Archive for Global Warming

A Fool and His Money

Not soon enough:

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer announced Thursday that he will not enter the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in California, a move that reshaped the early contest that has attracted a pack of potential candidates.

He said in a statement on The Huffington Post that global warming will “define the success or failure of our generation,” and the nation needs leadership in, and outside of, government.

“Given the imperative of electing a Democratic president — along with my passion for our state — I believe my work right now should not be in our nation’s capital but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference,” he wrote.

Steyer will be seen as a prospect for a future campaign and signaled he intends to remain active in politics. Seeking to make climate change an issue, he poured about $74 million into 2014 races.

“The road we take may be less traveled and less well marked, but I am very determined. The journey is far from over — in fact, it has just begun,” he wrote.

Probably true, alas. Blowing money at a rate of $74 million every two years, he won’t run out until 2040, give or take a midterm.

But the nation’s loss is California’s gain. She’s tanned, she’s rested, she’s ready…she’s Sheehan!

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When the Hottest Year Ever Isn’t…Probably

Can’t stand the heat? Get out of the tabloids:

The news is ablaze with a report that 2014 was the “hottest year.” But there’s no reason to be excited. The story the global warming alarmists are trying to tell isn’t the only one out there.

‘For the third time in a decade,” shouted the AP, “the globe sizzled to the hottest year on record, federal scientists announced Friday.”

The Washington Post reported that “the year 2014 was the hottest ever measured, based on records going back to the year 1880.” Bloomberg News challenged readers to “deny this” and directed them to “animation below” that documents “2014: The Hottest Year.”

Hysteria also reigned at the BBC in Britain, the New Era in Africa, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald and all points in between.

In one sense, the breathless stories are correct: 2014 was the hottest year on record — by no more than four-hundredths of a degree. But that’s based on surface thermometer records, which are not reliable.

Better measurement is done by satellites, and they indicate 2014 was the third-warmest in the 36 years that satellites have been used to document temperatures.

John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, says the satellite data show that temperature changes since 2001 are “statistically insignificant.”

As expected, though, some scientists — a few of whom are considered “distinguished” — take the hottest-ever report as confirmation that man is dangerously warming his planet due to fossil-fuel use.

But a few have kept their heads. Roger Pielke, professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, told the Post that “there remain significant uncertainties in the accuracy of the land portion of the surface temperature data, where we have found a significant warm bias.”

Judith Curry, professor at Georgia Tech’s school of earth and atmospheric sciences, said that “with 2014 essentially tied with 2005 and 2010 for hottest year,” the implication is “that there has been essentially no trend in warming over the past decade.”

“This ‘almost’ record year does not help the growing discrepancy between the climate model projections and the surface temperature observations,” she added.

Another take:

Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at UAH is quoted by the UAH press release issued today as saying: “2014 was warm, but not special. The 0.01oC difference between 2014 and 2005, or the 0.02 difference with 2013 are not statistically different from zero. That might not be a very satisfying conclusion, but it is at least accurate”.

Not satisfying? Since when is not frying not satisfying?

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Synergy

A socialized-medicine-global-warming-nonsense story all in one!

NHS staff have been coming into work voluntarily and unpaid to help their hospitals cope with extreme winter pressures, MPs were told today, as the country’s top emergency doctor warned over a dramatic increase in A&E visits.

Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said that the additional patients coming to A&E this year could fill “eight or nine extra emergency departments”. MPs on the Health Select Committee were taking evidence yesterday on accident and emergency services in England, in response to a string of major incidents declared at hospitals throughout the country last week, as A&E waiting times rose to their highest levels in a decade.

Winter happens every year, and they were unprepared? Either winter is colder, or the NHS had its head up its ass. Still, typical British grit for the staff to work without pay.

This is a more typical NHS story:

The head of a special NHS fund for cancer medicines in England has said there will need to be further cuts to the treatments it funds.

This week it was announced 25 different cancer treatments would no longer be paid for by the Cancer Drugs Fund.

But Prof Peter Clark, an oncologist who runs the fund, said the rising cost of drugs was a problem.

He added that the system for chemotherapy drugs was “broken”.

This is also typical:

Sitting in the casualty department of one of the best-known hospitals in Britain, I can’t help but notice it’s packed to the rafters.

Yet it’s not a hectic Saturday night, but a Monday lunchtime at the beginning of December and everyone seems sober.

Despite this, I struggle to find a seat, even though it is obvious I’m in deep shock and on the point of passing out in agony. This is by far the worst pain I’ve ever suffered.

I know my upper arm is broken — I fell off a step and heard the crack — and fully expect at least a four-hour wait.

A woman having a cigarette outside warned me as I arrived: ‘Hope you’ve set aside the whole day. I’ve been waiting ages!’

As I look around the crowd, I see little evidence of painful injury. I ask the woman next to me what she’s come for — a headache, no less. ‘No point calling the GP. You can never get seen,’ she says.

It’s the same story with the worried-looking father a few rows back. With a feverish young son lying listlessly on his lap, he explains he came straight to the hospital. He didn’t even think to start with his GP.

It’s clear evidence that casualty is becoming the first port of call whether it’s an accident, emergency or just feeling a bit poorly. No wonder the staff at the Royal Free Hospital in North London look so strained.

Her broken arm put her at the top of the waiting list. (Don’t know how long the dad waited with his kid.) But her travails were only beginning:

The consultant recommended surgery.

I was to be admitted on the Wednesday evening and was told to get my necessary blood tests done in advance. And that’s when the trouble started. The blood test queue filled a large waiting room and stretched, snake-like, along the corridor.

My number was 365 — and 210 had just been called. It was two-and-a half hours before they got to me. Just as well I’d set the whole day aside.

Wednesday came and I still had no information about when and where, or indeed if, I should turn up that evening.

I called admissions. They hadn’t a clue. I emailed the surgeon’s secretary, and at 5pm I finally had a call. I was to arrive at the orthopaedic ward around 7.30pm. They’d finally found me a bed.

I’ll leave it to you to get the rest of the story. Suffice it to say, in medicine as in so much else, you get what you pay for.

And another kick in the teeth for global warming:

The prospects of a January thaw are dropping right off the map. Even the chances that the U.S. East Coast will hold on to some above-normal temperatures into the last week of the month are fading like cheap paint in the bright sun.

Instead of displaying the gold and orange of milder weather, the maps have turned blue across the Midwest, which may be the same color your lips will be when the temperature drops. For the East, the outlook is for seasonal readings, and given that it’s January, you can color those cold, too.

“The big story this week is that our expected January thaw next week has been obliterated, and that the models keep getting colder and colder in general, starting next week through the end of January,” said Todd Crawford, a meteorologist with WSI in Andover, Massachusetts.

One more on one of my favorite subjects:

January’s shivering start has led to a rapid expansion of ice cover on the Great Lakes during the first half of January.

Combined, 34.2 percent of the five Great Lakes are covered in ice as of Jan. 14, 2015, according to data from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. This is up from just 5.65 percent on New Year’s Day.

Last year, the Great Lakes were 21.2 percent ice-covered on Jan. 14, making this year’s ice cover 13 percent higher to date.

That’s it, you’re free to go!

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Cheer Up

Don’t worry, little fella. Things are looking up!

Canadian Arctic sea-ice levels for the first week of January 2015 are higher than during the early 1980s, according to data from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). Official data shows that Arctic sea ice coverage in Canadian waters so far in 2015 is well over 90 percent.

For years, scientists and environmentalists have been predicting the Arctic would be ice free by now, but the North Pole continues to defy such predictions and has stabilized in recent years. Though some scientists are still predicting the Arctic could be ice-free in coming decades.

Climate scientists have already declared 2014 the hottest year on record, globally. The Japan Meteorological Agency found that 2014 was the warmest year on record by 0.05 degrees Celsius, beating out 1998 for hottest year.

But the so-called hottest year on record has seen another anomaly– record levels of global sea ice-coverage. Antarctic sea ice hit record levels last year, reaching more than nine million square kilometers by Dec. 31– the highest level since records began in 1978. The only year to come even close to seeing the same level of South Pole ice coverage for that time was 2007.

December is the middle of the summer in the South Pole. During the southern hemisphere’s winter, Antarctica also shattered records, reaching more than 20 million square kilometers in September 2014, according to government data.

Arctic sea ice levels have also been much more stable than scientists previously predicted. Europe’s CryoSat-2 satellite found that sea-ice volumes during fall 2014 were above the average extent for the last five years, and only slightly lower than 2013 levels. But 2013 Arctic sea-ice levels were some 50 percent higher than 2012 levels by the end of the melting season.

“The Antarctic is actually growing and all the evidence in the last few months suggests many assumptions about the poles was wrong,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, told the U.K. Express.

“Global sea ice is at a record high, another key indicator that something is working in the opposite direction of what was predicted,” Peiser said. “Most people think the poles are melting… they’re not. This is a huge inconvenience that reality is now catching up with climate alarmists, who were predicting that the poles would be melting fairly soon.”

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow…”

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Ice Age II

And you thought last year was bad on the Great Lakes!

It was, btw.

The Coast Guard is dealing with the earliest and heaviest Great Lakes ice in 35 or 40 years. Ice at the straits up north is already three to five feet thick, and icebreakers have been working overtime to keep shipping going. The steel industry is dependant on ships carrying ore getting through.

The LakeCarriers’ Association says ships carried 7 million fewer tons of cargo last year. The ice came so early and lasted so long, ships couldn’t get through. The Association says it demonstrates the new for another ice breaker (like the Coast Guards Mackinac) on the lakes.

More ice equals less cargo. And you know what less cargo means:

An organization representing U.S. cargo shippers on the Great Lakes says last year’s deep freeze cost the economy an estimated $705 million and shows the need for another heavy ice-breaking vessel.

The Lake Carriers’ Association said Tuesday the volume of freight that U.S.-flagged ships hauled on the lakes between Dec. 1, 2013, and May 30, 2014, was about 7 million tons lower than the same period a year earlier.

If Obama and Congress would forget blowing billions on global warming that hasn’t evidenced itself in nearly a generation and spend instead on the icy facts on the ground (and water), we just might survive the Looming Chill.

No, I don’t expect them too either.

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Save the Rain Forests!

Burn coal:

A new research study led by NASA has reversed commonly held theories about carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, finding that the emissions in fact are absorbed by tropical forests at a higher rate than they are released by them, leading to a boost in growth in the forests.

The study found tropical forests absorb 1.5 billion tons of CO2 annually, using it to grow. Overall the forests and other vegetation absorb around 2.7 billion tons of CO2, about 30% of the amount emitted by humans, reports the British Daily Mail.

“This is good news, because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years,” said Dr. David Schimel, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California who headed the study.

Data until now had been interpreted to suggest tropical forests were releasing more CO2 than they absorb. But the new study finds the opposite is true – tropical forests use much more CO2 to grow at faster rates than previously thought.

Settled science takes it on the chin! Again!!!

They tried to reach Bill McKibben for comment, but his line was down. The string broke.

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Global Warming Update

Interesting:

Here’s another Scottish mystery to file alongside the Loch Ness Monster and Mel Gibson’s accent in “Braveheart.”

These strange frozen saucers were found during a recent cold snap near the River Dee — a salmon-filled waterway that passes by the British Queen’s summer residence, Balmoral Castle, before heading eastwards to the coastal city of Aberdeen.

The trust said it was initially unsure what caused the pancakes, but supects they’re caused by a rare phenomenon in which foam freezes in a swirling eddy.

The Trust said it’s the first time the pancakes, more commonly found in the Antarctic or the Baltic Sea, have been seen on the River Dee.

More common in the Antarctic, huh? And the Baltic Sea?

Interesting.

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That Plucky Ice

The BBC can’t just report that Arctic sea ice is stable:

While global warming seems to have set the polar north on a path to floe-free summers, the latest data from Europe’s Cryosat mission suggests it may take a while yet to reach those conditions.

The spacecraft observed 7,500 cu km of ice cover in October when the Arctic traditionally starts its post-summer freeze-up.

This was only slightly down on 2013 when 8,800 cu km were recorded.

Two cool summers in a row have now allowed the pack to increase and then hold on to a good deal of its volume.

It leads the story by crediting ice for a property I don’t think it has:

Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than many observers recognise.

Ice resilient? How about temperatures low? How about warming halted?

In the three years following its launch in 2010, the satellite saw a steady decline in autumn volume at the end of the summer melt.

The deep lows in this short series were 5,300 and 5,400 cubic km in 2011 and 2012, respectively. But then came the bounce back, with colder weather over the following two years resetting the minimum.

Indeed, Cryosat’s five-year October average now shows pretty stable volume – even modest growth (2014 is 12% above the five year-average).

To be sure, there has been much more Arctic ice in the past:

And while the ice is still much reduced compared with the 20,000 cu km that used to stick around in the Octobers of the early 1980s, there is no evidence to indicate a collapse is imminent.

And NASA is unimpressed:

2014 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Sixth Lowest on Record

They’ve been monitoring ice from space since 1978, so why not say this year was the 31st highest? And 37 years hardly counts as a long-term sample size.

I also note also that NASA’s data comes from two satellites; Europe’s makes a third. Any chance that some of the difference is due to the different instruments used? Or that modern measuring technology is more accurate than late 1970s technology, the same way an iPhone 3 has more technology than a warehouse full if Commodore 64s?

PS: As we’ve noted before, the Great Lakes have found all the ice the Arctic may have lost.

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Other UN Initiatives You May Have Missed

While those who haven’t fallen asleep are hailing the UN’s climate deal (show of hands…anyone…?), here’s one that slipped through the cracks:

The president of Sudan has claimed victory over the International Criminal Court after it ended its probe into allegations of war crimes in Darfur.

The ICC charged Omar al-Bashir in 2009 for crimes in the region dating back to 2003, but he refused to recognise the authority of the court in The Hague.

He said the court had failed in its attempts to “humiliate” Sudan.

Announcing the suspension on Friday, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda blamed it on lack of action by the UN.

She called for a “dramatic shift” in the UN Security Council’s approach, saying inaction was emboldening the perpetrators of war crimes in Darfur to continue their brutality, particularly against women and girls.

Turn that frown upside-down, Fatou. The woman and girls may still be “brutalized”, but “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”.

What’s that? Darfur is landlocked? They couldn’t care less about the oceans? Awfully selfish of them. No wonder the UN turned its back.

Human Rights Watch said that Mr Bashir had got the wrong message from the decision to suspend the case.

“Rather than the prosecutor (Fatou Bensouda) holding up her hands in defeat, I think she threw the challenge down to the Security Council itself, that they, the Council, need to step up to the plate and assist her in the arrest and surrender of Omar al-Bashir and other accused, for fair trial at the ICC,” Human Rights Watch spokesman Richard Dicker told the BBC.

Sudan says it has carried out its own investigation and has found no proof that anyone was raped.

Given our own news on the subject lately, we Americans can relate.

A little about the climate deal (very little):

United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change.

Environmental groups have criticised the deal as a weak and ineffectual compromise, saying it weakens international climate rules.

It ended in a compromise that some participants believe keeps the world on track to reach a new global treaty by the end of next year.

Good. Everyone flew airplanes into Lima, Peru, spent lots of money and wasted lots of time, agreed to do not much of anything, and then flew home. All to be repeated next year. Most international confabs are wastes of time, money, and energy—few so ironically.

As for the “brutalization” of the women and girls of Darfur, see above comment.

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Global Warming Update

Al Gore has gone into hibernation for the winter.

With any luck, we won’t see him until May.

Ice is forming on the Great Lakes faster this year than any other.

Lake Superior had areas freezing on Nov. 15, according to Great Lakes Environmental Research data. That’s the earliest in over 40 years.

“Early ice formations this year are a product of years past,” said Jia Wang, who forecasts ice-climate for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

During last year’s harsh winter, ice overtook Lake Superior from November until June. With only five months without ice, Superior—along with the other Great Lakes—remained unusually cold.

Coastal forecasting done by the administration show Superior’s water is two degrees below average for this time of the year.

“It all works as a part of a chain reaction,” said Drew Gronewold, hydrologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

Lingering ice meant less time for seasonal evaporation, keeping water levels unusually high and cold, said Gronewold.

“At a time in the year when we expect to see lake (water) levels dropping, the ‘big three’ are rising,” said Anne Clites, a physical scientist with NOAA.

Hey Aggie, it’s unexpected! ;)

I don’t want to worry anyone, but these “chain reactions” could also be called feedback loops. Last year’s hard winter led to more ice, which is leading to earlier (and presumably more) ice this year. Keep this up and you have an ice age.

But speaking of not worrying—drought, schmought!

Northern California residents were bracing for a powerful storm expected to be the biggest in five years as a torrent of atmospheric moisture originating near Hawaii barreled toward the West Coast Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind and flash flood warning for areas in and around the San Francisco Bay and north up the western Washington coast.

The storm was expected to pelt the region through Thursday. It could overwhelm waterways and roadway drainage systems, possibly leading to flash flooding.

This storm is ‘expected to be one of the strongest storms in terms of wind and rain intensity’ since storms in October 2009 and January 2008, respectively, said the National Weather Service in Monterey.

You’re welcome.

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That Didn’t Take Long

Climate change is so…so November:

In a historic climate change deal, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.

Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26-28% before the year 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year.

“As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama said Wednesday in a joint news conference with Xi.

Not so fast, round-eyes:

China has rejected the scrutiny of efforts to limit carbon emissions, a key tool that the US says is necessary as more than 190 countries work to come up with a new deal to fight climate change.

Chinese negotiators sought at a climate conference in Lima, Peru, to delete provisions in a draft text that would have paved the way for other countries and non-governmental organisations to submit questions about its carbon-reduction plans….

Don’t take it too hard, Mr. President. China has made asses out of many people. You’re just the latest—and biggest—ass. Kim Kardashian has nothing on you.

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The End is Nigher

I don’t know about the temperature, but the hypocrisy is sure rising!

Hundreds of United Nations-backed projects to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the most urgent impacts of climate change have not been acted upon, the BBC has learnt.

Many of these were proposed years ago and may have to be abandoned.

Experts and officials from the world’s 48 least developed countries say lack of funding is the main reason.

They warn that a new long-term global climate defence plan may kick these projects further into the long grass.

“Long grass”. That would be from all the rainfall. And we can’t have that.

But help is on the way, paupers, and has been for more than 18 years!

Since October 1996 there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). This month’s RSS temperature plot pushes up the period without any global warming from 18 years 1 month to 18 years 2 months (indeed, very nearly 18 years 3 months).

The hiatus period of 18 years 2 months, or 218 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.

No heat? Where’d it go?

New research shows that ocean heat uptake across three oceans is the likely cause of the ‘warming hiatus’ – the current decade-long slowdown in global surface warming.

Using data from a range of state-of-the-art ocean and atmosphere models, the research shows that the increased oceanic heat drawdown in the equatorial Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Ocean basins has played a significant role in the hiatus.

This is important as current climate models have been unable to simulate the hiatus.

And some of you folks ask us to accept this so-called “settled science”.

There have been droughts and floods (and many other natural disasters) as long as there has been an earth. If you want to pay for flood prevention or water reservoirs, you have my blessing; you don’t need an unproved theory to do so. But if you stopped holding conferences and commissioning reports, you might have enough money to actually accomplish something.

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