Monday, November 26, 2012

"Nature Geoscience" says CO2 causes atmospheric cooling

I think I understand the CO2-based global warming theory well enough  -- well enough to expect that its effect should be as trivial as it in fact is.  So the following article, which assumes that CO2 reflects heat AWAY from the outer atmosphere makes sense.  But the logic suggests that the same thing should happen WHEREVER in the atmosphere CO2 is located. 

"Nature Geoscience" is an eminent academic journal, but usually with a Warmist slant

Observations of increasing carbon dioxide concentration in Earth's thermosphere

By J. T. Emmert et al.


Carbon dioxide occurs naturally throughout Earth'satmosphere. In the thermosphere, CO2 is the primary radiative cooling agent and fundamentally affects the energy balance and temperature of this high-altitude atmospheric layer1, 2. Anthropogenic CO2 increases are expected to propagate upward throughout the entire atmosphere, which should result in a cooler, more contracted thermosphere3, 4, 5. This contraction, in turn, will reduce atmospheric drag on satellites and may have adverse consequences for the orbital debris environment that is already unstable6, 7. However, observed thermospheric mass density trends derived from satellite orbits are generally stronger than model predictions8, 9, indicating that our quantitative understanding of these changes is incomplete. So far, CO2 trends have been measured only up to 35?km altitude10, 11, 12. Here, we present direct evidence that CO2 concentrations in the upper atmosphere-probably the primary driver of long-term thermospheric trends-are increasing. We analyse eight years of CO2 and carbon monoxide mixing ratios derived from satellite-based solar occultation spectra. After correcting for seasonal-latitudinal and solar influences, we obtain an estimated global increase in COx (CO2 and CO, combined) concentrations of 23.5ñ6.3?ppm per decade at an altitude of 101?km, about 10?ppm per decade faster than predicted by an upper atmospheric model. We suggest that this discrepancy may explain why the thermospheric density decrease is stronger than expected.


Panic! panic!  "Rising acidity levels threaten ocean's food chain"

All sorts of fun here. 

1). Reducing the frequency of one creature will not generally "threaten" any food chain.  Food chains are complex and the only likely effect is that another species will become more abundant.  And in fact no food-chain analysis is attempted.

2). The academic journal article is appended and we find that the chief data-gatherer was from the notoriously crooked UEA.  Their frank admissions of manipulating the data (as revealed in the ClimateGate emails) must make us ask for independent replication of any findings emanating from there.

3). The study compares EXISTING ocean regions and finds that some tiny snails have thicker calcium carbonate shells where there is a LOT of calcium carbonate in the water.  Why that is a surprise and what it tells us about climate I have no idea.

4).  If the theory is that global warming will put more CO2 into the water then I have good news for them -- though why basic physics should be news I also have no idea.  Henry's law tells us that warmer water will OUTGAS CO2, so there will in fact be less of that naughty CO2 in the ocean under global warming.

5).  I could go on ....

The shells of some marine snails in the seas around Antarctica are dissolving as the water becomes more acidic, threatening the food chain, a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Sunday.

The tiny snails, known as ``sea butterflies'', live in the seas around Antarctica and are left more vulnerable to predators and disease as a result of having thinner shells, scientists say.

The study presents rare evidence of living creatures suffering the results of ocean acidification caused by rising carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel burning, the British Antarctic Survey said in a statement.

``The finding supports predictions that the impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and food webs may be significant.''

The tiny snail, named for two wing-like appendices, does not necessarily die as a result of losing its shell, but it becomes an easier target for fish and bird predators, as well as infection.

This trend may have a follow-through effect on other parts of the food chain, of which they form a core element.

The world's oceans absorb more than a quarter of man-made carbon dioxide emissions, which lower the sea water pH.

Since the beginning of the industrial era, our oceans have become 30 per cent more acidic, reaching an acidity peak not seen in at least 55 million years, scientists say.

Scientists discovered the effects of acidification on the sea butterflies from samples taken around the Scotia Sea region of the Southern Ocean in February 2008.

Oceans soak up about a quarter of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year and as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase from burning fossil fuels, so do ocean levels, making seas more acidic.

Ocean acidification is one of the effects of climate change and threatens coral reefs, marine ecosystems and wildlife.

The study involved researchers from the British Antarctic Survey, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other institutions found.

"The corrosive properties of the water caused shells of live animals to be severely dissolved and this demonstrates how vulnerable pteropods are," said lead author Nina Bednarek, from the NOAA.

"Ocean acidification, resulting from the addition of human-induced carbon dioxide, contributed to this dissolution."

Until now, there has been little evidence of the impact of ocean acidification on such live organisms in their natural environment and the study supports predictions that acidification could have a significant effect on marine ecosystems.

The researchers examined surface water, where wind causes cold water to be pushed up from deeper water, because it is usually more corrosive to a particular type of calcium carbonate which the sea snails use to build and maintain their shells.

"We know that the seawater becomes more corrosive ... below a certain depth which occurs at around 1,000m. However, at one of our sampling sites, we discovered that this point was reached at 200m depth. Marine snails - pteropods - live in this top layer of the ocean," Bednarek said.

Climate models forecast more intense winds in the Southern Ocean this century if CO2 continues to increase, which will make the mixing of deep water with more acidic surface waters more frequent, the study said.

This will make calcium carbonate reach the upper surface layers of the Southern Ocean by 2050 in winter and by 2100 all year round, said the study's co-author Dorothee Bakker, research officer at the University of East Anglia.

If CO2 levels continue to rise in the future, surface waters could be almost 150 per cent more acidic by the end of this century, which has not been experienced for more than 20 million years.

Extensive dissolution of live pteropods in the Southern Ocean

By N. Bednarsek et al.


The carbonate chemistry of the surface ocean is rapidly changing with ocean acidification, a result of human activities. In the upper layers of the Southern Ocean, aragonite-a metastable form of calcium carbonate with rapid dissolution kinetics-may become undersaturated by 2050 (ref. 2). Aragonite undersaturation is likely to affect aragonite-shelled organisms, which can dominate surface water communities in polar regions. Here we present analyses of specimens of the pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica that were extracted live from the Southern Ocean early in 2008. We sampled from the top 200m of the water column, where aragonite saturation levels were around 1, as upwelled deep water is mixed with surface water containing anthropogenic CO2. Comparing the shell structure with samples from aragonite-supersaturated regions elsewhere under a scanning electron microscope, we found severe levels of shell dissolution in the undersaturated region alone. According to laboratory incubations of intact samples with a range of aragonite saturation levels, eight days of incubation in aragonite saturation levels of 0.94-1.12 produces equivalent levels of dissolution. As deep-water upwelling and CO2 absorption by surface waters is likely to increase as a result of human activities2, 4, we conclude that upper ocean regions where aragonite-shelled organisms are affected by dissolution are likely to expand.


More on the big hit-piece in Germany

P. Gosselin

On Friday I wrote about how the print edition of Die Zeit had published a twisted drive-by slander piece on climate skeptics, targeting Marc Morano of Climate Depot, the Heartland Institute, EIKE and Fritz Vahrenholt (photo left).

Unsurprisingly the report’s authors, Kerstin Kohlenberg and Anita Blasberg, have no formal science training; they are sociology majors. That explains one reason why the piece had no focus at all on the science. The other reason is that science just doesn’t support their narrative. No warming in 15 years.

Die Zeit’s lengthy article exposes a perception of the climate debate that is foreign to reality. They seriously believe it is being masterminded by a few evil industrialists and a PR wizard, at least that’s what their readers should believe. Anyone familiar with even the most basic of research quickly sees that there’s a huge growing body of science that has long since cast serious doubt in the field.

The doubt stems from the science, not from bloggers or PR people.

The climate skepticism movement is driven by bloggers and non-mainstream media outlets who base all their reporting on the latest science coming out, and the major flaws found in the old science. All the skeptic blogs out there are not centrally orchestrated by sinister industrialists. We’re funded by millions? Give me a break.

I can’t speak for all blogs, but you can be sure that almost all of them are getting by on a shoestring, operated voluntarily. NoTricksZone, for example, is purely voluntary and receives no donations. A tiny bit of money is earned through ads. It’s a one-man show.

If the blogs received just a small fraction of the funding and media attention the NGOs and environmental organisations get, the debate would end lightning fast. Already just one single major media skeptic report is enough to throw throw the entire warmist movement into chaos for weeks.

Marc Morano doesn’t write the stuff that bloggers report. His Climate Depot is an aggregator of everything the bloggers and skeptic journalists write. Many of the skeptic blogs are run by scientists, engineers, statistics experts and so on who see serious flaws in the data.

Much more HERE

British government ministers fall out in new row over wind farms

The growing Coalition row over wind farms saw a Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister take legal advice in a battle to remove official responsibilities from his Conservative deputy.

The fall out - one of the most serious Whitehall clashes since the Coalition was formed in May 2010 - involved Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, appealing in vain to David Cameron over comments made by John Hayes, the Energy Minister, who is a firm opponent of onshore wind power.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) admitted there were "some differences over some areas of policy" between the two.

This month. Mr Hayes defied his Lib Dem boss to insist no more wind farms beyond those already planned would be built. "Job done . end of story," he said in a round of interviews.

A furious Mr Davey revealed this weekend that Mr Hayes's remarks "against Coalition policy" had seen him attempt to have Mr Hayes stripped of his departmental responsibility for green energy policy.

He said he had consulted lawyers from his department over concerns that Mr Hayes's continued presence in the job risked the department's decisions being more at risk of judicial review at a time when the Government was trying to create "certainty" for energy investors.

Mr Davey said: "I left the decision with the Prime Minister. He has not written back formally, but it is fair to guess that he has come to the conclusion that renewable energy deployment could stay with John."

The dispute appears to prevent anything resembling a working relationship between the two and underlines the stark differences of approach to a key policy between Liberal Democrats and most Tories.

Last week saw George Osborne, the Chancellor, strike a "deal" with Liberal Democrat ministers to pay for nuclear power stations and wind farms. Households and businesses will have to pay £7.6 billion a year by 2020 - with a typical energy bill set to rise by up to £178 annually.

Conservatives claimed the agreement saw Mr Osborne emerge victorious - because the Lib Dems originally wanted more taxpayer cash spent on green energy sources in the long term.

A Lib Dem demand for a target which would have forced Britain to get all its power from green sources by 2030 was thrown out, enraging green groups.

However, Mr Davey hit back with a claim that Mr Osborne has allowed him to give "advice" to the National Grid on the need to prioritise renewable energy. He said he would be sending the message "very clearly" that the Grid must increase the ratio of green energy consumed.   He also declared that shale gas reserves - a source being seized on by Conservatives as being likely to help meet Britain's energy needs will not make a significant short-term contribution to the UK's energy "mix".

Mr Cameron ruffled Lib Dem feathers with changes at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in September's reshuffle. Responsibility for green energy was taken away from Charles Hendry, a Tory who supports wind farms, and handed to Mr Hayes.

Last month Mr Hayes said: "We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can't single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.   "We have issued a call for evidence on wind. We need to understand communities' genuine desires. We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith."

Mr Davey said: "When he made his statements against Coalition policy, I did think there was a question mark whether he should even continue to have responsibility for renewable energy deployment. I asked the legal department here whether there was a danger John had prejudiced himself because he had made these statements, and they said there was a danger."

A DECC spokeswoman said: "The Coalition has agreed an ambitious package on energy policy that will put the UK on track to delivering its low-carbon objectives. John Hayes and Ed Davey are working together on this in the national interest.

"Yes, there are some differences over some areas of policy, but there is also a great deal of agreement."


Cold homes are triggering heart attacks and strokes in older people - and costing the NHS £1.36billion a year

Greenie-driven increases in the costs of heating in the UK are pricing it out of the reach of many elderly.  A few pounds can make a lot of difference to the elderly

Crippling energy prices and badly insulated homes will lead to the loss of thousands of lives and seriously damage older people's health this winter, warns a new report.

It shows cold homes are costing the NHS £1.36 billion every year in hospital and primary care as older people struggle with respiratory problems, stroke and heart attacks triggered by the cold.

Around 27,000 excess winter deaths are expected this year, including avoidable fatalities among older people, says the charity Age UK.

In a new report The Cost of Cold, it says a `major factor' in two out of five extra winter deaths is living in a cold home.

It says superior building standards in countries like Finland and Sweden which insist on insulation and double glazing mean they have warmer homes than in the UK, which has a milder climate.

There are higher rates of excess winter deaths - above what would normally be expected - in Britain compared with Scandinavian countries.

Older people living in cold homes are at higher risk of death and illnesses such as arthritis and rheumatism, with the risks going up as temperatures plummet.

There are around 8,000 extra deaths for every one degree drop in average temperature.

Temperatures lower than 16 degrees appear to impair respiratory functions, those below 12 degrees place strain on the cardiovascular system and temperatures below six degrees place people at risk of hypothermia, say researchers.

People living in the coldest homes are three times as likely to die from a cold-related illness compared to those in warmer homes, says the report.

`The prevalence of poorly insulated homes coupled with sharp increases in energy prices over recent years has exacerbated the UK's growing fuel poverty problem, forcing many older people to cut back on their heating in a bid to control costs' says the report.
Millions of older people are having to choose between staying warm and energy bills they can afford, the report warns

Millions of older people are having to choose between staying warm and energy bills they can afford, the report warns

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK said `It's an absolute scandal that tens of thousands of older people will become ill or die this winter because they are unable to keep warm.

`Not only is this resulting in an incalculable human cost but the NHS is spending more than a billion pounds on treating the casualties of cold every year.
'Can't we turn the heating on just once?'

`At the root of the problem are badly insulated homes, which together with cripplingly high energy prices, are leaving millions of older people having to choose between staying warm and energy bills they can afford.

`We are calling on all local authorities to recognise the issue as a major health priority and make sure they are doing everything within their power to keep older people warm.

`The government must also invest in a major energy efficiency programme to help insulate older people against the cold weather and the high cost of energy' she said.

The Age UK report found two-fifths of people wrongly see hypothermia as the biggest threat to older people's health in winter, as it accounts for only one in 100 excess winter deaths.

The most common risk factor is cardiovascular diseases - strokes caused by blood-clotting or heart attacks - which account for 40 per cent of excess winter deaths.

Last year a report found poor insulation means £1 in every £4 spent heating homes in Britain is wasted.


Germany Opens Another Coal Power Station

And it's fuelled by the hated brown coal!  The brown coal just happened to be handy.  Germany has heaps of the stuff

Vattenfall have begun operations at its new coal fired power station in Saxony, Germany this week and the state governor is heralding the plant as important in guaranteeing Saxony's energy security.

The 675 MW Boxberg R plant will be fuelled with local brown coal from an adjacent eastern German mining area and cost $1.29bn to build.

Saxony state premier Stanislaw Tillich said the brown coal would complement renewables, such as solar and windpower, whose output varies depending on weather patterns, reports Reuters.
"Our domestic brown coal is an important partner for renewable energy because it guarantees security of supply," he said in a statement.

This new plant follows the commissioning in August of an even bigger, 2200MW coal power plant in Neurath,  and is the second such power station on the list of 16 due to be built in Germany by 2020.

As the Saxony governor points out, the new plant will not only help to guarantee their energy security, but will have the added benefit of protecting jobs in the local mining areas. Common sense, you would have thought!

In other news :-

* Saudi Arabia has awarded a $3.2bn contract to Hyundai to build a 2640MW coal plant.

8 Contracts have been awarded for two turbines at the 320MW coal fired generator in Paco, Panama.

* Kolin Insaat have announced plans to invest $1bn in building a 450MW lignite fired power plant in Turkey's Aegean region.

* The UAE are to invest $408 million in a 270MW coal fired plant, due for completion in 2015.

* Poland is to go ahead with building a 1800MW coal power plant, after a court lifted a ban, following legal challenges by green groups.

* Alstom will supply two turbines as part of a $128 million deal to equip the 1200MW Dongbu Green coal power station being built in Korea.

* The Japanese government is seeking to relax procedures on environmental impact, in order to make it easier to build more coal power stations.

None of these are being fitted with "Carbon Capture & Sequestration", which remains a pipedream, but which, nevertheless, must, by law, be fitted to all new UK coal power stations.

Again the UK media seems to remain totally silent about these developments. One wonders why?




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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