Thursday, August 31, 2017

World’s soils have lost 133 billion tonnes of carbon since the dawn of agriculture, study estimates

How awful!  And how awful it is that world food production has never been higher!  Even China is now a net food exporter.  How awful that we are drowning in agricultural surpluses and food has never been cheaper.  Do these galoots even think??  Getting CO2 into the air HELPS plants, including food crops

The degradation of the Earth’s soil by humans has been an environmental catastrophe on a similar scale to the deforestation of much of the planet, a new study suggests.

Experts estimated that 133 billion tonnes of carbon has been removed from the top two metres of soil since farming began some 12,000 years ago, about the same as the total amount lost from vegetation.

However the figure is still dwarfed by the 450 billion tonnes of carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution began and humans started burning fossil fuels on an unprecedented scale.

Soil is obviously vitally important for the growth of crops that feed humans and livestock. Concern has been growing what some refer to as the “soil fertility crisis”, a problem that can be masked by the use of artificial fertilisers.

Carbon released from the soil also contributes to global warming.

But the researchers suggested the figures showed the potential for soil to absorb carbon, something that could be used to reduce the level of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere by using different agricultural techniques.

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they said: “The incredible rise of human civilizations and the continuing sustainability of current and future human societies are inextricably linked to soils and the wide array of services soils provide.

“The consequences of human domination of soil resources are far ranging: accelerated erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, compaction, biodiversity loss, nutrient depletion, and loss of soil organic matter.

“Of these soil threats, loss of soil organic matter has received the most attention, due to the critical role [it] plays in the contemporary carbon cycle and as a key component of sustaining food production.”

The total figure for the lost carbon was estimated at 133 billion tonnes, saying: “These soil-organic-carbon losses are on par with estimates of carbon lost from living vegetation primarily due to deforestation.”

The researchers found the UK, northern and central Europe, parts of China and the US corn belt were particular hotspots.

This is partly because of the high levels of carbon that would have originally been in the soil in these areas, but also the type of farming typically practised there.

Unsurprisingly, losses from cropland were significantly higher than from land used for grazing animals. But arid grasslands were also vulnerable if they were over-grazed, leading to significant erosion.

One of the researchers, Dr Jonathan Sanderman, of the Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, told the website Carbon Brief: “Considering humans have emitted about 450 billion tonnes of carbon since the industrial revolution, soil carbon losses to the atmosphere may represent 10 to 20 per cent of this number.

“But it has hard to calculate exactly how much of this has ended up in the atmosphere versus how much has been transported due to erosion.”

He said they had defined 10,000BC as “a world without a human footprint”.

“What we did was develop a model that could explain the current distribution of soil carbon across the globe as a function of climate, topography, geology and land use,” Dr Sanderman said.

“Then we replaced current land use with historic reconstructions including the ‘no land use’ case to get predictions of soil carbon levels back in time.”


Changes in flooding show no trend over time

Warmists think floods are going to become more frequent but it hasn't happened yet

Climate-driven variability in the occurrence of major floods across North America and Europe

Glenn A.Hodgkins et al.


Concern over the potential impact of anthropogenic climate change on flooding has led to a proliferation of studies examining past flood trends. Many studies have analysed annual-maximum flow trends but few have quantified changes in major (25–100 year return period) floods, i.e. those that have the greatest societal impacts. Existing major-flood studies used a limited number of very large catchments affected to varying degrees by alterations such as reservoirs and urbanisation. In the current study, trends in major-flood occurrence from 1961 to 2010 and from 1931 to 2010 were assessed using a very large dataset (>1200 gauges) of diverse catchments from North America and Europe; only minimally altered catchments were used, to focus on climate-driven changes rather than changes due to catchment alterations. Trend testing of major floods was based on counting the number of exceedances of a given flood threshold within a group of gauges. Evidence for significant trends varied between groups of gauges that were defined by catchment size, location, climate, flood threshold and period of record, indicating that generalizations about flood trends across large domains or a diversity of catchment types are ungrounded. Overall, the number of significant trends in major-flood occurrence across North America and Europe was approximately the number expected due to chance alone. Changes over time in the occurrence of major floods were dominated by multidecadal variability rather than by long-term trends. There were more than three times as many significant relationships between major-flood occurrence and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation than significant long-term trends.

Journal of Hydrology, Volume 552, September 2017, Pages 704-717

Are Electric Cars Doomed To Fail … Again?

 After years of heavy promotion and billions in taxpayer subsidies, plug-in electric cars remain a tiny niche market. And now it looks as if they could lose out to an energy source nobody talks about — hydrogen.

In mid-August, Hyundai unveiled a hydrogen fuel-cell powered SUV that has a range of 360 miles. When it hits the showrooms next year, it will join the Honda Clarity FC and the Toyota Mirai in the fuel-cell car market.

Unlike electric cars — which still can only go a little more than 200 miles on a charge — fuel-cell cars can go more than 300 miles. And refueling takes minutes, not hours.

Fuel cells aren't new technology. They powered the Apollo spacecraft in the 1960s. President Bush tried to give fuel-cell cars a push with $1.2 billion to develop the technology. But environmentalists like plug-in cars better, so one of the first things President Obama did as president was kill Bush's fuel-cell project and pour money into electric cars, promising to have a million on the road by 2015.

Prodded by government, the auto industry has been racing to introduce plug-in electrics. But almost nobody wants to buy them. Just over 100,000 plug-in electrics sold in the first half of this year — accounting for 1% of auto sales. And despite continued attempts to force feed the market, it's not clear that electric cars will ever be more than a niche product, given their drawbacks.

Fuel-cell cars, in contrast, could catch on quickly. Toyota expects to sell 3,000 Mirais this year, despite the fact that it's just available in California, where there are only 30 hydrogen filling stations.

That is supposed to be hydrogen's big handicap — the lack of infrastructure. But that can be quickly resolved. California expects to have 100 refueling stations within a few years, and Toyota is working to set up a chain of them in the Northeast. If fuel-cell cars catch on, it won't take long for hydrogen stations to start popping up all over.

Tesla's Elon Musk, who has put everything into battery-powered cars, dismisses hydrogen as "incredibly dumb," saying it's "just very difficult to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car."

That sounds a lot like what electric carmakers were saying in the early 1900s (when electric cars were all the rage) about the gasoline-powered cars. We all know how that turned out.

In our view, the government shouldn't be trying to force the car market in any direction. Let consumers be the judge of what's the best, most reliable, most convenient, most affordable way for them to get around.

Today, it's gasoline. Tomorrow, it might very well be hydrogen.


Why Trump’s Upcoming Decision on Federal Lands Matters

The ongoing controversy about the federal government’s role in managing land may soon come to a head.

Earlier this month, in accord with a presidential executive order issued in April, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delivered recommendations to the president on national monument lands that are being reviewed by his department.

Details about the report—whether lands should be reduced, and if so, which ones—are expected from the White House in the coming days.

The highly anticipated report has stirred a great deal of angst this summer, particularly among environmental activists who are convinced the Interior’s review is an unprecedented ploy to sell off or sully federal lands.

For example, luxury outdoor retailer Patagonia argued the following in its first ever television ad: “Public lands have never been more threatened than right now because you have a few self-serving politicians who want to sell them off and make money.”

Beautiful scenes of the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, and Zion pan across the screen as the company urges viewers to defend these lands and hold Zinke accountable.

The Patagonia commercial and much of the conversation this summer have been muddled with hyperbole and misinformation. It’s worth taking a step back to understand the issue.

Who’s Involved

In April, President Donald Trump requested that Zinke review all presidential national monument designations or expansions since 1996. In particular, Trump requested review of designations of areas over 100,000 acres and/or those that were “made without adequate public outreach and coordination” to determine if revisions were necessary.

Other presidents have reviewed and altered national monuments—among them Presidents William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Ike Eisenhower.

What’s at Issue

The subject of Interior’s report is presidential use of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The law allows presidents to unilaterally designate federal lands as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.” These designations change how land is managed and who has access to it.

Trump is considering the need to reduce the size of, or altogether eliminate, some of these monuments.

Contrary to what the Patagonia commercial and many others would imply, reducing the size of a national monument or even rescinding its status does not open up the federal land to be overrun by oil interests or clear cut by the foresting industry.

Federal lands are managed by a web of laws determining who can do what and when. For example, at least nine other laws also address artifact preservation on federal lands.

The Lands in Question

Perhaps where environmental groups most mislead the public is in explaining which lands are being reviewed. National monuments are distinct from other land designations like national parks, which are created by Congress.

Zinke’s review covered 27 national monuments, mostly in the western United States, though some are located in New England and in offshore federal waters. In other words, this debate has nothing to do with the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, or Zion—all of which are national parks.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the federal government owns hundreds of millions of acres in America. To put that in perspective, that’s about the same size as all of Western Europe.

Why Trump’s Upcoming Decision Matters

The reason this 110-year-old law has become so contentious is complicated.

In part, it has to do with past presidents abusing the purpose of the law. The Antiquities Act directs the president to protect artifacts on federal lands according to the “smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

However, in recent history the Antiquities Act has instead been used to pull vast swathes of land out of use.

President Barack Obama in particular used this power aggressively. The Sutherland Institute reports that 66 percent of all national monument acreage was designated so under the Obama administration, and 25 percent under President George W. Bush.

It also has to do with ensuring quality management of lands. It is no secret that the Department of Interior is facing $15.4 billion in maintenance backlogs, and $11.9 billion of that is in the National Park Service alone.

Holly Fretwell of the Property and Environment Research Center reports that “[o]nly 40 percent of park historic structures are considered to be in “good” or better condition and they need continual maintenance to remain that way.”

The “why” also has to do with who should get the most say in decision-making.

The Patagonia ad encourages people to oppose changes to national monuments because “this [land] belongs to all the people in America—it’s our heritage.” But this glosses over decades and generations’ worth of contentious debate about who “our” refers to.

Does it refer to fly fishermen, hunters, hikers, and bikers as Patagonia would have its customers believe? Does it refer to the Native Americans and locals who are directly impacted by federal land management decisions, but who have little say in the matter?

Are American natural resource industries to be excluded from the collective “our”?

If Congress doesn’t like what the Trump administration is doing, it ought to act to clarify the law. Zinke rightly noted that “the executive power under the Act is not a substitute for a lack of congressional action on protective land designations.”

At the very least, Congress ought to amend the law to give states more say in the matter.

Land management decision-making has been contentious for decades. Shifting more control from Washington to those with direct knowledge of the land in question and a clear stake in the outcome of decisions would be a step in the right direction.


Australia: Winter rain fills Perth dams to highest levels in decade

Greenie guru Tim Flannery once prophesied that Perth would become a ghost city through lack of water

LATE winter rains have spared the cash-strapped State Government from a potential billion-dollar upgrade to the water network after boosting the city’s dams to their highest levels in almost a decade.

Just weeks after the Water Corporation warned it may have to fast-track a major new source of drinking water amid plunging dam levels, heavy rainfall in July and this month has helped avoid the need for an expansion.

Figures from the Water Corp show there has been 62.8 billion litres of “stream flow” into the city’s reservoirs so far this year after a surge of more than 50 billion litres in the past month.

The run-off has left the dams at 41.6 per cent capacity — or holding 262 billion litres. This is 73 billion litres (or almost 40 per cent) more than at the same time last year.

While the run-off into Perth’s dams is still only broadly in line with the city’s post-1975 average, it is the highest level recorded by the Water Corp since 2009.

The dam boost has prevented the need to bring forward a major new drinking water source such as a desalination plant to prop up supplies.

Under the Water Corp’s planning, the State-owned group still assumes it will receive at least 25 billion litres into the dams every year to ensure it can meet demand from customers.

The corporation said that despite the relatively wet end to winter, Perth’s rainfall levels for the season were still below their long-term average.

Spokeswoman Clare Lugar said the long-term decline in Perth’s rainfall meant its dams were still only at a fraction of their capacity.

In a bid to further bolster supplies, the Water Corp will launch its latest efficiency campaign this weekend, when the winter sprinkler ban ends. “While it may feel like we’ve had a lot of rain this winter, we are still only just above the year-to-date average,” Ms Lugar said.

“As our catchments are so dry following nearly 20 years of abnormally dry weather, we’d need to get double the average rainfall for years on end to fill our dams again.”

‘We are still only just above the year-to-date average.’




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


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A theory of global cooling

The article below draws attention to the unfalsifiable nature of current climate science.  Instead of following normal philosophy of science procedures and putting up falsifiable theories, the entire Warmist concentration is on modelling.  The author then goes on to propose a new theory that the globe will COOL and invites other scientists to gather data that would confirm or upset his theory. This seems to be the first bit of real science in the field

The Power of Falsification, Developing a Greenhouse Gas Theory

Anthonie Bastiaan Ruighaver


The current culture of  Climate Science, in particular the Basis of  Truth and Rationality, is the main topic of  this paper. The author discusses how the advent of  computer modelling has turned Climate Science into what Sir Karl Popper would have called a pseudoscience. But as Sir Karl Popper also mentioned, even a pseudoscience can stumble on the truth. To illustrate how a return to falsification of  knowledge changes the way we approach science, the author develops a simple theory on how CO2 impacts our climate as a greenhouse gas and suggests how to falsify this theory. If  the falsification of  this theory is not successful, we have found new empirical evidence increased CO2 may actually cool our earth.


Scientists often forget that their role is to advance science through developing falsifiable theories. Theories help simplify science and focus it on new avenues of  research. More importantly, theories progress science by encouraging the falsification of  their hypotheses [Helfenbein, 2005]. In an earlier paper, on information security culture in organisations, the author discussed the concept of  “Basis of  Truth and Rationality” [Ruighaver, 2007]. In this paper the author will explore this concept in the current culture of  Climate Science, where theory development seems to have been replaced by model development and validation. In particular, the author will look at the value and truth of  the common belief  among climate scientists, and many other scientists, that “CO2 causes Global Warming”...............


In this paper we have examined the culture of  Climate Science in relation to its Basis of  Truth and Rationale. We have argued that the reluctance to falsify knowledge by developing theories instead of  computer models has had a negative impact. To illustrate that trying to falsify a theory will enrich science, we have developed a simple theory on how CO2 influences  heat transfer and the radiative balance both in the lower layer and the top layer of  our atmosphere. The experiments needed to falsify the hypotheses suggested by this simple theory will provide new empirical evidence that without the formulation of  this theory would likely not have been collected. Hence, the author argues that it is time to change the culture of  Climate Science back to Sir Karl Popper’s vision of  how science should function. Let's start developing theories again and encourage the falsification of  their hypotheses. Let’s try to provide a basis of  truth and rationale by trying to falsify this new theory predicting more CO2 will cool our earth!

Much more HERE

Shrinking fish!

This is a bit of an old chestnut.  Different "experts" give us reasons why animals will shrink in a warmer world while others say they will get bigger.  If we just look to reality, however, we note that there were some HUGE animals, both marine and terrestrial in the (hot) age of the dinosaurs so the prophets of shrinking seem very implausible

Fish could shrink in size dramatically as ocean temperatures rise because of climate change, according to a new study.

When the water gets warmer, cold-blooded fish need more oxygen. However, one of the consequences of climate change is less oxygen in the sea.

These twin effects could combine to stunt the growth of fish, the researchers concluded.

Professor William Cheung, of the University of British Columbia in Canada, who co-wrote a paper about the study in the journal Global Change Biology, said: “Fish, as cold-blooded animals, cannot regulate their own body temperatures.

“When their waters get warmer, their metabolism accelerates and they need more oxygen to sustain their body functions.

“There is a point where the gills cannot supply enough oxygen for a larger body, so the fish just stops growing larger.”

The gills of fish also usually grow at a slower pace than the rest of their body.

For example, as a cod increases its weight by 100 per cent, their gills only grow by 80 per cent.

Such fish compensate for this by breathing faster as they get bigger.

But the fish's need for more oxygen because of the warmer water and the presence of less oxygen in the water – the twin effects of climate change – puts a gradually lowering limit on the effectiveness of this process.

The researchers estimated fish could reduce in size by as much as 25 per cent for each degree Celsius of warming.


Why Houston Flooding Isn’t a Sign of Climate Change

 Roy Spencer

There is no aspect of global warming theory that says rain systems are going to be moving slower, as we are seeing in Texas. This is just the luck of the draw.

In the context of climate change, is what we are seeing in Houston a new level of disaster which is becoming more common?

The flood disaster unfolding in Houston is certainly very unusual. But so are other natural weather disasters, which have always occurred and always will occur.

(By the way, making naturally-occurring severe weather seem unnatural is a favorite tactic of Al Gore, whose new movie & book An Inconvenient Sequel [ currently #21,168 in Kindle] is dismantled in my new e-book, An Inconvenient Deception [currently #399]).

Floods aren’t just due to weather

Major floods are difficult to compare throughout history because the ways in which we alter the landscape. For example, as cities like Houston expand over the years, soil is covered up by roads, parking lots, and buildings, with water rapidly draining off rather than soaking into the soil. The population of Houston is now ten times what it was in the 1920s. The Houston metroplex area has expanded greatly and the water drainage is basically in the direction of downtown Houston.

There have been many flood disasters in the Houston area, even dating to the mid-1800s when the population was very low. In December of 1935 a massive flood occurred in the downtown area as the water level height measured at Buffalo Bayou in Houston topped out at 54.4 feet.

Downtown Houston flood of 1935.

By way of comparison, as of 6:30 a.m. this (Monday) morning, the water level in the same location is at 38 feet, which is still 16 feet lower than in 1935. I’m sure that will continue to rise.

Are the rainfall totals unprecedented?

Even that question is difficult to answer. The exact same tropical system moving at, say, 15 mph might have produced the same total amount of rain, but it would have been spread over a wide area, maybe many states, with no flooding disaster. This is usually what happens with landfalling hurricanes.

Instead, Harvey stalled after it came ashore and so all of the rain has been concentrated in a relatively small portion of Texas around the Houston area. In both cases, the atmosphere produced the same amount of rain, but where the rain lands is very different. People like those in the Houston area don’t want all of the rain to land on them.

There is no aspect of global warming theory that says rain systems are going to be moving slower, as we are seeing in Texas. This is just the luck of the draw. Sometimes weather systems stall, and that sucks if you are caught under one. The same is true of high pressure areas; when they stall, a drought results.

Even with the system stalling, the greatest multi-day rainfall total as of 3 9 a.m. this Monday morning is just over 30 39.7 inches, with many locations recording over 20 inches. We should recall that Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979 (a much smaller and weaker system than Harvey) produced a 43 inch rainfall total in only 24 hours in Houston.

Was Harvey unprecedented in intensity?

In this case, we didn’t have just a tropical storm like Claudette, but a major hurricane, which covered a much larger area with heavy rain. Roger Pielke Jr. has pointed out that the U.S. has had only four Category 4 (or stronger) hurricane strikes since 1970, but in about the same number of years preceding 1970 there were 14 strikes. So we can’t say that we are experiencing more intense hurricanes in recent decades.

Going back even earlier, a Category 4 hurricane struck Galveston in 1900, killing between 6,000 and 12,000 people. That was the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history.

And don’t forget, we just went through an unprecedented length of time – almost 12 years – without a major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) making landfall in the U.S.


Big floods nothing new

The recent hurricane in Texas has revived the Greenie claim that global warming has increased the incidence of floods.  But if that's a global effect then it should have recently been seen in Australia too.  But it has not been.  The following academic journal article says of floods affecting the East coast of Australia: "Some of the most extreme events identified occurred in the 19th century and early-to-mid 20th century."

Major coastal flooding in southeastern Australia 1860–2012, associated deaths and weather systems

Jeff Callaghan and Scott B. Power

A new historical database describing major floods and associated weather systems that occurred in coastal catchments, from Brisbane in southeastern Australia to Eden approximately 1500 km further south, is described. In order to produce a homogeneous record of major flood and weather-type frequency we restrict attention to the period 1860–2012, when the region (i) is extensively populated, (ii) has an extensive coverage of meteorological stations, (iii) is extensively connected by telecommunication, and (iv) when there is busy coastal shipping offshore. A total of 253 major floods over this period are identified. A flood is considered here to be ‘major’ if it causes inundation of a river within approximately 50 km of the coast or if there is non-riverine flooding over land near the coast, extending 20 km or more along the coast. All major floods are associated with either (a) East Coast Lows (ECLs) or (b) Tropical Interactions (TIs). Three types of TIs are identified and described. ECLs triggered more major floods than TIs (57 per cent versus 43 per cent), but TIs caused more deaths from freshwater flooding (62 per cent versus 38 per cent) and they tended to cause over twice as many deaths per event (3.6 versus 1.7 deaths/event on average). Some of the most extreme events identified occurred in the 19th century and early-to-mid 20th century. If such events were to occur today they would have catastrophic impacts due to the massive increase in urban development in the study region since that time.


Methane hydrate scare is just a popgun

If there was any life left in this climate change scare story, this latest research should finally see it off.

Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003, as ScienceDaily reports. It stated that methane hydrates — frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor — can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.

According to the hypothesis this melt can happen in a time span of a human life, dissociating vast amounts of hydrate and releasing methane into the atmosphere.

Consequently, this would lead to a runaway process, where the methane released would add to the global budget of greenhouse gases, and further accelerate the warming of the planet.

Limited impact at an Arctic site

This dramatic hypothesis inspired science fiction and scientists alike, spurring the latter to further investigate the sensitivity of hydrates. A new study in Nature Communications has thus found that the hydrate gun hypothesis seems increasingly unlikely, at least for a specific site in the Arctic Ocean that is highly susceptible to warming.

“Short term temperature warming has limited impact on the gas hydrate stability. We show that warming can significantly affect gas hydrates in the seabed only when ocean temperature is constantly rising for several centuries,” says the lead author of the study Dr. Wei-Li Hong of CAGE and currently Geological Survey of Norway.

Hydrate mounds seeping methane for thousands of years

Hong and colleagues reported on an increase of methane flux beneath large mounds of hydrates in an area called Storfjordrenna, in the Barents Sea close to Svalbard.

These gas hydrate pingos are all profusely seeping methane.But according to Hong, even though the area is shallow, and potentially susceptible to temperature change, these seeps are not intensifying because of the momentary warming. “The increase of methane flux started several hundreds to thousands of years ago, which is well before any onset of warming in the Arctic Ocean that others have speculated,” says Hong.

The study was based on measurements of pore water chemistry in the sediments from the area. Pore water is water trapped in pores in soil, and can be analysed to reveal environmental changes in a given area through time.




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


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Texas hurricanes

Harvey came ashore as a major hurricane overnight but was down to 75mph in the last advisory. It was the first hurricane this decade in Texas and the first major hurricane since Alicia for Texas in 1983. Already over a foot of rain has fallen (SRH rain through 17Z) in a few spots and with the storm not forecast to leave the state until perhaps next weekend, it seems likely to eclipse Amelia's record of 48 inches in the week long rains in Medina, TX in July 30-August 5, 1978.


Harvey in context

Judith Curry writes:

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear people blaming Harvey on global warming.  How unusual was Harvey?  Well, it will definitely be in the record books for ending the 12 year drought of major hurricanes striking the U.S.

Phil Klotzbach has prepared this list off Cat 4-5 U.S. landfalling hurricanes:

This list reminds us how awful things were.  Apart from the horrendous 2004/2005 years, we have been pretty lucky in recent decades.

Anyone blaming  Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Callous CALAS activists against the poor

Anti-mining groups “protect” local tribe against phony risks by trampling on Guatemalan workers

Paul Driessen

Not long ago, supposed “environmental justice” concerns at least involved risks to mine workers and their families. The risks may have been inflated, or ignored for decades, but they were a major focus.

In one case, a state-run mine and smelter had fouled the air, land and water with toxic contaminants in a Peruvian town for 75 years. Environmental groups raised few objections – until a U.S. company bought the properties and began installing modern pollution controls, implementing worker health and safety practices, cleaning up widespread lead dust, and initiating numerous community improvement projects.

Suddenly, anti-mine activists descended on the town. They blamed the company for decades of pollution, claimed corporate officials weren’t acting quickly enough, ignored government foot-dragging on its commitments, pressured banks into cutting off loans to the company, and eventually shut everything down. Thousands of workers were left jobless. The activists and news media celebrated their victory.

Today, mining operations in Guatemala have become ground zero for campaigns in which pollution and human health are largely irrelevant, “indigenous people” are the new politically favored “victims” of multinational mining companies, rigged “consultation processes” have become the tactic du jour, and mine workers are among the new “oppressors,” whose health and living standards are now irrelevant.

Not only do radical “keep it in the ground” protesters pay little attention to where essential raw materials come from, so long as their favorite tech toys magically appear in retail outlets. They almost flaunt their callous disregard for families that had been dirt poor before a modern mine brought jobs and comparative prosperity – and will be destitute again after the outside agitators have shut the mine down and moved on to their next target. A case in point is the Escobal silver mine near San Rafael las Flores, Guatemala.

Since buying the mine in 2010, owner and operator Canada-based Tahoe Resources has invested more than $1 billion into the mine’s operation and related infrastructures– plus another $10 million upgrading hospitals and schools, planting 32,000 trees, and launching vocational, entrepreneurship, health, nutrition and other programs. More than 1,600 mining jobs and 6,000 indirect jobs brought many millions of dollars in salaries to the region. Locals launched over 100 new businesses. Life was getting better.

Company officials say the mine is designed and operated to meet the highest Guatemalan and Canadian health and environmental standards, and there has been no evidence of air or water pollution during Tahoe’s tenure. Anti-mining activists nonetheless launched campaigns against it as soon as it was licensed.

Incessant protests and confrontations, arson incidents, forcible detention of miners and police by activists, and assorted legal actions fueled tensions. The agitators are determined to prosecute Tahoe in multiple courts, persuade banks not to extend further credit to the company, send its stock values plummeting, and block Escobal mining operations permanently.

What will we do if they shut the mine down? locals ask. Without these jobs, we will be poor again. Our businesses will close, our children will have no future, and people will have to go to the United States for work – just like before the mine created jobs that brought workers back to the area.

The agitators’ newest tactic is to enlist indigenous tribes, claim companies failed to consult adequately with the tribes under Guatemala’s community consultation and plebiscite “consultas” process, use ballot initiatives to claim people around the area overwhelmingly oppose the mine – and rage that the local people’s and indigenous groups’ human rights have been violated, in gross miscarriages of justice.

The blatant dishonesty of this process is underscored by the fact that every consultas held between 2011 and 2016 resulted in 93to 100 percent opposition to mining. Indeed, the process was cleverly designed and then hijacked, manipulated and rigged by outside activists and their local allies to foment opposition to mining activity and eliminate mine-dependent jobs, rather than assess true community sentiment.

Banners depicted a sample ballot marked “NO” and proclaim that shutting down mining is “necessary for life.” Ballots were explicitly worded to solicit negative responses. Even worse, many ballots highlighted the “No” vote in yellow, suggesting to voters it was the “correct” answer. The dishonesty is even deeper.

Community meetings held before the vote were little more than disinformation and agitprop sessions, designed to advance the anti-mining sentiments of activists from wealthy nations. Mine owners, foremen, environmental directors, community development coordinators, even workers and their families were not invited or permitted to participate. They could not correct misinformation; ask or respond to questions; explain health, safety and environmental safeguards; discuss economic, employment, living standards and other benefits to the community; or otherwise ensure fair, balanced, complete and open discussions.

Workers and others who wanted to speak out at other times were greeted with threats and intimidation.

The deck was stacked. The well-funded and coordinated agitators behind the consultas had no interest in ensuring that local people were actually consulted and given opportunities to learn the facts. Their goal was and is to block mining projects, regardless of how many jobs would be created, living standards improved, and health, safety and environmental safeguards implemented by mining operators.

Can anyone recall a case where activists ultimately supported a mining project, following consultations or improved mining practices? I did not see it happen in Peru, and it is not happening in Guatemala. The agitators simply change the issues, ramp up their demands and move the goal posts.

The anti-mining agitators do not care whether a consultation process is fair, open and complete; that a mine would be safe and non-polluting; or that it would ensure good jobs and improved schools, hospitals, homes, living standards and opportunities for thousands. They simply do not want mines in any targeted area, anytime or under any conditions.

Their current ploy is to say that Guatemala’s Ministry of Mines did not consult adequately with Xinca tribal groups that live miles from the mine, before it issued the mining license. The Guatemalan courts agreed with the activists – and shut down operations.

If the closure becomes permanent, 7,600 workers would be left jobless and their families destitute. Their growing anger, frustration, hopelessness and sense of betrayal are reaching a boiling point. Several miners recently went on a hunger strike, to protest what the activists and courts have done. Will Guatemalan, Canadian, U.S. and international jurists, legislators, journalists and real human rights advocates pay any attention? Call for social and environmental justice? Time will tell. But don’t hold your breath.

The entire operation was orchestrated by several local pressure groups, led by CALAS – the Centro de Acción Legal Ambiental y Social de Guatemala: Guatemalan Center for Environmental and Social Legal Action. However, the real organizing, money and strategizing came from far outside the country.

The real power behind the throne has been Oxfam America, joined by a cabal of likeminded American, Canadian and European pressure groups, all of which masquerade as “civil society” and “environmental justice” organizations – and their financial backers. Together, they have poured millions of dollars into the anti-mining, anti-worker, Keep the Poor Impoverished campaigns.

From 2009 to 2015, Oxfam pumped over $9 million annually into its Central America/Caribbean programs. The New-York based Moriah Fund contributed nearly $15 million over a ten-year period to these and other international NGOs, while the Fund for Global Human Rights added over $3 million.

Unbelievably, the European Union contributed more than $17 million to Guatemalan pressure groups between 2007 and 2011! And to top it off, the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is another major sponsor – using U.S. tax-dollar donations to the UN. How the heck did “failure to consult” become “torture” – akin to what the SS, KGB, ISIS and other criminal outfits routinely engage in?

For callous CALAS and its allied pressure groups and despicable benefactors to violate the human rights of so many Guatemalan working class families is bad enough. Do the courts really have to pile on?

Via email

Sun Activity Has Collapsed to the Lowest in 9,300 years

THE sun is the source of all our warmth. Without it, we would not exist.  Like everything else, it is cyclical in nature. The term “lunatic” referred to people who seemed to go a bit strange when there was a full moon. Some people are perhaps susceptible to its gravitational forces. After all, it is the moon that lifts the entire oceans creating high and low tide. There are people who have varying mood swings and others who are a tad more steady. Yet we all have our ups and downs.

There is the Human Excitability Study where war was correlated to sunspot activity. The sunspot cycle is roughly every eleven years. However, this time it’s different. The sun is headed for a very rare, super-cooling period that threatens to topple civilization itself as it has throughout history roughly following a 300 year cycle.

For most of its history, science believed the sun’s output was constant. They finally realized that a thermal dynamic cycle beats like your heart so the sun could not exist if it was a steady outflow of energy. One degree less and it would blow itself out. Hence, it is cyclical rising and falling in intensity.

The eleven-year cycle in sunspots itself builds in intensity like the Economic Confidence Model (ECM) reaching “grand maxima” and “grand minima” over the course of 300 years. The last grand maximum peaked circa 1958, after which the sun has been steadily quieting down. Today, the drop in activity is at its steepest in 9,300 years, which is being ignored by the Global Warming propaganda.

The last Maunder Minimum, during which the sun languished for seventy years, took place from 1645 to 1715 when the sun’s brightness declined and the number of sunspots collapsed to almost zero.

[The Maunder Minimum coincided with more severe winters in the UK and continental Europe]


Theaters Self-Sacrifice To Boost Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel

On Tuesday (8/22), sales for Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel hit an hilarious new low of $117/theater. The financial self-sacrifice that theaters are now making to support it must go down as one of the greatest acts of generosity in cinematic history.

Per Box Office Mojo, Inconvenient Sequel had a couple of good opening days, when true believers and Gore’s extended family showed up, but by the second week sales plummeted and continued to decline thereafter. Again per Box Office mojo, $117/theater isn’t very good, a level ranking among the worst per theater averages on record, and given that theaters are expensive to operate almost assuredly indicates a running bottom line loss.

Nonetheless, the film expanded to over 500 theaters in its second week and has remained at that level since. What an act of extraordinary kindness! By contrast, the courageous and Academy-Award winning Citizenfour was released in just 105 theaters at its very peak. A pity director Laura Poitras wasn’t better politically connected and funded.

According to Variety, experts say total sales are expected to reach $10 million. But what terrible financial losses will have to be suffered to reach that level. Sales to date are just $3.1 million, and that despite strong support from forgiving critics and this heroic self-sacrifice by theaters. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 48% audience score, as represented by an abandoned popcorn container.




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


Monday, August 28, 2017

An amusing bit of Warmist "research"

Warmists regularly attribute any flood or any drought to global warming.  But you can't have it both ways.  Does global warming produce more or less precipitation? The scientific answer, of course, is that it would produce more rain, as warmer oceans evaporated off more.  So are we having more rain these days?  No. A recent paper which seems to have all the world's hydrologists as co-authors tells us that.  We did NOT have any increase in floods across the last 50 years.  Here is the abstract below.  I will resume my comments once you have had a look at it. The first sentence is all you need to know.  Another prophecy has failed!

Changing climate shifts timing of European floods

Günter Blöschl et al.


A warming climate is expected to have an impact on the magnitude and timing of river floods; however, no consistent large-scale climate change signal in observed flood magnitudes has been identified so far. We analyzed the timing of river floods in Europe over the past five decades, using a pan-European database from 4262 observational hydrometric stations, and found clear patterns of change in flood timing. Warmer temperatures have led to earlier spring snowmelt floods throughout northeastern Europe; delayed winter storms associated with polar warming have led to later winter floods around the North Sea and some sectors of the Mediterranean coast; and earlier soil moisture maxima have led to earlier winter floods in western Europe. Our results highlight the existence of a clear climate signal in flood observations at the continental scale.

Science,  11 Aug 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 588-590

As we know, however, Warmism cannot be allowed to die.  So the authors have made a last desperate attempt to save something from the wreckage of their theory.  They now say that global warming is making floods come SOONER.  Not a big comfort, one would think but beggars can't be choosers.  But is the claim right?  It is the product of some torturous statistics and there's many a slip between cup and lip in that sort of thing.  And it does not look good.  Climate bulldog Paul Homewood has pulled out the official British flood statistics and shows that there is no trend anywhere in Britain.  There are changes from year to year but they are random, not pointing in any particular direction.  If I believed in God I would think he had a sense of humor.  He certainly seems to enjoy upsetting Warmist applecarts.

You've got to read the small print

Did anybody doubt that the usual suspects would tie Hurricane Harvey to global warming?  They did.  At length.  Below is an excerpt from one such article.  The last 4 paragraphs are from the end of the article. They are an admission that Harvey CANNOT be tied to global warming.  Putting something at the very end of an article is the journalistic version of small print

As the Earth’s climate warms because of human burning of fossil fuels, scientists have seen tropical cyclones become more intense and predict they will continue doing so.

Since the 1980s when high-quality satellite observations became available, scientists have seen an increase in the “intensity, frequency, and duration” of Atlantic hurricanes, along with the number of Category 4 and 5 storms, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment..........

What scientists can’t say for sure is whether hurricanes and tropical storms are happening more frequently.

Unlike some other extreme weather events like heat waves, blizzards and rainstorms, hurricanes are relatively rare. In Texas, two named storms make landfall every three years, on average, Nielsen-Gammon said. For Category 3 storms and above, the average rate is one per decade, he said.

That means there’s not enough data to say with certainty that the frequency of these storms is going up, Cook said.

“When you try to look at observations, it takes a long time to build up enough numbers of hurricanes so that you can say with statistical significance that you have observed an (increase),” she said, adding it might take another 20 years for a pattern to emerge.


Nothing like a bit of "building awareness"

Apparently it's the latest tricky way of saying "maybe". An interview below with Berkeley Obamabot Dan Kammen

AMY GOODMAN: So, if we can talk to you, you are the now resigned science envoy of the State Department, but if we can talk to you about what is happening right now in Texas. Tens of thousands of residents began evacuating coastal communities as forecasters predict that Hurricane Harvey could make landfall late Friday as a major category 3 storm, delivering a life-threatening 35 inches of rain to some parts of the Gulf Coast. Can you talk about this hurricane, what we are seeing, and whether you think it is related to climate change and global warming?

DAN KAMMEN: This is an area where the science is still building. We certainly have seen a number of climatologists — I’m a physicist who works on clean energy solutions. But, on the detection of climate change side, there is a building awareness of the degree to which climate change makes these types of tropical storms more severe, whether that’s more frequent or whether that’s stronger as an area that’s still under research, but it’s clear that events like this increased wildfires, droughts, these are all what we expect to see in a globally warmed climate changed world.

And from my perspective, these are all economic and human, agricultural, and environmental costs. And when we talk about not stepping up to the plate and acting based on a scientific knowledge to reduce our global warming footprint, to reduce the amount of pollution so that we can limit the effects of climate change, these are all huge economic cost for us, the rest of the planet, that we are paying, and we are paying them already. And that’s really the sad part of the story, to me.


EPA will no longer sponsor the annual climate leadership awards

The agency spokesperson said that it really shouldn't come as a surprise

It's no secret that Scott Pruitt is a climate change skeptic, and the Environmental Protection Agency has been undoing Obama-era policies ever since he took office. The agency's latest move follows that trend: the EPA has announced that it's no longer sponsoring the 2018 Climate Leadership Awards program, which recognizes companies that take steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report their progress. As a result, the awards program itself and the Climate Leadership Conference that usually goes with it have both been canceled for next year.

EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox apologized but didn't explain why the EPA withdrew its support. As he told Reuters in an email "It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that [the EPA doesn't] plan to fund an awards ceremony on climate change." To start with, the administration's proposed budget for 2018 will see its funding cut by 31 percent, which will specifically affect its climate change and pollution initiatives. Even without the budget cut, though, it's hard to imagine the EPA supporting a climate change award in its current state.

Earlier this year, the agency pulled down its climate science pages to reflect the views of the White House. The president also signed an executive order rolling back climate policies approved by the previous administration. And let's not forget that the United States withdrew from the Paris Accord, an agreement between 142 countries to make an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the awards program for 2018 was canceled, the EPA's former co-sponsors, non-government organizations C2ES and the Climate Registry, intend to continue the tradition. They're now looking for a new co-sponsor willing to fund and host the program in the future.


Obama EPA caught faking data to promote globalist scheme

Judicial Watch announced Wednesday it received documents from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that show the agency’s claim that the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan would prevent thousands of premature deaths by 2030 was, at best, misleading.

The documents were produced in accordance with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed in June 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the EPA failed to respond to a May 3, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 1:17-cv-01217)). Judicial Watch requested:

"All internal emails or other records explaining, or requesting an explanation of, the EPA’s decision to claim that the Clean Power Plan would prevent between 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths by 2030"

The documents forced out by Judicial Watch reveal that carbon dioxide reduction itself would not prevent any deaths. In a June 2, 2014, email from Bloomberg news reporter Mike Dorning to EPA officials Matt Lehrich and Thomas Reynolds, Dorning asks if particulate matter and ozone are the real concern:

"So far, what I have found on my own is Table 4-18 on page 4-36 of the Regulatory Impact Analysis report. And, am I reading the table correctly in concluding that all of those reductions come not from the impact on global warming or carbon emissions but entirely from anticipated reductions in emissions of fine particulate matter and ozone that you forecast will come from changes made to reach the carbon reduction goals?"

Neither Lehrich nor Reynolds answered Dorning’s question directly, however, Liz Purchia, an Obama-era communications staffer at the agency, characterized the premature-deaths figure as “co-benefits” of carbon reductions and revealed that none of the premature deaths would be prevented by CO2 emission reductions:

"This [premature-deaths figure] is a calculation based on the NOX, S02 and PM co-benefits."

It is the soot and ozone that the EPA estimates to cause the deaths, not the carbon dioxide. The Obama EPA sought to force industry to reduce carbon output, therefore, electricity producers would have no choice but to redesign factories in a way that also produces less fine particulate matter (soot) and ozone emissions into the atmosphere.

The EPA did not explain its theory of indirect, “co-benefits” in its press statement, nor did the EPA explain that it is possible to save just as many lives by passing a law requiring less soot and ozone emissions without also requiring a reduction in carbon output.

“Judicial Watch has caught the Obama EPA red handed issuing a series of half-truths and deliberately misleading information – pure propaganda – designed to deceive the American public into accepting its radical environmental agenda,” said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton. “The documents show the Obama EPA could not demonstrate that carbon dioxide reductions would in fact reduce the number of premature deaths. It is no surprise it took a federal lawsuit to uncover this Obama deceit. We appreciate that the Trump EPA did not drag this litigation out – we hope other Trump officials start finally paying attention to the FOIA law.”

The controversial Clean Power Plan was promoted as combating “anthropogenic climate change” and was designed to mandate the shifting of electricity generation away from coal-powered plants. On March 28, President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to begin the legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan, which would have closed hundreds of coal-fired power plants, halted construction of new plants, increased reliance on natural-gas-fired plants and shifted power generation to huge new wind and solar farms. On June 1, President Trump also announced the United States would cease participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.

The EPA omitted the claim that the plan would reduce “2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths” in its final rule.




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


Sunday, August 27, 2017

The sun or not the sun?

I reproduce below part of a curious article from Germany's generally scholarly Max Planck Society. The author, Helmut Hornung, admits that fluctuations in solar output can impact the earth's climate but says:  "Not this time".  Recent warming is not caused by solar change.  He is right. It was caused by El Nino.

But he is not talking about the 2015/2016 El Nino period.  For an unexplained reason he cherrypicks the 2001 to 2010 period. And he says that the temperature of that period was 0.2 degrees warmer than the previous decade.  And since the sun did not change during 2001-2010, the sun could not have caused that inter-decadal warming.

That sounds logical at first but the devil is in the detail. He pays no attention to the temperature fluctuations during those two periods.  There was something of a temperature step-change around 1998, when the temperature rose by about 0.2 degrees but there was no change thereafter.  The temperature just moved to a slightly higher plateau at that time. It reached a new level and stayed there.  It was NOT continuously warming during that decade.  So temperature and the sun actually mirrored one-another.  The sun did not change during 2000-2010 and nor did the temperature.  So if we look at the temperature details, they would seem to prove exactly what he wanted them to disprove.

That was the only attempt by him to prove his case. For the rest he just asserts that temperatures have gone up long term and CO2 has gone up long term.  But that proves nothing.  It is an asserted causal relationship, not a proven relationship. And it ignores the lack of a smooth relationship that you would expect of a causal relationship.  Both temperatures and CO2 went up in  fits and starts but they were not the same fits and starts. The precise effects on temperature that CO2 levels are supposed to produce were not produced.

CO2 molecules don't have a little brain in them that says "I will stop reflecting heat down for a few years and then start up again". Their action (if any) is entirely passive.  Yet temperature can stay plateaued for many years (e.g. 1945 to 1975) while CO2 levels climb.  So there is clearly no causal link between the two. One could argue that there are one or two things -- mainly volcanoes and the Ninos -- that upset the relationship but there are not exceptions ALL the time.  Most of the time a precise 1 to 1 connection should be visible.  It isn't, far from it.  You should be able to read one from the other.  You can't.

Another oddity:  He puts the increase in CO2 back to 1750:  "the carbon dioxide concentration has increased by 30 percent since industrialization began in the mid-18th century."  He may be right but most Warmists say 1950 or thereabouts

Interesting that he admits that the sun CAN have an influence though.  Warmists normally pooh pooh that altogether

It’s becoming warmer on Earth. Temperatures during the period spanning 2001 to 2010, for example, were around 0.2 degrees Celsius higher than the previous decade. No serious scientist doubts that humans play a decisive role here. Nevertheless, other factors also influence the global climate, for example the geometry of Earth's orbit and volcanic eruptions. But what role does the Sun play?

By way of its energy input, the Sun can directly influence the climate of our planet. However, the atmosphere only allows radiation to pass through in specific wavelengths, predominantly in visible light; the remainder is, in a manner of speaking, absorbed by molecules. Only part of the radiation therefore reaches Earth's surface and can heat it up. The irradiated surface, in turn, emits infra-red light, which is then held back by clouds or aerosols. This effect, without which the Earth would be around 32 degrees Celsius colder, warms the atmosphere. These processes resemble the conditions in a greenhouse.

To investigate the influence of the Sun on the climate, researchers look to the past. Here, they focus on the star's magnetic activity, from which the radiation intensity can be reconstructed. It is then apparent that the Sun produces more intense radiation during active periods – apparent thanks to numerous spots and flares – than during its quiescent phases.

The Sun had just such a break in activity during the second half of the 17th century, for example: between 1645 and 1715 its engine began to falter. During this period, referred to as the Maunder Minimum, Europe, North America and China recorded much colder winters. And even the summer was substantially cooler in some regions during this “Little Ice Age”. Paintings were made at the time, showing ice skaters on the frozen Thames, for example.

When looking back at the past the scientists work with both old records of observational sunspot data (beginning in 1610) and using the C14 method, which can be particularly well applied to wood, as Carbon-14 input at the ground (trees) is not constant, but also changes with solar activity. This radioactive isotope is created when what are known as cosmic rays meet an air molecule in the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere.

The solar magnetic field extends throughout the entire solar system and partially screens off cosmic rays. If the magnetic field fluctuates, so does C14 production. In this manner, the deviation between tree ring age and C14 age represents a measure of magnetic activity and consequently for the radiant power of the Sun.

So, how strongly does the Sun currently influence the climate? What is known is that Earth has become warmer by around one degree Celsius over the past 100 years. In the last 30 years alone, temperatures have increased at a rate not seen during the last 1000 years. It is another fact that the carbon dioxide concentration has increased by 30 percent since industrialization began in the mid-18th century.

During this entire period, the Sun has been subject to periodic fluctuations in activity. And there has certainly been no increase in the brightness of the Sun over the past 30 or 40 years, rather a slight decrease. This means that the Sun cannot have contributed to global warming. In fact, the temperature increase noted in recent decades cannot be reproduced in models if only the influence of the Sun or other natural sources are taken into account (for example volcanic eruptions). Only when anthropogenic, that is human-driven, factors are incorporated in the climate data, do they agree with the observational and measured data.

The researchers thus arrive at the conclusion that the increase in global temperatures since the 1970s cannot be explained by the Sun. The observed temperature trend over the past three decades is linear – if it is a result of the increasing greenhouse gas concentration. In brief: the human influence on the climate is orders of magnitude greater than that of the Sun.

On the other hand, the opinion of some scientists that the current decrease in solar activity will counteract global warming, does not stand up to a close examination, as global warming is a fact - and continues to advance. In contrast, it does appear possible that the Sun influences the climate in the long term. The exact extent and precise mechanisms remain unclear, however.


A new Russian tanker has cruised through the Northeast passage without an icebreaker escort for the first time

They do get to the point below after the routine bow to global warming.  The point being that the ship IS an icebreaker.  So comparing it with other ships not so equipped is totally invalid.

The Korean-built tanker features an ice-strengthened hull structure, which was fabricated using E-grade high-tensile special steel. Covered with 7cm of steel plates, the bow offers high manoeuvrability in open water and up to 1.5m-thick ice. The stern section is designed to enable navigation in severe ice conditions.

It may be worth noting that the time saved by using the Northern route may not always be great -- as the ship can make only a very slow 5kmh through ice, compared with 19kmh through open water

Experts claim that climate change is to blame as warming temperatures thaw the region's frozen waters.

The £234 million ($300 million) Christophe de Margerie completed the journey from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in just 19 days.

Using just its integral icebreaker, the tanker took just six and a half days to travel the northern sea section of the Russian Arctic, a new record.

The 300-metre-long (984 ft) ship, which was specially designed to take advantage of the Arctic's diminishing sea ice, crossed ice fields up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) thick.

While the rapid crossing time was thanks in part to the tanker's technology, the record journey highlights the effects of climate change on Arctic ice.

The ship completed its Arctic journey 30 per cent quicker than it would have along the alternative route, via the Suez canal.

Despite the ship having its own icebreaker, it has previously been impossible to traverse the icy route without a separate icebreaker escort.

But using only its integral icebreaker, the tanker took just six and a half days to travel the northern sea section of the Russian Arctic, a new record.

'It's very quick, particularly as there was no icebreaker escort which previously there had been in journeys,' Bill Spears, spokesman for the shipping company which owns the tanker, Sovcomflot, told the Guardian.

'It's very exciting that a ship can go along this route all year round.'

The 300-metre-long (984 ft) ship, which was specially designed to take advantage of the Arctic's diminishing sea ice, crossed ice fields up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) thick.

It was carrying a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which the ship can be powered by alongside conventional fuel to reduce sulphur oxide and nitrous oxide emissions.

'This is a significant factor in a fragile ecosystem,' Mr Spears said.

While the rapid crossing time was thanks in part to the tanker's technology, the record journey highlights the effects of climate change on Arctic ice.

Research published earlier this year suggested that 'polar heatwaves' had shrunk the icecaps down to an all-time low.


How alarmist rhetoric warps climate policy

Climate change is not the biggest challenge in our future

Promoting his climate change film An Inconvenient Sequel, former US vice-president Al Gore likes to say that the nightly news has become “a nature hike through the Book of Revelations”.

He’s not the only one touting an apocalypse. In a much-shared story, New York magazine warned that famine, economic collapse and “a sun that cooks us” will happen as soon as the end of this century, as “parts of the Earth will likely become uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable”.

Even astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently declared that US withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty “could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees (Celsius), and raining sulfuric acid”.

This is silly. Even the worst case scenarios from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show 5C-6C temperature increases, about 50 times less than Hawking fears.

The cost of weather damage is rising, but it’s because we’re richer. Since 1990, global weather damage adjusted for gross domestic product has declined. And because we’re richer and can afford better infrastructure, fewer people are dying. In the 1930s, droughts, floods, storms, wildfires and extreme temperatures globally killed almost 500,000 people every year. Today they kill fewer than 25,000 people. Despite the population trebling, we have seen a 95 per cent reduction in climate deaths.

The IPCC estimates that, by the 2070s, climate change may cost the world somewhere between 0.2 per cent to 2 per cent of GDP. That’s a problem, but by no means the end of the world. The IPCC finds that for most economic sectors, “the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers” such as changes in population, age, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation and governance.

Just pause and reflect on that. The UN organisation tasked with preparing for the risks of global warming warns that demographic changes and most other challenges are going to have a much bigger impact than climate change.

Global warming is an issue and one that we need to tackle, but the unglamorous truth is that it is by no means the biggest factor in our future wellbeing.

The reason for the over-the-top rhetoric is that climate policies are much more expensive than almost anyone is willing to go along with.

The Paris Agreement, supported by Gore and others, states that we should try to limit temperature increases to 1.5C. The evidence shows us this would require stopping all fossil fuel use in just four years. Humanity, which meets about 81 per cent of its energy needs with fossil fuels, would come to a standstill. People would starve: half the world’s population relies on food produced with nitrogen fertiliser, almost entirely processed with fossil fuels.

This extreme scenario is not going to happen. Study after study shows that most people are somewhat concerned about climate but only moderately interested in paying for a solution. In the US, the average annual willingness to pay is $US180 ($228) a household or $US70 a person. In China, it is $US30 a person a year. These are likely exaggerations, since people give a much bigger number when the question is hypothetical. Compared with the figure people say they would be willing to spend to offset CO2 emissions from flights each year, real-life travellers spend much less than 1 per cent.

The Paris Agreement will cost each American $US500 a year, each European $US600 and each Chinese person $US170. Despite rhetoric about keeping temperatures below 1.5C, these promises together will achieve almost nothing. By the UN’s own estimate, the Paris Agreement will reduce emissions by less than 1 per cent of what would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2C (a less ambitious target than 1.5C) yet will cost $US1 trillion to $2 trillion a year by 2030, mostly in reduced GDP growth. The treaty will deliver far less than most people expect, yet will cost much more than most people are willing to pay.

Achieving significant cuts would be much more expensive. For the EU to fulfil its promise of cutting emissions by 80 per cent in 2050 (the most ambitious climate policy in the world), the average of the best peer-reviewed models show that the cost would run to at least $US3 trillion a year, and more likely double that — meaning $US6000 for each EU citizen a year.

This helps explain why campaigners resort to painting ever-more catastrophic scenarios. Alarming predictions push us to devote more attention to climate policies — and, in the process, to spend more tax dollars on solar subsidies instead of healthcare, pension reform, libraries or education. People in the rich world — especially the poor, unemployed and elderly — are left paying for climate policies that will do little to fix the problem while leaving fewer resources for other issues.

The world’s poor are given an even worse deal. They are most vulnerable to climate change, but they are also the most vulnerable to a long list of health and development challenges that often go overlooked. Focusing just on climate means international concern and development spending is directed towards this rather than more pedestrian concerns such as tuberculosis, one of the leading causes of death in the world, where we could save 1.4 million lives every year for just $US8 billion. One-quarter of development now goes to “climate aid” — things such as ineffective off-grid solar panels. This is incredibly ineffective and not what the world’s poorest want: a UN global poll of nearly 10 million people finds climate to be the lowest policy priority, far behind education, food security and health.

Fostering a sense of panic doesn’t just distract us from other issues; it also means we don’t tackle climate change well. Economic studies show the right way forward is not subsidising inefficient solar panels, the mainstay of today’s climate spending, but to increase investment in green energy research and development to push down the cost below fossil fuels.

Over-the-top, alarmist rhetoric has a real cost. It encourages us to engage in phenomenally expensive and unhelpful climate policies while ignoring the smaller, cheaper and more realistic ways to respond to this and the challenges that will be much more pressing.


Al Gore’s Hype


I was surprised to discover that Al Gore’s new movie begins with words from me!

While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, “‘An Inconvenient Truth’ won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. ‘Sea levels may rise 20 feet’ — absurd.” He used this comment from one of my TV shows.

The “20 feet” claim is absurd — one of many hyped claims in his movie.

His second film, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” shows lower Manhattan underwater while Gore intones: “ This is global warming!”

My goodness! Stossel doubts Al Gore’s claim, but pictures don’t lie: The 9/11 Memorial is underwater! Gore is right! Stossel is an ignorant fool!

But wait. The pictures were from Superstorm Sandy. Water is pushed ashore during storms, especially “super” storms. But average sea levels haven’t risen much.

Over the past decade, they have risen about 1 inch. But this is not because we burn fossil fuels. Sea levels were rising long before we burned anything. They’ve been rising about an inch per decade for a thousand years.

In his new movie, Gore visits Miami Beach. No storm, but streets are flooded! Proof of catastrophe!

But in a new e-book responding to Gore’s film, climate scientist Roy Spencer points out that flooding in “Miami Beach occurs during high tides called ‘king tides,’ due to the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon. For decades they have been getting worse in low-lying areas of Miami Beach where buildings were being built on reclaimed swampland.”

It’s typical Al Gore scaremongering: Pick a place that floods every year and portray it as evidence of calamity.

Spencer, a former NASA scientist who co-developed the first ways of monitoring global temperatures with satellites, is no climate change “denier.” Neither am I. Climate changes .

Man probably plays a part. But today’s warming is almost certainly not a “crisis.” It’s less of a threat than real crises like malaria, terrorism, America’s coming bankruptcy, etc. Even if increasing carbon dioxide warming the atmosphere were a serious threat, nothing Al Gore and his followers now advocate would make a difference.

“What I am opposed to is misleading people with false climate science claims and alarming them into diverting vast sums of the public’s wealth into expensive energy schemes,” writes Spencer.

Gore does exactly that. He portrays just about every dramatic weather event as proof that humans have changed weather. Watching his films, you’d think that big storms and odd weather never occurred before and that glaciers never melted.

In his first movie, Gore predicted that tornadoes and hurricanes would get worse. They haven’t. Tornado activity is down.

What about those dramatic pictures of collapsing ice shelves?

“As long as snow continues to fall on Antarctica,” writes Spencer, “glaciers and ice shelves will continue to slowly flow downhill to the sea and dramatically break off into the ocean. That is what happens naturally, just as rivers flow naturally to the ocean. It has nothing to do with human activities.”

Gore said summer sea ice in the Arctic would disappear as early as 2014. Nothing like that is close to happening.

Gore’s movie hypes solar power and electric cars but doesn’t mention that taxpayers are forced to subsidize them. Despite the subsidies, electric cars still make up less than 1 percent of the market.

If electric cars do become more popular, Spencer asks, “Where will all of the extra electricity come from? The Brits are already rebelling against existing wind farms.”

I bet most Gore fans have no idea that most American electricity comes from natural gas (33 percent), coal (30 percent) and nuclear reactors (20 percent).

Gore probably doesn’t know that.

I’d like to ask him, but he won’t talk to me. He won’t debate anyone.

Critics liked “An Inconvenient Sequel.” An NPR reviewer called it “a hugely effective lecture.” But viewers were less enthusiastic. On Rotten Tomatoes, my favorite movie guide, they give “Sequel” a “tipped over popcorn bucket” score of 48 percent. Sample reviews: “Dull as can be.” “Faulty info, conflated and exaggerated.”

Clearly, Nobel Prize judges and media critics are bigger fans of big government and scaremongering than the rest of us.


Berkeley Obamabot resigns

He is clearly very confident of his own cleverness, a common Leftist ailment

Daniel Kammen, a renewable energy expert appointed last year as a science envoy to the State Department, resigned Wednesday, citing President Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the final straw that led to his departure.

In a resignation letter posted to Twitter, Kammen wrote that Trump’s remarks about the racial violence in Virginia had attacked "core values of the United States" and that it would have "domestic and international ramifications."

Kammen, who was appointed during Barack Obama’s presidency, said it would be unconscionable for him to continue serving the administration after those remarks. He said he stood with "the unequivocal and authoritative statements" of a slew of other public officials, both Democratic and Republican.

"Acts and words matter," Kammen wrote. "To continue in my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere."

However, his most biting message may have come in the form of a hidden acrostic; the first letter of each paragraph spelled out "I-M-P-E-A-C-H."

The State Department appointed Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as one of five U.S. science envoys in March 2016. At the time, Kammen said he would be working on various global energy initiatives, as well as "the wider Paris Accord."

In his resignation letter, Kammen also cited other concerns that predated Trump’s Charlottesville comments, including the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in June.

Kammen did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Kammen wrapped up his resignation letter with something of a warning for Trump, borrowing the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower: "A people [or person] that values its privileges above principles soon loses both."




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


Friday, August 25, 2017

The vanishing underwater forests: Researchers say climate change is killing off huge amounts of kelp across the globe

There may have been some kelp die-off in the last 30-50 years but it is only assertion that links it to global warming.  Global warming causes everything adverse according to Greenies. Sea surface temperatures have changed little globally so the cause of any dieoff is most likely some disease or predator.  Several such are mentioned below

The report below seems to be a synthesis of two studies so it is amusing to read those two studies.  From Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century we read:

"Our analysis identified declines in 38% of ecoregions for which there are data, increases in 27% of ecoregions, and no detectable change in 35% of ecoregions".

So there has been no overall die-off at all, just local variations.  There was nothing like the global effect we would expect from global warming

And from Invasive seaweeds transform habitat structure and increase biodiversity of associated species we read:

"These introduced seaweeds harbour greater biodiversity of species found at the base of the food web than seaweeds with simpler forms such as the native kelp species."

Which is the exact opposite of what they would have you believe  below. Far from kelp providing "critical food and shelter to myriad fish and other creatures", kelp is not critical at all. The invasive seaweeds do it better.  The new species are providing MORE food for marine life, not less.  The article below is solid deception.  I noted similar dishonesty about kelp in Australian waters just over a year ago

I feel quite safe in saying that there is NO truth in anything Warmists say about kelp or anything else

When diving in the Gulf of Maine a few years back, Jennifer Dijkstra expected to be swimming through a flowing kelp forest that had long served as a nursery and food for juvenile fish and lobster.

But Dijkstra, a University of New Hampshire marine biologist, saw only a patchy seafloor before her.

The sugar kelp had declined dramatically and been replaced by invasive, shrub-like seaweed that looked like a giant shag rug.

Kelp is critical to coastal economies, providing billions of dollars in tourism and fishing.

Kelp losses on Australia's Great Southern Reef threaten tourism and fishing industries worth $10 billion.

Die-offs contributed to a 60 percent drop in species richness in the Mediterranean and were blamed for the collapse of the abalone fishery in Japan.

'I remember going to some dive sites and honestly being shocked at how few kelp blades we saw,' she said.

The Gulf of Maine, stretching from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, is the latest in a growing list of global hotspots losing their kelp, including hundreds of miles in the Mediterranean Sea, off southern Japan and Australia, and parts of the California coast.

Among the world's most diverse marine ecosystems, kelp forests are found on all continental coastlines except for Antarctica and provide critical food and shelter to myriad fish and other creatures.

Kelp also is critical to coastal economies, providing billions of dollars in tourism and fishing.

The likely culprit, according to several scientific studies, is warming oceans from climate change, coupled with the arrival of invasive species.

In Maine, the invaders are other seaweeds.

In Australia, the Mediterranean and Japan, tropical fish are feasting on the kelp.

Most kelp are replaced by small, tightly packed, bushy seaweeds that collect sediment and prevent kelp from growing back, said the University of Western Australia's Thomas Wernberg.

'Collectively these changes are part of a recent and increasing global trend of flattening of the world's kelp forests,' said Wernberg, co-author of a 2016 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which found that 38 percent of kelp forest declined over the past 50 years in regions that had data.

'You are losing habitat. You are losing food. You are losing shoreline protection,' said University of Massachusetts Boston's Jarrett Byrnes, who leads a working group on kelp and climate change. 'They provide real value to humans.'

The Pacific Coast from northern California to the Oregon border is one place that suffered dramatic kelp loss, according to Cynthia Catton, a research associate at the Bodega Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Davis.

Since 2014, aerial surveys have shown that bull kelp declined by over 90 percent, something Catton blamed on a marine heat wave along with a rapid increase in kelp-eating sea urchins.

Without the kelp to eat, Northern California's abalone fishery has been harmed. 'It's pretty devastating to the ecosystem as a whole,' Catton said. 'It's like a redwood forest that has been completely clear-cut. If you lose the trees, you don't have a forest.'

Kelp is incredibly resilient and has been known to bounce back from storms and heat waves.

But in Maine, it has struggled to recover following an explosion of voracious sea urchins in the 1980s that wiped out many kelp beds. Now, it must survive in waters that are warming faster than the vast majority of the world's oceans - most likely forcing kelp to migrate northward or into deeper waters.

'What the future holds is more complicated,' Byrnes said. 'If the Gulf of Maine warms sufficiently, we know kelp will have a hard time holding on.'

On their dives around Maine's Appledore Island, a craggy island off New Hampshire that's home to nesting seagulls, Dijkstra and colleague Larry Harris have witnessed dramatic changes.

Their study, published by the Journal of Ecology in April, examined photos of seaweed populations and dive logs going back 30 years in the Gulf of Maine.

They found introduced species from as far away as Asia, such as the filamentous red seaweed, had increased by as much 90 percent and were covering 50 to 90 percent of the gulf's seafloor.

They are seeing far fewer ocean pout, wolf eel and pollock that once were commonplace in these kelp beds.

But they also are finding that the half-dozen invasive seaweeds replacing kelp are harboring up to three times more tiny shrimp, snails and other invertebrates.

'We're not really sure how this new seascape will affect higher species in the food web, especially commercially important ones like fish, crabs and lobster,' said Dijkstra, following a dive in which bags of invasive seaweed were collected and the invertebrates painstakingly counted.

'What we do think is that fish are using these seascapes differently.'


ExxonMobil intentionally misled the public on climate change for decades, Harvard study finds

Exxon had zero obligation to publish its private research and was prudent not to

US OIL giant ExxonMobil knowingly misled the public for decades about the danger climate change poses to a warming world and the company’s long-term viability, according to a peer-reviewed Harvard study.

An analysis of nearly 200 documents spanning decades found that four-fifths of scientific studies and internal memos acknowledged global warming is real and caused by humans.

At the same time a similar proportion of hundreds of paid editorials in major US newspapers over the same period cast deep doubt on these widely accepted facts.

The study also cites ExxonMobil calculations that capping global warming at under two degrees Celsius — the goal enshrined in the landmark Paris climate accord — would impose sharp limits on the amount of fossil fuels that could be burned, and thus potentially affect the firm’s growth.

Both findings are relevant to ongoing investigations by US state and federal Attorneys-General, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on whether the company deceived investors on how it accounts for climate change risk.

The new study was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Earlier reporting by InsideClimate News, nominated last year for a Pulitzer, unearthed the internal documents and came to much the same conclusion.

In response, the company — the largest oil producer in the United States, with revenue of $US218 billion dollars last year — denied having led a four-decade disinformation campaign.

“We unequivocally reject allegations that ExxonMobil suppressed climate change research,” it said at the time. “We understand that climate risks are real.”

The company slammed journalists for having allegedly “cherrypicked” data in a way that unfairly put the company in a bad light.

The new study pushes back on that characterisation. “We looked at the whole cherry tree,” Geoffrey Supran, a researcher at Harvard University and co-author of the study, told AFP.

“Using social science methods, we found a gaping, systematic discrepancy between what Exxon said about climate change in private and academic circles, and what is said to the public.”

As early as 1979, when climate change barely registered as an issue for the public, Exxon was sounding internal alarms.

“The most widely held theory is that ... the increase in atmospheric CO2 is due to fossil fuel combustion,” an internal memo from that year read.

A peer-reviewed study by Exxon scientists 17 years later concluded that “the body of evidence ... now points towards a discernible human influence on global climate.”

At the same time, however, the company was spending tens of millions of dollars to place editorials in The New York Times and other influential newspapers that delivered a very different message.

“Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” Exxon opined in 1997, as the Bill Clinton administration faced overwhelming opposition in Congress to US ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

Natasha Lamb, managing partner of investment management firm Arjuna Capital, said the new analysis could bolster the lawsuits accusing ExxonMobil of deliberately downplaying climate change risks.

“The Harvard research shows systemic bias in sowing public doubt, while acknowledging the risks privately,” she said after reviewing the study’s main findings. “That is at the heart of the investigations.”

Lamb’s firm filed the first shareholder proposal in 2013 asking ExxonMobil to assess whether imposing a 2C limit on warming would result in the company not being able to exploit its reserves.

Those efforts were swatted down, but four years later a decisive 62 per cent of shareholders called on ExxonMobil, in a non-binding vote last May, to detail how climate change will affect its future.

In three other lawsuits, coastal communities in California are suing 37 oil, gas and coal companies, including ExxonMobil.

Marin and San Mateo counties, along with the city of Imperial Beach, assert that these fossil fuel purveyors knew their product would cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but took no action to inform the public or curtail their carbon emissions.

The new study “confirms some of the central tenets of our cases,” said Vic Sher, a senior partner at Sher Edling and a lawyer in the case.

“We will prove that Exxon and the fossil fuel industry knew for decades that greenhouse gas pollution would case warming of the air and oceans, sea level rise, and other consequences,” he said.

“The industry engaged in deception and denial while aggressively marketing and making enormous profits.”

From 2006 to 2016, ExxonMobil was led by Rex Tillerson, currently Secretary of State under US President Donald Trump.


Global Warming Is Almost Entirely Natural, Study Confirms

Most global warming is natural and even if there had been no Industrial Revolution current global temperatures would be almost exactly the same as they are now, a study has found.
The paper, by Australian scientists John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy, published in GeoResJ uses the latest big data technique to analyse six 2,000 year-long proxy temperature series from different geographic regions. “Proxies” are the markers scientists use – tree rings, sediments, pollen, etc – to try assess global temperature trends in the days before the existence of thermometers. All the evidence suggests that the planet was about a degree warmer during the Medieval Warming Period than it is now; and that there is nothing unnatural or unprecedented about late 20th century and early 21st century “climate change”.

This contradicts the claims of alarmist scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “man made” global warming is a worrying and dangerous phenomenon.

Time-series profiles derived from temperature proxies such as tree rings can provide information about past climate. Signal analysis was undertaken of six such datasets, and the resulting component sine waves used as input to an artificial neural network (ANN), a form of machine learning. By optimizing spectral features of the component sine waves, such as periodicity, amplitude and phase, the original temperature profiles were approximately simulated for the late Holocene period to 1830 CE. The ANN models were then used to generate projections of temperatures through the 20th century. The largest deviation between the ANN projections and measured temperatures for six geographically distinct regions was approximately 0.2 °C, and from this an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of approximately 0.6 °C was estimated. This is considerably less than estimates from the General Circulation Models (GCMs) used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and similar to estimates from spectroscopic methods.

In fact as the chart shows, recent warming is well within the planet’s natural historic climate boundaries:

According to co-author Jennifer Mahorasy – who was behind the recent exposure of the scandal in which Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology was found to be erasing record-breaking low temperatures from its records – global temperature has moved up and down quite naturally for the last 2000 years.

We began by deconstructing the six-proxy series from different geographic regions – series already published in the mainstream climate science literature.  One of these, the Northern Hemisphere composite series begins in 50 AD, ends in the year 2000, and is derived from studies of pollen, lake sediments, stalagmites and boreholes.

Typical of most such temperature series, it zigzags up and down while showing two rising trends: the first peaks about 1200 AD and corresponds with a period known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), while the second peaks in 1980 and then shows decline. In between, is the Little Ice Age (LIA), which according to the Northern Hemisphere composite bottomed-out in 1650 AD.  (Of course, the MWP corresponded with a period of generally good harvests in England – when men dressed in tunics and built grand cathedrals with tall spires.  It preceded the LIA when there was famine and the Great Plague of London.)

Up until the 1990s, this was widely accepted by the climate science community. But then came a concerted effort led by alarmists including Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann to erase the Medieval Warming Period from the records. Scientists who argued otherwise – among them Willie Soon and Sallie Balliunas – were harassed for their “incorrect” thinking.

However, the new study would appear to confirm that the skeptics were right all along – and that it’s the alarmists who have some apologizing to do.

To be clear, while mainstream climate science is replete with published proxy temperature studies showing that temperatures have cycled up and down over the last 2,000 years – spiking during the Medieval Warm Period and then again recently to about 1980 as shown in Figure 12 – the official IPCC reconstructions (which underpin the Paris Accord) deny such cycles.  Through this denial, leaders from within this much-revered community can claim that there is something unusual about current temperatures: that we have catastrophic global warming from industrialisation.

In our new paper in GeoResJ, we not only use the latest techniques in big data to show that there would very likely have been significant warming to at least 1980 in the absence of industrialisation, we also calculate an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of 0.6°C. This is the temperature increase expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. This is an order of magnitude less than estimates from General Circulation Models, but in accordance from values generated from experimental spectroscopic studies, and other approaches reported in the scientific literature [9,10,11,12,13,14].

The science is far from settled. In reality, some of the data is ‘problematic’, the underlying physical mechanisms are complex and poorly understood, the literature voluminous, and new alternative techniques (such as our method using ANNs) can give very different answers to those derived from General Circulation Models and remodelled proxy-temperature series.


Dakota Access Pipeline Owner Sues Greenpeace For $300 Million In Damages

The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline launched an unusual legal attack Tuesday against Greenpeace International and other environmental groups, alleging that the organizations effectively ran a criminal enterprise through their protests of the project.

The suit by  Energy Transfer Partners LP, filed in federal court in North Dakota under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—a law created to prosecute the mafia—represents an aggressive new front in the continuing battle over the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. It became operational in June but remains the subject of legal challenges.

The company alleged that Greenpeace ran a “relentless campaign of lies and outright mob thuggery.” Among other things, it alleged Greenpeace and other groups solicited donations under false claims about the pipeline, threatened the company’s investors and lenders, launched cyberattacks against the company, and sought to sabotage the pipeline with serious “terrorist threats.”

Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in a statement that the suit was “not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies.”

The Trump administration gave a green light to the pipeline in February following months of intense opposition from Native American tribes and environmental groups. President Donald Trump made his support of the pipeline and other energy infrastructure projects a prominent part of his campaign. The line can carry as many as 570,000 barrels of oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe filed a lawsuit to stop the project, arguing that a reservoir crossing could contaminate their water supply, which is 70 miles downstream from the project. The lawsuit failed, but the tribe has since asked a federal court to shut down the line while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts another environmental assessment of the project.

Energy Transfer’s lawsuit seeks at least $300 million in damages, which can be tripled under the RICO statute. The company alleged it lost revenue and investors as the project was delayed and incurred unnecessary expenses on construction.


Australia is still mining -- with State and Federal support

Copper and gold

THE $916 million Carrapateena mine given the green light by Oz Minerals is set to create 1000 jobs during the construction phase and will support around 400-500 positions over the mine’s 20-year lifespan.

The company on Thursday morning announced the board had approved development of the mine located 160km north of Port Augusta, as it recorded a 51 per cent jump in its first half profit to $81 million.

The Carrapateena project, which is targeting first ore production in the second half of 2019, will become South Australia’s second biggest copper mine after Olympic Dam.

The mine life is 20 years with an estimated average annual production of 65,000 tonnes of copper and 67,000 ounces of gold.

It is expected the project will create about 1000 jobs during construction and 400-500 over the mine’s 20-year minimum mine life.

Premier Jay Weatherill says the project will also provide opportunities for Aboriginal employment and supply contracts in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“This announcement is yet another vote of confidence in South Australia’s economy,’ Mr Weatherill said.

“This copper project showcases the importance of the resources sector to the South Australian economy with investment in Carrapateena creating local jobs, infrastructure and opportunities for Aboriginal participation.”

OZ Minerals, which is self-funding the project, started construction work on a decline (mine shaft) 1450m-deep to the underground mine last year.

The company has a cash balance of $624 million and no debt. Most of the funding for the project will come from the cashflow generated at its existing Prominent Hill copper mining operations, 130kms southeast of Coober Pedy.

OZ Minerals chairman Rebecca McGrath said it was an exciting time for the company. “Carrapateena will be a robust, cash-generating asset with expansion potential that sets OZ Minerals up for further growth,” she said.

“Our confidence in the economics, constructability and operability of the Carrapateena project as a long-life low cost mine has been further reinforced through the feasibility study phase,” OZ Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole said.

“Strong operating cash flow of $93.5 million in the first half of 2017 continues to support a significant cash balance of $624 .5 million with no debt, allowing for shareholder returns, continued investment in the Carrapateena and West Musgrave projects, and advancement of our growth pipeline,” he said.

The company will begin building an accommodation village, a 550 person camp, called the Tjungu Village and an airstrip in the third quarter of this year.

The mine will be developed in two phases — the first phase starts next month followed by a more intensive second phase in the second quarter of 2018, subject to mining lease approvals.

The group also announced the $150 million concentrate treatment plant — expected to create more than 100 construction and around 100 ongoing jobs — has been removed from Carrapateena’s project financials due to “increased confidence” that the existing copper concentrate will be sought after in international markets.

The company has bought a site near Port Augusta for the plant, which was originally tipped for Whyalla.




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