Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Global Warming's "Hockey Stick" Data and Other Global Change News

[I am beginning to wonder if any scientist has studied whether the ash spewed by erupting volcanoes may block the sun and it's warmth, causing the planet Earth to cool.....]
Powerline blogs: Michael Mann's infamous "hockey stick" graph, which purported to show steady temperatures on Earth for around a millenium until the 20th century, is the source of much of the misguided hysteria that surrounds the global warming movement. Mann achieved the hockey stick through mathematical errors or mathematical tricks, take your pick. Recently Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, filed a Civil Investigative Demand for documents from the University of Virginia relating to the work done by Mann while he was at the University. Cuccinelli wants to know whether taxpayer funds were used to help Mann perpetrate a hoax.
Cuccinelli's subpoena has been greeted with howls and protests from warmists and others who view inquiry into a scientist's work as an infringement of academic freedom--the freedom, that is, to make stuff up, hide or falsify data, and thereby impose trillions of dollars of costs on consumers, all while being supported by taxpayers. (In other contexts, this is commonly known as "fraud.") The Science and Environmental Policy Project puts the controversy into context:
It is a remarkable fact that warmists claim the right to keep their data secret and avoid any critical assessment of their work, while at the same time demanding that every country in the world fashion its energy policies on the basis of their alleged findings. No doubt there is a precedent, somewhere, for such arrogance. But I am not sure there is any precedent, anywhere, for governments being stupid enough to accede to such unreasonable demands.
The infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the largest in U.S. history, dumped more than 10 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound.
While the amount of oil and its ultimate fate in such manmade disasters is well known, the effect and size of natural oil seeps on the ocean floor is murkier.
A new study finds that the natural petroleum seeps off Santa Barbara, Calif., have leaked out the equivalent of about eight to 80 Exxon Valdez oil spills over hundreds of thousands of years.
There is effectively an oil spill every day at Coal Oil Point (COP), the natural seeps off Santa Barbara where 20 to 25 tons of oil have leaked from the seafloor each day for the last several hundred thousand years.

The oil from natural seeps and from man-made spills are both formed from the decay of buried fossil remains that are transformed over millions of years through exposure to heat and pressure.
"One of the natural questions is: What happens to all of this oil?" said study co-author Dave Valentine of the University of California, Santa Barbara. "So much oil seeps up and floats on the sea surface. It's something we've long wondered. We know some of it will come ashore as tar balls, but it doesn't stick around. And then there are the massive slicks. You can see them, sometimes extending 20 miles [32 kilometers] from the seeps. But what really is the ultimate fate?"
Based on their previous research, Valentine and his co-authors surmised that the oil was sinking "because this oil is heavy to begin with," Valentine said. "It's a good bet that it ends up in the sediments because it's not ending up on land. It's not dissolving in ocean water, so it's almost certain that it is ending up in the sediments."
The team sampled locations around the seeps to see how much oil was leftover after "weathering" — dissolving into the water, evaporating into the air, or being degraded by microbes.
Microbes consume most, but not all, of the compounds in the oil.  "Nature does an amazing job acting on this oil but somehow the microbes stopped eating, leaving a small fraction of the compounds in the sediments," said study co-author Chris Reddy, a marine chemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass. "Why this happens is still a mystery, but we are getting closer."
Support for this research, which is detailed in the May 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, came from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and Seaver Institute.,2933,520839,00.html
As the Boston Herald reported:  the Cape Wind project [the windmill project off the coast of the Kennedy compound], which started out as a $650 million offshore wind farm, has ballooned to more than $2 billion in construction costs and a potential $6 billion hit to ratepayers when debt service, profits, maintenance and other costs are included.

The $6 billion cost to electricity customers doesn’t include an estimated $600 million in taxpayer subsidies that Cape Wind developers could reap from federal tax credits to cover a portion of the final construction price.
The staggering figures, calculated by the Herald and confirmed by numerous industry sources, are sparking concerns that Cape Wind is already mirroring the Big Dig tunnel project that started out costing $2.8 billion and ended up decades later at more than $20 billion.
Regarding the Cap and Trade bill comes this from Real Clear Politics: What do we expect from these countries and ourselves? The bill would mandate we reduce emissions by 83 percent by 2050. Roll up your sleeves, because we all will be doing organic farming. Or, as Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute points out, we "will allow the average American the carbon dioxide emissions of the average citizen back in 1867, a mere 39 years from today."
The fabricated cap-and-trade "market" is a well-documented concoction of rent-seeking corporations that will work diligently with Washington to ensure taxpayers always foot the bill. As the legislation stands now, oil companies would also have to pay emissions allowances -- outside the cap-and-trade market -- which are nothing more than another gas tax.

Fox News:  One of the tools the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses to predict how oil spills on the surface of water may behave, suggests that more than a third of the oil may already be out of the water.
About 35 percent of a spill the size of the one in the Gulf, consisting of the same light Louisiana crude, released in weather conditions and water temperatures similar to those found in the Gulf now would simply evaporate, according to data that The Associated Press entered into the program.
The model also suggests that virtually all of the benzene — a highly toxic flammable organic chemical compound and one of the chief ingredients in oil — would be stripped off and quickly vaporize.
Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., have managed to write a cap-and-trade energy bill that should be greeted with guffaws from both believers and skeptics of man-made global warming. At a cost of billions of dollars and millions of jobs across America, the proposal would produce virtually no reduction in global temperatures even after being in force for decades. Using the MAGICC/SCENGEN climate model originally developed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and assuming no other nation adopts the same measure, Kerry-Lieberman would reduce the average global temperature 0.077 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, compared with what it would be if the bill were not adopted. That is one-fifth of one degree, which, as Knappenberger notes on the MasterResource blog, is a "scientifically meaningless reduction."

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