Sunday, May 31, 2020

Coronavirus has had NIL Impact on CO2 Levels

Figure 1: Using a simple method1 for removing the large seasonal cycle from the Mauna Loa CO2 data, and well as the average effects from El Nino and La Nina events, no obvious downtown in global CO2 levels has been observed4. Analysis by Dr. Roy Spencer.

Short Summary:

The COVID-19 aka Coronavirus pandemic is causing a worldwide shutdown in economic activity as businesses close, airlines cancel flights, energy production is reduced, and people shelter in their homes and drive less.

Climate activists expected this economic downtown to translate to less energy usage, and therefore less CO2 emissions globally. While that has indeed happened, with China seeing a 40% emissions drop, and an expected 11% reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. this year, it didn’t translate into the proof they were seeking. What scientists are looking for is any evidence of a decline in global atmospheric CO2 concentrations that would be strong enough to attribute to the economic downturn.

University of Alabama climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer used a simple method1 for removing the large seasonal CO2  cycle2, due to plant photosynthesis increases/decreases with seasons, from the Mauna Loa CO2 data, and well as the average effects from El Nino and La Nina events, which change the rate of ocean outgassing of CO2. The result: no obvious downtown in global CO2 levels has been observed3,4.

As can be seen in Figure 1, the latest CO2 data show no downtrend, but instead just a ripple, that is not unlike other ripples in the graph when there was no crisis and resulting economic downturn. The newspaper USA Today did a fact check on this issue and found the same result.

NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratories also studied the issue5 and concluded:

“That drop in emissions needs to be large enough to stand out from natural CO2 variability caused by how plants and soils respond to seasonal and annual variations of temperature, humidity, soil moisture, etc. These natural variations are large, and so far the “missing” emissions do not stand out.”

Clearly, there is no indication that the forced reductions have had any effect on global CO2 levels, suggesting that natural forces, such as ocean outgassing of CO2 overwhelm man-made contributions. This further suggests that the calls from climate alarmists to reduce fossil fuel use, automobile use, airline travel, beef consumption, and an entire litany of complaints they make about modern life-enhancing energy use applications will have little or no effect if implemented as they demand.


Study Shows Climate Change Expands Migratory Bird Ranges; Media Freaks

A newly published study shows North American birds are taking advantage of global warming to expanding their ranges northward, without any shrinkage in the southern edge of their North American ranges.

Rather than celebrate this good news for birds, climate alarmists and their media puppets are crying “Crisis!”

A Google News search this morning for the term “climate change” shows articles about the new bird-range study are among the top search results.

Incredibly, the titles for media articles about the study include, “Migratory Birds Are Failing to Adapt to Climate Change,” “Migratory birds in the Eastern US are struggling to adapt to climate change,” and “National Audubon Society Says Climate Change Is Pushing Bird Boundaries, Community Scientists Confirm.”

Saying birds are “struggling” and “failing” to adapt to climate change, or that climate change is “pushing” bird boundaries, are grossly misleading ways to describe the good news of expanding bird ranges.

In the study, wildlife researchers working for the federal government tracked bird ranges during the past 50 years. They published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers found:

Annual resident bird species (birds that do not migrate) have, as a whole, increased their ranges northward toward the poles without losing any of their southern ranges. That is wonderful news.

Birds that migrate to North America from the tropics have had no change in their northern ranges, though their southern range in Third World tropical nations appears to be shrinking. That is not good news.

So, most North American birds have larger ranges today, thanks to global warming. Annual resident bird species and migratory birds within North America have not experienced shrinking southern ranges.

The only concerning part of the survey is the subset of birds that winter outside the United States in Third World countries.

They appear to have shrinking ranges within those Third World countries. Overall, the findings are quite good news for birds and should be reported as such.

Even the one subset of the study that might raise concern, declining ranges in Third World nations, is quite a stretch to blame on global warming.

If all other bird species, with southern ranges not in Third World nations, see no decline in their southern ranges, why would there be shrinkage of southern ranges only in Third World countries?

The answer can likely be found in what the authors of the study explicitly acknowledge – “[T]he primary threats to North American birds are thought to include habitat loss, invasive species, and direct and indirect anthropogenic mortality.”

Also, “these threats are likely the primary drivers of declines in North America’s” birds, the authors reported.

Habitat loss and other threats to bird species are much greater in tropical Third World countries than in eco-conscious North America.

The North American bird range is growing. Birds that spend some of their time in North America and some of their time in Third World nations experience no range shrinkage in their North American ranges but some shrinkage in their Third World ranges.

The driving cause for the shrinkage of southern ranges for birds wintering in Third World countries clearly appears to be non-climate pressures on birds and other species in Third World countries.

Indeed, the authors themselves note “deforestation and other factors in tropical nations” may be pressuring that subset of birds migrating from tropical nations.

In summary, the new study on climate change and bird ranges is good news. As a general rule, global warming is causing an expansion of bird ranges.

To the extent a subset of bird species defies the overall trend, the reason appears to be non-climate pressures in Third World countries.

When the media describe the overall good news from the study as birds “struggling,” “failing,” or having their boundaries “pushed” by global warming, it reveals their biased and dishonest agenda.


No, Climate Change Does Not Cause Cancer

Among the top articles in a May 19 Google News search for “climate change” were a slew of articles claiming climate change causes cancer. CNBC and several other major news outlets published the claims, citing American Cancer Society (ACS) activists making the assertion. The line of reasoning is preposterous. And even if the ACS’s line of reasoning were sound, the line of reasoning would indicate that climate change is reducing cancer incidence and mortality.

The CNBC article is titled “Climate change is fueling extreme weather that lowers cancer survival rate and threatens prevention.” The article points out ACS’s line of reasoning as “[1] Climate change has triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that [2] release deadly carcinogens into communities and [3] delay access to cancer treatment.” Each of the three prongs of the argument is ridiculous, and the three in combination give new meaning to the term “far-fetched.”

Examining the first prong, climate change has clearly not “triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires.” As documented in Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes, hurricane impacts in the United States are at an all-time low. The United States recently went more than a decade (2005 through 2017) without a major hurricane measuring Category 3 or higher, which is the longest such period in recorded history. The United States also recently experienced the fewest number of hurricane strikes in any eight-year period (2009 through 2017) in recorded history. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 “Interim Report” observes there is “only low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences.” And, as shown in the chart below (see, there has been a declining number of hurricanes during the past 30 years, not an increase as ACS claims.

Also, drought is the climate component that would impact wildfires. As documented in Climate at a Glance: Drought, the United States is benefiting from fewer and less extreme drought events as the climate modestly warms. In 2017 and 2019 successively, the United States registered its smallest percentage of land area experiencing drought in recorded history. Also, the United States is undergoing its longest period in recorded history with fewer than 40 percent of the country experiencing “very dry” conditions. Moreover, the U.N. IPCC reports with “high confidence” that precipitation has increased over mid-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere (including the United States) during the past 70 years, while IPCC has “low confidence” about any negative trends globally.

(See, p. 191.)

The entirety of ACS’s claim that climate change causes cancer rests on the notion that climate change causes more hurricanes and wildfires. With those assertions convincingly debunked, ACS’s entire argument fails. If anything, ACS shows that climate change causes less cancer.

Let’s nevertheless look at the remaining two prongs of ACS’s claim.

The second prong, that a modest increase in wildfires would release more cancer-causing carcinogens into the air, would be marginal, at worst. Very few, if any, cancer cases and cancer deaths are linked to a person being exposed to forest fire smoke. And, again, even if that were the case, we see that climate change is reducing the drought that causes forest fires.

The third prong, that hurricanes and forest fires delay people’s access to cancer treatment, would also be marginal, at worst. Very few, if any, regularly scheduled cancer treatments are missed because someone is caught in a hurricane or wildfire. And, again, even if that were the case, we see that climate change is reducing the frequency of hurricanes and wildfires that would force somebody to miss a cancer treatment.

In summary, activists at the American Cancer Society, together with their willing media puppets, have gotten the entire issue backwards, if there is any link at all. Climate change is not causing more cancer, but it apparently is causing more ridiculous claims from activist groups.


No, Climate Change Didn’t Invent Cyclical Locust Plagues

Parts of India are undergoing their worst locust invasion in decades, following a cycle that has occurred throughout recorded history. Climate alarmists and their media ventriloquist dummies are claiming climate change must be to blame. They are lying.

“India is facing its worst desert locust invasion in nearly 30 years, and the climate crisis is partly to blame,” says an article published in Ecowatch. Nevertheless, the Ecowatch article presents no evidence this cyclical locust invasion is either caused by climate change or is especially severe compared to other historical locus invasions. The article presents no evidence to back up its assertion because no such evidence exists.

“Locusts are not uncommon in the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan, but this year they have also entered the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the first time since 1993 and the state of Maharashtra for the first time since 1974,” writes Ecowatch. As the article admits, these events have happened repeatedly before, with the 1974 locust plague occurring during a 30-year global cooling period when the mainstream media were warning about a coming ice age.

Locust plagues have struck periodically, but with some regularity all over the globe throughout history. The Wikipedia entry on locust notes, “[t]he ancient Egyptians carved them on their tombs and the insects are mentioned in the Iliad, the Bible, and the Quran. Swarms have devastated crops and been a contributory cause of famines and human migrations.” And academic papers also show locust plagues have even been common across Europe, with one paper noting, “the history of locust plagues shows how pervasive plagues were, and when records are more complete in later history seemingly almost continuous in occurrence. If it was like this in Europe where the majority of historical records come from, how much more so must it have been in Africa where conditions were much more conducive to locusts?”

As a 2013 article in Farm Progress notes in the United States, “the speed, ferocity and devastation of locusts, particularly the Rocky Mountain locust, would have once been a fact of life for a sweep of American farmers from California to Texas to Minnesota.” The worst locust plague recorded in the United States since European colonization was recorded 1875, which was 150 years of global warming ago, during the late stages of the Little Ice Age. Farm Progress says:

“In 1875, the largest locust swarm in history was recorded over the Midwest — 198,000 square miles. (For a size reference, California covers 163,696 square miles.) The 1875 swarm was estimated to contain several trillion locusts and probably weighed several million tons. That was the largest locust cloud in world history, according to Jeffrey Lockwood, author of ‘The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier.’”

Abundant rainfall in recent years has brought more abundant water, crops, plants, and vegetation. This has benefited people, desirable wildlife, and locusts. The benefits of more water and food for all life do not become a crisis – or even a politically advantageous climate crisis, simply because locusts also benefit from better conditions for all life.

Another natural but, in some sense, unique factor contributing to the locus plague this year was its coincidental arrival with the COVID-19 pandemic. As Wikipedia notes, “recently, changes in agricultural practices and better surveillance of locations where swarms tend to originate, have meant that control measures can be used at an early stage. The traditional means of control are based on the use of insecticides from the ground or the air, but other methods using biological control are proving effective.” Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, however, many of these normal monitoring and response mechanisms were abandoned.

A recent article in Wired discusses the problems that occurred with monitoring and response to the 2020 locust eruption. In Africa, where the current locust eruption first arose, above-average rainfall, heavy vegetation, and multiple years of good crop production made conditions ripe of the locust population boom.

The Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University working with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization operate a network of monitoring and response teams across much of North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. The current locust population explosion occurred in fairly wild and remote areas in the Middle East and Africa, areas with limited roads and infrastructure, and really erupted just as the Coronavirus shutdown was hitting. These factors combined to hamper locust monitoring and response across the region.

In other regions, political instability also prevented an effective response to the booming locust population. Yemen has been ravaged by years of war, leaving it unable no to deploy the specially trained crews the government had previously used to spray common pesticides that effectively kill locusts in mere hours. The ongoing civil war there also made it too dangerous for farmers and other regular folks to spray the pesticides themselves.

In short, myriad factors have contributed to the current locust plague striking large parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, but there is no evidence that they are historically unusual. To the extent any particular weather or climate factors can be blamed, it would be weather and climate factors that greatly benefit humans, wildlife, vegetation, and crop production. Climate alarmists, however, don’t want people to hear that. Instead, the pick out the small downside and implicitly tell people that an ideal climate would be one of drought, crop failure, water shortages, and sparse plant growth to deprive food for locusts – and everything else.

Yeah, ok.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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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