Sunday, June 23, 2013

Temperature has been higher at similar levels of CO2 to today

The recent  paper below shows that, in the geologic past, summer temperatures were about 10°C warmer than today, even though the concentration of atmospheric CO2 was similar. Which shows that  you cannot do exactly what Warmists claim to do:  Predict temperature from CO2 levels

Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia

By  Julie Brigham-Grette1 et al

Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time series. Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, in northeast (NE) Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6 to 3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today, when the partial pressure of CO2 was ~400 parts per million. Multiproxy evidence suggests extreme warmth and polar amplification during the middle Pliocene, sudden stepped cooling events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, and warmer than present Arctic summers until ~2.2 million years ago, after the onset of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. Our data are consistent with sea-level records and other proxies indicating that Arctic cooling was insufficient to support large-scale ice sheets until the early Pleistocene.

Science 21 June 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6139 pp. 1421-1427

LA Times editorial is straight propaganda:  No facts, no reasoning, but some lies

They write as if global warmning is going on -- even though Warmist heavies  like Pachauri and Hansen admit it stopped 17 years ago.  How do they reconcile that fact with their first sentence below?  They do not try.  They also point to recent extreme weather events but make to attempt to compare the recent frequency of such events with frequencies in past periods.  No mystery why.  Dr. Goebbels would be proud of them

Early predictions made by climate scientists — back when much of the nation was still dubious about any kind of greenhouse effect and many denied it existed — are coming true even more quickly than expected. Although no single weather event can be laid at the door of global warming, more extreme weather throughout the nation, such as tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes in the Northeast, already is upon us, as are worsening dryness and fire seasons in the West.

Not all of the effects of climate change are expected to be negative. Certain warm-weather crops will grow in states that were once considered too cold, scientists say. But even those will demand adjustments. Farmers who shift from one crop to another, for instance, will be forced to learn new techniques and make new investments in equipment.

All of this requires first admitting reality, then planning for it and investing in the infrastructure needed to protect against the worst effects and take advantage of the new possibilities.

These might be as sweeping as planning out sources of water for the West — including desalination plants and more recycling and required efficiency in water use — or as specific as a community identifying cooled buildings where the elderly and other fragile people can go during prolonged hot spells and providing transportation to get them there. It might also include planning for crop losses and other flood-related damage in the Northeast, where precipitation has increased 67% over the past 50 years, or building levees and drainage.

Expensive? Very. But the price of doing nothing would be far greater. And that's worth remembering when President Obama releases his expected proposal for reducing the carbon footprint, which will almost surely include new restrictions for coal-burning plants, the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. Adjusting to climate change will require clear thinking and significant investment, but if the nation sticks its collective head in the sand, it will find that sand covered by rising seas.


Obama Readying Emissions Limits on Power PlantsL

 President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.

Electric power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the country, responsible for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. With sweeping climate legislation effectively dead in Congress, the decision on existing power plants — which a 2007 Supreme Court decision gave to the executive branch — has been among the most closely watched of Mr. Obama’s second term.

The administration has already begun steps to restrict climate-altering emissions from any newly built power plants, but imposing carbon standards on the existing utility fleet would be vastly more costly and contentious.

The president is preparing to move soon because rules as complex as those applying to power plants can take years to complete. Experts say that if Mr. Obama hopes to have a new set of greenhouse gas standards for utilities in place before he leaves office he needs to begin before the end of this year.

Heather Zichal, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, said Wednesday that the president would announce climate policy initiatives in coming weeks. Another official said a presidential address outlining the new policy, which will also include new initiatives on renewable power and energy efficiency, could come as early as next week.

Ms. Zichal said none of the initiatives being considered by the administration required legislative action or new financing from Congress.

In a speech in Berlin on Wednesday, Mr. Obama echoed his assertive talk on climate policy since his re-election, talk that some climate advocates have criticized as going beyond his actions.  He said the United States and the world had a moral imperative to take “bold action” to slow the warming of the planet.

“The grim alternative affects all nations — more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise,” Mr. Obama said. “This is the global threat of our time.”  He added, “We have to get to work.”

Republicans criticize Mr. Obama’s climate policy as government overreach that is holding back the economy. Some Democrats, including those hawkish about climate action, also worry that tough new standards on power plants could slow job growth and raise energy costs, particularly in places like the industrial Midwest that depend on cheap power from coal.

But administration officials signaled that Mr. Obama had decided the risks from climate change outweighed the potential economic and political costs from taking steps to address it.

“He is serious about making it a second-term priority,” Ms. Zichal said at a forum Wednesday in Washington sponsored by The New Republic magazine. “He knows this is a legacy issue.”

Ms. Zichal suggested that a central part of the administration’s approach to dealing with climate change would be to use the authority given to the Environmental Protection Agency to address climate-altering pollutants from power plants under the Clean Air Act.

“The E.P.A. has been working very hard on rules that focus specifically on greenhouse gases from the coal sector,” she said. “They’re doing a lot of important work in that space.”

She did not specifically mention standards for existing power plants, but other senior officials have said in recent days that Mr. Obama has decided to start work on such regulations.

A 2007 Supreme Court decision gave the E.P.A. authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and it has already done so for vehicles. Environmental advocates said that addressing power plant pollution must be the centerpiece of any serious climate policy.

“To paraphrase Joe Biden, this is a big deal,” said Daniel F. Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, an advocacy organization. “Nothing he can do will cut greenhouse gases more.”

Last year, the E.P.A. proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants that would essentially ban the construction of any additional coal-fired plants. The administration was required to complete that regulation by mid-April, but it missed the deadline in a sign of the pitfalls of such complex rule making. The E.P.A. has not said when it expects to complete the rules.

The timing of the new policy on existing power plants is driven in large part by the timetables the Clean Air Act sets for a major rule-making. The law requires the agency to publish proposed guidelines. States are then required to submit plans for meeting the guidelines, which the agency must review and which the public must be allowed time to comment on.

“All of that takes time, and we’re in a race against time,” said Vickie Patton, general counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Regulation of existing power plants is further complicated by the pending nomination of Gina McCarthy to become E.P.A. administrator. Ms. McCarthy has for the past four years run the agency’s office responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act.

Senate Republicans are holding up her nomination over unrelated issues. Republicans and industry leaders also worry about her intentions on power plant regulation. In a carefully worded statement, she told committee members during her confirmation proceedings that the agency “is not currently developing” any such regulations.

The administration has been quietly stitching together a suite of global warming policy measures for the president to unveil this summer to make good on promises in his election night acceptance speech, his second Inaugural address and his State of the Union address.

Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, and his deputy, Rob Nabors, have regularly met with cabinet secretaries and their deputies to adapt to a changing climate and to propose new measures that do not require Congressional action.

Mr. Obama’s coming speech is also expected to highlight measures that the Department of Energy can take to make appliances and industrial equipment more efficient and to reduce the energy wasted in public and private buildings.


Boehner: Obama’s Plan for Climate Change ‘Absolutely Crazy’

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) became angry when asked about President Barack Obama’s plan to unveil new regulations to combat climate change, saying it is “absolutely crazy.”

At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, Boehner said, “I think this is absolutely crazy!”

“Why would you want to increase the cost of energy and kill more American jobs at a time when the American people are still asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’” he said.  “Clear enough?”

Obama could release a “sweeping” plan to target carbon emissions as early as next week, and is considering first-ever limits on carbon dioxide from power plants.

According to Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the package will target reducing carbon emissions from power plants, more rules for the energy efficiency of appliances, and expanding the development of clean energy on public lands.

“Peace with justice means refusing to condemn our children to a harsher, less hospitable planet,” Obama said on Wednesday.  “The effort to slow climate change requires bold action.”

Obama said, “We have to do more” to bring down carbon emissions, and promised, “we will do more.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already proposed new emission standards that will make it “nearly impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in the United States.”

The EPA rule—which would limit newly built power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions to 1,000 pounds-per-megawatt-hour—has been delayed, but if instituted would result in the shut down of 280 coal-fired generating units, according to a report.


Hydroelectric Power and Renewable Portfolio Standards

Shriek!  Dams!  They are only efficient source of renewable power but Greenies hate them.  But maybe retrofitting existing dams might pass

Several states are taking second looks at the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) they passed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

An RPS requires utilities to obtain a specified percentage of their power from renewable sources by a certain date. Twenty-two of the 29 states with such mandates have considered changing those laws in the past two years.

States such as Connecticut and Montana have recently amended their RPS mandates by allowing more hydroelectric power to qualify as renewables. Missouri (HB 44), Oregon (SB 121), and Washington (SB 5431) are currently considering similar legislation.

Hydropower generates electricity by harnessing the rechargeable motive power of the water cycle, making it just as much a renewable resource as wind, solar, or biomass. Unlike wind and solar, hydropower is not intermittent, so it requires no fossil fuel backup generators that create greenhouse gas emissions. States that generate a large percentage of their electricity from hydroelectric power, such as Washington and Idaho, have some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation.

Fifty-six percent of U.S. renewable-generated electricity already comes from hydropower, while 28 percent comes from wind and just 1 percent from solar. Opponents say letting hydropower count toward RPS mandates will hurt development of wind and solar, which are significantly more expensive and thus less attractive to producers and consumers. RPS mandates makes electricity more expensive for ratepayers and removes the incentive for renewable energy producers to cut their own costs, inhibiting the rate at which they scale up.

Of the 80,000 dams in the United States, less than 3 percent are used to produce power, presenting an enormous opportunity to expand renewable energy by adding generators or retrofitting existing dams that were built without power-production capability. Market advocates say including all renewable sources in RPS mandates will create competitive pressure on wind and solar to reduce costs and scale up.

If lawmakers want to lower energy costs, encourage innovation, and reduce emissions, they should repeal all mandates and subsidies and create a level playing field for all energy sources. Government should not pick winners and losers, especially in the energy arena. Barring outright repeal of RPS mandates, their negative effects can be reduced by making them more inclusive and flexible.


Researchers in Finland have found a way to combat global warming: Reindeer!

Could Rudolf be the solution in the fight against disastrous global warming?

Researchers at the University of Turku, Finland, have found a way to protect humanity from dangerous global warming - Reindeer!

According to Professor Lauri Oksanen of the University of Turku, grazing by reindeer keep arctic vegetation in check, thus reducing the solar heat absorption that leads to a self-reinforcing cycle of climate change.
Snow cover and mostly barren tundra reflect large portions of the sun's rays. When darker shrubs and trees spring up in arctic areas they absorb more energy, heating up their surroundings and the earth's atmosphere.
Researchers in Finland have now carried out a comparison between an area in Norway where reindeer are not allowed to graze in the summer, and a similar area in Finland where grazing reindeer have kept shrubs and tree from growing.
They have found that the heat radiated by the overgrown area in Norway is at a much higher level.
"The heat difference between what happens there and in the Finnish area during three spring months, March, April and May, would be enough to melt a cubic kilometre of ice. That is no small matter,” explains Professor Lauri Oksanen.




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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