Monday, May 12, 2014

An amusing piece of dogmatism from "Climate Science Watch"

It defends the Obama "report" in even more extreme terms than the report itself.  The editor of the site appears to be Rick Piltz, who is a journalist with no scientific qualifications -- so his naivety and the failure to mention a single scientific fact about the climate in the article he prints can perhaps be understood.  Interesting that the actual author of the article is anonymous. Perhaps he too is a blithering ignoramus like Rick.

The article makes large claims about what "the science" shows  but the author has obviously not read the science that he links to.  He implies, for instance, that heat-waves have increased recently.  That is the exact opposite of what the heat-wave reference in the report shows. I quote:  "For heat waves “the highest number of heat waves occurred in the 1930s, with the fewest in the 1960s. The 2001–10 decade was the second highest but well below the 1930s.”. I could call Mr Anonymous  a liar but I think he is just a gullible idiot.  His various other assertions below could also be ripped apart but what's the point?  He's an ignoramus

In response to the release of the latest National Climate Assessment (NCA), the Wall Street Journal has unleashed an unfortunately typical stream of distractions, straw men, and outright falsehoods in the form of an editorial as well as an op-ed by Steven F. Hayward. Both pieces seek to portray the assessment as politicized, practically suggesting that President Obama personally composed the report off the top of his head. But neither the President nor the administration wrote the report: scientists did. The attempts to imply political subterfuge show how increasingly desperate the detractors of climate science are growing, and how unable they are to engage with the science itself.

The report’s conclusions are in fact completely uncontroversial in the world of science, and should be considered separately from the political drama which some are trying to impose on them.

    The report was written by scientists. To be exact, hundreds of authors, each experts in their respective fields, cited over 3,000 individual studies to create the final product. The report received thousands of public comments and review from both green groups and industry groups, and was reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences. A spokesperson from oil giant Chevron endorsed the report, saying, “Chevron recognizes and shares the concerns of governments and the public about climate change.” The report is one of a series mandated by Congress in the U.S. Global Change Research Act, enacted during the administration of George H.W. Bush. And the report’s conclusions echo the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global scientific organization completely outside the scope of the U.S. administration.

    The summary reflects the balance of the evidence. In an attempt to show that the summary is “politicized,” the WSJ editorial quotes a line from the underlying chapters about uncertainty over trends in tornadoes. However, the summary states that climate change is worsening extreme weather, because it is: heat waves, extreme precipitation, wildfires, higher storm surges, and increased drought in currently dry areas all show clear climate connections that are reflected in the assessment. Tornadoes are an outlier to this body of evidence, and using them as a primary example is transparently misleading.

    The report doesn’t prescribe political action. It shows we have a problem, and that Americans’ livelihoods will be harmed if we don’t take action to fix it. It’s not surprising that these conclusions would be unpopular with Hayward, who is a board member and treasurer for the Donors Capital Fund, described as the Koch brothers’ “dark-money ATM.” Strategically, these groups are trying to preemptively discredit the report to forestall any potential future action. But the report itself does not take political sides or advocate any one policy solution over others.

    Inaction on climate change poses serious economic risks. Both the IPCC and NCA support this conclusion, contrary to the suggestions in both WSJ pieces that climate action would derail the economy. The NCA documents the growing evidence of climate change impacts, with clear economic implications for coastal properties, fisheries, water resources, transportation infrastructure, energy availability, and more. The latest IPCC report further concluded that delaying action would be far costlier than taking action immediately.

    Climate change is caused by humans. This statement is the definition of old news, yet both WSJ pieces imply the opposite. From the editorial we get the tired old maxim that we’ve had extreme weather in the distant past, so there can’t possibly be a human contribution. Hayward claims outright that proof of human-caused climate change “is far from definitive.” This is simply not true. The latest IPCC report’s best estimate is that all of modern climate change was caused by humans, and possibly more (this is possible because natural factors may have actually reduced the observed warming). It just doesn’t get more definitive than that, and Hayward is unwilling to acknowledge this simple fact.

The National Climate Assessment is a scientific document, not a political one. Its findings are of immediate practical use to Americans in all regions and economic sectors of the country. It provides a blueprint for actions as simple and commonsense as raising roadways that are now routinely flooded due to sea level rise, an occurrence that Miami knows all too well. Despite the obvious utility of this information, some politically motivated voices are trying to stigmatize it, and the Wall Street Journal is handing them a megaphone. But the facts themselves are undeniable, even if the Journal fails to show them clearly to its readers.


Kidnap of Nigerian schoolgirls due to climate change

Or so Nafeez Ahmed says in the Guardian (below).  That there has been no climate change for 17 years does not faze him.  I am sad that I have to spell it out but things that don't exist cannot cause anything. Nafeez Ahmed is clearly a lamebrain.  But you can get any crap into The Guardian if it is ideologically congenial

The kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls, and the massacre of as many as 300 civilians in the town of Gamboru Ngala, by the militant al-Qaeda affiliated group, Boko Haram, has shocked the world.

But while condemnations have rightly been forthcoming from a whole range of senior figures from celebrities to government officials, less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis.

Instability in Nigeria, however, has been growing steadily over the last decade - and one reason is climate change. In 2009, a UK Department for International Development (Dfid) study warned that climate change could contribute to increasing resource shortages in the country due to land scarcity from desertification, water shortages, and mounting crop failures.

A more recent study by the Congressionally-funded US Institute for Peace confirmed a "basic causal mechanism" that "links climate change with violence in Nigeria." The report concludes:

"...poor responses to climatic shifts create shortages of resources such as land and water. Shortages are followed by negative secondary impacts, such as more sickness, hunger, and joblessness. Poor responses to these, in turn, open the door to conflict."


Antarctic sea ice at record levels

91% of the earth's glacial ice is in the Antarctic so by any estimate the Antarctic is what matters.  Yet the Warmists keep dribbling on about the Arctic!  Reality is not their scene

ANTARCTIC sea ice has expanded to record levels for April, increasing by more than 110,000sq km a day last month to nine million square kilometres.

The National Snow and Ice Data Centre said the rapid expansion had continued into May and the seasonal cover was now bigger than the record “by a significant margin’’.

“This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 320,000sq km, which was set in April 2008,’’ the centre said.

Increased ice cover in Antarctic continues to be at odds with falling Arctic ice levels, where the summer melt has again pushed levels well below the average extent for 1981-2010. The centre said while the rate of ­Arctic-wide retreat was rapid through the first half of April, it had slowed.

The April Arctic minimum was 270,000sq km higher than the record April low, which occurred in 2007. The Antarctic sea ice extent anomalies were greatest in the eastern Weddell and along a long stretch of coastline south of Australia and the southeastern Indian Ocean. The centre said the increased ice extent in the Weddell Sea region appeared to be associated with a broad area of persistent easterly winds in March and April, and lower-than-average temperatures.

Changing wind patterns are increasingly cited to explain the expanding Antarctic sea ice.

Research suggests that the changes in Antarctic sea ice, both where it is increasing and where it is decreasing, are caused in part by the strengthening of the westerly winds that flow unhindered in a circle above the Southern Ocean.


Eco-Fascism alive and well in Ireland

An Irish Fascist in a blue (!) tie

Climate change deniers “are lying to themselves and lying to the country and they need to be swept aside”, Minister of State Brian Hayes has said.  Mr Hayes, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works, was speaking during a question-and-answer session at an OPW flood-risk management conference in Dublin Castle.

“The scientific evidence confirming climate change is compelling,” he told the 250 attendees, many of whom came from communities in the south and southeast badly affected by the past winter’s storms and flooding. “We must now accept the reality of climate change and prepare for the likely consequences.

“Coping with frequent flooding will, in some cases, mean working with nature, rather than controlling it.  “In some situations flood management may include the restoration of natural flood plains and a willingness to allow rivers to flood in a controlled manner in order to prevent greater damage.”

Dealing with the problems generated by climate change meant being “honest and realistic about what we can do”. Not every yard of coast or beach could be protected; “we cannot defend every field”.

He continued: The political system also needs to grow up. Because politics in Ireland is very local – it’s equally very short-term. We are not good at planning for the long-term and having to make tough choices especially when it comes to good planning and development. If ever we need a national response, it is on this issue.”

He criticised some planning decision of recent years that had seen building permitted on known flood plains, and warned that the State would not compensate, or underwrite, the financial consequences of such decisions in the future.

The conference heard from several senior staff at the OPW on the Cfram programme – the Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management project – under which the likelihood of flooding along the country’s major rivers and 90 coastal areas is being quantified scientifically. Based on this, maps will be published this summer showing where flooding is likely and what action, if any, needs to be taken.

Paul MacDonnell of Insurance Ireland said flooding correlated not to weather but poverty and bad planning. Adequate flood defences allowed insurers to assess risk.

Tom Turley of the IFA said the Shannon and other rivers should be dredged. “We can’t wait for reports and planning.”


UNH and Union of Concerned Scientist Report is Wrong on the Facts

14 Prominent Scientists and Academics Refute Claims with Historical Data

 Today a group of prominent scientists and meteorologists called into question the findings of a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the University of New Hampshire, “Climate Change in New Hampshire: Past, Present, and Future.”

“It is disappointing that New Hampshire’s leading University has chosen to publish a report which is not grounded on actual facts, but on conjecture,” stated Joe D’Aleo. ‘The authors have based all of their findings on the failed climate models. Scientists like Dr. John Christy and Dr. Judith Curry have written extensively on the failure of the climate models and how the projections fall below accepted levels of scientific significance. UNH and the UCS blindly hold to the model forecasts for their projections, despite the models incredibly poor track record.

Citing data from numerous national and global climate resources, the group identified nine specific claims that actual data refutes. This includes claims about extreme weather, changes in New Hampshire’s temperatures, reduction in our snowfall and changes in our agricultural production. All of these claims are contradicted by the facts.

“We cannot understand how scientists can use these flawed models as the basis for their projections,” continued Mr. D’Aleo. “Just as concerning is how these scientists do not provide policy makers and elected officials a fair and unbiased representation of what is going on with our weather and climate. Our brief report can provide decision makers with a better understanding of our climate through actual data instead of the conjecture provided by UNH and the UCS.”

SOURCE. See also here.

First British shale gas 'to fuel homes next year’

Shale gas could be fuelling British homes for the first time by late 2015, under plans from fracking firm Cuadrilla.  The company is preparing to submit planning applications by the end of this month to frack at two sites in Lancashire next year.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla chief executive, said that, if successful, it planned to connect the test fracking sites up to the gas grid, in what would be a milestone first for the fledgling British shale gas industry.

He also suggested homeowners hostile to fracking beneath their land should be entitled to only minimal compensation, if any.

Cuadrilla hopes to gain planning permission for its two sites, near the villages of Roseacre and Little Plumpton, in time to start drilling at the end of this year. They could then be fracked next summer “in a best case scenario”.

“After the initial flow test period, which is up to 90 days, if the flow rates look good then we would want to tie the well into the gas transmission system and flow it for a longer period to assess the flow rate over 18 to 24 months,” Mr Egan said.

The first shale gas could be flowing into the grid by the end of next year. Although quantities of gas from the exploratory sites would be relatively small, the step would be a symbolic first for the industry in Britain.

Just one shale gas well has been partially fracked in the UK to date, by Cuadrilla in 2011, with work halted when it caused earthquakes.

Cuadrilla, however, faces a number of hurdles if it is to proceed as planned at its new sites. As well as planning permission it must obtain numerous permits from the Environment Agency.

Industry sources fear any permission to frack may face judicial review challenge from environmental campaigners.

Cuadrilla could also find its optimal drilling routes blocked by hostile homeowners. The company intends to drill down vertically at each of its sites then out horizontally west for up to two kilometres.

It has signed agreements with farmers at each site allowing it to drill under their land – meaning at least some drilling will be possible - but not with all homeowners above the potential underground drilling area.

“If we were unable to get permission from householders we would have a smaller area, but we could still drill,” Mr Egan said.

Under current trespass law Cuadrilla would have to take hostile landowners to court to gain the right to drill beneath them, but the government is planning give companies an automatic right to drill.

Asked whether compensation should be paid to landowners, Mr Egan said: “I don’t think there’s any disturbance. If someone flies two miles above your house, do you get compensation?”

He said if compensation were due it should be “in the region” of a test case on the issue, involving oil drilling, in which Mohamed Fayed’s company Bocardo was awarded £1,000 for trespass under its land, but an appeal court judge later ruled this to be “generous” and suggested £82.50 would have been fair.

He insisted the law change was necessary in order to achieve widespread shale production in the UK.  “If you can’t get access at all, if there’s no amount of money people are interested in, then the resource can’t be developed,” he said.

Taking homeowners to court would take “years” and “no company would hang around for that”, he said. “I don’t think companies will invest if they think it will take years to drill each horizontal well.”



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