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If you see magnolias hitchhiking perhaps offer them a lift…

At least, I assume they are hitching as there are no reports of north-bound magnolias towing U-haul trailers…

As the Climate Warms, Magnolias Move North
Bruce Dorminey

Scarlett O’Hara herself would likely be scandalized by what researchers found when scouring a plot of central North Carolina forest outside Chapel Hill. Jennifer Gruhn was looking for Southern magnolias, one of the most enduring symbols of the American South (besides Scarlett herself, of course), and the state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana.

The scandal was that she found them — no fewer than 500 of the magnificent trees, with their dark green leaves and spectacularly fragrant blossoms — in an abundance unexpected for a location so far north. And as with so many changes in the natural world lately, Gruhn, a biology graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, thinks climate change may be at least partly responsible.

Writing in the June issue of Southeastern Naturalist, Gruhn and her co-author Peter White, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, point to average temperatures some 2.7°F higher, and a growing season several weeks longer, than it was a few decades ago. (Climate Central)

Australia’s $Trillion carbon [dioxide] tax all pain for no gain

Carbon tax to cost $1 trillion: committee
Paul Osborne
October 7, 2011 – 12:14PM

The federal government’s carbon tax will cost every Australian $40,000 in the period to 2050 and a cost-benefit analysis should be conducted before it passes into law, an opposition-dominated Senate committee says.

The select committee on the scrutiny of new taxes on Friday tabled a 361-page report in parliament looking at whether a carbon tax should be brought in at a time of uncertainty about the global economy and whether there will be a concerted international effort to cut carbon emissions.

Labor’s laws to establish in a fixed $23-per-tonne carbon price from July 1, 2012, before moving to an emissions trading scheme in 2015, are set to pass the lower house next Wednesday before going to the Senate for debate.

The committee found that under the government’s own modelling the carbon tax would impose a $1 trillion cost on the Australian economy, or $40,000 per person.

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Roger Pielke Sr.: New Article Highlights Deficiencies In The Global Climate Models

New Article Highlights Deficiencies In The Global Climate Models – Luo Et Al 2011

I was alerted to an article in Nature (h/t Ryan Maue) which has several remarkable statements. The article is

Jing-Jia Luo, 2011: Ocean dynamics not required? Nature Volume 477, Pages: 544–546 Date published:
(29 September 2011) doi:10.1038/477544a

and is with respect to the article

Clement, Amy, Pedro DiNezio, Clara Deser, 2011: Rethinking the Ocean’s Role in the Southern Oscillation. J. Climate, 24, 4056–4072. doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI3973.1 (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Tim Ball: IPCC Predictions (Scenarios) Always Wrong Therefore Science Wrong

IPCC Predictions (Scenarios) Always Wrong Therefore Science Wrong.
by DR. TIM BALL on OCTOBER 4, 2011

A simple but powerful definition of science is the ability to predict. If your predictions are wrong there is clearly something wrong with your science. The failure, or at best imprecision of weather forecasts, indicate it is not a science. Supporters of “official” climate science, produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), tried to distance themselves from this problem by saying that they were two different things. The difficulty is climate is an average of the weather; therefore it can only be as precise as the weather. (Tim Ball)

They’re right, the problem with current geoengineering plans it that they just might work and no one is better off with a colder planet Earth

What we really want is for people to be bogged down in endless discussion of what an ideal climate might be, so they never get around to actually trying to screw with the weather.

The Problem With Geoengineering: What if It Works?
OCT 3 2011, 6:02 PM ET
The postponement of a massive experiment is a chance to think about what would happen if we had the power to control the weather

A major experiment to use a one kilometer-long hose to pump water droplets into the atmosphere as a precursor to a large-scale geoengineering interventions has been postponed for six months. More than 50 groups, led by Canada’s ETC Group, had recently signed a letter condemning the field trial, calling it a “Trojan Hose” and imploring the British government to suspend it until an international agreement to govern geoengineering efforts has been reached. The letter read in part:

It is unacceptable for the UK government to sponsor – even chair – discussions at the [Convention on Biological Diversity] while simultaneously funding experiments and developing hardware for the deployment of stratospheric aerosols, one of the most controversial geoengineering technologies under discussion. This apparent conflict of interest will undermine the credibility of the UK, not only at the CBD, but also in other climate-related negotiations, notably at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

That said, protecting the political process from these sorts of conflicts of interest is a lesser concern to geoengineering’s critics than the potential moral hazards and environmental damage. What happens if something goes wrong? What if efforts to right the planet’s climate result in famine or mass extinctions? (The Atlantic)

Global warming causes really dumb predictions

Like these dills, who claim that faster growing plants will cause herbivores to run out of food(!). Apparently they are unaware grazing populations always increase to exploit the available resource rather than decline because of it. Further, said ecologists do not seem to be aware that temperature is not the sole determinant of herbivore growth – something called “nutrition” has an effect too (i.e., if there’s not enough food young herbivores grow less quickly). I’m embarrassed to see that University of Queensland faculty was also involved in this theoretical claptrap.

Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up, U of T study says
If predictions are right, global warming will cause large shifts in food chains with consequences for global food security and species conservation.
October 4, 2011
By Jessica Lewis

As climate change causes temperatures to rise, the number of herbivores will decrease, affecting the human food supply, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

In a paper being published this month in American Naturalist, a team of ecologists describe how differences in the general responses of plants and herbivores to temperature change produces predictable declines in herbivore populations. This decrease occurs because herbivores grow more quickly at high temperatures than plants do, and as a result the herbivores run out of food. (UToronto)

‘Climate proofing’ crops is a great idea – just don’t forget it is more likely to be cold we need to worry about and that CO2 is free aerial fertilization for crops

Scientists eye ‘windows of opportunity’ for adapting food crops to climate change

Increased aid from biotechnology needed in the next 2 decades to tap the genetic potential of seed banks

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (3 OCTOBER 2011)—Responding to appeals from African leaders for new tools to deal with the effects of climate change on food production, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has released a series of studies focused on “climate proofing” crops critical to food security in the developing world.

The studies constitute various chapters in a new book titled Crop Adaptation to Climate Change from John Wiley & Sons, which was developed by an international team of the world’s leading climate and agricultural researchers to provide adaptation strategies for more than a dozen crops—such as potatoes, beans, bananas and cassava—on which billions of people depend worldwide.

The studies describe how climate change could threaten food production and how specific adaptation strategies could neutralize or at least significantly lessen the impact. They argue that investments are urgently needed to identify important genetic traits, including drought tolerance and pest resistance, which will be critical for helping farmers adapt to new growing conditions. (EurekAlert)

Expert says role of carbon dioxide overemphasized in climate change debate

Expert says role of carbon dioxide overemphasized in climate change debate

WATERLOO — When it comes to the issue of climate change, one leading researcher believes too much attention is being paid to carbon dioxide.

And that focus — touted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among others — means that other important factors aren’t being given the consideration they deserve, said Roger Pielke Sr. of the University of Colorado Boulder.

“It’s blinding us to other possibilities,” Pielke told an audience at the University of Waterloo on Thursday night, as he delivered the 2011 TD Walter Bean Lecture in the Environment. “Carbon dioxide shouldn’t be the paramount, overarching variable.” (The Record)

Australia: You know who’s allegedly not credible enough to speak at a proposed campus global warming debate? The guy who headed the National Climate Centre for 12 years

Australia: You know who’s allegedly not credible enough to speak at a proposed campus global warming debate? The guy who headed the National Climate Centre for 12 years

UWA backs away from climate change debate 

AGRICULTURAL consultants have expressed disappointment at the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) attitude towards a planned debate on global warming.

After hearing predictions of the impact that global warming could have on WA farming, Bill Crabtree and David Falconer approached UWA to hold a debate representing both sides of the global warming argument.

They said after getting the initial go-ahead from UWA’s vice-chancellor Alan Robson they were told that no speakers could be found for the pro-global warming side and that the speakers the pair had organised to speak against global warming were not credible enough to speak at a debate on UWA grounds.

Mr Crabtree said the speakers that had been approached to question the degree of climate change were credible and included mathematician and engineer David Evans, who between 1999 to 2005 worked full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) modelling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products.

William Kinnimoth, among other things, worked with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for 38 years in weather forecasting, research and applied studies.

For 12 years until 1998 he was head of its National Climate Centre.

(Tom Nelson)

Roger Pielke Sr.: My 1995 Resignation Letter From The IPCC

My 1995 Resignation Letter From The IPCC

In 1995 I was invited to serve as a contributing author to their Chapter which dealt with regional climate modeling. I sent in recommended text and papers. All of this material was ignored (as it was in 1992 when I was asked to review several chapters in the IPCC supplement report). Subsequently, in 1995 I sent the letter below in which I resigned from the IPCC. I recently again came across this letter and, in rereading, it still accurately expresses my 2011 views on the IPCC perspective. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Oh… stupid weather superstition pact go boom! Gets booboo

Analysis: World divided on new plan to combat global warming

A new plan to curb global warming risks becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate pact. (Reuters)

Climate Talks Open in Panama With Calls to Extend Kyoto Accord

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Roger Pielke Sr.: Can Climate Model Predictions Be Tested And Rejected As Providing Skillful Predictions? Of Course!

Can Climate Model Predictions Be Tested And Rejected As Providing Skillful Predictions? Of Course!

As usual Judy Curry has a very informative weblog post

Climate models as ink blots

In it, she writes the following

“What exactly does falsification of a prediction mean?  For an ensemble prediction, the prediction is said to have no skill if the actual realization falls outside of the bounding box of the ensembles (or whatever skill score for whatever variable has been decided in advance). A prediction with no skill does not imply falsification or rejection of a model. Falsification of a climate model is precluded by the complexity of a climate model”

I agree with her that one cannot falsify models. However, one can falsify model predictions. With respect to climate, multi-decadal model predictions can be falsified as models themselves are hypotheses and can be tested. They are, after all, engineering code, as large parts of the physics, chemistry and biology are parametrized using tunable parameters. Only the dynamic core of these models (i.e. advection, the pressure gradient force, gravity) are expressed in terms of fundamental physics.

Thus, while models cannot be verified, they can be rejected (i.e. those that fall outside of a selected envelope around the observations). Climate models are just hypotheses like any other hypothesis and need to be tested against real world data. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Cold-blooded critters move better when they’re warmer so that’s really dangerous for them, or something – more virtual world fantasizing

Climate change will show which animals can take the heat

ROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Species’ ability to overcome adversity goes beyond Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Climate change has made sure of that. In a new study based on simulations examining species and their projected range, researchers at Brown University argue that whether an animal can make it to a final, climate-friendly destination isn’t a simple matter of being able to travel a long way. It’s the extent to which the creatures can withstand rapid fluctuations in climate along the way that will determine whether they complete the journey.

In a paper in Ecology Letters, Regan Early and Dov Sax examined the projected “climate paths” of 15 amphibians in the western United States to the year 2100. Using well-known climate forecasting models to extrapolate decades-long changes for specific locations, the researchers determined that more than half of the species would become extinct or endangered. The reason, they find, is that the climate undergoes swings in temperature that can trap species at different points in their travels. It’s the severity or duration of those climate swings, coupled with the given creature’s persistence, that determines their fate. (EurekAlert)

various coverage of fault finding in EPA’s fantasy “endangerment” claim

EPA’s CO2 Regulations are What’s “Comically Wrong”
Nicolas Loris

The Environmental Protection Agency called a Daily Caller report “comically wrong” this morning. That is an interesting analysis given that the EPA’s hideously bad global warming regulations are more of a joke than actual regulatory structure. Either way, the fun and games will soon end when Americans are paying higher energy prices and businesses are shedding jobs as a result of these “comically wrong” regulations. (The Foundry)

Weird science: EPA Inspector General calls greenhouse-gas regulatory process flawed
Caroline May

In response to a report that could lead to questions about the credibility of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, is calling for hearings to investigate. The report — from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the EPA — reveals that the scientific basis, on which the administration’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases hinged, violated the EPA’s own peer review procedure. (Daily Caller)

EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda

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No! There is no upside to CCS, just cost and waste of a marvelous environmental resource

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2011 — New technology that combines production of electricity with capture of carbon dioxide could make billions of barrels of oil shale — now regarded as off-limits because of the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released in its production — available as an energy source. That’s the topic of the latest episode in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) award-winning “Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions” podcast series.

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