Wednesday, May 09, 2018

New paper finds Antarctica has been gaining surface ice mass over past 150 years

A paper published today in The Cryosphere finds Antarctica has been gaining surface ice and snow accumulation over the past 150+ years, and finds acceleration in some areas noting, "a clear increase in accumulation of more than 10% has occurred in high Surface Mass Balance coastal regions and over the highest part of the East Antarctic ice divide since the 1960s. Even the allegedly "vulnerable" West Antarctic Ice Sheet [WAIS] surface mass balance has not changed in 150+ years

A synthesis of the Antarctic surface mass balance during the last 800 yr

M. Frezzotti1 et al.


Global climate models suggest that Antarctic snowfall should increase in a warming climate and mitigate rises in the sea level. Several processes affect surface mass balance (SMB), introducing large uncertainties in past, present and future ice sheet mass balance. To provide an extended perspective on the past SMB of Antarctica, we used 67 firn/ice core records to reconstruct the temporal variability in the SMB over the past 800 yr and, in greater detail, over the last 200 yr.

Our SMB reconstructions indicate that the SMB changes over most of Antarctica are statistically negligible and that the current SMB is not exceptionally high compared to the last 800 yr. High-accumulation periods have occurred in the past, specifically during the 1370s and 1610s. However, a clear increase in accumulation of more than 10% has occurred in high SMB coastal regions and over the highest part of the East Antarctic ice divide since the 1960s. To explain the differences in behaviour between the coastal/ice divide sites and the rest of Antarctica, we suggest that a higher frequency of blocking anticyclones increases the precipitation at coastal sites, leading to the advection of moist air in the highest areas, whereas blowing snow and/or erosion have significant negative impacts on the SMB at windy sites. Eight hundred years of stacked records of the SMB mimic the total solar irradiance during the 13th and 18th centuries. The link between those two variables is probably indirect and linked to a teleconnection in atmospheric circulation that forces complex feedback between the tropical Pacific and Antarctica via the generation and propagation of a large-scale atmospheric wave train.


Thailand Temperatures Not Behaving According to Climate Alarmists' Wishes
Paper Reviewed: Payomrat, P., Liu, Y., Pumijumnong, N., Li, Q. and Song, H. 2018. "Tree-ring stable carbon isotope-based June-September maximum temperature reconstruction since AD 1788, north-west Thailand". Tellus Series B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology 70: 1443655

One of the most oft repeated claims of climate alarmists is that temperatures of the past few decades are the warmest they have been over the past one or two millennia, which warmth they additionally claim is caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Although much can be said and done to debate and refute these two assertions, we never cease to be amazed at the constant flow of scientific studies unveiling newly published historical proxy temperature records that challenge such hypotheses.

The latest case-in-point is the work of Payomrat et al. (2018), who developed a Δ13C tree-ring proxy for June-September maximum temperatures for northwest Thailand. The new chronology was derived from Merkus pine (Pinus merkusii) trees cored in the Mae Hong Son province in the northwestern region of the country, spanning a period of 226 years (1788-2013 AD).

A graphical presentation of the proxy temperature record is presented in the figure below. Perhaps the most significant observation to note from this graph is the decline in temperatures since the mid-1980s, with current values approaching the lowest recorded in the 226-year record. What is more, temperatures are not rising in response to the supposedly large CO2 forcing that has occurred in the atmosphere since World War II. Indeed, Payomrat et al. report that a majority of the ten warmest years of the record occurred prior to second half of the 20th century, including the six warmest years of 1950, 1949, 1948, 1947, 1945 and 1946.

Clearly, there is nothing unusual, unnatural, or unprecedented about the northwest Thailand temperature record. And that fact adds to the growing mountain of evidence that regularly refutes climate alarmist claims of current temperatures being the warmest of the past millennium and driven by the modern rise in atmospheric CO2.


Study: Those most concerned about climate change least likely to take individual action

A year-long study of 600 Americans placed them into three distinct categories—”believers,” “cautiously worried,” and “skeptics”—based on their self-stated level of concern over climate change. Not surprisingly, believers were most likely to support federal policies to address the problem while skeptics were least likely to support such policies. But the researchers also found a result which seemed counter-intuitive. From Pacific Standard:

While policy preferences of group members tracked with their beliefs, their behaviors largely did not: Skeptics reported using public transportation, buying eco-friendly products, and using reusable bags more often than those in the other two categories.

This pattern was found consistently through the year, leading the researchers to conclude that “belief in climate change does not appear to be a necessary or sufficient condition for pro-environmental behavior.”

Hall and his colleagues can only speculate about the reasons for their results. But regarding the concerned but inactive, the psychological phenomenon known as moral licensing is a likely culprit.

Previous research has found doing something altruistic—even buying organic foods—gives us license to engage in selfish activity. We’ve “earned” points in our own mind. So if you’ve pledged some money to Greenpeace, you feel entitled to enjoying the convenience of a plastic bag.

This idea of “moral licensing” is very interesting. That link in the quote above goes to a 2010 story at the Washington Post which has a bit more on the phenomenon:

“We have these internal negotiations going in our heads all day, even if we don’t know it,” said Benoît Monin, a social psychologist who studies moral licensing at Stanford University. “People’s past behavior literally gives them license to do that next thing, which might not be good.”…

From a theoretical perspective, the research has shown that “it’s like we can withdraw from our moral bank accounts,” Monin said. “It’s a lens through which you see the rest of your behavior. But it may not even be conscious.”…

University of Toronto behavioral marketing professor Nina Mazar showed in a recent study that people who bought green products were more likely to cheat and steal than those who bought conventional products. One of Mazar’s experiments invited participants to shop either at online stores that carry mainly green products or mainly conventional products. Then they played a game that allowed them to cheat to make more money. The shoppers from the green store were more dishonest than those at the conventional store, which brought them higher earnings in the game.

The thing that immediately came to mind when I read this story wasn’t Al Gore or Sting or any of the other people preaching about climate change while flying around the world in private jets, the first thing that came to mind was Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault and rape by dozens of women around the world. And yet, his profile in Hollywood was as an outspoken progressive who had a lot to say about women’s rights. If you had asked him, I’m sure he’d have said he was a male feminist. Meanwhile, he was a monster who made abusing women the center of his lifestyle.

Remember when the first story about Weinstein’s behavior broke, he put out a statement which made a pretty clear connection between his “demons” and his progressive campaigning. Here’s a bit of that:

I so respect all women, and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was, and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them.

I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC.

At the time, this seemed like a pretty strange juxtaposition of bad behavior and politics, but when viewed in light of “moral licensing” it makes a lot of sense. Weinstein was basically saying ‘look, I took a lot out of the progressive bank account but I’m going to put a lot back in if you let me.‘ A few weeks later, there was a report from Page Six saying Weinstein had concluded he was destined to be a martyr for needed public change. He had realized he wasn’t coming back from this. His career was dead. But even then he was thinking about his situation as a passion play in which he would die to bring change to the world. It was still about moral licensing, just on a much grander scale.

Anyway, that’s just one example but it seems to me this probably applies to a lot of similar cases of hypocrisy in politics, not just with regard to climate change. The study itself is here. You have to pay to read it but the abstract is available and matches the description above.


David Suzuki Wants You In Jail For Thinking The Wrong Global Warming Thoughts

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought…Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion…

Canadian broadcaster David Suzuki, 82, doesn’t believe in freedom of thought. He thinks people should go to jail if they think the wrong way about climate change.

Ten years ago, he urged a Montreal audience to find “a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act.”

In Suzuki’s universe, climate change is a compelling problem (although not compelling enough for him to reduce his own air travel). Politicians who fail to take certain measures should, therefore, lose their liberty.

The difficulty, of course, is that there are diverse perspectives regarding the source, magnitude, and significance of recent climate change.

The climate on this planet is always changing, and many smart people consider its recent fluctuations to be trivial.

Those who hold such views – whether they be scientists or democratically elected leaders – have a right to behave according to their conscience.

When the media pointed out Suzuki’s totalitarian thinking a decade ago, a newspaper article told us:

Though a spokesman said yesterday the call for imprisonment was not meant to be taken literally, Dr. Suzuki reportedly made similar remarks in an address at the University of Toronto last month.

When Suzuki was interviewed by the Australian edition of Rolling Stone magazine two years ago, he was once again asked about giving “jail sentences to former Prime Ministers.” His response:

"I really believe that people like the former Prime Minister of Canada should be thrown in jail for wilful blindness. If you’re the CEO of a company and you deliberately avoid or ignore information relevant to the functioning of that company, you can be thrown in jail…to have a Prime Minister who for nine years wouldn’t even let the term ‘climate change’ pass his lips! If that isn’t wilful blindness, then I don’t know what is."

Listen to this man’s own words. He really does think people should be sent to prison if their analysis of a complicated topic doesn’t align with his own.

Suzuki has enjoyed an illustrious, multi-decades-long career with the publicly-funded CBC. He has not toiled in obscurity and penury, struggling to communicate his message to an indifferent world.

Rather, he is famous, affluent, and influential. He has been fêted and honored on many occasions and from many directions.

Twelve years ago, he received the Order of Canada. Twenty-seven universities from three countries have already given him honorary degrees.

TOP TAKEAWAY: On June 7th, the University of Alberta will lionize a man who thinks prison is an appropriate response to contrary opinions.


Australia: 'My confidence level in weather forecasters is very low. It's burnt us': Drought-stricken farmer's despair after the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts a wet summer - but it was one of his driest EVER - as the big dry ravages the region

The BoM bomb again.  They integrate global warming into their forecasting models so it is no wonder they get it wrong

An award-winner farmer has lost confidence in the Bureau of Meteorology's predictions after a 'wet' long-term forecast was followed by a devastatingly dry summer.

Huge swathes of New South Wales' north-west have been gripped by drought in recent years, with suffering farmers running out of water and selling off their livestock.

Cotton, canola and wheat farmer John Hamparsum told Daily Mail Australia the drought hit his farm particularly hard last year, after a hopeful weather forecast failed to pan out.

'It's like somebody tells you you've got a really good tip on a horse - but that tip was totally wrong and the horse ran dead last,' he said.

The winner of the 2015 Brownhill Award - a prestigious farming accolade for innovation, sustainability and profit - Mr Hamparsum said he tried to run his farm on the best science available.

So after a hot and dry summer, he decided to plant more cotton last year. The Bureau's long-range forecast had predicted an above-50 per cent chance of a wetter summer and prices were good.

'Cotton was by far the most profitable crop and the best return on our water,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'We were going "oh gee, it was a terrible summer last year, maybe this will be the one that's going to break it'.

But it wasn't to be. The weather was hot and dry and the river that runs through his farm was desolate. On top of that, the farm's water allocation was recently cut. Statewide, it was the third hottest summer on record.

At the farm, the rain was pitiful: just 11mm in January, and about 30mm in February, most of which 'basically evaporated'.

'The rain doesn't even settle the dust,' Mr Hamparsum said. A couple of storms came tantalisingly close - but just missed the farm.

The terrible conditions have had a 'massive' impact on the farm. 'We might break even this year, if we're lucky'.

Meantime, the veteran farmer's confidence in weather forecasts has hit an all-time low. 'I base my decisions ... as a good farm manager on the science that's available,' he said.

'I've increasingly lost confidence in that process in the last 3 to 5 years. 'My confidence level in weather forecasters is very low. It's burnt us'.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told Daily Mail Australia the agency recognised the impact of the recent dry climate on farmers, and was committed to providing the best science.

The spokesman said the recent climate outlook came at a time in the cycle where predictability was low. 'Climate outlooks are probabilistic, not categorical forecasts,' he said. 'That means a 60 per cent chance of above average rainfall, also means a 40 per cent of below average rainfall.'

'You're not guaranteed a win because there is always that element of chance, but know that in the long run, having the odds in your favour will mean you come out ahead,' a BOM video about its climate outlook maps said.

Meantime, the drought continues. Things are busy at the local saleyards as farmers in the north-west realise they can't feed or water their cattle through the winter to come. Prayers are said for rain but there is no end in sight.

Regardless, Mr Hamparsum said he is still optimistic about the future. 'As the old guys say, every day without rain is another day closer (to it),' he said.




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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