Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A leaked draft report from the United Nations (UN) includes a stark warning about climate change - 'the worst is yet to come,' with droughts, starvation and extreme heat all mooted for the next 30 years.

Will these galoots ever recognize that NONE of their prophecies ever come true?

The report, from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set to be released next year, but it was obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP), which reported on the findings Thursday.

That draft states that prolonged warming even beyond 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5C) could produce 'progressively serious, centuries' long and, in some cases, irreversible consequences.'

These consequences, according to the report, are set to appear by 2050 and will likely cause 130 million people worldwide to face chronic hunger, 350 million to be in drought and expose 420 million more people to extreme and potentially lethal heatwaves.

'The worst is yet to come, affecting our children's and grandchildren's lives much more than our own,' the report says.

'Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.'

AFP says the 4,000-page draft report 'may be subject to minor changes in the coming months as the IPCC shifts its focus to a key executive summary for policymakers.'

Prof Helen McGregor is an ARC Future Fellow at the University of Wollongong said in a statement: 'The draft IPCC report is not the final report and therefore it is inappropriate for me to comment on the report itself.

'However, in general climate tipping points are extremely concerning. Essentially a tipping point is a switch from one state to another with often a much slower pathway back to the original state. Ice sheet melting is an example of this, with rapid rises in sea level – meters-worth of sea-level rise – as a consequence.

'Past ocean acidification is another example with the geological record showing an acidification event 56 million years ago occurring in a few thousand years compared to the recovery taking 200,000 years.

'The message here is that there really are dire and costly consequences of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. It is in all of our best interests to reduce emissions as soon as we possibly can.'

The report has four main takeaways, with he first stating that Earth's climate is already changing with 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1C) of warming.

This contradicts previous findings that ensured limiting warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2C) above mid-19th century would be enough to save our planet.

However, the report notes that we are heading to a rise of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (2C) 'at best' with the current trends.

The World Meteorological Organization projected a 40 percent chance last month that Earth will surpass the 2.7-degree (1.5C) threshold for at least one year by 2026.

But for some animals and plants, it will be too late.

'Even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, conditions will change beyond many organisms' ability to adapt,' the report notes.

And this includes the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Academy of Science revealed in April that if 2.7F (1.5C) degrees of warming continues, the world's largest coral reef system will eventually perish by 2025.

The second takeaway is the impact it will have on humans living on Earth.

Millions will face hunger, water shortages, extreme heat and natural disasters.

Coastal cities are also at the highest risk of climate change, which will threaten millions of people with floods and more frequent storm surges.

'Adaptation costs for Africa are projected to increase by tens of billions of dollars per year with warming greater than two degrees,' the report cautions.

The report also highlights a number of point-of-no-return thresholds.

Approximately 12 temperature tipping points have been found in the climate system.

These include a warming of 3.6 degrees (2C) that is enough to melt glaciers in Greenland and the West Arctic.

A study released in May revealed the Greenland ice sheet, the second largest on the planet, is close to reaching the tipping point of no return with 'accelerated melting.'

If the troubling signs in this region were to happen to the entire ice sheet, causing it to melt completely, it could eventually raise global sea levels by 23 feet (7m).

'Even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, conditions will change beyond many organisms' ability to adapt,' the report notes. And this includes the Great Barrier Reef +5
'Even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, conditions will change beyond many organisms' ability to adapt,' the report notes. And this includes the Great Barrier Reef

The draft also highlights tipping points could cause tons of carbon to spew from Siberia's permafrost, adding more to our warming world.

Professor William Laurance, director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (TESS) at James Cook University, said in a statement: 'A scary thing about tipping points is that they’re often ‘unknown unknowns’—sudden, calamitous environmental changes that come flying out of nowhere and smack us in the back of the head.

'For example, the Amazon Rainforest, where I work, has been suffering badly from bizarre droughts in recent years. These droughts are being triggered by exceptionally warm Atlantic seas that drive rain-bearing winds away from the rainforest—killing hundreds of millions of trees and triggering severe wildfires.

'No one expected this new type of killer drought in the Amazon—but it’s here now. Global warming isn’t just affecting cold parts of the world. It’s also disrupting the climate and ecology of the world’s biggest rainforest, with serious implications for us all.'

The last takeaway is that in order to recover our world from climate change, we need to adopt 'transformational change.'

This includes protecting and restoring blue carbon ecosystems, kelp and mangrove forests for example, which protect coastal regions from flooding and provides food security.

'We need transformational change operating on processes and behaviors at all levels: individual, communities, business, institutions and governments,' it says.

'We must redefine our way of life and consumption.'


ABC News is Wrong, the Western U.S. Is Not Suffering from a Climate Change Induced “Megadrought”

ABC News is promoting the false claim that human climate change is responsible for a “Mega-drought” affecting much of the Western United States. Although drought conditions have persisted for a couple of years now across portions of the Western United States, droughts in the dry West are common and research shows much larger, longer-term droughts have occurred there historically. Because current conditions are not outside the historic records of drought, there is no evidence human greenhouse gas emissions are contributing the current drought.

In a story, titled “‘Mega-drought’ in West directly linked to climate change, experts say,” ABC New claims,

“The ‘mega-drought’ that’s plaguing much of the western U.S. is a direct consequence of warming global temperatures, according to experts. The term is used to describe a severe and intense drought that spans a couple of decades, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Brad Pugh told ABC News.”

ABC News’ report starts from a false premise, that the Western United States has been suffering severe drought conditions for couple of decades. It hasn’t. At worst, some areas of the Western United States have been experiencing some level of drought for a couple of years at most. Data shows “back to back” dry years are not unusual in Western United States, and consecutive years of drought don’t count as a mega-drought, regardless of the severity.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reintroduced its Climate Change Indicator series in mid-May. The agency’s post, titled “Climate Change Indicators: Drought,” reported no cause for alarm that climate change is increasing drought. The data cited and graphed by EPA shows no trend towards greater numbers of droughts or droughts of greater severity.

“Average drought conditions across the nation have varied over time,” writes EPA. “The 1930s and 1950s saw the most widespread droughts, while the last 50 years have generally been wetter than average [see the figure below]. Over the entire period … the overall trend has been toward wetter conditions,” wrote EPA.

EPA’s drought climate change indicator confirms what other sources of data have shown. As reported in Climate at a Glance: Drought, for example, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (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. IPCC also has “low confidence” about any negative precipitation trends occurring globally.

Moreover, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports America is currently is undergoing its longest period in recorded history with less than 40 percent of the country experiencing “very dry” conditions. Also, the United States in 2017 – and then again in 2019 – registered its smallest percentage of land area experiencing drought. Indeed in 2019, California, which is currently suffering under widespread and severe drought conditions, just two short years ago experienced among its wettest years since official records have been kept.

Conditions in Colorado and Wyoming also show how mistaken ABC News’ claims of a Western mega-drought are. Although nearly 2/3 of Colorado was experiencing severe drought or worse in June of 2020, and 93 percent of the state was suffering “severe drought” or worse as of January 2021. Yet, currently more than half the state is experiencing no drought at all, and just 35 percent of the state is experiencing severe drought or worse. In naturally arid Wyoming, one year ago, nearly 99 percent of Wyoming was entirely drought-free. This has changed. At present, 68 percent of Wyoming is suffering from some level of drought, with 24 percent experiencing at least severe drought. The data from Colorado and Wyoming’s demonstrate how dramatically precipitation conditions can change in short periods of time.

Going back further in time, research conclusively demonstrates the current drought in the Western United States is not historic in length or severity. It is well-recognized that drought is cyclical, and mega-droughts, some lasting 100 years or more, have been commonplace in the past.

In the book “The West Without Water,” the authors wrote,

“Prolonged droughts — some of which lasted more than a century — brought thriving civilizations, such as the ancestral Pueblo (Native Americans) of the Four Corners region, to starvation, migration and finally collapse.”

Indeed, research shows decade-long droughts happen once or twice a century in the Western United States, and droughts last for multiple decades, occur a few times each millennium. In a 2016 Columbia University Academic Commons paper, the authors’ state,

“During the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Western North America experienced episodes of intense aridity that persisted for multiple decades or longer. These mega-droughts are well documented in many proxy records, but the causal mechanisms are poorly understood.”

In short, contrary to ABC News’ report, the Western United States is not in the midst of a two decade long mega-drought, and it is impossible to attribute current drought conditions, only two years old, to human caused global warming.


EU: Green politicians, stop blaming climate change for your failures

The huge floods in Europe show that the EU water drainage has fallen short in protecting citizens. Even in the South of my country (The Netherlands), with an excellent record of water management, there is a huge amount of damage. How could this happen?

The situation along the coast and major rivers of my country is pretty much in order and ensured there were no casualties. However, still a lot of work need be done on the canals, tributaries and local streams. In Southeast Netherlands life is totally disrupted for some time. We already took note of this shortcoming during the major floods in the early 1990s. We also saw at that time that responsible national and local green politicians were ducking their responsibility by blaming CO2-emissions.

Now, after 30 years, nothing has changed. Again, European politicians state that they are not to blame for the victims and damage, but claim that the citizens and entrepreneurs, who have refused to play the green climate emergency game, are the culprits – an impudent way to disguise their own failure.

From mitigation to adaptation

No doubt, we are in an era of global warming, as has happened already numerous times in the history of our planet. The geological record clearly shows that periods of warming and cooling have constantly alternated. But how that complex climate mechanism works, we do not yet know. In any case, the relationship between CO2-emissions and weather extremes is scientifically very unlikely

History shows that high water levels and flooding have occurred many times over the centuries

To attribute current flooding to CO2 emissions is a mere construct

All this historical information is known by authorities. Instead of acting, they are just concerned with investing in CO2-reduction

However, if we look at the facts, we see that – in contrast to climate mitigation (less CO2) – climate adaptation (protection measures) has brought a spectacular reduction in climate casualties in recent decades. Why haven’t green decision-makers learned anything from this knowledge? They are so occupied with investments in CO2-reduction that embarrassingly few resources are allocated to effective protection measures.

We also know very well that countries like China and India are responsible for most of the global CO2 emissions and that they are going to increase their emissions significantly with hundreds of new coal-fired power plants. Note that the EU contribution is only 6% and the Dutch contribution is less than 0.5%(!) of the global CO2 emissions. So, whatever the EU is doing with CO2 it makes little difference and for The Netherlands it makes no difference at all. What will have a decisive effect, however, is to get the water drainage system in order. Success is guaranteed!

The central role of government in the 21st century, is to serve the general welfare of the population, and that would include maintaining public infrastructure and adapting it to changing circumstances. This is especially true for weather extremes, because it is here that much suffering can be prevented. It is well-known that adaptation provides high benefits at low costs. So, why do we allow green politicians to continue with their malicious CO2-measures? Why don’t we stop them from wasting tens of billions of tax revenues into unreliable and wasteful biomass plants and wind turbines? They divert these funds from much-needed locks, pumping stations and inland dikes?

Governments held hostage by the Greens

At the beginning of July, some four(!) days before the floods, hydrologists were alerting authorities to imminent heavy rains. Politicians and media, however, ignored these warnings. Instead, they treated us to drivel from EU vice-president Timmermans about CO2. Citizens were left in the dark; they carried on with their daily business, being unaware of the huge water masses that were coming their way. As a result, too many people paid with their lives in Germany and Belgium. Some deal, this ‘Green Deal’!


Biden’s Conservation Plan Hints at Land Grab, Governors Warn

Tucked away on page nine of one of President Joe Biden’s executive orders on climate change are two small paragraphs that have raised alarm among governors of more than a dozen states. The paragraphs task the administration to figure out a way “to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

While all sides seem to support taking care of nature, subjecting nearly a third of America to federal conservation rules is hardly what many state and local officials have in mind.

Pete Ricketts, governor of the heavily agricultural state of Nebraska, was among the first to raise questions about the plan.

The administration considers about 12 percent of American land and water to be currently in conservation. If that’s to become 30 percent, a chunk of land roughly the size of Nebraska would have to be added every year for nine years, Ricketts pointed out.

“What we’ve asked from the administration is for more information, because their math doesn’t work,” he said on June 24, announcing an executive order opposing the “30 x 30” plan.

“Either they’re going to fail to get to 30 percent, or they’re not telling us something else about how they’re going to get to 30 percent.”

His order bans the state government from supporting federal conservation programs without the governor’s express authorization, among other measures.

Ricketts and 14 other governors sent a letter to the administration in April with a request for more details on the plan. They pointed out that the federal government has no authority to unilaterally take land for conservation.

“We are deeply concerned about any effort to enlarge the federal estate or further restrict the use of public lands in our states,” they said.

Realization of the plan would be “infringing on the private property rights of our citizens and significantly harming our economies,” the letter says.

Ricketts said they haven’t heard back from the administration.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Federal departments of interior, agriculture, and commerce as well as Biden’s Council on Environmental Quality put out a preliminary report in May that was supposed to outline how the “30 x 30” goal was to be achieved (pdf).

But the 24-page document still largely deals in generalities. Prominently, it fails to define what the administration means by “conservation.”

As Ricketts sees it, local landowners are already doing a good job taking care of the land.

“Farmers and ranchers were the original conservationists,” he said during a June 24 townhall in Pickrell, Nebraska.

The federal report acknowledges so too, saying “there is a strong stewardship ethic among America’s fishers, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and other private landowners.”

But “if that’s the case … all agricultural land would be considered in conservation,” said Tanya Storer, one of the commissioners of Cherry County, Nebraska, during the townhall. “So that can’t be what they mean.”

The report suggests the “30 x 30” plan can be enacted without new laws, on a voluntary basis, while taking into consideration local input.

“Though President Biden’s national conservation goal is ambitious, it can be achieved using the wide array of existing tools and strategies,” it says.

For sure, the government already has an arsenal of conservation programs, some of them having already been in place for decades.

But if all those programs so far only achieved 12 percent conservation, how does the administration plan to push it to 30 in just 10 years, Ricketts asked.

“I don’t believe that the federal government is going to try to come out and just take land, through eminent domain, for example,” he said. “I believe the way they’re going to try and cover these goals is by creating more ways that they can regulate you and take your private property rights away.”

He suspects the government will try to cajole people into signing conservation agreements where they surrender some of their property rights in exchange for a financial compensation. In a series of press conferences and townhalls, he’s been warning Nebraskans to “read the fine print” of any contract they may be offered by the government to make sure they understand the commitment.

Some such agreements—conservation easements, for instance—can even be permanent, he noted.

The government may set up the agreement in a way that it allows the owner to keep using the land, even for agriculture, Storer explained. The trick is, if the owner wants to do something new, suddenly the federal government may have a say in it.

“You create a baseline. So whatever you’re doing now, you can continue to do, but just a quick raise of hands: How many farmers here do things the same way you did them 20 years ago?” she asked.

Nobody raised their hand.

Nebraska land is currently 97 percent private. Subjecting 30 percent of it to federal restrictions “would be devastating for small towns and rural communities,” Ricketts said during the townhall.

The impact on urban areas would be minimal, since those are “already developed,” he said.

“It’s here. We’re going to pay the price for that, if that land is restricted. And that’s why I’m so concerned about this plan. Because it will impact so many of us in rural areas.”

Conservation easements would also hike up property taxes, he said. Once a piece of land is restricted, its price goes down and the local assessor has to reflect it on property rolls. That means the owner is levied a lower tax and all the other owners have to pick up the slack.

Restricting land also boosts prices of all the unrestricted land, making it harder for young people to get into farming, the governor said.

He stressed he’s not against conservation per se, but urged Nebraskans to be vigilant about the government’s attempt to sneak in new regulations.




Sunday, July 11, 2021

Cold facts about faux Antarctica meltdown

Nearly all of the major news outlets last month ran attention-grabbing headlines uncritically reporting a supposed crisis of rapidly increasing melting of Antarctica. According to the reporting, accelerated melting of the continent’s ice could raise sea level significantly and bring catastrophic coastal flooding to communities all over the world. If true, we should all be very alarmed about severe negative consequences to hundreds of millions of people.

This spate of Antarctic alarm was triggered by a study from an international team that measured ice volume and reported a dramatic increase in ice loss in recent years. This new study contradicts previous research which had consistently shown the continent steadily gaining ice volume since the beginning of the satellite era in the late 1970s.

NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally -- likely the pre-eminent expert on Antarctic ice accumulation and loss -- published a study in 2015 showing that ice loss in western Antarctica* and the Antarctic Peninsula was more than offset by significant accumulations in the rest of the continent. Both Zwally and the recent researchers were measuring the same thing, but the difference appears to be in the corrections made in adjusting for the movement of the Earth beneath the ice.

As ice accumulates or diminishes, the Earth beneath is either flexed downward or upward due to the changing weight of the overlying ice. In some cases, this “basement” rock is covered by more than 15,000 feet of ice, so an exact science this is not. Zwally is reportedly preparing a new report that will soon bolster his findings of a net ice gain.

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” says Zwally.

So, the bottom line in this roiling debate is we have two camps of climate scientists arguing over extremely small adjustment made to sensitive data. Not one person reading this will have any idea which side is actually correct. Zwally may well be correct, but none of us has the specialist’s knowledge to judge the merits of this intensely technical discussion.

Luckily, we have another test of Antarctic ice growth that is not dependent on a researcher’s intended or unintended biases.

The extent of Antarctica’s sea ice is quantifiable and easily measured by satellites. There is overwhelming agreement that this ice has been steadily increasing for the last several decades. In fact, the very study that recently reported ice volume losses admits as much in its introduction by stating, “…maximum extent of the sea ice has increased modestly since the 1970s…”

The evidence of increasing Antarctic ice is clear, stark and overwhelming. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) manages data for NASA and NOAA and reports an increase of 1.8% of sea ice extent per decade. The most recent monthly data (May 2018) from NSIDC showed that during the early Antarctic winter, sea ice increased by 47,000 square miles per day, “somewhat faster than the 1981 to 2010 average growth rate.”




Earth’s cryosphere shrinking by 87,000 square kilometers per year

The second word below is a lie. The small shrinkage in ice cover is NOT global. The ice-cover actually INCREASED overall in the Southern hemisphere. See the original paper. So you can calculate a global average but there is no corresponding global process

The global cryosphere—all of the areas with frozen water on Earth—shrank by about 87,000 square kilometers (about 33,000 square miles), a area about the size of Lake Superior, per year on average, between 1979 and 2016 as a result of climate change, according to a new study. This research is the first to make a global estimate of the surface area of the Earth covered by sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground.

The extent of land covered by frozen water is just as important as its mass because the bright white surface reflects sunlight so effectively, cooling the planet. Changes in the size or location of ice and snow can alter air temperatures, change the sea level and even affect ocean currents worldwide.

The new study is published in Earth’s Future, AGU’s journal for interdisciplinary research on the past, present and future of our planet and its inhabitants.

“The cryosphere is one of the most sensitive climate indicators and the first one to demonstrate a changing world,” said first author Xiaoqing Peng, a physical geographer at Lanzhou University. “Its change in size represents a major global change, rather than a regional or local issue.”

The cryosphere holds almost three-quarters of Earth’s fresh water, and in some mountainous regions, dwindling glaciers threaten drinking water supplies. Many scientists have documented shrinking ice sheets, dwindling snow cover and loss of Arctic sea ice individually due to climate change. But no previous study has considered the entire extent of the cryosphere over Earth’s surface and its response to warming temperatures.

Peng and his co-authors from Lanzhou University calculated the daily extent of the cryosphere and averaged those values to come up with yearly estimates. While the extent of the cryosphere grows and shrinks with the seasons, they found that the average area covered by Earth’s cryosphere has contracted overall since 1979, correlating with rising air temperatures.

The shrinkage primarily occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, with a loss of about 102,000 square kilometers (about 39,300 square miles), or about half the size of Kansas, each year. Those losses are offset slightly by growth in the Southern Hemisphere, where the cryosphere expanded by about 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) annually. This growth mainly occurred in the sea ice in the Ross Sea around Antarctica, likely due to patterns of wind and ocean currents and the addition of cold meltwater from Antarctic ice sheets.

The estimates showed that not only was the global cryosphere shrinking but that many regions remained frozen for less time. The average first day of freezing now occurs about 3.6 days later than in 1979, and the ice thaws about 5.7 days earlier.

“This kind of analysis is a nice idea for a global index or indicator of climate change,” said Shawn Marshall, a glaciologist at the University of Calgary, who was not involved in the study. He thinks that a natural next step would be to use these data to examine when ice and snow cover give Earth its peak brightness, to see how changes in albedo impact the climate on a seasonal or monthly basis and how this is changing over time.

To compile their global estimate of the extent of the cryosphere, the authors divided up the planet’s surface into a grid system. They used existing data sets of global sea ice extent, snow cover and frozen soil to classify each cell in the grid as part of the cryosphere if it contained at least one of the three components. Then they estimated the extent of the cryosphere on a daily, monthly and yearly basis and examined how it changed over the 37 years of their study.

The authors say that the global dataset can now be used to further probe the impact of climate change on the cryosphere, and how these changes impact ecosystems, carbon exchange and the timing of plant and animal life cycles.

Paper title: “A Holistic Assessment of 1979–2016 Global Cryospheric Extent”


Climate change could make us SMALLER: Rising temperatures drive the evolution of smaller human bodies – and brains, study warns

That's why dinosaurs were so small, I guess

Climate has changed the size of human bodies and, to some extent, human brains, research suggests.

The average body size has fluctuated over the last million years and is strongly linked to temperature, according to the new study.

Colder, harsher climates drove the evolution of larger body sizes, while warmer climates led to smaller bodies.

And while brain size has also changed dramatically, it did not evolve in tandem with body size, researchers found.

The study, led by the Universities of Cambridge and Tubingen, gathered measurements of body and brain size for more than 300 fossils from the genus Homo found across the globe.

Experts pinpointed the specific climate experienced by each fossil when it was a living human by combining this data with a reconstruction of the world's regional climates over the last million years.

The study, led by the Universities of Cambridge and Tubingen, gathered measurements of body and brain size for more than 300 fossils from the genus Homo found across the globe +2
The study, led by the Universities of Cambridge and Tubingen, gathered measurements of body and brain size for more than 300 fossils from the genus Homo found across the globe

Our brains could shrink even more - thanks to our reliance on technology
Brain size in our species appears to have been shrinking since the beginning of the Holocene (around 11,650 years ago).

The increasing dependence on technology, such as an outsourcing of complex tasks to computers, may cause brains to shrink even more over the next few thousand years, researchers suggest.

Our species, Homo sapiens, emerged around 300,000 years ago in Africa.

But the genus Homo has existed for much longer, and includes the Neanderthals and other extinct, related species such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus.

A defining trait of the evolution of our genus is a trend of increasing body and brain size.

Compared to earlier species such as Homo habilis, humans are 50 per cent heavier and our brains are three times larger.

Professor Andrea Manica, a researcher in the University of Cambridge's department of zoology, who led the study, said: 'Our study indicates that climate – particularly temperature – has been the main driver of changes in body size for the past million years.'

He added: 'We can see from people living today that those in warmer climates tend to be smaller, and those living in colder climates tend to be bigger.

'We now know that the same climatic influences have been at work for the last million years.'

The researchers also found that brain size tended to be larger when Homo was living in habitats with less vegetation, like open steppes and grasslands, but also in ecologically more stable areas.

In combination with archaeological data, the results suggest those living in these habitats hunted large animals as food – a complex task that might have driven the evolution of larger brains.

Dr Manuel Will at the University of Tubingen, Germany, first author of the study, said: 'We found that different factors determine brain size and body size – they're not under the same evolutionary pressures.

'The environment has a much greater influence on our body size than our brain size.'

He added: 'There is an indirect environmental influence on brain size in more stable and open areas: the amount of nutrients gained from the environment had to be sufficient to allow for the maintenance and growth of our large and particularly energy-demanding brains.'

The research also indicates that non-environmental factors were more important for driving larger brains than climate, prime candidates being the added cognitive challenges of increasingly complex social lives, more diverse diets, and more sophisticated technology.

Researchers say the human physique is still adapting to different temperatures, with on average larger-bodied people living in colder climates today.

Brain size in our species appears to have been shrinking since the beginning of the Holocene (around 11,650 years ago).

The increasing dependence on technology, such as an outsourcing of complex tasks to computers, may cause brains to shrink even more over the next few thousand years, researchers suggest.

The research, published in Nature Communications, was funded by the European Research Council and the Antarctic Science Platform.


Story on Pending Coffee Collapse Is Long on Alarm but Short on Facts (Again)

An article in Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (credited to the Washington Post as the original source) highlighted by Google News today in a search for the term “climate change,” claims global warming is threatening a coffee crisis. This is false. Across its range, coffee production and yields per acre have been setting records with regularity during the recent period of modest warming.

The author of the article, titled “Climate change puts coffee at risk,” says the world’s coffee growers fear coffee production will suffer due to climate change, unless new varieties of coffee beans are developed.

“Climate change could spell disaster for coffee, a crop that requires specific temperatures to flourish and that is highly sensitive to a range of pests. So scientists are racing to develop more tenacious strains of one of the world’s most beloved beverages....

‘Coffee is not ready to adapt to climate change without help,’ said Doug Welsh, the vice president and roastmaster of Peet’s Coffee, which has invested in WCR’s research.”

Computer model projections of future temperatures are being used to gin up fear that coffee crops are threatened by modestly warmer temperatures. Yet, computer models are notorious for badly overstating actual temperatures [See Figure]1, and real world data show the earth’s modest warming has accompanied record coffee production and yields.

Coffee producers as a whole are not struggling. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization reports coffee production and yields nearly doubled between 1993 and 2019. Global coffee production increased from approximately 5.6 million tons in 1993 to more than 10.3 million tons in 2019. Indeed, FAO data show globally coffee set new records for both production and yield 12 times since 1993. The most recent records for production and yield were set in 2018.

What’s true for the world as a whole is also true of the world’s top coffee producing countries. Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia (listed in order of production), have each experienced substantial growth in coffee production during the recent period of modest warming.

According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, from 1993 to 2019:

Coffee production in Brazil grew by more than 135 percent;

Coffee production in Vietnam increased by more than 1,137 percent;

Coffee production in Columbia increased by more than 8 percent;

Coffee production in Indonesia grew by more than 73 percent; and
Coffee production in Ethiopia expanded by more than 168 percent.

The International Coffee Organization reports coffee producers face problems not from difficulty growing crops, but because crop conditions and crop production is so strong that supply is outpacing demand. Rapid growth in coffee crop yields are driving down coffee prices. In 2018/2019 coffee production grew by 3.7 percent overall, with Arabica bean production increasing by 1.8 percent and Robusta beans growing 6.7 percent. This marked the second consecutive year of declining prices amidst growing surpluses.

In the few areas within countries where farmers have ceased growing coffee and production has declined, the evidence indicates the reason is not poor climate conditions but rather increased international competition and low prices.

Sorry, to disabuse people of your climate alarm fairy tale, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and Washington Post, but there is no climate/coffee crisis. Coffee production keeps growing as the Earth modestly warms.


Sunday, July 04, 2021

Climate scientists say building collapse is a 'wake-up call' about the potential impact of rising seas

Nice try but no cigar. Looking at the facts, there is no way to claim the Florida collapse was due to rising seas. For a start, the base of the building is 7' above sea-level. Tony Heller has the pictures. So the alarmists just say that it *potentially* could be due to global warming

As rescue and recovery teams dig through the rubble of the collapsed condo building in Surfside, Florida, scientists and engineers are starting to consider what could have possibly caused the deadly tragedy.

Among a long list of hypotheses: climate change. Sea level rise, higher storm surges and more frequent high-tide flooding are deteriorating coastal infrastructure above and below ground.

Officials are still very early in their investigation into what caused the collapse, and initial signs point to potential issues at the base of the building, perhaps in its foundation, columns or underground parking garage. But some engineers are considering whether increasing exposure to saltwater could have played a role in weakening the building's foundation or internal support system.

At the very least, experts say even the possibility should be a wake-up call to vulnerable communities across the United States: Climate change isn't a far-future threat; it's happening now, and with potentially deadly consequences.


BBC deletes exam revision guide that listed the UPSIDE of climate change -- after fury from environmental activists

The BBC has deleted its Bitesize revision guide's list of 'positive impacts' of climate change after caving to fury from environmental activists.

The broadcaster faced furious backlash from environmental activists after sharing an online GCSE revision guide that listed the creation of shipping routes due to melting ice and lower heating bills thanks to warmer winters among a list of 'benefits'.

Campaigners called the BBC Bitesize material for GCSE geography students an ‘absolute disgrace’.

The BBC said it decided to remove the list of ‘positive’ effects because it did not follow the national curriculum.

The guide now shows only the negative impacts of global warming, such as rising sea levels, droughts and greater risk of flooding.

Other ‘benefits’ of climate change listed in bullet points included the claims that warmer temperatures lead to ‘healthier outdoor lifestyles’, there would be ‘new tourist destinations’, ‘oil becoming available in Alaska and Siberia’ as the ice melts, and some animals and plants may ‘flourish’.

The page was first highlighted on Thursday by Guardian journalist George Monbiot to his near-half a million Twitter followers after he was tipped off by a teacher.

GCSE revision tips that saw the positives in pollution

1. Warmer temperatures and increased CO2 levels, leading to more vigorous plant growth.

2. Some animals and plants could benefit and flourish. The guide failed to note that polar bears, right, are struggling to survive.

3. New shipping routes, such as the Northwest Passage, would become available.

4. More resources, for example oil, becoming available in places such as Siberia as ice melts.

5. Energy consumption decreasing due to a warmer climate.

6. Longer growing season leading to higher yields in farming areas.

7. Frozen regions, such as Canada and Siberia, could be farmed to grow crops.

8. New tourist destinations becoming available.

9. Warmer temperatures could lead to healthier outdoor lifestyles.

The lifelong environmental activist branded it ‘an absolute disgrace’, arguing the web page read like ‘fossil fuel propaganda’ and would leave schoolchildren thinking global warming was ‘pretty good’.

It prompted fury among climate experts, campaigners and teachers who said the arguments were ‘flat wrong’ and did not reflect what was on the current syllabus.

Others called for a change to Government guidance, as they claimed it was not the BBC's fault.

One person wrote online: 'And once again the BBC is taking the flak for a government decision. The national curriculum requires that positives must be taught as well as negatives, even for things like catastrophic climate change. BBC Bitesize follows the curriculum.'

Exam board Eduqas said the suggestions were not within its GCSE geography specifications, adding that while it asked students to explore opposing attitudes to climate change it did not ‘advocate a positive viewpoint’.

Stuart Lock, the chief executive of a group of schools in Bedfordshire, was among the education experts to speak out before the BBC revision guide was amended.

He tweeted: ‘I think this is flat wrong, doesn’t align with the national curriculum or exam specs, and needs reconsidering. Climate change isn’t a “both sides” argument.’

Extinction Rebellion’s south-east group said: ‘GCSE students, young people, those facing future disasters, deserve better than to be judged on questions which warp and distort the truth.’

Yesterday the BBC said: ‘We have reviewed the page and have amended the content to be in line with current curricula.’

In 2018, the Corporation accepted failures over its coverage of climate change after a series of apologies and censures for not challenging sceptics during interviews.

In a briefing note sent to staff, it stated: ‘To achieve impartiality, you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken.’


Climate Activists Get So Woke They Cancel Themselves

A group of student climate activists is disbanding this week after arriving at the conclusion that they are too racist to continue carrying out their mission.

School Strike 4 Climate Auckland (SS4C AKL)—a New Zealand chapter affiliated with Greta Thunberg's climate justice movement among students—decided its disbandment was "well overdue" after getting what was apparently a very convincing woke education on how BIPOC—Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—communities are "disproportionally affected by climate change."

In a lengthy post on the group's Facebook page, leaders explained that the organization "has been a racist, white-dominated space" that has "avoided, ignored, and tokenised BIPOC voices and demands."

In addition, SS4C AKL leaders say the "urgent need to decolonise the organization has been put off for far too long" and their organization "delayed paying financial reparations for the work BIPOC groups/individuals within and alongside the group have done for this organisation in the past."

The decision to disband was made "under the suggestion and guidance of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) members of our group, as well as individual BIPOC activists and organizations."

Some in the New Zealand climate movement are not patting SS4C AKL on the back for their supposedly brave decision. "Disbanding is not taking accountability, it’s quitting,” said one fellow climate warrior. "Acknowledging you have a problem or made a mistake without taking a step towards resolving it is meaningless."


Poll: viewers of conservative media more likely to get the facts right on climate change

From April 29 to May 3, Rasmussen Reports and The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, conducted a nationwide survey of 2,000 likely voters.

From April 29 to May 3, Rasmussen Reports and The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, conducted a nationwide survey of 2,000 likely voters. Included in the poll was a series of questions asking likely voters how they receive news and information, as well as several questions about climate-change-related topics. The following results from the survey illustrate likely voters’ views on these important issues, as well as how those views are correlated with news media preferences.

Some of The Heartland Institute’s key findings from an analysis of the survey include:

There is a strong correlation between a likely voter’s favorite television news outlet and his or her understanding of basic facts about climate change.

Compared to viewers of Fox News, “another” cable news outlet, and those who don’t watch television news, viewers of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC are substantially more likely to believe that if CO2 emissions continue to increase at recent rates, humans will “become completely or nearly extinct due to climate change” within the next 100 years.

For example, 58% of MSNBC viewers and more than half of viewers of ABC, CBS, and NBC said they think humanity could become extinct or nearly extinct within a century.

About one-quarter of CNN and MSNBC viewers believe humanity could become extinct within 50 years due to climate change.
Viewers of CNN and MSNBC are substantially more likely to overestimate the amount of global warming that has occurred since the late 1800s compared to viewers of Fox News or “another” outlet. 65% percent of CNN viewers and 67% of MSNBC viewers overestimated warming by at least 40%, and three in 10 CNN and MSNBC viewers overestimated warming by more than double the real figure.

Viewers of ABC, CBS, and NBC were also substantially more likely to overestimate global warming. Six in 10 viewers of these networks overestimated warming trends.

Respondents who don’t watch cable news and viewers of Fox News or “another” outlet (such as The Blaze TV or Newsmax) were more likely to correctly estimate the amount of warming that has occurred since the late 1800s. More than four in 10 of the respondents in these three categories answered correctly, compared to about three in 10 viewers of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

55% of likely voters believe climate change is primarily caused by human beings, compared to 45% who believe long-term planetary trends are the main cause.