Tous les articles par Alain Préat

Full-time professor at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium apreat@gmail.com apreat@ulb.ac.be • Department of Earth Sciences and Environment Res. Grp. - Biogeochemistry & Modeling of the Earth System Sedimentology & Basin Analysis • Alumnus, Collège des Alumni, Académie Royale de Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux Arts de Belgique (mars 2013). http://www.academieroyale.be/cgi?usr=2a8crwkksq&lg=fr&pag=858&rec=0&frm=0&par=aybabtu&id=4471&flux=8365323 • Prof. Invited, Université de Mons-Hainaut (2010-present-day) • Prof. Coordinator and invited to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium (Belgian College) (2009- present day) • Prof. partim to the DEA (third cycle) led by the University of Lille (9 universities from 1999 to 2004) - Prof. partim at the University of Paris-Sud/Orsay, European-Socrates Agreement (1995-1998) • Prof. partim at the University of Louvain, Convention ULB-UCL (1993-2000) • Since 2015 : Member of Comité éditorial de la Revue Géologie de la France http://geolfrance.brgm.fr • Since 2014 : Regular author of texts for ‘la Revue Science et Pseudosciences’ http://www.pseudo-sciences.org/ • Many field works (several weeks to 2 months) (Meso- and Paleozoic carbonates, Paleo- to Neoproterozoic carbonates) in Europe, USA (Nevada), Papouasia (Holocene), North Africa (Algeria, Morrocco, Tunisia), West Africa (Gabon, DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, South Africa, Angola), Iraq... Recently : field works (3 to 5 weeks) Congo- Brazzaville 2012, 2015, 2016 (carbonate Neoproterozoic). Degree in geological sciences at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in 1974, I went to Algeria for two years teaching mining geology at the University of Constantine. Back in Belgium I worked for two years as an expert for the EEC (European Commission), first on the prospecting of Pb and Zn in carbonate environments, then the uranium exploration in Belgium. Then Assistant at ULB, Department of Geology I got the degree of Doctor of Sciences (Geology) in 1985. My thesis, devoted to the study of the Devonian carbonate sedimentology of northern France and southern Belgium, comprised a significant portion of field work whose interpretation and synthesis conducted to the establishment of model of carbonate platforms and ramps with reefal constructions. I then worked for Petrofina SA and shared a little more than two years in Angola as Director of the Research Laboratory of this oil company. The lab included 22 people (micropaleontology, sedimentology, petrophysics). My main activity was to interpret facies reservoirs from drillings in the Cretaceous, sometimes in the Tertiary. I carried out many studies for oil companies operating in this country. I returned to the ULB in 1988 as First Assistant and was appointed Professor in 1990. I carried out various missions for mining companies in Belgium and oil companies abroad and continued research, particularly through projects of the Scientific Research National Funds (FNRS). My research still concerns sedimentology, geochemistry and diagenesis of carbonate rocks which leads me to travel many countries in Europe or outside Europe, North Africa, Papua New Guinea and the USA, to conduct field missions. Since the late 90's, I expanded my field of research in addressing the problem of mass extinctions of organisms from the Upper Devonian series across Euramerica (from North America to Poland) and I also specialized in microbiological and geochemical analyses of ancient carbonate series developing a sustained collaboration with biologists of my university. We are at the origin of a paleoecological model based on the presence of iron-bacterial microfossils, which led me to travel many countries in Europe and North Africa. This model accounts for the red pigmentation of many marble and ornamental stones used in the world. This research also has implications on the emergence of Life from the earliest stages of formation of Earth, as well as in the field of exobiology or extraterrestrial life ... More recently I invested in the study from the Precambrian series of Gabon and Congo. These works with colleagues from BRGM (Orléans) are as much about the academic side (consequences of the appearance of oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic and study of Neoproterozoic glaciations) that the potential applications in reservoir rocks and source rocks of oil (in collaboration with oil companies). Finally I recently established a close collaboration with the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium to study the susceptibility magnetic signal from various European Paleozoic series. All these works allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of carbonate rocks (petrology, micropaleontology, geobiology, geochemistry, sequence stratigraphy, diagenesis) as well in Precambrian (2.2 Ga and 0.6 Ga), Paleozoic (from Silurian to Carboniferous) and Mesozoic (Jurassic and Cretaceous) rocks. Recently (2010) I have established a collaboration with Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a government program to boost scientific research in this country. My research led me to publish about 180 papers in international and national journals and presented more than 170 conference papers. I am a holder of eight courses at the ULB (5 mandatory and 3 optional), excursions and field stages, I taught at the third cycle in several French universities and led or co-managed a score of 20 Doctoral (PhD) and Post-doctoral theses and has been the promotor of more than 50 Masters theses.

Sea level rise and Antarctica

by Jim Steele, Nov 4, 2020 in WUWT


California’s and other American coastal towns are engaged in divisive arguments regards rising sea levels. Although observed sea levels rose less than 8 inches (0.08 inches per year) since 1900, some modelers forecast much bleaker futures. They predict a 2.4-foot rise for every 1°F rise above preindustrial temperatures, then accelerating to nearly 4.5 feet for every 1°F additional increase. Why a dramatic acceleration in sea level? It’s based primarily on dire models, typically presented to coastal planning commissions as ‘best science’, suggesting increasing ice instability and Antarctica ice sheet collapse. “Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than 3.3 feet of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 49 feet by 2500.”

Those models have prompted some citizens to argue we must abandon the coasts via managed retreat. Others argue we should build better sea walls. But how high? Others rightfully ask, “how trustworthy are those models?” Model predictions of a collapsing Antarctica ice sheet are not based on observations.  Models of Antarctica’s catastrophic ice collapse are attempts to explain ancient sea levels such as the 30-foot higher levels 120,000 years ago.

There are good reasons toquestion catastrophic models. For one, away from the coast Antarctica’s surface temperatures average −70 °F. Antarctica’s extremely cold surfacesrequire global warming to increase many, many times more before surface glaciers could ever melt. For another, although greenhouse theory predicts increasing CO2  concentrations will raise temperatures, greenhouse theory also predicts added CO2  has a cooling effect on Antarctica (Wijngaarden & Happer 2020, Schmithüsen 2015).

 

The cement for coral reefs

by University of Erlangen-Nuremberg  Nov 2020, in ScienceDaily


Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity. As they can withstand heavy storms, they offer many species a safe home, and at the same time, they protect densely populated coastal regions as they level out storm-driven waves. However, how can these reefs that are made up of often very fragile coral be so stable? A team of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University of Bayreuth have now discovered that a very specific type of ‘cement’ is responsible for this — by forming a hard calcareous skeleton, coralline red algae stabilise the reefs, and have been doing so for at least 150 million years.

The wide variety of life they support is immediately apparent on images of tropical coral reefs. Their three-dimensional scaffolding provides a habitat for a large number of species. However, the skeletons of the coral are often so fragile that they would not be able to withstand heavy storms by themselves. Even if scientists have long suspected that coralline red algae provide support to reefs with their calcareous skeletons, this is the first time that this link has been proven.

Coralline red algae have been supporting coral reefs for at least 150 million years

The researchers from FAU and the University of Bayreuth were able to prove this supporting function by analysing more than 700 fossilised reefs from 150 million years of the Earth’s history. ‘The coralline red algae form a calcareous skeleton and cement the coral reefs together,’ explains Dr. Sebastian Teichert from the Chair of Palaeoenvironmental Research at FAU. ‘However, several crises over the course of millions of years have limited their capacity to do so.’

Successful adaptive strategies against plant grazers

 


 

After nearly a decade away, La Niña weather system is back…

by C. Rotter, nov 1, 2020 in WUWT

Many will be familiar with El Niño – the ocean-warming phenomenon that affects global weather patterns – but how about La Niña, which is linked to cooler sea temperatures?

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), La Niña is back in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, after nearly a decade’s absence.

UNDP/Joe HitchcockThe low-lying island Pacific Ocean nation, Tuvalu, is particularly susceptible to a rise in sea levels caused by climate change.    29 October 2020Climate Change

This is expected to result in sea surface temperatures between two and three degrees Celsius cooler than average, said Dr. Maxx Dilley, Deputy Director in charge of Climate Services Department at WMO.

“These coolings of these large ocean areas have a significant effect on the circulation of the atmosphere that’s flowing over them. And the changes in the atmosphere in turn affect precipitation patterns around the world.”

Uneven effects

Study suggests no more CO2 warming

by C. Rotter, Oct 26, 2020 in WUWT


By David Wojick |October 26th, 2020|Climate

Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.

In plain language this means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels could have little or no further impact on global warming. There would be no climate emergency.  No threat at all. We could emit as much CO2 as we like; with no effect.

This astounding finding resolves a huge uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century. How should saturation be measured and what is its extent with regard to the primary greenhouse gases?

In radiation physics the term “saturation” is nothing like the simple thing we call saturation in ordinary language, just as the greenhouse effect is nothing like how greenhouses work. Your paper towel is saturated when it won’t pick up any more spilled milk. In contrast greenhouse gases are saturated when there is no more milk left to pick up, as it were, but it is far more complex than this simple analogy suggests.

Happer is probably best known to our readers as a leading skeptical scientist. He co-founded the prestigious CO2 Coalition and recently served on the staff of the National Security Council, advising President Trump. But his career has been as a world class radiation physicist at Princeton. His numerous peer reviewed journal articles have collectively garnered over 12,000 citations by other researchers.

In this study Professors Happer and van Wijngaarden (H&W) have worked through the saturation physics in painstaking detail. Their preprint is titled “Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases“. They have gone far beyond the work done to date on this complex problem.

To begin with, while the standard studies treat the absorption of radiation by greenhouse molecules using crude absorption bands of radiation energy, H&W analyze the millions of distinct energies, called spectral lines, which make up these bands. This line by line approach has been an emerging field of analysis, often giving dramatically new results.

….

….

Clearly this is work that the climate science community needs to carefully consider. This may not be easy given that three major physics journals have refused to publish it. The reviews have been defensive and antagonistic, neither thoughtful nor helpful. Alarmism is in control of the journals, censoring contrary findings, hence the preprint version.

3 More New Studies Show Modern Arctic Sea Ice Extent Is Greater Than Nearly Any Time In The Last 10,000 Years

by K. Richard, Oct 29, 2029 in NoTricksZone


For years scientists have been using biomarker evidence (IP25, PIP25) to reconstruct the Arctic’s sea ice history. The evidence shows modern (20th-21st century) Arctic sea ice is at its greatest extent since the Holocene began.

Scientists (Wu et al., 2020) have determined that from about 14,000 to 8,000 years ago, when CO2 lingered near 250 ppm, the Beaufort Sea (Arctic) was “nearly ice free throughout the year” (<0.2 PIP25) and ~4°C warmer than today in winter.

With CO2 at ~400 ppm, this region is 70-100% ice-covered (>0.8 PIP25) for all but 1-2 summer months in the modern (1988-2007) era.

….

Roger Revelle – the backstory of the father of Atmospheric CO2 monitoring

by A. May, Oct 321, 2020 in WUWT


Roger Revelle was an outstanding and famous oceanographer. He met Al Gore, in the late 1960s, when Gore was a student in one of his classes at Harvard University. Revelle was unsure about the eventual impact of human carbon dioxide emissions on climate, but he did show that all carbon dioxide emitted by man would not be absorbed by the oceans. For an interesting discussion of Revelle’s work in this area see this post on “The Discovery of Global Warming,” by Spencer Weart (Weart, 2007). The original paper, on CO2 absorption by the oceans, published in 1957 by Roger Revelle and Hans Suess, is entitled: “Carbon Dioxide Exchange Between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2, during the Past Decades” (Revelle & Suess, 1957). This meant that human emissions of carbon dioxide would accumulate in the atmosphere and that the CO2 atmospheric concentration would increase, probably causing Earth’s surface to warm at some unknown rate. This is not an alarming conclusion, as Revelle well knew, but Al Gore turned it into one.

One of Revelle’s good friends was Dr. S. Fred Singer. Singer was a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia and both Revelle and Singer had been science advisors in the U.S. Department of the Interior. They first met in 1957 and were more than professional colleagues, they were personal friends (Singer, 2003). Unfortunately, Revelle passed away in July 1991 and Singer passed away in April 2020, so we will refer to them and their friendship in the past tense. Both were leading Earth scientists and at the top of their fields, it was natural they would become friends. They also shared an interest in climate change and chose to write an article together near the end of Revelle’s life.

 

Indeed, ten years later, CO2 emissions were still increasing, but the world had started to cool as shown in Figure 1. This casts considerable doubt on the idea that human emissions somehow control global warming, since some other factor, presumably natural, is strong enough to reverse the overall warming trend for ten years. Revelle was correct to encourage the government to wait for ten more years. Just a year before their paper was published the IPCC reported that warming to date fell within the range of “natural variability” and that the detection of a human influence on climate was “not likely for a decade or more.” (IPCC, 1990, p. XII).

Figure 1. In 1990 and 1991, respectively, the IPCC and Roger Revelle and colleagues said it was too early to do anything about possible man-made climate change, they thought we would know more in 10 years. The plot is smoothed with a 5-year running average to reduce the effect of El Nino and La Nina events. This makes the longer term trends easier to see.

The West Intends Energy Suicide: Will It Succeed?

by T. Doshi, Oct 10, 2020 in Forbes


Suicide is viewed as a crime in many countries. In a court of law, it is a serious charge and the evidence needs to be conclusive for such an accusation to stand (e.g., did you actually see him attempt to jump off the bridge?). But when societies (or at least their leaders) attempt it, one can say that it safely falls under the rubric of the sovereign right to misrule. In the hallowed tradition of Western liberal democracy, so long as its political leaders are elected in free and fair elections, misrule leading to societal death by suicide is merely an unfortunate outcome of either gross negligence or culpable intention led by, say, an ideology of de-industrialization. Nevertheless, let us proceed with the case for the prosecution.

The Circumstantial Evidence Of Societal Suicide

The first piece of evidence is an astonishing article published last week in the Boston Review by a professor of anthropology in Rutgers University . The good professor opined that Zimbabwe and Puerto Rico “provide models for what we might call ‘pause-full’ electricity”. The West, he continues, has created a vast infrastructure for generating and consuming electricity 24/7, 365 days a year. Since this is based on “planet-destroying fossil fuels and nuclear power”, we need to emulate the aforementioned poor countries and save the climate by giving up the demand for the constant supply of electricity.

To be fair, the professor also noted that the Zimbabweans and Puerto Ricans did not choose to accept electricity rationing but were imposed upon by the gross negligence and corruption of their governments. The professor cannot be lightly dismissed, and the Boston Review shares its domicile with MIT and Harvard University, the temples of wisdom in modern Western civilization. And the Review has its share of kudos, at least for those of a particular persuasion: “When it comes to publishing fresh and generative ideas, Boston Review has no peer” says Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of American History at the University of California, Los Angeles and Naomi Klein, activist and New York Times NYT-0.5% best-selling author, opines that “Boston Review is so good right now.”

Let us move on to our second piece of evidence, this time from the other side of the “climate emergency” aisle.  Professor Fritz Vahrenholt is a giant among environmental circles in Germany. (The country is well known as the world’s leading champion for all things environmental and for pushing Europe to “net zero emissions by 2050”.) Prof. Vahrenholt holds a doctorate in chemistry and started his professional career at the Federal Environmental Agency in Berlin (responsible for the chemical industry) before joining the Hessian Ministry of the Environment. From 1984 until 1990 he served as state secretary for environment, from 1991 till 1997 as minister for energy and environment in the state of Hamburg.

One day before the publication of the Boston Review article on October 5th, Prof Vahrenholt stated baldly in a German TV interview that climate science was “politicized”, “exaggerated”, and filled with “fantasy” and “fairy tales”. He pronounced that “The [Paris] Accord is already dead. Putin says it’s nonsense. […] The Americans are out. The Chinese don’t have to do anything. It’s all concentrated on a handful of European countries. The European Commission in massively on it. And I predict that they will reach the targets only if they destroy the European industries.” He lambasted Germany as a country “in denial when it comes to the broader global debate taking place on climate science”. He went on to characterize Europe’s recent push for even stricter emissions reduction targets to madness akin to Soviet central planning that is doomed to fail spectacularly.

Les chercheurs prenant le plus l’avion sont… les experts du climat

by Le Point, Oct 29,  2020


Selon une étude britannique, les climatologues voyagent en moyenne davantage en avion que les scientifiques spécialisés dans d’autres domaines.

Les arroseurs arrosés. Les climatologues alertent régulièrement et, à raison, sur les effets sur le climat des déplacements en avion, fortement émetteurs de gaz à effet de serre. Mais une étude publiée en ce mois d’octobre dans la revue Global Environmental Change vient mettre le doigt sur certains de leurs comportements. Selon cette étude britannique coordonnée par l’université de Cardiff, et relayée par Nature et Courrier International, les experts en réchauffement climatique sont les scientifiques qui voyagent le plus souvent en avion, en comparaison avec leurs collègues d’autres disciplines. Au total, plus de 1 400 chercheurs, provenant de 59 pays différents et de domaines scientifiques divers, ont été interrogés.

En moyenne, les experts du climat, qui représentaient environ 17 % des personnes sollicitées, prennent l’avion à raison de cinq fois par an. En comparaison, les chercheurs spécialisés dans d’autres disciplines disent effectuer quatre trajets par an en avion. Les vols effectués par les climatologues sont davantage domestiques qu’internationaux. Toutefois, ils avancent souvent des raisons professionnelles pour ces trajets, ce qui n’est pas forcément le cas de leurs autres collègues scientifiques. Les professeurs spécialisés dans le dérèglement climatique voyagent en avion environ neuf fois par an en moyenne, contre huit fois pour leurs collègues d’autres spécialités.

“Where’s the sea ice?” Right where it’s been for most of the Holocene.

by D. Middleton, Oct 30, 2020 in WUWT


This is sort of a sequel yesterday’s post: Where’s the sea ice? 3 reasons the Arctic freeze is unseasonably late and why it matters.

What a difference a day can make! Looks like it’s starting to crust over:

Figure 0. Daily sea ice extent map, October 29, 2020. (NSIDC)

Two key takeaways:

  1. Maximum Holocene sea ice extent occurred within the past 500-1,000 years at every location.
  2. The current sea ice extent is higher at all of the locations than over 50% to 85% of the Holocene.

While this doesn’t tell us what the sea ice extent was in million km2, it does tell us that the modern sea ice extent is larger than it was over most of the Holocene Epoch. It also tells us that the areas of currently seasonal sea ice extent have been seasonal or reduced over most of the past 5,000 years and ice-free or nearly ice-free over the prior 3,000 years or so. Here’s is the Kinnard graph plotted at the same horizontal scale as the Stein cross section:

Can China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, become carbon neutral by 2060?

by D. Normile, Sep 29, 2020 in Science AAAS


China’s surprise pledge last week to cut its net carbon emissions to zero within 40 years has reignited hopes of limiting global climate change to tolerable levels. The country is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2), accounting for 28% of global emissions, and its move may inspire other countries to follow suit. But observers warn that China faces daunting challenges in reaching its goals. Kicking its coal habit will be particularly hard.

“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly via a video link on 22 September. That’s “a very significant and encouraging announcement,” says Josep Canadell, an earth system scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. He says the new targets “won’t likely let us to stop at 1.5° Celsius [of global warming],” the preferred target set in the 2015 Paris agreement. “But below 2° might still be consistent with [Xi’s] announcement.” China’s commitment also “ratchets up pressure on other major emitters” to set more ambitious targets “while further isolating the Trump administration in its climate myopia,” Vance Wagner of Energy Foundation China wrote in a piece published online by the nonprofit China Dialogue.

China had previously said its CO2 emissions would peak “around” 2030, a target most analysts considered within reach. But achieving carbon neutrality before 2060 will require drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels in transportation and electricity generation and offsetting any remaining emissions through carbon capture and storage or planting forests.

EU report about vanishing beaches was alarmist and wrong, scientists say

by Ben Webster, Oct 27  in TheTimes


Sandy beaches are much less vulnerable to rising seas than was claimed in a recent European Commission study which caused “unnecessary alarm”, research has found.

Beaches will survive by migrating landwards as the sea level rises as long as they are given space to move and not impeded by sea walls and other structures on the coast, the research

The new findings contradict claims made in March in a study by the commission’s joint research centre, which supplies scientific evidence to guide EU policy.

 

 

See also:  Satellite Data: 75% Of The World’s Beaches Are Stable Or Growing

Analysis of satellite derived shoreline data indicates that 24% of the world’s sandy beaches are eroding at rates exceeding 0.5 m/yr, while 28% are accreting and 48% are stable.

 

 

First-of-its-kind surface water Atlas brings together 35 years of satellite data

by EU Science Hub, Oct 2020


The Atlas provides a better understanding of the consequences climate change and human actions have for the planet’s surface water resources.

It is impossible to overstate the critical importance of water in our daily lives. Surface water bodies – including lakes, ponds and rivers – are particularly important as sources of water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use.

As the Earth’s surface water is intensely dynamic, our knowledge about where waterbodies can be found has not always been accurate. Waterbodies move, whole lakes dry up and new rivers and lakes form, which makes mapping these moving targets difficult.

Building on a project that combined thousands of years of computer time with millions of satellite images, the JRC’s Atlas of Global Surface Water Dynamics describes the important role that surface water plays for our planet’s climate and biodiversity, as well as virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

The Atlas documents the science behind a set of truly unique maps, which include time, and illustrates the changes in surface water resources over the past 35 years.

The scientists believe that the Atlas can improve our understanding of the consequences of climate change and human action on surface water resources, and that clearer understanding can help decision-makers to plan environmental actions and design effective policies aimed at the sustainable management of surface water resources.

Mapping the history of water

Global Warming Wallops 20 Million Americans With Snow, Freezing Rain

by B. Lyman, Oct 27, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


More than 20 million Americans are under some sort of winter weather watch, warning, or advisory from the Southwest through the Midwest as of Monday.

The Weather Channel has dubbed the storm “Winter Storm Billy” and said the storm will bring snow throughout parts of the Southern Rockies, the Central Plains, and Missouri.

From Arizona to Wisconsin, residents could see snowfall Monday, while those further south, like in Texas and Oklahoma, will see freezing rain and sleet, according to CNN.

Ice in Texas and Oklahoma is expected to accumulate roughly half an inch, which could cause dangerous travel conditions and knock power out, per the same article. Oklahoma City is under an Ice Storm Warning.

Temperatures in North Texas are roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit below average. Texans living in the Texas Panhandle area could see one to two inches of snow during the area’s first Winter Storm Warning of the season, according to CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth.

While temperatures in Arizona won’t be as cold as some other states, some areas in the state could see a low of 46 degrees on Tuesday — the first temperature in the 40s since March, according to AZ Central.

Some areas of Colorado and New Mexico are expected to see two feet of snow, which comes as a bit of relief as wildfires continue to rage in Colorado’s Boulder and Larimer Counties, according to The Denver Channel. In Aguilar, Colorado, there were already 14 inches recorded from snowfall Sunday into Monday, per the same report.

Guardian Needlessly Alarmed By Late Freeze

by P. Homewood, Oct 27, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


For the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October.

The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region.

Ocean temperatures in the area recently climbed to more than 5C above average, following a record breaking heatwave and the unusually early decline of last winter’s sea ice.

The trapped heat takes a long time to dissipate into the atmosphere, even at this time of the year when the sun creeps above the horizon for little more than an hour or two each day.

Graphs of sea-ice extent in the Laptev Sea, which usually show a healthy seasonal pulse, appear to have flat-lined. As a result, there is a record amount of open sea in the Arctic.

“The lack of freeze-up so far this fall is unprecedented in the Siberian Arctic region,” said Zachary Labe, a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University. He says this is in line with the expected impact of human-driven climate change.

“2020 is another year that is consistent with a rapidly changing Arctic. Without a systematic reduction in greenhouse gases, the likelihood of our first ‘ice-free’ summer will continue to increase by the mid-21st century,’ he wrote in an email to the Guardian.

The warmer air temperature is not the only factor slowing the formation of ice. Climate change is also pushing more balmy Atlantic currents into the Arctic and breaking up the usual stratification between warm deep waters and the cool surface. This also makes it difficult for ice to form.

Science and politics

by Judith Curry, Oct 26, 2020 in WUWT


“I’m reaching out to scientists this week about the election. How do you feel about it? Which of the candidates has the best plan, for you, in science and technology?”

The above question was emailed to me today by a reporter.

My response:

I am not happy with either the Democratic or Republican plans for science in the U.S.  Both sides seem to want to use and misuse science as a club to further their political agendas.  The Republicans seem to prefer to ignore science, while the Democrats cherry pick science to further their political agendas.

Here is the long response,some text from something that I’m working on:

Dutch regulatory lawyer Lucas Bergkamp summarizes the challenge in this way. Science has become an instrument used by politicians and agencies to arm themselves with powerful arguments in complex value-laden debates. Scientists have let the politicians hijack the scientific enterprise. Both policy makers and scientists exploit scientific uncertainty to avoid debate on the relation between science and politics, facts and values. Armed with science, politicians are able to avoid accountability for decisions. Serious debate is avoided because politicized science has purged doubt and skepticism. Activist climate science makes use of a series of strategies and tactics to influence public opinion and politics. Bergkamp concludes that climate science itself has come under siege.

Scientization of policy is a response to intractable political conflicts that transforms the political issues into scientific ones. The rationale for scientization is the belief that science can act as a neutral arbiter of policy — if we could only determine the facts of a matter, the appropriate course of action would become clear. The problem is that science is neither neutral nor capable of answering political questions. The answers that science gives depend on what questions are asked, which inevitably involves value judgments. Science is not designed to answer questions about how the world ought to be, which is the work of politics.

Policy makers are culpable in the misuse of science for policy making by:

DENVER OBLITERATES ALL-TIME LOW TEMPERATURE RECORDS IN WEATHER BOOKS DATING BACK 148 YEARS

by Cap Allon, Oct 27, 2020 in Electroverse


The GRAND SOLAR MINIMUM has taken out multiple low temperature records in Denver, Colorado of late, as a weak and wavy “meridional” jet stream sends Arctic air anomalously-far south.

Denver has detailed weather books dating all the way back to 1872. One thing they reveal is that on each and every October day in those past 148 years, the thermometer has never failed to reach at least 18F… until yesterday, that is.

On Monday, October 26, the mercury struggled to a high of just 16F — a new record for the coldest October high temperature ever recorded in Denver.

Permian–Triassic mass extinction pulses driven by major marine carbon cycle perturbations

by Jurikova, H. et al., Oct 19, 2020 in NatureGeoscience


Abstract

The Permian/Triassic boundary approximately 251.9 million years ago marked the most severe environmental crisis identified in the geological record, which dictated the onwards course for the evolution of life. Magmatism from Siberian Traps is thought to have played an important role, but the causational trigger and its feedbacks are yet to be fully understood. Here we present a new boron-isotope-derived seawater pH record from fossil brachiopod shells deposited on the Tethys shelf that demonstrates a substantial decline in seawater pH coeval with the onset of the mass extinction in the latest Permian. Combined with carbon isotope data, our results are integrated in a geochemical model that resolves the carbon cycle dynamics as well as the ocean redox conditions and nitrogen isotope turnover. We find that the initial ocean acidification was intimately linked to a large pulse of carbon degassing from the Siberian sill intrusions. We unravel the consequences of the greenhouse effect on the marine environment, and show how elevated sea surface temperatures, export production and nutrient input driven by increased rates of chemical weathering gave rise to widespread deoxygenation and sporadic sulfide poisoning of the oceans in the earliest Triassic. Our findings enable us to assemble a consistent biogeochemical reconstruction of the mechanisms that resulted in the largest Phanerozoic mass extinction.

New Study Finds A Robust Link Between European Temperatures And Solar Activity Via AMO/NAO Modulation

by K. Richard, Oct 22, 2020 in NoTricksZone


European winter temperature variability is “dominated” by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which is, in turn, modulated by solar activity.

Even proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) agree natural processes (AMO, NAO, ENSO, solar forcing, volcanism) drive temperature variability. But they insist the rising temperature trend is human-caused.

So if we don’t have a regional upward trend, is the non-warming natural or anthropogenic?

Lüdecke et al., 2020 find temperatures across Europe have been oscillating, not rising in linear fashion, for the last century. The timings of the temperature undulations correspond quite closely to natural ocean cycles (the NAO and AMO). The authors detail a non-linear and indirect solar activity impact on these ocean cycles, and ultimately to the European climate.

Why lockdown had little to no effect on global temperatures

by A.N. Archer & J.Weber, Oct 22, 2020 in Phys.Org


Countries across the world took unprecedented action in the first few months of 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. At its peak, one-third of the world’s population was in lockdown. Around the world, car travel fell by 50%, the number of flights plummeted by 75% and industrial activity fell by around 35%.

With so many cars parked, airplanes grounded and factories closed, global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions fell by around 17% compared with the same period in 2019. But greenhouse gases such as CO₂ weren’t the only emissions to fall, and not all pollution heats the planet. Some of the industrial activities that shut down—particularly heavy industry, including steel and cement making—also produced aerosols, which are that linger in the atmosphere for weeks and reflect heat from the Sun.

Previous studies have suggested that if a lot of these industrial processes were to suddenly shut down, it would lead to short-term warming because the atmosphere would lose the reflective effect of aerosols. But as the lockdown cleared skies, temperatures didn’t rocket.

In new research, we show that lockdown had a negligible effect on global temperatures. So what really happened?

NSIDC: 2020 POLAR ICE DOING JUST FINE

by Cap Allon, Oct 24, 2020 in Electroverse


According to the latest October report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the ice locked at Earth’s poles is, overall, GROWING.

By volume, Antarctica contains 90% of Earth’s ice, and volume is a far better metric to use when judging the state of an ice sheet than sea ice extent. Extent is prone to wild and unpredictable fluctuations due to natural changes in ocean currents and wind patterns, etc–though these fluctuations are of a much lesser degree in Antarctica than in its northern cousin, the Arctic.

According to the latest NSIDC report, Antarctic sea ice extent reached a whopping 18.95 million square kilometers (7.32 million square miles) on September 28. Mid to late Sept would usually give us the year’s maximum extent, but given the favorable conditions in October, the maximum may well be higher. “As is typical this time of year, there are wide swings caused by winds and storms along the extensive ice edge,” writes the NSIDC.

Ice extent around Antarctica is now “well above the 1981 to 2020 median extent,” the NSIDC informs us. “Ice extent is above the median extent along a broad area off the Wilkes Land coast and western Ross Sea, near the median extent from the Amundsen Sea clockwise to the Weddell Sea and above the median north of Dronning Maud Land, Enderby Land, and the Cosmonaut Sea. The only major area of below the median extent is in the Indian Ocean sector near the Amery Ice Shelf and eastward.”

Continuer la lecture de NSIDC: 2020 POLAR ICE DOING JUST FINE

Ten fat polar bears filmed raiding a stalled Russian garbage truck

by Siberian Times, Oct 21, 2020 in WUWT/Ch.Rotter


From the Siberian Times today (20 October) is a story with few facts but a fabulous video of six fat adults and four fat cubs as they set siege to a stalled open garbage truck in the Russian Arctic. It may have been filmed on Novaya Zemlya but that has not been confirmed.

Of course, Novaya Zemlya has had previous problems with bears habituated to garbage, most famously an extended incident in 2019 that was perversely blamed on climate change.

There were two families that I could see in the video: a female with two cubs-of-the-year and another with two year old cubs. All were in excellent condition, as were the other four adults. Novaya Zemlya, if indeed this is where the incident took place, is between the Barents and Kara Seas (see below):

 

Dubai builds first coal power plant despite pledging lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050

by Independent, Oct 22, 2020


A new wonder is rising in the southern desert of Dubai against the backdrop of Persian Gulf beaches, but it’s not another skyscraper to grace the futuristic sheikhdom. Instead, it’s one of mankind’s oldest power sources gaining its own space on the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula — a coal-fired power plant

The construction of the $3.4 billion Hassyan plant in Dubai appears puzzling, as the United Arab Emirates hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency. It’s also building the peninsula’s first nuclear power plant and endlessly promotes its vast solar-power plant named after Dubai’s ruler. Dubai has also set the lofty goal of having the world’s lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050 — something that would be impacted by burning coal.

The coal plant’s arrival comes as Gulf Arab nations remain among the world’s hungriest for energy and amid political concerns over the use of natural gas imported from abroad, concerns underscored by a yearslong dispute with gas-producer Qatar, which is boycotted by four Arab nations, including the UAE.

“Dubai was really saying we’re far too exposed on gas imports, those could be interrupted by all kinds of things, the cost is very high and so we have to do something else to diversify our fuel supply and bring down the total cost,” said Robin Mills, the CEO of Qamar Energy, a Dubai-based consulting company. “They got a very competitive offer on the coal plant … and so the decision was made.”

New Study: East Antarctica Was Up To 6°C Warmer Than Today During The Medieval Warm Period

by K. Richard, Oct 15, 2020 in NoTricksZone


As recently as 2000 to 1000 years ago, spanning the Roman to Medieval Warm Periods, East Antarctica was 5-6°C warmer than it is today. The consequent ice melt resulted in >60 meters higher water levels in East Antarctica’s lakes.

East Antarctica has been rapidly cooling in recent decades, with magnitudes reaching -0.7°C to -2.0°C per decade since the mid-1980s (Obryk et al., 2020).

A new study (Myers et al., 2020) reports that until about 15,000 years ago and throughout the Last Glacial Maximum, East Antarctica was 4-9°C colder than it is today.

Antarctica then abruptly warmed 15°C within centuries. From 12,000 to 6,000 years before present, East Antarctica was about 5°C warmer than it is today.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE SNOW MASS ABOVE AVERAGE + GREENLAND ICE SHEET’S ASTONISHING GAINS CONTINUE

by Cap Allon, Oct 21, 2020 in Electroverse


Following on from one of its snowiest winters on record in 2019-20 comes the first 2020-21 data-points from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). What they clearly reveal is that the Northern Hemisphere is at it again, continuing the trend of growth observed in recent years.

Despite decades of doom-and-gloom prophecies and fear-mongering claptrap, the Northern Hemisphere continues to GAIN “snow mass” at a rate comfortably above the 1982-2012 average:

 

 

 

….

See also here (Minnesota just suffered its Largest Early-Season Snowstorm in Recorded History)