Monday, July 16, 2018

Climate researchers are airy-fairy types while the public are more down to earth

This is rather delicious. As a retired academic I can decode academic bafflegab and my heading above is good summary of the findings below.  I think I could have predicted that finding. That Greenie academics focus on theories while ignoring reality does in fact encapsulate all of Warmism as far as I can see

Personality type differences between Ph.D. climate researchers and the general public: implications for effective communication

C. Susan Weiler et al.


Effectively communicating the complexity of climate change to the public is an important goal for the climate change research community, particularly for those of us who receive public funds. The challenge of communicating the science of climate change will be reduced if climate change researchers consider the links between personality types, communication tendencies and learning preferences. Jungian personality type is one of many factors related to an individual’s preferred style of taking in and processing information, i.e., preferred communication style. In this paper, we demonstrate that the Jungian personality type profile of interdisciplinary, early career climate researchers is significantly different from that of the general population in the United States. In particular, Ph.D. climate researchers tend towards Intuition and focus on theories and the “big picture”, while the U.S. general population tends towards Sensing and focuses on concrete examples and experience. There are other differences as well in the way the general public as a group prefers to take in information, make decisions, and deal with the outer world, compared with the average interdisciplinary climate scientist. These differences have important implications for communication between these two groups. We suggest that climate researchers will be more effective in conveying their messages if they are aware of their own personality type and potential differences in preferred learning and communication styles between themselves and the general public (and other specific audiences), and use this knowledge to more effectively target their audience.


 Record late Snowpack Signals a Lost Summer for Greenland’s Shorebirds

Sanderlings, red knots and ruddy turnstones failed to breed this year along the Arctic island’s east coast due to record snow cover.  And Greenland is one of the iconic places for Warmists.  They are always proclaiming its imminent melting.  It seems the shorebirds missed the message

Millions of shorebirds descend on the Arctic each year to mate and raise chicks during the tundra’s brief burst of summer. But that burst, which usually begins in mid-June, never arrived this year for eastern Greenland’s shorebirds, a set of ground-nesting species. Instead, a record late snowpack—lingering into July—sealed the birds off from food and nesting sites. Without these key resources avian migrants to the region will not reproduce in 2018, experts say. Breeding failures like this may grow more common because some climate change models predict increased springtime snow in the shorebirds’ nesting habitat.

Snowmelt usually allows shorebirds to begin nesting on eastern Greenland’s treeless tundra during the first half of June, says Jeroen Reneerkens, an avian ecologist at the University of Groningen who has studied these birds since 2003. However, when he arrived this year at Zackenberg Station on June 14 to survey sanderlings, a species of Arctic-breeding shorebird, he found they had nowhere to construct their nests. “The tundra was 100 percent covered in snow, and it was a very deep layer,” he says, estimating an average depth of about one meter. “It was a big shock to see the place like that,” he adds.

Most years, mid-June is also a time of song in eastern Greenland—shorebirds croon to attract mates and defend breeding territory. But this year the tundra was “truly silent,” Reneerkens says. “That was very unusual.” The few shorebirds he did encounter, including sanderlings, ruddy turnstones and red knots, wandered the snow-free patches outside the station’s buildings in search of food. “They were just starving,” he says. “I realized these birds were not getting ready to breed at all. They’re just in survival mode.”

Reneerkens’s research team weighed the sanderlings and found they were 20 percent lighter than normal for this time of year. In such condition the birds can neither reproduce nor escape to better feeding grounds. “They got trapped at Zackenberg,” he says. “They couldn’t just fly south without the [fat] reserves to do so.” His group discovered three carcasses of sanderlings that had apparently starved. Researchers elsewhere along Greenland’s east coast also report extensive snow cover and hungry birds. The region’s tundra was still 80 percent covered in snow as of July 10, according to observations provided by a staff member at Zackenberg.

Although shorebird breeding success fluctuates by 20 percent or more from one year to the next, a nonbreeding summer appears to be unprecedented. “This year broke all records,” Reneerkens says. “I know my literature about Arctic shorebirds very well and I have never come across something like this.” He is uncertain how this “disastrous” incident will affect the overall populations of these shorebird species. But “given the scale that this happening [on],” he says, “I do expect that this will have large consequences.” He estimates the record-late snowmelt impacted half of the global breeding area for sanderlings, red knots and ruddy turnstones.

Nathan Senner, an ornithologist at University of Montana–Missoula not affiliated with Reneerkens’s research, agrees this summer’s reproductive crash in Greenland is exceptional: “A nonbreeding year is pretty extreme.” Senner says the case is reminiscent of 1992, when shorebirds suffered poor reproductive success after Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted the prior year. The tropical volcano belched atmosphere-cooling particles over the planet—including the far north, causing cold summer temperatures in the Arctic. Nevertheless, a study of the eruption showed some birds did successfully reproduce that year.

Researchers elsewhere in the Arctic are also reporting unusually late snowmelt this year, with repercussions for shorebirds. Richard Lanctot, a researcher for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, believes record late snowmelt inhibited nesting near Utqiavik (formerly Barrow) on the northern coast of Alaska. His group’s nest count this summer so far is among the lowest since they began monitoring in 2003. Shiloh Schulte, an avian ecologist who works in northeastern Alaska for the conservation nonprofit Manomet, says snowmelt was more than two weeks later than normal in his region. He noticed flocks of long-billed dowitchers and American golden plovers gathering to migrate south without breeding. “Everything needs to be timed perfectly for these birds to be successful,” Schulte says of the short Arctic summer. On Southampton Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, shorebirds nested at less than half their typical densities due the late snowmelt, according to research scientist Paul Smith of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Even with similar trends throughout the North American Arctic, nowhere has been hit harder than eastern Greenland.

The region’s reproductive failure this summer exacerbates a global nosedive in migratory shorebird numbers. North American populations have halved since the 1970s. Climate change and hunting have contributed to this decline, Senner says. But he emphasizes the single biggest threat to shorebirds is the destruction of “stopover” habitat—areas where the birds rest and refuel while migrating between their Arctic breeding grounds and their southern wintering habitats. One study found that in the past 50 years, 65 percent of tidal flats have been lost to development around the Yellow Sea in east Asia, which had previously served as key stopover point. Climatic challenges like late snowmelt in their breeding grounds only compound the birds’ plight.

Senner fears this nonbreeding year in eastern Greenland could herald an alarming trend. Climate models predict the Arctic atmosphere will hold more moisture as global temperatures rise, he notes. A wetter atmosphere means more snow in winter and spring, potentially causing late snowmelt to interfere with shorebird reproduction. He says the bird populations should be resilient to a single poor breeding year like 2018 but worries what might happen if this year’s catastrophe becomes standard. “Even though things aren’t normally as extreme as the current situation in Greenland,” he says, “this is the kind of thing that seems to be happening more and more frequently across the Arctic”—which is probably bad news for birds.


Incoming EPA chief: ‘This is the right job for me.’

In some ways, Andrew Wheeler — former Environmental Protection Agency career staffer, Republican Senate aide, energy lobbyist — could hardly be more different from the man he is replacing as head of the EPA.

Where Scott Pruitt was a career politician who enjoyed the limelight, Wheeler has worked behind the scenes on energy and environmental law. Pruitt filled his time at the agency by traveling the country, speaking to groups of industry executives and praising President Trump. As the EPA’s deputy administrator, Wheeler has spent much of his short tenure meeting with career staffers and delving into the policy weeds at the agency’s headquarters.

But this much is clear: Wheeler intends to pursue many of the regulatory rollbacks Pruitt put in motion and to carry out Trump’s promises of a more efficient, less powerful EPA. A day after the president asked for Pruitt’s resignation amid a flurry of ethics scandals, the EPA’s acting administrator spoke with The Washington Post about what comes next. The interview has been edited for length and clarity:

Washington Post: How do you feel arriving as administrator under these circumstances? And what’s the message you’re giving to employees who have been through a tumultuous time?

Andrew Wheeler: I sent out an all-hands statement to all the employees yesterday evening. One, thanking the administrator for his service, and then telling everybody that it’s work as usual — we’re all working together — and that I share the core mission of the agency, which is to protect public health and the environment.

WP: Can you expand a little on that and what you’re going to do in terms of continuing the policies that Scott Pruitt put in motion? As you can imagine, Democrats and environmentalists are making the argument that you’re an even more skilled deregulator.

Wheeler: A more skilled deregulator?

WP: Do you reject that notion?

Wheeler: I don’t get that notion. I’ll have to think about that. I’ve actually seen a lot of things about me in print the last day or two. But I would say that the agenda for the agency was set out by President Trump. And Administrator Pruitt has been working to implement that. I will try to work to implement the president’s agenda as well. I don’t think the overall agenda is going to change that much, because we’re implementing what the president has laid out for the agency. He made several campaign promises that we are working to fulfill here. But there will probably be a little bit of difference in the way Administrator Pruitt and I will talk about some issues. There have already been some differences in how I’ve talked to EPA employees since I’ve been here.

You know, I had the benefit of having the longest confirmation process for a deputy administrator in EPA history. So I had some time to think about what I wanted to do as the deputy. I took a hard look at the major criticisms that the agency has received over the last 20 some years. What can be changed? What can be fixed? What can be put in a different direction? And how does all that fit under cooperative federalism, return to rule of law and getting back to basics of the agency?

Since I’ve been here, I’ve been going around talking to groups of career employees. I’ve been to three of our regions, and I’ve been to our Research Triangle Park lab in North Carolina. I’ve talked about what I want to try to accomplish on behalf of the administration, on behalf of the president. I really think we need to provide more certainty to the American public. And I look at certainty in three different areas. The first is certainty on permits. The second is certainty on enforcement actions. And the third — the one that’s most important to me — is certainty on risk communication.

WP: As you know well, one of the criticisms of Mr. Pruitt was a lack of transparency in who he was meeting with and what he was doing with his time at the agency. Do you plan to put in place mechanisms to be more transparent, in letting the public be aware of the work that’s being done?

Wheeler: I’m not going to criticize my predecessor in any way. But I will answer by saying this: I cut my teeth as a career employee here at the EPA in the early ’90s working on the Community Right-to-Know Act. And I believe that my time on the Hill and in the legislation I worked on — how I addressed all statutes, how I addressed all laws — was that the more information we make available to the American public, the more transparency we have, the better our decisions will be. The more open we are, the better it is for everyone.

That’s how I cut my teeth on environmental law. And that’s been part of my core beliefs in the agency and how I look at environmental issues. The more transparent we are, the better understood our decisions will be.

WP: On climate change, that’s been a key issue. As staff director, one of the things you did working with [Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James M.] Inhofe was, while he talked a lot about questioning climate science, you expanded what he talked about to really include things like the economic costs of these regulations. Can you talk a little about how you see your approach to climate, as well as science, including the changes we’ve seen to the Scientific Advisory Board?

Wheeler: Sure. There are a couple questions embedded in that. You’re right, when I went over to the Senate, I personally focused more on the cost side on the climate debate — the cost-benefit and the different aspects of the legislation.

I did do my undergraduate work in biology. I do not consider myself to be a scientist, and I’ve always deferred to career scientists on issues of science. I’ve done that in the two and a half months I’ve been here, and I’ll continue to do that. On the Science Advisory Board, I think it’s important to be very transparent, and I think it’s important to make sure people who serve on the science advisory boards don’t have conflicts of interest.

While I was not here last year when the Science Advisory Board was reconfigured . . . I understand the desire to make sure that the people serving on the board weren’t also benefiting from science grants from the agency. I do think that’s important to make sure that there are not conflicts of interest. Hopefully, you saw my recusal statement where I did not seek any waivers, and I don’t plan to seek any waivers. I think it’s important to make sure that we address conflicts of interest very openly and upfront.

WP: Can you summarize where you stand on climate change and, more importantly, EPA’s role in dealing with that problem?

Wheeler: I do believe climate change is real. I do believe that people have an impact on the climate. What’s the most important — and I’m glad you asked it that way — is the second half of your question is, what is EPA’s role there?

I think our role is to follow the statutes that are provided to us by Congress. And I think that the statutory directives are very small. My criticism of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was that it was outside the four corners of the Clean Air Act. And I think the fact that the Supreme Court took the unprecedented move of issuing a stay showed the fact that the law probably would not have held up in court. So I think as we move forward on a potential replacement for the Clean Power Plan, you’re going to see us taking a hard look at what the act says and the authorities the act gives us, and we’ll put something forward that follows the law.

I know that there’s a number of senators that would like us to go much further, but of course environmental organizations would love us to go much further. But you’re not going to see the EPA, at least under my direction, make up a lot as we go along. We’re going to follow the law that Congress has given us.

WP: To follow up on that, do you hold that, for example, the “endangerment finding” [that created the basis for regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant] is settled law? Or would you say that there’s also an open question about whether that is a proper interpretation of the Clean Air Act?

Wheeler: On the endangerment finding, I was very critical of the method that the agency used to come up with the endangerment finding, that they did not do independent analysis, that they relied upon the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. And that was litigated; it was taken to the U.S. Circuit Court, and the Circuit Court upheld the EPA position. So I consider that to be settled law. There would have to be a major, compelling reason to try to ever reopen that. I don’t think that’s an open question at this point.

WP: Before coming to the EPA in recent years, you worked as a lobbyist for some of the industries that you’ll now be responsible for regulating. How will you approach regulating those industries, many of which are heavily invested in what comes out of EPA?

Wheeler: You’re right, I did work for a number of different industries, a number of different companies. I did not lobby the EPA for at least the last two years. In fact, our communications team today has tried to press me to remember how long ago it was that I actually lobbied the EPA, and I can’t remember. It’s been at least three or four years, maybe longer. The only EPA issue that I’ve actually lobbied on the last couple of years was the Energy Star program, and that was on behalf of a client who was fighting to keep the integrity of the EPA program intact. It was to defeat a Senate Republican amendment that wanted to do away with third-party certification.

So, I mean, anybody could take a look at any one of my clients and say, “Well, you might be biased this way or you might be biased that way.” I’ve spent a career working on multiple issue areas and multiple sides of different issues. Having started my career at EPA, having worked on the Hill for two different members who didn’t agree on every issue, and then working in the private practice, where I’ve worked on behalf of different clients — I don’t think I’m biased.

I certainly have no fiduciary arrangements with any of my former clients or my former law firm. I don’t benefit financially from anything like that. And I think there’s been enough distance on the EPA issues that I’ve worked on in the past where I don’t believe I have bias in any particular way on any of these issues. But I think the experience that I’ve had working as a consultant, working on the Hill, working as a career employee of the agency, has really prepared me well for this job at this point in my life.

WP: For someone who is so often described as low-profile, this doesn’t seem the type of job that you can really avoid the spotlight. How do you feel about that part of it?

Wheeler: I really did not seek this job out, to be acting administrator. I was very content being the deputy. So I’m going to have to deal with that. But I have been in D.C. now for over 25 years. I realize that I’m walking into a job that’s going to be a lot more high-profile than I would have wanted. But I really do think [that] my background, at this point in time, that this is the right job for me.


The Trump Administration’s Likely Unwillingness to challenge the "consensus"

Alan Carlin

It has become evident that the Pruitt EPA did not want to challenge the scientific climate “consensus,” either because they did not think that they could win the ensuing battle or because they wanted to avoid angering voters who accept the scientific “consensus” on climate. As pointed out repeatedly in my climate book and this blog, it is evident that the “consensus” is wrong in terms of satisfying the scientific method, that the eminent scientific and government organizations that have supported it are wrong, that the mainstream press is usually wrong on this issue, and that the main losers are those that are forced to pay the resulting higher bills and taxes and reduced reliability, all for negative net benefits.

Getting the world to admit this monumental failure of the scientific establishment, the governmental supporters, and the mainstream media is more difficult. The likely result is that more countryside will be covered with expensive, unreliable “renewable” energy farms as a result of continuing Federal and state subsidies, and then abandoned when the subsidies run out and maintenance costs increase with time.

The issue is now coming to a head in an obscure but important proposed revision of an Obama Administration proposed regulation. The EPA has sent the Office of Management and Budget a replacement for the Obama EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP). It is reported that the replacement requires “inside the fence” reductions of CO2 emissions from power plants. This provides support for the ideology that supports reducing CO2 emissions. It will not require as much of a reduction, I assume, but it will indirectly support the ideology, wrong though it is.

So if this is the case, it shows that even the independent-thinking Trump Administration will not challenge the “consensus.” Then who will? Apparently no one but a few climate skeptics. So the climate “consensus” will live on to create more disasters another day. Only if the climate actually cools enough so that the weather agencies cannot hide the truth will the truth come out in such a way that the climate-industrial complex (CIC) may finally be discredited and the public subsidies (either through taxes or higher energy bills) will end. When the subsidies end, of course, the CIC will finally collapse.

But the Trump Administration is apparently currently willing to lead the way towards publicly discrediting the “consensus” even though many members of the Administration appear to be climate skeptics. It rather appears to want to reduce the cost of the climate scam while they are in power, with little concern for what is likely to happen after they are gone and the EPA greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding is still on the books, ready to be used by climate activists to force the country to do their bidding.

This suggests one of the underlying problems created by government intervention into what should be the free market. Once enough public resources are diverted to private gains, it becomes very difficult to fix the resulting mess. And that is what we have.


Cold snap sends temperatures plummeting across Australia's east coast – and it's not over yet

Far be it from me to challenge evidence of global cooling but I think it is only fair to note that they are talking below about the Southern half of Australia.  In Brisbane we have had some very chilly nights by our standards but I have yet to experience an afternoon when I have not sat around in just undershorts and a singlet -- with the front door wide open. Brisbane's famous warm afternoons have not deserted us yet --- even in the depth of winter.  Which all helps to show the folly of thinking that temperature aggregates tell you much about anything

The east coast of Australia is suffering through an icy weekend with the frosty temperatures expected to last into the middle of the week.

The lowest temperature recorded in Sydney was at Penrith, which dropped to below zero degrees, recording -0.9C at 5am on Sunday morning and not reaching above 1C until after 8am.

Other areas of Sydney to record low temperatures were 4.5C at Sydney Airport and 5.1C at Sydney's Observatory Hill.

A strong westerly wind of 24km/h overnight played a role in causing the icy temperatures across the state.

Inland New South Wales is also suffering through the cold with Wagga Wagga recording morning temperatures of -0.3C.

A number of other regions in New South Wales recorded below zero temperatures including Richmond, 63.4km from Sydney, which had overnight temperatures of -3.8C.

While Camden, 65km south west of Sydney, recorded overnight lows of -4.3C, the lowest overnight temperatures for the area since June 2010.

Bathurst, located 200km from Sydney, recorded freezing temperatures of -8.1C and did not break the minus temperatures until 10.20am when it recorded 0.4C.

The lowest forecast temperatures for all of New South Wales for all of Sunday is at Thredbo, expected to reach a daily maximum of only 1C.

And according to Bureau of Meteorology Senior Forecaster Jake Phillips the east coast's glacial conditions have yet to reach their trough.

'Just about the whole state is cooler than average for this time of year. In some parts of the state it can be five or six degrees below average,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Places like Penrith and Richmond the next couple of mornings are going to be down to the zero mark – maybe even below zero.

'And it’s going to get even colder, with a lot of places set to be six or even eight degrees below average for their minimum temperatures over the weekend.'

Melbourne temperatures weren't quite as low as Sydney but that doesn't mean Melburnians weren't suffering through the cold snap.  Residents woke to temperatures as low as 7C on Saturday morning with a daily high of 9.3C.

Elsewhere in eastern Australia, the notoriously frosty city of Ballarat in central Victoria had its coldest July day in 24 years this week recording a maximum of 5C on Wednesday, one degree below the July average.

In the nearby city Bendigo, temperatures were also at a record low, freezing through its coldest July day since 1996 with a maximum recording of just 0C.

The cold weather pushed well up into Queensland with the outback town of Blackall dropping to 1.2C while Lochington, near Emerald, was just 0.5C at 7.11am.

Brisbane experienced temperatures of 5 degrees on Sunday morning, even Rockhampton, up on the state's central coast, dropped to a low of 6.5C just before 7am.

Forecasters are expecting conditions to remain below average until Tuesday or Wednesday.

'We're definitely not through the cold snap as yet, you couldn't say that,' Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jonti Hall told AAP.

However the coldest temperatures along eastern Australia was clearly Canberra which recorded temperatures as low as -4.8C on Sunday morning.




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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