Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amusing: North Carolina sea levels rose at the "wrong" time

They try to glide over it below but Greenies normally identify the postwar years (1945+) as the time of a big rise in CO2. But the big jump in sea level reported below was at a time (1879 to 1915) when the industrial era was in its infancy! Correlation does not prove causation but lack of correlation certainly DISPROVES causation

An international team of environmental scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that sea-level rise, at least in North Carolina, is accelerating. Researchers found 20th-century sea-level rise to be three times higher than the rate of sea-level rise during the last 500 years. In addition, this jump appears to occur between 1879 and 1915, a time of industrial change that may provide a direct link to human-induced climate change.

The results appear in the current issue of the journal Geology.

The rate of relative sea-level rise, or RSLR, during the 20th century was 3 to 3.3 millimeters per year, higher than the usual rate of one per year. Furthermore, the acceleration appears consistent with other studies from the Atlantic coast, though the magnitude of the acceleration in North Carolina is larger than at sites farther north along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coast and may be indicative of a latitudinal trend related to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

Understanding the timing and magnitude of this possible acceleration in the rate of RSLR is critical for testing models of global climate change and for providing a context for 21st-century predictions.

"Tide gauge records are largely inadequate for accurately recognizing the onset of any acceleration of relative sea-level rise occurring before the 18th century, mainly because too few records exist as a comparison," Andrew Kemp, the paper's lead author, said. "Accurate estimates of sea-level rise in the pre-satellite era are needed to provide an appropriate context for 21st-century projections and to validate geophysical and climate models."

The research team studied two North Carolina salt marshes that form continuous accumulations of organic sediment, a natural archive that provides scientists with an accurate way to reconstruct relative sea levels using radiometric isotopes and stratigraphic age markers. The research provided a record of relative sea-level change since the year 1500 at the Sand Point and Tump Point salt marshes in the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system of North Carolina. The two marshes provided an ideal setting for producing high-resolution records because thick sequences of high marsh sediment are present and the estuarine system is microtidal, which reduces the vertical uncertainty of aleosea-level estimates. The study provides for the first time replicated sea-level reconstructions from two nearby sites.

In addition, comparison with 20th-century tide-gauge records validates the use of this approach and suggests that salt-marsh records with decadal and decimeter resolution can supplement tide-gauge records by extending record length and compensating for the strong spatial bias in the global distribution of longer instrumental records.



by Habibullo Abdussamatov, Dr. Sc. - Head of Space research laboratory of Russia's Pulkovo Observatory

Total Solar Irradiance above -- trending downwards

We should fear a deep temperature drop —not catastrophic global warming. Humanity must survive the serious economic, social, demographic and political consequences of a global temperature drop, which will directly affect the national interests of almost all countries and more than 80% of the population of the Earth. A deep temperature drop is a considerably greater threat to humanity than warming. However, a reliable forecast of the time of the onset and of the depth of the global temperature drop will make it possible to adjust in advance the economic activity of humanity, to considerably weaken the crisis.

Experts of the United Nations in regular reports publish data said to show that the Earth is approaching a catastrophic global warming, caused by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. However, observations of the Sun show that as for the increase in temperature, carbon dioxide is “not guilty” and as for what lies ahead in the upcoming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global, and very prolonged, temperature drop.

Life on earth completely depends on solar radiation, the ultimate source of energy for natural processes. For a long time it was thought that the luminosity of the Sun never changes, and for this reason the quantity of solar energy received per second over one square meter above the atmosphere at the distance of the Earth from the Sun (149,597,892 km), was named the solar constant.

Until 1978, precise measurements of the value of the total solar irradiance (TSI) were not available. But according to indirect data, namely the established major climate variations of the Earth in recent millennia, one must doubt the invariance of its value.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, German and Swiss astronomers Heinrich Schwabe and Rudolf Wolf established that the number of spots on the surface of the Sun periodically changes, diminishing from a maximum to a minimum, and then growing again, over a time frame on the order of 11 years. Wolf introduced an index ("W") of the relative number of sunspots, computed as the sum of 10 times number of sunspot groups plus the total number of spots in all groups. This number has been regularly measured since 1849. Drawing on the work of professional astronomers and the observations of amateurs (which are of uncertain reliability) Wolf worked out a reconstruction of monthly values from 1749 as well as annual values from 1700. Today, the reconstruction of this time series stretches back to 1611. It has an eleven-year cycle of recurrence as well as other cycles related to onset and development of individual sunspot groups: changes in the fraction of the solar surface occupied by faculae, the frequency of prominences, and other phenomena in the solar chromosphere and corona.

Analyzing the long record of sunspot numbers, the English astronomer Walter Maunder in 1893 came to the conclusion that from 1645 to 1715 sunspots had been generally absent. Over the thirty-year period of the Maunder Minimum, astronomers of the time counted only about 50 spots. Usually, over that length of time, about 50,000 sunspots would appear. Today, it has been established that such minima have repeatedly occurred in the past. It is also known that the Maunder Minimum accompanied the coldest phase of a global temperature dip, physically measured in Europe and other regions, the most severe such dip for several millennia, which stretched from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries (now known as the Little Ice Age).

The search for a relationship between large climate variations and phenomena observed in the Sun led to an interest in finding a connection between periods of change in the terrestrial climate and corresponding significant changes in the level of observed solar activity, because the sunspot number is the only index that has been measured over a long period of time.

Determinative role of the Sun in variations in the climate of the Earth

The Earth, after receiving and storing over the twentieth century an anomalously large amount of heat energy, from the 1990’s began to return it gradually. The upper layers of the world ocean, completely unexpectedly to climatologists, began to cool in 2003. The heat accumulated by them unfortunately now is running out. Over the past decade, global temperature on the Earth has not increased; global warming has ceased, and already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop. Meantime the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over these years has grown by more than 4%, and in 2006 many meteorologists predicted that 2007 would be the hottest of the last decade. This did not occur, although the global temperature of the Earth would have increased at least 0.1 degree if it depended on the concentration of carbon dioxide. It follows that warming had a natural origin, the contribution of CO2 to it was insignificant, anthropogenic increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide does not serve as an explanation for it, and in the foreseeable future CO2 will not be able to cause catastrophic warming. The so-called greenhouse effect will not avert the onset of the next deep temperature drop, the 19th in the last 7500 years, which without fail follows after natural warming.

The earth is no longer threatened by the catastrophic global warming forecast by some scientists; warming passed its peak in 1998-2005, while the value of the TSI by July - September of last year had already declined by 0.47 W/m2.

For several years until the beginning in 2013 of a steady temperature drop, in a phase of instability, temperature will oscillate around the maximum that has been reached, without further substantial rise. Changes in climatic conditions will occur unevenly, depending on latitude. A temperature decrease in the smallest degree would affect the equatorial regions and strongly influence the temperate climate zones. The changes will have very serious consequences, and it is necessary to begin preparations even now, since there is practically no time in reserve. The global temperature of the Earth has begun its decrease without limitations on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions by industrially developed countries; therefore the implementation of the Kyoto protocol aimed to rescue the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off at least 150 years.

Consequently, we should fear a deep temperature drop—not catastrophic global warming. Humanity must survive the serious economic, social, demographic and political consequences of a global temperature drop, which will directly affect the national interests of almost all countries and more than 80% of the population of the Earth. A deep temperature drop is a considerably greater threat to humanity than warming. However, a reliable forecast of the time of the onset and of the depth of the global temperature drop will make it possible to adjust in advance the economic activity of humanity, to considerably weaken the crisis.

Source. Full PDF here

"Energy-saving" lightbulbs cost 2700 jobs in Europe

There have been similar job losses in the USA too -- but the nonsense has created jobs in China. No wonder that the Chinese are pretending to play ball with the Warmists

US industrial giant General Electric said overnight it will axe 2700 jobs in Hungary over the next two years after a decision to phase out traditional energy-guzzling light bulbs in Europe. The cuts, which were announced at meetings with employees and trade unions on Wednesday, would begin at the start of next year, GE said. The group is the biggest US investor in Hungary, where it currently employs 14,000 people.

A new EU regulation phasing out old-style light bulbs by 2012 came into effect in September. And this would inevitably hit GE's Hungarian operations, said Phil Marshal, regional chief of GE Lighting. The factory in Nagykanizsa, southwest Hungary, would be hardest hit, with 1300 jobs to go there. But six other sites would also be affected, said company spokesman Balazs Szanto, pointing out that the factory in Vac, near Budapest would be shut down entirely in 2011. GE would also close one of its five GE Energy plants in Hungary.

Last year, GE laid off 500 employees and closed down a lighting factory and cut back output citing fierce global competition.


The View from Vanuatu on Climate Change: Torethy Frank had never heard of global warming. She is worried about power and running water

By BJORN LOMBORG -- with his usual doomed message about setting priorities rationally. Greenies are emotional, not rational

Global warming is a serious challenge that has captured the world's attention. But in the areas that will be worst hit by climate change, what do locals value and want prioritized? The tiny island nation of Vanuatu speaks with a big voice on global warming, calling for larger countries to make immediate carbon cuts. In a warning often repeated by environmental campaigners, the Vanuatuan president told the United Nations that entire island nations could be submerged. "If such a tragedy does happen," he said, "then the United Nations and its members would have failed in their first and most basic duty to a member nation and its innocent people."

Torethy Frank, a 39-year-old woman carving out a subsistence lifestyle on Vanuatu's Nguna Island, is one of those "innocent people." Yet, she has never heard of the problem that her government rates as a top priority. "What is global warming?" she asks a researcher for the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Ms. Frank has more immediate concerns—problems that are not spoken about on the world stage, and that do not attract the attention of the media or environmental advocates.

Torethy and her family of six live in a small house made of concrete and brick with no running water. As a toilet, they use a hole dug in the ground. They have no shower and there is no fixed electricity supply. Torethy's family was given a battery-powered DVD player but cannot afford to use it.

Three of Torethy's four teenage children have never spent a day in school. The eldest attended classes on another island, which cost Torethy and her husband 12,000 vatu ($110) a year, but she now makes him stay home because "too many of the kids at the school were smoking marijuana."

Three years ago, an outbreak of malaria ravaged Torethy's village, Utanlang. The mosquito-borne illness is a big problem in Vanuatu, although aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is helping. This deadly disease causes fever, headaches and vomiting, and can disrupt the blood supply to vital organs. One small clinic in Utanlang provides basic medicines like painkillers and bandages. For real medical care, Torethy must travel to the capital, Port Vila. In perfect conditions, that involves a 30-minute boat trip and then a two-hour car ride. Because the villagers are too poor to own any boats other than outrigger canoes, it can take up to five hours.

To get by, Torethy's village sells a few fish, fruit and baskets in mainland Vanuatu. But after paying for transport, little money is made. Torethy has learned that "it's best to return with no money and nothing new," because otherwise other villagers ask for their share.

The government, too, takes its cut in the form of tax. "But it doesn't give anything back," Torethy says. "No education, no power, no water, no transportation, no health care. Why should we pay them?"

Torethy's life would not be transformed by foreign countries making immediate carbon cuts. What would change her life? Having a boat in the village to use for fishing, transporting goods to sell, and to get to hospital in emergencies. She doesn't want more aid money because, "there is too much corruption in the government and it goes in people's pockets," but she would like microfinance schemes instead. "Give the money directly to the people for businesses so we can support ourselves without having to rely on the government."

Vanuatu's politicians speak with a loud voice on the world stage. But the inhabitants of Vanuatu, like Torethy Frank, tell a very different story.


Baucus balks at climate change legislation

A key Democratic senator said Tuesday that he could not support the Senate's global warming bill in its current form, even as President Obama praised the legislation and Democrats moved to push it through committee.

Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, said at the start of a series of hearings in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that he had "serious reservations" about the climate change bill's target of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. He also said the bill should not allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions.

Mr. Baucus, who also chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, became the first Democrat on the panel to object to the bill, which was released Friday in revised form by committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, California Democrat.

The Senate bill is stricter than a companion climate bill narrowly passed by the House in June. The House bill requires large carbon dioxide emitters, primarily power plants and factories, to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020. The House bill would also bar the EPA from regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Both bills call for the same long-term goal: a reduction in emissions of about 80 percent by 2050, achieved through a "cap-and-trade" system. The system could mandate reductions based on declining annual emissions limits and require polluters to obtain permits through a government auction or from other polluters.

Mr. Baucus' Senate Finance Committee is expected to write its own bill covering the distribution of free emissions permits in the bill's early years, a move intended to insulate consumers, small businesses and farmers from many of the higher energy prices resulting from the legislation.

Mrs. Boxer said that Mr. Baucus told her Friday that he could not back the bill in its current form. Still, she expressed hope that recent declines in U.S. emission levels caused by the economic recession of as much as 8 percent since 2005 would make the 2020 target more palatable for Mr. Baucus and other bill critics.

Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-wrote the legislation with Mrs. Boxer, would not rule out altering the bill's EPA provisions to meet Mr. Baucus' objections, while standing firm on the 2020 reduction target. "If people come to us and say they're willing to vote for the bill if it's not there, I'll listen to them," he said.

Mr. Obama has called the cap-and-trade climate legislation "critical" to making renewable energy profitable.

Three Cabinet secretaries and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson appeared before Mrs. Boxer's committee Tuesday to lend their support for a comprehensive climate and energy bill, despite Republican criticisms that the climate bill would impose huge new expenses on the U.S. economy and do little to curb global warming.

Oklahoma Sen. James M. Inhofe, the committee's ranking Republican, warned the bill would cost far more than the roughly $100 annually per household estimated by EPA. He put the total annual cost to the economy from the climate change bill at between $300 billion and $400 billion. "That's something that the American people can't tolerate and I don't believe they will," Mr. Inhofe said.

Ms. Jackson said that while EPA was moving to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, she and Mr. Obama still backed legislation as the preferable approach. She said the Kerry-Boxer bill was similar enough to the House-passed climate bill that it would achieve the same goals: a more efficient domestic economy at a low cost to families - less than 50 cents a day.


Last stand for climate bill this year?

Top Obama administration officials and Senate Democrats on Tuesday began a three-day process aimed at swaying Republicans to back an energy bill that aims to curb global warming emissions and invest in cleaner energy — but Republicans showed no signs of backing down, countering that the bill would raise energy prices and cost jobs.

Sen. Barbara Boxer opened the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing by calling the bill "our best insurance against a dangerous future." The California Democrat chairs the committee.

Boxer challenged the Republican view, noting that the Environmental Protection Agency calculates the bill would cost the average American family about $100 a year, or about 30 cents a day. "What will America’s families get for 30 cents a day," she asked. "For 30 cents a day, we will put America in control of our own energy future and take a stand for home-grown American energy rather than foreign oil from countries who don’t like us. "For 30 cents a day, we will protect our children from dangerous pollution," she added. "For 30 cents a day, we will send a signal that sparks billions of dollars of private investment and job creation. For 30 cents a day, we will be the world’s leader in clean energy technology."

The White House has made clear its support for the 900-page Democratic bill that would cut greenhouse gases by 80 percent over the next 40 years. It was sending three Cabinet secretaries and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to the hearing in hopes of persuading some wavering senators to support the measure.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the United States "has fallen behind" on clean energy while China and others have sped ahead. "The world’s largest turbine manufacturing company is headquartered in Denmark," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of the batteries that power America’s hybrid cars are made in Japan. We manufactured more than 40 percent of the world’s solar cells as recently as the mid 1990s; today, we produce just 7 percent." "China is spending about $9 billion a month on clean energy," he said in comparison. "It is also investing $44 billion by 2012 and $88 billion by 2020 in ultra high voltage transmission lines. These lines will allow China to transmit power from huge wind and solar farms far from its cities."

Chu also cited a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that found that "the cumulative investment in wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels from now through 2030 could be $2.1 trillion and $1.5 trillion, respectively." "The policy decisions we make today will determine the U.S. share of this market," he said. "And many additional dollars, jobs and opportunities are at stake in other clean technologies."

Senate Democrats have all but abandoned the likelihood of getting a climate bill passed this year, although they hoped that they could show some progress at the hearing — such as clearing the bill out of a key committee — in advance of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the leading sponsor of the Democrats' climate bill, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday and said it was urgent for the United States to show "some movement in the Senate" on restricting greenhouse gases ahead of the upcoming talks in Copenhagen. Kerry acknowledged that the Senate's tight schedule and heavy focus on health care has made action on climate difficult.

Similar to a House-passed bill, the legislation would cap greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and large industrial facilities. Polluters would have to obtain emission permits, and the number of permits would be ratcheted down gradually to achieve the reductions. To ease the transition, polluters would be able to buy and sell allowances as necessary to meet the government-imposed caps.

The EPA said that the Senate bill is so similar to the House-passed bill that the economic impact would likely be the same — between $80 and $100 in additional energy costs a year for an average household. Critics of the bill argue the costs would be much higher.



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