Climate Donkey

July 14, 2008

Global Warming: 3 degrees of separation

Sometimes it is even hard for scientists to explain a natural phenomena. The rapid development and wobbly motion of Hurricane Bertha in the North Atlantic was not well explained by hurricane center forecasters. However, they did not blame global warming but accepted that nature can be unpredictable. That is exactly why scientists enter the field of meteorology: to be able to study on a daily basis unpredictable and changing natural phenomena from tornadoes and cold fronts to thunderstorms and hurricanes.

Weather is cool. The Weather Channel, recently bought by NBC for billions of $, is a valuable property both on television and on the internet because the US economy is hugely dependent upon the weather and climate. Weather is also news.

Weather is also political. And the evolution of weather and climate as able to influence policy has coincided with a reinvigoration of the environmental movement centered largely around global warming and anti-fossil fuels agendas. The intersection of politics and science does not occur in the windowless laboratories of university offices, but in the media including newspapers, television, movies, and of course the internet. We are being assaulted with a literal tidal wave of information and suggestions for coping with climate change. But, do journalists and politicians have the appropriate expertise to digest and understand the countless studies and press releases supplied almost hourly? I argue no.

One case study from Congressman Ed Markey of Mass (D): CNS News Service
Global warming led to Darfur, Somalia (Black Hawk Down).

However, to get to this conclusion, we have to go through some hula hoops and play a game of “Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation”.

A drought occurred in Somalia in 1993 which resulted in a famine. International aid was sent to Somalia and required the United States military to send in forces to separate the groups fighting over the limited food aid. The Black Hawk Down disaster occurred because of the situation we were put into. — Markey’s conclusion from a speech to high schoolers.

It is clear that droughts occur all the time all over the globe, however, it is no secret that limited resources in an area lead to competition for said resources.

Other students who came from the World Wildlife Fund’s Alliance Southeast Climate Witness Program blamed Hurricane Katrina on global warming, which is nonsense.

Markey continued to create facts and connections which are unfounded: There now is no question that this harm is being caused by human activity. It’s warming up the planet and melting the glaciers. There is an underwater heat wave going on. The waters get warmer and warmer and that intensifies the storms and creates even greater havoc when those storms reach land.

Markey is not a dumb guy by any stretch of the imagination; he is adeptly cherry-picking scientific studies or ideas he has heard about and crafting them into a yummy cherry pie for the consumption by a highly suggestable and likely voluntarily captive audience. I am willing to bet that Markey knows he is exaggerating or to put the term bullshitting to use, talking out of his behind. Eventually these exasperating comments will fall deaf on the ears of the constituents who are more interested in feeding their families rather than be taxed into oblivion by regressive carbon taxes and domestic oil production policies.

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July 9, 2008

Gas effects: Cow farts collected in plastic tank for global warming study

The picture says it all from an article in the Telegraph: Scientists study cow farts and burps collected in a plastic tank to battle global warming.

cow fart

Argentine scientists are strapping plastic tanks to the backs of cows

Experts said the slow digestive system of cows makes them a key producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide.

Consider the other companion studies:

Eating beef is less green than driving

Flower may hold key to cow methane reduction: mitigate global warming

Methane, which is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, is emitted at the prodigious rate of 100 to 200 litres a day by the average dairy cow, mainly from the front end, according to Michael Abberton of the Institute.

July 7, 2008

Bertha reaches Major Hurricane Status

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 8:53 pm
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Update: as of 5 pm, Hurricane Bertha has continued to intensify and has reached 100 knots or Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson scale. NHC Discussion


The HWRF model has been the winner so far, correctly predicting Major hurricane status yesterday.
Yesterdays HWRF model at 06Z:

Hurricane Bertha, rare for July.

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 1:59 pm
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Bertha developed an eye overnight and was upgraded to hurricane strength this morning. The gradual but persistent intensification over the past several days will likely continue for another 72 hours until Bertha reaches cooler waters and less hospitable atmospheric shear.

Image: HWRF 126 hour wind speed forecast swath for July 7, 2008.

The storm is forecast to recurve out to sea and not bother land.

July hurricanes in the far Atlantic basin are rare. However, coincidentally, in 1996, Hurricane Bertha developed on July 7 as well and made landfall in North Carolina. Bertha tracked further south and encountered much warmer water allowing it to intensify to major hurricane status.

Bertha 1996 ( track)

There is no evidence and no one can make a scientifically honest statement that this storm’s strength is in any way related to global warming. Yet, it bears watching how the media and political scientists/opportunists will interpret this natural event.

Bertha nearing Hurricane Strength

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 2:39 am
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Tropical Storm Bertha is continuing to race westward and slowly strengthen. As of the 11 pm advisory, Bertha’s maximum sustained winds were at 55 knots, just below the 64 knot threshold for hurricane strength. The satellite appearance has improved markedly with a burst of strong central convection.


A key to understanding Bertha’s intensity is the warmth or amount of fuel available in the ocean surface layer. The “heat content” map shows the track of Bertha towards a more favorable environment for intensification. However, it is still July, and there is a definite cap on maximum intensity possible, which would be at just under 100 knots or Category 3 strength. This would require perfect atmospheric conditions including very low shear but high relative humidity or “juice”. The likelihood of a US landfall is very low at this point in time, but not zero.

July 5, 2008

Only seven years left to stop global warming, increase taxes

Bleak warnings. Tipping points. Running out of time. Too late to do anything.

Yet, the EU for the past 3 years has implemented carbon trading schemes, which tax economic activity that relies on emissions of carbon dioxide. After these 3 years, it is still getting worse? So what was the benefit of the EU’s taxation scheme on carbon if global warming is going to become irreversible in 7 years? Clearly, according to recent polls (Most Britons Doubt Climate Change), at least the British are keen to the scientists overstating the certainty of their theories/results/ideas.

So, on July 4, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered another bleak assessment to the world: (AFP article cited)

only seven years remained for stabilising emissions of global-warming gases at a level widely considered safe…we would have to stabilise the greenhouse-gas concentration at more or less the level at which we are today.

“(…)But in order to do that, we have a window of opportunity of only seven years because emissions will have to peak by 2015 and reduce after that. We cannot permit a longer delay.


We cannot PERMIT a longer delay? This type of language is a bad sign coming from the head of a scientific group like the IPCC, or is it better described as a Political Action Committee these days? Why the urgency all of a sudden again? Well it is likely that the IPCC and the socialists believe that the public is losing interest because even after paying through the nose all of these new taxes, nothing is being accomplished.

Thus, it is timee to start blaming heat waves and floods and other current weather events on global warming. Gone is the usual refrain that “one cannot attribute one individual hurricane, flood, or heat wave to global warming”. Now scientists have concluded that yes! they have become more frequent because of climate change and we are seeing it now. This attribution science is very shaky at best and many conclusions are unfounded for sure.

Pachauri also sounded a note of caution about the 2 C (3.6 F) figure, as evidence was mounting that climate change was accelerating faster than thought. Heatwaves and floods were increasing, and higher temperatures were having a far-reaching effect on glaciers and snowfall.

The term “acceleration of global warming” will be the new and improved lingo during the next several months, as the IPCC and the socialists attempt to scare the hell out of the world once again.

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