Friday, March 29, 2019

Fastest-Thinning Greenland Glacier Threw NASA Scientists for a Loop. It's Actually Growing

Due to "temporary" factors, of course.  How do we know that its previous thinning was not also due to "temporary" factors? The fact that they didn't predict the cooling means that they don't understand or know all the temperature factors at work.  They are just guessing and being wise after the event.  The previous thinning could have been due to subsurface vulcanism.  if not, why not?

Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier recently threw a real brain bender at scientists, who realized that instead of shrinking, the glacier is actually growing thicker, they reported in a new study.

The glacier — known as Jakobshavn, which sits on Greenland's west coast — is still contributing to sea level rise, but it's losing less ice than expected. Instead of thinning and retreating inland, its ice is thickening and advancing toward the ocean, the researchers found.

After much sleuthing, a team of scientists from the United States and the Netherlands found that the glacier is likely growing due to colder ocean currents. In 2016, a current that passes by Jakobshavn Glacier was cooler than usual, making waters near the glacier the coldest they'd been since the mid-1980s.

This cooler current came from the North Atlantic Ocean, more than 600 miles (966 kilometers) south of the glacier, according to data from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and other observations.

The finding took the scientists completely by surprise. "At first, we didn't believe it," study lead researcher Ala Khazendar, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years." But the cold water isn't a one-off. Data from OMG shows that the water has been cold now for three years in a row.

It appears that the cold water is the result of a climate pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which makes the northern Atlantic Ocean slowly switch between warm and cold water about once every 20 years, the researchers said. The cold phase just recently started, and has cooled the Atlantic Ocean in general, they said. In addition, some extra cooling of the waters around Greenland's southwest coast helped keep the glacier chilly.

But this crisp change won't last forever. Once the NAO climate pattern flips back, the Jakobshavn will likely start melting faster and thinning again, the researchers said.

"Jakobshavn is getting a temporary break from this climate pattern," Josh Willis, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the principal investigator of OMG, said in the statement. "But in the long run, the oceans are warming. And seeing the oceans have such a huge impact on the glaciers is bad news for Greenland's ice sheet."

Scientists have watched Jakobshavn with concern for decades. After losing its ice shelf in the early 2000s (an ice shelf forces a glacier to flow more slowly into the ocean, like dirt clogging a drain), Jakobshavn began losing ice at an alarming rate. Between 2003 and 2016, its thickness (from top to bottom) dwindled by 500 feet (152 meters).

But in 2016, the waters flowing from Greenland's southern tip to its western side cooled by more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, the NAO climate pattern caused the Atlantic Ocean near Greenland to cool by about 0.5 F (1 C) between 2013 and 2016. By the summer of 2016, these cooler waters reached the glacier, and they are likely the reason that Jakobshavn slowed its rate of ice loss to the ocean, the researchers said. [Image: Greenland's Dramatic Landscape]

In all, Jakobshavn grew about 100 feet (30 m) taller between 2016 and 2017, the researchers found. But, as mentioned, the glacier is still contributing to ocean level rise worldwide, as it's still losing more ice to the ocean than it is gaining from snow accumulation, the researchers said.

The findings shed light on how much ocean temperatures can affect glacier growth, said Tom Wagner, a NASA Headquarters program scientist for the cryosphere, the frozen part of Earth.

"The OMG mission deployed new technologies that allowed us to observe a natural experiment, much as we would do in a laboratory, where variations in ocean temperatures were used to control the flow of a glacier," Wagner, who was not involved in the study, said in the statement. "Their findings — especially about how quickly the ice responds — will be important to projecting sea level rise in both the near and distant future."


Snow Lizards, Seahorses, and Reagan on a Dinosaur: Sen. Lee Mocks Green New Deal

Armed with images of a gun-toting, dinosaur-mounted Ronald Reagan, a snow lizard and giant seahorse, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) had some fun at the expense of Democratic colleagues on Tuesday, but made clear that it was their “Green New Deal,” not climate change, that was the butt of his jokes.

Lee’s speech and accompanying visuals came before the Senate voted against advancing a resolution “recognizing the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal.”

In what Democrats condemned as a “stunt,” every Republican voted against the resolution, put forward by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a bid to force Democrats to take a public stand on an initiative which he called “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”

The Republicans were joined by three Democrats – Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin (W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) – and independent Angus King (Me.), while the remainder of the Democrats, including the declared 2020 presidential candidates, voted “present.”

The vote count was 0 yeas, 57 nays, and 43 voting present.

“The GOP’s climate delaying is costing us lives + destroying communities,” Green New Deal champion Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted afterwards. She also said she and others had encouraged Senate Democrats to vote “present,” adding that McConnell had tried to rush the initiative “straight to the floor without a hearing.”

Lee opened his speech – social media opinions on which ranged from “bizarre” to “masterful” – by saying he was going to “consider the Green New Deal with the seriousness it deserves.”

The image of Reagan on a “velociraptor holding up a tattered American flag,” he said, was meant to depict a “climactic battle of the Cold War,” although in real life, “the Cold War, as we all know, was won without firing a shot.”

“This image has as much to do with overcoming communism in the 20th century as the Green New Deal has to do with overcoming climate change in the 21st.”

Lee later presented images of a Tauntaun snow lizard of Star Wars fame – a suggested carbon-neutral mode of winter transport for citizens of Alaska “in a future without air travel” – and an animated Aquaman riding a giant seahorse as the corresponding option for citizens of Hawaii.

He went on to talk about the elimination of America’s cows – considered a problem because they emit methane, a greenhouse gas.

A Green New Deal “frequently asked questions” document from Ocasio-Cortez’ office earlier this year called for the building of “high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

It also referred to bovine flatulence: “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Eliminating air travel and cows were not included in the actual Green New Deal resolution subsequently introduced by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) – which in replicated form was what was voted on in the Senate on Tuesday.

Instead, the resolution calls for investment in “high-speed rail” as part of that envisaged transportation overhaul – with no reference to air travel – and refers to efforts “to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

Lee said the initiative’s authors hearing his speech will protest that the goals of eliminating air travel and cows are not actually part of the GND but “merely were included in supporting documents accidentally sent out by the office of the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives.”

“This only makes my point: The supporters of the Green New Deal want Americans to trust them to reorganize our entire society, our entire economy, to restructure our very way of life – when they couldn’t even figure out how to send out the right press release.”

The GND was not an agenda of solutions, he charged, but “a token of elite tribal identity, and endorsing it a public act of piety for the chic and ‘woke.’”

The solution to climate change, he said, was not the Green New Deal – but “babies.”

“Climate change is an engineering problem—not social engineering, but the real kind. It’s a challenge of creativity, ingenuity and, most of all, technological innovation.”

Lee quoted Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason University, as having written recently: “By having more children, you’re making your nation more populous, thus boosting its capacity to solve climate change.”

“The solution to climate change,” Lee concluded, “is not this unserious resolution we’re considering this week in the Senate, but rather the serious business of human flourishing. The solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places, is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”

Reacting to Lee’s speech, Markey tweeted later, “When the Midwest is flooded and people have died because of climate-related extreme weather, it is shameful to joke about climate change. This is exactly Democrats’ point – Republicans only want to make a mockery of the climate crisis. We will not let them.”


‘White People’ blamed for causing Cyclone Idai in Africa

One can't blame Mr Mngxitama for his views.  He is just repeating what Warmists say

“White people” are being blamed for causing “climate change” which is claimed to have led to a deadly hurricane in Africa, according to the activist group Black First Land First (BLF).

BLF blamed Tropical Cyclone Idai on “white people” and is demanding that the African Union seek reparations the West for the hurricane.

BLF president Andile Mngxitama declared that the cyclone that hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, was “not a natural disaster but a direct consequence of the white, Western system of ecological assault for profits.”

This (cyclone) is mass murder which could be prevented if the West abandoned its ways,” Mngxitama stated. “It’s no longer speculation – even the white man’s own science corroborates what we blacks know: Africa is paying a heavy price for the actions of the white world,” he added with a reference to “climate change” science allegedly causing increase in extreme weather


Interesting Stats on Electric Cars

The electrical energy to keep the batteries charged has to come from the grid and that means more power generation and a huge increase in the distribution infrastructure.  Whether generated from coal, gas, oil, wind or sun, installed generation capacity is limited.

If electric cars do not use gasoline, they will not participate in paying a gasoline tax on every gallon that is sold for automobiles, which was enacted some years ago to help to maintain our roads and bridges.  They will use the roads, but will not pay for their maintenance!

In case you were thinking of buying a hybrid or an electric car:

Ever since the advent of electric cars, the REAL cost per mile of those things has never been discussed.  All you ever heard was the mpg in terms of gasoline, with nary a mention of the cost of electricity to run it.

If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, you had to face certain realities.  For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires 75 amp services.  The average house is equipped with 100 amp service.  On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla, each.  For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded.

This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles.  Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load.  So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate our entire delivery system.

Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors and he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine ."  Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery.  So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh batteries is approximately 270 miles.

It will take you 4.5 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph.  Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.  In a typical road trip, your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kWh of electricity.  It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.  The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned, so I looked up what I pay for electricity.   I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kWh.  16 kWh x $1.16 per kWh = $18.56 to charge the battery.  $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.  Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg.   $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

Update: the $1.16 above may be wrong. 11.6c is more likely

The gasoline-powered car costs about $20,000 while the Volt costs $46,000-plus.  So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay three times as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country.

Various sources

The Greens' extraordinary plan to BAN coal in Australia - calling it 'the new asbestos - despite exports earning $66BILLION every year

They know there is no hope of this being enacted.  It is just an attempt to make themselves look good and wise

The Greens have unveiled their radical plan to ban coal despite it bringing Australia more than $66billion every year.

The party on Thursday released a new climate plan, which sets 2030 as the target year for the nation to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy.

The policy - which comes with a call to arms from Swedish school student Greta Thunberg - shows how the Greens would push a Labor government if elected in May.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale described coal as 'the new asbestos', saying the party wants to shut down every coal power plant in New South Wales, The Daily Telegraph reported.

'We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it. Now it is coal's turn,' the Greens' policy stated.

The party wants to put an end to thermal coal burning by setting a yearly limit on coal exports from 2020 and reducing it every year until it hits zero in 2030.

At the same time, the party is pushing for the nation to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by the time the coal industry ceases trading.

The plan would include a $65billion carbon tax, and an immediate ban on new coal mines, fracking and conventional onshore and offshore gas and oilfields.

Industry experts said the economy will suffer under the plan.

Coal was the highest earning export commodity in Australia last year, accounting for $66million in revenue, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.   

Last financial year, coals exports brought the NSW economy about $17billion, with thermal coal exports reaching 164.6million tonnes.

NSW Mining CEO Stephen Galilee told Daily Mail Australia the overall economic cost of banning coal would send the state into a deep economic recession.

'The Greens policy would cost NSW its most valuable export industry and over $17billion in export income, as well as over $2billion a year in mining royalties, which help pay for schools and hospitals.

'Over 20,000 NSW coal miners would lose their jobs, devastating mining families and communities, and over 130,000 more jobs across NSW would also be potentially affected,' Mr Galilee said.

The CEO said more than 7,000 businesses currently part of the mining supply chain would also be hit, threatening even more jobs.

'Electricity supply to families and businesses across NSW would also be at risk of price rises and blackouts which would affect a range of energy-intensive industries including manufacturing, transport and construction,' he said.

Mr Di Natale has denied his party's plan to shut down all coal-fired power stations and phase out thermal coal exports will cost Australians jobs.

The Greens want a $1billion transition plan for workers affected by banning coal, which Mr Di Natale believes will create more than 170,000 new jobs.

'We will lose no jobs because under our plan we will have a national authority, a publicly-owned authority, with express intent to manage this transition,' he told ABC Radio National on Thursday.

'The reality is this is happening already, people are going to lose their jobs because the economics are making it so.'

Mr Di Natale said unlike the major parties, the Greens planned to create a jobs boom in the renewable energy export industry.

As part of the plan, the Greens want the nation to stop using gas - despite experts saying the energy source is an essential part of future energy sources.

Phasing out petrol cars and moving to electric vehicles was another key objective mentioned in the Greens idealistic plan. 

Luxury fossil fuel cars would be hit with a 17 per cent tax to help pay for scrapping registration fees, import tariffs, GST and stamp duty on electric vehicles.

The Greens have also proposed establishing a new public energy retailer and re-regulating electricity prices to address price gouging following the coal ban.

Mr Di Natale said the mining and burning of coal remained the single biggest cause of climate change in Australia and around the world.

'You need the Greens in the Senate to push Labor to make sure we do what needs to be done,' he said.



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