Friday, August 03, 2018

Hot summer on the way in Australia: map shows just how bad Australia's drought really is

These predictions are just speculation based on models that frequently get it wrong. It's just one of the routine scares that the BoM put out regularly to promote their global warming beliefs.

And note again the North/South split in rainfall, a regular oscillation. Most of NSW and half of Victoria (the South) is in drought but rain is fine in nearly all Queensland (the North). We have had quite a few rainy nights in Brisbane (Qld.) during July, even though our winters tend to be dry. The rain will swing South in due course and Brisbane will be dry

This is the map that shows just how desperate some areas of Australia are for drought-breaking rain - and there's no relief in sight with a hot, dry summer a certainty.

Looking at the past six months, large areas of NSW have experienced their lowest rainfall on record, and most of the rest of the state isn't far behind.

Almost all of NSW has received less than 20 per cent of its usual rainfall since January, and Australia as a whole just experienced its warmest and driest July in 20 years.

Weatherzone reports that Forbes, in NSW's central west, only received 0.8mm of rain at the beginning of the month and did not record any rainfall for the rest of July.

Meanwhile, extreme temperatures already recorded in NSW and south-east Queensland this winter look set to continue amid concerns a 'hot and deadly' summer is on the way.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes heatwave expert Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick told Weatherzone that Australians should be expecting extreme weather considering the dryness and warmth of the past few months.

'We are heading towards an El Nino summer, so we are more likely to have hotter and more extreme weather,' Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said. 'We should certainly be worried.' 

Temperatures so far this winter have been unusually high, with Sydney and large regions of eastern Australia encountering an average high of 19.8 degrees last month - 3.4 degrees more than what was expected, according to Weatherzone.

Sydney recorded 13 days where temperatures reached 20 degrees. The last time Sydney experienced such warm temperatures in July was back in 2013 with a record high of 19.5 degrees.

With such a dry and warm July and above-average temperatures expected, the chances of El Ni¤o forming in spring is at 50 per cent - which is double the normal chance, according to Weatherzone.

Five of eight models indicate El Ni¤o levels will be reached in the southern hemisphere's springtime, while a sixth model says El Ni¤o will be reached in December.

This means Australia could be expecting even drier months and hotter temperatures as it heads towards spring and summer.


Bombshell: New York Times Debunks #ExxonKnew Climate Campaign

The New York Times Magazine has published an entire issue devoted to a single investigative piece on climate change, which observes that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, “everybody knew” it was happening.

The conclusion is a major blow to climate activists, who have spent years engaging in a political campaign targeting energy companies for supposedly covering up the risks of climate change, and thus preventing global action.

The author, Nathaniel Rich, writes that from 1979 to 1989 humanity had the best opportunity it has ever had to solve global warming and that “nothing stood in our way – nothing except ourselves.”

Rich even goes as far as to say that “[a] common boogeyman today is the fossil-fuel industry,” but during the time when “everybody knew,” oil companies “including Exxon and Shell, made good-faith efforts to understand the scope of the crisis and grapple with possible solutions.”

This lengthy report shreds the narrative put out by anti-oil and gas activists in recent years. As Rich told PBS NewsHour:

“By 1979, there was a strong consensus within the scientific community about the nature of the problem. The fundamental science hasn’t really evolved since then. It’s only been refined really. There was no politicization of the issue throughout the decade. A number of prominent Republicans were leading the charge to insist on a major climate policy, and industry, which we now blame for much of our paralysis, had not turned against science or truth and if anything, especially in the early part of the decade, was engaged in trying to understand the problem and determine solutions…

“By the mid-50s, you had top government scientists speaking about the issue. You had major articles in Life Magazine and Time. So it wasn’t just industry that was following it. It was at the highest levels of government. Lyndon Johnson sent a special message to Congress in 1965 that discussed the problem.” (emphasis added)

If all of humanity was informed of the dangers of climate change in the 1970s and agreed that something needed to be done, how can activists lay the blame for global inaction at the feet of the industry and political partisanship? As Rich writes,

“The rallying cry of this multipronged legal effort is ‘Exxon Knew.’ It is incontrovertibly true that senior employees at the company that would later become Exxon, like those at most other major oil-and-gas corporations, knew about the dangers of climate change as early as the 1950s. But the automobile industry knew, too, and began conducting its own research by the early 1980s, as did the major trade groups representing the electrical grid. They all own responsibility for our current paralysis and have made it more painful than necessary. But they haven’t done it alone.

“The United States government knew. Roger Revelle began serving as a Kennedy administration adviser in 1961, five years after establishing the Mauna Loa carbon-dioxide program, and every president since has debated the merits of acting on climate policy. Carter had the Charney report, Reagan had ‘Changing Climate’ and Bush had the censored testimony of James Hansen and his own public vow to solve the problem. Congress has been holding hearings for 40 years; the intelligence community has been tracking the crisis even longer.

“Everybody knew. In 1958, on prime-time television, ‘The Bell Science Hour’ — one of the most popular educational film series in American history — aired ‘The Unchained Goddess,’ a film about meteorological wonders, produced by Frank Capra, a dozen years removed from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ warning that ‘man may be unwittingly changing the world’s climate’ through the release of carbon dioxide. ‘A few degrees’ rise in the Earth’s temperature would melt the polar ice caps,’ says the film’s kindly host, the bespectacled Dr. Research. ‘An inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water.’ Capra’s film was shown in science classes for decades.

“Everyone knew — and we all still know.”

This conclusion – that #EveryoneKnew – is even supported by activists, though they haven’t yet followed their arguments to their logical conclusion.

Groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace were quick to follow #ExxonKnew with #ShellKnew and #UtilitiesKnew, blaming every company they don’t like while failing to acknowledge their own amnesia on climate change.

The idea that energy companies “knew everything there was to know about climate change,” as Bill McKibben likes to say, and that the rest of us didn’t know about it until James Hansen testified before Congress in 1988, “is one of the worst examples we have of the cultural amnesia of this country and especially around this issue,” Rich told NewsHour.

Confirming that Rich’s narrative is a direct threat to the multi-million-dollar campaign they have waged in recent years, anti-energy activists intensely criticized the report before it was even released.

The loudest rebuttal came from Hunter Cutting, a director of strategic communications for Climate Nexus, a project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

The Rockefellers have funded every aspect of the #ExxonKnew campaign, and are no doubt alarmed by the New York Times contradicting the very basis for their campaign.

The activist group also condemned the story shortly after it was published.

For several hours after the report was released, the umbrella group for the #ExxonKnew campaign dedicated its Twitter page to criticizing Rich’s narrative and retweeting others who were scrambling to control the damage.

Rich’s story ultimately concludes that it’s too simplistic to point your finger at one company, industry, or political party for inaction on climate change, which is a complex global problem.

The issue was receiving mainstream media attention and was the subject of multiple Congressional hearings in the 1970s and 1980s, long before the supposed “disinformation campaign” that environmental activists cite ever began.

It may not have been the intent of New York Times Magazine to throw cold water on a fringe environmental activists campaign, but the damage has clearly been done. The attempt at damage control from the #ExxonKnew campaign is only beginning.


Mismanagement Turned California Forests Into A ‘Terrible Fire Threat,’ Expert Says

Years of mismanagement built up in California forests are feeding massive wildfires scorching the state, which is on track to experience its most destructive fire season ever.

Nearly 3,000 acres of state and local lands in California have been burned this year, about triple the size of the five-year average for this time of year. The amount outpaces 2017’s historic fire season in the state by about 70,000 acres, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. (RELATED: ‘We Are Not Climate Scientists’: Firefighters Dismiss Concerns Related To Global Warming)

The Little Hoover Commission (LHC), an independent California oversight agency, has been documenting forest mismanagement in the Golden State for decades. LHC described California’s Timber Harvest Plan in 1994 as an “inadequate tool” for balancing environmental and economic needs.

“Litigation rather than resolution is often the focus of the participants, leading to a strained decision-making process and lack of consensus,” LHC’s report said, pointing out one of the main issues with logging and forestry management in California.

Other issues in the Timber Harvest Plan included a limited view of the site impacts without accounting for the health of the overall ecosystem and focusing on process rather than outcome, according to LHC.

Recent droughts and bark beetle infestations have killed millions of trees in California that lie throughout the forests and are extremely susceptible to fire. About 129 million dead trees have littered California from 2010 to 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Our forests are dramatically overcrowded,” LHC project manager Krystal Beckham told The Washington Examiner.

“There are some places where there may be four times as many trees as there should be,” Beckham said. “When you have trees that close together, they can’t get the water they need, so they are more susceptible to drought, insects, and disease. And when they start dying, they become a terrible fire threat.”


WACKY NEW CLAIM: Global Warming Will Knock Out The Internet In 15 Years

A government-funded study predicts rising sea levels will likely submerge over 4,000 miles of internet cables and more than 1,000 data centers in the next 15 years.

But even the study’s authors admit their results are based on the “most extreme” sea level rise scenario of 6 feet by the end of the century.

The study’s dire predictions are based on future sea level rise that’s worse than even the most “extreme” scenario in the latest National Climate Assessment Special report released by the Trump administration in 2017.

The study, by University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon researchers, uses the “most extreme” scenario considered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“We find that 4,067 miles of fiber conduit will be under water and 1,101 nodes (e.g., points of presence and colocation centers) will be surrounded by water in the next 15 years” with 1 foot of sea level rise, the study’s authors wrote.

“That was a little bit unexpected,” co-author Paul Barford told NBC News. “We sort of expected that it might be parceled out over a longer period of time, but that’s not the case.”

Of course, news headlines blared warnings the internet was in danger from man-made warming. (RELATED: Trump’s Tax Cuts, Tariffs Force Trudeau To Retreat On Carbon Taxes)

“Rising seas could knock out the internet — and sooner than scientists thought,” NBC News reported. “Climate change could literally break the internet,” reads The Huffington Post’s subheadline.

National Geographic went with the not-so-subtle headline: “The Internet Is Drowning.”

But how realistic is this dire prediction? The new study relies on an extreme scenario that projects more sea level rise than the latest NCA report’s most extreme scenario.

The NCA presents a range of sea level rise estimates of between 0.3 and 0.8 feet by 2030, but Barford and his colleagues went beyond that by modeling internet infrastructure inundation from sea level rise of one foot by 2030.

The NCA’s “intermediate” sea level rise scenario only predicts half a foot of sea level rise by 2030 and 3.3 feet by 2100. Barford’s study relies on a scenario of 6 feet by the end of the century.

“Specifically, in the next 15 years, as much as 2,429 miles of metro fiber conduit will be submerged after a 1 ft of sea level rise, whereas as 2,637 miles of metro fiber conduit will be affected in the next century,” the study found.

Researchers overlapped NOAA sea level rise data with internet cable and data center information mapped out by the website The study was funded by the federal government, including the National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security.


Gene editing in agriculture affectively banned in the European Union

Matt Ridley

A court decision condemns farmers to using pesticides instead.  The European Court of Justice's bizarre decision to treat genome edited crops as if they were transgenic

The European Court of Justice has just delivered a scientifically absurd ruling, in defiance of advice from its advocate general, but egged on by Jean-Claude Juncker’s allies. It will ensure that more pesticides are used in Britain, our farmers will be less competitive and researchers will leave for North America. Thanks a bunch, your honours.

By saying that genome-edited crops must be treated to expensive and uncertain regulation, it has pandered to the views of a handful of misguided extremists, who no longer have popular support in this country.

Let’s compare two plant varieties: golden promise barley and a wheat resistant to a fungal pest called powdery mildew. The barley was derived from seeds bombarded with gamma rays at a nuclear facility in the 1950s, scrambling some of their genes, which had the happy if accidental result of making better malting barley. It became (and remains) a popular variety for brewing beer among (wait for it!) organic farmers.

The wheat was produced by Calyxt, a US company, last year using a genome-editing technique to tweak one part of one gene, introducing no foreign DNA. It will need less fungicide sprayed on it than normal wheat. The US government says it needs no special regulation. The EU has effectively said it will take Calyxt many years and vast sums of money to find out whether it might or might not approve the wheat for growing.

Calyxt and others like it won’t bother applying, so we will be deprived of the chance to use less fungicide. We will miss out on a new genome-edited potato variety that needs 80 per cent less spray. We are already missing out on GM varieties of maize and other crops that use much less insecticide and are proven safe by 25 years of consumption.

The ruling condemns Britain to the innovation slow lane, denying us greener crops. It will deter investment and drive our world-class scientists to move abroad. As one Canadian professor said: “Great news for Canadian and American farmers today. EU based environmental NGOs have politically manipulated their legal system to drive every last cent of ag R&D out of the EU, guaranteeing their farmers will no longer be competitive. Hope all Europeans enjoy their future higher food prices.”

Welcome to our continuing regulatory alignment with the EU.




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: