Thursday, December 21, 2017

UK: When US top brass links climate change to political instability, the world needs to listen

By NICHOLAS SOAMES.  Soames is old, a Tory Grandee, a demon driver and a friend of both The Prince of Wales and Robert Mugabe. He barks at women. So the fact that he believes Warmist generals about global warming is no surprise.

The allegations he refers to are just that: Unproven allegations. There is no demonstrable link between recent African droughts and global warming. The droughts did however occur during an El Nino, which shifts rains from one place to another so that is by far the most probable cause of the droughts

Saying that "drought causes" something is in any case dumb and ignores the complexity of a causal chain.  Australia has severe droughts more often than not but no Australian farmers have so far become Muslim terrorists.

As the wells ran dry around Lake Chad, Boko Haram tightened their grip. An extreme drought, made worse by record temperatures, helped push farmers with nothing left to lose into the arms of Islamic extremists.

These new recruits would go on to help terrorise the region with bombings, abductions and assassinations.

This was just one of the chilling examples I heard last week from a visiting delegation of three and four-star US military men who came to London to deliver a stark warning to MPs and Peers on the growing security risks posed by climate change.

Climate change does not cause conflict. Yet in areas of political instability it is the equivalent, to quote Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, formerly of the Royal Navy, “of pouring a bucket of petrol on a smouldering fire.”

Extreme weather events like severe droughts are increasingly linked to climate change, and the subsequent crop failures...


Pruitt 'guaranteeing' debate on climate science soon

The conservative Heritage Foundation might have just previewed the Trump administration's arguments against climate science.

U.S. EPA appears to be close to unveiling its program to question mainstream research on global warming, referred to as a "red team" exercise, and several candidates for that role cast doubt on the extent of climate change at the Heritage Foundation yesterday.

One theme they expressed is that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels should no longer be considered a pollutant but instead an essential ingredient in maintaining a global population boom. They described potentially catastrophic impacts of human-caused warming as "alarmism."

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt could announce the red team within weeks, according to Bob Murray, a key ally of the administration and the CEO of Murray Energy Corp. The coal boss said in an interview at yesterday's event that he has been personally pushing Pruitt to challenge the endangerment finding, the scientific underpinning for past and future regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

Murray, who met with Pruitt last week, said the administrator told him the red-team debate is imminent. Pruitt also said the exercise is the first step toward a possible challenge to the endangerment finding, Murray told E&E News.

"They're laying groundwork for it, they want to do this red, blue study, debate on science before we get there," Murray said of the endangerment finding. "I said, 'You need to get it done; if you don't get it repealed, you're going to have this climate agenda forever. It needs to be repealed.'"

Murray added of Pruitt: "He's not guaranteeing me. He's guaranteeing to do the red-blue climate debate and then go from there."

The Trump administration has been aggressive in its efforts to rescind policies restricting greenhouse gases. It's working to reverse the Clean Power Plan, which sought to cut power-sector emissions 32 percent by 2030, and President Trump has announced a withdrawal from the global Paris climate accord.

But the administration has stopped short of promising to challenge the endangerment finding. That stands to be a major fight in the courts, and many administration officials anticipate defeat. Yet if President Trump skips that fight, he would anger staunch conservatives who see the endangerment finding as the cornerstone of future climate regulation.

"We're going to have a mess until that endangerment finding is overturned," Murray said.

The red-team, blue-team exercise is coming early next year, Pruitt said recently. It will pit a team of skeptical researchers against the findings of mainstream scientists. Critics have said the exercise could cherry-pick data in an effort to elevate doubt and give unequal weight to skeptics.

An EPA spokesman said there are "no updates" when asked about the timing of the exercise.

One panel at the Heritage Foundation event yesterday could offer a prelude to the scientific arguments that would be pursued by the red team. Several skeptical scientists picked apart the general consensus of their peers, who say humans are warming the Earth at an unprecedented pace. The panelists claimed that the attention given to rising global temperatures is overwrought. Craig Idso, who founded the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, said the world food supply will fall short of demand by 2050 unless more CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere.

Roy Spencer, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, said researchers who could be selected for the red team have met a few times in recent weeks in different cities. He said more government research needs to be conducted on the natural causes of climate change. That could be done if congressional budget appropriators divert a portion of the research funding for human-caused climate change toward research on natural causes.

"There are chaotic variations internal to the climate system, and that is something that has been totally swept under the rug," Spencer said. "The red team could look at all kinds of things, but if I'm part of the red team, that would probably be the top thing I would emphasize."

The researchers, all of whom are possible candidates for the red team, attacked the findings of mainstream science that humans are the primary cause of climate change. They criticized climate models, laughed at former Vice President Al Gore's advocacy and portrayed the vast majority of colleagues in their field who disagree with them as "alarmists."

The "smoking gun" that could undo the endangerment finding is to find flaws in the climate models, said Pat Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. He said yesterday's panel is a prelude to the red team and an attack against the endangerment determination. He cautioned EPA against using researchers with extreme positions.

"The red team members are going to have to be very carefully selected," Michaels said. "My fear is that red team will have this tinge of 'Oh, there is no such thing as global warming; there is no such thing as carbon dioxide greenhouse gas effect.' If the red team goes there, it might as well be considered that they are working for the blue team."

Scientific consensuses are often wrong, said William Happer, an emeritus physics professor at Princeton University and a contender to become Trump's science adviser. He criticized the "preening virtue signaling" of environmental groups and compared the attitude of those who craft climate policy to lawmakers who were swept up in the temperance movement before Prohibition was enacted.

"Climate models don't work; they're predicting much more warming than has been observed," Happer said.

Richard Lindzen, a retired meteorology professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, blamed "climate alarmism" on educated elites who don't want to admit their limited understanding of science. He said fossil fuels will benefit humans and that reduced Arctic sea ice will open the Northwest Passage.

After a lunch from Chick-fil-A, Murray shared the Heritage stage with Bud Brigham, who founded several successful hydraulic fracturing companies.

As Brigham sat silently, Murray largely blamed policies by the Obama administration for the decline of coal, rather than the natural gas boom associated with fracking. Murray said that despite the Trump administration's efforts, financing for coal projects is extremely hard to obtain. He said he abandoned a project last week because he failed to find funding. He blamed it on climate science, socialists and liberal policies.

"The global alarmists, the politics is still shutting us down in spite of the Trump administration's efforts. It is still getting worse; they are winning," Murray said.


Are Big Wind firms actually “Subsidy Miners”?

Eco-activists enamored by alternative energy technology have long touted the potential for wind farms as a source of power.

However, it appears that the industry’s promises may be full of hot air.

Take, for example, the funding for many projects. Many Americans are now coining the term “Big Wind” for wind farm installation firms who collude with government employees to obtain subsidies and funding for large-scale projects.

Instead of being “clean energy providers,” the companies behave like “subsidy miners.”

With good reason, numerous upstate towns are actively fighting the encroachment of Big Wind. To cite just one recent example: Last month, the Watertown City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the development of eight industrial wind-turbine projects totaling 1,000 megawatts of capacity, because the projects could impair military training capabilities near Fort Drum.

Over the past decade or so, members of [Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY)] — some of America’s biggest subsidy miners — have collected $18.7 billion in federal and state subsidies. The burgeoning backlash against Big Wind means a growing group of rebellious New York towns stand between [ACENY Executive Director Ann] Reynolds’ members and even more taxpayer gravy.

The $18.7 billion sum was obtained by matching ACENY’s membership roster with data from Subsidy Tracker, a program run by Good Jobs First, a Washington-based government-accountability organization. That $18.7 billion includes all federal grants, tax credits, loans, loan guarantees and state subsidies.

The subsidies are corrosive. They encourage wind-energy companies to use legal action to bully rural landowners and small towns.

New Yorkers aren’t the only one challenging the eco-activist blessed energy source. In Indiana, Cass County property owners are asking the county for a chance to speak out on a proposed wind farm.

…”There’s just too many unanswered questions on this,” said Cass County property owner Brenda Rusk.

She is one of several people worried about the impact of a proposed wind farm.

“Just possibilities of things that could go wrong,” Rusk said.

Rusk said she’s been contacted multiple times about contracting her property. She said British based company RES is working to put turbines between 600 and 840 feet tall near Royal Center.

To give some perspective, White County turbines are only about 300 feet tall.

“I don’t feel like signing a contract with this kind of a close proximity to us,” said Rusk. “I just think it’s too much for that much height.”

Citizens in the deep blue state of Minnesota have forced a new project to locate half of the new units to Iowa, based on complaints related to sound.

[Dorenne] Hansen and other residents are fighting to stop the Freeborn Wind Farm project in Freeborn County southeast of Albert Lea.

“I want quiet and dark nights, not the noise and red flashing lights on top of wind towers,” she said. “We did not choose to live out here to be next to an industrial park.”

…Poor perception of an existing wind farm in Freeborn County, the Bent Tree project north of Albert Lea, has helped feed opposition to Freeborn Wind.

Complaints against Bent Tree by some local residents prompted the PUC to take the uncommon move of ordering a noise study. The results in late August showed that Bent Tree exceeded noise levels at certain times.

Green energy advocates seem very dismissive of the prevalent complaints about sound levels made by residents around wind farms.

Sleeplessness and headaches are the most common complaints about wind farms from nearby residents, according to a 2009 study by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Wind farms have also drawn complaints about inaudible infrasound, or low-frequency sound, which can pass through walls easier than higher-frequency noise and can also be accompanied by vibration, the health department study said.

The health department has not updated its report. But James Kelly, an environmental-surveillance manager at the department, said he’s “unaware of any significant studies that would cause us to rethink the statements we made in 2009.”

Who are the locals going to believe, Big Wind and their climate justice advocates or their own lying ears?


Cosmic Rays, Solar Activity Have Much Greater Impact On Earth’s Climate Than Models Suggest

The impact of changes in solar activity on Earth’s climate was up to seven times greater than climate models suggested according to new research published today in Nature Communications.

Researchers have claimed a breakthrough in understanding how cosmic rays from supernovas react with the sun to form clouds, which impact the climate on Earth.

The findings have been described as the “missing link” to help resolve a decades long controversy that has big implications for climate science.

Lead author, Henrik Svensmark, from The Technical University of Denmark has long held that climate models had greatly underestimated the impact of solar activity.

He says the new research identified the feedback mechanism through which the sun’s impact on climate was varied.

Professor Svensmark’s theories on solar impact have caused a great deal of controversy within the climate science community and the latest findings are sure to provoke new outrage.

He does not dispute that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have a warming impact on the climate.

But his findings present a challenge to estimates of how sensitive the climate is to changes in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Professor Svensmark says his latest findings were consistent both with the strong rise in the rate of global temperature change late last century and a slowdown in the rate of increase over the past 20 years.

‘’It gives a physical foundation to the large body of empirical evidence showing that solar activity is reflected in variations in Earth’s climate,” a media statement accompanying the scientific report said.

“For example, the Medieval Warm Period around year 1000AD and the cold period in the Little Ice Age 1300-1900 AD both fits changes in solar activity,” it said.

“Finally we have the last piece of the puzzle of why the particles from space are important for climate on Earth,” it said.

The study reveals how atmospheric ions, produced by the energetic cosmic rays raining down through the atmosphere, helps the growth and formation of cloud condensation nuclei — the seeds necessary for forming clouds in the atmosphere.

More cloud condensation nuclei mean more clouds and a colder climate, and vice versa.

“Since clouds are essential for the solar energy reaching the surface of the Earth the implications are huge for our understanding of why climate has varied in the past and also for a future climate changes,” the statement said.

Professor Svensmark said it had until now wrongly been assumed that small additional nucleated aerosols would not grow and become cloud condensation nuclei, since no mechanism was known to achieve this.

The research team tested its ideas experimentally in a large cloud chamber.

Data was taken over a period of two years with total 3100 hours of data sampling.

Professor Svensmark said the new results gave a physical foundation to the large body of empirical evidence showing that Solar activity is reflected in variations in Earth’s climate.

“This new work gives credit to a mechanism that is much stronger than changes in solar irradiance alone,” Svensmark told The Australian.

“Solar irradiance has been the only solar forcing that has been included in climate models and such results show that the effect on climate is too small to be of importance,” he said.

“The new thing is that there exists an amplification mechanism that is operating on clouds in the atmosphere,” Svensmark said.

“Quantifying the impact of solar activity on climate from observations is found to be 5-7 times larger than from solar irradiance, and agrees with empirical variations in cosmic rays and clouds,” he said.

“This can therefore also explain why climate over the last 10,000 years correlates with solar activity, “Svensmark said.

“On time scales of millions of years there are much larger changes in the cosmic rays that has nothing to do with solar activity,” he said.

“So, this is an independent test of the mechanism and even here beautiful correlations are found,” he said.

But the Nature Communications paper says “the theory of ion-induced condensation should be incorporated into global aerosol models, to fully test the atmospheric implications.”

Professor Svensmark said since solar activity increased in the 20th century, part of the observed warming is caused by the sun.

“The logical consequence is that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is smaller than what climate models suggest which is 2-4 deg C for each doubling of CO2, since both CO2 and solar activity has had an impact”, he said.


You can't win:  EVERYTHING supports global warming

Snowfall on an Alaskan mountain range has more than doubled since the start of the industrial age, a new study has revealed.

The Alaska Range now has an average of 5.4 metres (18 feet) of snow per year - up from an average of 2.4 metres (eight feet) per year from 1600-1840.

According to the researchers, this increase in snowfall is evidence that climate change can trigger major increases in regional precipitation.


Researchers analysed two ice core samples collected at 13,000 feet from Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park.

Their analysis revealed that the Alaska Range now has an average of 5.4 metres (18 feet) of snow per year - up from an average of 2.4 metres (eight feet) per year from 1600-1840.

The study suggests that warming tropical oceans have driven the increased snowfall by strengthening the northward flow of warm, moist air.

The study by researchers from Dartmouth College, the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire, shows modern snowfall levels in the Alaska Range at the highest in at least 1,200 years.

Dr Erich Osterberg, lead author of the study, said: 'We were shocked when we first saw how much snowfall has increased.

'We had to check and double-check our results to make sure of the findings.'

The research was based on an analysis of two ice core samples collected at 13,000 feet from Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park.




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: