Taking The Economist to Task for Unfounded Climate Catastrophe Fearmongering

by   Dr. John D. Harper, FGSA,FGAC, PGeol., former director of the Geological Survey of Canada © May 2017


I have recently been asked to comment on three articles published in The Economist. My background for such a response is as a Professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology (ret.), a former Director-Energy for the Geological Survey of Canada, a former researcher in industry, and as an academic researcher on sea level changes and climate documentation through geologic time, Natural Resources of the Future and a couple of decades of studies in the Arctic.

1) Skating on thin ice: The thawing Arctic threatens an environmental catastrophe. Apr 27, 2017

2) The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone. April 29, 2017

3) Thaw point: As the Arctic melts the world’s weather suffers. April 29, 2017

Battered Earth revived by mineral weathering after mass extinction

by University of Tromso, May 5, 2017 in ScienceDaily


Bedrock of Earth got severely beaten up by hothouse climate conditions during one of planet’s mass extinctions some 200 million years ago. But the process also allowed life to bounce back.

The hothouse conditions of this mass extinction caused oceans to eventually become depleted of oxygen, and thus become unbearable to live in. But weathering of silicate in the bedrock of Pangea, and subsequent formation of carbonate, tied up the CO2 into the minerals, slowly removing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

New theory on how Earth’s crust was created

by McGill University , EPSL,  May 5, 2017, in ScienceDaily


Conventional theory holds that all of the early Earth’s crustal ingredients were formed by volcanic activity. Now, however, earth scientists have published a theory with a novel twist: some of the chemical components of this material settled onto Earth’s early surface from the steamy atmosphere that prevailed at the time.

More than 90% of Earth’s continental crust is made up of silica-rich minerals, such as feldspar and quartz. But where did this silica-enriched material come from? And could it provide a clue in the search for life on other planets?

Current Surface Mass Budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet

by DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute), May, 2017


Here you can follow the daily surface mass balance on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The snow and ice model from one of DMI’s climate models is driven every six hours with snowfall, sunlight and other parameters from a research weather model for Greenland, Hirlam-Newsnow.

See also, Study: Antarctica’s ice sheet survived warmer times, remains stable today

See also, Antarctic study shows central ice sheet is stable since milder times

EU trend of CO2 reduction seems to have stopped

by Peter Teffer, May 4, 2017 in euobserver


The EU’s statistical agency Eurostat announced Thursday (4 May) that CO2 emissions resulting from the EU’s energy use have “slightly decreased” in 2016, compared to the year before.

But Eurostat’s press release did not mention that the small decrease has not made up for the small increase in CO2 emissions the year before, and that more CO2 was emitted in 2016 than in 2014.

A propos de l’article « Réchauffement climatique » paru dans « Science … & pseudo-sciences »

by Jean-Claude Pont, c/o Uskek, 3 mai 2017


Jean-Claude Pont écrit au rédacteur en chef de « Science … & pseudo-sciences », à propos de l’article « réchauffement climatique » paru dans le numéro 317 de la revue. Il entend rectifier ce qu’il tient pour « des manquements importants, parfois des ambiguïtés, voulues ou inconscientes ».

Earth probably began with a solid shell

by University of Maryland, in Nature, February 27, 2017

in ScienceDaily


New research suggests that plate tectonics began later in Earth’s history

But new research suggests that this was not always the case. Instead, shortly after Earth formed and began to cool, the planet’s first outer layer was a single, solid but deformable shell. Later, this shell began to fold and crack more widely, giving rise to modern plate tectonics.

see also in French

Miocene flooding events of western Amazonia

by Carlos Jaramillo et al., Science Advances, May 3, 2017


The Neogene history of Amazonia is essential for understanding the evolution of the rainforest and associated fauna living in one of the most diverse places on Earth. A central question about our understanding of Amazonia remains unsolved: Did continental-scale marine flooding occur in western Amazonia during the Neogene? Miocene marine transgressions in the continental interior would have had a profound effect on the diversification and structuring of both terrestrial and aquatic Neotropical communities

NEW STUDY CONFIRMS: THE WARMING ‘PAUSE’ IS REAL AND REVEALING

by Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor, May 4, 2017


A new paper has been published in the Analysis section of Nature called Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus.’ It confirms that the ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ is real. It is also rather revealing.

It attempts to explain the ‘Pause’ by looking into what is known about climate variability. They say that four years after the release of the IPCC AR5 report, which contained much about the ‘hiatus’ it is time to see what can be learned.

One could be a little sarcastic in saying why would Nature devote seven of its desirable pages to an event that some vehemently say never existed and maintain its existence has been disproved long ago. Now, however, as the El Nino spike of the past few years levels off, analysing the ‘pause’ seems to be coming back into fashion.

Onset and ending of the late Palaeozoic ice age triggered by tectonically paced rock weathering

by Yves Goddéris et al., April 10, 2017, Nature Geoscience


The onset of the late Palaeozoic ice age about 340 million years ago has been attributed to a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with expansion of land plants, as plants both enhance silicate rock weathering—which consumes CO2—and increase the storage of organic carbon on land. However, plant expansion and carbon uptake substantially predate glaciation

Rise of Earth’s atmospheric oxygen controlled by efficient subduction of organic carbon

by M. Duncan and R. Dasgupta, April 25, 2017, Nature Geoscience


We suggest that immobilization of organic carbon in subduction zones and deep sequestration in the mantle facilitated the rise (~103–5 fold) and maintenance of atmospheric oxygen since the Palaeoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event. Our modelling shows that episodic recycling of organic carbon before the Great Oxidation Event may also explain occasional whiffs of atmospheric oxygen observed in the Archaean.

China’s coal-fired power generation surprises naysayers

by Michael Cooper, May 2, 2017


Anyone with doubts about China’s demand for energy including for thermal coal needed to sustain its gigantic economy should cast their eyes over the latest statistics for power generation from Beijing’s National Statistics Bureau.

These data are a treasure trove in terms of revealing trends in China’s energy production and appetite for thermal coal sourced from both inside China and from imports shipped from countries including, Australia, Indonesia and Russia.

Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than thought

by University of Leeds, May 2, 2017

in ScienceDaily


An international team of researchers, led by the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, are the first to map the change in ice speed. The team collated measurements recorded by five different satellites to track changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers since 1992.

Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.

Future Global Mineral Resources

by Nicholas T. Arndt et al., April 2017, Geochemical Perspectives


Some scientists and journalists, and many members of the general public, have been led to believe that the world is rapidly running out of the metals on which our modern society is based. Advocates of the peak metal concept have predicted for many decades that increasing consumption will soon lead to exhaustion of mineral resources. Yet, despite ever-increasing production and consumption, supplies of minerals have continued to meet the needs of industry and society, and lifetimes of reserves remain similar to what they were 30-40 years ago.

Full text (171 pages) pdf, here

Thoughts on the Public Discourse over Climate Change

by MIT Prof. Richard Lindzen, April 25, 2017

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


For over 30 years, I have been giving talks on the science of climate change. When, however, I speak to a non-expert audience, and attempt to explain such matters as climate sensitivity, the relation of global mean temperature anomaly to extreme weather, that warming has decreased profoundly for the past 18 years, etc., it is obvious that the audience’s eyes are glazing over.


 

Pétrole : des découvertes « conventionnelles » au plus bas qui inquiètent l’AIE

by Connaissance des Energies, 28 avril 2017


L’ Agence internationale de l’énergie (AIE) a fait part hier de son inquiétude sur le niveau historiquement bas des découvertes de nouvelles réserves de pétrole « conventionnel ». Le schiste américain pourra-t-il à lui seul compenser le déséquilibre résultant de la baisse des investissements sur le marché ?

2017 Accumulated Cyclone Energy

by Dr. Ryan N. Maue, May 01, 1017


Tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) has exhibited strikingly large global interannual variability during the past 40-years. In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low. Here evidence is presented demonstrating that considerable variability in tropical cyclone ACE is associated with the evolution of the character of observed large-scale climate mechanisms including the El Nino Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. In contrast to record quiet North Pacific tropical cyclone activity in 2010, the North Atlantic basin remained very active by contributing almost one-third of the overall calendar year global ACE.

Can the U.S. Become the Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas?

by David Middleton, April 28, 2017


The Department of Energy gave a Texas-based energy company permission Tuesday to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. does not have free trade agreements.

While low U.S. natural gas prices are currently a drag on production and reserve growth, they also provide an advantage to domestic gas producers.  U.S. natural gas is extremely competitive in the global market.

Mining: Bacteria with Midas touch for efficient gold processing

by University of Adelaide, April 28, 2017, in Science News


Special ‘nugget-producing’ bacteria may hold the key to more efficient processing of gold ore, mine tailings and recycled electronics, as well as aid in exploration for new deposits, University of Adelaide research has shown.

Now they have shown for the first time, just how long this biogeochemical cycle takes and they hope to make to it even faster in the future.

Impact of the ~ 2400 yr solar cycle on climate and human societies

by  Javier, September 20, 2016


The role of solar variability on climate change, despite having a very long scientific tradition, is currently downplayed as a climatic factor within the most popular hypothesis for climate change.

As the root of this neglect lie two fundamental problems. Solar variability is quite small (about 0.1% of total irradiation), and there is no generally accepted mechanism by which the solar variability signal could be amplified by the climate system

La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse