Wednesday, June 18, 2014

British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

A top British scientist has come out with new research flatly contradicting the idea that extremely cold winters in North America – like the one just past – will become more frequent due to global warming. This new analysis disagrees completely with the assessment of President Obama's personal science advisor.

Dr James Screen of Exeter uni in England is a mathematician who has been studying the arctic ice sheet for several years. According to a university announcement highlighting his latest research:

"Climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the USA in a deep freeze last winter ... [Recent changes in the Arctic climate have] actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere."

Screen's new paper is published in the hefty climate journal Nature Climate Change. In it he writes:

"Subseasonal cold-season temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid- to high-latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades. This is partly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days ... decreases in subseasonal cold-season temperature variability ... are detectable in the observational record and are highly robust in twenty-first-century climate model simulations."

Or, in other words, severe cold spells like the ones Americans and Canadians have just suffered through are not increasing in frequency and shouldn't be expected to.

That contradicts very sharply with the view of Dr John Holdren, president Obama's White House science and technology adviser. He says:

“A growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold experienced by the United States is a pattern we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.

“I believe the odds are that we can expect as a result of global warming to see more of this pattern of extreme cold."


USHCN Data Tampering – Much Worse Than It Seems

Yesterday I did a post showing how more than 40% of USHCN monthly temperature is fabricated from non-existent raw data, and the percentage is rising exponentially.

Taking this a step further, I analyzed the temperature trend since 1990 of only the fabricated data – and compared it to the measured raw data. The actual thermometer data shows no US warming since 1990, but USHCN’s fabricated data shows more than 1.5 degrees warming.

Just how bad is their cheating? They are tampering with the data at a rate of 7.6ºF per century. They have introduced a huge warming bias by introducing fake data which has no thermometer data to back it up.



There has been some discussion recently about the possibility of an El Nino starting later this year and if it will restart global warming. Certainly if the usual effect of an El Nino – warming of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific – happens and the global annual average surface temperature reaches a new record because of it, perhaps only by a few thousandths of a degree, then it will be hailed by some as a “resumption” of global warming.

Anyone who has turned a globe of the Earth so that they are facing the Pacific Ocean will be in no doubt that it is perhaps the major feature of our planet’s surface. Looking at the globe that way it is hardly possible to see any land at all. When the Sun shines down on the Pacific it has a powerful effect warming the surface waters. Trade winds blow the warmed surface waters to one side of the Pacific where the warm water accumulates in a warm pool storing heat. When those winds reduce in strength the warm pool sloshes back across the Pacific releasing energy, changing current directions and strengths and wind directions that can be felt all over the world. El Ninos happen every few years and are a way of reducing the heat content of the Pacific and distributing it worldwide.

The biggest El Nino on record occurred in 1997-98. It catapulted the world to then record surface temperatures. Unfortunately, its onset was not predicted at the time as well as many thought it would be with most predictions only suggesting a weak event six months ahead of time.

No one knows how an El Nino starts, some say its quasi-periodic nature points to an unstable mode of ocean-atmosphere coupling. Others believe it is related to the behaviour of the thermocline – the interface between warm water at the surface and the cold water below about 100 metres.

When the 1998 El Nino occurred it was a record breaker. In Nasa Giss (current values) it was 0.2 deg C warmer than the years either side of it. In many respects it is one of the dominant features in the global temperature record over the past 40 years. In the 1980s and early 1990s there was little significant increase in global annual average surface temperature. Looking at the surface temperature record it is clear that the 1997-8 El Nino is positioned at a step-change in global surface temperatures from one 15-year period of little warming to another 15-year plus period of the same though at a more elevated temperature. Indeed it was the 1997-8 El Nino’s boost to global surface temperatures that helped the decadal rate of surface temperature increase given by the IPCC, 0.2 deg C, to be “validated.”

Since 1998 El Ninos have not made any statistically significant impact on the global surface temperature. They have raised it slightly causing alarmist claims that global warming has restarted but one year of statistically insignificant increase does not a restart make.

Today, after many post hoc corrections to the temperature data gathered at the time, in Nasa Giss 1998 is the third warmest year behind 2005 and 2010 (other El Nino years) although when one allows for the errors of measurement 1998 is statistically indistinguishable from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, and 2002. Technically the annual temperature of 2010 was equal to 2005 and only 0.03 deg C above 2007 – 2010 and 2005 were El Nino years, 2007 was a cool La Nina year – though not in statistical terms. The 2010 warmth was not yearlong being confined to two very warm months in March and June. The other ten months were at average or less than average temperature, as defined by the post-1997 surface standstill.

Some, such as Kevin Trenberth, are making a big deal of the putative 2014 El Nino, “there are some things going on in the tropical Pacific Ocean that we haven’t seen since the 1997, 1998 El Nino event…the question is how large it is going to be?”

We’ve been here before with the same commentators. It always happens when an El Nino is imminent see here, here and here.

While an El Nino might nudge temperatures up slightly, which considering the 2014 global surface temperatures seen in the first third of the year is probably the most that can happen this year, I don’t think that it will be a record breaker because there is less heat stored in the Pacific now than there was in the years preceding the 1997-8 event.

Looking at the surface temperature record the way the 1997-8 El Nino changed things is obvious. What will the next super El Nino do, if one is possible in the elevated temperatures of the past 16 years. Will it cause another step up?


Wind Farms Severely Harmful to Wildlife, New Study Finds

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 195 birds and other flying animals have been killed by turbines at five of the largest wind farms on Maui and Oahu since Aug. 2007.
A new study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, combining an impressive six hundred other studies, describes the severe effects wind turbines can have on wildlife. Not only are the disturbances and noise of the building of turbines an issue but also the sound of the windmills rotating and electromagnetic fields (EMF) caused by transferring the electricity produced to the mainland.

At the construction phase, for example, "extreme noise from pile-driving" is observed to cause "significant avoidance behaviour in marine mammals" and "highly likely to cause mortality and tissue damage in fish."

On the noise of the blades there was "avoidance of the offshore wind farm (OWF) area by harbour porpoise, and possibly a habituation over time."

EMF affects “cartilaginous fish, which use electromagnetic signals in detecting prey” and EMF could also disturb fish migration patterns.”

The OWF “may also alter local biodiversity patterns and lead to undesired effects.”

Onshore wind farms also have severe effects on animals and birds. A paper published in 2013 from Poland looked at domestic geese (Anser anser f domestica) bred 50m from a wind turbine against 500m for the control group.

After twelve weeks monitoring noise levels and the stress measuring cortisol levels the researchers concluded: “Lower activity and some disturbing changes in behavior of animals from group I (50m) were noted.

“Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.”

In Portugal a study also found that foals born near wind turbines developed Equine Flexural Limb Deformities.

Biologist Dr. Lynne Knuth, in a letter to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, testified: “The problems with animal reproduction reported in the wind farms in Wisconsin are lack of egg production, problems calving, spontaneous abortion (embryonic mortality), stillbirth, miscarriage and teratogenic effects:

In chickens: Crossed beaks, missing eyeballs, deformities of the skull (sunken eyes), joints of feet/legs bent at odd angles. In cattle: missing eyes and tails.”

While these effects seem to occur in the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine they are hugely important to humans. It has long been reported that those living near wind farms suffer from ill health.  Sleep deprivation, headaches, tinnitus, balance problems, motivational difficulties and depression are just some of the alleged effects.

Wind farms continue to be a controversial subject both on and offshore. Not only is the power in need of government subsidies, the comparative cost of producing a Megawatt (MWh) of power ranges from £60 to £65 for coal and gas through to £90 to £150 respectively for onshore and offshore wind farms. Certainly in the UK there is increasing resistance from the population, being the proverbial blot on the landscape.

Many wind farm proponents point to psychogenesis and its subset psychsomaticism, where the person has the real symptoms but they are psychological induced, rather than physically induced. One has to say with animals it is highly unlikely.

When the West Country band The Wurzels release a new record bemoaning wind farms, resistance has to be taken seriously.


Obama Talks Climate Change While Iraq Implodes

By Alan Caruba

It is depressing beyond words that we will have to endure two and a half more years of an endless stream of lies about climate change from President Obama.

On June 14 he gave a commencement speech to graduates of the University of California at Irvine, using it to tell Big Fat Lies, not the least of which was that the Earth’s temperatures were rising when in fact they have been falling for nearly eighteen years.

It is an endless source of wonder to me that no part of the mainstream media disputes him when he says things like this. For years now they have been reporting the evidence of increasingly cold weather worldwide.

 On the same day the President was lying about warming, eight inches of snow fell in Rize, Turkey. It has fallen as well in South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia while closer to home snow fell on several cities in Idaho with cold freezes extending into Oregon. In June!

Obama used the speech to demand that politicians take steps to acknowledge climate change which used to be called global warming until it became undeniable to everyone except the charlatans lining their pockets with utterly bogus “research” that underwrites the source of the lies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Obama continues to listen to his White House advisor, Dr. John Holdren, whose contempt for the human race is such he would happily see large parts of it disappear. In February, Holdren told reporters that all weather is impacted by climate change, but that is what climate change has done for 4.5 billion years. Not mentioned was that climate cycles are measured in centuries while weather is a short-term event. The most recent mini-ice age lasted from 1300 to 1850.

Holdren alluded to droughts affecting parts of the nation, claiming they were getting longer and drying. Two leading climate scientists, former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer and University of Colorado climate scientists, Roger Pielke, Jr, called Holdren’s assertions “pseudo-science rambling.” “The idea that any of the weather we are seeing is in any significant way due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions verges on irrationality,” said Spencer. Pielke called Holdren’s assertions “zombie science.”

While Holdren is warning about droughts that could cause famines, James M. Taylor, the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s monthly, Environment & Climate News, took aim at the IPCC claims, noting that U.S. and global crop production, especially the most important staple food crops, corn, rice, and wheat, “have more than tripled since 1970. During the past few years, the United States has set crop production records for alfalfa, cotton, beans, sugar beets, sweet potatoes, canola, corn, flaxseed, hops, rice sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, peanuts and wheat, to name just a few.”

The worst part of Obama’s lies about the so-called “greenhouse gases” that we’ve been told for decades are warming the Earth is the way those lies are translated into government policies. The Obama administration, via the Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a war on coal-fired plants that produce 40% of the nation’s electricity claiming that their emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing a warming that is not happening. What is happening is a deliberate effort to drive up the cost of electricity for everyone.

America runs on electricity and 68% of it is generated by fossil fuels, 20% by nuclear, and 7% by hydropower. So called “clean energy”, wind and solar, provides about 4% at far higher costs than the others and exists largely due to government subsidies and mandates.

Claims about increased severe storms, heat waves, and hurricanes simply have no basis in fact. In recent years there has been a record low in the numbers of tornadoes, hurricanes, no change in the rise of sea levels, but record gains in Arctic and Antarctic ice. None of this is reported by the mainstream media.

Yet Obama told graduates that rising temperatures and sea levels, as well as intensifying storm patterns represent “one of the most significant long-term challenges that our country and our planet face.” He said this even though his administration’s recent National Climate Assessment acknowledged that “There has been no universal trend in the overall extent of drought across the continental U.S. since 1900.” The report, however, is being used to justify carbon-related regulations.

While the world’s attention is on one of the greatest threats facing it, the takeover of northern Iraq by a barbaric Islamist group—one from which even al Qaeda disassociated itself—Obama is talking about non-existent climate threats to further policies that kill jobs in the U.S. and harm its struggling recovery of our economy.

While the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seeks to expand its control of a major portion of the Middle East, Obama thought it was more important to lie about the climate to college graduates.

How much more damage Obama can inflict on the economy between now and the end of his second term in office is unknown, but what we do know is that his priorities, based on scare-mongering speeches about the climate will continue until he leaves office.


That wicked mercury

by Viv Forbes

A mercury-based antiseptic in common use for many years

The environmental debate today is so corrupted by politics and propaganda that facts are too often distorted, and exaggeration of risk is commonplace.

The vicious war on hydro-carbon fuels is a good example where certain substances are labelled “poison” or “pollution” when associated with coal utilization, but blithely ignored in other areas.

For example, climate alarmists have labelled carbon dioxide produced by carbon fuels as a “pollutant” and the US Supreme Court even declared it to be so. But that ignores the simple truth that 100 times more carbon dioxide exists in the lungs of every animal on earth than in the air; it is an ingredient in beer, bread and champagne; it is essential nutrition for all plant life on earth; and this plant life supports all animal life – hardly a pollutant.

With their “CO2 pollution” propaganda failing, alarmists are now accusing coal of filling the air with mercury “poison”, which sounds really scary. Their aim now is to use supposed mercury dangers to force the closure of more coal-fired power stations. This is just another aspect of the war on carbon fuels – they want to kill coal by fair means or foul.

However if tiny traces of mercury are so dangerous, why do millions of people allow dentists to put silver amalgam (with 50% mercury) in their teeth? And why does the EPA ignore all the mercury waste that dentists flush down their sinks every day?

And why does the US FDA allow mercury compounds to be used in flu vaccines? And the people attacking the minute amount of mercury in coal are the same people promoting dangerous mercury-laden compact fluorescent lights.

Traces of mercury occur widely in rocks and minerals and it gets taken up in minute amounts by plants, water and animals living near those sources. When those plants form coal, tiny traces of mercury may be there too. In rare places the mercury content of rocks is so high that dangerous quantities may get into nearby plants and sea life. In other places, bushfires release more mercury to the atmosphere than coal-fired power stations. Mercury has been circulating in the biosphere for far longer than man has been burning coal. Whether it is poison or harmless depends on the dose.

So, let us take care with mercury, but let’s not lose track of where our biggest risks occur. Every human faces risks every day just staying alive. But emissions from modern pollution-controlled power stations using washed coal are not one of our major health hazards, especially where Australian coals are being used because their content of mercury is so extremely low. For many people in the world, lack of electricity, starvation, drought, floods and death from exposure pose far greater dangers than the risk that there may be from miniscule traces of mercury occurring naturally in all plant and animal material, including coal.

For those worried about possible over-consumption of mercury, another trace metal, selenium, provides natural protection. Today, the real health problem is more often a deficiency of selenium in the diet.

Some Real Mercury Risks

Humans have long used mercury and its compounds, sometimes at far greater risk than today. The term “mad as a hatter” arose over 100 years ago from symptoms suffered by felt hat makers handling mercuric nitrate while making felt hats from animal fur.

Ladies once used cinnabar, a bright red natural ore of mercury, as a cosmetic and mercuro-chrome was once widely-used to combat infection and scarring in wounds.

Perhaps the worst recent mercury incident occurred 50 years ago at Minamata Bay in Japan which was contaminated by mercury in waste from a plastics factory. Local residents were badly affected after eating contaminated shellfish from the bay.

Another incident in New Zealand, initially blamed on run-off from an old gold mine, involved mercury contamination of coastal fish. Then it was remembered that there was a fish of that type in the museum that had been caught before gold was discovered. This fish also had mercury. It was then found that the rock/soil near the sea contained higher than normal mercury and this was probably the source for the mercury in the fish.

More recently, many light-houses turned on a bath of mercury and there are millions of mercury-filled thermometers and electrical switches still in use.

Every activity in life involves risks. Every person must balance those risks and rewards sensibly.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


No comments: