Tag Archives: global warming

New research using arctic temperature data shows “warming pause” is/was not real

A newly published study indicates that the recently claimed “pause” or “slowdown” in global warming is simply an artifact of inadequate sampling of arctic temperatures. Correction of this deficiency in data shows that warming has not paused.

Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends
by Kevin Cowtan and Robert G. Way

A learned discussion of the paper and its implications can be seen at Real Climate:

Cowtan and Way apply their method to the HadCRUT4 data, which are state-of-the-art except for their treatment of data gaps. For 1997-2012 these data show a relatively small warming trend of only 0.05 °C per decade – which has often been misleadingly called a “warming pause”. The new IPCC report writes:

Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).

But after filling the data gaps this trend is 0.12 °C per decade and thus exactly equal to the long-term trend mentioned by the IPCC.

Cowtan

The corrected data (bold lines) are shown in the graph compared to the uncorrected ones (thin lines). The temperatures of the last three years have become a little warmer, the year 1998 a little cooler.

The authors write in their introduction:

While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change.

This is all too true. A media analysis has shown that at least in the U.S., about half of all reports about the new IPCC report mention the issue of a “warming pause”….
The public debate about the alleged “warming pause” was misguided from the outset, because far too much was read into a cherry-picked short-term trend. Now this debate has become completely baseless, because the trend of the last 15 or 16 years is nothing unusual – even despite the record El Niño year at the beginning of the period. It is still a quarter less than the warming trend since 1980, which is 0.16 °C per decade. But that’s not surprising when one starts with an extreme El Niño and ends with persistent La Niña conditions, and is also running through a particularly deep and prolonged solar minimum in the second half.

The physics and the math aren’t changing. The ice in our cold drink is melting. We can see it.
But we keep plunging towards catastrophe.

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The mercury is rising….no, well, yes, … I mean toxic mercury levels in the environment

We knew there was a reason not to live in New Jersey

We knew there was a reason not to live in New Jersey

Yes, it’s getting hotter. And we are doing that to ourselves with fossil fuel burning with resultant emission of carbon dioxide. But the extraction and use of minerals/fossil fuels (particularly coal) also results in the emission and accumulation of toxic mercury in the air, land and water that surround us, and according to research by scientists at Harvard University, things are getting worse. It gets into our food, and into us, and into our brains and hearts. The EPA should come down harder on mercury emitters. Because the Republicans are just trying to make it worse.

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Keystone XL Pipeline opens the eyes of conservative midwesterners

“Republicans could give a rats ass about the people out here.”


The proposed XL pipeline is a giant toxic Love Canal across America’s heartland. The Canadian corporation that wants to build it is bullying landowners in its path, threatening the use of condemnation proceedings, and the sheeple aren’t taking it lying down:

The effect of it today is to place people like Randy Thompson on an unfamiliar side of the divide between conservatives and environmentalists; and business and liberal political activists. He even testified this month against TransCanada as a witness for Henry Waxman’s minority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I’m a little ashamed to say that maybe if it hadn’t come across our land, I wouldn’t have gotten involved,” he told me. “I’ve gained a great deal of respect for people who do care about our environment I’ve become much more aware of environmental issues. I have to admire them for being concerned about our environment.”

“Republicans,” he said, by contrast, “could give a rats ass about the people out here.”

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Texas/Oklahoma Heat/Drought

July in Oklahoma was the hottest month in any state, ever.
http://www.newser.com/article/d9p0641o1/fourth-hottest-july-on-record-as-oklahoma-sets-national-record-texas-has-hottest-july-ever.html
I hope Senator Inhofe is staying cool, while citizens of his state drop over dead (9 confirmed, 7 more yet to be confirmed http://m.newsok.com/death-toll-from-oklahoma-heat-reaches-nine/article/3589347?custom_click=pod_headline_health while others watch their farms and ranches wither and die. Haven’t heard anything from the Senator lately. Oh, wait… Here he is raving about the EPA trying to stop climate change: http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/inhofe-epa-china-india/2011/07/24/id/404677

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Leaf blowers, again

leaf%20blow%201Yesterday, while riding my bike, I saw two people dealing with fall leaves. The first was a middle aged man in Mountain View, blowing madly away at leaves in his driveway, blowing them out into the street with a noisy gasoline-driven blower. I suppose then the neighbors will blow them back the next day.

The second person was a middle aged woman in Palo Alto, which prohibits gas blowers; she was suctioning up the leaves with an electric shop vacuum, rolling along on casters, to put them in her recycling bin.

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Hail cannons, lightning rods, elephant repellents, and Texas schools

hail cannon

“What’s the white powder you put on your lawn every week, neighbor?”
“Elephant repellent…works pretty well, doesn’t it?”

I just heard about the hail cannon… a 20-foot tube/sound chamber that makes a huge bang every four seconds, supposedly disrupting hail formation in the sky above. Costs 50,000 bucks…and of course you need a radar system to detect suspicious clouds, and additional cannons every 750 feet or so, and a computer system to control it all, plus the expendables, maintenance, etc…
hail-cannon old
These monstrosities were invented a couple hundred years ago, and are better suited to defending castles a la Monty Python than to preventing hail…there is no scientific basis for them, and no proof that they do anything but enrich those who manufacture and market them. Billy Mays wouldn’t even have touched them. Yet there is an active and even thriving hail cannon industry, in the US and abroad.

A comment:
Anti-science forces in our society, paid for by large multinational corporations interested in preserving profits, have succeeded in slowing our response to tobacco toxicity and global warming/climate change. Smaller business ventures (and politicians and religions) have also traded on ignorance, fear, superstition, and the psychology of uncommon events to “sell” us costly, irrational and often dangerous “products” which supposedly “prevent” rare but calamitous events. The lightning rod immediately comes to mind: a simple yet costly device, somewhat dangerous to install and maintain, which is completely unnecessary for most homes, would likely not work anyway, and may even attract lightning. Yet, the “prudent” sucker purchaser can rightly claim that since the installation of this item, no lightning has struck his home, wrongly attributing that to the rods. In logic, post hoc, ergo propter hoc. If lightning does strike, inevitably some problem will be found with the installation or maintenance, excusing the failure, and reinforcing the need to “upgrade” to an even more expensive product. See Herman Melville, The Lightning Rod Man”:

“Of life-and-death use. But my workman was heedless. In fitting the rod at top to the steeple, he allowed a part of the metal to graze the tin sheeting. Hence the accident. Not my fault, but his.

The propagation of ignorance, as opposed to the dissemination of knowledge, is today a burgeoning activity and a profitable industry. At Stanford University, Prof. Robert Proctor has dubbed it “agnotology” and made it the subject of his research:

A prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance cited by Proctor is the tobacco industry’s conspiracy to manufacture doubt about the cancer risks of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty. Some of the root causes for culturally-induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.
link

failpunt
How do Texas schools fit in? it seems that Texas may allow their high school students to accumulate 4 credits in sports, out of the 26 required for graduation. This would be a 100% increase from the previous athletic allowance of 2 credits. Yeah, that should help.

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Deep water wind farms promise renewable energy for Pacific Coast

wind
Offshore wind power is a great renewable resource which is already being tapped successfully in relatively shallow water areas. Much of our population is near oceans, so these installations minimize transmission losses. The Pacific coast, however, becomes deeper much more quickly than other areas of the world, creating mooring problems for offshore wind installations, particularly if there are objections to the turbines being visible from shore.

Someday decades from now, California’s sprawling coastal cities could draw their power from floating windmills that bob on the sea like buoys, far from shore.

Their blades would spin over deep ocean water, turning in winds that are steadier and stronger than they are on land. Undersea cables would send their electricity to shore.

This kind of floating windmill has not yet been deployed en masse. But a model of one sits in the Berkeley office of Principle Power, one of several companies trying to tap the powerful winds at sea.

Principle has signed agreements with utilities to test its device, called the WindFloat, off the coasts of Oregon and Portugal. Three connected canisters filled with ballast water will support a wind turbine, with cables mooring the entire device to the seabed.

link

Great animation here.

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