Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #281

The Week That Was: August 19, 2017 Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week. Physics has a history of synthesizing many phenomena into a few theories – Richard Feynman


Number of the Week: $4 Trillion


Blackwaters: Blackwater rivers and bogs belie the claims that ocean carbonization, foolishly called “ocean acidification”, will eliminate life. Blackwater rivers are common to the Amazon and the Southeast US, and found in Europe, Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. A blackwater river is a slow-moving current running through forested or highly vegetated swamps or wetlands. Decaying vegetation, particularly leaves, release tannins into the water, making a comparatively transparent, acidic water into one darkly stained, resembling tea or black coffee.

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Now That Trump Has Defeated Paris, He’s Taking on Montreal!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Sacré bleu !

Trump Budget Attacks Montreal Protocol, Reagan’s Crown Jewel

May 24, 2017 David Doniger

The Trump FY18 budget proposal slashes funding to support compliance with the Montreal Protocol, Ronald Reagan’s treaty to save the ozone layer.

The cut—which appears to be on the order of 40 percent—welches on U.S. international commitments and will imperil the global phase-out of ozone-destroying chemicals.

The Montreal Protocol—widely considered the world’s most successful environmental treaty—was negotiated under President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and is his crowning environmental achievement. It has been strengthened repeatedly under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

[…]

NRDC

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Climate Scientist Josh Willis Shows You How to Deal With Your Climate Change Denying Uncle

By Dave Burton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Josh Willis, of NASA JPL, has a new video out entitled, “Straw Men of the Apocalypse – How to deal with your climate change denying uncle.”

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Notice that “catastrophic” is apparently not scary enough, these days. Global warming is now “the Apocalypse.”

The video starts out with two guys crawling along the parched ground under the blazing desert sun. One of them says to the other, “We’re gonna die out here, man. If only society had done more to fight climate change.” And it goes downhill from there.

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Antarctic Peninsula Now is Cooling

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014.

Remember the much ballyhooed paper that made the cover of Nature, Steig et al, “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year”, Nature, Jan 22, 2009 that included some conspicuously errant Mannian math from the master of making trends out of noisy data himself? Well, that just went south, literally.

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New Insight Into What Weakens Antarctic Ice Shelves

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

New research describes for the first time the role that warm, dry winds (katabatic winds) play in influencing the behaviour of Antarctic ice shelves. Presenting this week at a European conference scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) explain how spring and summer winds, known as föhn winds, are prevalent on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, West Antarctica and creating melt pools. The Larsen C Ice Shelf is of particular interest to scientists because it of the collapse of Larsen A in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002.

The researchers observed the föhn winds, which blow around 65% of the spring and summer period, extend further south and are more frequent than previously thought, and are likely to be a contributing factor that weakens ice shelves before a collapse. The results are presented this week (Tuesday 25 April) at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly (EGU) in Vienna.

In 1995 and 2002, the Larsen A and B ice shelves collapsed, depositing an area the size of Shropshire into the Weddell Sea. Whilst ice shelf collapse doesn’t directly contribute to sea level rise, the glaciers which fed into the ice shelves accelerated, leading to the loss of land ice, and subsequently indirect sea level rise. The processes responsible for the collapse of these ice shelves were largely debated, and it is now thought that crevasses on the ice shelf were widened and deepened by water draining into the cracks. Föhn winds are thought to be responsible for melting the ice shelf surface and supplying the water.

The findings describe when and where the warm, dry winds occur over the Larsen C Ice Shelf, the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula (roughly the size of Wales). Föhn winds were measured from near-surface weather stations and regional climate model data over a five year period and observed all year-round, but were most frequent in spring.

PhD student and lead scientist on this project from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Leeds University, Jenny Turton says:

“What’s new and surprising from this study is that föhn winds occur around 65% of the time during the spring and summer. And we didn’t know how much they influence the creation of melt pools and therefore are likely to weaken the ice shelf. Whilst a high number occur in spring, the combined warming over a number of days leads to much more surface melting than was experienced during days without föhn winds. This is important, as melting during summer and re-freezing during winter weakens the ice surface, and makes it more at risk of melting again the following season.

“We know the ice shelf often melts a little during summer, however we have found that when föhn events occur as early as September (three months earlier than the start of the summer melt season), the ice shelf surface is melting. Now that we know how prevalent and spatially extensive these winds are, we can look further into the effect they are having on the ice shelf.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #248

The Week That Was: November 12, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

When Does A Scientific Assumption Become a Myth? As discussed in the October 22 TWTW, the influential 1979 Charney Report asserted that laboratory results showed that any increase in surface temperatures from a doubling of atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) would be very modest. Further, the influence of CO2 on temperatures is logarithmic. As the concentration increases, the total influence increases, but the influence of each additional amount declines. For practical purposes, this warming would be insignificant and cannot be differentiated from natural variation.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #247

The Week That Was: November 5, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Svensmark Hypothesis Criticized: The Svensmark hypothesis that high energy cosmic rays can be a building block for cloud formation has been demonstrated in the laboratory, most recently by CERN. The cosmic rays are modulated by changes in solar wind, which are the result of solar activity. The activity of the sun is estimated by frequency and intensity of sunspots. An active sun results more solar wind and a corresponding net decrease in cloud formation. A dormant sun results in less solar wind and a corresponding net increase in cloud formation and a corresponding decrease in temperatures. This hypothesis is consistent with earlier thoughts about conditions in Europe during the Little Ice Age, when the skies were cloudy, winters were cold, and crops did not ripen, resulting in periods of famine.

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