Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years (?)

Is anybody bothered that the researchers examined meltwater that did NOT run off into the sea to estimate how much meltwater DID run off into the sea?  A large question about the validity of their measuring instrument there, I think. That one type of melting estimates the other is just an assumption and not a terribly plausible one.  Processes in the two areas are known to be different in one way so why are there not differences in other ways?

And they used results from a few icecores in one part of Greenland to estimate what has happened in the whole of Greenland.  How did they accomplish that vast feat of overgeneralization?  By running models.  But you can get whatever you want out of models.  I am betting that there were a few "adjustments" before a final model run was accepted

Too many assumptions there for any firm conclusions.  Different methods could yield different conclusions

Vast ice sheet's dramatic transformation revealed by ice cores, satellite data and climate models.

Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.

Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland's ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.

“The melting is not just increasing — it’s accelerating,” says lead author Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. “And that’s a key concern for the future.”

Centuries of ice

A team led by Trusel drilled a series of ice cores, the biggest 140 metres long, in central West Greenland in 2014 and 2015. There, snow that melts in the summer later refreezes, rather than running off into the ocean — creating an annual record of ice melt. The researchers compared data from these ice cores, and an older core from the same area, with satellite observations of melting across Greenland, and estimates of melt and runoff from a regional climate model.

The team’s analysis suggested that the rate of melting at its drilling sites is representative of trends across Greenland. Armed with this knowledge, the researchers used the ice-core data as a proxy to estimate runoff rates going back centuries — before satellites and climate models existed.

The findings bolster a study published in March that found that West Greenland is melting faster than it has in at least 450 years2. “What this paper does nicely is expand that record to the whole ice sheet,” says Erich Osterberg, a climatologist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and a co-author of the March study.


Journal Abstract:

Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming

Luke D. Trusel et al.


The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is a growing contributor to global sea-level rise1, with recent ice mass loss dominated by surface meltwater runoff2,3. Satellite observations reveal positive trends in GrIS surface melt extent4, but melt variability, intensity and runoff remain uncertain before the satellite era. Here we present the first continuous, multi-century and observationally constrained record of GrIS surface melt intensity and runoff, revealing that the magnitude of recent GrIS melting is exceptional over at least the last 350 years. We develop this record through stratigraphic analysis of central west Greenland ice cores, and demonstrate that measurements of refrozen melt layers in percolation zone ice cores can be used to quantifiably, and reproducibly, reconstruct past melt rates. We show significant (P < 0.01) and spatially extensive correlations between these ice-core-derived melt records and modelled melt rates5,6 and satellite-derived melt duration4 across Greenland more broadly, enabling the reconstruction of past ice-sheet-scale surface melt intensity and runoff. We find that the initiation of increases in GrIS melting closely follow the onset of industrial-era Arctic warming in the mid-1800s, but that the magnitude of GrIS melting has only recently emerged beyond the range of natural variability. Owing to a nonlinear response of surface melting to increasing summer air temperatures, continued atmospheric warming will lead to rapid increases in GrIS runoff and sea-level contributions.

Nature volume 564, pages104–108 (2018)

Climate lunacy takes center stage in Poland

IPCC Poland conference presents fictional climate chaos and fake renewable energy salvation

Paul Driessen

The unwritten rule seems to be that each successive climate report and news release must be more scarifying than any predecessors, especially during the run-up to international conferences.

Thus Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report 15 claims governments worldwide must make “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” spend $40 trillion by 2035 on renewable energy, and impose carbon taxes that climb to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030. Or temperatures could climb another 1 degree F (0.5 C) and bring utter cataclysm to human civilization and our planet.

Not to be outdone, the 1,700-page 2018 US National Climate Assessment wailed that failure to eliminate fossil fuels and roll back American industry and living standards would send global temperatures soaring 15 degrees F by 2100! Chaos and food shortages would ensue; US economic growth would plummet.

The hyperbole continues in Katowice, Poland – where 30,000 activists and bureaucrats (and a few scientists) are meeting to finalize regulations to implement the 2015 Paris climate treaty and compel wealthy nations to give trillions of dollars in “adaptation, mitigation and compensation” money to poor countries that have been “victimized” by climate change, even as the rich nations de-industrialize.

All of this certainly plays well with those who orchestrated these reports and programs, are ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, or get paid to advance climate chaos and renewable energy narratives. However, a very different response among other audiences is increasingly evident around the world.

People look out their windows and realize the “unprecedented climate and weather chaos” isn’t actually happening, is little different from what they and previous generations experienced, and cannot possibly be attributed solely to fossil fuel use. They know the sun and other powerful natural forces have driven frequent climate changes throughout history, and play equally important roles today.

They understand that the scary headlines are the product of “scenarios” conjured up by computer models that blame climate change on greenhouse gases. They see the boy who cried “fifty 20-foot-tall wolves” far too often. They don’t buy the notion that today’s incredibly wealthy, high-tech, energy-rich societies are somehow less able to deal with climate change than those that lived through the Little Ice Age, for example. They typically put climate change at the bottom of any list of pressing concerns.

More and more people understand that fossil fuels provide 80% of US and global energy – and are essential to lifting billions more people out of crushing poverty. They see Asian and African countries building thousands of new coal- and gas-fired electrical generating plants, and making and driving millions of new cars. They know even Germany and Japan are burning more coal, as they realize that wind and solar subsidies and facilities raise energy costs, kill jobs and hurt poor families the most.

People resent being scammed and get angry when they realize their taxes and energy payments often line the pockets of climate activists, scientists, bureaucrats, politicians, and wind, solar and biofuel cronies.

Above all, a growing number see the proposed solutions as far worse than the wildly exaggerated and even fabricated climate disasters. They won’t tolerate having their livelihoods and living standards disrupted or destroyed by carbon taxes, even higher energy prices or fossil fuel bans – especially when the antipathy toward those fuels is combined with plans to terminate nuclear and even hydroelectric power.

In recent weeks, millions of mostly poor, working class and rural French citizens have joined the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, protesting and even rioting against President Macron’s proposed carbon tax hikes on their driving and living standards. Even a French police union has sided with the protesters. A shaken Macron finally postponed the tax for six months, then scrapped the plan entirely.

The protests are the first serious backlash against international eco-imperialism. They won’t be the last.

In Africa alone, twice as many people as live in the USA still do not have electricity, or have it only rarely and unpredictably. Can you imagine your life without electricity? And yet they are told by the EU, environmentalists, the World Bank and others that they must restrict their ambitions to what is possible with wind, solar and biofuel energy. Would you accept such carbon colonialism? Can actual, real-world climate risks possibly be worse than the horrid poverty, deprivation and disease that afflicts them now?

The World Bank recently said it would kindly give poor countries $200 billion during its FY2021-25 cycle, for “adaptation and resilience” in the face of manmade climate change. But still nothing for fossil fuel or nuclear power. The White House should read it the riot act, especially if US money is involved.

Poor countries don’t need climate cash. They need to develop: energy, infrastructure, factories, jobs, health, living standards. They need to do what rich countries did to become rich – not what (some) rich countries are doing (or at least saying) now that they are rich. Thankfully, many are doing exactly that.

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, motor fuels and factory power creates its own prosperity; its own ability to improve roads, hospitals, schools, homes and so on; its own “drop dead money” to tell carbon colonialists to take a hike. “Green” energy is insufficient, unsustainable and ecologically harmful.

With America likely being joined soon by Brazil in rejecting the Paris climate trap, poor nations are on firm ground. Ontario (Canada), Poland. Australia, China, India and other countries have also rejected carbon taxes and coal use restrictions. The Paris deal is fast becoming a climate Potemkin Village.

But what about that National Climate Assessment? Wasn’t that a Trump White House document? It certainly needed some adult supervision, to ride herd on the 1,000 Deep State scientists and bureaucrats who prepared it. However, the White House let them prove how loony climate alarmism has become.

Indeed, as Nick Loris, Roger Pielke, Jr. and other experts have pointed out, the NCA was based on absurd assumptions (eg, vastly increased coal use and no energy technology advances over the next 70 years) and a ridiculous worst-case global temperature increase of 15 degrees F by 2100. That’s twice as high as even the IPCC’s worst-case projections, and far worse than Garbage In-Garbage Out climate models are predicting. It’s more than 15 times the total warming our Earth has experienced since 1820!

The NCA is also based on rampant cherry-picking of data, to wildly inflate climate risks; an almost total failure to factor in the incalculable benefits of fossil fuels; and a refusal to consider the plant-fertilizing benefits of more atmospheric carbon dioxide. It just depicts the CO2 we exhale solely as a dangerous climate-changing pollutant. The NCA also ignored the fact that actual observations show no increases in drought, no increases in the frequency or magnitude of floods, no trends in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. It didn’t mention the 12-year absence of Category 3-5 hurricanes making US landfall.

Just as egregious, the Deep State NCA claimed continued fossil fuel use would hit the United States with $500 billion in annual climate related costs by 2090. That’s more than twice the percentage lost during the Great Depression. It’s 10% of the US economy in 1971. Even with modest economic growth, it’s likely to be a trivial 0.6% of America’s GDP in 2090. The NCA bogeyman is a little stuffed bear.

But based on IPCC and NCA fear mongering, America and the world are supposed to keep their fossil fuels in the ground – including what the US Geological Survey says is the “largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed!!” Over 46 billion barrels of oil, 280 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in just part of the Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin.

No one denies that the climate changes, or even that human activities have some effects on climate and weather. But there is no real-world evidence that human CO2 emissions have replaced the sun and other natural forces; that another degree of warming would be cataclysmic; or that humans can control climate changes and weather events by tweaking the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Via email

US Leads the World in Cutting CO2 Emissions While Most Countries Go the Opposite Way

The United Nations is urging countries to pursue more aggressive emissions-cutting policies to keep post-Industrial Revolution global warming under 2 degrees Celsius.

The U.N. released a report Tuesday that says the world must revamp efforts several times what they are currently to avoid climate change's worst effects.

The United States leads developed countries in cutting emissions. President Donald Trump ignited a furor in the environmental community when he announced he would pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

The agreement outlined strategies and goals for combatting climate change, but the deal, without an enforcement mechanism, has done little to reduce the world's carbon output.

Most countries continue to increase their carbon emissions.

China, the largest contributor to increasing emissions, has said it will continue to increase emissions for several more years before peaking and focusing on reducing emissions.

India will continue to develop and increase its fossil fuel use.

European countries increased emissions by 1.5 percent in 2017 on average, according to an annual report by British Petroleum.

Germany and France, both attempting to ratchet up environmental policies, increased emissions by 0.1 and 2 percent, respectively.

"The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we've seen - governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We're feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach," U.N. Environment Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya said in a statement.

The U.N. blames the climate accord's failure on world leaders' reluctance to act. Most of the world's electricity and standard of living is propped up by fossil fuels, but recent reports have claimed that unchecked climate change will devastate the Earth with extreme heat, flooding and rampant poverty.

"The missing link here is leadership," U.N. Environment program officer Philip Drost told The Wall Street Journal.

"It's a matter of countries not yet wanting to take those bold steps. It is, of course, an incredibly difficult task to move from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a carbon-free economy."

The United States's emissions hit a near-seven decade low in 2017. The U.S. power sector has cut emissions by roughly 28 percent since 2005.


Even Accelerated Energy Transition Can't Keep Global Warming Below 2 Degrees

Even an accelerated clean energy transition will fall short of the effort required to limit global warming to 2 degrees.

That's the headline finding of a new report by international energy market research firm Wood Mackenzie looking at electricity, mobility, energy efficiency and ongoing demand for oil.

The study compares a base case and a "Carbon-constrained" scenario. Even in a world where 100% of new vehicles in the U.S., EU and China are all electric by 2040, WoodMac forecasts that 2 degrees is beyond reach.

The 2 degrees figure is considered the global average warming that the world's societies, and economies, could reasonably bear. There were calls for this to set at 1.5. The target is a cornerstone of the UN's climate process which begins its latest round of negotiations in Katowice, Poland next week.

"The global energy transition will continue to progress, led in large part to technologies and decarbonization trends we're already seeing in the marketplace - the rise of renewables, growth in electric vehicles, electrification of end-use demand, increasing efficiency," said David Brown, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

That growth in renewables for Wood Mac's Carbon-constrained scenario is 11% annually until 2035. That leaves wind and solar with a 40% share of electricity production compared to 7% today.

The more ambitious scenarios brings forward the research firm's Peak Oil date by five years to 2031.

The report flags renewables as the big winner under the more ambitious conditions with coal the unrivaled loser. WoodMac predicts a global halving of demand by 2040, even with an effective carbon pricing mechanism.

The more ambitious scenario relies on certain assumptions and when matched against today's political reality a lack of urgency is exposed.

Brown adds:

Our carbon-constrained scenario pushes the boundaries of our base-case view to illustrate a world where these trends join, and potentially outstrip, policy as a key force behind decarbonisation.

Even with an accelerated pace of change, a `2 degree world' remains out of reach in our accelerated scenario. Much more needs to happen around lowering non-power sector emissions to achieve such an outcome. Political momentum will be crucial and at present climate leadership is lacking."

A report earlier this week from the German insurance giant Allianz found the U.S. to be sliding down the clean energy rankings among its G20 peers. It dropped to ninth position after cuts to Federal support for wind and solar. Investment for 2017 was $57 billion, one-third of the total needed to align with the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement.

France, Germany and the U.K. took the top three spots respectively.


Cold Hard Facts for Climate Change Alarmists: Civilization Isn’t Ending – Not in 1985 and Not in 2100

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Sounds dire. A reaction to the National Climate Assessment published the day after Thanksgiving? No. Harvard biologist George Wald made that claim in 1970.

So if Wald had been correct, just about everything would have crumbled to ruin sometime between 1985 and 2000.

Wald, however, wasn’t alone. He and others came up with some incredibly over-the-top predictions as the 1960s came to a close.

“Earth Day” founder Denis Hayes, for example, didn’t hedge his bets: “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.” Or take Paul Ehrlich (please). The author of 1968’s “The Population Bomb” was another gloom-and-doom prophet who made so many failed predictions over the years that it’s almost hard to keep count.

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” he said in a 1970 interview. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

Off by about 180 degrees. Food production spiked in the ensuing years. And starvation on such a massive scale never materialized, thank God.

Many other examples could be cited (I haven’t even touched on predictions by global-warming luminaries such as Al Gore), but I hope the point is clear: Take sky-is-falling claims with a large grain of salt.

Particularly because they never seem to go out of style. You’d think, given the track record I’ve just referred to, that doomsayers would learn to temper their warnings, at least a little bit. But no. We see the same trend at work with the National Climate Assessment.

“Global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century,” we read in the 1,700-page report.

How substantial? As The New York Times noted: “All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago.”

Sounds awful, to put it mildly. Then again, so did the first Earth Day predictions. And these latest claims are just as plausible, according to climate expert Nicolas Loris.

“The study … calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer,” he writes. “That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“In other words, it is completely unrealistic.”

So where do these Chicken Little claims come from? In the report, climatologists lay out four possible future trajectories for the environment. Alarmists seized on the worst one.

It’s also the least likely. It assumes a combination of bad factors will somehow coincide – that global population will climb at the fastest-possible rate (about double the current amount), that technology will develop at the slowest-possible rate, and that world poverty will increase massively, along with energy use and emissions.

Would it be responsible to assume the best-case scenario? Of course not. But assuming the worst-case is no better. In fact, considering the policy changes that believers wind up pushing as a result – such as huge carbon taxes and giant subsidies for dubious “green” projects – it’s even less responsible.

Not that the alarmists need an excuse like the National Climate Assessment to make bad recommendations. Even before it came out, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had proposed a tax of between $135 and $5,500 per ton of carbon emissions by the year 2030.

“An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair,” Loris writes.

If the doomsayers want to spread pessimism, that’s their business. But the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for it.

It’s time for the global-warming crowd to realize, once and for all, that civilization isn’t ending – not in 1985 and not in 2100. And those are the cold facts.



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