warming and the real question is: How can we do that best?

We should be open to other ways to stop warming, such as cutting carbon emissions in the future instead of now or focusing on reducing emissions of other greenhouse gases. Global warming will create significant problems, so carbon reductions offer significant benefits.

Cutting carbon emissions, however, requires a reduction in the basic energy use that underpins modern society, so it also will mean significant costs.

Prominent climate economist Richard Tol, of Hamburg University in Germany, has analysed the benefits and costs of cutting carbon now v cutting it in the future. Cutting early will cost $US17.8 trillion ($21.6 trillion), whereas cutting later will cost just $US2trillion. Nonetheless, the reduction in CO2 concentration -- and hence temperature -- in 2100 will be greater from the future reductions. Cutting emissions now is much more expensive, because there are few, expensive, alternatives to fossil fuels. Our money simply doesn't buy as much as it will when green energy sources are more cost-efficient.

Tol strikingly shows that grand promises of drastic, immediate carbon cuts -- reminiscent of the call for 80 per cent reductions by mid-century that some politicians and lobbyists make -- are an incredibly expensive way of doing very little good. All the academic models show that, even if possible, limiting the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees C, as promised by the European Union and the G8, would cost a phenomenal 12.9 per cent of gross domestic product by the end of the century. This would be the equivalent of imposing a cost of more than $US4000 on each inhabitant every year, by the end of the century. Yet the damage avoided would likely amount to only $US700 for each inhabitant.

The real cost of ambitious, early and large carbon-cutting programs would be a reduction in growth -- particularly damaging to the world's poor -- to the tune of about $US40 trillion a year. The costs also would come much sooner than the benefits and persist much longer. For every dollar the world spends on this grand plan, the avoided climate damage would be worth only US2c.

It would be smarter to act cautiously by implementing a low carbon tax of about US50c a ton -- about US0.5c a gallon of gas or E0.1c a litre of petrol -- and increase it gradually through the century. This would not cut carbon emissions spectacularly, but neither would it be a spectacular waste of public funds. Each dollar would avoid $US1.51 of global warming damages, a respectable outcome.

Taxing fossil fuels to reduce carbon emissions is a sensible part of the solution to climate change, but it is not the only or best way to prevent warming. There are other ways to cut carbon from the atmosphere. One of these is protecting forests, since deforestation accounts for 17per cent of emissions. If we are serious about grand promises to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees C, we obviously need to find ways of making this cheaper. Brent Sohngen, of Ohio State University in the US, points out that forests could be important: including forestry in the control of greenhouse gases could somewhat reduce costs.

Moreover, although politicians focus nearly exclusively on cutting carbon emissions, CO2 is not the only gas causing warming. The second biggest culprit is methane. Cutting methane is cheaper than cutting carbon and, because methane is a much shorter-lived gas than CO2, we can prevent some of the worst short-term warming through its mitigation. Agricultural production accounts for half of anthropogenic methane, but waste-water systems, landfills and coalmining also create the gas.

Claudia Kemfert, of the German Institute for Economic Research, argues that spending $US14 billion to $US30bn to reduce methane would create benefits -- from the reduction in warming -- between 1.4 and three times higher.

We could also put a bigger focus on reducing black carbon, considered responsible for as much as 40 per cent of present net warming and one-third of Arctic melting. Black carbon is essentially the soot produced by diesel emissions and -- in developing countries -- by the burning of organic matter to cook food and stay warm. It can be eliminated with cleaner fuels and new cooking technologies.

Doing so would yield other benefits as well. Sooty pollution from indoor fires claims several million lives each year, so reducing black carbon would be a life-saver. A team of economists led by David Montgomery estimates that spending $US359million could realistically slash 19per cent of black carbon emissions. This would have a significant cooling effect on the planet and would save 200,000 lives from pollution.

The net annual benefits would run into several billion dollars, which equates to $US3.60 worth of avoided climate damage for each dollar spent.

Costs and benefits matter. The best solution to climate change achieves the most good for the lowest cost. With this as our starting point, it is clear that a narrow focus on short-term carbon emission cuts is flawed. The most pertinent question of all is: Why don't we choose a solution to global warming that will actually work?


The AP's lying Seth Borenstein again

I mentioned this matter yesterday but did not mention that it was yet again a misleading article from Seth Borenstein that was mainly responsible for giving erections to many Warmists. Below therefore is part of a comment on Borenstein's assertions

The Seth Borenstein AP article about the recent high sea surface temperature is misleading. There is a significant difference between what Seth Borenstein reported and what NOAA stated in the July “State of the Climate”.

Borenstein does not clarify that it is a record for the month of July, where NOAA does. NOAA writes, “The global ocean surface temperature for July 2009 was the warmest on record, 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F). This broke the previous July record set in 1998.” Refer to Figure 1, which is a graph of SST for July from 1982 to 2009 (NOAA’s ERSST.v3b version).

Borenstein readers are told that July 2009 Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were the highest since records began, but that is false. Figure 2 illustrates monthly SSTs from November 1981 to July 2009. I’ve added a red horizontal line to show the July 2009 value.

Whether or not July SSTs represented a record is also dependent on the SST dataset. NOAA’s satellite-based Optimally Interpolated (OI,v2) dataset presents a different picture. That dataset clearly shows that July 1998, Figure 3, had a higher SST. See Figure 3

And looking at the monthly OI.v2 data since November 1981, Figure 4, there are numerous months with higher SSTs.



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