JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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*Surprise* Great Barrier Reef has 112 tough spots that survive and replenish the rest

After lasting for thousands of years through wild swings of temperature, scientists could never have guessed that the Great Barrier Reef has evolved to cope with climate change.

The reef spans  2,300km and has spawning events so large that they can be viewed from space, but who knew that some parts of the reef appear to be safer and more resilient, and would repopulate the rest of the reef? (Apparently, not most of the scientists who have been selling the message of doom). Instead it made sense that 100% of the reef was at the same risk from predatory starfish and hot months, and that any day now, the reef might be polished off for good.

Perhaps some scientists had an idea, but when newspaper headlines declared the reef was on the brink of extinction, or doomed, where were they? (Possibly in hiding — afterall, Peter Ridd is one of the only ones to speak out, and he’s now fighting to save his job).

Crikey! It restores how much?

From the abstract:

The great replenishment potential of these ‘robust source reefs’, which may supply 47% of the ecosystem in a single dispersal event, emerges from the [...]

Last winter 9,000 more British pensioners died than usual — how many were due to high heating costs?

Higher electricity costs mean more people turn off their heaters

There’s a big freeze coming to Britain with minus 12C temperatures possible in the next three weeks.

Last year in winter in England there was a remarkable 40% rise in winter deaths

David Archibald emails that last year was a mild winter for Brits, but the death toll rose from the normal 25,000 excess to 34,000 people. Remembering that it’s moderate cold that kills far more people than extreme temperatures. The UK government advises rooms be heated to at least 18C. (I’ve been in a Canberra house where the temperature fell to 11C indoors, and that was in May.) Despite all the newspaper headlines about outside temperatures, the big killer is indoors.

The big killer is indoor temperature and moderately cold, not extremes.

Campaigners demand urgent cuts to power bill after number of winter deaths among the elderly rise by 40%

Pensioner groups are demanding urgent measures to cut the cost of heat and light after official figures revealed a surge in deaths last winter. There were some 34,300 so-called ‘excess’ deaths during the cold months, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). [...]

Electrical appliances force children to marry

Thanks to The Guardian for drawing a link we would never have noticed:

Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides

As global warming exacerbates drought and floods, farmers’ incomes plunge – and girls as young as 13 are given away to stave off poverty

 If only these girls had perfect weather, they wouldn’t have to be married so young. For a million years of human history, everyone had enough food, there were no wars, no battles, and young women could live at home under they were 25 and had finished up at the Neolithic Academy of Weaving.

Then other people wanted fridges, air conditioners and toasters. Now every time you boil the kettle, a 13 year old girl has to get married in Malawi.

 

Ferrgoodnesssake — the plight of these poor children won’t be fixed by a carbon tax or a windmill.

h/t Pat

 

 

 

 

Your car causes volcanoes (and volcanoes release CO2)

Oh. My. Lord. Keep the car in the garage.

Climate Change Could Increase Volcano Eruptions

Dr Graeme Swindles, from the School of Geography at Leeds, said: “Climate change caused by humans is creating rapid ice melt in volcanically active regions. In Iceland, this has put us on a path to more frequent volcanic eruptions.”

The study examined Icelandic volcanic ash preserved in peat deposits and lake sediments and identified a period of significantly reduced volcanic activity between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago. This period came after a major decrease in global temperature, which caused glacier growth in Iceland.

The findings, published today in the journal Geology, found there was a time lag of roughly 600 years between the climate event and a noticeable decrease in the number of volcanic eruptions. The study suggests that perhaps a similar time lag can be expected following the more recent shift to warmer temperatures.

Read more at University of Leeds

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you take a simple correlation and run with it.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Mt Ruapehu is emitting high levels of CO2

Look out, we may set off a deadly volcano spiral [...]

I’m speaking this afternoon in Perth — 3 ways to destroy a good electricity grid

Three ways to destroy a perfectly good electricity grid

Council for the National Interest (CNI)

Royal Perth Yacht Club 2:30 til 4:30

Australia II Drive, Crawley Bay, Nedlands.

Free Entry

UPDATE: A great success and a lot of fun. These events are always so well run. If you live in WA check out CNI. A smart, polite and friendly crowd.

Weekend Unthreaded

Climate Unicorns downunder as Australians offer to cut CO2 by 50% per capita in 12 years

I’ve been saying the Australian commitment of a 28% reduction by 2030 was an economic suicide pact. Terry McCrann’s got numbers on just how suicidal it is:

The so-called NEG or National Energy Guarantee is dammed upfront by the total irreconcilability of its three aims: to ensure both affordable and reliable electricity (and, indirectly, gas) and meeting our commitments under the Fake Paris Accord to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 26-28 per cent by 2030.

This, not exactly incidentally, means we have to cut emissions per capita by closer to an economy-killing and individual-impoverishing 50 per cent, and do so, in barely a dozen years, thanks to our crazy-stupid “build another Canberra ever year” high immigration, for want of a better word, policy.

What were our negotiators thinking?

Nobody mention immigration. Australia has the fastest growing population in the West. China wants to use “per capita” calculations for obvious reasons. Australia doesn’t even want to talk “per capita”.

We cut our emissions per capita by 28% from 1990 – 2013, but that was done by stopping land clearing and by confiscating land from farmers, stealing their right to use their property, and jailing them if [...]

Climate change will make Bearded Dragons dumber

Young Bearded Dragon worried about falling SAT scores.

Ominously, cute Australian Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) may grow up to be more stupid if their eggs are incubated in a hotter world.

Bearded Dragons Are Dumber Because of Climate Change

–National Geographic

This has all kinds of implications.

Obviously, it follows that Victorian Bearded Dragons must be smarter than their Queensland cousins. I can see future papers coming on the IQ gradient of dragons down the East Coast of Australia.

Secondly, with this handy simple relationship between IQ and temperature we can infer the entire intellectual history of Bearded Dragons as the climate fluctuated: including the Peak Holocene Dolt Era and the Glacial Genius Maximum.

 

From National Geographic

” The researchers took a single clutch of 13 eggs and split them into two groups. Seven eggs were incubated at a toasty 30°C (86°F), while the other six were incubated at a milder 27°C (81°F). There was an almost even mix of males and females.

Ahh. The cause of lower IQs may be not a hotter world, but a hotter artificial incubator. The message in this paper is Don’t leave artificial incubators lying around [...]

Antarctica cooling since Roman Times, climate models wrong (again)

A new study suggests temperatures across Antarctica have been falling for the last 1,600 years.  This natural climate change would have been a threat to baby penguins, forcing them to walk much further across sea-ice for food. (Looks like it was even worse for polar bears ). The cooling trend would have threatened inland lakes, shortened summer breeding periods, affected seal behaviour, extended glaciers over important habitats, and destroyed rare tundra. It may have contributed to the death of a man called Scott. If man-made climate change warmed Antarctica we need to burn more oil.

Any recent weak “man-made” warming trend would have slightly reversed this destructive slide — restoring the continent back to levels last seen in 1400AD. Though, given that the models are wrong about everything, including Antarctic warming, maybe not.

 

These trends are not what the Climate Models predicted for Antarctica. The slight recent warming trend is too small. (Polar Amplification, anyone?)

The Daily Caller:

However, Stenni admits the “absence of significant continent-scale warming of Antarctica over the last 100 years is in clear contrast with the significant industrial-era warming trends that are evident in reconstructions for all other continents (except Africa) and [...]

Health Warnings issued for Tasmanians facing six days over 25 degrees (77F +) !

Hobartians face a record heatwave for November

Things are so serious they may find Echidnas in their dog’s water bowl.

Wildlife struggling to find water during the hot weather are likely to seek relief in your backyard. Photo: Emma C

Spend billions. Stop climate change. We simply can’t allow this kind of disaster:

Heatwave health alert issued for southern Tasmania as 130yo record set to fall

The weather bureau’s Tim Bolden said it was shaping up to be the first time Hobart has recorded six consecutive days on or above 25 degrees Celsius in November in nearly 130 years.

“[We'll break the record] if we make it to the six days that we’re currently forecasting over 25 degrees — since last Saturday up until Thursday — and it’s certainly looking very likely,” Mr Bolden said.

“[We are] currently forecasting 28 for Tuesday, 29 for Wednesday and 29 for Thursday, having reached 30 last Saturday, 27 on Sunday and 27 on Monday.

“If we make it to that stretch of six days above 25 degrees, that would be a record heat spell for November, and equal to the maximum heat spell for [...]