Friday, July 31, 2020

Tropical Plants Harmed by Global Warming (??)

There is a very clear trend in the response of plant life to temperature:  The warmer it gets the more plant life flourishes. So the article below is aberrant

So how did the researchers come to a different conclusion?  They looked at existing data on seed germination.  But the data was not optimized to determine temperature maxima so is not conclusive. A proper experiment where the effects of a range of temperatures on germination ceteris paribus would be needed to give sound results.

And even in the survey concerned, it was admitted that the effects are not "all or none". There were different percentages of germination for different temperatures.  So if only 5% of the seeds germinated in some projected future high temperature the species would still survive and probably flourish in that temperature.

The whole article is a big underestimate of survival capacity.

The thing that totally makes it absurd however is that in the much warmer age of the dinosaurs, plant life flourished mightily.  The species of today are descendants of that ancient plant life so most should have the heat tolerance of that time.

Further in the all-effects-of-climate-change-are-bad category, we hear that “Tropical plants closer to the equator are most at risk from climate change because it is expected to become too hot for many species to germinate in the next 50 years, UNSW researchers have found.”

On the face of it this conclusion is implausible. Global warming should drive species from their current habitats to ones that used to be cooler, away from the Equator toward the poles, in which case cold-weather life forms would hit the wall first (say, those obstinately flourishing polar bears) while things like orchids would be the last to go, migrating from Central America to Wisconsin and ultimately Baffin Island before going off the edge. As even the Guardian admits, “When left unattended, trees migrate toward more favorable conditions through a process known as seed dispersal, in which seeds are carried by the wind or birds to new places, taking root where the weather and water are right.” But when it’s climate change, warming can’t even expand the range of things that like warmth.

How about that! It's almost as if Mother Nature reacts protectively during times of (slow, gradual, perfectly normal climate evolution) and takes steps to ensure her progeny's welfare. As the Guardian story cited above observes with wonder:

There is an impressive array of pine species at the Nature Conservancy’s Plum Creek preserve in Maryland – loblolly, Virginia, shortleaf – creating a landscape that emits the smell of Christmas well into the summer. But a newcomer to the preserve has fueled an ethical debate about the role of conservationists in the age of climate change.

But longleaf is not native to Maryland, and many scientists believe they should not be planted at Plum Creek, or anywhere outside of theirnaturalrange. These relatively young trees are part of an experiment to determine if human intervention could help the pines migrate north as climate change alters its natural range... Assisted migration has been accused of being expensive and risky, a case of humans playing God.

This being the Guardian, the worry is that even with the help of Scientists (the new priest class of the atheist Left), neither gimpy old Gaia nor God himself won't be able to move fast enough to save herself. And a "restoration ecologist" named Deborah Landau blames -- you guessed it -- the coming of the white man for the retreat of the ugly, scrub longleaf pines.

Longleaf pine once blanketed 90 million acres of the American southeast, but today it inhabits only 3% of its original range. According to Landau, longleaf was “practically knocking on the door” of the Chesapeake Bay when Europeans showed up 400 years ago. “We truly feel it would have eventually arrived on its own,” she says. Instead, longleaf pine forests were decimated by logging and fire suppression, their growth fragmented by human development.

Climate change -- is there anything it can't do?


Is Climate Change a Threat to Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice?

Following record high temperatures in Antarctica last week, the global media made a clarion call for saving the planet from the imminent threat of climate change.

One headline read, “Antarctica Records Highest Ever Temperature, Proves Climate Change.” “2020: A Warning,” declared another publication as it made reference to “severe forest fires sweeping through the Arctic.”

A closer look at the poles, however, reveals a totally different story. What do the changes in the Arctic and the Antarctica really entail?

The Arctic is more often used in climate doomsday narratives than Antarctica. What the doomsayers don’t tell you is that the Arctic is at one of its healthiest states in the past 10,000 years.

In 2017, scientists published details on sea-ice variation in the Arctic Ocean, spanning 10,000 years, a period known as the Holocene. The sea-ice cover today is at its highest in the Holocene, except for the Little Ice Age in the 17th century.

The same was true for the sea waters in the North of Iceland (part of the Arctic Ocean). The present-day sea ice extent there is higher than in most of the past 10,000 years.

The sea ice was at some of its lowest levels during the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods (roughly the 1st and 10th centuries, respectively), two periods that experienced temperatures as high as today’s.

Despite the current warm period (known as Modern Warm Period) being as warm as these past periods, Arctic sea ice extent, though lower than it was during the Little Ice Age, remains at historic highs compared with the rest of the last 10 millennia.

Arctic Sea Ice is not in danger from the ongoing changes in global average temperature, nor has it been impacted as it was during the previous two warm periods of the last 2000 years.

The Antarctic

Since 1979, there has been an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. This is one of the main reasons why climate fearmongers prefer to focus on the Arctic rather than the Antarctic in their doomsday lectures and discourses.

The growth trend of Antarctic sea ice does not bode well for the mainstream narrative. A 2017 study concluded, “The Antarctic sea ice extent has been slowly increasing contrary to expected trends due to global warming and results from coupled climate models.”

And it is not just the sea ice extent. In a 2018 study, scientists reported “Southern Ocean changes over recent decades include surface cooling and circumpolar increase in Antarctic sea ice.”

Southern Ocean sea surface temperatures have been declining since the 1980s and are inconsistent with the alarmist view that the Antarctic is in danger from high temperatures and rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

If we consider the entire Holocene, the Antarctic sea ice levels during the past 100 years or so are the most extensive in 10,000 years! They are at one of their highest levels despite contrary claims by the media. A brief record high temperature doesn’t imply that suddenly things are different. That’s particularly so if we recognize that it’s a record only for as long as we’ve been recording temperature in Antarctica. That doesn’t go back very far, particularly if we’re talking about enough monitoring stations to come remotely close to a representative sample of the massive and almost totally uninhabited continent.

While it is true that the poles experience constant changes in climate, they are not under threat from the ongoing changes in climate. Given the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration levels since 1850, it is surprising to see how insignificant its impact has been on sea ice extent near the poles.

The mainstream media use short-term changes in sea-ice extent, and even shorter-term changes in temperature to make sensational claims about sea-ice melt and global warming. By so doing, they deprive their audiences of historical perspective. This in turn helps alarmists sell their doomsday narrative.

The two poles tell the same story: Sea ice levels today are more extensive than in much of the last 10,000 years, they are not declining in an unprecedented manner, and they remain largely unaffected by the emission of greenhouse gases.


U.S. Congress Passes Land Conservation Funding Bill, President Says He’ll Sign

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that automatically provides $900 million in permanent funding for federal land purchases. The Senate passed the bill in June, so it now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), passed by a bi-partisan vote of 310 in favor of the bill and 107 opposed on July 22. When it becomes law it will provide $900 million funding automatically each year, drawn from federal oil and gas revenues, to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), used to increase the size of the federal estate by purchasing land for parks, trails, and other types of federal recreation areas.

The bill also allows billions of dollars to be spent on addressing a maintenance backlog at national parks over a five-year period. In 2018, the federal government estimated there was a maintenance backlog of approximately $12 billion in needed repairs and upkeep on existing federal lands. As a step to remedy the backlog, GAOA provides $1.9 billion annually for five years for national park maintenance.

Trump Pushed Bill

President Trump announced his support for a bill to fully fund the LWCF and address the maintenance backlog on federal lands, especially parks, in March, just as various states’ governors began issuing shelter in place orders, fearing of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Send me a Bill that fully and permanently funds the LWCF and restores our National Parks” Trump tweeted in March, continuing, “When I sign it into law, it will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands.”

Trump’s support resulted in the U.S. Senate passing GAOA on June 17, by a vote of 73 in favor of the bill and 25 opposed.

Misplaced Spending Priorities

Not everyone supports the bill, however. Some Republicans lawmakers, including Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), argued during the economic crisis created by the pandemic, it was bad time to direct federal oil and gas revenues to land purchases, when it could be put to other uses.

“‘Quick. There’s a global pandemic. Let’s spend billions of dollars repairing fences, putting up new signs, fixing toilets at our wildlife refuges, parks, and forests,’ said no one ever,” Graves said on the House floor before the vote. “What this legislation does is it takes everything else and it puts it on the back burner.”

The law mistakenly makes purchasing new lands a priority over maintaining properties the federal government already owns, said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), who opposed the act referring to it on the House floor as the “not-so-great American Outdoors Act.” Bishop criticized the bill for making the LWCF funding mandatory, while the spending on repairs and maintenance was discretionary.

“Now we are also saying in this bill the billion dollars of money to buy more land is now also a priority above and beyond what’s happening for the parks,” said Bishop. “This bill is not about funding our public lands … the only thing this is about is how we can find another way to buy more property.

“We can’t afford the property we already have,” Bishop said.

‘Owns Far Too Much Land’

The federal government already owns far more land than the America’s founders ever intended, said Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in a press release issued July 21 before the U.S. House voted on GAOA, urging them to reject the bill.

“The federal government already owns far too much land – 640 million acres or more than one-quarter of the country,” said Ebell. “It owns far more land than it can it can adequately manage and maintain, as is evidenced by the need for a special appropriation of $9.5 billion to address half the maintenance backlog.

“Wide private property ownership and secure property rights are cornerstones of America’s system of limited government and essential conditions of economic prosperity,” Ebell said. “Instead of spending billions and billions of dollars to buy millions and millions of acres of private land, Congress should be passing legislation to transfer substantial BLM lands and National Forests to the states and into private ownership.”

Federal land ownership also rob cities and states of revenue, said Ebell.

“Federal land is a huge economic as well as environmental burden on rural counties,” said Ebell. “The federal government does not pay local property taxes, and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program provides only pennies on the dollar in compensation for lost property taxes.

“Taking more and more private property off the tax rolls will only exacerbate this problem,” Ebell said.


Australia: A report from more than 150 experts and affected community members has called on the government to punish climate change enablers

Climate skeptics would like to see this go to court.  The case would collapse like a house of cards when the full weight of scientific evidence about global warming was led

In a sobering study released this week, Australia was revealed to have lost nearly three billion animals due to the devastating Black Summer bushfires.

The fossil fuel industry has “pushed Australia into a new bushfire era” and should pay for the carnage inflicted from blazes and other disasters across the country, former emergency leaders, climate scientists and doctors have declared.

The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA), a group of more than 150 experts and affected community members, have called on the Federal Government to impose a levy on those contributing to climate change.

As part of the 165 recommendations, the group wants a climate disaster fund set up to cover the massive costs associated with natural disasters.

The rising impact of global warming evidenced in the summer’s devastating and extensive bushfires has created the need to “fundamentally rethink how we prepare for and manage this growing threat”, former Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

“This plan outlines practical steps that all levels of government can take right now to better protect communities,” he said, who is also a Climate Councillor.

“It’s important that the Federal Government takes these recommendations seriously and acts on them urgently. “First and foremost, the Federal Government must tackle the root cause of climate change by urgently phasing out fossil fuels to reach net zero emissions.”

The declaration comes ahead of the royal commission report into the destructive bushfire season which is due to be handed to government next month, which Mr Mullins hopes will include provisions for a climate response.

The cost of extreme weather events is growing towards a total annual bill of $39 billion by 2050, Deloitte Access Economics partner Nicki Hutley said, who also contributed to the report.

“Climate change, which is fuelling more severe extreme weather events and worsening bushfire danger, has serious economic consequences,” she said.

“Reducing emissions, building community resilience, and boosting emergency resourcing can help us avoid huge economic impacts and damage in the future, while creating clean new jobs right now.”

The report comes as the government faces increasing pressure to invest in a major green energy plan, with groups from across the political spectrum declaring an investment is imminent to help propel the economy out of the virus crisis.

Once the iconic divide between conservative and progressive politicians, activists and lobby groups say the need for action on climate change has reached a boiling point with evidence of environmental damage now being undeniable.

“The pressure is growing and the larger picture is a lot of the Coalition members, Liberals and Nationals, do support this transition and understand it ultimately will happen,” Coalition for Conservation chair Cristina Talacko told

“It’s not a question of debating the ideology behind climate anymore, we’ve gone totally past that, now it’s about what’s good for Australia, what’s going to give us resilience because we don’t want the droughts and the bushfires.”

Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said calls for a green energy policy overhaul is coming from most segments of the community but insists there are still hurdles within the party led by Scott Morrison, who once famously brandished a lump of coal during Question Time.

“There are a few dinosaurs in federal parliament but the amount of support that’s now coming from state governments, from business, and from industry will be irrepressible,” she told



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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