Sunday, April 05, 2020

Air quality improving: Will it help with global warming?

The Greenies want huge economic shutdowns to halt global warming.  Courtesy of the response to the coronavirus we now have such shutdowns.  So what difference is that making to the climate?  None, apparently. Global carbon dioxide levels are not budging.

It's logical that a short period would not do much to a level built up over many years but the fact that we are seeing no response at all despite the huge changes in human activities does suggest that the CO2 reduction that Greenies want may be far greater than could ever be achieved in reality

In terms of the article below, all that Greenie policies could achieve would be "noise": too small to detect above natural variability

Seattle-area air quality is a bit better as the novel coronavirus shuts down economic activity and travel.

Levels of nitrous oxide (NOX), a pollutant produced by tailpipe emissions and other sources, are being detected at generally lower values in local air-monitoring devices. And a satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows declines in pollution over the Seattle area in March 2020 compared with March 2019.

But efforts to “flatten the curve” – the rate of spread of the coronavirus — have not even dented a different curve also of great importance to humanity around the world: The Keeling Curve.

The Keeling Curve is a record of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. Over the past 62 years since measurements began, the curve has gone, except for seasonal variation, in only one direction: relentlessly upward. Right through the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Through the global economic turndown of 2008. To record levels, without stopping. And so it continues, even now as public life grinds to a near standstill.

Ralph Keeling – his late father, Charles, invented the measurement — said even greater declines in fossil fuel use than we are presently seeing would need to be sustained for at least a year to show up clearly in global carbon dioxide levels.

But in the short term, it’s not enough to make a difference in global warming.

“A lot of people are saying this is good for the climate problem. No, not really,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Division. To bend the Keeling Curve, emissions from fossil-fuel burning would need to be cut by half, and then continue to decrease, Tans said. Even a 25 percent reduction would result in only a few tenths of one part per million decrease.

“It would be hard to see it in the record, to pick it out of the noise of natural variability. Maybe if we have a long downturn, maybe we begin to see something above the noise.”


Japan won’t change global warming goals for 2030 deadline

Japan will not change its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal 2030, a decision that is bound to spur international condemnation that Tokyo is not doing enough to deal with climate change.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had called on member nations to raise their goals in time for the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) initially planned for November, but now postponed by the United Nations for a year due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Paris agreement on climate change, Japan in 2015 set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by fiscal 2030 in comparison with the level of fiscal 2013.

Despite Guterres' urging, sources said Japan would not raise its goal even though it emits the fifth largest volume of greenhouse gases.

With electric power companies facing problems in resuming operations of their nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan now depends on coal-fired thermal power plants for close to 80 percent of its power supply.

As a review of the nation’s basic energy plan is not scheduled until 2021 at the earliest, government officials apparently decided that now is not the right time to raise its nationally determined contributions (NDC) toward fighting climate change.

However, the government will review its other measures to deal with global warming to determine if there are areas where contributions can be made in other ways. Those new proposals will be put together for COP26.

And Japan will not wait until 2025, the next deadline for submitting a new NDC under the Paris climate change agreement, but seek a review of its goal before then. As a long-term goal, Japan will make efforts “to realize a carbon-free society in a period as close as possible to 2050.”

At an April 3 news conference, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi referred to a tweet by Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which said, “I trust that more ambitious targets will be set soon” by Japan in the wake of its submittal of an updated NDC.

Koizumi said that “Japan’s intentions have been passed on” to Espinosa.

Referring to the postponement of COP26 until 2021, Koizumi said, “The focus will be on the extent to which Japan can come up with additional measures” by that time.


Locust ‘Crisis’ Is Really About Abundant Rainfall

People, crops, livestock, and even insects thrive in conditions with more abundant food and water. Africa and the Middle East are currently enjoying abundant rainfall, benefiting each group of animals. Rather than celebrating this development, the media are claiming a climate crisis because locusts are one of the groups benefiting from abundant rainfall.

On March 18, The Weather Channel reported, “A locust plague that’s been growing in the Horn of Africa this month is slated to make its way across Northern Africa and the Middle East, the likes of which have been unseen in the region for over 30 years.”

“Climate change is worsening the largest plague of the crop-killing insects in 50 years,” claimed a March 22 Inside Climate News article.

According to a March 23 Reuters article, “locusts crossed into Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia at the end of 2019 and have so far infested 26 Kenyan counties.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) observes, “When plentiful rain falls and annual green vegetation develops, Desert Locusts can increase rapidly in number….”

Which is exactly what is happening now.

Buried in The Weather Channel article is this observation, “Wet weather also favors multiplication of locusts. Widespread, above-average rain that pounded the Horn of Africa from October to December 2019….”

Of course, when rain does not “pound” Africa, alarmists and their media allies claim a drought crisis, also caused by climate change.

More abundant rainfall is generally considered good news. People, crops, and livestock are enjoying enormous benefits. Only climate alarmists would look for a reason to claim more abundant rainfall in arid regions of the world is bad news.


Australia: Greenie investors trying to stop gas mining

Santos has defended shareholders' criticism of its controversial coal seam gas proposal for the NSW town of Narrabri during its annual general meeting.

Investors on Friday expressed environmental and risk concerns about the project, which if approved, would allow Santos to drill 850 gas wells and provide energy for up to half of NSW.

Some shareholders said the project had failed to win community support, and carried the risk of environmental damage.

Opponents say extracting methane from the coal seam will contaminate groundwater, and have filed complaints to the NSW government's Independent Planning Commission, which will decide the project's fate.

However chairman Keith Spence claimed most opponents lived outside Narrabri.

He said Santos had a long history of operating assets safely and sustainably. "We're confident in the support we have for the project and expect it to proceed," he told the meeting.

A number of shareholder activist groups posed questions to management. Environmental impact was a recurring theme.

"It's clear climate change is a very important issue for our shareholders, and it is for me," Mr Spence said.

Santos is investigating carbon capture and storage at its Moomba gas plant in South Australia.

The aim is to capture 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide separated from natural gas and store it in the Cooper Basin.

Earlier at the meeting, environmentally-minded shareholders failed to impose carbon emission reductions.

Shareholders representing the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility proposed reduction targets aligned with the international Paris Agreement on climate change of 2016.

However only six per cent of shareholders voted for the first of these proposals - which would have allowed shareholders more power in questioning management.

The result meant the votes on the remaining proposals carried no power.

However, these decisions were more contentious. Results show the proposals - more closely related to reduction targets - had 43 and 46 per cent support respectively.

Shareholders were not allowed to attend the meeting, which was webcast from Adelaide, due to precautions about the coronavirus.



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