Antarctic Sea Ice Increasing, NASA Confirms

GWPF | 23 May 2016

75% Of UK Students Support Banning ‘Offensive’ Views

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there’s no place for it in the endeavor of science. –Carl Sagan

Why has the sea ice cover surrounding Antarctica been increasing slightly, in sharp contrast to the drastic loss of sea ice occurring in the Arctic Ocean? Since the late 1970s, its extent has been relatively stable, increasing just slightly; however, regional differences are observed. A NASA/NOAA/university team found that two persistent geological factors — the topography of Antarctica and the depth of the ocean surrounding it — are influencing winds and ocean currents, respectively, to drive the formation and evolution of Antarctica’s sea ice cover and help sustain it. —NASA/JPL News, 20 May 2016

1) Antarctic Sea Ice Increasing, NASA Confirms
NASA/JPL News, 20 May 2016

2) Hail Shale! Europe’s CO2 Emissions Increase While America’s Fall
The Daily Caller, 21 May 2016

3) GWPF Climate Briefing: Canadian Wildfires
GWPF Climate Briefing, 23 May 2016

4) 75% Of UK Students Support Banning ‘Offensive’ Views
The Times, 23 May 2016

5) Climategate University: Britain’s Crackpot Campus That’s Banned Sugar, Hats And Rugby
The Times, 21 May 2016

6) Robert Tracinski: Global Warmists Admit They’re Really Book Burners
The Federalist, 23 May 2016

The European Union’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose in 2015 while American emissions fell, despite Europe’s environmentally conscious and progressive image, analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation has found. The EU’s 2015 CO2 emissions increased by 0.7 percent relative to 2014, while U.S. emissions fell to its lowest level in two decades. The EU has spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting wind, solar and bio-energy and an incalculable amount on a cap-and-trade scheme to specifically lower CO2 emissions. TheDCNF’s analysis concurs with a report published in early May by the EIA, which found the primary reason for the decline in CO2 emissions is increased natural gas production from fracking. –Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, 21 May 2016

Environmentalists have blamed the recent forest fires in Alberta, Canada on climate change. But there is very little evidence to support their claims.  —GWPF Climate Briefing, 23 May 2016

Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute found that 76 per cent of all students would ban speakers who had views that offended them, while 48 per cent wanted universities to be declared “safe spaces” where debate would only take place only within strict rules to safeguard those of a particular gender, culture or sexuality. –Valentine Low, The Times, 23 May 2016

First they came for the bags of sugar, removing them from the campus shop. Then they blocked Six Nations rugby matches from being screened in the student union bar. After that coffee was targeted: Starbucks and Nestlé were subject to campus boycotts. Sombreros were next; handing out the hats at a freshers’ fair was deemed cultural appropriation. They even tried to ban Ukip after students said that inviting its candidate on to the campus would make them feel less safe and secure. So when the University of East Anglia discouraged graduating students from tossing mortarboards in the air during their official photograph it came as little surprise. “UEA is fast becoming one of the daftest campuses in the country,” Tom Slater, the rankings editor, said. –Greg Hurst, The Times, 21 May 2016

Last week, the Portland, Oregon, public schools board voted to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.” This is the party of “science” at work. Because the rigorous suppression of doubt and skepticism is the essence of a good science education, right? It reminds me of the old dictum attributed to Lenin: first you target the counter-revolutionaries, and then you target the insufficiently enthusiastic. This is no longer about suppressing us global warming “deniers.” It’s about erecting the global warming catechism as a dogma that cannot be given anything short of enthusiastic consent. You have to embrace it the way you love Big Brother. –Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, 23 May 2016

1) Antarctic Sea Ice Increasing, NASA Confirms
NASA/JPL News, 20 May 2016

Why has the sea ice cover surrounding Antarctica been increasing slightly, in sharp contrast to the drastic loss of sea ice occurring in the Arctic Ocean? A new NASA-led study finds the geology of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are responsible.

NASA-Figure-ICE-Full-2
Location of the southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current front (white contour), with -1 degree Celsius sea surface temperature lines (black contours) on Sept. 22 each year from 2002-2009, plotted against a chart of the depth of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. The white cross is Bouvet Island. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A NASA/NOAA/university team led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, used satellite radar, sea surface temperature, land form and bathymetry (ocean depth) data to study the physical processes and properties affecting Antarctic sea ice.

They found that two persistent geological factors — the topography of Antarctica and the depth of the ocean surrounding it — are influencing winds and ocean currents, respectively, to drive the formation and evolution of Antarctica’s sea ice cover and help sustain it.

Antarctic sea ice cover is dominated by first-year (seasonal) sea ice. Each year, the sea ice reaches its maximum extent around the frozen continent in September and retreats to about 17 percent of that extent in February.

Since the late 1970s, its extent has been relatively stable, increasing just slightly; however, regional differences are observed.

Map of sea surface temperatures (in degrees Celsius) combined with sea surface temperature contour lines for -1 degree Celsius (black) and -1.4 degrees Celsius (green), plotted atop a National Ice Center map of the extent of Antarctic sea ice on Sept. 22, 2009.

Map of sea surface temperatures (in degrees Celsius) combined with sea surface temperature contour lines for -1 degree Celsius (black) and -1.4 degrees Celsius (green), plotted atop a National Ice Center map of the extent of Antarctic sea ice on Sept. 22, 2009. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Over the years, scientists have floated various hypotheses to explain the behavior of Antarctic sea ice, particularly in light of observed global temperature increases. Are changes in the ozone hole involved? Could fresh meltwater from Antarctic ice shelves be making the ocean surface less salty and more conducive to ice formation, since salt inhibits freezing? Are increases in the strength of Antarctic winds causing the ice to thicken? Something is protecting Antarctic sea ice, but a definitive answer has remained elusive.

To tackle this cryospheric conundrum, Nghiem and his team adopted a novel approach. They analyzed radar data from NASA’s QuikScat satellite from 1999 to 2009 to trace the paths of Antarctic sea ice movements and map its different types. They focused on the 2008 growth season, a year of exceptional seasonal variability in Antarctic sea ice coverage.

NASA-Fire-Full-5
Older, rougher and thicker Antarctic sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea in Oct. 2007, within the sea ice shield surrounding Antarctica. The ice in this region is approximately 33 feet (10 meters) thick. Credit M.J. Lewis

Their analyses revealed that as sea ice forms and builds up early in the sea ice growth season, it gets pushed offshore and northward by winds, forming a protective shield of older, thicker ice that circulates around the continent.

The persistent winds, which flow downslope off the continent and are shaped by Antarctica’s topography, pile ice up against the massive ice shield, enhancing its thickness. This band of ice, which varies in width from roughly 62 to 620 miles (100 to 1,000 kilometers), encapsulates and protects younger, thinner ice in the ice pack behind it from being reduced by winds and waves.

The team also used QuikScat radar data to classify the different types of Antarctic sea ice. Older, thicker sea ice returns a stronger radar signal than younger, thinner ice does. They found the sea ice within the protective shield was older and rougher (due to longer exposure to wind and waves), and thicker (due to more ice growth and snow accumulation). As the sea ice cover expands and ice drifts away from the continent, areas of open water form behind it on the sea surface, creating “ice factories” conducive to rapid sea ice growth.

To address the question of how the Southern Ocean maintains this great sea ice shield, the team combined sea surface temperature data from multiple satellites with a recently available bathymetric chart of the depth of the world’s oceans.

nghiemetal-movie1-home
NASA QuikScat data of Antarctic sea ice movement (June-Sept. 2008) overlaid on maps of sea ice type (white = rough older ice; light blue = older ice, darker blue = younger ice, red = melt on ice, gray = permanent ice, brown = land, deep blue = open water. Red/black dots track ice movement over time. (NASA Image)

Sea surface temperature data reveal that at the peak of ice growth season, the boundary of the ice shield remains behind a 30-degree Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius) temperature line surrounding Antarctica. This temperature line corresponds with the southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current front, a boundary that separates the circulation of cold and warm waters around Antarctica.

Full story

2) Hail Shale! Europe’s CO2 Emissions Increase While America’s Fall
The Daily Caller, 21 May 2016

Andrew Follett

The European Union’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose in 2015 while American emissions fell, despite Europe’s environmentally conscious and progressive image, analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation has found.

The EU’s 2015 CO2 emissions increased by 0.7 percent relative to 2014, while U.S. emissions fell to its lowest level in two decades. The EU has spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting wind, solar and bio-energy and an incalculable amount on a cap-and-trade scheme to specifically lower CO2 emissions.

TheDCNF analyzed the increased CO2 emissions data from the the European Commission through Eurostat and CO2 emissions from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the last full year of state-level data. The use of older U.S. data predates much of the fracking boom, meaning an updated result would likely be even more significant.

TheDCNF’s findings are displayed on the maps below.

Source: Eurostat Data Complied And Mapped By DCNF
Source: Eurostat Data Complied And Mapped By TheDCNF

The biggest CO2 percent increases in Europe occurred in Slovakia and Portugal, where emissions rose by 9.5 and 8.6 percent respectively. Other big CO2 increases came from the EU’s capital country of Belgium, where emissions rose by 4.7 percent. Emissions from Germany, the EU’s largest economy, remained mostly flat.

The largest CO2 percent decrease in the EU came from the tiny country of Malta, where emissions fell by about 27 percent.
Source: Energy Information Administration Data Complied And Mapped By The DCNF
Source: Energy Information Administration Data Complied And Mapped By TheDCNF

TheDCNF’s analysis found that a majority of U.S. states, especially on the East Coast, saw CO2 emissions fall by more than 10 percent. America’s overall CO2 emissions have fallen by 12 percent since their peak in 2000, according to the EIA…

TheDCNF’s analysis concurs with a report published in early May by the EIA, which found the primary reason for the decline in CO2 emissions is increased natural gas production from fracking.

Full story

3) GWPF Climate Briefing: Canadian Wildfires
GWPF Climate Briefing, 23 May 2016

Environmentalists have blamed the recent forest fires in Alberta, Canada on climate change. But there is very little evidence to support their claims.

Climate briefing

4) 75% Of UK Students Support Banning ‘Offensive’ Views
The Times, 23 May 2016

Valentine Low

Women students are more likely than men to support restrictions on free speech at university campuses, according to a study. The report shows that most students support a ban on people with “offensive” views speaking on campus. The author said that the findings were worrying.


The research, by the Higher Education Policy Institute, found that 76 per cent of all students would ban speakers who had views that offended them, while 48 per cent wanted universities to be declared “safe spaces” where debate would only take place only within strict rules to safeguard those of a particular gender, culture or sexuality.

More women (55 per cent) think that universities should be safe spaces than men (39 per cent). They are also more likely to support student unions banning the sale of tabloid newspapers — 45 per cent compared with 29 per cent of males. Men were more likely to think that universities should never limit free speech and thought universities were becoming less tolerant.

The results come amid controversy over attempts to ban speakers such as the author Germaine Greer, the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and the feminist Julie Bindel, all of whom faced opposition because of their views on transsexual people. A video by the historian David Starkey was cut after students branded him sexist and racist.

The think tank’s report, Keeping Schtum? What Students Think of Free Speech, which interviewed 1,000 students in more than 100 universities, also found that two thirds supported “trigger warnings” before sensitive subjects such as rape were raised in lectures.

Half believe that universities should remove memorials to controversial historical figures, and 27 per cent said that Ukip members should not be invited to speak. Almost half backed the idea that libraries should not stock literature that was racist, sexist or denied that the Holocaust took place.

Full story

5) Climategate University: Britain’s Crackpot Campus That’s Banned Sugar, Hats And Rugby
The Times, 21 May 2016

Greg Hurst

First they came for the bags of sugar, removing them from the campus shop. Then they blocked Six Nations rugby matches from being screened in the student union bar. After that coffee was targeted: Starbucks and Nestlé were subject to campus boycotts. Sombreros were next; handing out the hats at a freshers’ fair was deemed cultural appropriation.


They even tried to ban Ukip after students said that inviting its candidate on to the campus would make them feel less safe and secure.

So when the University of East Anglia discouraged graduating students from tossing mortarboards in the air during their official photograph it came as little surprise.

The university, in Norwich, which last year became the first in Britain to introduce day-time sleeping berths for hung-over students, is generating a reputation as one of our most crackpot campuses. It was the university authorities that generated headlines this week by declaring that tossing mortarboards skywards posed an unacceptable risk because it could lead to injury, not to mention damaged hats and gowns.

An offer to have flying mortarboards added digitally to graduation photographs using Photoshop, for an extra £8, did not mollify students. Its justification was given short shrift by the Health and Safety Executive, which said that the chance of being hurt by a flying mortarboard was incredibly small.

But it is UEA’s student union, housed in a brutalist concrete and glass building on the campus, that has been most active with bans and boycotts.

Tate & Lyle sugar and Starbucks coffee were barred from the campus shop over their company’s tax affairs; Six Nations rugby because its sponsor, RBS, funded fossil fuel extraction; Nestlé in protest that its baby milk powder discouraged women in poor countries from breast feeding.

They banned sales of the Daily Star (page 3) and The Sun (ditto, though it no longer features topless women). They even axed the hierarchical post of student union president and voted to share the duties between five elected officers (“a flat, collaborative structure”).

A university ranking based on free speech, compiled by Spiked, an online magazine, gave UEA its worst rating because of the union’s support for an academic boycott of Israel and ban of stereotyping jokes and offensive leaflets.

“UEA is fast becoming one of the daftest campuses in the country,” Tom Slater, the rankings editor, said. “The campus authorities have become peculiarly obsessed with censorship, health and safety and hats. It shows just how managed, regulated and controlled our universities are today.”

Full story

6) Robert Tracinski: Global Warmists Admit They’re Really Book Burners
The Federalist, 23 May 2016

The Portland Public Schools board is going to need to buy carbon offsets to compensate for its global warming book-burning campaign.

Well, okay, it’s not actually planning to burn the books, so it’s in the clear on the emissions. Perhaps it will use a more ecologically sensitive solution like composting. Either way, the politically incorrect books are on the way out.

Last week, the Portland, Oregon, public schools board voted to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”

This is the party of “science” at work. Because the rigorous suppression of doubt and skepticism is the essence of a good science education, right?

But don’t worry, Jonathan Chait is on top of this and informs us that it’s all just in the imaginations of “anti-science conservatives” because “the story does not actually describe a book ban. It describes a ban on ‘textbooks and other teaching materials that deny climate change exists or cast doubt on whether humans are to blame.’” Which is a totally different thing, somehow.

In other news, Chait is strongly against political correctness when it targets people like him. The rest of us are fair game.

Actually, the story is even worse than what conservative news sites have reported. It’s not just that Portland banished from its schools any active denial of catastrophic, man-made global warming; it’s that they banished any language that implies the smallest amount of doubt. Bill Bigelow, a former teacher now working for the activist group that pushed this resolution, explained its rationale in testimony to the school board:

Bigelow said PPS’ science textbooks are littered with words like ‘might,’ ‘may,’ and ‘could’ when talking about climate change. ‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’ he quotes Physical Science published by Pearson as saying. ‘This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.’

It reminds me of the old dictum attributed to Lenin: first you target the counter-revolutionaries, and then you target the insufficiently enthusiastic. This is no longer about suppressing us global warming “deniers.” It’s about erecting the global warming catechism as a dogma that cannot be given anything short of enthusiastic consent. You have to embrace it the way you love Big Brother.

But it gets worse. Bigelow is the co-author, conveniently, of his own alternative global warming textbook, “A People’s Curriculum for the Earth,” which lays out a course in “climate justice.” What does that mean? Another report from a site called Inquistr (which sounds like The Quibbler, looks like BuzzFeed, and reads like Pravda) explains:

Climate justice is a social justice issue that frames climate change not in physical or environmental terms, but as a social, ethical and political issue. Climate justice is based on the idea that climate change has a disproportionate effect on low-income and minority communities, which will now be taught to students in the Portland Public School system.

So this is an attempt to use global warming as a delivery device for old-fashioned Marxism, and it will indeed now be Portland public school policy. The school board resolution mandates the adoption of “curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland Public Schools.”
This is about erecting a dogma that cannot be given anything short of enthusiastic consent.

I supposed we should at least be happy that the cards are on the table. For years, some of us have described the promoters of the global warming hysteria as “watermelons”: green on the outside, red on the inside. It’s nice to hear them confirm that “climate” is no longer to be thought of in “physical” — i.e., scientific — terms but is really a “political issue.” That is what we’ve been saying all along.

But that leads me to the most ominous part of the story: that the school board’s resolution was adopted unanimously (at a sparsely attended meeting that feels a bit like an extended “Portlandia” sketch). There was not a single person who saw anything wrong with it and was willing to say so. On the school board. And judging from Chait’s reaction, the whole of the “pro-science” left will march along happily with this bit of Lysenkoism.

Explaining why all of this is wrong and deeply unscientific almost seems to be beside the point, so I’ll leave the job of rebuttal to two of my heroes. Carl Sagan:

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.

This used to be not just basic scientific ethics, but also basic liberalism, back when there was still such a thing as liberalism.

The only thing that’s really interesting about this story is the way the “science” mask is coming off.

Full post

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s