Sunday, October 08, 2017

There’s a Climate Bomb Under Your Feet

Difficult to know what to make of this but it seems that warming soils give off CO2.  So the slight warming of the last century or so must be partly responsible for present elevated CO2 levels.  So warming elevates CO2 levels.  But Warmists normally tell us that elevated CO2 levels cause warming.  So which way around is it?  I think the Greenies below have rather shot themselves in the foot.  Anyway, we clearly must  keep our soils cool. Not sure how.

Long before most people ever heard of climate change, scientists divided a patch of Harvard University-owned forest in central Massachusetts into 18 identical 6-meter by 6-meter squares. A canopy of red maple and black oak trees hangs there, looming above the same stony soil tilled by colonial farmers. Rich in organic material, it was exactly what the researchers were looking for.

They broke the land up into six blocks of three squares each. In every block, one square was left alone, one was threaded with heating cables that elevated its temperature 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) above the surrounding area. The third square was threaded with cables but never turned on, as a control.

That was 26 years ago. The purpose was to measure how carbon dioxide may escape from the earth as the atmosphere warms. What they found, published yesterday in the journal Science, may mean the accelerating catastrophe of global warming has been fueled in part by warm dirt. As the Earth heats up, microbes in the soil accelerate the breakdown of organic materials and move on to others that may have once been ignored, each time releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Extrapolating from their forest study, the researchers estimate that over this century the warming induced from global soil loss, at the rate they monitored, will be “equivalent to the past two decades of carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and is comparable in magnitude to the cumulative carbon losses to the atmosphere due to human-driven land use change during the past two centuries.”

The atmosphere gets all the attention in climate change, mostly because that’s where the warming happens.

The soil, meanwhile, has been mostly ignored until lately. It’s both hugely influential on global warming and something humanity has a good deal of control over. The top 3 meters or so of earth store more carbon than the entire atmosphere and all plants combined. Taking care of the planet’s soil is “critical for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations,” according to a synthesis by Stanford University’s Robert Jackson and five colleagues, published Thursday in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics.

Scientists aren’t going to resolve the global carbon cycle down to the last atom soon. What the Annual Review authors do point out, though, is that land use and agricultural practices can simultaneously trap carbon in soil—helping the fight against warming—and improving yields for all the things humanity’s swelling population will need in coming decades. Reducing tillage and fallow time, managing grazing better, planting more legumes, and other practices all help keep more carbon in the ground.

Warming soil may set off a chain reaction of carbon emissions that “could be very difficult, if not impossible, to halt”
The hopeful calls for collaboration laid out in the Annual Review and Global Change Biology must nevertheless be tempered by the steady drumbeat of off-putting news from other parts of the Earth science research community.

Scientists have long been concerned that once humans kicked off warming of the atmosphere and seas, other parts of nature will take what we've begun and run with it. Some things are in our control—land use, pollution from fossil-fuel combustion. A global pulse in microbial carbon-munching, however, they write, “could be very difficult, if not impossible, to halt.”


Wind power corruption

A decade or so from now, when thousands of wind turbines are quietly rusting in some dimwit’s back paddock, the next generation will rightly ask why states and whole nations squandered $billions on a wholly weather dependent power source, abandoned centuries ago for pretty obvious reasons?

Eventually, the spotlight will turn on the political enablers who made it happen.

In Scotland, characters like Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have exhibited a maniacal obsession with wind power, which can only be explained through political ambition and financial gain (these days, the latter being essential to guarantee the former).
Sturgeon and Salmond (indeed politicians of all shades) have benefited handsomely through donations thrown their way from foreign wind turbine manufacturers and foreign-owned wind power outfits.

In Australia, the Labor Party is fueled by money channelled from Union super funds which are heavily invested in wind power outfits, such as Pacific Hydro.

Our Liberal PM protects the wind industry because his son, Alex is heavily invested in it.

As former Labor Premier of NSW, Jack Lang pithily put it: ‘Always back the horse named self-interest, son. It’ll be the only one trying’.

Over the table ‘donations’ and under the table, ‘unauthorised facilitation’ payments have helped the wind industry obtain its ‘license’ to operate with impunity. And, true to its ‘green’ credentials, that money is effectively ‘recycled’ by wind power outfits, having been drawn from power consumers and/or taxpayers through government mandated subsidies, guaranteed feed-in-tariffs and the like, it seems only proper that some of it is returned to those who helped make it happen.

From the beginning of the greatest rort in history, the wind industry begged for massive and endless subsidies and the political class happily obliged, on the condition that a fair proportion of that cash be siphoned back into their party’s electioneering war chest: from their perspective, a win-win situation.

Not so for the businesses and households forced to pay for it, nor for those communities forced to live with it.


A Federal Court Just Threw A Wrench In Trump’s Energy Plans

A federal court ruled the Trump administration “unlawfully” delayed a regulation limiting methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands.

The U.S. District Court of Northern California ruled against the Trump administration hours after officials published a proposal to delay the methane rule in the Federal Register.

Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte said the Interior Department violated the Administrative Procedures Act by indefinitely delaying parts of the methane rule from being implemented. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delayed the rule in June.

Laporte’s ruling means the methane rule will go into effect. The rule requires oil and gas producers operating on federal land to install equipment to stop leaks and capture methane that would otherwise be vented or flared.

The Obama administration finalized the $1.8 billion rule in late 2016. It was one of many “midnight” regulations finalized in the weeks before President Donald Trump took office.

Laporte’s ruling comes one week after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmentalists who want the rule put in place.

The appeals court said it was a waste of judicial resources to adjudicate given the Trump administration planned on rescinding the rule anyways.

The Interior Department put the rule under review in June, setting it up for repeal. That came after Congress failed to pass a bill repealing the methane rule in May. Three Republican senators voted against repealing the methane rule.

Some oil and gas drillers have already complied with the rule, though others will now have to scramble to catch up. It could take months before the Trump administration can legally delay the rule.

“As we strengthen America’s energy independence, we intend to evaluate regulations to determine if they unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, or prevent job creation,” acting Bureau of Land Management Director Michael Nedd said in a statement.

“Our proposal would give the BLM sufficient time to review the 2016 final rule and consider revising or rescinding its requirements,” Nedd said.


Will La Nina Bring Down Global Temperatures To Pre-El Nino Levels?

If history is any guide, once La Nina becomes well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean, global temperatures should drop noticeably relative-to-normal. 

Earlier this year, there were signs that a weak El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean could continue through the fall and even into the upcoming winter season, but there is now substantial agreement amongst numerous computer forecast models that La Nina conditions are likely to become established over the next couple of months and current observations back this notion.

La Nina is a naturally occurring oceanic cycle that produces colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean whereas El Nino is associated with warmer-than-normal SSTs.  The formation of La Nina in the tropical Pacific Ocean will likely have important ramifications around the world including significant impacts on the upcoming winter season, next summer’s tropical season, and global temperatures.

Compilation of statistical and dynamical computer forecast models of ENSO in coming months.  Most of these models predict La Nina conditions will form over the next couple of months in the tropical Pacific Ocean

Numerous independently-made computer forecast models depict a change from the current near-neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean to La Nina conditions by the winter of 2017-2018.  The plume of model El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) model forecasts from mid-September indicate a transition to La Nina conditions are quite likely to take hold by later this fall.  Indeed, some models are predicting a fairly strong La Nina by the middle of the upcoming winter season with sea surface temperatures as much as 1.5°C below-normal in the “Nino 3.4” region (central tropical Pacific).

Sea surface temperatures have indeed changed dramatically in the tropical Pacific Ocean between the spring and today with a “wavy” pattern of colder-than-normal

Global temperatures spiked across the world during the last strong El Nino event which reached a peak during the latter part of 2015 and early part of 2016 and they have trended slightly lower this year from that high point.  According to Weather Bell Analytics, NOAA’s CFSv2 global temperature anomalies spiked in 2016 to +0.457°C above the 1981-2010 average and those anomalies – while still above normal – have dropped slightly this year to +0.382°C (through October 2nd).  If history is any guide, once La Nina becomes well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean, global temperatures should drop noticeably relative-to-normal.


Thousands turn out across Australia to protest against Carmichael coal mine after controversial $16 billion project was given the green light

This is a long-planned Greenie activity.  The problems they are protesting about are imaginary.  It is just a way of getting publicity for themselves.  There is nothing spontaneous or grass-roots about it

Thousands of people gathered across Australia to protest a coal mine in North Queensland on Saturday.

Protesters in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast rallied against Indian company Adani's plans for the mine in the Galilee Basin.

The protests were part of Stop Adani group's 'big day of protest', with 45 rallies across the nation.

The $16 billion coal mine was given the green light earlier this year, with pre-planning construction set to begin next month.

Organisers believe around 1500 people attended a protest on Bondi Beach, using their bodies to spell out '#StopAdani' on the sand.

Protesters in Melbourne's Princes Park followed suit, with many also running through 'Stop Adani' flags wearing 'Team Reef' shirts.

A further 2,000 protesters packed the Melbourne park carrying placards which read 'Protect our Future'.

The rallies also featured protesters wearing over-sized masks of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Adani founder Gautam Adani.

Nine hundred people are believed to have taken part in a Newtown rally, while protesters took to the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra with large banners against the coal mine.

CEO of, a group that opposes new coal, oil and gas projects, Blair Palese, said both governments were not listening to the public.

'While the Queensland and Federal governments remain staunch supporters of this dirty mine, new polling shows the Australian community is angry that $1 billion of public money could be handed to Adani for a mine which will wreck the climate and the Reef,' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

'Voters are clear. They believe the Queensland government should stick to its promise and block the $1 billion loan to billionaire Adani for his private rail line.'

A ReachTEL poll, released on Saturday by the Stop Adani movement, shows 56 per cent of Australians oppose the coal project.

The construction of the mine, if it is given a green light, will be the largest in Australia.

Opponents to the mine believe it will damage the already ravaged Great Barrier Reef and bring environmental harm to the area.

Both State and Federal governments have defended the proposed mine, which promises to bring much-needed jobs back to far North Queensland.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said while the mine will help many families seeking employment, Adani will be held to 'the toughest environmental conditions'.

'You only have to travel to regional Queensland to understand what this project means to thousands of families out there that will be employed through this project,' she said.

'At the end of the day we have the toughest environmental conditions attached to that mine.' 




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


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Warming the soil causes microbes to recycle the carbon on the forest floor faster. They are not however creating new carbon or destroying any old carbon.

The question though is what was the real science that was planned and started 26 years ago that was hijacked to tell us what is obvious? It's long been known that microbes work faster when they aren't cold, a baker doesn't but bread into a cool space to rise but instead into a warm one.

Or did they really waste 26 years of money and effort running this project so they could tell us what they could have deduced in five minutes?