Thursday, July 28, 2022

Temperature extremes: it’s cold South of the Equator

The widespread proclamations that recent short episodes of very high temperatures in some parts of the Northern hemisphere are proof positive of global warming are so brain-dead that I have forborne to put up anything about them, but perhaps I should say something.

That you can't judge climate from isolated episodes of weather seems to be too profound for many. And actual global warming as told to us by climatologists is measured in tenths of a degree. How can a change of tenths of a degree give rise to hugely hot episodes? There is clearly some other influence or influences at work.

But the big factor being overlooked by those who should know better is the unusually COLD weather in the Southern hemisphere at roughly the same time. People around me have all been complaining about it and the Australian media have been vocal too. So the GLOBAL temperature has on average been unremarkable. And remember it is global warming we are supposed to be talking about.

Some more germane comments below

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While sizzling temperatures in Europe have captured the attention of the mainstream media, recent prolonged bouts of cold in the Southern Hemisphere have gone almost unnoticed. Can these simultaneous weather extremes be ascribed to climate change, or is natural variability playing a major role?

It’s difficult to answer the question because a single year is a short time in the climate record. Formally, climate is the average of weather, or short-term changes in atmospheric conditions, over a 30-year period. But it is possible to compare the current heat and cold in different parts of the globe with their historical trends.

The recent heat wave in western and southern Europe is only one of several that have afflicted the continent recently. The July scorcher this year, labeled unprecedented by the media, was in fact less severe than back-to-back European heat waves in the summer of 2019.

In the second 2019 wave, which also occurred in July, the mercury in Paris reached a new record high of 42.6 degrees Celsius (108.7 degrees Fahrenheit), besting the previous record of 40.4 degrees Celsius (104.7 degrees Fahrenheit) set back in July 1947. A month earlier, during the first heat wave, temperatures in southern France hit a blistering 46.0 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Both readings exceed the highest temperatures reported in France during the July 2022 heat wave.

Yet back in 1930, the temperature purportedly soared to a staggering 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Loire valley during an earlier French heat wave, according to Australian and New Zealand newspapers. The same newspapers reported that in 1870, the ther­mometer had reached an even higher, unspecified level in that region. Europe’s official all-time high-temperature record is 48.0 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) set in 1977.

Although the UK, Portugal and Spain have also suffered from searing heat this year, Europe experienced an unseasonably chilly spring. On April 4, France experienced its coldest April night since records began in 1947, with no less than 80 new low-temperature records being established across the nation. Fruit growers all across western Europe resorted to drastic measures to save their crops, including the use of pellet stoves for heating and spraying the fruit with water to create an insulating layer of ice.

South of the Equator, Australia and South America have seen some of their coldest weather in a century. Australia’s misery began with frigid Antarctic air enveloping the continent in May, bringing with it the heaviest early-season mountain snow in more than 50 years. In June, Brisbane in normally temperate Queensland had its coldest start to winter since 1904. And Alice Springs, which usually enjoys a balmy winter in the center of the country, has just endured 12 consecutive mornings of sub-freezing temperatures, surpassing the previous longest streak set in 1976.

South America too is experiencing icy conditions this year, after an historically cold winter in 2021 which decimated crops. The same Antarctic cold front that froze Australia in May brought bone-numbing cold to northern Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil; Brazil’s capital Brasilia logged its lowest temperature in recorded history. Later in the month the cold expanded north into Bolivia and Peru.

Based on history alone then, there’s nothing particularly unusual about the 2022 heat wave in Europe or the shivery winter down under, which included the coldest temperatures on record at the South Pole. Although both events have been attributed to climate change by activists and some climate scientists, natural explanations have also been put forward.

A recent study links the recent uptick in European heat waves to changes in the northern polar and subtropical jet streams. The study authors state that an increasingly persistent double jet stream pattern and its associated heat dome can explain “almost all of the accelerated trend” in heat waves across western Europe. Existence of a stable double-jet pattern is related to the blocking phenomenon, an example of which is shown in the figure below.

Blocking refers to a jet stream buckling that produces alternating, stationary highs and lows in pressure. Normally, highs and lows move on quickly, but the locking in place of a jet stream for several days or weeks can produce a heat dome. The authors say double jets and blocking are closely connected, but further research is needed to ascertain whether the observed increase in European double jets is part of internal natural variability of the climate system, or a response to climate change.

Likewise, it has been suggested that the frigid Southern Hemisphere winter may have a purely natural explanation, namely cooling caused by the January eruption of an undersea volcano in the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga. Although I previously showed how the massive submarine blast could not have contributed to global warming, it’s well known that such eruptions pour vast quantities of ash into the upper atmosphere, where it lingers and causes subsequent cooling by reflecting sunlight.


The End of the Gas Range and Fireplace? Local Governments Ban Natural Gas

Are you hoping for a shiny gas range in your new home? How about a fireplace as the main attraction of your new living room?

If so, don’t move to Los Angeles, because the city is phasing out natural gas hookups in all new residential and commercial buildings effective Jan. 1, 2023. But LA isn’t alone. It’s California’s 57th locality to introduce commitments to phase out natural gas, and many cities across the country are following suit.

In a misguided effort to reduce emissions, localities that pass ordinances like these totally ignore just how vital natural gas is not only for our broader energy landscape, but also for families and businesses.

Nationwide, natural gas accounts for roughly 38% of electricity generation, and around 177 million Americans use natural gas to heat their homes and cook their meals.

Beyond its prevalence, natural gas is also an affordable source of energy. Residential natural gas is estimated to cost almost one-quarter the price of electricity, which, according to the American Gas Association, adds up to an average annual savings of over $1,000 in household utilities.

And natural gas is a relatively clean source of energy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration notes that “burning natural gas for energy results in fewer emissions of nearly all types of air pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) than burning coal or petroleum products to produce an equal amount of energy.”

Yet, even with all of these benefits considered, environmental activists would rather push out-of-touch policies that drive up prices for families and businesses and wreak havoc on consumer choice.

For LA restaurant owners, the new ordinance inhibits their ability to expand their businesses, create more jobs, and offer competitive prices for restaurant patrons. Chefs around the city already rely heavily on gas stoves for food preparation. The city’s natural gas ban will discourage businesses from expanding—if new buildings won’t feature gas lines, it is unlikely some businesses will open new locations.

And for restaurant patrons, these restrictions could also mean higher costs, as energy hugely affects food prices. Forcing business owners to shift away from natural gas in favor of all electric appliances—especially in a city where electricity prices already surpass the national average—will only impact food and energy costs more. With prices rising at rates not seen in over 40 years, natural gas bans will only add fuel to the proverbial fire.

Unfortunately, 77 other municipalities across the country have introduced or adopted some form of a ban on natural gas hookups under the banner of climate change. Some cities are even going so far as to require electrification retrofits in existing buildings and new remodels.

Washington became the first state to introduce a statewide mandate that requires all newly constructed buildings to feature electric heating and hot water systems.

And on the East Coast, Maryland’s ambitious Climate Solutions Now Act included a provision that requires the development of all-electric building code recommendations in an effort to achieve the state’s lofty goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Every jurisdiction is different, but these ordinances all share one thing in common: In eliminating the option for natural gas appliances, they ultimately force consumers to rely on more expensive, less reliable forms of energy.

With oppressive policies like these being considered across the country coupled with the Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuels agenda, it’s no wonder why energy prices have risen over 30% in the last year.

And still, activists would rather strip away a vital resource without regard to the severe economic implications of these policies that acutely impact Americans’ well-being and opportunities and affect our poorest and most vulnerable the most.

The last thing Americans need is fewer choices. Policymakers should be pursuing policies that unleash our energy potential, allow Americans to access affordable energy, help our economy grow, and respect consumer choice.


Green energy shift gives China ‘leverage’ over Britain, Lords warn

Britain risks becoming in thrall to Beijing due to its growing reliance on renewable energy, a new Lords report has warned.

A House of Lords committee warned that Britain is becoming too dependent on China for the supply of rare earth elements used to manufacture wind turbines and components for solar panels.

China’s control over the global industry creates “new risks” as it leaves Britain at the mercy of Beijing for supplies.

The Lords committee warned that Xi Jinping could use rare earth mineral supplies as “leverage” in negotiations over other issues. Jason Bordoff, of the Columbia Climate School, told the committee China's dominance in the critical minerals market was a "national security concern" and said the Government should work to reduce the nation's reliance on Chinese exports.

The Economic Affairs Committee issued the warning in a report on how the Government can secure the nation's energy supply while delivering on promises to combat climate change.

The committee recommended more investment in the North Sea to deliver domestic supplies of oil and gas and encouraged policy measures to boost private investment in renewables.

But it warned that the country faces "new dependencies" with the shift to renewables as Western nations push ahead with plans to end imports of Russian gas.

China provides around 98pc of the EU's requirement for rare earth metals used to build batteries, smartphones and offshore wind turbines. The minerals are mined in many countries but Beijing has invested in the infrastructure required to process and export them globally.


Volcanoes, oceans, and weather

Viv Forbes

Despite Green/ABC propaganda, recent Australian floods were not caused by coal, cattle, or cars. Weather is driven by winds; solar energy powers the winds and draws moisture for them from the oceans. These eternal natural rain-making processes have been aided recently by two extra factors.

Firstly, a big La Niña weather event in the Pacific Ocean has left warmer water closer to Australia.

Secondly, there is increased underwater volcanism in this region as evidenced by the volcanic eruptions near Vanuatu.

Earth’s climate history is written in the rocks. Anyone who cares to read that record will see that recurring Ice Ages, not global warming, pose the greatest threat to life on Earth. Even in today’s warm Holocene Era, the Little Ice Age was a time of war, famine, and distress whereas the Medieval Warm Period heralded a time of peace and plenty.

Earth’s weather is driven by winds powered by convection currents which get most of their energy from the Sun.

Eastern Australia is currently under the influence a large La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean. These periodic ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) weather cycles are Earth’s most significant short-term weather events and have been identified in Earth’s climate as far back as 1525, well before the Model T Ford and the Watt steam engine.

The great El Niño of 1877-78 heralded China’s Great Famine, brought droughts to Brazil, and caused failures of the Nile floods and the Indian monsoon. Even the Titanic was an El Niño casualty when it met an iceberg blown far south by El Niño winds.

Australia’s famous weather forecaster, Inigo Jones, was well aware of the natural cycles in climate as far back as 1923 – long before coal, cattle, and cars could be blamed for ‘Global Warming’.

ENSO oscillations are not driven by atmospheric conditions or human activities – they react to the beat of a geological drum. ENSO timing and strength is largely determined by volcanic activity and the movement of tectonic plates, particularly along the Pacific Ring of Fire and the mid-ocean ridges splitting both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

But largely hidden from view is another huge weather-maker – sub-sea volcanoes.

Right now, volcanic activity (mostly sub-oceanic) is melting parts of polar ice sheets as well as releasing volcanic dust and other natural gases into the oceans and atmosphere. The warmed sea water expands, raising sea levels and increasing the evaporation which produces clouds and rain. Right now, the Tonga volcanic eruption is evaporating sea water that is probably adding to the record La Niña rains of Eastern Australia.

Volcanic hot spots can also melt ice-bound methane from the sea floor thus releasing large unmeasured quantities of methane gas into the atmosphere.

Man’s coal, cars, and cattle are puny compared to what nature can do.

Hysterical children and political agitators keep bleating about ‘man-made global warming’. But climate history shows that the real danger to life on Earth is ‘global cooling’ – a return of the great continental ice sheets creating a frigid zone north of a line from London to Chicago. Russians and Alaskans know about frozen mammoth bodies in the ice, and understand this threat, but the western world continues to worship Saint Greta.

A bleak northern winter approaches. As blackouts beckon and the lights start to flicker, coal is suddenly okay again. But Europeans and Australians still plan a Net Zero ritual sacrifice of their farmers on the alarmist altar. None of these sacrifices will deter La Niña, or stop the volcanoes, or feed the people.

Someone should ask the new Green Government of Australia:

‘If emissions of CO2 are the problem, why have we banned emissions-free nuclear power?’




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