Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Global Warming Skeptic Loses Bet

Image
A few months ago someone and I had a discussion about Arctic Sea ice.  He was claiming that the Arctic ice coming back but I argued there was no reversal in trend.    At that time the plot of sea ice was


The that person was arguing that the 2014 uptick was part of a reversal beginning in 2010.   My argument was based on my background in finance where there was no one I know would make a bet that the trend was reversing on that data.  Well new data is out and it shows he would have certainly lost his bet.



The vertical scales are different in to the two graphs, but the conclusions are clear, the Arctic Sea ice has further declined.  There is no pause, no reversal in the underlying trend.  The bet is lost.

Global warming deniers seem to be able to supply endless reasons why global warming isn't happening, but in my view they need to explain the loss of Arctic ice or nothing else they are saying matters.  The deniers are at a disadvantage.  They may find a piece of evidence here or an…

What Is Really Going On

This post was inadvertently posted here and has now been moved to the appropriate blog.

Norway wants to give Finland a Mountain Peak

When has a country voluntarily given another country a piece of its territory?  Well, now, not never.

I am mostly Norwegian, and certainly is a large part of my kids and grandkids.  Well, I'm proud of my heritage today.  One problem Finland has is that most of the one mountain in their country is in Norway.  Well, Norway wants to give that mountain to Finland as a 100th birthdaypresent.
A group of Norwegians has launched a campaign to shift their country's border by 200 metres to bring the peak of the Halti mountain into Finnish territory as a gift to their mountain-deprived neighbour for the 100th anniversary of its independence. I'm all for it.

World Civil Disobedience Campaign -- "Break Free From Fossil Fuels"

Climate Activists Announce Global Campaign of Civil Disobedience to "Break Free From Fossil Fuels"
Climate justice and environmental campaigners announced plans today at COP21 in Paris to escalate the number of non-violent civil disobedience actions against fossil fuel projects over the next year. The groups are planning a concentrated week of global actions in May of 2016. So far, events are being planned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. Additional countries under consideration include Ecuador, India, and the UK. The organizing website is breakfree2016.org
May 2016: We’re mobilising to shut down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions. Actions are being planned at locations all over the world, and plans are coming together quickly — be a part of it from the very beginning.
You can go there and sign up for updates and to find out …

The Global Warming Hiatus

Ted Cruz invited a conservative radio host to testify about climate change.  As one of the members of that Committee, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), noted,  
“The only thing that requires a serious scientific investigation is why we are holding today’s hearing in the first place,”  Why indeed is a radio host testifying on climate change?  At an earlier convocation of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Cruz pressed upon the President of the Sierra Club about the evidence for a hiatus, i.e., no change in global temperatures over an 18 year period.  Mr. Mair is not a climate scientists, but Sen. Cruz took that opportunity to press for the conclusion of a hiatus on essentially a defenseless man without the scientific background to counter Sen. Cruz's conclusion.

Sen. Cruz is almost certainly getting his information from a blog publication by the 3rd Viscount Brenchley, a British public speaker and hereditary peer. that is someone with no training whatsoever in sta…

"GOP Resembles Soviet Dictatorship"

 From the Washington Post Editor, Fred Hiatt:
What is the reason for “the know-nothingism of today’s Republicans”? Hiatt offers a partial explanation: “Some of them see scientists as part of a left-wing cabal; many of them doubt government’s ability to do anything, let alone something as big as redirecting the economy’s energy use.” But he misses a key element — namely the deafening echo chamber of the right wing’s media and think tanks. As David Brooks — who is often, but not always, part of that echo chamber — explained last week, on the climate change issue: [T]he G.O.P. has come to resemble a Soviet dictatorship — a vast majority of Republican politicians can’t publicly say what they know about the truth of climate change because they’re afraid the thought police will knock on their door and drag them off to an AM radio interrogation. To understand how dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change, compare its stance to that of ExxonMobil. No one would conf…

Global Warming Debate

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser as a salvo in the debate about global warming.  Twelve scientists responded at ClimateFeedBack.Org in great detail.  It is very worthwhile reading the discussion.  The main issues are in common with all published denials of global warming, cherry picking.  For example, they mention the finding that East Antarctica is gaining in ice, an issue about which I've posted.  But they neglect to mention that something different is happening in West Antarctica, not to mention just about everywhere else there is land ice.
   The claim that Antarctic ice is increasing is based on an isolated paper that has numerous uncertainties associated with it and is contradicted by many other observations. But more importantly, everywhere on Earth, it is clear we are losing ice and that we have likely already entered a period of major ice shelf retreat, with no mechanisms in sight to stop this retreat over the next hundreds to tho…

How Much Does Eating Meat Contribute To Global Warming?

Image
How much does animal agriculture and eating meat contribute to global warming?

Vegetarians are using the threat of global warming to push their cause.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, livestock farming contributes more to global warming than total worldwide transportation. Nevertheless, this is still consistently ignored in the majority of discussions about climate.  It is true that the meat in our diet is contributing to global warming, but how alarmed should we be?  Are there going to be dire consequences if we don't all go vegetarian?

First, while it's true that livestock farming contributes more than transportation, transportation itself is a small part of the whole.  By far the greatest contribution is energy and heating.  For example, here in the United States it contributes only 6.2%:



So it's an exaggeration to claim, as some vegetarians do, that we have to avoid all meat in our diets. But it is true that an overall pl…

Bad News For The Planet

Image
I've discussed the El Nino on numerous occasions, here, here, here, and here, among others.  It is what is called an anomaly because it is not directly related to global warming, that is, it's warming effects are on top of the secular trend caused by the increasing concentration of CO2 in the biosphere. El Nino has a partner, La Nina, which is a cool side of the ENSO.  Together they raise and lower the global temperature on top of the secular trend.  That would all be ok, but it turns out that El Nino and La Nina are being affected by the global warming.  They are heating up so El Nino is adding more heat each time, and the La Nina is cooling less.

The World Meteorological Organization has came out with a new report, described here, showing this happening:



2011-2015 “have been the warmest five-year period on record, with many extreme weather events – especially heatwaves – influenced by climate change.”2015 is set to be the hottest year on record by far, with the highest ocean …

GMO's Will Eliminate Malaria

Corporations, because of course they can, take advantage of the amazing new science of genetically modified organisms.  It may not be clear that what they're doing with GMO's will benefit humanity in the long run, because of course there's no necessary connection between the generation of wealth and doing well for the human race.

But that is no reason to forbid any research on GMO's because other people and other groups can and will produce advances with the potential to prevent human tragedy. And one such tragedy are the millions of people, mostly children, who die of malaria.

And this is why I'm opposed to labelling GMO food.  It's not that I think people should not know more about where their food comes from, but an unfortunate side effect of labelling will be a panic, an hysteria, created among people, that will shut down all research on GMO's. And that would be a tragedy far exceeding any occurring from corporate research.  And the failure of GMO resea…

$10,000 Reward To Disprove Global Warming

Image
A physicist is offering $10,000 to anyone who can disprove "man-made global climate change".

A Physicist and author on global warming Dr. Christopher Keating has announced The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. Dr. Keating is putting up $10,000 of his own money to anyone who can disprove that man-made Global Warming is occurring.The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge!1. I will award $10,000 of my own money to anyone that can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made global climate change is not occurring;
2. There is no entry fee;
3. You must be 18 years old or older to enter;
4. Entries do not have to be original, they only need to be first;
5. I am the final judge of all entries but will provide my comments on why any entry fails to prove the point.  Here are 86 submissions to the challenge with Dr. Keating's responses.

The challenge was reported on The College Fix:
Dr. Christopher Keating posted “The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge!” on his bl…

Puget Sound Region’s Future Under Climate Change

The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington has issued a report on the future impact of climate change on the Puget Sound Region.
Ten UW authors contributed to the report, which draws on published papers, agency studies and regional adaptation efforts now taking place. This first major update since 2005 includes new topics such as sediment transport and landslides, more details on salmon impacts, ocean acidification and flooding, and more specifics about how different parts of the region will change.Co-authors are Joe CasolaRonda StrauchBeth Curry,Brittany JonesHarriet MorganTania Busch IsaksenRobert NorheimLara Whitely BinderMeade Krosby and Amy Snover, all at the UW.
Projected changes include:Average air temperatures in Puget Sound will rise by between 2.9 and 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2050s, for the most optimistic scenario of future greenhouse gas emissionsOcean levels will rise by 4 to 56 inches by 2100, with the latest predictions offering more sp…

Record Global October Temperatures

Image
It's hard for people living in the Northern Hemisphere to properly appreciate a record heat in the Southern Hemisphere, but nevertheless while it looks good for ski season to open by Thanksgiving here in the Pacific Northwest, the world as a whole is undergoing another record hot month:

Global Temperatures Continue To Surge In Record-Breaking October


This is partly due to the El Nino now sitting out in the Pacific, but El Nino's are themselves influenced by global warming so we can expect future El Nino's to continue to rise above the underlying trend in global temperatures.  And specifically, it appears that it will last through Spring bringing us record heat for March 2016.

The post cited here is authored by Joe Romm who has a new book out that I highly recommend for understanding what is happening to our planet.  Find a review here, and an opportunity to purchase the e-book or the paperback here.

Goodbye Miami, Goodbye New Orleans,

The authors of a newly published Science paper, Mouginot, et al., show that a Greenland ice shelf, Zacharia Isstrom, is melting at an accelerating rate due to ocean and atmospheric warming that just by itself will certainly raise sea levels by nearly two feet.  This will happen whether or not actions are taken to slow or stop global warming.

And it won't take long
The observations show that “the rates of early 21st-century [glacial] mass loss are without precedent on a global scale, at least for the time period observed and probably also for recorded history,” according to the study from the World Glacier Monitoring Service, based in Zurich. The study, published last week in the Journal of Galciology, looked at more than 5,000 measurements since 1850. The melting is speeding up. Glaciers are now losing mass twice as fast as they were in the period from 1901-1950, three times as fast as in the period from 1851-1900, and four times as fast as in the period from 1800-1850, the rese…

Global Warming Denial Propaganda

A recent paper by Swally, et al. was seized upon by global warming denier websites as proving that global warming was not happening.

MELTDOWN MYTH: Antarctic ice growing is just the first EVIDENCE global warming is NOT REALSo what is really happening?
 One thing that Zwally’s study does highlight is how difficult it is to nail what is happening in East Antarctica because the signal is small and contaminated by unwanted effects that are as large or even larger. Zwally et al get a different result from previous studies because they make a different set of assumptions. Those assumptions are, by their nature, subjective and difficult, without additional evidence, to corroborate. There are, however, other lines of evidence that suggest that Antarctica is unlikely to have been gaining mass in the last few decades. That would, for example, make closing the sea level budget a whole lot harder (that is, making the sum of the sinks and sources match the observed rate of sea level rise). One oth…

Young People Taking It To The Streets

Image
The Millennial generation is beginning to organize.  Young people have the most at stake and the greatest need to bring our leaders to the table and make some decisions about their future.  The movement is just starting, but it will become big as more and more young people begin to realize what their future will be like if nothing is done.  
A Thousand Youth Take To The Streets Demanding Justice On Race, Climate And Immigration WASHINGTON - One year out from the presidential election, nearly a thousand youth from across the country took to the streets of Washington, D.C. to demand that candidates and elected officials adopt an agenda that delivers racial, immigration and climate justice. College students and young people from across the country assembled early Monday morning in Franklin Square where they held a rally with speakers from immigration rights, social justice, and climate movements. The speakers shared personal stories about the impacts of climate change, racial inequality a…

Denying Global Warming

The essential characteristic of those who deny global warming is that they seem to be unable to see a larger picture.  Instead they seize on one event or phenomenon which proxies for their entire argument against global warming.  I have touched on this in the past.  For example, a friend of a friend decided that the arctic ice was coming back, and that of course that one occurrence negated all global warming.  Besides the fact that the overwhelming evidence for global warming does not rest upon that one issue, he was also wrong.

Of course they don't have to be wrong about one piece of evidence and then be right about there not being any global warming.  For example, some will point out that there's an expanding glacier in the Mt. St. Helens, but claiming that means there isn't any global warming ignores the fact that most glaciers in the world are rapidly melting.

Global warming deniers are characterized by an inability to weigh all of the evidence.  They seize upon some…

Six States Pondering A Carbon Fee

World leaders call for a carbon fee.  The IMF calls for a carbon fee.  And now States of the United States,
 Massachusetts joins five other states—Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington—with proposed legislation exploring this option for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Holding Off, For A Time, The Effects Of Global Warming

The increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is a serious problem, as I've posted manytimesbefore.  But there is another serious problem with CO2, its concentration in the ocean which is acidifying it.  The planet has experienced something like this before, at the Paleocene/Eocene boundary when ocean acidification produced the largest loss of sea life in the history of the planet.  And we are pouring a far larger quantity of CO2 into the oceans.

The effects of the acidification are already being felt here in Washington State.
But the die-offs he witnessed when he came to Whiskey Creek — a family-run hatchery owned by wife and husband duo Sue Cudd and Mark Wiegard — were different.
We had two awful years in a row.” Barton said. “And this is a small business, so that’s almost the end.” Whiskey Creek might be a small business, but it’s a crucial link in the $270 million Pacific shellfish industry. As the second-largest commercial shellfish hatchery on the West Coast, it prov…

CO2 Significantly Degrades Human Cognition

Image
Elevated CO2 Levels Directly Affect Human Cognition, New Harvard Study Shows In a landmark public health finding, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making. For most of human evolution history, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has varied between 180 and 240 parts per million.  A few months ago the concentration in our atmosphere has passed 400 and if nothing is done, it's heading for more than 900 parts per million.
They found that, on average, a typical participant’s cognitive scores dropped 21 percent with a 400 ppm increase in CO2. Here are their astonishing findings for four of the nine cognitive functions scored in a double-blind test of the impact of elevated CO2 levels: 



Vivian Loftness — University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture — one of the world’s leading experts on “Health, Productivity, and the Quality of the Built Environment,”…

Europe Turns Against the Science of GMO's.

With G.M.O. Policies, Europe Turns Against Science By the first week of October, 17 European countries — including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland — had used new European Union rules to announce bans on the cultivation of genetically modified crops These prohibitions expose the worrying reality of how far Europe has gone in setting itself against modern science.  In effect, the Continent is shutting [down] shop for an entire field of human scientific and technological endeavor. This is analogous to America’s declaring an automobile boycott in 1910, or Europe’s prohibiting the printing press in the 15th century.  And here is an example of what can happen
I have spent time with malnourished children in Tanzania whose families were going hungry because cassava crops were wiped out by brown-streak disease. That was particularly painful because in neighboring Uganda I had recently visited trial plots of genetically modified cassava that…

Strongest Pacific Hurricane Ever To Hit West Coast Of Mexico

Image
As everyone should know, there's a difference between weather and climate.  Weather includes a variety of events but they all occur in a climate.  It's just that it's difficult to draw conclusions about the climate from weather events.  It's like trying to understand all Americans from an experience with one guy you just met down the street.

Right now we have a category 5 hurricane with 200 mph winds, the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere headed for Puerto Vallarta.  Now is this just some extreme event that could be expected under any kind of climate, or is it extreme because of climate change?  It is certainly extreme.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Patricia would be “potentially catastrophic.” It is comparable in strength to Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in 2013.  The typhoon that hit the Philippines was truly catastrophic, 6300 people lost their lives, but for many Americans it didn't exist because it wasn't calle…

The Pacific Northwest: Climate Change Destination

I've pointed out before that the Pacific Northwest may become a climate change destination for possibly hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing uninhabitable areas.
The dominating impact on our region is going to be environmental immigration from all the other parts of this hemisphere that will become uninhabitable.  I believe we can expect tens or hundreds of millions of people swarming to either the Northwest or the Northeast escaping interminable droughts and floods.  This will likely become unmanageable at some point. Now other people are beginning to think about this:
Last summer, University of Washington atmospheric science professor Cliff Mass asked: “Will the Pacific Northwest be a climate refuge under global warming?” Later headlines read: “Climate refugees are coming to the Pacific Northwest” and “What do you get if you map coming climate disasters? Hello, Pacific Northwest.” When a New York Times article pondered where to go to ride out climate change, one expert said:…

World Leaders Call For Carbon Fee

As I've posted, here and here and here and here. the best, perhaps only, path to a habitable world is the imposition of a carbon fee.  The International Monetary Fund has called for one, and now the World Bank has weighed in,

[O]n Monday, the World Bank announced a high-level group, the Carbon Pricing Panel, which brings together heads of state, local leaders, and business executives. The luminaries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Philippines President Benigno Aquino III, and California Gov. Jerry Brown, are calling on policymakers and negotiators to use carbon pricing mechanisms, setting the stage for strengthening emissions reduction plans expected at the United Nations conference in December.

The Carbon fee is a way of solving a serious problem without government regulation.

“The only approach that would work is an across-the-board rising carbon fee covering every fossil fuel at the source — the first sale at the domestic mine or port of entry,” Jim Hansen, a leadin…