Sunday, October 15, 2017

Australia: Surf Life Saving Queensland boss says swimmers not safe from crocodile attack

A warning now amplified by the apparent death of an elderly lady at Port Douglas -- apparently the result of a croc attack.

Since crocodiles were made protected under Greenie influence, their numbers have spiralled, with at least 100,000 of them in Australian waters now.  So there is no sense in continuing protection across the board.  I would argue that they be de-protected South of Daintree.  That would still leave them a large safe habitat.  Once an area had been cleared, some crocs would move South into it but that would simply make good targets for sporting shooters.  The core population would continue to thrive and human users of the waters would be safe from them

And what is this nonsense about relocating them?  Relocating them to zoos does stop them but relocating them to other areas and releasing them is a crock (Pun admitted).  They just swim back to their old stamping ground.  One croc that was relocated to the Western side of Cape York peninsula swam back all the way around Cape York to his old habitat well South on the East coast -- a journey of perhaps 1,000 km

A SURF Life Saving boss is warning swimmers they should no longer feel safe in some of our most popular waterways — as crocodile numbers keep rising.

A SURF Life Saving Queensland boss says swimmers can no longer feel safe in the state’s waterways due to the increased threat of crocodile attack.

SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill yesterday told a public hearing into Katter’s Australia Party’s proposed Safer Waterways Bill there was a growing risk to both Surf Life Saving staff and the general public at Queensland beaches.

“We have seen a growing trend and a higher risk to our community,” he said.  “The reality is that there’s tourists sunbaking and there’s crocodiles (basking) less than 30m apart.  “It’s a risk that has the potential to have a catastrophic result for the community.”

The revelation comes after The Courier-Mail this week revealed crocodile sightings in the state have increased by more than 38 per cent in the past two years.

Mr Hill said while the service did not support killing crocodiles, it did want to see them removed from popular swimming areas.

“Both those levels (life guards and life savers) have identified a trend of seeing larger crocodiles in what we call public space, waterways where people can frequent. And when I say larger crocodiles, over the past five years the trend has certainly grown to see 3m to 4m crocodiles.

“(This) is in public spaces such as Port Douglas Beach, Four Mile Beach, there was one there last week that we closed the beach for, Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Forest Beach in Ingham, Townsville’s Strand.”

Mr Hill said members were becoming hesitant to patrol waterways north of Townsville and that he was particularly concerned for the safety of SLSQ staff manning stinger nets in north Queensland.

“Unfortunately crocodiles can enter those (nets) and ... we have situations where every morning in summer our lifesavers and lifeguards will drag those nets for stingers.

“But they’re going in knowing there may or may not be a crocodile in there.”

Mr Hill said he supported changes to the state’s crocodile management plan if it meant safer waterways for swimmers.

“We need to protect our environment but certainly we need to protect the public and our users and future surf life savers and people that frequent our waters,” he said.

“While we don’t want to see the crocs harmed in any way, we certainly do support the removal of any crocodile that’s in a public space that could be a risk to anyone in the community whether it’s a bite or a fatal attack.”

The proposed KAP Bill would introduce a number of new measures including controlled crocodile culls and egg harvesting.

A spokesman for Australia Zoo also spoke at the hearing and slammed the Bill saying it was poorly researched and would not make waterways any safer.

“This legislation will be disastrous for humans and for crocodiles,” he said. “The environmental research has been basic and sketchy.”


NASA Satellite Reveals Source of El Niño-Fueled Carbon Dioxide Spike

Some interesting admissions below.  Nobody knows what portion of CO2 emissions will remain in the atmosphere, for instance.  That being so, their climate models are pure guesswork

For every ton of carbon dioxide emitted by a power plant's smokestack or a car's exhaust pipe, some portion will stay in the Earth's atmosphere, raising global temperatures, while the rest is absorbed by the oceans or ecosystems on land.

But which parts of the ocean or biosphere act as net sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) and which take up more than they emit into the atmosphere, has been an open question. Figuring that out, as well as understanding what mechanisms govern that interplay and how they might change along with the climate, has been an open question and one that is key to understanding how global warming will progress.

The 2014 launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite was aimed at beginning to piece together some answers by monitoring the comings and goings of CO2 from the atmosphere with unprecedented precision and over large regions. [The Reality of Climate Change: 10 Myths Busted]

So far, the mission has done that and has turned up some surprises along the way. The mission serendipitously coincided with one of the strongest El Niños (an ocean and atmosphere cycle that impacts global weather) on record, allowing scientists to see how the carbon cycle responded and pinpoint exactly where the resulting record pulse of CO2 that entered the atmosphere came from. The satellite's instruments also unexpectedly proved capable of distinguishing the relatively small CO2 signatures of cities and even volcano plumes.

"We're very, very happy with these results," deputy project scientist Annmarie Eldering, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Live Science.

But the findings, described in series of five papers in the Oct. 13 issue of the journal Science, are just the first steps at getting a better handle on the carbon cycle (how carbon flows through land and sea ecosystems and the atmosphere), as OCO-2 heads into an expected extended mission and other space-based projects are scheduled to follow in its wake.

Luck and surprises

Carbon dioxide is added to and removed from the atmosphere by a range of competing processes. On land, for example, the photosynthesis of plants takes up CO2, while the decay of plant matter and wildfires release it back into the atmosphere. [Here's How Carbon Dioxide Warms the Planet]

Scientists knew that El Niños were another factor that caused more CO2 to build up in the Earth's atmosphere, and from the 1997-1998 major El Niño, they had some suspicions on why that was. For one thing, El Niño tends to lead to drying in parts of the tropics, resulting in less photosynthesis and less uptake of carbon dioxide.

What project scientists couldn't know when the satellite rocketed into space on July 2, 2014, was that it would be perfectly poised to observe how one of the strongest El Niños in the books affected the carbon cycle.

"Sometimes you get really lucky," said Galen McKinley, a carbon cycle scientist at Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

These effects were in evidence during the 2015-2016 event, which caused the biggest year-over-year jump in global CO2 concentrations on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But OCO-2 revealed, as is so often the case in science, that the picture was more complicated than previously thought.

The satellite's observations let project scientists piece together the sequence of events of the carbon cycle's response as the El Niño geared up and then reached its peak. They saw that at first there was a tiny dip in carbon dioxide levels over the tropical Pacific because of changes in the structure of the underlying ocean that meant waters gave off less CO2. But that slight decrease was quickly overtaken by the much larger response from terrestrial biomass as drought, heat and wildfires took a toll and caused less CO2 to be absorbed and more to be released.

The ocean signal "was really a big surprise to us," said Abhishek Chatterjee, a scientist with University Space Research Association working at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center. The response had been inferred before, "but it was never observed to the degree that we could" with OCO-2, he said.

The team was able to take the analysis a step further by using OCO-2's capability to detect a signature of photosynthesis, which is a marker of the productivity of land plants. Together, the data showed that while the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, South America and Africa all added about the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, they did so for different reasons. In Southeast Asia, the hot, dry conditions brought on by El Niño made the region more vulnerable to fire, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. In South America, dry conditions tamped down plant productivity, meaning the biosphere took up less carbon dioxide, so that the region became a net source of CO2. And in Africa, while rainfall was about normal, exceptional heat increased plant respiration, which caused more CO2 emissions.


Germany Temperatures Baffle: September Mean Shows Hardly Any Warming In 70 Years

Temperatures are rising and rising and rising. That’s what we read in any case in the daily newspaper, and that’s what some television professors, activists and climate scientists are telling us. Strangely rarely are temperature curves ever shown. Why is this so? One example is the September mean temperature for Germany, which we use to illustrate this peculiar media documentation gap.

Here we use the official DWD German Weather Service data. When we look at the past 100 years we see a very modest warming of just a few tenths of a degree (Fig. 1). This is no surprise as we find ourselves in the warming phase since the Little Ice Age, the coldest phase of the last 10,000 years. It would have been terrible had the climate stayed at this non-representative low level.

Figure 1: Chart depicting Germany September mean temperature over the past 100 years. Data source: DWD.

It is easy to see the long cycles in the temperature curve. Above we a cold phase between 1920 and 1930, followed by a warm period during the Nazi time, and then followed by a long-term cold dip.

Beginning in 1985, September began to warm up again before reaching a plateau that took hold just before the year 2000 and at which we currently find ourselves. Based on the past development one could speculate that we are headed towards a slight cooling.

Now let’s look at the period from the end of WWII until today, more than 70 years, the time of the last temperature plateau until today. Immediately we see that we are far from worrisome climate warming (Fig. 2):

Figure 2: Chart depicting Germany September mean temperature over the past 70 years. Data source: DWD.

Finally we take a look at the past 13 years (Fig. 3), i.e. the development since 2004. Again there has not been any significant warming. In fact there’s been some cooling. Everything other than a climate catastrophe.

Figure 3: Chart of September mean temperatures in Germany over the past 13 years. Data source: DWD.

Getting back to the primary question of why isn’t the German media showing the real German temperature curve, obviously the real facts are just too inconvenient. A pert of the public could even lose its faith in the much-preached climate catastrophe and end up sharply criticizing the harsh sacrifices now being made because of the climate fear that has been instilled by policymakers.

It’s high time for the issue to be made transparent and to push back against the activism. What’s needed is a new environmental protection ethic, one which addresses all the problems.

The excessive focus on the climate question is no longer sustainable and is even counterproductive. Other more important problems that can be solved over the short term require greater attention — clean water, clean air and clean food being evenly distributed — would be a common ethical goal for mankind to strive for. The fear-mongering climate protection issue is a repeat of the earlier business model of sin and the sale of indulgences.


No Impact of Ocean Acidification on the Behavior of Juvenile Damselfish
Paper Reviewed: Kwan, G., Hamilton, T.J. and Tresguerres, M. 2017. CO2-induced ocean acidification does not affect individual or group behavior in a temperate damselfish. Royal Society Open Science 4: 170283,

Introducing their study, Kwan et al. (2017) write that most ocean acidification (OA) studies tend to be conducted in laboratory settings under constant pH values that are projected to occur by the end of this century. However, they note that "this situation does not adequately represent the large, natural variability of coastal environments caused by near shore processes such as upwelling, water advection and primary production," which often produce coastal CO2/pH changes that exceed the predicted pH changes over seasonal and even daily timescales. As an example of this variability, they point to the La Jolla kelp forest, off the coast of San Diego, USA, where seawater pH "can range from 8.07 (pCO2 ~ 246 µatm) to 7.87 (pCO2 ~ 820 µatm) and from 7.80 (pCO2 ~ 353 µatm) to 7.67 (pCO2 ~ 1016 µatm)" at depths of 7 and 17 m, respectively. Sadly, however, they report that "to date there are no reports of fish behavioral or physiological responses to current environmentally relevant CO2/pH variability." And thus they set out to conduct the first such experiment.

The fish chosen for their analysis was blacksmith (Chromis punctipinnis), a damselfish that inhabits southern California waters year-round among the rocky reefs and kelp forests. Juveniles of this species were subjected to three experimental conditions in two separate months of the year: control (January: pCO2 = 549 ?atm, 7.91 pH units; September: pCO2 = 530 ?atm, 7.93 pH units), constant acidification (January: pCO2 = 983 µatm, 7.68 pH units; September: pCO2 = 859 µatm, 7.74 pH units) and oscillating acidification (January: day: pCO2 = 587 µatm, 7.89 pH units; night: pCO2 = 1066 µatm, 7.65 pH units; September: day: pCO2 = 532 µatm, 7.93 pH units; night: pCO2 = 845 µatm, 7.75 pH units). Testing included an evaluation of both individual and group behaviors after CO2/pH treatment exposure of 7 and 11 days, respectively. And what did their study reveal?

In the words of the authors, and as illustrated in the figure below, "neither constant nor oscillating CO2-induced acidification affected blacksmith individual light/dark preference, inter-individual distance in a shoal or the shoal's response to a novel object, suggesting that blacksmiths are tolerant to projected future OA conditions." As for why there was no impact, Kwan et al. opine that it "could be due to a variety of not mutually exclusive reasons," including (1) "blacksmiths may be able to regulate the acid/base status of their internal fluids, so OA relevant elevations in CO2 levels do not affect neuronal function," or (2) "they may be able to regulate neuronal membrane potential to offset potential effects of OA on the chemistry of their internal fluids." Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain, ocean acidification will not be a problem for juvenile blacksmith in the future.


Green Activists Face Up To 21 Years In Prison As Judge Rejects Climate Change Excuse

A lawyer for an environmental activist convicted of targeting an oil pipeline in North Dakota said he doesn’t think a judge’s decision disallowing the threat of global warming as a defense to justify the crime would be grounds for an appeal.

Defendant Michael Foster, of Seattle, said he has not decided whether to appeal his jury conviction to the North Dakota Supreme Court, and part of him wants “to honor the judge and the jury and their verdict.”

Foster took part in effort on Oct. 11, 2016, to draw attention to climate change by turning off valves on five pipelines that bring Canadian oil south. Foster targeted the Keystone Pipeline in North Dakota. Other activists targeted pipelines in Minnesota, Montana and Washington state.

A jury in North Dakota’s Pembina County on Friday convicted Foster after a weeklong trial of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and conspiracy. He faces up to 21 years in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 18. The man who filmed his protest action, Samuel Jessup of Winooski, Vermont, was convicted of conspiracy and faces up to 11 years.

Foster had hoped to use a legal tactic known as the climate necessity defense — justifying a crime by arguing that it prevented a greater harm from happening. Prosecutors objected, saying they didn’t want a trial on global warming.




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


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