Friday, January 31, 2014

Tropical cyclone frequency falls to centuries-low in Australia

In America big wind events have been unusually rare in recent years.  Warmists call them "extreme weather" and pretend that they are MORE frequent and also in some way "proof" of global warming.  Skeptics  simply point to the statistics.  So it is interesting that in far-away Australia we have exactly the same situation -- including a proclamation that the unusual rarity of these  rare events "proves" global warming.  Hurricanes and cyclones prove global warming and the absence of hurricanes and cyclones also proves global warming.  It's pure Leftist logic:  Complete illogic that is guided only by the conclusions it wants to come to.  But it's no surprise coming from the same sort of people who are proclaiming America's present extreme cold as proof of warming  -- JR
The number of tropical cyclones hitting Queensland and Western Australia has fallen to low levels not seen for more than 500 years, new research published in Nature shows.

But while that's seemingly great news for people in cyclone-prone areas, our new research into Australia's past cyclone records also highlights a serious risk.

Low-lying coastal areas such as Cairns, Townsville and Mackay in north Queensland have all been developed on the unproven assumption that the cyclone activity of the past 40 years will continue unchanged into the future.

The concern is that our new results closely matched several recent studies that have projected fewer - but increasingly intense - tropical cyclones for Australian region due to global climate change.

And if those projections prove to be right, we are taking a big gamble with existing homes, roads and offices, as well as threatening proposed developments such as the A$4.2 billion resort casino planned for low-lying coastal land near Cairns.

There is no such thing as a risk-free development, especially when building in cyclone-prone regions. However, being properly informed and cautious about developments in such regions is in all Australians' interests - because if we get it wrong, we all stand to pay through higher insurance premiums and largely taxpayer-funded disaster clean-ups.

Our study shows that current seasonal cyclone activity is at its lowest level in Western Australia since 500 AD and since about 1400 AD in Queensland. That decline began about 40 years ago.

While Australia's official cyclone records only date back to 1906, we can track cyclones further back in time using measurements of isotopes housed within limestone cave stalagmites. Those stalagmites grow upwards from the cave floor as rainwater containing dissolved limestone drips from the cave ceiling.

The isotope chemistry of tropical cyclone rainwater differs from that of monsoonal and thunderstorm rainwater. As a consequence, it is possible to analyse the chemistry of each of the stalagmite layers, which are approximately 1/10th of a millimetre thick, and generate a record of cyclones over the past 1500 to 2000 years.

My colleague Jordahna Haig then matched the isotope records with the Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone record over the past 40 years and generated a Cyclone Activity Index, which plots the seasonal activity of cyclones over the past 1500 years.

In the short term, the recent decline in tropical cyclone activity is good news for all those who live in and visit tropical north Queensland and Western Australia. However, there are some possible dark clouds on the horizon that we would be reckless to ignore.


2014 Antarctic Sea Ice Extent already On Track For Record High Minimum

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent  is very much on track to have the highest minimum in the modern satellite era.

The highest minimum was in 2008 at 3.69176 million sq km on day 51, The 2nd highest was in 2013 at 3.65040 million sq km on day 50.

The earliest minimum was day 43 in 1994. And the latest minimum was day 65 in 1986.

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent as of Jan 27 2014 was 1 million sq km above the 1981-2010 mean and 160,000 sq km above 2008.

Day 27 was the 10th daily record of the year.


Solar Provides 0.2% of Electric Supply--Up From 0.02% Before Obama

He's spent billions achieving virtually nothing

Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted in his State of the Union Address, accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.

That is up from the 0.02 percent of the total electricity supply that solar power sources provided in 2008, the last calendar year before Obama took office.

“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy,” Obama said in the State of the Union. “The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we've been in decades.”

“It's not just oil and natural gas production that's booming; we're becoming a global leader in solar, too,” he said. “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can't be outsourced. Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.”

According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, the United States is producing less electricity now than it did when Obama took office. (See Table 7.2.a.)

In 2008, according to EIA, the U.S. generated a net of 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity. In 2012, the last full calendar year for which data has been collected, the U.S. generated a net of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours of electricity.

From 2008 to 2012, U.S. electricity production declined by 1.7 percent.

In the first nine months of 2013, according to the latest data from EIA, U.S. electricity production continued to decline. In those nine months, the U.S. produced 3,078,460 million kilowatthours of electricity compared to 3,095,504 in the first nine months of 2012.

Coal remains the largest source of electricity in the United States, even though coal-produced electricity has been declining in the Obama years.

In 2008, the U.S. generated 1,985,801 million kilowatthours—or 48.2 percent--of its total of 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity from coal. In 2012, the U.S. generated 1,514,043 million kilowatthours---or 37.4 percent--of its total of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours from coal.

Solar-generated electricity did not make up the slack.

In 2008, according to EIA, the U.S. got 864 million kilowatthours—or 0.02 percent--of its 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity from solar thermal and photovoltaic energy. By 2012, the U.S. got 4,327 million kilowatthours—or 0.1 percent--of its 4,047,765 million kilowatthours from solar.

In the first nine months of 2013, the U.S. got 6,407 million kilowatthours—or 0.2 percent--of the total of 3,078,460 million kilowatthours generated up to that point from solar.

Thus, even though solar generation of electricity has been increasing at a tremendous pace in the United States since 2008, it still supplies only 0.2 percent of the country’s electricity.

A larger supply of U.S. electricity, according to EIA, comes from wood. In the first nine months of 2013, 28,400 million kilowatthours of electricity--or 0.9 percent--of the total of 3,078,460 million kilowatthours generated up to that point came from wood.

“Most of the electricity from wood biomass is generated at lumber and paper mills,” says a brief by the EIA. “These mills use their own wood waste to provide much of their own steam and electricity needs.”

Since 2008, natural gas-generated electricity has increased as a share of the overall supply. In 2008, it produced 882,981 million kilowatt hours—or 21.4 percent—of the 4,119,388 million overall supply. In 2012, it generated 1,225,894 million kilowatthours—or about 30.3 percent—of total of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours of supply. In the first nine months of 2013, it generated 853,969 million kilowatthours—or about 27.7 percent—of the 3,078,460 million kilowatthours of total supply.

Nonetheless, electricity has gotten more expensive since 2008—with the electricity price index now at its all-time high.

In December 2009, the month before Obama took office, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ seasonally adjusted electricity index was 193.965. In December 2013, it hit a record 203.186. In December 2008, the average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States was 12.4 cents. In December 2013, it was 13.1 cents—the most expensive electricity has ever been in December.


Climatologist Gets It Right

At the turn of the century, climatologist Dr. Don Easterbrook issued his own offbeat prediction. “[I]n 1999 … the PDO [Pacific Decadol Oscillation, a natural cycle that fluctuates between warm and cold phases] said we're due for a climate change,” he explained to CNSNews, “and so I said okay. It looks as though we're going to be entering a period of about three decades or so of global cooling.” Indeed, data reveals his prognostication was correct. “We have now had 17 years with no global warming and my original prediction was right so far,” Easterbrook points out. “For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit.” And that's not necessarily a good thing: “Cold is way worse for humanity than warm is,” he correctly adds. So as alarmists continue with ostentatious rants about nonexistent warming, just remember that what we're actually seeing was foreseen long ago by someone with facts on their side.


Climate Change Nonsense

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Barack Obama warned, “[W]e have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming Western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. That's why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.” Those regulations are greatly harming the coal industry and are thus reflected on your monthly power bill.

Obama then declared, “[T]he debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

Indeed, much of the nation saw several inches of “climate change” Tuesday, as snow and ice covered several states as far south as the Gulf Coast. In the South, thousands of people were stuck for hours – often overnight – in traffic or wherever they could find shelter, kids were stranded at school, and a region unaccustomed to dealing with such weather was crippled.

One of the main problems in the South was inaccurate forecasting. Chattanooga meteorologist Paul Barys admitted, “This was just not what we were seeing in the forecast models.” Therefore, road crews made almost no preparation until the snow actually began to fall, and schools waited until then to send kids home, compounding a bad situation. The South isn't exactly known for its snowplows anyway.

It's important to note that weather is not the same thing as climate, but we'll make some observations. First, climatologists also use computer forecast models to show that the climate is changing. Computer models can be wrong, especially if the data entered is faulty, and that's true if the prediction is tomorrow's weather or the next century's climate. Indeed, as we noted above, there hasn't been any global warming in 17 years – hence the change in terminology to “climate change.” Second, alarmists like Barack Obama constantly point to weather patterns – drought and floods, for example – as definitive proof that, in order to prevent climate change, we need draconian government regulations and taxes that will hit the economy like, well, a snow storm in Atlanta. And no matter the weather, these alarmists blame climate change. Truth is the only thing getting plowed.


British weather expert accuses Met Office of 'warm bias' in getting annual predictions wrong 13 out of the last 14 years

Their computers are programmed for it

The Met Office has got every annual global forecast so far this century wrong, bar one, a BBC weatherman said.

Paul Hudson, a forecaster for BBC's regional programme Look North, said the Met Office's predictions had been wrong for 13 years out of the last 14, and said the incorrect predictions had all been 'on the warm side' rather than too cold.

He said on his BBC weather blog that they had predicted the global temperature in 2013 would be 0.57C above the 1961-1990 average temperature of 14C, when in fact it was only warmer by 0.49C.

Mr Hudson, a trained meteorologist with 20 years' experience, said the global average temperature for 2013 meant that: 'So far this century, of 14 yearly headline predictions made by the Met Office Hadley centre, 13 have been too warm.'

He added: 'It’s worth stressing that all the incorrect predictions are within the stated margin of error, but having said that, they have all been on the warm side and none have been too cold.'

He said the 2013 annual temperature also meant that another Met Office prediction, that half the years between 2010 and 2015 would be hotter than the hottest year on record (1998) was wrong already.

The forecaster, who previously worked for the Met Office, wrote: 'The Met Office believe one of the reasons for this ‘warm bias’ in their annual global projections is the lack of observational data in the Arctic circle, which has been the fastest warming area on earth.

'They also suggest another reason why the global surface temperature is falling short of their projections is because some of the heat is being absorbed in the ocean beneath the surface.'

A Met Office spokesman said: 'There is evidence that incomplete global coverage of the available temperature observations may have led to an under-representation of regions that were unusually warm.'

Climate change sceptic Professor Richard Lindzen yesterday told MPs that whatever they were doing to counteract 'climate change', the only difference it would make would be to the country's economy.

He said: 'Whatever the UK is deciding to do vis-a-vis climate will have no impact on your climate.  It will have a profound impact on your economy.

'So you are making a decision to take a problem which might not be a problem, take actions which you know will create problems and feel you have done the right thing.', the Times reported.



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