Monday, October 15, 2012

About that drought  -- America is not the world

Britain's wettest start to autumn for 12 years as South West continues to be battered by torrential rain

Britain is set to suffer its wettest autumn for over a decade with more rain and gale winds sparking further flood warnings.

After the UK’s wettest summer in a century, England and Wales are now on course for the wettest start of autumn for 12 years, the Met Office has said.

The southwest has seen five times the usual amount of rain so far this, drastically increasing the risk of floods for the forthcoming week.

The Met Office warned of ‘no let up’ with showers tomorrow and Monday, followed by blustery showers on Tuesday and rain for all on Wednesday - with a severe weather alert issued for floods in the southwest.

The outlook to October 27 said: ‘Continuing very unsettled with rain or showers for most parts, occasionally heavy, with strong winds.’

England and Wales were drenched by 132mm of rain from September 1 to October 10 and with no sun on the horizon, the UK is on track to push the September and October rainfall total to around 220mm. This is the highest since 2000, the wettest autumn on record, when 302mm fell.

St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, has had 124mm of rain - compared to the 11-day October average of 27mm. Cornwall’s 107mm at Camborne is more than 300 per cent of the usual 34mm.

This autumn’s downpour is especially dramatic as a majority of the rain has fallen in the past three weeks. Met Office forecaster Dave Britton said: ‘The first three weeks of September saw relatively little rain.’

British Weather Services tweeted: ‘Three significant bands of rain will fall over the next week, with already high river levels and water tables.’

Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: ‘There’s no let up in the pattern, with bands of rain next week interspersed with drier periods.’

The Met Office added: ‘Ground in the South-West remains saturated and the threat of further heavy on Wednesday means the public are advised to be aware localised flooding is a risk.


UPDATE: "Data released by MeteoGroup showed that 14.25in of rain fell in June, July and August, making it the wettest summer since 1912. Britain saw just 143 hours of sunshine in the same period."

Pesticides not yet proven guilty in bee dieoffs: study

Contrary to some previous studies, crop pesticides are unlikely to cause devastating declines in honeybee populations, the authors of new research say.

Writing in the Sept. 20 issue of the journal Science, U.K. scientists from the University of Exeter and Food and Environment Agency said more work is needed to predict the impact of widelyused agricultural insecticides, called neonicotinoids, on honeybees. The U.K. researchers in particular took issue with one previous study that they said failed to correctly reflect the rate at which honeybee colonies recover from losing members.

Sudden losses of honeybee colonies in the United States and Europe, estimated at between 30 percent and 90 percent of colonies since 2006 in the U.S. alone, have alarmed scientists, policymakers, farmers, and beekeepers. Beyond producing honey, the insects are prime crop pollinators.

Neonicotinoids are among the most widelyused agricultural insecticides. Honeybees ingest residues of the chemicals as they gather nectar and pollen from treated plants.

Previous research has been cited by scientists, environmentalists and policymakers as evidence of the future impact of these pesticides on honeybees, the authors of the Science study said.

Past research led by French scientist Mika‰l Henry showed that the death rate of bees increased when they drank nectar laced with a neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam. It calculated that this would cause their colony population to collapse. The U.K. group said this research was probably instrumental in the French government's recent decision to ban the use of thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid used in Cruiser OSR, a pesticide produced by the Swiss company Syngenta.

The new work explains how the calculation may have used an inappropriately low birth rate, said study author James Cresswell of the University of Exeter. "We know that neonicotinoids affect honeybees, but there is no evidence that they could cause colony collapse," he added. The drastic honeybee population declines have been dubbed colony collapse disorder.

"When we repeated the previous calculation with a realistic birth rate, the risk of colony collapse under pesticide exposure disappeared," he added. "I am definitely not saying that pesticides are harmless to honeybees, but. our research shows that the effects of thiamethoxam are not as severe as first thought."


Climate change is much worse in North America than in Europe?

The actuaries at insurer "Munich Re" seem to say so.  According to the report below damage due to bad weather has quintupled since 1980 in North America but only doubled in Europe.  How come?  Isn't the warming supposed to be global?  Doesn't the pattern suggest something local rather than global?  No logic there at all.  Not worth translating

Die Zunahme gewitterbedingter Naturkatastrophen in Nordamerika ist "mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit" auch auf den Klimawandel zurückzuführen. Das geht aus einer Studie des Rückversicherers Munich Re hervor, der über die weltweit größte Datenbank zu Schadensereignissen durch Naturkatastrophen verfügt. Kein Kontinent wird demnach häufiger von Unwettern heimgesucht als Nordamerika. Dort haben sich die Unwetterschäden seit 1980 nahezu verfünffacht - in Europa stellten die Experten dagegen nur eine Verdopplung fest. Die Gesamtschäden beliefen sich in diesem Zeitraum in Nordamerika auf gut eine Billion (1000 Milliarden) Dollar. Der Einfluss des Klimawandels lasse sich vor allem an den gewitterbedingten Naturkatastrophen ablesen, sagt Peter Höppe, Chef der Georisikoforschung der Munich Re. 2011 seien in Nordamerika durch Tornados, Hagel und Starkniederschläge Schäden in Höhe von 47 Milliarden Dollar entstanden - mehr als doppelt so viel wie im bisherigen Rekordjahr 2010. "Für gewitterbedingte Ereignisse sehen wir zum ersten Mal klare Indizien für einen schon einsetzenden Einfluss des Klimawandels", so Höppe.


Not just  North Atlantic Phenomenon: Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age both now found in Ecuador

The Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age in the Eastern Ecuadorian Andes

M.-P. Ledru1, V. et al.


To better characterize the climate variability of the last millennium in the high Andes, we analysed the pollen content of a 1100-yr-old sediment core collected in a bog located at 3800 m a.s.l. in the páramo in the Eastern Cordillera in Ecuador. An upslope convective index based on the ratio between cloud transported pollen from the andean forest to the bog (T) and Poaceae pollen frequencies, related to the edaphic moisture of the páramo (P), was defined to distinguish the atmospheric moisture from the soil moisture content of the páramo. Results showed that between 900 AD and 1230 AD, the Medieval Climate Anomaly interval was warm and moist with high T/P index linked to a high ENSO variability and a weak South American Summer Monsoon (SASM) activity. Between 1230 and 1650 AD, a dry climate prevailed characterized by an abrupt decrease in the T/P index related to lower ENSO variability with significant impact on the floristic composition of the páramo. During the Little Ice Age, two phases were observed, first a wet phase between 1650 and 1750 AD linked to low ENSO variability in the Pacific and warm south equatorial Atlantic SSTs favored the return of a wet páramo, and a cold and dry phase between 1750 and 1810 AD associated with low ENSO variability and weak SASM activity resulting in drying of the páramo. The Current Warm Period marks the beginning of a climate characterized by high convective activity, the highest in the last millennium, and weaker SASM activity modifying the water stock of the páramo. Our results show that the páramo is progressively loosing its capacity for water storage and that the variability of both tropical Pacific and Atlantic SSTs matters for Andean climate patterns although many teleconnection mechanisms are still poorly understood.

Clim. Past Discuss., 8, 4295-4332, 2012

Hoo boy: High-flying, mansion-dwelling, chauffeured-car-using, soft-core-porn-writing IPCC chief Pachauri urges us to live like Gandhi

The Green/Left think they are the real people and the rest of us are just cattle

    BIMTECH was highly honoured as Dr Pachauri lifted the spirit of the event with his gracious presence. Dr. Pachauri pondered over some of the great sayings by Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi had once said that there are seven things that will destroy us -Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Knowledge without Character, Commerce without Morality, Science without Humanity, Religion without Sacrifice and Politics without Principle. Dr Pachauri opined that there is a huge significance of Gandhi’s message in the present context and it is not enough to remember Gandhi just once a year. Moving on to the present scenario he discussed how the Indian industry should regard itself as a trustee and a servant of the poor. Making money has always been the motive of all the corporates but its vulgar display is what is making the situation worse.

    Dr. Pachauri spoke of adopting a holistic pattern of development that ensures sustainability of the ecosystem, equality between people and welfare of the society at large. The model being used by the west will have dire consequences and if we as a country continue to do so by being consumerist and exploitative then we are going to blow up this planet by 2050...

    Dr. Pachauri illuminated the gathering by providing incredible insights into the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation. He categorically mentioned a few virtues that can be drawn from the life of Gandhi, his idea of leading a simple life and giving back to what one has taken from the society. The environment that nurtures us cannot be annihilated for our own interests. The role of the society is to pass on the benefits of this nature, to the future generation, increased and not impaired in value.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Al Gore is a great fat tick feeding on fear

Al Gore’s commitment to promoting green energy has brought him widespread acclaim, a Nobel Prize and even an Oscar. It’s also brought him more than a pretty penny.

The author of An Inconvenient Truth has swelled his net worth to about $100 million, largely due to his investments in green energy, after being worth less than $2 million during his time as Vice President, The Washington Post reports.

That's big money for the lifelong devotee of environmental responsibility, who in his last year as Vice President only garnered a $181,400 salary. Even the film version of "An Inconvenient Truth," despite being among the top-ten highest grossing documentaries of all time, netted much less than Al Gore earned through investments.

For more on Al Gore's investments in green energy read the full WaPo article..

Gore isn’t the only one who’s betting on green energy. The United States invested $51 billion in renewable energy in 2011 , second only to China in a year where green investments hit a record high.

He also has to thank the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus package. The $80 to $90 billion worth of government investment in green energy has helped to grow many of the companies Gore and his renewable energy-based hedge fund Generation Investment Management have put the majority of their money in. In fact, nine of 11 companies that Gore endorsed during a 2008 presentation on fighting climate change received government investment, WaPo reports.

Few will need reminding, however, that not all investments in green energy turn out to be as sustainable as the technology those dollars hope to bring about. Bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra is one of the primary examples of renewable energy investment gone wrong after the company failed despite a $527 million loan from the U.S. government.

But the success rate of renewable energy companies may be far higher than some, particularly Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, would like to admit. During the first Presidential debate, Romney claimed that over half the green energy companies benefitting from stimulus dollars failed. In fact, just 1.4 percent of the U.S. dollars invested in green energy went to companies that had failed by the end of 2011, CleanTechnica reports.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  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 and here


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