Sunday, February 20, 2022

Greenland’s Melting Ice Is No Cause for Climate-Change Panic

One of the most sacred tenets of climate alarmism is that Greenland’s vast ice sheet is shrinking ever more rapidly because of human-induced climate change. The media and politicians warn constantly of rising sea levels that would swamp coastlines from Florida to Bangladesh. A typical headline: “Greenland ice sheet on course to lose ice at fastest rate in 12,000 years.”

With an area of 660,000 square miles and a thickness up to 1.9 miles, Greenland’s ice sheet certainly deserves attention. Its shrinking has been a major cause of recent sea-level rise, but as is often the case in climate science, the data tell quite a different story from the media coverage and the political laments.

The chart nearby paints a bigger picture that is well known to experts but largely absent from the media and even from the most recent United Nations climate report. It shows the amount of ice that Greenland has lost every year since 1900, averaged over 10-year intervals; the annual loss averages about 110 gigatons. (A gigaton is one billion metric tons, or slightly over 2.2 trillion pounds.) That is a lot, but that water has caused the planet’s oceans to rise each year by only 0.01 inch, about one-fifth the thickness of a dime.

In contrast, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that for the most likely course of greenhouse-gas emissions in the 21st century, the average annual ice loss would be somewhat larger than the peak values shown in the graph. That would cause sea level to rise by 3 inches by the end of this century, and if losses were to continue at that rate, it would take about 10,000 years for all the ice to disappear, causing sea level to rise more than 20 feet.

To assess the importance of human influences, we can look at how the rate of ice loss has changed over time.

In that regard, the graph belies the simplistic notion that humans are melting Greenland. Since human warming influences on the climate have grown steadily—they are now 10 times what they were in 1900— you might expect Greenland to lose more ice each year. Instead there are large swings in the annual ice loss and it is no larger today than it was in the 1930s, when human influences were much smaller. Moreover, the annual loss of ice has been decreasing in the past decade even as the globe continues to warm.

While a warming globe might eventually be the dominant cause of Greenland’s shrinking ice, natural cycles in temperatures and currents in the North Atlantic that extend for decades have been a much more important influence since 1900. Those cycles, together with the recent slowdown, make it plausible that the next few decades will see a further, perhaps dramatic slowing of ice loss. That would be inconsistent with the IPCC’s projection and wouldn’t at all support the media’s exaggerations.

Much climate reporting today highlights short-term changes when they fit the narrative of a broken climate but then ignores or plays down changes when they don’t, often dismissing them as “just weather.”

Climate unfolds over decades. Although short-term changes might be deemed news, they need to be considered in a many-decade context. Media coverage omitting that context misleadingly raises alarm. Greenland’s shrinking ice is a prime example of that practice.

If Greenland’s ice loss continues to slow, headline writers will have to find some other aspect of Greenland’s changes to grab our attention, and politicians will surely find some other reason to justify their favorite climate policies.


The ocean acidification effect was a false alarm

Meta-analysis reveals an extreme “decline effect” in the impacts of ocean acidification on fish behavior


Ocean acidification—decreasing oceanic pH resulting from the uptake of excess atmospheric CO2—has the potential to affect marine life in the future. Among the possible consequences, a series of studies on coral reef fish suggested that the direct effects of acidification on fish behavior may be extreme and have broad ecological ramifications. Recent studies documenting a lack of effect of experimental ocean acidification on fish behavior, however, call this prediction into question. Indeed, the phenomenon of decreasing effect sizes over time is not uncommon and is typically referred to as the “decline effect.” Here, we explore the consistency and robustness of scientific evidence over the past decade regarding direct effects of ocean acidification on fish behavior. Using a systematic review and meta-analysis of 91 studies empirically testing effects of ocean acidification on fish behavior, we provide quantitative evidence that the research to date on this topic is characterized by a decline effect, where large effects in initial studies have all but disappeared in subsequent studies over a decade. The decline effect in this field cannot be explained by 3 likely biological explanations, including increasing proportions of studies examining (1) cold-water species; (2) nonolfactory-associated behaviors; and (3) nonlarval life stages. Furthermore, the vast majority of studies with large effect sizes in this field tend to be characterized by low sample sizes, yet are published in high-impact journals and have a disproportionate influence on the field in terms of citations. We contend that ocean acidification has a negligible direct impact on fish behavior, and we advocate for improved approaches to minimize the potential for a decline effect in future avenues of research.


EVs are a plaything for the rich

It’s hard to get away from the propaganda ‘nudging’ us in that direction, whether from the car companies, activists in the media, or the political classes. If you have needed a new car in recent years, an EV will at least have crossed your mind.

It’s also fair to say that most of the people who have actually gone through with the deal are either environmental fanatics or people with money to burn. That’s because the cost of EVs remains much higher than their fossil-fuelled equivalents, and they are also more expensive to own and run.

That’s not my opinion, by the way. It’s revealed by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s rEV dataset, which was recently made public. While they don’t publicise these particular figures, it shows that in the UK, despite being subsidised, an EV costs 46% more than its fossil fuelled equivalent.

What is worse, once you have bought one, it costs 32% more to run each year. The research predates the recent energy price crisis, so they are currently an even worse buy than the figures suggest.

That being the case, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that EVs remain a plaything for the wealthy, and the fanatical few.


Koalas not endangered

Vic Jurskis

The Long March has reached its destination. Our world is governed by mass hysteria and Australia’s a world leader. There’s the Climate Crisis, the climate-driven Bushfire Crisis, the Reef Crisis and – it’s finally official – a Koala Crisis.

The Environment Minister has listed koalas with postcodes in the 2000s or 4000s as an endangered species. The same species with postcodes in the 3000s or 5000s are not officially endangered because everyone knows there’s plenty of them. Supposedly because they’re inbred, with limited genetic diversity.

Minister Ley has this on good authority – our Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC). TSSC, in turn, were informed by our leading koala experts. These scientists are so confident in their abilities that they didn’t need any empirical data to make their assessment. In their own words: ‘A quantitative, scientific method for deriving estimates of koala populations and trends was possible, in the absence of empirical data on abundances.’

An ‘elicitation specialist’ helped the experts make up the numbers using ‘a modified version of the Delphi process’. I assume the process is named after the famous Oracle. These quotes aren’t from Monty Python, they’re from Diversity and Distributions – A Journal of Conservation Biogeography.

Their numbers are wrong. I pointed this out in Ecological history of the koala and implications for management, published in CSIRO’s Wildlife Research journal. It was available to TSSC, but peer-reviewed science is seemingly irrelevant unless it gives the Scientific Committee the answer it wants.

Koalas are in absolutely no danger of extinction. There are more koalas over a much wider area than there were when Europeans arrived in Australia. They are naturally rare because they eat soft young shoots which are scarce in healthy mature forests.

Koalas have big noses and strong limbs to aid their nightly quest for edible and nutritious browse in their large ~ 100 ha home ranges containing thousands of trees. Natural, stable populations have chlamydia but no disease and they are invisible. Koalas didn’t live in the open grassy woodlands sought by explorers and pastoralists.

Strzelecki was the only explorer to see koalas. There were plagues in the ranges that now bear his name. Struggling for 26 days through 50 miles of dense young forest, he ate koalas. There were no kangaroos, emus or small game to be had in the scrub. The Yowenjerre had been decimated by smallpox in 1789. Without the firestick, scrub climbed out of deep dark gullies and covered their land. It exploded from lightning in a hot, dry summer around 1820.

European occupation from the 1830s disrupted Aboriginal management across Victoria.

The 1851 Black Thursday holocaust burnt more than 12 million acres. The ranges were also incinerated by Red Tuesday 1898, Black Friday 1939, Black Saturday 2009 and many other un-named disasters. A total of 20 megafires raged in 200 years. The Strzelecki koalas, supposedly the last natural population in Victoria, are still in unnaturally high numbers.

The northern koalas were listed as vulnerable after the Senate Environment Committee accepted that there were 10 million koalas in 1788. The evidence was that millions were shot for fur after 1888. Truth is, koala plagues followed European occupation as dense young forests grew in the hills and mature trees declined in the valleys. Declining trees continuously re-sprouted soft young shoots. Koalas irrupted in the hills, invaded the valleys and outstripped their food.

People shot starving, diseased koalas and sold their fur. But the more adults they shot, the more young survived. When leaves frizzled and trees died in the Federation Drought, koalas crashed back to natural levels.

National Parks expanded and mild burning declined in the late 20th century. People planted eucalypts for timber or amenity. Koalas irrupted again.

The valleys are now occupied by suburbia. As koalas move in, they fall prey to dogs and motor vehicles. Wild dogs and carpet pythons bred up in response to irruptions on the Koala Coast. During the Millennium Drought, dense populations at Pilliga – Gunnedah – Liverpool Plains and on the Koala Coast crashed. Overcrowded koalas in VIC and SA were translocated to die out of sight. The weakest were euthanised.

Koalas are currently breeding like rabbits on all the soft young growth after Black Summer. I showed NSW Koala Inquiry a picture of a young koala in dense scrub south of Eden where they’re supposedly extinct. I explained that lack of mild burning, koala irruptions and megafires go together. I sent them a picture of the same spot after the holocaust. Green Chair Cate Faehrmann wasn’t interested. She likes crises, they’re good for business.




1 comment:

Aliya Akther said...

Robert shumake >> Detroit’s homeless treated to Red Carpet luncheon