Emerging Environmental Scandal: “Thousands Of Tons Of Toxic” Wind Park Rubbish To Get Dumped At Sea!

Bard Offshore windparkFace it. When it comes to environmental protection, the EU can be awfully strict. Drop just a single molecule of something hazardous out somewhere in nature, and expect it to be treated like the crime of the century. That’s the way it usually is with eco-bureaucrats, except of course when it comes to green energies like ugly wind turbines. There everything suddenly has no real environmental impact, and so they get a free pass.

German news weekly Der Spiegel here recently reported on how windmills are now polluting the North Sea through their corrosion protection systems. Spiegel writes:

With the continued expansion of wind parks out to sea, over the coming decades thousands of tons of toxic metal compounds will be brought into the North and Baltic Seas. The reason is the use of so-called sacrificial anodes. These are for preventing the corrosion of the steel bases of the wind parks.

Spiegel describes how these sacrificial anodes, which contain heavy metals, dissolve over time in the water and that no environmental impact study has ever been conducted. According to Spiegel just the interior corrosion protection of each steel tower will dump up to ten tons of aluminum over its 25-year lifetime. Yes, “each tower”!

With plans to install 6500 turbines out to sea by the year 2020, Spiegel calculates that this means 13,000 tons of aluminum rubbish could end up in the North Sea.

The German weekly also writes that the electrical method of corrosion protection, such as that used on ships, is also possible, but that the method is too expensive due to “higher maintenance requirements”. After all, wind power is already unaffordable enough!

So in Europe are 13,000 tonnes of chemical rubbish getting dumped into the sea anything to really worry about? Obviously not if they comes from “green” sources.

Photo credit: Bard 1.


EU Enviro-Totalitarians Impose Restrictions On Woodstoves…Vacuum Cleaners Limited To 900 Watts In 2017!

Green totalitarian encroachment into people’s private lives in Europe is moving rapidly. Already this fall new measures aimed at private households go into effect.

“Seasonal ban on wood burning stoves thinkable”

First, soon humans will have to say good bye to one of their oldest friends: an open fire. Germany’s version of the EPA, the Umweltbundesamt (UBA), is moving the strictly regulate emissions of fine particulates from wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

UBA President Maria Krautzberger on Tuesday announced that she plans to implement stricter limits for fine particulate emissions in 2015, even going so far as to announce: “Theoretically a seasonal ban on wood stoves is thinkable.”

BildThe dark lines show fine particulate emissions by traffic, the greenish lines show emissions for different types of burning wood in kilotonnes annually. (Source: UBA)

Ms. Krautzberger insists the measures are necessary because: “The health burdens on the citizens from fine particulates and NO2 are too great.” The UBA report states that “Fine particulates can cause inflammation of the respiratory system and increase the risk of heart attacks.”

Absolute rubbish. We are talking about banning a fundamental pleasure in exchange for a health improvement that is statistically imperceptible.

I’ve been living in Germany over 20 years and I can tell anyone that the air even in urban areas in Germany is pretty darn clean by any standard. This is needless government oppression and a restriction of a fundamental pleasure that humans have enjoyed for a hundreds of thousands of years: the direct warmth of an open fire. Green wackoism is out of control.

Vacuum cleaners limited to 1600 watts
Only 900 watts allowed in 2017

Secondly, if that weren’t intrusion enough, the EU is going after vacuum cleaners. They aren’t energy-efficient enough, they say, and they are simply wasting energy.

Along with a number of media outlets, the online derfflinger.de is reporting that if you want to buy a higher-powered vacuum cleaner, you’d better hurry up.

Beginning September 2014 a new EU Ecodesign Directive goes into effect. In the future it will need to don the EU Energy label and fulfill more stringent minimum requirements with regards to energy efficiency. The practical household appliance will be throttled down and allowed to have a maximum rated power of 1600 Watts. Beginning September 2017 only 900 watts will be allowed.”

Get ready to be sucking and licking the floor yourself shortly thereafter.

Critics have blasted the new regulation, noting that people will end up spending more time doing the chore will a small appliance to get the same result, and thus save little energy in total, if any at all.

Recall that electricity is product that humans purchase and then own, and thus they alone should decide how to use the product. Not so in Europe. Not only are European citizens being forced to pay an exorbitant price for their electricity today, but they are also being told how, when and how much to use – and for what.

The right of ownership and private property is rapidly being eroded.


Panic Time! IPCC Climate Scientist Serves Up Litany Of Excuses For Warming Stop…Advocates Upward Temp Adjustments!

The online Swiss 20min.ch here reports on a new study just appearing in the latest Nature Geoscience, authored by devout warmist climate scientist Reto Knutti of the Zurich ETH.

Knutti’s study and the 20min.ch article are in a panicked scramble to explain why there hasn’t been any warming in more than 15 years, insisting that global warming has only paused and eventually will resume with renewed vigor – at time yet to be determined time in the future.

The title of the 20min.ch piece is: “Climate Warming Takes a Break“.

The 20min.ch introduction reads:

Climate warming continues, but it’s taking a break. The reasons for that, among others, are the temporary weak solar irradiance and phenomena such as La Niña.”

The tone of the 20min.ch article is one of shaking a finger at the incorrigible, irresponsible and manipulative climate skeptics and advising readers to not stop being afraid and to never ever believe those skeptics.

Litany of excuses

Citing Prof Knutti’s ETH, 20min.ch writes that “multiple possible reasons have been systematically investigated for the first time.”

The all new litany of excuses they present includes:
* aerosols (of course)
* La Niña
* weaker solar radiation
* low sunspot number
* volcano eruptions
* inadequate, unreliable temperature measurement methodology!

That’s right, all the factors that they stupidly refused to adequately incorporate in their models, despite being told time and again by skeptics not to neglect them. Now they are FINALLY telling us there’s indeed a Mai Tai cocktail of natural reasons for the absence of warming.

Antsy warmists

Their panic is truly palpable, at least in Switzerland. Knutti and his fellow warmists are so antsy about rescuing their warming that he is now actively hinting at making up temperature data. The 20min.ch writes that according to Knutti, satellites “do not deliver any data on especially high upward spikes. As a result the average temperature has been under-stated.”

To me that is a clear statement advocating adjusting the data upwards. He talks about the lack of Arctic stations and hints at “filling in” where data do not exist…i.e. making them up. And speaking of the temporary cooling impacts, Knutti insists:

They don’t change anything when it comes to the longer term climate warming due to the greenhouse gas emissions.”

All sounds like a religion desperately clinging to doctrine.

How much longer must we wait?

So just how much longer are we supposed to wait before these “temporary, short-term”  climate factors go away? 2 years? 5 years? 20 years? A couple of generations?

Gradually, but with increasing acceleration, scientists in lots of other fields are beginning to see this type of sorrowful climate science as a monumental laughing stock.

They can adjust upwards and fill in all they want, but it is not going to keep the sea ice from setting new all-time record highs and frosts and snows from blanketing us in the wintertime, or in August. Eventually it’s all going to collapse and the only place global warming will continue existing will be at the nuthouse.


Marc Morano On EPA Action “Once You Give Them This Expanded Bureaucratic Power, There Is No Limit”

morano-150x150_CFACT TVMarc Morano appeared on Al Jazeera America for a discussion round about whether the EPA bureaucratic power grab to regulate coal will have impacts on the economy and environment.

Photo: CFACT

Watch video here: https://ajam.app.box.com

Morano compares CO2 reductions to an insurance policy, one where the premiums are far more costly than anything you’ll ever get out of it.

Ideology-driven policy

He also reminds that coal power plants are far more efficient and cleaner today then they used to be. Morano also warned that the underlying drive behind the Obama policy is to make energy far more expensive and that it is driven by ideology, and not science.

Democrats “running very scared”

On the political front, Morano adds that the only climate that is going to change is the political climate, with many Democrats “running very scared of this“, saying it “could be devastating for them politically because the American public is not going to like an unelected bureaucracy taking over energy goals…” On the EPA, Morano warns:

Once you give them this expanded bureaucratic power, there is no limit.”

The other two guests on the show were fans of the EPA, and seemed to be saying: C’mon, give big government the chance to have unlimited, unchecked regulatory power, and you’ll see that it can do something good. History certainly has heard it before. Do we really want to repeat that?


Disappearing Excuses…Aerosols Likely Not Behind The Warming Pause

Why The Hiatus?

By Ed Caryl

One of the climatologist’s explanations for the 17-year hiatus in global warming is the effect of aerosols. This explanation seems weak for the simple reason that we don’t see aerosols in this time period.

We do see the impact of aerosols from volcanic activity in previous periods, however. Here is the satellite view of monthly global temperature since 1979, along with the El Niño index and atmospheric transmission from the Mauna Loa atmospheric observatory.


Figure 1 is RSS Global TLT, El Niño 3.4 index, and atmospheric transmission.

Atmospheric transmission is the ratio of direct solar radiation from the near UV to infrared wavelengths (0.3 microns to 2.8 microns) that makes it through the atmosphere. www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/mloapt.html.

Two volcanic eruptions CAUSED significant stratospheric haze from sulpher dioxide (SO2) injected into the stratosphere,
El Chichon in 1982 and Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Both caused significant solar energy obstruction for four years or more. Here are pictures of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in June 1991 on the left, and of the resulting stratospheric haze in August 1991 on the right, taken from the Space Shuttle.


Figure 2 is (on the left) Mt Pinatubo in eruption, and (on the right) the earth’s limb showing the stratospheric haze, the purple line across the middle, above the cumulonimbus clouds. Source here.

The 34-year satellite observation era can be split into two halves, the 17 years before the El Niño of 1998, and the 17 years since, including the El Niño. During the first 17 years there were 2 significant volcanic eruptions and three El Niños. Two of those El Niños occurred after eruptions, but during the periods where SO2 haze was present. The SO2 hazes prevented any temperature increase, and in fact produced cooling for nearly four years in each case. Despite that, during the 17 years, temperatures increased by 0.12°C, 0.072°C/decade.

Look closely at the temperature pattern associated with El Niños. Each El Niño produces a global temperature spike a few months later, followed by a cooling rebound that is as about as negative as the El Niño is positive, and lasts as long. But there is one exception. There was a small El Niño in 1995 for which there was no negative rebound as it was followed by the super-El Niño of  1998. These produced a step in temperature of about a quarter of a degree.

Most of the warming in the years from 1979 to 1997 are in that two-year period from the El Niño of 1995 to 1997. We are now in a slow cooling from that step, thus the hiatus in temperature. There is very little temperature trend since the end of the Pinatubo eruption haze in 1995 as the result of aerosols. With the exception of two very short volcanic events, atmospheric transmission as measured at Mauna Loa was almost flat at around 93% for that whole period.


Figure 3 is a magnified view of atmospheric transmission pre- and post-1997 with trend lines.

The two minor volcanic events were Shishaldin volcano in the Aleutian island arc of Alaska, producing an ash cloud to at least 45,000 feet in the stratosphere on April 19, 1999, and on March 22, 2009, Mount Redoubt volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, began a series of eruptions with the ash plume reaching 60,000 feet in the stratosphere during two of the six significant eruptions. Neither of these eruptions produced very much SO2, and the ash fell out of the stratosphere in less than a month, the resolution of the above plot.

If the very significant solar obscuration due to El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo pre-1995 resulted in warming, there is no way that the dearth of activity in the post-1995 period could have produced the observed lack of warming. But, the 0.25°C step in warming in the period from 1995 to after 1998 can be explained by the lack of volcanic activity in the later period. The average atmospheric transmission in the first period is about 1.5% less than in the second period. Allowing for average albedo, that is about 2.5 Watts/m2 difference in average solar radiation at the earth’s surface. This, plus the two El Niños in 1995 and 1998, explains the step in warming. This also means that the climate sensitivity, Lambda is very low.

Delta T = lambda * delta F, T is temperature in degrees C, F is the forcing in Watts/m2.

Lambda = delta T/delta F = 0.25°C/2.5 Watts/m2 = 0.1°C/Watt/m2.

This figure has some caveats, the temperature measurement is from the global satellite (RSS) temperature data, and the atmospheric transmission data is from Mauna Loa, Hawaii, which was on the edge of the SO2 plumes from Pinatubo, so it should be viewed as an approximation.

But it agrees with what Willis Eschenbach found yesterday for tropical regions, here. The Pinatubo eruption was the larger of the two eruptions and had the largest impact, but it was limited to tropical latitudes where lambda is low or negative.


Figure 4 is an optical depth plot of the Pinatubo SO2 plume three weeks after the eruption. Source here.

The lack of warming for the last 17 years cannot be due to an increase in aerosols, as there was no significant increase.

The hiatus in warming, with little volcanic activity to provide cooling, with the peak reached in the AMO, solar activity declining, increasing sea ice, sea temperatures hitting the limit, and the very low climate sensitivity measured above, all indicate that we have reached the peak global temperature in this cycle. It will get no warmer. It may never get warmer. The thermostat is open.


It’s The Soot Stupid! Leading Environmental Group NABU Says Soot Is 50% Responsible For Arctic Warming

With every passing year we get without global warming, CO2 loses more and more of its credibility as the cause for climate change. So what to do? Move on to another issue that will do just as well. Blame it on soot from automobiles and industry, and push for lots of regulation.

Black soot is responsible for 50% of Arctic warming.

Influential German environmental group Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) is now demanding a greater focus on soot when it comes to climate regulation. NABU writes:

The dangers of soot particles and other air pollutants have not been strong enough issues in politics up to now. NABU Director Leif Miller: ‘Up to 50 percent of the warming in the Arctic can be traced back to the influence of soot particles. Thus these particles play a role in climate change that is just as important as greenhouse gas CO2,’ Miller added.”

When listening to Miller when it comes to the scale of potential regulation, soot, which comes from the burning of fossil fuels, becomes just as attractive as CO2. Defining soot as a problem would pave the way for the massive regulation of a broad swath of our society. Soot would do just fine.

In Central Europe transportation is the main source. Together with other pollutants, soot particles make up the group of ‘short-life climate drivers’. They force climate change similarly as much as CO2, but remain in the atmosphere much shorter. Their reduction would impact the climate much more quickly than a reduction of CO2.”

NABU transportation expert Dietmar Oeliger adds: “By combating a climate driver that has an immediate impact, we would gain valuable time in reaching our climate targets”.

This sounds like it’s straight out of Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s book “Die kalte Sonne”, who also advocate measures for cleaning up soot in developing countries as a far more economical way of slowing down Arctic warming. BUND writes:

The German government must pass a binding reductions target by 2020. All diesel soot sources must be outfitted with modern exhaust cleaning systems such as particle filters. In addition, it is also necessary to fundamentally think about alternative mobility strategies where the internal combustion engine plays a significantly lesser role than today.”

Together with environmental groups BUND, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the Ecological Transportation Club of Germany (VCD), NABU has been pushing for stronger public awareness with its campaign: “Soot-free for the Climate”.

So even if CO2 turns out to have only a minimal or moderate effect on climate, it will still be necessary to massively regulate soot (fosselin fuels) in the relatively spic-and-span western industrial countries. Of course developing countries will be given a free pass here.

Whatever the outcome, it is nice to see that climate-factors other than CO2 are now being taken seriously by environmentalists.

And once the sun and oceans are considered, CO2 practically disappears from the warming equation. But with soot accounting for 50%, don’t expect the environmentalists to concede solar and oceanic cycles are playing a major role. Something has to be left for CO2.

All the blame has to be kept on fossil fuels.


Arctic Ice Loss: Temperature Or Soot?

By Ed Caryl

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth lately about the declining Arctic Ocean ice. Pierre and I have written several articles discussing the roll of soot and dust assisting melt of both the sea ice and the land ice on Greenland and other locations around the world. See here, here, and here.

But the warmists have always pointed to CO2 and “Global Warming/Climate Change” as the culprit behind the decline in Arctic ice. But proof has been lacking.

The major source of northern hemisphere soot and dust is Asia, chiefly China. They currently use over 3 billion tons of coal annually, and this amount has been steadily increasing with but one hesitation in the mid-1990’s. The question then becomes: What are the relationships between temperature and ice decline, and China’s use of coal and ice decline? The figures used were from Wikipedia for the annual coal production, and WoodForTrees for the annual average UAH satellite temperature and NSIDC NH ice index. The time period examined is the 30-year satellite era from 1980 to 2010.

It is clear from the charts that coal use in China is the primary culprit in the loss of Arctic Sea ice, especially in the last ten years. The R-Squared value, the goodness of fit, is almost twice that for global temperature. An R-squared value of one would mean a perfect fit… that is, the data all lines up on the trend line.

As long as China continues to burn vast quantities of coal with few attempts to clean up their particulate emissions, their unintended effort to melt the Arctic will continue.


Also read: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/hansen-shock-news-soot-twice-as-powerful-as-co2/


Now Backyard Barbeques Are Destroying The Planet – Leading German Alarmist Site Frets

The demonization of the outdoor barbecue has begun – expect it to be banned soon in our lifetime.

I like visiting the German alarmist websites. Among my favorites is klimaretter “climate rescuers”, a leading alarmist site run by a gaggle of tree-hugging, panic-spreading kooks who insist the end is near. They’re aligned with Joe Romm, Bill McKibben and other nutjobs. Stefan Rahmstorf donates money to them.

Today their entertainment did not disappoint me. Climate-rescuer contributor Georg Etscheit shares his experience and exasperation over a barbecue birthday party he was invited to by his barbecue-fan dentist – too much smoke, environmental destruction and fat!

For the environmentally and climatically obsessed Georg, all that the charcoal-burning and meat-eating is a “pyromaniacal ritual” that is intolerable and has to stop.

First he frets that in the future climate change will surely bring us many more days that will be ideal for having more environmentally destructive barbecues.

Next, he describes the set-up his meat-eating dentist had:

In his yard behind his dental practice, he had a pavilion set up for guests and his barbecue equipment was placed near it. The first thing that caught my eye was this voluminous casket-like appliance of US-American origin, a metal box with a huge cover for the charcoal. There’s an overheat feature that is supposed to be good for handling an entire pig. And such an animal was indeed lying on that casket, red, oozing and carved – a wretched picture. And I was supposed to eat that soon?”

But the cruelty that the poor pig frying on the grill had to endure was the least of his worries. Next he describes the dentist’s grill in more detail:

My barbecue-enthusiast dentist of course owned a luxurious barbecue grill, the kind you can buy at every home-center. Such a luxury grill-monster on wheels can easily cost several thousand euros. Sizzling on the grill, producing huge clouds of smoke, was an abundance of sausage and spare ribs. Then I noticed he also had a smaller spherical grill with a dozen grilled chickens going as well.”

Georg then complains about the all the smoke and grease, advising barbecue guests that it’s best to wear old clothing to barbecues because…

Smelly clouds of smoke are produced by the burning spare ribs and charred chicken, which are also drenched with artificial smoke-aroma barbecue sauces, all accompanied by mayonnaise-soaked egg, potato and pasta salads, which all surely leave fat and grease everywhere.”

How yukky! By now I can imagine poor Georg sitting as far away as possible, in some corner all by himself. He adds:

I don’t want to go further into detail. But for me it is clear that there is little to be desired from such pyromaniacal male rituals from the early times of the homo sapien sapiens. From a culinary perspective, invitations to barbecues are almost always a catastrophe, also health-wise because charred fat and meat in addition to the synthetically produced sauces and marinades are known to be extremely carcinogenic and very difficult to digest without huge quantities of pure alcohol.”

Well, alcohol does help. Next he describes the environmental and climatic impacts of barbecues:

Ecologically and from a climate perspective, barbecues are nothing but a disaster. Just the enormous quantities of meat at barbecues is completely unacceptable. Then there’s the charcoal, which is ecologically okay only if you look at it only on the surface. About two thirds of the 300,000 tons of charcoal burned in Germany every year by barbecue fans comes from the South American rain-forests. Most of the raw wood for this must be illegally cut.”

Again the rainforests. Georg then says that barbecues will take the planet to a tipping point:

Barbecue fans contribute to the destruction of the rain forests in three ways, and thus to climate change: First because of the soy production needed for producing huge amounts of meat. Secondly through the chopping of trees for producing charcoal. Moreover, this takes away an important source of fuel for the local people, who then in turn have to cut even more trees down. Now that rising temperatures are leading to a classic vicious circle whereby the number of summer evenings with”super barbecue weather” are rising, which in turn drives up demand for more charcoal, which leads to more deforestation  and so on.”

Has he never gone camping in the forest? I think Georg just needs more getting used to barbecues. Everybody invite Georg to your next barbecue: etscheit@gute-geschichten.de. I’m having one on August 25, and Georg you are invited to come.


More Climate Change Alarmism – Now It’s The Vibrio Public Health Scare!

Awhile back I wrote about the climate alarmists’ latest tactic to get people scared about climate change – i.e., make it look like it’s a serious threat to public health.

Hat-tip: DirkH

Der Spiegel has wasted little time and has immediately pounced on the new paper appearing in Nature Climate Change, by Austin et al, which boldly claims man-made global warming “is reshaping the distribution of infectious disease across global scales”.

The authors illustrate possible associations between environmental changes in the Baltic area and the recent emergence of Vibrio infections. They also forecast future scenarios of the risk of infections with predicted warming trends. The authors don’t beat around the bush, implying that the Baltic, because it warmed 0.063–0.078 °C yr from 1982 (a cold time) to 2010 (a warm time), sea surface temperatures there may rise 7°C per century!

How scientific is that? The stock market went up 200 points last week, and so does that mean it will rise 10,000 points over the next year? Of course not. The silly extrapolation the authors imply reveals their true intent: to fan public fear. This paper is hardly above tabloid trash as far as quality goes.

Moreover, the authors think that 29 years of data (half a PDO or AMO oscillation) are enough to make a quantum leap of faith and to conclude:

This is among the first empirical evidence that anthropogenic climate change is driving the emergence of Vibrio disease in temperate regions through its impact on resident bacterial communities, implying that this process is reshaping the distribution of infectious diseases across global scales.”

That is just plain stupid. Where’s the science? What would these scientists think if we told them that CO2 and global temperature haven’t correlated in 15 years?

Of course the somewhat obviously dimwitted journalist at Der Spiegel took it in, hook, line and sinker. Der Spiegel warns:

Already more and more people are being infected in warm summers by Vibrio vulnificus, a contagion for wounds, diarrhea and blood poisoning an international team of scientists reported in “Nature Climate Change”. Also the very closely related Cholera bacterium , Vibrio Cholerae, is on the march.

During the extremely warm summers of 1994, 2003 and 2006 at the Baltic Sea coast, there were numerous reports of infected wounds and cases of Cholera. Alone in 2006, 67 people became infected while bathing or doing water sports; some even died.”

The authors add that the number of Vibrio infections will increase significantly, if the warming continues. Note there’s no mention that there’s been no real outbreak since 2006.

The authors also warn that more than 30 million people live near the Baltic Sea coast and that they, and cities like Stockholm and St. Petersburg, are all threatened.

So readers, you are urged to cancel your Baltic holidays and to spend them somewhere else – like the good old Mediterranean, where water temperatures are about 10°C warmer.


WaPo’s Juliet Eilperin: Climate Change No Longer No. 1 Enviro-Issue…Number Of Concerned Americans Cut In Half!

Juliet Eilperin sees the “climate change” issue slipping away. It is no longer the number one environmental concern among Americans. When climate change is ranked among all problems that concern Americans, most polls show it as a mere asterisk, or bundled in with “other” or “misc.”

Eilperin starts her commentary:

Just 18 percent of those polled name it as their top environmental concern. That compares with 33 percent who said so in 2007, amid publicity about a major U.N. climate report and Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary about global warming. Today, 29 percent identify water and air pollution as the world’s most pressing environmental issue.”

That means the number of people who view climate change as a problem has been almost cut in half in just 5 years. Now about 60% more people are concerned about water and air pollution in the world – that’s good!

Clearly education on the issue of climate is spreading. People are becoming aware that climate change is natural and that the globe has not warmed in 15 years.

Eilperin writes that “the findings indicate that Washington’s decision to shelve action on climate policy means that the issue has receded” and that some “who feel passionately about the issue say they have noticed that President Obama is no longer pushing a bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions.”

Don’t expect any politicians to make climate change a central issue in this year’s elections.


ESA Envisat Pronounced Dead

What follows is a press release from ESA today:

ESA declares end of mission for Envisat

Just weeks after celebrating its tenth year in orbit, communication with the Envisat satellite was suddenly lost on 8 April. Following rigorous attempts to re-establish contact and the investigation of failure scenarios, the end of the mission is being declared.

A team of engineers has spent the last month attempting to regain control of Envisat, investigating possible reasons for the problem. Despite continuous commands sent from a widespread network of ground stations, there has been no reaction yet from the satellite.

As there were no signs of degradation before the loss of contact, the team has been collecting other information to help understand the satellite’s condition. These include images from ground radar and the French Pleiades satellite.

With this information, the team has gradually elaborated possible failure scenarios. One is the loss of the power regulator, blocking telemetry and telecommands.

Another scenario is a short circuit, triggering a ‘safe mode’ – a special mode ensuring Envisat’s survival. A second anomaly may have occurred during the transition to safe mode, leaving the satellite in an intermediate and unknown condition.

Although chances of recovering Envisat are extremely low, the investigation team will continue attempts to re-establish contact while considering failure scenarios for the next two months.

The outstanding performance of Envisat over the last decade led many to believe that it would be active for years to come, at least until the launch of the follow-on Sentinel missions.

However, Envisat had already operated for double its planned lifetime, making it well overdue for retirement.

With ten sophisticated sensors, Envisat has observed and monitored Earth’s land, atmosphere, oceans and ice caps during its ten-year lifetime, delivering over a thousand terabytes of data.

An estimated 2500 scientific publications so far have been based on this information, furthering our knowledge of the planet.

During those ten years, Envisat witnessed the gradual shrinking of Arctic sea ice and the regular opening of the polar shipping routes during summer months.

Together with other satellites, it monitored the global sea-level height and regional variations, as well as global sea-surface temperatures with a precision of a few tenths of a degree.

Years of Envisat data have led to a better understanding of ocean currents and chlorophyll concentrations.

In the atmosphere, the satellite observed air pollution increase in Asia and its stability in Europe and North America, and measured carbon dioxide and methane concentrations. Envisat also monitored the Antarctica ozone hole variations.

Over land, it mapped the speed of ice streams in Antarctica and Greenland. Its images were used regularly to update the global maps of land use, including the effects of deforestation.

Using its imaging radar, Envisat mapped ground displacements triggered by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, improving understanding of tectonics and volcanic mechanisms.

Envisat provided crucial Earth observation data not only to scientists, but also to many operational services, such as monitoring floods and oil spills. Its data were used for supporting civil protection authorities in managing natural and man-made disasters.

Envisat has also contributed valuable information to the services within Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environmental Security (GMES) programme, paving the way for the next generation of satellites.

Now with the end of the mission, the launch of the upcoming GMES Sentinel satellites has become even more urgent to ensure the continuity of data to users, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.



Poland Says No…Blocks EU’s Climate Roadmap…Napoleon Hedegaard Vents She Won’t Stand For It!

Everybody say thank you to Poland.

It was the only of 27 European countries to reject the EU’s climate roadmap at a conference of Environment Ministers in Brussels Friday, angering environmentalists and EU climate protection expansionists.

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 – 95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The EU has already committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, 30% by 2030 and by up to 60% by 2040. Poland has accepted the target for 2020 but refuses to agree to the remaining targets, claiming it’ll hurt its power generation industry, which is 90% based on coal.

Der Spiegel here reports that Oxfam called Poland’s position “annoying and irresponsible” and that Greenpeace was “outraged”.

The EU claims that cutting back CO2 emissions by up to 95% by 2050 will limit global warming to 2°C, and thus lead to a rescue of the planet. Today’s European leaders fancy themselves as sort of world action heroes who are called on to save the planet from the certain climate catastrophe. This of course can only be achieved by taking away more of everybody’s money.

According to the Financial Times Deutschland, EU Climate Commissar Connie Hedegaard was upset by Poland’s action, venting she would not stand for it:

We will never accept one country sabotaging the progress of the whole world. This also affects a country within the European Union.”

The Handelsblatt writes:

Poland wants to stop Europe’s every jump ahead and will first wait for binding commitments from other large polluters like China and USA.”

Anyone who doubts that Europe’s climate Napoleons don’t mean business should think again. Not only does Hedegaard think she can boss Poland around, she also thinks she can tell the rest of the world what to do. Take airlines for example.

Hedegaard (Photo: Wedege)

China retaliates, puts orders for 45 Airbus planes on ice!

The online Merkur here reports that all 27 EU countries agreed on imposing the requirement that airlines flying to and from Europe purchase climate emissions permits. “Flights to and from Europe must have pollution permits. These will be charged for the first time beginning in 2013. China, USA and India are vehemently opposed to the long agreed system.” The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: “Because of the dispute, China has threatened retaliation and have put orders for 45 Airbus planes on ice.”

Once Russia, USA, India and a host of other countries start putting the pressure on, expect the climate Napoleons to retreat. Read here. The EU’s Waterloo is just a year away. In the meantime Connie Hedegaard is busily setting up Europe for it.

Science Journal Now Admits Soot’s Major Role In Warming – CO2 Getting Cut Down To Size

Der Spiegel reports today that scientists have identified soot (black carbon) as one of the major global warmers out there.

According to Science Journal here, a team of 24 experts led by NASA scientist Drew Shindell looked at 400 emission control measures and identified 14 measures targeting methane and black carbon (BC) emissions that would reduce projected global mean warming.

Source: http://atmoz.org/blog/2007/06/12/global-melting-big-thaw/

Recently scientists and activists have been frustrated by the slow progress and dogged reluctance by countries to cap CO2 emissions, which are thought to be causing global warming. So Shindell looked for alternative ways to avert warming. Suddenly, lo and behold, soot (BC) and methane have emerged as major global warming factors. The amount they admit soot and methane contribute to warming is in my view astonishing.  The abstract states (emphasis added):

We considered ~400 emission control measures to reduce these pollutants by using current technology and experience. We identified 14 measures targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050.”

This equals the total amount of warming we’ve seen in the last 40 years!

Now scientists are telling us that soot and methane will have the same effect that CO2 is claimed to have had over the last 40 years? Whatever happened to the assertion that man-made CO2 has caused 95% of the warming over the last decades? Obviously CO2 as a driver is seriously getting cut down to size. Throw in the emerging solar effects and there isn’t much left for poor old CO2.

The abstract continues:

This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at $700 to $5000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than $250). The selected controls target different sources and influence climate on shorter time scales than those of carbon dioxide–reduction measures. Implementing both substantially reduces the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold.”

No need to worry any longer about a doubling of CO2 concentrations. Indeed CO2 as a driver and its hypothesized positive feedbacks simply aren’t materializing. We haven’t seen any warming in 15 years. Now scientists are realizing that soot is a big league player.

Der Spiegel writes:

About 3 billion people prepare their meals over open fires that burn wood, dung or coal, and thus emit huge amounts of soot. However attempts to get people in Africa and Asia to get interested in other cooking devices have often proven to be difficult.

Of course it has been difficult. When idiot bureaucrats attempt (and are successful) to slow down progress, people remain poor and all they have left to burn is wood. But if they promote growth, free markets and development so that poor countries can attain western standards of living, then they will be able to afford to burn cleaner fuels like gas and oil. And if someday they should get really rich, they too will be able to afford wind and solar energy.

Ed Caryl told us about soot – months ago! Read here!

New Paper Shows Profound Urban Warming Impact

A new paper written by Maeng-Ki Kim, Department of Atmospheric Science, Kongju National University, and Seonae Kim of the Applied Meteorology Research Team, Environmental Prediction Research Inc. of Korea has been published by the Journal of Atmospheric Environment.The two scientists examined cities in South Korea and the urban heat island effect. Hat-tip: Dr. Ghana.

According to the abstract here (emphasis added):

The quantitative values of the urban warming effect over city stations in the Korean peninsula were estimated by using the warming mode of Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of 55 years of temperature data, from 1954 to 2008. The estimated amount of urban warming was verified by applying the multiple linear regression equation with two independent variables: the rate of population growth and the total population. […] The cities that show great warming due to urbanization are Daegu, Pohang, Seoul, and Incheon, which show values of about 1.35, 1.17, 1.16, and 1.10°C, respectively. The areas that showed urban warming less than 0.2°C are Chupungnyeong and Mokpo. On average, the total temperature increase over South Korea was about 1.37°C; the amount of increase caused by the greenhouse effect is approximately 0.60°C, and the amount caused by urban warming is approximately 0.77°C.”

According to their results, that means well over a half of the warming is caused by urban warming.

Why aren’t we surprised? Anyone who has read Ed Caryl’s very recent stories here at this blog and is familiar with Anthony Watts’s surface stations audit knows why.


CRASH! European Carbon Market Plummets

Portuguese website Ecotretas here informs us that the European carbon market, the EU Emissions Allowances, has crashed over 20% last week alone, see the following chart.

Carbon price per ton in euros over the last one year. Graphic source: http://www.eex.com

Read more about what is behind the crash at Ecotretas

In the scheme, carbon emission allowances, called EU Allowances (EUAs), are allocated to specific industrial sectors and cap the total level of emissions at levels which reduce over time. There are just over two billion allowances on issue, which are traded between emitters and other market participants on exchanges and via brokers.

The European Union started the market in carbon dioxide emissions in 2005.

The EU trading acheme applies to 7300 companies and 11,500 installations in sectors with high carbon dioxide emissions across the 27 nations of the EU. These include: energy utilities, oil refineries, iron and steel producers, the pulp and paper industry as well as producers of cement, glass, lime, brick and ceramics. Aviation. The scheme is regulated by the European Commission (EC).

First the science crumbles, then the costs explode, the illusions melt away, and finally the markets crash. But don’t expect Europe to change course. In socialist Europe it’s: “Let no economic suicide go unfinished!”

No wonder China doesn’t want any part of this scam, and so refuses to buy any Airbus planes from bossy Europe.


Documentary On The German “Waldsterben” Hysteria – Looking Back 30 Years

30 years ago Waldsterben (forest dieback) was probably Germany’s first post-war environmental hysteria to grip the country. Today we see that all the prophecies of doom were completely wrong.

The excellent Michael Miersch brings our attention to this oustanding arte Franco-German documentary called “The Forests are Dying Again (in German, and here in French), which takes a look back at one of the greatest environmental hysterias ever to grip a population: Waldsterben (forest dieback), a.k.a. acid rain.

The documentary also exposes the dirty tricks the media used to keep the hysteria alive (see 24-min. mark). There are so many parallels to today’s modern climate hysteria.

Again, back then there was “consensus”, all the scientists agreed, there was no denying the catastrophe, and politicians called it a grave threat that required immediate action. Fear gripped Germany. Environmentalists, union leaders, church leaders, citizens, politicians, etc. marched on the streets and demanded the government take action. The culprit was clear: emissions from industry and man were producing acid-rain that was chemically searing forests. At the 1:29 mark of the documentary:

The early 1980s, thousands of people took to the streets, an entire country is in panic, the German forest is dying. That’s for sure. But we alone are at fault due to our unbridled efforts to attain prosperity and progress. We treated nature like crap, and now there is nothing left to do but take it to the grave.”

Der Spiegel triggers the hysteria

The scare was first set into motion by Der Spiegel’s November, 1981 front page story called: “The Forests are Dying. Acid Rain Over Germany“. Soon all other media outlets fell over themselves to see who could produce the most sensational stories.

Der Spiegel wrote that the forest had only 5 years left. Stern, not to be outdone,followed with: “Acid Death” and claimed that the forest had only 3 years left.  Waldsterben remained the hottest story for years in the German press. The scare even served as one of the major springboards that launched Germany’s Green Party.

At the 3:08 mark, the documentary cuts back to present-day 2011 Allgäu, 30 years later, where we see the forests look completely healthy. “How can that be?” the documentary asks.

Rudy Holzbergercollected 150 media clippings about the tree-dieback hysteria, and has gone back and analyzed them. While some media outlets like Stern claimed the forest would die in as little as 3 years, all agreed on one thing, Holzberger says:

All of them said the forest would be dead at the latest by the year 2000.”

Holzberger then goes on to explain that the science behind the scare was flaky and thin. Sound familiar? Most of the forest dieback junk-science is traced back to University of Göttingen professor Bernhard Ulrich, who says at the 6:36 mark:

“There’s no doubt for those who are involved in the science the cause is air pollution, acid rain, and everything that comes with it.

We have to expect that after a warm and dry year it will lead to widespread forest damage and death.”

According to Professor Ulrich, German forests would soon appear as dead as those shown at the 7.50 mark of the documentary.

Later in the documentary, tree rings reveal that an even more widespread tree die-off occurred in 1947, and that the tree die-off in the early 1980s was nothing unusual and part of the natural cycle. The 1980s episode, however, showed how the media for the first time could drive an entire nation into mass panic.

Happening faster than anyone expected

The panic eventually spread into France (but to a lesser degree) thanks to assertions made by Professor Josef Reichelt, who claimed that French trees were dying off as well. But the French press ignored the story as a whole. Yet, there were still some kooks like Richard Kletty who claimed:

“It’s happening unbelievably fast. We know the resistance that trees have, and so it really surprised us how fast the damage is taking place and the trees are dying.”

Joschka Fischer

Today we hear the same about sea ice melt. Yet, the scare never took off in France as it did in Germany, where the topic was emotionalized rather than being based on science and reason. At the 14:20 mark the documentary tells us how the German Greens made the jump into the German Parliament, with a young Joschka Fischer (looks like him, anyway) marching in carrying a dead tree.

The all-knowing, bearded Greens protested the inauguration of Helmut Kohl, claiming he was dealing with the problem irresponsibly. The political payoff for the greens was handsome. As the forests appeared to be dying, Germany embarked on the path of turning “green”.

The forests then recovered, but the media ignored it

At the 23-minute mark, the documentary tells us that eventually by 1993 the trees, which go through natural cycles of losing needles and greening again, depending on rainfall, were back in a state of ruddy health and that there was no longer any danger of the once feared massive forest die-off. How did the media react to this news? At the 23:55 mark, Helmut Schulz says:

We made an analysis of the press to see how they reported on this. Of 54 daily newspapers, only 4 reported on the positive news. All the others, 50 newspapers, reported negatively.”

The media had no interest in an improving forest health – they wanted to remain stuck on Armageddon. Instead they rolled out more apocalyptic headlines. At the 23:42 mark, Holzberger shows some of the headlines: Stern in 1994: The Death Struggle of the Trees which included words like: “If Trees Could Scream, which described the death of trees in human terms.“It was complete nonsense”, says Holzberger.

Tree-dieback deniers got smeared

It was also a difficult period for scientists who did not share the apocalyptic views of mass forest die-off. In 1996 Professor Heinrich Spieker published a scientific assessment of European forests commissioned by a Finnish forestry institute. The report was called: Growth Trends of European Forests, which reached the conclusion: “The forest in Europe is growing faster and they are healthier”. This is not what the media wanted to hear. It contradicted prevailing dogma. The reaction from the media was harsh.

Here were some of the claims made by the media (see 26.46 mark), the Süddeutsche Zeintung:

EFI study is superficial and fundamentally flawed.”

and called the deniers:

Witch doctors and charlatans”

and one German activist group wrote:

Half of the financing came from the Finnish government, and that Spieker was married to a Finnish woman.”

Today, it’s clear that Heinrich Spieker was right, and that it is the slimy media who have egg on their faces. Indeed German forests are expanding 170 sq km annually. And again today in climate science, the very same newspapers and groups are at it again.

Ironically, today’s forest die-off is due to the green biofuels craze

At the 27-minute mark, the documentary focuses on today’s claims that climate change is threatening yet another forest die off. But as the documentary shows, forests are adapting as they always have, and that the Sahara is getting greener. The science shows that the warming temps over the last 30 years (likely due to ocean cycles) is making the planet greener, and not browner.

In the last segment of the documentary we see the real threat to forests – especially tropical forests. It is deforestation to make way for green bio-crop plantations – to grow crops that allegedly will save forests from climate change.

Urban Warming – Where Does It Come From?

By Ed Caryl

My last article, Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real (But It’s Not From CO2, contained the statement: “No one (to my knowledge) has researched what part of the global temperature rise is due to energy use. All energy use ultimately goes to heat. This is what causes the heat islands.” This raised eyebrows in at least one reader, who commented, to paraphrase, that in his opinion, heat islands were caused by solar energy acting on and with the structures in the city, pavements, buildings, etc. The answer is: both solar and anthropogenic heat contribute to heat islands.

There have been studies done on some towns and cities. I cited the study done on Barrow, Alaska in A Light In Siberia. The heat island there is 2.2°C in winter when there is no sunlight at Barrow’s latitude north of the Arctic Circle. At Barrow, it is clear that the heat island is due to the fuel used to heat the village. To quote from that study, “There was a strong positive relation between monthly UHI magnitude and natural gas production/use. Integrated over the period September–May.”

Fairbanks, Alaska, has also been studied for heat island. There, the heat island was shown to grow with increasing population over the 50 year time period from 1949 to 1999. The temperature difference at the end of this period was 1°C in mid-winter at Fairbanks airport, 7 kilometers from downtown, compared to Eielson Air Force Base, about 40 kilometers away, and nil in the summer. Again, as Fairbanks is nearly at the Arctic Circle, solar heating cannot be the cause.

What about heat islands further south? This author has lived in the Pacific Northwest of the US for most of his life, the last 50 years in Seattle and Spokane, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. In winter, there have been several hundred occasions when it was raining in the downtown areas, and snowing in the suburbs or surrounding rural areas. These cities are well known for cloudy and rainy climate, especially in the winter, when the sun may not shine for months at a time. These winter heat islands cannot be solar caused.

In Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real, the article stated that the U. S. used 29 PetaWattHours of energy in 2005. This is from all sources: fossil fuels, hydroelectric, wood, solar, wind-turbines, and pedal-power included. The last three contributed insignificantly, so can be ignored. The total land area of the contiguous 48 states is just over 8 million square kilometers. In 2002, urban area was less that 3% of the land area, or 240,000 km2 and 79% of the population lived in these urban areas. If each person consumes roughly the same amount of energy, then roughly 23 PetaWattHours was used in less than 240,000 km2, or almost 1010 WattHours per square kilometer, or 100 kilowatthours per square meter annually in urban areas. This is 6.1% of the sun’s energy on that same square meter. This will raise the temperature in that square meter by 17.4°C.

This figure seems a little high, as it is more than the NASA heat images reveal (10 to 15°C), and more than most studies have stated. This is probably because more energy is consumed between urban areas, for transportation (jet fuel, long-haul trucks, auto travel), farm energy use, electricity transport losses, and losses from the wind simply blowing it away to the rest of the northern hemisphere. But it does indicate that energy use heating may be the large factor in urban warming.

But what about the city structure itself absorbing solar energy and providing it back to the environment? This undoubtedly happens. The ability of a land surface to reflect solar energy is called albedo. The scale is zero for no reflectance, or complete absorbance, to 1 for perfect reflection. Lamp-black has an albedo of nearly zero, and fresh fallen powder snow has an albedo of nearly 1. Cities are fairly dark because asphalt city streets and parking lots, along with most roofing materials, are a large percentage of the surface. Most cities have an albedo of between 0.1 and 0.2. The average albedo of the earth is between 0.29 and 0.35, but it varies widely from about 0.9 or more for Antarctica and Greenland, to 0.2 for forests and vegetated areas. Deserts and dry grasslands have an albedo of 0.4 to 0.5. The oceans have an albedo of less than 0.1.

Figure 1. Terrestrial earth albedo. Source: NASA Earth Observatory, http://www.eoearth.org/article/Albedo?topic=54300

A city with an urban core that has an albedo of less than 0.2, surrounded by desert or grasslands with an albedo of 0.4 to 0.5, will be warmer than the surrounding area because it absorbs more solar radiation. Any heat energy produced by the population will simply add slightly to that heat. Examples would be Phoenix, Arizona or Cairo, Egypt.

There is a study that compared energy use and albedo for several cities. The link is below. If a city is mostly light colored concrete, with an albedo of 0.2, and is surrounded by suburbs with green lawns and asphalt streets, with an albedo of 0.11 to 0.16, the city core may be cooler than the surrounding area because the city core reflects more heat than the darker surroundings. An example would be Los Angeles, California.

Cities north of about 45° latitude, such as New York City, Montreal, Moscow, and of course Fairbanks and Barrow Alaska, will tend to have more anthropogenic heat than solar heat. Cities south of that line will tend to solar heating. A compact city will have more anthropogenic heat than one that is spread out because the anthropogenic heat will warm a smaller area. Again, New York City, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, and Moscow, Russia, are good examples of compact cities with extreme heat islands driven by energy consumption. St. Louis, Missouri, USA and Berlin, Germany are the opposite examples with heat islands that are predominately driven by the sun. A city’s location, days of sunshine, density, and the character of the structures, will define whether the heat island is predominately caused by the sun or by the people.

One of the commenters on Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real…wanted an explanation on why some urban surface stations show a cooling trend. The answer lies in the local trends in albedo. If cities or regions get lighter, (white concrete streets replacing asphalt, increasing numbers of white sheet metal, or white painted roofs replacing tarred or composition roofs, increasing parks and open spaces, etc.) conditions would favor declining temperatures. A recent paper about land use changes in Spain cites an example where greenhouse horticulture in the southeastern part of the country changed the albedo locally by +0.09 changing the local temperature trend to –0.3°C/decade. Changes in land use, population density, vegetation, or even changes in local building codes may change the local albedo and change the trend in temperature. Very small changes in local albedo will lead to noticeable changes in local temperature trends.

Temperature change driven by urban warming or cooling, and albedo changes are what makes the total global surface temperature trend so maddingly difficult to ascertain. In the absence of man’s influence on albedo or burning of fossil fuel (ignoring any possible CO2 influence), the earth may be warming, or it may be cooling. We simply do not know. Albedo changes and energy use are masking the truth.

Anthropogenic Global Warming Is Real – But It’s Not All From CO2

By Ed Caryl

There have been multiple studies of solar influence on global and regional temperature changes. Just of few of them are here, here, here, and here. This author made a contribution to the question here. Many of these studies show a some correlation of the sun’s output versus temperature, but most researchers think that this relationship is a weak one, contributing from one third to one half of the observed warming. So, from where is the remainder coming?

Figure 1: Heat map of Buffalo, New York, USA, NASA image.

Pierre and this author have written about urban warming here and here. It is clear from the infrared satellite photos by NASA that urban heat islands are both more wide spread and warmer that previously known. Particularly in the eastern half of the U. S., the heat islands are blending together, raising the temperature of the whole region. How much?

No one (to my knowledge) has researched what part of the global temperature rise is due to energy use. All energy use ultimately goes to heat. This is what causes the heat islands. Much of energy usage is immediately wasted as heat: cooling towers at power plants, automobile radiators, heat loss through home insulation, heat loss up the chimney, electric motor heat loss, heat from electric lights, are just a few examples of heat losses. Even energy used to transport things is ultimately lost as heat. Just moving something through the air, heats the air. For this reason, we can convert all the energy used into watts and calculate the temperature rise. In these calculations, the energy used will be considered over particular land areas.

The first area considered is the U.S.A. There are figures for the energy consumption in the U. S. in 2005, 29 Pwh (Petawatt hours, a PetaWatt is 1015 watts. That is 1 with 15 zeros. The area of the contiguous U. S. (the lower 48 states) is 8,080,464 km2. If we divide the energy used by the area, we get 3,589 Wh/m2. Divide that by 8766 hours in a year we get 0.409 W/m2, or 9.826 Wh/m2/day, as the average energy dumped into the environment in the U. S. in 2005.

The sun provides about 4.5 kW/m2/day on a horizontal, flat, black, surface at the average latitude of the U.S. The average albedo of the earth’s surface is 0.3, which means that on average, the surface will absorb 70% of the insolation (solar energy) that strikes it. This means that the effective heating will be 70% of 4.5 kW/m2/day, or 3,150 W/m2/day. The energy dumped into the environment by every American’s energy use is 0.312% of the sun’s energy. This will raise the temperature by 0.312%. The average temperature in the U. S is 11.6°C or 284.75°K. The temperature rise will be about 0.89°C.

As you can see on the temperature chart below from NOAA, this will neatly take care of the temperature rise seen in the last 25 years.

Figure 2. Source: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/images/1208natltemp.png

What about the global picture? Figures are available for global energy consumption for 1988 through 2006. As most of this consumption is in the northern hemisphere, and that is where we see the most warming, the calculation uses the northern hemisphere land area, 100,228,500 km2. The same average insolation value will be used as in the U. S. example above, 3150 W/m2/day. Figure 3 is a chart of global and hemispheric temperature trends and the calculated temperature rise in the land area of the northern hemisphere due to energy usage. The temperature anomaly data comes from GISS/NASA here. The chart may underemphasize the temperature rise due to energy use because energy use is localized to a limited local areas in few countries: the US, Europe, including Russia, and China. The temperature data may also be overemphasized because the surface temperature measuring sites are at airports and other urban settings that are even warmer than the average location.

Figure 3. NH, SH, and Global temperature rise, and the rise caused by energy use (dark blue line).

Dr. Richard C. Wilson states that 50% of the temperature anomaly is due to total solar irradiance changes (TSI). Drs. Judith Lean and David Rind make predictions based on TSI along with ocean cycles. Neither mentions any influence from energy usage.

Here are two maps. The first is the lower troposphere temperature rise over the period 1978 to 2006, much the same period as the chart above.

Figure 4. Source: University of Alabama Huntsville.

The second map is of energy usage by country.

Figure 5. Source: Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, 2006.

Though the energy usage map is very coarse, one can see that the maximum energy usage area roughly coincides with the same areas as the northern hemisphere temperature rise.

The planet has been heating in the last two hundred years. Some of that change in temperature comes from ocean cycles, some from the sun and its various influences, and some from man. Much of the anthropogenic (man caused) portion is simply energy use that has dramatically increased in the last fifty years. A thorough, honest, investigation needs to be done before we blame it all on CO2.

The Debate On Mercury Emission Standards

Scott Portman

No, I’m not becoming a warmist or a tree-hugger. But I am pleased to give environmentally concerned citizens the microphone here.

The following is from Scott Portman of Atlanta, who politely asked to have his essay published here. It’s about the EPA and regulating mercury. I’m in favour of reducing mercury emissions, as long as the benefits outweigh the costs. I think Scott here will very much appreciate your comments.

The Debate On Mercury Emission Standards

by Scott Portmann
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed the first-ever national standards for mercury and other air pollutants. The agency’s proposed standards are meant to regulate coal fired power plants in the US. They currently believe that with the new regulations, public health will be dramatically improved on a global level; in the US alone, they project that 17,000 premature deaths from lung diseases, such as mesothelioma, will be prevented. The standards, in addition, will prevent a whopping 11,000 heart attacks and 120,000 cases of childhood asthma.

The administrator of the US EPA, Lisa Jackson, confirmed her belief on the subject, claiming in a statement:

With the help of existing technologies, we will be able to take reasonable steps that will provide dramatic protections to our children and loved ones, preventing premature deaths, heart attacks, and asthma attacks”

It is possible that these new standards might be a result of the recent pressure the EPA has come under, due to a lot of pushback from the Republican Party. They hold the belief that the EPA is hurting the global economy with their rigid regulations. In an attempt to try to reign in the EPA, Republican lawmakers have targeted the agency’s climate rules. In their attempt, these new mercury standards have come under fire, too.

Currently, the technology exists to make this environmental goal a reality. Just by installing the regulating systems, power plants could effectively lower a slew of harmful emissions. US President Barack Obama has even issued an executive order that mandates the EPA to make sure their regulations are cost effective and not overly burdensome to industry. In response to that, the EPA has claimed that their standards are so cost-effective that for every $1 spent, the public will see $13 in benefits.

As to be expected, there are opponents to the EPA’s mercury regulations. Some believe that the standards would impose major economic burdens to manufacturing companies, costing many people their jobs. In the current economic climate, they raise a legitimate concern. They believe that the expenses will be passed on to consumers, who will face higher electricity bills.

On the flipside, if the standards pass the public will most definitely see increased health benefits. Thousands will live longer, and even more will breathe easier. Perhaps most importantly, the environment will be safeguarded and it will be a step towards preventing climate change. Toxic mercury will be reduced from bodies of water, and as a result, fish will be safer to eat. With fewer illnesses, there will be fewer expenses due to hospital and doctor visits as well. The money saved from collateral costs will most likely outweigh any additional electricity costs. It just seems that the positive aspects of the mercury standards far outweigh the negatives.

A health, safety, and political advocate with a passion for economics, Scott Portman is an aspiring journalist who currently resides in the South East United States