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 [...]

Not Powering Past Coal: 20 countries that didn’t use much coal, agree to not use much coal

Get excited everyone — the South Pacific Island of Nuie, with a population of 1,625 people has vowed not to build a coal plant. The nation is so small it is not even a member of the UN. This champion of the move away from coal is 98% powered by diesel. Everybody Cheer!

Powering Past Coal Alliance: 20 countries sign up to phase out coal power by 2030

Twenty countries including Britain, Canada and New Zealand have joined an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030.

The list includes none of the top 15 coal producers in the world. It’s non-binding. Nearly all the countries that have signed up to “Power Past Coal” are already powered by hydro, gas, nuclear or some combination of renewables (with interconnector back up). The Marshall Islands are powered by almost 100% diesel, with a hint of coconut oil. Luxembourg barely even generates electricity — importing 98% from other countries. And 68% of the people in Angola don’t even have access to electricity. It shouldn’t be too hard to get to fifty countries to sign this if they offer a free conference dinner to half the South Pacific, Central [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Unknown Miocene mystery where CO2 didn’t fit models, *Solved*

Strap yourself down – a puzzle you never knew existed has finally been solved!

Nov 16, 2017:  Scientists Solve 22 Million-Year-Old Climate Puzzle –”Paleoclimate Events Can Predict Earth’s Future”

Solved yesterday, settled today! That’s a rapid fire consensus… (they actually use the word “settled” in the title of the paper)

Study Settles prehistoric puzzle, confirms modern link of carbon dioxide and global warming

Finally poor Miocene researchers can sigh with relief as the first study in years shows what they *knew* was the right answer and now they can issue press releases, rest their weary minds, and stop trying to think of excuses as to why their results didn’t fit with The Climate Model Testaments.

Who knew there were large discrepancies and carbon dioxide did not fit the temperature theory for a million years or so? Not the public.

Where were the press releases telling us there was a mystery to solve?

Research Shows A High Temperature World Had Nothing To Do With CO2 Study shows temperatures fell dramatically, CO2 stayed the same Study shows models have no freaking clue what controls the climate

Exactly, never.

The mystery they are talking about is the one marked Mi-1, 22 [...]

UN Green Climate Fund: good for bankers, bureaucrats, but not so much the poor

UN Green Climate Fund (GCF) — nice rort if you can get it

The UN climate fund was set up in 2010 but has yet to send a single dollar of project money to its star sinking island (which isn’t sinking, but is poor).

The NY Times has a long article describing how billions of dollars is being spent, but somehow it seems to be going to the wrong places. Given the lack of accountability, voters, and elections, who could have seen that coming?

The  GCF GONGO is ruled by a Board of 24 people who jetset to Korea, hand out other people’s money, and get applause. In 2012 they were seeking immunity from all laws and taxes. Presumably they succeeded. In 2014, they were caught funding a new coal power station in Indonesia to reduce carbon emissions. I wondered if that was rorting, cronyism, or ‘success’. Greens were not happy. Now we find out that the rest of the money is ending up with the renewables industry, investment bankers, and bureaucrats:

U.N. Climate Fund Promised Billions to Poor Nations. For Some, the Wait Is Long.

Transparency, not so good:

The observers took issue, [...]

Map of Climate Shame reveals most of world doesn’t fight climate change

With the Bonn UN Climate Junket in its last days, the big leaders are coming in, and the ambit claims are coming out.

The Climate Action Network or CAN have published a glossy report that shows just what a failure Paris was. All the red countries are pretending to do something but scoring terribly. Grey countries are not even pretending, and New Zealand has been wiped off the map. (Seriously, something spooky happened in that last election.) Commiserations to Kiwi’s (UPDATE, and Alaskans).

Since India is getting the Green Guernsey  and the US  is getting a wrist slap, we know for sure this chart is not based on actual CO2 emission trends, or perhaps even any numbers.

The US, after all, has reduced emissions more than anywhere else while India is doubling it’s coal mining. Is that what we should aim for?

Australia, meanwhile, can never do enough, despite reducing our per capita emissions by a phenomenal 28% from 1990-2013. We sacrificed our electrical grids, have “implemented” an Emissions Trading Scheme and say we are aiming for the same obscenely tough 28% reduction that is the fashion despite being a heavy industrial quarry, with the lowest population density, biggest [...]