Saturday, August 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Fat Polar Bears (And Lots of Them) Signal The End Of A Climate Icon








Gaia In Action: Melting Sea Ice May Help Cool The Planet

In this newsletter:

1) Fat Polar Bears (And Lots Of Them) Signal The End Of A Climate Change Icon
Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 23 August 2017
 
2) Gaia In Action: Melting Sea Ice May Help Cool The Planet
The Australian, 18 August 2017


 
3) Arctic Ice Update Unalarming
Science Matters, 22 August 2017 
 
4) Solar Cycle Continues To Be The Weakest In 200 Years 
No Tricks Zone, 23 August 2017
 
5) John Cameron: Challenging Authority Is Essential For Science And Progress 
The Scotsman, 24 August 2017
 
6) Theaters Self-Sacrifice To Boost Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel
Miss Liberty, 23 August 2017 
 
7) John Stossel: Al Gore And Me 
Fox News, 23 August 2017 

Full details:

1) Fat Polar Bears (And Lots Of Them) Signal The End Of A Climate Change Icon
Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 23 August 2017
 
What is causing the death of the polar bear as a climate change icon? Fat bears are part of it, but mostly it’s the fact that polar bear numbers haven’t declined as predicted.
 
Western Hudson Bay polar bears around Churchill, Manitoba appear mostly in good shape this summer despite the very late freeze-up last fall, including the very fat bear caught on camera below (see more great pictures here):


 
Not only have we been seeing pictures of fat bears rather than starving bears in recent years but there are lots of them, in Western Hudson Bay and other seasonal sea ice regions where there should be none (if the models had been correct). No wonder polar bears are falling out of favour as an icon for catastrophic human-caused global warming.
 
[Here’s another picture of a fat bear, this one from Svalbard]


 
Excuses for why the public is no longer worried about the future of polar bears include a recent claim by climate scientist Michael Mann that “by making polar bears and penguins the poster child for climate change, we have wrongly conveyed that this is some exotic problem far off.
 
But none of these apologists acknowledge the simple truth: the models that  predicted catastrophe for polar bears due to diminished summer sea ice turned out to be wrong.
 
The sea ice declined but polar bears flourished. Polar bears in seasonal sea ice eco-regions like Western Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay didn’t die off due to climate change as people were told would happen — why should they believe any of the other scare stories?
 
Full post
 
As Polar Bear Numbers Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-Assessment Of Endangered Species Status
 

See also -- 
Healthy Polar Bears – Less Than Healthy Science


 

2) Gaia In Action: Melting Sea Ice May Help Cool The Planet
The Australian, 18 August 2017
John Ross
 
Melting sea ice could help cool the planet by flooding the atmosphere with particles that deflect sunlight.
 
Australian research suggests climate modellers have under­estimated a natural “thermostat” that helps alleviate the rise in temperatures: immense quantities of reflective compounds, emitted by marine microbes, that act like a handbrake on global warming.


Immense quantities of reflective compounds, emitted by marine microbes, act like a handbrake on global warming.

 
The study, published by the American Meteorological Society, suggests an overlooked source of these so-called aerosols — algae living in ice — could jam the handbrake on even harder. Lead author Albert Gabric said with the Arctic expected to see ice-free summers within a decade, far more of the aerosols would be emitted.
 
“Whether that can slow the rate of warming of the Arctic is the trillion-dollar question,” said Dr Gabric, a marine biogeo­chemist with Griffith University in Brisbane.
 
Climate scientists have long known that aerosols help mitigate global warming by bouncing sunrays back into space, and by altering clouds to make them more reflective. Experts believe half of the ­potential warming from greenhouse gases may be offset in this way.
 
Much research has focused on aerosols produced artificially, through the burning of fossil fuels and vegetation. Scientists worry that if China switched to renewable sources of energy overnight, it could trigger a massive surge in warming.
 
Aerosols are also produced naturally by volcanoes — such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in The Philippines, which is credited with cutting global temperatures by about 0.5C for two years — and by marine ecosystems.
 
Algae known as “phytoplankton” are a major contributor, with increasingly massive blooms of these marine creatures emerging in the warming Arctic waters.
The new study analysed terabytes of satellite data to track atmos­pheric aerosol concen­trations. For the first time, it identified sea ice as a “very strong source” of the airborne particles.
 
Dr Gabric said “ice algae” had evolved to tolerate the subzero temperatures of sea ice and the water that formed it. They used a compound called dimethyl sulfide as an “antifreeze” to survive the chill. “When the sea ice melts during spring, these algae don’t need that protection any more. They expel these compounds, which are degassed to the atmosphere and converted into sulfate aerosols very similar to what you get from burning sulphur-containing coal.
 
“This happens every year as the sea ice melts. The difference in recent decades is that the ice is melting a lot earlier. We now think that within 10 years there won’t be any ice in the Arctic during summer.”
 
He said the process had “absolutely not” been factored into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models of global warming. “The whole aerosol question and its relationship to warming is the biggest uncertainty to projecting what’s going to happen this century.
 
“This is a new area of ­research, primarily because people can’t get up there and measure it very easily. You need an ice­breaker and a big gun to shoot any polar bears that might want to eat you,” he said. 
 
3) Reality Check: Arctic Ice Update 
Science Matters, 22 August 2017 
Ron Clutz
 


The image above shows ice extents for day 233 from 2007 to 2017.  Particularly interesting is the variation in the CAA (Canadian Arctic  Archipelago), crucial for the Northwest Passage.  (The region is located just north of the words “Ice Extent” in gold.)  Note that 2016 was a fine year for cruising with the passage completely open at this date.  That was not the case in 2014, and this year is also frozen solid.


 
The graph of August NH ice extents shows 2017 virtually tied with the decadal average as of yesterday. This year is now 550k km2 greater than 2016 and exceeds 2007 by 250k km2.  SII (Sea Ice Index) 2017 is also 400k km2 lower.  
 
A previous post Beware the Arctic Storms of August discussed how late summer storms have dramatic impacts, and the graph shows both 2012 and 2016 plummeting in the last five days.  By the end of the month in nine days, those two years will go below 4.4M km2.
 
Full post
 
4) Solar Cycle Continues To Be The Weakest In 200 Years 
No Tricks Zone, 23 August 2017
 
By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
 
The current solar cycle is the weakest since solar cycle 6, which occurred close to 200 years ago.
 
Our source of energy and life at the center of our solar system was significantly below normal with respect to activity last month.
 
The measured sunspot number (SSN) was 18.3. That was only 36% of what is typical (51) this far into the solar cycle – calculated from the previous 23 solar cycles recorded.
 
The sun was completely free of spots on 11 days in July. Notable: while during last month the sun’s northern hemisphere was more active (in June all sunspots were in the northern hemisphere), last month the southern hemisphere was the most active part with 60% of the sunspots appearing there. The following diagram shows the course of solar cycle 24 thus far:
 

The current solar cycle 24 (red) compared to another similar solar cycle 5 (black) and the mean of the previous 23 cycles (blue).

 
The following chart is a comparison of all the solar cycles, 104 months in:
 

Comparison of sunspot activity of all cycles since 1755, accumulated deviation from the mean.

 
The outlook for solar activity that is coming after the current cycle is somewhat uncertain. The error in the polar field data that has been known since May, 2017, still has yet to be corrected. Thus it is not possible to make any reliable forecasts for the strength of the upcoming cycle.
 
Full post
 
5) John Cameron: Challenging Authority Is Essential For Science And Progress 
The Scotsman, 24 August 2017
 
My favourite physics teacher, Cal Tech’s Richard Feynman, insisted that “dissent” – actively challenging a dominant idea – was central to the function and reputation of science. 
 
His great friend and colleague Freeman Dyson agreed: “Subversive science’s long history stretches back to at least Galileo and if it ceases to rebel against authority, it is finished.”
 
The right to dissent is a basic American freedom yet calls for the prosecution of scientists who question the dogma of global warming come from former Vice-President Al Gore. And last year the attorney generals of California and New York joined forces in what was an attempt to censor and restrict debate on this most contentious of scientific theories.
 
Sadly in recent years dissent has come under sustained attack in all the groves of academe on both sides of the Atlantic in a manner which stifles creative thinking. Yet civilisation’s great heroes took on the consensus and made the case against conventional wisdom because it is only when authority is challenged that progress is secured.
 
A recent Adam Smith Institute report warns that overrepresentation of leftist views has led to a pervasive groupthink which undermines the necessary ideological diversity of academia. It has created a dysfunctional atmosphere “where key assumptions go unquestioned, dissenting opinions are neutralised, and favoured beliefs are held as sacrosanct”.
 
And the present climate has produced a generation of infantilised college students demanding “safe spaces” where any speech that could hurt their feelings is forbidden.
 
Yet safe spaces defeat the whole point of college because students are there to learn, to listen, to read widely, to think critically, to cooperate and to resolve conflicts through reason. These are essential skills in the world of work and colleges used to equip students for professional life by exposing them to challenging and uncomfortable ideas.
 
Today’s safe spaces create the impression the young can be insulated from anyone who holds a different view but outside the bubble graduates won’t be able to avoid confrontations.
 
In fact the tendency of some universities to bow to adolescent pressure and shield students from provocative ideas is a serious mistake. It should be binned with all the other coddling nonsense because in any democratic society, to say nothing of a global economy, an open mind is the most valuable asset one can possess.
 
Of course some in the real world – and old enough to know better – have set a bad example such as the Speaker of the House of Commons pledging to “no-platform” the US president. But prestigious institutions open themselves to ridicule when they provide students with colouring books and Play-Doh in “safe-spaces”.
 
When I was battling the clunky and temperamental computers in the early 1960s it never occurred to me that these would lead to our complex information economy. Who knows what’s coming down the pike but being open to new ideas will be essential and I hope today’s students prove tougher than the name “Generation Snowflake” might suggest.
 
Rev Dr John Cameron lives in St Andrews. He is a retired minister, with doctorates in both science and theology.
 
6) Theaters Self-Sacrifice To Boost Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel
Miss Liberty, 23 August 2017 
 
On Tuesday (8/22), sales for Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel hit an hilarious new low of $117/theater. The financial self-sacrifice that theaters are now making to support it must go down as one of the greatest acts of generosity in cinematic history.


 
Per Box Office Mojo, Inconvenient Sequel had a couple of good opening days, when true believers and Gore’s extended family showed up, but by the second week sales plummeted and continued to declinethereafter. Again per Box Office mojo, $117/theater isn’t very good, a level ranking among the worst per theater averages on record, and given that theaters are expensive to operate almost assuredly indicates a running bottom line loss.
 
Nonetheless, the film expanded to over 500 theaters in its second week and has remained at that level since. What an act of extraordinary kindness! By contrast, the courageous and Academy-Award winning Citizenfour was released in just 105 theaters at its very peak. A pity director Laura Poitras wasn’t better politically connected and funded.
 
According to Variety, experts say total sales are expected to reach $10 million. But what terrible financial losses will have to be suffered to reach that level. Sales to date are just $3.1 million, and that despite strong support from forgiving critics and this heroic self-sacrifice by theaters. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 48% audience score, as represented by an abandoned popcorn container.
 
7) John Stossel: Al Gore And Me 
Fox News, 23 August 2017 
 
I was surprised to discover that Al Gore's new movie begins with words from me!
 
While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, "'An Inconvenient Truth' won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. ‘Sea levels may rise 20 feet' -- absurd." He used this comment from one of my TV shows.
 
The "20 feet" claim is absurd -- one of many hyped claims in his movie.
 
His second film, "An Inconvenient Sequel," shows lower Manhattan underwater while Gore intones: "This is global warming!"
 
My goodness! Stossel doubts Al Gore's claim, but pictures don't lie: The 9/11 Memorial is underwater! Gore is right! Stossel is an ignorant fool!
 
But wait. The pictures were from Superstorm Sandy. Water is pushed ashore during storms, especially "super" storms. But average sea levels haven't risen much.
 
Over the past decade, they have risen about 1 inch. But this is not because we burn fossil fuels. Sea levels were rising long before we burned anything. They've been rising about an inch per decade for a thousand years.
 
In his new movie, Gore visits Miami Beach. No storm, but streets are flooded! Proof of catastrophe!
 
But in a new e-book responding to Gore's film, climate scientist Roy Spencer points out that flooding in "Miami Beach occurs during high tides called 'king tides,' due to the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon. For decades they have been getting worse in low-lying areas of Miami Beach where buildings were being built on reclaimed swampland."
 
It's typical Al Gore scaremongering: Pick a place that floods every year and portray it as evidence of calamity.
 
Spencer, a former NASA scientist who co-developed the first ways of monitoring global temperatures with satellites, is no climate change "denier." Neither am I. Climate changes.
 
Man probably plays a part. But today's warming is almost certainly not a "crisis." It's less of a threat than real crises like malaria, terrorism, America's coming bankruptcy, etc. Even if increasing carbon dioxide warming the atmosphere were a serious threat, nothing Al Gore and his followers now advocate would make a difference.
 
"What I am opposed to is misleading people with false climate science claims and alarming them into diverting vast sums of the public's wealth into expensive energy schemes," writes Spencer.
 
Gore does exactly that. He portrays just about every dramatic weather event as proof that humans have changed weather. Watching his films, you'd think that big storms and odd weather never occurred before and that glaciers never melted.

In his first movie, Gore predicted that tornadoes and hurricanes would get worse. They haven't. Tornado activity is down.
 
What about those dramatic pictures of collapsing ice shelves?
 
"As long as snow continues to fall on Antarctica," writes Spencer, "glaciers and ice shelves will continue to slowly flow downhill to the sea and dramatically break off into the ocean.

That is what happens naturally, just as rivers flow naturally to the ocean. It has nothing to do with human activities."
 
Gore said summer sea ice in the Arctic would disappear as early as 2014. Nothing like that is close to happening.
 
Full post 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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