Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Climate Change Is Driving These Cute Mountain Critters Out of Their Homes

More dubious climate "science".  Let me dissect it.  If global warming is affecting animal populations in the Lake Tahoe region, the temperatures in the Lake Tahoe region should also be warming.  But are they?  The propagandists below are on top of that.  They point out that mean summer temperatures have risen at the Tahoe City weather station over the last 100 years.  

But the mean temperature includes cooler periods of the day and night so doesn't tell us much about events distressful to the pikas. What you need is an account of MAXIMUM temperatures.

And the graph below is of MAXIMUM summer temperatures at Lake Tahoe.  And we see that maximum temperatures in the Tahoe area were markedly higher in the 1920s and 1930s.  Tahoe summers as a whole have been COOLING long term. Temperatures at Tahoe have in fact become LESS distressful to pikas over the long term.

You'll never get the whole story about anything from the Green/Left.  They can't afford it.  Reality just does not sing their song

The chirps of the American pika have gone silent in a core portion of their habitat in California.

New research finds that the pika (Ochotona princeps) disappeared from a 64 square-mile (165 square kilometers) section of the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Lake Tahoe between the 1950s and the early 1990s. Pikas are tiny mammals, related to rabbits, that live on mountain slopes. They're known for making hay while the sun shines, harvesting grass all summer to dry and store for winter sustenance (they don't hibernate). They're also known for their distinctive, high-pitched alarm cries, which frequently greet hikers and backpackers picking their way along rock fields in pika habitat.

But pikas are struggling in the face of climate change, as highlighted by the new study, published online today (Aug. 30) in the journal PLOS ONE.

Pikas are adapted for cold weather — they even have fur on the bottoms of their feet, said study leader Joseph Stewart, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They must climb to higher elevations when it gets warm to avoid overheating. They also rely on winter snows to blanket and insulate their dens, lest they freeze to death. Global warming has buffeted pikas from both sides by boosting summer temperatures and shrinking winter snowpack, Stewart told Live Science.

Stewart started doing pika surveys around northern Lake Tahoe in 2011 after conservation groups petitioned to list the small mammals as endangered under both California and federal law. He and his colleagues focused on 14 sites in a triangular-shaped area bounded by north Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River and Highway 267, a region they called the "Pluto triangle" because it encompasses the 8,617-foot-tall (2,626 meters) Mount Pluto. They visited the triangle sites multiple times between 2011 and 2016, searching for pikas, pika fecal pellets and hay piles and listening for pika calls. They also compiled survey information from 24 areas nearby but outside the triangle.

Using radiocarbon dating, which measures isotopes of carbon to determine organic matter's age, the researchers were able to determine that the pika droppings from the Pluto triangle dated back from before 1955 all the way to 1991. In other words, while pikas vanished from some areas before 1955, the total disappearance of the species from this region was more recent.

"All signs point to climate change" as the cause, Stewart said.

Temperatures measured at the nearby Tahoe City weather station reveal an upward march of temperatures in the area, with an average increase of 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.9 degrees Celsius) between 1910 and 2015, the researchers reported. Winter snowpack in the area has also declined, they found: Before 1955, there was not a single year on record with less than 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) of snowpack. After 1955, 34 percent of years had snowpacks lower than that level.

Pikas still persist in the Sierra Nevadas outside the Pluto triangle, but their future is precarious. Today, the animals have about 469 square miles (1,214 square km) of land with suitable climate in the greater Lake Tahoe area where mean summer temperatures stay below 57.5 degrees F (14.2 degrees C), the level above which pika survival becomes precarious, Stewart said.

By modeling projected temperatures, Stewart and his colleagues found that suitable habitats in the right temperature range will decline 77 percent from its current area by 2030, and by 97 percent by 2050. That would leave a mere 13 square miles (33 square km) of land with suitable climate where pikas could survive year-round near Lake Tahoe.

The pika's story, though, is one of variability, said Johanna Varner, a biologist and pika expert at Colorado Mesa University, who was not involved in the study. In some regions, particularly in the more isolated mountains of southern Utah, climate change has hit pikas hard. In other areas, like the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, pikas manage to live quite happily at practically sea level, thanks to short winters and cool under-rock refuges, Varner told Live Science. Some subpopulations seem to be able to adapt behaviorally, perhaps by reducing their foraging time during the hottest parts of the day.

"In some places, they seem to be doing OK," she said. But in others, the pikas don't have much resilience because less time spent foraging in the summer means starvation in the winter, she added: "There are some places that the outlook doesn't look very good, particularly in these really isolated low-elevation places where the pikas just don't have a lot of refuge to get away from warm summer temperatures."

The Pluto triangle is relatively low elevation, Varner said, so though it's a large area, it's also not entirely surprising that pikas living there might struggle with warming temperatures.


Donald Trump doesn't think much of climate change, in 20 quotes

1. "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
2. "It's freezing and snowing in New York -- we need global warming!"

3. "It's freezing outside, where the hell is 'global warming'??"
4. "I wonder if the Rutgers coach who had the audacity to yell at the player is a proponent of global warming?"
5. "We should be focused on magnificently clean and healthy air and not distracted by the expensive hoax that is global warming!"
6. "Wow, it's snowing in Isreal and on the pyramids in Egypt. Are we still wasting billions on the global warming con? MAKE U.S. COMPETITIVE!"
7. "Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee - I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!"

8. "Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air - not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense."
9. Obama said in his SOTU that 'global warming is a fact.' Sure, about as factual as 'if you like your healthcare, you can keep it.'"
10. "When will our country stop wasting money on global warming and so many other truly "STUPID" things and begin to focus on lower taxes?"
11. "It's late in July and it is really cold outside in New York. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING??? We need some fast! It's now CLIMATE CHANGE"
12. "Just out - the POLAR ICE CAPS are at an all time high, the POLAR BEAR population has never been stronger. Where the hell is global warming?"

13. "It's really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!"
14. "Wow, 25 degrees below zero, record cold and snow spell. Global warming anyone?"
15. "Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?"
16. "I believe in clean air. Immaculate air. But I don't believe in climate change."
17. "I'm not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it's going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling...They thought the Earth was cooling. Now, it's global warming...But the problem we have, and if you look at our energy costs, and all of the things that we're doing to solve a problem that I don't think in any major fashion exists."

18. "Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be—received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn't care less. They have very—you know, their standards are nothing. But they—in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it's very hard on our business."
19. "I'm not supposed to be using hair spray. But think of it. So Obama's always talking about the global warming, that global warming is our biggest and most dangerous problem, OK?"
20. "I did not. I did not. I do not say that." (see #1)


Denmark faces first ‘summer-less’ July in 38 years

Let’s face it, this has hardly felt like summer. Now we’ve got the numbers to prove it.

According to the Danish Meteorology Institute (DMI), July is likely to end without a single ‘summer day’, which is defined as any day in which temperatures top 25C (77F) at least somewhere in Denmark.

If the next five days come and go without hitting 25C as predicted, it will mark the first time that Danes will have suffered through a summer-less July in nearly four decades.

“There are only three years in our records in which July contains a big fat zero when it comes to summer days and temps above 25C. That’s 1962, 1974 and 1979,” climatologist John Cappelen said on the DMI website.

DMI’s database goes back to 1874.

The warmest day thus far this month was July 19th, when an almost-yet-not-quite-there 24.6C was recorded. There were only two days in all of June that qualified as a summer day, while May had five.

But meteorologist Klaus Larsen said that all hope is not yet lost.

“The prognoses for the last day of the month - Monday the 31st – are hopping back and forth over the magic point. Until then there are no real signs that we will get over 25C so no matter what we are looking at a meteorological photo finish,” he said.



Al Gore Outsold On Kindle By An E-Book Debunking ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’

Former Vice President Al Gore’s new book is lagging in sales, and, in fact, is being outsold on Amazon Kindle by an e-book debunking many of the claims made in “An Inconvenient Sequel.”

Climatologist Roy Spencer authored an e-book “An Inconvenient Deception” to critique the “bad science, bad policy and some outright falsehoods” in Gore’s latest movie and book, which were released in August. Now, it’s ranked higher in Amazon’s Kindle store.

“There are three big weaknesses in Gore’s new movie: science, economics and energy policy,” Spencer, a noted skeptic of catastrophic global warming, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Gore released the sequel to his widely popular 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” in August, embarking on a media tour to promote the book and film. But so far, ticket sales have lagged, and even left-wing reviewers have harshly criticized the film.

The e-book published to accompany Gore’s film is ranked #51,031 for purchases in the Kindle Store, according to Spencer’s book is ranked #1,201 for Kindle Store purchases.

On the media circuit, Gore repeatedly said “every night on the network news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations.” His movie points to extreme weather events as evidence of man-made global warming, including the drought in Syria.

“It’s wrong because everything Gore shows in the new movie happens naturally,” said Spencer, who’s been studying Earth’s climate for decades.

Spencer even appeared before Congress for the first time in 1990 before a committee chaired by Gore. He currently compiles satellite-derived global temperature data with Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Gore also points to regular flooding in Miami as evidence that human activities are currently driving more destructive natural disasters. One scene in the film shows Gore and Miami Mayor Philip Levine wading through flooded streets, which is tied to melting glaciers.

“It’s kind of hard to pump the ocean,” Gore says in the film.

“Sea level has been rising steadily at about 1 inch per decade for over 150 years, long before CO2 emissions could be blamed,” Spencer said, noting one of Gore’s most egregious deceptions in the film.

“In Miami Beach, the rise is double because the building were built of reclaimed swamp, which is now sinking,” Spencer said. “Video of glaciers calving and Greenland melting is another example, it happens every year, just as it has for thousands of years, and 2017 was a huge snow accumulation year with little melting.”

Probably one of the most notorious scenes in “An Inconvenient Sequel” depicts the 9/11 memorial site flooded during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

In his 2006 film, Gore predicted the 9/11 memorial site would flood due to glacial melt, which he said would raise sea levels 20 feet. Gore used the one-time flooding event as proof that his global warming predictions came to pass.

“The movie mentions one prediction he thinks he got right, the flooding of the 9/11 memorial,” Spencer said. “But that was due to storm surge, not sea level rise. So in the new move he lied about the storm surge explanation being mentioned in the first movie.”

Gore also claims in the movie that corn and wheat yields in China have been declining because of rising global average temperature.

“Agricultural yields around the world have continued to increase, with no sign of negative effects from global warming,” Spencer said. “His claim that corn and wheat yields in China have decreased in recent decades is, quite simply, false.”


Australia: Bill shock looms unless more coal-fired generators come online

Australians are at risk from a dangerous shortfall in baseload power that could drive up household electricity bills, according to a new report to the Turnbull government that comes as more voters turn away from paying higher prices for renewable energy.

The government has been warned of a looming gap in the national electricity supply as coal-fired power stations shut down, highlighting the need for urgent decisions to build new generators that operate around the clock.

The findings, delivered to Malcolm Turnbull and key ministers yesterday, come as consumers ring the alarm on the hit to their budgets from the upheaval in the energy market, with 49 per cent declaring they will not pay a cent more for renewable power.

A special Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, ­reveals an increase in the number of voters who refuse to pay a premium for renewable energy, with the number rising from 45 per cent in February. Although 25 per cent of voters say they are willing to pay an ­additional $100 a year for renewable energy, this has ­fallen from 28 per cent in a similar survey last October.

The government is shifting its focus to the reliability of new ­energy generators, as well as the push for a clean energy target, amid a fundamental Coalition divide over whether to offer more incentives to wind and solar farms. The new advice from the Australian Energy Market Operator to Energy Minister Josh ­Frydenberg emphasises the need to fix the shortage of baseload power by using coal or gas generators alongside more renewable generators.

The Australian was told the ­report warns of a shortfall that will worsen over the next decade as old coal-fired power stations are closed and the east coast grid loses huge amounts of “dispatch­able” electricity that has been supplied for decades regardless of weather conditions or the time of day.

The government is determined to fix the “dispatchability” issue as well as the “clean energy” demands that come with its stated commitment to meet internat­ional targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Driving the agenda is advice to government on the planned closure of the Liddell power station in NSW in 2022 and Vales Point in NSW in 2028. Those closures would take 3200 megawatt hours out of the east coast grid, double the capacity lost when Victoria’s Hazelwood power station shut down in April.

You can download the graphic here

The advice to the government from several reports, including modelling prepared for the ­energy review by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, shows the next wave of dispatchable power can come from coal as well as a combination of sources including renewables.

Some of the findings counter a push from Coalition MPs for a mammoth investment in a new coal-fired power station in Queensland, using more efficient “ultra supercritical” technology being rolled out in Asia.

A new coal-power station would take seven to eight years to build and could face fierce competition from wind and solar by the time it starts generating, given the steady fall in the cost of ­producing renewable energy. The ­expansion of an existing coal-fired power station is seen as a more ­viable option to add baseload power as quickly as possible.

Liberal National Party MP David Littleproud is calling for the expansion of the Kogan Creek power station in his Queensland electorate of Maranoa, a supercritical generator that is linked to a nearby coal mine and could be ramped up from its existing ­capacity of 700 megawatt hours.

The government is also alive to the potential of new solar farms, given advice that a new facility with a capacity of 800 megawatt hours could be rolled out in less than a year. The latest solar photovoltaic panels can produce 50 per cent more electricity at the same cost as earlier technology, while being combined with battery storage to guarantee reliability.

The government believes the Snowy Hydro scheme expansion can increase its capacity by 50 per cent to 3500 megawatt hours or more, turning a huge amount of solar or other renewable power into baseload electricity to be switched on as needed. While this could take up to six years, the project would add capacity quicker than a new coal-power station.

The Coalition partyroom meets today with MPs at odds over whether to endorse a clean energy target and whether to set a target that could include coal. Backbenchers said yesterday they were reluctant to start a debate on the issue until Mr Frydenberg had considered the AEMO report.

Mr Frydenberg said the report would show that there would have to be “sufficient dispatchability” in the network and that coal was a way to achieve this. “The cheapest form of existing power generation comes from existing coal,” he told Sky News. “It’s also a stable, reliable form of dispatchable power. So if we can keep our coal-fired power stations going for longer then that can provide a good outcome for Australian consumers. We recognise that we need coal in our system and we will ensure that that continues to be the case.”




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: