Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).
By: hcubed, 11:59 AM GMT on April 30, 2012
I'll get back to "The List", but this study was just too good to pass up:
"...Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.
Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.
Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world’s largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built. This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms. It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.
Full story here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/923471 5/Wind-farms-can-cause-climate-change-finds-new-st udy.html
Here’s the paper:
Zhou, Liming, Yuhong Tian, Somnath Baidya Roy, Chris Thorncroft, Lance F. Bosart and Yuanlong Hu 2012: Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature. Nature Climate Chnage. doi:10.1038/nclimate1505
And the abstract (bold mine):
The wind industry in the United States has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years and this fast growth is expected to continue in the future. While converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface–atmosphere exchanges and the transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.
Here we present observational evidence for such impacts based on analyses of satellite data for the period of 2003–2011 over a region in west-central Texas, where four of the world’s largest wind farms are located. Our results show a significant warming trend of up to 0.72 °C per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to nearby non-wind-farm regions. We attribute this warming primarily to wind farms as its spatial pattern and magnitude couples very well with the geographic distribution of wind turbines..."
*** Amazing. Devices designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and the CO2 emitted, are actually CAUSING CAGW. I imagine that they could also check into the windfarms in California, and find the same.
Puts that proposed windfarm off the coast of England in a new light, doesn't it?
Now the environmentalists, if they're concerned about the Earth, have one more study they can use to protest the building of the farms.
By: hcubed, 3:34 PM GMT on April 26, 2012
Looks like the alarmists and counters have been busy, updating "The List", those things that can definitely be tied to CAGW, and man's use of fossil fuels.
So, here's the update:
rapid sea rise - The nation of Kiribati is close to losing their islands to the sea
global water shortages - droughts are becoming more commonplace, and severe
new pandemics - H1N1, SARS
rapid rise in insect populations
rapid desert creation - The Sahara is rapidly encroaching on the Sahel, at an alarming pace
global food shortages - East Africa
So the world better hurry up and get down below the magic number of 350ppm - scientists like Bill McKibben are saying we're doomed if we don't.
But still, it's refreshing to see the new and improved list.
Gives us things to check the facts on.
I'll look at the poor, doomed island nation of Kiribati first. Remember, they're losing their islands to the sea...
"...The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati..."
So, although the islands have been around for awhile, the nation of Kiribati was named in 1979. That's just 33 years. I wonder if they were doomed before they gained independence.
"...The Republic of Kiribati is a low-lying Pacific Island nation situated just west of the International Date Line. It is an archipelago of 33 islands - 21 of them inhabited - with a total land area of 313 square miles (811 square kilometers)..."
So there are 12 of the islands that, if they disappear, will have no effect on the population. 12/33, or about 1/3 of the nation.
On the other hand, most of Kiribati's 112,000 people live on the atoll of Tarawa, where the capital (also called Tarawa) is located.
It looks like that the 112,000 people live on 21 islands (and remember the WHOLE country was 313 square miles, or 811 square kilometers). Most of the recent problems have been the density of the population, and there is significant concern about the impact of overcrowding and unsustainable development.
"...Rapid urban population growth, overcrowding and unsustainable development are taking their toll, particularly in South Tarawa where half the population lives. Population density is 2,558 persons per square kilometre. There are serious problems with potable water, sewerage and waste disposal, coastal erosion, over-fishing and health issues. Forty percent of the population is aged under 15, and the population is expected to double in the next 20 years, exacerbating these problems..."
Amazing that global warming wasn't mentioned there.
Looks like there's more danger of overpopulation than from sea level rise.
And, since "rapid" sea rise was mentioned, what does the data say?
Well, according to this NASA release, the island nation of Kirabati got a break:
"...While the rise of the global ocean has been remarkably steady for most of this time, every once in a while, sea level rise hits a speed bump. This past year, it's been more like a pothole: between last summer and this one, global sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter..."
Strange. Have temps suddenly dropped? If the drastically rising temps are still going on, why would sea level drop?
Perhaps there's a physical reason for sea level rise.
Next post, we'll look at global water shortages. On a planet that is 71.11 percent water, we'll discuss water shortages.
Added to keep the link:
Updated: 5:08 AM GMT on April 29, 2012
By: hcubed, 12:15 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
As I said in the last post, the level of 350ppm is (according to scientists such as Bill McKibben), the upper safe level of this GHG.
Dr Masters talks abut the recent nor-easter, and talks about late season snowfall in general.
He also links to a post by weather historian Christopher C. Burt, in which late season storms are mentioned.
So, from that post:
"...World-record Snowfalls During April
World Record 24-hour Snowfall at Silver Lake, Colorado
The greatest 24-hour snowfall officially measured in the world was the 75.8” that fell at Silver Lake, Colorado (in the mountains just west of Boulder) on April 14-15, 1921. The storm total was an amazing 95.0” over a 32½ hour period..."
*** Now the really important stuff. CO2 level then was at 303.7ppm. Weather that severe in April with lower levels than today. Strange, isn't it? ***
"...World-record Single Greatest Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada
The greatest single-storm snowfall on record in the world was 194” (over 16 feet!) that fell during a massive spring blizzard at the Sierra Nevada railway summit station of Norden over the four day period of April 20-23, 1880. Sacramento, California’s capital city, received a record two-day rainfall of 8.37” during this event..."
*** Again, looking at the data: CO2 levels in 1880 were at 290.8. CO2 for March 2012 was at 394.45, so that was 103.65ppm less than today. It's simply staggering that such severe weather can occur with such amazingly low levels of the most potent GHG ever, CO2.
There's one more, proving it's global:
"...World-record 19-hour Snowfall and European Record
Europe’s greatest 24-hour snowfall happened at Bessans in the French Alps on April 5-6, 1959 when 67.8” accumulated in just 19 hours (a world record for a 19 hour period)..."
*** Well, a little closer to present times, but still, in 1959, we were below the upper safe limit of CO2: 316.18.
I, for one, can't wait for the world to get back down below the magic level of 350ppm - thereby saving us from the extreme weather we've been seeing. Take me back to the severe weather of old...
Keeping this here for next update:
"...An unprecedented April heat wave brought a second day of sizzling temperatures to the Western U.S. yesterday, where temperatures ranging 20 - 30 degrees above normal have toppled numerous all-time April heat records. Nearly every weather station in the Inter-mountain West has broken, tied, or come within 1 - 2 °F of their all-time record April heat record since Sunday. Most notably, the 113°F measured at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California on Sunday, April 22 was tied for the hottest April temperature ever recorded in the U.S. According to wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt, the hottest reliable April temperature ever measured in the U.S. was 113°F in Parker, Arizona in 1898..."
CO2 level for yesterday's 113 degree reading, 394.45.
CO2 level for the 1898 113 degree reading, 294.9.
Just another example that weather happens, and heat (or snow) is not necessarily driven by higher levels of CO2. One end of the country, unprecedented levels of extreme snowfall, caused by CO2. The other end of the country had unprecedented levels of extreme heat - again, driven by unprecedented levels of CO2.
And yet, we've seen examples of the same extreme weather when CO2 was MUCH LOWER THAN TODAY.
Coonnect the dots. What do both yesterday's extreme heat and the 1898 extreme heat have in common? Not much. One was weather, the other CAGW.
Updated: 7:57 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
By: hcubed, 7:57 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
Several prominent climate scientists (such as 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben) have set a totally arbitrary level of 350ppm (the level they say the world must return to in order save us from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming).
So why the level of 350 (other than just a nice round number)?
Well, from 350.org themselves, we get this: "...350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide - measured in "Parts Per Million" in our atmosphere. 350 PPM - it's the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change..."
The upper safe limit. Wow. We're currently at 394.45ppm (March 2012). Same time last year, we were only 2.05ppm lower.
Seems like the world is well over the "safe" level of CO2 - we're all dead.
That's ok, though - they gave us an "out": "...We're like the patient that goes to the doctor and learns he's overweight, or his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he's at more risk for heart attack or stroke. The planet is in its danger zone because we've poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we're starting to see signs of real trouble: melting ice caps, rapidly spreading drought. We need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety..."
So there you have it. A scramble to get back to 350ppm.
According to the believers in CAGW, there is a "list" - that data that proves we're into the effects of CAGW.
Disappearing glacial ice
Shrinking Arctic ice
Persistent heat waves
Historic and catastrophic flooding
Rising sea levels
Unprecedented coral bleaching
...and so on...
So, according to the scientists, if the world gets back down to 350ppm, then all this stuff should automatically and magically reverse, saving the world.
Problem is, we've been over 350ppm (and back under) several times.
Look at the following values:
In May of 1986, we crossed the magic level for the first time. In April of 1987, we crossed it again. In January of 1988, we crossed it again. In November 1988, we crossed it again.
Each time, the earth survived the crossing of the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide.
So according to the scientists, sometime in that period from May 1986 (first time we went over 350), to October of 1988 (the last time we saw a level below 350ppm), we crossed the line, and since then, the world has been plagued with world-ending extreme weather events.
Except for one thing.
There were "world-ending" extreme weather events BEFORE we crossed the line - some of which occurred at CO2 levels well below the line.
One example would be the floods in Queensland Australia that occurred in 2010/2011. They had floods that were just as severe in 1893, and those were at a time when the CO2 was about 100ppm less than today (1893, 294.7 – today 394.45).
Or, look at the current record for extreme heat: Most consecutive days above 100 °F (37.8 °C): 160 days; Marble Bar, Western Australia from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924. This record occurred with the CO2 levels at about 304.5/304.9.
So how can activists insist that we return the world to the arbitrary value of 350ppm, when weather was just as extreme with lower levels?
We can use their own data against them.
Pick an event prior to May 1986, show the CO2 level for that year, and ask them how something that extreme happened with levels of CO2 BELOW the danger level.
Examine the Tri-State Tornado of Wednesday, March 18, 1925 (the deadliest tornado in U.S. history, 695 confirmed fatalities). CO2 level: 305.3.
Or the second-place holder, the The Great Natchez Tornado (Natchez, Mississippi, May 7, 1840, killed 317 people). CO2 level: unknown, but likely lower than the 285.2 shown for 1850.
So why the 350 level again?
To save the earth from extreme weather events.
Please, people - connect the dots...
Updated: 2:52 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
By: hcubed, 2:03 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
It seems that people (referred to as "counters") are always trying to find data that confirms their belief in climate change.
Any data that shows an extreme event, or that something is "not normal", fuels their anxiety.
So let's add more fuel.
One of the items on "the list" (those things that confirm CAGW) is the rapid rise of global temperatures.
So when you look at their premier temp record, GISStemp, you SHOULD see a constant rise in the anomaly - well, actually there should be a little variation, but still, the temps should be shooting up dramatically.
Looking at GISStemp records (GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index, base period: 1951-1980), we see that the month of March makes the 62nd straight month that the GLOBAL anomaly has failed to set a new record (in Jan 2007, .88C was recorded). This "record" is a tie with March of 2002.
So when the "record" of .88C was first set, it took 58 months just to TIE that record.
Not that it hasn't tried. In March of 2010, it came within .03C of tying the record. And even the unprecedented "Summer in March" left the GLOBAL anomaly at a staggering .42C BELOW the record.
As a review - the believers think that any extreme variation from "normal" is absolute proof that Climate Change is real.
So if a drastic rise would be considered "normal", and the anomaly HASN'T had a drastic rise since Jan 2007, that too could be seen as a confirmation that Climate Change is real, and that it's only gonna get worse - much worse.
Note - the above is taken from the LOTI (Land-Ocean Temperature Index) - which, according to GISS, provides a more realistic representation of the global mean trends.
If you use the DTs charts and data, it's also the 62nd straight month since the last GLOBAL record was set (January of 2007).
Maybe the "Summer in March" shows up better in the NH LOTI records.
Nope. Also shows 62 months since the record was set (again, Jan of 2007). Only this time, the "Summer in March" came in at a staggering .64C below the record.
It appears this "Summer in March" wasn't as bad as the heatwave in January, 2007.
Gotta look into how that was reported.
Just keeping the following here as a bookmark:
One example would be the floods in Queensland Australia that occurred in 2010/2011. They had floods that were just as severe in 1893, and those were at a time when the CO2 was about 100ppm less than today (1893, 294.7 – today 394.45).
So how can activists insist that we return the world to the arbitrary value of 350ppm, when weather was just as extreme with lower levels?
Use their own data.
Pick an event, show the CO2 level for that year, and ask them how something that extreme happened with such low levels of CO2.
350.org co-founder Bill McKibben
Updated: 5:14 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
By: hcubed, 5:13 PM GMT on April 15, 2012
The discussion about Global Warming/Climate Change and it's cause has been going on for a while now.
On the one side (the "believers"), are those who think that, while a single weather event cannot be tied to Climate Change, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events is prima facie evidence that man's burning of fossil fuels is the sole driver of those changes. And, if man doesn't drastically reduce their "obsession" with cheap energy, then global catastrophe will follow.
Why did I use "prima facie evidence" to describe the "believers" proof?
Definition: Evidence that (1) establishes a fact but is not a conclusive evidence of its existence, or (2) supports a judgment until contradictory evidence is produced in its rebuttal. Also called presumptive evidence.
As much as they keep bringing up the papers, there is still nothing in them that proves extreme weather events can be tied to the increase in CO2.
Scientists themselves use a statement "Correlation does not imply causation" - a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other (it can indicate possible causes or areas for further investigation; in other words, correlation is a hint).
The opposite belief, correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship. The fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "with this, therefore because of this") and false cause. It is a common fallacy in which it is assumed that because two things or events occur together, one must be the cause of the other.
So to them, Man burns fossil fuels = increased CO2 = every single extreme weather event.
Well, let's correct that slightly - every RECENT weather event.
Problem is, they won't narrow down the range of man's involvement any farther than "since the start of the industrial revolution" (some time after the late 1700's or early 1800's). Using that time period as a start gives them a lot of leeway.
So what about the other side? The "deniers"? I can't speak for all of them, but for me, I think that the Climate has always changed (and there's proof of that), and a single weather event cannot be tied either way to prove or disprove Climate Change.
It's true, there have been an increase in weather events, but those "believers" today tend to either forget or discount equally extreme weather events in the past.
For example, the Queensland Australia floods of 2010/2011, and again in 2012 - compared to the same areas in 1893 and 1974. Which ones were caused by man, and which by natural causes?
So that's the challenge. Give us a month, day and year that the effect of man's burning of fossil fuels overrode the natural drivers of weather. I'm sure there's enough evidence out there to nail down a date.
Tell me that the longest stretch of 100 degree weather in history was in a period of time that man had the greater effect on weather. And, as a side point, if the weather is supposed to get more extreme, explain why that long-standing record still has not been broken.
To get you started, here's the info: Most consecutive days above 100 °F (37.8 °C): 160 days; Marble Bar, Western Australia from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.
Driven by man, or driven by natural causes?
Updated: 4:14 AM GMT on April 16, 2012
By: hcubed, 6:59 PM GMT on April 12, 2012
Unfortunately, though, this extreme weather occured about 100 years ago.
It tells of weather leading up to a fateful night - April 14th 1912. Yes, we're talking about the Titanic‘s collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
It occured in an area that the crew wouldn’t expect icebergs, especially one large enough to sink them.
Now, also remember, in the last post, they said that there was a particulary bad heat wave in 1910 ('...A similar, though not as intense heat wave occurred in March 1910..."). Yet two years later, severe cold set in:
The 1912 United States cold wave (also called 1912 cold air outbreak) remains one of the coldest winters yet to occur over the northern United States.
January, 1912 was the coldest on record for Norfolk, NE, at -39°C and Pennsylvania State College weather station recorded -30°C on the night of January 11th. This was reinforced by a comment from a Canadian newspaper,
"...What made the winter of 1912 a record-breaker was not the absolute cold – 1934 was worse – but that it settled in quickly and stayed put..."
So it was a prolonged cold spell, a point confirmed by another source.
"...It started in December 1911 and continued into late February 1912. February and March continued the unrelenting freeze. Both months were unusually cold, and March was the coldest on record for many states in the Midwest and Northeast. Parts of North Dakota saw their coldest March readings to date. Some cities saw their coldest weather that winter since the Little Ice Age. 1912 itself was a very cold year..."
These conditions indicate a very deep prolonged outbreak of cold arctic air across central and eastern North America that became a blocking high pressure system. Yes, they had blocking highs back then, too. Persistence of the pattern resulted in severe weather or prolonged weather in other regions. All are characteristic of a Meridional Pattern of flow in the Circumpolar Vortex (Jet Stream).
In England, the general weather pattern was notable because of cool wet conditions;
"...The almost complete absence of summer weather and the frequent rains at almost all seasons have rendered 1912 memorable. The bad weather was more noticeable by contrast with the magnificent weather of 1911..."
All this confirms that a very deep northerly flow of cold arctic air persisted over eastern North America. This would drive cold Labrador Current water further south carrying the icebergs with it. The cold air reduced above water ablation of the icebergs. Confluence of the cold arctic water and warm tropical water make the region south of Newfoundland the foggiest region in the world. Conditions in 1912 enhanced the fog forming potential that further hampered the lookouts. This was the final event in a sequence of weather conditions that resulted in a terrible maritime disaster.
The phrase about "CAGW suspected"? Well, since it happened after the start of the industrial revolution, it HAD to be man's use of fossil fuels that drove a heat wave in 1910, "magnificent" weather in 1911 and an arctic blast in 1912. According to most climate scientists, there are no natural causes that can cause those extreme temperature swings in the weather.
And, for the Titanic, it was catastrophic.
By: hcubed, 3:01 PM GMT on April 11, 2012
Dr Masters wrote his usual numbers game for March. Not much about any cause, more about the "astonishing" values.
There was this, however:
"...Dr. Martin Hoerling of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder has posted a thorough analysis of the heat wave, which he calls, "Meteorological March Madness 2012". He explains that the event was probably a natural phenomenon, one that was predicted more than a month in advance by NOAA's long-range CFS model..."
*** Get that? PROBABLY a natural event. ***
"...A similar, though not as intense heat wave occurred in March 1910..."
*** And the current heat wave was not unprecedented, either. Dr Masters added a chart showing that Jul '36 was worse than this year, too. No doubt that both of those events are the result of Man's use of fossil fuels. ***
"...However, he notes that the approximate 0.5 - 1°C warming in the Ohio Valley/Midwest U.S. in recent decades--due to human-caused emission of heat trapping gases like carbon dioxide--has significantly increased the odds of major heat waves occurring..."
*** And THERE'S the obligatory reference to CAGW. Had to be in there, don't ya know? ***
"...He speculates that the odds of a 1-in-40 year heat wave in the Midwest may have increased by about 50% due to human-caused global warming, but that we really don't know how much global warming may have increased the odds of the March 2012 heat wave, saying "This issue of estimating reliable statistics of extreme, rare events continues to be a matter of active research."
He estimates that human-caused global warming likely increased the intensity of the March 12 - 23, 2012 heat wave by about 5 - 10%, and concludes by saying, "The probability of heatwaves is growing as [human-caused] warming continues to progress. But there is always the randomness."..."
*** So I guess he's saying that this heatwave was made worse by HCEHTG (human-caused emission of heat trapping gases, since they like acronyms so much) and the ones in the past were just plain old weather. ***
Just think: it's gonna get worse - much worse.
By: hcubed, 8:38 PM GMT on April 09, 2012
So the beginning of the new month usually means that the last month's "records" are posted.
So let's see how the press (and selected blogs) covered March.
First, CNN: "...March 2012 will go down as the warmest March in the United States since record-keeping began in 1895, NOAA said Monday..."
*** Credit to CNN, for reminding us that the record-keeping period only covers the last 117 years. It could have been warmer prior to 1895, but there's no record of that. ***
"...In addition, the three-month period of January, February and March was the warmest first quarter ever recorded in the Lower 48 states. The average was 42 degrees Fahrenheit, a whopping 6 degrees above the long-term average..."
*** Interesting term, there - Lower 48. That means they've mistakenly only allowed a period from 1912 to today (Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, and it achieved statehood on February 14, 1912).
It also means they've not included Alaska and Hawaii into the grouping. Must not have been warmer there.***
"...A staggering 15,292 warm temperature records were broken, (7,755 record highs and 7,517 record high overnight lows), according to Chris Vaccaro, spokesperson for NOAA. "That's tremendously excessive. The scope and the scale of warmth was really unprecedented, Vaccaro said.
A persistent weather pattern during the month of March led to 25 states east of the Rockies having their warmest March on record, NOAA said. That same pattern was responsible for cooler-than-average conditions in the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California, they said.
The warm temperatures also contributed to conditions that were favorable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. There were 223 preliminary tornado reports during March, a month that averages 80 tornadoes, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. The majority of these tornadoes occurred during a severe weather outbreak across the Ohio River Valley and Southeast in early March. The outbreak caused 40 deaths and total losses of $1.5 billion, making it the first billion-dollar disaster of 2012..."
*** See how they've already started the count? They're really hoping that the world has a more severe year than last year (an unprecedented 14 billion-dollar disasters), just to say they told us so. Personally, I'm hoping for a quiet rest of the year. Just to watch them scramble.
UPDATE: Dr Master's entry shows the counters are already comparing this year to last: "...In 2011, we already had two billion-dollar weather-related disasters by the first week of April, so we are behind last year's pace..." Didn't think it was a race.
Also, a list that Dr Masters presents shows the disasters from Jan-Mar 2012. On that list is the deadliest event so far this year - 824 people died because of WINTER WEATHER in central Europe (Jan 24 - Feb 17). Unfortunately, it wasn't a billion dollar event, so it will probably move down the list.
"...Short-term weather patterns such as the one that affected the United States are poor indicators of global climate trends, however. Parts of the world, most notably Eastern Europe, experienced below-average to extreme cold temperatures this winter..."
Wow. For CNN to actually admit what some climate scientists won't is truly amazing (unprecedented, that is). The consensus says that EVERY pattern (short term and long term) is a strong indicator of CAGW.
So that's the first article. Soon, the rest will join in.
Updated: 11:51 AM GMT on April 10, 2012
By: hcubed, 1:39 AM GMT on April 09, 2012
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/06/n asa-scientist-climate-change?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETT XT9038
James Hansen, who has made millions as a NASA scientist, and has a history of being arrested for tresspassing, is about to be awarded another award.
As part of this award, they're going to allow him to speak. Bad move.
"...Averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a "great moral issue" on a par with slavery, according to the leading Nasa climate scientist Prof Jim Hansen.
He argues that storing up expensive and destructive consequences for society in future is an "injustice of one generation to others"..."
*** A moral issue equal to slavery. Wow. ***
Hansen, who will next Tuesday be awarded the prestigious Edinburgh Medal for his contribution to science, will also in his acceptance speech call for a worldwide tax on all carbon emissions.
In his lecture, Hansen will argue that the challenge facing future generations from climate change is so urgent that a flat-rate global tax is needed to force immediate cuts in fossil fuel use. Ahead of receiving the award – which has previously been given to Sir David Attenborough, the ecologist James Lovelock, and the economist Amartya Sen – Hansen told the Guardian that the latest climate models had shown the planet was on the brink of an emergency. He said humanity faces repeated natural disasters from extreme weather events which would affect large areas of the planet..."
*** Flat rate global carbon tax. Who enforces it, who determines the the rate, and who collects it? ***
"The situation we're creating for young people and future generations is that we're handing them a climate system which is potentially out of their control," he said. "We're in an emergency: you can see what's on the horizon over the next few decades with the effects it will have on ecosystems, sea level and species extinction."
Now 70, Hansen is regarded as one of the most influential figures in climate science; the creator of one of the first global climate models, his pioneering role in warning about global warming is frequently cited by climate campaigners such as former US vice president Al Gore and in earlier science prizes, including the $1m Dan David prize. He has been arrested more than once for his role in protests against coal energy..."
*** Good. Mentioned his past law-breaking history. Makes him believable. ***
"...Hansen will argue in his lecture that current generations have an over-riding moral duty to their children and grandchildren to take immediate action. Describing this as an issue of inter-generational justice on a par with ending slavery, Hansen said: "Our parents didn't know that they were causing a problem for future generations but we can only pretend we don't know because the science is now crystal clear.
"We understand the carbon cycle: the CO2 we put in the air will stay in surface reservoirs and won't go back into the solid earth for millennia. What the Earth's history tells us is that there's a limit on how much we can put in the air without guaranteeing disastrous consequences for future generations. We cannot pretend that we did not know."
Hansen said his proposal for a global carbon tax was based on the latest analysis of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and their impact on global temperatures and weather patterns. He has co-authored a scientific paper with 17 other experts, including climate scientists, biologists and economists, which calls for an immediate 6% annual cut in CO2 emissions, and a substantial growth in global forest cover, to avoid catastrophic climate change by the end of the century.
The paper, which has passed peer review and is in the final stages of publication by the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argues that a global levy on fossil fuels is the strongest tool for forcing energy firms and consumers to switch quickly to zero carbon and green energy sources. In larger countries, that would include nuclear power..."
*** Hear that, China? Stop your building of coal plants and switch over to nuclear, or be FORCED to switch. Good luck having them go along willingly. ***
"...Under this proposal, the carbon levy would increase year on year, with the tax income paid directly back to the public as a dividend, shared equally, rather than put into government coffers..."
*** Taxes collected going back to the GLOBAL community? Without gov't being involved? Right. ***
"...Because the tax would greatly increase the cost of fossil fuel energy, consumers relying on green or low carbon sources of power would benefit the most as this dividend would come on top of cheaper fuel bills. It would promote a dramatic increase in the investment and development of low-carbon energy sources and technologies.
The very rich and most profligate energy users, people with several homes, or private jets and fuel-hungry cars, would also be forced into dramatically changing their energy use. In the new paper, Hansen, director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and his colleagues warn that failing to cut CO2 emissions by 6% now will mean that by 2022, the annual cuts would need to reach a more drastic level of 15% a year.
Had similar action been taken in 2005, when the Kyoto protocol on climate change came into force, the CO2 emission reductions would have been at a more manageable 3% a year. The target was to return CO2 levels in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, down from its current level of 392ppm. The paper, the "Scientific case for avoiding dangerous climate change to protect young people and nature", also argues that the challenge is growing because of the accelerating rush to find new, harder–to-reach sources of oil, gas and coal in the deep ocean, the Arctic and from shale gas reserves.
Hansen said current attempts to limit carbon emissions, particularly the European Union's emissions trading mechanism introduced under the Kyoto protocol which restricts how much CO2 an industry can emit before it has to pay a fee for higher emissions, were "completely ineffectual". Under the global carbon tax proposal, the mechanisms for controlling fossil fuel use would be taken out of the hands of individual states influenced by energy companies, and politicians anxious about winning elections.
"It can't be fixed by individual specific changes; it has to be an across-the-board rising fee on carbon emissions," said Hansen. "We can't simply say that there's a climate problem, and leave it to the politicians. They're so clearly under the influence of the fossil fuel industry that they're coming up with cockamamie solutions which aren't solutions. That is the bottom line."..."
By: hcubed, 9:02 AM GMT on April 08, 2012
Before the article about the record, a reminder from a climate scientist about what to expect from CAGW:
"...According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".
"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said..."
This pearl was given to us way back in March 2000.
So here we are, 12 years later, and now the news:
"...(CNN) -- While winter is a distant memory for most Americans, it continues unabated in Anchorage, Alaska -- where a new bout of precipitation this weekend helped the city break its record for seasonal snowfall, at more than 133 inches (3.38 meters).
Some 3.4 inches of snow -- and counting -- had fallen as of 4 p.m. (8 p.m. ET) Saturday in Anchorage, according to the National Weather Service.
That brought the seasonal total for the city to 133.6 inches -- breaking the record of 132.6 inches, set in 1954-1955.
And with snow continuing to fall into early Sunday morning, the figure promises to get even larger.
"Okay...now the records broken, could you please make the snow go away??!!" wrote one commenter of the Facebook page of the weather service's Alaska division.
Another said, "Oh, it's not chilly. I'm wearing a tee-shirt and shorts while cooking outside and enjoying this beautiful springtime weather @ 35 degrees."
While snow is nothing new to Alaskans, this year's record haul in Anchorage is notable given that the average seasonal snowfall is 74.5 inches.
And it's also striking considering that, elsewhere in the United States, this past winter was known more for its warmth than its white stuff.
Across the United States, the 2011-2012 winter season was the fourth warmest ever recorded, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
The agency's report, issued in March, found that a relative dearth of snow throughout the contiguous United States contributed to snow cover levels in North America being the fourth lowest since such records were first kept.
Still, as much as Anchorage residents can revel in being standouts when it comes to snow in their country, they hardly merit top billing in their own state.
Other record-setters in the state include Haines, a community about 92 miles north of Juneau that saw about 360 inches of snow for the 2011-2012 season -- smashing the previous record of 309 inches set five years ago, according to the weather service..."
So, let's count. Average snowfall, 74.5 inches. Snowfall to date in Anchorage, 133.6 inches - an unprecedented 59.1 inches ABOVE average.
And, as they mentioned, the city of Haynes broke a record too. They went an unprecedented 51 inches above their old record - one set only five years ago.
That new record stands at an unprecedented 360 inches of snow. 30 feet of snow.
Sounds like extreme weather to me - the kind that CAGW predicts. The kind of severe weather that Dr Viner was warning us about.
But it's obvious that Dr David Viner wasn't talking about ALASKAN children 12 years ago. They definitely know what snow is this year.
By: hcubed, 7:18 PM GMT on April 05, 2012
First, from one of the experts:
"...Expect one of the quietest Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995 this year, say the hurricane forecasting team of Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU) in their latest seasonal forecast issued April 4. They call for an Atlantic hurricane season with below-average activity: 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The 2012 forecast calls for a below-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (24% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (24% chance, 30% chance is average). The Caribbean is forecast to have a 34% chance of seeing at least one major hurricane (42% is average.) Four years with similar pre-season March atmospheric and oceanic conditions were selected as "analogue" years that the 2012 hurricane season may resemble: 2009, 2001, 1965, and 1957. These years all had neutral to El Niño conditions during hurricane season. The average activity for these years was 9.5 named storms, 4.8 hurricanes, and 2.3 major hurricanes..."
Along with this, there's the analysis from Dr Ryan Maue, with his study of the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) that shows a low level of hurricane frequency and strength for the past two calendar years ("...a total of 146 global tropical cyclones, the lowest 2-year total in records since at least 1970. In the past 24-months, including ongoing Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone activity, there have been a total of 141 global tropical storms. This is also a record low...")
On the other side, there are those who have said that CAGW would cause hurricanes to become stronger and more frequent, using nothing more that a "model" output.
From RealClimate "...In the particular simulation shown above, the frequency of the strongest (category 5) hurricanes roughly triples in the anthropogenic climate change scenario relative to the control. This suggests that hurricanes may indeed become more destructive as tropical SSTs warm due to anthropogenic impacts..." (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200 5/09/hurricanes-and-global-warming/)
That one was written in 2005. In 2007, they changed up - "...what we said then still holds. Individual hurricanes cannot be attributed to global warming, but the statistics of hurricanes, in particular the maximum intensities attained by storms, may indeed be..."
If INCREASED hurricane frequency and strength is forecast as a result of CAGW, then how is a DECREASED frequency and strength handled in the model?
In 2006, the International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones-VI was held, and stated (among other things):
"...Though there is evidence both for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate record to date, no firm conclusion can be made on this point.
Although recent climate model simulations project a decrease or no change in global tropical cyclone numbers in a warmer climate, there is low confidence in this projection. In addition, it is unknown how tropical cyclone tracks or areas of impact will change in the future..." (http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G3.html)
It seemed that some models were predicting exactly what we're seeing now - that there would be a decrease in storms. They gave that a "low confidence" of actually happening. Why aren't they proclaiming the accuracy of THAT model?
Still, several sources seem to state the same thing - there is no measurable increased trend in hurricane intensity and strength, as far as CAGW is concerned.
But that won't stop the counters. Expect each and every hurricane this year to be listed as the most distructive/costliest/deadliest ever, adding to the list of "weird weather" for the year.
And, if we're lucky again and have no mainland landfalls, they'll use the lack of activity as a sign from above that we've altered our weather forever. Remember, CAGW predicts BOTH more frequent and stronger storms, as well as less frequent and weaker storms.
By: hcubed, 4:31 AM GMT on April 03, 2012
"...Solar Trust of America files bankruptcy
Mon Apr 2, 2012 3:52pm EDT
(Reuters) - Solar Trust of America LLC, which holds the development rights for the world's largest solar power project, on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany.
The Oakland-based company has held rights for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the Southern California desert, which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project.
Solar Trust said it ran short of liquidity after Solar Millennium AG (S2MG.DE), which holds a 70 percent stake, sought court protection in December.
Solar Millennium then tried to sell that stake to solarhybrid AG (SHLG.DE), but that transaction collapsed when solarhybrid also sought court protection in Germany.
Edward Kleinschmidt, Solar Trust of America's chief operating officer, in a court filing said the company has already missed two quarterly rent payments on the Blythe project, and cannot make several other payments due imminently.
He said NextEra Energy Resources LLC has committed to provide some financing and "expressed an interest" in serving as an initial bidder for some assets.
Ferrostaal AG owns the other 30 percent of Solar Trust of America but does not provide financial help, Kleinschmidt said.
Solar Trust of America and several affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. It estimated to have as much as $10 million of assets, and between $50 million and $100 million of liabilities.
Blythe is about 220 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
"We have been working with Solar Trust of America for a couple of years in getting this project going," David Lane, Blythe's city manager, said in an interview. "Although the project is not in the city limits, we are the only city within 100 miles. My sense is that with the large investment in what was to have been the world's largest solar power plant, someone somewhere will buy it and build it."
Separately, Solar Millennium said it has been sued by former Chief Executive Utz Claassen over public statements by company representatives that he claims have damaged his reputation and left him unable to find a job. Solar Millennium said the lawsuit would not directly affect its insolvency proceedings.
The case is In re: Solar Trust of America LLC et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 12-11136..."
*** According to other sources (WSJ), "...the company filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday, the day after it was scheduled to make a $1 million rent payment to the U.S. Department of Interior for the acreage..."
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).