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The North Devon Coast & The Impact Of Climate Change

January 15, 2019
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

This came to my attention the other day, and it shows just how deeply climate change hysteria has infected the business of government.

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https://www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk/about/management-plan-2019-2024 

 

For those not familiar with North Devon, it is in my view one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with some of the finest landscapes and seascapes. Much of it is wild and rugged, and in many ways unmatched in England.

Quite rightly, the North Devon Coast has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and there is an obligation on the local authorities involved to prepare regular Management Plans, in order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty there.

These plans involve all sorts of objectives and policies, such as landscapes, biodiversity, historical environment, infrastructure, farming, access and many others.

Tucked away in the latest Consultation Draft, you probably won’t be surprised to learn, is a section called Environmental Quality and Climate Change.

The first paragraph states:

Climate change is one of the most significant pressures on the environment of South West England this is reflected in hotter and drier summers, warmer and wetter winters with more extreme weather and increased flood risk compounded by sea-level rise. The ability of the AONB Partnership to contribute to the mitigation of the effects of climate change is minimal in global terms. However, the Partnership can, and should, support local adaptation and mitigation initiatives which will have a positive impact

Apparently this is more important than the next paragraph, which goes on to talk about clean air, light pollution, clean bathing waters, and tranquillity, all things that any normal person would regard as of vital importance.

Read more…

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Antarctic Losing Tiny Amounts Of Ice (Or Maybe It’s Gaining Ice, NASA Is Not Sure!)

January 15, 2019
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t AC Osborn

 

Another mindbendingly naive piece by the Mail’s Joe Pinkstone:

 

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Antarctica is shedding ice at a staggering rate.

Scientists have discovered global warming has caused the melting of the ice on the continent to increase sixfold since 1979.

This phenomenal rate of melting has seen global sea levels rise by more than half an inch – and experts predict it will get worse. 

Scientists have predicted a ‘multi-meter sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries’ as a result of the vast loss of ice.

Researchers discovered that, between 1970 and 1990, the continent was shedding an average of 40 gigatons of ice mass annually.

This jumped to an average of 252 gigatons a year between 2009 and 2017. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6590841/Antarctica-losing-SIX-TIMES-ice-year-1970s.html#newcomment

 

You may of course recall that it was only three years ago that the same NASA, who are behind this latest scare story, were telling us that the ice cap was actually growing in Antarctica. But more of that in a minute.

There are several aspects to this latest story that need closer examination.

Firstly, according to NASA’s own press release, the study only looks at data since 1992. The Mail’s headline that “Antarctica is losing SIX TIMES more ice a year than it was in the 1970s “ is totally fake, as there is no data for the 1970s. Any estimates of ice loss in the 1970s and 80s are pure guesswork, and have never been part of this NASA IMBIE study, or previous ones.

Secondly, the period since 1992 is a ridiculously short period on which to base any meaningful conclusions at all. Changes over the period may well be due to natural, short term fluctuations, for instance ocean cycles. We know, as the NASA study states, that ice loss in West Antarctica is mainly due to the inflow of warmer seas.

The eruption of Pinatubo in 1991 is another factor. Global temperatures fell during the next five years, and may well have slowed down ice melt.

Either way, Pinkstone’s claim that the ice loss is due to global warming is fake. It is a change in ocean current that is responsible, and nothing to do with global warming.

Then there is his pathetic claim that “Antarctica is shedding ice at a staggering rate”. Alarmist scientists, and gullible reporters, love to quote impressive sounding numbers, like 252 gigatons a year. In fact, as NASA point out, the effect on sea level rise since 1992 is a mere 7.6mm, equivalent to 30mm/century.

Given that global sea levels have risen no faster since 1992 than they did in the mid 20thC, there is no evidence that Antarctica is losing ice any faster than then. To call it staggering is infantile.

NASA also reckon that ice losses from Antarctica between 2012 and 2017 increased sea levels by 3mm, equivalent to 60mm/century. Again hardly a scary figure. But again we must be very careful about drawing conclusions from such a short period of time. Since 2012, we have had a record 2-year long El Nino. What effect has this had? 

But back to that previous NASA study, carried out by Jay Zwally in 2015, which found:

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A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses 

Far from losing ice, as the new study thinks, Zwally’s 2015 analysis found the opposite, that the ice sheet was growing.

OK, Zwally’s data only went up to 2008, but there are still huge differences. Whereas Zwally estimates ice gain of between 82 and 112 billion tonnes a year between 1992 and 2008, the new effort guesses at a loss of 83 billion tonnes a year.

It is worth pointing out that Zwally’s comment about the IPCC 2013 report refers to the 2012 IMBIE report, which was the forerunner to the new study, the 2018 IMBIE.

Quite simply, nobody has the faintest idea whether the ice cap is growing or shrinking, never mind by how much, as the error margins and uncertainties are so huge.

The best guide to such matters comes from tide gauges around the world. And these continue to show that sea levels are rising no faster then mid 20thC, and at a rate of around 8 inches per century.

Subsidies of up to £1billion given to firms for burning wood in power stations could be axed – as critics argue it creates same CO2 as coal

January 15, 2019
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

Interesting news from the Mail:

 

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Controversial subsidies for burning wood in power stations could be scrapped in the drive to clean up Britain’s air.

Firms that burn wood pellets currently receive about £1billion a year because, unlike coal, these are considered renewable sources of energy.

But critics say burning wood produces similar amounts of carbon dioxide to coal, contributing to air pollution.

It also increases the logging of forests in the US, while shipping them to Britain in vast quantities has a further negative effect on the environment.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday revealed subsidies for burning wood could be scrapped as he unveiled the Government’s clean air strategy.

The U-turn comes after years of state support for ‘biomass’ such as wood pellets, in schemes pioneered by disgraced former Liberal Democrat energy secretary Chris Huhne.

He was hired by US firm Zilkha Biomass, which makes wood pellets, after serving a prison sentence in 2013 for perverting the course of justice.

The clean air strategy includes proposals to scrap some subsidies paid under so-called ‘contracts for difference’.

The contracts, which last until 2027, offer payments of about £100 per megawatt hour for burning imported wood – more than double the wholesale energy price.

Britain’s biggest power station, Drax, near Selby, North Yorkshire, burns about 7million tons a year of compressed wood pellets imported from the US and Canada.

Drax supplies around 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity, with four of its six units converted to burn the pellets.

Britain is committed to closing all its coal power stations by 2025 unless they can be adapted to ‘capture’ carbon without releasing it into the air.

A Drax spokesman defended the technology, stressing it is ‘critical to the UK electricity system because it provides low-carbon, cost-effective power reliably, whatever the weather’ – unlike wind and solar energy sources.

But Sasha Stashwick of the Natural Resources Defence Council, an environmental campaign group, said: ‘Burning trees in giant power plants is bad for the climate and the air Britons breathe.

‘It’s important that [the clean air strategy] recognises the drawbacks of biomass energy … and rings the death knell on new rounds of subsidies for this dirty power source.

‘Sadly, it does nothing to stop billions of pounds going to existing coal-to-biomass conversions.

Read the full story here. 

 

Some of us have, of course, been arguing these points for a long time. It is not clear, however, how Michael Gove can put an end to CfD subsidies, as they are legally enforceable contracts which last for 15 years. Government cannot simply renege on them.

Killer Tits!

January 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Joe Public

 

Have we now reached peak climate lunacy?

From Popular “Science”:

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Every year, little black-and-white birds called pied flycatchers make the lengthy trek from sub-saharan Africa to northern Europe to feast on caterpillars, claim a nest, and have babies. This typically goes off without a hitch, and the birds return to Africa a few months later, offspring in tow. But recently, some flycatchers have arrived to find their nesting sites occupied by haughty, territorial great tits. And those birds don’t just chase flycatchers away—they brutally attack them, kill them, and eat their brains.

The reason for such grisly bird murders might be due to a shift in migration and nesting timelines for both birds, according to a new study published Thursday in Current Biology. While great tits typically breed two weeks earlier than pied flycatchers, their breeding periods now occasionally overlap due to climate change-related factors, the authors say.

Sara Keen, a behavioral ecologist at Cornell University who wasn’t involved with the new study, says she was really struck by how behavioral changes in response to climate change can manifest in a wide variety of ways, like an uptick in macabre bird murders, for instance. “It can be particularly challenging to predict how mixed species communities will be affected,” she says.

Great tits live in European forests like the Dwingelderveld and Drents Friese Wold forests in the Netherlands, where the study took place, all year round. Flycatchers, on the other hand, are merely regular vacationers. Since the 1980s, flycatcher breeding season has been inching up earlier in the month of April. Warm spring temperatures have caused caterpillar populations to boom sooner in the month, so flycatchers adapted to that and started arriving a bit earlier, too. That wouldn’t be too big a problem for flycatchers, except that great tit breeding periods are also in flux. Now, when tits delay their breeding period a little bit in colder Aprils, they overlap with the flycatchers, and violence ensues.

There’s limited nesting space in many of these birds’ favorite forests in the UK and the Netherlands—the trees can be quite young and have very few woodpeckers, so natural tree holes birds would usually nest in are few and far between. Volunteer groups and academics have installed nestboxes, basically standardized birdhouses, to help. But with climate nudging bird breeding schedules closer together, there aren’t enough nestboxes to go around, which is why flycatchers arrive to find their usual nests occupied. Ungracious hosts, the tits eat their brains.

In fact, according to data taken from 950 nestboxes and involving nearly 3,000 birds between 2007 and 2016, the authors found that great tits killed nearly one in ten flycatchers in some years.

“Great tits are superior competitors when it comes down to a brawl,” says Jelmer Samplonius, lead author of the study and climate change ecologist at the University of Edinburgh. (He worked on this study while at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.) “They have really strong claws, and they hold onto [the flycatchers] and peck the back of their skulls, always in the same spot.”

Samplonius says great tits are somewhat larger and heftier than the pied flycatchers, which are smaller, lighter, and more nimble after evolving to fly long migratory distances. To be fair, flycatchers have been known to defeat great tits in aerial battles, but territorial disputes rarely end in their favor.

And why do the tits do this, exactly? Samplonius thinks they might use flycatchers as a food source. But he says this aggression isn’t really unusual great tit behavior.

“I’ve seen [videos] online of a great tit invading a flock of foraging birds, killing and eating them,” he continues. “It’s quite a ferocious bird. People see it as a cute garden bird that comes to the feeder and eats some seeds, but some of them have a real anger management problem.”

Luckily for pied flycatchers populations, the murdered birds were often “surplus” males that arrived late to the Dutch forests, desperate to find a mate and a nest. The deaths haven’t had a big impact on the population because those late males probably wouldn’t have had babies anyway. But there’s always the chance that it could get worse.

Whatever the flycatcher population’s future may hold, Samplonius says this is a prime example of why it’s essential to study how climate change can shift animals’ schedules, often with deadly consequences. Keen from Cornell agrees. “Understanding different responses to changing environments will be a crucial part of species vulnerability assessments in coming years,” she says.

https://www.popsci.com/great-tits-murder-climate-change?src=SOC&dom=tw#page-4 

 

As always with these lamentable studies. there is absolutely no attempt to prove that these occurrences are anything that have not always happened in the past.

And note the statement near the start:

Read more…

Eli Rabett Makes Fool Of Himself

January 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood

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https://twitter.com/EthonRaptor/status/1084550985123614722

It did not take long for alarmist trolls to react to my hurricane paper.

If Mr Rabett had bothered to read the rest of the Arizona Education factsheet, which he quoted from, he would have found this statement:

Increasing Atlantic Hurricanes since 1851?

What about the trend line in figure 9 above, which indicates that the number of reported Atlantic hurricanes has been increasing at a rate of 1.3 hurricanes per decade? Some have used figures like this to conclude that climate change has caused increasing numbers of Atlantic hurricanes. In reality, the trend can be largely explained by changes in the way we observe hurricanes, rather than a real trend of increasing hurricanes since the 1800s. Long ago, when populations were smaller and there were fewer people making observations, there were undoubtedly storms that were simply missed and not counted. In recent decades, no storm will be missed. Thus, scientists and statisticians need to make adjustments for storms that were completely missed. Another factor is that there has been a large increase in the number of short duration storms in recent decades, where a short duration storm is one that lasts two days or less. Since the beginning of the satellite era, we have significantly improved our observations of hurricanes from space. Short duration storms that went undetected (and uncounted) in the past are more easily detected and counted today. The figure below indicates the increase in short duration Atlantic storms, which is responsible for much of the trend shown in figure 9. The figure below also shows that there has been no significant change in moderate duration storms from 1880 to 2010 after accounting for the long ago missed storms. These results show that the increase in Atlantic storms in figure 9 is an artifact of the way we have observed storms, rather than a real climate change toward more Atlantic hurricanes.

http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/fall16/atmo336s2/lectures/sec2/hurricanes3.html

 

 

Nowadays all Atlantic storms are constantly monitored by satellite, and hurricane hunter aircraft where appropriate. I wonder how he thinks we used to do it in 1851?

That is why NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division states that reliable Atlantic data only starts in 1966:

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 http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/E11.html

 

Eli Rabett is really Dr Joshua Halpern, who prefers to hide behind a pseudonym, and likes to think he is smarter than the rest of us. If this is the best he can do, he really must try harder in future.

New GWPF Paper Shows Hurricanes Are Not Getting Worse

January 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

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https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/01/Homewood-Hurricanes.pdf

 

I am pleased to report that the GWPF have now published my latest paper on hurricane trends.

It demonstrates that, contrary to popular myth, hurricanes are not getting more frequent or more powerful.

The paper is based throughout on official data, scientific papers and IPCC reports.

Here is the Executive Summary:

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FOOTNOTE

 

Tropical cyclones are known by various names around the world – hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the W Pacific and so on.

 

Can I just make clear that this GWPF paper refers to ALL TROPICAL CYCLONES, not just Atlantic hurricanes.

The Introduction of the paper makes clear that all references will be made to “hurricanes”, purely for the sake of simplicity.

Warmer Than Thought? GWPF Science Editor Sceptical About New Ocean-Warming Paper

January 13, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

 

It’s worse than we thought!

 

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A new report published in the US journal Science, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggests the world’s oceans are warming 40 percent faster than what a UN panel predicted five years ago. Although data collection is more accurate than in the past, some experts advise against jumping to hasty conclusions.

About 93 percent of excess heat trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels accumulates in the world’s oceans.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says ocean warming has led to rising sea levels and contributes to increases in rainfall intensity, more violent storms and the destruction of coral reefs.

t is also a threat to biodiversity and one of the earth’s major food supplies.

"Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought," said co-author Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Their report relied on four studies, published between 2014 and 2017 whose conclusions are based on measurements recorded by a fleet of some 4,000 floating robot monitors called Argo.

The robtos drift throughout the world’s oceans, every few days diving to a depth of 2,000 meters and measuring the ocean’s temperature, pH, salinity and other information.

Voir l'image sur Twitter

Argo "has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s," the report said.

The new analysis shows warming in the oceans is on pace with measurements of rising air temperature.

And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, "models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of the world’s oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century," it said.

http://en.rfi.fr/environment/20190111-global-warming-are-our-oceans-heating-faster-we-thought

There are, however, a number of issues which rather undermine Hausfather’s hype.

For a start, ocean heat content (OHC) is not rising faster than before, simply faster than scientists guessed a few years ago. There is a big difference between the two.

 

GWPF’s David Whitehouse also puts a dampener on the matter:

Read more…

Steel Industry Being Crucified By High Energy Costs, Admits Claire Perry

January 12, 2019
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Dennis Ambler

 

From questions in Parliament this week:

 

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https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-07.205863.h&s=climate+change#g205863.r0

 

This rather sums up what a nonsense our energy policy has become.

It is frankly shocking that steel producers, and presumably other energy intensive industries, have been paying twice the price for electricity than competitors in France and Germany. Of course, it must be pointed out that in Germany it is domestic users who end up paying the bill.

Claire Perry’s comment about exemptions from the costs of the Contracts for Difference scheme does not frankly add up to much. CfDs only account for 15% of green levies, so steel producers will still need to pay for the other 85%.

As for £315m being thrown at decarbonisation projects. it is not clear how this will save industry any money at all. More likely it will add to costs unnecessarily.

Meanwhile, it is other electricity users and taxpayers in general who will end up paying for relief packages and exemptions.

Being “committed to minimising energy costs” is one thing. Actually doing something about it is another, which seems to be beyond Claire Perry’s ability.

Would it not have been easier to put a stop to obscene green subsidies in the first place?

Bernie Silent About Private Jets!

January 12, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

Another “Do as I say, not as I do” scam merchant!

 

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who might run for president in 2020, called climate change our “biggest crisis of all” in a response to President Donald Trump’s border wall speech Tuesday night.

However, Sanders did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s simple question — if climate change is such an urgent threat, would you endorse a ban on private jets?

Sanders, known as a “climate hawk,” has made fighting global warming a central part of his 2016 presidential bid and thrown his weight behind “Green New Deal” legislation championed by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“And maybe here’s the biggest crisis of all,” Sanders said in his Tuesday night rebuttal to Trump’s call for border wall funding. “The scientific community has made it very clear in telling us that climate change is real and is causing devastating harm to our country and the entire planet.”

However, his office did not respond to TheDCNF’s inquiry about private jets. TheDCNF asked if Sanders would support a ban on private jets given the high priority he’s given climate change during his tenure. (RELATED: Trump Responds To Gavin Newsom’s New Wildfire Policies With A Threat To Cut Off FEMA Funding)

It might be because Sanders has extensively used private jets for travel while campaigning. For example, The Guardian reported in 2016 Sanders flew a Boeing 737 private jet “out of Des Moines on the night of the Iowa caucus” during the Democratic primary.

More recently, Sanders’s campaign came under fire for spending nearly $300,000 on private jet travel in October 2018 as part of a “9-day, 9-state tour to support Democratic candidates up and down the ballot ahead of Election Day,” a campaign spokeswoman.

Traveling by air is much more carbon-intensive than driving, and flying private results in much more emissions per person than flying commercial. Environmentalists have increasingly focused their campaigning on reducing airline emissions.

https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/09/bernie-sanders-climate-change-jets/

China: No Wind Or Solar If It Can’t Beat Coal On Price

January 11, 2019
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

From Forbes:

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China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

Beijing pulled the plug on support for large solar projects, which had been receiving a per kWh payment, in late May. That news came immediately after the country’s largest solar industry event and caught everyone by surprise.

Officials are understood to have been frustrated at seeing Chinese suppliers and engineering firms building solar projects overseas that delivered electricity at prices far below what was available back home.

The country also has its own issues with grid logjams. These have caused power from wind and solar projects to be wasted due to a lack of capacity on the network to transmit and distribute it. In 2017 12% of wind generation and 6% of solar was curtailed.

In the plans announced on Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top strategic planning authority, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) set out a series of conditions under which new solar and wind projects would be approved from now till the end of 2020.

Chief among these is that the price matches or undercuts the national coal benchmark, something that happened for the first time ever just last month.

Projects will also have to show that the grid can handle their output. Technical specifications will ensure that the highest standards are met on that front.

Local governments have been told they are free to offer their own subsidies to projects if they wish.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnparnell/2019/01/10/china-no-wind-or-solar-if-it-aint-as-cheap-as-coal/