Annals of global warming: Arizona wildfires 2013 and “the new normal”

July 6, 2013

A burned home is seen in an unidentified neighborhood west of Highway 89 in Yarnell, Arizona July 3, 2013. Reuters

A burned home is seen in an unidentified neighborhood west of Highway 89 in Yarnell, Arizona July 3, 2013. Reuters, via International Business Times

From a much longer story you should read by Felicity Barringer and Kenneth Chang  in The New York Times, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, page A13 of the National Edition:

Since 1970, Arizona has warmed at a rate 0.72 degrees per decade, the fastest among the 50 states, based on an analysis of temperature data by Climate Central, an independent organization that researches and reports on climate. Even as the temperatures have leveled off in many places around the world in the past decade, the Southwest has continued to get hotter.

“The decade of 2001 to 2010 in Arizona was the hottest in both spring and the summer,” said Gregg Garfin, a professor of climate, natural resources and policy at the University of Arizona and the executive editor of a study examining the impact of climate change on the Southwest.

Warmer winters mean less snowfall. More of the winter precipitation falls as rain, which quickly flows away in streams instead of seeping deep underground.

The soils then dry out earlier and more quickly in May and June. “It’s the most arid time of year,” Dr. Garfin said. “It’s windy as well.”

The growing season also starts earlier, so there is more to burn.

“The fire season has lengthened substantially, by two months, over the last 30 years,” said Craig D. Allen, a research ecologist at the United States Geological Survey station at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.

The fire potential is exacerbated by the past policy, beginning around 1900, of putting out all fires. Fires are a natural way of clearing out the underbrush. With that natural rhythm disrupted, the flammable material piled up, so when it did catch fire, it ignited a giant fire that burned hotter and wider.

This total-suppression policy began to ease as early as the 1950s, when scientists began to see fire’s role in ecosystems. It was completely abandoned nearly two decades ago.

But in the 1970s, the Southwest entered a wet period, part of a climate cycle that repeats every 20 to 30 years. “That wet period helped keep a lid on fires,” Dr. Allen said. “And it also allowed the forests to fluff up.”

Since 1996, the climate pattern, known as the Pacific decadal oscillation, has swung to the dry end of the spectrum, and the region is caught in a long-term drought.

Stephen J. Pyne, one of the nation’s leading fire historians and a professor at Arizona State University, said, “How we live on the land, what we decide we put on public and private lands, how we do things and don’t do things on the land, changes its combustibility.”

In many landscapes, he added, “you’ve enhanced the natural combustibility” by building hundreds of thousands of homes in fire-prone areas, and for years suppressing natural fires, allowing a buildup of combustible materials like the “slash” debris left behind by logging.

The article explains how this is the dry phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation; so we can hope the wet phase will be wet enough to suppress fires.  However, the simple fact of additional effects brought on by PDO does not mean warming goes away when the PDO switches phases.  Note especially the lengthening fire season over three decades; incrementally, warming is making these well-known cycles, warmer, and too often, destructive or more destructive.

More: 

Sign welcoming visitors to Yarnell, Arizona:

Sign welcoming visitors to Yarnell, Arizona, with wildfire in the background: “Elevation 4,850 ft., ‘Where the desert breeze meets the mountain air.’” Sedonaeye.com image

 

English: Monthly values for the Pacific decada...

Monthly values for the Pacific decadal oscillation index, 1900 – 2010 Black line:121-month smooth Data source: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How about another cup of coffee? (Global Warming Conspiracy and Starbucks Cup #289)

June 19, 2013

Encore post from September 17, 2007, and August 2009 — maybe more appropriate today than ever before.

Found this on my coffee cup today (links added here):

The Way I See It #289

So-called “global warming” is just

a secret ploy by wacko tree-

huggers to make America energy

independent, clean our air and

water, improve the fuel efficiency

of our vehicles, kick-start

21st-century industries, and make

our cities safer and more livable.

Don’t let them get away with it!

Chip Giller
Founder of Grist.org, where
environmentally-minded people
gather online.

Starbucks Coffee Cup, The Way I See It #289 (global warming)

Look! Someone found the same cup I found!

I miss those old Starbucks cups — but then, they killed the Starbucks in our town.  I don’t buy the 100 cups of Starbucks coffee I used to get in a year.

More:


SkepticGate II: Fizzled assault on science

December 19, 2011

Skepticgate cartoon from the Houston Chronicle, 2009

This Anderson cartoon from the Houston Chronicle in 2009 gets the facts right, but sadly, is still accurate

Remember the pathetic, disgusting attempt to derail the climate talks in Durban, just a few days ago?  The “climate skeptics”™ dumped a bunch more private e-mails from the scientists who work on climate. (Stolen e-mails, here; be prepared to be bored, with no smoking guns, no cold guns, no guns at all.)

Unless one thinks the self-proclaimed skeptics are James Bond nemesis enough to actually hope for the end of the world (as opposed to just being monumentally, stupidly misled), their train still can’t get back on the tracks.  Revealing that someone among them has stolen more e-mails than previously known, didn’t help.  Here is a list of just how bad the derailment has been for the denialists:

  1. No great world-changing agreement, but the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, produced a consensus that a massive treaty is not coming soon, and that action to save the planet can’t wait for guys in suits who defer by people like Ralph Hall to do the right thing.  Generally, the comity at Durban is bad for the denialists — Christopher Monckton went into full panic mode, suggesting the language of the agreement available isn’t the whole story and something else — something sinister — is really going on.  (One wonders how Monckton can stand to turn out the lights at night.)  They can’t tell the difference between their burro and a burrow, and with Ralph Hall leading them they’re likely to find the edge of the cliff and leave it before they realize just how far up they are and how far they have to fall.  (Skeptic/denialist Judith Curry carried a rundown of headlines from Durban, with links — remember her bias.)
  2. British authorities raided the digs of a skeptic blogger, seizing his computer upon which he got the first round of stolen e-mails.  It’s unlikely the raidee is guilty of much beyond making the stolen stuff public (is that a crime in Britain?), but one hopes Britain’s crime fighters have access to cyber trackers who may be able to learn more from the signatures on the posts.  Searches have been noticed for other bloggers, including Jeff Id at the Air Vent, but warrants and actual searches haven’t taken place yet.
  3. One paper in climate science was officially retracted — alas for the denialists, it was one of theirs.  Plagiarism and rank error in the so-called Wegman Report to a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives prompted the call-back.  John Mashey’s gumshoe work in the libraries of academe lent a new shine to the word “scholarship.”  Republicans have yet to admit the paper’s errors.  (
  4. Texas Congressman Ralph Hall granted a rare interview, and spoke out about climate change.  He revealed that he doesn’t know much about one of the hottest issues facing the committee he chairs, and what little he knows, is wrong.  Cue the Kin Hubbard/Mick Jagger duet.
  5. Skeptics actually completed a research project and prepared it for publication.  A group at Berkeley, with funding from conservative warming denialists like the Koch brothers, and featuring the work and cooperation of leading anti-science people like Anthony Watts, took on the challenge of looking at temperatures reported from weather stations, especially in the U.S., and especially those Anthony Watts had targeted as providing unduly warm and inaccurate readings that skewed all of the science of global warming.  The not-loudly-mentioned target, of course, was the “hockey stick” graph.  Alas for the skeptics, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study produced results that verify the accuracy of measurements that show warming, and which suggest the IPCC-published hockey stick is accurate enough that it deserves credence.  Anthony Watts promptly disavowed all his own work on the project.
  6. Meanwhile, warming continued unabated by almost every measure.  Galileo could say:  Eppure, lei si scalda!

One question we need to be asking is why the incidents around the stolen e-mails are known as “Climategate” in the circles of warming denialists.  The thieves in this case came from the ranks of the so-called skeptics, and the release of the e-mails was done on the blogs of those who deny warming, or human causation, or human ability to mitigate at all.  (Fox News got it bass ackwards, of course — wondering whether the government is somehow complicit in hiding information, while all the information is public and almost all of the private communication is public.  At Fox, they don’t even get Homer Simpson doh! moments of understanding — that’s how bad it is in Denialville.)

Not climategate, but skepticgate -- follow the money cartoon

So far no one's listening to the bear on this one -- follow the money, and bring the criminals to justice.

It’s really SkepticGate, with a more-than two-year coverup and continuing, and the recent release is SkepticGate II.

Denialists, and even those who question global warming on legitimate grounds, must be frustrated.  Nothing they do stops the world from warming.  As the massive wave of evidence demonstrating the Earth warms and humans share the blame turns to a tsunami, even policy makers (Ralph Hall excepted) look for solutions to warming problems.  It’s so bad for the skeptics that even the old trick of stealing e-mails from the scientists, the trick that helped fog up the Copenhagen proceedings, did almost nothing to the Durban talks.  While no treaty came out, none was expected — but the sudden action in the last couple of days of the conference to get action despite the continued interference by climate skeptics  and their political allies, must have caught them off guard.

Now the cops are after them, too.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Cool KWAANZA, Ebullient Edwin Hubble Looking Up Day, Happy New Year!


Annals of global warming: Deja vu all over again (Tom Toles cartoon from 2004)

October 28, 2011

Events of the past two weeks, in the community of scientists and cargo scientists who fail to recognize global warming, sadly, were portrayed in this cartoon by Tom Toles. Whiplash realization moment: Toles’s cartoon is from 2004. (Yes, this is an encore post.)

Tom Toles cartoon on global warming inaction, from 2004

A Tom Toles cartoon from 2004

Insert a definition of “filibuster” here.

Then pray for action.

Then call your congressman, and him/her to act, now.

_____________

Note on Tom Toles from the Department of Earth Sciences, G-107 Environmental Geology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI): “A political cartoon from the Washington Post on climate change. Tom Toles, a political cartoonist, often pens cartoons on environmental issues. His cartoons are often reprinted in other newspapers (Washington Post/Universal Press Syndicate).”


Annals of Global Warming: Arctic ice at second lowest level ever measured

October 12, 2011

Two years ago warming denialists claimed the Earth is actually cooling, and they predicted dramatic cooling by late 2010.

Instead, warming continues, overcoming the temporary mediation caused by increased particulate and sulfate emissions from coal burned in uncontrolled fashion in China, as evidence by things like the continued shrinking of Arctic ice below 20th century averages.  See this press release from NASA:

RELEASE : 11-337 – October 4, 2011

 Arctic Sea Ice Continues Decline, Hits Second-Lowest Level

WASHINGTON — Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the summertime sea ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low.

The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and shrinks each summer as the sun rises higher in the northern sky. Each year the Arctic sea ice reaches its annual minimum extent in September. It hit a record low in 2007.

The near-record ice-melt followed higher-than-average summer temperatures, but without the unusual weather conditions that contributed to the extreme melt of 2007. “Atmospheric and oceanic conditions were not as conducive to ice loss this year, but the melt still neared 2007 levels,” said NSIDC scientist Walt Meier. “This probably reflects loss of multiyear ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas as well as other factors that are making the ice more vulnerable.”

Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said the continued low minimum sea ice levels fits into the large-scale decline pattern that scientists have watched unfold over the past three decades.

“The sea ice is not only declining, the pace of the decline is becoming more drastic,” Comiso said. “The older, thicker ice is declining faster than the rest, making for a more vulnerable perennial ice cover.”

While the sea ice extent did not dip below the 2007 record, the sea ice area as measured by the microwave radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite did drop slightly lower than 2007 levels for about 10 days in early September, Comiso said. Sea ice “area” differs from extent in that it equals the actual surface area covered by ice, while extent includes any area where ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean.

Arctic sea ice extent on Sept. 9, the lowest point this year, was 4.33 million square kilometers (1.67 million square miles). Averaged over the month of September, ice extent was 4.61 million square kilometers (1.78 million square miles). This places 2011 as the second lowest ice extent both for the daily minimum extent and the monthly average. Ice extent was 2.43 million square kilometers (938,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

This summer’s low ice extent continued the downward trend seen over the last 30 years, which scientists attribute largely to warming temperatures caused by climate change. Data show that Arctic sea ice has been declining both in extent and thickness. Since 1979, September Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 12 percent per decade.

“The oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic continues to decline, especially in the Beaufort Sea and the Canada Basin,” NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve said. “This appears to be an important driver for the low sea ice conditions over the past few summers.”

Climate models have suggested that the Arctic could lose almost all of its summer ice cover by 2100, but in recent years, ice extent has declined faster than the models predicted.

NASA monitors and studies changing sea ice conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a variety of spaceborne and airborne research capabilities. This month NASA resumes Operation IceBridge, a multi-year series of flights over sea ice and ice sheets at both poles. This fall’s campaign will be based out of Punta Arenas, Chile, and make flights over Antarctica.  NASA also continues work toward launching ICESat-2 in 2016, which will continue its predecessor’s crucial laser altimetry observations of ice cover from space.

To see a NASA data visualization of the 2011 Arctic sea ice minimum as measured by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) on Aqua, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-ice-min.html  [I have changed the link to one that works for me.]

Here is that visualization, presented by Cryosphere Program Manager, Tom Wagner:

On Sept. 9th, 2011, Arctic sea ice most likely hit its minimum extent for the year. On Sept. 20th, NASA’s Cryosphere Program Manager, Tom Wagner, shared his perspectives on the ice with television audiences across the country.

On the top of the world, a pulsing, shifting body of ice has profound effects on the weather and climate of the rest of the planet. Every winter as temperatures dip, sea ice freezes out of cold Arctic Ocean waters, and every summer the extent of that ice shrinks as warm ocean temperatures eat it away. Ice cover throughout the year can affect polar ecosystems, world-wide ocean currents, and even the heat budget of the Earth.

During the last 30 years we’ve been monitoring the ice with satellites, there has been a consistent downward trend, with less and less ice making it through the summer. The thickness of that ice has also diminished. In 2011 Arctic sea ice extent was its second smallest on record, opening up the fabled Northwest Passages and setting the stage for more years like this in the future. In this video, NASA’s Cryosphere Program Manager, Tom Wagner, shares his perspectives on the 2011 sea ice minimum.

More data and animation versions here, at Goddard Multimedia.

 


Republican bid to turn out the lights failed

July 12, 2011

Dan Weiss reports at Climate Progress that the attempt to kill energy conservation standards failed tonight.  It required a two-thirds vote from the House to suspend the rules to consider it (the bill did not go through normal legislative channels) — the bill failed.

You may want to read Steve Lacey’s earlier explanation of the bill there, too.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Tony Sidaway and his tweets.


Marxism from Republicans? Sad, but true . . .

July 12, 2011

. . .  Groucho Marxism.

(From Horsefeathers; longer version of entire scene, here.)

The U.S. House of Representatives scheduled a vote today to force light bulb manufacturers to keep manufacturing bulbs the market has rejected — Marxist socialism at its apex! — in order to overturn energy conservation standards signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007.

ThinkProgress explains:

Lately it seems that the House Republican leadership is against everything that isn’t pre-approved by Big Oil or the Tea Party. Perhaps the most outlandish example of this Groucho Marx approach to public policy is today’s vote on the BULB Act, H.R. 2417. It would repeal the energy efficiency standards for light bulbs established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, or EISA, P.L. 110-140. It would also prevent California from setting its own light bulb efficiency standards. The original author of the provision is House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI), who is now supporting the repeal of his own idea after conservatives attacked it along with other clean energy programs.

EISA, with Rep. Upton’s efficiency measure, passed the House in 2007 by a bipartisan vote of 319-100, with support from 49.7 percent of Republicans who voted and 98 percent of Democratic votes. President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Afterwards, Rep. Upton bragged in a press release, “Upton Measure to Upgrade Energy Efficiency Standards for all Light Bulbs Now Law” . . .

Mark Twain observed that it takes just one man of conscience to stand up to a mob and frustrate stupid mob action.  Fred Upton is not that man of conscience, alas.

Meanwhile, PopVox has a poll on the bill.  Go on over there and vote “no,” meaning you wish to keep the conservation standards.

Tip of the old scrub brush to ThinkProgress via Jennsmom.


Annals of global warming: Records from Mauna Loa show continuing rise in atmospheric CO2

March 26, 2011

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, NOAA photo, 1982, Cmdr. John Bortniak

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, from NOAA At the Ends of the Earth Collection, 1982 NOAA photo by Commander John Bortniak

John Adams observed, and Ronald Reagan was fond of quoting, “Facts are stubborn things . . .”

Here are the facts on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2):

 

Monthly CO2 levels since 1960, Mauna Loa Observatory (Scripps Inst of Oceanography)

Mauna Loa Observatory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (University of Calfornia-San Diego); CO2 concentrations in parts per million (ppm)

As described at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography site:

Description:
Monthly average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration versus time at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (20°N, 156°W) where CO2 concentration is in parts per million in the mole fraction (p.p.m.). The curve is a fit to the data based on a stiff spline plus a 4 harmonic fit to the seasonal cycle with a linear gain factor.

Data from Scripps CO2 Program.

For perspective, here’s a chart from Scripps that shows why there is concern over current levels of CO2:

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Resources, More:


Green Hell? Milloy slanders Ruckelshaus as “mass murderer”

March 10, 2011

This week, EPA bashing took front and center on the performance stage that passes as Congress these days.  There is a school of thought that thinks EPA should be eviscerated because EPA is carrying out the mandate an earlier Congress gave it, to clean up the air.  Especially, the recent assailants claim, EPA should not try to reduce carbon emissions, because clean air might cost something.

Steven Milloy, making stuff up and passing it as fact

Steven Milloy, who makes crude and false claims against William Ruckelshaus, a great lawyer and the hero of the Saturday Night Massacre. Why does Milloy carry such a pathetic grudge?

Wholly apart from the merits, or great lack of merits to those arguments, the anti-EPA crowd is just ugly.

78-year-old William Ruckelshaus, the Hero of the Saturday Night Massacre, a distinguished lawyer and businessman, and the founding Director of EPA who was called back to clean it up after the Reagan administration scandals, granted an interview on EPA bashing to Remapping Debate, an ambitious, independent blog from the Columbia School of Journalism designed to provide information essential to policy debates that too-often gets overlooked or buried.  [Remapping Debate sent a note that they are not affiliated with CSJ; my apologies for the error.]

Ruckelshaus, as always, gave gentlemanly answers to questions about playing politics with science, and bashing good, honest and diligent government workers as a method of political discourse.

Steven Milloy, one of the great carbuncles on the face of climate debate or any science issue, assaulted Ruckelshaus at Milloy’s angry, bitter blog, Green Hell.  Milloy calls Ruckelshaus “a mass-murderer,” a clear invitation for someone to attack the man. Milloy wrote, cravenly:

He’s the 20th century’s only mass murderer to survive and thrive (as a venture capitalist) in the 21st century.

Milloy owes Ruckelshaus an apology and a complete retraction.  I rather hope Ruckelshaus sues — while Milloy will claim the standards under New York Times vs. Sullivan as a defense, because Ruckelshaus is a public figure, I think the only question a jury would have to deal with is how much malice aforethought Milloy exhibits.  Malice is obvious.  Heck, there might not even be a question for a jury — Milloy loses on the law (nothing he claims against Ruckelshaus is accurate or true in any way).

This is much more damning than what got two NPR officials to lose their jobs.

Who will stand up for justice here?  Rep. Upton?  Rep. Boehner?  Anthony Watts?

I tried to offer a correction, and since then have written Milloy demanding an apology and retraction — neither comment has surfaced yet on Milloy’s blog.  Here’s the truth Milloy hasn’t printed:

No, Sweeney did not rule that DDT is not a threat to the environment. He said quite the opposite. Sweeney wrote, in his ruling:

20. DDT can have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish and estuarine organisms when directly applied to the water.

21. DDT is used as a rodenticide. [DDT was used to kill bats in homes and office buildings; this was so effective that, coupled with accidental dosing of bats from their eating insects carrying DDT, it actually threatened to wipe out some species of bat in the southwest U.S.]

22. DDT can have an adverse effect on beneficial animals.

23. DDT is concentrated in organisms and can be transferred through food chains.

On that basis, two federal courts ruled that DDT must be taken off the market completely. Sweeney agreed with the findings of the courts precisely, but he determined that the law did not give him the power to order DDT off the market since the newly-proposed labels of the DDT manufacturers restricted use to emergency health-related tasks. With the benefit of rereading the two federal courts’ decisions, Ruckelshaus noted that the courts said the power was already in the old law, and definitely in the new law. [See, for example, EDF v. Ruckelshaus, 439 F. 2d 584 (1971)]

DDT was banned from use on crops in the U.S. as an ecosystem killer. It still is an ecosystem killer, and it still deserves to be banned.

Ruckelshaus’s order never traveled outside the U.S. DDT has never been banned in most nations of the world, and even though DDT has earned a place on the list of Dirty Dozen most dangerous pollutants, even under the Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty of 2001, DDT is available for use to any country who wishes to use it.

Please get your facts straight.

Would you, Dear Reader,  help spread the word on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, or any other service you have, that the Brown Lobby has gone too far in it’s error-based propaganda against clean air and those who urge a better environment?  Please?


Climate science cranks: Wrong in small things, wrong in all things?

January 23, 2011

Earlier we discussed the political jabs lacking scientific merit at the blogs that have sprung up to harry and heckle climate scientists, especially a relatively new one called, inaptly, “haunting the library.”

The author and commenters have taken to calling Dr. James Hansen “Beijing Jim,” thinking it a cleverly insulting nickname.

What?

James Hansen, at Americans Who Tell the Truth.org

Portrait of James Hansen for James Hansen, at Americans Who Tell the Truth.org

I almost regret asking.  Why “Beijing Jim?”

They started it when Hansen wrote an opposite-editorial page piece for the South China Post, urging China to act against global warming anyway, despite the U.S.’s failure to take aggressive-enough action yet.

haunting the library tries to spin the piece as Hansen moving over to China’s side in all issues, a position they seem to think is somehow unpatriotic (and therefore, insulting to Hansen).

Actually, in the article, Hansen doesn’t let China off the hook at all.  It’s a patient, well-aimed call to China to do the right things.  Only by misreporting and misrepresenting what Hansen said can climate science cranks spin it.

James Hansen takes the honorable high road, calling on the world’s most-polluting nations to take action now to save our children’s and grandchildren’s future.  haunting the library issues schoolyard, childish and churlish taunts.

Oh, but Dear Reader, you’re already guessing at the particular intellectual clumsiness I’m getting to, aren’t you?  It’s about that taunting name, “Beijing Jim.”  It’s unfair and undeserved because Hansen represented America well, and honorably.  “Free Enterprise Jim” would be closer to the facts.

It’s also geographically wrong.  South China Morning Post is a Hong Kong newspaper, not Beijing.  Hong Kong is the Chinese outpost of rampant free enterprise, as you know and the rest of the world knows.  Hong Kong is not Beijing.

The climate science cranks at haunting the library don’t know climate science, don’t know newspaper publishing, and flail at geography, too. They’re cranky, too.  Cranky cranks.  Poetic, almost.

More:

_____________

January 24, 2011:  Others are watching, too.  Tim Lambert at Deltoid makes gentle correction of an Andrew Bolt column relying on misinformation from hauntingthelibrary.  Good discussion there.


Annals of Global Warming: Another broken campaign promise: 2010 hottest year on record

October 2, 2010

Last November and December, in their campaign to impugn science and promote air pollution, climate change “skeptics” said that global warming is done, and that we are in a new planetary cooling phase.

It’s one more broken campaign promise from the anti-climate science politicians, like Anthony Watts2010 on track to be the hottest year on record.

“The interesting thing about it is the temperature anomaly map for June shows it was pretty much warm everywhere over land except for a few places,” said David Easterling, of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., which released the data. “That’s somewhat of an uncommon pattern to see almost all the land mass being that warm.”

Only the U.S. Pacific Northwest, northern Europe and southern China were cooler than average, according to NOAA.

As the Earth continues to heat up from rising levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, the planet is likely to see more record-breaking years. “As we continue to get warmer, the odds of any given year breaking the record are pretty high,” Easterling said.

Indeed, four of the five warmest years on record have come in the last decade. The reigning warmest year on record is 2005, followed by 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009, Easterling said.

We don’t even have to see their intimate e-mails to know they fibbed to us.  The thermometer on the patio has the news.

Last year, when the world’s leaders were preparing to meet in Copenhagen, harpies from the radical and crazy right insisted that global warming had ceased its advances, and the global cooling would be the norm for the near and midrange future.  They promised!*

Good heavens!  Do you think they were fibbing when they said the scientists were wrong, and mean?  Were they fibbing when they said CO2 is not a pollutant?

How many more broken promises?  (/sarcasm off)

Would Copenhagen’s result been different had this information been available a year earlier?

See also:

_____________

*  Note:  No, they didn’t promise, not really.  Critics of taking action for a better future never promise anything solid.  They only carp that whatever being done is wrong, unnecessary, and too expensive.  Plus, they complain that the food is horrible to the point of being inedible, and the portions are too small.


Another blog, shocked — shocked! — at cold in Argentina in July

August 10, 2010

Unlike the blog discussed in an earlier post at first, this blog seems to understand that it’s winter in South America.  Still, the author can’t understand why record cold in one small spot doesn’t completely negate warming in the rest of the world:  Minnesotans for Global Warming.

One almost expects to find it has sister sites:  Minnesotans Love Cancer, Minnesotans for Child Abuse, and Self-Lobotomies R Us.

Maybe it’s not the concept of climate that confuses these people, but the entire notion of “average global temperature.”  People who spend their entire lives below average, probably expect that’s the way it is in temperatures, too.  (Is that nasty enough for today?  I’m feeling crabby about idiocy.)


Warming deniers surprised by winter

July 27, 2010

Were you writing fiction, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

Another bastion of people misled by the lack of a Hemingway-brand Solid Gold Sh*t Detector™.

Another person proud as heck of her denial of global warming, points to cattle freezing in South America in July as proof that the Earth’s atmosphere is not warming.

At a blog called Frugal Café Blog Zone, “Where it’s chic to be cheap… Conservative social & political commentary, with frugality mixed in,” blogger Vicki McClure Davidson headlined the piece:

“Remember Al Gore’s “Global Warming” Hoax? People & Cattle in South America Are Dying from Extreme Cold in July”

Gee, how to break this news to her?

Vickie, sit down.  This is something you should have learned in geography in junior high:  In the Southern Hemisphere, winter starts on June 21It’s cold in South America in July, because it’s winter in South America in July.

Cold in winter.  They don’t expect it.  These warming denialists provide the evidence those crabs need, who wonder whether there shouldn’t be some sort of “common sense test” required to pass before allowing people to vote, or drive, or have children.

Oh, it gets worse:

Another site picked up the post.  No, seriously.  (Has Anthony Watts seen this yet?)

  • Voting Female [I am convinced that is a sock puppet site designed to insult women; no woman could be that stupid, could she?]
Earth at northern solstice

Earth at northern solstice - Wikimedia image


EPA posts greenhouse gas reporting requirements

June 29, 2010

What’s that racket, that squealing, that ‘stuck’ pig noise?

Orbitals model of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) - Wikimedia image

Space-filling model of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) - Wikimedia image. Sulfur hexafluoride is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases known, with "global warming potential" 22,800 times that of CO2. EPA proposes to measure SF6 emissions as a first step toward reducing emissions. Warming deniers propose to stop the regulations.

EPA published regulations for measuring greenhouse gases as part of its CO2 emission regulatory program — and the noise is the reaction of the anti-warmists.

Here’s EPA’s press release — notice the links to longer explanations, and note especially that the regulations are not final yet, but are instead open for public comment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2010

EPA Issues Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Four Emissions Sources

Agency also to consider data confidentiality

WASHINGTON The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing requirements under its national mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program for underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems, industrial waste landfills and magnesium production facilities. The data from these sectors will provide a better understanding of GHG emissions and will help EPA and businesses develop effective policies and programs to reduce them.

Methane is the primary GHG emitted from coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems and industrial landfills and is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere.  The main fluorinated GHG emitted from magnesium production is sulfur hexafluoride, which has an even greater warming potential than methane, and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

These source categories will begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011, with the first annual reports submitted to EPA on March 31, 2012.

In a separate proposed rule, EPA is requesting public comment on which industry related GHG information would be made publicly available and which would be considered confidential. Under the Clean Air Act, all emission data are public. Some non-emission data, however, may be considered confidential, because it relates to specific information which, if made public, could harm a business’s competitiveness. Examples of data considered confidential under this proposal include certain information reported by fossil fuel and industrial gas suppliers related to production quantities and raw materials. EPA is committed to providing the public with as much information as possible while following the law.

The GHG reporting program requires suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial GHGs and large direct emitters of greenhouse gases to report to EPA.  Collecting this data will allow businesses to track emissions and identify cost effective ways to reduce emissions.  EPA is preparing to provide data to the public after the first annual GHG reports are submitted in March 2011.

There will be a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rules that will begin upon publication in the federal register.

More information on the final rule to add reporting requirements for four source categories:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/remaining-source-categories.html

More information on the proposal on data confidentiality:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/CBI.html

R227

These regulations are those complained about and proposed to be stopped by critics of the campaign to stop global warming.  Alaska’s pro-warming Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a resolution to stop these regulations, with the support of junk science lobbyists including the National Center for Policy Research.  Fortunately, on June 10 the Senate voted 47-53 to reject a motion to consider the resolution, S. J. Res. 26, “A joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.”

Both of Texas’s senators were suckered by the junk science.  Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison both co-sponsored the losing resolution.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit to stop the regulations.  Abbott’s opponent in the 2010 elections, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, probably the only one of these Texans who might understand sulfur hexafluoride’s role as a pollutant, criticized the suit and urged Abbott to spend his time protecting Texas oil fields from oil company sabotage.

Help control emissions from climate “skeptics,” and spread the good word:

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Annals of Global Warming: NOAA team finds oceans heated up since 1993

May 21, 2010

News from NOAA and NASA:

The upper layer of the world’s ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet.

“We are seeing the global ocean store more heat than it gives off,” said John Lyman, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, who led an international team of scientists that analyzed nine different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean from 1993 to 2008.

John Lyman and Gregory Johnson show instruments used to measure ocean temperature - NOAA photo, 2010

From NOAA: John Lyman (left) holds an expendable bathythermograph or XBT, a device that was dropped from ships to obtain temperature. Gregory Johnson (right) holds an ARGO Float, an autonomous, free-floating ocean device that collects a variety of data, including temperature. (NOAA photo, 2010)

The team combined the estimates to assess the size and certainty of growing heat storage in the ocean. Their findings will be published in the May 20 edition of the journal Nature. The scientists are from NOAA, NASA, the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom, the University of Hamburg in Germany and the Meteorological Research Institute in Japan.

“The ocean is the biggest reservoir for heat in the climate system,” said Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of the scientists who contributed to the study. “So as the planet warms, we’re finding that 80 to 90 percent of the increased heat ends up in the ocean.”

A warming ocean is a direct cause of global sea level rise, since seawater expands and takes up more space as it heats up. The scientists say that this expansion accounts for about one-third to one-half of global sea level rise.

Combining multiple estimates of heat in the upper ocean – from the surface to about 2,000 feet down – the team found a strong multi-year warming trend throughout the world’s ocean. According to measurements by an array of autonomous free-floating ocean floats called ARGO as well as by earlier devices called expendable bathythermographs or XBTs that were dropped from ships to obtain temperature data, ocean heat content has increased over the last 16 years.

The team notes that there are still some uncertainties and some biases.

“The XBT data give us vital information about past changes in the ocean, but they are not as accurate as the more recent Argo data,” said Gregory Johnson, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. “However, our analysis of these data gives us confidence that on average, the ocean has warmed over the past decade and a half, signaling a climate imbalance.”

Data from the array of Argo floats­ – deployed by NOAA and other U.S. and international partners ­– greatly reduce the uncertainties in estimates of ocean heat content over the past several years, the team said. There are now more than 3,200 Argo floats distributed throughout the world’s ocean sending back information via satellite on temperature, salinity, currents and other ocean properties.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.

Note: Full name of the paper is Robust Warming of the Global Upper Ocean. Authors are John M. Lyman, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii at Manoa and NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle; Simon A. Good, Met Office Hadley Centre; Viktor V. Gouretski Klima Campus, University of Hamburg; Masayoshi Ishii, Climate Research Department, Meteorological Research Institute, Japan; Gregory C. Johnson, NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle; Matthew D. Palmer, Met Office Hadley Centre; Doug M. Smith, Met Office Hadley Centre; and Josh K. Willis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Map showing 3,200 free-floating Argo floats, instruments used to measure ocean temperature - International Argo Project

From NASA: The international science team analyzed nine different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean, based on ocean temperature data from a global array of more than 3,200 Argo free-floating profiling floats and longer data records from expendable bathythermographs dropped from ships. Image credit: International Argo Project

Resources:

Update, February 16, 2011: Interesting that this research got so little play in mainstream media, more curious that those who contend global warming and/or the need to do anything about it have buried it so well.  RealClimate noted that denialist Larry Bell, writing in Forbes, even cited the work of this team, but claiming a contrary resultEven Watts Up appears to have gone silent on this after a curtain-raiser post on the project.  Odd.


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